Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Things I've Never Done #4

Stand on a stage. In front of an audience.

Yes please.

The more I think about things I have never done, the more I realize, these things happen every single day. In the past few weeks I have: assisted in a police break in, raced a sprint tri, tried new restaurants, worn new outfits, stayed in new houses, taken ferry rides, won an award and done this and that ... all which I had never done before. But like I said, these are things that just happen.

A few weeks back I was approached about leading a warm up at the annual school race. Without hesitation, I said, "YES!" and started to think about what I might do. No surprise to me, that I waited until the night before to look up a routine and make a playlist. Don't do that. Don't wait till the night before.

I decided to go with Lesley Patterson's 10 minute warm-up as not only was it perfect in terms of timing, but she is a badass Xterra WorldChampion as well. So the night before the race I made a playlist while half-watching House of Cards. I decided I would take 10 songs and listen to the first minute of each. So I listened to the first minute of each song to make sure they were appropriate.

Playlist done.

The morning of the race, I set off the alarm of another car in our garage and couldn't turn it off. 6:00am on Sunday morning and an obnoxious horn honking from the garage. Sorry neighbours! That one event could have predicted how my day was going to go. I arrived early and got set up. A headset microphone. I don't even know if that's what it's called, but I had one. I plugged in my iPhone and called over the eager race runners and explained the warm-up.

Song one. This was fun. A blast. Though I was getting tired. Or warmed up? That's what I told everyone that was starting to sweat just minutes in.

Well it was drill number 3 (High Knees) and I really liked the cadence of the song (Slam the Door) I had chosen. I decided to used the same song for drill number 4 as well (Butt Kicks). 1:22 in I thought I heard something questionable, but hell, the loud speakers drowned out any questionable profanity. Until 1:33 ... did I hear what I thought I heard?

Loud Speakers. School Race. Admin. Parents. Co-Workers.

SHUT THE F&%KING DOOR!

Yep. That's what the music screeched out to the crowd. It wasn't confirmed until a little bit later that that's what was heard, but it happened. And it wasn't supposed to. What are the chances that the one song I play for two minutes had that line in it. 

I loved leading the warm up and I loved being on stage. I was comfortable and to be honest - I want more of it. 

You got a gig - sign me up- Promise to triple check my playlist. Unless profanity is your thing: This perhaps!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Things I've Never Done #3


I've never written an open letter. Until now. 

An Open Letter To the People Who Live in Top-Ranked Cities but Who Request that People Stop Moving There,

I tried to get the salutation down. I really did. Twice in the past few months I have read a Facebook status update, “please don’t move here” with an article that reads, “Why My City is the Best!” (or something to that end) attached.

I met both of you while you lived and worked abroad. I don’t want to engage in online banter, but do wish to express why this might (and did) offend.

People these days live in different cities, and different countries other than their birth city. They just do. As you did. It is likely that some (maybe most) of your friends are/were transplants at some point in their lives and you may not have met these great people had they not left familiarity and security behind. Likewise for the lucky people who got to meet you while you lived abroad. I am one on those people and I truly mean that.

Unless you are a property owner, you don’t own land in your city. Therefore you don’t have claim to the geographical turf you speak of.

That being said, the “geographical turf” is probably more expensive now that all of these people have moved in. That stinks. Truly. But it’s a by-product of your space being so rad. You got to be born there (not your choice - lucky you). You got to grow up there (not your choice - lucky you).

And I bet your parents taught you to share. So do that. Open your arms to your groovy space and – chances are, there is enough of it. We are not talking about densly populated cities here. You'll probably ... well ... make more friend.

We are free to move. I don’t think I need to explain this one. Or maybe I will. We live in a free country (I am writing to our Canadian and US friends here) and one of the many privileges we have (just by being born there) is that we are allowed to move.  Do you really deny people of that? Deny yourself of that?

Asking people not to move to your city is like throwing a life party (in an awesome venue) but keeping your door closed to all the people you haven’t met yet. Can you imagine? If you were told you would only meet passerby’s from now on. Tourists. Cause no one was allowed to move in – and no one was allowed to leave.  I guess I wouldn’t be so bad if there were rivers made of chocolate and Oompa Loompas.

Transplants probably brought a lot of flavor to your city. All those cafes, studios, the hand-crafted jewellery, the restaurants, the classes in the park, the artwork. I am sure it wasn't all the locals. And I am sure they are grateful to have a great place to call home. 

Last, but not least. Your cities are rad for a reason. One of them is that they are home to good people. When you ask people not to move there, we hear “You’re not good enough for us."  Or worse, "We don’t like you unless you are one of ours.” We are telling ourselves those stories too often already. No need to push us away. 

With absolute love for you and your cities,
Diane

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Things I’ve Never Done #2

Wednesday morning rolled around and I dreamed that my ear/jaw/nerve (whatever it is) had acted up during the night.

But it wasn’t a dream.

As I lifted my head, a stabbing pain shot through my ear and so it began. The first real ear issue ( I really don’t know what else to call it) since Cami was born, settled in.

Sometimes I can feel it sitting there, lingering, perched on the nerve in my ear/jaw, just waiting for me to make one wrong move. And I have, time and time again, looked right a little too fast, touched my ear the wrong way, smiled. Yes, smiling sets it off. So does surprise. So I have to be totally balanced in emotion and movement, or the little  waiting thing gives me a reminder. I am both alive (great!) and able to feel pain (great!)

So, this week I finally made it to acupuncture. First time.

We did a check in. I told him I wasn’t stressed or angry (and I am not sure if he believed me or not) and he asked me to lay down. First he pricked the ring finger on my left hand and squeezed the blood out. I am not kidding. I could feel the swelling in my jaw/ear go down. Immediately. After the ring fingers, he stabbed a few (12 or so) needles in my arms and legs (and two behind my neck) then moved them around to make sure they were sitting on my nerves. They were.

I laid there for about 15 minutes until he came to take them out. As he removed them, he mentioned that the point of pain is on the same meridian as the gallbladder, albeit, on the opposite side. Check it out GB 2. 


My ear/jaw felt completely better, and then I sat up – and the pain came back. I walked home cupping the back of my ear, because that provides a little bit of relief.

Then I took a pain killer.

The moral of today’s story, is that I got curious while sitting on the table, of whether I could be an acupuncturist. About how much rent he paid for his office. About whether this treatment is going to work (he is convinced he can heal me). And now I know that maybe this has something to do with my gallbladder. I also feel like I might need to walk around with a safety pin so that I can stab my ring finger if things get unbearable. 

Stay curious people. Cami is awake and I have carrot soup brewing.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Things I've Never Done #1


I’ve never … made candied (aka, caramelized, crystallized) ginger.

In fact, I didn’t know there was such a thing.

I just finished reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and one section inspired me so much, I am now doing things like making candied, caramelized, crystallized (and learning that I don’t know how to spell those words) ginger.

This is the first of the things I’ve never done series. And there’s going to be one each week. Until I die (or before).

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about passion, and looking for passion in such a way that makes me almost want to laugh at myself for looking so freaking hard. She using a great analogy; looking for passion to give your life purpose and flare, is like saying “all you have to do to lose weight is to be thin.”

She goes on to tell a story about a garden she was “curious” about, and from that, an idea was born.

The I’ve never project. Each week I will do something I have never done.

So here is week one.

Last week I started brainstorming ideas of things I have never done, but am curious about. In a Friday meeting, a great friend unwrapped a cookie from the wrap-mat (so adorable) and another friend inquired. What is in that cookie?

Converstation led to one special ingredient, candied ginger. Which is not readily available to buy here in Mexico City. So, I announced, I will make it.To which they cheered, YOU'VE NEVER DONE THAT!

Little did I know what this would entail.

I Googled the recipe and it seamed quite simple.

Buy ginger, peal it with a spoon, boil it … and then I could have sworn it said bake it. 

 So I baked it … and we took Cami and Aero for a walk.

I could smell burnt ginger and white sugar from the street. And had a mild heart attack thinking that this might be the second house I put up in flames.

Deflated and scraping the pan, I asked Ricardo, “should I try again?” And so I was back at the grocery store, back peeling ginger (with a spoon) back boiling it … and questioning whether I should try baking it again.

I heated up the oven, scraped the soft sugary ginger on the pan, and put it in.

Meanwhile ... Cami was being all cute. 

Voila.

Candied Ginger.


I’m sure there is a lesson to be shared here – but I don’t wish to elaborate. Got a baby bag to prepare, 100 handstands to do and a football game to see. 

Thanks Elizabeth Gilbert. One down, a whole buch to go.