Your Real Life is Hidden

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quotes from recent reads......

I just finished the best book called Casting a Fragile Thread about three sisters who grew up a part of white society in colonial Africa. I would recommend this book to anyone who's been to Africa or who has a funny accent and is living in a new country (like me). The follow passage could have been one that I wrote myself. I laughed so hard while I read this:

Mostly I just stayed in the apartment....We did go to parties and dinners in New York, quite often really. Most people I met, confident men and women with educations and opinions, heard my accent and asked me questions like "Do you have fraternities in England?" They always looked a little vague when they heard I was from Zimbabwe, one of the old colonial countries in Africa that used to be called what-was-it-again? Wasn't it brushed with something like white supremacy? Or was it?

"Oh, I know someone who went to Zimbabwe when it was still the Belgian Congo," one woman said confidently, although mostly I heard: "Is Zimbabwe part of South Africa?"

"Where did you go to college?" would invariably be the next question, an attempt to bounce into familiar territory with a one-word reply that could potentially offer up a jackpot of information. Mortified, I would admit, yet again, that I had never gone to college, and for a moment they would look shocked, as though I had made the faux pas of drifting into the wrong social class, and then they looked embarrassed, having no idea of what else there could possibly be left to say.

On one occasion, at a party celebrating a young woman ... who had just landed a new job, the guest of honor asked me, "And what do you do?" Knowing I couldn't make nothing sound as exciting as Wall Street at seventy thousand a year, I blurted, "I'm waiting for a green card." --Wendy Kann, Casting with a Fragile Thread

If I've learned one lesson from all that's happened to me, it's that there is no such thing as the biggest mistake of your existence. There's no such thing as ruining your life. Life's a pretty resilient thing, it turns out. --Sophie Kinsella

I think your heart grows back bigger, you know, once you get the [stuffing] beat out of you. And the universe lets your heart expand that way, and I think that's the function of all this pain and heartache that we go through. You gotta go through that to come out to a better place.
--Must Love Dogs

Watch it!

If you haven't seen this new music video, it's the only music video worth seeing before you die. Really. People with dial-up: go to a friend's house who has cable/network modem to see this. YOU MUST SEE IT!

Most Incredible Video

Monday, August 28, 2006

To make you smile

A little something I know my YWAM or MK friends will enjoy and sympathize with. I found this on a Peace Corps Volunteer's blog. :)


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Small news

Went to two bar-b-ques today. You know summer's winding down when everyone is bar-b-queing on the same afternoon.

Did I ever mention that my work visa came through? It did. I'm looking for a job. No one I've gone to wants to hire me. If you want to hire me, call me. I'll do (almost) anything.

Other than that, things are good. Jason's working. I'm not. Life is good. Saw the other side of the family this week. Well, mostly just Dad, Mom, and Darren. And Uncle David. And some people who Jason knows who I got introduced to. Got some new pictures of my nephew in the mail, so I've been showing him around to people. What a cutie. Gets it from our side, of course.

Seems like everyone I know just had a baby or is currently pregnant. Or married....Congrats, Lauren & Adam! I wish I could have been there. There appears to have been a mini BAS reunion at the wedding with Ralph, April, Sandy & Boots all showing up. And Sandy, if you're reading this, did you get my messages? And will you ever be home when I call? And why isn't anyone home when I'm home?

Here's to a successful job search this week. Keep us in your prayers.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Maybe this isn't entirely accurate

Journeying Unit Designed for Yelling

Monday, August 14, 2006

A little diversion now that my trip entry is up to date...

You Are a Dalmation Puppy

Kind, bright, and very energetic.
Firemen love to pat your little head.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


We've returned safely from our trip out East! Jason & I got in Sunday night around 8PM, totally wiped and happy to be home. It was a long trip in some ways, but mostly it was too short. We had a great time. I'll not bore you with details, but just go straight to a province-by-province review, forgetting chronology and that sort of rubbish. :)

Quebec: O! Are there any words to describe Quebec? Breathtaking, beautiful, wild, gorgeous, friendly, and surprisingly welcoming. The Quebecois I feel often get painted as a bunch of grumpy, wine-drinking, chain-smoking people who want the Anglais all dead so they can be their own country, but I didn't meet a single person like that. And if they wanted to hate anyone, I'm a prime target because I don't speak even the most rudimentary French that they teach in kindergarten. I haven't had a French lesson in all my life. I've just had to pick up what I can as I go. But even so, I was only met with smiles and patience as I tried my best to say what I wanted to say. Jason is stellar at French.

OK, not a province, but Maine: Ha ha! I'm the first in my family to visit Maine, the northernmost contiguous United State. Ha. Ha-ha-ha! Maine is truly lovely. And also the sight of the smallest border crossing in the world, somewhere on the border of Quebec. Poe-dunk! But we stopped for lunch at a little side-of-the-road rest area on our second day on the trail, and I ran out of the car, kicking off my flip flops and jumping into the river. Ah, water! It was a really lovely tiny river--maybe two feet at its deepest (I waded easily from bank to bank) where we were. No idea what it's called. Then we got back in the car and drove on until we hit an ice cream stand: Gifford's. Famous enough that on the sign it says "Ask for Gifford's at your supermarket." They had about 35 flavours that I'd never even heard of. I had the Black Raspberry Bugaboo Fudge and Bumbleberry Crumble. Very good. Made by hand with fresh berries, and oh so creamy. Stop by whenever you're in Maine. They're all over the place.

New Brunswick: Nice what little I saw of it. We barely crossed the border out of Maine and into St. Stephen's where we were lodging for the night, at St. Stephen's University. It was seriously two minutes from the crossing. And the next morning when we set out, I was in the back seat and asleep within minutes, so I don't recall much of NB from the trip out. I think I saw the ocean from the car or something. And then we were in......

Nova Scotia. Land of not-well-marked highways. No me gusta. I liked where we stayed just fine, in Mahone Bay and Lunenburg. The people were very friendly, the ocean lovely, the shops all inviting in our tourist dollars. But can they put up some freakin' road signs?! Apparently not. But there's a great fish 'n' chips wagon in Lunenburg named after a woman; Lola, or Donna, or something like that. Great fish, scallops, and chips. Everything tastes better deep-fried, even seafood. We also saw the Bluenose II, for all you nautical affectionados. For the Americans (etc), that's the ship featured on the back of the Canadian dime.

Did I mention we also picked new names either in Maine or NB? Scottish names. To reflect our surroundings. We had French names while in Quebec (two apiece, actually), but our Scottish names stuck until the end of the trip, and then some. No, I will not reveal my name. You must ask me in person (this is a test to see how many people read my blog).

One of the highlights of NS was seeing "Shakespeare by the Sea" (theatrical company) perform Much Ado About Nothing. We went into Halifax to see Jason's friend & my friend (didn't quite work out for my friend) Wednesday night, and ended up in a park watching some really funny guys and gals perform a funny play. It was great! As good as plays at the Stratford festival, but with much more audience involvement, as we were right at the actors' feet in the crowd, and they were jumping and hiding among us. Really brilliant. Just like in Shakespeare's time. We were the rabble with the rotten tomatoes to chuck at the villans. But no one told me, so I had left all my rotten tomatoes at home with nothing to throw. Oh well.

But seriously, if anyone from Nova Scotia is reading this, consider writing your MPs about getting better road signs. They are a hazard to poor, unsuspecting tourists.

PEI: What is there to say about this tiny island nation now linked to the mainland? It's a lovely wee place, even if it's entirely fueled by the Anne of Green Gables phenomenon. The red dirt is stunning to see in the fields--I guess because we see so many fields all the time around us in Ontario, and to see the same there only with RED RED dirt--it's cool. We of course had to see the Anne of Green Gables house--a real house that was there before LM even wrote the books. It belonged to her grandparent's cousins (?) who were an unmarried brother & sister living on a farm. It's really lovely. We took a lot of pictures there that haven't gotten developed yet (our last roll of film we used on the trip). I'll try and post some photos of us, but I think I have too many already on my blog and will either have to delete some or go the way of all my friends before me and get either bubbleshare or flcker or whatever other photo programme. We had a nice time, and we were the first in our family to drive across the bridge (a big thing to some of us). Jason drove across on the way there, and I drove the way back. I got to the toll booth (someone's gotta pay for the bridge, eh?), with a flashing LED sign that said "Welcome" "Bonjour". And the attendant greeted me with a "Hello." I said "Bonjour," at this point quite into the spirit of being east and speaking whatever French I could as everyone from NB to PEI to QC appeared to be bilingual. The attendant then told me in French (which I couldn't understand) that I owed $40.50 for the toll, but I already knew how much because I had read the sign. Then a "merci," and we were on the bridge.

Here's a mistake not to make before getting on the Confederation Bridge: not stopping for the bathroom before getting to the toll booth. I asaninely thought there would be another friendly visitors'/thanks for employing us with your tourism dollars please come again centre before we crossed the bridge back to the mainland. There isn't. And it takes twenty minutes to cross the bridge, and then we were at least twenty minutes again from our campsite, but we had decided to stop for some firewood on the way because the firewood they sold at the site was a major rip off and we had seen signs the day before as we were coming in. But then we couldn't find the place, and all my internal organs are screaming mutiny at me, and the other girls aren't well off, either. We finally find the place after we stopped turning down the wrong roads (and by the way, there were so many people with firewood stacked up near the road without it being for sale, it was quite a tease and not appreciated), just two minutes from our site. Literally. I parked the car in front of the bathrooms as soon as we were in the campground, and then Jason drove her back to the site as the three of us made a mad dash for the loos. Oy!

So, again, we passed through NB into QC and then were home to ON two days after seeing PEI. In a matter of a week, I saw the provincial capitals of Halifax, Fredrickton, almost saw Charlottetown but decided to pass another way to avoid traffic, and viewed Quebec City from across the river. So at first I was thinking we had seen all of them, because we passed the signs on the road, but no. For provincial capitals, I still must see Regina, Winnipeg, QC, Charlottetown, and St. John's. It was a great trip, great friends, good food, and what a beautiful country to observe in all directions. I've already detirmined that Jason & I are going back to Quebec to spend some time in Montreal and the old City and if we ever get a cottage, I know exactly where I want it to be.

Thanks for listening, and I wish you all could have come with us. Next time we go, seriously, do whatever you can to join us. It will rock!