"There will be crap"

Last night G and I went to see a movie for our weekly date night. He really wanted to see ‘There will be blood’ and I’d heard about it so was curious myself. It wasn’t really my first choice of something to see, but he was very keen on it so I went. The first part was really interesting in spite of the fact that there was virtually no dialogue for what seemed like a very long time at the start of the movie. This was fine because they were showing how oil drilling was done at the turn of the century and it was very interesting. They really did a great job at showing how difficult it was. The the dialogue started and Daniel Day Lewis had this very peculiar way of talking that seemed as though it would be appropriate for the period in which the movie was set, but also identified him as a bit of an oddball. As the movie progressed, he appeared more and more odd while the majority of those around him seemed fairly normal – with the exception of the Baptist Pastor, Eli Sunday. The oil business side of the movie was really interesting. But it seemed to go on forever. I think it really did since the movie runs 2 hours and 38 minutes. The weird thing was that the drilling business went on and on and on and on and on – well you get the picture, but then they fast forwarded to 1927 and then to a few years after that and those parts of the movie seemed like they were only about 5 minutes long. Its like they went ‘Oh crap, we’ve got so much of this oil business stuff and we really need to wrap up why we were making Daniel the way he was and need to address things with his son. Well, we can do that in about 5 minutes.’ I don’t know… it was nice to have a non-traditional Hollywood movie where there wasn’t the typical formula where you know where it was going and how it would end within the first 5 minutes, but this was a little over the top for me. I’m starting to think that Hollywood makes movies for themselves and that they don’t really know what people want to see. The movies are either totally formulaic or totally over the top like this was. Very few intelligent and well crafted movies seem to be made anymore – at least out of Hollywood that is. It seems like the movies that are the most enjoyable these days are the independent movies made by young filmmakers or those who haven’t cashed out and sold their soul to the Hollywood money making machine. I’m really happy to have a service like Netflix or the downloadable rentals from Apple so that you don’t have to spend $$$ on going out to see a movie and wonder why you bothered.

Grand Master 'E'

Today I got out of the shower and was getting dressed after my run. E noted the ‘bun’ in my hair and said: “I like your bun.” “Thank you E.” I said. “You have nice buns.” To which I was speechless. *** Earlier today we picked up ‘I’ from school a little earlier than usual as she wasn’t feeling well. She was showing E her bracelet she got from the treasure box for filling up her reading chart. “What a pretty bracelet.” he said. Then he quickly noted “Pretty darn cool bracelet I mean….”

20 years

20 years ago this summer I graduated from High School. I was 17 years old when I graduated as I started Kindergarten when I was 4 1/2 – hard to believe. I went to Balmoral Hall School for Girls from Kindergarten to 6th grade and then left to attend public school in 7th grade and decided to go back to Balmoral in 8th grade and graduated from there in 1988. I’ll write more about that 7th grade experience another time as it was an experience in and of itself. They had a ‘lifer’ category for girls who went to BH from K-12 and were kind enough to overlook my unfortunate 7th grade year away from BH and include me in the ‘lifer’ category which at the time was important to me and still is for reasons that I’m not sure I can really put my finger on. 12 years in an all girls’ school works well for some and not so well for others. My sister struggled with it while I enjoyed it tremendously (though I did take a hiatus from hanging around women during my college years and found I befriended more men during that time). This summer, the women in the class of ’88 will be returning to Winnipeg the for a weekend this coming June to celebrate our graduation from Balmoral Hall 20 years earlier. Many of the women from our class still live in Winnipeg and many, like myself, moved away. We seem to live all over North America as well as overseas. Its exciting to reconnect with these women many of whom haven’t seen one another since our 10 year reunion – and some since the day we graduated. Our graduating class had 36 women in it and was the largest graduating class in the school to date. This has made working to track down our fellow classmates fairly easy. Facebook has proved to be an excellent tool for locating women and the school has a list that they are going to put together for us of current contact information so we can get the word out that we are planning on meeting. We haven’t really decided what we are going to do – except that it will probably involve cocktails, lots of eating, sleeping, talking about our kids, and I’m betting a bit of dancing in honor of our days of pre-legal drinking age clubbing (the drinking age in Manitoba when we were in High School was 18). I’m very excited about seeing everyone again and getting caught up. But I’m also feeling a little sad about the fact that its been 20 YEARS! Holy jumping. Where did the time go? Its making me feel older than I should. Did I mention that we wore uniforms to school? Yep – green wool kilts, white shirts, green ties, green socks or tights, and blazers. I’m wishing that I kept my uniform from that time so that I could feebly attempt to fit in it for cocktails one night. I suppose I should be grateful that I no longer have it as I think it would be doubly depressing to realize that fitting into it again just wasn’t in the cards. (BTW – the photo was of me in 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade – can’t recall. I didn’t lose my teeth until very late and apparently my Mom thought I was a boy and needed a boy’s haircut.)

Just a beautiful expression

I was listening to the radio yesterday morning and there was a Priest on the radio talking about something. What it was isn’t entirely relevant, though he said something that sounded so beautiful. He was making an analogy about the scent of a rose and had said: “The influence of its sphere goes beyond its physical presence.” I don’t know what it was, but it just struck me as a beautiful way to describe the influence something can have on something else – particularly when thinking of the scent of a flower.

"No freebuilding"

E and I spent some time in his room building from the ginormous bin of Lego that lives under his bed. When we took the lid off and I started looking through the bin I was told explicitly that: “We are building Star Wars Lego ships ONLY. No free-building allowed.” Which immediately led the little kid in me to start putting in ‘non Star Wars’ Lego pieces into my structures. Additionally, I found a very small piece of Lego in the shape of a chicken drumstick which mysteriously made it into one of the Star Wars Lego characters hands as it sat at a very important meeting of the Imperial Council. I’m not sure if I’m going to be invited back to build with Lego anytime soon. Though, that’s actually fine by me because I built a rather awesome land mobile that included horns on the front (living in Texas too long?) that E decided to take apart almost immediately after I built it because it contained a few pieces that he wanted.

Back seat of the car conversation

E had a friend over for a playdate yesterday afternoon. I picked them up from school and we were driving home and this is the conversation that unfolded between the two of them. Keep in mind that this conversation came up completely randomly and out of the blue. Friend – “I wonder what that thing that God wears all the time feels like.” Me – “What thing that God wears?” Friend – “You know, that thing he wears all the time.” Me – “I’m not sure I fully understand – is it white?” Friend – “Yeah.” Me – “Oh, is it sort of like a robe?” Friend – “Nah, its more like a shirt.” Me – “Oh, okay. Yeah, I don’t think I know what it would feel like.” E – “Did you know that Jesus IS God?” Friend – “Yeah – I knew that.” E – “When Jesus grows up, he becomes God.” Then it went into something more difficult to understand… but it was really entertaining.

Spirit of the Marathon

Last night G and I went to see ‘Spirit of the Marathon’. It was a special one night screening (though they’ve added a second night and additional cities due to overwhelming response) and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a movie about something I love to do. Since there are some that are planning on seeing it in the encore screening – I won’t say too much about it here except to note what an excellent job they did covering the sport. It really was incredible. They were able to capture all aspects of running a marathon and talk about a lot of things that people who run marathons can relate to. It was a very inspiring and excellent movie to see.

Brought back memories

I saw this picture on the Drudge Report the other day and it brought back memories of working at Dow Jones. Trading floors like the one pictured here were my clients. I worked for an arm of Dow Jones that provided these traders with real time market data including pricing and news information. I also was a project manager that oversaw the installation of the software that is installed on these computers so that the traders were able to access the data. It was a pretty cool job and I really enjoyed the environment. I cannot imagine what it must be like for these people going to work every day in an environment like this. The stress level was incredible. When there were markets like we have right now, we would just clear the floor and let them do what they needed to do – and frankly, I was happy to leave them be :-) Traders are an interesting type of people and I enjoyed the opportunity to get to meet some of these folks and learn – at an arms length – more about the markets and how they operated. I often tried to explain to people what I did for a living and got the deer in the headlights look from a lot of people – so I can only imagine the confused look that trader’s get when they try to explain what they do. Admittedly, it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall and feel the energy of what’s happening on the trading floors around the country right now.

Busy but good.

This week has been very busy and had its ups and downs. I had much planning to do moving into my new role leading the women’s group in which I participate at our Church. Our handbook is pretty considerable in size and there is a LOT to learn. We had our first meeting on Monday night where I participated in leading the group. I was very, very, very nervous – but it went fine. It wasn’t great, but it was fine for a first time out the gate. I feel a lot better now and feel more comfortable in beginning to prepare for our retreat weekend we will be hosting in April. There is much to do and it feels like baptism by fire being discerned in the role to lead the group. Its interesting, because I really view it more as serving the team rather than leading the team. We have all moved along so beautifully together thus far and have every ounce of confidence that we will continue to move forward together in a cohesive way. While I’ve done a great deal of project management, I’ve never had to combine those skills with a spiritual development role so finding that balance will take some teetering back and forth. There is planning to be done to prepare for the weekend we will be giving, but ultimately the goal is to maintain a path of spiritual preparation. That second part is new to me so I’m not entirely sure of what that entails – but I do know that I’m as excited about it as I am daunted by it! I had been thinking of the idea of the commitment I had made to our team and what it would entail – recognizing that commitment almost always involves some kind of sacrifice. I heard something on the radio the other day that provided me additional inspiration in this new undertaking. There was a Priest on the radio who was talking about sacrifice and about how it stems from a Middle English verb which means ‘to make sacred’. He was talking about focusing on the ‘yes’ in making a sacrifice instead of the ‘no’ and how it can be incredibly motivating for moving forward. So often we look at what we won’t be able to do by making a commitment to something. He was suggesting that we look at what we achieve by doing so. As I thought about this new undertaking, I realized that I didn’t have any ‘no’ feelings about the sacrifices I would be making and felt much ‘yes’. Don’t get me wrong – it will require a time commitment that will take me away from my family more than we are all used to so that I can plan and prepare, but I am fortunate the G has gone through the process and understands what is involved. I only hope that I can find that delicate balance within the team and between the team and my commitments to my family. I’m sure the scales will tip here and there, but I have to trust that it will all work as it is meant to work.