Thursday, July 22, 2010

How Much More Macho Is There?

This Saturday, I'm doing something hard. I'm gonna ride up a mountain, over and over, in the mud and sometimes the dark, over stumps and roots and rocks and logs, through trees and across streams, with bear warnings clearly posted at the entrance to the area where the race is taking place. I'm going to sweat, and swear, and grind, and groan, and chug uphill until my calves and quads scream. I'll likely wipe out, over and over, bruising and scraping and possibly cutting up legs and arms.

It's a world-class, 24-hour-long event with over 10,000 competitors (87% of which are testosterone-charged young men). There are five of us on our team, taking turns riding, getting almost enough sleep, pushing through fatigue to do our best, and the one thing that is inspiring us to give it our all - our reason for this sacrifice is summed up in our team moniker.

The Five Cupcakes.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The Cosmos must have a more-important-than-usual message for me right now. This past week has seen me meeting three very unique characters.

First, I met a 91 year old man who, within 15 minutes of meeting me, revealed that:
  • he had been raised in an orphanage for the first five years of his life
  • he had been a soldier in WWII as a Nazi under Hitler
  • he was now a proud Canadian
  • he has donated blood over 50 times
  • he is a practicing cross-dresser and transvestite
  • has a book about his life written by a Calgary ghost writer.
He turned out to be one of the most interesting, lively, young-beyond-his-years and genuinely happy people I have met in a long time.

Secondly, I met a woman in her late forties/early fifties of great material wealth, but who was living in such paranoia and exuding anxiety to such a degree that everyone around her (including several house staff that she has at her beck and call for much of the day) was living in a state of fear.

Lastly, this evening, I spent some one-on-one time with a man who I have known for some time. This man is unique in that:
  • he spends the majority of his free time with his charity that promotes picking up litter, not using drugs and participating in sports (mountain biking in particular)
  • is a race announcer
  • has almost completed the process of legally changing his name to Crazy Larry

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be picking up from these folks, but I've enjoyed getting glimpses into some very interesting lives.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I had the greatest time this weekend, hanging out with my mom's family and Banana. We went to Langley, BC, for semi-decadal (that's every fifth year) Key Family picnic.

Five years is enough time for family members to change and gather some stories to keep you entertained. I had found I had graduated from 'active parenting' (cutting meat, slathering my child with sunscreen, keeping her entertained/out of harm's way) to the Elders' Circle that sips the beverage of their choice, feet in the kiddie pool and watches with bemusement as the Active Parents do their thing.

I was also very proud of my daughter as she mingled with her kin, finding them all to be funny, witty and entertaining (which they are, in their own ways). I was happy to spend some time with my cousin and her new baby. I am fully aware of how much energy it takes to be the parent of a toddler and am soooo glad that it is her and Tom that are starting on that journey and not me.

I'm watching Banana make plans to leave the nest. Vancouver is a likely landing spot. She identifies with the bohemian lifestyle (all the good and bad parts) and sees herself fitting in with the Commercial Drive crowd. We spent some time riding the train system there and an afternoon on The Drive. If she can afford the rent there, I'm sure she'll be happy.