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We have ten years...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Earth's climate is in crisis. There is no debate; no doubt. The actions that we take today and for the coming decade will determine the fate of our planet. There is no longer time to discuss impacts. We need to focus on actions and solutions, and we all have the ability to do this. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be issuing their first report since 2001 this week. Read what thousands of the world's leading climate change scientists say when it comes out. The United States, Canada and Australia are dragging their feet. The UK is emerging as a leader. Read this to learn about the things our governments and business need and are talking about doing. But we all need to step up independently as well. I pledge, from this day forward, to minimize my impact in every decision and action that I take. I've cancelled a flight to San Fransicso. I was supposed to attend a conference there in April, but I will propose a teleconference instead. I will not be idle and wait for the outcomes, only to know that when my children are grown they will ask the question: "what were you doing about this, mom?"

What are you doing?

Written by Cathy

Ice, ice, baby

Friday, January 26, 2007

It's cold. Freeze your digits off in seconds cold. -30 degrees C with wild chill kind of cold. I want to hibernate with my family for a few weeks. That's all I ask for; just a couple of weeks. I like the cold, though really. Much better than having abnormally weird warm weather, the harbinger of things we might expect to come. And will. So for now, I'll take the cold.

The Atlantic Ocean is warmer than the land and air, and so it is steaming...really.

I am hoping for a relaxing and uneventful weekend.

What are you hoping for?

Written by Cathy

I just can't help myself...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Well, that is either the most hilarious bit of comedy or most depressing : I can't decide.

In my on-going arrogant efforts to save the world, my son and I joined World Vision and now await mail correspondence with a boy who shares his birthday from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For the price of our daily coffee, his family will receive clean water, food and he will be able to go to school. Welcome to our family, Mechak!

Written by Cathy

Happy Birthday, Mr. C

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Yes...Happy Birthday, Mr. C!
We are going out tonight, after what will likely be another crazy-busy day...
Being back to work isn't horrible or terrible or even bad, really. It is a very fulfilling kind of work, and I know that it is really important, and that I can make a much greater impact by being back. But I am still struggling with the business; the feeling of being rushed from place to place and from one of scrap of work to the next. I resist this feeling with determination and vow that life is to be lived and enjoyed and one can't do this properly if they are never able to slow the pace down. So I will continue to try and find that place. In the meantime, there are children's parties, and grocery shopping and house cleaning, and cakes to bake...I miss all of you. I will come and see what you have been up to as soon as I get a free moment. It doesn't help that everyone gave Mr.C iTunes cards for his birthday; I can't pull him away from the computer now!

Written by Cathy

As Canadian as...well...bacon!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Yes, I am geek enough to photograph bacon frying on a Sunday morning, for the sole purpose of a blog post.

I was listening to CBC Radio One recently and the topic of "what defines a Canadian" was being discussed. The people doing the talking were having a hard go of it, but what everyone seemed to agree on was more around the theme of "what we are not". As in...not American (no hard feelings, American friends).

Things have been feeling a lot more Republicanesque north of your border, however. And we don't even call our Conservatives by that name. Stephen Harper, our "new" Prime Minister, has started using Bush-like sayings, including my favourite..."make no mistake...". Love that one.

I rarely hear positive things about our new government. But that might be the circles I find myself in. I hope not. Polls are showing that Canadians place the environment as their leading concern, above health care and traditional issues that take the forefront. I am hoping that this isn't a fleeting concern as el Nino has caused our temperatures to be temporarily unusualy mild, and people watched DVDs of "An Inconvenient Truth" over Christmas. The truth is just that; inconvenient. Let's hope we don't push these issues aside.

What I really wanted to tell you about, however, is our "new" governments' insistence on being referred to as "Canada's NEW Goevernment". No longer are they just the "Government of Canada". A British Columbia man by the name of Andrew Okulitch worked for 35 years as a scientist at the Geological Suvey of Canada. In recent years he was working, without pay, as a retired scientist emeritus. Commanded to use "Canada's New Government" in all departmental correspondence, and to "note that the initial letters of all three words are capitalized", he fired off this snappy retort:

"Why do newly elected officials think everything begins with them taking office? They are merely stewards for as long as the public allows. They are the Government of Canada. Nothing more. I shall use Geological Survey of Canada on my departmental correspondence to avoid any connection with New Government. The GSC, steward to Canada's earth resources for 164 years, is an institution worthy of my loyalty, as opposed to idiotic buzzwords coined by political hacks."

You can read the full story here.

Andrew Okulitch is my Canada.

Written by Cathy

Let your mind wander

Saturday, January 13, 2007

For someone who makes a good part of their living speaking, I was actually quite nervous about my speech at the opening of the exhibit at the art gallery last night. I think I may have spent as much time trying to decide what to wear as I did writing the damn thing. Alas, all went well, which I really had optimistically believed that it would. When I arrived and starting wandering around the requisite mingling crowd, I counted a total of 4 people (out of hundreds) that I knew. One was a woman I had traveled to Cuba with. We were working on a research project and she ended up hiring a jinetero (male prostitute) for a good part of the trip. So as I spoke, my eyes kept drifting over to her as my mind wandered to images of her dancing the salsa with "Jorge". I think it helped my talk, rather than hindered it.

And, as I was just speaking of shifting gears yesterday, I am now perfectly shifted back into my normal world. Play-Doh Today!

Written by Cathy

Like a Storm, Just Passing Through...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Life is amazing, isn't it? Taking us on twists and turns, and into unexpected places. I have been so busy these past two weeks that I have hardly stopped to catch my breath. Looking at my watch today and being amazed that it was 2:30 and I hadn't had a single thought of lunch. Screeching my brain to a halt as I pick up the babe and my son and we play and laugh until bedtime. And then my brain clicks on again. I don't know where this internal switch resides, but it's there, thank goodness.

I haven't been working on the book much these past few weeks. But I have been discussing the design of the cover with an amazing artist. And so...because of the theme and content of his show, I was asked to speak at the opening of the exhibit tomorrow night. After an afternoon of play-dates with Play Station and swimming at the pool, I will then turn on another switch and give my talk at the gallery. I'll let you know how it goes...

Written by Cathy

For Mr. C

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Mr. C recently informed me that I should be keeping my book blog more current. It turns out that he enjoys reading it and wants to start his own book blog! What do you think about that?

Written by Cathy


Friday, January 05, 2007

I love getting flowers for no reason. Even if they do die too quickly.

Well, there was a reason actually. I got to choose between "Congratulations on getting a job offer you didn't accept" or "Sorry I forgot to put windshield wiper fluid in the car".
I am home today. Awaiting a new piece for our furnace, trying to accomplish a few work deadlines. And listening to Neko Case. It's foggy and way too warm for January today. But it's Friday. So who cares!?

Written by Cathy

Schon wieder Mittwoch

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ocean World

I showed this to one of my classes today, so I thought I would share it with you as well.

My day began with a telephone call as I entered my office, grabbing the phone from the wrong side of the desk, my coat still on. It was a job offer. The sort that people might wait a lifetime to hear. I stood there with my scarf around my neck, students already lining up outside my office, as I contemplated the words I was hearing over the telephone. It was a surreal moment, and I have wondered for the remainder of the day if I am worthy of such good fortune. So good that I could turn the offer down and go about the rest of my day in peace. Surreal.

Written by Cathy

The Last Day

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Today is not only my last day of vacation. It is the last day of sabbatical, which followed from my last day of maternity leave. And although I have been working very hard this past year (albeit primarily from home) , I must return to my rat-infested office in the bowels of an ancient building, where I will try and guide the lives of a few hundred youthful students. I will still be writing the book, just later at night and crammed between classes. Today feels like a major ending to something, and I hate that feeling. But life had to return to this kind of normal again, and so...here I go again.

Written by Cathy

Hello 2007

Monday, January 01, 2007

Sometimes people we love, or at least people that we feel that we should love are miserable and unhappy. And we get frustrated that they can not share in our happiness because they are at such a low place that they see no hope or no end to their suffering. And we, in return, feel frustration and even anger in knowing that there is nothing at all that we can do to change this fact. There is no cure, no words, no gestures of goodwill that will bring this around. No resolutions that will magically change their lives so that they can, once again, or perhaps for the first time, enable them to open their eyes completely and witness the joy around them. When you are surrounded by hate, anger, lacking in hope, you do not want to be constantly reminded that there are those who are happy, free from horror and sadness. We are the people who have choices and full lives to live. These people need help, and we want nothing more than to reach out to them, but the very act of reaching makes the reminders of what they do not have even more apparent. And so we continue to endlessly wait. Hoping that one day, their eyes will magically open, but also that their situation will change and somehow get better. It is hard to know how this can or will happen. What kind of onus is on those of us living full and happy lives? I don’t know the answer to this question, so in the meantime, I will wish and hope that just maybe 2007 will bring something good for these people.

Written by Cathy

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