Left work a couple hours early today due to this ridiculously strong sinus cold I picked up over the weekend. Woke up with a sore throat on Sunday, and by Monday I feel like my head is going to pop.

Bad time to be sick. Work is crazy busy; I am balancing the duties of three positions right now, and not sure if I am really succeeding. I guess someone would tell me if I sucked, but you never know. We are to have another media event on Wednesday, and I have material to prepare, sick or not.

Can't complain really at the moment, though. I awoke from a short nap and Martin has gone to get some movies to watch. I get to sit around in my red fuzzy housecoat and eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches, savouring the delicious spring breeze blowing through the open window.
The days are becoming noticeably longer; the sun still low in the sky after 7 p.m.

I have realized spring has become something more than even the invigorating lift of winter. The smell of the air and the general atmosphere transport me emotionally. Each spring for the past two years has marked something momentous. April, 2004, I met Martin for the first. March, 2005, he arrived in Canada to take me for "coffee". Six months later we were married...

And now Martin's back with the movies, and he's already making fun of me. Now he's dancing, shaking his tail. I think I will conclude this wasting of time for other unproductive but far more enjoyable activities.


right now

It's a Saturday afternoon; 2:40 p.m. on the computer. I'm in a moment of happiness and inspiration.

Some days, I think you just wake up more in love than others. I awoke today in the dull morning light and laid there before realizing Martin was not there.

I got out of bed, found him for a long, close hug. I am needy for his love; so much it scares me sometimes.

We broke our fast at Nellie's on 17th Ave. We've go often, but today we got a good table, and it was warm, noisy, cheerful. It was a simple sort of bliss to sit there across from him, his face bright, pale eyes intense, ordering what he always orders. I call it "dirty Nellie's"; it's not the cleanest of cafes, but the food is good and Martin likes the candy they give you with your bill. I never eat it.

We went thrift-store shopping on 17th and laughed alot. I tried on hideous 50's dresses and he feigned bitterness when I decided to buy something he picked out for himself. We're kinda the same size in clothes. I get another pair of shoes; I think I am up to around 25 now. It's sick. But amusing. We all have our addictions. Accessories, shoes, bags, jackets; at least one.

Now, back at our apartment. The overcast sky teases with the promise of spring; it's raining lightly which is odd for this time of year. I am enjoying sitting here, relaxed. Waterdeep is playing in the living room, and Martin's slowly falling asleep on the couch. Someone must be having a shower in the apartment below us; I can hear the water in pipes. I've promised to help my dad with some writing for his job, but I am procrastinating. I am just too happy and inspired at the moment to think about writing resumes. Maybe it's the Coke and painkillers. Maybe the great cup of tea I had earlier, or my new No Name brand shoes. Maybe it was the afternoon slow-dancing with my husband in the living room. Maybe the good sausage and bread at breakfast. Or Martin trying on nice, tight pants that show his soccer legs.

Whatever. I'm in love.


in little rivers

It's the middle of the day. I have finished my woefully insufficient lunch, andam trying to distract myself from the growling yearnings of my stomach. If only I had a loonie to by some sort of horrible food-replica from the vending machine. I'd eat anything in there, even salt and vinegar chips.

But back to trying to distract myself. My day has been quite busy. I seem to usually avoid talking shop, unintentionally or not, I am not sure. But I have had an interesting week. Since I have "moved up", (as I have heard it referred to), I participated in various activities such as helping organize a press conference and reporting on several different projects run by our Canadian office. I interviewed one of our overseas Canadian staff this morning, a lovely, dark-skinned (she said her father was a Frenchman) Vancouverite who had spent the better part of nine months deep in the Aceh province of Indonesia. From the moment I heard her speak I loved her. She was frightfully candid, charming and straightforward, and crackled with life.

She was in a small area within the province of Aceh, a devoutly Muslim community close-knit before and after the tsunami, a place she describes as "dark". Police oppression and brutality are a part of every day life, corruption, even among religious leaders, is common, and the aftershocks of the tsunami are carved deeply on people's faces. Anger is quick to the surface; tempers easily boil over.

"You see this vacant, staring expression on a guy's face, and you think to yourself 'This guy's a ticking time-bomb'."

I have thought today about many of the things she said. How there are always different stories for every situation. How one person’s story is never enough. Information from one organization is never enough. A story from one media source is never enough. How western society is so good at creating a picture for ourselves that fits our needs, our perceptions, our philanthropy. How we can’t hear about the everyday strivings of NGO staff, the strange ‘battles’ they wage on a daily basis, the administrative mountains they must scale, the inner, moral, and cultural struggles with encouraging oppression by being “culturally sensitive”, paying bribes, and being forced to enforce superiority in order to maintain order and law. We don’t want to hear how UN office employees can make $100,000 per year. We don’t like food-for-oil nastiness. How non-Christian NGO’s are even further reviled by Muslim communities because of copious alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking.

Left, right, all motivated, all with a mission. All consume according to their specific diet. It’s all in perception, educated or no.

The sun outside is melting the snow, melting it in rivers running down the north side of the parking lot. Could it be spring? It seems as if I haven’t seen the sun in weeks. Oh, I hope its spring. It would mean so much to me.



me on one end
one step either direction one step

should i like this tension?
it keeps me sharp

guardians of propriety

fit this space fit this space fit this space fit

so i like to dance?
it keeps me sane

be this be that
cookie cutter Christian cookie cutter

should i say this?
should i feel this?
pray for this?
carry this?
bow to this?
turn my cheek to this?


ratty Jim Morrison t-shirt

I'm married, and sometimes it seems weird that I am. This is why it's weird. (And I am using the word in the sense of funny/ironic/curious.)

The photo here is on our wedding day. Me and Martin. There are a few reasons why it makes NO sense that we would be married.

a) We lived on different continents
b) Most of our relationship was by phone or by email
c) We spent less than a month in the physical presence of each other prior to getting married. (Much of this time was with friends and family, as well.)

These are the most obvious reasons, of course. But we are married, and it is a pretty grand thing. Now, it's pretty weird to me that I think it's grand. Mostly because;

a) I was cynical and abhorred the idea of EVER "submitting" to anyone
b) I always liked to claim to anyone who wanted to listen that I would never marry and that I hated kids
c) I rather enjoyed being an independant woman with my own means
d) I was rather enjoying the "free" life of singledom with little personal or financial accountability. i.e. I really never read my bills or bank statements and I really didn't care
e) When I thought about it, I had never dated nor really met anyone I thought capable of husbandry. Martin, of course, threw this personal dating stereotype out on it's nose

And now I am married. We do things like make smoothies late at night (okay, 10:30 at the latest), leave notes for each other around the house, and share opinions on fashion. I wear a ratty Jim Morrison t-shirt and hideous capri sweatpants around the house. He wears big fuzzy leopard slippers. He always calls me in the morning at work, voluntarily rubs my feet (despite their nastiness!) while watching movies and sticks his sweet face between me and my book (currently Great Expectations) to demand my attention. He calls me "bookworm" and "hottypants". I will not share what I have been known to call him due to the misunderstanding/teasing it may incite.

Being married isn't what people make it out to be. I do believe that marriage has fallen victim to the propaganda wheel of "modern" culture. We all want to be young forever, with no accountability to anyone, no committment, no strings. It's too bad that marriage is portrayed in such a negative way. No wonder the divorce rate is so high. People don't want trouble in their life, so as soon as things get rough, they give up, the idea being it's much easier to not be married.

I am definitely not saying marriage is easy. That would be ridiculous. However, I'm loving it, and it's so cool that it's so cool, and it only gets better every day. Some days I stop what I am doing and just look at Martin and go "We're married...(pause for emphasis) We're married. Isn't that weird?"

One day I'll stop saying it, but for now just letting myself trip out over it feels good.


i am in-con-sis-tent

Been over a week since my last posting. Obviously, life goes without the blog, so a basic run-down of highlights of the past 8 (or 10?) days.

- Argued the state of federal payoffs of taxpayer’s dollars to an aboriginal population that seems unwilling to realize the harm (and racisms) these “compensations” pose to their culture. Didn’t get anywhere, as it seemed the individual I felt compelled to argue with never knew what he was talking about in the first place.

- Scored the opportunity to sit down with Daniel Thon Duop (see previous post) and write his life’s tale. This, hopefully, will be published.

- Was offered a new position with Samaritan’s Purse which includes more chances to write, more chances to travel, more chances to take photographs, more doors open wider, so to speak. But, as I have been informed, I am very “low key” and do not display the fountains of joy and bubbly enthusiasm of some. But, I really am excited. Really. Please stop asking.

- Watched “Freedomland” and found it to be not freeing, but a touching depiction of human nature. And there were a lot of good one-liners, although I cannot repeat them. And has anyone noticed how film trailers are becoming less and less accurate as portrayals of the actual film?

- Played our weekly work floor hockey game in the warehouse wearing a Sweden jersey and chanting “Sverige, Sverige,” just to be antagonistic. My husband would have been proud to see. (And happy that I am antagonizing someone else besides his gracious self.)

- Celebrated Martin’s 24th birthday; ate a FREE BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST at Denny’s and grossed ourselves out. We tipped our imaginary hats to the delicious (albeit dingy) Nellie’s CafĂ©.

- Enjoyed Martin’s cute little songs about nothing which he often sings when happy and since finding himself to be quite happy on his 24th birthday, sang quite often.

- Spent Saturday evening and night in fine company at the Riverside Inn in Kensington. (And by fine company I do mean my vigorous young husband.)

- Spent Sunday morning in fine company at the Riverside Inn, enjoying eggs benedict and strong coffee in their sunny little dining room.

Hm, so ends my highlight list. Monday, back to work, and a little grumpy, too. Tuesday, same thing, only a wee bit grumpier than Monday.