Emily!

My cousin sent me a link with my face in a movie…brilliant!

Advertisements

I had to abandon Chapter 1 for today (Somewhere in the middle), because I ran out of activities, but I have plans to rectify the deficit tomorrow. In the mean time, I’ve made it to about the middle of Chapter 2. I am struggling with writing the course materials, since I alternate between text for participants, and text for facilitators. luckily, I have only to look up to be up-lifted!

The view looks much better in real life, my picture skills suck.

I’m taking a little break from the writing to…write some more, what?? Haha. It’s all good though, just thought I’d share some of the process as I’m writing:

I’ve never really designed curriculum before, and was hoping I’d have more time to do research about course and curriculum design before settling down and putting words and activities onto a page. Still, I’m having fun – so I guess as long as the peoples learn what they need to, then everyone’s happy! Hehe. It’s been a struggle to find good activities and practical applications for developing critical and creative thought (well creative not as much), but it’s a good struggle. In fact, I stumbled upon a genius idea to explain the importance of critical thinking…but I wont tell you just yet…but I’m very excited about it.

Besides writing, not too much is going on. My mom brought me a packaged bar of Halvah – exciting! but tasted pretty bad. Thanks anyway moms! I find that listening to certain music frees me up to write at a steady pace. I choose a song with minimal lyrics, and attractive beat, and beauteous melody, and put it on repeat. Sometimes this is ambient music, sometimes harder electronica, sometimes radiohead-ish stuffs, sometimes plain old hip-hop instrumentals. Either way, it’s to the point now where I start to imagine music if I’m writing in silence! Weird, no?

Ok, end of break time. love to you all.

Oh! by the way, if anyone wanted to know, this blog is read by people from many places on the earth – from Cambodia to Malaysia to Hong Kong, all over Canada (and the states), bits and pieces of Europe,  in Iran and Israel, and lots from Brazil! Random.

oh, also, an interactive whiteboard’d be soo good right now. *sigh*

I realized this morning, after making some calls to potential employers, and finally finishing the hardwood floors in the hallway, that I have only four days left to complete the course for UniED!! Wish me luck.

before

after

And den:

Before (but after the last "after")

after (but after the second "before")

It feels good to finish things. So, seeing as how I finished a things today, I’m feeling pretty good. Yesterday I went with Ted to Silverstar mountain, where there’s a small ski-town at the top. We’re building and installing cabinets up there, and it looks so nice (the cabinets and the snow-capped peak)!

I’ve been listening to a great band called “Monsters of Folk“. Kris passed their music on to Ted, who gave me the CD to listen to…and I been listening since! I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’m down with their musics – the chill vibe, the varied range of style, content, and composition – it’s svet.

Ted and I have an ongoing conversation/debate about coffee. It all stemmed from the gifts my mom brought back from Karim. See, k-money (as he is sometimes known), sent along some intelligentsia coffee. This is very nice coffee. However, the beans were dry (being a light roast coffee), and Ted was NOT down. He insisted that beans had to be oily to be fresh. I didn’t think it was true, but then it has a certain logic to it: if the beans are exposed to air for along time, the oil’d oxidize or something, so old beans’d lack the oil that fresh ones have. Still, the roast date was recent, and the beans tasted fresh, so I was confuse. luckily, wikipedia answered our debate. This is not the main point of my mentioning this discussion. The point is that I wanted to open a coffee shop in Cambodia, and wouldn’t it be fun to get into the roasting as well? So I think we’re going to find some green beans and try out home-roasting. then if it’s cool we can go commercial! Haha – somehow I don’t see the commercial side panning out, but the smell of fresh-roasted coffee in the house’d be cool. N’est pas?

Baha'i ringstone-symbol on the cover of my prayerbook.

I’ve been praying a lot lately – and it’s been good times for my soul. I felt the sting of unemployment yesterday (not the financial kind) – when I vented my frustrations over receiving no reply from various applications which I’d sent out. I am no stranger to this non-reply, as it happened in Cambodia as well, still, it’s never good. my thoughts went from being frustrated, to realizing that I’m waay too hung-up on the results of my actions, and not concerned enough with the actions themselves: had I been searching for jobs daily? Had I been sending applications to all reasonable jobs? Had I been really concerned in my actions, to validate a frustration in my thoughts. The answer of course was no. Through some prayers, I’ve found myself able to be detached from the results, and focus on the hustle.

I’m pretty interested in studying the mental mechanics of prayer. Really, the effect of just saying the prayer on the person saying it is tremendous, and it’d be interesting to know the whys and hows of prayers operation. Take this prayer, for example:

O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.
– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
(Compilations, Baha’i Prayers, p. 150)

A lot of the newfangled pseudo-spiritual positive-thinking movements use repetition of positive statements to aid in energizing oneself, and to maintain focus on a goal. Prayer seems to me to be doing some of that stuff as well (while, of course doing loads more). Let me be honest, just saying that prayer lifts me up, and makes me feel better. It’s incredible! how does it work so well?
These things and more, I wonder upon. Well, I have run out of time for writing blog posts, as I need to finish this course…but we will finish this discourse sometime in the future! (maybe December 1, maybe earlier!). Either way, I’d love to hear some thoughts on prayer, theories on the mechanics, insights into the spiritual, philosophical, or psychological, or even, if you’d like to hire me to install hardwood in your home. 😉
Haha!
Peace friends.

Today I got up, went downstairs, grabbed my clean dress-clothes out of the dryer, and proceeded to get ready for a funeral. It was a funeral for a lady whom I met twice, Florence Strom. She was 97(!) when she passed on. Apparently (as I learned during the service) she was an amazing woman. Hearing about her life gave some meaning to me before reading some selections at her service.

I was asked to read Psalms 23 (at the funeral home), and the Baha’i obligatory prayer for the deceased (at the graveyard). If you don’t know (as I didn’t), psalms 23 is the “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” one. All I could think of last night was:

Which was hilarious, but also made me feel like I was being extremely inappropriate. On the bright side, I’ve decided to include a clause in my will that states that my siblings have to perform a rendition of gansta’s paradise after reading this psalm….and that Nadia has to be the main rapper (as she knows the lyrics by heart, and kills it live).

Also, I discovered that even though the Baha’i obligatory prayer for the departed is the only congregational prayer, there is still no repetition by the crowd! I was under the impression that congregational meant one person reads something, and the congregation responds, but apparently not. So I read this prayer, out in the bitter cold, and it’s LONG, but it was nice. I actually felt like it was really fitting for the occasion. (Funerals kinda force you to consider mortality, especially in relation to yourself. What do you think happens after you die? And if you believe in an afterlife, what do you think it’s like?)

Then we had a traditional Norwegian smorgasboard (mostly fish and potatoes), I socialized with some peoples (and received suggestions that I explore a career in radio), and then went and played chess.

The afternoon was focused on the visit of Ted’s nephew, Darren, who came with his wife and two kids from Kelowna. I got home, changed from ultra-dressy to jeans and a T, and cleaned-up and organized till them peoples arrived. They have a daughter named Emily as well, so there are 2(!) Emily Glabushes running around the Okanagan.

Here’s what the second one looks like:

Who's that? It's Emily Glabush le deux. Also note the de-carpeted floors underneath her feet. So nice.

The night was joyous, and once again, family is jes wicked.

I’ve been whistling this tune for over a week. I don’t want to over-analyze the meaning, but my mom’s convinced that I’m feeling confined and need to bust out. who knows?

my, what big truck you have!

in other news, I saw a truck.

not the most exciting of news, I know, but the guys was from Alberta – which made its out-of-context-ridiculous-unnecessarynness comprehendable (note: I just invented two words).

My aunt and my grandma cook gigantic family dinners on alternating Fridays, collectively ensuring that no one in the extended family loses weight. Regardless (or because of this?),I really enjoy attending. It is nice to see the family for sure once a week, and catch-up on the goings-on. Sometimes they go overboard, such as this past friday, where we find Aunty Flo serving 3 desserts to already full guests:

Some kind of tiramasu-ish thing.

Pear pie with ice-cream

Baked Apple

I know, my life is full of difficult decisions. I give you one guess as to which of these I ended up eating.

A view from the top of the stairs, down into the gutted livingroom.

Today was good! I’ve realized that since I don’t have a job, or study at school, the days of the week mean nothing to me. So today I continued with the flooring project, ripping up carpet and foam in the living room, with the assistance of my mom and Em. It’s fun to rip old stuff out and replace it with the new…though we’ve yet to put all the new in. The room that we first did looks great ( pics in earlier posts), and I’m looking forward to the beautification, and de-allergizing of the house.

Speaking of the room we did (which is the one I sleep in). I walked in the room after a shower, only to find a great mystery on the floor. You’ll never guess. Ok, try then. See? It was a feather.

Mystery Feather!

My mind, as many minds do, immediately jumped to ridiculous conclusions. Sarious, the first thoughts I had were: “did a bird get in through the window?” (there are no birds with these feathers around here, and, the window is/was closed); “did a mouse leave a feather that it had found behind?” (because, as everyone knows, mice make nests or something using bird feathers), and, “did nutmeg kill/find a dead bird, and then leave behind a feather in my room?”

i mulled over these meager options as if there was no other explanation in the world except them. I changed, and left the room, feather in the center, still confused – only to notice one key piece of evidence on the way back in: the pillows. Yeah, unbelievable. how did I miss the most obvious explanation? Amazing, how such a light feather can weigh so heavily on a mind.

Today was exciting for more reasons! My cousin Munir ( a genius by trade), read older posts on the blog, and was really supportive of my making an interactive Whiteboard – going so far as to show me the available technology presented on a TED talk. I intend to make one soon.

Also, MIT has course materials available for free online! There must be plenty others – so \I think the plan now is to aggregate the freely-offered course ware from various places, organize it by class and field, and then see if we can start finding willing online tutors and request certification from the government! Will be great! University enters cloud computing for reals. Maybe our slogan can be “Wherever you’re going, keep your head in the cloud”. Or maybe I should just bite the bullet and enter the advertising world.

em displays the pooper-scoopers she found, along with her dedication to 'poop-hunting'.

We went out for lunch, and em found these twin scoopers in the store. She actually got so excited about getting scoopers made specifically for picking up poops. She was terribly disappointed that we didn’t outfit ourselves with new “poop-hunting” gear. I laughed on the inside, I laughed on the outside, I ate a soup and sandwich, and drank a cappuccino.

I finished my first free-lance writing project, and have moved on to finishing the course on critical and creative thought for UniED. I’m pretty new to the world of curriculum development, but designing games and activities, and really thinking about how to communicate ideas is make me excite!

So far, I only have a small database of activities, and some initial ideas for the course, but I plan to grow that into 24 hours of class time by the end of the month. Wish me luck! (or post suggestions, I am down for input).

Also, what does it mean when you’re attacked by a beast in your dreams? I’ve heard a few people now recount tales of recurring dreams of being attacked by many and varied ferocious fauna (lions, tigers, bears, etc.).

Justice is never understood

Justice is unappreciated

Justice is trodden underfoot

Justice is cast aside

Justice is disregarded

Justice is bought and sold

Justice is a plaything of the ignorant

Justice flees from corruption, and corruption is everywhere

Justice demands fairness

Justice demands equality

Justice is always on my mind

Justice is blind

Justice is in front of my eyes

Justice is dissected

Justice is desecrated

Justice is enslaved

Justice is starving

Justice should be celebrated

Justice is trapped

Justice is the vessel of grace

Justice is sidestepped

Justice is bypassed

Justice is looked-over

Justice is the basis of peace

Justice is an exponent of beauty

Justice is hiding everywhere

Justice is silent everywhere

Justice is powerful

Justice can move men

Justice is a woman.

I am excited by the continued streak of productivity!

today saw:

The demolition of the hallway flooring.

A visit to the medical lab to give some blood samples.

Dropping off a tool for Ted.

A visit to the bank.

Denny’s with some friends.

Acquisition of new socks! (thanks to a friend, who very graciously shopped for me).

The playing of chess and drinking of earl-grey.

 

Kian studies his options.

Not sure if you can see, but somehow my queen and bishop made their way behind enemy lines...right to the throne.

We played about 4 or 5 games, very evenly trading wins. Strangely, when I won, I really won well, and well when I lost, it was pathetic! (obviously the same is true for Kian)

The truck refilled with gas.

The shopping done.

The clothes washed and folded and put away.

The freelance project updated (only minor edits left!).

The Writings read; the prayers said.

So, not too bad for doing stuffs. However, the day didn’t see:

The exercise done (!!) (seeing as this is only a shameful day after a resolution, I’ve decided to ensure I get it done before sleeping tonight!…since I’m not counting the demo work – I barely broke a sweat.)

Any job application sent out.

Any master’s applications sent out.

Any curriculum written.

Any lyrics written.

 

I’m still ok with the day…we’ll see what tomorrow brings – hopefully I catch-up!

 

Two cooks are better than one.

So my mom got back from Toronto yesterday, ending nearly 5 weeks of less-than-excellent dinners. Not to knock Ted’s cooking skills or anything, but the reality is that my mom’s got that business down. For example, under her instruction, I crafted a delectable dinner. And under her own instruction, and of her own volition, she crafted chocolate cupcakes and a chocolate cake (pictured below). Of course, it’s nice just to have the moms back, regardless of whether there is cooking involved or not – I swear!

In other news, I went to le Docteur for a full physical assessment, and received a clean bill of health.  I have to get some tests done (including a stool analysis!! – the double exclamation marks here represent the number of stool samples), but I feel alright, so they should be fine, right? 😛 A good chunk of my time with the doctor was spent discussing Cambodia, my feet, and how well I carry my weight. I am a big man. His nurse/assistant weighed and measured me before he saw me, and he was surprised that I weighed 220 pounds. I told him I was also surprised, since that number had been substantially lower in Cambodia. He told me, as many people do, that I was lucky  to have such a large frame, but that I needed to get into exercising a bit everyday (but that, in all honesty, I was all-right. Haha). Ted also went to the doc yesterday, and basically got the same recommendation. I related to a Ted a dream I once had where I went to a doctor (for so long I had not seen a doctor, that they came to give me advice in my dreams :P), and the doctor said all I needed to do was work-out and all my little difficulties would disappear – Ted then derided me for ignoring the advice.

I have made efforts since that time to be healthy and do some working-outs, but really I find myself lacking motivation, since life is usually so sweet. How often we need desperate or extreme circumstances to be jolted into action! haha, I’m determined not to allow myself to drift into the  folly of the masses with big asses, and put regular exercise back into the daily schedule (it was there in Cambodge for a while, I swear!). I’ve recently managed to solidify a daily spiritual routine, so hopefully I’ll find the routin-ization of 200+bpm physical activity easier now. I find it easier when there’s a point besides being ‘slightly healthier’. Indeed, sky and I had a cholesterol-filled heart-to-heart, wherein he indicated that he didn’t mind being fat, it was just the man-boobs that detracted from the whole experience. I vehemently agreed.

I went down to the Lumby health foods store today, ate some excellent Hungarian goulash, and played the part of proud dog-owner for around 2 hours. Everyone loves Nutmeg. For serious. Random strangers had to stop by and pet her and buy her treats, and compliment me on her friendly nature, and beauty (as if I had played a part in either). I’m sure this is a result of so many people treating dogs as their children, and society learning to respond in kind – not to insult Nutmeg’s disposition or looks.

Interesting times in the Okanagan. As promised, here are the pictures of chocolate.

Also, em has some new dance moves.

So I have a friend who works at the local theater, and he can get us into movies for free. So far, we’ve abused this privilege to watch “the men who stare at goats”, and “2012”. The first movie was hilarious, and a great juxtaposition of the hippie-era quest for peace against our current soul-deadening apathy. Today we watched 2012.

The movie is ok. I thought they would get into actually saying something about the fabled ancient Mayan prophecies, but they didn’t. The movie is essentially a shallow treatment of divorce, set to the background of a cataclysmic restructuring of the earth’s crust, oceans, and polarity. The most exciting part was that we got to see it for free! and, the lamp for the projector burnt out halfway, so they called an intermission, gave us free popcorn, and a free-movie pass each. My buddy Jace, realizing his immanent departure, and already close connections to the cineplex crew, decided to bestow his free pass upon me – bringing today’s total fee movie count to 3! I kid though, the movie has some cute bits, some funny bits, and some swet special effects. The desire of the writer/director to have the cast so closely escaping danger with everyone else dying right beside them soon became annoying, but it was kinda cool to see cities getting ripped to shreds.

I don’t think there’ll be such a rampage by nature, in fact, I’m not even sure if I think the “end of the world” has a physical referent at all.  Still, I wonder, what do YOU think the end of the world will look like, and why?

Also, I got to rip out the carpet on the stairs this evening, which was quite fun. There’s an interesting tool that Ted has called a “red-devil”. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why he always had to have it, but the more work I do, the more I realize this tiny, flat, crowbar-with-holes-in-it is second only to a hammer in it’s usefulness in indoor trades work.

hardwood

I learned how to put in hardwood floors!

I have been enjoying bouts of productivity, alternately working on hardwood floors, writing a course for UniED, and completing a freelance writing contract!

Em is still crazy and hilarious, and has become so attached to being “little chef”, that she is insulted if she is not integrated into the cooking of meals. We’ve been clearing out the fridge, freezer, and pantry, creating meals out of nothing! I’ve been learning a lot of little simple cooking things – how to roast stuff so it doesn’t burn in the oven, how to make “just-right” porridge, how to make pumpkin soup out of a pumpkin, and on and on. Lumby seems to have more time available than in big cities, so I find that I have time to keep abreast of current events and the world news, as well as maintain my regular reading of interesting books and Holy Texts. I’ll admit that I’ve come very close, about three or four times now, to writing some social commentary blog posts – but I find my writing breaking down when I do! For example, after completing my degree, I felt I should write about my concerns of the lack of standard in Psychology – and how reliance on mean behaviors as a standard is compromising the field…but i soon realized this needs to be done over like 2 books or a giant PhD – and even Lumby doesn’t have enough time for that!

emchitecture

Emily explores architecture

Then there’s architecture. Em got this ingenious little game that’s like manual Tetris. It’s actually quite simple and entertaining. Essentially, you are given sets of pieces to work with, and have to try and make squares or rectangles out of them. It’s called Katamino, and has inspired us both to be architects. I once had a CRAZY dream, where my life played out before me: I got married, had kids, lived on an island, fought with my wife, and ultimately, became an architect. The coolest part is that I remember the designs for the biggest project. It was a ginormous building that was self-contained, and was a prototype for housing on the moon! haha. So maybe I’ll go into architecture and design moon housing…or maybe Em will, who knows?

Ted 'n Em

Art lessons form the master

She may also end up, like Ted’s first son sky, being an artist. She draws and colors several pictures a day, and she really shows signs of steady improvement (without the aid of instructors!). Here I caught her getting a rare lesson in drawing skills from Ted, who is himself an accomplished artiste.

Besides these activities out of which daily life in Lumby is made, I’ve been living another life on the inside! It’s unreal how people can transport themselves to different times and places and situations in their own minds. Internally, I’ve been visiting and revisiting 19th century Persia. The Bab wrote incredible works, and I’ve been reading what I can find translated into English, as well as reading stories from the history of the Baha’i Faith. It’s really interesting, and refreshing for my soul! Between stories from the fierce early believers of the faith, and the current civilization-building perspective of some Baha’i writers, I’m drawing loads of inspiration to act for positive change up in this humpity bumpity. The positive motivating influence of religion is astounding – even when I just look at my own life! And what other people see as the destructive influences of religion, are, in my opinion, perversions of the spirit of religion; abuses of belief which religion evinces in the hearts of people.

Pharoah beard

The pharaoh beard progresses.

Though my mother despised my beard, I’ve decided to throw all caution to the wind, and just grow for it. aha..ha. Till next time,

PEACE!

Blog Postings in Der!

People Say the Darndest Things

Kristin on 4 days left.
factsrus on Justice
Soni Singh on “Knock-knock”
Bolanka on e-town partie-deux.

Analytics

Real Time Web Analytics Clicky
Advertisements