Friday, July 30, 2010

Fast-Track Life

Our friends who were married a week following our wedding are celebrating their son's first birthday next month. I said to Jody, "Good thing it isn't a race."

Can you imagine if it were? Well, I suppose some people think it is... always racing to get ahead. Sometimes I think that approach gets you as far as the guy who guns it when the light goes green, only to be stuck at the next red light. So, if that's true (and it's open for debate, I admit) - how do we know when to go full throttle and when to enjoy the ride?

Just think of all the idioms we have: he fast-tracked his career; she breezed through business studies; their son skipped a grade; she raced the clock. It's implied that faster is better. Frankly, it scares me to see advertisements along the lines of, "Become a medical assistant in half the time of other schools!" Do they skip units? Cram even more knowledge into eager brains? Only teach the most common ailments and assure the students they can learn everything else on the job???

I suppose that if the aim is to skip the boring bits and get to the good stuff of life, that can be a positive thing... but I'm glad we aren't bound to complete tasks by a certain age or on a timeline. Certainly there's pressure to, but we aren't stuck at one stage of life until we complete an obligatory task.

A fast-track approach to a career is great, if the individual is driven (another road-related idiom!) or gifted. Speeding up your schooling works for some, while for others it exposes gaps in social development. But I feel that life is for living, and the pace may be relentless but at least it's variable! Life doesn't have a curriculum, and although you might get odd looks or lectures if you graduate/learn to drive/move out/get married/have children/get joint bank accounts/learn to cook too early - or too late - in someone else's opinion, it is just that - their opinion.

At the moment, I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything - and I have so much to look forward to! How about you? Does a brisk pace suit you? Do you want to do everything all at once? Or are you content to detour, and plan your own scenic route?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Handwriting Exercise

Not many people consider their handwriting to be legible, but although I can type very quickly I still like to handwrite some things - cards, special letters, and creative writing. I feel much less constrained when I can print and cross out on paper as I craft a story or poem, and that handwriting is definitely more free form than my cursive. I've always had neat writing, and I put it down to a dose of perfectionism and classes in penmanship at a British elementary school - with fountain pens, no less.

1. Name/Blog Name
2. Right handed, left handed or both
3. Favorite letters to write
4. Least favorite letters to write
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
7. Favorite song lyrics
8. Tag 7 people
9. Any special note or drawing

You might have to click the image to see it in life size if you don't want to squint. I was tagged by Nathan at PhilosYphia to provide this sample! Enjoy. I've only tagged the three people I thought of off the top of my head, but go ahead and try it if you like.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oh Hollywood, How You Thwart Us!

So a few months ago, Jody and I splurged on the complete set of Blu-Ray discs of Harry Potter, years 1-5. Year 6 comes out in a few weeks (that's Half Blood Prince) and part one of Year 7 hits theatres in November.

You see, we thought we were so smart. We bought this boxed set:

It has squishy foam at one end, with enough space to fit two DVD cases, see? And soon we can add #6. And in a year or so we can add... part one? Then what? Does the box magically grow to fit part two??

Edit :
After I posted this I checked to make sure it published correctly... and then, and only then, did I count the DVDs in the photo. There were six. I accused Jody of the setup, because he's the one who told me HBP was about to come out. He just laughed. I decided against deleting this post even if it makes me look like a dork.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sydney Has a Hold on Me

Hard to believe, but I've now been in Sydney a year and eight months. Almost two years, people! Jody and I have now lived here longer than we lived in B.C. as a married couple. Which is probably why Immigration has finally given me a spouse visa.

Tourists stop me to ask for directions, or to take their picture. I move halfway around the world and still, I am the approachable one. And yes, I know where the Aquarium is, and the QVB, and the nearest train station. And no, you should not take a pricey harbour cruise - get on the public ferry and you'll get just as nice a tour, but cheaper.

I know not to walk underneath the monorail on the Darling Harbour Bridge after it's rained, because I'll get soaked as the ridiculous mode of transport whooshes overhead and sluices water from its track.

Not only do I know what Aldi is, I know that my friend doesn't want her mother to buy infant clothes from there, because they'll fall apart in three washes.

Instead of gasping at book prices, I've begun ordering online.

I understand that brunch with the girls requires more effort than a ponytail, jeans, shirt and sneakers.

I have successfully used "pashed" in a sentence.

Maybe I don't quite understand why it's so difficult to see a friend who lives in another suburb, but at least I've accepted that our outings are likely to be three months apart.

Now that it's winter, I don't feel ready to go out unless I'm wearing a scarf or pashmina.

My wardrobe has more black in it than ever. Maybe this means I should move to Melbourne.

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