24 May, 2010

New Trend


The newest trend that's cropped up in the last while in restaurants and cafes, is their practice of moving away from common American soft drink brands towards locally made brands. The soft drink above is called, "Sauer", which translates either to "sour" or "mad". And, it's rhubarb flavour is sour and madly wonderful. It's list of ingredients (rhubarb and red currant concentrates, sugar, and water) is refreshingly simple as is it's taste. No chemicals. No perservatives. There is only enough sugar to insure that your cheeks don't pucker inwards.

What I like most of all is the thought that going local can mean many things. 

23 May, 2010

Not all things go wrong...


Was listening to Felix Dennis' poem, "Not all things go wrong..." this morning and thought it went well with the collage I made yesterday.

The last paragraph of the poem,

"Not all things go wrong - and after
Winter's famine comes the spring,
Kindness, beauty, children's laughter -
Joy is ever on the wing."

rung so true of these days, like today, when the sun shines and all members of this household are pleasantly preoccupied with various adventures.

21 May, 2010

Early Morning

On my walk this morning, I caught the glimpse of a couple taking their boat out for an early morning journey. Most of the other people on the bicycle paths and sidewalks were rushing on towards their offices or school classrooms. I imagined the couple standing near on the top deck with the thermos full of hot coffee and a sunny day in front of them, and was envious of their freedom.

Then I realised that I also had the freedom to take a short journey of my own.

So, I sat on the sunny bench in an empty playground and listened to Krista Tippet and Alan Dienstag's insightful conversation titled, "Lessons from the Lifelines Writing Group 
for People in the Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease: 
Forgetting That We Don't Remember".

It was a wonderful stolen hour.

20 May, 2010

Strolling along the my favourite Café

If I remember correctly, I told you about my favourite café that is located in a flowershop not far from where we live. Here is a slide show of photos taken last week...

On a side note, my favourite season in Germany is spring. My favourite season in Canada (east coast) was autumn.

Since I am at home looking for meaningful employment, I tend to go out for a lot of long walks. Sometimes I go along, but not always. I have a handful of friends that occasionally accompany me during these meanderings. Their company and our conversation is as much a comfort, as it is an opportunity to explore all things vast and small.

17 May, 2010

Life of a Slouth

For the first time since January, when I became unemployed, I have this feeling of quite anticipation in my belly. A joy to be able to work on whatever projects I want to do. There are no deadlines. There are no outside pressures. There is just a whole notebook full of ideas and the will to translate these ideas into concrete actions.

For instance, do some research on various projects:

The “8 Goals for Africa” song is part of an awareness and advocacy campaign developed by the United Nations System in South Africa on the eight Millenium Development Goals. The program began in 2000 and is supposed to finish in 2015, so that means the program is the last phase and yet, there is so much more to do.

12 May, 2010

I heart TEDxNYED

Ok, I know, I know, not more TED, but heck, yes to more TED. Just spent the day watching the TEDxNYED videos. My mind is sizzling. My butt is numb.

I won’t bore all of you who are not educators or parents of children in schools, by embedding all of my favourites. Rather, I just want to make a list of links to a few of them and explain why they are worth watching.

Dan Meyer’s presentation introduction is a grabber:

“Can I ask you to please recall a time when you really loved something: a movie, album, a song or a book. And, you recommended it wholeheartedly to someone you also really liked. And, you anticipated that reaction, you waited for it, and it came back, and the person hated it. So by way of introduction, that is the exact same state that I spend every working day of the last six years… I teach high school math.”

He then goes on and explains with passion and precision five factors that contribute to this situation of having to teach math to unmotivated students, as well as five factors that can change this.

Dan Cohen’s presentation is titled, “The Last Digit of Pi”, and is an entertaining, but probing story about pi, which is “a story about the psychology of change and the inertia of the past systems of knowledge, and past systems of education”.

Mark Welsh is always an interesting person to listen to. In this talk he is no less so. He tells a very funny story at the beginning that explains the tortures and joys of culture shock, but also discovery of and participation in these new cultures. “This is actually why anthropologists do what they do. We want to become children again and learn a new world in a new way with open eyes.” How marvellous is this description of the journey all of us should venture on, anthropologist or not. Yet, in the end, his talk is not one of inspiration, but of caution (sometimes when we try to use media (for social changes), media uses us) and we would do well to listen.

Jay Rosen’s presentation is called, “Pragmatism: Look for really good problems…”. Watch it. Enjoy.

09 May, 2010

Mother’s Day

Making a bit of a fuss of Mother’s Day is fine with me, but I really feel it should be more of a big to-do about our children. Where would we mothers be without all of the joys and challenges our children introduce into our lives? I know there is International Children’s Day, but it never is quite measures up to all the kind gestures of cake-eating-flower-giving-card-making celebrations of Mother’s Day.

My son sent me a link to the following cartoon animated story from Story Corps. Twelve-year-old Joshua Littman, who has Asperger’s syndrome, interviews his mother, Sarah, and the their conversation is very poignant at times.

Q&A from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

It would be nice to have a Family Day, don’t you think?

08 May, 2010

Spring Colours


There is a wonderful flower shop downtown that runs a café on Fridays and Saturdays. I love going there, particularly on a grey raining day like today, so that I can feast upon the variety colours and forms of the flowers. I'll have to see if I can take a photo of this.

07 May, 2010

Janelle Monáe - Something Fresh

Janelle Monáe featuring Big Boi of Outkast, “Tight Rope.”

I just love this fusion of song, dance, storyline, and music video production. Janelle Monáe and the other musicians and dancers have created something fresh, though there is some very old about the moves too. Maybe not old, but classic. Can you make something new that is already classic? I've watched the video now five times and with each viewing I learn to like it better each time.  

04 May, 2010

Good Guy

Thought you might enjoy this poetry reading of Bill Murray's. Good guy through and through.