Direction and Purpose

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If you have been following me on Instagram   You may have noticed I have been busy and doing a lot of things lately. I just haven’t written about them. It isn’t that I haven’t been called or I haven’t had time, I have just … resisted. Its as if I haven’t been myself lately and honestly, I haven’t.

Why you ask? Well, mostly its because someone said to me they didn’t like how I make them feel and blamed me for things that were never my intent or actually did. And I felt horrible. Fear has held me back. But I hung out with my friend Oprah Thursday night and as usual, she schooled me in a thing or two.

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She was promoting her book, The Path Made Clear. I had a copy but because she is Oprah, the most Oprah thing you can do is give away your book…for free. I downloaded the audio version – which, by the way, is my favourite version because she narrates it and her guests recite the quotes. All excerpts from her SuperSoul Sundays. The point of the book and her reason for the tour is to find your purpose.

Now the thing is, you can have more than one purpose. They can appear at different points of your life. For me, being a mother was a driving force. Now that my children are adults, I can see why that was a purpose of mine. I am also one of Mister Roger’s Helpers. This is an actual purpose, I swear.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers said to his television neighbors, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for thehelpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

I remember him saying this to me, on TV, in my grandmother’s living room. Since then, I have been a helper. I have looked for helpers and when I could, I became one. I helped other children both as a child and as an adult. Sometimes I help other adults. They are harder to help and don’t usually want help. But I do what I can.

My other purpose is to help people up. This is harder to explain. I am aware of my surroundings. When I see a leader or a person in a position of power fail to notice someone, I notice that someone. For example, I thank people for doing their job, for being kind, for being creative and innovative. I thank them or compliment them. Some people go through their life without being noticed and all it takes is for one person to notice and their life is forever changed. Sometimes it’s asking a question that sparks inspiration or its validating their thoughts. Sometimes it’s remembering an important event in their life. Not a birthday but their child’s exam or their dog’s surgery. Something that is meaningful and shows you listen and pay attention. Either way, noticing someone is thanking them for what they do. It is always my hope they will be grateful and smile or express gratitude, but it isn’t a requirement and it doesn’t stop me from helping people up.

But I digress…

Oprah spoke about being small. Glennon Doyle talks about this too. I made myself small and stopped writing. Oprah’s story went something like this… The first year Steadman and Oprah were together, he went to Walgreens for something. A man called out to him “Hey Oprah’s boyfriend! Give me some money!” Stedman was hurt and upset by this and came home to tell Oprah how much it hurt him. At this point, she knew it wasn’t about her. 37000 guests have taught her it is rarely about the person being blamed. She waited for him to calm down and then she spoke. She said, I am Oprah Winfrey and you are my boyfriend. I will not make myself small for you. I have worked hard to be who I am and I am never going back to that small woman. This is about you.

Now Stedman had a tough life as a kid and no one ever saw him for who he was and what he was capable of. It’s interesting to me how the Universe sends you the same scenario or life lesson until you learn it and let it go. He went on to be a prolific writer of 12 novels and he is a motivational speaker on IDENTITY LEADERSHIP. I think he learned the lesson and moved on. Good for you Stedmen!

When I was speaking to this person about my blogs and a book I was writing, this person blamed me for some things and accused me of some other things. I felt terrible they thought this even though what I wrote was never about blaming anyone. It was about examining my life and understand why I behave in a certain way. The cause and effect of things. If they felt guilty, that’s on them. I am not blaming. I am healing. The only way to heal is to look at a situation and see what you can learn from it.

So that leads me to another purpose. Learning. Half the things I learn are by me writing out things and reflecting. It’s how I have conversations with myself. It’s how I teach me things. It’s my process. I have a large following who enjoy that. If you are not one of them, cool. Stop reading, this isn’t for you.

I cried for two hours during the Oprah show. TWO HOURS, ask my pal Rena, she was there and she witnessed my tears and gave me cute little arm rubs in solidarity. She knew why I cried. I cried because Oprah validated me. It was as if she was looking at me and said “Robyn, I know exactly why. You are doing great and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Don’t be small. Stand in your own power.”

That brings me to another purpose or mine, and its all tied to this blog and things I do because of it. I write I explore, I take risks and explore my feelings. All of these come with why. Why I feel the way I do, why I take risks, why I explore, and why I write. They why is personal. Sometimes I talk about it and sometimes I don’t, but it never is blaming, it is just an explanation.

You can expect to read more from me, I know there have been a few people asking me to write more. I will but mostly it’s for me and I am glad you enjoy it and are along for the ride. Soon you will see posts about raspberry scones, secret valley paths, trips to Disneyland, Shakespeare in the Park and some other things up my sleeve.

But there is one thing I could use your help with. I am learning some new skills and need five (5) people to help me with my practicum. If you would like to have your numerology chart done, please email me at edmtourist@gmail.com I will do a free numerology chart for the first five people who reach out to me before June 26, 2019, at midnight MST. You will be contacted and informed if you will be receiving a free numerology chart completed by me.

Numerology is the ancient science of numbers with each number contributing a unique vibration to the story of your life. One of the benefits of numerology is that it can uncover your life purpose and life lessons you will face along the way to help you make the most of your life’s journey. It is not fortune telling or seeing into the future but it is a way to understand patterns and behaviours you notice in your day to day life and why problems keep appearing in different areas of your life. Numerology provides tools to help you figure out life lessons you have set yourself in your pre-birth plan. Each number has a meaning and it has the same meaning across the different categories. For example, the number 8 is a strong business and abundance number. It repeats a pattern in various ways but always has a money and business focus.

If this interests you, I need a few things from you:

  1. Your name that appears on your birth certificate.
  2. the month, day and year of your birth the way it appears on your birth certificate.
  3. Your Current Name. The name you go by today, your day to day name, first and last name. For example, if your name is Robyn but you go by Bobby, or you changed your last name. This is  your Current name
  4. Optional: After meditating for a bazillion consecutive days (actually its 924 as of today June 23, 2019) I have begun listening to my intuition. I am intuitive. I have been since I was very small. I am learning to rely on this more. Ask me a question about your purpose or path and I will answer/channel to the best of my ability.

What you will receive from me:

  1. A confidential Numerology chart that only you and I will know the details of – and whoever you share it with. I delete charts and do not keep a record.
  2. A chart that focuses on your 7 core numbers and Karmic Lesson
    1. Life Path – Your chosen path
    2. Destiny – your purpose
    3. Soul- This feeds your soul
    4. Personality-How other people see you
    5. Maturity- Potential your growth from 45-60
    6. Birth – Talents and Abilities
    7. Current Name – Additional strengths, lessons and experiences
    8. Karmic- your weaknesses and areas of growth
  3. A chance to ask me an intuitive question where I channel the answer to the best of my ability – I am new at this but so far I have been fairly accurate. Its a muscle I am developing.
  4. An opportunity to discuss your chart and ask me questions about it.

Still interested? Send me an email edmtourist@gmail.com

 

A Year in Books: Born a Crime

29780253I was a huge fan of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart; it was smart, insightful and hilarious. Change is hard for me. I didn’t think a South African native would be the best choice for such a political show. But I decided to give him a chance. His insight into American politics from a South African perspective was fascinating. He lived through apartheid. He knew first had how dictators manipulate their population. He was explaining it to a country who only ever knew democracy,what was coming. He made it less scary.

I then listened to him on NPR’s Fresh Air. Trevor Noah discussed his book  ( although the host is the most is biased and judgemental presenter, I enjoyed how he came back at her with intelligent and thoughtful commentary) and he had me hooked because the man loves his mama.

His life story (he is only 32) was terrifying for a white girl who grew up in socialist Canada where the government looks after lot of things for you. This is not the case for a coloured boy – his words not mine ( which must be prefaced because I am white) growing up during a time that I read about but did not understand until he gave me an account of his life. I could not relate to anything he spoke of which reiterated the fact that I needed to read it. I learned about perspective.

I knew a girl in elementary school who arrived from South Africa and enrolled into my class. She was white, and spoke of her black servants. Telling me everything about south Africa was better because you had servants. Black Servants no less. I met her while North America was watching Roots every night, I knew about slavery and I knew it was wrong. She was trying to tell me servants were not slaves, they were there because they wanted to be there. I didn’t by it. Even at that age, I knew what white privilege was. I had been to school in the Arctic, I was one of a handful of white kids and I knew my white teacher treated me differently. I didn’t understand why my First Nation peers didn’t look me in the eye, now here I was back in Sherwood Park – a white suburb of my Province’s Capital talking to a girl who is telling me the servants chose their life? What? Who chose’s to be a servant? That is a class issue. I bet they wanted to have their own business, go to University became professionals but were not allowed to. She told me I was wrong and I called her a liar. We were never friends. Her name was Susan. Through no fault of her own, she grew up in a situation that clashed with my values and I couldn’t accept her as an equal.

Moving forward, I try to read books that give me someone else’s perspective. I want to understand how other people think given their circumstances. Noah explains his life in a way that is obviously normal to him, completely unbelievable for me. But it helped understand what was going on during apartheid. He spoke of something I think I knew but didn’t recognize it until he spoke about it. Language is a bigger barrier than race. He is fluent in several languages. He used this to his advantage to fit into different groups and tribes because although he looked different, he spoke their language. This confused people but allowed a fast acceptance into their social group. He may not look like us but he understands us, therefore he is one of us.

I think this is an important read for people who are struggling with today’s political climate and racism. Give it a read.

 

A Year in Books: Love Warrior

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Love Warrior: A Memoir

Glenn Doyle-Melton

Available at Indigo, Chapters and Amazon

Yes I read it. I didn’t want to at first. It seemed so – Mommy Blogger. Clearly I am a book snob. It is also an Oprah Book Club selection. I usually do not read her book club books. That’s not true, I have read some either because I read it first as was the case with Tara Road by Maeve Binchy or because it interested me. I will not read a book because the American Nation is reading it. It has to appeal to me. This book did not appeal to me. Then I watched her on Super Soul Sunday – that I watch usually every week because I think these people offer great insight to evolving their spirit and their world. I think it is important to want to be more and not drift through life. Super Soul helps me discover people who are on the same journey as myself.

After hearing Glennon Doyle-Melton’s story, I thought, she is a lot like me and went through a lot of the same discoveries. Okay – I was not bulimic but I have an eating disorder. I was not the party girl/sex girl she was but I did have the same ideas and thoughts about men verses women and how society has boxes for both. It was hard climbing out of those stereotypes – and still is. She made sense to me.

I think everyone between the ages of 40-60 should read the first 69 pages of her book. In those first pages you can clearly see how society defines gender roles and the harm it does. My children’s generation is better at knocking them down, once the old boys club is gone from the work place, I have tremendous hope for the future of humanity…but that is a topic for another day.

It isn’t great literature, it is a memoir. It is raw and honest and very familiar like it is your own story. I found it validating with sections of wisdom I wanted to write down. It belongs on my special bookshelf that holds Eat,Love, Pray and Wild. If you are like me and not willing to accept status quo and want more from your life, then is is a worthwhile read.

Unglued

If you have ever done Preschool Crafts with me or Scrapbooked with me long into the night, you are well aware that I have issues when it comes to adhesives. This one time I was a scrap night with my pals and it was long past midnight. I was so frustrated with some letters I was using. I had applied double sided tape to the letters, and after hours of cutting I had lost the letter I needed most. Could not find it anywhere. Looked under the table, cleaned up my spot, went through the trash…nothing. My friend looked at me with that expression you save for someone who tried hard but never quite gets it. You know what I mean – that awkward kid who just wants to be cool but never will. She had sad eyes and a sympathetic smile as she reached over and peeled an alphabet letter from my hair.

It had become stuck in my curls – forever lost had it not been for the keen eagle eyes of my friend.

I have been known to glue things together that needed to be separate, this list includes my fingers, left nostril and a lock of hair to my eyelid.

I am adhesive challenged.

Ironic.

It’s Ironic because I am typically the glue that holds things together.

My friend had made this comment to me the other day. He said reading some of my stuff is scary because he knows I am holding everything together like glue.

True.

I am the Krazy Glue in most situations waiting or rather wanting to be rescued.

The thing is, I fancy myself as Princess Elizabeth. The Great Robert Munsch Heroine, The Paper Bag Princess who rescues the prince and then dumps him because he is a jerk and she lives happily every after.

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Hmmm.

I have been doing a lot of rescuing lately. When I say lately I mean the past year.

I sat back and took stock of the gluing I had been doing and how well it was working. Typical me fashion, it was holding well, but not in the correct placement. I was feeling the stress of a situation that I didn’t really like, didn’t ask for, nor did I particularly care if this situation continued. So why was I keeping it glued together?

Great question. I asked myself the same thing.

I held this together to see if I could do it. Did I accomplish it? Yes.

I held this together to see if I liked it. Did I? No – it clashed with my values.

I held it together to ease the strain of others. Did it help? Yes.

Do I regret it? No. I learned a ton about myself, others and realized I have a set of beliefs that cannot be swept aside for cash.

I like that about me.

I unglued myself today. It felt like the right thing to do. It was hard doing it, admitting to ungluing. But it was done in such away that bridges are not burning down around me and respect was gained. In the end I did it for me and I know I did the right thing.

I am going to sleep well for the first time in 6 months. Why? Because I rescued myself.

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Read with me Mary Poppins

mary poppinsIt may come as a surprise to many of you, but up until the other day, I have never read Mary Poppins.

Shocking, actually. How can one profess to be the biggest Mary Poppins fan (never just Mary) and never have read the book or books?

Guilty.

When I was 6, I lived in Yellowknife, NWT AKA the Arctic in Canada. Yes it was cold, yes it was dark, yes there wasn’t much going on up there. My mom and dad were great lovers of musicals. On Saturdays (house cleaning day) Mom would open up the cabinate stereo and pile 6 albums on to the turntable for endless music. If it was November, it would be Andy Williams Christmas, Catherine McKinnon Christmas, Dean Martin Christmas, Bing Crosby Christmas, Burl Ives Christmas and a Christmas mix of Mel Tormé et al. If it was any other month other than November or December, we listened to the sound tracks to The Sound of Music, Hello Dolly, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man and of course, Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins (film)
Mary Poppins (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I knew every word to every song on that album, both sides. I would read the liner notes and look at the photos on the back of the album. I had no idea what the story was about, but I wanted to see it.

My first musical was a Northern Production of Fiddler on the Roof. This had me enchanted with musicals. If I loved Mary Poppins half as much as Fiddler on the Roof, I knew I would be in toe tapping heaven.

My family had a long standing tradition to see a movie on the last day of school. It lasted until…well it is still happening. I take my kids now on the last day of school even though they usually go to movies now with friends, the “Last Day of School Movie” is still important to them, and that makes me happy. When I was six, the movie theatre (singular, one movie screen) was showing a re-run of Mary Poppins in Yellowknife. The Arctic never got first run anything…ever…. Even football and hockey games came up north by truck in a film can a week later.

My Dad was helping get into my jacket and we had been practicing all the songs for the movie to make sure I knew them..oh I knew them alright, I even knew the spoken dialogue parts. We piled out the door and walked to the movies, Me, Mom and Dad and my baby brother who was 4. We were STOKED!

I sat throught the entire showing wide eyed and enchanted.

Mary Poppins was magnificent! But why had she not ever come to my house? From that day forward, I would wish for her on an evening star.

I have since watched that movie a gajillion times, purchased every possible bit of merchandise available – and trust me, there isn’t very much! I have a Mary Poppins Mug of her flying over the roof tops of London in silhouette, I have a parrot umbrella and I have the Arthur Penguin Magnet. I regret not buying the Mr. Potato Head with Mary Poppins parts when I saw it at Walt Disney World, I figured it would be at another store closer to where the hotel was…but no chance. I have since looked for it every time and no luck. That is my biggest collector regret.

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I know trivia that can win tickets to anything. I know dialogue that impresses even the finest dialog aficionado. I have stalked Mary Poppins and Bert at both Disney Parks in the US. Last week when I was in the Park, I saw the two of them walking off stage, I stopped, yelled and waved “HI BERT!!!! HI MARY POPPINS!!! I LOVE YOU!” I waved wildly like I was four. They both stopped and waved back, then Bert called me over. I ran like I was PRing for the Boston Marathon. I threw my phone at the Trusty Steed and I clung to Bert as if we were just married. sigh………………..

Mary Poppins and my Boyfirend
Mary Poppins and my Boyfirend

 

 

He whispered into my ear that they would be in front of the castle at 1:00 PM and at 2! SQUEEEEEEE I had never had the chance to see the Pearly Band and now I had my chance!!!

I celebrated the fact that Bert loves me and personally invited me to watch him perform by having my very first Ghirardelli sundae in the chalk painting style.

We made it to the castle for 2:00 PM. At 2:01 The Trusty Steed was calling Bert a liar. But then the band started marching towards the Castle and there they were…Mary Poppins and Bert dancing, marching and singing with the Pearly Band. I was standing in the front row surrounded by 4 year olds. I was NOT giving up my spot for some kid who wasn’t personally invited by Bert.

When Mary Poppins saw me, she said “Lovely to see you again”! But when Bert saw me he WINKED ! OH YA! BERT WINKED AT ME!! Eat THAT Brenda, PROOF BERT IS MINE!!

It was definitely a Jolly Holiday!

I am so excited about the new movie “Saving Mr. Banks” and have been watching all the trailers and videos I can get my hands on. I learned the movie used the actual recorded audio tapes of P.L. Travers for the film. Since the film is about the books as much as the movie, I thought I better read the book so I can be better prepared for the movie when it comes out. I like to do my research and be in the know. At the very least, understand the background.

I had always avoided the book because Books and Movies rarely work well together. One always destroys the other for me and I really didn’t want this to happen for my beloved Mary Poppins. The reviews on Good Reads were mixed. One said that the book was butchered by Disney and made into an atrocious film…yikes. Was the movie that different?

I downloaded it onto my iPad and remembered it was a children’s book of 190 pages. Okay, not a problem. I should easily whiz through it and if I hate it…so be it. Julie Andrews will forever be my Mary Poppins.

I was astounded at how closely the events of the movie followed the events in the book. Obviously there was additional things in the movie that never happened in the book, but to be fair, I have only read the first volume. There are several more. The book gave Jane and Michael Banks twin siblings, Barbara and John – Babies who speak in a language that animals, the wind, the sun and Mary Poppins all understand. The book had adventures that the Musical had but not the movie, but there was Tea Parties on the Ceiling, Feeding the Birds with the Bird Woman and Jumping in chalk drawings. Bert was an obvious suitor for Mary Poppins only he was the Match Man, jack of all trades and Sunday Sidewalk artist.

The Carpet bag was empty and full at the same time like the movie and Mary Poppins traveled by talking umbrella and slid up banisters. Admiral Boom lived down the street and Andrew the dog could talk to Mary Poppins…just like the movie.

There was enough differences to make me enjoy the book, but there was enough similarities to make me smile with delight.

I loved it and am now sad I never read it to my children when they were little.

I guess there is always the chances to read it to my grandchildren…and favorite nieces.

I rate P.L. Travers’s Mary Poppins 5 stars and now am more anxious than ever to see Saving Mr. Banks.

I have to say I was delighted.

Read with ME: I got nothing

I didn’t finish any books this week aside from further reading in Managing Projects in Organizations by J.D. Frame…you guessed it, one of my University reading. I also started Running on Empty by a runner dude who’s name escapes me currently. But in keeping with the book theme, Canada Writes posed an interested question:

What does your bookshelf say about your personality?

 

What can we tell about you just by looking at how you arrange your books? Here are some personality types we have discovered by peering into our friends’ and families’ bookshelves. Hover over the question mark in each photo to see if any of them are you.

okvgjaWell this is what my book shelf looks like – sort of – It isn’t really my shelf, it is a WordPress version of my shelf, one of many. My ibooks library has tidied up my life because apparently, I use to be an Anarchist, now I am a digitally organized gal who carries with her about 500 books, 70 pdfs, and several Textbooks all in my handy-dandy iPad.
When I read paper books, all my books were stacked – some still are. I didn’t love them like I love my eReader shelf. My eReader has a shelf for books I am reading, books I want to read, books I read (why can I just not delete books I have already read? I have no idea…it feels wrong) University PDFs and Text books (all arranged according to class). I have 2 different running sections, one for running books, and one for running maps and articles. I have my piano music on one shelf and cooks books on another. I read WAY MORE than I use to. Yet I love to browse books stores.
I don’t get it. Perhaps it is because the world is in transition from paper books to digital copies. Either way, I love books…Which reader are you?

Read With Me: Paul’s Case

Five Stories (short story collection)
Five Stories (short story collection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I am discovering the delights of a short story. When I was in school, it was mandatory to ready them for comprehension tests and literary examinations. I loved O.Henry, J.D Salinger, and Washington Irving but somewhere along the way I stopped reading them. Then I became that old fuddy duddy who read Reader’s Digest out of desperation while waiting copious amounts of time at a friends cabin. I found old mouldy copies in a box in the corner and began reading short stories again. Then I discovered the delights of Maeve Binchy, W.P. Kinsella and Alice Munro. Stories so masterfully told that I would think about the characters long after the 30 minutes was up. I still can fondly recall characters years after I put the story down. Short story authors have a magical way of developing characters in an instant and telling a story about a brief moment in time that sticks with you.

 

My son is currently studying Canadian Short Story Authors and is not enjoying it. I suspect it has to do with the language usage. Older English reads differently than the contemporary literature he currently is enjoys. If you ever read Mark Twain or L.M. Montgomery, then you understand what I mean. I am not referring to Shakespeare, but rather the turn of the 20th Century where language was more formal and slang used in that era is lost on my 17-year-old. I could see him struggling. He suspects he is ADHD, I suspect the content doesn’t interest him. When I was his age, I had a great-aunt who came to live with us for about 6 months. She sat with me and helped me understand the poetry that I despised. While I am still not a great fan, I do know how to make sense of prose because of her. I sat with my son and together we read and analyzed his short story.

 

Paul’s Case by Willa Cather I rate this story 4 stars out of 5. My son gives it a 2.

 

You can find the entire text here.  The story takes place in modern times for the author, 1904, in Pittsburgh and New York. It is the story of a boy who doesn’t fit into society. Although it doesn’t say it, I suspect the author writes the boy as a homosexual. This is not unusual for this time period, Virginia Wolf also wrote about lesbian attractions although for the times, it was discrete and not obvious to the unaware.

 

Paul was unable to feel normal in his surroundings but found peace and excitement in the theater and arts. He fantasized about a life of luxury and had a distaste for the mundane. His mother had died when he was young, and his father worked hard to provide a stable life for Paul and his sisters, yet Paul felt his father was stingy with the money. He thought he deserved a more luxurious lifestyle. His choices and movements were self-absorbed and ultimately changed his life forever.

 

Symbols are a huge part of short stories and I had forgotten that when I did a first read through of this story. I recognized consistencies and was reminded of the prominence of the symbols, the red carnation, money, and the snow.

 

I could not relate to the main character himself, although I could empathize with him. My son couldn’t believe how narcissistic he was.

 

Take a quick read and let me know how you view it.

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

Read with Me: 50/50 by Dean Karnazes

Accelerade 24-Hour Endurance Run
Accelerade 24-Hour Endurance Run (Photo credit: warsze)

My son and I were having a conversation yesterday about books. He is in his senior year and is frustrated that every book he reads for English must be analyzed, it can’t be read for pure enjoyment. That’s true, I didn’t like that part of English 30 either. I liked the novel choices even less. I remember my English teacher saying things like “poor tragic Catherine” From Wuthering Heights or her hands making the motion for “out out damn spot” from MacBeth. For me it was the fact that I HAD to read the book. I confess to buying the Coles notes version of both books and it wasn’t until much later that I read Wuthering Heights for – gulp – fun.  My son gets to read Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Poor old tragic Willy Loman. I remember reading it and can’t remember why or for which class. I remember think Biff was an ungrateful slug, but now that years have changed me, I think a little differently. It takes courage to pursue your own dream and not the dream of your parents. I will look forward to that discussing with my son, although we already had a version of that topic. The big “What should I take in university?” question. We sorted that out and came to the decision that school is an opportunity to learn more than you knew the day before. Take courses that interest you and if you are lucky, you can follow a career path in that direction. Too many people get caught up in something because they perceive they are making their parents happy, then they turn 43 and go back to school to take something that interests them instead.  The pursuit of the dream is a powerful thing. If you have never done it I highly recommend it.

I read Dean Karnazes 50/50 and I rate it 3.5 out of 5. In case you don’t know, Karnazes is an amazing athlete who discovered during a midlife crisis that he is indeed a runner. Not just a 5km runner, he is the kind of fellow who packs his credit card and goes, often without a plan and 31 miles later, calls for pizza take out to be delivered to some street corner so he can eat on the run. This guy is an amazing human specimen. As with many runners, he had a dream. He wanted to run a marathon in every state with his family driving a RV and meeting  up with him at various destinations.

book-50-50I have to admit, this idea intrigues me. I love destination races, I love the variety of new routes and I love the concept of having a’crew’ to take care of things so the athlete can just run. It takes some real influential conversation to convince someone that driving behind them at 8 miles/hour will be fun. It also takes some convincing that living in a RV for 50 days driving from race to race will also be fun. The crew worries about food, first aid – have you ever seen a runners foot? At best it is ugly, at worse the skin hangs like rags from blisters gone bad. It isn’t pleasant ever. Then there is the moaning and groaning of muscles that seize up, not to mention the amount of food that needs to be consumed so the runner doesn’t lose so much weight that they can’t hold their body upright. Convincing someone to be the crew is a big deal. Particularly when you want to run a marathon every day for the summer.

Karnazes’ wife Julie, was on it. She supports him in all his adventure so she was planning this trip. He went to find sponsors to help fund it. He was already sponsored by NorthFace and thought they would help him out. That was when the planning went sideways. NorthFace planed a 50/50 tour. 50 consecutive marathons in 50 States. First off, the travel is nuts, second, there isn’t time for proper muscle recovery, third, his family couldn’t come. His point was not so much the 50 marathons, but the holiday with his family.

He goes on to explain details from every single race that include the good, the bad and the hideous. Karnazes appears super human. I enjoyed the beginning of the books and loved some of the details but his advice for beginning runners when starting out made me laugh. Run 18 minutes to start? HA! Listen pal, that is assuming new runners have a level of fitness that allows the to do that. most new runners are 40 and are getting in shape for the first time in their life. Is diet tips are kooky too. But the man understands the beauty of the Ultra.  This reason alone is worth the read. He is simply amazing in his athletic ability. The guy ran 24 hours on a treadmill and didn’t slit his wrists! That alone is amazing!

This 50/50 provided me with some much needed inspiration and concept ideas for a project I am working on.

But I will talk about that later….

Happy Reading!

Read with Me: Orange is the New Black

Did you ever do something risky or foolish when you were younger and lived to regret it? Not me…well, I never did anything illegal, I did you risky and foolish things. My grandfather always said that the reason everyone isn’t dead by the age of 5 is because our Guardian Angels work over time. This is mine, she works pretty hard and I do not pay her enough:

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Sure I made bad choices, but I learned from them. Sometimes it took me several passes at the same mistake…Hello Man Choices! But eventually I got my life sorted out.

images (1)I read Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. I couldn’t put this book down. I am rating it 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Most people have seen the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. I watched one episode and it bothered me SO MUCH that is was different from the book I could watch any more episodes. Why? Because I loved the book that much. Why are characters names changed? Why are plot lines different? Why can’t I over look that?

At any rate, for those of you who haven’t seen the show – or even if you have, read the book. It was somewhat akin to rubber necking at a horrific accident and you just can’t look away.

Piper Kerman had a reckless lesbian youth where she was a drug mule and did money laundering because she was in love with a women who convinced her to follow her around the world. By the time Kerman snapped out of this infatuation, she realized she needed to move on, change her life and live according to some of the morals and values that she was brought up with. She gets back to the states and meets a guy, moves ahead by locking up her past.

Fast forward several years into the future and her former lover rats her out. Piper Kerman has to confess to her family and fiance about her past because she is about to go to prison for her crimes.

What I loved about this book was her honest raw account of prison details. How dignity was left at the door and how she met people on the inside who she never would have been friends with in Manhattan, yet they bonded. Through her experience, you could tell that she made the connection between her crime and how it affected these people. To Piper it was just a fun kick..to the women in prison, it was a way of life. A life with limited choices. That hit hard.

Although it is hard for us to make the right choice in the moment without life experience to guide us, I love that the possibility of changing or learning from these moments are possible at any time during our life time. Thanks goodness for my Guardian Angel. I obviously go more out of the book than a story.

Perhaps you will too. Read it. It is different from the series…and better.