Sunday, January 15, 2012

A little bit of reading...

The good thing about being jobless is that you can spend a lot of time on facebook, and blogs, and youtube. And when the computer gets taken away its time for the trusty old novel to take center stage. I'm reading again. It's been a while I must admit. Well... its not that I haven't read in the past few years but I don't have a regular reading habit. I used to read a lot when I was younger. Novels mostly. When I got older I thought that I needed to read non-fiction so that I could seem erudite. Then I stopped reading.

Once I turned 30, which I do believe is my most significant milestone so far, I decided I did not care if people thought I wasn't scholarly or brilliant,  I was going to go back to my novels. And I have enjoyed them. Still, when people ask me what I like to read, my answer is usually, "I don't really read much." I'm not terribly keen on getting into those conversations for some reason. "So, what do you like to read?" "What music do you listen to?" "What do you like to cook?" The trouble is I don't really want to know what the other person is reading, or listening to, or cooking so its really not much of a conversation.

Anyway, so I've been borrowing books from a friend of mine and this was my most recent pick - A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. Four strangers meet on the roof of a tall building in London on New Year's Eve. Each one has come with the single intention of jumping off. Marty is a disgraced TV Show host who got caught sleeping with a 15 year old girl; Maureen is a 51 year old single mother of a severely disabled son; Jess is 18 and has just been dumped and is also just plain crazy; and JJ is a disappointed musician. The story is told in the first person with each of the four characters speaking to us.

I'm a visual person I have realized over the years and I like to see images. Reading this book was like watching a play or a movie. From the very first page I felt like I was in a theater, the stage was dark, spotlight on actor, and Marty begins to speak. I was so taken up by the book that I had to stop and tell my husband what was going on and he actually said, "It's like you've just watched a play."

They call this a dark comedy and apparently it got some mixed reviews. I loved it. It is dark I suppose since its dealing with suicide, depression, anger, frustration... but its very human. I think the person I feel really bad for is Maureen. She seems to have it the worst. The others, well, Marty could have prevented his downfall, JJ is dealing with regular rejection I think, and Jess... well things are fairly screwed up for her. But she's hilarious! She's just so absolutely crazy you just want to read the book to see what she's going to say or do next.

It's interesting what people can do once they've decided to throw in the towel. When nothing matters anymore you could eat pizza you didn't order for off a delivery boy, you could gate crash a party searching for the boyfriend who dumped you, you could tell reporters that you saw an angel and that's why you didn't jump, you could then go on air and continue to lie about the angel so you could make some more money, and then when the whole things blows up you could just take a vacation! What have you got to lose anyway?!

There are some really sad parts though - Maureen's explaining how she bought gifts for her son as he grew, imagining what he would have liked if he was normal, creating an image of her son for herself; Jess' sister's disappearance that clearly broke the family and messed Jess up pretty bad; and an actual suicide that the four of them witness.

I guess its a little difficult to resolve a tale such as this as dramatically as it began so the ending does seem a little subdued. Still, it's a thoroughly enjoyable read and it had me laughing out loud and wanting to get back to it every time I put it down... which wasn't that often since  I finished the book in a day and a half.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Got the blues...

Just so you know I'm not always deliriously happy and receiving indulgent gifts. I have to say I am feeling really bad these days. I haven't started work yet so that might be one reason. My younger brother and sister-in-law just had a baby and I 'm missing being there so very much. I miss what was familiar and comforting, my mum and her great cooking, my friends, my dogs, my studio, sigh! I have one job for two days which is fantastic but I really need to find work for the rest of the days.
Finding a job in this city is even more frustrating than finding an apartment! And to top it all my husband and I have to share his computer and he has papers to submit! So my computer time has been drastically cut down and I'm almost spending winter in hibernation! Not to mention I might just come out a little bigger at the end of it! The good thing I suppose is that my reading has gotten better. I read two books in three days and have two more going simultaneously.

Oh, I will blog about the books. One was bloody fantastic and I must talk about it. :)

Anyway... sigh... Just needed to rant a little.

It snowed today! That helped. I took a nice long walk in the ravine, tried to shovel some snow, and played in it for a little bit.

So not all bad but I really hope something will happen soon!

Friday, January 6, 2012

"The Father is very fond of me"

If you aren't reading this book yet I suggest you go out and get it! Brennan Manning presents a way of Christian living that is freeing and exhilarating. For all the years I've been a Christian it is only now that I really feel free in the Father's love. Now I truly believe that I am loved, and accepted and not judged. It has opened a new world for me and I urge you to get the book.

I must say that it is not only the book that changed my life so don't expect magic to happen just by reading the pages! :) But if you are truly seeking and you want to experience God in a different way this may be something you should consider on that journey.

I've had one of those amazing moments in the past few days so I wanted to share. The reading for the 4th of January is titled "Being Cherished". Manning talks about a priest who was on vacation in Ireland. His one living uncle was going to be eighty and they were to celebrate as a family. On the day of the birthday the uncle and the priest went for a walk early in the morning. They watched the sunrise and the 80 year old uncle smiled broadly. When asked why he said, "The Father of Jesus is very fond of me."

Manning says, "if you could answer 'The Father is very fond of me,' there would come a relaxedness, a serenity, and a compassionate attitude toward yourself that is a reflection of God's own tenderness."

Do you believe that the Father is fond of you? Not just loves you but likes you? That's really hard for me to believe. But I'm beginning to believe it. The day before I had written to Sew Sisters Quilt Shop asking if they had any positions open. I had looked them up even before I came to Toronto. (If this is the first post of mine you are reading then you should look up Quilting in India for the story on how I found my life's passion :) ) So I wrote to Judy the owner. And it so happened that she was at that very moment typing out a job advertisement for the store! I had sent her my blog and facebook page and she looked at it and asked me to come for an interview. And I got the job! :) It's a web administration job but has the potential to be more. I'll tell you about it as I go along.

All I've been hearing over these past months is how difficult it is to get a job in these times. How hard it is for new comers especially immigrants to find work. I was prepared to do anything but I was depressed about not being able to quilt or getting caught up in the rat race and then not wanting to quilt! The latter bothered me more. What if, after searching so hard and struggling so hard to find my calling, I lost it?!

Now, here I am, working in a quilt store! I feel as though I have been given an indulgent gift! God knows what my heart's desire is and He gave it to me! I think, The Father is very fond of me. :)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris


I often go through life thinking I'm a loser. That my life really does not count and that I have no great success to my name. I didn't start early enough, was not in the right places, didn't meet the right people... I blame everyone and everything that has ever happened to me for my loser life.

When I read Sedaris, yes he's extremely funny, but I didn't feel that much of a loser. Well, I felt like were all losers in one way or another and we should really stop taking ourselves so seriously! I mean, here is a man, who goes to teach a writing workshop with absolutely no preparation! All he is thinking of is what briefcase he will buy and how he will look in a classroom. It seems juvenile that an adult would think this way but he does! And he's fine! Well, he survives and now is  a best-selling author! Sometimes I would be reading an essay and just stop and think, "Who is this guy?" What sane person does these things?

And then there are stories of regular things. Un-flushed toilets at friends luncheons. Ordering at a fancy restaurant. A chat with a barber. Everyday things that he makes so interesting.

I enjoyed this book. It's even more enjoyable when you hear him read his essays. They are, if they can be, even more hilarious.

Hello 2012!

I'm looking forward to this year with a little more hope and a little less fear (I hope!) I want to focus more on trusting in God and learning from God... I know there will be things that I cannot stop from happening, that I cannot change, that I cannot predict... but I want to stand in the knowledge that God is holding me and will not let me go. I don't know what this year holds. I must say I have many moments of intense fear but to live in fear is to not live at all.
There are some things that I hope will happen this year:
  • I hope I can quilt and make some good quilts. 
  • I hope my craft gets better.
  • I hope I get a good job! 
  • I hope my family is safe and healthy and will see another year. 
  • I hope my poor Hugo finds a good home to go to... or stays till I get back. ;)
Hmm... well that's the list for now. 

All prayers answered. It was a good year.