Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I am totally and completely addicted to self-tests. I think maybe I have too much time on my hands at work. I am a government employeee after all! But really, I just love them. I think they're a lot of fun, and sometimes they're deadly accurate. I've done tons of them on There's fluff there, but also a bunch of Ph.D certified tests that are really interesting. Some examples:

According to the Inkblot Test, my unconscious mind is driven most by peace.
From the test: People who have peace as their unconscious drive tend to be independent thinkers who appreciate taking the time to get to know themselves well. If this is true for you, you're probably not one to shy away from life's big questions. You may even seek out chances to learn new things about yourself. By being willing to examine who you are and staying open to your environment, you foster a kind of fearlessness that can continually enrich your life.

The SuperIQ Test tells me that I'm an Imaginative Mastermind.
From the test: You're an extremely talented person, with skills across the board. There is next to nothing you can't do. Your creativity gives you the ability to make connections between different ideas and your many skills allow you to express those ideas in any way you see fit (whether it be through the spoken word, the written word, or a numerical equation). You also have a practical knowledge of how things work because you pay attention and are a quick study.

With your great imagination, you are able to extrapolate from one situation to the next. Sometimes you are able to imagine things that you have never seen before. You're always questioning your own assumptions, growing wiser all the time. That paired with your curiosity gives your intelligence a simultaneously youthful and wise quality. Young, because your perspective is fresh and your curiosity strong; wise, because you have learned so much in life, so quickly.

The ESP Test, says that my greatest psychic gift is Clairvoyance.
From the test: Having strong natural ability in clairvoyance makes you more able to see or know things in current time without receiving information through one of your five senses. It's been said that people who have extraordinary clairvoyant abilities can get information from "mindless objects." In other words, without picking up information or signals from other people, they simply know how things are. For instance, during a storm, a clairvoyant person might simply run into a woman walking down the street and know that strong winds have just knocked down a tree in that woman's yard — even if the woman doesn't know it yet herself.

SO! At Em's urging, I completed the Discovery Insights Profile. Some of it was on, some of it was off, but like Em, parts of it really made me laugh. The wording is just so funny in some places.

Key Strengths
- knows how to enjoy the journey as well as the destination
- compassionate to those around her
- often charming and persuasive
- strong sense of humour and fun
- investigative, interested and inventive

Possible Weaknesses
- does not enjoy working or being alone for long periods of time
- over optimistic about the abilities of others
- may open her mouth and fall in
- generally speaking, she is speaking generally!
- becomes impatient with routine and repetition

Strategies for communicating with Shelley:
- allow time for fun and socializing
- don't be too serious, dull or severe
- be personable and give sufficient time to "peripheral" matters

When communicating with Shelley, DO NOT:
- stick rigidly to business issues
- assume that her sunny disposition means that she agrees with everything you say
- inhibit or restrict "networking" opportunities

Essentially, I don't like working, and I talk and socialize too much! Ha Ha!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


To be touched by the sacred also means to be touched by pain. It is part of the spiritual journey and is a question of how we respond. We cannot deal with pain unless we can deal with wonder, awe and joy. - Mathew Fox

What matters is that, whatever our fear, we make our way to the edge of the cliff and looking beyond dare to jump. For that is the action that calls forth wings. They do not sprout until we have left the ground. - Jan Phillips

Transformation means that you need to continuously dissolve the old meaning of your life and create your life anew. You actually need to recognize the central meaning of your life to be the evolutionary process itself. - Yasuhiko Kimura

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

City Girls

By the time we finished with Starbucks and McDonald's on Friday night, it was already dusk. We drove out of the city and straight into the wilderness. We left civilization far behind. Or at least it felt like it. As we drove further and further from our last pit stop at the Tim Hortons in Lindsay, the safety of the streetlights deserted us. It got darker and darker and darker, until we were plunged into total blackness save the headlights of May's black Honda Civic.

She flicked on her high beams in a desperate attempt to see further ahead, but it didn't make much difference. Cars seemed to appear like apparitions in front of us. We turned onto a bumpy dirt road, and were surrounded on both sides by tall trees, their arms brushing eerily on the sides of the car as we sped by. The moon offered little reprieve, instead casting a spooky shadow through the clouds. In all honesty, I think we were all a bit freaked.

"OK, turn here." My directed.

"HERE!" the rest of us exclaimed, swiveling our heads to look at what appeared to be a black void.

We were driving straight into the evil forest. I am not exaggerating. There was no driveway to speak of, and certainly no cottage in sight. We bumped along for a few metres in the darkness, and breathed a sigh of relief when the cottage came into view. However, this relief was short-lived, as the glare of the headlights revealed millions of mosquitos and bugs between us and the safety of the cottage. We sat in the car for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to make it out of the car and into the cottage with a minimum of damage. When May turned off the headlights, we all screamed in terror (no kidding), until she flipped them back on. We dissolved into hysterics...and yes, we did manage to make it into the cottage. Eventually.

Such city girls! Sigh.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Happy Friday!

My friend May sent this picture to me yesterday, and I thought I'd post it, cuz it really made me smile. This poor puppy looks so unimpressed.

I'm off for a girls weekend of eating, swimming, laughing and bonding at the cottage, and it's a beautiful, sunny 30 degrees. Finally, the weather fairies are on my side!

Have a wonderful, peaceful weekend everybody!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Red Devils

22 million South Koreans watched the Korea-Togo soccer match on TV and in the streets yesterday. That's almost half the population of the entire country, and close to the population of the entire country of Canada. Of those 22 million, over 2 million watched the game on giant outdoor screens installed by the government and various corporations.

Having grown up in Canada, I can't say that I'm excessively nationalistic. I tend to prescribe to a "we're all citizens of the world" belief system. Still, I can't help but be swayed just a little, by the excitement and fervor of the Korean soccer fans, the Red Devils. I'm sure you all remember the images from the 2002 World Cup hosted by Japan and Korea. The stadiums full of red shirted fans, screaming at the top of their lungs, as Korea made it into the final four for the first time in history, taking down soccer giants, Italy and Spain in the process.

After one of Korea's victories back then, I took a rare trip down to Koreatown at Bloor and Christie, and was shocked by what I saw. The streets were filled with amateur fireworks, thronged with people dancing, drinking and partying, Korean flags and hooligans climbing on top of cars. Most cars were not allowed to pass without the indignity of being bounced up and down by a bunch of overzealous fans! It was pretty outrageous.

I think it's interesting how sport has the capacity to create subcultures and open doors. There is a growing "square culture" in Korea, that didn't exist before the 2002 World Cup, when millions of fans gathered spontaneously in the Seoul Plaza and other outdoor areas to cheer their team on together. This "street cheering" as it is called in Korea, is now a common and accepted part of popular culture.

Yesterday, exceptions to curfew were made so that prisoners at jails and detention houses could watch the match. Monks practicing asceticism were allowed to watch the Togo match as well. Given that these monks usually confine themselves to meditation and are not allowed any contact with the media, this is quite amazing. Even citizens of the Hermit Kingdom - the secretive and isolated North Korea - received delayed broadcasts of the game from South Korea with the permission of their government.

What is it about sport that allows us to break down barriers like this? Is it the beauty of the game? or in the case of the Red Devils, extreme patriotism? What do you think?

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Beautiful Game

World Cup started today, and Toronto is already electric. On my way to lunch today, we passed a sports bar filled with people watching the Germany vs. Costa Rica match on TV. People of all different races and cultures were bunched up on the sidewalk outside the windows, craning their necks, and trying to get a glimpse of the score. 4-2 Germany, last time we looked. Cars sped by with various country's flags, waving joyously in the wind. Trinidad & Tobago! Brazil! A couple of Brits walked by, kicking an imaginary soccer ball and slagging the German team. I love this energy. It's one of the most beautiful things about living in a city as multicultural as Toronto.

I must admit though, that I don't know much about the game itself, outside of what I learned in my Sociology of Sport class in university. Sport is class based, race based, and soccer is an arena where class and race biases are played out all over the world...blah blah blah. I'm not sure if this is still true, but back then, seating arrangements in poorer South American countries mirrored class distinctions. "Higher" class people would get the best seats, closest to the field, and "lower" class people would get the seats further away. They would proceed to piss on the people below them. What better example of sociological dialogue in action through sport than that?!

Aside from those little tidbits, my exposure to soccer is limited to watching Bend It Like Beckham, and listening to my dad yelling and screaming over the phone, during the last World Cup in South Korea. I must admit, that my heart was racing right along with my dad's! But mostly because I was worried about my dad's high blood pressure. He gets so excited, his face turning red, jumping around like he has ants in his pants. I did not want him to explode!

I've entered a Soccer Pool here at work, and based my picks on gut instinct. I know. I should hang my head in shame. Of course, I had to put South Korea in (don't laugh) somewhere. I've got to support my own people, but ultimately I chose Brazil, Portugal, and Italy. Will someone who knows something about soccer please tell me how I did?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tyranny & Fantasy Hooky

This quote was on the side of my Starbucks cup this morning:

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Tyranny of the internal critic.

Rational hesitation.

I like that. As someone who lets her head get in the way far too much, this really rang true. Rational hesitation is fear. It has been said that there are only 2 real emotions - love and fear - and that the broad scope of all other human emotions boil down to one or the other. Rage, despair and sadness - these all fall into the fear category. Gratitude, happiness and compassion - these all fall into the love category. I know what I aspire to, but I must admit, it is extremely difficult at times. I suppose the point is to not give in to despair...which would be fear, I suppose. These things are so confusing sometimes....

Furtheron, I'll play fantasy hooky with you!! Maybe we can meet at the bike racks after recess.

1. Where would you go?
Well, I'd book a ticket to somewhere I've never been before...probably Paris. I've made it a goal to travel to every single one of the "top 200" cities listed in the Lonely Planet's Cities Book, before I die. I've been to 20 so far, and am adding Barcelona, Madrid, Florence, Venice and Rome in October. Paris is numero uno, followed by New York, Sydney, Barcelona and London. I've been to New York and London already, so Paris it would be.

2. Who would you go with?
Hmm...ideally I'd go with the love of my life, soulmate of my dreams, to the most romantic city on earth, but since I haven't met him yet - any of my mischievous girlfriends would be just fine!

3. What would you do there?
Why, get into all kinds of trouble of course!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I forgot... EXTREMELY important guest for my dinner for 10!!

My adorable furry bundle of love and impudence - she passed away a few years ago, and is sorely missed.

What's a dinner without a little unconditional love?

Isn't she the cutest?!?!? So much personality!