Monday, June 25, 2007

So now who's the idiot? You, or me...

...the guy who married a black bear.
So I didn't marry a black bear, but I did see two of them whilst mountain biking yesterday. Almost needless to say, I was so excited to have been in such close proximity to them that I screamed in delight! Appropriately enough, however, today I found myself writing a brief for the paper on how to be safe while enjoying the trails of Jasper and area. Apparently what I did was horrendously wrong; screaming and running, as it turns out, usually tends to scare bears into attacking innocent mountain bikers such as myself. Thankfully my friend, Ashley, with whom I was riding had enough 'bear-smarts' to coax me into turning around and choosing a different path.

Now today it's pouring rain outside. The bakery downstairs is sending sweet, cinnamony smells up to my nostrils and tempting me away from my lexical stylings in the blogosphere. Resist, I shall... only to return to the stories awaiting to be set free from my mind, through my fingers and onto my computuer screen! Oh the joys of being a tired writer at a block. Away I go.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oh Paul: Thoughts on 'Shalom"

"Be gracious to others in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out."
-Colossians 4

There is a lot about Christianity that pisses me off. But flipping through a few books of the Bible can still prove to be an eye-opening experience.
While I don't completely reject the notion held by some that the Bible/church/religion are tools created by the elite, ruling-class 2000 years ago to control the masses, I don't completely accept such a cynical view either.
There is a lot of good in the pages of the Bible.
The main message is one of agape love of fellow people, animals, and nature.
The verse quoted above is one that I hope to remember as I go about my job and my relationships in Jasper.

On a side note, I also found a cue-card with some notes I jotted down a few months ago. It was on relationships and the word 'shalom.'
It says:
"Shalom: all encompassing balance: relational, emotional, physical. Avoiding conflict isn't resolving it. Relationships end to resolve conflict. Conflict is severance of relationships. Conflict resolution involves restoring shalom - peaceful outcome. Not acceptable to walk away from relationships. People too often are into the idea that conflict is solved by walking away/quitting. Relationship is more important than being right."

... oh snap.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

three or two

the space in this room
has turned on me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Virtuoso in training?

Okay maybe not quite... but I did meet with a piano instructor today and we formulated a plan for me to start devouring theory and taking piano lessons again! Step #1: contact local church to convince them to let me play after work until I get my own piano. I'm pumped right now.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I feel like old ballz

Um... not like having some, but like I am old ballz (reference, of course, to Adam Sandler in Big Daddy). Alas, I digress. I got my road-bike tuned up this week and finally picked her up yesterday. I was so pumped, and I even met a few women from town here who ride every Wednesday so we went for a quick rip down highway 93 (the icefields parkway). The quick rip quickly turned into an unstoppable desire to do the 60 km Athabasca Falls loop, and it was gorgeous! Usually when I drive out to the falls, I feel like a complete douche-bag: driving all that way to appreciate nature just seems hypocritical. So to bike out there was quite rewarding, both physically and for my environmental conscience. And I've never biked that far in my life, so to do in in 2.5 hours was quite the personal accomplishment. Now, speaking to the title of this blog, my hips are so sore today that I feel like I'm just old ballz. I'll stretch it out at yoga tonight :).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The beauty of my surroundings

It should probably go without saying that I am living in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and that I should really be appreciating the beauty of my surroundings. Yet I somehow manage to find that it's so easy to get caught up in the fast-paced reality I create for myself: driving when I could walk, not stopping to breath the fresh mountain air or look around at the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, or even just saying that I'm too tired after work to go do something active outside for an hour or so. Yet I feel as though this past little while, I haven't been making the most of my location and today that really culminated in a grumpy, almost bellicose version of myself. So when my roomie Steve invited me to take the dog, Gretzky, for a walk I nearly jumped at the opportunity.
And it was the best thing I've done in 10 days.
We walked through the trails of the mini-mountain in my backyard, and even stopped at the top to sit on a bench and take in the mountainous view, and breath the crisp evening air. My spirits were truly rejuvenated.
I am reminded of the importance of taking time out to appreciate the things that make me truly happy in this world. True, my job is amazing, but balance is something that I have been working on integrating into my daily life. That means appreciating a variety of experiences in moderation, and that is what I am trying to do.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another day at the office

I really, really enjoyed my day at work today. I don't really know what else to say. Tomorrow is my first production day, so I'll learn how to use In-Design to lay out a few pages. I'm also kind of excited because a story that I wrote about floods and high rivers is running as our cover story...yay! It's not the best story I've ever written, but I guess it's going to have to do. I'm actually more excited about another story that I'm working on about bush-parties and the impact they have on underagers and the environment. I also like my job because I really love seeing the results of my efforts, and working for a weekly paper where I'm involved in everything from researching, writing, taking pictures and editing, to the actual production of the paper -- and then seeing it all on Thursday when the paper hits the stand -- will surely prove to be a rewarding experience. I'm really encouraged right now to know that wherever my career ends up, I'm enjoying every early step of my professional journey :).

Thursday, June 7, 2007

what. a. night.

i enjoy going out with my friends in jasper.
but where is the balance between maintaining a healthy social life and being a responsible employee?
obviously it could be safe to say that not going on on weekdays is a good place to start.
my friend showed up in town tonight, and enjoying her, and my friends', company seemed like an appropriate thing to do.
but now it's late, and i have to get up for workie in the am, and sleeping in would be a wonderful indulgence, to be sure. alas, i cannot enjoy such a luxury; i have commitments now that beg my undivided, unrelenting attention and commitement. i am excited for these undertakings, and they are therefore my greatest priority.

It's been awhile

well here i am, back in jtown and this time with a real, grown-up job at a local newspaper. i've had my anxieties about it to be sure, but today i got the ball rolling by getting over my whacko fear of conducting phone-interviews in front of other people and hammered out a story. last night i was also charged with the responsibility of going to the activity centre and the soccer field to take pictures of the year-end gymnastics finale and local soccer game, respectively.

what else is going on? well considering i haven't 'blogged' in about a year, this is new again to me. i'm looking forward to writing all about my many experiences here in j-town as i begin my life in the post post-secondary world, aka the working world. it will have its challenges, i'm sure, but i really feel like i'm ready for them. i've run my complete course as a waitress, and i truly feel that for me to go back to earls would be a counterproductive to the professional goals i want to achieve.

i want to work hard at this newspaper for at least a year, at which point i will re-evaluate my position with them.
i want to make a lot of contacts in the j-town area because i love it here, and would love the opportunity to set up my life and make a home here.
while i've always said that i never want to work to make money, i now realize that that is just a little too idealist. i want to do what i love, but be paid what i'm worth. again, that statement might be too idealist as well, but it's the new ideal towards which i'd like to strive.
so what do i love? my experience thus far tells me that i love, and am good at, working with people to understand their message and use my communications skills to convey their desired message. because that description fits the fields of print journalism, broadcast, media relations and public relations, and likely a number of other careers, i do not yet know with absolute certainty where i would like to end up. however, knowing that i want to do what i love and be paid what i'm worth makes me think that perhaps a job in pr might be a good fit.
there are also other entrepreneurship opportunities i might want to create for myself. we'll see about those as the years progress.