Wednesday, November 30, 2005

back from the west

and another grey cup goes to the eskimos!

well at least i went to the right parties...the spirit of edmonton parties
you meet a lot of fun and offbeat people and see your share of rubber chickens

so last night at the airport i helped out one of the montreal canadiens
now not being a habs fan i didn't know
but a few airport agents were loving it
and a really nice guy trying to attend to a family emergency
so i may get a few free unsolicited tickets
anyone game?
just goes to show that just because you are a big hockey jock doesn't mean you can't be a super nice guy!

and today i met another amazing person at the spa
fighting strong unbreakable spirit
a new client who has booked another appt with me and has sle, ra, battled a few long-titled cancers.
so it was a good challenge to all of my clinical studies
pharmacology pathology and looking for neurological signs during treatment
so fun...

and this is part of my week
varied challenging tiring fantastic and full

Thursday, November 24, 2005


sometimes when i think about how far we've come
i think about flight
being able to visit friends and relatives
like this summer
celebrating the lives of auntie peggy and uncle mimos
catching up with lots of relatives
meeting some that i didn't even know were related to me
i come from a big family!

and also
it makes me think of the pioneers of flight
today i thought of brown and alcock
the names you don't hear as much about
but these two were the first to complete a non-stop transatlantic flight
from newfoundland to the coast of ireland
facing ice and mechanical failure
in 1919 these two brits flew a vimy vicker across a tempestuous ocean
in ireland there is a hotel that bears their name
in ottawa there is a beautiful weather vane with a vimy vicker on one side that flies over the east block on parliament hill
my days as a tour guide in ottawa pointed out all of these lovely historical notes to go along with the grander buildings
so many moments in history are commemorated here in ottawa
but so many of them have to be looked for
they don't just stand in front of you
look at me look at me
and a great flight is commemorated by a weather vane that flies higher above this city than anything except the peace tower

a fantastic recollection of the first transatlantic flight is on newfoundland's grand banks site...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

leaving for grey cup in less than 2 days

how cool is that
plus i get to hang out with some of the yto res girls
women i have known since i started at ac
the first real job that has lasted nearly 11 years now
the job that helped me pay off the student loans
and travel more of the world
and introduced me to some amazing people
so as with last year when the grey cup was in ottawa
it should be a fun time in vancouver

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

thoughts on earl grey before heading to the grey cup

well it is only a few days until i fly out to vancouver to take part in the pre grey cup festivities
and having worked as a tour guide at rideau hall several years ago
i read up and researched all of our governors general here in canada
and earl grey seemed like a plucky gent
who would have been a lot of fun

the 4th earl grey was gg from 1904-11
the great canadian tradition of the cfl's grey cup is named for him
this is the gg that obtained the landau that is still used for official events
for bringing new embassadors to rideau hall to be welcomed by the governor general
for several other government functions too

but earl grey had his fun too
ottawa was still a far cry from a cultured city
and earl grey's time at rideau hall may have included the usual tired stiff official work
but also took some time to set up less formal events
on the site of rideau hall
there once stood a tobaggan run, nearly .5km in length
and many diplomats would be initiated into canadian life with a ride down the slide
rideau hall also had a skating rink and shack for winter skating parties
and earl grey was often seen in his big fur hat taking part in the festivities
less formal times for a formal office

the 4th earl grey undoubtedly would have enjoyed our yearly football fest

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Life is grand

I was last at the canyon in January
love looking back through photos to remind me

how grand life is
and memories of the days there
this one was from the morning before we left the canyon and drove back to las vegas
rebecca and i stayed at the canyon inn
and just breathing in the whole experience
and these crazy huge ribs we had at one of the diners there
and the pretty ridiculous photos of us eating the ribs
but those photos are for a later blog
just looking forward to seeing the canyon again

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

xi'an - west peace

the trip to china allowed me to see many sites that i have been wanting to see and experience in person for years
great wall
karst hills
and the terracotta warriors
or bīng mǎ yōng if you speak mandarin

the army consists of over 8000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses buried with the self-proclaimed first Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 210-209 BC.
chinese archaelogists are putting the army back together again as most of the figures were broken

the details of the warriors are really amazing
and it is said that the peasants who discovered the warriors in the 70's still visit the site and are kind of local celebrities
every warrior is unique with different features
and poses

this is the largest area that holds the warriors
it is the size of an airport hangar
and you have pretty close access to the warriors
there are other, smaller vaults as well
but you get the idea of simply how vast this fabricated army was here

this is steve at the entrance of the hangar, when we first saw the warriors
the site doesn't disappoint
certainly there are the usual tourist catches, an outdoor market, an overpriced restaurant
but it is very accessible from xi'an
and we took the local bus there for 5 yuan (a little less than $1)
and there is an amazing museum in xi'an that gives more depth and history to the story of both xi'an and the terracotta army

really something
and it was really rainy outside that day
as it is today in ottawa
so maybe that's what made me think of this experience

xi xie xi'an

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

dublin, dionne, and delving into childhood memories there

this is me and my cousin dionne in dublin this past summer
she is newly engaged
and will be married next summer
and it is the happiness that comes with something both new and yet permanent that makes this time so special for her
and this blog's to you girl!

steve and i had a beautiful morning to spend in dublin with dionne
wandering around
our starting point was her workplace - English in Dublin

how the once familiar becomes un-
i have all of these bits and pieces of childhood memories from living in dublin
i don't remember the name of my school there
but i remember there were hedgehogs
i remember rathfarnham and the yellow house
i remember saving my 50p allowance for several weeks to buy paper doll collections
but i don't remember the shop, except that the inside of it had a deep rich brown wood colour to it
and i remember coming home, back to canada
and joanne giving me a muppet soap bar of fozzie bear before i left dublin
as home
and came back

Monday, November 14, 2005

past paranoia in eastern europe

or over-preparedness
those albanians
invaded several times over the past centuries
treated like the dregs of europe
the "last frontier of europe"
is filled with bunkers

travelling through albania
especially heading south of tirana to sarande
we started counting the bunkers
and lost count
supposedly there were bunkers built for every albanian
so that when the invaders came
albanians could go to the bunkers,
rifle in hand
and blast enemies out of their country

but these days
albanians leave
and fully one quarter of their gdp
is from albanians abroad
sending money home

strange days
and now the bunkers are photo ops
painted over
pissed on
and overgrown


Friday, November 11, 2005


(AP photo)

"In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.- John McCrae, 1915 "

i understand that much of what i have has been by the grace of those who came before me
from my family
from people who were willing to sacrifice everything because they believed in something bigger than just themselves
and the opportunities and possibilities in my life are in some part owed to all of those who in some way entrusted us to live our best lives
and i thank them
and i try to express my life in a spirit of gratitude
and it is days like remembrance day
days like this
that i thank them...these veterans - their families, our family - my ancestors

i live a very blessed life

forget february, november is blah

and to think that this was my life 2 months ago
and no that is not me on the beach in a maillot...i still go for the bikini...fits better!

guess that's why i kind of look like i know the end of sand and sun are near in the photo of steve and me...

strange eve at yow

sometimes it hits me
how odd working for an airline is
i mean you get these extreme markers of human behaviour
that i really don't think you see anywhere else
you see teary goodbyes
people running to flights after customs held them up
people happy to be getting out of ottawa
and then you have the real extremes
like a gent tonight
you knew it was trouble when you see the police in their bulletproof vests surrounding someone
and the guy was screaming and screaming and going nuts
and he wasn't even booked to fly until tomorrow
but i guess he thought if he screamed loud enough
and spewed out enough ugliness
that he would get his way
not tonight
but i can't think of another job where you see these extremes
and then i go and work in massage and things are calm
and you can do something about pain
or just meditate
but it is much more quiet than
ottawa airport
but the airport does have a tim horton's
on *every* floor

Thursday, November 10, 2005

One of the things I love most

i have loved native canadian art as long as i can remember
my mom and dad would reduce the variety in my childhood diet to a lot of macaroni and cheese and hotdogs (with my dad all-too-often, and rather unfortunately for the rest of us, opting for beans) in order to secure another beautiful piece of art
i love the colours of them
i love the organic, unforced spirituality that teems out of them
i love that they have impact in their simplicity
and i can attribute my full out, i have run out of walls, art collection to my parents who introduced me to this art at a very young age
the vast majority of what i collect comes from the 2nd generation of sandy lake reservation artists who have continued the woodland tradition built on the artwork of morrisseau, kakegamic and trudeau
photos of the art collection that fill the walls (and frames on the floor) of the house to come, but not all at once
i think steve knew what he was getting into when the first few purchases arrived
we may need to create more walls in the house...or hang them on the ceilings?!

i love being surrounded by art

in and around ottawa, outside of this house, the best place to see some incredible native art is at the Canadian Museum of Civilization

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

another gratuitous niece shot

okay this one also has steve and sinead in it. we were all at fairouz which is a fantastic lebanese restaurant in ottawa..roisin was pretty hungry...

the newest addition to the Fleming clan

Roisin Sugrue - aka baby R born on July 4th, 2005 at home to Michael and Sinead Sugrue
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i don't really understand how it can be raining out, and yet my skin is still dry
it is that strange wet-dry phenomenon
unwanted hydrotherapy

but speaking of wanted hydrotherapy
i am combatting the lethargy that tends to shadow me come each november
and no, it isn't the prospect of getting older...

back to the is the time for those pick me up essential oils
did a steam room stint at the gym and an inhalation at home

today's inhalation was simple...8 drops of pure grapefruit oil tossed into 3/4L of boiled water in a pot...shrouded myself over the pot with a towel, closed my eyes and breathed slowly, breathe in 4 sec hold 2 sec breathe out 4 sec increasing to 4 sec in hold 10 sec out 4 sec...for 15min.

trying to combat insomnia
if i can't sleep i can work on remembering how to relax or unwind

after blogging for work for over a year of my 3.5yrs there, and reading other friends blogs, kinda felt that my blogging style has been kind of boxed in by the headlines of working for a major u.s. publication

and as life continues crazychaoticwildandfun i am here
la vie n'est pas toujours tranquille, la vie dans la ville n'est pas toujours tranquille
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