Saturday, September 22, 2012

A blog post of sorts ; )

The date of my last post looms large and reproachful whenever I open up my blog -- and unread posts continue to pile up in my Google Reader. I open a "new post" window & stare at it and nothing comes. Even if I have ideas, I don't seem have the energy to get them out & onto the screen.

Time just seem to whiz by these days. I'm not exactly sure what I've been doing besides blogging. Working (most definitely -- busy year end season has begun :p). Some great progress on the genealogy front, in collaboration with cousins in the States and Scotland -- some great detective work among us, all made possible by the Internet!  Skyping with my mother. Entertaining my aunties, who were visiting my cousin, who lives nearby. Helping dh coach our nephew through a rough patch at university.  Feeding my inner political junkie by staying up WAY too late watching political conventions, several nights in a row, then scouring the online newspapers and blogs the next day to see what's being said (& how -- marvelling over the clever turns of phrase some columnists manage to come up with -- on deadline!!).  Finishing off a book that I started while on vacation (which seems like eons ago already).  I do have a post in the works, reviewing my vacation reads. Eventually, it will get done...!

Actually, two cool things happened this week that I'd like to write about. First, I went to an event sponsored by my company's employee Pride group -- a panel discussion about how to be an ally to the LGBT community. The panellists included three of our executives and a special guest, Brian Burke, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was blunt, profane, funny and touching.  Burke admitted that he's an unlikely ally and never thought he would find himself in this spot. Like most of us, what made the difference for him was someone he knew -- in his case, his son Brendan, who came out to his father and then to the world before he was killed in a car accident in 2010 at age 21. Since then, both Burke & another son, Patrick, have become high-profile supporters of organizations such as PFLAG and anti-bullying initiatives.  Patrick has cofounded the You Can Play project, which has been supported by athletes from all four professional sports leagues.

Someone asked Burke if he does a lot of speaking to students. He said he's visited about half a dozen schools, but admitted, "I don't like doing it, because I have to talk about my son, and then I feel s***y for a long time afterwards."  As a fellow bereaved parent, my heart went out to the man, because I knew exactly what he meant. It can be so difficult -- and exhausting -- to dredge up the pain, even if it is for a good cause -- nevermind in front of a couple hundred kids who might not understand what it means to lose a child. 

The other cool thing was Friday at lunchtime, the city of Toronto held a parade for the Canadian Olympic team members, who recently returned from the London Games. The parade went right past my building, so I couldn't resist popping downstairs to watch it pass (I even remembered to bring my camera!), and I am glad I did. The athletes looked like they were having a blast (several of them had their own cameras, filming the crowds as the crowd snapped pictures of them) and it was fun to see so many people lining both sides of the street, waving Canadian flags and cheering as they passed (including lots of parents with young children).  As they passed, I recognized the legendary Clara Hughes (who can miss that smile?), gold medallist Rosie MacLennan & Karen Cockburn, Simon Whitfield & Paula Findlay, Alex Despatie (eye candy, lol), Adam van Koeverden (ditto), the women's eights rowing team, and chef de mission Mark Tewksbury & assistant Sylvie Bernier, bringing up the rear. It was a nice way to kick off the weekend. : )  

(I guess that wasn't so hard after all.) ; )


  1. I love hearing about your genealogy project! Any plans to travel abroad to investigate census data, etc?

  2. A lot of research can be done via the Internet without leaving the country these days. : ) But yes, I would love to go. I have a distant cousin in Scotland who has been helping us out with research there & it would be fun to meet him & see some of the places my ancestors lived while they were there. Also Ireland, and Sweden. The house where my great-grandfather was born there was built in the 1700s & is still used today as a daycare centre. A cousin visited there a couple of years ago & got some awesome photos. Apparently we also have relatives still living in Ukraine, but that would be a harder trip to arrange, I think (although not as difficult as 20-30 years ago!).

  3. I was going to ask the same thing JJiraffe asked. That would be quite a trip!

    That's neat that your company brought in that panel.

  4. Nice to have you back. One of the reasons I'm interested in genealogy is that I intend travelling to Scotland and Ireland sometime, and want to have places of significance to visit. Especially as what I love about travelling is seeing how people live, and where they live, rather than just "doing the sights." (Though I do my fair share of that too!)

  5. I go through phases like that.. not knowing what to write and the boom, I come up with a slew of posts after that.

    Sounds like you've had a lot going on! I love genealogy. My parents are really into it. So fascinating to see where your family comes from and how far you can trace it back.