Books

I'm reading an amazing book right now, recommended to me by my friend who passed away earlier in the year. I wish I could thank her for bringing this book into my life, but since I can't I'm going to make sure to share it with as many other people as I can. I've been sharing bits of it on my various online channels, but I wanted to write a bit about it here for anyone who's not able to see my other posts. Every one of you should read this book! 

It's called How to be an Adult by David Richo, and it is basically a guide to how to behave and think like an adult - responsible, assertive, self-actualized, healthy relationship boundaries, and all that good stuff. It's so clear and specific, and it's a short book but it's absolutely packed with insights.

I found this book - "Are You Tired and Wired?" by Nurse Practitioner Marcelle Pick in a bookstore last winter, and little did I know how much it was going to mean to me. I'd been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, so when I saw it I thought it might help me understand further what it is and how it works, and what else I could do to help recover from it. It ended up reading like my life story in parts, and blowing my mind as far as how long this has probably been building up. It validated so much of what I'm going through, and helped me understand how important what I've been doing is.

You may think this is irrelevant to you, but ask yourself if you or someone in your life is constantly exhausted and on edge. Can't get to sleep (or wakes up in the middle of the night or too early) despite being exhausted. Feels like total crap after exercising, even though exercise is "supposed to" make you feel more energized. Is completely reliant on caffeine or sugar to get through the day. Having extreme cravings for sugar, carbs, and/or salt. Runs like an energizer bunny until a certain point, then crashes and turns into a puddle. Feels anxious or depressed and like life is no longer manageable.

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This building is part of VGH, you wouldn't know how pretty it is from the outside. Sitting there, it was hard not to notice I was the youngest person for miles around who didn't actually work there. I was there to get a second opinion on my laryngeal granuloma.

Waiting for an appointment at VGH

Back in the early spring, I was introduced to the work of Danielle Laporte. If you haven't heard of her or her book, The Firestarter Sessions, it's a bestseller and I would go as far as saying a phenomenon. This book kicked a lot of peoples' butts, shoving them out of complacency, to think about what they really want in their lives. I happened to start reading it at a time when I was struggling with my job, and my bigger picture "purpose" in life, and where I was just feeling incredibly run down, sick, invisible, and down in the dumps.

I'm not gonna lie, I probably watched this pep talk video every day for a week before I worked up the guts to actually resign from my job (which in a way I loved, but knew I needed to leave).

Years ago when I was doing my undergrad at SFU, one of the doctors at the walk-in clinic there recommended a book to me called When the Body Says No. I went out and bought this book, and after flipping through it felt really offended at the recommendation. The book is about the physiological effects of stress, mainly in relation to how undealt with stress can result in chronic illnesses, auto-immune diseases, cancer, etc. I though the doctor was implying that I wasn't handling stress well, and it was making me sick. And whatever elements of truth that may have had, I found it incredibly offensive, largely because she didn't propose any solutions as far as what could help decrease the severity of my chronic health problems. So I put the book away on my shelf, and there it has sat for the past several years...yet surviving many book culls (for the sake of bookshelf sustainability).

A bunch of things have inspired me and lifted my spirit this past week, so I wanted to share:

An awesome A Softer World ... this one's pretty great too (remember to read the hover text!)

An awesome photo/paste-up by Basco5 (don't look if you're scared of barfing)

An awesome video by Oren Lavie (just watch it, it's amazing)

Ridiculously awesome beatboxing and flute-beatboxing (c/o @adrian_ng)

So...I kind of spaced on my whole Zinester's Guide To Portland book give-away!  Oops.  Better late than never, though.  Got a big 2 entries on that one, and though they were both great answers, the winner is.... Jordan Behan!  Mainly I thought Jordan had a much better chance of actually going to Portland sometime, so that the book would actually be of use, but I do have to give props for his compliments to the urban planning and transit system.

Jordan's answer to the question of why Portland is so awesome:

I like Portland because it has been striving to be a kick-ass bike friendly city, long before such a thing was in vogue. Also, their infrastructure with public transit and traffic is a model we in Vancouver should follow closely. That’s hardly enough for a win, but I thought I’d add my input anyhoo.

If you like Portland, be sure to read to the end! I really like zines [Wikipedia].  And more than that, I really like Shawn Granton's zines.  In fact, I'd say he's probably my favorite zine writer/illustrator--sure I might relate more to some of the more personal zines of authors like Taryn Hipp, or Pagan Kennedy, but Shawn is an awesome, AWESOME illustrator/cartoonist, and writes about lots of cool things like biking, Portland, and living on the west coast.  Not just that, but he is one of the few zine writers whose work I never find self indulgent or narcissistic, which is one of the inevitable pitfalls pouring your heart out in written/illustrated form seems often to lead to. So, I had picked up a bunch of Shawn's zines last year at Spartacus, but since then, hadn't been able to find any more, and resigned myself to just getting treated to the occasional piece in Momentum. But then I was like, fuck this, I wanna read more awesome zines!  So, I sent Shawn an email, and after a few back and forths and missed connections, he offered to send me a bunch of whatever he had around for ten bucks. This already sounded like a great deal for me, so I sent it along with a card and an extra little surprise of a handmade felt patch for being so generally rad.  About two weeks later, a parcel arrived in the mail: 

ZINES!!!

The Boss of YouI meant to write about this last week before the blogger plague took me down (I'm still in recovery...c'est terrible!) but better late than really late--did you know my bosses just published a book?! It's true!

So, about that inspiration stuff... I liked the suggestions of collaborative arty projects. So I've been thinking about people who I know (or have known in earlier days) that now do cool inspiring art stuff. And here is a list of them, loosely in chronological order of when I met them from earliest to most recent with links to their stuff for anyone who's interested (go Google skillz). (I've only used last names where people use their last names publicly in case you're wondering why some are missing.) 

Kirsti 

 

(Photo by Kirsti)

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