Archive | September, 2013

Number9Dream — a Book Review

19 Sep

number-9-largeI really liked David Mitchell’s novel, Number9Dream, however, I find it difficult to compose a review.

The story is divided into 9 “dreams”, and the number 9 appears constantly throughout the book, in various forms — the main character was born on September 9, it’s been 9 years since a tragic event occurs, a room number is 333 on the 9th floor,9 vehicles arrive at the yakuza showdown, a deck of cards is shuffled “nine times for luck” and he thinks of Ai “ninety times per minute”. There is even a reference to John Lennon’s song, #9 Dream. As I was reading the book, I sometimes found it hard to discern whether I was reading a dream or was instead in the midst of the character’s reality.

The novel begins as Eiji Miyake embarks upon a journey to find his father, who he has never met. Through episodes that jump from dream to reality and back again, Eiji confronts his inner most self and faces his “reality” to discover his own identity.

Three of my favourite characters are: Goatwriter, a scholarly goat who writes incredible stories and loses them because he literally eats his words, his cook and housekeeper, Mrs. Comb,a hen and Pithecanthropus, their handyman. They live in a coach that moves around the land at its own whim. I also liked Eiji, Ai, and Buntaro.

There is a surrealistic feel to this book, as the reader is taken on a wild rollercoaster ride from the action packed first chapter and the reflections of the second chapter through crazy and dangerous yakuza wars and many dreamy sequences until the eighth chapter where Eiji finally comes to terms with his past.

This novel was dreamlike, surreal, funny and exciting. I would definitely recommend it.

Check out more of David Mitchell`s works. I also highly recommend Cloud Atlas — I loved it!

Local Power

5 Sep

I just saw an amazing video, made by New Era Colorado Foundation —  a multi-issue organization committed to engaging, educating, and training a new generation of active citizens and young leaders in Colorado.

In 2011, New Era Colorado Foundation successfully brought voters together to reach an historic decision to create a local, greener and more affordable public utility. Xcel Energy (a big power corporation)  has lobbied to have a measure put on Boulder’s ballot to reverse that decision. Excel knows that Boulder can inspire other communities to join in creating a new model for providing energy, a real turning point in the fight for climate change.

Watch their incredible message: 

and read about their crowdfunding campaign to support this initiative.

I LOVE Boulder, Colorado!

Peace…

1 Sep

peacelilyI used to read the paper every morning with my first coffee of the day. I read it just to have an idea of the things, good and bad, that were happening in the world around me.

But since I have started my new full time job, I have not had the time to sit down with the newspaper and I hadn’t taken the time to catch up on current events on the internet. I had, of course, heard about the horrific chemical weapons attack in Damascus, but I hadn’t delved into the news reports and so, didn’t realize the full impact of this unbelievably aggressive act. Then I saw this post that a friend of mine had shared on Facebook — and then I read this one. Ronny and Michal’s stories woke me up and I tuned into CBC news on the web. I listened to the live stream of Secretary of State, John Kerry’s statement on Syria. I was shocked, thunderstruck as the realization that the world was on the brink of tragedy, aghast that two world powers wanted to react to the crisis with a missile strike.

Tears are filling my eyes as I sit here, trying to compose this post. I feel infinitely sad and completely sickened to know that people, ordinary people — like Ronny and Michal — live every day with the threat of bombings and violence. Why must the innocent live in terror and dread?

I feel guilt and sorrow when I think about grumbling last week about the 5 minute wait in the Starbucks line-up when Ronny stood for hours to receive a gas mask for his family only to realize he had no chance of getting one. I take so much for granted. I am so lucky to live here in Canada, my worries and fears are small and insignificant.

I feel terrified and useless as I wait with the rest of the world, holding our breath, hoping for the madness to end, praying for the safety of our family and friends, imploring our gods for peace to reign over all. This feeling of hopelessness is wearing down the world.  We all just want this horror to stop.

I take some comfort in knowing that people around the world are united in the quest for universal peace.

A baby was born on Friday to an Iranian woman and her American husband. They invited the world to help them name their 3rd daughter — to find a name that would represent a future of peace for humanity. A call for all who care about love and peace to come together for hope. Click here to find out what name they chose for their “Baby of Peace”. For more stories like this, check out the Peace Factory website.

And lastly, Imagine a World Without Hate!  Peace be with you!

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