Thursday, July 12, 2012

Still searching for a motive ...

So, I was drugged on Tuesday.

Ok, I THINK I was drugged on Tuesday.

Except that nothing about the story makes sense. So, my 13 year old son, Jack, suggested I share my version and ask for suggestions as to what could have been at play. Here goes ...

I had a couple of meetings in Toronto Tuesday, and brought Jack to the city with me to longboard with his cousin, Grant. After connecting the boys in the morning, I attended my two meetings, taking me through into the early afternoon.

On my way across town, to my cousin's house in "The Beaches", I stopped to buy a Tim Horton's frozen raspberry-lemonade, a sweet - albeit unhealthy - treat. The older lady (65?) poured the syrup into the cup, followed by some slushed ice, and blended it up. When she handed it to me it did not look as pink as I'm used to - more orangey in fact. Walking down the street, it tasted less than great but was still cold and somewhat refreshing, so I finished it and thought nothing more of it.

I arrived at my cousin's to find no one home and the doors locked. They have a great outdoor sofa in the back garden, with a shade cover, so I laid out on that to enjoy some chill time before everyone got home. Soon I was drifting in and out of a very foggy sleep. At one point I heard voices in the house and called out to Grant's sister, Avalon, who opened the sliding door then carried on with her girlfriends. Next time I woke up I was sprawled on a pile of vinyl patio cushions in the basement. I vaguely remember walking up the stairs and finding the living room couch. Which is where is stayed for the next few hours.

During this uncharacteristic afternoon slumber I found I was somewhat aware of my surroundings but entirely unable to interact. Several times I heard the kids come into the room and comment on the fact that I was sleeping, but I couldn't open my eyes or speak, much less get up and join in any activity.

Eventually I "came to" and heard Jack and Grant on the upper level. I walked up and asked what was going on. They were playing computer games, so paid me little mind as I crashed on Grant's bed for another half hour. Then I must have wandered back down to the couch, because that is where I woke up when Suzy (Grant's mom and my cousin) got home. IT WAS 7:30PM!!!

We laughed at my sleepiness and chalked it up to some much-needed downtime. After a nice, casual dinner, Jack and I left at about 8:30pm. As soon as we got into the car we both noticed an overwhelming smell like cough syrup. On investigating, we found that it was coming from the empty Tim Horton's cup that had contained the frozen lemonade. I bundled it with other garbage and pitched it. In hindsight I should have maybe kept it to be tested.

Jack and I laughed about the strangeness of the afternoon and bantied around theories about what could have happened. He said that he was fairly certain he hadn't seen an elderly lady in a brown uniform and hairnet violating me on the couch. My wallet was in my pocket, with all of my cards intact. It looked like this one was going into the "mystery file".

A large Starbucks coffee got us safely through the drive home, then I slept soundly through the night.

So, I am throwing an open question out there.

W.T.F. ???????

Was I drugged? If so, why??
Could the syrup have simply gone bad? And why would it have affected me that way?
Am I just getting old and crazy?

All valid possibilities I guess. What are your thoughts?

Anyway, that is my story and I am sticking to it. Well, gotta go. My new neighbour just dropped off a tray of brownies. They look a little green but are strangely delicious. I think I will eat a few ...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Joy of Not Having Plans ...

I have no plans today. There are countless things I could be doing ... including Mariposa Folk Festival, work, cleaning my home ... but I have decided to commit to none of those. Instead I am hanging out with my son and his best friend, Lucas, doing whatever they want. That likely puts me primarily in the role of chauffeur/financier, but I'm good with that.

Reflecting on "not having an agenda" reminds me of a hugely important lesson I learned several years ago at a music festival, Gathering Of The Vibes, near Albany, NY.

Midway through the second day of the Grateful Dead inspired event there was a big rainstorm. When the sky cleared there was mud everywhere, and rivers of water running down the walkways. I saw a lovely young mom walking with her toddler, naked in rubber boots (the toddler, not the young mom - though that would have been awesome!). The free-spirited youngster walked twenty yards and then turned around, retracing his/her (can't remember) steps against the predominant flow of festival-goers. The mom followed along blissfully. Then they turned and followed their initial route for a few minutes, before doubling back yet again.

As this loop continued, I found myself a bit confused. "Where the Hell are they going?", I asked myself. The answer, of course, was nowhere. And that is what was strange to me. There was no agenda. No "Come on, sweetheart, WE are going this way." I realized how often (always) my time with my kids was actually all about my plans. This mother was modelling such unconditional love and devotion to her child and his/her serendipitous enjoyment of the day. I vowed to remember that example and apply it often in my own life.

So, that brings me back to today. Fittingly, it rained this morning. I don't think I have to worry about the boys wanting to traipse about naked in rubber boots but, shy of that, they are calling the shots.

And I am that parent who will be smiling at their wonderfulness and happy just being.

Life is good :)

The things I am supposed to be blogging about ...

I have been feeling a tad guilty the past few weeks about my complete lack of blogging since Death Race 2013. Then I remember how ridiculously self-important that is, thinking that anyone is hanging on my every word. Still, there are a few things from last month that I feel like I am supposed to be writing about ...

  • my experience in Pittsfield, VT at the 2013 Spartan Death Race. The very short preview is this; I did NOT finish this summer's race (as opposed to my first 2 attempts, which were both successful). I made some terrible decisions at the very start of the race that bit me in the ass such that I dropped out after 34 hours and 50+ miles with zero food or sleep. Ultimately, there is far more for me to learn (and share) from this "failure" than even my past successes, so I will be back with those thoughts soon.
  • my trip to Orlando to study with Mike Dooley. His "Gifts From The Universe" Conference (training us to deliver the material in his Infinite Possibilities book) was fantastic! Even getting there was a great story in itself, but the program and the people I shared it with were phenomenal. A bonus was spending time with Frank Ferrante, who was not only the keynote speaker but also a conference attendee. I will be delivering the program material later this summer, and will have those details available next week.
  • attending Roger Water's live performance of The Wall at Rogers Center in Toronto. This was a spontaneous adventure, deciding at 6pm (at my son Jack's urging) to drive to Toronto for the 8pm concert - by myself. It was beyond amazing and brought up some strong feelings and interesting lessons.
  • this past weekend's trip to Rothbury, Michigan with Katy and Jack and my friend Amanda, for Electric Forest Music Festival. Four days of electronic music in a magical setting, it was nearly perfect. I am so crazy blessed that my teenagers still enjoy hanging out with me and will travel across the country with me to hang out for a weekend adventure.

So, why have I NOT been writing about all of this? Well, I have barely sat down at my computer, except to catch up on work. In the midst of all of that I have conducted several hypnosis sessions, shot another season of Arts Scene Orillia (with more interviews this weekend at the Mariposa Folk Festival), started teaching Crossfit classes, sold some houses, BBQ'd at Marchmont Public School's year end celebrations, attended my son's Grade 8 graduation, volunteered at the Toronto Spartan Race, hosted a showing of "Happy" at my Elevate Orillia Uplifting Film Series, attended the inaugural luncheon meeting of Orillia area natural health practitioners, done about a dozen radio interviews, and pretty much just been extraordinarily grateful for my awesome life.

None of that is meant as an "Oh I am so busy" rant. Anything but! I don't feel overwhelmed or overburdened. I just feel lucky! And the next month is a bit more wide open (making room for a bunch of kiteboarding with Katy and Jack. Ok, and a few more music festivals!!)

Speaking of "Too Busy Rants", read this wonderful piece from The New York Times ... "THE BUSY TRAP" (Well worth the few minutes, no matter how busy you are!) ... a highlight: "More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter."

So, I will be back soon with the aforementioned promised posts. But first, I realize I did not annotate the video at the top of this blog. That is Ze Frank. He is one of my very favourite recent finds, and so many of his videos speak "directly" to me. I leave you here with one of his best <3