Curry and Yoga… Is There A Connection?

Ahhhh. Back in my hovel in Ottawa getting fat on all the curry my dear mother sent home with me. Truly the sweet life.

A great thanks to Ann H. whose book club invited me to discuss my novel, Divine Elemental. It was my first experience discussing any of my works in someone’s home with a bunch of strangers. Quite surreal, I must say, but overall a positive experience. As the club members expressed to me that much of the book is challenging, I’m finally starting to accept that my writing style is perhaps too esoteric to ever make me rich; but so long as it gets me dates, I’m happy. Here’s a photo (taken on my trusty Treo 600 smartphone) of the book club meeting:

Meanwhile our tsunami relief group is set to send its first mission to Sri Lanka this coming weekend. We’ve raised about $30,000, all of which is being spent on acquiring medical supplies which are being transported to suffering areas of the Eastern Province. But this is not the end of the escapade. We need more money to expand the project to include grief counselling and educational programmes.

This coming Sunday (Jan 30th) the Santosh Yoga Centre (205 Catherine Street, Ottawa) will hold a “Tsunami Relief Yoga Class” from 2-4pm. It costs $15 to get in; but, hey, it’s good for you.

Flooding in Guyana

Greetings from Toronto. Went to the Shahid Ali Khan tsunami benefit concert last night. It was a rousing success, due to the exciting performance of Mr. Khan and to the magnificent organizing job by Ms. Farah Ally. The photos of Sri Lanka by Richard Erlac were also quite popular at the event; we’re trying to set up a special photo exhibit of pics of Sri Lanka before and after the tsunami, featuring Mr. Erlac’s marvelous work, at galleries in Ottawa and Toronto. If anyone out there knows of a space that is willing to donate time to us –remember, all proceeds go to charity– please let me know.

While our efforts have been focused on sending relief to tsunami-stricken regions in South Asia, a region close to me for personal reasons, another natural diaster has befallen yet another place in the world of personal importance: the nation of Guyana, land of my birth, is completely flooded. As yet only one person has lost his life, but entire villages are underwater, domestic animals (which constitute a major component of the local economy) have drowned and much property destroyed. The nation is beset with incompetence and corruption and I fear this disaster will not rally the people or their leaders to rise above petty desires and bickerings; rather this will seen as an opportunity to take criminal advantage. Am I too cynical? Perhaps. But my experience with the petty attitudes of my own people does not fill me with confidence.

The Guyanese consulate has been contacting us expatriates to see how we can help. Not sure what I can do, as the brunt of my relief energies have been expended on South Asia. So, so tired….

So….tired….

Off to Toronto in a few hours to attend the Shahid ali Khan concert (a benefit for tsunami relief). It’s at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen St, and though tickets are sold out, you might be able to get in to the late show at 11pm, so come on down.

Don’t have much time to write at this moment. Just wanted to give my Ottawa readers a heads-up: I’ll be doing a book reading/signing at the main public library on the evening of March 10th. So keep that date open!

Of $50 Haircuts and Busted Smartphones

Where to begin? A bit too shellshocked still from last week’s tragedy to jump right back into the political commentary. How about some frivolous personal stuff?

Here we see a photo of my two crippled Treo smartphones, a 180 and a 270, taken courtesy of the onboard camera of my new toy, the Treo 600. Astute (by which I mean nerdy) readers will note that almost exactly one year ago, I purchased the used Treo 270 from Andrew Currie after my Treo 180 failed. Now the 270 has failed and I have bought an even more expensive and problematic beast. The lesson? I’m an idiot, but you knew that already.

And because I’m an idiot I decided it was time to splurge on a $50 haircut, rather than the cheap-ass $7 jobs I usually steal from the haircutting school near my parents’ house. Here is the result of salon pampering and expensive styling product:

Who said I wasn’t metrosexual enough? Of course you can’t see the actual hair in that photo, so use your imagination and picture me with 50 dollar bills plastered to my scalp.

Aw heck, let’s end on some environmental politics. A famous global warming denier has this to say:

Michael Crichton: “I think there’s only one position, and that is the position that the data leads you to.”

I’m with you, Michael. When the bulk of evidence starts to point toward global warming being a myth, I will happily (honestly and truly happily) join you in your skepticism. Until then, please follow your own advice and be lead by the freakin’ data.

Meanwhile, there’s another planetwide phenomenon upon us —global dimming.

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