Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An unbroken bond

I just returned from a one-week whirlwind visit with several dear friends. The original timing of my vacation (aside from getting away from my wet basement) was arranged to coincide with the birthdays of two of these aforementioned dear friends who just happen to have been born one day apart. A gathering of the 'clan' was set into motion and a flurry of excited e-mails flew back and forth amongst this group of friends who met [--] years ago in university. We try to all get together at least once a year and, so far, I think we've done pretty well.

We've muddled through life's adventures, lending a shoulder or a hand whenever needed. We've shared a lot of tears but even more laughter. We've been to each others' weddings (but under some unspoken pact, never as bridesmaids - must be the dresses!). Helped each other move (thank god those days are over!) and consoled each other over broken hearts (remember 'I hate men parties'?). We're as different as any group of women could be but we argue and love without question. The bond is taken for granted but not the gratitude or the responsibility it holds.

So it seemed that fate brought us all together again this time, not just for birthday festivities as planned but for other unexpected life-changing events. One of our group received thrilling news of admission to a prestigious graduate program at an Ivy League university. We shared cheers and tears of joy and a bottle of champagne was ordered from the bar! Another of our group experienced the heavy-hearted loss of an elderly relative after a lengthy illness. We shared hugs and consolation and glasses were raised in honour of a passing soul.

And so life goes. Our weekend together was in many ways typical of our long-standing friendships - the celebrations, the losses, many a glass of wine, mugging for the camera, the comfortable mundane catching up on each others' lives late into the night, and the goodbye hugs before returning to our day-to-day adventures... each taking with us the strength of our friendship, topped up for another year.

Thanks for the memories girls, and for all those yet to come!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy World Kidney Day!

Today is World Kidney Day.

Are your kidneys healthy?

Did you know that over 500 million people world-wide have some form of kidney damage?

Did you know that high blood pressure and diabetes (Type 1 and 2) are leading causes of chronic kidney disease in developing countries like Canada?

Did you know that over 1.5 million people worldwide are currently kept alive through either haemo or peritoneal dialysis, or transplantation and that this number is predicted to double within the next 10 years?

Do you have one or more of these risk factors for chronic kidney disease?
  • high blood pressure or diabetes
  • family history of kidney disease
  • history of heart attack, stroke, or other blood vessel disease
  • over 50 years of age
  • First Nations or Asian ancestry
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • family history of high blood pressure or diabetes
If so, please speak with a health professional about how to reduce your risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Do it for Chris. Do it for yourself!

The Amazing Kidnerellis!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Your never too important to mock yourself

In celebration of my purchase of really great floor seats for this summer's Coldplay concert in TO, I hereby present for your amusement Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and the current reigning god of British humour, Ricky Gervais.

If you don't crack up at these videos... well, I dunno - there's something wrong with your funny bone! [Warning - these videos contain irony, mockery, and adult humour! It helps to know that Martin is an outspoken fair trade and human rights advocate, a vegetarian, and is generally acknowledge to be pretty self-effacing.]

Ricky interviews Chris

Chris' appearance on Ricky's TV show "Extras"

Behind the scenes & bloopers from the "Extras" shooting