In traveling, a companion; in life, compassion

Since I write for Lonely Planet, people assume that I’m constantly traveling. I’m often asked about where I’m going, where I’ve been. Actually, I take only family and work trips nowadays. This year my destinations were familiar ones: Hawaii, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Santa Cruz. For required work meetings, I also flew to Atlanta, my first view of the Deep South. I haven’t had an open-ended journey in eons. I’m currently more focused on Iyengar yoga training and teaching in Vancouver. And, truth be told, I’m somewhat of a homebody. Even homebound, however, I could relate to a Japanese proverb … Continue reading In traveling, a companion; in life, compassion

Skimming the surface

Here in Vancouver, Canucks fans are thrilled. Their team made the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 17 years. Me? I’m a sporadic and superficial sports watcher. I might half-watch Olympic events, Wimbledon finals, NCAA playoffs, Tour de France stages, hockey games. I might enjoy the drama and athleticism. But I am rather clueless about the actual sports. Watching a hockey game, I know I’m catching only the gist, barely keeping my eye on the puck. When I moved to Canada, I had to Google “hat trick,” “penalty box,” “power play,” and “Don Cherry.” I can’t recall who won the Cup … Continue reading Skimming the surface

Rainbow Falls then and now

Growing up in Hilo, Hawaii, I lived five minutes by car from Rainbow Falls (look closely and you’ll see why it earns its moniker). My parents would drive us there when off-island relatives came over—or when rainstorms produced a massive wall of crashing water. Both my mom and my dad were attuned to nature: they would notice when Mauna Kea was snowcapped, when cloud cover signaled rain, when the falls were a trickle or a deluge. But I was blithe. As a young adult, months, perhaps years, might pass between visits. I took Rainbow Falls for granted. When I became … Continue reading Rainbow Falls then and now

Are you stuck on “oldies, but goodies”?

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers recently played in Vancouver. The local weekly, The Georgia Straight, reviewed his concert rather negatively because he apparently played too many new songs (off his latest album) and not enough familiar hit oldies. The following week, a letter to the editor echoed this complaint, writing, “Could rock promoters adopt some kind of mercy rule to the effect that old rockers can’t play more than three songs in a  row from their new album?” On one hand, I totally empathize. We all want to hear our favorite groups play their old hits: Songs to which you … Continue reading Are you stuck on “oldies, but goodies”?

Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?

The other day, I glanced at a billboard for Vancouver’s new “Residential Food Scraps Collection” service. Now, our yard trimmings bin can also include raw food scraps for citywide composting. The billboard listed a few examples, such as uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, tea bags, and coffee grounds? Coffee grounds? Shouldn’t that be coffee grinds? I wondered if this is another Canada-versus-America difference. Here, a parking lot is called a “parkade,” a garbage disposal is called a “garburator,” and the electric utility is called “hydro,” such as BC Hydro in British Columbia. My favorite is the Canadian “eh?” akin to … Continue reading Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?