Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

The 'm' key on my laptop is sticking, so I'm lucky this post isn't called "erry Christas."  :)

Happy holidays, whichever one you celebrate.  I'm not entirely sure what I celebrate, but I found myself whispering "thank you" several times today.  I'm in Saskatoon this year and had a lovely day.  A few co-workers gave me their cell numbers in case I had a breakdown on Christmas day and needed to hang with people to battle the blues, but I really enjoyed my solitude today.  And it fit nicely with the Queen's Christmas message this year.  She spoke of making time for quiet reflection in order to pause and take stock, adding that it can be surprisingly rewarding.  Amen, sister. Liz is my kind of people.  Today I had a nice lie-in, spoke to my family at home on Skype, then went for a long, quiet walk on the Meewasin.  I always feel the most gracious, humble, and happy when I'm in the presence of trees, water, and birds.  Like I said, "thank you" slipped out a number of times today.

Pretty, huh?  And it was only -7 today!  I didn't even need mittens on the way home.

I also celebrated with a good meal...which will turn into many leftover meals. Crikey.  My nut loaf recipe said "serves 4 to 6," but it yielded three decent sized loaves.  Light it ain't, a little bit will do, so I'm trying to figure out if I can freeze the extras.  They don't look super fantastic in this picture (is any loaf attractive?  I think not), but it was delicious alongside roasted squash, brussel sprouts, potatoes, and homemade cranberry sauce.  Throw in a fake trifle and a cup of cream earl grey tea, and I'm one stuffed, content woman.  I mentioned to a friend at home I feel like I should be smoking a cigar and sipping brandy after that dinner...

The cats don't give two flying whatevers about holidays, because everyday is a holiday when you're a geriatric feline.  Cameron and Cleo are also big into quiet reflection, so they made the most of the day with extended naps and meditative moments.  Cameron was sleeping in some strange places, though.  Often it means that he's not feeling well, but I think today it was just his way of keeping me guessing.

I think it's time for more quiet reflection, avec cuddly cat, so I'll say good night.  I hope you had a wonderful day.  Mwah!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Decisions, decisions

So tired.  So very tired.  I really enjoyed my first week as a librarian, but I'm totally wrecked.  If Cleo hadn't woken me up at 6:15am with some negative attention seeking behaviour I would have slept straight through to sunrise (which, if you're wondering, doesn't happen here until after 9am these days).  The first two days of my new job were pretty quiet, then things got kind of nuts on Wednesday.  My desk reflected my state of mind...

It's okay now, I organized before I left for the weekend...but I was a bit concerned for a while that it was going to eat me.

I went to my first committee meeting (my tummy hurt through the whole thing, but I was fine after it was over), and got a fast and dirty introduction to coordinating the exhibits in the art gallery in the fine arts department.  This was also the first week in a long time (maybe ever) that I had to make decisions that held some weight.  There weren't a lot of them and they weren't that 'heavy', but when one is used to being more of a follower than a leader making even two or three simple decisions can be daunting.  Then I saw the words "building supervisor" on the January schedule with my name next to it and I just about had a stroke.  Oh lordy...  Thankfully, it's the weekend and now all I have to decide is what pair of pyjamas I want to wear for my greatly anticipated snuggle under the duvet tonight and when to head out to the grocery store tomorrow.  I also have a number of tools at hand that will help me unwind.  Which to choose...hmmm...

I think it's quite clear from this photo that I've opted for wine with my dinner.  My best screw cap, in a juice glass.  Nothing but class. (Don't judge me.  I haven't had time to buy wine glasses.)

This new librarian also wants to draw your attention to a wonderful shout-out from CBC's Jian Ghomeshi, who devoted his opening essay today to the library.   Three Canadian public libraries made the top 5 in a list of best libraries in the world, which just about blew my socks off.  Amazing.  You can listen to the audio essay here  Seriously, if I didn't think Jian was super hot before, I sure do now.  Meow.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


Looks like I'm stuck with Saskatoon, or Saskatoon is stuck with me: I was offered and accepted the position of Fine Arts Librarian at SPL!  This is a permanent, full-time job so I'll be a prairie girl for the foreseeable future.  I'm so happy and excited...what a wonderful opportunity to make use of my experience and knowledge!  I'll be responsible for our collection of scores/sheet music and other music materials, as well as print items in the subject areas of theatre, television, film, decorative arts, and crafts, and coordinate activities in the art gallery (gallery openings = good food).  I'll be on a few committees as well, with my first meeting next Tuesday, and have already been asked to lead a drop-in class for adults about using one or two electronic fine arts resources.  I'm quite nervous about being the back-up supervisor for the department, but it appears that I'll be eased into things rather than thrown into the deep end, so there's no need to panic.  It's funny, I remember December 12 last year very clearly, as it was 12/12/12, and would never have been able to predict that this would be my life in just twelve months, especially considering how miserable/exhausted/scared I was feeling.  Crazy good stuff, I'm so thankful. 

The holidays are coming and I'll be staying in Saskatoon for Christmas.  Introvert Jenn is eagerly anticipating a few days of peaceful solitude during which she can read, listen to music, nap, walk by the river (which is still not frozen, by the can it be this bloody cold and not freeze over???), and make some great comfort meals.  The cats are excited too...they've already started working on the napping thing...

Okay.  They've been working on the napping thing for well over a decade, but they take relaxation very seriously and insist on setting a good example.  :)

Cameron did not look that relaxed this morning.  He met his new vet today and though we were out of the house for a mere 45 minutes, he managed to throw up AND pee in his carrier.  Drama queen.  The vet did a fast and dirty blood test on him and my old boy has been given a clean bill of health.  His thyroid is just dandy on his meds, so hopefully we don't need to go through that production again for a while.  Cleo (aka Princess of the Prairies) is happily putting in some serious snuggling time every night.  We have a routine: I fill the humidifier tank while she drinks out of the base, then we get into bed for girl time.  It's all very sweet, until I get a cat bum in the face...

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Bundle up and be brave

I'm scared to go outside today.  There have been wind chill warnings for the past few nights; if it feels like -40 or colder, the warning gets posted.  Right now it feels like -44!  I have my three day weekend (I get one once a month) and the only time I stepped outside yesterday was to take out the garbage and recycling.  It took me longer to get dressed than to complete the chore!  I spent the rest of the day cleaning.  If this is what winter is going to be like out here I'll have the cleanest apartment in town.  Today I really have to go out because I've got an appointment with my new BodyTalk practitioner.  I went last week and immediately felt different (I'm not going to say 'better' because I'm apparently really out of whack...oh joy), so I want things to keep moving forward with that.  She seemed to zone in quickly on some problems I've been having and we're going to create a plan to deal with them, which is going to take some time.  *sigh*  So I'll be dressing warmly when I head out to meet her today, looking very much like this...

I know.  I can tell that you're envious.

There are some developments on the work front here, but I can't talk too much about them until sometime next week.  I'll keep you posted.  Don't worry, it's all positive.  :)

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Social butterfly

That's one term I would never use to describe myself, but my presence seems to be in demand.  Drinks with a few librarians tonight, a big holiday craft show tomorrow after work, and an invite to a department Christmas party on Saturday night.  That's just this weekend...there were invites for events last weekend too.  I'm flattered and quietly excited about the attention, but as an introvert and empath (yeah, I'm one of those weirdos who feels other people's stuff: your joy, sorrow, and bodily ailments are mine as well if I'm not careful...stepping out of the freak closet here) I tend to panic at the mere mention of a social gathering.  I'm so used to spending tons of time alone and enjoying it, getting comfortable with the togetherness of the prairires is tricky.  I like being alone, it's not the same as being lonely, but maybe it's time to take a big grown up step and try spending some time with human beings too.  I just have to keep reminding myself no one is going to swallow me whole and that I will live to see the end of the evening.  If only I had that kind of wisdom in kindergarten.  ;)

Saturday, 23 November 2013


I'm going to hazard a guess that winter arrived in Saskatoon this week.  It was cold.  In Ontario, cold meant -5 for a day or two.  Here it means -18 or more for several days straight.  I think the coldest night was Thursday, when the wind chill was -40.  Oddly, that was the night I woke up sweating because I had shut all my windows (finally) and the apartment heated up like an oven.  I muddled through the week, but even my short walk to work resulted in frozen nostrils and numb thighs.  On Friday night I went to the mall and bought a few new things to add to my winter ensemble.  This is what I've got so far...

I already had the coat, toque, and mittens (super fantastic boots too, though they're camera shy and didn't want to be in this photo).  The neck warmer is a nice alternative to a scarf that I can hitch up around my face when the cold air makes it a bit painful to breathe.  The thermal leggings on the left go under the sport pants on the right.  I haven't tried that combination out yet, but I think I might have to go back to get a pair of fleece leggings to put in between as my 'insulating layer.'  Like everything in life, the magic number of winter clothing layers appears to be three: base, insulating, and shell.  I'll get the combo right soon, as I refuse to be held hostage by the weather this winter.  It might be cold, but is it ever sunny!  It's actually really beautiful outside once I get past the I-can't-feel-my-face thing.
I'm left wondering if men in the prairies find women dressing for the elements a turn on.  We'll see.

It's Grey Cup weekend and the Saskatchewan Roughriders face off with the Hamilton Tiger Cats tomorrow.  Did I mention the game is in Regina?  Yeah...the whole province seems to be on the brink of spontaneous combustion.  Someone on the CBC website called it "the most important football game in the history of Saskatchewan" or something similar.  I went to the symphony last weekend and people were wearing Riders sweatshirts in the audience.  They love the CFL out here!  I don't understand it, but it's kind of fun to be in the middle of a large group of very excited people.  I can't imagine what will happen if the Riders win.  I'm doing my part by making chili cheeze fries and white trash football casserole (vegetarian style, of course).  Go Riders!

Monday, 18 November 2013

The third degree

Well, Artist Diploma is not technically a degree, but the triplets look darn nice together, don't you think?

My MLIS from Western arrived via Fed Ex last week and I missed the delivery (who knew they were going to ship it overnight priority?), so I picked it up this morning.  It's funny how a piece of paper can solidify an experience for a person.  I was so busy doing other things that I kind of forgot about that accomplishment.  I think a little celebration is in order.  :)

My training at SPL is  over and I'm starting to come up with a plan of attack in terms of work flow.  I'm surprised I don't feel more overwhelmed; it all feels natural and familiar.  This is odd considering I haven't had a job like this before, but maybe it's because I'm combining all of the things I love and have experience with into one position.  I've really been enjoying listening to all sorts of music as part of my work.  We have a stereo in the fine arts department, so we take turns picking CDs to play.  It's a lot of fun as everyone has different musical tastes and we get to explore what's lurking in the collection.  Yesterday we started the afternoon off with Bruce Cockburn and ended with Western swing.  I also listen to recordings in order to decide what to select.  Yesterday afternoon I enjoyed 'Bach Re-Invented,' which consists of a two-part invention played as composed on piano, then it is transformed into a funky set of variations, touching on jazz, world, and electronic music.  Very cool, it reminds me of those mash-up books like "Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies."  I'm ordering that one for sure. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

Jennifer: CD Selector!

I just finished my first week at work and I really, really enjoyed it.  Yes, I was nervous (still am) and there is so much more to learn, but I'm loving this job!  My main area of responsibility is to maintain the CD collection for the library system.  That means I get to select music recordings for the Saskatoon PL system, including the main library and seven branches.  SPL is also part of a province-wide consortium, which means all the public libraries work together and share materials.  For example, if Regina PL has a book that a patron in Saskatoon wants to borrow, it can be brought in without having to fill out interlibrary loan forms, etc.  We just put in a request, and it gets shipped over.  So when I purchase CDs for SPL, I have to look at what's floating around the entire province.  It's going to take some time to get used to thinking so broadly, but it's cool that all of those library systems are able to work together and share resources.  Anyway, I really like being introduced around the library as "Jennifer, the new music selector."  Very cool part of the job.  If I'm a good little selector, maybe they'll let me choose some print music too.  ;)

This is my wee cubicle...I rather like it in there.  Quiet and away from the service desk so I can focus on what I'm doing. 

I think the biggest challenge for me right now is the amount of structure my life has taken on.  Being mostly self-employed for years, then working part-time while going to school, meant that I had a whole bunch of things going on at once and was juggling commitments.  I often started early in the morning and ended later in the evening, with a chance to grab a nap in the afternoon.  This 9-5 thing is a huge change.  It's a relief in a way because I was really starting to struggle with the crossover I had with work (teaching) and home.  Now work stays at work, and home is reserved for relaxing (or using my steam mop...anyone have one of those?  I freakin' love it!).  A challenge with this job is that I'll be sitting a good deal of the time.  I'm pretty active, I like to move around, so by mid-afternoon I start to get uncomfortable.  Despite the shitty weather (more on that shortly), I'm trying to go for a walk at lunch or right after work, just to make sure my hips don't seize up.  Seems to be working, plus that blast of fresh air does wonders for clearing out my head.  I'm also going to look into getting some cross country skis; the park next to my apartment has trails.

So, yeah...the weather.  Last weekend I was walking around in a long-sleeved t-shirt and a polar fleece jacket.  This weekend I'm bundled up in a coat, toque, mittens, and winter boots.  It went from about plus 7 to minus 17 in about a day and a half...and it snowed.  It feels like mid-January here but it's only the beginning of November.  *sigh*  I've decided the best way to deal with the weather is to layer up, slap on some heavy moisturizer and lip balm, and get my ass outside to embrace the cold.  The river is still pretty darn beautiful, especially on Wednesday when there was freezing fog and the trees were covered in white.  Plus, I have these fantastic slippers to pull on when I get in from my chilly walk...

I know.  They're pretty awesome.  Tee hee.

So, everything is going well so far.  I met about 75 new people this week, can't remember anyone's name, but I've been invited to something called Interlibrary Lush on Thursday nights where I may have an opportunity to figure out who is who.  Apparently, this is some sort of alcohol infused gathering of librarians in the city, representing both public and academic organizations.  Librarians drinking???  No!!!

Onward.  :)

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Nap time

One crazy day later, and we're here in Saskatoon.  I won't give you all the gross details about traveling by plane with two cats, but suffice to say being well prepared really helped.  My carry on bag looked ridiculous: food bowls, treats, extra pee pads (we used them all!), antibacterial wipes, latex gloves, plastic bags, etc., but I'm glad it all on hand.  I was very thankful that I packed a leash because I had to take Cameron and Cleo out of their carriers at security.  Both cats were cooperative and didn't try to run away, but that leash certainly provided peace of mind.  Kudos to Air Canada staff for taking good (gentle!) care of the beasts.  That airline gets so much bad press about all sorts of things, but they were nothing but friendly and helpful on our journey.  I might even write them an email to thank them for making the day go as smoothly as possible.

I did a lot of unpacking yesterday and today, and things are looking good.  I was so nervous about choosing an apartment in one weekend and had no idea if I made the right decision.  Now that my stuff is here (there was never a happier reunion) I'm feeling much more comfortable. The building and neighbourhood are ABBA obsessed neighbours or fire hall next door here!  A new co-worker took me grocery shopping today and I made my first real meal in almost a month.  Seriously, that was the best roasted sweet potato ever.  My fear of freezing to death will not likely come to fruition in this apartment: the radiator is on.  When I say "on" I mean it's like a freakin' oven.  I have the windows open and a fan blowing warm air out of the apartment in order to keep it under control.  I'm happy to be toasty, but my skin is also already taking a beating.  Excellent moisturizer is in order.  The cats are looking a bit freaked out today, which is to be expected.  A lot of hiding and worried looks, but right now we're all in our regular places on the couch and chair, enjoying the evening (be that spent blogging or engaged in extreme grooming...).

Here's a peek at my new place...

I've never liked any bathroom I've ever had in an apartment and this one bothers me too, although the tub is cool (getting out of it is a bit awkward...there isn't much room).  I'm sure I'll get over it soon. 

I missed my bed so much.  Oh my happy to have it back.  I don't even care that I still don't have a frame for it.

My new kitchen is narrow but tonight's meal prepared from scratch proved that having less space can actually make cooking more efficient.  Everything was close at hand and I have a brand new stove too.  They forgot to plug it in, however, but I crawled into the corner and got it hooked up (I was not going without dinner last night).  All good.  I love me a functional kitchen.  I also have a pantry, which is super cool and provides lots of storage space.

When you walk in the door, there's a door and a little hallway to the left that leads to my bedroom.  The hall has hooks and is a great alternative to a front closet.

My living room is quite a bit smaller than the one in my former apartment.  I made some good decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of...there's no way it would all fit in here!  The space is cozy, but has two big windows.  Lots of natural light during the day, which I love.  The floors are great too, though they need to be cleaned.  I went to Canadian Tyre today and got a steam mop for $72 (originally about $179), thanks to a sale and an incorrect price tag.  Score!

So, it seems to be coming together. I even squeezed in a walk by the river this afternoon and located some professional looking (and virtually wrinkle free) clothes for my first day at work tomorrow.  All signs point to great co-workers and an interesting job.  A lovely fresh start...but I really need a nap.  :)

Monday, 28 October 2013

We're ready!

Well, almost.  A few errands today, a few tomorrow...then off we go on Wednesday morning.  Most of my anxiety about moving and starting a new job two days after arriving in a new city has faded.  I think this has a lot to do with the outrageous hospitality of my new colleagues.  I haven't even met these people and they're going out of their way to make sure I get settled in quickly: rides from the airport and to the grocery store, invitations for lunch, and even a ticket to a concert on Saturday night.  I'm finding it a bit overwhelming, being a bit guarded emotionally and very independent, but perhaps this is a sign, a little nudge from the universe, that it's time to make some changes in the way I interact with people.  (I prefer the little nudges over the huge smacks in the head I get sometimes, but both are effective.  Thank you, universe.)

Cameron and Cleo are loving their carriers!  I'm sure their attitude might change on Wednesday, but it's good that they're finding them so cosy.  They make a great place to grab that 6 hour afternoon nap...


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Cats on a plane

I think most people reading this know that I'm a cat lady.  If you didn't know that, shame on me for not regaling you with stories about my fur babies!  A bit of background: Cameron is my 15 year old boy, a laid back brown tabby with a recently diagnosed thyroid problem.  Cleo is his 13 year old sister, a dramatic overweight torti with a touch of arthritis who is currently in the middle of her annual allergic reaction to god knows what.  They're a bit rough around the edges, but super affectionate.  We loooooooooooooooooooooooove each other.  I had to leave them behind temporarily a couple of years ago when I left my ex-husband and vowed never to let it happen again, as it was clearly hard on all of us.  So, along comes this job in Saskatoon and the first thing that pops into my head is "how in the hell am I going to get the cats to Saskatchewan?"  After reviewing the options (all two of them), Cameron and Cleo will fly with me to our new home next week.  Preparations have been crazy and expensive, with online research, visits to the vet, shots, medication refills, new carriers and pet beds, collars, leashes, pee pads, calming treats and natural remedies, luggage tags...the list goes on.  And I haven't even paid for their plane 'tickets' yet (they will fly in baggage in separate kennels and hopefully we all end up in the same place at the same time...cue the nail biting).  At this very moment I'm about three seconds away from downloading "Through A Cat's Ear" from iTunes.  I'm serious.  What's another $9.99 for a collection of bioacoustically designed classical music that will keep my babies calm?!!  *sigh*  We'll get through this somehow.  Strange, they don't look overly concerned at the moment...

Personally, I've found refuge in the 'fuck it bucket,' a term coined by David Sedaris referring to a stash of candy that is consumed in times of stress.  As long as I have a fistful of chocolate covered almonds or super soft jujubes, I'm good to go.  Too bad I don't get to fly in one of these, however...

I'd like to take a moment to express deep gratitude to my Dad for agreeing to drive me and the beasts to Pearson Airport so we can take a direct flight to Saskatoon.  I know he hates driving on the 401 and Toronto is so not his idea of a good time, but he's overcoming his fears to help us out.  Big love, Dad. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

An afterthought

It occurred to me over the weekend that I haven't talked much about the actual job that is waiting for me in Saskatoon.  Oopsies.  The position is full-time Music Library Assistant in the Fine Arts Department at the Saskatoon Public Library, and is a temporary job for up to two years.  I was being a bit narrow-minded about it when I applied ("but it's not a LIBRARIAN position!"), however, when I looked closely at the job description I realized it was an opportunity that I shouldn't be so quick to pass over.  I'll get to do great stuff like in-depth reference and research, select adult CDs for the library system and maintain the collection, and put my writing skills to work through the creation of subject guides, reviews, and annotations.  There will be other fun stuff in there too, like creating displays, and assisting with programming and outreach work.  Lots of interesting tasks to sink my eager little teeth into.  So, in a lot of ways this is the perfect job for someone with a music background and a Master's in Library and Information other words, me.  I was worried about losing touch with children's materials, but I'll be doing reviews for an online publication called CM Magazine.  (My first review can be read here  Fun!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Feeling empty

I rather enjoy living without a lot of stuff.  Stuff complicates things, gets in the way, creates clutter.  If I keep it simple I tend to be able to think and feel more clearly.  But I reached a new level in minimalist living this week as most of my belongings are now on a truck bound for Saskatchewan.  I had to send it off three weeks ahead of my own departure to ensure that it would all be waiting for me when I fly away at the end of the month.  Not ideal, but I'd rather be without at this end than on the other side of Manitoba.  Usually coming home at the end of the day (or in the middle) is comforting because I've got my crappy couch to sit on, my old boom box to listen to, and a comfy bed to climb into when I've had enough of dealing with the day.  Now all that stuff is gone and I've got a big space to exist in for about three weeks.  The cats are enjoying the makeshift bed and don't seem to care about the lack of stuff (first thing Cameron did was check that the food dish was still in the kitchen...typical), but I'm finding it uncomfortable.  Physically, because lying on the floor for extended periods is painful, but also emotionally because there's less to distract me from all the thoughts bouncing around my head ("is this move stupid or brave?" "what if I lose a cat at the airport?" "will I be a flop at my new job?" "why is there no State Farm Insurance in Saskatchewan?" "will I freeze to death by January?").  Maybe this is a good thing, though.  Perhaps if I dump all my worries into the empty space in my living room I won't have to examine them so closely after I hit Saskatoon, I can simply go about  quelling my anxiety by turning my concerns on their heads. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Do you take requests?

I worked with an energy healer, Kim, for a couple of years.  She called herself a wellness companion, meaning that her job was to point me in the right direction, then walk by my side as I made changes and healed old wounds.  Kim often told me all I needed to do to get what I wanted was to put a request in with the universe.  Be specific and believe that I could have what my heart desired.  For a long time I thought that was complete crap...we don't have that much control over the direction of our lives, do we?  Don't we just have to deal with the hand we're given and make the best of the situation?  Kim died in the middle of May this year and I was devastated.  She had continued to book phone appointments with me during her last year, but stopped charging for them at some point.  We grew close.  The last couple of times we spoke she told me to get my shit together, cast away fear, and that she loved me.  I think she knew that she wasn't going to be around much longer and that I would need to take care of myself.  I still feel a bit lost from time to time because this beautiful person who cared so much about me and my life is no longer available to provide guidance.  Sometime in the summer, when my grief was still fresh and I was feeling like I had little left to lose, I decided to take Kim's advice and ask for what I really wanted.  On a piece of note paper I penned a request for a cool new job in a cool new place, either a city smaller than London or a large town, that would provide me with easy access to natural surroundings, including water and trees.  I stuck my request up on the fridge for a while, then put it in a kitchen drawer, and eventually cleaned the drawer out and threw my request in the garbage.  Fast forward to September when I was offered a job that is ridiculously well-suited to my background and experience in beautiful Saskatoon.  Huh.  I guess putting in a request worked.  Kim would be proud. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Don't be a pussy

Fear has been a theme in my life for the past couple of years.  It's been a key player for a long time, but only recently has it stepped from the shadows into my direct path.  Long story short, I'm getting sick of babysitting fear and watching it run (ruin?) my life.  That winter a few years ago when I felt nothing except anxiety, despair, and physical pain?  The handiwork of fear.  Sooooooo done with that crap.  With that in mind, I've decided to devote the next few years of my life to doing all sorts of things that scare the shit out of me, just to see what happens.  I've already dabbled in this mindset for a little while and, surprise, I'm still alive.  Perhaps even thriving.  Who knew?  Most of the scary stuff turned out to be an illusion, and now that I've decided so many things are illusions I feel ready to procede with creating something more authentic.  The Seven of Wands is a tarot card that represents courage and perseverance.  I return to it over and over again for inspiration, and decided to use it as the title of this blog.  Down with fear, or as I've said frequently to a friend, don't be a pussy.  :)