Saturday, April 2, 2011

I have a new home!!

Fuck Ya!

I have a new home! and I promise to not use 'your' when I should use 'you're'.

I am all about the effort now, and not about the product. Ok that didn't work as well as it did in my head. So let's try again, I am all about the product and the process and all about "you're instead of your.

So come in one and all. Come right in and let me know what you want.

new home:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New year celebrations, friends, Polar bear dips and Judy Bloom

Well hello! It's a whole new year, one I'm super excited about and I wanted to wish you (and myself) a wonderful and crazy time. To welcome that craziness, I am going to jump about in today's post from friends to books to cold water. So to begin, this is how I rang in the new year:

I was all gung-ho about doing a polar bear dip on new years day. I saw a blurb about it a few weeks ago, and since have been mesmerized! All that is involved is a short jog (some walk) into freezing cold water on new years day. It haunted my thoughts and so after looking one up in my area I was ready to sign-up.

I was excited, by god was I excited!

As things tend to go when your excited, I realized I was about to go on my cycle and so decided that I would attempt the dip shortly after midnight on Jan 1st. That way I would have myself and whomever accompanied me to laugh at my attempt.

I can't begin to fully describe the thoughts that were going through my head! After-all I am the person who wears 2 pairs of socks (the wool ones), always has a scarf on, and likes to sleep under a blanket and comforter. In other words I am not great with the cold, my feet certainly don't like it, and my hands seem to somewhat submit to it by imitating the temperature outside as soon as I am out and about. So why do it and did I think it was a good idea after?

In short, I am beyond super glad I did it, and have decided that I will do this every year. I think everyone should do it, and if you are planning on doing it you should look up your local chapter. The group (if one exists...if not create one) usually asks for a donation and everything collected goes to a chosen charity. All in all you get a goo deed, and awesome way to ring in the new year, and an exhilarating feeling on the first day that is starting off your 12 month year. I cannot recommend it enough.

I've also read it's very very very healthy for you, just be sure to wear some sort of footwear as rocks are sharp and sometimes there is ice on the shore. So just do it, and tell me after!

Now on to a few thoughts on friends and the new year.

I was extremely lucky to ring in the new year with some very dear friends. I got to dance my heart out for 1.5 hrs and didn't drink much, but enough to enjoy my dancing while sober. I had to make some hard choices, and as it happened they didn't seem all that hard as things pretty much found their natural spot. It was only after the fact that I realized some important notes. They are the following.

If someone in your life is always negative, and they don't want to change: they will probably never change, not for you that is. So just accept it, and drop them. No point in trying to make the river run north when its clearly wanting to go south.

Also, communication is important!; communicate up to a point. Although I had a great new years eve with an amazing group of friends. I was sadly not there when a different great group of friends was celebrating. IN most cases this wouldn't be a problem, and for a majority of the group it wasn't, but there was one person and that one person was bitter. I gave communication a go and wished ______ a good year and happy celebrations, but to no end. So in short I tried my best and when it didn't work I moved on.

In many ways in a short 24 hours (end of 2010...start of 2011). I got over my fear of cold water, decided to 'f*ck it and just do it!', and concluded that I have some amazing friends while learning to let some feelings go and accept losses. It was a crazy 24 hrs and I wouldn't of had it any other way.

That craziness didn't exactly last, but my resolve has, which brings me to Judy Blume.

When I was a teenager (by golly that was such a long time ago) I worked at Chapters-Indigo store. In case you don't know what that is, it's a chain of bookstores owned by a very interesting lady who always had impeccable taste in books, even if I didn't share it. Either way, I was usually stuck in the Children's/Teen/Sexuality/New-Age/Sciences section. I never really minded, except the children of course, I minded them!

I would go to work and look though books, being an avid reader I usually worked for 75% of my shift and spent the other 25% flipping through books I wanted to get. I always came across Judy Blume, or at least I was the last person to come across her, as every mother would push her daughter to get "Are you there God? It's me, Margaret.", and after that initial purchase the girls would often come back for other books. Having grown-up both in Canada and Poland, I sorta missed the traditional pre-teen books and went straight to adult English literature. So every shift I would secretly covet owning a Judy Blume book, but just never get around to getting one.

This all changed today! I was walking though a store shopping for lace and frilly undies and spotted A Judy Blume book, and as my luck would have it specifically the famed Margaret book. I snatched it up (at 50% off too) and quickly drove home to start reading it.

I'm glad most of the people beside me thought I was probably speeding to get to work or perhaps some important meeting, and not that I was excited about finding that piece of missing pre-teen life in Blume's writing I've heard so much about. Its a short 150 pages so I read through it in just over an hour, and what's my verdict?

It was good! It wasn't life changing, but I imagine if I was 11 and questioning being normal this book would of been so perfect. It was amazing, but I remember being like Margaret. Almost exactly like her, well actually I had lots of boobage happening so maybe not exactly but I could identify with feeling weird and wanting to be the 'other' girl. Simply put, I wish I could of read that book when I was younger ,it would of really spoken to me. Now I get it, and I wish a whole generation of younger girls that title for their 10th birthday. I know if I meet any I will gift mine away.

That's all my wisdom for 2011 (thus far). Wishing you a happy day hence forth with lots of Judy Blume.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Canmore 2010 pt.2.

So it's official, I have now been to Canmore Alberta 2x. It seems as if I'm slowly becoming an honorary visitor, and with such titles comes great responsibility.

I'm not quite sure what responsibility I am capable of handling, as usually cleaning my cats litter box tends to be the extent of it, but who knows: one day I may be able to hold down a 9-5 job and care for a dog. No promises thought.

Thus far my travels in Canmore have included lots of cooking for my sister, lots of eating because I made too much, and way more reading than I was capable of in the past few months. It has also included my 1st ever adventures in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. All are favourable things to do, but tonight was a favorite one of mine: exposing my 3 month old nephew to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video/song.

If I had a bit more time in my day I would learn the dance by heart and work on my vocals, but as it stands I'm a die-hard fan of the dance moves and do them as often as possible, if only not as well as Miss B.. I look forward to the days when I can dance the full dance, but until that day I will settle for early morning dance sessions and showing my sisters protege some wicked dance moves. Finally I shall take on the family responsibility of being the 'mover and shaker', the clan is growing and it needs its dancers now more than ever.

Cheers to all, and to all a good night!

Yay for all single ladies everywhere, Beyonce is rooting for ya!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's been forever...and other thoughts.

Today I realized I have not blogged (not here at least) for a long time. I don't know why, because I am certain there were very many cool things I could of written about, but I do know I was burnt-out. First it was from reading, and I took a reading sabbatical. It promptly ended after a few months away from academia, thank goodness too, life was getting a little too normal for my liking. What I did not realize was that I was also pretty down-trodden on writing wise. Then something wonderful happened, I started to write, and draw, and read, and enjoy life.

It came in little bursts, a bit like pomegranate seeds. First it was reading, I couldn't get enough fiction into my life. After a few months I started doing art again, mostly a drawing here and there, plans for paintings and a few sculptures. Most recently I started writing again, and I feel like I'm back at home. It feels so nice, so warm, so cuddly. I almost want to giggle.

Today's post isn't all that special, apart from my coming-out (or back) party currently happening both in my head and my desk. I have so many things I want to write about, and I want to start now, but I know that sleep will not let one eye fall as long as I am typing away. So, today it is just one observation. One that is a bit bewildering to some and wacky to others, yet sits close to my heart. Here it is: public transit is not only good for the environment, it is good for reading.

I came to this realization in early September, when I got myself a car. **silent applause**
I got a car, and thought "wow...the amount of time I will save is so worth this", and it was. But, I also lost out on my ritual of reading through books like a mad-woman, on my daily commutes. At first it was all I could do but cry at the annoying way traffic moves so that it's just fast enough to move at a snails pace, but not stopped where you can pull out a book and sigh a bit. I came to realize that it wasn't the traffic that bugged me, it was that I wanted to read and get the car to drive itself. So in defense of cars driving themselves in the future, I say "bring it on"!. I dearly miss my commute, but I do not miss being late or taking 2 hrs to get to my destination. I do not miss the rude people or the fares, but I do miss the solitude of finding a spot on a bus and huddling over a book, knowing full-well it is the only things that mattered at the time.

I've ridden the transit system a few times since then, and when I do I appreciate it more. No need to find parking and time to read, but as much as I miss those things I now have a new appreciation for reading books curled up on the couch with my cat in tow, and it it with this thought I will leave for now.

To all the readers out there! --> enjoy


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

On reading books

Over the past few months I have taken to reading books again. Not because I estranged myself from this activity out of want, but because I was burnt-out from reading course/university related stuff. Apart from reading books for pleasure, things like doing laundry and buying groceries also suffered. I believe the ladies at my local Tim Horton's started to think I actually live on green-tea and Timbits, and owned only 1 pair of pants and 2 shirts.

Now that I am back to my normal self: looking for work, wearing more than just 2 shirts, enjoying life, and reading like my life depended on it. I find myself asking how can anyone not read books. I took to the streets of Toronto to ask this (in other words I asked my friends who are not big readers), and got the following responses:

1. its boring
2. haven't found something I like
3. I do read...just not a lot

all the responses I got were variations on the above 3. All broke my heart.

The reason they broke my heart is because I know there is a book for just about anyone out there. For example, I have never heard one disappointed remark about 'Lamb' by Christopher Moore. I must have distributed my copy to over 20 people by now, and everyone fell in love.

Books like Lamb are what keeps me going, and thanks to friends suggestions I have learned to love Dean Koontz and Neil Gaiman, just as much as I love Terry Pratchett. I also always think that if only that person who doesn't read found the right book they would become instant "readers". A few day's ago I stumbled on a few books by Malcolm Gladwell, and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts about Outliers (in case you might be looking for a fun read).

Although it might seem from my list above, that I stick to fiction, truth be told I like both, and when I see one I think I might like I definitely grab it. This was the case with Gladwell's Outliers, and I devoured it in a day.

So for those who might not like fiction books, Outliers is a fun and crazy read. I still can't stomach how our society screws people over, and how some people are really really lucky. But what is even more crazy is that for the first time in my life I believe that the year you were born-in does matter, and that people are not just gifted: they work at their skill. Specifically, they work crazy hard for 10 000 hours, which is when the human brain magically decides it knows what its doing and makes you an expert at your chosen task.

Simply put, Outliers is like my non-fiction counterpart to Moore's Lamb, and I hope (as I know due to its popularity at the library) more people read it. So if you have any of the above 3 excuses or a combination, check out Outliers or Lamb. Neither will disappoint and both will delight.

Unit my next post I fare you goodbye

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dandelions! or why I love them

As the season for making dandelion concoctions ends, I wanted to lament about the ever-present yet ill-loved Dandelion.

Miss Helen Barron Bostwick wrote

Bright little Dandelion
Lights up the meads,
Swings on her slender foot,
Telleth her beads,
Lists to the robin's note
Poured from above;
Wise little Dandelion
Asks not for love...

Pale little dandelion, in her white shroud,
Heareth the angel-breeze call from the cloud.
Tiny plumes fluttering, make no delay,
Little winged dandelion, soareth away.

Indeed Miss Bostwick, the dandelions in my next of the woods have soareth away, and for my love of this flower: I wanted to devote this post to it

In a few days I will open my frozen dandelion petal bags and begin my yearly jam/wine making, and in appreciation for the gift of this dazzling plant, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on it.

These little plants are spectacular, not only can they fill your belly with deliciousness, but can be used as medicinal plants, and made into all types of jewelery. All in all there is little this plant cannot do, and it breaks my heart when I see people trying to get rid of them. Of special importance is dandelion wine, it is similar to drinking pure sunlight (and if you have ever basked in the sun and felt your skin absorb the rays, you are somewhat approaching what it feels like to drink a glass of good dandelion wine).

Now if you happen to be one of the unfortunate souls who has yet to discover the beauty of the dandelion, fear not if you see shadows in your yard picking these flowers when in bloom in the dead of night, or gleefully blowing at the seeds to disperse them. It is probably I, attempting to make yet another batch of dandelion wine!

Of course if frolicking in dandelion fields is not your things, I suggest you come over to my place for a glass of this wine, as I have been known to make strong concoctions that make the body dance and the mind take a sideways stance. It is with this new found view that you will finally see why I love this plant so much, and perhaps open the door to your heart as well, if only a bit to let the sunlight in.

It is only when people see the many uses and beauty of this plant, that I shall be allowed to rest. Until then I raise my glass to the dandelion and its future, and hope to see you bent over a flower enjoying all it has to offer the next year and many after that.

with dandelions on my mind,
yours always

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Something new and something borrowed!

So the cat is out of the proverbial bag, and I have told a lot of people around me I will write a novel. Now of course my mouth always gets much much further than my actions (initially) and so I suppose now I must write a book.

This proposition poses a few problems:
1. I've never written one before (not so much of a problem...maybe more like a wait game issue)
2. I'm so use to writing papers that writing fiction is hard
3. I feel like my imagination has been drained out of me by the evil master-minds of the current TV line-up (DAMN YOU TRUE BLOOD and STARGATE UNIVERSE)
4. I get bored very easily
5. I will succeed (not a problem...just an affirmation I read you should think about all the time if you want something...)
6. I will probably try and apply "the secret" way of thinking, even though I really dislike that whole scene

So the plan for the next couple of months is:
1. start the novel
2. start it again (but better)
3. redo the start because I find something better to write about
4. start again
5. drink a bottle of wine because I've started the novel 4 times now
6. cry because the bottle of wine is empty and I have to go back to writing
7.write some more
8. buy a bottle of wine
9. drink said bottle of wine
10. take a month break where I discover my true life purpose and dance around a fire
11. remember that I just had 2 bottle of wine in less than 2 months (very very rare for me)
12. google AA and cry myself to sleep because I might be an alcoholic
13. write some more
14. play with cat...or anyone who will take my mind off of writing
15. buy beer
16. remember I don't drink beer and exchange it for cheap wine
17. finish last page! celebrate by getting drunk! and become a millionaire (billionaire in 3 yrs) the next day
18. remind my monkey butler that he really should wear pants and use a bit less rum in his concoctions :)


hugs and love and all that mushy stuff