Saturday, February 28, 2009

"it's as wick as you or me"

When I was a little girl one of my favorite books was "The Secret Garden". I loved it so much that it was the very first professional musical I saw and I actually had a 'secret garden' in my backyard for years. I received a small 'piece of earth' from my parents to plant whatever I liked. Unfortunately my garden was mostly in shade which limited what flowers I could successfully grow.

However, that did not stop me and in behind two Juniper bushes at the back of our yard I planted shade impatients, hollyhock, tiger lilies, Easter lilies and much more. I went to the nursery with my mother each spring to pick the flowers that I would nurture for the summer, I got books and video's on gardening and I used to get up early on Saturday mornings to watch gardening shows instead of cartoons. I had my own spades, my own gloves, my own watering can...everything I would need to keep my garden 'wick'. For many summers my garden was my obsession, especially the act of keeping it 'secret', I was never had a tree house or a fort when I was a child so my garden was my own space, my hiding place, something I had created.

However, one summer, without telling me, my father pruned one of the bushes in front of my garden (insistent that they way that you get something to grow is by cutting it) and it never grew back...exposing my garden for everyone to see. I was LIVID. It was MY garden and it was a secret, I didn't want to share it with anyone, I didn't want anyone to come in and I didn't want people to criticize it. However, in retrospect I wonder why I was so upset...Perhaps it was just because I was a child and I didn't want to share or perhaps it was because of the book, I mean, it was called the SECRET Garden. However, I suppose that I didn't really pay attention to the last part of the book....

"The spell was broken. My uncle learned to laugh, and I learned to cry. The secret garden is always open now. Open, and awake, and alive. If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden."
We should all open our gardens for everyone to share in.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Born to lose. Destined to win."

Tonight I went to see "Slumdog Millionaire" the much touted winner of the Oscar for best picture this year. Before going to see the film I hadn't heard much about it (other than that it had won 8 Oscars). I didn't know the plot line, I didn't know who the actors were or what the ending might be. Sometimes I think that is the best way to go into a film becasue that means that you have absolutley no expectations and you are usually pleasantly surprised.
However, what I did hear about the film was that some of the child stars were underpaid and after seeing the film I did additional research and also found that some of the people in India were offended by the film and the term 'Slumdog' and actually petitioned to have it changed.
"...others say the film crosses the line into stereotype in a way that “stinks of racial arrogance” and is designed to undermine India’s inevitable rise on the world stage."
I also found an article which brought up the question of wether or not the film was 'poverty porn', a term I had never heard before. Basically what it means is that the 'beatings, torture, and the maiming of street beggars a sick form of adult exotica.' I do not agree with this statement but I thought it was an interesting, if not slightly depressing, theory.
But I first of all I want to say that I am by no means a film critic. I don't pretend to know anything about cinematography or composition but I do know what I like and I liked this film. In my humble opinion the best thing about the movie was the story. The story of pain and struggle with a happy ending. Sure, the ending might have been a tad unrealistic but I believe that movies are meant to distract us and make us happy and that is what this movie did for me.
"This is not a story that has been told and retold, hashed and rehashed. It is fresh and engaging - all at once quickly moving, romantic, violent, culturally insightful, desperate and slightly fantastic."
However, another reason that I loved this film so much was that it didn't romanticize the fact that it was set in an empoverished country, it highlighted it. It focused on what Jamal, Salim and Latika had to go through to get exactly where they were-the intense poverty, the tragedy of losing their families, the 'orphange' they lived in and the lives of crime that they lived in order to survive. It not only opened our eyes to the lives of these characters but the lives of many children in Mumbai and that is a good thing.
Another thing to consider about the film was the theme of destiny, the idea that everything in our life is predetermined by a higher power. Althought it seems quite romantic and whimsical I often struggle with this concept. I certainly believe that everything happens for a reason but I am not sure that I believe that we have absolutley no control over our lives. I think that if I knew for certain that everything was decided for me from the moment I was born I would just want to give up...what is the point in improving yourself or growing and changing if God already knows exactly what is going to happen to you? Or perhaps things change just a little with every move that you make in your life....but no matter what you end up in the same place. Frustrating.
"I never forgot. Not for one day. I knew I’d find you in the end. It’s our destiny."
In the end, I just though it was a great movie. Thought provoking, beautiful, romantic and inspiring.

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer. ~Ansel Adams

A few beautiful photos I found while exploring hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Your heart is my pinata."

I have never been in love...sometimes I can't help but pity myself because of this. I have loved many people and had many people love me and for that I am extremely grateful. However, when you are the perpetual fifth wheel you start to wish that you could have a person to share everything with. You want to share inside jokes, music, experiences, your family, your friends, travels, opinions and questions.

However, in the past few days I have seen what happens when love goes horribly, horribly wrong and it makes me wonder if I am better off. I've watched friends being intentionally hurt by men that they once loved and I can't imagine how painful it must be to give yourself so fully to someone and then have them do such horrible things to you.

"When you are in love, and you break up...where does the love go?"

I have a very full life. I have incredible family members and unbelievable friends, I have been all over the world and I have met amazing people and done some amazing things, I have a passion for writing, music, beauty, fashion.

I know that I don't want to live a life without falling in love. I know that the pros far outweigh the cons. I know all that. But still, I wonder...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble."

"Today, some people give up a vice of theirs, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations."
I grew up in a very faith and religion based family. I went to church every Sunday, went to Sunday school, I was an altar server, a reader, a song leader and I was given the Christian living award in high school. However, I have always struggled with the idea of religion v.s. faith. What is more important and whether one could exist without the other. My father always used to say that people would pick and choose what they wanted from religion-like a buffet. As much as I find that idea a tad disgusting I must admit that there are beliefs and practices that linger from the days when I was a 'practising' Catholic (and by practicing I mean one that went to church every Sunday, in my heart I still consider myself a Catholic).
I still believe in the concept of forgiveness. I believe that no matter what you do, if you repent the Lord will forgive you. I still consider and reference scripture during my everyday life (the first shall be last, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the story of the fish and the loaves etc.). I believe in sex only when you are in a loving, committed relationship. I believe in the 10 commandments and try my best to follow them (using the Lords name in vain is my biggest challenge). And every year, during Lent, I still feel obligated to give something up.
I am not sure what it was today that made me so aware that Lent was beginning...maybe it was all the people from Louisiana and all the Mardi Gras beads. However, regardless of what it was, I decided to really give it a go and give up something that would really, really challenge me.
I am giving up McDonalds.
For some people that is not a big deal...for me, it's huge. Now, over the past few months I have reduced my McDonalds intake to once a week (I know, it's still disgusting but it's a big deal for me) and I am hoping that will help get me through the next 40 days. However, every now and then I may need support or a place to vent and if I do you can bet I'm coming here! Wish me luck!
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Mardi Gras!

"If no tourists came, we'd still have Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is a state of mind." ~ Ed Muniz
As I served my hundredth table from Louisiana today I started to wonder about Mardi Gras....I don't really know that much about it. However, first and foremost, I think it's hilarious that so many people flock to this celebration while all the people who actually live in New Orleans leave in droves. How are you going to experience the culture of a city without the people who live there? That doesn't sound like much fun, does it? The people of New Orleans are a RIOT!

Secondly I realized that I don't know much about the celebration itself. I know that it has some sort of relation to Fat Tuesday (I had some delicious pancakes for dinner) and that there is a big parade and women show their breasts to get strands of colourful plastic beads. But what else is there? It couldn't of lasted this long if there wasn't a deeper significance. So I did some research and I thought I would share it with you all!

"The earliest reference to Mardi Gras "Carnival" appears in a 1781 report to the Spanish colonial governing body. That year, the Perseverance Benevolent & Mutual Aid Association is the first of hundreds of clubs and carnival organizations formed in New Orleans.
By the late 1830s, New Orleans held street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback to celebrate Mardi Gras. Newspapers began to announce Mardi Gras events in advance."
The Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans includes fabulous floats, elaborate balls, costumes, King Cakes (made to celebrate the three wise men), parade throws (beads, dubloons, stuffed animals) and, unoffically of course, lots of drinking.
"New Orleans is my essence, my soul, my muse, and I can only dream that one day she will recapture her glory. I will do everything within my power to make that happen and to help in any way I can to ease the suffering of my city, my people!" ~ Harry Connick Jr.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The musical is BACK!

By far, the BEST part of the Oscars (minus Beyonce's lip synching). Check it out!

Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.

"By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach." ~Winston Churchill
...just sayin'....
Night Kids!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

“There is nothing like returning to a place that reminds unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

Welcome back to the wonderful world of....well....ME! I hope that the three people that read this blog (that being my mother, my brother and my best friend Sara) missed my random musings. You three probably haven't wondered where I was (because...well, I told you) but for the rest of you (if there is a 'rest of you'), I just got back from a 7 day cruise to the Eastern Carribean.
It interesting trip.
Like any experience in life, this trip brought up a few thoughts for consideration but this is the one that I always battle with...
When I travel to a beautiful but impoverished country I always struggle with my conscience. Half of me feels like I am taking advantage of these people while the other half of me feels like "I paid for this vacation, I should be enjoying it". The people are being exploited for the beauty of their land and its resources. It is so bittersweet and I often wonder how people can turn a blind eye to that poverty and enjoy their vacations.
In order to attempt to strike a balance I try my best to be as respectful and kind to the people that I encounter despite any preconceived notions that I may have. I try my best not to ignore them if they are trying to sell me something, I smile politely and say 'No thank you'. I do not lead them on or speak condescendingly to them.
I try my best to treat these people like the human beings that they are...when in these locales I often observe people treating the locals as if the are animals in a cage, something to watch and make fun of. I find these DEEPLY disturbing. Just because you have paid money for a ship to take you somewhere in the Carribean does NOT mean that you have the right to mock these people because THIS is their life. Selling towels, beach chairs or their art, this is what they do everyday.
"A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money." ~W.C. Fields

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Where is the 'good' in goodbye?"

I understand that goodbyes are inevitable. If we never lost anyone we wouldn't be able to appreciate the people that we have in our life. However, possessing that understanding and being able to reason with your emotions are two very contradictory things.
In my life right I feel like I am constantly saying goodbye. I suppose it is the nature of the beast. I am sad to say that I am experienced in saying 'goodbye', 'take care', 'keep in touch'...sometimes meaning it and sometimes not so much. Those are words I've said to a hundred acquaintances and many friends with the best intentions. I have written goodbye cards, notes, letters, e-mails and given hugs, kisses, hand shakes and pats on the back and somehow become numb to it all.
I am not numb to the feeling of sadness or loss but I do not react as I used to. It gets exhausting to cry every time someone leaves (or you leave someone), to pour your heart out to them and to promise to see them again (while deep inside knowing that it probably will not happen). Eventually you start to shut off (though not on purpose).
Yesterday (or early this morning) a friend of mine left. A good friend. But I have not yet been able to cry a tear for his departure. I know that my face betrays my sadness and my heart aches for his return home but my mind has not been able to communicate these feelings to my tear ducts. The guilt I feel for not being able to muster a tear as we said our goodbyes combines with my sorrow that he is gone to create a bitter mixture which breaks my heart all over again.
And so I begin to what started this whole blog....a search for inspiration...and no matter how many inspirational quotes I search for I can't seem to find one that makes me feel as if this pain (which I will be going through again a week from today, when I say goodbye to another good friend) is the work of a higher power. However....I continue to search for that wisdom.
"Along the way you bump into people who make a dent on your life. Some people get struck by lightning. Some are born to sit by a river. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim the English Channel. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people can dance."
-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

"Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.”
-Charlie Brown

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"I choo choo chose you...and there's a picture of a train on it..."

Now, let it be known that I am not the biggest fan of Valentines day.

Not because it's commercial and overrated or because it's something we should be celebrating everyday but because I'm alone.

Plain and simple.

And to be completely honest, I think that any other single girl that says differently is kidding herself.

I have only ever had one Valentine in my life (meaning I have only once had a boyfriend on Valentines day).It was a boy from highschool for whom I made a beautiful handmade Valentine for but then I chickened out and never gave it to him (which I guess was a good thing because we broke up a week later). .
However, I am optimistic that I will have many more Valentines in my life. I am hopeful.

"You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip."

Monday, February 9, 2009

"if a man had as many ideas during the day as he does as he has insomnia, he'd make a fortune.'

It's been quite a while since I haven't been able to sleep. My Dad always says that he sleeps well at night because he has a clear conscience and I tend to feel the same way.

When I was at home I sometimes had some much trouble sleeping that I would take Gravol because it made me so sleepy. I usually did it just before a tour because I knew I needed to sleep and I had too much stuff on my mind. I don't think that is the case tonight. Nothing on my mind, I'm exhausted and I'm watching a boring movie on t.v. and....nothing.

"Last night I dreamed I had insomnia. I woke up exhausted, yet too well rested to go back to sleep. "

Try working this into a sentance today!

I've been hearing this word a lot (at work and on blogs) and I really wasn't sure what it meant. So I looked it up...the internet is a beauitulf thing!

non⋅pa⋅reil/ˌnɒnpəˈrɛl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [non-puh-rel] Show IPA Pronunciation
1.having no equal; peerless.–noun
2.a person or thing having no equal.
3.a small pellet of colored sugar for decorating candy, cake, and cookies.
4.a flat, round, bite-sized piece of chocolate covered with this sugar.
Delicious! Enjoy!
Night kids!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

“Give, and it shall be given to you. For whatever measure you deal out to others, it will be dealt to you in return.”

So, today while I was working I had $20 stolen from my wallet. The $20 is not a big deal. Truth is, if the person had asked me for it I probably would have given it to them.

It's the principal of the thing.

I feel violated and paranoid. Now I am wondering why they didn't take any of my credit cards or personal information...or did they? It also makes me wonder about the people that I work with and the environment that I work in. I am not the kind of person who thinks the worst of others but when something like this happens...then you have to rethink that optimistic outlook.

I quite honestly do not believe it was not a Canadian who stole my money because I hope they would know that they could just ask me and I would gladly give it to them. I also find it difficult to believe that it would be anyone from the kitchen...that leaves a few options but mostly I am thinking it may have been on of the custodial cast members who are in and out of the location and don't know the cast members very well.

When I first noticed that the money was stolen I was angry....but then I thought...maybe the person who took it really needed it. I know that some of the people that I work with don't make that much money and perhaps they needed this $20 more than I did. Maybe they needed it to feed their family, or pay for their car insurance, or get a new pair of work shoes. And...I guess that's fine. I am trying to look at this in a positive and Christian it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your family? Who am I to judge?

Theft is something that happens in this world. It's a fact. I will learn a lesson from this experience and be more careful with my belongings but I would also like to think that I have gained a bit of perspective as well.

"I would like to make a toasst to lying, stealing, cheating and drinking. If you're going to lie, lie for a friend. If you're going to steal, steal a heart. If your going to cheat, cheat death. And if you're going to drink, drink with me!"

"She'll have brown sugar baked ham..."

I freaking ADORE this commerical.

Go meat!

Share a secret...

Check out every Sunday to feel better about yourself.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A memory from childhood...

When you rush around in hopeless circles

Searching ev'rywhere for something true

You're at the age of not believing

When all the "make believe" is through

When you set aside your childhood heroes

And your dreams are lost up on a shelf

You're a t the age of not believing

And worst of all you doubt yourself

You're a castaway where no one hears you

On a barren isle in a lonely sea

Where did all the happy endings go?

Where can all the good times be?

You must face the age of not believing

Doubting ev'rything you ever knew

Until at last you start believing

There's something wonderful...Truly wonderful in you

Thursday, February 5, 2009

“The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it”

I often worry about my ability to hold up my end of a conversation.
Today this thought crossed my mind (as it often does) while visiting with friends of my parents whom I respect a great deal. I found myself not being able to fill silences with meaningful questions and/or banter and relying on them to carry my weight. I think that is why I enjoy text messaging and writing e-mails or facebook messages rather than calling people. What if I don't have anything to say? What if there is an awkward silence? What if I say something stupid or wrong or offensive? It is my fear of inadequacy and my strong dislike of silence that stops me from calling.
Family? Close family is easy, there is always something to talk about. Friends? Close friends are alright because you are usually calling them for a reason. Strangers? Sure, who cares, you'll never speak to them again. But some people...that blurred line between friend and acquaintance, boy who's a friend and boyfriend...that's trouble.
And I don't just mean over the phone. In many social settings like bars, parties or even small gatherings where I don't feel totally comfortable with all of the people in attendance I quiver with fear. Fear of being dull. That's what this really is. Fear of no one wanting to talk to me. Partially because of my looks (but I can change that if I want to) but mostly because I'm not interesting...or not cool. I always look at hipsters in trendy downtown bars or hole in the wall pubs and wonder why they're so cool. People like my friend Sean who is effortlessly cool and not embarrassed to be who he is. Maybe that's why. He is unapologetically himself. I wish I could be that way.
But something inside me feels like I may never be able to shake this feeling of not being smart enough, interesting enough, educated enough, opinionated enough to carry on a real conversation. But...perhaps this thought may set me free....
"Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most
about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory."
Happy Conversing kids!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Some of this stuff is amazing, some of it is disgusting, all of it is inspirational.
Check out Face Hunter. My new favorite website with the word 'face' in it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So, so, so accurate!

I just did this quiz...

and it was INCREDIBLY accurate!

It stated that I was a Realist:

"You love getting creative but you don't like the chaos that sometimes comes with artsy pursuits. You're a deep thinker with a strong conceptual grounding to whatever it is that you do-and so you feel most comfortable if you can express yourself within an ordered structure. You are probably quite a realist at heart and your creativity tends to be rooted in this pragmatic view of the world.

Bright lights and red velvet. You really enjoy conjuring a true sense of occasion, highbrow and high emotion. "

It also said that "your strenght lies in your ability to capture your own thoughts and in turn capture the minds of others."

It is all SO true!

Check out one of their quizzes for a super accurate picture of yourself!
Later kids!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Someone once told me...

....that I was a cupcake with pink icing and sprinkles. I hope that they were right. I would love for people to put me in the same category as something so adorable and delicious.
Today when I was at work I had a revelation...and I cannot remember what it was! It was this brilliant revelation about serving and servers...and I was going to write it on my arm so that when I got home I could blog about it...I think that half of me still expects it to come to me while I write these words....but...nothing...eff. It was really profound. I promise you.
But I digress, I found out today that I got accepted to two of the colleges that I have applied to. I am really looking forward to going back to school (especially for something that I know nothing about) because I really like learning. Perhaps that's why I keep going back to school. I am not exactly sure how I feel about being a 'mature' student. to me the word 'mature' is synonymous with weird/old/loser. C'mon, admit it, when you had a 'mature' student in one of your classes you judged them a little bit. Maybe? Just a bit? Regardless, I am still excited. It's a new sub-culture! Meeting a whole new group of people, learning about a new industry, the terminology and ins and outs. I love being knowledgable about things! (I think that is why I am enjoying learning about wine at work). I just feel like it is an opening to so many new and different conversations and ways of thinking.
"I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday." ~Abraham Lincoln

So...I was looking for a Coraline Trailer to post....

...but I found this instead. Enjoy!

I know it's shallow....

...but look how pretty. *sigh*

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Oh could you?

This photo was published in the British Tabloid "News of the World". Apparently Michale Phelps may now be banned from competing in the 2012 Olympics in London because a law that bans athletes for four-years for taking drugs has just hit the Olympic rule book.
Why Michael? Why must you be so selfish? Because now we all have to wait to see you in your Speedo again....and that's just not fair.
Shame on you, young man.

Real bear hugs are often fatal...

Check this out!!!!

On the lighter side of things....