Monday, April 27, 2009

Unbreakable

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Current Mood: I'm thinking a lot lately. It's probably taking a turn for the worst.
Current Song: Mr. Hurricane by Beast

Nobody told me what it will be like to be in my late 20's. Someone should write a manual about these things. Last week, I cried three times. Once during an episode of Grey's Anatomy. I have never done that. I have cried in 3 movies probably in my entire life (In case you're curious, they were "Amistad", "Dumbo" and "Veer-Zara"). I'm not insensitive. I'm just hard-shelled (I would make an awesome turtle). Clearly, I seem to be softening in my old age.

I've always thought of myself as a pragmatist. I think through everything. Even those things you can't think through, I try and rationalize (like love. that's NEVER worked). That hard shell has helped. But I guess after having it for so long, it might be turning against me in some ways. I always thought I was strong like that. That having built up this veneer makes you ultimately resistent to things life throws at you. I was wrong in some sense.

I broke a few years ago. Broke pretty badly actually. I'm back together and better than ever, but every now and then, I'm reminded that I'm still breakable. It's probably not a bad thing, but I have yet to come to terms with it. I'm supposing here that the strongest people are those that are willing to make themselves vulnerable to the elements. After all, how can you get your thick skin if you're hidden away, right?

It's probably not a bad thing. But I do wish someone would have told me about this crisis before it hit. I'll probably write about some other things I'm discovering in the process as I go along. Maybe it'll help another lost 20 something through life.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Good Things Come in Green Packages

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Current Mood: Sleepy

Current Song: Superman's Dead by Our Lady Peace

Happy Earth Week (or a belated Earth Day). Earth Day and it's affiliates has picked up some steam in the last little while. Yesterday all the television programming, blogs and twitter were all about it.
Today, I'm doing something I don't do all that often. I'm plugging! A fellow blogger Karim and a team of environment conscious folk are spearheading a project known as GREENtuity. So here's a bit about the project.

GREENtuity allows patrons visiting participating services and donate $1 at the time of purchase as a former of gratuity (greentuity? get it?). The money goes towards the worthy cause of making Toronto a greener city through Toronto Green Community. Haven't got time to fly to Toronto and visit a participating shop (you're saving carbon emmissions right??)? No problem! they have a contribute from home option too!

So, you might ask, why as a Vancouverite would I bother with something that's across the country? Well, we here in the International Development world, like to call it the ripple effect. It's not only about a green Vancouver. It's about a green Canada, and subsequently a green world. Think of it this way: We all breathe the same air! So no matter where you're from, think of making a contribution. It'll do the body good :)

Will write again soon!



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Published!

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Hey folkaroos,

Just a quick note, that yours truly is published in the April issue of 4 and 20's poetry journal. Check it out at http://4and20poetry.com. It's my fourth publication in some odd years since I started writing. Just a small one, but something to add to my badges of honour :) Hope you enjoy. Check out the other poets too! Very talented folks

Cheerio!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Twenty Seven

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Current Mood: hmmmm...

Current Song: Life in Technicolour II by Coldplay.

Today's here. Another year turned over to the past. It's early in the morning so there hasn't been too much of a hullaballoo yet. I prefer to spend the day in a quiet way. No fuss. I get to eat my birthday chicken and chips, that my mother has made for the last two decades. My sister kicks up a fuss for birthdays, but I'm trying to keep it toned down a little. I've had a chance over the last few days to reflect on what I've learned in 27 years on this earth. I thought I'd share my top 5 things.

1. Life is never what you expect it might be.

It's probably the cardinal bit of learning. I have talked in the past about how we plan our lives out. We hope to be doing something by a certain age. Funny thing is you never really do end up going the route you'd think. I thought by now I'd be a practicing family counsellor for most of my life. I'm strangely enough, a writer, and somewhat on the international development person. Life has a way of opening doors you didn't know existed.

2. The Past only takes on the importance you give it.

It's been one hell of a road so far. I can say some of my past was at best spotted with happiness. But like idol, some of those things don't make the cut. You decide after a while, where to go, how to move on and sadly what to leave behind. It's your call to make. A lot of the time, we hang on to the past for dear life, missing its familiarity, and the sense of comfort that affords us. We have to decide what to take with us. As one very wise person once said "Pain is inevitable; Suffering is optional".

3. Eventually we come to terms with who we've become.

I finally like myself. I don't think it's because I'm any better than I used to be. I'm just happier with who I am. Whether you turn into your mother ( like me) or you happen to finally accept your inner nerd (also like me), age I think is the best antidote to insecurity. And with that acceptance, also comes your happiness. It's tough to learn, but it's worth it!

4. Family and Friends: Tres Importants!

I've been lucky that as I have grown up, I've found some wonderful people to commiserate with and have some of the best friends and family in the world. They are the people who stick with me when I'm being a total ass about something, and refuse to give up on me when I've given up on myself (more than one occasion here). This year, I've been even luckier to have started networking more with some great fellow bloggers, who keep me inspired and curious. So thank you to all my friends, readers of this blog, and anyone else I appear to have forgotten. And of course to my family.

5. The Small Things Matter.

I've written blogs about this one before. I can't say enough about it. The small things are really what make life livable: the smell of rain, cherry blossoms, the feeling of a new book in your hands, an old tshirt, an email from a friend you haven't seen in a long time, coffee and a good laugh (or argument). These things make up the thread that string one breath to the next. Without them life is just a random staccato of events. The older I get, the more these things matter. Makes me happy to notice them.
Well there you go. That feels a litte long winded. But I think it needed writing. Now I shall go and partake in the shopping of things (like I didn't get enough presents already!). Talk to you lot soon :)
PS: I totally stole the title from Sameer Vasta, who wrote a brilliant post about twenty seven a while ago :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

GPS For Life

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Current Mood: Tired. I haven't been sleeping. This is bad for my mood and generally for my well being.

Current Song: Don't Know Why by Norah Jones

Yesterday, we finally got a GPS for the ole' Civic. It's mostly because we're a little bit directionally challenged in this family. I do fine after scrutinizing a map and can generally keep from getting too lost. But my heart pounds uncontrollably when I have to go somewhere new by myself (Can we say issues with driving much?).

I got to thinking about life and how handy it would be if we had a GPS system for it. Can you imagine if you could just enter the destination in the "where to?" function and just go. It would cut a lot of this dead end crap out I think. I like to go for my goals with a kind of singleminded determination. So far, it hasn't failed me too badly, but the process seems to be taking a bit more time than I would ideally like (Clearly, I'm in a rush to get somewhere).

I read in O Magazine yesterday about Luck. Apparently luck or chance are the opportunities afforded to people who are prepared to accept them. I often wonder whether I'm missing out on things because of my singlemindedness. I don't like to dilly dally a lot though, so I'm not sure how I would treat such a situation. But oddly enough, I consider myself fairly lucky. Lately, it's a bit of a funk and perhaps the key is to start thinking of myself as lucky again.

But then again, I also believe you'll end up where you're supposed to be no matter how you manipulate your own fate. If it's meant to happen, it'll happen. It's just the way it is.

What say you? Do you believe in luck or chance? Do you believe in making your own luck? Do you want a GPS for life?

Will write soon!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Misfortunes

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Current Mood: Relieved (story to follow)

Current Song: That new and strange one by Depeche Mode

Well, that was an interesting weekend. I think my family is going to be doomed to have bad long weekends for the rest of our lives. We either end up fighting, or something bad happens. Want to know what happened yesterday? Of course you do!

So yesterday was my mum's birthday. It was a day that my sister and I generally put some effort into celebrating and we were particularly happy about the fact that it was Easter Weekend and we would get to spend some time together. She is after all a remarkably strong woman, and we pretty much owe her our lives (literally). Well wouldn't you know it, for some reason, the power went out at about 11 in the morning. Here's the kicker. It didn't come back until about 10:30 in the night. We pretty much spent the day staring at each other. No TV, no will to live, nothing. My mom wanted bonding. Well now we're all pretty much hot glue gunned together for the rest of our lives.

The bright side of the weekend was my sister's baking (as we have noticed is pretty much the pattern for any long weekend). She made profiteroles. For those who've never had them or don't know what they are, they are these delicate french pastry balls that are filled with fresh whipped cream and doused either in chocolate or caramel. See pictures below (Oh and the candle was not decorative. we needed light to see what we were eating). If this whole Sciences kick she's on doesn't work out, she can always go into pastry making. I'm sure she'd make a comfortable living off of it. April happens to be really bad for my work out regimen. It seems to all go out the window or at least I end up trying to balance it out. Next week, I think there's some cheesecake in the works. mmmmmmmm. Will write again soon people. I'm going to go enjoy the light and electricity!



Monday, April 6, 2009

The Yellow Heart

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Current Mood: content

Current Song: Viva La Vida by Coldplay (this obsession is getting out of hand!)

I'm feeling a bit like a bard today....so here's a story.

In our old house in Nairobi, I found a little yellow see-through plastic heart. It was pretty beat up looking, with scratches and rough edges. It used to hang on a string. I kept it despite the fact that it wasn't really mine. I hung on to it across continents. It travelled in my backpack from Africa to the UK and then finally to Canada, where we live now.

One day, I added it to my keyring and carried it around with me everywhere I went (perhaps I thought it should see the world). It went to school and work and prayers and outings with me. Finally three years ago, the little loop that allowed me to string it on to things broke. I felt bad that it finally cracked, the plastic too old and weak to withstand that kind of activity in any case. It probably went through some ordeals before it was mine.

I put it aside until I was dusting my room the other day. I wondered what I would do with it. I'm not a packrat, but I didn't exactly want to bin it. I looked around my room trying to put it on various shelves and tried to hang it on the wall with a broken loop. Finally I taped it to my door, which has become a strange album for my travels.

I was glad I got to keep it. There is always someone who will care for a heart, no matter how beat up it is. You just have to find someone who is willing to put in the effort to find a place for it.

Friendships and All they Entail

5 comments

Current Mood: Pretty good, despite the constant sneezing.

Current Song: The Man Who Can't Be Moved by The Script

So today's post comes from something I read on the Brazen Careerist Network about Burning Bridges (Seriously, people, if you're under 30 and not on this network, you're missing out on a world of information by and catered to Generation Y'ers).

I think a lot about the friendships that I've built over the years. I'm lucky that I have a wide circle of acquaintances, and some very very good friends. I think that in this day and age, the thing that is most important is just to keep in touch in the small ways. I can be a terrible friend, because I don't always find the time to say hello or to somehow get together with people. Sometimes I'll only see people once a year. But we have systems of keeping in touch where we don't feel like we've missed out on each other's lives. It's the key I think in the world that is so mired with almost useless activity half the time.
The people that I've met over the years, whether it's through school, social media, or through choir, have been invaluable. Just yesterday I was with a friend whom I have known for about a decade and has seen me go through all manner of hell and heaven. My mother very correctly pointed out that we were probably inadvertantly drawn to eachother because we bring out some quality or share some life story that is binding. I think it's very true. It's those people that have mattered the most and that have part of my soul

I think we should all make it a special mission to drop a note of greeting or a phone call or a text message to someone we care about every week. In an age where social media and technology can connect us to somewhere between the sublime and ridiculous, why don't we do these things? The older you get, the more you can appreciate this.

Okay I'm done spewing mush all over the screen. Here's a picture of my recent trip to Vancouver's waterfront that I love so much. Write soon!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Let Go of the Overrated

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Current Mood: Didn't sleep, so a bit tired.

Current Song: Orinoco Flow by Enya (I know, old)

I'm back! Sorry I haven't written in a bit. I was busy wallowing. I seem to not be wallowing as much this week so I thought I'd better come around and write something. We've had three kinds of weather this last week. We had a fabulous day of sunshine, rain and more rain, and now we have snow. I think we're getting used to this whole turning into part of Alberta thing. It's not cool. We don't wear wool jackets in April. And I have a trench coat that I'm dying to wear!

So since it's spring (I think!) and it's the time of renewal, it's probably a good idea to put some things aside because they've become overrated. You get tired to hearing about the same thing over and over and you get to the point where you want to tell people to get a hobby. Especially me. I seem t have run right out of patience. So here's my top 5 list of overrated things that we need to set aside already.

1. Slumdog Millionaire - I will say that it was a good movie. By the time I watched it people had hyped it up far too much, and it was the Titanic phenomenon all over again. It was the little movie that could. And it did. And we need to let it go now, people.

2. Russell Peters - His impressions of Indian fathers are very funny. But they are also very 2004. There are many many other comics that are just as funny. For instance: Ron Paul, Ron Jossell, Jo Koy, Danny Bhoy. So go out there, good people, and explore what else the world of comedy has to offer. Worst come to worst, just go and listen to Eddie Izzard.

3. Obama praise - He's done some pretty good things. He's had a few gaffs. Just let the man do his job. When he needs a cheerleading squad, he'll ask for one.

4. Updating Your Facebook Status - I don't really need to know about your entire day or what your kid ate for lunch or that you're so excited about thursday night. One update a day is enough. Really. I won't mind.

5. The Recession - Damn you, recession. We'll win yet. It's doomsday all over the world, I know. But once in a while, we need some happy news (preferably not related to number 1 to 4).

Okay, I am done telling you what to do. Now go forth and explore! I shall write again soon. Hopefully with more interesting news. Adios, friends!