Sunday, June 28, 2009

On My Way

The last 30 hours or so have been possibly the most exciting hours I have experienced in a while. I did not do anything particularly remarkable. In fact, I barely did anything at all. But I made a plan – one I have been thinking about for a while – and it has energized me. As I mentioned in my first blog, if there is one thing that my life has been missing, it is a creative outlet. That was the reason that I started this blog and it is the reason that last night, I began to write a novel.

Now, I won’t pretend that I have gotten very far. Heck, I don’t even really have the foggiest clue how to get anywhere! But I have a plot outline which may or may not be the basis of the book, and some characters I am working on, so in my mind, day one of being an author has been a success!

When I proclaimed to my hubby that I wanted to start writing a book, the first thing he offered to do was to build me an office so that I would have a space where I could write uninterrupted. Now, this also translates into me no longer sitting in the bedroom on my computer, hence freeing up the television for whatever shows he decided he wants to watch, so I think it was a win-win, but it was a lot of work for him, and I am thankful that he cares enough about my need to pursue my long buried passion that he was willing to give up his weekend to renovate and paint. I’ll have to remember to mention him in the book credits!

And so, I am off to write and re-write…to labour over characters and plot lines…to pray that in the end, what ends up on the page is a cohesive story that someone, anyone, would want to read. I have read website after website about writing your first book, tips for creating characters that people will love, or love to hate, forming strong plots that have a beginning, middle and end…the tips are endless and although helpful, I think my best bet will be just to start writing and hope to pick things up along the way. They say the best thing you can do when you decide to write a book is to tell as many people as possible so that even on the toughest of days, when ideas just won’t come, you feel the need to push forward knowing that others are waiting to see a finished project – so that’s what I guess I’ve just done. Wish me luck!

I’m having a hard time believing that the weekend is almost over. I guess my research has consumed a lot of time, because I feel like I lost a full day somewhere! I am happy that Wednesday is a holiday in Canada, although a Monday or Friday would have been a little nicer! My favourite parts of Canada Day are the fireworks displays in the area. I am a fireworks fanatic, and can’t help but beam as I watch every one of them explode into beautiful, colourful formations across the sky. I have plans to go to two displays – one on the beach at Port Stanley and the other being London’s largest display in Harris Park. Thankfully one is Tuesday and the other Wednesday. The only thing threatening to foil those plans is Mother Nature who at this point may decide to rain us out both nights. I will be keeping my fingers crossed, and my lawn chairs ready to go! Oh Canada!!

So as the weekend winds down, I sit in my new office, in front of a blank page currently entitled “Book” (don’t worry, it will get better!), wondering where this path will lead me. The plan this evening was to begin writing chapter one, but as I hovered my fingers over the keys, it occurred to me that a blog would be much quicker and easier to write – and indeed it was. So don’t go rushing out to your local bookstore just yet to look for my masterpiece. Something tells me this might take a while!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Reflections on life...

Well, the world lost 2 well known personalities today – Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Whether you loved them or hated them, the fact is they both went too soon.

I have already talked on this blog about my new-found respect for Farrah and the absolute hell she has been battling. I hope that she will finally be at peace. She fought the good fight.

Michael Jackson…where to start? There was a time when I was absolutely an MJ fan. I had the albums, the posters, the gloves. And I think it would be hard for anyone to deny that the man was an extraordinary musical talent. But you know, the guy was weird…and possibly a child molester…weird I can deal with…perv I can’t. So I’m having trouble processing whether or not I’m upset about this. I mean, I certainly feel bad for his family. I wouldn’t wish death on anyone…well, ok, maybe people who kill children, wife abusers, child molesters…huh, maybe I would wish it on him.

In other troubling news, Jon and Kate Gosselin of Jon & Kate Plus 8 fame have filed for divorce. It was obvious this was coming, but what is coming as a shock to me is how nasty things are becoming, and how quickly. I understand that divorce is rarely an amicable thing, but sitting down for interview after interview to slam the mother/father of your children is not only undignified, but downright wrong. Years from now those kids will read those interviews, and if they aren’t already traumatized by the never ending paparazzi who trail them everywhere, they will be when they find out why it was happening. Sad. Will I still watch the show…likely…which isn’t the answer I know I should be giving. But sometimes a train wreck is just too hard to ignore.

On a much lighter note, I finally saw The Hangover this week and have now become the biggest advocate of this movie ever! It has been a long time since I’ve laughed so hard at a movie that I cried, but folks, it happened with this one. Without giving too much away, all I can say is that the best part of the movie happens in the last 5 minutes…trust me…go see it.

This has seemed like the longest week ever to me. Work is insane, which is frightening considering this is just the tip of the iceberg. I love my job…I love what I do…I love the people I work with…I love the kids I help. But the grind of working in not for profit, where one person often ends up doing a job that 3-4 people would cover in any other environment sure can wear you out. I’m not sure how much longer my aging mind and body can handle the demands, but I know that for the next 6 months, I will need to suck it up and push ahead. So I will. Mickey Mouse is waiting for 200 kids to come for a visit, and who am I to let Mickey, and 200 kids, down? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

I think the week has been a long one because I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about several friends who are going through rough patches right now for various reasons. I hate to think of anyone in pain, but particularly my friends. I am careful to surround myself with only the best, most caring, people I meet and therefore it is extraordinarily difficult for me to see any of them hurting. I hope they all know that they are in my thoughts, and that I am always just a phone call or email away if they need me. I can’t call myself the best friend a person could have…I know that I don’t stay in touch the way I should…but I will always be here if any of them…if any of you…need me.

On that note, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow is a new day, and I, for one, hope that it will be a day full of happiness and peace for everyone.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A whole new world

As I sit here, looking out the window at the blue sky, slightly pink from the setting sun, I wonder what others around the world are seeing out their windows. I have spent a lot of time in my life wishing I was somewhere else. The saying is true that the grass always seems greener on the other side.
I have spent years… literally years… wishing that I lived in Prince Edward Island. I wanted it so much that I actually applied to the UPEI, even though I knew that I would never be able to go there. It’s such a peaceful place, a slower pace, nice people and water as far as the eye can see. Heaven.

But as I have gotten older and wiser, I have taken a closer look at the province…the unemployment rates, the lack of modern healthcare, the absence of both The Keg AND Costco and I have come to realize that this idyllic spot is maybe not the perfect haven I once thought it was.

One trip in December to Vancouver has made me think that maybe this is the place for hubby and me. After all, it has water AND mountains, and is really very beautiful. But then I read the news and see stories about a rash of gang-style killings and think…hmm…the worst thing gangs are doing in London is writing graffiti on the walls. But we don’t have a Granville Island, Stanley Park or Purdy’s Chocolate. Well, the last one I can live without, but the first two are fantastic.

But there are so many places in this world I could imagine us…Chicago is awesome, I know I would love NYC, we enjoyed St. Maarten immensely when we went there on a cruise, I’ve always wanted to see Australia and I’m sure it would be fun to live there, at least for a while.
And what about all those places I've never even considered. Maybe I would love Morocco, maybe Norway is my perfect place, or what about Italy...I can live on pizza and pasta, I'm sure of it.

But I can’t help but wonder if it’s the destination that is really important, or the fact that it would be a change. It’s easy to get into a rut sometimes, and you find yourself doing the same things day in and day out, not even thinking about the world that surrounds you.

Some people are quite content to settle in for the long haul and are happy to have the same routine every day. I am that type of person, to an extent, but a little voice inside of me tells me that there is so much more out there for me to see and do. It has nothing to do with unhappiness…I love my husband, I love my job, I love our life…but rather the fact that I never want to look back and regret not having experienced all that this life has to offer.

I have always lived life on the safe side. As a child, I was much more grown up than many grown ups are today. I spent a lot of time trying to take care of those around me, and in the process, didn’t allow myself to have the same childhood that my friends did. Oh, I played with toys and got in a few good games of Hide and Go Seek, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t enjoy my youth with reckless abandon, and for that I’m sometimes regretful. But is it too late to recapture that youth? My tired body and grown up mind seem to think so, but my heart isn’t sure.

So as I watch lightening streak across the sky, lighting up everything around it, I wonder what life holds in store for me. Will there be an opportunity for me to explore the world around me? To be brave and try something new and exciting, just to say I did it? To visit a place I never thought I would get to go?

It’s hard to know what life has in store for us, but there is one thing I know for sure … when I listen to Great Big Sea, or crack open a lobster, or sing my favourite Anne of Green Gables song, I am instantly transported back to my little piece of heaven and maybe, just maybe, that’s good enough.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The blog that didn't want to happen...

I am watching something I bet no one else I know is watching right now….the Tony Awards. Most people would say, “The what??” My husband is so excited, he’s chosen to spend this time breaking down boxes and putting out the garbage J The Tony’s are, of course, Broadway’s version of the Oscars, and darn it, they are where I should be! Broadway is my first love…there’s nothing like live theatre where anything can happen at any moment. Like the microphone that was just run out to a performer whose hidden mike wasn’t working…all actors dread these things, but a good one will never let it show…this performer is a pro and didn’t miss a beat!

I’ve been out of touch with the shows lately…in fact there are a few nominated that I’ve never even heard of which means I need to get my act together. They all look fantastic! If only I had the budget to fly to NYC once a month or so! I’d be in my glory!

Got my hair done yesterday, hence, the new profile pic. I love it when my hair is straight, and the only day that it is truly straight is the day my stylist, Tom, does it for me, so I decided to take a few photos for posterity. It’ll be a couple of months before it looks good again! I have been going to Tom for 10 years or so, and he’s been telling me to get a straightening iron for all 10 of those years. I have trouble spending big bucks on myself (the hairdo is expensive enough), so forking out $300 for a straightening iron is a little hard to justify. Maybe someday…until then, I look forward to my bi-monthly ‘do.

I’m proud of myself, because for the first time in months I did not check my work email once this weekend. In fact, I haven’t checked it since Thursday, because I was out of the office on Friday. It’s been nice, and I think I need to force myself to do it more often. I can only imagine what I’m walking into tomorrow, but I’ve decided not to worry about that until tomorrow!

So, for lack of anything better to talk about, I need to share with you the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. Bear in mind, when hubby first showed me this link, I thought it would be something stupid that I would hate (love you honey). But it is hilarious! It is an actual page, advertising a t-shirt. What’s so funny about that, you may be asking? Well, I encourage you to read the reviews of this t-shirt…there are over 1000 of them! And they are so funny!!! The t-shirt is this ugly as hell thing with 3 wolves and a moon and obviously one day, someone thought it would be funny to write a review on how awesome this shirt is…and it’s snowballed from there. Here’s a sampling of the reviews:

So I'm looking for threads that say, "Hey baby...I'm real boss!" when I stumble upon this epic creation. The wolves spoke to me in a language all their own; it was like German, Mongol, and Bitchin all mixed together. I mean, one wolf howlin at the moon is major...but three??? I ordered next-day air (if only there was same day!), and, of course, a size smaller than usual to ensure the closeness of the wolves to my chest hair. When the package arrived, I tore it open, and I SWEAR angels sang. I think it was Freebird. I immediately removed my "No Fat Chicks" shirt, and replaced it with this finery. Lemme tell you: AW YEAH. I'll spare the details of my conquests since I started wearing this shirt; suffice to say, I'm swimming in a sea of babes the likes of which are usually found on those K-Tel infomercials. I'm also more confident at work, and expect to be promoted to cashier soon. I owe everything to this shirt (I should say "shirts", since I now own 23 of them).
This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that's when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to 'howl at the moon' from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called meth. I told them no, because they didn't have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn't settle for the first thing that comes to him. I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt. Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the 'guns'), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.

From now on, when the local news comes to interview me about drug arrests and sewage problems in my neighborhood, I will wear this shirt instead of the stained "Tigger" shirt I previously wore on such occasions.

Want to read more? Come on, you know you do…

Well, this blog has officially taken me 6 days to write, and contains absolutely nothing of value, so time to give it up. I need sleep and I'm sure I'll be in much better shape to write the next one. Thanks for suffering through...