Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Guess what, faithful readers?! Today is a very important day. Why, you ask? Well, today is.....


Ok, I realize that this day is probably only exciting for me, but throw me a bone here. I'm not going to lie, when I first started this blog and set the goal of building it into at least a productive hobby, I didn't think I would stick to it. Generally I don't stick to things for very long as I get bored and moody very easily. So I'm quite proud that I've reached this point! It's taken almost a year to get here, but except for a few gaps here and there I've kept up with a schedule quite well!

I've also kept up with my goals of building a presence and starting conversations on Twitter, and on blogging forums such as 20-Something-Bloggers and She Writes. I feel that my writing has become stronger, and I've met a few great people through my writings. There is still so much I want to do with this blog and I still have a long way to go, but I'm most concerned with just enjoying the process. I have not only enjoyed writing my own blog, but I have stumbled upon some other blogs that are just AWESOME, written by strong, independent, quirky and creative women who are carving their own path in life and whose posts constantly make me think, inform me and make me laugh and smile. I couldn't imagine not keeping up with their writings now that I've done it for several months.

Anyhoo, to go with the whole "yay 100 is an awesome number!" theme, here's a list of 100-related things I think are cool (why not, right?!):

* The 100 Thing Challenge
* 100 Things To Do When Ordering a Pizza by Phone (because apparently, just ordering the pizza isn't enough activity)
* 100 Things To Do Before You Die, aka Creating a Bucket List (or you could be stupidly ambitious like me and create a 30 B4 30 list!)
* 100 Favourite Canadian Things (ummm whose the moron who voted for "our changing seasons?! That's certainly not one of my favs)
* 100 Jobs in 100 Days - such a cool project (and a creative solution to unemployment)
* 100 Things To Do in an Elevator (good for when the elevator is actually working; because if not I'm only doing one thing - FREAKING THE F$%K OUT!)
* The 100th Monkey Theory (oh yes, Virginia, there is such a thing)
* Billboard's Hot 100 songs for this week
* 100 Skills Every Man Should Know (because apparently women are so helpless that we have to rely on men to know these things *rolls eyes* (Yo, PM, hows about we change "man" to "person" in this title considering we live in the 21st century?! Are you with me?)

I wish you 100 happy thoughts and moments this week!

I soooo hope this is me in 75 years! Well, minus the cigarette...though I gotta be honest, she does look pretty bad ass

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If You Could Read My Mind, Love

I recently discovered a sweet company through one my favourite bloggers, Bakerella. For those of you who haven't heard of her, she's a "cake pop" maven! If you like baked goods and fun, easy recipes check out her blog ASAP!

Anyway, Chronicle Books (@ChronicleBooks) is the publisher of her cake pop book, and I stumbled upon their website through following her book tour. I'm hooked! They publish really fun, quirky, witty books with some of the coolest graphic cover art I've ever seen. I could spend hours perusing their site. I ordered this book for my mom for Christmas (she makes the best whoopie pies).

So, given how much I love this company, and the fact that I'm a huge book-worm, I was soooo excited to learn about their Happy Haulidays contest.

By blogging a list of Chronicle books (valued at up to $500!) I would love to see under my Christmas tree, I'm automatically entered to win said list! Better yet, anyone who comments on my post will win the list too! (ahem, hint hint)

It would be so amazing to win up to $500 in books - I wouldn't have to buy a book for two years! I mean, I love me some books, but they can be pricey and I'm one of those wierdos who likes NEW books and therefore frequents bookstores and Amazon.ca when I really should be visiting the library (oh hello, budget, haven't seen you in a while!). Feeding my habit can get pricey so needless to say, winning a huge stack of lovely books would be very much appreciated. If I won, I probably wouldn't leave my apartment for, oh, a month or two because I'd be too busy caressing all the cute covers and absorbing every whimsical word.

The only issue is there are so many books on the site that I'd love to read, it was hard to narrow it down (believe it or not the list below IS in fact a narrowed down list!). Don't say I didn't warn you ahead of time about the book greediness (what?! All they said was $500 limit, and I'm well within that! Don't judge me!). This means there are too many for me to write a little blurb about every single one, so photos (and short comments here and there) will have to suffice. Photos are better anyway because you can get an eyeful of the aforementioned gorgeous cover graphics! Behold the awesomeness (and pray to the book gods for me to win - draw is Dec 13th)! *remember to comment below if you want to be entered to win too!*

I am CONSTANTLY writing myself notes, so this would be very handy

Yes, Kerry, please help me 

Such a sweet story behind this one!


Considering my financial sitch I'll be renting, oh, forever so new decor tips would be great!


I love to doodle and colour!
Frida Kahlo is one of my fav artists. I just read a novel that features her and really enjoyed it

Bahahaha. Oh cat lovers and their silliness

I really miss doing yoga, and lets be honest, we could all use a little "om" in our workday once in a while, am I right?

J'adore dips, and everyone loves the person that brings dip to the party!

Just something I wanna learn more about...

In conclusion, I'd just like to say that books are the shiz. Listen to Levar Burton kids, "take a look, it's in a book!"

Happy Reading!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Celebrate Good Times (or not?)

Disclaimer: I don't really hate birthdays, but I do love cats in clothes. Speaking of which, I will gladly accept gifts from anyone who is so inclined to send me one. I would prefer the cat in the above photo, but I will also accept trips to Hawaii if more convenient. Thank you.
So, it's now t-minus 19 days until my 26th birthday. Most other years, I would have had the night planned a month ago - made reservations, sent invites out, developed higher and higher expectations the closer the date came. However, this year is different.

As of now I have made NO plans for the bday. None.

I don't know why but this year I just don't CARE about my bday. It has nothing to do with the number (though it is a little scary that I'll now be in my "late 20's") because that really doesn't bother me. It has nothing to do with not having ideas (I've come up with a few possibilities). Part of me does care, and part of me wants to care more, but I just don't.

You see, having a birthday two weeks before Christmas is not necessarily the most fun. Two weeks before Christmas isn't exactly prime socializing time for people I know - it's always exam time, broke-from-Christmas-shopping time, family get-together time, etc etc. I realize it could be worse (I could have been born on Christmas Day or something - though that certainly has worked out well for Jesus), but it's pretty frustrating when your plans consistently have to be modified or cancelled altogether to accommodate said bad timing.

And it's not just about bad timing - since many of my friends have moved away, or become marrieds, parents, married parents, or on-the-verge-of-married parents they just do not want to go out as much as they used to, if at all. Most prefer a quiet night in to a night out at a restaurant, concert or dancing. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not knocking quiet nights in - I love these too, and when it comes right down to it the company is more important than the activity. However, it is nice sometimes, especially for a special occasion, such as a birthday, to go out - to get gussied up, drink fancy drinks and eat fancy food, watch people do funny or crazy things, and just let loose.

So, because my preference for celebrating, and the preferences of others, don't necessarily coincide I usually end up compromising "the plan" in order to not (depressingly) spend my birthday alone drinking a box of wine (though come to think of it, that doesn't sound so bad...)

Beyond the above, my friends have also just gotten BUSIER. They have more responsibilities and commitments (as do I) and therefore less spare time. I also hate being the centre of attention and generally get uncomfortable with being "fawned" over, so more often than not I try to plan things around making everyone happy and doing something that everyone will enjoy (which is, of course, impossible) to deflect the attention from me to the group as a whole.

Needless to say, all of these factors combined together serve to only make my birthday plans a huge chore - complicated and tiring. Rather than make me look forward to the day, I just end up dreading it all and worrying that it's not going to work out as I want it to, or ultimately ending up disappointed because it didn't, in fact, work out how I wanted it to.

So, this year I'm taking a break from birthday planning and...well, not planning anything. As I mentioned it's my mom's birthday too so we will spend the day together Dec 11th (we're getting our hair done, going to lunch then shopping as civilized and chic ladies do - or so I've heard), but other than that I will be passing the day with nary a glance or a care.

It's probably most appropriate to celebrate my birthday with my mom anyway, as it were. After all, if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have been born and therefore would not even have a birthday. And she didn't just give BIRTH to me, she had a c-section and she CHOSE the date. She CHOSE to have major surgery and languish in a hospital bed on her BIRTHDAY, just so that I could be brought into the world. And there is something pretty cool about that (though kinda crazy at the same time - wtf were you thinking mom, seriously?!).

So I guess it's nice to know that no matter what, no matter how many plans get cancelled, how many friends are too busy or too broke to celebrate with me, that there is at least one person out there with whom I'll be sharing this special day.

And if all else fails, I will just "move" my birthday to July. Everyone wants to come to a pool party, especially one with cake!

How do you normally celebrate your birthday? What are your thoughts about birthday celebrating in general? Overrated?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Honking on Bobo

Last night at choir rehearsal we had a special treat - Mike Stevens, a musician visiting Dal (Dalhousie University*, for the unititated) from northern Ontario, gave a short performance and sat in on our rehearsal for a bit. Mike is considered to be a master in his field, and has provided music for various film scores, among other accomplishments. The thing is, Mike doesn't play any ordinary instrument - not piano or violin or saxophone or cello.

Mike is a professional harmonica musician.

Now before you roll your eyes and think "seriously?", let me tell you I have a ton more respect for people who play the harmonica after he talked to us last night! I've always loved the sound of a harmonica (I love bluesy music) but didn't think it looked too hard to play - they just blow into the holes right? (get your mind out of the gutter). Well, yes, they do but it's actually a lot more complicated than that.

Mike explained to us how he makes different sounds on the harmonica, but there is no way I can remember what he said. I know he used a lot of big, musician-y words. So, instead of me explaining what he said, here's a little blurb about how harmonica's work:

A harmonica has a chambered body with each chamber containing 2 small metal reeds. The reeds are flipped in alignment from each other. As you blow into one of the chambers air passes over the first reed and causes it to vibrate and this vibration causes the sound you hear. As you draw air in through a chamber ("suck on a harmonica") the air passes through the chamber in reverse and causes the second reed to vibrate. because the reeds are aligned oppisately - the air direction will determine which reed vibrates. Harmonicas use a series of reeds lined up from longer to shorter. The shorter the reed - the higher the pitch of the note sounded.

So, basically, to make a harmonica even make SOUNDS that don't resemble a dying cat you have to blow the right amount of air into the right place in a certain way. It takes much more than this to actually sound GOOD and make a career out of it.

Not to mention, there are three main types of harmonicas (arguably more) and thousands of different models. Mike took out the plastic container he keeps his harmonicas in, unrolled the bundles and informed us that he currently had about 40 different ones on hand! He takes about 80 when he's on the road, to allow for different styles, fresh reeds, etc! I don't even take 60 pairs of underwear when I go on the road (mostly because when I do, it's only for a week tops).

He then proceeded to hook himself up to a substantial speaker and foot tools (sorry musicians, don't know the technical terms, so sue me) and play us a set for a few minutes. Well, I was amazed - it sounded at times like an entire rock band, a celtic violin, and a dj spinning while still giving off that unique, raw sound that a harmonica makes. His incessant jerking and moving illustrated just how much physical power goes into playing this instrument.

That's not all, Mike is also the founder of ArtsCanCircle a non-profit organization "bringing Artists and Indigenous Canadian Youth (in Northern Canadian communities) together in Creative Expression". They basically connect youth in rural Northern Canadian communities with the arts, cool huh?

I found this all very fascinating and therefore wanted to share it. I had no idea harmonicas and harmonica-playing were so complex. I have a newfound appreciation for those that play them!

For your harmonica enjoyment, this song has one of my favourite harmonica parts (and videos) ever (FYI, the title of this post comes from an Aerosmith album - I believe Bobo was/is Steve Tyler's name for his harmonica -?).

And here's a video of Mike playing (with Matt Anderson, a blues musician from New Brunswick - repping the East Coast 4 life up in this bish! Word!).

*I should mention that the Medical School at Dal is quite unique, in that it features a Medical Humanities program that exists to "balance the science and fact-base that physicians use as the “tools of their trade” with the human weave that can make the lives of humans rich, rewarding, and at times mysterious." The program consists of "consists of five core initiatives: History of Medicine; Narrative Medicine (oral story-telling film, mass media, and literature); Music; Spirituality; and Visual Arts". The program has various classes, workshops, events, and opportunities within each of these components, including my choir (Dalhousie Medical School Choir). This program (as far as I know) is one-of-a-kind and many people from the Medical community around the world come to investigate it. Just a fun bit of trivia for your Thursday!*

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet City Woman

Well I've been quite the slacker on the blog the past few days! And it's safe to say that this NaBloPoMo thing can officially be thrown out the window! Ah well, I tried. The fact is, I just find it too tiring to blog every single day. I just have other priorities, and I don't have any inspiration some days so it makes more sense to blog because I want to and have something valuable to say, rather than just for the sake of blogging.

I was planning on continuing with my Fashion Friday posts, but my inner timer got all messed up since Thursday was a day off, but yet I had to work Friday. I also didn't wear any outfits that felt "photographable" to me, and honestly I find taking photos without a tripod a lot more time-consuming and annoying. So I just couldn't be bothered. I'm still going to do this series, but I may wait until I get a tripod (*fingers crossed for Xmas! I put a word in with the powers-that-be, aka my mom). In any case, I should probably come up with some kind of photo-taking schedule because I'm one of those people that, if I don't schedule things (ya know, pencil them in), I will avoid them or forget. I dunno, we'll see!

Life gets in the way sometimes I guess, doesn't it? Wily Bastard.

Anyhoo, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately (which isn't really abnormal for me) about many things, one of them being how much I love my neighbourhood. Mainly what I love is how central it is - since I've started working this temp job, I've been walking to work every morning and it's been great to get the extra exercise, fresh air, and invigorating start to the day. And it only takes about 25 minutes.

Not too shabby. I also work within a 10 minute walk to anything I could possibly need or want - banks, stores, coffee shops, etc. Needless to say I'm loving the convenience and the rush of being around so many sights and sounds.

In fact, I've always been this way - I've always had the need to have hustle and bustle around me (not too much mind you, but at least some). I've never really been content with quiet and slow. This notion is actually tied to one of my life mottos, for which my blog is named (which shows how tied up in my personality this need for motion and stimulation is).

The last guy I dated  (before we moved in together) lived with his parents in a rural area about 30 minutes outside the suburban city where I lived at the time (just across the harbour from where I live now). 30 minutes out doesn't seem like that far, but it sure as hell seemed like it when I drove out there and back; we're talking two lane highway, no lamps, no guardrails or fence in some places, and a speed limit of 100 km/hr in some spots. I used to completely dread driving out there then having to drive home in the dark - and I mean DARK ('blacker than the inside of a cow', as my mom would say). Not only that but there was also the constant chance of a deer or something larger bounding across the highway at any moment, hitting a patch of black ice, or some jackass hick speeding around you and knocking you off the road like a pinball.

I HATED driving home from out there in the dark and did it white-knuckled and tense-shouldered the entire way. Every. Single. Time. All I kept thinking to myself (aside from the worries of impending sudden death) was "I would never in a million years want to live that way the bleep out here!!" (except I didn't actually say "bleep").

I'm a city-girl and that's just the way it is. I can certainly see the advantages to living outside the city - more space, more green, quiet, safer, better schools, cheaper real estate, yadda yadda yadda. I can certainly understand why people move to such areas. I can certainly understand the value of quiet and clean air and just...space, sometimes. Everyone needs that once in a while. But there's a difference between doing it once in a while to recharge, and doing it every day and it's just not something I could handle every day. I can't even sit at home without the tv or music on (too quiet - gah!!).

I love the rhythm that living in the city brings. I love having so many options for things to do, places to go and events to attend. I love being able to call out for food whenever I don't feel like cooking and have it show up at my door within 30 minutes. I love being able to sit on a bench or in a coffee shop and watch the myriad of human beings pass by in all their quirky glory. I love stepping outside my door and seeing countless families, couples, dogs, cats, strollers and kids marching by, in a rush to get somewhere or just enjoying gawking like me.

Sure, the city can be dirty, crowded, inefficient, and unfriendly sometimes, but the pros far outweigh the cons for me. I love feeling like a part of a living, breathing, moving, changing organism like a city - like I'm one small cog in this giant machine that just keeps running no matter what and that maybe, in some small way, I help keep it running. I sort of look at the city in that way - as a great, big living thing that's always changing colour and sound like a quickly rotating record player, much like This one.

I love to take excursions to quieter, smaller places to recharge my batteries once in a while, but usually after a couple of nights I'm itching to get back to the place I truly belong. The place that never sleeps, and will never put me to sleep.

So are you a city person or a country person? Or a combo of both? What attracts you the most to your chosen place to live?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Grown-up Christmas List

I'm not big on gifts.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't NOT like gifts (I will gladly take a gift from anyone who wishes to give me one, thanks) but I just don't think they are always necessary or expected especially if it's something I don't really need. And call me cynical but I think an awful lot of gifts are given that aren't really necessary, but obligatory.

Christmas is the KING of obligatory gift-giving. Look, I love Christmas as much as the next person, and a part of the reason I love it is the gift-giving. But I really don't understand the enormous commerciality that has built up around the holiday. It's shocking to me sometimes. I mean, sure we all need stuff and it's always nice to receive new things (not out of our own pocket) and to give new things to others, but I just don't see the need to get and give LOADS of stuff.

Sometimes less is more, and less is also sometimes more personal.

Sure, when I was a kid more was better. But now that I'm older and (arguably) wiser, it's not so much about quantity as quality - I would rather receive two gifts that I really need and love than 20 gifts that are...meh. Same with giving - I like to take time to really think about what my loved ones would like and use rather than just picking up the first thing I see within my price range. Speaking of price range, I try and keep the cost reasonable - you can get perfectly lovely and unique gifts that aren't fancy and cost as much as a Range Rover. More to that I don't buy gifts for every person I've ever met in my entire life, only those that are closest to me, namely my mom, sister, brothers (though we usually give them "family" gifts from the three of us), and my two best friends.

It sounds cheesy, but the most important thing to me about the holidays is the spirit. It's about spending time with family and friends, going to and singing in holiday concerts, eating yummy meals, sitting by the fire with a good book and a hot drink (even if it is only one of those fake DVD fires that cost $5 at Walmart), skating and sledding, perusing craft fairs and taking house tours on the South Shore, listening to Christmas songs on loop, catching up with friends and acquaintences, doing good deeds (like donating to charity), and just generally relaxing and being grateful.

Though I have to be honest, I would be rather thrilled to find this little gem under my tree this year :)
Home-brewed lattes and cappuccinos?! Hells, ya!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Manic Monday: Music

I recently went through my music and downloaded a whole bunch of new stuff. I'm always on the look out for new songs and bands and artists to listen to, so whenever I hear a cool song or read something about a band that sounds interesting, I'll try to track down some of their stuff.

I'm one of those people who listens to "everything", though I can be a tad schizoid when it comes to music too - I get in "moods" where I listen to a certain type of music constantly (I guess my musical tastes are the perfect subject for Manic Monday, then!). Overall though, I like upbeat, fun music that has witty, insightful lyrics - basically if the song makes me boogie in my chair (or better yet stand up and shake my booty upright), it's a great one in my book.

I'm really into 60's and 70's rock/pop lately, or music that has that kind of sound. I downloaded the Pirate Radio  (aka The Boat That Rocked - if you haven't seen this movie you HAVE TO. Bill Nighy is just so hilarious I can't stand it) soundtrack and I'm obsessed with it!! I'm wierd in that I tend to get hooked on particular songs and listen to them over and over and over again, then eventually tire of them.

These are some of the songs I'm currently playing on repeat (and repeat and repeat...)

I'm sort of embarassed to include this one, because the song is actually kind of annoying and non-sensical but I had to include it because I haven't been able to stop listening to it ever since I heard it!! I have no freaking clue why but it's just so damn catchy I can't stand it! I'm a slave to the rhythm I guess. It's like that line from Friends where Chandler says, "Gloria Estefan was right, eventually the rhythm IS going to get you" (mwahaha Friends just never ever gets old...and neither does the fact that I'm a total dork, apparently).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Featured Blogger

Just a quick note to say I'm this week's Featured Blogger on Infomonkey.net under the Nova Scotia Bloggers category.

I was really excited when they contacted me and asked if I'd like to be featured. There are tons of awesome bloggers here in Halifax and Nova Scotia so I feel honoured to be considered on their level!


The Middle

People of the Internet - lend me your advice!! (would'ya?). I'm trying to make a major decision, and in true me fashion, I'm having trouble with it. I've talked to friends and family members already, but sometimes it's good to get points of view from completely objective people who don't really know you, who have nothing to gain or lose and have no emotions tied up in the decision (though even if you know me personally, I still welcome your opinion).

I have contemplated going back to school for a while now. My struggle finding a job in Public Relations (which is what I actually have a degree in) has opened my eyes to the fact that I'm not sure the field is entirely for me, and I'm also in the crappy position of not having enough experience, but no one willing to GIVE me the experience I need. I'm stuck. So, I feel like I need a change and that I need to upgrade my skills; switch gears a bit or maybe start over. It's a good time to do it as I'm single and don't really have any obligations tying me down (no mortgage, car or kids). I also am still young enough that going back to school won't be an enormous adjustment and when I get out I'll still have a good 30 years of career-building to look forward to.

However, I'm very torn as to what kind of education I should get. At this moment, I'm torn between two completely different possibilities - two possibilities that each have their own merits and their own disadvantages.

On the one hand, I could go back to college (not University) and take a 2 year diploma in Graphic Design, which is something I already have experience in, is related to my existing degree, and is something I think I could be really good at (it's already been proven that I have the basic skills and talent to do well in such a field). This is the main possibility I've been considering up until now. On the other hand, I could take a more ambitious route and take a Bachelors degree in Nursing, which is a field I don't have as much experience in, but do think it would be a rewarding field that could open up a lot of interesting doors for me. My current temp job is actually at a local University in the School of Nursing, funnily enough, and I guess interacting with the students and faculty and doing some research into the field has sort of opened my eyes to this possibility (and perhaps it's not a coincidence that I ended up working there??? Hmmm...)

I have gone over and over and over this in my mind and I'm just not getting anywhere. This is where you come in - I would really appreciate any advice, comments or insights that any of you can provide in the comments below. I realize many of you may not have any experience or insight into EITHER field, but you still may have a unique perspective or remind me of some points I'm not considering! One option I've considered is applying to one and if that doesn't work out then pursuing the other option (for example, attempting to get into Nursing - the more competitive of the two - and if I don't get in, then pursuing GD), but I just don't know.

Here I will list the positive and negative points for each option that I'm currently considering:

GRAPHIC DESIGN: *smaller risk*
- shorter program (would be out by age 29, less investment)
- less expensive (but depends on what program and expenses - may have to get a new laptop, buy software, etc, and this could all add up; plus it could generally be harder to get work in the field, and chances are starting salaries would be medicore - could be harder to pay off debt)
- already have a base of skills and experience; would be fairly easy to apply and get in
- passion for the field (doing something creative professionally really appeals to me, as well as eventually cutting myself off from "the man" and working for myself); and could combine with other passions - writing, blogging, fashion - to develop some interesting projects or offer some valuable services; plus I like the idea of working//collaborating with other creative people
- could complete program away or at home
- no opportunities to study/volunteer abroad, which is something I'd like to do

NURSING: *bigger risk*
- longer program (4 years vs. 2 - would be age 31 when completed)
- more expensive (but pretty much guaranteed a job with a good salary upon graduation, and this is a field that will only grow and create more jobs)
- no previous experience (I've barely been in a hospital my entire life)
- could be very hard to get into the program (haven't taken science courses since high school and even then they weren't my favourite, there would most likely be an interview so I'd have to prove why I should be chosen over others; plus there are limited spots available so could end up on a wait list)
- not sure I have the passion for it or would be "cut out" for it (like that I would be able to help people and would be positively contributing to society, but don't feel it's a "calling" for me - also it's a tough job (could involve shift work, on your feet all day, dealing with emotional issues like death and serious illness, not to mention gross things like "bodily fluids", touching total strangers, etc) *I do feel, however, that I could develop a passion for this field (but there's of course the worry that this wouldn't happen and I'd end up hating it)*
- could complete the program anywhere and work anywhere upon graduation; also like the idea of being able to volunteer/study abroad (e.g. health initiatives in Africa, research projects); further to this my mom is a nurse, so she could be a great resource/contact, and my brother/sister-in-law could as well (they both work at the BC Cancer Agency - sister-in-law as Assistant to the Nursing Director), and I could talk to profs/staff through my work to gain insight into whether it would be a good choice for me
- could be an interesting lifelong career (don't necessarily have to work in a hospital - could do research, admin work, combine with current PR degree, start my own business, write books - lots of opportunity to grow)

That's all I can think of so far. I think the crux of this debate is whether I should take a smaller risk (i.e. choose the "safer" option) and avoid a lot of extra work and stress (though there's no guarantee of that), or take a bigger risk and (possibly) get bigger rewards? Or maybe there are other fields related to the above that might be a good fit for me but I'm just not aware of them or thinking of them? Have at it in the comments!

So, which one would you pick if you were me??
(very much appreciate the comments in advance)

*Not sure if you noticed, but I didn't post yesterday - and frankly, this posting every day thing is just too much for me, so I'm not gonna do it anymore. I'm still participating in NaBloPoMo, but will only post when I have something of value to say. This makes much more sense, and really who cares as long as you're blogging?*

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fashion Friday: No Slouch

Well, I've decided to start adding some new features to Ye Olde Blog. You probably have noticed I've started doing Manic Monday posts, which are short and sweet notes about random sites, photos, stories, people, places or things that are on my mind that day or that I just think are cool and want to share.

But I also have been thinking for a while that I want to somehow incorporate one of my favourite things into my posts. After all, this blog is a reflection of me, a chance to share what I like, don't like and what inspires me. I feel like I can sometimes get heavy on "opinion" and "reflection" posts and even though I AM an opinionated and reflective person, that's not all I am. I also have a fun, creative, art-loving side that I feel like I want to share more of.

Fashion is a major interest of mine - I love putting outfits together, trying out new trends, reading fashion magazines, watching fashion reality tv and runway shows. Pretty much anything fashion-related, I love. I also have FAR more clothing than one person should ever need in a lifetime, but as I always say, I could be spending money on far more destructive things, now couldn't I?!

I love style blogs and most of the blogs I actually follow are style blogs. I love seeing how "real" girls put outfits together and make their wardrobes work on a budget. I've often played around with the idea of starting a style blog but for many reasons that's not something I want to do right now - I don't have the proper camera or equipment to take good-looking photos, I don't have the time or patience to take photos of myself and post EVERY day, I don't want my blog to be ALL about style (there are many things I love and talk about here and I don't want to narrow my focus too much), and I feel like there's SO many style blogs out there that mine would just get lost in the shuffle and I didn't want to be just a "bandwagon-jumper".

However, I've been reading enough style blogs (and regular blogs) now to know that everyone has their own style, personality, schedule and preferences and it's possible to placate these things while also incorporating style into other hobbies (like blogging). I realized (as I mentioned) I really want to share my style and create more opportunities to interact with other fashionistas, and I can do that without posting every day or only posting about fashion. I realized I can incorporate fashion into this blog as little as once a week, at least to start out, without being a follower and without losing sight of how I see this blog - namely as a forum to share and discuss my passions, my life and my community.

So, without further ado I'd like to present my first Fashion Fridays post! I've decided once a week (YES on Fridays! How did you guess, you smartie pants, you?!) I will post my favourite outfit from the week, as well as one or two favourite outfits from the interwebs. I will probably centre the chosen outfits and discussion around a specific theme each week depending on what mood I'm in or what I experienced. I'm excited to make this addition to the blog and see where it goes.

Now please bare with me and my less-than-stellar photography - as I said I'm poor little Matchgirl and have a camera but don't actually have a tripod or anyone to assist me, which makes it tough to take photos of yourself and your outfit! I'm planning on getting a tripod as soon as I can, but I'd be lying if I said it is a financial priority at the moment (there are little things like...oh...rent and food that are kinda important to take care of first). I also didn't use the flash for these because I find the flash isn't so flattering sometimes - it can sometimes make one look all glowy and show every single pore and that's not really a look I wanna go for.

Anyway, I may not have fancy photos and sponsors and such, but I have passion for fashion and that's way more important in the end anyway. Plus it takes a lot of guts to take photos of yourself you're not entirely happy with and post them for the world to see, right? Besides, it's my blog so it's my rules and anyone who doesn't like it can go find another corner of the interwebs to stalk - mmkay?? (wait, where are you going?! Don't leave me...)

I love this scarf - I love me a good print - and I also love leggings. I don't care what anyone says, they are so comfy and they can be flattering as long as you wear them the right way (i.e. cover your ass and hips). I'm a major shrimp (5 ft nothing, baby) so any way I can make my legs look slimmer and longer I will try! I got the idea to cinch my scarf in the middle from one of my fav style blogs, Second Skin. I totally copied her idea (tee hee). She always looks so put together, yet comfortable, and this was kind of my theme for this week (well it's kinda how I try to dress everyday). I love the look of wearing a slouchy top with a slim, streamlined bottom, and I like layering pieces to add visual interest and colour (but not TOO much).

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these boots. Ladies, you have no freakin idea how hard it is for me to find boots that fit my ample calves (read: impossible). Picked these up at the Bay a couple of months ago (though there are already some scratches in the faux leather - grrr - ah well, get what you pay for).

Now for a couple of ladies' outfits that caught my eye this week and that I think are great examples of the slouchy-chic look:

I love the colours here and the fun print - as I said it's wearable and comfy but also cute and polished. Brit girls just have the best style - they don't take themselves so seriously

This outfit looks sooo cozy and warm, but also polished. She look like a young, hip sea captain or something, know what I mean?
Have a stylin' weekend all!! And I promise I won't be so long-winded next time, yeesh!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Closer to the Heart

If I can be frank, which I usually am on this blog, I don't have much to say today (I know, shocking right, considering most of my posts are about as long as a novel).

I'm also in a bit of a dreamy, looking-at-beautiful-photos-mindlessly sort of mood, so I thought I'd share some of my current favs on We Heart It as opposed to writing words. I just LOVE this website - it's dangerous though as you could easily spend hours perusing photos and neglect more important things like, say, eating and showering.

Didn't I say something about not having anything to say today?? Ok shutting up now...enjoy!

I seem to have an awful lot of photos of either food or animals...not sure what that says about me but anyways...

This whole NaBloPoMo thing isn't looking good if I already have nothing to say on Day FOUR. *sigh* Ah well, I must keep on rolling per my moniker though, mustn't I??

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Awakening

I've been singing in choirs since I was 14 years old, and I can honestly say I've never sang a song as profound as one my current choir is doing.

It's called "The Awakening" by Joseph Martin. It's a profound song because the melody and words are beautifully haunting, but so is the story behind it.

Our choir director explained the story to us one night as such: There was a Jr High school in North Carolina (don't quote me on the location, I honestly can't remember exactly what he said) that had basically no arts program. That is until a new teacher came along and resurrected it - every kid was a part of the choir and everyone in the school became engaged in the arts thanks to her and the entire dynamic of the kids and the school changed.

One night the teacher returned to the school after hours to pick up something she had forgotten and....was murdered in the school.

Ummmmm....yeah I know.

Those are all the details he gave us but they were enough to make everyone in the room gasp with surprise and horror. You can imagine what this tragedy would have done to the students and the school as a whole; from what I know, the progress made in the arts program basically vaporized in the wake of the death of this beloved teacher. However, (and I'm not sure exactly how - again, only got so many details and it is hard to find more online for some reason) everyone slowly got their confidence and passion back and the arts program prevailed.

That's where the inspiration and spirit of "The Awakening" come from. The song starts off very mournful, reflecting the pain, despair and disbelief those directly affected by this incident must have felt immediately following. Their "broken dreams". However, as the song goes on it becomes faster, louder and happier, reflecting the rising of the school out of the ashes of death and deciding to celebrate a life rather than mourn. "Awake! Awake!".

Needless to say, it's very moving to feel like a part of this - even though it's in a very small, indirect way. I feel like our joy and honour performing this piece will somehow float through the air down down down to the school and to the students and remind them how amazing their experience and their strength are. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but sometimes the cheesy thing is the true thing. Besides, it is an amazing example of a subject I feel very passionate about and that I feel is ESSENTIAL and that's arts education and arts programs in schools. I was lucky enough to have access to great arts programs growing up and I'm so grateful for that.

I encourage you to listen to the piece for yourself - really listen to the words and the music - so you can fully understand why I'm so moved.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't You Forget About Me (NaBloPoMo)

I wanted to copy this recent post by one of my favourite bloggers because I thought it was a really neat concept. She took her very first Facebook profile photo and her current Facebook profile photo, put them side by side and compared to examine the ways that her life has changed in that time. I couldn't wait to try it myself!

Here is my FIRST Facebook profile photo from January 2007:

Ugh, this is a horrid photo of me in my opinion, but in the spirit of the post I'll still put it up (I hope you appreciate me humiliating myself for the integrity of the blog, y'all!!)
So, at that time I was only about a month into age 22, approx. 3 years into University, just following my third and last co-op work term, and I believe the photo was taken in a bar somewhere in downtown Halifax (at that time, my friends and I would go out dancing fairly often). I believe I was dying my hair darker then (more of a dark brown shade - which in retrospect was NOT a good colour for me) and playing around with how to wear my bangs a lot (I'm still doing that!). What's actually more interesting to me is not the place in my life at the time this photo was taken, but the place in my life I would be in within the next 6 months. Approximately 4 months from this photo, I would be living and studying on an International Public Relations course in London, England with 18 other University students (3 from my Uni, the rest from various Uni's in the USA). That trip would be a defining moment in my life in more ways then one - it was the fulfillment of a long-time dream of living/studying abroad and meeting amazing people, but it also involved one of the worst losses of my entire life (the death of someone very close to myself and my family) and the subsequent emotional struggle. I took my first solo trip just after I heard the news, and it remains one of my proudest moments.

And, my current photo is:

Well, fast-forward 3.5 years and I'm now 25 (will be 26 in December), smack-dab in the middle of a Quarter-Life Crisis and feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place in my career and personal life, grappling with many worries, questions, insecurities and reflections.  You can't really see my hair, but it's actually similar in style to the above photo (though oddly enough I think my hair has thickened), but an auburn colour instead of dark brown (much more flattering to my skin tone, if you ask me). My outfit is certainly more colourful and creative and shows how I've become more creative and daring with my style. I have definitely gained weight, but working on that every day as hard as I can (hey, I'm human right? I blame Thanksgiving...and Halloween). I hardly ever go dancing now (more because I don't really have anyone to go with than not having the desire to), and my friends circle has entirely changed.

I have mixed feelings about this comparison - it was definitely a fun and thought-provoking exercise, however it was also a tad disconcerting. In many ways, my life was much simpler back then and I was a lot less jaded. Life was more fun and carefree in many ways too, and part of me would love to go back to that simpler existence. But life is also different in positive ways, namely that I'm ten times more self-aware, self-sufficient, street-smart and realistic now than I was then. My life isn't really worse or better when it comes right down to it; it's just DIFFERENT. And I guess in a way that's sort of comforting because I think if my life hadn't changed much in 3.5 years I would be really, really depressed! One thing's for sure, I have more ideas and projects brewing in my brain than ever, and in a way the sky is the limit on where I can go next and how I can push myself. And that's a change I can really get behind.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Manic Monday: Halloween Hangover (NaBloPoMo)

Anyone else have a Halloween hangover??

I'm sorry to say I actually don't. My Halloween was quite boring compared to past years, but it was nice to not have to be anywhere or do anything, time to relax.

To be honest with you, I've been feeling a little "funky" and down lately for various reasons, so I haven't had as much motivation in general. I don't want to be a whiner or get too personal, but I'd be lying if I said it's not tough.

However, I know it's just a phase and I'm a tough cookie though so I will prevail!! At least I don't look like Mr. Pumpkin up there ^ (ewwww)

Though I wouldn't mind looking like this little guy - or feeling how he looks like he's feeling! lol

Hope everyone had a wicked Halloween!!

You will notice over coming days that I'm participating in NaBloPoMo! Let's see how long I last *eek*