Friday, December 31, 2010

A Letter to the Year Gone By

Dear 2010,

It's been a year of highs and lows
Of love and broken hearts
A year for tears and many a fears
Faced and overcome
I didn't think I'd see the end
But here we are again
A new year waiting on the porch
For me to let it in.

2010, you've been a blast
But it's time to say good bye.
I hope the new year is kinder to me
Gentler on the mind
You weren't always easy 2010
but you sure were one of a kind.

Love CLicK

Okay, horrid poetry attempts aside, 2010 was quite the year. I spent the first few months unemployed and living on the kindness of my friends. I got so lucky with the job I landed in - it was exactly what I wanted for a new job. I'm still enjoying it - as you may know if you follow me on twitter.

I've been hurt and I've been loved. I've gotten lost and I've been found. I know it sounds cryptic, but I'm still not sure how many details of my personal life I want here.

I think the best thing about 2010 is that I've finally learned where I really screwed up in my life and the places that I really did things right. Which brings me to the new year coming - 2011.

Everyone makes new years resolutions, but I've typically not been one of those people. In fact, I've avoided them, but this year I want it to be different. I signed up for WriYe and there are a few other things I've decided to commit myself to as well. Self-improvement in more than one way.

I'll be 30 this year and it's time to make some changes in my life. I had different plans once upon a time, but I don't regret it. The experiences I have had are worth every bit of it. I am who I am and I am glad of that.

So thank you 2010 for opening my eyes and showing me things I've never known and letting me feel things I'd forgotten that I could feel. I hope that 2011 will allow me the chance to act upon the things I've learned in 2010.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Year Dawns

And with it comes new challenges. I've always wanted to spend more time working on my writing, but I always seem to lack the proper motivation. Things come up, life gets in the way and all, but not this year.

This year I am signed up to write over 500K words for WriYe. That's write. A whole year focused on writing. During which, of course, I will still do NaNoWriMo at my usual pace. In fact, I can use the writing I do during my plotting process as a part of my word count for WriYe, which is nice.

So I am hoping for at least five fully completed first drafts, more work on G2L as well. My blog posts won't count, unfortunately, so this will all be extra writing. Still, it ought to be fun.

In prep for this exciting year I started making a list of works in progress and a lit of series of novels that I have planned. So you may hear a lot about my writing this year. Progress of my WiP's. I'm actually surprised at how much I have that I've written down ideas for. I really need to sit down and get myself organized so that the year goes smoothly for me.

so who here is great at getting files organized? Normally I'm pretty particular, but I've never really just sat down and figured out the best filing system for my writing. It's just sort of grown organically. Suggestions?

So here is to a year of dreams and hard work. I'm hoping that this year will pay off in the end because writing isn't the only year long goal I have. I want to make 2011 really count for me. I've got plans this year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More from the 50 Q's

I'm tired. I'm sick and I have no one to take care of me. Sometimes it sucks being on your own. So while I go make myself some more lemon and ginger tea in hopes that I will soon feel better, I will just be posting from my 50 questions list.

I hope I get better soon, but even if I don't, it's a 3 day week.

8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I think I would be a lot less patient. I tend to wait for things to come my way instead of going out looking for them. I can wait for the great things to happen because I am confident that if I listen really carefully, I won’t miss the opportunities that come my way.

9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

Very little. I follow the winds of fate where they take me. I grab the opportunities as they pass by, but I wait for the opportunity to come – I don’t go out of my way to make it. Somehow, things have always worked out for me this way.

10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

A little bit of both to be honest. I don’t like making mistakes. I like to get things right on the first try, but I *know* that this isn’t usually possible. I like to do things right, even to following procedure if it makes sense to me to do so. In the process though, I still want to do the right thing in the end.

11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?

I will defend my friend of course. My friends are important to me and I will defend them to the best of my ability. We are all prone to criticism, whether justified or not. I hope that if I ever make the mistake of speaking ill of someone out of turn, then I would want to be corrected and reminded that you shouldn’t do that to people. If you can’t say it to someone’s face – don’t say it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Belated Holiday Wishes

You may notice that I missed a few days of posting. Three to be exact. Some will say "well it was the holidays", but that's really no excuse. I could have posted, but I didn't. I was thoroughly enjoying my little vacation in Saskatoon.

Christmas day was, nice. We arrived about 01h00 local time and unloaded the dinner, our stuff and everything (and everyone) else. We chatted for a bit and joked around and it was really quite late for all of us by the time we went to bed. So when we woke up later that Christmas morning, it was quite late in the morning.

We opened presents and had a late breakfast and by the time breakfast was over, we needed to bust our humps to try to get the turkey on in time for dinner! The boys went out coyote hunting while us girls did the meal. It was the tenderest turkey yet and we got to rag on the guys for coming home empty handed...not a single skin to sell.

We passed the next two days in lazy, country comfort with a couple of forays into the city for this, that and the other thing. We went on a trail ride through the quarter as well. It's kind of nice riding through snow covered fields.

One of the boys did even get to shoot something on one of the days after Christmas when the Airedale terrier managed to tree a porcupine. After removing the quills from her nose, the boys enjoyed the dispatching of the rodent, much to our objections.

If only things could have continued so, but like the ride in, the ride out of Saskatchewan was not so smooth. In fact, I think it counts as the longest trip between home and Saskatoon ever. A trip that would normally take 5 - 6 hrs took 8.5 hrs instead.

A flat tire that needed replacing soon after crossing the provincial border and an accident that held up the highway not far from home. I was glad to get home and find that my cats had survived my absence quite well at least. Now it's to bed and work tomorrow.

I hope you all had a Christmas at least half as nice as mine.

Friday, December 24, 2010

On The Road

This is going to be a long trip. If you could only see us. Three dogs, three people and everything we need for Christmas (including food for dinner) shoved into a little Mazda3. I can barely even type. In fact, to even be able to see what I am typing, I need to pull my laptop as close to me as possible.

In short, it is quite safe to say we are a little crowded.

We were all excited to get an early start, but it’s almost 5pm and we are only just leaving. Nothing too bad has happened, other than my phone falling out of my pocket and getting left behind. We had to go back for that (add one hour). At this rate, Christmas had better be GOOD.

And let’s not even mention the fact that I really need to pee. TMI. I know, but I’m not going to say anything since it was my phone we had to go back for.

Well the first half of the day was great. Worked four hours, got paid for 8 and all we did was sit around and drink Baileys and coffee.

I’ll post something tomorrow, but this is all you’re getting today. I’m just too cramped to keep typing.

The above was written at about 5:30pm MT. It is now 9:30pm MT. We’re in Saskatchewan and it seems that the pile of stuff has shifted to squish me even more. I’m hungry and tired, but this will be worth it. We’ve still got a ways to go. *le sigh* Making the best of thing…Just thought I better post this now, while on the road, so that I didn’t forget.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Presents Under the Tree

Okay, I was actually going to write a short christmas themed story, but I never quite got around to doing that today. Instead, I remembered that I still had one more gift to buy. So I ran out and did that, then I came home and wrapped the presents. Now I still have to pack before I leave tomorrow afternoon.

I actually enjoy wriapping presnts. It's not something that I am *really* good at, but I do enjoy it and I do try very hard to make my presents look pretty. I only actually had four presents to wrap up. One for my best friend, one for her man, one for another friend and a shared gift for my fishing buddy and his awesome wife.

I think I didn't do too bad. See for yourself:


I will still be posting from the road for tomorrow and the next few days while I'm literally in the middle of nowhere Saskatchewan. I have my internet stick (or dongle if you're in the UK) so I won't be out of touch.

Now, to packing I go. I need to be ready as soon as i leave work tomorrow. No time to waste. Everything, but the essentials and the frozen items get packed tonight!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And now for a quick break

I'm sitting here trying to write the next installment of Grounds to Leaves (G2L), a story series that you can find on my other blog: It's all written except for one small detail. As song.

I wimped out on writing a song at an earlier point in the story, but I decided that I needed to face this challenge head on. So I have spent the last four hours trying to write a song. So far, I have the course and that is all.

I am determined to finish writing this "hit single" of mine before I go to bed. I promised a story update in my other blog before Christmas and I threatened myself with loss of limb if I didn't stay true to my word. Therefore, to save my limbs, I am getting this done tonight.

So instead of anything fascinating, you get this short, rambling post about how hard it is for me write anything 'lyrical'. Seriously, this is really hard for me. I think I would so have to refuse if someone challenged me FAWM. This song writing thing is killing me and it's only one song.

So back I go to making my horrible lyrics. If you actually want to read what I came up with, you'll find it on my other blog. So go ahead, go hurt your brain with my horrid song writing. If you ask really nice, I'll sing it for you too, but I warn you, I am a TERRIBLE singer.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A day in the life...

Okay, well technically it's only a "morning in the life" of me. Because this morning was something else entirely. I skipped over the popping outside in my pj's and housecoat to see the lunar eclipse, but I did that too. Now get over your shock of my posting before 11pm MT and read on.

Today my day started at 2am in the morning. Not intentionally, mind you, I went to bed just after 10pm thinking to get an early start to my day. A 5am start, but things didn't quite work that way.

With several hours to spare and no hope of returning to sleep, I looked at my apartment and decided that I needed to do some cleaning. And not just cleaning, I needed to reorganize as well. I started in my den.

I pulled apart the shelving unit that adorns the back wall of my room. I have little storage in my tiny apartment and this was my solution. I added shelves, moved shelves and reorganized where things went.

By the time 6am rolled around, I had a room that I didn't actually hate. It was swept and somewhat organized. I moved on a bit to the kitchen. Doing dishes and scrubbing down my stove and oven. I gave the living area a quick once over with the broom and vacuumed my hallway.

It was at this point that I realized I needed to have a shower, make my breakfast and lunch for work or I would be late. So I rush about get my lunch ready in time, shower, dress and dry my hair. Breakfast was still cooking when I realized that I was going to be late if I tried to eat it at home.

So I packed up my breakfast in another container and headed for the door where I realized I had to take out the garbage. Early in the morning I had also decided to clean out my fridge before leaving for the Christmas and I had a bag full of stuff that needed to go out right away, not to mention two other bags of assorted garbage.

So I throw my messenger bag over my shoulder, dig out my keys and grab all three bags in one hand. It was nearly a mistake. I managed to get out my door, lock the door and shove my keys back into my pocket in time to rescue the heaviest of the bags from ripping open into the apartment hallway.

Thankfully, no further delays or incidents ensued until I arrived, somewhat tired from my early start, at work. Out of the six or seven people who had arrived in the office before, not one had bothered to put on coffee - the coffee that I so desperately needed at this point.

So I set to work making the first pot when one of my co-workers asks me for some help fixing her computer. Another co-worker had played a prank on her by setting her monitors to flipped and reversing the order (we have dual monitors at work). So I fixed it and went back to grab my coffee.

I got my coffee and then, once the other people who had neglected to make coffee before I arrived, saw that I had coffee, they rushed en masse and finished off the pot leaving another co-worker who had just arrived to make a whole new pot just so she could have some coffee.

Then it was work as usual. Or at least it would be if we weren't so dead. So instead of doing my job, I've been cleaning and organizing things at work. And writing this blog post on company time as well.

And that my friends, is a morning in the life of me. I am the person who can manage to be running late even when they wake up three hours too early.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wisdom is...

"Wisdom is not the product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it." -Albert Einstein

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions." - Naguib Mahfouz

So today is going to be a post about from my list of 50 Questions because everyone needs to think about their own answers to some of these questions.

4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

I sincerely hope that this would be the case. I’m always afraid that my words will out weigh my actions. Of course, I won’t know for sure until everything is said and done, but by then it’ll be too late.

5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

I wish I could find a way to rid people of their greed. Sometimes I don’t understand why everyone is always so “me, me, me” when everything would be so much better if you could understand your neighbor. If you cared enough to share with your neighbor.

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

Photography I think. Did you expect me to say writing? I do love to write, but taking pictures and being able to share the beauty I see with others in everyday life, that is what would make me happiest. To show others why I think that ugliness is only a frame of mind.

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

I think I’m somewhere around the middle on here. Occasionally I settle, but I never settle for something that I cannot bare to live with. It is something that I will always take into consideration. Can I live with this decision?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bah, hum bug.

Okay, I'm really not a scrooge. I do like Christmas, but at the same time I really hate it. I'm sure a lot of you understand what I mean. The expectations, the commercialization, the crowds, the rush - those are the things that drive me crazy. Well, that and Christmas music before December 1.

I do love the season though because it's a good excuse to get together with friends and/or family. It seems that we're all so busy nowadays that we need an excuse just to spend time with the people we care about. And I hate that the holidays remind me of that as well.

Still, I did get off my butt today like I hoped I would and with significantly less pain than the day before. I got some shopping done and some web design work for my clients. I still have a few things to do and I still really need to scrub down my apartment, but it's a start.

I've even made sure I have my holiday favorites on my laptop so that I can watch my favorite movies on the long ride to Saskatoon. I'm hoping that by the time Christmas day is here I'll be filled with the holiday spirit.

I'm doing good this year though so I should have some spirit by then. Most years I just want to strangle Christmas with my bare hands by this date.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Is the month over yet?

I am so regretting committing to this NaBloPoMo thing. Of course, I probably wouldn't have posted in days, maybe more than a week, if it hadn't been for NaBloPoMo. I also know that when this month is over, I'll be posting only sporadically. Even if I had the best of intentions.

Sadly, today I did have the best of intentions for, but I have done nothing. It's almost amazing that I am even showered and dressed. I was going to do some cleaning, work on a few websites and then perhaps some more cleaning.

I have done nothing today. Quite literally nothing. Of course my head feels like it's about to explode any minute, but I rarely ever let that stop me from doing things. All the same, despite my dislike of taking any pill tonight I will be taking muscle relaxants just so I can go to sleep and be able to stay asleep long enough and sleep well enough so that I can manage to find a way to get off my butt tomorrow.

Then maybe I might have something interesting to say here, but for now. I hurt and I am feeling entirely unmotivated. *le sigh*

Friday, December 17, 2010

Is this a trend yet?

I was going to tell you all about my wonderful night at the Calgary with a friend tonight. It was very nice going to see the zoo lights, but I don't think I can make this interesting for you to read. Suffice to say that I had a nice time and camels didn't seem to mind the snow.

So I flipped a virtual coin. Heads I post some more from the Life List and tails I post from 50 Q's. It landed on head....and as bonus it was a Canadian virtual coin that I managed to flip.

So, more from the Life List:

8. Attend a Major Sporting Event

And I do mean major. Like the final game of the Stanley Cup, the Olympics, the Brier Cup (okay, that might not count, but whatever). Something big and preferably watching a sport I enjoy.

9. Set Foot on Every Continent

Does this even need explaining? I have never even left North American yet. So that is one out of seven (or eight if you want to count the sub-continent of India separately).

10. Learn to Dance

And I do mean dance. I want to learn how a genre of dancing like ballroom, hip-hop, tap dance, ballet…at least one type of dance I’d really like learn and understand. I want to be able to move my body. Ideally, I would love to learn more than one type of dance.

11. Go White Water Rafting

It can be a group thing, or maybe I can learn river kayaking and take on the white water myself. Either way I want to go rushing down a violent river and come out laughing on the other side.

12. Go for a ride in a hot air balloon

I’ve been in a hot air balloon at the fair, but that doesn’t count. I want to go for a ride, high up in the sky and just float along the breeze, enjoying myself. If I can have a picnic brunch afterwards (OJ and Champagne anyone?) that would be beyond awesome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

50 Questions to Ask Yourself

So I was doing some surfing during my slow time at work. I looked up a few things, one of them being a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. It's not something I am planning to take part of yet, but maybe one day I will. I did skim through a few things and found one thing that struck my fancy.

I found a list of 50 questions you should ask yourself. Actually, I think they described them as being 'life changing' questions, but I didn't find it so much life changing as thought provoking. I've only answered about 40 of the questions so far, but some of them really made me think hard. It even brought home a point I had long known but rarely acknowledge publicly.

I guess I have another list of back up posts now. My list of 50 Questions. Don't you just love lists? I guess I may just have to start going back and putting in labels for these posts so that people can find specific entries from my Life List and from my 50 Q's. That does seem to be a bit too much like work right now, but if labels suddenly appear then you know I've taken the time to go back.

So to start us off a few Q&A for "50 Questions":

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Most days I would say that I’m only 25 years old. Maybe it’s because so many of my friends are young, but I don’t really feel like I’ve grown older since that age. I think I just stopped and kept all my enthusiasm of youth.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

Never trying is the worse. Even if you fail, you can still say you tried and you did your best. Unless you didn’t try to do your best. If that’s the case, why even try?

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

We do the things we don’t want to do because we are raised to believe that these things are necessary. Often, to be able to operate in current society, these things are necessary. If you choose to turn your back on social convention then many of these things that we don’t like to do will become things that we don’t have to do.
We like the things we don't do because we have yet to realize the harsh reality of those things that we glorify as being "great".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How personal is too personal

One of my great struggles with the blogging world is how personal is too personal? I never know exactly how much I want to say on something like this. I don't know how much of myself that I really want people to see.

I always say that I am the most closed open book that anyone could ever read. I'll tell the truth about myself if you ask me directly. Ask me if I've ever done drugs and I will say yes. Ask me what drugs I've tried and I will give you the list, but I don't normally volunteer the information.

This can be an issue sometimes, but in a two way conversation - if you're going to ask me something in all seriousness then expect an answer you may not like. Unfortunately, a blog is a one way conversation. No one asking me questions. I just get to random on like the lunatic on the corner.

So the question still remains; how much is too much? Before I asked myself this question I had written several paragraphs on the issue of sleep for me. How sleep is something that is difficult for me and I explained why.

Then I thought about how some people might interpret what I was saying. I wasn't so sure that I wanted the few people who know me to know or guess at such things. It's not so much that I mind them knowing such things about me. It's more of a matter of the fact that they hadn't asked to know these things.

And I guess that is what it really comes down to; you aren't asking to read these things about me, about my life. Yeah, you could close the browser window or click over to another blog, but there is that one factor that might keep you reading.

There is something so fascinating about being on the verge of a train wreck. Waiting for the moment when everything goes crashing down into the bottomless gorge. Being able to say I was there to see that happen.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baby Steps

Today I was doing some Christmas shopping and being reminded of exactly why I don't like the holidays, but this post isn't about that. There is enough out there that you can read on that subject. What I want to tell you about is what I did during this shopping trip.

With bags in hand I headed back towards the exit to rid myself of the crushing crowd and annoying music when I passed a store I had passed many times before. Often I would find myself looking at this particular store and dreaming. Dreaming of what I could be doing.

I stood outside of a Flight Centre. The colourful ads for far away places. Exotic destinations. Places I want to go and have never been, places where I may never get the chance to go. Often I stare at the prices on the wall for great deals to London, Tokyo, Hawaii.

I almost continued walking like I usually did, but then I turned back. I thought to myself that it couldn't hurt ask. Just ask if they handled any trips to places like Antarctica. Not the usual request, but they certainly did. The girl I talked to was wonderful and even though the prices were higher than I would have liked, I left hopeful.

I told her I had no plans or funds to go right away, but maybe in a year or two. She told me that the tour she was telling me about often had some great sales come our summer time to pre-sell their tours. I mean, who wants to go to Antarctica instead of a warm destination? While, I for one do.

It feels like I just took a big step forward from dreaming to reality. Now if only I could manage to do that with the rest of my life. Baby steps though. Maybe one day I'll even get to call myself happy/.

Monday, December 13, 2010

More from the Life List

I think I am coming to rely on thi slist far too much, but I am drowning under a sea of work, both my day job and my webdesign. Couple that up with Christmas and the fact that my mind has gone missing again and well, you get the picture I am sure.

So more from the Life list:

5. Get Something Published

What person who calls themselves a writer doesn’t want this? It doesn’t even have to be a novel. Just any piece of fiction that I crafted. A short story, a novella. It doesn’t matter what it is so long as I get it published (and not self-published. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not what my goal is.)

6. Visit Every Province and Territory in Canada

It doesn’t even have to be all in one trip. It would be awesome if it was, but it doesn’t have to be. I can already knock BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan off my list. I’ve been to Manitoba, but only barely so it’s still on the list.

7. Learn A New Language

I always regretted not being better at French so I want to make sure that one day I learn how to speak another language fluently. French would be fine, but I won’t limit myself to that. More than one new language is bonus points again.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Work Parties

I will be the first to admit that I really lucked out with the company I work for. It's a great company and I enjoy my job.

Last night was a company Christmas party. I got home at 06h37 this morning. Before we partied, we served about 700 of the less fortunate in this city a Christmas dinner. They could come up for seconds or thirds, or in one person's case sevenths. They could take food home as well.

It was a great experience and afterwards we went back to the office to enjoy an open bar. It was quite the wonderful experience. I enjoyed it greatly. It's nice working for a company that gives back to the community AND treats its employees well.

There was one woman who had lined up early to make sure she could get a present to take home to her ill son. She couldn't afford to buy any presents at all this year for her son so we when we discovered that we had extra presents after all the other kids got gifts, we made sure she got some of the extras.

All the food that didn't get used was taken to a homeless shelter here in town. Two full 25lb hams, two 25lb turkeys. Potatoes, peas, dessert bars, gallons of juice. Everything we didn't use went to them.

Officially one of the best Christmas parties ever and it is also the reason I missed a NaBloPoMo entry, but it's a good reason to miss.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Favorites - Movies and Shows

We all have those seasonal favorites that we watch every year. The movies that we can’t get enough of. They are the movies that remind us of when we were kids and the family would gather around to watch Christmas movies together. Snuggled on the couch or laying on the floor. Hot chocolate and candy canes near at hand.

Okay this may not be the way it was for most people, not even for me, but it sure does paint a nice picture. Whatever the reason or the memories attached, many people still have their holiday favorites. I thought I’d share a few of mine.

1. White Christmas (1954)

This is probably one of the reasons I love classic movies – especially the musicals. I grew up watching this movie and I love it still. Some people may think it’s a little corny, but I can never get enough of it. The music is great and it leaves me feeling good all over at the end.

2. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

And here is the other reason why I more than likely grew fond of classics. It’s a reminder to me of a few things – the obvious is that everyone matters. Sometimes we don’t even know the impact we have on others. It also serves as a reminder for me that the holidays are a hard time for a lot of people and it never hurts to be a little kinder all the time.

3. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

What Christmas is complete without this wonderful tale of Rudolf, the poor misfit and his friend Hermey? And with the incredible voice of Burl Ives doing the narrating and the great songs, why would anyone choose to miss out?

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Yes, the original folks. I like the Jim Carrey version, but this one is still the holiday classic and it’s so darn cute. I love the classic animation. It makes me feel like a kid again.

Those are my only regular movies. I’ve never been much of a holiday person, so I couldn’t watch too many, but if they happen to be on I will watch Frosty, the Snowman (1969), A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). They are all good movies and there are so many more out there. I know Miracle on 34th St is very popular, but I never got into that one.

What are your favorite holiday movies?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scillian Lemon Italian Soda

Ever had one? It's really quite good actually.

I was going to sit here and sip on mine and write s blog about the generosity of strangers and how good it feels to help someone. Instead I started watching Veronica Mars and now it's way late for me and I have no blog written at all.

Can we say that I may have time management issues? So you will get a couple of new items from my backup posts - The Life List.

From the Life List:

2. Skydiving

I know, this is on nearly everyone’s list, but I still want to do it. Just because everyone else wants to or has, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t. The rush would be just awesome. Falling, ground rushing at me and the knowledge that this could very well be the last thing I do if anything goes wrong. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

3. Climb a Mountain

Some might say I’ve already done this one, but I disagree. I have never actually climbed all the way to the top of a mountain, but I have hiked up many a mountainside. It doesn’t have to be any particularly special mountain, just one that I can be proud to say I’ve climbed to the top of.

4. Learn the Ukulele

I actually wanted to complete this one this year, but it never came to be. I’m not taking it off my list though. I am going to learn the ukulele. And after that, the guitar maybe.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

UP (The Uncultured Project)

Every year the company I work for chooses a charity to give to at Christmas. It's different every year and it's not the company that gives perse, but each and every one of the employees. This year, we gave money and aide to a local family that had just lost everything in a devastating house fire.

This got me and a co-worked talking about charity and charities. She used to donate often to several charities, but she recently stopped. She had heard far too much about how more money lined the pockets of people than the actually went to help those who needed it.

According to Charity Navigator "of the 3,005 charities included in the study, 14 paid their top executive more than $1 million. Those charities range in total expenses from $13.5 million to $3.5 billion....The study also revealed that 106 charities paid their CEOs between $500,000 and $1 million. Total expenses among these organizations ranges from $3.8 million to $3.6 billion."

Honestly, a seven figure salary for the CEO of a charitable organization? Is that really reasonable? After reading that I could totally understand why she doesn't want to give money to big charities anymore. Of course, I had my own reasons for believing this well before I read any of that.

You see, I follow the Uncultured Project (UP) and Shawn Ahmed. on both You Tube and on Twitter. So I told her about it as best I could. (click the links to see his youtube, twitter or website)

What first caught my attention about Shawn and UP was that he was Canadian. Yes, I am rather proud of my country and I love to take notice when someone is doing something special...and he was certainly doing something special. It started on You Tube where I first learned about him. It went on from there.

The more I've watched and listened to what this single person has done, the more amazed I am. To me, his is a cause that is really worth giving to. He is a story of inspiration for me. I wanted to share that story and his cause with you. I'm pretty sure you won't regret it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Life List

I have spent the time since I was challenged to NaBloPoMo wondering what in the world I could possibly write about everyday. I mean, I don't have oodles of free time to try writing short stories (which I suck at anyway). I go to work then I come home and often work some more. Especially this time of the year.

Yesterday I managed to inspire myself, even if I managed to inspire no one else. I began to think about all the things I want to do and I began to make a list. Most would call it a bucket list - things to do before they die. To me, it's a life list - things to do to keep myself feeling alive.

So far, the list has only 51 items on it. It is by no means complete though. I will continue to add to it as things occur to me. When I think of something more I want to do, then I will add it to the list. I will also welcome suggestions from others on things I might be interested in doing.

I will not be posting the list completely as it is. It will serve as fodder for those days when I am just too busy or too tired to write anything else of interest. It'll be two, three or maybe even four items at a time. It's more than just a simple list.

Today I will visit the first item on my list to give you an idea of what I am talking about here.

From The Life List

1. Visit Antarctica
Even though this list is only in the order that things occurred to me, this one is number one for a reason. I have always wanted to go to Antarctica. Seriously, for as long as I can remember. If I was offered a job as a garbage collector at any of the stations down there I would take it in a heartbeat.

I honestly don't know what the lure is for me. I do prefer cold weather over warm, but something about this frozen continent calls to me. Maybe it's the barrenness of the land or the fact that no one can own it. Whatever it is, I will visit it in my lifetime and the sooner the better.

Monday, December 6, 2010

*toast* To the fullest.

Someone once asked me what I wanted out of life. My answer was simple. A little bit of excitement, a little big of adventure, a little bit of passion. It was only a half truth. I didn't want to come off too strong or seem too crazy, even though it is a well known fact that I am.

All I really want out of life is the experience; the adventure and the passion. Not just a little bit, but all of it. Every last ounce that I can get.

I was raised in a family where we took advantage of the few opportunities we had. Even though we had little money my parents wanted to be sure that us kids had a life rich in experiences. Before I was an adult I had been all over the western United States (except Nevada) and most of western Canada.

I had seen a lot of things that many people have only dreamed of being able to see. They instilled in me my sense of adventure. My quest for the new and exciting...and sometimes the just plain different. They made me long to always want to experience more, see more and do more.

And somewhere along my life's journey between 16 and 30 - I lost something.

Growing up in a house where sometimes there wasn't enough food to make it to the next pay day and new clothes were few and far between, made me long for a security that wasn't in my nature. So I pursued the "smart course".

I tried to go for a steady, reliable job and I turned my back on adventure. I forgot about passion. The most exciting thing I did in those years was a one month trip to Atlanta that I shall never forget. I tried to the right thing, the responsible thing, but I was going against my nature.

Then the chance came to leave it all behind and start a whole new life in a new province. I would be 14hrs away from everyone and everything I had ever known. In a place I had sworn I would never move to.

And then the most wonderful thing happened to me. I got lost.

Not lost in the traditional sense. I knew where I was and I knew where I had been. I just no longer had any idea where I was going. I had literally turned my entire life completely upside down.

I made mistakes that I had never made before, foolish mistakes that I would end up paying for later, but that was okay. I had held myself in check for so long that something like this was bound to happen sooner or later.

That is when I remembered what life was really all about. Life wasn't about trying to find that stable place. The place where you feel all safe and secure and nothing ever happens. If nothing happens, then that's not living.

Life is about living. It's about taking chances, making mistakes and learning. It's about experiencing everything that life has to give. The lowest of the lows and the highest of the highs. It's about the adventure you can find everywhere, even if you go no further than your own backyard.

I even began to eat foods that I didn't eat before and I learned to love them. Onions, BBQ sauce, and even hamburgers. I changed a lot and I learned to let myself go just that tiny bit.

The only sad thing thought, is that I've never really allowed myself to really let go. There is still that part of me that is holding on to the responsible, sensible persona that I had spent so long cultivating. And it's great to be responsible and a lot of ways.

Every now and then I do break free of that persona. I dance in the grocery store, I sing aloud on my walk to and from work. I take the challenges that are presented to me and I do my best to stand up to them. I am still trying to live, even at 30 (okay, ALMOST 30) I am still learning about who I am and what I want, but I know one thing:

Life is only lived when it is lived the fullest.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holobchi or not

I was going to an oh-so-exciting post about my exploits into making holobchi - a ukrainian vegetarian cabbage roll. Unfortunately I won't be. So sorry to break your heart. I was even going to includ pictures.

Sadly, they still have another 30min in the oven and I still need to clean up. I also would like to go to bed early. Some days are just tiring. Or rather, I'm always tired. Take your pick.

Today was better than expected. I think I handled myself quite well. I'm happy with myself and I think I will be able to move on from this sooner or later. It's really good to know that. Moving on is a good thing.

Sadly, that is all I am going to say on the matter. You can wonder about it till the cows come home, but this is a public blog and only so much can be revealed. So just ignore the funny little man behind the curtain.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


A blog post everyday shouldn't be so hard, but I am tired. It's been a long day and I was aaway from home for more than 24 hrs. All I want to do is go to bed and get plenty of rest so that I don't stress out tomorrow.

I want to keep my mind on the peace and beauty of the snow frosted trees this morning. The way the sun shone upon them and broke the scene into shimmering crystals. The stunning peace of an unbroken field of snow. That is what I want to be feeling.

Tomorrow is going to be hard for me. I can do it though, because it will also make me very happy for a while. And that trumps the stress every time. I'm making lemonade tomorrow. Or at least, I'm going to try to. Life gave me another lemon and I am going to milk it for all it's worth.

That will have to do. I need to drag myself into bed and hopefully I will finally start to warm up after a day spent entirely outside in -20 weather.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Who are you and why am I reading this?

I am going to make the huge assumption that someone other than those who know me might stumble upon this blog and decide to read it. To answer the second question, I don't know why you're reading this. Curiosity, boredom, you actually find me interesting for some unknown reason. The answer to that question is up to you.

Who I am, well that is always a more complicated question to answer. And I don't think I know anyone who can answer that question well, but please feel free to prove me wrong. To be honest, I'm not even sure how to define a person, let alone myself. Heck, even a google search on "how to define a person" doesn't really bring up much of any use.

So what do you say we go with the normal basics?

I work in a office in a field related to the oil industry - which is a pretty big deal here in Alberta. If you're a Canadian you will nod your head knowingly when I say that I from Vancouver and I still identify as a Vancouverite. Everyone else, you can just pretend to know what that means.

When I'm not working at the office, I can sometimes be found working from home. I do some web design on the side as a favour to a few people. I don't actually like doing web design, but it provides a few bucks on the side every now and again. I did actually study it at college, so I alledgedly know what I'm doing.

Then when I have free time I like to read novels or attempt to write them. Often my time spent writing is very little outside of the NOvember. I'm hoping to make a significant change in this habit. I would like to start writing all year round. Not quite at the same pace I do in November, but a thousand words or so a day doesn't really take me much time.

After that, there really isn't much to say about who I am in terms of what I do. I have a bunch of random hobbies, I'm sure some of them are listed in my profile here, you can read that if you want to.

I'd talk about my dreams, feelings and other such things, but I think this is more than enough. You'll get to know these things as I go, unless I fail at this blogging thing again. Only time will tell.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I am not a blogger

The title truly says it all. I am not a blogger. I've tried, but I've never managed to get anywhere. I can't imagine anyone finding anything I have to say all that interesting, but maybe that's just me.

I am doing this blog on a dare from a friend. She was evil enough to dare me into trying NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month. Post a blog entry every day for a month. I'm not even sure I'm capable of this. In fact, I am postive I'll fail.

I don't even read blogs. Not typically. I read the occasional one, but I am a twitter girl. I barely even use my facebook. I prefer my 140 character updates. Of course, if it's not twitter, than I am banging out a few thousand words of questionable prose for NaNoWriMo.

I even asked for help on what to write for my first entry. I got a few suggestions. Sharks with lasers and puppies were topics I am supposed to cover. I tried to put them together, but it didn't end very well.

I was also told to be cute and witty. Considering that it sometimes will take me days to think up the perfect comeback, I'm not sure I can do that either. It's not that I'm not cute or witty, it's just that it never seems to come out in my writing. At least, not when I'm trying.

So even though I am taking a brief break from writing before moving onto my next novel, I still have words to put on to the blank screen. Words that go right here.

I think I'd rather try to write another 100K words in a month. That I can do. This, maybe not so much.