Monday, November 30, 2009

Yes, it's true....

I am engaged to be married to Matthew Fraser Dayco.

On Saturday, November 21st Matt proposed to me in Portland. What follows is the (quite detailed) story of our engagement, starting from Friday onward. I guess if ever there was a time for a long blog-post, this is it. But be prepared, it is quite long. I'm sure I am breaking every rule of wedding-etiquette there is by posting this here. But I'm okay with that.

If you want to "skip to the good part" go down to Saturday. Here we go....

In early October, Brandon and Lindsay told us they would take us on a trip as a combined birthday present. So, we decided on Portland. On Friday, we all met up at their house and headed out. On the way, we stopped to get gas (yes, this is a significant detail). We were about two blocks from the border when we see a man yelling at us from another car: "All your suitcases just came out at the intersection". And he was not kidding. At 8th avenue and 176th street, all of our suitcases had flown out of the back of the truck into the middle of the intersection. Somehow, the we had failed to close the back of the truck at the gas station. (see, told you).

Matt runs out into the middle of the road, and rescues the suitcases. But that's not before one gets run over by a Semi-truck (ouch! good thing it was the empty one). But my suitcase is nowhere to be found. So, we start looking, and we can't find it anywhere. We decide to drive all the way back to the gas-station at 64th avenue. We drive along 176th with the windows open in the pouring rain looking, and we cannot see it. We look again at the 8th avenue intersection and Matt runs down the side roads to check. Nothing.

So, we give up.

We head back down 8th towards the apartment, so that I can get some things to make it to the next day. As we're driving I say to Matt: "Do you think there is any point in still looking?". I am literally finishing my sentence when Lindsay yells: "There it is!!!" And there it was, my suitcase which had been dragged 1/2 a kilometer by a car from the intersection. We run out into the road, and by some insane miracle, everything was there, soaking wet in a beat-up suitcase, but all there!

The whole way to Portland, we would turn to one another in delight and say "All our bags are in the back!"

And that's day one.

This is my "we found our suitcases, I can't believe it" face.
Notice the rain-drenched hair.

On Saturday, we all woke up and went out for breakfast. Matt suggested that we should take Brandon and Lindsay to my favorite bookstore - Powell's City of Books. Yes, that is the name because it is 1.6 acres (a full city block, four stories high) of books.

As soon as we get there Matt says he has to go to the bathroom and leaves us for a few minutes. I walked around with Brandon and Lindsay and looked around until Matt joined us again. He comes back and tells us there is a "special event" happening in the Antique Books Room upstairs. Now, you have to understand. This is my favorite room in the whole store. It's
filled with first editions, and beautiful antique books. I obviously do not see it coming, so the on the way up I'm telling my brother all about this room. He is smiling nicely and laughing in his head at me.

We get up there, and there are three musicians playing. There is music and books and it's all very lovely. (But I'm still not getting it). There are two chairs set up by the musicians, so Matt and I sit down there. I listen for one song, and then I get antsy - I need to look around of course. Matt's not having any of that. "Just hold on a minute" he says as I get up to look to around. I am a little suspicious but think its probably a classic case of Sharelle not being able to stop and enjoy anything for more than two minutes.

The song finishes and Matt says "I just want to grab this book I saw on the way in". So he gets up and I'm thinking "so you get to look at books, and I have to sit here?" And then the wheels start turning, and it all starts to click together (finally!).

He comes back, and the daze starts. I see him kneel, and open a Wordsworth book. Inside it, is a ring box and he says those four sublime words. I don't think I answered him for at least a minute, just dazed. We hug, and I'm trying not to cry. One of the musicians shouts: "Is that a yes?" and I come to my senses enough to say "Yes".

And then, they play "All You Need Is Love". And then the people cheer. And just like that, I'm engaged.

It couldn't have been more perfect. Brandon and Lindsay were there to celebrate with us after too. And we got two days to revel in the joy that is the first days towards Marital union. I am very, very happy. I can't even put the way I feel now to words. Its like somewhere in that two minute daze, a new kind of love developed. One that I didn't even know I was capable of. And it's pretty amazing.

Looks like a yes to me.

There's my ring, and Matt's musician trio behind us.
(they were fantastic, he made an excellent choice in them)

Celebrating at Deschutes Brewery.

"Let's take some ring pictures" - Lindsay.
"Can I do it with my cappuccino?" - Sharelle

"Look, there's a ring on my finger"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I really want a famous blog...

I mean really.

However, seeing as I haven't updated my blog since October 13th - it's probably not a realistic dream at this point.

I often read popular blogs and think "I could have written that...". But hasn't this always been the dilemma with art (yes, I just classified blogs as art), I didn't do it.

I'm not giving up hope though. Maybe one day I'll find a niche. And then I can stop working a 9-5, and when people ask about me, you can say "oh yeah Sharelle - she has a famous blog now". Here's hoping.

Until I get famous, go check these out:

The People of Wal-Mart -
this little gem chronicles the many different people that walk through the doors of everyone's favorite mega-store. I've always loved people watching at Wal-mart. Too bad I didn't start a blog about it right?

1000 Awesome Things - This is a good one if you need a little pick me up. A Vancouver Sun review: "it’s a countdown of life’s little joys that reads like a snappy Jerry Seinfeld monologue by way of Maria Von Trapp" (again, I DO Seinfield monologues, and I enjoy a lot of things)

That's all I've got. Stay tuned for more "my weekends are fun" posts. ha.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mr. Nick Hornby and one of the best moments of my life...

(Warning: this story is a bit long, and includes not one but two dialogue parts, so you can't say you weren't warned)

One of the great luxuries of not spending my whole life stuyding or teaching, is that I get to spend time pursuing other "interests" - like reading. So this meant, that last week when the new novel "Juliet Naked" by Nick Hornby came out, I had bought it and read it in two days.

Just for a little background - Mr. Hornby has been my favourite living author for a few years now. Ever since "High Fidelity" and "Top 5's" at Capernwray, I had a feeling I was was going to be into this guy. Then I kept reading, and had this strange, reoccuring feeling that he was inside my head. So much of what he wrote felt like something I had just thought, or felt. And so we clicked, Nick and I.

And then I pretty much read everything he wrote - his novels, his short stories, his literary essays, his music-criticism. If the man put pen to paper, I had to read it.

So when I heard that he was coming to Seattle in October, and I wasn't bogged down by lesson planning, or marking, or writing papers, I knew I had to be there. So I got in my car on Friday and headed to Seattle Public Library to hear him speak. I waited in a ridiculously long border line-up, and then got there five minutes after it had started. I ran up to the door, and the conversation goes like this:

Security Guard: "it's full, and we've already turned over 100 people away".
Sharelle: "But I drove all the way from Canada!" and then "please.please.please..." (shameless, unrelently, emabarassing begging)
Security Guard: "oookay...I'll get my manager and we'll see"

Head security guard comes to the door, and says "come with me". As we go up the escaltor, he confesses that he hadn't even heard of Hornby until the day before. "And you drove all the way Canada..." he said, so shocked. I didn't bother telling him that Canada isn't really that far. I thought he had fair reason to feel bad, I mean you work at a library man.

So I sit in the back, unable to see him for the first half while he reads. Then for question and answer, I snuck to the side, and watched him speak. And I was so, so happy to learn that he was as brilliant in person as he is on the page. It felt like his rants were my rants. He talked about being an adult and having interests, the importance of hope in art, and the necessity of having a laugh while you're reading. And my heart beat wildly in my chest.

And then I realized I forgot to bring my book in for the signing, so I get in the book buying line. Only to take 8 years, and then end up at the very back of the book signing line. By the time we get to Nick, he has signed 100's of books. But the event organizers (who now know me quite well as "the Canadian") tell Nick of my lengthy trek.

NH: "All the way from Canada..." (I didn't correct him either) "I hope it was worth it" (with a grin)
Sharelle: "Definitely worth it"

And then we talked about his new movie screening in Vancouver ("I already have tickets" I gushed), he side hugged me, and took a photo. It may be one of the best moments of my life.

Thanks for sticking out that lengthy story. Now when I start to launch into in real life you can say: "Oh I read it on your blog". Which is why, I almost didn't post it here in the first place. But really, how could I resist?

And there we are:

Given all the context above, please resist the urge to comment on how he looks like a creepy British man. ha.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

my long weekend...

(in a rare feat of creativity, I made a collage, or rather, the computer did, and I rearranged. click on it to see it larger)

confessions of a shopaholic & pimms lemonade with lavonne.
wedding with greek dancing
secret garden tea room
slip and fall
seattle outlets
forever 21
pints with spiro
compline with singing monks.
pretentious seattle coffee shop (endearingly of course)
waking up to a view of seattle – 19 floors high
bumbershoot music festival
mango lemonade
slip and fall.
new hipster hats (matt and sharelle)
franz ferdinand
american microbrews
houndstooth scarf

an excellent weekend (in spite of the double-fall clutziness). it's the kind of weekend to send out the summer with.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

What's your favourite era?

I really should not make blog promises that I can't keep. I think I promised a lighter post. I'm not quite sure what this one is.

So today, I delivered a tender at Kwantlen. I've described this tender closing process before. It's sort of like the "spy" part of my administrative assistant job. I stand in a room with four strangers, and frantically scramble down a price, hoping I have the lowest one (so that we get the job). I am very careful that no one overhears my price, and steals it. Then I relish in the results, and stare down all the people we beat. Today, we got second place, so someone else got to stare me down. That was a full paragraph of context right there. On to the real story:

I am driving into Kwantlen, and this wave of nostalgia overtakes me. I saw all these students, on this, their first day of university, scrambling through the parking lot, arms loaded with books. It's that mix of anticipation and fear in their eyes. You sort of want to stop them and say: "it's only Kwantlen, you'll be fine". They have conversations like this one:

Student 1: "I am sooo tired, I was up so late last night"
Student 2: "Why, were you studying or something?"
Student 1: "Oh no, I was just on facebook"

That was real. Fantastic (Tragically, that still is my life sometimes. ha). But really, the whole thing got me thinking about my own university-era.

I think I can say, without fear of regret, that university was my favourite era.

I mean, obviously there will other great eras - there is no denying that. Some people want to choose High School, but I don't think so. In my opinion, University is so much better. You get the social environment of high school, but with more freedom, and ability to develop identity outside of a fishbowl. You get to learn, and even though you feel busy (and you are), you also have daytime hours off. I mean, obviously I am biased because I have always enjoyed school. But, I can't even be accused of "rose-colored glasses" for the past, because I felt this way during university.

It's sort of a strange thing, to realize an era you loved so much is over. But maybe it doesn't have to be? I guess we'll see about that. What about you, what would you say is your favourite era so far?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

some Clive wisdom...

So I've been reading Clive Staples "The Four Loves" this week, and I am in awe that I have never read it before. I am just about finished, and I am quite certain, once I flip the last page, I will turn back to the first one. It makes my mind spin with ideas...(as Clive is wont to do). So here is a quote from today, because it's a good one:

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

- C.S. Lewis from The Four Loves

Don't worry, I'll probably try and lighten the mood for the next post. I see the direction this blog is taking. ha.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Here we go...

Normally, this isn't something I would post on the blog, for fear that it might be misintepreted.

So I offer this disclaimer:

I am neither advocating nor rejecting the claims in this article. Instead, I am attempting the impossible: to present the article without my opinions attached. I will tell you this - there are parts I agree with, and parts I don't (oh shoot, I already ruined it, didn't I?)

Just read it, and see what you think. Just by reading the title, I am sure some of you are already gasping and calling me names. I hope not. Mostly, I am just interested in this conversation on having and not having children. And I am interested in the way society treats this issue. If you are too, take a read. If you want to punch me, please reconsider.

The Case Against Having Children - Anne Kingston - "Maclean's Magazine"

*And one more disclaimer - if you are a mother, I respect and admire you. You are doing something amazing and selfless everyday. I promise, I just like the conversation.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

summer music...

I always love a good soundtrack. It's a good way of pretending you know what's hip & cool, by listening to the songs that other music-loving people pick.

And now, we have the soundtrack of Summer 2009. (500) Days of Summer*

The entire track-list is good. That is not an exaggeration. It is a rare thing to be able to say that. It's got some of my favorites (Regina Spektor, Feist, Simon & Garfunkel) and some new things. Two new ones I am loving are "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap and "Here Comes Your Man" Meaghan Smith. And Zoey Deschanel sings on there too. Pretty great.**

So, you should probably go check it out. I am pretty sure I will be listening to it on repeat for the rest of August.

*Just to be clear, I am not necessarily recommending the movie here. I am still kind of undecided about it. Originally, I was pretty sure I didn't like it. And that's not because of the anti-romance ending (no, I didn't give anything away there, its in the preview). It was something else, their relationship or something. But it's inspired quite a lot of conversation. Which makes me think I might be starting to like it. Now I sort of want to see it again.

**I have been doing some serious music geeking, and have gone to another blog where Marc Webb (the music director) discusses all his music choices, both on the soundtrack, and just on the film. It's actually quite a funny little dialouge about cynicism, and tug-of-war between pop and indie music. If you are interested, take a read.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I usually wait until I am inspired to write....

No. this is not my photo. but it was titled "Back to the Future" in White Rock.
Thanks Flickr.

..but the inspiration seems to come in bits and pieces. And never whilst near a computer. Sometimes, I write random things in the moleskine, and then it never seem to make it to the screen.

Today, I saw on some one else's blog-roll that it's been four weeks since I have written. Although that is probably the worst motivation I can think of, it is causing me to write this.

So, I'm home.

I have been for a while now. But in truth, I am still coming to terms with it. It's strange really. Because most times I come home and I am ecstatic. The first sight of YVR makes me grin ear to ear. I don't know what was different this time. I don't love home any less, but it just seemed too soon or something. Or maybe that I had more "real life" to return to.

That being said, quite a few moments this week have signaled the return of
White Rock Love:

.being "missed" by my tea shop lady at Clancy's Tea Cosy in White Rock.
(this is a great story, more later perhaps)

.sunset at crescent beach.

.sunday morning farmer's market with locals selling fresh fruits & veggies.

.outdoor movie yesterday on the beach with the train passing in the background.

.flowers planted around the base of a lightpost at the beach.
(acutally, that was Laura's, but it's a good one isn't it?)

I feel quite consoled that it's returning. I am not loving suburbia yet. But, I am loving the suburbia August long weekend events happening this year. I think it's quite safe to say, I'll been back to normal in no time at all.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

From Ireland...

Unfortunately, there is no B & B owner with an i-phone in Ireland, so I didn't take that picture. But I swear to you, my pictures look almost exactly like that. Truth is, I will probably be posting my (not so perfect) pictures for the next 3 years to spice up my WR life. ha.

When I left you last I was with the girls in England. From there, we spent some lovely (and slightly nerve wracking) days in Wales, with a vehicle weaving our way through the countryside. I have one really great story of human goodness and a tire blowing. But I'd like to tell you that one in person. With considerable sadness, I left the girls in Wales. We really had some lovely adventures.

I went to meet Matt in London, and it was such a surreal moment to see him standing in the Heathrow before me. Even now, its hard to believe some days we are having this adventure.

Some highlights so far:

We saw "Waiting for Godot" with Ian & Patrick and it was pretty unreal. We were in the very back row, I mean the last possible row in the theatre, but the magic made it to there. I suppose its not a shock to say it - but those guys can really carry a scene. We also met my family friends "The Suvans" for dinner in their London flat. It was so nice to be in a home, and enjoy home-cooked food and vist with friends. On our last day, we had high tea at Fortum & Masons. It was really the height of the tea experience. They did everything right.

I wanted to write about each city, but I can see that the hotel owner is looking at me strangely for hogging the computer so long. So I will just say this, the coastlines in this country are magnificent. See the picture (that I did not take...haha) above. I have really been over-taken with awe. Sometimes, when you travel this really horrible thing happens to you where every cathedral looks like the one before, and it all blurs into one. But then, you see beauty like we did in this country, and you literally can't help you shriek when you come around the corner because it's so beautiful. I love that feeling.

I should go, his looks are getting more persitent now. I love travelling, but think of you all often. Send me lines & let me know you are. They mean a lot "out here". ha.

Monday, June 15, 2009

From the UK....

Well hello everyone. As the title suggests, this post comes to you from the UK. I am sitting in Bath - en route to Wales with the Laura and Rita Van Dyke. Its not the most expressive picture, but our B & B owner snapped it on the ol' iphone and sent it this morning, so I figured I might as well post it. We are in Wells there, the smallest town in the city in the UK (most well known for the filming of British Movie 'Hot Fuzz' which I love).

This country does indeed hold part of my heart. We started in the bustling London, where we stayed at a very Hogwarts-esque hostel with wooden beds and massive staircases. We were sort of theatre gluttons, we watched The Phantom of the Opera and Romeo & Juliet in one day. It was preeetty great. We also went around the city, wandered in Hyde Park, went to the Poet's Corner to converse with our dead kindred spirits. It was quite lovely. We some transportation nightmares because the tube went out of service. We had to find our way back to the Swiss Cottage on random buses. We also went to Dover (to see the White Cliffs) and Cantebury for the home of the Chaucer's tales. Dover was a bit of a dissapointment, because the beautiful white cliffs were blocked by a massive port, but we read our poetry anyway. Cantebury was quick but lovely, and I had my first real English Roast while here, and it was perfect.

Next, we headed to Oxford to visit the graves of some great authors (Tolkien & Lewis) and visit their pubs, and Colleges. It was quite a crazy town, with students in robes everywhere. We saw also saw Harry's banqueting hall, and of course LVD & I were in raptures.

From Oxford, we headed to Glastonbury (no, not for the festival). Laura insisted that we go on this pilgrimage to see the 'beginning of Christianity in England' and where the Arthur legend begin. I was skeptical, but it was quite a interesting town, full of hippies, mystics and those interested in other worlds. It was pretty great being in small-town England again, and made me think so much of Capernwray.

Now, we are in Bath, here for a few short hours, en-route to Wales. We have been judged considerably, for our decision to go to Wales, but we are quite excited. Tomorrow, we go to Tintern Abbey and read Wordsworth's famous lines. I cannot wait. It has been a joy to travel with English Majors, who have a poem or some lines for every occasion, and are ready to read them with me. And yet, I also think of so many of you, the ones I lived with here, the ones I travelled with here, and I remember all the great times travelling brought us.

Please send me some thoughts of home. They will be much appreciated on this side of the ocean. You are missed & loved.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

five reasons why I am happy in spite of the canucks...

(Photo by Kristina Vbvv..and not me, obviously)

There is no shortage of things to be sad about at the moment. I mean, the canucks lost, and there is an economic downturn. So, I figured it was time to post about some things that have me happy in the past couple of days. Why not try to turn the tides a little?

#5 - solidarity
The very fact that our most of our city is sad today shows that we are still capable of some kind of solidarity. It almost feels like "football" in England. Just to know that about 80% of the city is doing the same thing as you, hoping for the same things as you and now feeling the same sadness as you, makes it all a little better right? If you want the truth, I mostly watch hockey for solidarity. I like talking about it at work the next morning. ha.

#4 - the approach of summer
As I drove to the ferry to pick up Spiro yesterday, the sun was setting in the clear sky, and it felt a lot like the start of summer. I realized that some time the past two years, I started being affected by seasons. I never much cared before what season it was (probably because I was in school for all of them) But now, different seasons mean different things, good things. I thought of fireworks, and summer sunsets, and long evenings, and it made me smile.

#3 - cp's
Spiro was here this weekend, and we went to the island to visit Kristina and her husband Johannes. I was amazed again that here we are 5 years after Capernwray, and we still like each other this much. That is fantastic. We walked everywhere in the sun, sat on the balcony, listened to music and generally enjoyed one another's company. It was pretty fantastic, and kind of felt like a little preview of Europe.

#2 - Europe
This week I had a multitude of emails from people travelling in Europe, and it made me realize that it's going to be me in less than a month. It still doesn't feel real. Booked tickets to see "Waiting for Godot" in London with Sir Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart (Yes Magneto AND Xavier). Ohhhh man. X-men and Shakespeare in one city. Best city of the world - no contest.

#1 - White Rock White Spot
Yesterday, I was at home doing laundry and watching game #6 when I decided I needed to get some food. We all know how bad I am at preparing for food for myself, so I thought I would go pick up some White Spot. I get there, and I look over to see Stefanie & Heather sitting there watching the game. I asked the waitress if I could eat my take-out in the restaurant. She looked a me a little funny, but I went for it. And it was fantastic. I mean, really, when does that happen? So classic White Rock. We sat with a couple random guys and cheered and booed at the appropriate times. That is some great solidarity there.

I guess it all comes back to solidarity, doesn't it? So there is mine, how about you? There has to be something that is making you happy today.
Two Top 5's in a row....Yup.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Top 5's...

When I was at Capernway, the cp's were usually doing one of two things: listening to Tiny Dancer or making a Top 5 list.

And it's back - now through the wonder of the World Wide Web - they are at it again. Making Top 5 lists. And since I now know that my readership depends on "frequent posting", I will post anything I have.

So, don't think of it as a survey on a blog, no no, it's a "Top 5" - and that is MUCH cooler. And hey, maybe go post your own. Some might call it a product of our ego-centric culture. I think those people are wrong.

Top 5 meals you've ever had:
1. Jack Daniels Ribs & Asparagus - Cactus Club (yes, a chain restaurant - suck it up)
2. Schnitzel at Schnitzelwert Schmidt in Austria.
3. Last night's steak and shrimp dinner at Matt's (I love dating a chef)
4. Lamb Popsicles at Vij's Indian Restaurant in Vancouver
5. Tacos with Matt- tenderized beef with special seasoning. Mmm....

Top 5 reasons you're glad for where you are:
1. The ocean
2. The mountains
3. People I love near me
4. My church
5. Free rent - its silly living with your parents, but being able to is pretty great, and having money for things like Europe.

Top 5 reasons you can't wait for what's next:

3. Because I am going to Europe in June - first meeting two amazing English majors, and then meeting Matt after. I can't even believe it, even as I write it. So excited.
4. Harry Potter 6!!! (why is this the only thing with exclamation marks?)
5. A summer without the guilt of school is going to be unreal.

Top 5 fears:
2. That I will end up alone.
3. Being away from academia too long that I become incapable of completing any further education.
4. That I won't be able to see outside of myself enough to love those around me (Matt, Friends, Family, Kids...ummm....)
5. Having kids - there I said it - I have crazy womb anxiety. It's true. But the fact that marriage is NOT on this list is a minor victory, so at least we are getting somewhere.

Top 5 things you are great at:
1. Ranting
2. Being a friend (I hope...)
3. Knowing where to get good fast food, in any given situation.
4. Apologizing
5. Starting conversations with strangers

Top 5 smells:

1. My grandma's cinnamon buns
2. BBQ's
3. Coffee
4. This cologne Matt wears - Joop - love it.
5. Clean laundry.

Top 5 buildings (whether you've stepped foot inside or not)
1. Capernwray Hall
2. Wordsworth's Cottage
3. Shakespeare's Globe in London
4. Childhood places. We moved a lot - so there is really no one place, but as a collective they are lovely.
5. Chatsworth Manor - (The Pride & Prejudice House) - 4 of my 5 are in England. That is ridiculous.

Top 5 purchases you've ever made:
1. Plane tickets- I calculate almost every major purchase in my life as where I could have gone with that money.
2. My travel backpack - it's pretty great.
3. My converse - but they were given to me, so maybe it doesn't count.
4. U2 - the best of 1990-2000.
5. Antique John Donne in York.

Top 5 things that have annoyed in the last week:
2. The amount of planning it takes to create a good lesson.
3. Not being able to be everything for everyone at the same time, and then feeling like crap about that.
4. My own incapacity to be alone - always driving somewhere because I hate being alone. So silly.
5. Always pulling out the wrong key when I have 12 things in my hands.

Top 5 things that have inspired you this week:
1. The sun coming out for the beginning of spring.
2. The fact that I made it through my first full week of "real" teaching (and got paid for it!)
3. How I seem to love Matt more as time goes by.
4. Travel plans for Europe coming together.
5. Starting to read again - and things I want to read...

So there you have it - this week's "Top 5" - maybe go write one. It's a fantastic waste of time if you have something more important to be doing. Or maybe just because....

*Some things have been removed, in the interest of not writing my entire soul on the internet. But you all read it already anyway...right :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Talking to Strangers....

Confession: I really like talking to strangers.

Well, not all strangers but most. I don't know when it started, but I suspect it might have been the years as a Barista. The options were either having a mind-numbingly-boring shift (working at the slowest Starbucks in White Rock) or striking up conversations with random strangers. So, I usually opted for the latter.

And now, I do it without thinking. I will start talking to the person behind the till, or next to me in line, and it seems totally natural. Sometimes, strangers even come up to me and start conversations. It's almost like if you classify yourself as a person that talks to strangers, they start to approach you. At times, it can be awkward. But usually it is hilarious, and makes for fantastic stories, especially while traveling. Both Brenda and Lavonne are fantastic "stranger-talkers" so it made for some great travel stories.

But today I dropped the ball.

I was at having tea at Clancy's in White Rock, and this young guy comes up on a Motorcycle. He wanders in, takes off the helmet, and proceeds to buy some loose tea. I think that might be it, and he would just leave after that, but no, he sits down, at the table next to us, and has a cup of tea, by himself, A BIKER. And not like a scary biker, but wearing glasses, and friendly looking. I was so shocked by this obvious "strike-up-a-conversation" moment, that I couldn't do it. I totally froze. I couldn't think of any opening line that wouldn't seem like a come-on, or too cheesy, or keen. So, I said nothing. I mean, this guy even smiled when we said something funny. He wanted to talk, and I couldn't do it.

We left, sure that somehow "fate" had cheated us. Or something. The question is this...would you have started a conversation with this guy? And no, not to necessarily to flirt, but just to be nice, or would you (like me) have sat there wondering what to say, or just not said anything at all for fear of being over-keen? What would your line have been?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sims Wisdom....

This weekend in a lengthy, and somewhat over the top blog conversation (yes, I have those) - it was determined that a good blogger is a frequent blogger. I am not so sure about this, particularly because the accusation came from a NON-blogger, but I suppose there is some merit to the admonishing I received.

So, here we go. I always say I will blog about things, and then I don't, so this time I am keeping true to my word:

Remember when you used to play the "Sims" (circa about 1998 for me), and you had maintain all those little areas like health, and friendships, and work etc. So you would go hang out with a friend for an afternoon, and you'd be doing really good on the relationship front, and then bam! you're health was way off, or your career success. So, there you were navigating your little character around, scrambling to keep all your "levels" in the green. And it was hard to do right?

I think the Sims might have been on to something. Yesterday, I had the distinct sensation that I might have to "get used to the idea" that on a day to day basis, I am probably going to have to let someone down. I know, that sounds really defeatist, but I think its going to be freeing for me. For example, with TOC'ing - people start requesting you, and then two people request you, and you have to reject one, and you feel really bad. And then you realize "sometimes, I am going to have to let people down".

Now, I am not saying we should let ourselves off the hook when we really do need to feel bad, but I am saying that we need to have a little perspective. I've been told I have a pretty over-active "guilt-complex", that is, I apologize for too much, and even things outside of my control. So maybe this post is just a little pep-talk to myself, and anyone else with the same complex, just to say - you have to do your best, and you won't make everyone happy all the time. Too defeatist? Nah....

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Today was a good day for blogging....

Not for me necessarily for but for everyone else. Because I have this fantastic new "blog-roll" now, I can see who posted today, and I had a lovely read tonight.

I wish that I could add to this collective joy, and post something magnificent, but I don't know if I want to contend. So, when I fail to come up with good words myself, the inevitable conclusion is that I steal from someone else, or direct you to them, which I am about to do.

Nick Hornby from today's post entitled "My Waterstone's Writer's Table". It's a long list of book recommendations. But at the end, this wonderful diatribe about the books we love. Go read it. It's Nick Hornby in good form.

It can happen anywhere: a dinner table, a pub, a bus queue, a classroom, a bookshop. You have struck up a conversation with someone you don’t know, and you’re getting on OK, and then suddenly, without warning, you hear the five words that mean the relationship has no future beyond the time it takes to say them: “I think you’ll like it.” This phrase is presumptuous enough when used to refer to, say, a crisp flavour; if, however, you happen to be talking about books or films or music, then it is completely unforgivable, a social solecism on a par with bottom-pinching. You think I’ll like it, do you? Well, it has taken me over fifty years to get anywhere near an understanding of what I think I might like, and even then I get it wrong half the time, so what chance have you got?

And not to suggest that I am only talking about British writers, some other blogs that you should go read today.

Margaret: "And Now for Something Completely Different"
The Monty Python reference says it all. There is a quote from Winnie the Pooh. Great stuff.

Spiro: Lupe Ontiveros: "I've given every maid I've ever portrayed my soul and heart"
In classic Spiro style, she pulls out this fantastic quote, which makes you think and makes you smile. I might even say "heartwarming" but that might turn some away. Or it might take away from the great post that this is.

And maybe, if you know her, go click on Bec Shulba's blog. She might be mad I said that. But she kind of went for the gold with this one post. Just putting it out there.

Days like this convince me even further, that blog haters are just that - haters. Maybe the people who hate blogs and perceive them as mindless drivel don't have the kind of insightful friends that I do. (Did I just refer to Nick Hornby as my friend?) That is my conclusion.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mmm...Ice Cream....

I could really use some ice cream right now.

In the summer, the ice cream truck comes into the Novacom parking lot. Where is he today I wonder? At home sleeping probably, because it's Feburary. Too bad.

***Warning: There is some language in this thing. But its prettty funny*****

Thursday, February 19, 2009

my flourishing bridesmaid career...

In the past month, I had the pleasure of being a witness as two of my favorite women in the world made sacred vows and commitments. Significantly, they are two of the strongest, most fiercely independent women I know. So it was even more special to see them both make this step.

As a result of these two weddings (and the aptly timed PPAC Sermon series), marriage seems to have become a theme in my life recently. It is everywhere. Which on some days is great, but on others is a little difficult.

But it has got me thinking. It has made me realize, that maybe Leonard Cohen nailed down one of the greatest truths of all time.

"Love is not a victory march. It's a cold and its a broken hallelujah"

There it is again. I just can't escape it. In both of these weddings, I saw so much more than the "victory march" that weddings can so easily become. I saw the second part, I saw the whispered hallelujah. I witnessed the inevitable sacrifice, the loss, and the coming together again. And it was beautiful.

And you had me pegged as a wedding cynic.

round six.
Bonnie & Caleb
(CP Reunion)

Sort of a random pic, but the "wedding pics" aren't in yet.

On the final day, we played "Tiny Dancer" and no one left with dry eyes.

round five:
Geoff & Lavonne

Geoff & Lavonne in the Newspaper Photo. It's a little blurry, but check out that marquis.

Two Drewlo's in a wedding party. Loving that.

The ladies in the "second dresses".

I like a man in a sweater vest. Also I have ribbon in my hair.

So there you have it. I would like to say that I am going to retire. but who is kidding who? That is never going to happen. I guess if I want to friend on the tombstone, this comes with the territory.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

twenty five facts...

I always feel this pressure, when I have things that I actually want to blog about. I feel like I need to write about them well. At the moment, these things include the start of the TOC life this week, and Lavonne's wedding on the weekend. I am pretty sure both posts will come in due time.

But not right now.

Now, I am going to follow the facebook-trend and post 25 random facts about myself. An incredibly lame thing to do, I realize, but it's a post, and I have to get past the pressure.

1.I have a teddy bear called "Scotty". There have been two versions before him. One got crunched in a garage door on a childhood sleepover. Yes, I still sleep with a teddy-bear, and not afraid to admit it.

2. I live my life with equal parts fortune and misfortune. I often lose things, but they are usually returned to me in very serendipitous ways.

3. I think it is a very horrible thing to show up at an event wearing the wrong outfit. I have even said it is the "worst thing". It obviously isn't the worst thing, but MAN do I hate that feeling.

4. I am an English major who doesn't read. I mean, I do read, but way less that I want to. I happen to also really like people. Its' hard to combine these interests (but not impossible. ha).

5. I don't like Dickens. (There I said it - judge me all you want, but he just goes on and on, and I don't like the million characters, I just find them irritating. I am going to live to regret saying this...)

6. "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey (circa 1981) is my current theme song. Thanks to Spiro. For the very reason she put forward: : I need a voice that is singing: "don't stop believing", and I need it "now more than ever".

7. I love Nick Hornby. I will read anything he writes. He is like the voice in my head, only "more accurate and with a better vocabulary" (10 points for that movie reference)

8. I like Harry Potter, and I mean a lot.

9. I love dancing at weddings. It's the multi-generational thing I think. It gets me every time.

10. I have zero sense of "interior design". I am counting on people wanting to come to my house to eat Matt's cooking.

11. I have never broken a bone. But I am very afraid that I will.

12. I love my converse. I feel like a whole different person every time I put them on.

13. I miss the "ding-dong" sound of the door opening in tiny shops in England. And I miss eating Cornettos from these shops.

14. I think that Fresh Ink cards are the best cards out there. If you ever feel down, take a trip to Hallmark and just read a few. You'll feel better, I know it.

15. As I get older, I discover more and more that I actually like foods that I thought I hated, only because I ate really bad versions the first time.

16. I eat a lot of fast-food. Way too much actually. It's a tough habit to break though.

17. I once had a t-shirt with overalls attached that had smiley faces on them. It was neon. I loved that shirt.

18. I find a lot of satisfaction in crossing things off lists.

19. I want my tombstone to say "friend". (Yup, I just went there)

20. When I don't straighten my hair, I look like a 70's boy.

21. I love Watermelon sour straws. When I buy them, I eat the whole pack in about 30 seconds.

22. I am an English teacher, who isn't very good at grammar.

23. When I was a baby, I had red hair. Sometimes you can still see a little in the sun.

24. I have a lot of rules about things, like "not drinking starbucks coffee in major city centers", and "always giving cards with christmas gifts". There are really too many to list here.

25. I am standing on the precipice of the rest of my life.

Whew. That was long, I am pretty impressed if you are reading this right now.

Okay, the idea is, if I tagged you on facebook, or if even if you are reading this on the blog - you go write your own 25, and then tag more people. I know, sort of just a "survey" and on my blog no less. But you kind of want to do it, don't you?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What do you think?

"I've seen your flag on the marble arch.
Love is not a victory march.
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah"
- Leonard Cohen


Thursday, January 15, 2009

the new look....

Well I had been holding out for a year almost, not wanting to switch to blogger beta because I didn't want to lose that old template.

But then I started looking, and found that there are some beautiful people out there who can convert templates from wordpress to blogger. I didn't want to switch to wordpress, because I didn't want to loose everything. Now, I can have a nice looking blog (let's face it, wordpress templates are much cooler looking), AND keep my archives. Sounds good to me.

So what do you think? Any comments, ideas, suggestions?

I don't quite know what to do with that top box where I have the quote. I could put my title there, and put something else on the side. What do you think? Also, when you read my blog, can you see the "editing wrench" icon on the side?

**The beautiful people are:

Saturday, January 03, 2009

In case you didn't catch it the first time...

A few months ago, Bec posted about Vancouver's new radio station: The Peak 100.5 FM.. At the time, I was lost in PDP-land, and did not read it. But then, I read it a couple of weeks ago and have been listening ever since.

So, I thought I would go ahead and post about it again. Because this has probably been one of the greatest discoveries in a long time. I consistently can't believe that I am listening to the radio when it is on, because it is actually good music. Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy top 40 just as much as the next guy, but not because it is actually good music. On this radio station, I hear Arcade Fire, Metric, Snow Patrol, Jason Mraz and wonderful new independent artists, that I can't even find on itunes yet. The best part is, these guys are not covering the "Canadian Content" with Nickelback. In fact, I have never heard Nickelback played on this station which is a small wonder for this city. Instead, they play new interesting artists.

I have found myself at least three times, looking up artists that I heard and trying to find more of their music. I think that is what radio was intended to be. So go check it out, its definitely worth a listen.

Top 5 Songs I am enjoying on the Peak:

1. O My Heart - Mother, Mother
2. Never Miss a Beat - Kaiser Chiefs
3. You are the Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne
4. Boys with Girlfriends - Meiko
5. Take Back the City - Snow Patrol

Friday, January 02, 2009

Why I am switched into "off" mode....

You know that moment? It's the one right after high school, when you are standing there, looking out at the world, and it seems so vast and you wonder: "what am I going to do?" and it feels so overwhelming. Then, the next thing you know, you have signed up for some program in a post-secondary institution and your life is again dictated for you for another four years. You write the papers, get the grades, and then you graduate.

And then it happens again.

University is over. And again, you are staring out at the big bad world, and you wonder: "what do I do next?". In my case, I signed up for yet another program. This time, with a "practical career focus". Once again, you do the program, jump through the hoops and figure out what is required of you.

And now, I am here again.

It's a little different this time. The thing that I am "supposed to do" is quite obvious. But at the moment, that doesn't seem to make it any less scary. In fact, it almost seems more scary. I keep joking that I am not sure what scares me more: that I WON'T get the job, or that I WILL and then I will have to face all those crazy high schoolers all over again.

As I write these words, I wonder if I should post them. There seems to be a high possibility of misunderstanding. You might think that Sharelle must "not want to teach", or something of that nature. I don't think that is it really. I think it is more about transition. It's that point where your life shifts, and you are forced to move with it. Those are hard moments for me.

So I thought I would send these thoughts out into the void, and see what you thought, if maybe you identified. Ohh blogging...