Thursday, November 03, 2011

I heart Mumford...

Well friends - it's been a while hasn't it? It feels like I'm always saying that on here. But the truth is, as much I disdained the thought of it - I've started to Twitter a lot. I'm not going to lie, it's pretty quick to post a photo and do a little 140 character post. Nevertheless, I still do value this blog. I've not forgotten about this fine medium. I promise I'll try harder.

As a reward for showing up - check out all of these videos for unreleased Mumford & Sons songs. I can't not even wait for the new album in February. It's a rare thing for me to sit and put "Youtube videos" on repeat, but Mumford merits that kind of idiocy.  

Lover of the Light 
Ghosts That We Knew
Lover's Eyes
Hold On to What You Believe
Feel The Tide
Hopeless Wanderer

I can't even tell you which one is my favourite, because they are all really fantastic. But I have listened to "Hold On to What you Believe" & "Feel the Tide" about 30 times each on Rdio. 

Brandon & I have bought our tickets to their Seattle show on the first week of December. I cannot wait.


Tuesday, July 05, 2011


I really love fireworks.

I will go to great lengths to see them - drive long distances, sit in the rain, wait for hours to get a good spot.

I'm not sure why exactly. I think might be one of those things that still inspires wonder in me. I've seen them so many times. Yet, I still can get caught off guard by a new kind that I haven't seen before, or the way they shimmer against the sky. Then if I tire of that - I watch the way they reflect on the water - suddenly the ocean lights up with green, blue, red.

If I'm really lucky, there is music too. And one lone firework shoots up into the sky during the opening chords of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". It's just so magical. And it just kills me.

I guess it's nice to know I can still get caught up in wonder - put all my cynicism and irony aside for a few minutes.

Last night we stumbled upon a wonderful spot by Peace Arch border, along the rocks and enjoyed the American's 4th of July offerings. There were fireworks going and there were trains passing. It was pretty amazing.

I can't even wait for the symphony of fire. Summer is here my friends.

Monday, July 04, 2011

This could really be a Good Life...

Yes, I might be in danger of becoming that heavy-handed blogger who you don’t want to read anymore because every time you come here I’m ranting about some other social ill.

Hey – at least I’m thinking right? I promise I will write some ridiculous silly post soon that will remind you that I think about nice things too. Ha.

But today I’ve been thinking about entitlement – how we all have some of it in us, and how that comes out in what we think, what we say to each other, how we act.

It’s like when someone says to you, or you think yourself “ahh lame, you have to work tomorrow” when the weekend is ending and you start to feel bad for yourself for having to wake up and go to work on Monday morning. If I don’t watch it, you might escape the most obvious thought of all: I have a job to go to. Sort of like how our generation (namely me) is constantly on the hunt for a job that will give us meaning, purpose and satisfaction. I’m not saying those aren’t good things to pursue, but some days shouldn’t we thankful we have a job at all?

It’s like when you tell someone you can’t afford something (a trip, a night out with them, a new house) and they seem genuinely shocked, like they have never before encountered in their life the experience of not getting exactly what they wanted, when they wanted it because of some external circumstance. And hey, I’m not judging here. I’ve been privileged enough to rarely have been on the “wanting” side of that equation. But just when I start to feel bad for myself, I need to remember how many places I’ve been and things I’ve done already. Who’s to say we deserve all this endless “entertaining” we provide for ourselves anyway?

I guess sometimes it’s easy to lose perspective – to feel like we deserve a good life with education, work opportunities, inspiring travel, delicious meals on the table, and friends to enjoy it all with. And when I start to get the “woe is me” feeling, I have to be pretty careful how far I take that. Obviously it’s good to yearn for more, and to be passionate about moving beyond where you stand now. But I guess, like all things, it might also be good to also balance those thoughts out before we get bitter, or angry, or feeling entitled to more than we have.

Usually I don’t like pictures like the one below. They remind me of the kind of things I used to show my suburban high-schoolers to instil a sense of erm…gratitude? I’m not sure what we were trying to do exactly. Usually they’re just a guilt device. But given my recent thoughts this week, I saw this one a little differently. Maybe sometimes we do need to take a moment to just stop and be thankful for what we have – even if things might be more difficult than you wish they were. So just attempt this with me (it’s outside the box for me too) – try to just take it as a thankfulness reminder, one that helps you put things into perspective then next time you have one of those “woe is me” moments.

Good fonts too right? And yes, I am listening to OneRepublic right now. It's might be cheesy to say it, but maybe this really is a "Good Life".

Friday, June 17, 2011

Who are we?

What a week it has been. As Wednesday approached, I knew there was some potential for sadness - after all, I had gotten pretty into it, and I wanted to see the Canucks win. But I don't know if there was a way to prepare for what actually happened.

As the days have passed, I've started to read the reactions to the Riot. It's very interesting to see the way the "blame game" has played out. Some of the reoccuring ones I read were

1. Intoxicated hooligans looking for a reason to behave badly.
2. Lack of police presence
3. The encouragement of violence in corporate hockey culture
4. Vancouver's unrelenting hedonism which promotes selfish agendas.
5. "Anarchists"

All of these things might have had some role, but it seems like we are always quick to find the "other". Someone we can blame for the dark and awful things happening out there.

I'm wondering if maybe we need to consider it from another angle. At least for me, I've been thinking - it's not as if I'm watching some atrocities that are happening thousands of miles away. They are happening here, in our city, in the culture that I live in, and I have helped create in some way.

A social media culture - where everyone wants to be a star, and will go to ridiculous lengths to do that. The "I'm in front of a burning car" facebook profile photos and the "couple in love in the middle of the riot" have all gone viral, and that just kills me.

A "violence" culture - in which we are constantly exposed to acts of violence in film, TV, sport etc. (warning, I might go all fundamentalist on you here) and its hard for me to believe that isn't affecting us somehow.

A culture of denial - it seems like we're so afraid of the violent and angry impulses that in exist in all of us, that instead of facing them, we push them deep down until we think they're gone. It feels like this is especially true for men, but since I'm not a man, one can only conjecture.

Obviously there are a lot of contributing factors going on. And I do hope justice is served for those involved. But I feel like this might be a lot bigger than that. I wonder if this might be one of those crisis moments for this city, where we start to ask the bigger questions about who we are.

I am proud to see that one of the things we are is hopeful. I woke up so sad on Thursday, feeling my love of "solidarity" and what we can do together might have been damaged forever. But then I started to see the images of the thousands of people that went downtown to clean on Thursday morning, of the "citizens pride" wall that started at HBC. And then there was the "#thisismyvancouver" tweets all day that celebrated what this city meant to be. And I'm not going to lie - it moved me to tears. There is some light breaking through the darkness.

So who knows, I would love to see this start a conversation, a re-evaluation of what we are and what we can be. Watch out - because I'm probably going to want to have this conversation with you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"This is What We Live For"

Last night was quite the game wasn't it? I've taken my seat on the bandwagon and it's a good seat. It was waiting for me from last year. Yup, I'm that kind of fan.

I've been thinking about this year's slogan:"This is What We Live For". It struck me the first time I heard it. I thought - how many people does that really apply to? How many people are waiting all season long for the playoffs, because this is really what they live for.

Now don't get me wrong. I was really into the game last night. My stomach was in knots. I really wanted them to win. I knew how sad I would feel today if they had lost. But then I started to read the status updates, and hear some "superfan" conversation and I realized - if the Canucks lost this game, it would crush these people. And I just wasn't sure what to think of that. I mean, I'm a superfan of a number of ridiculous things. So, on the one hand, I understand. I would be lying if I didn't admit I won't be crushed after July 15th when the last Potter film is released. I mean, it'll be the end of something huge for me. (Did I just compare the Canucks to Harry Potter? I sure did)

But then I realized something today. I'm kind of blue today anyway. Just one of those days where you feel the weight of things more heavily. And the thing is, at least today, it doesn't have anything to do with the Canucks. It has a lot more to do with what I really live for - and one of the biggest things is the relationships I have with the people around me.

This post is not meant to criticize the superfan, because there is one in all of us. There is one in me that will get louder as the playoffs go on. But sometimes it's just good to ask - what do we live for? Is it playoff season? The weekend? Our families? Our jobs? I went to a memorial service two weeks ago, where I was admonished to examine my priorities, and to re-align them if things had gone awry.

It might be crazy to say it - but I think every time in playoff season when I see that slogan I'm going to try and remember to ask myself: "What do I really live for?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 27 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 27: your day job versus your passion

Well almost three weeks have gone by, so I guess I have to admit that the 30 days of blogging did not in fact occur in 30 days. Ah well, I'd like to finish it anyway.

It's funny, because this topic is at the forefront of my mind most days, which you would think would make it easy to post about, when in reality it almost does the opposite. The thoughts are very fresh if you know what I mean, just coming to the surface slowly, and I'm not totally sure I'm ready for all of them to be public yet, but I'll give it a shot. So there's your fair warning, this will be pretty long, and still in pretty rough around the edges.

When I just told Matt the topic, he said "I guess at one time you thought your day job would be your passion" - meaning that I would bring my knowledge into a classroom full of beaming students ready to discuss the wonders of literature. Yeah, that didn't really happen. The full story is obviously more detailed, but that's more of a conversation for real life, or at least not for right now.

As my dad notably pointed out to me in a Las Vegas taxi this Christmas, sometimes its hard to determine how the things we love translate into the things we do. He told me he always loved cars, and is great at figuring them out, but doesn't want to be a mechanic (although he considered it). The same is true for Matt, who loves preparing food, but decided being a chef wouldn't allow the life he wanted (thank goodness!).

So now, I'm navigating the space beyond the obvious (loving English, and loving teaching, means you have to be an English teacher). I am integrating my passion for "education" and knowledge into my current job and I am finding spaces for growth and improvement there. I am considering what type of training might help me along in this "translation process" as I learn to combine my skills, my prior education and goals for the future. To be honest, it feels a lot less "determined" than I'd like it to. But, I want to take some time for the journey, and not just rush into another degree because it'll make me feel like I'm doing something.

I've just started reading "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. It's been a long time since I've picked up a book by this guy. The book is about the process of making "Blue Like Jazz" into a movie (don't worry, this had me scoffing too), and how he started considering his life as a story. It made him wonder what kind of story he was living. I've heard this kind of premise before (DCLA anyone?) but it's been hitting home with me, given the context above. So now I'm starting to do the same.

Here's what I figured out so far:

- I'm passionate about people - I always have been. When I consider the situations I have loved most in my life, it's almost always to do with who's there.

- I'm passionate about growth - both in myself and in others. Although I'm usually afraid of change, I long for it, and I want to look back and see how I've overcome obstacles and grown from them.

-I'm passionate about ideas and learning - I love the process of learning. I love how new ideas can spark in us and cause us to imagine. I also love what good teaching can do, and having people along side to facilitate the process of learning.

-I'm passionate about relationships - with my friends, with my family, with my co-workers. While this might seem similar to my first point, I stress here the "relationship" part, meaning a long-view of what we're meant to be for one another, not just a one-off moment here and there.

-I'm passionate about stories - no, I just didn't write that because of Donald Miller. Although maybe a bit (credit where it's due) I wrote it because I hesitate to narrow it to "literature" or "books". I'm more interested in how what we read and what we imagine and that interacts with how we live.

So that's a start - maybe a vague start, but a start nonetheless. When I read the beginning of this post to Matt, he said he wasn't sure I really addressed the topic, and maybe I haven't, but the truth is, it's because:

I'm working on it.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Day 26 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 26: list 10 things you are thankful for

1. Having a Job: not only having a job, but having a job where I can wake up in the morning, and be happy that I'm going there. I also get to see people I love there everyday. Not bad.

2. Health - I used to think this was a very abstract thing to be thankful for. And it mostly only appeared on lists of people over 45. But since last fall, I am very thankful for a functioning, healthy, recovering body. It's a scary thing when that is taken away from you even for a few weeks, so I'm glad I have it back.

3. Matthew - I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I really love that guy.

4. The Lower Mainland - We're an Olympic city. We have beautiful cityscapes - mountains, valleys and ocean views. I love having so many options - so many places I can explore without ever getting tired of it.

5. Friends - I've always known it, but it became very clear to me again last year how great my friends are. So many people helped out us out with various aspects of the wedding, and then continued to support us all the way through the crazy fall we had. I feel extraordinarily blessed by our friends.

6. Travelling - sometimes when I consider how much travelling I have already done at the age of 26, I feel a bit silly. It seems like an embarrassment of riches. I feel very fortunate to have seen so many places already. I am also thankful for people around me, who help make these dreams possible.

7. Education - I had the very rare pleasure of doing an undergraduate in something I love very much (English). If I didn't have to worry about paying the bills, I'm pretty sure I would be a student forever. That's the great thing about studying something you like. You don't ever really have to regret it - because you loved it while you're doing it. Hopefully I'll get to do more in the future.

8. Family - I've said in this blogging list already, but I sure do love my family. I see them every day and I still like them - that's pretty good right? But seriously - I am very blessed to have supportive parents (on both sides).

9. My Straightener - yep, I just put that on the list. It was starting to look a little too "canned". Like I typed "thankful list" in google or something. So I thought I'd throw this one in to keep you awake. Sometimes when I look back on photos from the past (as I did with Lavonne yesterday), I wonder how anyone was ever friends with me pre-straightener. That little device is a fantastic invention for those cursed with wavy hair.

10. Matt's Roast Beef & Yorkshire - or pretty much anything that man cooks. He made that delightful meal on Sunday, and I'm not sure it could get much better. Somehow, I found someone to make up for my vast deficit in cooking skills. It's a good thing I have other qualities to make up for it.

Well it started off a little slow, but at least it got a little crazy at the end right?

I'm going to get through these 30 days yet!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Day 25 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 25: what would we find in your bag

1.Altoids - Matt has convinced me that Peppermint can cure many ailments, so I always like to have it on hand now

2. Moleskine Journal - I like smaller size with the elastic on the side, no other journal has really ever compared.

3. Vanilla Frosting Lipsmackers - been going strong with this flavor for a good 12 years

4. Coupons - this one feels a little silly to admit, but I usually have a good number clipped out, and saved in my purse for when the occasion arises. It's just such a satisfying thing when you pay less for something you were going to buy anyway.

5. Pens - I love having a good assortment of pens in my bag. It's pretty much a panic situation if I need to write something down and I haven't got one in there. Right now, I am loving the "Seven Year Pen" that I got as a gift from my friend Aimee.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 24 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 24: your favourite quote and why

Favourite? It always seems to be "favourite" with this blogging list doesn't it? Such pressure all the time! Let's go with: "quotes I like". Yeah, I can deal with that. How about "top five quotes I like" - even better.

“All experience is an arch where through gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades, forever and ever as I move”

– Alfred Lord Tennyson “Ulysses”

“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream”

-Vincent Van Gogh

"Friendship needs no words - it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness"

- Dag Hammarskjold

"The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours"

- Alan Bennett from "The History Boys"

- Oscar Wilde

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 23 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 23: something you crave a lot

Okay, so maybe I have failed here. It hasn't really been 30 consecutive days exactly. I was hoping to finish within the month, but it looks like we'll be a few days over. It should have been pretty easy to keep it up on vacation, but it turns out blogging isn't really the top priority when the beach is a few feet away :) But alas, now I am back in snowy/rainy Vancouver and I'm going to finish this thing off!

So when I asked Matt what he thought I should write, he immediately responded: "company". As in, I always crave the presence of other people. This was an excellent answer, and very true. I am rarely able to spend 4 or more consecutive hours alone without needing some human contact. But I sort of already went into that in the last post, so we'll leave it there.

So then I started thinking of food, and while I might have chosen chocolate a few years ago, that craving comes and goes now. I think the most consistent food craving I have is: butter chicken.

This is actually quite a shocking conclusion for me. As a kid (and maybe even now), I was what most people would consider a pretty picky eater. I ate from a very limited menu. The thought of eating Indian food was way out there for me. Then one day, Matt got a gift certificate to Vij's downtown, so I went with him. I tried it, and was blown away. True - I started with the best, but after that I wanted more. I know Butter Chicken is pretty much the most basic you can get, but I love it.

We have a delicious local place (Ashoka Indian Cuisine), so I try to hold off as long as possible before I have to go pick up some delicious butter chicken and naan. Mmm. It's a good thing it's 11 pm right now, or I'd be driving there right now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 22 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 22: what makes you different than everyone else

This is sort of a funny question, and I've never really gotten on board with the "I'm sooo unique, look how cool my uniqueness is" thing. Especially when I was a teenager, and that was all the rage. I was usually pretty aware of how similar I was to everyone else. But as I get older, I have noticed a few things, and they are mostly in my bizarre personal paradoxes.

1. I am English Major who loves books, but also loves being with people (bookworm socialite): Maybe these things don't seem contradictory to you, but they seem to be for me. I always want to embrace a night of "at home reading" but then somebody calls me and I rush out. I come home and see my book lying on the table and feel regret.

2. I am easily paranoid and worried, but I crave adventure (anxious optimist): I worry about the future a lot. I constantly ask Matt questions about what will come. I worry about every potential eventuality about the choices I make. But at the same time, I want to take on new adventures. I want to backpack and travel. I want to meet new friends. I want to take courses and learn new things.

There are probably other things too, but I have trouble identifying them for myself. Any additions?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 21 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 21: a picture of something that makes you happy

I am in Hawaii (right now!)
I am on a beach.

Yup, that makes me pretty happy. I don't when it happened, because I know it wasn't the case when I was younger, but now, beaches just make me so happy. The sound of the waves crashing and the feel of sand in your feet.

And I'm not a fair-weather beach lover either. Oh no! I will go to the beach in the cold, and sometimes even the rain. In fact, I sometimes even like winter beach better, because you have it all to yourself.

Two weeks ago, I was driving into White Rock, and I caught sight of the water. I don't know what it was, but it almost brought tears to my eyes. (Okay, it did) Somehow living in Langley, I had forgotten how much that view just kills me. And it just caught me off guard. The sun was glinting, and I was just affronted by beauty.

And on that note, I think I am going to go down to the beach right now and do some tanning. I heart vacation.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 20 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 20: write a letter to someone

Dear Nick Hornby,

So I have just finished "How to Be Good". Excellent work, as always. I am not sure why it has taken me this long to read it, since I seem to read just about everything else you put out within days. It had so many truisms, and so much look-you-in-the-face honesty about what it means to be good, and how we attempt to answer those questions for ourselves. Thanks for being willing to take that on, and doing it with humor.

I've always wondered - what is the genesis for these characters? Are they people you know, made into a fictional form? Are they aspects of your character, or those around you, put into a more understandable and readable context? I always feel that they are so bang-on, and that makes me wonder how you develop them. I guess that is the age old question to the author isn't it? Yet, I still wonder.

About a year ago, I heard you speak in Seattle. Someone asked you if you were an optimist, and you talked about how you think redemption is in the little things - the situation doesn't necessarily change, but maybe the way we react to it can. You said that sometimes people criticize you for having that kind of "hope" in your art, but that you'd rather be criticized than be hopeless. Maybe it's weird for me to summarize your own words back to you, but they stuck with me.

I think about those words often, and especially as I read this book. Moments of hope are sometimes hard to come by - so we need to hold on to them when they do, even if our circumstances don't change. Sometimes I feel like it's impossible to beat back the cynic inside me, and it seems like that is true for a lot of your characters too. Cynicism is usually "first nature" and often pretty funny. But, sometimes they also realize that the cynicism is kind of poisonous to themselves and their communities.

Thanks for putting that all into words, and into characters. I doubt I need to say it after a letter like this, but I really appreciate your work. Thanks for doing it.


*For some context, and the reasons why I love Nick, and the time I met him, check out this post.

Day 19 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 19: write a sweet memory from your past

I am writing this post, whilst looking at this:

So I hope that explains the lack of posting for the past couple of days. I'm not really expecting sympathy exactly, but there you have it. We are with my family in Hawaii at the Marriott Vacation Club. Yup, life's pretty good.

To be honest, it's also been this post subject that's been stumping me. Partly for the ambiguity of "sweet". By this, do we mean something really fantastic, and super cool (that car is sweet)? Or something sentimental (ahh, that was really sweet of you)? Tough to say. I think I am going to go with the former. And I am in travel zone right now, so it'll be a travel story:

Matthew and I were in Munich. I wanted him see the classic "Hofbrauhaus". It is a beautiful classic beer hall where many historic events (including Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch of 1923) took place. The place is pretty touristy, but you have to see while you are there. So we agree to just go for a beer, and then grab dinner after.

We sit next to two younger guys, but don't talk to them for a while. One of them gets out to go the bathroom and tries speaking in German to us (this happened a lot). Then the other one did the same thing. They say something more substantial in German, to which we have to say we don't understand (shoot!). And then they do the customary "where are you from?" thing. (Nice guys).

We say we are from Canada, and one of the guys says: "You are kidding me! Let me introduce you to my friend Guenter!" And it all began.

Turns out Guenter - a graphic designer from Cologne - was in love with Canada, and he had just recently returned from a trip to Vancouver for which he had saved his pennies for years to go on. He was pretty certain Vancouver was one of the best places on earth, and he went on to show us his drawings which were inspired by his visit (see below). We continued to talk of Canadian music that he loved (Emily Haines) and so much more. Patrick, Guenter's old friend, was very similar to Matt and they had lots to talk about because he ran a hotel. After about a hour of talking, they asked if we wanted to go for dinner, so we went, and they took to us to a fantastic authentic German restaurant where Matt and Patrick ate Pork Knuckle. It was pretty much the best night of our whole trip, but it was such an unexpected delight.

Even now, Guenter and Patrick keep in touch (through the ol' facebook). They said we need to come visit again, and we invited them to come here too. A pretty great night which started at the most touristy place you can imagine. And that is why I love travelling.

"Maple Man" - credit to Guenter.
He also created "Maple Cat". Awesome.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mother Mother

Last Friday I went out to West Vancouver to catch a free Mother Mother concert. I was pretty tired when Friday night came around, and part of me thought it was crazy to go stand outside in the rain for a concert. But I had a few people crazy enough to do it with me (Shout out to Robby P, Kira and Gagnon).

So we went anyway, and arrived at a woodstock-esque mudpit filled with excitable concert goers.

And the show rocked. The rain held up for about 40 minutes while they played their set, and the sound was killer. I even discovered a new favourite song of theirs thanks to Rob Peacock.

So now, I send this one out to you. I am seriously considering going to their show again in May - this time indoors. Nothing quite like being in love with Canadian artists. It brings joy to my heart.

(Can you tell I just learned how to embed videos? Whaaaat a keener. ha)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 18 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 18: plans/ goals/ dreams you have

That is a pretty vague assignment right there. I think I am going to match the vague assignment with a vague answer:

I'm a little unsure of the plans these days.

Not the plans about how I want to live, or what kind of wife/family member/friend I want to be. Those goals are always very clear to me.

The thing is, I've always been a planner. I made plans leading up to university to get there. I made plans when I was in university for what was after. I made plans about teaching. Now I'm not really sure what plans to make.

I feel like I need to sign up for some more courses, do some more training, get myself onto another path. But luckily my husband slows me down a little sometimes, and asks me to stop for a little while before I rush into my third degree (yikes).

I'm not sure how long this season will last - this one without trying to make a million plans. But I am going to attempt to rest in it for a while.

Portlandia: Have You Read It?

Have you seen this show? It's a pretty funny commentary on hipster culture. Probably at least three times in the past two weeks, something has happened and I have said: "Have you seen Portlandia?" because it is so relevant. The one below is my favourite so far. I have totally been satirized. And I love it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 17 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 17: someone you want to switch lives with for one day and why

I debated long and hard about this one. So much so that I got another day behind. Oh shoot!

Seriously, I think my most truthful answer would be:

First Year University Student

I know, that is maybe the dumbest thing you've ever seen. Why wouldn't I choose someone famous, or fabulously rich, or extremely talented?

I've been thinking about it a lot this week for some reason (a talk with Laura, a visit to TWU) and I just loved that time. The time where I was at the start of it all. There wasn't really career pressure yet, because you were only 18. You had so many choices for classes, and so many yet to take. Some days you didn't wake up until 10 AM. Then when I did wake up, I would read novels and poetry, and then go discuss it in a group.

I know, a highly romanticized portrait of university life - but that really was my day sometimes. And then other days I had 4 papers due, and had to stay up until 4 am to finish them. So I realize that not every day in the life of a freshman would be magical, but I am just saying:

some days truly were.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 16 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 16: a picture of yourself

This picture is on the coast of Ireland in a town called Doolin. We went exploring and found all these beautiful rocks with etchings and crevices. It's amazing what the ocean can do to solid rock.

Matt wanted me to pick a picture where I was "trotting away from him" as I was prone to do on our travels. Often I would start trucking off in a certain direction so fast, or weaving through a crowd, and it would take him a few minutes to figure out where I'd gone, and he'd have to scramble to catch up. A bit of a metaphor for our relationship in some ways :)

And see, there I am, only a few minutes later.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 15 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 15: put your ipod on shuffle - first 10 songs that play

Okay, I did it again. I posted twice in a day. It's difficult sometimes okay? My excuse this time is that yesterday I was at a (free!) Mother Mother show in West Vancouver and I got back late. It was a pretty fantastic night, and deserves a post of it's now. But for now, it will serve as a fantastic lead-in for today's assignment.

I don't have an ipod. I have an iphone (c'mon blog assignments, get with the times), so I'll use that. And I'm going to do it on "Recently Played" and not the whole iphone. This gives you a better idea of what I'm actually listening to these days.

1. "Weighty Ghost" - Wintersleep
2. "Emerald Lake, AB" - Said the Whale
3. "Vagabond" - Wolfmother
4. "Here Comes Your Man" - Meaghan Smith
5. "Out of the Shield" - Said the Whale
6. "One Day Like This" - Elbow (shout out to Mel, that one is thanks to your mix)
7. "40 Day Dream" - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
8. "Quelqu'un M'a Dit" - Carla Bruni
9. "America" - Simon & Garfunkel
10. "Heart" - Stars

And there you have it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 14 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 14: a picture of your family

.The Drewlos.

Well it turns out having a wedding was pretty useful for these blogging assignment photos. There is my family - looking pretty good I might add. I'm not sure how I got so fortunate - I have parents I can talk to, and a brother and sister-in-law who are also my friends. How great is that?

I'm pretty lucky because I get to see four out five people in this picture every day (wish I could see you every day too Lindsay!). I love working with my family because it's amazing to see what they can accomplish with each of their unique skills.

.The Daycos.

As if I wasn't lucky enough already, I married into this fantastic family. It's really a gift to feel so welcomed into a family, without pressure of having to be one thing or another. I feel very grateful for them and how they have supported us every step of the way.

And that's my family.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 13 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 13: your five favourite books and why

This assignment is fantastic and difficult at the same time. I'm supposed to narrow it down to five? What if I miss one? I feel an immense amount of pressure.

So I am going to do my best. And it's likely I'll miss something good - sort of like when I didn't have a John Donne table at my wedding. It happens right? It's hard to make a list.

Here we go.

Top Five Favourite Books (not necessarily in order)

1. Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

The first time I read this novel, it was a communal copy read by the CP's at Capernwray. I don't know what I loved most - Holden Caulfield's sass, or the notes in the margins. Either way, it was one of my favourite reading experiences. Ever.

"What really knocks me out is a book that when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours, and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much though"

2. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

This book made me fall in love with Oscar Wilde. From the very first quote on artists, I knew it was going to be love. I read this book on the trains of Europe, and it dazzled me. Such wit, so well executed.

"You are a wonderful creation. You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know"

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K Rowling

Did I just put HP on my top 5? You bet I did. This book represents the culmination of a beautiful journey back into reading. After graduating, I didn't read for almost a year. I think my degree had brought on reading "overload" Then J.K. Rowling brought me back. And it was a beautiful thing.

"That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to understand. Of house-elves, and children's tales, of love, loyalty and innocence. Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped"

4. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

It might seem like an obvious choice, but I put it on here because it represents the beginning of this world for me. It was my first, and probably still my best. Ohh Mr. Darcy.

"I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun"

5. High Fidelity - Nick Hornby

I'm a little unsure about this choice. But Nick had to be represented. I love that I am putting this book on a Top 5. Rob Gordon would be proud.

"I'm tired of the fantasy, because it doesn't really exist. And there are never really any surprises, and it never really....'Delivers'. And I'm tired of it. And I'm tired of everything else for that matter. But I don't ever seem to get tired of you"

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Day 12 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 12: write a poem to someone you love*

(a haiku to Matt)

My computer screen
glares onto your sleeping face
Wow, you must love me.

*Seriously? Two ridiculous assignments like this in a row? And in one day? Oh boy.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Day 11 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 11: write a bucket list of things you want to do before you die

Oh my readership. I have let you down. I missed my post yesterday.

Here's the thing - its probably okay to miss one post- if you are out living your life right? We had the lovely Jenny Whims over to eat Swiss Chalet and watch Glee, and the night ran away with me.

So, now today I have to make up for it, and unfortunately I might have the two worst assignments possible. Why did I decide to do this again.

Warning: this bucket list is going to be a feeble "It's 10:51 pm and I still have another post to write" type list okay? I may add to it more later...

The (Very Brief) Bucket List
  1. Live abroad with Matthew - it doesn't have to be for long, but I probably want it to be in Europe.
  2. Teach Something I Love to People Who Love it Too - this one is kind of vague, but I realized again yesterday how much I love teaching when I taught a seminar at work. What I don't love is marking, and nagging, and beating something over people's heads. I don't know when or how this goal can be achieved. But nevertheless, its on the list. I'll probably have to get creative. And I'll probably have to do it for free.
  3. Own a House - I have to tell you, if you had asked me even a year ago for my bucket list, this item would not have been on it. But in the past few months, I have realized the delight of having a space to call "ours" with Matt. One day, I'd love to have a whole house to share with our family and our community.
  4. Travel Eastern Europe - I've traveled a lot in Western Europe, but I have yet to take on Eastern Europe and I've heard great things.
  5. Learn how to cook/bake - Let's face it, I mostly mean bake, because I live with a pretty excellent cook.
I think that's all I've got for now my friends. I'll think of more I'm sure, but its late and I'm done for now.

I think I might have already done some things on my bucket list without realizing it though. That's pretty great right?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Day 10 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 10: songs you listen to when you are happy, sad, bored, hyped.


-"Time to Pretend" - MGMT
- "You Make My Dreams" - Hall & Oates
- "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - The Beach Boys
- "Here Comes Your Man" - The Pixies
- "The Ghost Inside" - Broken Bells
- "Dog Days are Over" - Florence and the Machines


- "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" - Iron & Wine
- "Falling Awake" - Gary Jules
- "Skinny Love" - Bon Iver
- "Quelqu'un M'a Dit" - Carla Bruni
- "Cant Get it Right Today" - Joe Purdy


- "Human of the Year" - Regina Spektor
- "Help I'm Alive" - Metric
- "Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey
- "Find Me a Place" - Jupiter One


- "Here It Goes Again" - OK Go
- "Home" - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
- "O My Heart" - Mother Mother
- "F...orget You" - C-Lo Green
- "Marry You" - Bruno Mars (it had to be done)

1/3 done!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Day 9 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 9: something you are proud of in the past few days

I think I am going to do a little list.
  1. Going to water running on Thursday (by myself even!) when I really didn't feel like it.
  2. Driving a big Novacom truck on Friday - even though it was only around the corner.
  3. Getting the courage to talk to someone about an idea at church this week.
  4. Cleaning the storage room with Matt today.

I thought this one was going to be pretty hard, but it turns out I had a couple once I got going. Now if I could only get going on Biggest Loser instead of eating Chinese food. Hmm...

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Day 8 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 8: short term goals for this month and why

1. Find some good books to read - We are going to Hawaii in two weeks (!) and I want some quality reading for vacation time. I always seem to mess it up, and bring books I don't actually want to read. I love having an excellent book when you have time to read it. Any suggestions?

2. Get ahead on "The Biggest Loser" - Novacom started doing a "Biggest Loser" a couple weeks ago, and I was doing really good at the start, and had a great steady pace. I want to get that pace back, even though the loss was slow, I was getting somewhere. Right now, I am stalled and I want to change that.

3. Blog for 30 Days - I know it is kind of silly, because you are reading my 30 day post right now, but this is quite a commitment, and I want to stick to it.

4. Condo Cleaning Overhaul - two rooms in our condo need a serious cleaning overhaul (again) - the storage room and the spare room. It's killing me.

5. Thank You Cards - I am slowly making my way down the list, but you probably haven't gotten yours yet, so please accept my sincere apologies. We had quite a few setbacks in this household the fall, but we are getting back on track, and I am finally getting these out.

I feel a little bit daunted by seeing those all in print, and then showing them to all of you. But I suppose that is probably the point - "exterior" motivation and all that.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Day 7 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 7: a picture of someone/something that has had a big impact on you

Okay kind of an obvious choice* I realize. I thought about other things I could choose, but let's face it, this is the right choice.

This man has given me something very rare. He has helped me learn how to love in a space filled with acceptance, grace and kindness. He has given me space to try, to fail and to try again and then learn from that process.

I am very, very grateful for him. I'm often in awe of the gift I have been given in the form of Matthew Fraser Dayco.

*Just for the record, this kind of unabashed relationship gushing is a little difficult for me to do in public settings for fear of sounding overly confident and just plain irritating. But I figure once in a while I just need to go for it right?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Day 6 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 6: favourite superhero and why

Google-Image Searched for Superman and found this. Superman in a 70's Photobooth. Amazing.

Superman has always been my favourite. I think it's the whole Clark Kent transformation thing. I love the quiet newspaper man saving the world.

I was also pretty obsessed with Lois & Clark as a 12-year-old. I watched every episode and was in love with Dean Cain.

Somewhere around that time, I came to love superman kitsch - vintage Superman in particular. I have water bottles, vintage postcards, journals, pens and keychains. I don't really go for it too much these days, but I can't say the sight of a superman themed toy doesn't still make me stop in my tracks.

Word on the street is - there is going to be a 2012 Superman movie, with a young British actor. Hey, it worked for Batman. Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Day 5 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 5: a picture of somewhere you have been

I couldn't pick one place, so I picked 5. Just figured, I'd go for it.

Describing the pictures from left to right. Click on the collage to see it bigger.

1. Capernwray Hall - England - what is there to say? One of the best years of my life was spent here. I learned so much, and made friends that still enrich my life to this day.

2. Wallenstein Gardens - Prague - Brenda and I stumbled upon these gardens one day while walking through Prague, and they filled me with that unparalleled travel joy of discovering something delightful around an unexpected corner.

3.Tintern Abbey - Wales - visiting the site of one my favourite Wordsworth poems was a dream come true. We sat on the lawn and read the poem, and it was perfect.

4. London - England - London with Matt. One of the best cities in the world with my British-loving husband. Can it get better than that?

5. Cliffs of Moher - Ireland - Matt and I came around the corner to see the cliffs and I shrieked. It didn't even seem real it was so beautiful.

Okay, maybe a little over the top, but who can resist a trip down travel memory lane.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Day 4 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 4: a habit you wish you didn't have

I am always late.

When I think of how long it will take me to get somewhere, I always go on the absolute quickest time I have ever achieved, as opposed to the longest (which would make much more logical sense). So my time estimates are usually pretty off. GPS has helped this problem a bit, because its hard to fight with "Jane" when she tells you it'll be 30 minutes, not 15. But I still think "nah, I'll beat that".

This year I told a friend, who is always very punctual that my New Years resolution was to be on time for her specifically. I thought I'd start small and then extend outward once I mastered it. So far, its only kind of working.

Since being with Matt, I have improved slightly at this bad habit when we attend events together, mostly because he loathes being late. And I must admit, life is much less stressful when you haven't alloted the minimum amount of time to something. And let's face it - we could all use a little less stress.

The funny part is - I really don't like being early. And when I try to be on time, I tend to be really early. It's extreme either way for some reason. To me, its always such an awkward time that I don't know how to manage. I suppose I've never had to learn how because I'm always late. Yikes. Maybe I'll just start aiming for that optimum 5-10 minutes before time.

So, let this be my apology to you, for all the times you have sat waiting for me, and know that I am aware of it, recognize it's a problem, and I'm slowly getting there.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 3 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 3: a picture of you as a child

It was a bit of a difficult assignment today, because I don't have too many digital photos of myself as a kid. This photo may have been featured on the blog before, but it was a long time ago.

That picture is pretty classic Kid-Sharelle in a lot of ways. First of all, I have my pigtails, which was one of my favourite hairstyles. I often got referred to as "Pippy Longstocking" when I was a little girl. My hair was so red then, I had lots of freckles and I was always wearing pigtails.

The other thing that characterizes me in that picture is my bear Scotty. I think that is Scotty 1.0, and now I am on about 4.0. Yes, I still have a teddy bear. Poor Matt. It actually really affects how well I sleep, which is bizarre but true. My current Scotty is falling apart at the seams (literally) so it might be time for me to finally move on.

And that's about it for today.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 2 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 2: the meaning behind your blog name

When I originally thought of what I was going to write for this post, it was going to be simple. But then I did some research (shocker).

I got the name from an advertisement I saw for liquor a long time ago. It had the tagline "and they say poetry is dead", insinuating that poetry lived on through their liquor.

The tag line stuck in my head for some reason - the way the words were strung together and the connotation that many people do believe that poetry is dead. It was especially poignant because at the time, I spent a good part of my days reading and analyzing poetry, so it was very "undead" to me.

As I was explaining the story to Matt yesterday, he started looking for the advertisement. And then through the wonder of the google machine, there it was (or at least a variation of it).

Kind of silly right? The funniest thing is that the reason we could find the image was that people absolutely hated the ad. The white space! The copy text! They ranted and raved, but thanks to them, there it was.

The final piece of irony in all of this researching, I found an online journal called Poetry is Dead which is actually centered in Vancouver! Their main goal is to keep poetry from actually dying. I scrolled down to read some articles, and there was this fantastic essay from a couple weeks ago about poetry's death. One of the main reasons cited:


Poetry is not linked to economic gain, or dollar values. It is about slow reflection and savoring words in detail. That process isn't really valued in our social media, twitter-paited, 30 second clip culture.

And I got my title from an advertisement and I used it because of how much I love poetry.

What lovely irony. Almost poetic even.

Day 1 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 1: a recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself

On a recent visit to Seattle to see Spiro and the Harry Potter Exhibit.

Well they really start ambitious don't they? Okay here we go.

1. I secretly (or maybe not secretly) have been loving Bruno Mars recently. I don't know what it is - but it's been Top 40 glory for me recently.

2. I love the sound of laundry tumbling. I find it very comforting.

3. Matt and I's first purchase as a couple was a record player. I am still learning how to make it work properly but I really love it.

4. I love the "outside comes inside" motif in decor. Trees, leaves, forest being represented in furniture and prints. Amazing.

5. I love the sound a spoon makes when it hits the side of a teacup. Sometimes I give an extra stir to hear it one more time.

6. Matt and I have a cross-stitch picture by our front door that says "God Bless Our Home and Empire". Lindsay found it while cleaning out my Grandma's apartment and figured it should be bequeathed to us.

7. I read Harry Potter two years ago, and I was captivated. I am so, so sad that it all ends this year.

8. I really like M&M's but I think Smarties are over-rated.

9. I have a deep unexplainable love for Britain, and I'm not British.

10. In the past two years, I have switched my base colors from being brown/neutrals to black/grey. I feel good about it.

11. Green is my favourite color.

12. I love warm orange, brown tones in light. I hate bright white light.

13. I was tomboy when I was growing up. To this day when people buy me things like clutches, nail polish and makeup I am so thankful because I never think to buy it for myself but I love it.

14. I always mess up "complicating" and "complicated". I don't know why.

15. I am pretty obsessed with having straight hair. The straightener is both a delightful invention and a vice to me.