Because everyone needs someone who isn’t at all embarrassed by dancing in a public space.
Hi there. This month has been wild, and it’s about to get even wilder in July! It’s no secret that I’ve thrown myself into ballet dance for the past year, working towards the intermediate foundation RAD exam. This time, I’ve been working towards the grade 5.
Now for the first bit of exciting news: I was part of a small group who did a ballet performance for the studio I go to. But not just any ballet. Ballet… En pointe. A HUUUUUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT. Not to mention, we were the only adult group in the entire show. Hope we lived up to everyone’s expectations! I’ve never actually performed a dance in pointe shoes; it was both exciting and nerve-racking, and completely awesome to be on stage. And none of us had even thought that we’d end up performing it one day! Now we are hoping to do it again at the next showcase. I’m really pleased to finally have worked my way up to the intermediate level of pointe work, but of course, there’s still a lot I need to work on. It inevitably will be a pain, but never the less it’s something I’d always hope to do one day.
Now the other crazy news I have to share: I’m heading to Australia, y’all! Leaving towards the end of July, and won’t be back on Canadian soil til November. That’s really weird to think about, but it will be a relief to get a change of scenery. In the time I’ll be away, I will have missed four months of Canada and its politics… Which, for the record, will be at its most interesting, since there’s going to be a federal election this October! The thought of this makes me somewhat anxious. Who will it be????? Who??? In the meantime, I will have to immerse myself in Australia’s politics instead. And if I don’t like the PM of choice, I’ll say, ‘see you in four years, Canada!’ Just kidding. Or am I?
From this day until the day I’m set to leave, I will be thinking about what to pack. What, indeed? What does one pack in a single suitcase when she is away for four months? Items on my list include some running shoes, new pyjamas, a hat…
Lastly, I learned today via Twitter that it has been six years since our King of Pop, Michael Jackson, died. Isn’t that crazy? I was out at dinner when I first heard the news. Then for months afterwards, radio stations were playing and replaying his hits. The massive influence he had on music and dance is so remarkable to think of. He was one of a kind, and there will never be another like him.
I love this video, because it highlights how MJ himself found a big influence in the work of Fred Astaire.
For the first time in over a year, I was felled by the cold virus this past week. (What??! It’s almost summer!) Has that ever happened to you? All things considered, it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve fared worse in previous cases, but still… It’s never a great ride. If you’ve been blessed with the gift of never having ever caught a cold, congratulations! You have everyone’s envy upon you (including mine). But allow me to guide you through the stages to give you a feeler for it.
Stage 1: the denial.
Uh oh, do I feel a cold coming on? *thinks a second.* Nah, must be allergies! Look at all the pollen flying around! (But I’ll take vitamin c just in case.)
Stage 2: the sore throat.
It starts off as a harmless tickle. But then, as your day progresses, it gets less tickly and more… Prickly. Now you know it must be a cold. (Dammit). When you finally decide to turn in, you can only lay in bed awake because your throat is bothering the hell out of you. You want to keep swallowing, but it hurts, and if you don’t swallow, it still hurts. Good thing this stage is at the beginning and lasts only a short time, because it is the worst.
Stage 3: the hallucinogenic dreams.
When you finally start to get into that stage between asleep and awake, you start having dreams of things that didn’t even make a dent in your subconscious… At least, until tonight. It could be a name you heard, something totally average that happened during the day… Then they start repeating over and over and over as you wake up over and over and over. (For me, all I could repeatedly dream of was the ending of Agents of Shield, and think about what was going to happen to Simmons.)
Stage 4: the gradual onset of the runny nose.
Congrats! You’ve made it past the sore throat stage. Now your nose is starting to run slightly… You think, “oh, this isn’t so bad! Maybe it will just be a three day thing.” Hahahahahah SO WRONG.
Stage 5: The all out nose-blowing and sneezes. And icky coughs, if you’re so very unfortunate.
Someone pass me a tissue! Or 5000 of them, if you would be so kind.
Stage 6: Complete lack of willpower to do anything.
It’s time to call in sick: break out the sweat pants and flop yourself in front of the tv for the rest eternity. (And rack up the sympathies of others.)
Stage 7: Your family members taking the precautionary measures to avoid catching your plague.
Stage 8: A breakthrough. YOU SLEPT THE NIGHT!
This happens after days of relentless cold symptoms. You can finally breath through your nose, and can go almost a day without having to grab a tissue before spontaneously combusting into sneezes.
Stage 9: You sound normal again.
No, I’m sorry, Kermit the frog doesn’t live here any more.
Stage 10: You can officially consider yourself “clean”.
After the first week, you’re not contagious. Huzzah!
Time to celebrate!!
Repeat after me: I will take my vitamins everyday. And I will not go into work/school if I’m feeling like crap.
Stay healthy, amigos!
This past weekend, AMC’s 60s-centric tv drama darling came to an end after a successful seven seasons. The 70s arrived, along with some much needed change (if can that actually be said) for our boy Don Draper… Or should I say, Dick Whitman. There are a lot of things I will miss about this show, but here are my top reasons:
- The authenticity towards the decade and changes. You know how in some movies and tv shows set in a particular time period seem to kind of plaster on a couple of features that define the decade (for instance, bouffant hair and splashy patterns) and say, “hey! we’re in the 19___!” without actually delving into specifics too deeply? Now, Mad Men probably wasn’t perfect (although it sure seemed like it), but when it was 1967, you could tell it was 1967. A big difference from how things looked in 1963. Matt Weiner did an incredible job in connecting the show with the events of the time, and making us nostalgia all over the place.
- The costumes. I will never get over how amazing the costumes were. Janie Bryant is a marvel; without her direction, none of the characters would be who they really were, nor would there be cryptic symbolic meanings to look for behind each of their clothing, which made the show all the more interesting (see: Tom+Lorenzo.)
- Sally Draper’s development. She goes from being the cute kid wearing a plastic dry-cleaning bag to a smart-talking, independent young lady, looking after her younger siblings. Given the developments in the final episodes, I have no doubt she’ll turn out just fine. But I really would love to know how she will get along with her father in later years.
- Anything ridiculous that comes out of Pete Campbell’s mouth. This was my favourite line of his this season.
- Watching Peggy Olson continually smash the glass ceiling. Because we all know that’s what she was truly meant to do.
- All of the characters, really. You either love em or hate em. They weren’t entirely good and they weren’t entirely bad either. t was their flaws that made them compelling, and made you want to tag along to see what they were going to do next.
How I will miss it!
Top image from here
Water colour paintings. Because this is what my inner Libra favours immensely.
Image and recipe from here
In honor of this special month, I present to you a clip from the musical Camelot, in all its 1960s/flower power glory.
However, the quote goes back a bit farther. I read Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur for a Middle Ages lit course I took in university–most of it went over my head, but I definitely remember the poem on the lusty month of May… Mainly because it was Lancelot was getting his lust on over Guinevere. (Since I came across this clip a few years ago, it always comes to mind.)
“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in like wise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds. For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May, in something to constrain him to some manner of thing more in that month than in any other month, for divers causes.”—Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur (1485)
Over the past week, there has been a fun theme trending on Twitter. Tagged under #VeryRealisticYA, people have been coming up with plots for YA novels that are similar to real life scenarios. Can there be tags like this more often??? If you check out this page, there’s a bunch of great posts people have made up. Or better yet, just check out the hashtag itself. In lieu of this oh so fun theme, I thought up a few more to go along with it:
-Reluctant 16 year old is chosen to save the world. At the last minute he gets cold feet and doesn’t want to do it anymore.
-After an emotionally-charged incident, girl cuts off her long beautiful hair. She does a horrible job, regrets it immediately.
-Hot enigmatic guy asks introverted girl out; girl accepts, and learns he lacks depth in character.
-Girl has to make a choice between choosing her path versus the boy she loves. Girls puts it off for days, and still can’t come to a decision.
-Girl eats her feelings with three pints of Ben and Jerry’s breaking up with her bf, gets stomach ache afterwards.
-Boy expresses his feelings for girl in front of school. Girl runs away in humiliation, and an awkward silence follows.
Image from here
Persuasion, by Jane Austen. This was Austen’s final completed novel before her passing, two years after she had written it. Ok, so I’ve only read two of her novels (P&P and Sense and Sensibility), plus the ones I’ve seen in movies and tv (do they count?), but this one I’ve found, is considerably different in tone from her other works. Leading lady Anne Elliot, unlike her previous successors, is not a young and blushing youth, but older, and more wizened in her experience in love. In a decision brought on by her family, she breaks off a relationship with her first love, named Wentworth, due to his lack of inheritance. (However, she never can find anyone who can measure up to him.) Fast forward a decade, Anne is still single, and her family has fallen into debt. Plus, in a drastic turn of the tables, she learns that Wentworth has gained a hefty inheritance, and is in her locale. The question persists: what will happen when they meet again? Will the sparks still fly between them???? Hmmmmmm.
I’m nearly finished the novel, but I think it’s turning out to be one of my favourites written by Austen.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by JK Rowling. I am rediscovering the HP series once again! Actually I’m not sure if I even got through the final book, but I’m willing to give it a try again. If you haven’t read this already, we meet Harry and his friends again in their third(!) year of Hogwarts. There’s a murderer on the loose in the wizarding world (no, not you-know-who), and he may be heading for Hogwarts to finish Harry off. And what’s Harry to do in between studying for all those classes, battling dementors and playing Quidditch? Solve another mystery, of course! A good fun read. I like this book; and weirdly enough, when I read this the first time eons ago, I had a bit of a literary crush on Professor Lupin. Still do, sort of. Why? Who knows. (The mind does what it wants.)
Circle of Flight, the final book of the Ellie Chronicles, by John Marsden. I started reading the Australian YA series Tomorrow when the War Began (otherwise known as the Tomorrow Series) a few years ago, and I’m just finishing up the series now. For a YA series, it’s definitely not like the others that are making the rounds. It’s an incredibly gripping read, and you really get involved with the characters. It follows a girl and her friends who go on a camping trip, only to find out when they return that their town and entire country had been invaded by an unnamed enemy. Quoting the plot, they could either go into hiding, or they can forge their own battles to fight back. I think it’s safe to say which option they chose.
**And a word to the wise: DON’T YOU DARE MESS WITH AUSSIES OR THEY WILL COME AT YOU WITH GUNS AND EXPLOSIVES. OR POISONOUS SPIDERS.
Some books I want to start reading:
–17 Carnations, the Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History. What’s this?? A ginormous secret that went between the Nazis and the Royal Family?????? It sounds so scandalous I simply must read more about it.
–Yes Please, by Amy Poehler. Because I hear it’s very good.
–The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Emma Orczy. In the Tomorrow Series, a few novels and quotes by well-known people were mentioned, and this book came up in a well-suited manner. Not to mention I like reading about adventurous gigs. (I also was reminded of this gem.)
What are you reading these days?
I conquered what I like to call, the Pavarotti of Italian desserts. What is it, you ask? Well my friends, look no further:
Tiramisu. A big heaping trifle bowl full of boozy/coffee soaked lady fingers and mascarpone cheese, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen. (But I got the recipe through this awesome blog.) Ce’st manifique! It’s not so much for a Valentine’s day gig as it is something I’ve wanted to make since the beginning of time… Which so happens to have coincided with said holiday. And now I did it! After a 24 hour incubation period in the fridge, I’ll find out how it tastes tonight. Hopefully good, as it took three hours of preparation. *Take note of mess in the pictures*.
I mean, look at this mother trucker.
It could feed 100,000 couples this Valentine’s Day. But for tonight, I’ll just be feeding it to my adoring fam, who I believe will fall at my feet in gratitude for making it.
It’s a relatively easy dessert to put together, as it requires no cooking, but it does take a certain amount of prep time.
If you’ve ever seen Sleepless in Seattle, there’s that famous scene between Sam Baldwin and his guy friend in the pub, where he has absolutely no idea what tiramisu is. I couldn’t find a clip of it on youtube (the nerve!) so the dialogue goes a little something like this:
“What is Tiramisu?”
“You find out.”
“Well, what is it?”
“You better tell me. Some woman is gonna want me to do it to her and I’m not gonna know what it is!”
Thank you, Nora Ephron, for catapulting a mere dessert into movie stardom by making it sound like something dirty.
Never the less, I can’t wait to try it.
Happy V-day, lovebirds and all birds alike!
Life, as I know it, seems to have come to a sort-of standstill. Again. This time last year, I was hopping busy with two journalism internships during the week. Despite the fact that I enjoyed one and was not quite enjoying the other, I was basically thriving.
13 months later, I’m out of j-school and still trying to figure where to go from there. The options are endless: apply here, start writing for this place, start freelancing, take anything for some work. And ok, I have a bit of a gig right now, doing some copyediting. I’m certainly grateful for the experiences I’ve had over the past few years, because I’ve learned tons in my field. But it still leaves me wondering, where do I go? Am I not trying hard enough? Or is it just all just a game of chance in finding something? Or better yet… Should I go another direction?
As I’ve seen things, opportunity has come in waves: there was university for four years, then a standstill for a year. J-school, internships, and as of now, another standstill. It’s perplexing, confusing, slightly irritating… And making me feel like I’m slightly stranded in the middle of the ocean, a la Wilson in Castaway. When or what that next wave will be, I can’t say.
By 25 (hey future me!), I figured I already have a steady job. Finally feeling secure, ready to move out from under my parents’ roof, basically carpe diem-ing the shit out of my twenties… Or maybe that’s what we only see in tv and the movies. But if the twenties are supposed to be a decade of experimentation and YOLOing, maybe I need to seriously re-check. Maybe there are more opportunities out there than I realize, and I just tend to underestimate myself.
I’ve also been thinking a lot of the quote from Melissa in Bridesmaids (finally saw it!):
And of course the question is, what will be my solution? Without trying to sound too philosophical… The truth is out there. Maybe it will just take some paddling to discover that next tidal wave of opportunity. Or better yet, I’ve already discovered it and I just don’t know it.