Saturday, March 31, 2007

Living Vicariously Through Flickr

I've always dreamed about traveling, but have never made it very far. After all, it can be a pretty expensive undertaking! So it's one more thing for my ever-growing "Someday" list. But this is one of the reasons that I love Flickr. I get to see the world through everyone else's eyes. It's beautiful, unique, experience in and of itself. Red Square, the Coliseum, The Great Wall of China, the Brooklyn Bridge, an Irish castle, the Sahara - just a little piece of the world I got to see tonight. So many thanks to the world traveling (or living!) Flickr users who made it possible - thank you for the journey.

(To see the pictures full size, link through to my Flickr account, and the listing on the bottom of the mosaic will direct you to the individual shots.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Oprah and Sunshine

I watched a bit of Oprah with my mum today. She had a pastor on who was talking about his and his church's "No Complaining" campaign. While from a quick glance the theology of the church seems a bit sketchy, you certainly can't fault the idea of trying to knock out the whining in our world!
So, in light of that, it's time to push some of the negative down the page again. It won't make it disappear, but dwelling on it certainly doesn't make it any better, either.
And on to some positives -
- it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day today.
- I got a midterm mark back, and though it wasn't as good as I hoped, it's still a B- and leaves me at a high B for the rest of the course (or even an A- depending how I do on the final.)
- I got to go for a lovely walk around Mac Park with my friend Emily. We saw three marmots. We decided to heck with that groundhog guy, the marmot is the first sign of spring in Kamloops.
- I'm tired, but grateful that I have a bed to sleep in.
- I have wonderful friends who will tolerate those midnight phone calls when I do have a rough night (<3 Chantal!) and who will take me for meaningless drives to Pritchard so I can talk it all out and even offer their shirt as a kleenex, so long as I wash it before giving it back (<3 Andrew.)
So take it as a challenge, I guess? If something's getting you down, look at the flip side. Bring a little sunshine back into your day, deliberate though it may have to be, it's still worth it :-)

Monday, March 26, 2007


portland bill crashing waves
Originally uploaded by mandy dawn.
I don't know why the ocean seems to call to me sometimes. I have no particular history with it; I've never lived in a coastal town. But something makes me want to sit amidst the crashing waves and have their thunder drown out the disharmonious chorus of thoughts within my head. I want to head towards the ocean and just drive til I come to the edge of the sea and let it wash over me and erase the memories of a painful day. There's something about the ocean, about the beautiful violence of a storm at sea, that seems to offer a promise of calming the internal storms, to "take arms against a sea of troubles."

Back To The Classics

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all...

- William Shakespeare (Hamlet Act III, Scene I)

To be or not to's an age old question, and yet I find myself asking it again. I always want to be past this - to stop being such a drama queen - to not need that midnight rescue from my own intentions. But I still do, and every once in a while I'm back in the same old place again, and the temptation's just a bit too much.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Withdrawal Symptoms

Well, now a couple weeks after my laptop decided to bite the bullet, guess who joined the party? That's right, my old ever-esteemed desktop computer. I think I might need to hold some sort of joint funeral for them. It will be a very emotional experience.
Right now I'm using Mum's little iMac, which gets me dirty looks from my sister who thinks I should be doing more constructive things than "playing" on the computer. Today was a pretty productive day, though. Took my car to be serviced, had philosophy class (okay, that particular one is *never* productive), worked on a Psych paper at the computer lab (and had one of the other students there steal my paper!), took Andrew his rather late birthday present - a gyroscope - which he really seemed to like, so that was great. Stayed for spaghetti dinner with his family, watched the first two periods of the Canucks game, went for a walk up at the TRU track, then back home to watch the last few minutes of the 'nucks superior skillz. Rather proud of those boys :-)
Of course, the evening has taken a steep turn for the worst, and I'm just feeling all cranky and mad, so we'll just stop there, and carry on with our regular programming when I'm in a slightly less objectionable mood.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Clear the Air

Well, I think I need to push down that big of negative energy in the last entry. Wow, that kind of made me sound like I'd be talking about auras next heh. Nope, not so much! For the most part I like to consider my feet fairly firmly on the ground - even when my head escapes to the clouds a little bit.
The past few days have been exhausting, though not for any particular reason. I've even had what should be at least approaching a normal level of sleep! But all the little bits of stress sort of ganged up on me and beat me into a little corner. Even hugs from my mommy weren't making it better.
A couple of the things have either fallen or been moved off my plate now, though, thank goodness! I finished the essay for Philosophy that was worth a third of my mark; I was stressing over a double booking only to find that one of the events was canceled; I've managed to spend some quality time with some good, solid friends, and finally, and probably most importantly, I scheduled another counseling appointment. Neither of us remembered to schedule for last week, and though I'd only gone two weeks in a row, in the intervening week I sure felt the lack.
So, things are looking up! But I still hate Dell :P

Monday, March 12, 2007

Zero Tolerance

Well, I'm about ready to scream in frustration, but I thought I'd write a blog entry instead. Seem like a good trade to you?
I've spent half the afternoon on the phone with Dell. Welcome to the world of Ridiculous Wait Times and Really Bad Jazz. Oh, and people who barely speak English. I really don't have anything against East Indian people. I think they have a fascinating culture, and their traditional clothing uses some really gorgeous fabrics. But if your accent is thick enough to be cut with a Ginsu knife, and I can't understand a word you're saying, then perhaps customer service is not the place for you. I'm thinking of adopting this little slogan of Chris's for my very own. After a couple hours on the phone with Dell I found out that a) I'd been transfered to the wrong department at least four times 2)they didn't update my address last time, as I asked them to and 3) when I talked to them a couple weeks ago about the possibility of extending the warranty, they didn't tell me there was an expiration date on the offer.
So I took my laptop to a place in town - it seemed to be a minor power issue. No. The motherboard is gone. One month after my warranty expired. Replacing it would cost a minimum of $500. Oh, and did I mention I made one of the stupidest decisions of my life when I bought the computer, and decided to finance through Dell - and I've still got a year to go? The "decision" to finance (I was 19 and easily influenced) was at my father's urging of course. Because he's always been so good with money - so good that I'm pretty sure he pawned my guitar. Thanks daddy, you're the bestest. Can the Zero Tolerance policy apply to family? Because that'd be terrific.
Oh, and I'm in a bad mood. Just about the right time to write a philosophy paper, eh? Aristotle, here I come.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Yup, it's recap time again...

So, I know you are "all" just dying to hear what I did this weekend. It was so exciting that I had to wait until tonight to write it so my adrenaline levels could lower enough that I'd be able to type. Or maybe (more likely) that I had to wait until I got enough sleep that my brain could function again.
So, Thursday night I had to miss Young Adults (much to the puzzlement of everyone who is very used to seeing me every.single.week) in order to sing with the choir at the Music Festival here in town. We sang pretty well - the adjudicator said we "cooked" - and won 1st place in our category. Okay, we were the only ones in our category. But we still scored 92 out of a hundred, so that's pretty good :-)
Then Friday night, a bunch of us from the Young Adults group went to a Blazers game, and several of our more obnoxious members cheered for Calgary :-P Still, the Blazers won 3-2 and one of our own (a guy who attends our church once in a while) scored the winning goal. Those of us who were cheering for the home team were quite happy at that!
Saturday was a celebration in my heart as Chantal is home for reading break, and so I went over to her house to visit with her, and her lovely family. I mostly watched her bake a cheesecake and her animals fight with one another, and then we had a scrumptious dinner and headed out for Andrew's birthday party. Andrew turned twenty; we all hung out and ate some cake. Good times ;-) Oh, and the game Draw/Say reveals how very messed our heads are. So stayed up too late, then got up too early the next day.
I played piano and keys and sang (and turned on the lights when they weren't working properly) on Sunday morning, proving that I am in fact an amazing multi-tasker. I even got to wear the Garth Brooks/Britney Spears headset, so you know how cool I looked. I did get told again that I have "an awesome voice" which is always nice to hear. Because seriously, no matter how times I'm told, I still get really insecure sometimes, especially trying to put an album together.
Sunday afternoon was spent baking more cheesecake, or watching again, but this time with Robyn as she prepared a birthday dinner for Brendon. I took her Hershey's Hugs which made her happy, and as long as I've made at least one of my friends smile, I can mark it down as a good day.
And THEN (see, if I blogged all weekend, I wouldn't have to write these looong entries) on Sunday night I went to another Blazers game, this time just Carmen and I. I haven't gone to a game all season, but apparently I was supposed to get all enthusiastic just in time for the last two home games of the regular season. I must be good luck, because we won again in a very exciting 3-2 game against the Vancouver Giants, and then as thanks for the support throughout the season (you know, from me especially) the guys were signing autographs after the game. Carmen and I went particularly to talk to Matt Kassian, the aforementioned scorer in the last game. Because he's come to our church and Young Adults, I've talked to him a couple times and discovered that the 6'5" 245lb guy who's an enforcer/fighter on the team is really a very sweet kid. Because he's so nice, I decided to razz him just a little bit, and when we were in the line getting things autographed, I asked Matt, "Hey, could you sign it to me?" Carmen thought this was very mean ;-) There were over five thousand people at the game, after all, and we've only talked a few times, and only once for a decent (15-20 minutes?) period of time. I figured he could at least identify me as "that girl who plays piano at church" though. After a couple minutes of hilariously obvious stall tactics, "How do you spell it? I mean, is it an unusual spelling, or is it how it would normally be?" he did get it though, and then I felt all special. I only wish they'd been standing up - because Carmen (who's taller than me) and I always love an opportunity to stand by a guy who's 6'5" and feel wee!
Matt's been drafted by the NHL's Minnesota Wild, and though he's got some room to develop as a player, well, maybe this will be worth something someday. Go Blazers go!

Stupid Boy

No, the title is not remotely related to the rather enthusiastic gender bias discussion I had with Andrew a little earlier :P In fact, it's just about my peculiar habit of falling in love with a particular song. Right now, it's "Stupid Boy" as performed by Keith Urban. It's not remotely a misandrist song, as Chantal first thought when I told her about it, but it's more about relationships and regret. Anyhow, I love it, so I thought I'd share. And don't worry - I'll try to write a real entry tomorrow.

(Sarah Buxton - Deanna Bryant - Dave Berg)

Well, she was precious like a flower
She grew wild, wild, but innocent
A perfect prayer in a desperate hour
She was everything beautiful and different,
Stupid boy
You can't fence that in
Stupid boy
It's like holdin' back the wind.

She laid her heart and soul right in your hands
And you stole her every dream and you crushed her plans
She never even knew she had a choice
And that's what happens when the only voice she hears
Is telling her she can't, stupid boy,
Stupid boy.

So, what made you think you could take a life
And just push it, push it around
I guess to build yourself up so high
You had to take her, and break her, down.

She laid her heart and soul right in your hands
And you stole her every dream and you crushed her plans
She never even knew she had a choice
And that's what happens when the only voice she hears
Is telling her she can't, you stupid boy

Oh, You always had to be right
And now you lost the only thing
That ever made you feel alive.

--- Instrumental ---

She laid her heart and soul right in your hands,yeah
And you stole her every dream and you crushed her plans,yes you did,
She never even knew she had a choice
And that's what happens when the only voice she hears
Is telling her she can't,you stupid boy

Oh, I'm the same old, same old stupid boy
It took a while for her to figure out she could run
But when she did, she was, long gone, long gone...

Oh, she was gone,
She was long gone,
Oh, yeah she is

--- Instrumental ---

Nobody's ever gonna love me like she loved me
She loved me, she loved me
God please, just let her know
I'm sorry, I'm sorry
I'm sorry, I'm sorry baby,
Yeah, I'm down on my knees
She's never coming back to me

--- Instrumental to fade ---