Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedded Bliss

So. Many. Weddings.

Last weekend, my dear friend Jana married the lovely Caleb. It was a beautiful ceremony, during which the moms cried, the bridesmaids cried (save for Catherine), and the groomsmen shed a tear or two. The photographer was extraordinary and there was much fun had by all while taking pictures. The speeches at the reception were funny and touching, and the dance was a regular hootenanny. I had a great time, and it was so nice to be a part of two very special people's wedding day.

This morning, I woke up bright and early to watch the Royal Wedding. Originally, I didn't care about the marriage of Kate and William, but over the past month I've become increasingly smitten with the Royal couple. Mostly, I think, because Kate is living the dream that every eight year old girl creates for themselves as soon as they've seen a Disney film - a handsome prince falls hopelessly in love with a mere commoner, and she becomes a beloved princess. The wedding was beautiful, her dress was beautiful, and I was touched by the secret smiles they shared throughout the ceremony. You'd think it was an intimate ceremony instead of 1900 guests, most of whom they probably don't know the names of.

I'm not really a wedding person. Which I know sounds weird after reading my previous two paragraphs. But I don't like talking about flowers and doing seating charts and discussing particulars between two shades of pink for the bridesmaid dresses. I often think it's a lot of planning, time, and money for one very short moment in time.

However, while at Jana's rehearsal, I had a moment of revelation. As Jana and Caleb practiced standing and holding hands while her bridesmaids and his groomsmen stood watching, I realized what a special moment in their and our lives their wedding is. Jana and Caleb had together chosen ten people - friends and family - to stand up on the stage with them as they promised their lives to each other. We are testaments to their characters and their relationship, and it is so special that the bridal party, who have been there for important moments of their lives, get to stand as witnesses to the new chapter of their lives together. It's a beautiful thing.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Heart Divided

I am writing this from the east coast of Canada! That's right, I've made it back to The Rock, safe and sound.

I arrived home last Wednesday late in the night, but I honestly haven't had a moment to sit down at my computer and write a real post. Thursday I tried to figure out what time zone I was in by going to bed reaaaally late and getting up really early, then tried to unpack and move my stuff down to the apartment, where I'll be living for an indefinite amount of time. Then I finally caught up with the bride-to-be and heard about all the wedding details. Friday was necessities shopping, coffee with the lovelies Robyn and Grant, and then more unpacking and visiting with Kayla and Gavin. Saturday was Julie's recital, Michelle's bridal shower, and Jana's bachelorette party. Yesterday was church, massive dinner with the fam, coffee with Laura, and the musical at church. TODAY, after spending the morning at the doctors and running errands with my Nan, I finally sat down at my computer for longer than five minutes to finish my paper.

Flat out, I tell ya!

I just emailed in my paper. It was due Friday, but, as you can see, I've had a busy week, visiting with people who are leaving St. John's and celebrating new changes in my friends' lives. But I'm so happy with the paper I submitted (less 4 mistakes I found after I handed it in. Whoops!) It was the most fun I've had writing in a long time, and I'm really proud of what I produced. I haven't felt that way in a few years.

The day of travelling on Wednesday was pretty good. I stayed at Stacey's house on Tuesday night and we stayed up late, making each other laugh. Well, she made me laugh. A lot. (An aside: Stacey is one of the only people I know who keeps limes on hand at all times. If there is ever a lime shortage and a guacamole crisis ensues, Stacey is your gal.) When she brought me to the airport on Wednesday morning, I was uber calm and collected. I didn't cry, even when we hugged and I walked into the sliding doors slowly, like I was in a movie. I got everything squared away with my baggage, which is to say I paid an ungodly sum for an overweight suitcase, and then rushed through security just in time for boarding.

And then.. well, then I opened my computer and quickly messaged "goodbye!" to my friend Nancy, and sent a few parting texts. And then I started to cry. It hit me how much I was going to miss my friends, how much I've grown to love Vancouver, and how sad it is that this part of my life is ending. As I boarded the plane, the flight attended looked at my ticket, looked at me, and said "You look like you don't want to be on this plane." And for a minuscule moment I thought about turning around, grabbing my obese luggage and settling myself back in the most beautiful Canadian city.

But, obviously, I did not.

The flight to Ottawa was uneventful. Ottawa airport was uneventful. The flight to St. John's was uneventful. I slept a bit, worked on my paper, watched Toy Story 3. The norm.

And now I've been home for 5-ish days. It feels really good to be home. It feels comfortable. I missed my family and my cats and my friends. I missed my bed. I missed my bookshelf. I missed being able to drive and be somewhere in 15 minutes. I missed my church. It's nice that this still works.

And while I don't actively miss Vancouver right now, I still feel like a part of me belongs there. My friend Thea said a beautiful thing to me before I left. I was remarking that I don't feel like I belong anywhere; she looked at me and said, "It's not that you don't belong anywhere; you belong too many places. Once you move away from home, your heart will always be divided."

I think that is beautiful and true. My heart belongs to both coasts, and it'll never be any different now. And I don't know if I'd have it any other way, really.

I'm on the job hunt now. If you want to employ me, I wouldn't say no. Unless you are, like, a hitman, or something. I have terrible depth perception. It wouldn't be a solid business investment.

I also have to finish that 30 Day Song Challenge, because, by gum!, I finish what I start. So, without further adieu, I give you days 29 and 30.

Day 29 - A Song From Your Childhood

Sorry. We played this on our recorders in grade 5 music class. Imagine: 31 ten year olds, most who are not musically inclined, all of whom have not fine tuned their motor skills enough to play the recorder with any melodic flow, belting out "My Heart Will Go On." Positively painful.

Day 30 - Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year

What an anti-climatic end to this little challenge, let me say. Anyway: this time last year I pretty much exclusively listened to Starfield's The Saving One album. This, "Absolutely," is one of my most-played songs on iTunes, and what I listen to before bed most nights. It's probably the most beautiful and raw songs I've ever heard.

Bon soir, mes amis

Monday, April 11, 2011


I've been working on this paper for the past four days, and I have progressed through several different stages of writing it. First, I was resigned to getting it finished in two days.

By day two, I was annoyed and bored of the topic, so I started experimenting with photobooth and imagining what life was like outside of my room.

Last night saw the climax of dispair. I sat at my computer, balancing different books on my head, praying for osmosis of text to finally work and an entire source to be fed into my brain.

After four hours of sleep, I woke up this morning with a resolve to finish this paper in record time. Chocolate and caffeine: power foods. I think that's in the Canada food guide or something.

Day 27 - A Song That You Wish You Could Play

I'd definitely like to play guitar, and Andy McKee is (are we using this expression anymore?). I wish I could play anything like he can.

Day 28 - A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty

I dunno, man. Not much music makes me feel guilty. However, who doesn't hear John Lennon's "Happy Christmas" and feel like giving a little extra to the Salvation Army kettle?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Is What I Call "Multitasking"

Right now I'm "working on a paper," posting this blog, and watching Iron Chef America. I don't recall if I've ever posted about my love of the Food Network; I should. Because I really, really love the Food Network. I spend more time willing Bobby Flay to make something without chilis than I do watching cat videos on YouTube. And both take up a significant amount of my time.

We're nearing the end of the 30 Day Song Challenge!

Day 26 - A Song You Can Play on An Instrument

Since there isn't much brass music that I've played on YouTube, I've gone for the painfully beautiful "Two Beds and a Coffee Machine" by everyone's favourite Savage Garden. I actually don't know if I can play this on a piano anymore, but I used to be able to tickle the ivories with this sad tune.


PS - 4 days, OMG

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Girl Who Overheard Too Much

As someone who is alone quite frequently, I have the sometimes pleasant, and more often awkward, opportunity to overhear conversations. Coffee shops are a particularly great place for this;  I sit typing or reading while couples and groups surround me, filling the space with words and stories and memories and plans.

Once during a particularly busy morning at a shop, a woman asked if she could share my table. I happily agreed, and as I sat typing, she sipped her tea and carried on a conversation via text message. I had a friend who once told me of a plan he had to take photos of peoples' faces as they received text messages. Have you ever watched someone's face as they read an unexpected text from a current crush? A message that their plans are cancelled? News of a friend's engagement? A reminder that an assignment is due tomorrow? There is so much packed into the facial reaction to that small, 140-character message. And this woman who sat across from me: her face told the story of the excitement to be meeting someone she loved, very shortly.

I've also overheard a breakup, which was loud, crude, and full of pain; I've overheard a 25 year-old man retelling the story of his grade 9 girlfriend cheating on him, still obviously able to recall the pain that it caused his 14 year-old self.

That got me thinking. Does real pain ever go away? Pain is important in shaping us, helping to define our character and helping us become stronger people, struggling through as it becomes easier and easier. I fully believe that. But I don't think we ever really forget how much someone hurts us. I don't think we can talk about it or see a person who shattered a part of our being without, for a moment, remembering how deeply they hurt us.

I think it's because pain of heartbreak is confusing. It's composed of all the good times you shared, all the things that made your relationship work, all the quirks that allowed room for love, all in combination with the anger and the hurt and resentment and the tears and everything else that left you broken. And I think that it's impossible to ever really forget that pain because it has become a part of you. It is your history. It has shaped you to be who you are.

And I think that's really beautiful.

Onto the song challenge:

Day 24 - A Song You Want Played At Your Funeral

I've honestly never given this any thought until right now, and I spent a bit of time pondering, and decided I still don't know, and that it's kind of morbid to think about. So, instead, here's one of the "great" songs of the 80s. Seriously, who doesn't love Boy George? It's not like he's George Michael.

Day 25 - A Song That Makes You Laugh

I seriously love Rhett and Link. They have a YouTube channel, which you can find by clicking here. They used to be engineers and quit to make videos full-time on YouTube, for which I am very grateful. If you click here, I'll link you to the funniest video on YouTube; or, at least, I've watched it countless times and still laugh out loud. Every. Time.

Anyway, here's one of their songs that I think is brilliant: "In the 80's"


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So Many Weddings!

Day 23 - A Song That You Want Played At Your Wedding

Generally I don't think much about my wedding. Why spend a lot of time and energy planning an event that, at this moment in time, has little chance of occurring. Plus, there are the many weddings of friends to be planning for, thinking about, and celebrating!

In any case, I love Adele, and I love her version of "To Make You Feel My Love," and it would be nice to have it at a wedding, and will probably be in mine if I ever have one.


PS - In one week I'll be on a plane to the Rock. AHHH

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slice o' Home

Day 22 - A Song You Listen To When You're Sad

Is there a song that sounds more forlorn and desperately hopeful for the future than Great Big Sea's "Boston and St. John's"? Nope, didn't think so.

Seven days till I leave Van. MIXED EMOTIONS, like a good salad. Mixed.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Nothin' Like a Newfie Get-Down

Day 21 - A Song You Listen To When You're Happy

There's nothing like having a crowd over and at the peak of the party when everyone's spirits are at their climax and there's a vibe of "hey, I wanna dance" and popping on the ol' Fables and having a good, old-fashioned stomp-off. Break out the spoons and happiness abounds.

"Down East Day" - The Fables

Countdown to returning to NL: 8 days


"It's your fault for running holding diamonds"

I'm mega behind on my music posts. I KNOW. I went to Victoria this weekend to visit Thea and the Island one last time before going home. I also have two big papers to write and I've been trying to pack and organize and see people. Hectic, busy, lots of mixed emotions going on.

But who cares about any of that?! Onto the songs!

Day 17 - A Song You Hear on the Radio

I rarely listen to the radio anymore, since I haven't been able to figure out how to fix the settings on my iPod dock station. But whenever the radio is on in the car, I guarantee I will hear Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me." For the record, I hate this song. It's so over played and generally gross.

Day 18 - A Song You Wish You Heard on the Radio

Canada doesn't play enough British music. I've been sort of in love with this band Feeder since Christmas, and I would love to hear "Tracing Lines" on the ol' airwaves at some point. It'd be a miracle.

Day 19 - A Song From Your Favourite Album

THIS WAS REALLY TOUGH. I'm yelling for emphasis. I know that people say iTunes killed the idea of the "album" with the ability to pick and choose what songs you want to buy from an album, but there are still some albums on which I love every song. I finally chose Starfield's The Saving One, because the music, lyrics, and raw emotion is just overwhelming. I listened to The Saving One exclusively for three months last year, and I'll still turn it on now when I'm not sure what else I want to hear.

(Finalists for this category: Coldplay's X&Y, Lifehouse's Stanley Climbfall, Billy Joel's Storm Front, and downhere's Wide-Eyed and Mystified)

Day 20 - A Song You Listen To When You're Angry

I bought Anna Nalick's CD in grade 11 because it had a song called "Catalyst" and Steph and I thought that was hilarious and nerdy (plus I liked chemistry back in those days). It's turned out to be one of my go-to albums, especially the song "In the Rough." The whole album is about being a strong, independent woman who can hold her own and is pulling herself up from a dark place and coming out stronger and more beautiful. I like that. "In the Rough" makes the promise that her raw and wounded heart will someday heal, and love will find her again in her real and untamed place.

Countdown to leaving Vancouver/returning to Newfoundland: 9 days