Another Day In The Life

Hello Readers, and hello to the new ones I got notified about yesterday! It’s nice to see that WordPress has become another great hotspot for people to come out and speak their thoughts, or express things that happen in their day to day lives.

Now, I was super exhausted by the time I got home, so as I was doing my morning Yoga routine, warrior position, I thought that I could do a blog post about the crazy ongoings of my day with various posts. I will be doing one of these sort of posts again on the 12th (my friend told me this is the day each month that you take 12 photos throughout your day at any given time to explain.

So, right now I am working at a daycare program for the summer as a way to save up money for the next long year of Nursing ahead. I also work at a private music school teaching music and voice, but since I’m not going to be there next year to focus on academic studies, I don’t really see it as a true long-lasting job. Anyhow, while watching the kids as they were playing outside in the afternoon sun, I felt a bit of a nip on my arm. Hmm, guess I was just itchy, I thought. But then another one happened a bit further up my left arm. Finally, something was definitely leeching my back and I swatted whatever it was: a mosquito. Why are there mosquitoes out so early! I know that Winnipeg has only really had almost six weeks now of actual spring, but feels like summer, weather without any hint of snow on the ground. This past winter was so stubborn, it was like that old lady at the customer service table who was determined to get all .49 cents for those clearance potholders she purchased a week before. In my opinion, it is WAY too early for all of the pesky bugs to appear, while we are still waiting for the arrival of butterflies and dragonflies, and all the good crime-fighting ones.

And after each minute passed by, my arm actually flared up. One of my co-workers was quite amazed to see what was going on, so I thought I would take a picture just for good ol’ keepsakes:

ImageThis is the bite that was on the lower part of my forearm. Yikes! All three of them swelled up to 2x the regular bite I get from skeeters, and they started getting little red dots, or what we medical folk like to call petechiae, around the bite area. I was having a minor allergic reaction to them, but I wasn’t really worried to be surprised. This morning, the bites are still there but there is nothing special going on, I guess it was more of a first bite of the season deal to get used to them.

Later on, I went to go and celebrate birthdays with a very good friend of mine, Kerri. You can find her wonderful blog here where she talks about life, kinesiology, and asthma: http://kerriontheprairies.com/

My birthday and hers are 6 days apart on the same year, which we always thought was really cool coincidence as well as being really good friends, so we had a combined dinner party at Mongo’s with a group of friends, and the waitress even offered to do a group photo for us without us asking. So here we are:

Image(Kerri and I are the two girls sitting at the second row of the table facing the camera)

Other than that, as much as I would have loved to have stayed up later on last night, I was so filled up with my shrimp & rib stir fry plate and sundae that I had a bit of a food coma occurring as I was driving home. I kind of miss being able to stay up late and sleep in during the workdays like I could have when I was younger, but now I guess it’s time to face the facts that I’m now 22, I’m pretty much a full on adult now, and I don’t have any problems about that. Especially since you do get to have some fun still. 🙂

Image

Smile, and live life to the fullest! 🙂

Wow, It has been quite a while!

Do you ever have that moment thinking, “Hey, I used to try and do a daily, if not weekly, journal on this site about my feelings and what not?” Well, that’s the feeling I had after a long and arduous day of work and a two-hour piano lesson. Sitting in my sister’s bedroom, I tried to figure out the old password to this account. Finally, after the 6th time, I got it. Finally getting an old password is like finally latching the hook of your necklace properly, or trying to scrape that piece of whatever mom cooked the night before off a frying pan that just doesn’t seem to budge. 

Anyhow, I am going to keep this brief as I’m really hungering for that bed of mine to sleep in. But I am hoping to get back on the WordPress horse and write things that happen on my daily life, things that mattered to me, and so on and so forth.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m going to attempt at being a blogger.

And I have so many things to share with any of you who are interested in reading, so stay tuned, and sweet dreams to you all.

 

2012: Here’s To the New Year!

5…4….3….2…1……

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  

Wow, I still can’t believe that it’s already 2012 already. 2011 seems to go by so fast, but I guess time flies when you are having fun. 

After spending a wonderful night out at a friends’ place for Tapas-styled dinner, eating grapes at the stroke of midnight (a Spanish tradition), and after a couple of drinks playing an interesting round of Pictionary, I felt really content about where I am currently standing in the world. No longer do I feel threatened by what might be coming around the corner, but instead I feel quite strong and independent on where my lifepath is currently taking me. 

But, as always, it’s good to set a couple of goals to embark on for the New Year. So, after eating a dinner my Mom made from a leftover pork roast and rice (yummy), and taking a mini-nap, I got to thinking. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Try doing some things that I don’t do everyday. Just earlier last week a group of my friends and I embarked across the city to do something that we all haven’t really done before (or haven’t done recently): Rock Climbing. It was a lot of fun, and it challenged me since most of my body strength is in my lower-part of my body. My family doesn’t call me ‘Thunder-Thighs’ for nothing! Although I ended being a bit stiff in the shoulders the next day, it was great since it had a group of friends whom I haven’t gotten the chance to see and talk with for quite some time. Not to mention all of us going out afterwards for a meal, and discussing the next event. So far, this is going to be snorkeling. 
  2. Lose 25 pounds Tone up my body. In the past, I used to be quite conscious of my weight and my image. I’ve never been a skinny rail, and grew into my womanly figure at an early age. Which really sucked since I was a 14-year-old who had to go and buy jeans in the woman’s department, and not in the trendy ‘juniors’ section of stores. But, as I’ve gotten out of that awkward teenage stage and into my early adult one, I’ve realized how much of an asset it is to have some meat on your bones. It looks healthy, and you feel healthy too. Later on last year I got myself a full-year membership to a gym, and got myself into a routine of going monday/wednesday/friday with a group of friends. And it felt great! But I’m not one to go and starve myself just to slip into a LBD. I’d rather work my way and eat right in order to look good. So, one of my first goals is to get rid of this Holiday Season bump (or what I like to call a pyrishky belly) from eating gratuitous amounts of food and sweets, and improve my overall body strength.
  3. Read 5 novels just for the sake of reading. When I was younger, I used to be bit of an avid reader. But as I got older, I kind of lost the attention span to do so, and what would normally happen would be me finding a book halfway-read from what seemed like eons ago, that I couldn’t remember much of the plot. It doesn’t help either when you’re a University student that has to have chapters read and assignments taking up most of your spare time. But, I want to challenge myself, and give myself the patience to get through a couple of books this year that I’ve been wanting to read for some time. These include The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Interview With a Vampire, and Silence of the Lambs. Not to mention anything Jane Austen. One way that I want to accomplish this is setting up a book-club with my close girlfriends (also see #1 of the NYR). So far, I’m getting excited about it!
  4. Learn 5 songs just for the sake of loving to play the piano. And not just something I can sing along to. I’m talking for example, a whole movement by Chopin, or Tchaikovsky. For the past couple of years, all I have ever learned for piano was something for RCM (The Royal Conservatory of Canada) exams, in order to get one step closer to teaching piano. That and duets for recitals. This year, along with trying to practice more, I want to find some piano pieces that will challenge me in technique and memorization to keep my love for music alive. Life can get busy and challenging, but the past-time things are what keep us sane and in motion. At least that’s how I feel anyway.
  5. Try not to look for love in all the wrong places. Okay, I have to admit it. I am quite an emotional person, and I tend to wear my heart out on my sleeve. This is something that I’ve always done and I’m not going to change it, since it’s part of who I am. If I like somebody, I will let them know whole-heartedly. Most of last year I spent my time living the single life after being in a relationship for quite some time. And let’s be honest, everybody loves the idea of having someone to come home to and talk about anything and everything. Not to mention cuddle sessions! So, as 2011 progressed, I tried my options in meeting new singles in various locations, at bars or social scenes where I knew a friend or two to tag along with. And dating I went! But, living life so loosely can be a bit of a drag on one’s conscious, not to mention the constant worrying if the guy has just the same kind of feelings about this as you do, or if this might go somewhere. In any case, I ended 2011 remaining single, and that’s probably for the best. My outlook for 2012 is to just let life carry me where it need be. I’ve met a lot of awesome people in the last year, and I would rather watch something develop and bloom into something beautiful than to just let animal instincts take control and jump into something I may not want.

So, this is the list of things I have right now, though I might want to add some more after. My sister also got me a great gift this christmas season. It’s a 5-year Happiness Journal. Basically, it’s a 365-paged book where you write one sentence about what made your day, with five entries on each page. Each entry represents the year. So, from 2012-2017, I will be writing in this every day and afterwards I can look back on the adventures of my early twenties. Man, that seems so far away, but I can’t wait to live, laugh and love throughout this next year! So long as the zombie apocalypse/end of the mayan calendar/armageddon doesn’t take place.

Stay classy my friends. ❤

 

 

Marshmallows of Victory!

That’s right, folks! Classes are officially over, and now I can actually sleep in and get stuff done around the house. For the past couple weeks with the stress piling from final assignments, performances and running to-and-fro.. I’ve been more prone to throwing my hair back into a bun, wearing sluggish sweatpants with my uggs, and eating not so wonderful food. I always joke that some girls look like they become some sort of mythical creature when they get into the finals zone.. and it looks like I became one of them in the process.

Anyhow, having the first night in quite some time where I can actually do (pardon my french) shit all.. I feel pretty pooped. I can finally sit back and relax for some time until I write my last final in eight days. So, study but not like cram the whole time. And sooner or later I’ll finally be able to play Skyward Sword! (I started playing it up to the Forest temple but I stopped myself seeing as I had to really finish that 10-page paper). 

The extra time gives me some time to plan and look forward to christmas. I’m happy to know that a lot of my family that could not make it out to Winnipeg last year are coming. I’ll be definitely looking forward to when everything is done and I can sit back and relax in my norwegian slippers with a cup of hot cocoa. Topped with marshmallows.. Marshmallows of Victory. 🙂

 

Fire and Water-The Blending of Masculine and Feminine Energies

Wow, the volunteer job for the Elders’ Conference that I took up yesterday turned out more interesting than I thought it would!

I signed up through my Native Studies course in hopes to get some bonus marks. My prof told us that we had to do a minimum of 5 hours of work, and then if we wanted to go, we could. But sure enough, I pretty much stayed for the entire day.

Getting up at 5 a.m. was no easy feat, and luckily I managed to make the bus out in time. Sipping coffee and listening to the shuffle slowly helped me wake up as I watched the clouds change overhead while riding the 75 Crosstown East. When Henry Bellafonte’s “Shake Senora” comes on, you know its going to be a good day.

I waited for my friend from class inside UC to walk with her to Migazii Agamik (the building we were volunteering at), but she wasn’t showing up. So, I quickly put on my long skirt (I’ll explain that more in detail later why we had to wear one) and started heading over to the building. I bumped into Amy halfway luckily, and we walked together to the building. We also got free shirts! 😀

The reason why both Amy and I wanted to be there so early was to partake in the pipe ceremony to start the two-day gathering. I have always heard about them, and I wanted to check them out. A man, as tradition goes, was to tend to the pipes, and we had a Lakota pipemaker run the ceremony. He also talked to us how he came to run this tradition, and explained some of the things he had laid out on the fur-skin.

Before we could actually smoke the pipe, they lit up some sweet grass for people to smudge themselves with. Smudging is a type of way that the First Nations people purify themselves before ceremonies, gatherings, etc. I didn’t know how to do it, so I passed when they brought the bowl over, and instead watched. Basically they would take the smoke rising from the bowl and cup it with their hands. They’d bring the smoke over their face and hair, almost like watching a mime showering. The Pipemaker then sang a traditional song in order to give praise and thanks to the pipe. For some people who may or may not know, the pipe is a way for aboriginal people to connect to spirits and to the Creator. The story that we learned in my course was that the great Manitou would send out an eagle to look for tobacco smoke being burned by pipes. The eagle would soar high and collect the prayers and words of the people burning the pipe, and bring them back to Manitou. He chanted the song and played on a drum while we stood around in a circle; men on one side and women on the other. One of the girl volunteers actually fell into a seizure, so that was a bit frightening, but she came two a minute or so later.

After the pipe song was done, we gave our thanks to the great spirits in all of the directions, to the Creator in the sky, and to Mother Earth below us. This was also done in song, though he used a rattle this time instead of the drum. After our thanks were given, we began to pass around the pipe. Even if people didn’t want to smoke the pipe, they still had to have the pipe touch both sides of their shoulders before being passed to the next person.

And this pipe.. this was a BIG pipe. It must have been at least 2 feet long, or an arms’ length. It was originally in two parts before he put them together, and near the bowl for the tobacco was a little turtle made out of clay. The turtle in native american lore stands for truth. The tobacco that they were using was mixed with red willow bark, and it gave off a really nice aroma, it didn’t taste nor smelled like regular tobacco that you would get from the store. Needless to say, this ceremony felt very special, and I was ready to help and learn at the same time.

Now, the first part of the volunteer day wasn’t that exciting.. it was more welcoming people and introducing the elders this year, and what the theme was about. There were a lot of volunteers, so if you were picked for something, great! If not, you just got to sit around a bit longer, and listen. At lunch time, more stuff came up, like helping set up the table for the elders, bringing them juice, etc. I also got to taste bannock for the first time: Super yummy! It’s like eating the fluffiness of a bun in the crust of bread, but with the same kind of taste as paska (a traditional Ukrainian easter bread). Really neat.

In the afternoon, I attended a brief water ceremony, in which the women ran (since women are represented by water and the moon). The woman running it blessed the water in her own tongue (which was Anishinaabe, also known as Ojibwe) and passed cups around so that all present could have some to drink. Afterwards, I stayed to listen to the female teachings of water.

I found it so interesting to hear of some of the things, since they were very similar to Slavic paganism before Christianity took place. The water was a feminine energy and was represented by the moon, since the menses are cycled around lunar patterns. I won’t get into them all here, but there a lot of them. But the reason women had to wear long skirts was to show respect to the elders and to ourselves by wearing something that does not show our legs. Basically, “to not attract the wrong kind of attention”.

Another thing that I did not know before is that women are not allowed to attend feasts or ceremonies if they are on their period. The reason for this is because it’s believed that women during their time of the month have the power to exert thoughts if they are strong enough. So, if a girl is having a bit of a crappy day, and somebody gets on her nerves, she might start to have some bad thoughts. Maybe like “Oh, I can’t believe she/he said that to me! Maybe if they started to not feel so good like I am right now they’ll understand,” and *poof* bad karma is released to the community. So, by having the woman stay at home where her thoughts can remain to herself, good karma remains in the community and will hopefully stay lucky. I love how every creed or nation still has some sort of superstition.

But yeah, after that teaching class was given, I went over to the my prof who was finally sitting down (he was a coordinator, and was constantly on the move that day) and signed the clip board to head on home, of course taking off my skirt and changing back into jeans first.

However, I feel like I came home learning more stuff and having so much more respect and admiration for this culture. I know some of the things that are going on are completely out of their control, but if we can work together to make things better, it could be a really awesome place here in Winnipeg.

Calm before the storm..

Wow, what a crazy weekend it has been! It’s been the first week in awhile where the performing arts has literally taken over my day-to-day activity, and I’ve kind of missed it. My chamber choir was a special guest for the 100 Candles concert. It was set up in timing of our regular performance space-Crescent Fort Rouge United Church- turning 100 years old. There was us, the Rainbow Society Chamber Choir, and two really cool singer-songwriters. It just gave the show a real home-y vibe that  I crave to hear every now and again, and I really regret not getting a chance to talk to the singer-songwriters. A lot of their stuff had some meaning and neat ways of conveying it. Something that I would like to incorporate into my writing.

Another group performed last night as well, but we backed them up tonight as well. They’re a touring group called Tenoré, and the three guys all come from different places. The one Canadian from Ontario, and the other two are from Minnesota and L.A (originally from Kentucky). I wasn’t really sure on what I thought about them at first, but they were really down-to-earth guys. And yes, they sing Christian music, but seriously, it was some wicked stuff. My guy friend commented as we were sitting down eating sushi after the show on how he didn’t understand why people go out and sing songs about religion. I know him, and how he views organized religions as some sort of conspiracy. I, however, do come from an organized religion that is somewhat non-mainstream. I retorted back at him though, saying that it doesn’t have to be religious only if you listen to it as being religious. It can be spiritual, and all religions, no matter the rights and codes, are all spiritual. This is my view of it anyway.

But on top of that, I haven’t been getting the best sleep these past nights either. It’s already 1:31 am and the past nights I haven’t been getting to sleep till past 2 am, maybe even 3. I’ve stayed out to hang out with friends, and when I come home, there’s been an upset Mother wondering where the heck I’ve been.

Now, I’m 20 and a half years old. And my family knows that I don’t hang out with suspicious type folks. Even though I am at an age where it’s technically alright for me to make my own decisions and be responsible for them, my parents still freak out if I’m not home before midnight. And they still deem to make consequences for me. I just get really frustrated at this, since they get messages mixed up between us on what time we have to leave, where we’re going, and what’s a “reasonable” time to come home. It’s like they don’t really seem to care that much on what sort of things I have to do outside of the family world, and insist on trying to keep me as their little child. All of these strict rules and time regulations make me feel like I’m still 12 or something. And it really drives me up a wall. I hope that they soon figure out that I can do a lot of things on my own, and I won’t have to show them the hard way. It’s nights like these that I really consider the idea of moving out and living on my own for awhile.

Anyhow, it’s getting late, and I do work for a change out of the other six days I don’t. Goodnight readers ❤

Last Week of Summer

That’s right folks, it’s come to that familiar time of the year where you put your swimsuits away, and take out the old jeans and sweatshirts. Fall’s here, and it’s planning to stay. Stay until Winter comes to drop kick it out with a bunch of snow.

To look back on it all, I’ve had a great time this summer. Got to see a lot of things here and halfway across the world. Had a chance to reconnect to myself after being in what I now call the “Snow White syndrome” for a year in a half. By SWS, I mean how I just withdrew back from the world, because I thought I had found my Prince Charming, and my “Happily Ever After”. Boy, was I wrong about that. But in this week alone, I’ve started to do things that I used to do a lot from when I first started University. I’m doing actual song-writing (and not just the typical song-writing about how some boy broke my heart… yaddah, yaddah, yaddah) and I’m also working on paintings. Paintings were a story is told with each stroke of the paintbrush. My heart just jumps with delight every time I get closer to finishing these current projects.

I’m also getting into food recipes and will be trying some out soon, so don’t be surprised if you find some culinary reviews on here at some point!

Well, another busy day tomorrow since I’m officially calling it my back-to-school day. My sister has a vocal audition, and I have to go and pick up my card after it’s been encoded for use in certain parts of the University. I might also pick up a book to help with my first paper for Anthropology of Illness. I can’t believe I already have a paper due by the end of this month. Yikes!

Will also be the first practice with my choir group, ECCO for the 2011-2012 season. I’m really looking forward to seeing some people I haven’t seen all summer, along with some new faces.

All I know is, my mantra for this year is: Don’t be afraid of what others might think. Don’t be afraid to find love again. Everything happens for a reason, and all things take time. Patience is a virtue.