Refuse to be Passive

Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

My Jane Austen Complex

In Art, Life in General, Movies with a bit of TV on January 31, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Like many women in this world, I adore the writing of Jane Austen. In fact, I think she might be one of men’s greatest enemies. Why? Because the characters she writes are so vivid, that the people reading the books (mostly women) start pining after fictional characters, like Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingly, Edward Farrars, Colonel Brandon, or _______– fill in your favourite name here. And while all of these characters have their faults, as are often pointed out, still they come across as something special. They create hope. And so, after enjoying Pride and Prejudice once more, I find myself longing to live in the English countryside and find my own Mr. Darcy. I have a Jane Austen complex, and right now, I really don’t mind.

Film question:

Who is your favourite Mr. Darcy?

Matthew Macfayden or Colin Firth?

For me it’s Colin Firth– I wish he was twenty years younger.

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Sunday Morning

In Life in General on January 31, 2010 at 8:04 am

It’s 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning and I am wide awake. I’ve been awake for an hour or so already. This is not by choice. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had it happen to me before that I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was dreaming about YC in May for some reason, and then just started worrying about it, in my dream, then I woke up and was worrying about it. The thing is, I have no reason to worry. Everything is going fine as far as the planning goes, and I’m worrying about stuff that doesn’t have to happen until May, like food. And the thing is, I couldn’t turn it off. I prayed about it, and then tried going back to sleep, but no luck! I was awake and that was that. What’s annoying about this is that I didn’t get to bed until half-past midnight last night, which means I got roughly five and half hours of sleep. I’m going to crash hard sometime this afternoon. So here I am at 7 a.m., done my breakfast, and about to move on to my shower. At least this means I’ll have time for devotions before church.

Eight weeks

In Life in General on January 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I just realized that if I lose a pound or two a week for the next eight weeks, I’ll hit my goal weight.
The funny thing is, I know I can do it. How do I know that this time will be different, well first of all I’m telling all of you, and you’ll kick my butt if I don’t. Secondly, I’ve got more confidence in my will power. I’ve been off TV and movies since New Year’s and am still going strong. I’ve been swimming consistently for more than four months now, and I’m taking a volleyball course that has kicked up my exercise amount. I am taking a break from baking, except for bread, and am focusing on using up the food in my house, meaning there’s no junk food around. Now all I have to do is steer clear of the snacks at work. I’m goona do it this time! Mom, we should probably start our daily check-ins again.

A long day

In Life in General on January 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

My arms feel like they’re going to fall off, and although it’s only 9 am, I need a nap. Maybe it was the hour and a half running setting drills in my volleyball class yesterday (including setting with basketballs and medicine balls, plus I won the target setting into the basketball hoops, first to make three baskets), or maybe it’s the swimming I did this morning, 1800m, not bad. Or maybe it was a bit of both. I got a good night’s sleep, but even that didn’t set me up for my swim this morning. At least I survived.
At work, I grabbed a coffee and pulled out my breakfast, a banana pecan muffin. The two were a delight paired together. Even now though, the coffee either is unleaded (which I know it’s not) or the caffine isn’t kicking in. My eyes are heavy, I’m yawning, and my arms are still so tired that the thought of lifting them makes them ache.
Even so, I plan to go to drop in volleyball, for the first time since Christmas, so that should be a good time to catch up with friends. But first, I need to wake up a bit! This has potential to be a long day.

The Pint

In Food, Life in General on January 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

For the past few months, when I drive south on 109th downtown, I’ve had this incredible urge to stop at a new pub. It’s called The Pint and yesterday evening my volleyball teammates and I hit it up for a beer after the game. (Now, I wish I was part of the Flying Mongooses’ team because they go for ice cream. That, and it’s a dang cool team name). Anyway, when I stepped in I was ID’d which was nice, because I didn’t have to worry about it later. I was pretty impressed they’d take an old style pub, knocked out a few walls, put a few side rooms on, updated it a bit, and went from there. It had a good atmosphere with music that wasn’t too loud, and clearly it was a popular hang out for the mid-20’s crowd, although almost all age groups were represented. It had a stellar tin roof, you know, the kinds with the designs in it? Love it! My Guiness was also well poured ($7), and the fries were excellent (I have no clue, I stole off Russ’ plate.)! The server was excellent and the company I was with was pretty good as well. All the good people from my team, and none of the people who drive me nuts. Sweet.
But what really took me by surprise is how crowded it was on a Wednesday evening just after 9pm. Not a word of a lie, there were no empty tables, and we managed to snag one only by hanging out by a table that looked like they were near ready to leave. Super busy. I can’t imagine that place on a Friday or Saturday night. Apparently you can expect to wait in line for 45min.-1hr. just to get in. Absurd. I think I’ll steer clear on weekends.
All in all, thoroughly enjoyable, and a place I would definitely frequent again.

Snow

In Life in General on January 25, 2010 at 10:10 am

The snow we had this weekend was the most beautiful I think I’ve ever seen, bright and shimmery, it floated down, highlighted by the light from the street lamps, in the darkness of the evening. It wasn’t all that cold out, which meant I had time to walk slowly and pay attention to think like the shape of the tracks my shoes made, and how these glistening flakes were big, flat, and icy. Not a fluffy snowflake, but light as air none the less. It covered everything, cars, trees, roads, and made it all look fresh and special. I had to stop in at the mechanic’s before work to get the lugs on my wheels tightened after last week’s alignment, and wandered around outside while I waited. At one point, the mechanic said to me, “If you’re cold, you can wait inside.” To which I politely declined, citing that I already spend the entire day inside and it was so beautiful outside. God really does do some beautiful things with His creation. Sometimes I wonder how he came up with all the differences. It’s so impressive!

I found myself wishing that I had a card in my camera so I could take a picture, but sadly, that was left in my laptop at home. The thing I wished after that was that I was at my aunt and uncle’s in Orillia, ON. They live on an acreage in the country, and I found myself wishing to be there, looking out their back windows over the snow and trees, holding a warm cup of tea in my hand, the soft light from the kitchen behind me, where I’d been working on a crossword puzzle. I haven’t been to my aunt and uncle’s in a couple of years, and so it was a bit odd that that was the place I desired to be, but some of my best winter memories, so of my most relaxed winter memories, come from the week I spent at their house.

I may not have the view, but shortly I will have a warm drink in my hands. I’m off to get coffee.

Absolutely Brilliant

In Life in General on January 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm

So for the past three weeks I’ve been off TV and movies. That’s right. No TV. No movies. And you know what? It’s absolutely brilliant. I love it. I can’t remember why I ever watched TV, and as for the movies, well, there might be a slight inkling to watch one of those every once in a while, but really, it’s barely even a yearn. Why would we want to face hours in front of a screen when there is so much life to be lived? And real life is ultimately more interesting than TV, because you effect the outcome.

The other thing I’m noticing in this is that an evening is actually quite a long time. Long enough for me to neaten the house, make dinner, read a bit of my book, do devotions, and usually run an errand or two if needs be. I never knew an evening had so much time in it! Needless to say, I’m loving this, and hope I never fall back into the trap of watching TV as a way to escape. There are much better things to do with my time. Like spend it with people! Or in recovery from spending it with people.

This is an amazing exercise to do, and I know some people have done it for years, even their whole lives. I never knew what I was missing out on! Absolutely brilliant.

The Cake

In Food, Life in General on January 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm

The wedding is over. The cake has been cut. I often take on things such as this becuase I think they will be good life experience. I’m always right on this point, even if all I ever learn is to never do it again. Lots of time and effort went into this cake, more than it’s worth I’d wager, but the bride seemed thrilled. And for those of you who have been waiting to see the final product, here it is:

The Cake

Good friends

In Life in General on January 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Good friends are such a blessing. Really. Most of us have at least one or two close friends, and too often we take them for granted. I met with one of my friends this morning for coffee. We can talk for hours, about life, struggles, joys, and anything in between. It’s amazing to have friends that you can share absolutely anything with, without worry of the ramifications, or the fact that they’ll care about you any less. I had a couple of these friends back in university, sadly, now we are strewn across the country. However I have one in Edmonton, besides my sister (whom I love dearly), that I’ve been particularly thankful for, even if her move back to Edmonton had her less than thrilled. I was thrilled. I’ve known her for years, as we were friends through elementary and a bit of Jr. High (she’ll correct me on the years if I’m wrong). As far as I know her first memory of me is not a good one. She’s never been a girly girl, and her first memory of me is from church, and I was wearing a blue party dress, with white lace and small pink flowers. Now, I wasn’t a girly girl either, but she didn’t know that. I seem to recall my efforts at becoming friends fell rather flat at the beginning. Now, whenever people ask me how we know eachother, the fact that she thought I was a bit of a dork for my dress comes up. Apparently looks do count for something. But honestly, I’m pretty thankful she’s around. Even if she does bring up stories I’d rather be left dead. Good friends are hard to come by. Make sure you treasure yours.

Present, Future, Past…and Future?

In Life in General on January 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Do you ever feel overwhelmed that you only have one life to live? Do you ever look at all the options available to you and think, “I want to do all of them, how should I choose?” That was the point I was at today. I have so many interests, which one would I like to follow as a career path? Baking, cooking, art history, social justice, something with youth and young adults, start a bed and breakfast, the list goes on! I’m not one of those people who believes that if you choose one and it doesn’t work out, you just go on to the next. It doesn’t actually work that way. The choices we make in the next few months can influence the rest of our lives. Robert Frost got it right when he said, “and knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.” Even if you come across that same point in your path, that same decision, at some later point in your life, the opportunity will not be the same. You will have changed and grown as a person, making it a completely alternate reality than if you’d chosen it ten years earlier. But more likely, is that you will never revisit that spot in your journey. I choose to start a bed and breakfast in a small town, which probably means I will never be an art curator in New York City, or if I choose to become a baker, I will probably never be a social justice advocate arguing for affordable housing, and breaking down the stigma that goes with the words “low-income.” Even if I look at my past already. Today I was watching Yale’s recruitment video as a bit of a work research project, and wondered, “If I had worked harder at school, could I have gone to Yale?” Did you know that undergrads admitted to Yale will never be turned away based on an inability to pay? The entire Financial Aid system at Yale is needs-based. There are no academic merit or athletic scholarship. This ensures that they can take the cream of the crop, no matter what walk of life they come from. If I had worked harder in school, could I have been one of those students? Ultimately, dwelling on the past is not helpful unless you learn from it. So, in the past I didn’t work for Yale because I never truly thought it was attainable. But was that true? As I consider it now, and look at my current decisions in light of my past decisions, I find myself overwhelmed by the opportunities before me that I have to choose from. But which one is the right one? Looking from one to another, they all have pros and cons. And each would create a drastically different life for me. So which path do I take in the future? God certainly hasn’t been making it very clear, so currently I’m assuming that any of these choices would be good with Him. But that still leaves me with a choice to make. Dang. Sometimes predestination sounds darn attractive.