Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Once More With Feeling!

Life's  a Show and we all play our parts.
And when the music starts.
We open up our hearts.
Life's A song, you don't get to rehearse
And every single verse
Can make it that much worse..

But when you bow.

You Leave the Crowd.

So Give me Something to Sing About!

Life's not a show.
Life isn't bliss,
Life is just THIS.
It's Living.
You have to go on Living.

(Lyrics from the Buffy Musical "Once More With Feeling" episode)

That is all.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Did you Know?

That there is an estimated 4x the amount of suicides amongst Queer teens in society today?

That in the 1960's it was perfectly acceptable for a policeman to physically/verbally abuse/harass and arrest a gay man or transvestite?

That these acts of violence were committed on a shockingly aprooved of and regular basis?

That in 1969 a bar full of gay men and transvestites fought back against the oppressing and violent police forces who regularly terrorized them?

That though gay people want the equal civil right to marry one other, Queer Theorists consider same sex marriage an accepting of hetero-normative cultural practices?

That accepting/being part of norms in society is exactly what Queer people are trying not to do?

That this is what I learned tonight in a 3 hour lecture in English/Cultural Studies 3AA3?

That I just inadvertently educated you about Queer Theory?

That it is time for me to go to bed?


Monday, September 27, 2010

When It Rains It Pours!!!

Why is that everything that could possibly go wrong in your life all happens in one week or on one single day?

Somebody call the Karma Police on this one!  I did absolutely NOTHING to deserve this downpour of depression, conflict, sadness, confusion and pain i was bombarded with today.

I know I'm bellyaching, but today has been the most terrible day in the existence of days! OK Who's got the Gripe Water?

All day i've dealt with nothing but school issues, stupid scheduling conflicts and new tutorials to speak in without a fully functioning voice. 
On top of that I've got assignments coming up and i need to do massive ammounts of reading the next 4 days or I will never get everything finished! 

Running on 8 hours of sleep over 24 hours!! So Exhausted!

Then, to top it all off, the person you want out of your life ( who wants to remain in your life desperately) contacts you incessantly only to annoy you with their stupidity.
And Then! You find out that the person you DO want in your life (desperately) will be out of it very soon. 


The cherry on top is that I've still got a cough/sore throat and my stupid body decided to forcibly join a spinning/cycling class this week!

Stick a fork in me.....I'm Done!


"It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings"

September 26th 2010 was the 100th anniversary of my church's existence! Wow!We had to sing a huge mass in church and there were some pretty high ranking church officials present.. we had two bishops!  If you're catholic than this is a big deal okay!

Any who, my old people choir had been practicing for weeks to sing all the mass parts in Latin, and do some Greek parts as well, on top of the already lung challenging 2 and 3 part fancy songs in Italian that we would sing for the mass.  Practices weren't entirely terrible but trust me, we were no where near ready and ne'er would be.

As they say, you can't teach an old dog new tricks...well you can't teach elderly "singers" old parts that to their memories and breathing capacities are like New songs or just as challenging as learning new songs.

Nonetheless my sisters and I barreled our way through each practice and ultimately we reached Today. September 26th 2010 when History for the Diocese of Hamilton was made at St. Anthony of Padua Parish.  Bishops followed a fleet of robin hood hat men a.k.a (elderly) Alpini soldiers who were closely followed by the KofC (not to be confused with KFC or Colonel Sanders) who in full tux, cape, sword, gloves and feathered hat regalia then flanked the sides of the middle aisle awaiting the 15 priests and 2 bishops who walked between them heading towards the alter at the church front.

The assembly responded to the opening of the mass and then we were off!  Our choir miraculously did not die or fade out or lose its tempo so completely that the thing turned into a hideous disaster (that we all secretly anticipated).  Lo and behold ( though not professional in the least) we were able to sing every note from the highest of the high in the Latin Kyrie to the tempo confused Italian Gloria and beyond!

It was the proudest moment of my life -up to date.

We were even thanked by our pastor for doing such a wonderful job.  Thank god half the assembly is old and hearing impaired and/or musically inexperienced because i am sure Simon from American Idol would have torn us apart.

My sisters and I saved the day, the organ music was beautiful and we were able to spread out among the different choir sections to carry the voices and somehow (with a little divine intervention I think) were able to complete our goal!

And all I have to show for it is an extremely sore throat and lack of voice...which will make for interesting tutorial discussions tomorrow... But it was well worth it!
-I think.

Next time you want to challenge yourself, try learning and singing the Soprano part of Enrico Perosi's "Messa Interna" or whatever it is called...  Oh yeah! and Do it when you're sick!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vanity Insanity

 I woke up this morning and when I looked in the mirror while brushing my teeth I couldn't look away!  It was ridiculous honestly.  I stood there gawking at myself, moving some pieces of hair that were "out of place" and turning my head from side to side to see myself from every angle.  I couldn't help but think " oh my gosh, I am so pretty right now".  And then I totally took pictures of myself with my cell phone camera.  I was so excited that my hair was having a good day and my skin look immaculate.. then I spent fifteen minutes getting dressed to go out later in the day because I wanted to be a "knock-out" or at least modestly "cute". I was so happy.

After snapping the third picture of myself, the constantly analyzing mini cultural studies professor that resides in my head started thinking " wow,  vain or what...lets see how many more self absorbed moments she spends taking pictures and staring at herself in her pjs?"

I spent another 10 minutes.

I am slightly ashamed.

But honestly this morning I felt so great because in my head and my vain slef obsessed opinion I looked phenomenal!!!   I had Jonathan Coulton's song " I feel Fantastic" running through my head and I think I sang it to myself as I dressed...again staring at myself in the mirror an exceedingly long amount of time

Now, riddle me this...

Ever wake up, look in the mirror and think to yourself; "wow ..I'm so hideous! I look soooo bad right now!" and proceed to brush your teeth staring down at the sink and leave the bathroom without a second look into that "repulsive" image staring back at you?  I totally went through this yesterday morning.  I had had a terrible night and could barely stand the sight of myself, toothbrush in mouth scraggly hair and bags under my eyes that glasses just didn't hide. Ew.  I hid from my bedroom mirror, covered as much skin as possible and put my hair up into an unflattering ponytail to go out.

Interesting how from one day to the next we can go from feeling excited and fantastic to feeling depressed and down trodden? And all because of our first impression of our own image.  

Everyone has insecurities just as everyone has moments of certainty about themselves... Body image is a real issue in today's culture (as it has been forever) and it really doesn't help that the media is forcing extreme ideas and norms on everyone about what is deemed "beautiful" and what is "ugly" in society.

I think individually, waking up in the morning and thinking that either your looking great or looking terrible has to do with many factors which we can't really control such as how much sleep we got or how we slept, and in what positions and under what conditions (like hot, cold, humid, dry etc).  People can remain in either the "pretty" or "unpretty" state of mind all day until something alters that such as clothing choices, people we see or meet, things we have to do etc. For example, knowing that I was going out in the evening yesterday I went from feeling "unpretty" to finding a few things to like about my image such as how my hair turned out after washing and how the weather was nice enough to be able to wear one of my favorite "feel good" shirts.

Ultimately, humanity is vain, even the most humble people don't like their hair one day or think a certain clothing item makes them look ________________(insert negative descriptive words here).  But we have to remember that there is always something even a tiny bit beautiful in us every minute of every day ( yes even when we're watching in horror how the jeans of yester-year no longer zip up, or we've just expelled some kind of bodily fluid or noise or odor that is "unappealing" to us and others)... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder right?  Attractiveness is only "skin deep", beauty is internal and causes from the inside out and that is what makes us "beautiful people". 

"You're so vain... you probably think this [post] is about you..don't you...don't you?"

That's my ramble for now... hope you think about when you wake up the morning after reading and your image self assessment comes back..


Friday, September 24, 2010

A 7 Day Journey

Once there was a girl, who on the seventeenth day of September of the year two thousand and ten decided to send words out into the never-ending universe of the Internet .  And thus a blog was born!

I hope this week has been as enjoyable for my readers as it was for me... I can't believe that these days have passed so quickly, and I know very soon I will be blogging about how much more time has come to pass, but for now I congratulate myself for this 7 day milestone.

Thanks to all my readers (you know who you are my faithful few) and to those of you who either posted a comment directly or e-mailed me commentary.  Keep reading and keep the comments coming!

You never know what you are capable of, until you try to do something new.  It is not in succeeding that we accomplish our goals, but in giving it our everything.  That is achievement.  To do and fail is better than not having done at all.

So thank you all for helping me accomplish my goal thus far.  I set out to bring you the random and the everyday of my life as well as of the world/culture/society around me/us..and I intend to continue doing so until either my internet shuts down, blogspot disables or bans me or my life is no longer random and my everyday is of no consequence even to myself.  As this is all more than likely not going to occur, you can all feel secure in knowing that there will be more blogs to come! and hopefully each one better than the next.

I apologize for the red on black and if that is fatiguing for people's eyes... I like it, i've gotten positive feedback equally to the negative and I don't think i'm going to change it yet.  I hope that does not deter people from reading my blog but if it does, then it is your own losses.  I also want to apologize if the length of my blog posts has caused boredom, fatigue, strain, annoyance or anger..i'm just trying to get my footing here, so bear with me.  Plus, if those of you reading my blog know me for me irl (in real life hehe) than you all know by now how much of a rambler I am.

So cheers to my first week of blogging and a toast to the week(s) to come!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Random Thoughts

If I could redo today, I would.

If I could redo everything from yesterday, I wouldn't.

If I was able to control everything tomorrow.. I'd leave it up to chance.

Life is short... sadly we only realize this on the day our age changes or when it's too late, or someone we know or ourselves are dying or have died.  Maybe we ought to use the time we have before we start regretting.

Every day is a Blessing that should be taken in stride with high held heads, happy care-free hearts and a pinch of humour.

If you sleep the day away you've missed so much that you will never have again.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.... or poor mans neo-citron.. or lemon meringue pie..m m m

Laugh as much as possible, Love as much as possible, Live as much as possible.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Things I learned This Week in English 3W03

Did You know?

-There are around  635 native reservations in Canada?

- The word Ontario is a Mohawk word meaning "beautiful lake"?

- Native people did not have the right to vote until 1961!

- The last "residential training school" in Canada closed in the 1970's?

-The word Toronto is a Mohawk word for "floating logs"

Q. How many of the points above are commonly known to the Canada born "Canadian"?
A. Not much at all. 

-Did you know that All of the native reservations in Canada would physically fit inside the Navajo Reserve in the US?
"O Canada, OUR home and NATIVE land..."
- Maybe. Maybe Not.

Interesting perhaps?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Karma Comes To Those Who Forget

You don't realize what you do or use day to day until you no longer have it or have it working a 100%.

Take for example, the nose. A simple part of the face used for filtering the air we inhale and exhale every second of every minute or every hour of every day of our lives.  Such a menial task really, you don't even do it consciously, it just does on its own.  UNTIL you get a cold, or a sinus infection which fill your sinus passages with mucus and plugs your inner nostrils so much it gives you a numbingly painful headache and makes you just wish you could cut your head off nose first.

Another example of something we use everyday is the throat.  We use our throat to talk, to hum, to sing, and all of this we do without thinking twice.  Then you get a nasty sore throat, it gets raw and red, it swells, it itches, it burns and stings and you no longer have the ability to hum a tune, sing along to your favorite song or hit those high notes (or low notes) in church choir practice!  You're entire voice changes, the sound of it alters, and you develop an inability to pronounce words without squeaking.

Want a third one, your thumb or pinky finger are something that you use to do everything, from holding a writing or eating utensil, picking up a book, paper, purse, backpack, opening a door, to washing or towel drying your hair.  When one of these is sore, sprained, bruised, burned, broken, cut, or slammed in/under something ( i.e door or book) you will find it increasingly difficult and irritating to try and attempt any one of the menial tasks I have mentioned in line two of this paragraph.  And you can forget about drumming your fingers on a desk, painting you nails evenly, or playing any musical instrument (besides the harmonica).  Your world falls apart.

Its the little things in life that we take the most advantage of.  We've got these things; a nose, a throat and fingers/thumbs so lets try to remember to appreciate everything they do for us, not neglect, forget or abuse them as we are all guilty of doing.  For if you do, then you'll look like me, walking around the university student center with mucus coming out of your nose, trying to scratch your throat with your tongue and groaning at the same time with your pinky finger pulsing from pain because someone didn't hold a door for you.

Good night and remember,  a healthy body is a happy body. So take care of yours.


Monday, September 20, 2010

"Wake Me Up When September Ends"

At times I wish I could go back to an age when I thought school was fun and I couldn't wait til summer ended and September started.  I still remember the feeling of excitement I used to have when it was time to go "back to school" shopping, and when I held that fresh brand new pack of pencils and that lovely white unspoiled eraser and stacks of binders just waiting to be filled with crisp sheets of lined paper...

Ah, how sweet it was, the carefree days of childhood...but sadly, too quickly it fades away.
Today I was trying to do some catch up work that I've neglected since school started last Monday, and being sick it was a grueling task to sit and focus when that song from Green day began to play in my head and in my brain resounded these words;

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends

Which to this day have never been more true then they are right now.

It seems that elementary and high school students get to do fun reviews the first month of school and ease back into their learning for the new school year, while university students are shot through a cannon going from 0-60mph in seconds, so fast that if you blinked, then you missed it.

I am almost certain that it is not just (us) lazy procrastinators ( I say "us" as yes I am one of those) who have a hard time getting back into the rush of the first weeks in an undergraduate program but the "brains" must feel the heat as well.  Everyone takes a break from fast paced learning in the summer...don't they?

Someone today, actually a few people who are close to me, have given me encouraging advice on how September is in its final ten days and soon October will come and then that too will pass, until we have passed November as well and it is December break.  Well, as comforting as it may sound to hear that the semester which just started will soon be coming to a screeching halt, it is putting twice as much stress on the heads of (us) procrastinators who have just realized for the first time that September IS almost up! 

October brings the start of tutorials, small useless assignments, large horrifying make- or -break- you essays and midterm Exams, and that the middle of November will bring the nearing of dreaded Final Exams.  Personally. I'm scared.

I suppose I will just fight through it as always... but if you happen to see me running around downtown flailing my arms above me like a crazy person whose head is on fire and screaming, don't pity me, I'm sure I won't be the only one... so please feel free to go on with your business as I'm sure someone will eventually throw me into the gore park fountain and then I'll be fine :P

So until that breakdown occurs, I am going to sleep as much as possible, study as much as possible and suck up to my professors as much as possible. 

Into the arms of sleep I go.....wake me up when September ends..Please!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Drop that Cough...quick and cheap remedies

Seeing as I'm sick and today has been one of the worst days I've had since being sick (which began Thursday morning) I thought I'd share with you some inexpensive remedies, given me by an ethnic friend, for easing a cough and soothing a sore throat as well as warming you up and reducing chills and fevers:
(disclaimer- results may vary depending on the person physically and individual situations and circumstances. I myself have only tried the first remedy but so far so good.  Enjoy!)
  • Warm Coca-Cola: Pour half a can of Coke into a pot and heat it on the stove.  Once it is warm pour it into a mug and drink.  You don't have to boil it, but try to drink it as hot as you can handle it (the more heated, the more effective it is).  This remedy soothes a cough for about two hours.  If you use the whole can, you will have longer lasting temporary relief for up to approximately 3-4 hours. 
  • Poor Mans Neo-Citron: Cut a lemon into quarters (4 pieces) and put it into a pot of water(enough water to fill a good sized mug) on the stove.  Add a small-medium size stick of cinnamon and heat it all up until the mixture is boiling.  Once its boiled, pour the tea mixture into a mug and (cautiously, to avoid burns) squeeze the lemon pieces into the mug.  Then add a few spoonfuls of honey.  Try to drink it as hot as possible for the most effective relief of coughs and sore throats due to colds.   Drink it before going to bed for the night and it will help you sleep easier as your throat will be soothed and the warmth will help take away chills or fever temporarily as well. 
  • Cough-drops for easier sleeping:  Suck on a Halls or Fisherman's friend while in bed before falling asleep.  It will keep your throat moist and allow you 5 minutes of relief for that pesky cough or dry throat tickle as well as that blocked sinus issue that comes with colds.  You can repeat this remedy as often as needed throughout the night.  There is minimal choking risk as the cough-drop/lozenge will dissolve in your mouth even if you fall asleep. 
 The warm coke wasn't a bad thing, as some might think to themselves that heated pop of any sort might be disgusting, it wasn't at all unpleasant, in fact I rather enjoyed it.  Though I'm not much of a coke drinker on a regular basis but i've always found it way too fizzy but warming it up gave me the nice taste of coke without too many carbonated bubbles to fill my stomach.  I found that upon drinking it my throat was less sore and by the end of my half a mug I had stopped coughing.  My cough returned about two hours later, and my throat hurts again but the temporary relief was great!  Will definitely repeat this remedy tomorrow morning before going to sing at a funeral mass.

  As for the Poor mans Neo-Citron, I have yet to test this out, but I was informed by my ethnic friend that it is a family recipe used by mom whenever all of her ten children happened to develop a cold, cough, sore throat and fever and it always worked wonders.  I figured I'd let you all in on this recipe because all you need is water to boil, lemons and cinnamon (which you can do without if you don't have any at hand or it is too pricey for your pocketbook) AND it is definitely cheaper than going to the drugstore and buying a box of Neo-Citron tea (which in my opinion is absolutely disgusting and I don't know how anyone can drink the stuff. Eww!).  If using a whole lemon is too strong for you, or you think it will be based on your previous dealings with lemon or lemon flavored things, then all you have to do is use a half a lemon, cut in two.  The cinnamon is really just a flavoring instrument, but if it tickles your taste buds use as much as you like.  You don't have to put it into your own mug, but you can leave it with the rest of the tea that might be left over and just reheat it for another cup until you've drank the entire mixture.  You can can re-add lemons later on too.

Once I try making the poor mans lemon tea mixture I will let you all know how it went, if it worked, how I found it in comparison to other teas or remedies etc.  So stay tuned.  But I have the up-most confidence it will work wonderfully and allow the most sore, itchy throats and moist or dry coughs temporary relief enough to get some rest in.

At night when my cough is driving me so incredible crazy and water is not helping, I reach for a lozenge or cough-drop.  I've found that sucking on one while trying to fall asleep helps to alleviate coughing and soothes your sore throat long enough for you to be able to relax.  They are also great for opening up your sinus passages if you've got a blocked nose and you are not a fan of sticky  Vick's Vapor Rub. 

It's time for bed.  Its 10:50pm and I have to wake up early as there is a10am funeral to sing and 4 hours of university English classes directly following.  Pray for me to have the strength to fight this cold and battle lectures and readings this week... I will be praying for the recovery of all sick persons out there (cold/flu related and otherwise).  Remember, next time you open a door, hold onto a bus pole, pull out a seat or hand someone a pen think to yourself  "When was the last time I washed my hands today?".  Also, hand sanitizer can only go so far, so once you've blown your nose or wiped your fevered brow make sure to get to a sink and sing the alphabet in your head while you scrub up.  It's just good for everyone's health, especially your own.  Spread love, not colds.  A Speedy recovery to all of you out there suffering as I am.

Sweet and coughless dreams all...


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blogging attempt #2

So it's Saturday and i am writing my second blog post.  So far, only one family member has told me they read my blog post from yesterday... I hope, as time goes on, more people read them... but I suppose if I can keep the interest of at least one family member I should count my blessings...

So how many of us as adults have played or witnessed others playing children's games like "tag", "stella-ella-oh-la" "double-dutch" or "hide-and-seek"?  I had the joy of witnessing children and my older sister playing an game of tag this evening, and I had totally forgotten, up til the point of watching them, how much hard physical activity it involved as well as how potentially harmful it can be.

Honestly, think about it, go back through the past 10-25 years in your memory and you are sure to recall a time when you were playing a "harmless" "fun" game of tag with your friends/family members as a child and you or someone you were playing with got a "tag" related injury such as falling, tripping, slamming into something (i.e tree, pole, car, table, wall, door etc), bumping your head, scraping your knee even twisting an ankle maybe.. I'm sure it's happened to the best of us.  And this game, "tag" has been around forever! Children today universally know of it, know the rules and play it.. 

Think about it, right now, somewhere in the world, a group of children are playing tag.  Weird.

Its not that children's games are meant to be harmful or violent, but many children have been involved in "play-related" accidents.  These "accidents" may happen due to the carelessness/meanness of you/your child or another child, or due to a neglected loose shoe lace or improper fitting clothing articles (i.e larger pants, shoes with no or little grip on the bottoms..etc).  Interestingly enough, one does not seem to realize how dangerous potentially, a game of "tag" can be until either you get hurt, someone your playing with has an "accident", or as an adult you witness "almost accidents" happen between your little niece and another kid... it stops your heart.... it freezes your blood.. crazy.

I suppose all games are fun, some are safe and some are not... such is life.  You will never know what will happen unless you try. Just let yourself go and have fun.. Sometimes having blind ignorance like children, can open up new (or old forgotten) worlds of games and fun... So get out there, and in the words of Miss Frizzle! MAKE MISTAKES! GET MESSY!  There's a big little kid in all of us..put down the brush and let him/her paint with their hands once in a while!

Til next time, play safe and have fun...


Friday, September 17, 2010

Attempts at starting to Blog

This is my first post, and I don't know if it will be any good or not but I hope for it to be ground breaking as it is the first in a long line of hopeful posts to come. 

 It is quarter to eleven pm, Friday September 17th  and I am finally able to get my first post out as have been trying since last Friday when I signed up on blogger and activated my blog spot account. 
I don't know exactly what I intend to blog about, as befits my title, I suppose anyone reading will just have to wait and see if anything interesting comes up...

I've decided that blogging is going to be a way in which I will be forced to keep up with my creative writing skills and I intend of maybe releasing bits and pieces, really just on the spot thoughts of novels and stories I hope to one day write down and have published into a book.  Keep your fingers crossed for me....

I have been trying to send my initial post all week but I've been busy... School started this week.. and university is no joke.  I'm in my second last year, so year 4 of 5 and I need to work really hard so I can get my degree at the end of April 2012 so that I can get a job in books, because books are my passion.  Without a good book to read I would definitely not make it through each day or week or month or even year... and thankfully being an English major enables me to expand my literary scope and read fiction novels as well as non-fiction (ugh) that cross many genres.  My favorite literary genres are horror, romance, gothic, fantasy, native Canadian, mystery and vampire ( if that counts as a standalone genre)...

I also write in the aforementioned genres, though i'm only just working my way through the first layers towards the depths of the literary abyss in any genre.  I have currently to date, started 3 novels.. none of which are yet to be anywhere near completion but hopefully will be soon.. I hope. Fingers crossed.

In this blog I'll be describing random thoughts, feelings, happenstances, occurrences and situations as well as my everyday encounters, issues, accomplishments, goals etc... You will hear tons about what I've recently learned, discovered or decided to find interesting and my commentary on the society I live in and popular culture of my everyday life....  You will also have the joy of knowing the who, what, where, when and why of what I am and will be reading, and what novels I am writing or at least attempting to well, I will be taking you through my painstaking journey of my university days this upcoming year.. so i hope it does not disappoint... some people find me funny... some don't. YOU be the judge. (hehe)

Well now you know a little more about me and it is now 11:22pm and I have to go to bed or I won't be able to get up in the morning to sing at church... did I mention that I sing at church on weekends and weekday masses? Lets pray my voice holds out as i've been quite under the weather the past 24 hours and sore throats do not help you hit high notes.

To whoever reads this first blog, thanks for your attention through my lengthy ramble... I promise the posts will get better...Please drop me a comment about anything.. I am totally open for infiltration and appreciate constructive criticism and new books to read.  

Cristina :[