Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fun Souvenirs!

I love traveling and over the years I've managed to gather a small collection of souvenirs that I've bought. Although perhaps I was ill advised in buying some of them I still felt they were worth sharing for the heck of it! 

On previous trips I bought:
  •  A yodeling bear. I was in Switzerland and I felt the urge to get something that yodeled and that's what I decided to get, much to the chagrin of the rest of my family.
  • I bought a wizard's winter hat once on a ski trip. It was cold out and I was on a Harry Potter kick.
  • A hat with a sunflower on the front of it in England to protect my head from the sun as I believe we were there on the hottest day on record that year. I can't remember what my logic was in buying the hat was, as sunflowers as their name suggests, attract the sun. I guess I figured sunflowers are cheery! :)
  •  A hula dancer penguin dashboard figurine in Hawaii for my sister. Although I'm pretty sure it was originally made in China I still felt the need to get it for her as I felt her car was sadly lacking in ornaments!
Other than the 4 aforementioned souvenirs I think any other gifts I've bought on trips for myself or others have been fairly traditional (hard candy, post cards, playing cards etc.)  I felt the ones listed above were particularly unique and I hope they give you some ideas as to unusual things you could get to make your trips even more memorable/fun! Happy Travels!

Monday, April 29, 2013

To help educate you all about history-here are some things that happened today in the good 'ol days!

I love history and so I randomly thought I'd find out about some of the things that happened today in history and share them for the sake of providing you all with information that might help you with trivia board games/crosswords etc. So here are a few of the more eccentric things that happened today in the past. (These facts are courtesy of historyorb.com: http://www.historyorb.com/day/april/29.)

Today (April 29th) in:
  • 1540 - Emperor Charles declares all privileges of Gent ended (clearly today wasn't a great day for Gents!)
  • 1553 - Flemish woman introduces practice of starching linen into England (Proving that Flemish women should get even more credit for their fashion sense!)
  • 1701 - Drenthe, Netherlands adopts Gregorian calendar, tomorrow is May 12, 1701 (Obviously the people of Drenthe are very forward thinking in a literal sense, plus I've decided I really love the name Drenthe- it sounds like it should rhyme with strength!)
  • 1715 - John Flamsteed observes Uranus for 6th time (why the sixth sighting of that planet is so noteworthy I don't understand. Weren't 5 sightings of the planet enough to prove it was/is there? I guess it was either a slow news day or Mr. Flamsteed was just rather obsessed with Uranus-not that there's anything wrong with that-I'm sure it's a lovely planet to look at!) 
  • 1813 - Rubber is patented (man, just think how rich the person who patented it would be if they were still alive today!) 
  • 1834 - Charles Darwin's expedition sees top of Andes from Patagonia (Then what?)
  • 1852 - 1st edition of Peter Roget's Thesaurus published (Thanks to the thesaurus I found a most unusual word the other day-"Absquatulate"-yes it is a word-it means to leave abruptly!)
  • 1882 - The "Elektromote" - forerunner of the trolleybus - is tested by Ernst Werner von Siemens in Berlin. (Trolley Tours in big cities have Mr. von Siemens for their success!)
  • 1913 - Swedish engineer Gideon Sundback of Hoboken patents all-purpose zipper (So go examine yours now!)
  •  1930 - Telephone connection England-Australia goes into service. (It took them long enough!)
  • 1953 - The first U.S. experimental 3D-TV broadcast showed an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV. (Why go to the movies to get the 3-D experience when one can do so at home? I guess the regular size telly isn't as fun!)
  • 1967 - Aretha Franklin releases "Respect" (And everyone R-E-S-P-E-C-T-S her for it!)
  • 1981 - Phillie Steve Carlton is 1st lefty to strike out 3,000 batters (Yet another example of how left handed people rock!)
  • 1990 - Wrecking cranes began tearing down Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate (Yay!)
  • 1995 - Final TV broadcast of "Empty Nest" on NBC TV (Alas, the nest really was empty that day. )  :(
  • 1995 - Longest sausage ever, at 2877 miles, made in Kitchener Ontario (Living up to the city's name no doubt!)
So as you see, today was a monumentally important day in history for so many reasons! Hope it was a good day for you all!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy National Cublicle/Blueberry Pie/Workers Memorial/Kiss Your Mate Day!

 I love holidays mostly because it's nice to celebrate something and I found out there are 3 holidays today that I thought were worth getting more publicity!

Today apparently is: National Cubicle Day, National Blueberry Pie Day, National Kiss Your Mate Day and Workers Memorial Day

Why you would celebrate a cubicle I don't know but I do know that they are nice to decorate. Giving that today is a Sunday, you'd have to be pretty dedicated to go into your office again just to decorate/redecorate your cubicle. However, since it's also Blueberry Pie Day maybe if you baked a blueberry pie beforehand and took into the office to eat while you decorate (thereby celebrating two holidays at once,) it  might make Cubicle Day more fun! (Woot Woot!)

As to National Workers Memorial Day it's a pretty morbid holiday since it's apparently meant to honor people who died/were injured at work. I guess to celebrate-if you know someone who has been injured at work you could go visit them/send them flowers.

I'm really happy it's National Kiss Your Mate Day!  In honor of this holiday, I hope you go out and give someone you love an especially nice big kiss. 

If you're a worker that's been hurt I hope reading my posts helps you feel better. If you haven't got a mate and can't make/buy a blueberry pie then I send you a kiss and a picture of a blueberry pie to make up for it!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I love Talent Shows!

Over the years I've become somewhat of a fan of reality singing shows like X Factor,  American Idol and America and Britain's Got Talent. There are certain performances that I like most because somehow they never fail to lift my mood. I thought I'd share them in the hope that they have the same effect on others!

Jackie  Evancho- America's Got Talent 2011:The way this girl sings Ave Maria I could swear she made angels jealous! 

Robbie Firmin- Britain's Got Talent 2011-This little boy is soo sweet, cheeky, and a great singer even for a song like My Way, he makes it his own.

Janie Cutler-Britain's Got Talent 2010-I love how she sings No Regrets. It's like she's singing about her own life. I hope when I'm 80 I can be as spunky and cool as she is!

Kaitlyn Maher- America's Got Talent 2008- The way she sings Somewhere Out There it made me just sit there cooing awwwwww throughout her performance-she's really cute.

Jack Caroll- Britain's 2013- He's really funny-he proves that things are funnier when you're able to laugh at yourself and not take life too seriously. (After all, who says life has to be serious?!)
 Melanie Amaro-X Factor US-2011-Her voice is truly amazing-she really has got soul!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Mix of songs to make you feel better!

Sometimes I need a cheer-me-up so I made this list of songs that really help. Hope it has the same effect on others!
  • I Will Survive-Gloria Gaynor-Because no matter what happens we can still survive and keep going! (Listen here)
  • Feeling good-Michael Buble-to remind yourself that you'll better good soon! (Listen here)
  • I Got You (I feel good!) -James Brown-To help you feeeeeeeeeeeeeel good too! (Listen here)
  • Hang on Little Tomato-Pink Martini-because when things get rough you've got to hang on and not give up! (Listen here
  •  My favorite things -The Sound of Music.  I love the movie The Sound of Music and thinking about favorite things does help me feel better. (Listen Here)
  • Lean on Me-Bill Withers-When hard times hit we don't have to go through it alone-everyone needs someone to lean on occasionally. (Listen here)
  • There's Hope-India Arie-because there's always hope no matter how dark things are.(Listen here)
  • The Remedy  (I won't worry)-Jason Mraz-It's an awesome mantra! (Listen here)
  • Don't Worry Be Happy-Bobby McFerrin- It's just better to be happy than to worry! (Listen here)
  • Singing in the Rain-Gene Kelly-Because when it's raining it's nice to make the best of it and sing! (Listen here)
 I hope this music helps you to feel better soon!! Best wishes! :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

You know you have really good friends that really understand the real you when....

I consider myself very lucky that I've been able to become close friends with really wonderful people. I don't think I can thank them enough for all the things they've done for me except to write this post and live up to their example. Since I love them all so very much I love to brag about how awesome they are!  From being friends with these people I've learned that you know you have a really awesome friend/friends when:
  • Your friend is willing not only to come to the ER with you and stay there with you even to the wee hours of the morning, but also to go so far as to stick a bedpan on their head and sing in Spanish for you (and then steal the bedpan from the hospital when you leave) just to make you laugh hysterically/cheer you up!
  • Your friend knows you're really a little kid in a big kid's body and so they also know that playdough is the perfect gift to give you on your 28th birthday.
  • Your friend writes you encouraging e-mails every day when they know you've been feeling blue for a while.
  • Your friend takes the time to show you what masks to get and strict instructions to follow to help you exfoliate.
  • Your friend "friends" you on facebook. (After all you're not really really friends until you're friends on facebook- that makes it really official!)
  • When you have a cold and your friend makes soup and tea and homemade curry (which did make me feel better!)
  • Your friend goes to the airport with you when you're about to leave on a big trip and helps you carry your bags to the check-in desk.
  • Your friends are willing to follow your crazy plans and join you in wild activities like giving hugs to random strangers. (Everyone had fun with that one by the way!)
  • Your friends give you advice about your work and about how you can improve as a person in general.
  • Your friends are willing to read your blog and "like" it on facebook so more people will read it!
All these things aside, I really believe every friend a person has is awesome because of the support and love they give and allow us to share with them. Thank you all very much!! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Opportunities to educate oneself-Brookline Community Education

I believe that people should never stop learning and to that end I've been taking classes at Brookline Adult and Community Education. I've taken quite a few classes including a Spanish cooking course, a relaxation strategies course, a screenwriting course, and courses in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. I've learned a lot from all of these courses and I'm even continuing to write a screenplay based on what I learned from the class I took. I'm also cooking more and different things and I think my computer skills have improved. The prices for these courses are fairly reasonable I think the most expensive classes I took cost about $250 but they were 3-6 week courses so in comparison to regular college courses it's not so bad. I really believe it was money well spent as all teachers I've had have been really helpful and I've enjoyed and learned a lot from them. If you live in the Boston/Brookline area check out their course catalog here.

Even if you don't live in MA I think most states/regions have community ed courses that are just as awesome. Overall, knowledge is power and I love knowledge because increasing it means we have even more ability to make a positive difference in the world!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Phooey on bad news!

I'm tired of hearing all the negative stuff in the world! I protest! In protest, here are some things that I think are good in this world:
  • Ice cream exists in multiple flavors! (And there's even ice cream for the lactose intolerant so all can enjoy!!)
  • Chocolate exists! Enough said!
  • Domestic dogs and cats, horses, etc exist and can provide a lot of love to their owners.
  • The world has plants and trees and flowers! I don't  what I'd do without daisies!
  •  The sun and the moon still shine on everyone and can bring hope to the masses.
  • We have water. Can't live without it!
  • There are comedy programs and comedians to make us laugh. After all people should laugh at least once a  day! 
  • People still hold doors for each other, give up seats on buses and trains, and generally provide help to people who might be in need. 
  • People hug each other. Hugs are lovely!
  • Babies are born and children grow. They ensure our continued existence and can be really adorable.
  • Families exist. It doesn't have to be the family you're born into -to me families are groups where people feel they truly belong and coexist. I don't think people were truly meant to be completely alone their whole lives. Everyone needs someone 
  • Big sports competitions like the Olympics exist and they're awesome because for a few weeks countries put aside their differences and play sports with each other relatively peaceably. Athletes work hard and give it their all. Plus it's fun to watch!
  • Art and music exists and can be an outlet for so many emotions and most of all enjoyment!
  • There are words for peace and love in every language which means they'll always be with us.
  • Electricity and running water exist and can bring light into the darkness!
  • Cars, buses, planes, planes and trains exist so distance doesn't have to physically separate us from the people we care about.
  • People can use phones and send mail easily which also lessens the distance between us and the people we care about.
  • Books exist and can introduce us to new worlds and cultures or just fictional places we can escape to when in need of a break.
  • Schools exist-the more we learn the more we progress!
  • The Internet exists.Without it this blog would not be here and I like to think this blog is a good thing!
  • All countries have holidays! Days to celebrate things they're proud of, things that make each country unique.
  • Despite the expense of training, people still are willing to go into the medical profession to help us be healthier and so their profession is still highly valued.
  • Organizations like Amnesty International, the UN, and Human Rights Watch are in existence to help protect peoples' rights and freedoms across the globe. They may not be perfect by any means but the fact that they exist indicates that people want to come together to make things better for everyone. 
  •  Although I can't pretend the world is an entirely safe place it's nice to know that we have law enforcement, armies, judges, courts etc to help uphold laws and keep people safe.
  • People love each other and that fact helps humanity to keep going despite everything.
 If I can think of all these awesome things that exist in so many aspects of our world, then maybe things aren't so bad after all. I really believe there's hope for us yet! So bad news be damned! Life is good!

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's complementary.....

I heard a joke today that I had to share:

A guy walks into a bar and sits down and gets a beer and he's sitting there and all of a sudden he hears this voice saying: "I really like your suit, it looks great!" He looks around and seeing that no one is talking to him he thinks he just must be really tired after work. So he's still sitting there sipping his beer and then he hears the voice again saying: "I really like that tie also! You seem like a really nice person we should be friends!"  The man looks up thinking the bartender is talking to him but he sees that she's feet away from him serving other people. He calls her over and says "Hey, were you just talking to me a minute ago because I swear I just heard a voice telling me they liked my suit and that we should be friends." "Ah" the bartender says knowingly. "It wasn't me -it's the peanuts in front of you-they're complementary!"

Disclaimer: Although I have changed some details to make the joke sort of my own, I got the gist of the joke from the Ellen show. If you want to hear the source of my inspiration click here. The joke reaffirms my belief that there's nothing wrong with being a bit nutty-as long as you are nice and complementary about it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The best revenge is massive success-Frank Sinatra

I haven't been one to advocate for revenge. However, in the case of the Boston bombing, and because some of the funerals are starting to be held, for once in my life I feel like retaliating (although not violently in any way) and Frank Sinatra has showed me how to do it! I'm going to succeed in life (be a good person, do well in a career, be happy) and I know Boston is already a massive success. I've seen this success in the hospitals here, the law enforcement workers, Neil Diamond singing Sweet Caroline, (and the New York Yankees singing Sweet Caroline for that matter). I've seen that success in the goodness that I have witnessed in everyone I've met in Boston since I moved here. I have seen all these successes and I have to believe that they will be remembered more often than the horribleness of this event. All these things show one man's failure to bring the spirit of Boston down. So yes, I'm out for revenge and I'm going to get it!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Eli and Edythe Art Museum-A modern art museum that a gal who doesn't usally like modern art actually likes....

I haven't always had the best relationship with modern art. It was something that for whatever reason I didn't like. This might be because I was taken to an art museum and I didn't  understand the art and because like many kids I used to have a rather short attention span I got bored quickly and gained a dislike for modern art. That is until my mum took me to the Broad Museum on my most recent birthday. The museum is in the midst of Michigan State University's campus and as I remember it has a lot of really cool sculptures. There's one sculpture that I really liked that was basically a bunch of little glass droplets hanging from the ceiling.  Although it was cloudy that day, I imagined if the light hit it just right bunches of rainbows would suddenly appear. I know it's corny but if one is feeling a tad down, looking at a bunch of rainbows created by a pretty sculpture would not be a bad thing to go see. Plus, if you really don't like art but are forced to go to see art by a significant other/family member this museum is fairly small so maybe for an hour or so you can take your loved one to the museum and walk in and out fairly quickly. Who knows you may even find you like rainbows too. Although you will have to go to Michigan to see it. If you do go, go in the spring or summer. It's beautiful.

The Broad Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday 10-5. It has extended hours on Friday to 9pm. The website is: http://broadmuseum.msu.edu/about/hours-and-directions.

Friday, April 19, 2013

How to spend a day sheltered in place....

For the first time in my life I've had to "shelter in place" e.g. stay holed up in my apartment. Although I hope this never happens again I've decided as a public service to record some possible things you could do in such situations in the hopes that it might be useful for others should future shelter in place events arise. 
  • Listen to the news just to keep updated. Although maybe not too much as it can be rather unnerving. Plus. if something important happens the media is good about talking about the developments more than once so you won't miss much.
  • Watch movies, read books, play board games.
  • Clean-all right it's not that fun but it does keep one occupied and can  be stress relieving-after all, it's nice to have a clean living space.
  • Take a nap-sleep is nice!
  • Bake something-it's time consuming and creates something yummy and if you're stuck inside with other people, yummy things are nice to share. 
  • Contact family and friends and keep them updated-saves one from receiving loads of phone calls (on second thought, it might be nice to get multiple calls/e-mails-means people really care!)
  • Hug people you love!
  • Keep doors and windows locked.
  • Don't lose hope-all things come to an end sometime!
  • Celebrate when the shelter in place order is lifted!
I'm just really glad a suspect has been arrested in the Boston bombing search!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Get attention by doing nothing......

I remember in school there was a presentation my class and I went to about acting. The teacher asked a group of us to stand on the stage and try and get everyone's attention focused on each of us as individuals. So almost all of us, (except for one girl who stood stock still throughout) started yelling and screaming and dancing around. Lo and behold, the person that got the most attention we found out quickly, was the girl who hadn't moved a muscle-which was slightly irritating to me. It was my first lesson in that it is possible to get something for doing nothing at all. Not that I took that idea to heart and decided not to apply myself to anything-which probably would have led to a very boring existence. However, it did make me realize that it's good not to follow the crowd and instead stop and decide not create a ruckus sometimes. (Although I think creating a good ruckus now and then is good for maintaining spunk!) 

So my point: if you want to stand out in a crowds (literally) don't do anything! (Unless of course the crowd is a mob of people running toward you-in that situation I think I'd run if I were you and to hell with being noticed!)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Things I love about Boston

Although I love Boston because it's Boston,  now seemed to be a good time to mention some of the things I like most about this city. These include:
  • Boston Common, when the weather is nice I like walking around the place plus there are wonderful concerts and Shakespeare plays in the summer which are really fun!
  • Boston Garden-There's usually musicians playing and in the spring and summer the flowers are really beautiful.
  • The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum-it's a quirky place full of art, some of which isn't labeled as I think Isabella wanted people to experience art and not worry about details. Plus I think it's funny that she made it a rule that anyone named Isabella gets free admission to the museum for life.
  •  The Museum of Fine Arts-beautiful paintings and sculptures-it makes me feel....cultured!
  • I love the Boston Public Library, the building is beautiful, plus when I was in school it was a great place to study. 
  • The Red Sox- it's a Boston staple-I go for the crowd though, somehow I like the atmosphere I like and of course it's wonderful when they win!
  • Chinatown-dim sum-I realize it's not for everyone but I love  Chinese food and dim sum is basically a bunch of small appetizer-sized dishes of dumplings, vegetables and many other foods. Waiters come around with big trays of food and you basically pick what you want to eat. I realize dim sum isn't just a Boston thing but I was introduced to it in Boston and have loved it ever since. Not knowing what I'm eating may be the most fun about  it for me. I figure as long as it tastes good it's worth trying! My favorite place to eat dim sum in Boston is Hei La Moon -88 Beach Street Boston
  • Berklee College of Music-I like it because they have free concerts (check the schedule here) and the fact that I have friends that are Berklee students that I can cheer on, also makes it fun!
  • Jogging/walking by the Charles River over the Massachusetts Ave. bridge is fun-when the weather is nice. You get a great view of the city and it's fun to watch the rowers!
  • The Boston Symphony Orchestra is a great experience. Although tickets to their performances in the Boston Symphony Hall can be pricey, sometimes they do free concerts on Boston Common which are fun. (Check out the schedule here.)   
Aside from all the things listed above, what I really love about Boston is the awesomeness I've seen in the people living here!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Phooey on evildoers!

Someone once told me that in every emergency there lies an opportunity. I think that in the case of the Boston bombings it gave the opportunity for "ordinary" people to show how extraordinary humans can be especially in their willingness to help others in dire need. According to numerous sources, there were people just after the bombs went off, who instead of running away, ran back to the bomb site to help other people who were wounded. I also thought it was awesome that people opened their homes and gave food and shelter to people in need. The whole thing has rather reaffirmed to me that there's a lot of good in the world. I really believe that good can overcome whatever badness might exist and be a light in the darkness that badness can cause.  I think that the capacity to rise above and overcome so many obstacles is something I love about humanity.

So I say phooey on you evildoers! You cannot win and you will not win because in the end, when it comes down to it, you cannot stop humanity from enduring despite your best efforts! So there!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosion aftermath-phone numbers you need to know....

In the wake of the explosions at the end of the Boston marathon today,  I hope that if you're reading this, you are well and all your loved ones are ok and accounted for.

I know that this information is posted in multiple places but just in case you need it: 
Anyone with any information about the bombing should call: 617-635-4500 or 1-800-494-TIPS. 

Apart from checking on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites if you have loved ones that aren't accounted for yet, please check: http://google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions/. Alternately you can call  Governor Deval Patrick's hotline to look for people who might be hurt as well: 617-635-4500.

If you want to list yourself as safe and well please go to the Red Cross' Safe and Well website: http://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.  

Overall, be safe, keep calm, and carry on. I send my love and prayers to everyone.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The benefits of packing light

As mentioned previously, my family and I have done quite a bit of traveling overseas. In an effort to make traveling easier my parents would try to ensure everyone only took carry on bags on our trips. This strategy has paid off in more ways than one. Case in point- in one of our more recent trips returning to the US after a trip to the UK, the fact that we all only had carry ons led to monetary rewards! We arrived at the gate at Gatwick Airport and the attendant there announced that our flight was overbooked and because we all only had carry on bags and no connecting flight, the airline attendant offered us a cool deal. He said that if we agreed to give up our seats, the airline would give us tickets for a flight the next day, a room for the night in the airport's hotel, meal vouchers and $1,000 travel vouchers for each of us for future flights. We took the offer and so we were able to stay an extra night in London and see one of the Proms concerts there. ( These concerts occur toward the end of summer/ beginning of autumn. We were there around the middle of this concert event. The last concert is the most famous with royalty usually in attendance and lots of patriotic music.) Anyway, We were able to go and listen to the orchestra play music by Ravel and Debussy, among other composers. We had a lovely time and it was a great ending to a vacation. So if you can, I'd encourage everyone to take carry on bags as much as possible. Not only does it make things easier, it can also help make a vacation even more enjoyable!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why my Mum is amazing!

 I have an amazing Mum and because it's her birthday I felt the need to show her off to the world. So here are some reasons why I think she's awesome!
  • When things get tough she taught me that you can't let the bastards grind you down!
  • Her lemon and honey tea is great for curing so many things.
  • She and my Dad have taken my family to so many really awesome places. She's from the UK so when her parents were still alive she'd plan out vacations in the summers to go and see her family across the pond. She'd plan these trips around 8 months in advance and we've been all over the UK and some parts of Europe as a result of her planning and my family's had a marvelous time doing it. Even when things didn't go as planned it just meant we had really fun stories to tell later about it all. 
  • My Mum can be a hardcore road trip traveler in that she's taken my siblings and I to places like Florida twice to visit my Dad's relatives there and then back Michigan by car when we were all under the age of 10. She did this trip of over 1,000 miles in the space of just 2 days. She's also taken us to Washington DC by car to visit her sister-a distance of about 600 miles-a trip she's accomplished in around 10 hours.  How she's done all that traveling and still kept herself sane is a marvel in itself in my opinion!
  • She and my Dad are really great cooks and I know that my Mum has always done her best to make sure we all had healthy meals on the table and that we all ate dinner together. 
  • She's basically been a librarian/tutor to us all. She made it her business to help my siblings and I scholastically in any way she could. She took it upon herself to learn practically all there was to know about American history among many other topics to help my siblings and I do well in school. If she couldn't find the information she seemed to always know how to point us in the right direction in order to find the answer.
  • She and my Dad have been with my siblings and I through serious illnesses and were a constant presence at our side and I think we recovered faster with their help.  My Mum even gave up her career as a lawyer to be a stay-at-home Mom and help us get through these things and to generally raise us 3.
  • She and my Dad have been cheering us on all our lives, they've both been to every track meet, piano recital, dance recital, tennis match, soccer game, school play and concert that my siblings and I ever performed in. We could always hear when they clapped!
  • My Mum and Dad have pushed me and my siblings to work hard and do well in everything we set out to do and I think we've been more successful because of this.
Although I've listed off a bunch of reasons why I love my Mum, the biggest reason I love her is simply because she is my Mum and I wouldn't want it to be any other way.  She's the best!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Why I love underdogs

Granted, I know it's nice to gain success and be the best, but I can't help rooting for underdogs-people that come from behind, maybe not expected to win but eventually win anyway!  I love seeing that fight in people and when they succeed it makes me want to stand up and cheer because I know they've worked so hard and I'm just happy that they finally were able to do what they set out to do. It might take a bit longer and they might need help but underdogs are wonderful in that in my experience, the fact that they had to struggle seems to make them work even harder until they reach the finish line!

So, although  somehow I'm certain all who read this blog will always be in my heart, I now send my best wishes particularly  to those who consider themselves underdogs, especially because I know how you fight for everything you have and want to achieve. I hope you keep fighting and never stop until you get to the top (whatever that is for you.) Once you're at the top I also hope you keep fighting on anyway. My point dear friends is I hope that no matter what happens you never give up! When you win I hope you celebrate it and let yourself say "phooey on you world, look what I've done! I've got were I need to be and I didn't let anything stop me!" (Or perhaps something more mature than that statement, but in any case I still hope you celebrate!)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

There's always a way to succeed!

"However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at."-Stephen Hawking

I love and truly believe in this idea. There's always some way to succeed on a daily basis, however small that success might be. Just think, when you get up in the morning you've succeeded in getting up and making an effort to face the day. That's a success because it shows that you hope for good things to come. Hopefully (and if you want it to) that success can lead to more and bigger things-there's no telling what you can do! I hope you have an awesome day and that you can end it with the knowledge that you succeeded in helping it to be awesome. Even if days aren't so great, the fact that you can get through those days and meet the next day, shows success to me. It shows you have the will and strength to carry on! So I also hope you keep carrying on because to me everyone has the potential for success!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A life with many seasons of love

I was just thinking of the song "Seasons of Love" from the play Rent. It's all about how someone's life can be measured in love and how that love should be celebrated. I'd like to measure my life in the amount of love I can (and do) give to others, how much love I've received from so many people and how much more I can keep on giving in the future. As it's my birthday I plan on living many more seasons of love and spreading that love as much love as I can.

Seasons of Love (from Rent)

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?
How about love?
How about love?

Measure in love Seasons of love.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes!
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned,
Or the way that she died.

It's time now to sing out,
Tho' the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love!
Seasons of love!

Oh you got to got to
Remember the love!
You know that love is a gift from up above
Share love, give love spread love
Measure measure your life in love.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The secret to contentment

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."-Philippians 4:12

I guess if it's explicitly described in the Bible, the secret to contentment isn't such a big secret. I like this Bible verse because it gives an idea of a way to be content/happy. Obviously, this isn't to say practicing a religion is the only way to get to true contentment. (Although I think that having faith in something positive is a good start.) On a personal level, I feel I also gain a sense of contentment through the love I receive from my friends and family and I'm incredibly grateful to them as they me strength. It makes me happy that there's not really a secret to contentment. I don't think that anyone is truly incapable of being content. That's what I like most about happiness- it's something that everyone can have and share and it can be found almost anywhere!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Just don't care!

There's something freeing about just not caring what people thinkFree spirited is fun yo! Or maybe I just love this song- I can't get enough of Judy Garland singing and dancing and going on about how she doesn't care what people think, damn it, she's going to do what she wants and be what she wants to be. That's it! I've decided I don't care what anyone says, life's more fun when you don't give a damn!


I Don't Care- (Sung by Judy Garland)

They say I'm crazy
Got no sense
But I don't care
They may or may not mean offense
But I don't care
You see, I'm sort of independent
I am my own superintendent
And my star is on the ascendent
That's why I don't care

I don't care, I don't care
What they may think of me
I'm happy-go-lucky, they say that I'm plucky
Contented and carefree
I don't care I don't care
If I do get a mean and stony stare
If I'm not successful
It won't be distressful
Cause I don't care

A girl should know her etiquette
Alas, alack
Propriety demands we walk a narrow track
When fellas used to blink at me
I'd freeze 'em and they'd shrink at me
But now when fellas wink at me
I wink at them right back!

I don't care I don't care
If people frown on me
Perhaps it's the lone way
But I go my own way
That's my philosophy
I don't care I don't care
if he's clerk or just a millionaire
There's no doubt about it,
I'll sing and I'll shout it
Cause I don't care

Oh, I don't care, I don't care
When it comes to happiness,
I want my share
Don't try to rearrange me
There's nothing can change me
'cause I don't care!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod

As my previous posts show I really like poetry (both writing and reading it). I think this love I have of poetry started when I was very young and my parents used to read poems to my brother, my sister and I. I still like some of the poems my parents used to read to us and I've included one of them here. Even if this poem is for little kids I really believe there's a little kid in all of us. In any case it makes me feel good inside.

Winkin, Blinken, and Nod
Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea —
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Saturday, April 6, 2013

5 relaxing musical pieces

This is a follow up from an earlier post about songs I like. There are also certain musical pieces (mainly classical and/or from movie soundtracks) that help me to relax. I thought I'd share some that I think sound especially nice.

 There is a song on the soundtrack for the movie Stepmom that is called "The Days Between."  It might not sound like the happiest song ever but I still think it's beautiful!

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major 'Emperor'- Just because Bethoven rocks classically!


Edward Elgar's "Nimrod" from Enigma Variations. Elgar was an English musical composer and I really like this piece because it reminds me of the UK where my mum's family is from and it's a place where I have a lot of happy memories.


I love the movie The Mummy and the music that accompanies the end credits is so pretty I had to share it!

Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" is so restful it makes me want to curl up with a nice cup of tea and just listen!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hooray It's Friday!!!

A Friday poem!

Hooray it's Friday!
You made it through the week!
You may have grand plans 
Like a hot date
Or just plans to sleep late

Whatever the plan is
Wherever you might be
Whatever mischief you get up to
However much time you spend 
Painting the town red
I hope that this weekend finds you
Well, safe and the happiest yet

That's all I have for right now
I can't think anymore
Enough said!!! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy places

There's this part in the 6th book in the Harry Potter  book series which describes a daydream charm which allows people to daydream without anyone noticing that they're not paying attention. It is yet another magical object I wish I had sometimes. If I did, there are certain places I'd think of which people usually associate with a lot of happiness. Here are some:
  • Airport Arrivals Terminals: Everyone there is happy to see people they love or are good friends with. I've never seen a sad person in an arrivals terminal and I hope I never will. 
  • Ice skating rinks: People are usually smiling and laughing when they skate around the rink. From what I've seen most people are even laughing when they fall down. 
  •  Maternity wards: People love babies. Even if there are complications in births and pregnancies there's still a lot of love there and that can help maternity wards to be a happy place. Every baby is worth celebrating despite everything that might happen.
  • Parks: they're fun places to hang out and have picnics and/or watch people playing ball or something. I've always had fun there.
  •  Beaches: Relaxing when it's sunny and one has a nice book to read and a picnic to eat with friends.
So even though I don't have a daydream charm I can still dream occasionally and when I do, the places I've mentioned are good fun!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Funniest cartoon characters

There are certain cartoon characters that never cease to make me laugh like no other. Here are a few:
  • I love Edna from The Incredibles -for all you unfortunate souls who haven't yet witnessed her brilliance, she's a fashion designer and makes clothes for superheroes. Plus she's full of excellent advice. Click this link to get a taste of her wisdom.
  • If you haven't seen the movie Chicken Run you've missed out! I think I mentioned it in a previous post but just in case... it's about a group of chickens who don't want to be turned into chicken pies so they plot to escape from their chicken farm. My favorite character is Babs who is really funny. Case in point, there's a scene where she thinks that the farmer is going to kill her and when she realizes she's been spared, she solemnly proclaims: "All me life flashed before me eyes.... it was really borin'!"  Click here to see the trailer.
  • Grommit, the dog who belongs to a man named Wallace (or sometimes it seems like Wallace belongs to Grommit but anyway..) in the movie Wallace and Grommit. Grommit proves the point that dogs are really smart. That dog somehow manages single-handedly to get Wallace out of any problems they face together. Both Wallace and Gromit are big on inventing things Click here to see one of their amazing inventions! 
  • I usually don't like sequels but I do like Toy Story 3 mostly because the character Buzz Lightyear starts randomly speaking Spanish in the middle of it! Click here to see a clip of it.
These characters are why I love cartoons and why I don't think the kid in me will ever go away!  (Thankfully!)

Monday, April 1, 2013

No more bad hair days!!!!

A friend sent me this poem that I felt I had to share with everyone. It made me feel good inside!

No more bad hair days!

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. "Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "H-M-M, " she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today." So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. "Well," she said, "Today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head....

"YEAH!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

So whatever happens today I hope you have an awesome day (regardless of hair style issues!)