Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My friend Dennis

I just got back from a lovely birthday party for my friend Dennis. There was much eating of food and cake and talk and laughter and it was everything a party should be. As Dennis is someone I admire and care about, I thought I'd dedicate this post to him. Dennis is the type of guy that never lets anything get him down. He always has a smile and a bit of encouragement to give people. He's busy and fun and he really is a pleasure to work with. He makes me want to be a better person and I'm grateful for that because he pushes me to continue to grow and to improve in my work and my life.  I know that I always feel at ease when I'm working with him and there's never a dull moment with him.  In many ways I feel honored to be his friend and to have the opportunity to work with him. I want to wish him the happiest of birthdays as he has made me (and I suspect many others) feel happy.

Monday, September 29, 2014

On a quest to love myself

"Self-love is the source of all our other loves." -Pierre Corneille

In my quest to love more, I have found the need to do more things to love myself. I find I feel better if I do at least one thing that makes me feel good about myself-not enough to feel arrogant, mind, but just enough to feel happy!

  • Over the weekend I put on a dress that made me feel pretty and it helped me to walk down the street feeling like the world is my oyster! I felt damn sexy good!
  • I looked in the mirror today and said "I love you" to myself and found the experience to be rather therapeutic.
  • I sang in the chorus I'm a part of and I felt happy because I felt like I sounded particularly good this evening.
  • I worked hard at and accomplished a lot as part of my job today. It's a nice feeling to know that I can do my job well.
  • I helped someone to smile today which is something that always makes me feel good.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rocking out in the car

I was inspired to write this post after watching a really sweet video (see below). It's this mother and daughter singing in the car (no they weren't actually driving at the time.) It reminded me very much of how sometimes  when my mum and I were in the car and a song came on the radio that we liked, we used to "dance" (e.g. sway back and forth and wave our hands around as much as our seat belts would allow.) It actually was really fun and doing something like that with my mum felt good because it made us laugh a lot and I smile when I think of it.  I think rocking out to at least one song on a long car trip makes the trip so much more fun, especially when it's singing with a group!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Apple Picking!

I went apple picking today! My friends and I went to a farm in Ipswich, Massachusetts and we had a marvelous time picking apples (and eating some of course.) I love apple picking because it reminds me of home. My family has apple trees by my house in Michigan and when I was younger in the fall my family would hold apple cider parties and have hayrides. I really had a good time. I like doing things that remind me of home. Plus apples are delicious. I hope everyone has the chance to do something nice outside like that. I just know that it makes me feel better to be outside like that, especially when it's sunny and I have a group of lovely friends to enjoy the outside and go on hay rides and pick apples together!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A love note for everyone

Apparently it's Love Note Day- I don't know who comes up with these holidays but I do know that love notes make people feel happy and in that spirit, I've written such a note below in the hope that it might help people to feel loved- just because to feel loved is the nicest feeling to me!

Dear Friends,

If I could wish for anything and I knew that that wish would come true, I'd wish that you would always feel loved because   I  really care about you, I believe there are many ways of loving people and the love I have for you is my motivation to write something for you each day.  I write in the hope that my words might make your day brighter and your smile bigger. I write in the hope that something in my words might help you feel good inside. Most of all I hope that you will always find at least one thing to feel happy about. I just know that one of the happiest times of the day for me is when I'm writing to you. In that sense you are a ray of sunshine in my life and I'm grateful to you for that. So wherever you are I send my love to you.

I wish you peace and much happiness now and always.

Lots of love,


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Christopher Reeve will always be Superman to me.

"How many neuroscientists does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: None-after years of tireless research they finally taught mice how to change a lightbulb for them!" -Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve was born today and I thought his joke about the mice was pretty funny. That man really inspired me because he never gave up and he showed me what it means to be brave. I think in that sense the fact that he played the role of Superman in the movies is very fitting for him. It's not just because he found ways to rise above the spinal cord injury, it's also because he worked hard to advocate for others who faced the same difficulties he faced. He'll always be Superman to me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Maybe being green is the way to be!

Jim Henson was born today-he produced the Muppet Show and Kermit the Frog. Kermit the Frog is a character that I've grown to know and love mostly because I liked watching him as a child. I especially like the songs he sings. Although they might seem a bit melancholy at first they do have good messages. I especially like the song "It's Not Easy Being Green." It's all about accepting yourself and loving who you are. I know that I love people and I continue to work on loving myself too. I figure the more I do that, the more love I can give (and the more blog posts I can write, of course!) So here's to loving ourselves and most of all, being green!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My favorite things jazz-wise

It's John Coltrane's birthday and as a result I wanted to share my favorite recording of him playing. It's his rendition of the song "My Favorite Things." If I could list off all of my favorite things, it would be quite a long list. So let it suffice to say when I hear this music it makes me think of think of the things that make me feel happiest. With those things in mind I can't help but smile and my life feels better as a result!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Birthday to Andrea Bocelli!

I've always rather liked Andrea Bocelli's voice. I find it's beautiful and very comforting at the same time. I especially like the song "The Prayer" that he sings with Celine Dion. I like it because I feel a sense of peace and safety when I listen to it. I like music that makes me feel warm and safe and happy like that.  I hope that everyone gets to feel a sense of safety and peace especially when things may not be on the up and up. I figure as long as I can feel a sense of peace I know that things will ultimately be all right and that's what this song helps me think about. I hope it has the same effect on others. In any case, I wish you (and Andrea Bocelli of course,) peace now and always.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

An awesome barbecue!

I went to a barbecue today at my coworker's house. It was to celebrate a friend's marriage and it was really nice. My coworker and the bride and groom's families made the food and one of the guests played an accordion and there was a homemade wedding cake made by my coworker's children. (The cake was an amazing pink frosted masterpiece with sugar beads all over it! It was the best!)  I think the party was so nice because of the fact that it was a party to celebrate a marriage. The bride and groom both gave short speeches about their love for each other and it really was a lovely event.  I think I liked this wedding barbecue the most because it was low key but filled with a lot of love and great people and FUN! I wish the bride and groom every imaginable happiness!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A recipe for happiness from Sophia Loren

It's Sophia Loren's birthday and I love this quote by her-it's just a really nice recipe for happiness!

"You have to enjoy life. Always be surrounded by people that you like, people who have a nice conversation. There are so many positive things to think about." Sophia Loren

Friday, September 19, 2014


I went to a reunion today with people from a class I graduated from. Until I went to that event I don't think I'd really stopped and thought about how nice it is to be reunited with people you haven't seen in a long while. As this reunion was a 25th anniversary event commemorating the beginning of the course as a whole, there were people there that I was able to meet for the first time as well.  I like reunions because they are always happy times and events where everyone feels welcomed. If I could make everyone feel welcome every day I'd do it, just because of how good it feels.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happiness in a haircut!

I always feel better after I have a haircut.  It's just nice to feel pretty. Plus when I think about that it makes me think of the song "I Feel Pretty" which never ceases to make me laugh. So all in all, haircuts just make me feel happy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Funny side of being strong!

"You can't really be strong until you see a funny side to things." -Ken Kesey

I like this quote because  at least for me, as long as I can laugh about it I feel like I can get through whatever happens to me. Plus, if something is really hard and I can still find something to laugh about, I know it could be a good story to tell later.  For example, I had to have brain surgery unexpectedly and it was right around the time when I'd been planning to have a party to celebrate the fact that I'd graduated from high school. I told the doctor about it and she and I decided I had to go to that party so she scheduled the surgery immediately and I came out of the hospital the day after and went to the party straight after coming home from the hospital. I don't remember  anything about the party but I have pictures to prove that I was there and that it was fun. I laugh when I think about that, not necessarily because it was funny, I laugh because I'm still happy I was there and that there are pictures of me laughing.  Laughter really is the best medicine!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

If I had unlimited hours and never got tired....

I was thinking today of how I wished I had loads of hours in the day or maybe one of those devices in one of the Harry Potter books that turns back time  so you can have more of it. If I also never got tired and had unlimited resources, I got to thinking about all the things I'd want to do each day. Here are a few of the things I'd do if I had all the time I wanted:

  • Write more blog posts-they do take some time to write and I would like to write more each day.
  • Go to work and then hold a "Need A Hug?" event afterwards with a group of my friends-I've done that for my birthday since 2010 where I've given hugs to people who felt they wanted one. It's the best feeling for me to help someone feel good inside and people seem happier after a hug. (This is of course assuming everyone else had unlimited time as well and they were willing to do the hug event with me.) 
  • Go for a bike ride around Boston Common-it's beautiful and I've seen people doing it. (I'd get the bike from one of those bike share things they have throughout Boston now.)
  • Cook and invite people over to have dinner with me. 
  • Go to the gym -granted I should always make time for doing that-I just need to get and do it!
  • Read a book -as much of it as I wanted to read.
  • Volunteer at an event or for an organization I cared about. I'd really like to spend some more time doing that. 
  • Send postcards to everyone I know-I love getting postcards and I think people do in general-it's nice to get something in the mail like that. 
  • Join more groups and clubs to meet loads of people! 
  • Take some classes in a different language -I don't want to ever stop learning!
I realize I could do all of these things in small doses because let's face it, things might get a bit old if I did them every day. In that sense I'm glad I only have a certain amount of hours in a day -just so I can enjoy doing the things listed above more when I do them. I know I'll do these things, spread out over many days, just as I know each of the things listed will be bright spots in those days. One thing I do know that I must do every day no matter how much time I may or may not have, and that is -to make someone happy every day. If I can help even just one person to feel happy each day, then, in that sense, each day is a good day for me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Thank you!

Apparently it's National Thank You Day. I don't know exactly who comes up with these holidays but I figure today is just as good a day as any to thank people. There are a lot of people in my life I want to thank. These include:

  • My family and friends for always standing by me and for always loving me.
  • The teachers, instructors, and professors I've had in school. Without the knowledge I gained with their help, I don't think I'd be where I am today.
  • Doctors for helping me live a full and active life.
  • The inventors of the world- past and present. Life is just so much better because of wonderful things like indoor plumbing, lights, the Internet, central heating / air conditioners, and of course, smartphones!
  • Pastors for teaching me how to believe God as something that's good and that's always looking out for us. 
  • Whoever discovered chocolate-life needs a bit of sweetness in it. 
  • Musical groups/singers like Train, Pharell Williams, American Authors, Chet Baker,  Edward Elgar and others.  They make me feel good!
  • Anyone who reads this blog-if I've made a smidgeon of difference in someone else's life through this blog that means a lot.
So I want to thank all these people for doing what they do and being who they are. My life is better and happier because of them and because of you for reading this. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hallelujah! Handel's Messiah was finished today!

Today in 1741 George Frideric Handel finished his "Messiah" oratorio, after working on it non-stop for 23 days. (He was extremely dedicated and most likely so tired after all those 23 days I can imagine him shouting "Hallelujah!" once he'd finally finished!-and then falling down in his bed and sleeping.) I sang the Hallelujah chorus with a choir I was part of when I was younger. The way the music sounded with all our voices together, it felt to me like we were singing something greater than ourselves. I think that's a power that music can have-why it can be uplifting. At least for me, music shows me that there's always something more to hope for and to work towards. Whatever music you like listen to or what you decide to do in life, I hope you do something that inspires you to do something even greater! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Roald Dahl-an author who helped save lives

It's Roald Dahl's birthday. I always liked his books as my mum used to read some of them to me when I was younger. Today I found one more reason to like the man-he was a bit of a scientist as well. Roald Dahl's son was struck by a car and contracted a medical condition called hydrocephalus (where fluid builds up in the brain). To drain the fluid and help his son get better,  Dahl worked with a  hydraulic engineer named Stanley Wade and a neurosurgeon named Kenneth Till, to make a shunt (a tube attached to a valve) to use to get the fluid out of his son's head. Thousands of people have been helped by the shunt that Roald Dahl created (called the Wade-Dahl-Till valve.)  So now you know that along with writing really funny kids books like the BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the man also helped save lives- he really was scrumdidlyumptiously cool!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Live each day

"I  just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life."-Tim from the movie " Tim from the movie About Time

I like this quote. It's from a movie about a man who has the power to go back in time and relive moments again. Eventually he comes to the realization that as the quote suggests, it's better to live in the present and enjoy every minute of it. I like the idea of life being extraordinary just because it is. I believe each day is extraordinary because each day presents an opportunity to find something nice to be happy about. It's finding that thing to be happy about that makes life more fun for me at least. Plus, usually it's something different each day that makes me feel happy. I figure as long as I can find the things that make me happiest during the course of each day, then I'm doing pretty well. This is why I believe that life can really be ordinarily extraordinary!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A wink and a smile

I heard this song today and had to share it. It's called "A Wink and a Smile". Hearing it made me feel good inside and I hope it has the same effect on others. I just know that a wink and a smile from somebody nice does brighten my day. If you would like to listen to the song, follow this link: http://youtu.be/TIwqw_2J6H8.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A way to protect your apartment!

"I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three!"~Elayne Boosler

I just thought this quote was really funny and presents a way to really frustrate potential home invaders. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hooray for photos!

Today in 1839  John Herschel took the first glass plate photograph. This made me of how great photographs are. When I'm having fun with friends or with my family it's nice to know that those happy moments can be preserved in photos. When I feel in need photos help me feel good inside as they remind me of the good things in my life and the fun times I've had with people I care about. Below is just such a picture that was taken when my friend and I were in a silly mood! I can't help but smile when I see it!

Monday, September 8, 2014

You are worth it to me!

It's the singer P!nk's birthday today and because of this I wanted to write about a song she sings called Perfect. ( You can listen to it here: http://youtu.be/-BIye98Ryic.) I like the song's message that everyone matters and that people should never feel as if they're "less than" others. I hope someday no one will feel they are "less than" because everyone matters to me very much!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Just because I grew up on a farm...

I saw this joke today and thought it was funny, especially because I lived on a farm as a child. (I won't say I grew up on a farm because I still haven't grown up yet!) Anyway, here's the joke:

A corny talk on the farm...
Do you know what the lettuce asked the radish? "Let us be best friends?"
And what did the radish answer? "You naughty thing, you make me blush! you make me reddish!"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Technology never ceases to amaze me

I went to the Boston Abilities Expo today it is a weekend-long event where various assistive technology, disability advocacy groups, and hospitals came together to advertise their goods and services they offer.  I liked how the even was called "Abilities Expo" because it really was about finding ways to showcase people's abilities and potential no matter what they might be facing. I'll never forget seeing a little girl aged about 3 or 4 and she was trying out this machine (I never heard the name) that was helping her walk. She just looked so excited to be walking. I also saw a man that had a similar walking aid machine that I couldn't be sure but I think was operated by various buttons so he pressed the buttons depending on how he wanted to move or sit. I like seeing things like that, how technology can help people so much and make them feel happy. It's amazing how far we've come and I realize we have more to do but what I like most about technology is that it can help people to do things they really want to do in so many ways.  I know that I mainly use technology to write and I do find freedom in it and I can use it to help people which is what I want to do most-what makes me feel happiest. So here's to technology!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A lovely evening out!

I think that at least one day a week everyone should have a nice night out. Even if it's just going for a walk or going to a friend's house, I find that doing something nice like that once a week is really helpful as it's refreshing and makes life more exciting! Tonight I went out with a good friend and had a lovely dinner at a Thai restaurant close to where I live. It was so nice to laugh and talk with her and just catch up on what she's been up to. It always feels good to enjoy someone else's company. Although I do sometimes like having time to myself, I find I'm happier when I'm with other people. Laughing and talking with them makes life more worthwhile! So here's to lovely evenings out, good friends, and of course Thai food!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

When I don't know what I'm doing.....

I've always enjoyed research. Maybe it's because I think a lot of interesting things happen when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. I got to thinking about it today because I work as a researcher as it's something I can do that makes me feel happiest.  There are times in my work when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing  and I face the unfamiliar.  However, I do find I discover more in situations like that. Maybe in some cases not knowing what one is doing can be a good thing. After all, in all the books I've read (I mean the fun non academic books mind you) the ones that are the most fun always seem to start out with people starting off into the unknown. Since I really don't have a good sense of direction in terms of geography ( I make getting lost an art form,) each day is a bit like going into the unknown for me. I always did like a bit of adventure. I hope that if you're reading this, wherever you are and whatever you end up doing in life, I hope you can find adventure in your life even if it means you don't always know what you're doing!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The birth of bossa nova

Laurindo Almeida was born today in 1917 and he, along with fellow musician Stan Quentin, is credited with creating the bossa nova sound.  Whenever I think of bossa nova I think of the song "Girl from Ipanema." Somehow I always feel at peace and happy when I hear that song. It reminds me of being on a nice beach on a warm summer day drinking an Orangina soda and being with my family. I can't think of a more relaxing place to be and if and when I'm feeling a bit stressed or under the weather I think of that and it does help. I hope it has the same effect on others. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Starting to live hysterically!

So I've started reading this book about doing something to live hysterically every day. Just the image of living hysterically makes me laugh in the best sense.  So the first day of this quest to live hysterically, the book asked people to do things from a list. (You were only asked to do one by the book but who says you can't do more than one? ) Here are some of the options on the list that I found most entertaining. You can see how I've checked a few things off:

  • Do one press up. (which I did do.) 
  • Perform a striptease (in private) (I considered it but ultimately didn't do it.)
  • Triple-tie your shoelaces-(too much bother!)
  • Learn to play "Chopsticks" on the piano (already know how.)
  • Increase your typing speed by 3 words per minute (have resolved to work on it!)
  • Say "yo" instead of "hello" Yo everybody!
  • Try a new sandwich filling (I tried salami and provolone cheese-yes I'm sure many people have eaten that before but it was new to me anyway.
  • Set all your clocks to exactly the right time. (But then I"d be late!)
  • Bookmark a new website (If anyone has a blog they'd like me to read send me the link!)
  • Go on a one minute hunger strike. (I did it-I didn't know really what I was protesting but I guess it's the thought that counts!)