Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A wish for the New Year

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I hope this coming year brings you much laughter, good times and a good measure of happiness!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thinking the best of people

"I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble." -Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was born today in 1865. I rather like what he said in the quote above. I also like thinking about the goodness that I have to believe is somewhere in everyone. It's that belief that helps me to keep faith in humanity as there are so many good things people can do. So if you're out there and reading this please know that I insist on thinking the best of you!

Monday, December 29, 2014

A shout for joy for my friend Caroline

I can't help but feel overjoyed when something awesome happens to someone I love. Today I felt like standing up and cheering for joy because my lovely roommate Caroline passed one of her university courses which I knew she'd been struggling with for a long time now.  To me that struggle and the fact that all her hard work paid off is a big deal. I think whenever people work hard at something and see it through and achieve a positive result, that should be celebrated! So that's why I feel so happy that she's done this thing. That she's stuck it out and that she never gave up!

I think it's amazing what one person can accomplish with the help of people who believe in them but it's awesome what people can accomplish when they believe in themselves. I see that in Caroline and I really admire her because she believes in herself as much as I and all the people that love her believe in her. With that confidence and strength, there's no limit to the wonderful things she can do! Congratulations Caroline! This post is dedicated to you with all the love and good wishes I can put in it!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Thankful for gifts

I've found that this year especially, I'm more conscious of the gifts I've been given and how grateful I am for all of them. If I could list off everything it would be a very long list but here are a few of the things I've been given. 
  • For starters, I feel like having the support of my friends and family is a gift. I know it's something I'll always have but I do want people to know that I never take them for granted.
  • I'm ever so grateful I've been given the gift of being employed. It feels nice to have the ability to work and a place to work in a job that I really enjoy and with people that are wonderful to work with. 
  • Sometimes I think that this blog is a gift I gave myself. Committing to writing something positive in it each day has helped me to feel better. Plus, I like hoping it's helped me touch someone else's life for the better.
  • I'm grateful I can live in the city. I see this as a gift because living here has given me the opportunity to see and do so many things and meet really wonderful people. I see it as a gift to live here.
  • On the lighter side of things. I'm really thankful that my sister gave me this amazing umbrella that goes over my head like a cube so it doesn't blow inside out! Rain drops aren't falling on my head anymore!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I'm going places! (Even if I don't know where I'm going!)

"I'm an idealist, I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way!"

I have the world's worst sense of direction (geographically at least).  Even if it means I have to leave to get somewhere 15 minutes earlier just to allow time to get lost,  I know that even if I do get lost, I still feel like I'm going places and I do get where I meant to go in the end.  Plus, I get plenty of new ideas along the way and I feel happier that way. So I figure if I have to be lost, at least I'll be an idealistic and happy lost person anyway!

Friday, December 26, 2014

I can find humor in darkness

"What other people call dark and despairing, I call funny." -David Sedaris

I find that when things seem to go wrong, as long as I can laugh about something then things aren't so bad. For example:
  • Sometimes when I'm sick I watch disaster movies so I can be jolly glad I'm safe in my bed and not facing the end of the world. The thought makes me laugh. 
  • When I was younger my parents wanted my siblings and I to improve our math skills and so they had us be part of a math program after school and they had us do sets of math problems and test us on them. Each month we'd get a progress report from the woman running the program. One month my brother, sister, and I were waiting in line for our reports. My brother was first and he was really good at math so he was told his progress line on his chart was very high, he was congratulated and told to keep up the good work. My sister was doing pretty well (also with an upwards progress line) so she was also told to keep it up. When it was my turn I was shown my progress line which was flat. Then I'll never forget the instructor saying "well Maggie, at least there's something to be said for consistency!" -I burst out laughing at that. (Ok, so maybe that bit of humor wasn't so dark but it did stop me from despairing about my lack of math skills.)
  • Sometimes when I'm sad and feel like I want to cry I think of this trailer I saw for the movie Paddington (watch here.) and for some reason it makes me laugh hard enough for me to forget whatever it was I was crying about.
If I've learned anything about myself dying my life, I've learned I can find the light at the end of very dark situations. (Even if the light is on top of a big danger sign telling me to go back the other way!) Still, I've never stopped believing that a bit of laughter gets one to a better place faster!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A very happy Christmas

As my previous post will attest, I love Christmas and this Christmas was no exception. I got to spend it with some really great friends and that's what made it so nice. I think it's people that make Christmas so great. I've learned over time that all we have in this life is each other and I see that most at Christmas. So my Christmas wish is for you and for everyone is that you have people around you who care about you. I wish you all the best and a very happy Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Things I love about Christmas

Since it's Christmas Eve I got to thinking about all the things I love best about Christmas.  Here are some of them:
  • Christmas carols-in my mind it's perfectly acceptable to randomly start singing Christmas carols whenever I feel the urge to do so!
  • Presents-ok I admit it, I just plain like getting stuff!
  • Christmas movies- I like the old ones especially "It's a Wonderful Life" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".  I feel good after seeing them.
  • Christmas trees -they're fun to decorate especially with Christmas music to accompany the decorating!
  • Although it's not necessarily unique to Christmas, I like the holiday because it's a time when families and friends are together. I find I'm happiest when my family and friends are close by.
Happy Christmas everyone! I send my love and good wishes to all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Feeling the love through jazz

The musician Chet Baker was born today in 1929. My parents gave me a CD of his music for my birthday one year and I really liked this song that was on it. It's called "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face"  and somehow I've always found it to be beautiful and relaxing all at once. It reminds me of my family and how we love each other and music as well.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Things I really do wish I could schedule

"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full!" -Henry Kissinger 

Just for a few minutes when I think of what would happen if all things could be scheduled. Although I do try to keep to a schedule to restore some order to my life (as disorganization can be a bit much sometimes.) Anyway, there are some things I really wish I could schedule. For example, if I had to get sick, I'd rather it happen on a weekend (or not at all, preferably). I'd also like to schedule the weather. If I could make every day sunny but not too insanely hot, that would be lovely. However, I think that if everything really could be scheduled then life wouldn't be as fun. I suppose that's why at least my life does get a bit disorganized but I think I have more fun living a disorderly life. It's true that keeping a schedule is very helpful but I like the unexpected things that happen. I think the beauty of life lies in the unexpected. So I expect the unexpected!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's Winter Solstice - but I still want to look on the bright side of things anyway

So it's the day of the year with the least amount of sunlight but somehow I can't help thinking of brighter things just because things seem more fun that way, at least to me. Anyway, here are some of the brighter things that really made me smile today.

  • I was listening to the song "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing"  by Stevie Wonder and every time I hear it I can't help but dance a little. I found myself dancing a little down the street like they do in musicals, just because I dang well felt like it!
  • I got my haircut today and I always feel better after getting a haircut. It's nice to feel pretty.
  • I found the movie the Sound of Music randomly being shown on TV and that movie has always made me feel good!
  • I got an e-mail from my parents about the funny things they've been up to which made me laugh.
  • I finally finished Christmas shopping! It's a relief!

I figure as long as I can make a list (even if it's a short one) of good things that happen then I'm doing pretty well. Even if things aren't so bright, listing off the happier things seems sort of like a promise to me (or a promise that I'm making to myself rather,) that things will continue to get brighter as time moves along. So here's to the bright side of things!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Luckiest person

If I had to be the luckiest person
I'd want to win the lottery
I'd travel and help as many people as I can
And help find cures for diseases (at least those not yet cured by man)

Sometimes I do feel like the luckiest
I have family and friends to love
I have a roof over my head clothes on my back
This blog to keep and my health relatively intact

If I could help others to be lucky
I'd want to help them overcome the difficulties they face
I'd want to help the do the things they want to do
In short I'd want them to win every race

As you can see If I were the luckiest person
I'd want to make everyone else lucky too
So I guess I wouldn't want to be the luckiest person
Unless you were lucky too

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tradition of Christmas Crackers

I love Christmas crackers. I was trying to explain the concept to my Chinese roommate because they are so wicked fun! For those who don't know Christmas crackers are not food, the best way to describe them is basically that they're cardboard tubes wrapped up like presents with wrapping paper that two people pull apart and there are prizes inside. They always seem to have paper hats in many colors, really bad jokes, small toys like (really annoying) whistles and other stuff too. They've kind of become a family tradition. So it's official I'm crackers for Christmas crackers!

Photo from:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm crackers for the Nutcracker

The Nutcracker premiered today in 1892. I think the Nutcracker was the first ballet I ever saw and I think it made me love music and dancing. Seeing it will always make me think of happiness. I've always liked the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy best. It's elegant and fun and beautiful all at once.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

When I want to feel brave and when I want to listen to something beautiful

The composer Ludwig Von Beethoven was baptized today in 1770 ( I guess his actual birth date is unknown.) When I think about Beethoven I think about two pieces that I like most.

Symphony No. 7 in A Major: Allegretto
When I feel like i need to feel brave I listen to this piece and it actually does help me.

Sometimes when I listen to this piece called Piano Concerto No. 5, Op. 73 ('Emperor') in E-Flat Major: II. Adagio un poco mosso, it makes me think of my family and friends because it sounds peaceful and I know that I feel most at peace when I am with my friends and family. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Some warnings can be funny!

"Never put a sock in a toaster"-Eddie Izzard

Why you would put a sock in a toaster I don't know but when I saw this quote I couldn't help laughing at the mental image that grew in my mind after reading it. Anyway in an attempt to help you laugh here are some other "warning" signs that I've found (after some research).

"Do not turn upside-down."-(warning on the bottom of a TV dinner tray.)-It begs the question-why was the label on the bottom of the tray?
 "Do not use while sleeping." -label on a hairdryer -I guess there must be a lot of sleepwalkers about who use hairdryers.
"Deer crossing next 8 miles." What, do deer give up crossing roads after 8 miles? Then again, I think after 8 miles I'd be tired enough to leave off crossing roads too!
"Not to be used for navigation." -Warning on a napkin with a map of Hilton Head on it.  At least I'm not the only one with no sense of direction!
"Warning: may cause drowsiness." -warning on a packet of sleeping pills-I should jolly well hope so.

On that note, I am actually going to bed (although without the help of the drowsiness-causing sleeping pills.)


Monday, December 15, 2014

To be a rainbow

"Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud." -Maya Angelou

If today feels cloudy for you, here is a rainbow from me to you. Somehow seeing this picture always makes me feel good inside and I'd like nothing more than to pass that good feeling to you.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


"Colors are the smiles of nature."- Leigh Hunt

I love color and art in life because I feel better when things seem brighter. In an attempt to brighten your day I thought I'd share a picture that makes me think of nature smiling!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

How Miracles Happen

"Out of difficulties grow miracles."-Jean de la Bruyere

I do believe that miracles happen. For example, I believe every baby that is born is a miracle and people survive illnesses when everyone else is convinced they won't. People defy the odds every day. it's not easy but it's still something to work towards. The idea that miracles happen helps me when things seem to be hard. Somehow I feel a sense of happiness knowing that something really good cam come out of a difficult situation and it often does. That's why I'm glad and believe that miracles do happen and I'm always looking forward to the next one.

Friday, December 12, 2014

To be Young at Heart

The singer Frank Sinatra was born today in 1915. When I was young my parents instilled in me a love of jazz and I had a CD of Frank Sinatra's music and one of the songs I liked best was called "Young at Heart." I like it because it sounds really cheerful and I like the message that life is better and more exciting if a part of you stays young and willing to enjoy it! I hope that wherever life takes you, a part of you does stay young.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How I want to believe and act

"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail."-Charles Kettering

I've come to believe that "failure" doesn't really exist, it just means you have to find some other way of doing whatever it is you want to do. With that in mind I can believe that anything is possible and I can't allow myself to give up. There's too much to do!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

All there is

"That love is all there is, is all we know of love;"-Emily Dickinson 

If I had my own way and could make things the way I want them to be then I'd make it so that love is all there is. Just because I think being loved is the best thing to be. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A wish from Kirk Douglas

I saw the quote below by Kirk Douglas and as it's his birthday I thought I'd share it because  I really like it and it's something I'd imagine a grandfather saying. Just as I love all my family, I love my grandparents and even though they're no longer here in body I know that they are always with me in my heart so indirectly this quote reminds me of them for some reason. Anyway,  I also like this quote because he said it on his 90th birthday. When I get to be as old as that, my hope is I'll have just as much spunk and be able to have some wise thing to say. (Even if it's just "keep your socks up and never give up!")

[December 9, 2006]: "My name is Kirk Douglas. You may know me. If you don't . . . Google me. I was a movie star and I'm Michael Douglas' dad, Catherine Zeta-Jones' father-in-law, and the grandparents of their two children. Today I celebrate my 90th birthday. I have a message to convey to America's young people. A 90th birthday is special. In my case, this birthday is not only special but miraculous. I survived World War II, a helicopter crash, a stroke, and two new knees. It's a tradition that when a "birthday boy" stands over his cake he makes a silent wish for his life and then blows out the candles. I have followed that tradition for 89 years but on my 90th birthday, I have decided to rebel. Instead of making a silent wish for myself, I want to make a loud wish for The World. Let's face it: The World is in a mess and you are inheriting it. Generation Y, you are on the cusp. You are the group facing many problems: abject poverty, global warming, genocide, AIDS and suicide bombers, to name a few. These problems exist and the world is silent. We have done very little to solve these problems. Now we leave it to you. You have to fix it because the situation is intolerable. You need to rebel, to speak up, write, vote, and care about people and the world you live in. We live in the best country in the world. I know. My parents were Russian immigrants. America is a country where EVERYONE, regardless of race, creed, or age has a chance. I had that chance. You are the generation that is most impacted and the generation that can make a difference. I love this country because I came from a life of poverty. I was able to work my way through college and go into acting, the field that I love. There is no guarantee in this country that you will be successful. But you always have a chance. Nothing should interfere with it. You have to make sure that nothing stands in the way. When I blow out my candles - 90! . . . it will take a long time . . . but I'll be thinking of you." (quote from -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Smile Darn It!

The singer Sammy Davis Jr. was born today in 1925. I found this wonderful recording of him singing a song called "Smile Darn You Smile. It's classy and it's fun and it has tap dancing!  I like it because a smile has helped me get through a lot of things, it's just a matter of not forgetting to smile! Although I haven't been able to find an actual video of him tap dancing at least you can hear someone tap dancing in the video. Somehow people singing and dancing always made me smile and cheer up. So in the hope that it has the same effect on you I've posted the video below and because I can, I'm sending you virtual smiles along with it! :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My thoughts on Mockingjay Part I

I just got back from seeing the movie Mockingjay with two friends. After seeing it I felt I had to share my thoughts on it so here goes.

Things I learned from watching Mockingjay:

  • Even though I really don't believe in violence, I kind of wish I could shoot a bow and arrow although I am very certain that it would have disastrous consequences especially to my own wellbeing-I just think I find the idea amusing.
  • Despite a whole town being leveled, a cat survived it all. Perhaps cats do have nine lives.
  • Hope is one of the best medicines around. 
  • It reminded me of things that I feel are worth fighting for: family and home.
  • Even if you live in a pretty bleak cave you can still have style (with help from a glamorous makeup artist named Effie Trinket!)
So, long story short, I highly recommend seeing Mockingjay Part 1! It's really good! :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Driving with a Boston driver can be really fun!

I know that Boston drivers have a rather negative reputation but I just got back from a drive with a "typical Boston driver" (to me a "Boston driver" is called such for their tendency to drive rather aggressively.) However,  I found that driving with hime was actually really fun. Here's why:

  • I was with a group of really fun people: Matt Dawson who was driving, the lovely Sung Yun who was navigating (and a constant source of comedy) and a man who prefers to be know as Sebastian (who was also full of funny comments that made the trip fun.) I find driving anywhere with fun people never fails to be an enjoyable experience.
  • On a number of occasions we drove fast past sidewalks which made water splash everywhere. Even though if I'd been outside the car and the water had splashed on me I'd be slightly irritated. However, as I was in the car, for some reason it made me laugh because it felt a bit like being on a water ride, which seemed amusing at the time.
  • At one point the cars around us all started honking and we couldn't figure out why because we were stopped at a red light and we weren't in a left or right turn only lane. So Matt just started beeping right along with the rest of them. For once hearing a bunch of honking seemed pretty funny. (Although I've found that a lot of things seem funny to me at night when I'm really tired.)
  •  Sung Yun was a great and fun navigator. She also told us about places she'd been and where she wanted to go in the world and how much she wants to help people, which made for stimulating conversation-essential on any car trip.
  • Sebastian (and Matt) made me laugh. Even though I've been known to laugh a lot, I plan to laugh more because laughter makes most situations so much better! 
So now you know how it's possible to have a fun experience with a Boston driver.  I want to take this opportunity to send my love to Matt, Sung Yun, and Sebastian and thank them all for a really nice time. I'm grateful to all of them for giving me a ride home and for being the fun people they are. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

I can't help but like Disney

Walt Disney was born today in 1946. Since Disney movies are (usually) shamelessly happy I am reminded of Disney movies that I really like or that have some sort of nostalgic value in my life.  I thought I"d share them here just because I can.

  • Beauty and the Beast (1991)-I love the music and I like the message of beauty being found on the inside.
  • Finding Nemo (2003)-When I'm down the mantra of "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming." runs through my head.
  • Swiss Family Robinson (1960)-I always wanted to visit their wicked awesome treehouse!
  • Robin Hood (1973)-I liked the Singing rooster. 
  • Piratess of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: I just think the first movie in the franchise was really fun.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Everyone has an impact!

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." -Jackie Robinson

As it's Christmas I find myself watching the movie "It's A Wonderful Life". The movie is about a man named George Bailey who, when he feels he has no hope left and wishes he didn't exist, miraculously gets the chance to see what life would be like if he had in fact never been born. He finds out how much his life means and how many people his life has touched for the better. To me the movie shows how much people matter to each other. I feel strongly that everyone's life is important because everyone has an impact on the other lives they touch. If I know anything, I know that my life is better because of all the people in it.  People are important to me and I believe everyone's life has an impact!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why I like Wednesdays

I find that I rather like Wednesdays mostly because it's the half way point through the week and you're a bit closer to the weekend but I find I can still look back on the first few days of the week and feel good if they went well, and if things didn't go as well as I'd like, I can still be glad that I'm getting through the week and I have the weekend to look forward to. I hope that your  Wednesday was a happy one. I wish you congratulations for getting through to the middle of the week!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

An education that was special in every way

Today marks the anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which is a law that established standards for special education for children and young adults with disabilities. I've seen directly the good that that law has done and I've benefitted from it. I think an education is something everyone deserves to have. I know that I am a better person because I've been educated with the help of special education accommodations that allowed me to be educated at a speed I could handle and with people in place to support me and help me get the things I needed to succeed academically. I hope that everyone has the opportunity to get a good education. A doctor once told my parents that I might never be educable but I have proved the doctor wrong. What I've learned from that is to not let anything stop me from doing the good things that I want to do in life. I hope that whoever and wherever you are that you can get a good education because it's something that I believe you have a right to pursue.  In a way I'm glad they call special education special because I believe education is something special and I'm glad there are laws like the IDEA Act to help make education more accessible to everyone.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A part of me will always be in Neverland

It's Mary Martin's birthday and that reminds me of a movie musical (which is one of the first musicals I ever saw) called Peter Pan where she played the title character. (Why they always had women play Peter Pan in Broadway productions always confused me but I digress.) There's a lovely song in the musical called "Neverland". Listening to it as a young child was strangely comforting to me somehow. I think it just sounded soothing to me and I liked the idea of thinking of lovely things. Now I'm a bit older I still find the song to be comforting and it reminds me to always keep a place in my heart for dreams because they make life fun and they're a part of me that I think will never grow old because that part of me believes in dreams coming true. That idea gives me something to work towards because it's a wonderful feeling when  things I've hoped would happen actually do happen. Anyway, for your viewing pleasure below is the song I've been talking about.