December 31, 2011

"In Which Medicine is Necessary"

from Wondermark.

This is how I've felt since I woke up at 7am on Tuesday. I am ready for it to be over.

December 23, 2011

Advent #4

I've been thinking about love a lot this week. Partially because it's the theme for Advent, partially because I've been more frustrated than usual with someone in my life. At the end of the day, love is a choice. It is deliberate, it is intentional, it is thought-out and reflective. It is a combination of factors that I don't understand, and it is not always easy (can I say it is rarely easy?), but it is beautiful.

Receiving love is humbling and heart-warming and affirming and life-giving.
Giving love is the same.

December 21, 2011

Favourite Christmas Lyrics?

This is a top-contender on the non-religious side:
It's almost almost Christmas
And you might, maybe you could
Break a heart or two now
And I think you should
I think you should
- Chris Garneau, It's Almost Christmas
Well, since you've said I should...
What are your favourite seasonal lyrics?

December 20, 2011

What I Like About Twitter

I spent a lot of time on Twitter for work last week. It's been interesting and I was considering all the craziness/things I don't like to see on it. But then I remembered my desire to be more positive.
So here's a celebration of things I love about Twitter.
1. It distracts me when I'm bored at work.
2. It satisfies my nosiness about other people, without all the clutter of FB.
3. It feeds me interesting facts and opinions and art.
4. It gives me an outlet for random thoughts that have no point but should be shared because that is how I feel.
5. It keeps me from rambling excessively.
6. It allows me to feel "connected" to people I have never met. I believe I've made a friend via Twitter.
7. It gives me 5 seconds of fame when celebrities respond to/retweet my words.
8. I have total control over whose info I see. Unfollowing is as easy as 1-2-3 and feels less cruel than unfriending.

December 18, 2011

December 15, 2011

Advent #3

The most beautiful kind of joy (I think) is seeing someone take delight in someone else's accomplishments or presence. Like last night, watching the soloists almost beaming at the chorus during the Hallelujah Chorus in The Messiah. It was the chorus' moment, and the soloists loved it.

That kind of joy is the most difficult: a selfless, unjealous, non-covetous joy.

I feel this infrequently, but when I do, it is the most beautiful feeling. And I mean that literally, no exaggeration and no lie. The. Most. Beautiful.

It is how I think the angels felt towards the shepherds, and all humanity when they announced Jesus' birth.
In other Advent news, I've been negligent on the reading and reflecting. But that is no surprise. I think having snow instead of ten degrees and rain would help me be more Christmas-aware. But that could be pure blame-shifting.

December 12, 2011

Why I Love The Men in My Family

My dad's Christmas gift-list email ended with this:

  • more hours in the day :-(
  • world peace

Then my older brother replied:
Just so everyone knows and there is no duplication I will be getting dad world peace and a 28 hour day for Christmas. Its not a competition but top that!

Oops. I hit reply all. Now dad has seen this and I'll have to do something else darn it!


Ps - any one else wanna buy world peace?  I got a great deal at walmart so I'll sell it cheap!

So my other brother weighed in:

Well actually in my spare time I've been watching Doctor Who and building a working replica TARDIS for dad. For those who don't know TARDIS stand for Time And Relative Dimension In Space, and is a time machine.

And back to Dad for the ringer:

You guys are amazing not to mention extremely talented. Obviously I didn't expect enough of you while you were growing up! :-)

December 11, 2011

A List & A Video

My weekend was so good. SO GOOD. Possibly my favourite of the last two months (since Vancouver).

  • I have delightful friends who warm my heart and encourage me and challenge me and astound me. 
  • I ate delicious food in Hamilton at Bread Bar. I listened to a hundred person choir sing Hard Day's Night and Purple Rain. I sang along (quietly).
  • I baked scones. I LOVE SCONES.
  • I went to spinning/yoga class. It hurt in the good kind of way.
  • I heard from a friend I've not seen in a few years now.
  • I gave and received Christmas gifts. 
  • I found a few more gifts for people on my list!
  • Church this morning involved a kids' Christmas pageant. And the baby in front of me tried to chat me up. So much cuteness. 
  • I talked about dreams (the asleep kind and the hopes-for-my-life kind) and am excited about what the future has (both waking and sleeping). 
  • I started reading Life of the Beloved, by Henri Nouwen. That man knew things.

Thanks for caring to read all those things :)

To kick off your week, here is a video about how everyone wants to be Canadian, and 45 of the year's most powerful photographs.

December 8, 2011

Advent #2

I am not doing so great at setting aside time to reflect on Christmas and Advent and Jesus. I partially blame The Hunger Games, which consumed a solid 48 hours of my week and are still at the back of my mind. And the other 80% of the blame lies fully on my own shoulders.
Last night, I thought I might spend some time mulling it all over during my yoga class. Turns out, I mostly spent my mental energies on not falling over and breathing through the pain of stretching muscles.
This week's Advent theme is peace. And I've been thinking about how the promise of peace implies that we are/were not at peace and there is conflict that needs resolution; Spiritual conflict is not the sort that can be resolved with a calm conversation over a cup of tea (don't we all wish it could?). This peace that we're in need of only comes through battle and war and suffering and someone winning.
It seems very counterintuitive and not a little disturbing that the only way we can know peace is because someone else won a bloody battle. But I am grateful. And the greater cost does mean greater gratitude on my end. I would like to think.
Two more Christmas websites:

December 6, 2011

I've Got This Friend

I think it's been about a month since The Civil Wars concert.
And I am still stuck on them.
They are now in the running for two Grammies.
And this song is running through my head.

December 5, 2011

Hungry For a Good Read?

Here is my 45 second endorsement of The Hunger Games trilogy:
I am not usually a bandwagon-jumper. But when I only ever heard good things (and increasingly frequently) about The Hunger Games, I decided to give them a whirl.
My friend Karen lent me her copies with two comments, "You'll read them in a week," and "If I had known other people read Young Adult novels, I would have been telling everyone to read them a year ago!"
So on Sunday morning, I flipped open the first book as I lay in bed. Then I read it all the way to church, even though reading on the subway sometimes makes me nauseous. Then I read it while waiting for a streetcar. Then I read it while waiting for a friend. Then, when I walked in my door at 4pm, I sat on the couch and kept reading.
I finished it around 7pm. Did my share of the apartment-cleaning, and by 8pm, was sitting on the couch again with the second book. At 10 o'clock, I crawled into my bed. At quarter to one, I put down the second, now finished book.
Book number three was started on the streetcar to work this morning. It will be done by tomorrow night, I am guessing.
I got so involved and stressed about the story that I found myself constantly texting Karen to vent my feelings of "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" If you could have seen my face...everyone would have laughed. At one point, I literally sat on the couch with my jaw dropped and my eyes wide.
Now that you're all curious, here's the premise:
America is divided into twelve Districts. Ruled by The Capitol after an attempted rebellion, each year the Hunger Games take place as a reminder of who is in control. Each District must send two tributaries, one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18, to the arena - a wild terrain of some sort, where they will fight to the death. The entire country watches and bets on who will be victorious. There is one winner, and their district receives food and resources while the other eleven scrape by for another year. In the seventy-four Games, Katniss becomees one of District 12's tributaries. And nothing goes as the Capitol plans.
And a final caveat: every book has its flaws, and I'm not going to guarantee you'll love the series. There is definitely an element of tugging-on-my-girly-heartstrings predictability to it. But you know what? I let it tug away. And for once, I'm not gonna fight that.
(Also. I have mixed feelings on the pending book-based movie.)