Friday, January 30, 2004

It's working..

I got some great work started yesterday. I'd forgotten how great a pad of paper and a pencil could be.

When I was in early highschool - say grade 9 or 10 - I always did my rough drafts on paper.

My grade 6 teacher taught me something I will never forget:

"You always need an outline. No matter what you're writing. Otherwise, all your words will get lost along the way"

And since then, I have always written things exactly that way.

First, I would scribble out the ideas for the essay or story that I needed to write.

Then, I would use numbers to put them in order - a simple number circled beside the thought.

Then, you just write. Start with section one and continue through to the last section. I worry about the transitions after.

I did this yesterday. It felt great. I was so much more focused on the words and description then what was coming before or after.

When you're typing, it feels different - to me anyway. Like the typed words are written in stone and shouldn't be shifted around.

Pencil makes this easier. You can erase and rewrite. Use up the spaces you left when you wrote double spaced to allow for edits. Truly feel like it's coming from you - from the bottom of your heart or the centre of your brain out through the tips of your fingertips from your pencil to the page.

Who knows what I could come up with if I blogged like that.

********

On a travel note, D and I are gearing up for going. He is already looking at places in our destination city and finding that we could probably get a pretty nice place in a good area for not too bad.

Still trying to figure out what to do for work. I will be cultivating some contacts before we go and hopefully my writing will be able to finance a lot of what we're going to be doing over there but if not, I know there are companies - publishing ones - that I would love to work for.

This blog may start become a trials and tribulations one as it was originally. As I always say - anything I experience is great for my writing. Think of all the characters I can create!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Speechless

I went to see the movie Monster last night. Beyond the 'oh isn't it amazing that a beautiful woman could look ugly', I was stunned.

As we left the movie, the friend I was with turned to me and said:

"I just kept thinking, what if this was your life?"

Exactly.

It was exactly what I had been thinking. Imagine being a person who nobody ever loved. Who was forced out into the streets to work for money to eat. Who was on the brink of killing herself and then stumbled across someone who really just wanted to talk to you.

I won't go into details as I think you should all go and see it but it was the oddest feeling I've ever had walking out of a movie.

Because, at the end of the day, she killed people - men. Just because - most of them - were slimy enough to pick up some poor prostitute along the highway, I still can't justify her killings.

I don't think the movie is trying to, though. It's just trying to give you a peek into the life of this serial killer.

Even as I try to write about it, I know that I'm not articulating exactly what I want to say. Perhaps that's the beauty of a spectacular movie. You can't describe it. You just have to see it.

*****************************

Going to try to get to some more writing today. Things here at home are a bit busy right now and I just can't seem to get some time alone. It frustrates me. But perhaps I'm also being my usual distracted self.

I decided I'll make an appointment list for myself and try to stick to it. Here's what I've done so far:

8:30 - woke up - okay, I think maybe that I could have gotten up a bit earlier since I went to bed at 11 but I really like sleeping

8:32 - went to use the washroom only to find someone is in there. Grumpy and irritated came back to bed and started grumping at D about Howard Stern on the radio and how I hate to hear voices in the morning even though occasionally, I really do like his jokes

8:43 - realized I can go to the bathroom downstairs.

9:00 - eat breakfast. My specialist has put me on a high fibre diet. I hate cereal. This does not help my mood and does not really start the day of great

9:14 - realized that the 'backpacking couple' has written yet ANOTHER article in the local paper and am infuriated that I have not gotten my ass in gear to write my stories for them seeing as her stories are a bit more like 'couple on luxurious vacation' as opposed to 'living out of your backpack and eating bread and cheese'.

9:16 - decided that perhaps I'm being a bit harsh as I have now read the article and it was a bit more interesting than there road trip they wrote about the first time. I must write something today.

9:19 - time to check email, write in the blog, read my favs...and discovered a new one today!

9:30 - write in my blog. Rewrite in my blog as everything I seem to write something it sounds stupid

The morning seems to have gotten off to a negative start. Here's the plan for the rest of the day:

9:41 - Staring at the screen now and watching time slip by thinking how I need to post this blog and get writing

10:00 - take laundry upstairs and get dressed.

10:12 - read my travel book - maybe do some exercises to get the writing going.

11:15 - go to the gym

12:15 - Sculpt class at the gym - woo hoo!

1:30 - Arrive home exhausted but hungry. Eat lunch

2:00 - More writing!! Go to your room young lady!!

5:00 - check email, blogs again and Mosaic Minds stuff

6:00 - Feel very satisfied as I will have eaten breakfast, read the paper, written in my blog, did some travel writing, worked out at the gym, finished stories for Mosaic Minds and still have time to drink some wine, enjoy the evening watching Friends and go to bed by 11.

Maybe with this written down, I can stick to it. And live to blog another day

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Have Your Say...Again!
AH - HA! I have figured out the comments...thanks for your patience...all of you who were *dying* to comment...give it a go

_________________________________
Kick Start My Heart

On another note, I have decided I need some creative days away from my computer. Feisty made a good point on her blog the other day. Sometimes, you need to get away from they grey maching (or blue or green or red..if you're a lucky Mac user) and just write it down on paper.

I have a ton of stories I want to write for Mosaic Minds and I just need a kick start.

Kinda like cleaning. I love a clean, clutter free house. But I'm such a pack rat, that it takes me so long to clean anything. I procrastinate - anyone sensing a pattern? - so I don't have to do it.

But once I get going, I can't stop. It would probably take me the entire afternoon because not only does everything have to go in in its place, it also has to shine like a model home.

So, I just need to get going. I know as soon as I put pen to paper, the words will flow out.

I just need to go to the gym first...:)

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Sisters, Sisters

I decided to head into the city this weekend. Hang out with my sister who for years lived right around the corner from me.

We went to the same university, lived in the same frat-house residence, hung out with relatively the same people.

We used to use each other for stuff.

"C, can you go to the bank for me?"

"A, can you pick me up from this (insert any downtown location from Tim Hortons to Whiskey Saigon)?"

We usually we end up being annoyed with each other's performance. She wouldn't have gone to the right bank. I would have been too late.

We didn't really hang out. We just kinda lived amongst each other.

She was literally a 5 minute walk. And I probably saw her twice a month. And only one of those times would actually have been a social visit.

I would always say the wrong things. She would always misinterpret what I meant. I would become annoyed with her overreaction. She was hurt by my complacency. We were growing in different directions.

We had always followed a similar path. When I got into high school, I started acting in the musicals. By the time she got there, the music teacher had taken a leave of absence and we were left with an eccentric English teacher who thought Phfifer's People - a comic strip from the 50s, I think - would go down well in as a high school production in small town Southern Ontario. We performed it together, with about 8 other people, confused. It was like acting out Dilbert skits for 2 hours. No one in the audience understood it and neither did we.

When I joined the field hockey team, I chose to be goalie because they needed one and I knew if I volunteered, they couldn't cut me from the team. When I graduated, my sister carried the torch and became the goalie for the team.

I went to Ryerson. So did she. I lived at OKH. So did she. And there had always been this pattern that we did the same things and were therefore, kinda so similar, we were like the same person, which I think is why I was perhaps so taken aback when I would offend her.

Since I have been back, I have seen her 5 times. We have been here for 2 months and if my math is right - which it isn't always - that is more than when I used to live around the corner from her.

I missed her and didn't realize it.

My mom said to me once over the phone when I'm sure I was complaining about how she was needy and immature that kinda stuck in my head.

"Well, soon you'll be living thousands of miles away from her and you won't have to see each other."

Those miles helped.

Now, we get together and recognize that we are different. She want very traditional things. I'm still trying to figure out what I want. Her world is one in which she has dinner parties and goes bridesmaid dress shopping and has the matching dining room set that originally was my grandmother's. I'm living in someone else's home and making plans to uproot myself again to live across the sea for a little while longer.

She eats right and counts her Weight Watcher points. I try to stick to a healthy diet but things go awry when you eat gyros for breakfast and sausages for lunch.

We both love hanging out with each other. We both worry about our parents. We both aspire to more travels around the world. We both know how to make each other howl.

I'm not just her big bossy sister any more. She is not just my little sister slave. We're adults. We're friends.

And soon, we'll be thousands of miles away again and we won't get to see each other.

And that's not even the half of it. Wait until I tell you about my littlest sister. She and I have grown to be very much alike. But that is for another day.
SUBMISSIONS REQUESTED!

Hey everyone - been a bit hectic this week and hoping to be a bit more inspiring next week.

I wanted to get this on my blog ASAP.

In Mosaic Minds, we run a regular column called "Online Outlook". Each month, we ask for responses from our readers to a theme based question - if you haven't seen the section, here's what we're looking for:

"Next month, our theme is Nostalgia and we want to take you back into time. What smell, sight touch, sound or taste brings back the fondest childhood memory you have? Email the travel editor (travel@mosaicminds.net) with your answers. Please include the name you'd like us to use, email address and your website if desired."

So, send us your thoughts...inquiring minds want to know...

Monday, January 19, 2004

Comments??

Don't know what's up with the Comments but I guess I'll have to fix that on the weekend too!
Out of Commission

Good news is, temp gig is working out for a couple more days.

Bad news is, I'm not sure I will get to post as much as I would like this week.

I was really hoping to dive back into writing again after the launch of Mosaic Minds but it looks like it's not meant to be right now.

And I'm feeling the crunch to see people. There are so many that I haven't hung out with yet and now that we have our tickets, our days will be numbered.

Will write more later.

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 18, 2004

It's Happening Again

I'm feeling anxious about writing and I hate that.

It's like I'm scared to sit down and put my thoughts on paper.

At the same time, I feel like I'm living my life with narration.

It seems - lately - that every conversation or event that is occurring around me suddenly turns into this inner dialogue. It's flowing. It's poetic. It's funny. It's a deep look into the mind of a crazy woman the way she views the world.

But when I get to the place where I can write it down, I freeze up.

I need to figure out a plan. Perhaps I'll get a tape recorder. Or force myself to some quiet, writing time at the same time each day.

There are parts of me that likes when the going gets tough with my writing because then it validates to me that it's not something just anyone and everyone can do.

But at the same time, it's scary because it has always been something that has just come easy to me.

I'm not meaning to sound conceited or pretentious. It's simply the way it has always been.

Without sounding too melodramatic - ; ) - it's kind of like when you breathe. You just have always known how to do it. Like an instinct.

Imagine forgetting about how to breathe. A bit scary eh?

I have just lost my motivation. I'm no longer on a roll.

I know it will come back. It's just a matter of time.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Sleepy Error

Anyone who read this today will have no doubtably seen my 'woman' as opposed to 'women' slip - I apologize to my fellow grammar geeks. It was early this morning and I was very excited. (if you haven't seen it...too bad, it's already gone. Yippee for the edit feature)

Mosaic Minds, though, doesn't have the issues that my post seemed to!

It contains some wonderful stuff about life, how to cook, what craft to start, where zippers came from, what to do in cities around the world from Kiruna to Berlin, which movies to see and not see, which books to open and which books to close.

As my Feisty Friend said, so much to mention and the above is just a synopsis.

We are also gearing up for our second issue and will be taking submissions. The theme is Nostalgia and we're set to publish in March - check our site for deadlines.

And come on, who doesn't have a great story attached to our theme?

****

On the $$$ note, the day job is going great. Although it is a bit tedious, I am working with a great group of people and hey, it's great to know you can make money and STILL have a good time at work.

****

D booked the flights back to England today. We fly out in March. Wowee...I can't believe we're actually going again.

I felt kinda sad last night when we decided.

I think it was a harder decision to make then when we went the first time.

The first time, it was all new. All excitement. All adventure.

Now, I know the down sides.

The good sides outweigh them but that doesn't mean I'm not already thinking about what I will miss.

Customer service - people will just be friendly for the sake of being friendly and because the customer is always right. It's just in our blood.

Innovation - as great as tradition is, it just seems that there are things in England that will just stay that way because that is the way it has always been done.

Open minds - there just seemed to be more prejudices in the country. There was no such thing as politically correct. I'm not sure what's worse - People who act as though they are politically correct in social situations but behind closed doors are racist or being openly racist and really not giving a damn.

The former creates an environment where it is not acceptable to belittle or degrade another culture - kinda like it's not acceptable to come into working stinking drunk.

The latter creates a situation where you're bound to offend somebody but at least there is no pretentiousness or secrecy about it.

The jury is still out on that one.

I must remember, though, when we were leaving England in October, I was lamenting about all the things I would miss about the old place.

I'll keep those in my thoughts and remember that this is another good decision.

Another good adventure.
IT HAS ARRIVED!!

Our first ever issue of Mosaic Minds!

The women working on this project are quite amazing. I feel quite honoured to call myself one of them.

Have a look at what we've been up to!

http://www.mosaicminds.net/index.php

gotta get to my day job now...:(

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

You've Always Got Time For...

A full day's work, a couple of glasses of wine later and I'm waxing philosophical.

I really wish that corporations could understand how important it is to keep your employees happy.

I wish they would get it into their heads that they could make so much more money by making people want to get up to go to work in the morning.

I'm temping at a place like that right now and I must tell you, I feel so privileged. I also feel, like I shouldn't feel that way. All places should be like this. Glad to say it's also home grown Canadian as well.

But, more executive suits think in green $$ and want to know the benefits.

A happy employee comes into work every day and doesn't take 'calling in sick' as an excuse to be hungover. This saves you money because you don't lose a productive member of your staff in turn making you money because you don't have to look elsewhere for another part time member of staff.

A happy employee is your best PR. They will talk about how great the services are, how great the company is, how happy they are. When the word is out...well, do I really have to spell this one out for you?

Guess what? Not only does everyone want to work for you, but everyone gets a fuzzy feeling inside when they see your products...talk about assisting in brand identity.

A happy employee is someone who is dedicated to get the job done. This leaves you more time to worry about the big picture as you're not caught up in the minor details...no need to micro manage and any of you out there who are micro managers, please STOP IT NOW!!!

A happy employee is someone that works more and gossips less.

Any employee is a human being. When you take it a corporate approach to treating he or she that way, you will succeed. Trust me.

I just wish there were more places that saw it that way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Time Time Slipping..Slipping Away

Not only am I not really inspired, I now have no time!!!

Work all day - at a very funky place except no internet access

'Special Project' in the evening - we launch so soon!!

Bear with me until with weekend....

Also, no idea what is up with the comments - must be my provider..sorry!

And no, they don't have the 2nd Season of West Wing. Grrr

Monday, January 12, 2004

Blah Blah
I find it difficult to write something when I don't really have much to say.

Also, I know it will be boring for the reader.

Also, I am going to the dentist this afternoon and hope that something about the trek into Toronto will give me something to talk about.

First day at new temp gig tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it.

I think something routine will help me actually get to all the 'stuff' on my list.

When you have infinite time during the day, it's easy to procrastinate.

Perhaps if I wasn't up so early my other bloggers would have already posted their thoughts and it could spark something.

On an unrelated note, just finished watching the full Season 1 of the West Wing on DVD. I have been an avid fan since it debuted and the episodes were no less funny or witty the second time around.

Off to find out where Season 2 on DVD is...

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Four More...

I only recently became an addict.

Leeds did it to me.

I'm not sure if it was the isolation from friends, the lack social activities or my competitiveness.

But it got to me - under my skin. And now, it seems, I can't live without it.

It's step aerobics. I just can't get enough.

I was never one to even go to the gym in my early twenties. I used to play sports to keep in shape.

When I did go, it would be to do a few weights. I could never get into the machines and certainly did not think that a class would be worthwhile.

I always had images of Jane Fonda with her tights, leg warmers and eighties hair. Ick.

I also never like to do things that were trendy or that everyone else was doing. This is why I always said I was never really a fan of New Kids on the Block and when I finally caved to peer pressure I decided the cutest was Danny - the one no one else really liked. But I digress...

So, when my British friend asked me to go to Step Aerobics class with her, I was skeptical.

I must humbly admit that I also thought it might be too easy. Kinda like advanced dancing - not that I can dance but I never really was out of breath from it.

I figured I had nothing to lose - I'll try most things once.

It kicked my ass. Literally. My butt and legs were sore for an entire week after that 45 minute session.

It was then I knew that if I wanted to really get into shape, this was the way to do it.

My coordination was not good the first couple of sessions. I consider myself someone who has fairly good control over their arm and leg movements. But, add a step and exhaustion and I think Fred Astaire would have some problems.

But I improved. And I started to notice a change in my body. I had these muscles in the places I never knew.

And I felt great. The rush of any cardiovascular activity is so worth the pain and suffering you must endure to get yourself up to a reasonable working-out level.

So, when we left Leeds, we had a problem.

I knew I wasn't going to be exercising when we travelled, but once we got back to Canada, I knew I would have to find a way.

Last week, I started to feel lethargic, tired, unmotivated. And I new I needed my fix.

So I signed up with a gym and went to my first class yesterday. Today, I'm feeling the pain but I know it's good pain. I love that pain.

And I also discovered yet another cultural difference.

Leeds Aerobics Class - Our instructor was bubbly and energetic. She would occasionally ask us 'how's everybody doing?' or something to that effect. Straight faced. No one answered. No one wanted to be noticed. No one smiled. Except for me. But I felt as though I was standing out in the class because of my over eager North American enthusiasm.

Canadian Aerobics Class - Our instructor has the same personality. And everyone in the class responded to that. When she asked "How many more?" we answered "Four more...three more...two more...". I'm not sure how much I like this as it seems to bring back memories of Fonda. But maybe, in my heart I am a Fonda girl.

One thing is for sure - it still gives me that accomplished feeling. And those 'happy hormones' are kicking in again.

I just hope it will help my creative juices.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Granny Snowbird

There have been moments when I realized that I am getting old.

Like the time I walked into a club and thought it must be underage night only to find that everyone was in their early twenties.

Or like the time I walked past a group of ladies in Leeds on a hen night and 'tsk tsked' them at being out in next to nothing on a cold evening.

There was also the time I decided to stop watching all sports as I didn't like the fact all the atheletes were now all younger than me.

And now, we come to last night.

I picked D up from his new job - feeling quite 'wifey' with my matching hat and gloves and red Subaru with a kid seat in the back.

The first thing he said as he jumped in the car:

"What are you listening to?"

"CBC Talk Radio"

"Oh, you want to put on a shawl and fly down to Florida for your retirement too?"

I love him because he's dry and deadpan and makes me accountable for my decisions.

I had to shake my head because I suddenly realized I was going to start defending why I was listening to talk radio.

It wasn't because I had had a lapse in good judgement. I really WAS enjoying talk radio. I found it was giving me creative ideas.

Lately, I've been in need of some inspiration. You know, the ups and downs of creativity. And so, when I was in the car a couple of days earlier, someone had left it on CBC Talk radio. I started listening, with the same type of attitude D had about it.

And then, I was kinda hooked. I liked the sound of someone's voice. It felt like I was learning. It felt like I was in school. I felt like I wasn't just wasting my time driving around doing errands but that I was maximizing the amount I could learn in a day.

It felt good.

And so I responded to D:

"I like talk radio"

"Since when?"

"Since today"

He smiled and shook his head.

"Okay"

And that was it.

So now I'm hooked. As long as they keep Dr. Laura away from me.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Blogging 101

Should I be making lists?

It seems that every blog I go to these days has lists about something. Likes, dislikes, funny smells, favourite places, reasons not to yell at your mom.

I'm wondering if I'm not doing enough in this space.

What is it that keeps people coming back? What is it that peaks their curiosity so much that they'll want to return?

Is this really just a space where I write stuff I want to read? And, occasionally, I happen to catch someone's eye and they may or may not be interested in reading one or two entries.

Some people have very pretty blogs. I want to steal their fonts. I'm very obsessed with fonts. I like mine but I think it could be better.

Do you know, I can get lost in other people's blogs? Just start clicking from page to page, finding out about who they are, what they did when they were little - basically becoming close to them and they don't even know it.

I think I could get lost in creating my own web site. I can picture myself, being on the computer, hours on end, missing all meals during the day, just typing and adding and checking to see who's checking...

That would be scary. Getting a program that checks your stats. Who's clicking where? At what times? What's their demographic?

When we launched the travel channel, we tracked EVERY page. I checked that thing every 5 minutes to see what content people wanted to see. It was addicting.

"See, I told you. People LOVE the information on Nunavut"

What would happen to my writing? Would I censor myself, based on what I thought people wanted to hear?

I need to get a domain name. I need to have more than this page. I need to really give myself a presence online.

There I go again, making plans and overwhelming myself so that I won't get to any of it.

I can always dream of looking like this

Or this

Or this

Or this

Maybe I'll just stick to the writing.

Speaking of..I've been trying to get to an article all day...
Where am I?

I'm feeling lost.

I'm not doing enough. I'm not getting enough done.

I had all these plans - as I always do - and it seems like I'm not getting at anything!

I'm freaking out!!!

Okay, breathe.

I need to make a list of things I have done:

1 - Managed to find a temp job within 2 days of being back in Canada after holiday festivities in Chicago

2 - Started 2 books - A book about a guy, his wife and kid and their experiences living in Paris and a Travel Writing book that has lots of exercises - I love the feeling that I am doing something like school.

3 - Seen most of my highschool friends since I got back, two of my university friends and some of my important old work friends.

4 - Seen my immediate family, one set of cousins and one set of grandparents.

5 - Only have 1 grandparent, 2 sets of uncles and cousins, 5 work friends, 3 university friends and 2 highschool friends to see before March.

6 - Decided which day were are leaving

7 - Started running again, although it's a bit difficult with all this snow and also wind - it's FREEZING

8 - Written and edited pieces for my new project - I really should just come out and say it but now that I've kept is a secret for so long, I feel as though I will jinx the success if I don't wait until we publish...so you'll still be left in suspense.

Okay, I think that's good.

Thank you for joining me in my stream of consciousness.

I think I will go procrastinate some more and do some cleaning.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

A Pic Worth 1000 Words

D has found this funky program that allows you to make slide shows with pictures and music. He has taken all of our photos over the last year and created a 2-minute slide show.

It was amazing seeing all the pictures flash by in front of my face. D posing reluctantly in front of yet another French cottage. A scenic picture of the Spanish landscape from a train. Me, relaxing on the beaches of Greece. D, copying the pose of the pointing man in Germany, the flying man in Venice, even jumping behind the tourist cardboard cut out of the Manequin Pis in Brussels.

There are shots of buildings, me in front of buildings, D jumping in front at the last minute to create an action shot.

Lots of fuzzy pictures. Dark pictures. Pictures that other people take for you that don’t quite look they way you want them to – such as the picture of us and the Eiffel Tower except, all you see of the Tower is the top stick behind us. I might as well be a hydro tower.

Pictures with ‘new best friends’ along the way. I suddenly realize how few of them I have kept in touch with even with all the promises to email and visit. I suppose that’s just the way it goes when you’re travelling. Days and moments with people – the intensity brings you closer. But you’ll never be that way again so it’s hard to maintain the friendship.

As I was watching this slideshow – and I might add, we need to work on the music because the songs are just not fitting for some reason – I couldn’t help but realize how it was just all there. A whole year of experiences simply rolled into one slideshow.

I have always adored pictures because it is like a passport stamp that says you were there. I will always have them so that I can show to myself in old age what I have done.

But it is a bit scary that it seems all those memories are grouped into two minutes. Is that possible? Every photo has story behind it. I found myself wanting to tell each one as the picture flipped past.

I always worry that I will forget the stories of our trip. I think that’s why I took so many pictures. They act as memory jogs, reminders of the experiences I have had.

So now, my head is off in travel land. My feet are getting itchy. It’ll be time to go again soon.

*****

On a travel note, D and I have found a flight back to the UK and have pretty much decided that we’ll be going mid March. I’m very excited. I’m very excited. We have a new plan. We have a new adventure ahead of us. I am going to enjoy these next couple months at home with friends and family because next thing you know, it will be me and D again.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

A Mild Irritation

I have started this blog entry 5 times - each with a different message.

My brain is all over the place. I'm easily irritated and getting quite emotional.

I am not pregnant - I'm living with D's parents, need I say more - and I am not PMSing, although I fully admit to succumbing to my hormones the week before my lovely friend arrives. This, however, means its two weeks ahead of schedule, which I know it is not.

I am however, truly annoyed. If only I could figure out why. I feel like there is not enough time during the day however I am not even at work.

I was so happy this morning. Another temp job starts next Monday. This means, I am guilt free for the rest of the week and can actually concentrate on what matters to me - writing.

But I am still irritated. I just looked it up (dictionary.com is a wonderful resource - it gives you multiple responses for words)

1 - To be a cause of impatience or anger.

2 - To increase the action or violence of; to heighten excitement in; to intensify; to stimulate.

3 - To excite anger or displeasure in; to provoke; to tease; to exasperate; to annoy; to vex; as, the insolence of a tyrant irritates his subjects.

4 - To fret; inflame; excite; provoke; tease; vex; exasperate; anger; incense; enrage.

5 - Aroused to impatience or anger.

It seems all I need to do is find the source that is vexing me, pushing me to exasperation, incesing my inner being and arousing impatience in my soul.

Then, I will be able to eliminate this frustrating feeling.

Now, to find the source.

But you see, that is the most frustrating part.

The reason I am irritated is because I can't figure out what it is that is bothering me.

I used to get upset and frustrated and emotional. This year changed all that.

When you begin to be able to cope in awkward situations - such as not knowing the language or snoring in a room with 15 other people - you literally, stop sweating the small stuff.

Why am I reverting? Being back home amongst lots of friends is amazing. Becoming the old me is not.

I'm hoping I'll get out of my frustration rut and stop being irritated.

I wish I could just go to the gym. I need that happy hormone that starts with an 'e'.

I'm going to the mall. In the wise words of Steve Page and Ed Robertson from BNL, "Everything will always be alright, when we go shopping".

Monday, January 05, 2004

Happy New Year!

I’ve been out of commission for a while but it has been spectacular to have the break. I was so happy to visit my family last week. We so rarely get together because of the distance.

My parents are in Chicago. My sister is in North Carolina. My other sister is in Toronto. And me? Well last year I was in England so…

This was the first time we have all been together in over a year. I did see my parents in June but then one of my sisters wasn’t there. Plus, the boyfriends came this time. It was amazing how everyone got along. Even thought it was only four days, it felt like two weeks because everyone was home the entire time. Really energized me.

I also got some great writing books from my mom. It will help me to focus on putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – and turning my thoughts and ideas into stories.

Also – a project that I’ve been working on is coming close to deadline. Can’t wait to reveal it to you all but of course, I am waiting until it is ready to go live. Others in the project group have already begun talking about it. Makes me feel like I should just throw it out there.

But my strategy is suspense. It’s going to be terrific and I can’t wait to show you all.

As for New Year’s Resolutions, I haven’t really made any. Since we began travelling, I find I’m always making new resolutions for myself.

I’m going to read more classics. I’m going to exercise on a regular basis. I’m going to read more travel publications. I’m going to talk to my mom once a week. I’m going to listen more.

I guess I’ve had a whole year of resolutions. Perhaps I’ll resolve to keep doing that.