Friday, September 30, 2011

Feeling Small

There are few things that make me feel so small.
But the night light that flashes across the northern sky
vividly reminds me of the feeling of childhood in a humbling way.

Growing up on the farm, I used to see them all the time,
but recently I've forgot to even look for them.

I've been too distracted by "life on the ground" to remember to watch for life in the night sky.

This week, Kelsey go to see them
and then someone sent me a video of the northern lights in action from the space station.

Talk about humility....
Watching the lights dance remind me that I am tiny in this universe.

photos from here, here, and here

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Full Circle

It is 11:35pm and I am just getting home on a school night. I wasn't tearing up the town causing mayhem, I wasn't showing of my mad dance skills at a club, and no I was not involved in any scandalous activity at all. I was indulging in the goodness and comfort of seeing an old friend, with new eyes.

I'm not sure if many of you know this but The Lion King has always been my top Disney childhood movie. Something else you may not know is that the past two weekends since this movie has been released in 3D it has ranked #1. Apparently a lot of people share my affection. Not only is this proven by box office stats, but also by atmosphere in the theatre this evening.

Yes that is where I was. I went with some friends to watch The Lion King in 3D. We went to the late show (9:40pm) and so the theatre was filled with an older crowd (I'd say the average age was 25, which is old in terms of a Disney movie people!). All of whom came to relive the wonder of days gone by.

I remember seeing this movie in the theatre the first time around. The main thing that runs through my memory from that experience is hiding behind the seats whenever the hyenas came on screen. Although I have desensitized myself of the fear regarding these cartoon villains, I found myself jumping in my seat tonight throughout the (now 3D and most terrifying) chase in The Elephant Graveyard.

I would go as far as to say that everyone else was experiencing the same kind of thing. There was a feel in the room and as one of my friends said this evening "Everyone is so in to this!" ...and it's true. People were laughing at the old jokes, and the new ones (that are only realized with age), singing and dancing along to songs firmly embedded into memory, fully feeling the depth of Scar's betrayal, perhaps for the first time, and allowing the beautiful moments to hit home, letting a tear or two roll down...

Okay, okay I admit that I like to inflate the truth, I'm an emotional person! Perhaps only one or two people cried, and so what if I was one of them!?!?!? My sister says that I am a 'gasper' and I suppose I cannot argue with that. BUT I would confidently say that each person in the theatre tonight felt what I've expressed to some degree! And agree with me or not, I feel that this is important...

As participating humans on this planet we are privileged to be aware of what is going on in our world. Yet many people are daunted by the task of becoming involved, and like the young cub Simba choose to turn away, ignoring other's cries for help. Case in point, I could have stayed home tonight and put that $15.00 to something else! If not for my own productive use, then for someone else's cause. But I chose to go see a movie that I have seen many many times before. How is that useful? Well we work and we play, those are choices we make, and as I said before, I wasn't out throwing my money all over the town. I'm not sure if you see a difference or if you believe me to be trying to justify selfish entertainment, but allow me to move on... it may help explain my thought process.

You see, those old Disney movies (and probably the new ones) are just dripping with moral value: Respect the uses of all creatures, be friends with others even if they aren't like you, the past can hurt but you learn from it, hold onto the truly important things in life, never listen to your Uncle Scar, and don't kill him - even when you're justified in doing so ;)

The coolest thing though? 17 years later the audience still got all of that, and were " in to it!" allowing themselves to be reminded of the importance of (in grown-up words) honor, dignity, pride (the good kind), honesty and of course... love. Perhaps this ploy of generating more revenue for an already filthy rich company, is really the perfect nudge for all the kids who watched it 17 years ago! One that allows them to enter into an age of responsibility and actively participate in the world... for it is a beautiful place to exist.

Going to this movie wasn't simply in response to the 'new and improved' graphics, but a desire to remember the beauty of such a redeeming story: Life is good, then there is a catastrophe and a boy is lied to, guilt tripped into running away, he decides it's easiest to forget, then he has some sense knocked into him so he goes to right some wrongs. I'd say that seeing that as a child gives the thrill of adventure! Seeing it as an adult gives the hope for the future.

A big lesson told in a great way. Creating an experience that brings of those values back home, in the circle of our lives with a new grown-up 3D perspective.

That... or I'm crazy. You decide.

Photo from here

Monday, September 26, 2011

Music Monday - California

While in California this summer I rented a car (red convertible).
But I forgot to bring any music with me so I was forced to listen to
the radio.

I never listen to the radio so this was a difficult adjustment since the radio stations typically tend to play the same four songs all day long.

However, my 8 days in California exposed me to songs that I would never otherwise listen to.
And for all you readers, I apologize for making you listen to a song that you probably are sick of.


The memories I have of this summer trip to California are set to the the soundtrack of

One Republic, Good Life

This is a Good Life indeed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


School is going well. I enjoy it a lot! I get to work with fabulous people, creating art and beauty that will last for years. Come get your tickets and enjoy and evening of elegance.

I can't wait to see you there :D

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I love my parents.
I love this photo.

Thanks, Mum & Dad for teaching us to love music at such an early age.
And thanks to the person who decided to
take a photo and not
take the baby to bed

Monday, September 19, 2011

Music Monday: Resources

The key to finding great music is knowing where to look. This past weekend I have serendipitously discovered a few amazing resources for great music. The winner of the weekend however, is without a doubt, Shoot The Player.

It was started by two film makers, Amelia in New York, and Johnathan in Sydney, in an effort to "... encourage audiences to see and hear in a completely new way, by putting great musicians in iconic locations where you’d never expect them to be."

The music videos they make are all spontaneous, unplugged, one-take and in a public location. "Both the filmmakers and the performers interact with the space and people around them to create something genuinely original."

Not only is this a fantastic project and filled with many new voices, but there are some great old ones as well... here is Ben Lee with a cover of MGMT's "Kids" filmed by Shoot The Player.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Eating Across the Rockies

The beauty of having visitors from afar come and visit
is the chance to show off a little.

What I didn't expect was showing off all the places to
in Calgary and the nearby Rockies.

I love food.

And here's just a few of the places I ended up dragging my friends to for
some sampling....

Tubby Dog
The home of the tallest hipster hotdogs in town

Where Seth could double his burger for $3.00

Where every Canadian cliché is immortalized on the walls
and where Rachel tried her first chicken wing.

Classic. College Days. Cholesterol.
That's all.

I rediscovered my city this past week.
Thank you, friends, for helping me love these strange places all over again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Ride

I watch a lot of Youtube videos and subscribe to many channels. This channel is by far one of my favorites. The organizers of these events bring such spontaneous joy to the spectators. This one I found particularly wonderful. I hope you enjoy this as thoroughly as I do.

Also, it was our mother's birthday yesterday.
Mama you are an amazing woman, with incredible strength, as well as a gentle spirit. Thank-you for encouraging and supporting your children, and for teaching us the importance of caring for your family.
Happy Birthday.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Music Monday - Ahhhh....






.... because who doesn't love a bare-footed guitar player on the dock at dawn?

Thank you, Martin, for your beautiful music.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Regardless of Fear

A year ago today (basically) I arrived in the city of Hyderabad, India. Embarking on a journey that I had waited for many years. Most of you know all about it, and sister, I'm pretty sure you're getting tired of me talking about my trip as often as I do... for that I apologize. Today however I'm not going to reminisce about my time, but instead invite you to marvel with me at how much of a difference a year can make.

I remember standing at the counter in The Calgary Int
ernational Airport waiting for the woman there to print out my baggage tags. It was then, while I was standing alone with my friends/farewell party a sort distance away, that the enormity of my endeavor hit me for the very first time. I was overcome, and as I turned back to face the trio cheering me on, my eyes found my sister's and I could not hold back the flood gates any longer. The tears rolled, and I knew there was no turning back.

Fast forward.

As I left my first day of school on Wednesday, the assistant teacher Laura-Beth, who has just started her third year at Ecole Holt Couture, asked me if I'd been nervous that day. I confessed to her that I was nervous whenever I wasn't at the school, or around other people from the school. Nervous about entering into a new phase, only knowing that this is what I want to do, not sure if I'll succeed, but knowing again that there was no turning back.

It is the same feeling I felt when leaving for India. This is something I want, and have waited for. There are p
eople backing me and supporting my choice. I have come to the very edge of the task, and all that is left is to complete it. But it is big, new, and unknown. What will become of me along the way to completion? Will I follow through successfully?

In both cases numerous people have asked me "Are you excited?". I can never answer that truthfully, because I feel like it does not apply. I get excited about free coffee, good movies, spontaneous letters, and seeing my nieces and nephew. These things all guarantee full pleasure and enjoyment without worry or care. How can that feeling be associated with a step that takes you towards something that has so much detail, planning, and risk involved? An answer that I gave to a friend of mine when he asked me this question was "No. But I'm ready." regardless of fear.

So I guess my point is this, the difference between last year and this physically, is exponential. The difference emotionally, remains unchanged. What I take to heart this time, is knowing how amazing my experience in India was. I had the time of my life with incredible people, and even though I've now 'checked
India off my list' I know that the time I spent there will not be the last. Therefore it was worth the wait, and the risk. With this knowledge I venture into the first year of this four year program, ready to take on the challenges that may arise, for the joy of the experience.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


When I was in high school
we read an essay in English class titled

"Labour Day is the School Bell in the Playground of the Mind"

Like clockwork that fresh feeling of fall came flooding back to me as I walked onto campus this morning. The freshman faces all keen and eager to start a new semester - a new chapter.

It's an exciting time.

Full of possibility.
Full of hope.

To all of my friends who are going to back to school today (or this week, or last week)

And to all of my friends who feel like you've gone "back to school" in one way or another since the "bell" of Labour Day rang...

I give you all my favourite back-to-school supply

bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.

photo from

Monday, September 5, 2011

Music Monday: Dance & Style

Song and dance are a perfect combination. Adding style into the mix just makes it that much better. Last week this short film celebrating 100 years of fashion, 100 seconds, was released to announce the grand opening of retail shopping mecca Westfield Stratford City in East London. Enjoy.

Friday, September 2, 2011


How's this for a random attraction....

While in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across the

An antique arcade museum!

Admission is free every day,
and with games like these it's pretty easy to play away all your spare change!

Although I never did find out how you "win" the Opium Den game????