Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Love in the Words

I’m a writer, and I’m mildly obsessed.

I was talking to my mother last night about one of the constant loves in my life – words.

I love words.

Just like many of you reading this, she too thought I sounded slightly nutty. So, if you don’t mind, I’d like to plead my case.

Over the years, I’ve found myself in some pretty interesting situations in terms of friendships, relationships, and other odds and ends… all because of a few choice words (or lack of) strategically woven together, either by myself or the other party.

Take for instance my experience with X. Spoken words were plenty. We would talk about anything and everything for hours. I would talk, X would listen, and then sometimes interject with words so thoughtful, I’d wonder why they never came to me first.

Then, sometimes, X would utter a few choice words that would cut like the sharpest blade slicing through flesh. Moods would shift, not by actions in this case, but by words.

They have so much power in sounds and visuals. Soothing words; harsh words; pleading words; loving words; caring words; Hallmark words – they all have the ability to make or break moments.

Think of the most inspirational quotes, excerpts and lyrics that you love. Why do you love them? Perhaps because the meanings resonate inside you, correct? But what creates the meaning? Words –- strategically thought out, and then woven together to resonate.

There are centuries of studies conducted by linguists and psychologists, professors and writers, all with their own theories on why words are what they are.

In my opinion, people need to stop theorizing and start enjoying them. Listen as you speak. Think of what you’re saying. Look as you write. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

Poets, songwriters, novelists – they don’t just write, they weave. Handpicked words that they know will leave a lasting impact.

I did some research to see if anyone else felt the way I did, and what do you know? Check out Life is Baeutiful and the 100 Most Beautiful Words in English.

Please let me know what you think.


Friday, 15 May 2009


In a slow moment at work today (after I had clocked out), I found myself researching how much a multi-destination plane ticket around the world would cost. 

After being transferred from one site to another, and then finding this cool site where I could chart out my trip (city by city), I came up with a ticket for the price of $14,538. It would take me to 25 destinations across the planet, starting in Toronto and ending in Vancouver... (for the 2010 Olympics.... yes, you can laugh). 

The inspiration for this? I want to work for Globe Trekker TV. For the past 6 years of my life I have spent Sunday evenings drinking tea with my mum, while watching the hosts from this show take us from one destination to the next. On one show they're in Casablanca, giving us a non-touristy trip through the spice markets; and in the next, they're traipsing across the Mongolian dessert... how could I not be sold on this?

So, the next semi-long-term goal on the life-list (notice I'm not calling it my Bucket list? I'll have a new one if I get that far, I'm sure), is to put together a package for the Globe Trekker producers. Why not, right? 

I love the whole world (cue Discovery Channel 'Boom-de-ah-da')

I don't just want to visit parts of the world, I want to live all over the world. I want to get imbedded in the societies that are different from ones I've grown accustomed to. I wan to feel different pulses, breathe different airs. 

"I want all of it!" I mutter to myself. 

My voice startles me back to reality. I'm at my desk at work, after having just finished my third week as a 'working journalist' during a recession. 

I should be happy now. 

Yet, as I pack my bags and head home for the long weekend, I can't help but yell at myself internally... "Why can't I just be happy with this now?"

Because I know my heart's not here.

Because I want to experience this 'Boom-de-ah-da feeling'. 


Friday, 8 May 2009

One for the road...

Dear Telemarketer,
If you're going to take up my time, trying to sell me things I don't need, then please heed this suggestion:

It's ASKED and not AXED. If you AXED me... I'd probably be dead and unable to answer your question! And if that happened, it wouldn't be good for you... or me. 

Ok, Thanks!


Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Live to Play

You'd think choices in life would certainly become more clear cut once you were done school. 

The idea we're fed from childhood is to believe that life tends to take a linear pattern in one sense. We're born; we start school; we start post-secondary; we perhaps go on and venture into post-grad; we get a job; we get married; we have babies; we become aunts and uncles.... and so it goes. 

Or, at least that's what the hope is... but it's rarely ever the reality.

I, for one,  have never believed that life is linear. Mine certainly isn't... except for this one aspect. 

If you were to look at a graph of my life, measuring the personal and social, against the education and workflow, you'd notice that while other aspects "were all over the map," the education and workflow part would be steady. 

I have been in school for 91 per cent of my life. Yes, I did the math. It's been consistent from the start. At the end of every phase of my education, I've always known the first page of the chapter that followed. 

Until I got to the end of the most recent one -- the end of of my planned education. 

While I lucked out and picked up a freelancing gig as a web editor for a pretty well-to-do magazine in the city, I never imagined that my journey into the world of work and LIFE in general would be as big of a roller-coaster ride as it has been. 

I haven't had a steady day in months. 

Through all the tests and trials that I've endured since finishing school, I've learned two thing: you can never get comfortable at your job (you might be replaced in a flash); and the manner in which you get a job is not as clear-cut as guidance counsellors and recruiters might want you to believe. 

Entering the workforce after finishing school means constantly trying to prove yourself. Unless you pick up an entry-level job where you can steadily climb the rungs of the company ladder, for the most part, you will find yourself multi-tasking with work that you probably never imagined doing... or were never trained to do. 

I've finally come to realize the importance of "on the job training" ... meaning you're assigned a task and you do it to completion, only to realize you did it your way (the long way), when the company had a system in play that could have helped you do it in an hour. But you learn.

The goal now is to focus on the non-linear parts. I've secured something that can pay the bills for now... although the uncertainty is not knowing how long it will last. But in the meanwhile, I can't disregard the other aspects. Nor should any of you.  

I've come to realize how consuming work can be. I used to wonder about people who lived and breathed to work... some days I feel as though I'm one of those people. 

The trick, I suppose, is to find a balance and to realize that we don't live and breathe to work -- we live for breathtaking moments. Work simply allows us the freedom to enjoy those breathtaking moments with a little more security. 


Sunday, 3 May 2009

A drop by

I met someone yesterday who pretty much summed up my thoughts on technology and computers. By now you're all aware that I admire the leaps made in the world of online communication and wireless connections.

However, even though I admittedly am part of this, there's something going absolutely wrong in our society, as we begin to place more and more emphasis on social networking.

Take for instance this conversation I had last night. I was talking to someone who is embedded in the world of technology and communications and I admitted to him that admired the work 'his people' did. 

Having recently been forced to learn about html and coding myself, I was talking to him about how fascinating it is that when you take all these social networking sites apart, all that's left are triangle brackets ( < ) and a bunch of letters and numbers that, when put together, create some of the most graphically appealing websites out there.

Then he said something to me that I never expected to come out of of someone who has chosen to be a key part of this industry.

He said he wasn't too big on the leaps being made in the fast-paced IT world. I was surprised, so I asked if he could elaborate.

"Well, I sort of just showed up at my friend's place the other night," he said. "I just kind of wanted to see him, so I decided to stop by."

I wondered where this was going, so I waited for him to continue.

"He was surprised," he stated, plainly. "I didn't e-mail him or Facebook message him or anything to warn him that I was going to show up, so he thought it was strange."

Interesting, huh?

"I didn't think it was that big of a deal," he continued. "I mean, isn't that what people did, before all these forms of announcements came up?"

The man knew what he was talking about. What's happening to our society if when people decide to make fact-to-face connections, it's a cause for alarm?

The interesting thing is that the person was a good friend of this man.

It's worrisome, really. As the years go by, we're starting to spend so much more time in front of the computer, and, as a result, our social and personal communication skills are starting to suffer.

Has it really come to this? That people cannot approach each other at social gatherings, unless they've had some form of a textual connection before?

I can only imagine what 5 years from now will look like. And I hope it just stays in my imagination.


Friday, 1 May 2009

As I gazed into my eyes...

"You should try being selfish!" she said, with the most serious face she could muster. "It's fun!"

I couldn't help but laugh. I knew she meant every word of her ridiculous statement, but it was the way she said it. Recently she had been on this tirade to get me to do things for myself -- without considering even one other person. 

"You know what? You don't give people enough credit!" she said, thoughtfully. "You have this weird idea in your head that if you disconnect yourself for some much needed TLC, everyone will just... I don't know... fall apart or something." 

OK, so maaaaybe I thought that. Maybe just a little bit. But she didn't have to be so Judge Judy about it. Sheesh. 

"I'm just used to life this way," I said. 

"And what way is that?"

"Just the way it is, you know? I mean, of course I want to do all the fun stuff, but who doesn't?" 

I wished she would just give it a rest. But ever since she realized I was pretty much done school, she had made it her mission to evoke the ME gene in, well, me. She was convinced we all had it. Some people embraced it earlier on and never looked back, while others required some coaxing. 

But she never fathomed that having it was a bad thing. In fact, she thought quite the opposite. To her, being able to go through life while loving yourself unconditionally and putting yourself first 95 per cent of the time, was the key to happiness. And she was determined to get me at least 50 per cent of the way there. 

"I am selfish," I said. "I do things for myself all the time!" 

I could feel the wheels spinning in my head as I prepared to answer the next question that I knew would come. 

"Like what?"


"Lot of stuff!"

"Like what?" she repeated.

"Like... taking that vacation after undergrad."

There, that had to throw the scent off.

"Could you afford that vacation?" she asked.


"Did you make the decision to go, on your own?"


"Not selfish!" she said, with a look that started to irritate me. 


"I'm talking selfish like... looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing only you... selfish," she said. 

"I do see only me. Do you see two of you when you look in the mirror?" I asked. 

"Sometimes... but the good one usually loses."


"OK, here's a prescription for you," she said, with seriousness. "You need to go home and make a list of 5 things you want to do in the next two months. They don't have to be be big or extravagant things... just easy stuff... and then? Just. Do. it."

"What's the catch?" (always a cynic!)

"Just you."

"I'm the catch?"


"Oh, and one more thing," she added, as a side note.

"Do yourself a favour, and stop thinking."


Something special to me!

These are some of the photos I took at this time last year, in Goa, India. Enjoy!

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