3 December 2010

Getting into the spirit of Christmas.



Did you enjoy that? So beautiful.

This is shaping up to be the best Christmas ever! I am with the man that I love and we are sharing the season together.

23 October 2010

I'm fat...can I blame my family?


"It is estimated that this generation of children will be the first generation to fail to live longer than their parents generation. Their lifestyle, eating habits and obesity puts them at greater risk
for health problems.": Medical Journal of something something something (basically I stole this off of the web but I don't know the original source...lol).

I am not at all surprised about this. For weeks, I have been slowly...but surely...loosing weight. I have also been spending a great deal of time at my bean pole skinny boyfriends place. My supportive, bad cop, healthy eating boyfriends place.

This last week, I have spent most of my time at home due to my boyfriend's wonky work schedule. And according to the scale, I am up 2-4 pounds. There is no healthy food in the house, and I've had takeaway food three days in a row.

Coincidence? Can I now officially blame my obesity on my family? Can I blame their bad influence and food choices on my weight?

Wouldn't that be nice. But no. I can lament their lack of support. But I am a big girl. I buy my own food. I make the choices of what I eat and don't eat. I know what is right and wrong...even if they don't. A wise man once said "forgive them for they know not what they do". That Jesus sure is a smart man.

So at the end of the day, to avoid being a statistic, I must make the choice to eat better and exercise more. Do I wish for more support and a better environment at home? Sure. And sadly, I think this generation of kids will younger because they are not being raised in an environment where they are made aware of other options, like we were. But still...it's nice to have an excuse. LOL.


14 October 2010

Loose sweater.

I tried on my purple sweater today and it was baggy and loose. Yay! My butthead boyfriend was all "it stretched". Asshat. Ignore him.

That is all I have to say.

2 October 2010

7 Quick Takes


1) It has been a while since I blogged. I have been busy lately and haven't had a chance to sit down and actually type out the millions of ideas in my head. But I did post a few today so check them out (they are posted below). I am interested in hearing feedback, particularly on the "pursing your passion" topic below.

2) I had an opportunity to hear Bishop Gary Gordon of Whitehorse speak last week and he brought up an interesting thought that I wanted to share. He suggested that while we are all connected (via Facebook, E-mail, Blackberry, other social networks), we aren't really connected with each other. That was a timely message for me as I had an incident with my friends through an email communication snafu, which was born out of a lack of connectedness and really wasn't the best means to communicate my needs.

3) That said, I still love blogging as a form of expression. I also recognize that in some ways, social media has helped me connect with people of whom I would never encounter otherwise.

4) Has anyone seen the show Boardwalk Empire on HBO? Do I ever say enough how much I LOVE Steve Buscemi? I am drawn to his works like a flame to a moth.

5) The Fall colors are particularly vibrant this year. Mark and I went for a walk near the old Griesbach military base through the beautiful trees. Vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, various shades of green all splattered like a painting. What an experience!

6) I have been fascinated with all things Canadian History lately, particularly the history of Pierre Trudeau and the history of Quebec Nationalism.

7) So Mark and I finally got our furniture in from Leon's Furniture. What a gong show! Almost every living room piece was damaged in some way! Grrrr. Once all the furniture is assembled and set up proper, it will look very nice indeed. Our first major couple purchase! Yay!

Personal Passions and living the dream: If not now, when?

One of my favorite bloggers, Carolina Girl, lamented recently on her blog about the struggle she is having to find her life passion and fears that she is missing out on finding "it". (Click here to read the specific post).

I think that unless you are living your passion out (and loving it), we can all relate to her struggle. I can certainly relate, having wasted spent the last 6 years that a job I hated, fooling myself into thinking I could tolerate it because it was a steady job that paid the bills. Or maybe you have liked your job well enough, and it provides all the things you want but you still feel that something is missing in your life.

One of the arguments about pursuing your passion is that it doesn't pay well or that there is no security offered. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but I found out after six years, the "sure thing" offered no more security and I was promptly laid off. Six years of putting my desires on the back burner, and all it got me was a "thanks but no thanks".


I sort of relate pursing your passion like blowing a piece of bubble gum. There is a procedure that you have to undergo to get the perfect bubble, with considerable risk that it might explode on your face if you push the limits of what is achievable. First you have to prepare the piece to the perfect consistency, and then you have to put effort into blowing so that the bubble can expand. It requires patience and a sense of knowing when to stop.

That said, if it does explode on your face, you can always try again. If the gum looses flavor, you can always stop chewing or try again with a different piece. The risk might be great, but the reward is so amazing.

I finally did find a job, temporary and lasting one year, that I well enjoy. Do I feel passionate about this job? Probably not. But I get a year to test it out and figure if this is what I want to do. But at least it is a step in the right direction. I am also in a new relationship that is leading to a degree of permanence and stability, so my passions will likely change as I consider not just my needs, but the needs of others (spouse, children etc).

I have always wanted to be a romance novel writer and maybe I will become a writer one day, but right now, it's not at the fore front of my thoughts. I also have a number of other dreams and the ranking changes like I change. But it is important to realize that like gum, you can always change the flavor or the brand if what you are pursing is no longer your passion.

Trying to pinpoint one's passion when one is growing and changing and evolving puts limits on your dreams. It doesn't allow you to adapt or change your dreams as your life changes and you acquire new interests.

I also think that maybe living the ordinary life, doing ordinary things, is fine. It's not exciting, but there is something to be said about enjoying the day to day life. There is a certain pleasure in chewing the gum, not just blowing the gum. The opportunities will present themselves and you will know when to go after them.

That all said, it still leaves us with a burning question: If not now, when?

When do you pursue your passions? When do you take the courage and risk to blow the bubble? You can't just spend your life chewing and then wondering why you never got to see a bubble. At what point do you need to stop considering the safety in what you have, and the needs of others, to pursue your own desires?

A friend of mine recently said that she puts her husband and her kids first. Commendable and as it should be at this stage of her kids life. But not once did she mention putting her needs first, and not once did she mention herself as a priority, not once did she put importance on her own passions.

So what then? How do you balance the realities of life, like the need to pay rent and the need to eat food, with the burning desire to pursue your passion? I think what makes it harder is when you see people who pursue their passions, at great cost, and they are either happy or have made a success of pursuing their passion at all cost.

Hmmm. I have a feeling that this is the kind of topic that never ends, that you will go back to again and again as you discover different ways of viewing things and experience different stages of your life.

Note to Fat Self: Buh-bye.


Holy crap I am tired of being fat. Plain and simple. And no, I am not just "big-boned" for all you nay-sayers (I'm dinosaur boned if you really want the honest truth). While I appreciate the comments of "you are beautiful just the way you are" and all that drivel, the reality is that I feel disgusting in my skin. This is not just about "being" fat, it's about "feeling" fat.

You can be fat and be completely fine with it. There are a number of fat acceptance societies out there and kudos to them. But for me, I have moved from the stage of being fat and feeling somewhat o.k. with it to feeling fat. To feeling the extra skin on me. To feeling the effect of huffing and puffing up the stairs. To feeling winded running 1/2 a block to the bus stop. To feeling the table at the restaurant with my body because there is not enough space between the chair and the table (although it is of note that my skinny friends have plenty of space, so we can't blame the restaurant, can we?).

Now that I have reached that critical point that I think one needs to reach to get serious about it, I am now taking steps to go from this:



to this:

This is not about a journey, because the measure of the journey can only be measured at the end. This is not about me "getting serious" because trust me, I have been nothing but serious this entire time. I have been either serious about losing weight or serious about gaining weight.


This is about me rethinking the way I view exercise and food.

I can either view food as a pleasure to satisfy my wants and needs
or
I can view food that is a source of fuel for my body, and if I happen to have moments of pleasure, then score!

I can view exercise as this burden that I must participate in to get better/healthier/stronger
or
I can view exercise as this opportunity to find out what I enjoy and if I benefit by feeling healthier/stronger/better than score!

This is all about changing my mindset about how I view food and exercise. This is about me setting my goals and working day by day, step by step, calorie by calorie to achieve success.

I used to view diet as this big ordeal that I must overhaul my entire life if I was to be successful. And to a certain amount, that is true. But, it is a greater ordeal to be overweight. It is an ordeal to deal with the related complications of being overweight. So either way, it's just a matter of choosing which ordeal I want to endure.

I think the choice is easy when I put it that way, so buh-bye fat Dani. I can't say it was a pleasure knowing you, but I learned a lot from you all the same.

Scale vs. Dani.

The cruelest invention ever created by man was the personal scale. It is a dieters tool of torment. It can deliver great news sometimes, but more times than not it delivers awful news to the user. The scale is some sort of evil truth telling prophet. You are faced with the truth about yourself every time you step on one.

A few weeks ago, I stepped on the scale and this is how it initially responded:

It further went on to say that I was:


So now it is a battle of wills. A battle to show the scale that I can lose weight. That I can get into shape. That I can fight the scale and win.

In all fairness to the scale though, it did send me this message before I stepped on:


And hopefully as I battle the scale, I will remember that I am still awesome, even if the scale wins sometimes.

12 August 2010

The Boys of Fall




The other day, I was riding in the car with my boyfriend when I happened to notice that the leaves were starting to fade a bit. The little berries for the birds were starting to appear. The weather is getting a crisper. That can only mean one thing: Fall is near.

I know that you summer lovers hate to hear this; most will live in denial right up to winter. But for the rest of us that can't stand the heat, love the vibrant colours, and get's excited at the thought of the start/end of various sport seasons, this is the best news ever. Between the Race for the Cup in Nascar, to the World Series in Baseball, to the start of NFL and College Football, what is not to love about Fall?

Football is starting and no one has captured the excitement better then Kenny Chesney and his video "The Boys of Fall". This song captures every emotion that get's poured into this season. I LOVE this song and I think it will be the song of the end of summer and beginning of Fall for 2010. **Side note: Welcome back to making down home country Kenny Chesney. I loved your beach stuff, but when you connect with your base, you are at your finest form.

11 July 2010

7 Quick Takes: Belated Friday Edition. (Vol 1)


Jennifer @ Conversion Diary hosts a meme called 7 Quick Takes. In a nut shell, it's an end of the week thing that you post 7 quick random things. I'm all for it as it's a good way to get some thoughts out that don't require a full post! Plus helps with blog blahs. :) *P.S. I will also have one very shortly posted on my faith blog, Pray With Dani*.

**1**

I am delighted that the new season of Big Brother has started. This is my not-so-secret favourite reality t.v. show. And the twist this year is that there is a saboteur! Should make for some fun shenanigans.

**2**

I have so many books that I want to read right now. Summer always poses an interesting challenge. Do you read the serious book that you have plenty of time to read? Or do you go straight to mindless read to suit your summer A.D.H.D.?

**3**

The job hunt so far kind of sucks. I am slowly coming to the realization that in a down turn economy, the best thing might be that I have to take a temporary full time job with a term limit just to hopefully get my foot in the door.

**4**

I will blog about this at some point later, but can I just give a shout out to the t.v. classic M*A*S*H*? 30 years later and it's still one of the funniest shows on the tube. They sure don't write good comedy anymore.

**5**

I've been having an interesting dialogue with my friend Bonnie about procrastination. I will admit that I do procrastinate....badly...as is evident in the piles of clothes I need to sort through. I'll talk more about this topic....later. LOL!

**6**

I threw a wedding shower for my friend Karen yesterday (of whom I am a bridesmaid for her wedding). It was delightful. The fudge the maid of honour made was fantastic. As a side rant: have people forgotten how to R.S.V.P? So frustrating trying to plan something when no one does the respondez part. I hope that the next wedding I plan is mine (*hint hint to my boyfriend..lol).

**7**

My friend Joanne has a new baby girl who is so adorable. So much so that I counted, and half my photos on my new camera are of her. LOL. In fact, all of my friends kiddo's are cute. Our little "golden kids" are mighty cute I tell ya.

So feel free to comment on any of the above topics. Have a great weekend/week everyone!












23 June 2010

Saving Soaps: The case for functional parenting.



Call me old fashioned. Call me a traditionalist. Call me whatever you want. But there is not a day that goes by when I watch soaps that I don't yearn for the return of the traditional family. And by traditional, I don't mean super sweet and happy. But is it too much to ask for the following?

My list of demands:
  • The wise patriarchal grandparents who heap advice and wisdom over a pot of tea (which of course implies that old people get air time on soaps).
  • That mothers DO NOT sleep with son-in-laws and fathers DO NOT sleep with daughters-in-laws.
  • That parents DO NOT kill their kids and kids DO NOT kill their parents.
  • That families gather together at holidays and other special events. In particular, when your kid is dying/getting married/giving birth, perhaps that might be a good time to fly in instead of staying at your chalet in the Swiss Alps.
  • That today's career soap dads take a lesson from Mac Cory (AW, played by the late great Douglass Watson) that no matter how successful you are and how busy you are, family always comes first.
  • That it is not acceptable to ship off your kids to boarding school for 10 years with no summer visit.
I don't think what I am asking for is unreasonable. And I expect a healthy dose of dysfunction because our families are dysfunctional too.

Once upon a time you used to have family units on soaps. And those families stuck somewhat cohesively with one another. Families like the Cory's, the Martin's, the Bauer's', the Horton's, the Brady's, the Abbots.... the list goes on.

Now it seems like every one is an independent unit that occasionally connects with a family member. That families are so dysfunctional you can't trust that they will turn to each other. You never see the patriarch's or matriarch's anymore and goodness knows, no one turns to them anyways. You seldom see a parent sit down with their children and share good wholesome advice. And worst of all, there is just way too much air time focusing on individuals who have no family history connections on the show at all.

I don't think I am asking for too much, but can the powers that be work hard to restore the family units. That they restore the art of the afternoon tea chat. That they show families occasionally happy, and not just at Christmas? That families turn to one another? I think most viewers want that, because after all, aren't soaps to be a exaggerated expression of our own collective experiences?

20 June 2010

Saving Soaps: Old Soap Intros.

T.V. was my babysitter growing up. And that wasn't a bad thing because there were good quality shows for children back then. Did I watch any of those types of shows? Nope. I watched soap operas! I used to have a soap for every hour and even tape them so I could watch them when I got home. I can actually trace pivotal moments in my life by what happened on various soaps. My hardest cry ever was when Jessica died on One Life to Live. I cried for (I kid you not) two full hours. And I honestly feel like when I watch soaps, I escape into this alternate world where the people are real. Even now, my mom and I will have actual discussions about The Young and The Restless and discuss the story lines and characters as if they were real. Or we will go out, but have to get back by 4 because "Y&R is on and it's getting good. Victor knows where Adam is".

Soaps have long been an integral part of my life. Sadly, I don't really watch them as much as I should (save for Y&R) because..well..they haven't really been all that good. What makes things sadder is that any thing that was actually good has been canceled and are now a part of my distant path (GL, AW, Passions). As I watch the landscape of daytime soaps being replaced with trashy talk shows, I wonder what it is that is not connecting viewers with the program?

Sure, there is the case that women work and don't have time. But there are a great number of viewers that are at home like SAHM's, mat leave women, women home sick, unemployed, seniors etc. So why are they not watching anymore?

This week I am going to explore what is happening and what we can do to save our soaps.

The biggest theme that I will have is that soaps today have lost their connection with the past. In the rush to be modern and current, they have strayed so far from what it is that we LOVED about soaps. We loved soaps when they were connected with the past; when family connections mattered. When the world around us buzzed on fast and furiously around us, we could trust that our soaps would be there with the familiar. Anytime you mess with the familiar to cater to the fickle, you alienate those that actually care.

The first sign I noticed when soaps were moving away from their roots was when they started messing with Intros. Intros are the hook. They are the song you hear when you are in another room that is so familiar, you stop what you are doing to watch. Say what you will, but there is something to be said for the simple intro with the classic music.

Here is an example. Let's look at All My Children. For decades, the intro was this great musical intro with a simple sound. The view was of a family album. You could imagine that a grandma was sitting there looking at pics of her family and that for the next hour, you the viewer would be welcomed into their little world to view their family. Have a look.



Stunning isn't it. Doesn't the music evoke some sort of passion? Now let's flash forward to the latest intro (which is one of dozens of changes they have made since they dropped the above, which goes to show they just can't find the right tone to lure a viewer in).



This epileptic graphic vomit of an intro has pictures falling interspersed with what I assume to be the auditions for America's Next Top Model. WTH? Like what is that? It's in your face, not inviting, non-familiar. There is nothing that makes this intro stand out from the other flashy shows in the same time slot.

I think that those that make soaps should take a long hard look at their Intros and try to figure out what message they are conveying. Warm and inviting goes a long way.

19 June 2010

Confession Time: I am a Farmville Hoarder.


They say that the first step to dealing with a problem is confessing the problem. So hear goes.

I am a Farmville Hoarder.

For those living under a rock, let me explain Farmville. Basically it goes something like this:
  • You create a little farm utopia by plotting little squares of land, planting & harvesting crops (which have a coin, experience point attached), planting & harvesting trees, raising animals.
  • Along the way, you gain coin and experience to level up to by "level" only items and gifts.
  • The social aspect of the game means you send gifts, fertilize your neighbours crops, grab loot they post on their wall.
  • To do any of the actions above, follow this sequence: click, click, click, click, click, click, oh..shiny thing, click click click, back to wall, click, click, click, back to game, click, click, click.
  • It is a complete addictive time waster and just when you get bored, they introduce something new and shiny that you MUST have.
I'm cool and confident enough to admit I have a Farmville addiction. I know they signs. I see the symptoms, made worse by my stagnant unemployment. I see the folly in going to 7-11 to buy special Zynga items (and do so anyways just to get more items). I recognize that since I was laid off, I spend almost all day on Farmville instead of looking for a job. I get that this was made worse by "Mr. M" going to the States for a freaking month vacation (planned prior to relationship and my fault for not updating my passport sooner because I probably was wasting time playing Farmville). And I also see the folly in staying up all hours of the day and night to play this game. I notice my tendencies to talk about Farmville with my real life friends. I am cool with my addiction. * or at least until Mr. M. gets back and my life can revolve around him as is apt in new relationships.

But the most serious problem that is emerging is this: I am becoming a hoarder.

As I discussed, Zynga, the evil creators of Farmville (and it's equally nefarious cousins Mafia Wars etc...) keep coming out with shiny new things that I MUST HAVE. And therein lies the problem: I MUST HAVE every little item that I can get my greedy hands on. And now my farm looks like an episode of A&E's Hoarders.

This is very very bad. My want to have things I don't need on my farm, coupled with my attraction to shiny new stuff means my farm is a complete waste land. In real life, my farm would be condemned. With the shear amount of animals, I'm surprised my virtual horses haven't died from avian flu due to the sheer number of chickens.

And what is made worse is that I want a pretty farm like other people so I spend hours organizing my farm to look like this epic place of grandeur. I get hooked on buildings and spend hours trying to get enough of God knows what to get some exclusive item like the Eiffel Tower. I ask you: have you ever seen a farm with the Eiffel Tower? Nope. Didn't think so. But I must have it. To make an international theme. Have too many cows? Don't purge them, just buy more barns! My farm looks like a big old blahp of junk. The only thing missing are some virtual junkyard cars on in front of one of my 6 or so virtual houses.

Part of this stems from a bitter experience where I accumulated things and then not the day after I deleted them, they came out with something new that required the things I deleted. And I hate shameless wall post begging! *The wall posts are both a blessing (if you are receiving said gift) and a curse (if you hate wall clutter as a giver and your friends hate your page because it's all application related).

This is insanity I tell you! The fact that I am even blogging about this goes to show how deep my addiction is and how ashamed of how I have become such a hoarder! And I look to my left as I type this and I see the two piles of unfolded laundry and the three piles of clothes that need to be sorted for donation or keeping.... good gracious...this hoarding is spilling over.

HELP! I NEED AN INTERVENTION!

12 June 2010

Eighties Song Saturday

Hey all! I know it seems that all I have been blogging about lately is eighties songs. And while that is true (based on the last three posts), I do have great blog posts up in my head. And it's not because I have been busy. Au contraire mes amis! In fact, I have had nothing but time. However, my general laziness and procrastination has taken an evil hold on me. I will post this week f'sure!

My 8o's song selection is a personal favourite of mine. My buddy Junior posted today about how difficult it has been for him to find a relationship. I too struggled for many years...the lone single in the group of friends. Thankfully God has granted my wishes and I am now gloriously happy and in a relationship with a wonderful man.

Hmm...I should nick name him something...hmm
. Ok, for this blog we will call him "Mr. M".

Anyways, this is to all those out there searching for love! And Junebabe, this song is dedicated to you.

*PS, I totally dig the choir ensemble at the end...ah..the 80's...good times*.

I Want To Know What Love Is ~ Foreigner.

4 June 2010

Eighties Song Saturday....one week later! LOL.

So I didn't post a song last week because I was on a HOT DATE WITH MY BOYFRIEND. (Jeez that sounds good to say!). So anyways, I found out last week that A-ha is on their retirement tour. RETIREMENT TOUR! Sob! I shall never get a chance to see one of my favourite bands perform one of my favourite songs! *SOB*

The song I am posting is my FAVE song from A-ha and my second fave song ever. It doesn't really make 100% sense, but hey..they are Norwegian and cute so meh! And if there is a way I can get my arse to Manchester England in November to see them and say goodbye to Paul, Magne and Morten.

So here is the song! (the quality of the video is crappy...but the good quality doesn't have an embedding feature).




But I did find a pretty good concert quality video.




Check back tomorrow!

23 May 2010

Eighties Song Saturday

A day late..but whatever. Anyways, growing up in the Eighties in Canada, you can't escape the power that was Gowan. Lawrence Gowan was a fixture on Canadian radio. This particular song has a special memory for me. Do you ever have a song that stands out because of a childhood vacation?

Well when we went to Sparwood B.C. to visit family, this song was on the radio all the time. I particularly remember it when we would drive between Calgary and Sparwood, past the Buffalo jumps.

Anyways, I present this weekend's song choice: Moonlight Desires by Gowan.

20 May 2010

The most romantic song I have ever heard.




O Sole Mio (which in English translates something to the effect of my sun).

I heard this at a funeral on Monday of my Italian neighbour. The grandson had made a video and this was one of the songs that streamed. It was a loving tribute of one man and his 78 years of life. It also had pictures of his 53 years of marriage, 3 kids, 8 grand kids. And although the video made me cry buckets, this song was imprinted in my brain. What struck me was just how loving he was, and how much he loved his wife.

That kind of relationship and love I can only dream. This song for me captures that timeless love the weaves through generations. If you think about it, the sun will always rise and fall, and will forever burn. That is symbolic of a relationship of true burning love. Sure you have your ups and down, but that love will forever endure.

I hope to one day dance to this song at my wedding.

15 May 2010

Eighties Song Saturday: Human

This song has haunted my nights. Literally and Figuratively.

When I was working at Safeway, and I had to work night crew shits. When you work during the day, you only tend to hear the music during the quiet times. But at night, with no one around, you hear it all night long. Now if there was one thing I was grateful for was that Safeway didn't play musak. However, they did play a nice calming montage of easy listening songs from the 70's to the 90's. And if you all know me, you know that I LOVE EIGHTIES MUSIC.

This particular song would come on every night at exactly 1:12 a.m. and again at 6:12 a.m. I loved it, and I recognized it from a tune played in happier days. I would occasionally hear it in the car, usually when I was furthest away from a computer. I would lay there in the morning just before I had to get up for work, and Joe 92.5 would have it on. But of course, they never said after wards who it was (an annoying radio trend).

So last night, lying in bed, drifting off to sleep, I heard it on the radio. And I had enough! I had to run to the computer, log onto the radio, go to their play list and find out who sang this song that has haunted me for so many years. Well haunt me no more!

So without further ado, I present "Human" by Human League. (*And sorry, I can't embed the actual video)

14 May 2010

Things that make me mad: Werewolves.




First let me put a huge geek disclaimer out there: I am an adult fan girl.
Let me disclaim one more thing: I love Vampire stories.
Final Disclaimer: This may very well be the lamest thing I have ever posted on my blog.

I am not going to get into why or how I am what I am. My theory is that it goes back to some young girl unrequited fantasy about Labyrinth. Every young girl born in the mid to late 70's had a tween crush on Jareth (played deliciously by David Bowie) and was crushed when Sarah did not end up with the Goblin King. But I digress.

So anyways, I am this huge geek of all things Vampire lately. It started off innocently enough with Twilight. I then moved on to True Blood. Then, just when I thought I was sick of the genre, out comes Vampire Diaries which blows my mind away each week.

But there is this trend that is starting to piss me off about this whole genre. It's not enough that this fictional town has VAMPIRES roaming the earth. But then they have to go in and introduce WEREWOLVES!!!! Why? Why does every single vampire movie/book/TV show need to include werewolves? WHY?

In folklore, vampires never had much interaction with werewolves and there was nothing to indicate that they even hated each other even if they interacted. Vampires were vampires. Werewolves were werewolves and the twine did not cross. Even in the 90's, when we were under the spell of all things Anne Rice, there was no mention of werewolves.

But lately (and I blame Twilight for this) it's Vampires vs Werewolves for the love of the human girl. In Twilight, there was not enough angst in Bella's life just liking Edward, a vampire. So let's just add a whole pack of werewolves! O.K. Fine. It was original.

But then True Blood, which survived two seasons without werewolves (although there were other mystical characters) is introducing a werewolf which is slated to be the new love interest for Sookie (who already has a Vampire boyfriend, is fantasizing about another Vampire, and whose boss that loves her is a shape shifter who turns into a dog, when she herself might be a fairy). Why? Why is this necessary? Is there not enough odd ball things on the show, then you have to go ruin it with a werewolf?

Then on Vampire Diaries, they are alluding to the fact that there are characters who are possible werewolves (or some hybrid of that and a vampire).

Can a bitch not just get a show with Vampires only? I don't want werewolves. Give them their own bloody show. Leave my vampires alone! And why do they have to be the "love interest" of the girl already with a Vampire?

And do you know how many times I have gone to the teen fiction or romance part of a bookstore, picked up a supernatural themed book, got all excited, only to read the description and see the world Vampire and Werewolf.

Enough already!!! And if they are including another "mystical" creature, can't they do something original? How about Vampire vs. Fairy? Vampire vs. Warlock?

So there. I ranted. I feel better that I got this off my chest. It's a good thing I still mad love two of the three shows mentioned (TB and VD) that I will tolerate this blemish on the show. But I swear on a pair of hooker boots, this has got to stop or I will be even madder. And goodness knows we don't want that. :P

Announcement: New Blog

Hey all. I have decided that I need to post more about my spirituality because I have so many things to say, and issues surrounding my faith need their own category. So from now on, this blog will be my generic blog, and all my faith/Catholic posts will be posted on Pray With Dani. (click on title to go to page).

I will also have the link to the other blog on the side.

Cheers!

13 May 2010

Our God is An Awesome God.


After I was laid off from work, I started suffering from a spiritual dry spell. It's not entirely uncommon for someone after the first year to suffer one. And although I've had mini-spells in the past, that was nothing compared to the dullness in my heart of the last two months. From someone who is newly baptized (2009), who loves the Catholic faith with all her heart, this particular dry spell was painful.

Painful is an understatement. This spell tore at my heart. Nothing is worse than going through the motions of being a Catholic when the faith has given you unmeasurable gifts. What do you do when God, through his disciples, is giving you all these gifts on an open platter, and all you want to do is curl up and cry?

The answer of course is to keep going. And keep praying. It seems counter intuitive, but going through the motions is just what I needed to do. Even if it seemed empty. Even if it felt like my prayers were half baked or not being answered at all.

Because one day you go and it hits you like a ton of bricks. One day, you go and someone says something that switches the light bulb on. It's like all that misery get's swept away and the Holy Spirit fills your heart so hard, you almost fall over.

Last night was that night for me. I am blessed to live in an Archdiocese that really makes an effort to reach out to everyone for their every need. We have an Archbishop (click to read his blog) who has this amazing ability to take something so complex, simplify it, and then repose the issue into other aspects of your life that you never considered before. And my church in particular has so many wonderful priests that can make a homily apply no matter what your situation is.

Last night I got to experience something new. There was an all night prayer vigil for the sanctity of life, and the Young Adult group put on a prayer session for two hours that BLEW MY MIND AWAY. The music, although familiar from the radio, was unlike anything I have ever heard sing at a Catholic Church. It was upbeat, contemporary, inspiring. The whole service, especially the Archbishops' homilies made an issue that I have long since struggled with make sense. It takes a while sometimes to change your mind on something. But there was not one thing said last night that didn't make complete sense.

I left feeling a whole new person, with a new purpose and new sense of being. And in the moment of reflection when I got home, I realized that this was God acting when you need him the most. This was God at his absolute best - answering prayers and guiding his flock. And I am so thankful that two years ago, I said yes. Because the gifts of faith just keep on giving.

Our God is truly an awesome God.

7 May 2010

Retro Post: War and the Bomber Girl.



Hello kittens! It has been a while so let's not waste time! It's RETRO week baby! *ETA: Retro WW2 Era to be specific. So think 40's! My favorite era! *

Today is Military Spouse appreciation day. Their contributions to the war efforts of today and years passed truly cannot be measured, and likely aren't as appreciated as it should be. If you want to read an excellent blog from a military spouse, I would advise you to read my friend Rebecca's blog, The Reluctant Homefront. She put into such eloquent words about the struggles and joy's of being a military spouse, and in my humble opinion, does the finest job anywhere on the net. So I will leave it up to her to do so.

But what I wanted to draw attention to was the contributions of the often overlooked and controversial girl in the war effort. That of the Bomber Girl in World War II.

The bomber girl began appearing on the nose of bombers and fighters during World War II. These "flying ladies" were painted on planes and served as aviators unique calling card and as personal escorts during missions of danger and uncertainty. They were created for a number of reasons: sexual deprivation, a battle cry, teasing the enemy, for good luck, etc. They were an extension of the pin-up girl, a connection home, but they became so much more.

Nose art made the aircraft easier to identify other than just simply using the serial number. This provided the plane a personality; it became an entity. For example, when you saw a certain "girl" returning from a bombing run you could immediately surmise what crew had made it back. While the military attempted to ban them on several occasions, but the art prevailed for its value in boosting morale for the crew.

The boundaries of decency were often left to the crew themselves. The bomber girls provided a signature for each unit and united the men together and felt a sense of belonging. Crews felt they were protected and had faith that they were coming back. Each bomber girl was an escort into the unknown, offering comfort in the face of mortality, promise of rebirth, continuity, renewal and salvation.

The act still continues today, although the hey day of using illicit images of women as nose art is most commonly associated with World War 2 and peaked at the Korean War.

Stay tuned for more retro posts!

17 March 2010

Irish Blessings! My St. Paddy's Blog!

Everyone knows I have mad love for the Irish. I am a quarter Irish myself, but was raised in a full blown Irish house hold, complete with the general angst one can expect with an Irish family. You know...the desperate poverty, the drunken Irish dad, the guilt that is passed from generations past. The Irish can sure market sorrow like no one's business. I need to find a sad pathetic Irish husband to complete my sad pathetic Irish life.

Anyways, Happy St. Patrick's Day and I am going to pepper my blog with tons of links to things I enjoy.

Riverdance Bears:



Bugger Off! (Warning...NSFW...Crude Language).



P.S. I Love You...and The Pogues "I Love You 'Till The End" (I want for my wedding song!).



The Cranberries



Irish Dancing



Ireland itself..my dream vacation!



Finally...I will end this with an Irish Blessing...nothing is more beautiful then this link.

Irish Blessing.

Cheers!
Dani.

5 March 2010

My theme song this week.

Perhaps not the situation... but the words and feelings.

Free For all Friday: Thing that make me happy!


Today, I am going to put on my happy face and be bleeping happy. Anything else just plain sucks. So without further ado, I present some random things that make me happy RIGHT NOW.


#4- Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue and Images of New York.



#3 Bob Harper



#2- Hershey Caramel Kisses- Gooey filled awesomeness. Nom nom nom.
















#1- Spring. It has finally arrived in all it's beautiful glory! I can't help but think of Enya, and neither can the youtube world.

3 March 2010

Deleting my former life: Where did my inner Anne Shirley go?


Quote: My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. That's a sentence I read once and I say over to comfort myself in these trying times. ~Anne Shirley

Sometimes in life, things happen to make you examine how you have lived your life so far. And this week, the big life change happened. I got laid off from my job. And while not entirely unexpected, nor entirely unwanted (I was looking for a new job anyways), it's still a major change in one's life. Yesterday I was doing the happy dance of joy to be finally DONE with that hellhole.

But today, I was considerably more subdued. As I muddle through all the things I need to take care of in regards to my severance package, I started thinking about the what now. And part of that reflection was that this is emerging to be one of those major turning points in my life.

I'm not just starting a new chapter. I have decided that it is time I start a new book.

Up until now, I have coasted through life with the good ship procrastination. Doing all that I needed to do to get by (and buy). Think about my future? Nahhh, I'll deal with that later. Get my license to drive? Nahh, I'm getting by just fine. Exercise and get back into shape? Naahhh, I'll get to it tomorrow. Actively find a husband? Nahhh, if it's meant to be he will come to me. Get out of my shit hole job and find a great job? Nahhh, I'll slug it through until something better comes along. And on. And on. And on.

It's amazing how one day you can look back and realize that somewhere along the way, I stopped caring about the most important person in my life. Myself.

And that is ironic that I do that to me, because I am a naturally caring person. I care about my friends. I care deeply about my online American friends. I care about other peoples pets to the point that I give up my life to watch them when their owner goes on holiday. I cared about our clients (more so than my boss). I care about the quality of my work, at the expense of my health. I care about my family. I care about pretty much everything you can imagine...except myself.

What is most sad that when I was in high school, and I had these great dreams for myself, I used to admire the wisdom of the character Anne from Anne of Green Gables. She never once stopped dreaming of something better for herself, all the while caring about others. In fact, Louise and I used to call ourselves Anne and Diana, and I was Anne. Clearly, not only did I believe in myself, someone else believed in me. And somewhere along the way, I lost my inner Anne.

Have you had any unfulfilled dreams Anne? ~ Gilbert Blythe Of course. Everybody has. It wouldn't do for us to have all our dreams fulfilled. We could be as good as dead if we have nothing left to dream about. ~Anne Shirley

Well I've decided to close that book and start new. I might have been deleted at work, but I think it's up to me to delete the life I have lived and replace it with the life I was meant to live. It's not what the world for holds for you, it's what you bring to the world that counts~Anne Shirley

I am excited and scared of this new book, but the only way I can move is forward.

23 February 2010

A culinary trip to England.



Ok my fellow bloggie friends. Now is the time for active participation. I know *I* truly enjoy English food. I like the simplicity of taking basic ingredients and tossing them together. Having just unleashed my inner Nigella Lawson, I recently purchased a Gordon Ramsay *swoon* recipe book and have started cooking home meals. I find English food the easiest and most satisfying. So far I've made a lemon and sage roast chicken and Shepherd's Pie.

So this is where you come in. It is time to post your favourite English recipe's. Post them in the comments section and let us share our England culinary expertise. Hopefully we will learn a recipe or two. If you post on my FB wall (or better even, FB e-mail if you don't want to post here), then I will copy and paste in. Also feel free to comment on other recipes if you do something different. And if you try something posted here...let us know how it turned out!

P.S...Is Nigella not the most gorgeous woman? Gah.
Cheers!

22 February 2010

British Monday: Footie!




It has always been a dream of mine to go to a soccer/English Football game. Ever since I saw my first game in 1992, I have been a mad avid fan of Team England. Of course, this is me. So you know that hot men folk largely determines my interest in any sport. And I have to say, you want sexy, go watch a soccer game on a hot day when they strip off their shirt....oh..wait..what was I saying? Check out Hunky McHunkerson (aka Michael Owen who btw, happens to be Canadian born)..

Where was I again? Let me wipe my drool.....

It is well known that English Football is like Canadian Hockey...avid fans/backseat critics/the occasional drunk lunatic. English fans tend to take the lunatic thing to the extreme, with their riots and general bawdiness.

I know that football can be considered somewhat boring. I mean, you watch guys one from one side to the other kicking a ball...and at the end, in theory, you could have a nil-nil match. Where is the fun in that?

But there is a nuance to the sport. There is a finesse. A certain sense of athleticism. Plays that become legendary. Fakes and "fake injuries" that would rival any soap opera. And add to that the general atmospher of thousands singing their team song, known by heart, in key, at the same time, repeatedly? Sure beats any other sporting event I have attended.

I'm going to leave you with a funny comedy sketch...hehehe.

21 February 2010

It's UK WEEK!

I have been waiting for SO LONG to have my England week. I love the British. Not exactly a state secret, but there are so many things I love about England. I've never actually been to England, but one can dream. I guess growing up in Canada, part of the Commonwealth, we have closer ties to the mother country. We spell the same, use the same imperial measurements, and there are British programs on the tele. Squeee.

So for the upcoming week, I will talk about various things. But for now, i will leave you with my DILF *Daddy I'd like to F**K!*. I am a bit embarassed in some ways because I recognize that he is not exactly sexy to most people. But he's so sexy to me. It is CHEF GORDON RAMSAY.

I never used to like him, until I saw his show "The F Word" that shows him in a much gentler light. Maybe it's because I LOVE FOOD. But I have his recipe book and I have become a much better cook. He's so simple in his approach. And anyone that can teach me anything at my age, I love even more.

So stay tuned for more British posts coming up!

17 February 2010

When your whole year feels like Lent.


Yesterday, the time came to fast and make a lenten promise of penance to "give up" something (and, as our Bishop encourages, to "do" something good). I had to say, this year I struggled with what to "give up" and "do" for Lent.


I know this sounds selfish, but I am resentful of the fact that I have to give up or do anything at all. Not because I don't get the spirit of Lent, or the reasonings behind Lent. I truly do.

But I honestly feel like I have spent the last year "giving up" and "doing". I feel like every month this year, I have had to give up more (becuase of finances) and goodness knows, I'm not short of "doing" this year either.

I haven't bought any new clothes or shoes unless absolutely necessary. I have not even really gone out or did anything spectacular, and when I did, it was a fairly cheap evening, mindful that I am not a bank of unlimited wealth. When I did buy my self something extravagant, like my WII, I used gift cards. I have managed to pay off my debts while accumulating some savings.

In the meantime, I practically live at my church, with serving as Sacristan, Lector, RCIA Team Member and on the executive of the CWL. I have volunteered for anything related to charity through my church as well.

That is on top of the blood, sweat and tears and time wasted at work, which this year in particular sucked my sould right out of me. I went from a support team of 3 to just me.

All of this comes at a great expense, and I don't normally complain because..we...I don't. I mean, I kvetch a bit, but I don't sit there and go woe is me.

For basically the last year, my life is LENT IN ACTION. It's every single month, not just 40 days. So the idea of having to give up or do one more thing just grates on me. Why can't I for once give nothing up and be a taker?

So thus, I give up my ONE VICE of caffiene. And I take what little time I have to do one more thing. I feel like I am facing a big spirtual test as my spirit wanes under the massive pressure of constantly doing and giving up.

I surely hope that the payoff of giving up caffiene and meeting seniors pays off at the end of the 40 days. I know that is not how I *should* look at this whole process of Lent. But then again, how many others live a lenten life all year long?



15 February 2010

A Day with the Catz



So as some of you know, I am currently cat sitting. I love cats. And if I remain as single as I am, I may very well invest in the Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kit.


So I am cat-sitting two cats right now. A tabby and a tortiseshell. It's been so long since the owner left ( 1.5 months left to go) that they think I am now their rightful owner. Sadly, that also means that any amount of fear, reverence or respect has left the building.

Today, on my day off from work, I thought I would sleep in. Maybe watch some tv. Go on the internet. Be lazy.

Well with two cats...here is how my day ACTUALLY has gone so far.

8:35 am: Meow....ruffle ruffle...meow.....pat pat...meow.....breathe in my nostril air...meow.....meow...ruffle ruffle...meow...meow....meow...meow...meow...meow... "SHUT UP"...scurrry...quiet....ruffle ruffle...ruffle ruffle...pat pat...knead ...pat pat...MEOW. MEOOOW..MEEOOWWW.

8:45 am: Stumble out of bed..go to bathroom first....*mistakenly* shut door...meow...meow..scratch scratch..meow..meow...open door...they come in for cuddles while I am on toilet....one cat jumps up on toilet to watch the flush go down while the other scurry's because the toilet monster has roared.

8:50 am: Stumble to cat food area.... Cats prance and leap as if they have never been fed a day in their lives....open dry food bag...slap one cat away for sticking head into dry food bag....pour food in dish..they sniff..take two bites and scurry off...buggers.

Rest of day: Play with cat, pet cat, change litter *barf*, play with cats, pet cats, look at cats be cute, look at cats be bad, yell at cats, yell at cats to move out of the way while the Olympics are on, be promptly ignored.

Even as I type, the tabby is doing figure 8's around my leg. The swedish judge likes it but the russian deducted 5 points for lack of coordination.

Well at least there is one trick they can do well...I yell "IGNORE ME"...and they do.




14 February 2010

The Sunday Swoon

Blatant rip-off of my good friend Juniors' regular blog feature (see side wall for link). But I have to put my new swoon up...2010 Daytona 500 winner JAMIE MCMURRAY.




After this interview, how can you not LOVE HIM? So genuine. So sweet. No sponsorship spewing. All thanks. All grace. All emotion. And..he's cute.

Happy Valentine's indeed.

13 February 2010

That's What I Love About Sundays



So it's technically Sunday, even though I have not gone to sleep and it's been a full hour since my last blog. Whaaatever. Inspired by Craig Morgan, I am going to post the things I love about this particular Sunday.




  1. Today I am going to visit Mom. I love my mom. I truly do. She is my rock. She is my everything. And I miss her when I don't see her often. So early in the morning, I am going to head over and cook breakfast for her to show off my new cooking techniques.
  2. But there is of course a underlying motivation to visit mom. NASCAR season starts today (wahooooooo) and mom has the Speed Channel. LOL.
  3. NASCAR starts with the Daytona 500. I love restrictor plate racing. So I am glad they start off the season with this race.
  4. The men of Nascar. Lots and lots and lots of hot men. Swoon. Dale Earnhardt Jr, Martin Truex, Elliot Sadler, Kasey Khane, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards...the list goes on. Mmm.
  5. Umm...did I mention NASCAR? Yah..I'm seriously happy. It was a LOOONNNGG Winter.
  6. I am committed again to weight loss and have decided to start tomorrow. Now that I know how to operate the DVD player at the house I am cat sitting at, I can plug in the workout videos and go to town. Also thought about doing the hill climb near this place. Little steps.
  7. The fact that it is a long weekend so I can sleep in on Monday.
  8. My aunt Shauna is tentatively coming over for dinner, where I can show her once again my culinary techniques.
  9. The laziness of Sundays. They just feel awesome.
  10. I hope to finally start tackling some of my reading to do lists. Just have to decide which book to start with.
So that's all she wrote folks. I'm off to bed now in anticipation of my lazy Nascar filled day!
Cheers!

Secret Gem: The Zac Brown Band

Anyone who reads my facebook page will be sick of the frequency in which I post my love for the Zac Brown Band! But seriously, these guys are the best band I have heard in quite some time. You cannot fake raw talent. They can be fun and goofy. Or they can be intensely serious. Have a listen.

My favourite song: Highway 20 Ride.



I find this song amusing: TOES



Makes me want to move to the South: Chicken Fried



Squeee.

10 February 2010

5 things I love-

I decided to mix it up a bit today and post about things that make me feel happy. Because today I deserve to be happy. (Inspired by Joanne ...click on her blog in my links section on the side..."A Cup of Jo").

#5- Coldplay.

I love this band. No, they are not a cheap rip off of U2 or Radiohead. They have their own unique sound and arrangement. Check out this video of the song LOST featuring Jay-Z. This feels like my theme song lately.


#4- GOOP

Speaking of Coldplay, let me direct you to Mrs. Martin herself...Gwynneth Paltrow. Her site, GOOP, is my secret pleasure. I LOVE this site. It is nice to pretend, for just a few minutes everyday, that I could live a decadent life and go to posh hotels. I just find it far more enjoyable than I thougth it would be.

Watch her make a chicken. She isn't pretentious in her approach, and I find lately I've been exploring my culinary side, so this is what I would do! And she makes it seem like I could too.


#3- Matthew Goode

I first saw Matthew in the movie Leap Year. And boy did I see him. He makes my toes curl.




# 2- Chocolate pudding.

I swear I have become an addict. I will make a family size portion and just eat it right out of the bowl. This is gluttony at it's worse, but it tastes SO GOOD.

#1- Vampire Diaries.

It is hardly a state secret that I am in love with this particular genre, but I have cooled off somewhat (bored of Twilight, True Blood is in the off season). But from little ashes rose such a gem of a show, that I can't help but be madly in love with Vampire Diaries. I was skeptical that this show would do well and would stand apart from the others. But it has become significantly better as the season has progressed. And a large part of it is due to Ian Sommerhalder who plays Damon, so deliciously well. But the rest of the actors hold their own too.



9 February 2010

So Small.

I think that sometimes there is a song that just FITS YOUR LIFE. Like the lyric Gods were waiting for you to listen to it.



This is truly my perfect song that sings...shouts...my life story from the rooftops.

So Small- Carrie Underwood.


What you got if you ain't got love
the kind that you just want to give away
It's okay to open up
go ahead and let the light shine through
I know it's hard on a rainy day
you want to shut the world out and just be left alone
But don't run out on your faith

Cause sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand
What you've been up there searching for
forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
seem so small

It's so easy to get lost inside
a problem that seems so big at the time
it's like a river thats so wide
it swallows you whole
While you sit around thinking about what you can't change
and worrying about all the wrong things
time's flying by
moving so fast
you better make it count 'cause you can't get it back

Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand
What you've been up there searching for
forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
Seem so small

Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand
What you've been up there searching for
forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
Oh it sure makes everything else
Seem so small