Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day after lull

Christmas was wonderful. My parents made a fantastic meal as usual and it was great to have everyone over. I feel truly blessed to hail from such a great clan! I received to wonderful things for Christmas, including a couture dress from my mom and mine's favorite boutique, Tomorrow's Heirlooms, a Eiffel tower cookie cutter and an over the top Bestsy Johnson necklace. As my nana says, it's got everything but the kitchen sink on it. Our extended family's homemade gift exchange also went very well. It's great to get everyone thinking and working creatively.

Tomorrow we head off to the Bahamas, and when I return I will recap the trip through fabulous formal wear!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ciao for now

Today is the day folks. 3 hours from now I will be at the airport - my break from this city is about to begin! Unfortunately the goodbye that I wanted to say. I will probably say it while I'm in the airport. For now, a phone message will have to do. Maybe I'm just being melodramatic. That thought has crossed my mind several times. Regardless, this is it. There are people I might never see again and I am just going to have to find a way to deal with it. It's heartbreaking, but I know that the people who are still present in my life will help me through the tough times. They are people who I am especially thankful for this time of year.

So my blog may be on a little bit of a break between now and January 4th. But don't worry I will be back with plenty to say in the New Year.

Loves and hugs dolls!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not this time

There's been a lot that I've wanted to write about in the last couple of days, but I've need time to gather the scattered bits of myself. Not only is tomorrow travel day for me, but there's been lots of goodbyes as many of my friends are now done with their undergrad degrees. Needless to say, there has just been a lot happening.

But what I want to think about today is saying goodbye. In some cases, it's temporary and I know I'll see them again. But then there are some friends whom I don't know when or if I will see them again. Saying it is such a strange thing. Some people claim not to be so good with it, but I think that they are the ones who suffer the most. They carry the heavy weight of the past with them, but manage to suppress it best only until it bubbles up again. As opposed to someone like me - the past is always present. Sometime I wish I could shed it, just to be in the present, but I've yet to figure out how to live that way.

Of course, there is one person in particular who I am thinking about. I feel that I am at one of those of pivotal moments when I need to decided to be okay with what has happened, or let go. The way he has acted lately makes me more than ready to turn away and not care, but I know that I need closure. Or something. Maybe just reconciliation. Though the last time I tried for that it was quite a failure. Regardless, I need to say goodbye so that I can move forward. It is what I most desperately need right now.

I've never experienced losing someone before, but I imagine that this is what it must feel like. You know what's coming, but you're just not sure when it will happen. So here I am, wondering how to cope. There is only one thing that I am certain of right now. This will not hold me down.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Finish line crossed

It's all over for now. To celebrate, I went for a facial and then headed to the ballet and dinner with KT and her family. I adore getting all dolled up for the ballet.

So then I decided to abide by the no flash photography rule, but this lady behind me yelled at me for taking a few photos. But here are a couple from an amazing performance of the nutcracker.

These streets will make you feel brand new

Here I go! Free for 15 days . . . well I suppose that isn't a substantially long time. But it is long enough for me to get ready for the new year. Time to shed the residue of the last twelve months. To take with me fragments of the year that are worth carrying forward. But you know, I'm frankly beginning to question what is worth taking forward. Life moves so quickly and maybe we aren't meant to me hauling around the past with us forever. Maybe our identity should be relative rather than cumulative and contextual. More about where I am rather than where I've been. Does the past matter that much in the long run?

I feel like I am forever recalling events several years ago that at the time were the end of my world, but now seem to matter very little if at all. It never ceases to intrigue me that time always allows for perspective and healing. I think that maybe all I was looking for in the past, but now I don't want to be dwelling. Progressive is what I hope to be my banner for 2010. I think I've finally reached the tipping point where I've accepted what has not gone well in past years and am ready to move forward. Because let's face it, the past couple years have had their fair share of drama.

Friday, December 18, 2009

1 day to go

I'm at home baking banana bread in an effort to relax before my exam tomorrow. I so want it to be o-v-e-r!! Because once this exam is done it means that I'm finally going on holiday and am in the home stretch of my undergrad degree. Don't worry, there will be lots of photos from the Bahamas soon! I'm so excited for this. I haven't taken a real vacation in about 2 years and am in desperate need of one.

I'll have much more to write in the coming days - hopefully more substantial.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Book Review: Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland

It's been a while since I've plowed through a book so quickly. But I think that speaks to how good this one was. The plot revolves around the hidden past catching up with a 30 something woman named Liz. She lives her life trying to forget that she is lonely. She is the definition of anonymity. However, one days she receives a phone call that changes everything and revives her life. The son whom she put up for adoption at birth is there and she is his emergency contact. Jeremy moves into her apartment and they embark on a relationship together. And with his help, Liz discovers the self that she has tried so desperately to cover up.

One of the reasons that I chose to pick this book up was because of Liz's son, who suffers from advanced Multiple Sclerosis. Knowing someone who suffers from this disease, I'm a bit skeptical of the way that Coupland depicts it at moments. But I think that he captures the emotion it evokes in people who are close to the sufferer. In fact, I very closely identified with much of what Liz felt when my mom was diagnosed with this disease.

Coupland is mostly concerned with how people deal with loneliness. At the end of the book, he gives an interview and talks about how the Beatles' song inspired this novel. He was interested in the kind of woman Eleanor was/is. I found that it got me to think about my own life, and how even though I am sometimes surrounded by people, I feel like I could be the "loneliest give in the world." Emo, right? But I think that everyone experiences these intense moments of isolation and this book is all about how was recover from this. Coupland leaves the readers with a sense of optimism that anyone can make a come back even after a lull that lasted years.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Year End Review Pt 2

Continuing with my year end review, I thought I would compile a list of things that I'm proud of/went well/good things from 2009.

- My graphic design projects, especially the one for UBC Engineering. 32 pages. Total accomplishment.

- The summer. So many great things happened and it was period of great growth for me.

- Working hard on my writing. I've managed to accumulate a substantial number of entries this year that I am very proud of and look forward to many more next year.

- Giving up 7 months of my life for the LSAT. A new level of dedication that I'm glad I proved to myself I was capable of following through on this.

- Becoming more fearless when it comes to fashion. I would have never imagined myself owning metallic leggings a year ago.

- Doing (relatively) well in school. After all, this is my life.

- Finding my way back to what's important and what I'm passionate about.

- Making amens with the past couple of years. Of all the things that sprang from 2009, this was the greatest one. I've finally been able to let go of things that haven't worked out and stopped blaming myself. I think that the emotional turmoil I've experience in the past years, have been some of the tougher times that I've faced but I think I'm finally at a new starting point.

- Finding new dreams. Even if some had to fade out of my life, 2010 will be the start of more great things for me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Go big or go home

Seeing as though this is the last exam period I'll be have for a while, it seems fitting that we are doing the most random things. Case and point - we went clubbing on a Tuesday night. I got a chance to rock out my silver metallic leggings. I'm totally in love with them. It's so nothing I would have ever considered wearing but I'm so glad I decided to try them! Our night began at my place. Wine and goat cheese were had. As were a few photos.

The pretense of this little adventure was heading out to a friend's goodbye party. This required us going to a very seedy bar. JM, of course, wanted proof that he set foot is such a place.

Luckily this is where the photos stopped. We headed to a club afterwards and danced out the frustrations of finals until 3. Such a good night!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Shoes

Next Wednesday I am heading home and then my family is heading to the Bahamas! I love going on holiday because it means I get to wear lots of ball gowns. I decided that this year I didn't need to buy any more dresses, but new shoes are needed! And here they are folks!

I almost bought them a week ago, but I'm glad I waited because they went on sale! Anyways, they're so pretty and I'm so looking forward to strutting around town in them.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Karoline's Surprise Birthday Party

I have been so excited to write about this, but alas I could not because Karoline reads my blog. So JM and I have managed to actually throw her a surprise party. It's actually the first surprise party I've ever planned. It's been so much fun. We decided to have a birthday brunch, but unfortunately no one could make it at brunch time. So it's a brunch at dinner time. Leave it to me to come up with something this wacky. So we had all the usual things, mimosas, cream puffs, scones and strawberries. I made sure the goody table included lots of Karoline's favorite things.Even though the gathering was small, the sentiments for this special gal were grand. Mucho amour Karoline!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Start of a my year-end review

It seems like every year is defined by a different theme, if you will, for me. Thinking about the past couple of year, I think it's odd how there seems to be one overriding thing that surfaces. Of course, I only realized this in the past couple of months. I think it might reflect my general inability to multi-task. Hence I seem to focus on one facet of life each year. So inefficient, but let's recap!
2006- new chapter begins
2007 - major changes
2008 - learning what I want out of a relationship
and in 2009 - friendships develop. To be honest, this has been a really fabulous year and I'd like to think it's because so many of my friendships have grown in unexpected ways. Rob and I once again close, which I never imagined happening. Karoline and I are living together. JM and I, well this one is always great. I would even venture to say that my friendship with Allen is different in a good way. I hope that it will recover. I think the best part about this year is that I've realized how not alone I am. I have so many wonderful people in my life, and perhaps I've taken them for granted in the past, but no more.

I don't know what 2010 will bring me. I kind of want to hope that it will be love, but I know I already have that in my life. In a way I hope it will bring me more peace of mind, and help me find a new trail to blaze. For now I will have to be patient. After all, things have a tendency to happen when you least expect it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I believe in you

Yesterday I had lunch with my roommate from last year, Sarah. She's wonderful and I'm so glad we've kept in touch. I haven't seen her at all this term, so there was lots to catch up on. We mostly talked about holiday plans and what we're doing after graduation in May. I gave her the updates that I'm taking a year off to become a Canadian. She, like most other people I know, was very happy to hear that I'm still going to be around even if I move east. She asked me what I'll be doing in my year off, so I started telling her about my interest in the corporate fashion world and how I am thinking of pursuing my pipe dreams for a bit. Most people sort of nod and think that I'm even more frivolous and materialistic than they thought, but Sarah truly surprised me with her reply. "Vanessa, I think you're going to go far. I just have a feeling."

Not only is this so encouraging, but there is something comforting about finding someone who has such great faith in you. It's an amazing feeling and I feel so lucky to have friends who motivate me in ways that I can't do myself. I mean sure, I have a lot of belief in what I will do in the coming years. Who doesn't? But this takes on a new meaning when those around you start to believe in you and vocalize their support. I'm inclined to believe that it means I'm on a good track, though I've yet to get evidence to support this. I'm even more excited about the upcoming year and to give everyone a reason to believe in me.

Lesson for today folks - thank those who believe in you and reciprocate the gesture. It's the greatest gift of all.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Vintage Finds

I've recently discovered a lovely local jewelry designer - Christi York of BuenoStyle. Seriously beautiful things. All of it is true vintage, some of it one of a kind. I love that it's sustainable, like the recycled sweater idea. Some of my favorite pieces are:

If you're in the Vancouver area, you can find her Jewelry at Changes in West Point Grey and Ingenue on Broadway. She also has a shop on Esty.

All photos are from her website.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Attention: History is about to repeat itself

I always think it's a cliche to say that history is destined to repeat itself. I think in my case, it is more accurate to say that mistakes are destined to repeat themselves. Nothing is difficult to shake than a true crush. Even after months pass, seeing that person is always a rush. I don't think it's anything more for me than that, but it's unbelievable that it always happens with this one guy.

So as I wrote yesterday, now that finals are here I'm seeking shelter in The Boulevard for daily studying and coffee. You might recall this time last year, Karoline and I met Law School boy and Engineering boy there. Infatuation followed delusion and eventually dissipation defined December, January and February. Anyhow, I've written about them and chopped the whole instance to fate not working in my favor.

However today was a fabulous day! This afternoon law school boy walked into The Boulevard. Being me, adrenaline was going and I started physically shaking. So sad. I don't think anyone has ever had such an effect on me. It always surprises me because I've had maybe 5 conversations with this guy and know very little about him. But it's the mystery that pulls me in. Karoline tells me that my infatuation is still present, but that's okay. It just seems to be all to perfect that he's present again.

And then my afternoon got even better!

I left the coffee shop feeling light hearted and with a big smile on my face.I got on the bus to go home and I looked to my right out the window. It was a beautiful sunny day. But then I noticed someone who looked a bit familiar sitting behind me. Just behind me was Engineering Boy! Holy mackrel! This was far too coincidental. I was nearing my stop and knew that I had to speak to him. I got up a bit sooner than necessary, pulled the bell and then casually looked his way and said hello. Anyways I talked to him for a couple of minutes and he gave me that oh so flirtatious smile of his. I melted. So cute!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Exam time

It's the start of a brand new week. I don't want to admit this, but finals time is really my favorite part of the semester. Classes are over and now I can read in my favorite coffee shops all day without feeling guilty. Enjoying coffee, reading great literature and regaining a bit of sanity. I always feel so lucky that I study what I love. I can't imagine doing otherwise, and I feel sorry for people who don't share this view. The next few weeks will be great! Especially after the 19th. I have some great plans for the days before I leave Vancouver. Christmas shopping, facial, catching up with a few friends, and of course packing for holiday.

Not much else is new. I think I've started to regain some stability. I've managed to start clearing my mind and weeding though all that was there. I will be especially glad when the dust has settled.

Here's to a great week!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Things I know

I love the month of December
I want these shoes
Modernist literature rocks my socks
I wish I had more time to read
I am lonely
I cannot wait to see my family on Dec 23rd
Burning bridges is no good
Technology is not my friend, especially my new cell phone
I am thankful for what I have
A house with Christmas lights is a happy house
I don't know when life got so complicate it, but I want to un-complicate it
There are times when I need to be by myself, this might be one of them
I don't like television
I let expectations stand in my way of getting what I want
Gingerbread is delicious
I like the frost in the morning, even if it is -5 outside
Reading before I fall asleep will always be my nightly ritual
I have a weakness for men with accents
I dream about being a national ranked equestrian again someday
I need to find my own way
My house smells like gingerbread

Friday, December 04, 2009

Language has utterly failed me

Sometimes I feel that language traps us. There is only so many ways to express something in English. Perhaps the way you choose makes sense to you, but what if the person you're communicating with doesn't understand it? What do we do when language becomes an inadequate form of expression?

I feel that this is a problem I encounter from time to time when writing on my blog, but also in everyday life. Often times I think I've worded something so perfectly, only to find out that I'm the only one who gets it. I think part of the complication of language comes from the complexity of how we form thoughts to begin with.
How did you arrive at the thing you want to express? To me this seems like one of those rabbit holes of a question. There could be a number of 'triggers,' but our emotions also complicate our views. Sometimes they make us stubborn and fixated on a position, other times they make us gullible. But the worst scenario is when the overwhelm you to the point that you cannot even make sense of what it is you want to say.

Case and point: my current attempts to reconcile a friendship. Words don't seem to be good enough for what it is I want to say. "I love you and care very deeply for you. I want to still be there for you." Even though it is the truth, it somehow sounds . . . cheap(?). Like anyone could come up with that. I need it to be more meaningful. Of course there are ways to make it sound more poetic, but is that the right tone? I'm beginning to think that there are times when we should use something other than language to communicate. But what? There is no other common denominator. Art can be interpreted freely, as can writing. And to a large extent, so can language.

The greatest paradox of all is this post.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Christmas Baking, Yay!!

The decorations are up and now it's time for the baking to begin! Here are a few of the recipes that I'll be making this weekend.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
1 cup boiling water

Sugar Cookies
4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Chocolate Ginger Bread Cookies

Sounds interesting, though I'm still trying to imagine the combination.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Peppermint and chocolate. . . need I say more. It's THE best combination ever!

Always a classic.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Good things

Picnic Cafe on South Granville - The interior is surprisingly simple. It's table is actually one long picnic table with pretty flower arrangements. And they have sandwiches to die for!

The Bedo Boyfriend Blazer - All I can say is, why didn't I buy one sooner?

My Fireplace - especially now that it's decorated. Love the holidays!

There are 20 until I'm back in Wilton!

Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland - It's one of his older book, but it's still very good. I'm in love with the narrative voice that he's developed.

Crossword puzzles - I suppose I could have worse hobbies.

Finally, realizing that I am not the only one with my specific boy problems. I've found that finding someone who isn't one of my friends and that hasn't been dragged into my rabbit hole offers the kind of perspective and advice that I've been searching for all along. You might wonder where I've found such a person. It's none other than my store's owner. Nothing has been more surprising to me than finding out how much we have in common. Anyhow, she was telling me about her last boyfriend who had to leave town for a job. Much like my situation, she said there was a period of intense discussion as to what should happen and they broke up prematurely. I told her that I was totally cranky about not only losing a romantic relationship, but a friendship. Her advice to me what that I needed to make peace with the situation by having a conversation before he goes. I know that she's right. The worst thing I could do for myself is to leave things in this slightly disheveled state only to look back with regret. Time is ticking away, but now I know what I need to do.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I have a confession

I have been throwing all of my pent up energy into crafting fabulous outfits daily. However, it may have gone a step too far. I have been trying to solve my problems with clothes and shoes and underpinnings. Jeans, a boyfriend blazer, new tops, a dress. I love the way I feel, but I know that this must sadly come to an end. Karoline called me her little shopaholic. Ouch. I'd like to think of myself as fashionable. (Spoken like a true addict, I know). The reality of my situation is that I am single and desperately compensating for the void in my life. I know that this phase will pass, but so long as I can afford it, what's the harm?