April 10, 2013

Hopelessly Romantic

Me: "Hello, my name is Alexa and I have been a hopeless romantic for 22 years."

At least that's how I assume some sort of support group would start off. 
Let me explain.

Today I watched Justin Timberlake's video for his new song Mirrors. (see below)
For the first time I actually really listened to the lyrics as well, and while JT is no legendary poet I found myself really touched by the premise of the song: To find your other half in someone else. The video is also quite nice. Aside from some spectacular videography (in my opinion) the video focuses on one couple in what seems to be flashbacks. I'll admit this one took me a while to figure out. 

The video is actually inspired by and dedicated to JT's grandparents who were soul-mates and were married for over 60 years until his grandfather's passing.

It sparked a bit of a love song chain for me on YouTube which is never a road to anywhere good. I watched Pink's Try, Rihanna's new one called Stay, and of course, some Savage Garden. But it just got me thinking about that kind of love you see in movies, read about in books, hear about in museums while you're looking at a painting. That kind of love where, it may not be easy, but it's always worth it because without it you would have no purpose.

I know that sounds dramatic but that's where this all connects, I got to wondering, do you have to be a hopeless romantic to believe that kind of love is out there? I mean, I feel like we see it in music, or hear stories, or see couples that are the living embodiment of this but still so many people don't believe.

I have to admit, I believe in that all-consuming, suffocating yet freeing, can't-live-without-you kinda love. I think that when you're truly meant to, you'll find it if you want it. Or it will find you. I guess that means I believe in fate, but hey, why not. And I don't think that makes me naive at all. I think if you're going to believe in something, why not love? I found a beautiful definition that explains what it means to be a hopeless romantic in much better terms than I can muster right now, this subject always leaves me scatterbrained.

Hopeless romantics believe in love and fairy tales. They dream of roses and candlelight, walking on the beach at sunset, and dancing in the rain. They know that somewhere out there is a knight in shining armour ready to carry them off, or a beautiful princess waiting to be carried off into the sunset. Hopeless romantics believe in true love, and the eternal bliss that comes from being united with one's soul-mate is what they crave most.

Hopeless romantics recognize in themselves the ability to love infinitely deeply, and they ache to be loved with the same fervor in return. When a hopeless romantic has someone to lavish their affection on, lavish they do. Hopeless romantics sometimes write love letters full of poetic phrases and send flowers, but mostly they try to find a thousand thoughtful little ways to show their love. They make romance into an art form.

Hopeless romantics wear rose-colored glasses. In their eagerness to find "the one," a hopeless romantic may either be extraordinarily picky or not discerning enough. Hopeless non-romantics think that hopeless romantics are delusional and too intense. Other than the seeming futility in the search for a soulmate, nothing frustrates a hopeless romantic more than a significant other who does not understand the hopeless romantic temperament.

Sometimes, in this cynical world, it seems like the population of hopeless romantics is declining. One has only to look at the number of movies and songs about love that are currently popular to prove otherwise. It may also seem that there are many more hopelessly romantic women than romantic men. This isn't surprising in a culture where a man might get snapped at for opening the door for a woman. Men and women often have different ways of expressing their emotions, and the number of hopelessly romantic men is probably much higher than anyone could tell simply by observation.

Hopeless romantics are the idealists, the sentimental dreamers, the imaginative, and the fanciful. They give the world its once-upon-a-times and happily-ever-afters. Hopeless romantics may have their feet on the ground, but their souls fly somewhere over the rainbow.

I think that's just lovely.
I know that this romanticism leaks into other areas of my life, but I wouldn't consider myself a "dreamer" type. I just feel like certain parts of your life stand out as the moments where you really truly lived (like driving down a highway with your best friends and your favourite song on with the windows down and you just realize if you could freeze time like that forever, you would) and I think that a hopeless romantic searches for that feeling in their love life as opposed to something that just feels nice, or comfortable.

A hopeless romantic would see no choice between a dysfunctional relationship with their soul-mate or a simpler relationship with someone who is just very compatible with them. They'll stick with the person "meant for them" regardless of what that means. (Just think Noah and Allie from the Notebook, or Tristan and Isolde.)

I'm personally still working on my on-again/off-again relationship with myself and am nowhere near ready to consider someone my other half, but I have unwavering faith that I will one day. Lucky for that person I picked out our wedding song 16 years ago. Probably before I knew people had wedding songs...

Most romantic song on the face of the planet and my all-time favourite love song without a doubt.

Then again maybe I'm just PMSing and this will be an Alanis Morissette tribute tomorrow.


February 1, 2013

A Book Lover's Explanation

Today I'm going to do my best to explain what it is about books that I think makes people like me complete literary junkies.

Where to start...

How I fell in love with books

I started reading at a pretty young age, I know I always loved having stories read to me, my mom happens to be a complete lover of books herself. We took many a trip to the library across from my house when I was very little, I went to readings and spent hours in the section just for little kids. I can recall more hours spent with books than a TV when I was four or five.

So as you can see, I was doomed.

I remember my first "chapter book". It was in grade one and our teacher Mrs. Hamelin, directed me over to the big white, spinning, wire-rack shelf where we kept the big kid books. It was there I found "Ramona Quimby, Age 8". Oh Ramona, the times we've shared... But in all honesty, after I read Ramona there was no going back; I was a chapter book addict.

Why I fell in love with books

What is it exactly that had me hooked? It's like this drug for the imagination. Once I was introduced to Ramona, I read through the first real character description I'd ever seen. It was difficult to understand at first, but I remember figuring out how it worked: The book would tell me what everything looked like, and then bit by bit, piece by piece, I could build this imaginary world, with these fictional characters, and then play the story out in my own mind. It's like a screenplay that's been written for you, but then you get to pick the cast and direct the movie so everything is exactly as you imagine it. It's entirely up to your own interpretation. You get to truly exercise your imagination to its limits; construct entire towns, buildings, people.. inside your head.

It took me a couple weeks to finish, and man, did I feel a sense of accomplishment. I won't lie, there may have been a little bit of a superiority complex that went along with that. It's like you've gained access into this new world and no one knows about it but you. It was something that attracted me to other chapter book seekers as that year went on, kids I knew were experiencing the same new thrill I was.
I realized quickly that there was no going back to those picture books with their simple sentences. It was all chapter books from there on out. But it wasn't that simple, I couldn't just pick up any old book, I wanted to revisit the same world I had in my head, Ramona's world.

The dangers of the series

Over the years I did re-enter the world of Ramona Quimby, out of curiosity, even though I'd outgrown her, I wanted to check up on her, see where she was after all this time. There we more book series; Baby-Sitters Little Sister, graduating to The Baby-Sitters Club, The Jewel Kingdom, The Bailey School Kids. The list goes on. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that we indulge in so many worlds as we get older but there's something you have to realize. For the most part as a book lover, once you enter a world or characters, that world never leaves you. Once you enter the mind of a character, you know that person's every thought, you begin to know them in an impossible way. You share a bond, with a completely fictional character and when that series ends you're left feeling a little abandoned. It's like your friend moves away and you are never to speak to each other again. God bless writers like Tamora Pierce who tell stories about different generations of people living in the same worlds over and over again so we can feel satisfied with knowing what happened to our favourite heroines (in this case always female, sorry boys). But that's not always the case...

Learning to deal with death (of a fictional character) *Spoiler Alert*

Sometimes, stories don't have happy endings. Sometimes, unfortunately, for the sake of the story, people have to die. While I can appreciate the need to not always have a Disney movie ending... it always sucks when someone dies. Sirius Black, we hardly knew ye. Katniss, doll, your life is just not fair. And Jodi Picoult you have got to be f*cking kidding me, YOU KILL EVERYONE, AND IT'S ALWAYS A SURPRISE! And don't think I've forgotten about you Sparks, you sonofabitch. There's something so ridiculously painful about investing your time and hope and emotions in a character. Making their life, world, friends, dreams all real. And then having that person die. And fully feeling the effect that it has not only on you, (sometimes feeling as though you've been killed off, sometimes just because of the bond you've formed to this character), but also on the other characters in the story. I'll admit, I've spent hours sobbing over fictional characters, multiple times. Some stories will forever leave an imprint on my mind because of the emotional journey I had to go through with a character only to have tragedy ultimately consume their life. Seriously, as a serious reader, we take this stuff hard.

Like, tub of ice cream lights off crying to sad music hard.

Learning to deal with book movies.

we will never learn to accept book movies.
Rule 1: The book is always better (99.9% of the time)
Rule 2: No. Stop making book movies.
Rule 3: I can't even get into this topic, just, anger.

I think that everyone can enjoy reading if they find a subject they really enjoy. While I enjoy a good mind-bender, honestly I'll always love reading a good teen drama about crushes and high school. There's no wrong way to read, I think it's the key to opening up your mind and learning to understand people by stepping into their world and their shoes. Reading is just a form of magic to me and I don't think I'll ever stop looking for a new great series, or entrancing novel. Yeah, I guess you could say maybe I've made this all seem a bit intense... but I was also essentially paralyzed with depression for three days after finishing The Hunger Games, and let me tell you, that shit was intense. (Thanks Laura)

Now go read a book.
I'm going to go come up with a pen name.

P.S. Fact: If you didn't effing sob when Dobby died, you have no soul.

13 Going On ...13?

First, allow me to preface this post by saying I SWEAR I tried to come up with a better, classier, more adult name for this blog, but after 3 years of failing miserably I'm just going to admit defeat. I'm tired and uninspired. ...And all the good names are taken (especially anything with the word "musings" ugh).

Anywhoo. Moving along.

So tonight I was rifling through the Mt. Everest of paper stacks I keep in my room containing all of the decently preserved schoolwork I've done over the years and I came across a few things that kind of made me stop and think.

1. Old Homework

Now when one comes across one's old projects, assignments, annoying math exercises, etc., it's only natural to kinda check 'em out and give 'em a read. You know, grade yourself 5+ years after the fact. If you're anything like me, this may come with the realization that you were a hell of a lot smarter at 17 than you are almost four years into adulthood.


I have French notes that I can barely even comprehend now. I have 5 verb tenses listed but can barely remember which passé composé verbs use être and which ones use avoir. I'm proud that I even remember which verbs are the helper verbs quite frankly. Let's not even get into trying to understand my calculus notes, you've got to be kidding me. It looks like I've just written and scrambled up the English and Greek alphabets with a couple random squiggles and the word 'sin' everywhere. Why do we always invert things? And then there's the chemistry homework. Dear god, kill it with fire.

But really, all of these things that were second nature to me then are like complete gibberish now. Long division?? No bueno, friends. But when I stop to think about it, I can't think of what I've replaced this knowledge with... it's just disappeared. I feel like I had way more knowledge stored at a younger age than now, despite currently being in post-secondary school. Or maybe it's just that we are simply incapable of seeing our own level of intelligence until we are reflecting on it in later years? I don't know. Sometimes I feel like university isn't giving me as much as I got in high school. I'll have to get back to you on this one...

...in a couple years when I'm crying over my B.A. telling myself it makes me feel "less stupider".

2. Sentimental Stuff

Oh god I'm the freaking worst for getting attached to things. I still have pictures drawn for me by my friend Tanya when we were 13, most of which feature Michael Jackson, the girl from the ring and/or fat stick figures with Revels.

I also, sadly, have a diorama I made in grade two, or maybe three? Any and all school pictures I got from my friends (don't worry, I won't post them). Beanie babies, class notes between friends, everything.

My mom says I'm kind of a hoarder, I disagree, I just value these things probably more than all of the expensive nice looking things.

I'm not entirely sure what my intention was with this post, maybe just sharing my opinion on the value of reflecting every once in a while. You've done a lot of stuff in your lifetime.. good, bad and yes, sometimes ugly... but at the end of the day sometimes it's worth stopping to take a look at some of the parts that make up the rich tapestry that is your own personal history. Seriously though, clean out your closet sometime, you'll understand.

September 14, 2011

For the NON-morning folk




Good Morning Sunshine!
Sound familiar?

If it does, well, then I suppose I'm not alone when I say...

Eff you mornings, eff you alarm clock, eff you stupid beeping sound I hear in my dreams, eff you 9 minute snooze setting that feels more like 3 minutes, eff you school, eff you work, eff you responsibilities, eff you bus schedule, eff you traffic jams, eff you hard to find parking spaces, eff you line up at Tim's, eff you all.
But especially you beeping sound.

Confession: I am NOT a morning person. ...surpriiise.

I have to do a myriad of things to ensure that when my mother%&*#ing alarm clock goes off in the morning, I actually drag my sorry behind out of bed. In case you haven't already figured out by my previous posts, I like lists. So, I'm going to make you all a list of things you can do to *try* to make getting up in the morning a little easier.

Preparation: Try to get things together the night before. As sad as it sounds, remember how much easier it was to get ready in the morning when your mom picked your outfit out for you? You just woke up and threw it on! Easy peeasy. Yeah, well, it still works! I can't explain how nice it is not to have to search for that stupid sweater I had imagined wearing with 3 minutes left before I have to catch my bus. Stress central.
Also, if you get your books, work stuff, keys and all that together, it takes a lot of running around out of your morning, and you'll be surprised how much time it will save you, therefore making getting out of bed less dreadful, and much easier to convince yourself to do.

Routine: Having a morning routine can take the guesswork out of your mornings. Plus, if there's one thing we know people are good at, it's forming habits. My friend told me that when her alarm clock goes off in the morning, she turns it off, then she lies back down for 60 seconds to let herself wake up and to make a list in her head of the things she has to do that morning. Then she gets up, turns on her morning playlist and proceeds to get ready! Making a habit that you can maintain for getting up can help you find something that works for you, like, actually.

Music: What's your favourite pick-me-up song RIGHT now? The one that makes you feel like you're on cloud nine, that makes you just wanna dance? Here's an idea, put it on in the morning! Sometimes it gives you the extra little bounce to make a bad morning good, or to get you to roll out of bed. Make a morning playlist that helps you start your day off on the right foot, sometimes morning talk shows on the radio just don't do the trick.

Caffeine: But not any caffeine, get a hot coffee or a hot cup of tea. Especially in those frigid fricking cold Winter months, having a hot beverage can help give you that nice inner warmth you need to push yourself out the door and into the snow... or just stop you from climbing right back under the comforter on your bed.

Goals: When I say goals I don't mean like... I want to lose 5 pounds this week. I mean like, find a light at the end of your tunnel, give yourself something to wake up in the morning and be excited about. It's amazing how fast you can jump out of bed on Christmas morning, because you're EXCITED! So give yourself some incentive! Like, "ou tonight after work is the finale of Big Brother!!!" or "Oh baby, I have a dinner and yoga date tonight with the bff" anything like that! Make everyday have a Friday quality as opposed to a Monday quality.

for the hopeless...
Now, some of you may be like me, where just managing to get out of bed and not sleep through that alarm is challenging enough. Here's my advice:

one: Go to bed earlier, you know you're staying up too late, seriously, just go to sleep. You know you'll end up regretting not doing so in the morning.

two: Move your alarm clock. Are you so used to the placement of your alarm clock that you can hit snooze or turn it off without even waking up? Move it! Put it somewhere across the room so that you HAVE to get up to turn it off. And I'm telling you, when that damned beeping starts in the morning, no matter how tired you are, you'll get up to turn it off. I promise.

three: Coffee, coffee, coffee. I started drinking coffee just recently, because even if you drink decaf, your mind is telling you you're getting an energy boost! Placebo effect for the win. First thing in the a.m., still in your pjs, make coffee.

four: Wear warm pajamas! If your room is ice cold like mine in the winter, it can be easier to get out of bed if it doesn't feel like stepping into a freezer. Keep a small fleece blanket nearby or a warm sweater, and slippers too! Make that bed to bathroom transition as easy as possible.

Now I'm going to tryyy to take my own advice.
Bon nuit my friends.
Sleep tight.
Don't let the bed bug infestation get the best of you.

Oh yeah, and here's my current morning jam. Enjoy.
P.S. I don't mind if you steal it.

ugh. so good.

August 30, 2011

5 Bar Phrases: Translated

Let me paint you a picture...

You're on the dance floor, it's girls' night out, you looove this Ke$ha song, life's great. Then some dude in a douchey T-shirt comes sauntering up behind you. You feel hands snake around your midsection and this creep's nasty moist beer breath on your ear.

"Hey baby, wanna dance"

And all you can think is "ew ew ew ew ew ewww ewww ewww EWWWWW"

But you're polite, so you gently pull yourself out of the grasp of this randoo and you turn to him and say oh so kindly with a half smile on your face, "Sorry, I have a boyfriend."

But this guy ain't takin' no for an answer.
"Where is he?" "What's his name" "Who cares, it's just a dance"
And then comes the hands again.

At that point, it's just bewildering. What is it that guys DON'T understand?
Ahhhhh yes, that's right. Subtlety.

Well, I am going to help you all out by decoding 5 very VERY simple dance floor phrases.
This way we all understand eachother.
Girls, please take note. We all need to speak the same language in there.

5. "I have a boyfriend"

Translation: "While I may or may not actually have a boyfriend, it really doesn't matter because I find you unattractive and would prefer if you didn't rub your junk on my backside for the next three-and-a-half minutes before I feel compelled to signal to my friend and excuse myself to go to the "bathroom". At this point I will go, check my hair and outfit, hide out for the next 45 seconds, then proceed to stealthily lap the bar to make sure it is safe to return to my friends; after which I will spend the rest of the night using my peripheral vision to avoid running into you again."

4. "Outside?"

Translation: "I feel like I'm getting a litttttle bit on the sweaty side, it's hot in here, and I didn't spend 2 hours making my hair look absolutely PERFECT just to sweat out the hairspray. Also, this pink dress shows sweatmarks so I need to get outside air here to avoid disaster."

3. *screams* "OH MY GAWWDD" *hugs*

Translation: "Wow ________, it sure is great bumping into you randomly at this bar. I haven't seen you in at LEAST a week and I'm quite excited as I am particularily fond of you. This has made me very happy. While I am maybe a little embarrassed about our squealing exhibition, It is cancelled out by the fact that I can't help but hope that other people have noticed how many friends I have at this bar and how totally popular I am.

2."I'll be right back"

Translation: "I WILL BE RIGHT BACK! And I expect you to be here in this exact spot on the floor. If you move, it's gonna take me 20 minutes to find your ninja ass and during that time they may play all the good songs and I don't wanna miss them cause I'm searching all over for YOU.

1. "Bathroom!"/"Bathroom?"/"Bathroom."

! Translation: "SAVE ME!"
? Translation: "I think you need to be saved, but I'm unsure, so if you say no then I'll leave you be."
. Translation: "We. need. to. get. the. eff. out. of. here. ...NOW."

There you have it.
This is of course not always the case, and of course it's just from my experience.
If only you knew what kind of experiences I've had.

Unfortunately I feel like I've described the experience a bit too accurately.
Soo, I'm gonna go shower away the filth now.

Oh, one more thing. This is a perfect opportunity for some Ricky J.
Then again, when isn't?