Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You've got me feeling hella good...

The Power of words (ode to Katina and all of my lovely peeps)

Well, here's the scoop. I'm having a bit of an off day...feeling a little blue to be honest wid ya. Normally I'm a big ray o' sunshine....yes I am, damn it!! :-)
No, I really am quite an optimistic person by nature and when I do get down I usually can rely on my humour to give me that kick in the arse that I need to snap out of it. See, being born Canadian and having British parents, humour is my birth right...these are two places just brimming over with the ha-ha's. Anywho, I digress...as I was saying, I normally get myself out of feeling blue pretty quick.
Today I guess I just didn't have time to crack myself up with my kooky antics...the other day, due to an even greater than normal lack of sleep, I tells ya, I was down right punchy all day long....where was that version o'Mel today?? Too busy in the 'world of mum', I guess.
Anyways to my surprise I received a lovely message from Katina today, telling me how my 'blog' words had cheered 'her' up, and in turn that really cheered me up.
I guess that's why we call it a 'circle of friends', we just keep passing the baton of kindness round and round, each time adding more good vibes for the next recipient.
It doesn't have to be a big thing, just a few kind words really do go a long way in making someone feel better and in turn that makes us feel good too.
My Mum always says, 'Don't buy me flowers when I die. If you want to show me you care for me buy them for me while I'm alive and can enjoy them.'
She makes an excellent point, we should try to remember to tell people that they matter while we have the opportunity. Now I'm not talking a grand speech ala Hallmark, just a few words here and there to say, 'hey pal...you ROCK!!!'
I hope my friends will always feel like they are the flowers that I choose to have in my garden, and I must say y'all sure smell sweet!!

Love S.A.M.

P.S. A shout out to Marcello who also sent me some kind words earlier today.
(those 'old man' pants sound cool ;-) )

Monday, June 23, 2008

Written Thoughts

Fallen Bird

You flew so far
from where I was

You soared so high
that I lost sight of you

You sang so loud
but by then I had left

Fallen bird
you remain unheard
fallen bird

Polite Canadians

Even our wildlife give you fair warning....ya can't ask for more than that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Cousin Vinny (actually he's no relation)

Watching a program on tv tonight about Vincent Van Gogh reminded me of a couple things that all of us as creative humans should remember.
One, is to always be open to outside influences and seek to use them in a way that feels right to us. Not to be afraid or leary to try what is new and unfamiliar, for by doing this, we often surprise ourselves with some astounding results.
Van Gogh found, in the colour chrome yellow, the intensity that he needed to represent the brigthness of the sunflowers, to best convey what his eye was seeing. This particular colour had not always been available, and achieving a yellow so intense and bright just wasn't seen in earlier periods of art. This colour seems to give life to many of his paintings. Although many paintings before this famous work were either very dark or done in quite soft pastels pallets there is something quite special about the boldness of his colour choices during this period of his paintings. It was new and done with no apologies, or concern of acceptance.
Also in this same painting Van Gogh paints the background in the same hues as his main subject, going against what would have been expected. In theory, it was thought that the best way to show off the intensity of the yellow flowers would be to have a blue background, which in turn would really make the colours pop.
For Van Gogh to go tone on tone is really quite an unusual choice, but again, it's how 'he' chose to paint it, and for whatever reason, it somehow makes the whole scene in more intriguing. His 'own' choices have resulted in one of the most famous paintings in the world.
So as I watched this show tonight it stood as a good reminder that we should always be open to what the world has to offer us, but to also stand by our conviction that how we see or interpret these influences is what makes us each unique. There shouldn't be a wrong or a right way, just our own way.
We may all look at the same vase of flowers but hopefully we all will view it slightly different. After all, isn't that what makes the world interesting?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

When Does It Happen?

This is the thought that has been in my brain for the past few days. It entered my head as I was standing in line at the pharmacy waiting to pick up some pills for my mum. The lady in front of me was probably in her mid-seventies, and had one of those 'old lady' perms. I don't say that to be mean, that's just the best way I can describe her 'do'. We've all seen them before and perhaps our own Nan's had them.
They are the perms that are really tight and close to the head. It just made me wonder....when does it happen? At what age do we decide, it's time.
I personally never envision myself sportin' that look, but maybe that part of our destiny we have zero control over? If we did, why would so many ladies be wearing that look?
Is that what the future holds? Tight perms, plastic rain hats, and hard candy in the bottom of our purses that get caught up in tissues that are so old, that they actually start to disintegrate when they're pulled out of the purse...ya know, they have that cloud of lint that bursts from them.
On the hard candy front, I definitely think that the target demographic for Werthers is the 70-80 year olds, these hard toffees are like crack for seniors.
I seriously hope that this phase of our lives does indeed come with some sort of warning.
Maybe on our first OAP cheque, they could slip in a little reminder...you are about to enter a new phase of your life, you will become obsessed with bingo and lottery tickets, you will only buy shoes that are beige and you can say goodbye to zippers, it's elastic waists from now on baby!!
If we were to receive this heads up, at least we could try to resist some of these changes.
I see myself as a cool hip granny in the future. I have no plans on wearing those faux denim slacks, or having a tight perm. No sir-ee, I plan on remaining the ultra cool chick (work with me) that you see today...only older.
I think I'll go for the long flowing white hair, ala Dumbledore...minus the beard of course. Saying that, I'm sure by then I'll be growing a few whiskers from my chinny, chin, chin....oh GAWD...maybe our fate is sealed!!!
Okay at minimum, I'm ordering up my tight perm with the stylin' mauve rinse....once cool, always cool!! ;-)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More lines from the vault.


Despair crackles like a fire burning,
fans the flames of all my yearning.

Trickles down over my weak hands.
Can't grasp it now.
Can't understand.


Opening my poetry vault.

The Nature of Invention

The spider spins his web of lies
but he's no master of disguise
waiting for you to stop and stare
he's surrounded by beauty but unaware

You've had your chance
to join his dance

The black bird sings his simple song
he waits for you to sing along
he flies deep, into the night
just to prove that he's alright

He's tricked you into believing
everything that you are seeing

Though I'd like to be the answer
to your biggest question
I won't make you choose
that's not my intention

The bird still sings his song of hope
while I sit and wait, and try to cope.


38 Special

Just a few fashion to-do's to help make the world a more stylin' place.

-please check that there are no size labels on your clothing before you leave the house...I know this one is on the back of his shorts, so he's not aware of how silly he looks. But please just make a habit of looking for, and removing all tags, stickers and of course pins from your new garments. The fashion world thanks you.

-when you buy a new suit, please remove the fabric tag that is sometimes attached to the outside of the sleeve. It's great to be proud that your jacket is 95% wool and 5% cashmere, but the tag isn't meant as a public announcement of the fibre content. It's strictly to give you the 411.

-also sticking with the suit jacket, and, this sometimes applies to trousers and skirts as well, the pockets are sewn shut....but they are meant to be opened. If you want to keep the shape of the garment as is, fine, leave them shut. But, if you're looking for a home for your wallet or lippie...that's what a pocket is for.
Best to remove the stitches with a small pair of scissors or a stitch ripper if one is handy. There are those cases, when you may have a faux pocket, they are strictly flaps with no pocket underneath to reveal, but most often you will find a lonely pocket underneath those flaps wondering what their purpose in life is. Won't you please help the pockets to feel wanted?

-and the key chain attached to your purse, in that 'cow-hide' shape...you know the one, it's says, 'genuine leather'...not to be confused with 'genuine pleather'...anyways, it goes too. Once again, it's info to help you make your purchase. So please, lose it!!
Besides, what if you found yourself in a field of cows one day, (could happen) would you really want to advertise that their good ol'Aunt Betsy is slung over your shoulder...I think not. Angry cows make for a very ugly scene!!
You've been warned!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Random Thought

Sometimes we say more, by the things we don't say.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Extra, extra!

The reviews are in! After having my blog checked out by a small number of specially selected people from around the globe, the feedback is in...and it's good!

Tony of the Langley Express raves, "You're the bestest blogger I know!"

Sande, the well known reporter from the Winnipeg Post says,
"I think where you SHINE is in your quips, your responses, your one-offs, you are smokingly clever!"

Katina from The New Zealand Times exclaims,
"LOVE it, LOVE it ,love IT!!!!!!!!"
"Share the wisdom - find a way - and you HAVE yay!"

Kelly of the Maple Ridge Herald says,
You should write a book,
you'd make at least one million you know,
I'd buy it!!!!"

Vancouver Herald reporter Shelley says,
"I think it's awesome Mel..full of spunk....I look forward to peeking in on the secret agent files often to see what life is throwing at you."

Susan from Surrey Today reports,
"well, I knew you were a poet but a writer too." "That's great Melanie, I look forward to reading more of your clever stories."

Tracy of the Guildford Mail gives an enthusiastic, "Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! I loved every entry." "I patiently wait for your next entry!
Your fan, T

Before I write anymore words, I just wanted to share your words, as your words give me the encouragement to continue.
I would like to send each and every one of you mucho love. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and for giving me such positive feedback.
I shall continue to write and hopefully you will continue to read.

Love S.A.M.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hell's Angels

Had to share....check out this sign that I saw en route to White Rock. We passed a church and I said to Tony, "hey, I'm sure that sign said, 'Biker's Church'?!
He laughed and said, "are you sure"? Granted, at times I do tend to see things that others don't...not in a UFO sorta way, but more of in a Mr. Magoo way. Ya know, not quite how they 'really' are. I said, "yes, I'm sure...I saw wings".
He replied, "well it is a church...um angels". "No", I said..."like biker wings with Harley colours". I know it doesn't make sense, but I'm sure that's what I saw.
I know I had a Bellini earlier, but that had long worn off. So on the way home I made him go back the same way and pull in the drive way...yep, it's a biker church...well on Wednesday's anyways, not the holiest of days, but hey it's a start!
I bet that would be an awesome service....seriously thinking of breaking out the leathers and swingin' by to check it out sometime.
I did own 2 scooters, so I do believe that I qualify as a 'biker'.
Note to self...buy a skull ring this week.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Yam What I Yam, and I Ain't No Will's Baby.

Here's the deal....I am a writer. I think I always have been, well since I was old enough to write that is. I even started writing a book on 'buying horses' when I was about 9 years old...of course I wasn't really qualified on the subject, but it didn't matter to me. I have always been a keen observant, which in turn is what qualifies me as writer. I loved horses as a girl and hung out with many horse owners, I figured I'd picked up enough info from them and through my own readings that I really felt like I had enough to offer a reader to guide them through the initial stages of their Gigi purchase.

So, it does strike me a bit odd that at 41, I have to remind myself that I can write.
At nine years old, I'm ready to write a book, and now I have to convince myself just to set up this blog, which really is just meant for my own pleasure and the eyes of a select few friends.

So what's the big hang up you may ask?? Well as many of you already know, I much prefer life behind the curtain as opposed to being centre stage. So first off, just letting people know I write is something I don't often do. In reality I have written probably hundreds of poems since I was 12 years old...the age that I 'got' poetry. I've never really done much in the line of stories as the poetry is what, in the past, has flowed like water for me, so if it's easy we tend to stick with it.
I should point out that the words have flowed easily with poetry as the poems were quite often my outlet for anger and frustration at family situations or words about relationships, these extreme emotions are great for getting the words to flow.

I suppose though that the main reason that I constantly deny my writing ability is because most of the time I tell myself that I have no 'ability'. By that I mean, my father was a writer of poems and short stories, and spent most of his life correcting us when we used the wrong word, or our sentences made no logical sense.
This was just who he had become, and he was very good at making you feel stupid.
Due to difficulties with my home life, my high school years were quite a struggle.
No one ever really knew the extent of the issues that I was having at home but let's just say it was extremely challenging to maintain a normal school routine with all that I was dealing with. So it turn, I missed a lot of school and really just didn't take in a lot of what was being taught to me. This has also added to my feeling inadequate as a writer, as I've never felt educated enough to call myself such a thing. I have now removed Curious George from my back, so no more excuses.

The fact of the matter is...I ain't no Will's. I never will be, but does that really matter?? Who uses the word 'doth' anyways?? In all honesty I really have no interest in writing like anyone else. What makes me, 'me', is the fact that my regular speech is so far from correct that it's not even funny....well actually it often is funny.
I would be much more at home in the movie Juno then I ever would be in some 'properly spoken' movie. 'Juno speak' I get. My sentences have always been formed from a collection of British slang, in combination with a whole bevy of odd references and a slew of words that I have made up over the years - I have so many of these, that I can no longer tell you which ones I've made up and which ones already existed. That is quintessential Mel. Correct or not, I don't give a rats A$$, that's me. I've read plenty o'correctly written stories in the past and frankly, many of them are boooring!! They often greatly lack flavah, and honey, what's life without flavah?!

So as I continue to add to this blog and form a collection of stories made up of ill-formed sentences, I remind myself that it no longer matters about being 'correct'.
If I am able to convey to you in my odd, wack-a-lacka manner what I'm feeling, or seeing, or thinking, then indeed there is no way that I could get it more 'right'.
In closing I say to you, "go and tell Lucy she can close her booth for today, I'm keeping my nickel...problem sorted"!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Can you give me a hand?! :-/

Can you give me a hand?
This is a phrase that I have had to use numerous times. Despite being a fairly well travelled individual, and really knowing better than to load myself down with heavy luggage, I still committed this sin on my recent trip to the UK. Although in my defense, I didn't think it would be as difficult as it was due to the fact that I greatly misunderstood a few key 'luggage' points in regards to my train journey to visit friends Chris and Erica in Chesterfield.

First point where I was way off the mark, the luggage check at the St. Pancras station in London, is for people who are heading to other parts of Europe, not for chicks like myself who are staying within the borders of jolly ol' England. So I am left to drag around 75 lbs of clothes, 40 lbs of which, are really 'just in case' clothes. Just in case I go out for a 'fancy' dinner, or it's really hot or really cold, or in case I decide to enter myself in the cheese rolling competition in Gloucestershire (damn, that's a bit later in the month...I'll miss it again), anyways, you get the idea. So during the 2 1/2 hours that I had to kill at the station, I had the pleasure of dragging around all of my luggage with me. Although my biggest case had wheels and my smaller case was bound to that case in some bizarre tying method that I can only blame on my two years being a Brownie, it was still a massive struggle. I managed to take out a few tables and chairs at various cafe's while searching for a bite to eat, nearly wounded a few people-I say nearly as no blood was drawn and I also had the pleasure of getting the stinkeye from various people when I headed into the handicap washroom...."hey, people, check me out, I'm 5 flippin' feet tall and carrying around over half of my body weight in terribly wrinkled clothes...if that's not a handicap, tell me what is!!!

The second point that I grossly misunderstood was when I asked Chris, where do you put your luggage when you're on the train? See, I really was thinking ahead.
His reply was, "there's a place at the end where the luggage goes".
Great!! I love the luxury part of travel. My thoughts went straight to, a lovely smart dressed porter type of dude, wearing white gloves of course, quickly taking my luggage from me as soon as I was spotted heading in his direction.
"Ms. Melanie, lets me take that for you's". "We can'ts have you's strugglin'". Now, don't ask me why although I'm in London, I envision this porter dude to be straight out of 'Driving Miss Daisy', but never the less, I knew once my porter dude aka my knight in shining armour spotted me, I would be freed of this burden called luggage.
So when approaching the train, I fail to make eye contact with my 'knight', I asked some random 'info' lady, wud up? Where do I put my luggage?? She reply's, "there is a spot at the end of each carriage where you put it". Ex-squeeze me?? Where 'I' put it?!! 'I'? Gone are my grand illusions that I'm boarding the Orient Express and back to the reality that I'm only heading on a 2 hour journey within England. Damn, way to burst my bubble!

So now that I know the real deal, I know I will have to continue to spend the rest of my journey 'helper' spotting.
Looking for just the right person to ask, usually a male, the beefier the better, as I needed to make sure they'd be able to pick up my case, someone who looks friendly and I would try to ask someone who was at least getting off at the same stop as me.
I had become fairly good at this, as I had already taken, one car journey, one train journey and one taxi journey just to get to St. Pancras.

First step, look friendly....smile. Second step, make sure your cute 'Canada' luggage tags are clearly visible...how can anyone say no to a Canadian? Third step, ask nicely and if necessary, beg.
"Excuse me, do you think that you could give me a hand with my bags"? It was strictly the getting them on and off of the train that was hard, so I wasn't really asking for too much, and I'm happy to report everyone I asked, happily helped me. I think one or two may have strained a muscle, but so did I, so it's not like I didn't understand their pain.

Having a good time in Chesterfield for 5 days, the struggle with my luggage is almost a distant memory, aside from the fact that I was popping pills a few times a day as I really did pull a muscle in my neck, but never mind. I know the journey from there to Wales will go much more smoothly, Chris is going to help me on the train there, which means one less time I need to do my pity plea. One less person that I need to harass with my usual, "can you give me a hand please".

My train journey from Chesterfield comes with only 1 change at the Bristol station and then just a short journey from there to Newport, Wales. I now board my last train in Bristol and I'm almost home free. Soon there will be no more begging the public for mercy, I really am, at this point starting to feel a bit like Oliver Twist...."please Sir, more...can you give me more help with my bags"?
Getting quite a 'loser tourist' complex but even that is starting to lift as I'm prepared to enter into my much more familiar 'cool chick travelling solo mode'...work with me on this one would you?! So as I was saying, almost ready to reclaim my old title of mysterious cool chick, travelling solo....yes I have embellished it a little, I feel after all of my hard work I deserve a bit more to my title. Anyways, as I was saying, last train, time to spot me a helper.

As soon as I board the train, I hear the very familiar Welsh accent everywhere and on the opposite side of the train, to my left one row up from me, I spot 2 gals about 20 years old and I hear them say, "when we get off in Newport....". That's it, they will be the chosen ones, they are young and there is two of them, and they are getting off in Newport. Well spotted Mel!! I've always been know for my keen eye, now I have my help picked out I shall just enjoy the rest of this journey, albeit only a short one.
Listening away to my iPod, clearly in cool mode now, I glance up at my new 'friends', yep the two gals who in about 10 minutes will become my new helpers.
Hmmm?? That's odd, the bigger girl in the aisle seat has pulled her arm out of her sweater sleeve? Weird. I guess she's cold? Ya know, I've done that before, taken my arms out of my sleeves and wrapped them around my body for warmth...I get it. No biggie, no need to panic, I know how to pick good helpers. I have a proven track record. Then I look up to see my other helper girl open a bag of chips and turn to her friend and offer her some. See, I am so smart...these are nice girls, sharing chips, good choice Mel.
The next thing I see is so unbelievable, that I don't know whether to laugh or cry....
the bigger girl...the one who's strength I was really banking on, reaches over to grab a chip from the bag with her left hand. That would be the left hand that is attached to about 6 inches of an arm!!!! Yes, well spotted Mel. The person that I have chosen to help me has no arm on her right side (I guess she's not cold after all) and a 'mini arm' with a hand on her left side.
Egad!!! What are the chances that out of all the people that I could choose, I pick a one-handed girl!! Yes, Mel, that would've been great, I was only minutes from asking this girl, "can you give me a hand"? And yes I know, in theory, she still did have 'a' hand to give, but with that little arm she would've been no help at all.

So now we are fast approaching the station and I decide to go and stand near my bags and see if there is anyone back there to nab. Just my luck, there is one guy back there, staring at my bags. He's holding a dog with a tye-dyed bandana on, which I barely noticed through his dreads. He looks up at me and smiles, revealing about 7 teeth, and says to me, "I wonder who's bloody great bag this is, I hope they get off here, it's on top of all my stuff". 'Stuff', being what looks like a load of old tents and rucksacks made from Mexican blankets. This dude is the most extreme blend of hippie, gypsy, pirate, and vagabond that I've ever seen. So I turn to the new age Jack Sparrow and say, "that bloody great bag is mine.....can you give me a hand"?

So that's how my great train adventure ended, me, Jack Sparrow, his wife (who had even less teeth), and his two purple haired kids,(not sure if they were boys or girls) all struggling together to get my bags of the train for the last time.
Good times, good times!