Friday, August 20, 2010

Passion and Perseverance

I have had a passion for dance since the age of 11.  The beauty of it often moves me to tears.  Each movement is a word, a fluid expression of one's heart.  With SYTYCD Canada, I come close to tears with nearly every episode, especially last night's episode.

To give you a quick recap, our Canadian SYTYCD decided to broadcast all the auditions within one week, and start the finals as well.  Last night was day 1 and 2 of the finals (in Toronto).

A dancer, named Luka, suffers from a physical disability that leaves him needing crutches to assist him in walking.  First round is the hip hop (choreographed by Luther) and he does it, though with adapted movements he created himself.  Luther was impressed, as were the other judges that passed him on to the next round, theatre.

The theatre routine choreographed by Shaun, was more difficult, as it was further from his genre.  The song was "Defying Gravity" from the broadway musical "Wicked".  Most of the routine had to be reintrepreted to the extreme by Luka.

When it came time to dance with the group, dancers in the audience were anxiously awaiting his performance, chanting his name.  Judges, after the routine, were on their feet and crying.

Comments that were made by the judges include:

Jean-Marc:  "You are everything this song stands for.  Watching you perform it was an honour.  Luka, everyone has challenges.  Me, is English...My daughter is talking and walking and what you are is an artist.  I wish my daughter can see you...and she will be very proud of you..."

Trey:  "When you dropped your crutches and they looked like they flew away, for anybody who can't walk, you make them believe they can do it and it doesn't matter where you end up in life as long as you love to dance, you can dance"

Blake: "It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life-to make us react like this and bring out our most beautiful, deepest, insecure crying, anything moments to see how truly beautiful you are.  Thank you so much..."

Luther:  "...when I first saw you dance in Montreal, you amazed me then but you totally amazed me now.  And I think you're holding it down for all the b-boys and all the people of Montreal."

Mary:  " make me happy.  You are overcoming everything in your own life to inspire us.  Thank you so much..."

He was given a standing applause not only by the judges, but by his fellow dancers.  His group helped him back up and recovered his crutches for him.  Unfortunally, he had to be cut for the next round as it was ballroom, which required him to be able to pair up with a partner, something he was unable to do.  I truly don't believe this is the last we have seen of Luka.

The fact is, we are all crippled.  Some of us, it is seen on the outside while some of us, it's on the inside.  My struggle is on the inside.  I struggle on this road, determined to make something of myself and to be able to work with at-risk youth.  It's not easy, in fact, this has been the toughest couple of years of my life.  But just like Luka, I can't stop what's against me from keeping me from doing everything I can to persevere and rise against "my disability".  Giving up would be the easy thing to do-but I have never done anything easy, or looked for an easy way out.  So like Luka, I will pesevere.

Smelling Funny

Do you ever have those days where you think you have it all together only to realize you made the biggest faux paux???  Yup...that's my day today...I stink...

I needed to go out to run a few errands, including going to the library so i could get on the internet, so I thought gee, maybe I should actually try to make myself look decent.  I put on a jean skirt and even put on some make up (despite it being so blistering hot).  Not bad I thought.

So driving in my car, I thought gee, I need to febreeze my car tonight before my trip to Winnipeg tomorrow for a wedding.  See, my car often leaks water when it's raining so sometimes the upholstery gets a little wet and it can smell musty from time to time.  I thought, okay, I can do this.

I'm in a store looking at something I needed to pick up for the wedding and I kept thinking, gee, I still smell the musty smell and then I start wondering if it's my skirt?  I pulled my skirt out of the back of the closet (though it was hung) and hadn't worn it at all this year yet.  I couldn't exactly pull my skirt up to smell it though in the store, so I had to wait until I got to the car.  I got in the car and pulled up a corner of my skirt to smell it...I stink, and I mean I really stink.  I don't know if others can smell it, but I sure can.  I'm skirting away from everyone, hoping they don't smell me.  I hate days like that.  You mean well, but it turns out you stink....

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Art Work For Sale

So, this will be my last post from home tomorrow as I'm handing in my gadgets to my cable company for internet.  I'm still going to be posting, but it will be from the public library for the next while. 

So I think I mentioned before that I had some new work coming out, and I finally have it available for you guys to see!

This is one piece available.  I don't know if you can tell in the picture but there is one crack in it from the location that previously had it, so this one is one sale.

Quilt Block Regular $80
Now on Sale for $25
Inuskuk square stepping stone.  Black glass.  Approximately 10 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches and nearly 1 inch thick. 
Price:  $40

Polar Bear on Ice.   Small crack in polar bear from previous venue.  Regular $150
Sale $60

Small round Fish stepping stone in metallic blue, metallic white, and orange. 
Price $25.00

Pink Water Lily.  On sale due to air bubbles and rippling on side.  Regular $25
On Sale for $10

Small round inukshuk, approximately 7 1/2 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  Regular $25.  On Sale for $20 due to a couple of faint lines from contact paper

Silver stepping stone, approximately 7 1/2 inches by 7 1/2 inches and 1 inch thick.  Shades of silver, cream, black, and metallic wine.  Price $40

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What I'm Willing to Give Up

So, in the midst of all this, there have been things that I've had to give up and that I'm going to give up.

Things I've given up include:
  • driving whenever and whenever i want
  • frequent trips to dollarama (I don't know if that constitutes giving up much though because most of my trips were for school)
  • spending money
  • going and doing most things
Things I'm going to give up include:
  • internet (I'll just go to the library, as hard as it will be)
  • extras for cable
  • pop (most of the time)...I really need to lessen my pop consumption
And something I was going to give up but have changed my mind:
  • my expensive razors...however, i just had to shave my legs with the 5 for a buck from superstore razors...I've reconsidered, and no way after I had massive blood running down my leg.  Cheap razors are horrible...I tell you it drew blood to make a vampire happy!  I'm sorry, but I can't do it.  I can't submit to my legs and underarms to the horror.  i just got a gift card for a grocery store from my great grandmother, so I will use the card toward the new razor.  To think I used the cheap ones for so many years...I wonder if that's why my legs are so sensitive now? 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Men and Cars

So I would like to know what is with men and their cars and flirting?  I'm driving to the bank today and I stop for a light, well, this guy pulls up beside me and is staring at me, grinning, and obviously trying to get my attention.  This isn't the first time, and really, do you expect girls to be impressed because you have a set of wheels?  Not this chick...sorry but all that does nothing for my libido, doesn't get me excited, doesn't put a smile on my face.  It's just stupid.  If that's the only move you have, I hate to see what your future looks like! 


Tonight I finally decided to watch a movie that I've had on hand for awhile. I hadn't watched it before as I kinda of figured this would be a tear jerker. I had no idea.
The film is based on a true story; an Iranian woman married to a man who is wealthy with much influence. They have four children: two sons and two daughters. She is met by the local shaman/minister who advises her that if she'll give up her husband and his rights to her and her daughters, in exchange she will receive the house, its belongings, and a stony field in which to grow food. She refuses and the minister continues to proposition her saying that if she'll allow him to come visit her, she will have food to put on the table.
She goes to her aunt, a well respected woman in the community, who questions her on her attempts to make a good marriage. After showing proof of her husband's attention to her body, her aunt is convinced to keep her and her daughters safe. After a man's wife in the community dies, the mayor and minister convince the aunt to let Soraya do his cleaning, cooking, and tending to his son.
Her husband starts to hatch a plan with the minister to see that Soraya is taken care of and out of the picture. They meet with the local mayor, who says that they must present evidence, not just gossip. They come back with witnesses, and a trial is held, without any women present (as was customary). She is found guilty and sentenced to death by stoning.
The day after her death, a French/Iranian journalist becomes stuck in the community after his car breaks down. Her aunt takes him aside and tells him the story.
Soraya's husband comes back through town in his fancy car saying the wedding is off to his young bride, saying how much he wanted her. The witness overhears and in front of the community says I lied for nothing? The mayor learns the truth (though in fact, he had known the truth all along).
When the minister discovers this, he goes berzerk, and places guns on the man if he goes any further. His belongings are destroyed and he is finally allowed to leave. However, what they don't know is that the aunt has the tape, and while he is leaving town, she is able to pass the taped transcript to him.
What results is a book that speaks for the first time on a customary practice against women in the Middle East. A book that perhaps speaks the truth of women having no voice and no rights. Whether or not you know much about world issues, you must watch this movie. My plan is now to get my hands on the book (which has been translated into English). This film makes me appreciate being a woman in North America, having freedom to say what I want and to be with whom I want. I may sometimes have my gender against me, but at the end of day, my rights can go before a court, in which I can be present. We should all be so lucky.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Losing Weight...

Losing weight is hard...especially when you find it hard to be motivated because your whole life is out of wack...

This month after weighing in at Weight Watchers, I have consistently been down every single week!  Yay!  A couple of times it wasn't a lot, but I have to focus on going down.  In truth, I only lost 3.8 pounds, but I have to be proud of those pounds lost.  I'm determined to do this all the way.  It's not about focusing on a number for me, it's about being the healthiest I can be.  I've been doing this so far for about 3 months I guess, and going down 1 size is not bad for me.  If it takes me 2 years then I'm fine with that.  My goal is to lose weight the healthy way.

In Canadian sizes, I've dropped to a plus size 18 (from a 20) in tops, and in the bottoms, I've dropped from a size 20/22 to a 18/20.  The only real goal I've made for right now is that I desperately want to get into a size 12.  When I get there, I'll make some other goals.

What's hard though is doing proper meals...summer gets really messed up and that's what I'm struggling with right now.  I'm determined to take some hamburger out of the freezer tonight so I can make my Mexican Salad Topper.  It's super yummy, high in fiber, and really nice in the summer.  So tomorrow?  My goal is to make a proper meal.  You're to keep me in line.

Nico vs Tara-Jean (So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 3 Promo)

So You Think You Can Dance Canada starts this Sunday!!!

And the Winner is.....


Yuppers....Lauren came in first, followed by Kent in 2nd place and Robert in 3rd place. The finale was really well done. The group dance with all the dancers and the All Stars was incredibly done (amazing choreography).

The judges picked their favorite dances, and they even replayed Alex Wong's dance with Allison so that was so beautifully danced. There was even a tribute to him with the Twitch routine (Tabitha and Napoleon's choreography), which I've posted below through youtube. Check out Ellen-not bad eh???

So now that So You Think You Can Dance? is begins So You Think You Can Dance Canada!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance Season 7 Finale...Part 1

As some of you already know, I am a HUGE fan of So You Think You Can Dance.  I love it.  I love dance.  I wish I could, but I can't. 

Last night was the Season Finale (part 1) in which it was the audience's last turn to vote...Results are revealed tonight for Kent (on the left), Lauren, and Robert (on the right).

The show?  Not wasn't the dancers, but there were a couple of dances that I just didn't think were appropriate for the end of the year competition, a little juvenile if you know what I mean.  I tried to find some that I could post with this post tonight, but couldn't. 

I thought Kent did an amazing piece with Allison...a routine about a couple who have issues in their relationship, but don't deal with the problems.

Robert, I thought was best with Kathryn, who danced to Cool from West Side Story.  Both of their expressions with their faces and bodies were just so "bang on" that you couldn't help but be envious of the way they moved their bodies.

I do need to give Robert kudos though for his routine that he did with Mark Kanemura, but probably not for what you think...I'm in love with Mark Kanemura as a dancer and this piece, I just couldn't keep my eyes away from him.  Mark is quirky and unique and boy do I love that about him...Now I realize that he probably bats for the other team, but I don't care...If I can still have a crush on Rock Hudson, I can have a crush on Mark :)

And then there's Lauren-one of the judges, an amazing choreographer (one of my alltime favorites) said it best-if i was still dancing, I'd want to dance like you.  I can't dance, but she's who I would want to dance like.  She's the whole package and her versatility I think has made her one of my favorites through the whole season.  She did two routines that were fabulous, a hip hop routine with Twitch and a ballroom routine with Pasha.  I loved both, but I must say I do love her in the ballroom.  She has so much strength and yet eminates so much more.

So my pick, even though I can't vote as I am not a resident of the U.S.?  LAUREN!!!!!

One Step at a Time....Take 2

So in the midst of everything happening, my phone decided to crash.  I tried to get it fixed through the phone but had no clue how to do it but that didn't work.  I ended up leaving it at a Rogers store in Winnipeg and had to pay to get it fixed.  Now I'm not complaining about the service that I got because it was fabulous (and the guy was super cute!) but I did have to go in the next day to pick it up as it completely crashed.  I'm just happy to get my phone back because I finally got that phone call from Manitoba Justice saying I had the interview.  So, maybe I'm on a roll and maybe something good may finally happen.  I do know that this place is my dream place to work, so just maybe...

The great thing about having to go in again was that I did get to have a visit with my best friend.  It was nice to pretend that everything was normal, I think for her and I.  We went to this gelate place that I had never been was good!  I have a picture of the place which I'll upload later.  They even had red bean gelate.  I had to taste it...boy, was it was quite gross.  I had strawberry tofuati and after eight.  The strawberry was really good but the after eight was very strong on the mint, and very light on the chocolate.

Everything is really taking its toll on me-I just don't know how much more I can handle-correction...I don't think I can handle anything else.  Money is beyond tight and I'm not going to see any EI until sometime in September.  I have enough for rent and insurance and bank fees.  Beyond that is quite scary now...

I am going to be introducing a new line of stepping stones and putting them up for sale, so i'm hoping that I'll have a few bites through that.  The new line isn't expensive, but that's the goal-to make some pieces that anybody can afford to obtain.  My costs are still covered but it's a way scaled down piece of a stained glass panel.  It does have me excited.  The picture below is what you can expect to see, and while this piece has already gone to its home, this is what you can expect.

So this particular piece sells for $25.  I'm trying to get some out in time for people who are already starting to consider their Christmas shopping.  The pieces that I currently have curing are a large inukshuk, a geometric small square one and a small round fish.  I'll also have two discounted ones-a water lily and an inukshuk-both small round stepping stones.  Sometimes no matter what you do, you can always end up with a flaw.  Normally, pieces like this would sell for a lot more, but it is important for me to make some pieces that the majority can afford.  So, expect to see some pictures this week of pieces for sale!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Psalm 23

In the midst of crying, I reached for my bible.  I simply opened it in two, an old habit that I used to do to start looking for a passage.  Simply by opening that book, I wasn't really surprised by what my eyes came upon.  It was a passage long used and much familiar to myself.  My great grandmother used to say it to me, and in times of trouble and grief, I always found comfort in it.  It was Psalm 23.

Psalm 23 (New International Version)

A psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, 
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

As angry as I feel, I couldn't help but be reminded of the fact that Christ, God's Son, died for us.  That God had to watch his son die.  Jesus' dying wasn't right-it wasn't right that he was persecuted and then chosen to die over some thief.  But it was right in the sense that it was God's plan because we needed a saviour.  So as much Amber's death isn't right-I know that I need to trust God about this. 
I'm no longer shaking or numb.  It's more than real.

Screaming Inside

Tonight I lost an old friend.  She was only three years younger than me.  She was a mother of two small children and a wife.  She was so vibrant and so beautiful.  I've known her since I was 17.  And she's gone.

Ah sweetie...I'm crying as I write this...I don't want it to be true but I know it is...I know that we grew apart after I left Brandon, but I have always loved you. You were always this beautiful ray of sunshine that loved to do her own thing, her own way. I loved that about took life on full force and did it your way. I remember the times we went out and the times we shared and the times with Dawson and Jason and discussing decorating your place and all the little amazing accomplishments that Dawson had. I can't imagine things changed but they have. Your legacy is your two children and the memories you made with your husband and your family. I will always love you Amber.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On This New Journey

Today, things are becoming clearer and I see the possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel.  Back in June, I applied to be a juvenile correctional officer with Justice Manitoba.  I was approved to do my testing and completed it July 13.  There were three different tests, and if  you failed any part of it, you were done.  One of the tests was an emotional intelligence test that was graded by psychologists in Ottawa.  Apparently, it's THE emotional intelligence test-it tells the employer how you handle stress, people, and how well you know yourself.  At the beginning of August, I found out I passed.  The next step was to tour and then you got the chance to interview at only ONE institution.  Today I toured one that is a youth correctional facility and I've chosen to interview there.  My goal is still to work with at-risk kids.  It's a minimum to maximum security correctional facility for youth age 12 to 20.  I'm not sure when the interview is, but I'm confident.  My goal is to move up within justice, either to get into the teaching end or some other end.  The training is 10 weeks, starting at the beginning of October.  The bad thing is that the training is ONLY being held in Winnipeg, which means a much bigger committment on my end.  I would have to figure out what to do with the dogs and everything-I've thought day boarding, but I would need about $400-$450 for that for the ten weeks.

I also met with EI who have approved me to take the training and continue paying me my EI.  They've also agreed to pay up to $125 a week in my travel expenses.  They won't cover the CPR, medical, or Class 4 license I need, but that in itself is a huge relief.  HUGE.  I would finish the course in the middle of December, and then hopefully see a paycheck in January sometime. 

I have been pushed to my limits financially-and I think I'm finally willing to admit to everybody that I had to claim bankrupcy a year and a half ago, and am still dealing with all of it.  That's the reason why I didn't have savings for the summer.  My payments were so huge that I couldn't save.  I'm due back in court in September, and I'm hoping for grace.  In court last time, I learned that my representatives were not looking out for me, and in fact, it was the judge who had way more compassion.  I have never been so broke.  I'm not even sure how I'll make it through everything, but I will.  I'm going to inquire about cashing in my pensions, which hopefully I can do that.

The fact is, I do feel more hope than I have in a long time.  I'm opening up to new ideas and the fact that I'm finally being so honest with people about what's happened, is not only humbling and even embarassing to some extent, but a relief.  I feel like a load has been lifted off of me.

So, this is me going forward and continuing this journey...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

One Step at a Time...

So here I am crying and I think to myself, I need to blog.

Now most of you who know me know that I cry a lot-I cry in commercials, tv shows, movies, weddings, etc.  But this isn't one of those happy cries or even crying because the girl didn't get the guy cries.  I'm crying because I'm scared.

My being scared is justified.  I'm freaking out okay?  Every girl is allowed to have a freak out every now and then.  I hate crying-it makes your face puffy and your nose run.  However, maybe the crying will help me sleep and cast away the gloom on insomnia that's been hanging over my head.

My best friend phoned me today to tell me that she's got a fight on her hands with her health again.  This girl has been through so much-you have no idea.  She's been through hell and back with her health.  Not that long ago, we thought we were going to lose her. Thankfully, by God's Grace, we didn't.  But she's got another fight on her hands.  So, I'm freaked out.  And I think she already knows how everyone is doing.

There is one thing though now that she has that she didn't have then, and that's her husband, Neil.  Oh, you don't know the relief I feel that he's there with her.  It's so amazing to know that there's somebody there to watch over her all the time and to take care of her when she needs it.  Believe me, it does make me feel so much better.  I am so happy that she has such a wonderful man.  He might be hard to get to know sometimes, but oh, I don't think I could have picked anyone for her that was half as good. 

If I could take this from her, I would in a heartbeat.  Part of me just wants to get angry at God, but I can't.  I'm angry at the disease, not God. 

I guess for now, it's one step at a time...