Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The pictures in my head are pretty...

"Now is the time to know that all that you do is sacred." ~Hafiz

It's the beginning of the work week and I'm feeling... dreamy? not quite here... Just had a long weekend which was both tiring and relaxing, friend and family filled. Yesterday was Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago. I went turtle watching on Sunday... didn't see any turtles. Also went to an apartment-warming on Saturday... one of my girl ppl is getting married next month and has found an apartment to live in with her future hubby. It was both a very long and a very short weekend.

Drove to work in the rain this morning... why is it that rain falls when you're out but not when you're at home? What do you think of while driving? ... do you think while driving? I do. Thoughts of how fabulous a driver I am now when just recently (2009) I wasn't really driving - I think if you don't have your own car then you don't really drive much.. it's only since I got mine that I've become a fabulous driver. Switched from news on the radio (somewhat bleh and vexing) to Bond (amazingly fabulous! I've got this cd!)  which inspired pictures in my head of beautiful people dancing to latin music.. and also geishas and samurai... and also what-may-have-been-Regency-inspired couples dancing... dancing and fighting are very similar in my mind.

Been thinking lately about life and life stages and purpose and such... we've got a house guest at home - a friend of my brother's who is what I consider to be a Very Serious Seeker. It makes me wonder what sort of seeker I am. I'm happy knowing that there is more to the world and myself... I don't know whether or not I'm driven to find out about it. Enlightenment. Hmm.

There's a new moon in Gemini tomorrow as well as a solar eclipse. Time to see if I want to start anything new or breathe new life into stuff that I've put down (I realise that I've developed a habit of starting but not finishing stuff... that's not good).

I'm not doing much of anything today... it's a very-not-crazy workday which somewhat allows for not-work-related web surfing.. some interesting things?
  • This article from National Geographic - this quote was what made me read it: "We used to think agriculture gave rise to cities and later to writing, art, and religion. Now the world’s oldest temple suggests the urge to worship sparked civilization."
  • This guest post by Liz Kalloch on the blog: Creative Every Day
  • Farewell letter from Alan Rickman who according to It's Just Movies, 'has portrayed Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor and Potter’s nemesis Severus Snape with alarming perfection' - it's the end of an era as the final Harry Potter movie comes out in July... I've enjoyed both the books and the movies and, whilst I maintain that the books are definitely better, the story told through both books and movies is excellent.
  • Something for your kitchen - 6 DIY spice mixes from around the world...
  • Something for whoever likes to play dress-up - The Princess Maker (I confess to making 13 .. yes, 13, different princesses...)
Wishing you a fabulous week ahead...

peace,
Ren


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life has suddenly gotten very busy...

"Learning is movement from moment to moment." ~Krishnamurti

I'm still here... didn't get taken up in any Rapture - have just been tremendously busy. Sometimes I think there aren't enough hours in the day... and then again sometimes I think that there are too many. These past few days have not had enough hours... there's been very little time for me to sit and actually get down to blogging - I'm stealing a few moments here to do so.

On Sunday I went to a Women's Business Conference hosted by W.O.M.E.N. the Women Owned and Managed Enterprise Network (Trinidad). I had issues with the organisation or lack thereof of the Conference. I had no issues with the presenters who were all very well-spoken and had a wealth of information to share... I encourage you to check them out (more on the conference can be found on the W.O.M.E.N.'s facebook site):
On Monday I went to my second Zumba class... it's extremely fun... and also exhausting... and you feel like you've exercised (especially if you haven't been exercising).

On Tuesday I had to visit a school in Fyzabad. I'm learning the country thanks to my job... Also went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - Johnny Depp is yum :) and I love pirates... and mermaids... and the whole storyline... so yay me! If you're into any of the above then go see the movie.

Today is a crazy work day... had to go to a school in Princes Town. Got back to work only to find everyone extremely busy (I soon became extremely busy as well) as we've got a Major Work Event tomorrow... which means tomorrow is another crazy work day. 

Going to spend the evening doing absolutely nothing. Hopefully.

peace,
Ren

Friday, May 20, 2011

Where will you be tomorrow?

"The wiser you are, the more you believe in equality, because the difference between what the most and the least learned people know is inexpressibly trivial in relation to all that is unknown." ~Albert Einstein 

In case you aren't aware, some persons believe that the Rapture is going to occur tomorrow (at exactly 6 p.m. on May 21st 2011). Apparently there is to be a worldwide earthquake which will alert the human race to the beginning of 'Judgement Day'. There aren't that many people in Trinidad and Tobago talking about it though thanks to the Internet we're all quickly becoming aware that tomorrow might be the last day here for some. Some of the sites / links I've found:
I don't particularly believe in the Rapture... or the End of the World really... or Judgement Day... but then I'm not a Christian of any kind. I'm more likely to follow sites that promote religious tolerance  than sites like this one. There are religions that have been around since before Christianity and those that have come up after... I'd like to take the best of all of them. Something I read that moved me a bit... this link which states what's going to happen if the predicted Rapture does not occur. It's partly why I'd rather say that I'm spiritual and not religious.

Today is a special day for my family. We celebrated with ice cream (2 different flavours!... lol) ... tomorrow we're likely to be out to dinner around the time of the predicted Rapture. We'll be in the company of people that we love... doing something we love. It's perhaps how people should spend every day... giving thanks for what we have and the moments we're experiencing. 

Wherever you are and whatever you believe - I wish you a wonderful weekend.

peace,
Ren

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Message to e-mail spammers...

Spam – noun
( lowercase ) disruptive messages, especially commercial messages posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail.

A post dedicated to Shoeaholic and her spam-inspired facebook status...

I don't get much spam in my inbox. This is because I've got my filters on high, I don't subscribe to many things and I delete daily. The spam I get is sometimes annoying, sometimes amusing, always unwanted. Spam does not enrich my inbox or my life in any way and I have been thinking about blogging about it for some time - I guess Shoeaholic's fb status is the push that is needed.

Here then is my message to e-mail spammers out there:  
  1. My parents (mostly my dad) have taught me how to take care of my finances - I need no unsecured loans - no banking advice of any kind that I have not personally sought.
  2. I do want to win the lottery. When I actually buy a ticket and it wins I'll know. I don't in any way believe that my name was randomly entered in another country's lottery draw.
  3. I also would like to go on a vacation... however, any email that I find in my junk mail folder is approached with a somewhat pessimistic attitude - free vacation? really?
  4. I don't randomly click sites that say 'click here'.
  5. I'm not interested in meeting people online or enrolling in sites that allow for this unless these sites are verified. Some random email from a person with 'cute pics' would not get my attention... it's not the way to get a date with me either.
  6. I'm perfectly capable of going to a drugstore. I'll only take free pharmaceuticals or pharmaceutical advice from persons that are either very close to me (my family) or persons that are qualified to do so.
  7. I like my body as is - yes, I need to exercise... no, I do not need weight loss drugs/programmes.
  8. I've already got my degree... in fact I've almost got my MBA. If I want to further my education in any way I'll do my own research.
  9. I don't have a penis. I was born a woman and I plan to stay that way... as such, I do not need any sort of penile enhancement drugs or equipment. I do not need anything that would make me 'last longer'.
  10. Videos/pics of major events happening or not happening don't interest me either. I stay informed with the news... anything I want to find out will be found out on actual news sites.
I hope that on reading this list all you spammers out there will realise that it's not worth including my email addresses on your spamming lists. Unless your goal is to be as annoying as the whining of a mosquito then I'm afraid that this spam will get you nowhere.

peace,
Ren

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Events in the World...

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world." ~Buddha

There's a Full Moon in Scorpio today and apparently it's thought to be the most powerful full moon of the year known as Wesak (or Vesak) - celebrating the birthday, enlightenment and entry into nirvana of the Buddha. This article states that, 'According to esoteric traditions the Buddha returns at this time every year to dispense healing light to the world'. I think that's definitely something that is needed.  

What's also needed in the world is tolerance... it's the International Day against Homophobia & Transphobia today. My country is one where I believe there are a lot of homophobic/transphobic people. Both understanding and tolerance is needed... people are people. That is all. The following message is from UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and highlights the importance of ending stigma and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It makes me happy that there are people working towards such goals in the world.


On a lighter note (or perhaps not ... it depends on your personal views)... May is Zombie Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to raising awareness of upcoming zombie epidemics... if you want to be prepared I'd suggest this book. Whilst I haven't read it (must get a copy...) I have read World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War  which is written by the same author and which I found to be totally awesome. If you really need to be prepared then I'd suggest following the official blog of the Zombie Research Society.

Key words to remember: Health. Tolerance. Safety. It's all related.

peace,
Ren

Monday, May 16, 2011

& the Universe responds...

"When you live your life with an appreciation of coincidences and their meanings, you connect with the underlying field of infinite possibilities." ~Deepak Chopra

I've been dying since yesterday... and that's Renspeak for "I've had the most awful headache since yesterday"... Ow. Really Ow. I think I've mentioned before just how much I don't like headaches... But then, just when I've hit my most pitiful moment ... when I feel like holding my head and just bursting into tears (because really... OW!)... I get an email. It's from Care2 and has as its very first listed article: 'Mind Tricks for Relieving Pain'...

Ah Universe - your reminders come at the most appropriate times. Bless you.

peace,
Ren 



Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Babies!

"We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more." ~Carl Jung

There were two new births in the world today. A girl - born around 5-ish a.m. my time (-4.00 gmt) and a boy - born around 10.30-ish a.m. Both are special to me. The girl is the daughter of one of my younger cousins - the beginning of a new generation. I don't know when we'll meet her in person as she's living in the US and so is many miles and yet just a phonecall away. The boy is the son of one of my closest friends... a woman who in our group is one of the mamas by virtue of her age and the amount of care she shows us.

It's only in recent years that I've grown fond of babies (I assume it's a biological thing)... Whereas before I was afraid of them (babies are super-tiny) and didn't understand them at all, now they're cute... and they like me and so I guess I like them.

I wish both families well... the new parents and the new babies... All my love and blessings.

I'd read this a long time ago... it seems so appropriate now:
Excerpt from "The Prophet" ~ Kahlil Gibran
"And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
'Speak to us of Children.'
And he said:
'Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable."

peace,
Ren


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Role Models?

"Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee there will be no hope." ~Norm Chomsky

My work has taken me into the secondary schools this week. It's both the same as I remember it to be from when I was a student and yet very different in how the students interact... behave... just generally how they are - more aware of themselves yet less aware of their place in the world. As I sat in a classroom  yesterday listening to them speak amongst themselves and their teachers I wondered how they were going to be... what kind of persons they would grow up into... what kind of adults they would make. I wondered and still wonder those things about myself (even though I'm now an adult).

I know that I am who I am now because of my choices but also because of the examples I've had to follow, those persons around me and that I've been aware of. I wonder if in present times there are good examples to follow.

Allyson Hennessy passed away this Saturday. I'd consider her to be a role model. I remember her from television when I was very young... I think she contributed a lot to our country. She will be remembered as the article says,
"for her abiding love of her country, her abundant native spirit, affection for local culture and her overall zest for life. She showcased those attributes for a generation on CNMG’s prior State-owned media enterprise and at a time when a young Trinidad and Tobago nation was finding ways to express its identity, values and aspirations."
Dr. Mary King's Senatorial and Ministerial appointments have been revoked after it was found that she had familial ties to a software company which won a $100,000 contract to develop her Ministry's website. I guess more facts on that will surface - no one really knows what goes on in these situations - am hoping for transparency. In the meantime, with the information available, I'm very disappointed that this has happened.

It makes me wonder who will be the models for those coming up. The students I saw yesterday were unaware of Allyson Hennessy (she was apparently before their time... that makes me feel somewhat old). In this age where there is so much information on persons readily available - what is it that young people are looking at? Who do they look up too? Who do they model themselves after?

I hope that in being who I am and following the path which I want to follow I'm a 'good example'. I hope that persons think about what people looking at them see. Awareness of self is important.

peace,
Ren

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day 2011...

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us when adversity takes the place of prosperity when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." ~Washington Irving 

Moments in time never turn out quite how you expect them too. My mom and I planned to go to the Ashram this morning for Guru Gita... we didn't.. slept through it and were only awakened by the loud, panicked cries of the Kitten. Early morning - grumpily sleepily awakened- a serious lapse in judgement during an attempted Kitten rescue - and then I fell off a table (nothing broken - am just very achy - can't even say I'm very bruised... where my cousins turn spectacularly blue-purple at the hint of a bump I turn mildly red and then back to normal... yay?). My mom had a meltdown ... it's really not fun (in fact it is somewhat heartbreaking) to have your mom crying on Mother's Day (sad tears... if it's happy tears then that's ok). She's blogged a bit about her take on today so you can read about that here.

The day itself turned out ok... we went out... spent some time together... ole-talk and got some rest. She is my mama and though she sometimes drives me crazy - I love her immeasurably. 

Finished reading 'The White Queen' and 'The Red Queen' this week. They were both a good lead-up to mother's day as they were both about mothers who wanted the best for their children. The 'White Queen' - Elizabeth Woodville, Queen Consort of  King Edward IV of England, was the first commoner (way before Catherine Duchess of Cambridge) to marry an English sovereign. History is unclear of what became of her sons, Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, who became known as the Princes in the Tower... what is clear is that she conspired to save the lives and fortunes of her children. The 'Red Queen' - Lady Margaret Beaufort, was the mother of King Henry VII and grandmother of King Henry VIII. The 'Red Queen' is the alternate tale of the 'White Queen'... where Elizabeth Woodville was a commoner, Lady Margaret was a noble, both had heirs with claims to the throne of England. The books are an incredible weaving of facts and fiction to tell their stories from their perspectives. I love the history of it... and that it's told from the women's perspectives. It helps me to understand more of not only what may have happened but what is happening now ... both in the outer world and in my own inner world. 

Mothering I think is an amazing aspect of womanhood. Something to be celebrated and appreciated. Got this article in my inbox. I enjoyed the vids from StoryCorps... most insightful. Sent out this prayer to my loved ones via Facebook. We may not always remember to be thankful for our mothers... we may not always feel the need to be thankful but I think ultimately the fact that we're here to make those decisions shows that we were in some way thought of. 

Hope all mothers and mothers-to-be had a blessed day. Continue doing what you do - the world is better for it. 

Love,
Ren

Edited to add:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Random thoughts...

"Life consists of what a person is thinking about all day." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why do buildings in the Caribbean have air conditioning? Surely there must be a better way to cool buildings? As it is right now inside my workplace is FREEZING and we've got really poor air quality due to the lack of proper air circulation. I was not born in a cold place... I am not made for temperatures below twenty degrees Celsius...  If I step outside of my workplace it's somewhat humid.. a bit warm... it's raining today.
 
This is of course because of climate change. I've never known it to have so much rain in a dry season in all my years of life in T&T. Climate change - more people need to be aware of and acknowledge it.
 
Why do persons leave important things to the last minute? There's a Major Work Event happening and there's so much to be done... let's all run around like chickens with our heads cut off...
 
Why is it that when I say 'I'm vegetarian' people think that 'She eats fish'? I don't eat fish. I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian. Fish is not included... EVER. Perhaps I shall just start telling the world the whole phrase: 'I'm a lacto-ovo-vegetarian'... I can see that this may lead to a lot of explaining on my part.
 
Why is my daily calendar stuck on April 18th! O_o have I been so busy at work that I haven't changed it?? :s
 
Why do drink makers think that 5% juice is acceptable?
 
Why is it not yet weekend?
 
peace,
Ren

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

About Friendship...

"Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself--and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to--letting a person be what he really is." ~Jim Morrison

I've had cause to wonder over this weekend what kind of friend I am. A good friend? A bad friend? What is a friend really?

Dictionary.com (my go-to source when I need something defined) defines a friend as:
–noun
1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?

By this definition then I'm definitely friends with a lot of people. I believe there are different levels of friendships and I know that I make friends easily. This may be in variance to the fact that sometimes I don't really care for people... in another time and place - an alternate universe? - there is a very antisocial me. It is this that makes me wonder. Am I too cold sometimes, too self-centered? Too clean, too precise? I tend to compartmentalise things... there may be shades of gray but each shade has its specific place in my mind.

I have acquaintances, friends from primary school, secondary school, university, work, friends of the family, friends I've made abroad, friends of friends. All of these share a common denominator - I care. I may not speak to you, I may not see you for years,  I may forget your name (or your face... or get those confused)... I may even be mad at you or we may have parted ways in an unpleasant way... but I do care. About how you are, your family, your hopes and dreams, I wish you well. I may not call or text or message via facebook or twitter or whatever other social networking site available but I do think about you. If you cross my mind a smile and a wish for your well-being crosses as well.

In fact, Winnie the Pooh says it best:
"If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together…there is something you must remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart…I'll always be with you."
Striving to be a friend,
Ren


Sunday, May 1, 2011

About Disney, romance novel men and the search for a mate...

" A soul-mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul-mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul-mate is the one who makes life come to life." ~Richard Bach 


The Royal Wedding has come and gone... Catherine Middleton (am not sure she can be referred to as 'Kate' any more...) has found her prince and they shall now continue their journey together as a married couple. I confess to not getting up at 4 am to watch the wedding... I did look at the news coverage throughout the day though. It was a beautiful wedding - pomp and circumstance and throughout it all the newly-wedded couple did look ... in love - happy to be together... I wish them joy, patience and a lack of paparazzi.

As I mentioned in this post, I find myself thinking that I won't mind getting married. To do this however, I require a man.... unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage in Trinidad and Tobago of males my age that are single, employed and willing to be in a relationship. I guess I need to broaden my scope... persons older? younger? foreigners? *sigh*

Whilst I didn't think much about marriage and love and relationships while growing up... I thought (assumed) that it would be a fairly simple process. This assumption of course was based on Disney movies and on what I read in romance novels. It really did seem like the princess/heroine/female lead was able to find someone that suited her with a minimum of fuss... in fact sometimes there were two someones fighting for her attention. Of course there'd be drama - poverty or evil stepmothers or lack of adventure or parent having to go off to war... inevitably though the female lead would somehow meet the male lead and they would fall in love. The love of her life would know that she was the love of his life. He would listen to her / save her / battle dragons for her / be committed to her. Whilst there might be some struggle in their realisation of love ultimately once that love was found things went smoothly from there. Two became one and they'd work together for a happy ending. 

I guess it's the happy ending concept that's messed me up. I'm not sure I believe in it but there aren't that many Disney movies / romance novels that show real life. Romance novels tend to follow the same Disney trend... sometimes the women leads are amazingly powerful in their own right (they don't need saving thank you very much)... but in all books there's the crisis which is overcome either before or after they fall in love and then either they work to overcome the crisis (and in the process fall in love) or overcome the crisis (and realise how awesome they are so they fall in love). 

Real life is not like that at all. It's very messy... takes forever... and has a lot of drama. I've yet to meet a man that would really listen to me/ battle dragons for me/ be committed to me. In fact, a lot of the men I meet are somewhat shallow or caught up in themselves or just don't know what they want... where are the Disney men? where can I find these persons? Ok... I don't really want a Disney man... I understand that they are too perfect... too unreal... but... where are the men that would listen, respect and cherish me? Is that asking for much?

I wonder if it's that I'm not ready for any sort of committed relationship and that is why I'm not meeting someone... but then those persons I do meet are completely destroying my faith in men. So. What happens when I'm ready? I'm ready for some type of something Universe... really, I am. Yes, I've got baggage... trust issues and the like but .. doesn't everyone? I want someone. A male someone. Not necessarily for marriage (still don't know if I really want that...) but definitely some type of companionship that is more than friendly. One of the birthday blessings I received was the hope that I would receive everything I desire in the perfect way. I really hope that the perfect way doesn't take forever.

peace,
Ren