Friday, September 30, 2011

Return

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

I'm in  a weird mood this week it seems. This may be due to lack of sleep (I'm finding it hard to sleep)... or due to work... the time of the month... the positions of the stars. 

I'm very fuzzy around the edges. 

Theme for September's NaBloPoMo was 'Return'... right now we're at the end then tomorrow we'll be at the beginning of another month - and around and around it will go. Life is cyclical. Seasons of ourselves, of nature, of all that surrounds us. We move out and we come back in again. 

I'm both pleasantly surprised and somewhat smug that I've managed to write something for every day this month. It's somewhat tiring though... coming up with content is sometimes so easy - it flows straight through as though I'm just a conduit... then again sometimes it's not so easy and I babble much as I'm doing now. At some point I want to read what I've written over this month... just to see what comes out of it.

I'm not certain as yet that I'll continue on and do NaBloPoMo in October. 

I guess I'll figure that out tomorrow. 

Happy last-day-of September!

peace,
Ren

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Feels like a Friday...

"In a sense, as we are creative beings, our lives become our work of art." ~Julia Cameron

It's still Thursday.

Saw this tweet this morning: "Work. Be glad yuh have one". I'm glad I have a job - it helps me pay my bills - and today was a good work day though my back still aches and my eyes are tired. I'm beginning to think I'm more social than I thought I was. Impromptu departmental pizza lime. Good times. Ole talk. So what if the work is fairly soul-sucking? The people are interesting. 

Was impressed this evening by the amount of #PR9Anya tweets... that's support for Trinidad and Tobago's own Anya Ayoung-Chee the winner of tonight's Project Runway. She made it work. 'It' being US$11.50. Trinbagonians have skills... artistry and fashion sense. 

Not much else going on that I'm aware of... I'm thankful tomorrow is Friday. Been waiting for it since Monday. 

Night all...

peace,
Ren

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stretching and a Memory..

"Memory is a child walking along a seashore.  You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things."  ~Pierce Harris

My back is aching in an 'I've-been-spending-*way*-too-much-time-doing-desk-work' type way. I'd just like to whine a bit about it. Cuz it hurts. So.. owww. I've tried stretching and bending in the opposite direction .. this works for short periods of time but then I usually have to sit and do work again which starts the cycle all over. Oww. Have I mentioned that it's been aching since Monday? Bleh. And also, Owww. 

In the midst of walking around yesterday trying to work out the kinks in my back, a memory came to me. When I was in Primary School (and therefore this memory is from somewhere between the ages of 8 - 10) there was a metal bar that we used to swing on... sorta like half of a pair of uneven bars. I remember it being very fun, very freeing and also a bit scary. I remember getting calluses on both palms because of the friction caused by swinging on the bar. I remember both the wind in my hair and the sun on my skin. A flash of memory - I had not thought about swinging or bars or even myself at that age in quite some time.

I feel like maybe that's what I need. Stretching out by hanging from a bar. 

Where can I find a bar to swing from? 

peace,
Ren

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Bullying..

"I've been actually really very pleased to see how much awareness was raised around bullying, and how deeply it affects everyone. You know, you don't have to be the loser kid in high school to be bullied. Bullying and being picked on comes in so many different forms." ~Lady Gaga

I'm not sure how I ended up on this blogpost: 'When It Doesn't Get Better: More Bullying, Another Suicide', but I did. I'm using the Lady Gaga quote because, as the post says, 'Jamey Rodemyer loved Lady Gaga'. Jamey Rodemyer was found dead of an apparent suicide last Monday morning and was, according to what I've read, a victim of bullying. He is one of many... boys and girls that decide to end their lives because of being bullied.

I find it heart-breaking and I don't understand how people can go so far to make someone feel so bad that the person would take their own life. What kind of person does this? Where does this person come from? What sort of background do they have? And most of all... what do they get from this? Any power that is received from doing such activities is useless - negative energy that comes back around... What has happened to 'do unto others...'?

It's strange that just last week we were talking about bullying in our lunch room.. I didn't have experiences to share but a lot of people did. To the best of my knowledge I've not been bullied or have not considered myself to be (unless I've blocked it out... I should ask my parents :s) ... I don't think my brother has either. I don't consider myself to be a bully...  How does one become a bully? Or how does one get 'chosen' to be bullied?

In this age where we are so connected... this age of instant messaging and access to people and their information - bullying is changing... it doesn't have to be up close and personal anymore. Or maybe it can get too personal. This excellent article by Melissa Ford states that, 'Bullying is not only becoming more prevalent, but according to the Telegraph, in England, cyberbullying has become the most common form of bullying ("How Common is Bullying" has equally scary statistics for the United States).'

We all need to look at ourselves and ask what we can do to make this better. Bullying affects us whether we experience it first hand or not.. whether we are the bully or the one being bullied. We need to educate ourselves and if we are in a situation, then whether we feel like it or not, we should get help. Seriously, get help. There is always someone that cares.

Education.com has a selection of articles on the topic, including these which I thought particularly helpful:
peace,
Ren

Edited to add:
I arrived home at 5 pm... whilst waiting for my brother to open the gate for me I heard on the news that two children had to be taken to hospital after being beaten by one of their classmates. :s I really wonder what the world is coming to.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's the beginning of Banned Books Week in the USA...

"A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy."  ~Edward P. Morgan

Banned Books Week is held during the last week in September and celebrates the freedom to read. According to the American Library Association, it 'highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States'. I don't know if there are any banned books in Trinidad and Tobago... if there are then I'm really not aware... I can't wrap my head around the idea of persons banning books though now that I'm thinking about it I can understand that persons may want to limit the thoughts and ideas that reading books can encourage. 

DailyLit - that very awesome website (that delivers books right into your in-box in convenient small messages that take less than 5 minutes to read) - has a category for popular banned books... Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Scarlet Letter and Wuthering Heights have all been banned once upon a time.  The Bible and works by Shakespeare have been banned. I'm very glad this is no longer so... I'd recommend any of the above as excellent reads. 

Free your Mind. Read a book. Read a banned book.

I am of the view that each person should be allowed complete access to information from which they can then make their own choices... If you don't agree with me - I'd like to know why...

peace,
Ren

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Low energy...

"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes." ~Yoda 

Just been feeling a bit low energy this weekend. Tired. Not feeling the force at all. Think it may be a result of a rough work week and a somewhat emotional family week. Am thinking about work and career and money. Am thinking about growing older and my family growing older. Am thinking about the state of the world. Am thinking that I think too much. 

Going to bed now.

peace,
Ren 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

There aren't enough hours in the day...

"Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time." ~Charles M. Schulz 

A bit of free-writing because I'm tired and not up to thinking in paragraphs...
I often think that the hours in a weekend day (whenever your weekend is) should be longer.. or move slower.. or something such that it just *lasts longer*... because it always goes by so quickly and then the week comes around and you're stuck in the grind again. Woke up today feeling queasy and head-achy and generally not in a mood or feeling to move. Looked at shows on the Food Network and HGTV... those are our tv's default stations... when there's nothing to watch or we're bored and must watch something those are the channels we land on. Aarti is always very happy.. and bubbly and I like that the name of her show rhymes and reflects her essence. Am trying to convince my dad that when he retires he should do something along the lines of HGTV's All American Handyman series... not successful yet but who knows. Worked myself up to make lunch - it's funny that sometimes I really like cooking and sometimes I don't... today was one of those days when I felt like cooking - rice and dhal and bhagi and curried soya... all of which tasted most excellent. Yay me :) Looked at a very predictable movie on Syfy... I prefer the old channel name of Sci Fi... Went out with my dad - TriniTuner's 4x4 event - we did not make it to the King of the Hill bit but we did make it to the Mud Hog event .. (there are some pics on Flickr)... I wonder if my dad would ever want to take part in these events... or if at some time he has wanted to. I know that I prefer to be a spectator (and a photo-take-outer)... those people that took part? They're very brave - or they're really into their stuff. It was fun to watch. Got home and my dad made dinner... it's taken him over 27 years but he's started to get involved with food and the making of breakfast or lunch or dinner. Been lazing around since then... spent some time looking at photos/talking about photos and photo-taking... Finally remembered that I needed to blog. :) Here, I am. 

Hope your Saturday went well... hope there are enough hours for you...

peace,
Ren

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Conversations in my car today...

"In conversation, humour is worth more than wit and easiness more than knowledge." ~George Herbert

Every so often I don't have the use of my car - this may be because my brother wants to go somewhere with it... or like today, my mom has to go somewhere (doctor's visit today - all be well... or as well as could be). On days such as these, I get dropped off and picked up at my workplace... as you can imagine (or as you can't but should be able to after reading this post) this leads to a lot of time for conversation. Cuz we're together... in a closed environment. Talk happens. I thought I'd share some of it with you :)

Conversations on the way to work (amongst my mom, my brother and myself):
  • "Did you see the lilies in that person's yard?" - asked by my mom... Um. No? I do not maco other people's yards. My parents have this issue whereby if we're in the car we should pay attention to everything around us... which includes the yards of random strangers apparently.  This means that there is to be no reading/sleeping/playing games/being on the phone... one must Be Aware. Of course I countered with: "Did you see those orchids in that person's yard?!" (they were very pretty - pale pink and dark purple)... and of course she had not seen them. 
  • "I've been trying to come up with a new education model." - this from my brother (who has a philosophy/psychology background)... there was a moment of silence before we asked what he meant. Have I mentioned before that my family is very into education? I think I have... We've all in some way or the other been involved in some aspect... Our country is very into academics.. I think that's where the focus was placed early on and now there is no balance. How do we bring about such balance? How do we encourage persons to learn? How do persons get into fields which they will find fulfilling? We talked about the Guru-Disciple relationship, about the Gurukul system, a bit about the education systems of the early Greeks and Romans. We talked about curriculum and teaching methods and then that conversation faded into...
  • Talk of "why are there so many cars on the road?!", "where are all these cars going??!" ... because we were in traffic and I had to get to work. Why are all these cars on the road? Is it that people really need their own cars? Is it that our public transportation system sucks? Oy.

Conversations on the way home after work (between my brother and myself):
  • "I don't think I can work in an office environment" - this from my brother... and I don't think he could either. This statement came up as a result of me complaining about the general nonsense that goes on in my workplace. At the moment I'm fairly annoyed about some fluorescent lighting that has been installed in my department that is directly in my line of vision. I'm not sure what or if people think before they do things. I need to search my Twitter timeline for the link to our OSH Act and etc... *sigh* ... I'm vocal-ish when I have a problem... but it takes a while for me to admit to having a problem. My brother knows and instantly says when he has a problem... this is why he's probably not suited for office work. 
  • "What does this line mean??!" - Selena Gomez has a new song out... "Love you like a love song" ... I'm not sure if my brother had heard it before but this evening was perhaps the second time that I've heard it on the radio. Do you pick up lyrics quickly? Melody was nice.. we weren't really paying attention... then the chorus: 'I, I love you like a love song, baby' ... Um? I love you like a love song? How does one love a love song? How does a love song love? And then there's the fact that it sounds like she's saying 'I love you like I love song, baby' ... does that mean she loves you in the same way that she loves song? cuz she's a singer.. it makes sense... Um. We were a bit confused. Obviously though we will listen to the song again in attempts to figure it out. Well done songwriters... we are hooked on the song - though it's because we're confused and not necessarily that we like it.. (yet..).
  • "Why is this road so bad?!" - the thing about living in a country with a pitch lake is that you'd expect that the roads would be somewhat smooth. This is not so. We were driving on a main road and having to navigate potholes and skinny roads (the sides were a bit broken off)... I personally think this question is related to there being many cars on the road... If there were fewer cars then the roads would get less use then they'd last longer... right?
 We talk a lot eh? That doesn't even begin to cover everything... 

Go out and talk to people... or stay home and talk to people... it's interesting the things that you may learn from people you spend a lot of time with. 

peace,
Ren

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    International Day of Peace

    "Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace." ~UN

    I don't know about the rest of you but when I hear the word 'peace' I always think 'pray for peace, people everywhere'. It's a line from a Christmas carol I learned when I was much younger. Today is celebrated as the 'International Day of Peace'. It was established by a UN resolution in 1981 and the first international day of peace was celebrated in 1982. This day is intended to be an opportunity for persons to create/demonstrate practical acts of peace on a shared date.

    So many things happening today... I started off grumpy (re: very pissed off) because of events which occurred yesterday which I'll blog about at some point in the future. There were bad drivers, a cancelled meeting, people not being able to make up their minds. On the positive side... my girlfriend gave me the most awesome chocolate cake, I paid all my bills, did some grocery-shopping, survived the bad drivers.

    Peace is in the little things.. it's something that we must first work at within ourselves and then our wider community. I think if we can let go.. just enjoy those spaces-in-between our very busy lives, the world would be better for it. 

    Hope you had a peaceful day,

    peace,
    Ren

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    These are a few of my favourite things...

    "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens; Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens; Brown paper packages tied up with strings; These are a few of my favorite things." ~ Rodgers and Hammerstein

    I've come to realise that it's hard figuring out what to blog about each day - one would think there's a lot of material but sometimes you just don't want to write about what's going on in everyday life... sometimes one needs a break from thinking about that. In light of this, I've turned to prompts... writing prompts are interesting. I was once a part of a writing group that met weekly to write for ten minutes on a prompt and we'd then share (if we felt like it) - it was very freeing. Prompt for today was obtained from the site Daydreaming on Paper - simply because I liked the name of the site and the button that one clicks to generate a prompt is labelled 'Inspire Me'... that's exactly what I'm looking for.

    The prompt: List ten of your favourite things .. It occurs to me that I should search the blog in case I've written on this before.. but.. I'm going with the moment. In no particular order, ten of my favourite things are:
    1. Books - this should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me... and to you now as well. I love books - getting lost in the words is a delight.
    2. Ribbons - ribbons are pretty... whether they be hair ribbons or ribbon sashes or ribbons that can be used to tie up presents or to improvise as jewellery of some sort.. ribbons are pretty.
    3. Gift paper - I sometimes think that I'd like to own a gift wrapping operation - this would allow me to have different types of gift paper and also to wrap gifts (which is something that I find strangely calming).
    4. Floaty bits of fabric - whether it be in the form of a scarf or a dress or a skirt.
    5. The smell of cats - I'm a cat person. I've recently come to realise that I love their scent - my kitten (who is almost a cat) loves cuddles a lot more than our previous cat - he has helped me come to this realisation.
    6. Taking photos of the sky - I have so many of them... have you noticed that the patterns in the sky are always changing? I've never understood why people seem confused by me taking photos of the sky.
    7. The moon and by extension moon gazing - I like the nighttime more than the daytime and one of the major features of the night sky is the moon... I think we are all connected to its movements through the sky... perhaps as a female I feel them more strongly.
    8. Music and song - cuz there is always something that can fit any mood...
    9. Family - I'd like to point out to my mom that this was in no particular order. I'm not sure how I'd manage without them... I'm quite sure I'd be a much different person without their influence.
    10. Girlfriends - I've got a bunch of them... I've got girlfriends with varying degrees of closeness... they are all precious and help me work my way through whatever is going on with my life. (girlfriends to gab with and cry with and shop with...) lol...
    What are a few of your favourite things?

    peace,
    Ren

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    I dreamt.

    "So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!" ~Peter Pan

    I very rarely do. Or perhaps what I should say is that I very rarely remember what my dream is since it is believed that everyone dreams. My mom and brother are the dreamers in the family, my dad and I... not so much. Once upon a time I thought that I'd like to keep a dream journal... there was nothing to write in it. Then I had a recurring dream which I eventually figured out and so I stopped dreaming it... and in 2004 I had a two-week period of nightly dreams which I did record but after that my dreams have been very few and far between. 

    On Saturday morning though, I had a dream. I'm fairly certain that the only reason I remember is because it was in that hazy period of I'd woken up and fallen back asleep in the early morning. It was strange in a through-the-cupboard-visit-to-Narnia way though in my case there were a series of doors and landscapes. I was cleaning my room (I really *must* do this in real life). I'd lost and found my slippers. My brother and I were accomplices. My dad knew of some of what was happening before. My mom was curious. There were caverns and meadows and a rock band and shelves filled with knick-knacks and assorted furniture. 

    I think I was looking for something but it all fell apart. Dissolved as dreams do when one awakens. I'm fairly surprised that this one has stayed with me and that when I close my eyes I can call up the images of each scene. 

    I'd really like to be able to remember more of my dreams.

    peace,
    Ren

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Dark thoughts

    "This life in us; however low it flickers or fiercely burns, is still a divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives never so humane and enlightened; To suppose otherwise is to countenance a death-wish; Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other." ~Malcolm Muggeridge

    Euthanasia. This is a word I learned in a story I read in my pre-teens. I was interested in the concept then. I'm still interested in it now. I've found myself thinking about it tonight. I would like to say that I'd never take my own life (in fact I think I may have said this to people)... but deep down, where all the hidden thoughts are, I know this to be a lie. I'd like to say that I'd never ask someone to take it for me. I would not kill myself for anything to do with relationships or financial circumstances or the general everyday ups and downs that is life. I would if at some point I got so ill that the treatment and the waiting did not make it better.  I don't think I'm good with suffering. I think that if I can choose how I want to live then I should have that choice in how I want to die.

    These thoughts do make me a bit afraid - if I can have them then my mom can as well, though she is a much more innocent person than I am so maybe not.. I don't know for sure. Cancer again for the umpteenth time. On Thursday she has to visit with her doctor and decide upon a course of action. I know it's not easy for her, I know that she's suffering. If I were to place myself in her position I'm not sure what I'd say/do. 

    As it is now, what I do is what I've always tried to do - support whatever she wants to do... if she wants to do chemo then that's ok... if she doesn't then that's equally ok. Persons have asked me why I'd support her if she chooses not to do chemo, persons have tried to convince me that I should convince her that she should do chemo. It's her body though and her choice to make.. chemo is not as easy to take as some people seem to believe.

    If there comes a time when it gets to be too much for her... if she wanted to choose her manner of dying... I'm not sure I should continue with this line of thinking.

    Send us some positive thoughts. I'm not sure why at this hour I'm having thoughts such as this but my mind keeps circling back to this point. 

    Am off to get some rest - try to focus on the positive... try to increase the happiness levels... 

    Did you know that tomorrow is the 'International Talk Like a Pirate Day'? I must admit that just typing that makes me smile... 

    Am off to read about pirates.. and get some rest.. and stop thinking about death and dying and instead on life and living. 

    peace,
    Ren


    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    Friendships... society... thoughts...

    "Loving friendships provide us with a space to experience the joy of community in a relationship where we learn to process all our issues, to cope with differences and conflict while staying connected." ~bell hooks 

    Tired tonight as I went on two different limes - two different places - two different groups of people.

    The first was a birthday party - celebrating the 2nd birthday of the daughter of one of my oldest friends. It was fun... and reminded me a bit of my own early childhood - my mom liked to organise and have birthday parties for us. The food and the cakes were excellent (it was a cupcake themed party - the cake was all cupcakes). The company was interesting - old schoolmates that I haven't seen in a while as well as family members of my friend. What wasn't so great? The fact that I was the only single, child-less female. Is it unacceptable to be single and childless?? I had people asking me why I was sticking.. and also mentioning the fact that 'something is missing'. Nothing is missing and I am not sticking. What will be, will be and I have not yet found any person that I wish to spend extended periods of time with or that I wish to procreate with. I'm a bit sad though that any children I may have in the future would not be able to have play-dates with the children of these friends. 

    The second lime was a girls' lime -it  was initially supposed to be a lime for our entire undergrad class but persons were unresponsive so it morphed into a girls' lime. In this setting I am not strange. My friends in this group are my age, females who have been more inclined to study and get jobs than to getting their family started. It's somewhat interesting to see how alike and unalike these groups are.

    It's interesting to look at the society and try to figure out just what is happening. How do different groups of people evolve? 

    Had a good time at both events though. Learnt that little children like me - for some odd reason this makes me happy. Learnt that no matter how late I try to be - I'll always end up early...  not sure if that's a blessing or a curse. Learnt that people seem to think that the louder a place is, the more fun is being had. 

    Ah well. I'm tired.. but it was a good evening.

    Happy Saturday all :)

    peace,
    Ren

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Interesting Vid: TED Talk: Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy

    "I believe that women and girls today have to partner in a powerful way with men -- with their fathers, with their sons, with their brothers, with the plumbers, the road builders, the caregivers, the doctors, the lawyers, with our president, and with all beings. The women in this room are lotuses in a sea of fire. May we actualize that capacity for women everywhere." ~Joan Halifax



     

    peace,
    Ren

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Change of plans...

    "There is no such thing as chance; and what seems to us mere accident springs form the deepest source of destiny." ~Friedrich Schiller


    Sometimes I think the Universe is playing with us. 
    Sometimes things aren't meant to be. 
    Sometimes people will be disappointed whilst others will be filled with joy.
    Sometimes you'll leave home intending to hear people sing and watch people dance ... and end up singing and dancing yourself. 
    Sometimes you'll think you need a crowd when what you really need is the company of persons close to your heart.
    Sometimes plans change...
    Most times such changes in plans are for the better.

    night,
    Ren

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Little House on the Prairie...

    "I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones after all." ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Once upon a time, I received, as a New Year's gift from my parents (my mom really... though my dad signed his name as well...), the book: 'The Complete Little House on the Prairie'. As a 10-year-old I thought it an excellent read... as a 28-year-old I find that it is still an excellent read. The 'Little House' series was written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and is based on her childhood during the late 19th century. It was beautifully written and provides insight into how persons in that era went through the motions of everyday life. There are times when I think that I would have been more suited to such a lifestyle and there are times when I can't think of how I could live without the modern conveniences of today.

    I'd recommend the book for young persons of today though - to see how it was - I think that a lot of times we take for granted what we have... ease of transportation, access to whatever we need (food/shelter/education/health care/entertainment)... Not sure how it is in other countries but in this day and age, our youth (or most of our youth) have the mindset that whatever they want will be given to them - there is very little concept of working for something, there is a false sense of achievement perpetuated by the adults. I'm not quite sure how our society is going to turn out as these youths get older.

    My mom and I recently discovered that TCM shows reruns of 'The Little House on the Prairie' television show. My mom remembers watching it at home with her brothers and sisters... and now I watch it with her. I guess that it's a bridging-bonding hour for us. It is entertaining and educational and fairly fun to watch... though of course that's just my opinion and you may not find so. 

    I do love it though. If, at some point in the future, it happens that I have children (or my brother does.. or my cousins do...) I'd like to share this with them... both the books and the television shows.

    Cuz they are awesome :) 


    peace,
    Ren

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Terrific Tuesday...

    "Health, contentment, and trust are your greatest possessions. And freedom your greatest joy." ~Buddha

    I never know quite what to name blog posts so this will have to do - cuz it's really been a good day. No work today - was in Mayaro with the family (work people if you're reading this it was due to circumstances beyond my control). Got up with the sunrise and took photos, went back to bed, went walking on the beach, was befriended by stray dogs, went 'swimming' (it's in quotation marks cuz I can't really swim - I've had lessons on multiple occasions but they've never stuck) in a pool with my dad, tried to coax my mom in, spent some time in a jacuzzi, bickered with my brother, came home and played with and fell asleep with the kitten (who is a big cat now), and then realised that I'd gotten my Pottermore email (which resulted in a lot of time spent as I figured out the basics - I am now officially a Slytherin).  

    Overall it was a Very Good Day. 


    Hope you had one as well..

    peace,
    Ren

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Daydreaming the day away...

    "To know, to think, to dream. That is everything." ~Victor Hugo 

    I've been tired lately... taking time off to sit back and do nothing. I plan on daydreaming the day away. There's a full moon in the sky tonight. Waves crashing on the seashore. Taking some time to just breathe. 

    peace,
    Ren

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    September 11th.

    "We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race." ~Cicero

    Today is the 10th anniversary of attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Flight 93. These events took place in the United States but  echoed around the world - shock, horror, grief, prayer, faith. I don't remember where I was at the time... but I do remember my family being stunned... I'd never been to the World Trade Center (my dad has though) but my mom, brother and I had been in NYC the month before. We had family and friends in New York. It was horrifying to think that something may have happened to them. It was horrifying to learn that people would purposefully attack those places knowing that it would cause so much damage.

    Today, 10 years later there are a lot of memories... a lot of thoughts about what happened and why... a lot of thoughts about how such a thing should never happen again. 

    I join so many people today, my family, my country and persons around the world in saying a prayer for those that passed in that event, those that were affected by it in any way and those that worked to make it better.

    peace,
    Ren

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Thoughts on Twitter..

    "The Internet is a giant international network of intelligent, informed computer enthusiasts, by which I mean, 'people without lives'. We don't care. We have each other..." ~Dave Barry

    I thought I'd blog something much earlier than this but I got caught in a conversation on Twitter and lost track of the time... I've had a Twitter account for a while but it's only in the very recent months that I've started using it - it's interesting having snippets of conversations, information, news etcetera constantly coming at you. It keeps me aware of what's happening in the world, what's happening with people I know, it helps me to connect with people and to find out random information... I'm finding it to be most awesome. 

    There's a Twitter follow button on my blog - it was a spur-of-the-moment thing that was done because I have the link to the blog on Twitter so I thought it was only fair that followers of the blog could find me on Twitter. I'm not sure how interesting my Twitter stream is though... it's filled with maybe a few random statements by me, retweets of things I find interesting and conversations amongst people (mostly fellow Trinis that I've found just by being on Twitter) and myself . Not exactly sure that's entertaining but I guess it could be informative.

    Today I logged on and found 8 new follower requests (I often wonder why/how people choose to follow me - am mostly happy that you do).. My tweets are private.. I'm paranoid somewhat though once I scan whoever is requesting, and I think the person/company is ok I will add them.. and probably follow back. What do I mean by scanning? This article by Jenn Lawrence explains it pretty well.. and also explains why I may or may not follow you or may or may not block you. It's really well thought out in my opinion. 

    Whatever the reason.. if I follow you or you follow me.. Hello :) it's nice to know the thoughts of others.. and good to know that someone thinks my thoughts are interesting.

    peace,
    Ren

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Topics I thought of blogging about today:

    "The highest stage in moral culture at which we can arrive is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts." ~ Charles Darwin 

    I'm tired and sleepy... so whilst I do have stuff I'd like to write about ... it's only coming to me in point form... ah well...
    • Hair removal - I'm not sure how it came to be that females should not have hair.. am sure it's there for a reason... I'm tired of waxing and shaving and etcetera. Can I please just grow my leg hair?
    • Musicals! - Shoeaholic is singing in the chorale for the Lion King Musical! Of course I'm going... 
    • Work and responsibility - if you hire me for one position and will not reward me if I do extra..then I simply won't do extra...
    • Sitting is Killing Us... I read about it.

    I'll flesh out these at some point... right now I'm going to bed...

    night all!
    Renee

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Once upon a time...

    "In the ideal college, intrinsic education would be available to anyone who wanted it…The college would be life-long, for learning can take place all through life." ~Abraham Maslow

    In my early teens I came across a book in the school library that I couldn't put down once I started reading it. I wish I remember what the name was.. or the name of the author .. or even the names of the main characters but it's gone. It's all lost in my memory.  It was essentially a coming-of age story of a girl ... different in that it was set in a future setting where people were trained to use that special gift they were most capable of... if one had a talent for healing or for fixing things or for thinking up ideas and solutions - one would be trained in that and then allowed to take one's place in society as a person doing what one was meant to do. 

    It would be extremely wonderful if that were to happen in this present day. It would be extremely wonderful if people were valued and rewarded for their natural talents. It would be extremely wonderful if persons were to go into jobs such as in the medical or teaching profession simply because of their love for medicine (and healing) or teaching (and imparting knowledge) instead of going into those professions for the monetary benefits or the holidays. 

    What would it take to get our society to that state? 

    I became extremely aware today of our failing education system - I'm not quite sure how much of that I can speak of since it's related to my job and the work I do - I'm just a bit sad about it... a bit scared about it... there will come a time when there will not be enough skilled people... when there will be people with an overinflated sense of accomplishment. Am not sure where that will lead us. 

    Thoughtful tonight...

    peace,
    Ren

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Girlfriends...

    "Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with." ~ Candace Bushnell

    On Monday, after waiting around forever to get my driver's permit, I had lunch and sawine at the house of one of my close girlfriends. Talked about life and career and of course, men. 

    On Tuesday, Shoeaholic and I escaped our workplace and had lunch elsewhere. Usually, if we don't have lunch, we buy whatever/wherever and then return to our workplace to have lunch in the lunch-room. Yesterday was not a day for that. It was a day to escape the craziness that is our workplace... a day where we could eat lunch and discuss whatever we wanted to which of course meant men, work and career and life in general... (see a trend here?).

    Today, I met up with another close girlfriend after work to have dessert... and talk about men, and how we're growing older... it was mostly about men and relationships... and that perhaps lesbianism is the answer.

    My girlfriends.. I love them, apparently I'm well-fed because of them, and I use them to work out stuff happening in my life.. as they do with me. 

    I am blessed :)

    night,
    Ren

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Free writing for a bit... (10 minutes)


    Tired tonight. Sat down to write a blog post and was interrupted by my aunt calling to say that my other aunt was physically assaulted by a teenager. Short story - my aunt owns a store in our village, male teen (19 years) was making out with a 13 year old  female in front her store, my aunt told them to either have some decency in front her store or change locations, male teen took offence and decided to assault my aunt, hands around neck and etcetera. That's the story I've got thus far. Not sure how it was broken up but I do know that my aunt reported the matter to the police. I don't quite have the words to describe how mad/upset I am. What exactly is going wrong with our world? Or our youth? Or whatever? In my day (and really I'm not *that* old) people had respect for their elders... and for themselves... there is no way that at 13 years I'd be making out with some boy in full view of the world. Madness. 

    I'd planned to write today on my love for fantasy books... Dragon*Con was this weekend gone - I'd like to attend some year in the future... mentioned this on twitter and was asked what I was interested in and really it's fantasy. I like that there are people that can create entire worlds and write about it such that I'm sucked in and the real world disappears for a bit. I like that there are so many views that can be presented... I like the magic and mysticism, the intrigue and politics, the romance, the battle of good and evil. I'd like to be able to create and shape a world to my standards / principles / everything... I've said before that if I was in charge there would not be a democracy.. because I'm quite sure that my standards/principles/etcetera would build a 'better' world. Better social structure... better economic models... room for people to breathe and grow and find out just where their talents lie and how best they could be used. I'm not sure what that says about me. Do I have a superiority complex? Am not sure. I know though that in a world where I ruled no child would even think to assault an elder... especially not a female elder. 

    Need to do some breathing tonight. 

    peace,
    Ren

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Judgemental - I'm working on not being this way.. :s

    "Everthing that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding of ourselves." ~ Carl Jung

    I got my driver's permit renewed today - what should be a relatively simple process took approximately five hours... because, at present, that's how these things work in Trinidad and Tobago. Most of that time I spent waiting and the upside of that is that I've finally gotten around to reading some more chapters from the book 'If Life is a Game, These are the Rules'. This is a fairly small book (153 pages) - I'm usually able to read something this size in less than a few hours - this one requires much thought though and I've given myself permission to read as slowly and however often (or not often) that I need to read and re-read certain bits.

    Rule Seven is "Others are only mirrors of you". Essentially it is about how one's reactions to other people says more about oneself. The challenge of this rule is to shift one's perspective from judgement of persons outside of oneself to exploration of one's own inner self.

    I've been hearing echoes of this rule around me the past two weeks. From my brother to a family friend to my own realisations from my reactions to Twitter talks... I've learnt that I am fairly judgemental.. and the kicker is that what I'm reacting to is other people being judgemental, non-understanding and inactive :s For example, I sorta-kinda belong to a youth group (though I'm not sure I can still be called 'youth') .. this group has been in existence for *forever* but it seems to go just about nowhere... I attended the last meeting - I put forward ideas which were somewhat well-received though at the end I left feeling as though no one else really wanted to liven things up or try new things ... I got home most grumpy and somewhat down and was told by my brother/mother/family friend that I should not focus on what the others do or do not... that I should focus on what I want to do and just do it - that I should not wonder what's up with other people but rather why I'm upset by it and work it out within myself. Meh. 

    Another example? My country is currently in a state-of-emergency... this is a big deal and is supposed to handle our growing crime issue. I've not commented much on it on Twitter or facebook or even here on my blog simply because I don't want to get into drama - and there's a lot of it... I don't understand why people would gab about the government and what they're doing in a very negative vein when these are the same people that wanted change. Change takes time - I don't understand why people don't understand that. I'm told that it's not for me to understand.. but it is for me to not judge people. Oy. 

    It's a difficult lesson and according to the book I must learn tolerance, clarity, healing and support. Major work in progress...

    peace,
    Ren

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    On growing older...

    "How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?" ~Satchel Paige 

    Last Monday I called my cousin to wish her a happy belated birthday... It was both really bad and really good timing on my part. She'd just found out that her uncle had passed away that morning and needed someone to talk too. I know the uncle though he's not my uncle (my cousin is the child of my dad's sister - the uncle was the brother of her father)... I've met him on numerous occasions for birthdays and weddings and funerals. She said to me that as it was her first uncle to pass away it really brought home the fact that her parents were getting older and that at any time it may be their time. Any time might be your time or my time... death is not something one can easily predict. A lot of people thought that my mom would have passed away many years ago due to cancer but she hasn't (thankfully). Both of my parents are still going strong (-ish). I am blessed.

    What I've noticed though is that as the years pass they tend to weigh heavier on a person. I see it in my parents - the way they can't move with as much vigour as they once did, the way their bodies have changed. I see it in their friends - I'm not sure how it has come to be but my mom's friends are also my friends and as such I'm privy to all the conversations about body aches, mysterious illnesses and 'remember when we could...?'.. I see it in myself - my body is different, my thoughts are different. Perhaps I should have said that the years weigh differently on a person? There are things that you can't do as easily... there are things you could think or dream more easily. 
    It is an acceptance of oneself I guess?

    Today I attended a one-year memorial service for a dear friend of ours... It is at events such as this that you meet with persons you may not have seen for some time. It is sometimes a shock and sometimes a pleasure to see how much people have changed since the last time you've seen them. Ageing is inevitable.. a part of life just as death is. Ageing is not just physical but mental, emotional and spiritual as well. 
    I look forward to seeing how my years will progress. 

    peace,
    Ren

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Playing... Of zumba, family ties and pictionary..

    "Play with life, laugh with life, dance lightly with life, and smile at the riddles of life, knowing that life's only true lessons are writ small in the margin." ~Jonathan Lochwood Huie 

    I consider myself to be blessed with friends and family. There are times when they drive me to distraction but mostly they fill my life with fun and good times. Today was a reminder of this and so this post is written in appreciation of my people and just an overall good day.

    I've been dragging myself out of bed these past Saturday mornings to accompany a friend to an early morning Zumba class. Zumba is fun and it's exercise and although I know this, I'm not particularly motivated to do it at home or go to a class by myself. It's necessary for me to have someone there as I'm then encouraged to be there and to push myself into doing the moves. I always leave the class feeling so much happier with myself - just because of the movement and the music involved - it's a very alive feeling... and something I'd miss out on if I didn't go.

    Got home in time to be informed by my cousin that there was going to be a lime.. at my home.. this afternoon. They came with pizza and pictionary. I'm closer with my mom's side of the family - mostly because my cousins on that side are closer in age to my brother and I (I'm the oldest girl) and because they are more into socialising.. My dad's side of the family are mostly older.. and though the bonds there are as strong as those on my mom's side they tend to keep to themselves more. 

    It's interesting when my mom and any of her sisters get together - they are so alike in appearance and mannerisms and beliefs... and now that we (the cousins) are getting older we've noticed those similarities appearing in us. I'm grateful for the fact that we can easily gather (however much of us at a time) and spend an evening together.

    We played pictionary - not something I've done much of... as I told my cousin we've only had scrabble and chess in the house... monopoly was a very recent addition. Three teams of three persons (one adult i.e. parent per team) - I can barely draw stick figures but I can totally figure out what someone else is drawing.. it was fun - interesting to see how people conceptualise stuff - how a word can be translated into so many different things on paper and yet still come out as a word. Not very competitive though there was a lot of heckling ... and I'm still trying to figure out how one can guess "sick person lying on bed" to "rapunzel" to "sleeping beauty!".. not quite sure how rapunzel got in there. It ended with one winning team, much laughter and plenty of hugs.

    An overall really good day.

    Hope you had one as well :)

    peace,
    Ren

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Reminiscing...

    "Human intelligence is richer and more dynamic than we have been led to believe by formal academic education." ~Sir Ken Robinson

    Thought I'd use today's NaBloPoMo writing prompt. Simple question really: 'How did you feel about the start of the school year growing up?' School .. whether it be primary or secondary.. starts back this Monday in Trinidad and Tobago. Teachers have to be at work today.. prepping I guess? Apparently there are meetings and discussions on what will happen during the new school year, how the school would be run and how the children would be managed. It's a Very Big Undertaking I've heard. Children today are not the same as they were ten, five or even three years ago. Resources are limited. The work is changing.
     
    I've always viewed school through many different lenses. I was a student. My parents and a few of my aunts were teachers. I have family that were principals and some that still are principals. School played a very big part in my early years.
     
    How did I feel about the start of the school year growing up?
     
    In preschool and kindergarten it was exciting - though I believe I cried the first few days. In primary school there was always a bit of anxiety... a bit of excitement... a bit of reluctance (who wants to give up holidays) and also curiousity (what has everyone else been up to?). In secondary school there was more anxiety... a bit of excitement... some apathy... I think in all cases I was unhappy that I'd not be home, happy to be with friends, interested/curious (though less so as I got older) about what would happen in the school year.  

    The start of the school year was not just about my brother and I being prepared but my parents as well. It was an end to lazy days - getting back into the groove of their work day/our school day. It was reacquainting ourselves with waking up at dawn, getting everyone out the door on time, lunchtimes and recesses and the management of schoolwork and housework.

    It was not particularly welcome. It just was. Return of a wave that's gone far out to sea. Now that I'm an adult I miss it. I think that at least there was an idea of what to expect in the year ahead... It's not like that anymore - it's somewhat of a disruption to routine that I'm taking time to get used to. Perhaps it does encourage one to look forward to individual moments .. or to cherish what is in the now.

    peace,
    Ren