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Day 112

>> Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Only a day and a bit left - in this decade!! Crazy! It'll be a short post today 'cause I'm anxious to crawl into bed (super early day tomorrow) and get some shut-eye (yay that I'm finally sleeping again!!)

Just wanted to share this cool saying I read today (it's part of the "Cure for the Common Life" by Max Lucado daily calendar/saying book I have). It's short and sweet but strikes a chord:

"You do something no one else does, in a manner no one else does it. And when your uniqueness meets God's purpose, both of you will rejoice . . . forever."

Ahhh, how great is that? Love, love, love it . . .

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Day 111 - aka "You're so vain, I bet 'ya think this blog is about you"

>> Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Home from work, (still frozen 'cause the bus was late), oven heating up what will soon by my dinner, and my "after-school" clothes are calling from the closet. Ahhh, time to put my feet up . . .

Today was a loooong day. Not made any better by the fact that I've had insomnia for the past two nights and haven't slept. On the bright side, I just know (please God) that I'll sleep like a wee babe tonight. I've marked my bedtime for 8pm, and I'm not ashamed to admit it!

Anyway - I had a weird moment today at work that I was thinking about on the bus, and that I figure warrants discussion on this 'ole blog of mine. It's about a subject I haven't really thought of or focused on a lot recently in my life, but kind of reared it's ugly head today . . . Vanity.

So as mentioned, I haven't been sleeping for the past two days. That coupled with the "still-crazy but not too crazy" ness of work and the early shifts have left me looking a little ragged. Now normally I don't really care too much about how I look - I'll put on make-up if I have time and try and make my hair decent, but on mornings like this one - well let's just say it didn't take me too long to decide that I didn't want to put in the effort to put any make-up on at all, and simply pulled my hair back in a bun and put on work clothes that were clean - not too bad right? Well - now add in the fact that my skin tends to go a lovely shade of greenish-yellow when I'm really tired and I have blueish bags the size of cow udders under both eyes, and you start to get the picture of what I looked like to the outside world.

Still though - I didn't really care - I go to work to work and not be a fashion model, so no big deal right? Well of course, right near the end of my shift I'm on the sales floor doing my thing, when I happen to bump into some of the youth from church. I stop and chat for a minute, and it's after about a minute or two that I suddenly start to become super-conscious of how tired and worn-out and well . . . bad I must look. It was actually kind of weird, and after they left I kept thinking that I should of taken the time to put some make-up on this morning and done something nice with my hair so I at least looked like a respectable adult. The more I thought about it, the more vain I kept feeling, and then that started making me feel guilty, and it was just this awful circle of thought that kept bouncing around in my head.

So here I sit, wondering about the role vanity plays in our lives, and about what level of vanity is accepted or even needed in an individual before it becomes something other than taking pride in how you look. Maybe I should be taking the time to "do myself up" more, and more often. Maybe I should start paying more attention to the clothes I wear, and not just out but at home around my husband. I'm sure I'm not the only woman whose gotten married and has stopped trying to impress her husband with her looks because, well we're married and I know he loves me regardless of what I look like! There are times when I look at pictures of myself from only a few years ago and I think "man, I looked good - why didn't I realize it at the time?" I always used to put quite a bit of effort into my physical appearance. Straighening the hair, putting on the make-up, picking out cute outfits, and working out. Now I have a wonderful husband who thinks I look better without make-up and could care less whether I'm in sweats or in a ballgown. Whether I'm slim or carrying an extra 20 pounds, he really honestly doesn't care - I know he loves me for me.

But . . . where does that leave us ladies? Should we just try to make ourselves look better than we are "au natural" because it makes us feel better about ourselves? And if that's the case, why does it make us feel better about ourselves? I don't really think I'm lacking in the self-confidence department, but why then did I feel like I did at work today? If I really accepted me for me, then should I not be able to to leave the house in pj's and bedhead and not care what people think? But if you do care about how you look to others, does that really make you vain, or does that just make you human?

Hmmm - I'll leave it at that, but I'm left wondering about that which we call vanity. Needed or unneeded? Necessary or sinful? Morale booster or morale dasher? I have to admit that this one's got me stumped . . .

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Day 110 - Otherwise known as "Thank the Heavens, we survived!!'

>> Monday, December 28, 2009

I've been absent I know. With the back thing, and the work thing, and that little thing we call Christmas, life has been, well . . . crazy. I did go back to work last Wednesday, but between that, and popping pills for my back, and trying to get everything done for Christmas, and trying to get enough sleep - well I pretty much made a conscious decision to not do much else. So that kinda' including blogging, and emailing and all - so I apologize yet again and to all I didn't email whom I was meaning to email - I don't love you any less, but the month of December for a retail manager is all about just trying to survive it and arrive alive on the other side.

That being said . . . Whew!! We survived! Retail hell month is almost over! The "Rush Week" has now passed, and while we still have to get through the rest of "Boxing Week", the end is in sight and there is light at the end of this way too long tunnel. Considering we started prepping for Christmas what feels like forever ago, it seems like a long time a comin'!! I did have some crazy customers, some frustrating situations, and did fear for my life at one point - but I got through it!

Now comes the fun part and my absolute favorite holiday of the year. "What?" you ask? "It's not Christmas?" Oh no, not by a mile say I. My favorite holiday of the year, my favorite holiday of all time, is none other than . . . New Year's Day. Not New Year's Eve, mind you - although fun and frivolous, my heart belongs to what lie on the other side.

New. Year's. Day.

Oh to start off a New Year - fresh, clean, untarnished, full of hope and promise. Oh to open a brand new calendar, with its days free and unscheduled. Oh to have reached the end of one year and circle around to the start of another. I'm not kidding folks - I take my New Year's Day pretty seriously. I'm a firm believer in that how you start a new year greatly infuences how the rest of the year will unfold. I'm all about having as much of a reflective day as possible - letting yourself sleep in, eat a great meal, then spending the rest of the day just really relaxing and thinking and reflecting on the upcoming year. I always write in a journal on January 1st - I put a lot of thought into what my resolutions will be for the upcoming year, and I try to stay as chill and laid back as possible on that day. You'll never, ever catch me "out" on a January 1st. I really do become just very quiet and meditative and simple on that day. It may sound funny, but I just find something truly magical about January 1st - even as a child I think I would have said that January 1st trumped Christmas in terms of which was the better holiday. I'm super grateful this year as I also happen to have January 2nd off (as does my hubby), so I can extend my fave holiday into two days!! (Although the 2nd we'll spend doing something a little more "exciting").

Anyhoo - I do hope everyone reading this had a fantastic Christmas, and that you got to spend the day with those you love. As life is now getting back to a little bit of normalacy, yours truly promises to get her ass in gear and start blogging on a more consistent basis. Hopefully I'll have some exciting things to blog about soon - I'm working on three songs right now (two new, 1 is a song I recorded at a studio many a year ago which I'm working on rerecording soon), so I'll be posting updates about those - and well, who knows what else. This past year has been an intersting and eventful one to say the least, so I'm sure 2010 has some surprises in store.

"till next time . . .

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Day 101 - Otherwise known as "Wow - I can't believe it's Day 101" or "Wow - My back hurts"

>> Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hi there,

I'm a horrible blogger, I know. I promised to blog every day, and it's been a week and a half since my last post. I do have a good excuse though, actually I have two:

1. It's the Christmas season and I work in retail . . . . 'nuff said

2. On Wednesday I threw my back out and have been holed up in bed in a drug-induced sleep for the past 2 and 1/2 days.

Yup - I seem to have bad luck when it comes to getting sick or getting injured. I killed my lower back on Wednesday afternoon, and could barely move without getting tears in my eyes on Thursday, so Chris took me to the doctor to get it checked out. I pretty much tore some muscles in my lower back and it's caused the nerve and muscle centres at the base of my spine to get all swollen and inflamed. This equals extemely painful back whether I'm lying down, sitting or standing. She said I need to pretty much be off my feet for a week (so no work), and I'm on tylenol 3's, one really strong anti-inflammatory, and another really, really strong anti-inflammatory that will basically knock you out (for 24 hours!!) So the last few days have kind of passed by in a very "fuzzy" kind of way. She said I will hopefully be good to at least go back to work by about Wednesday of next week, but I won't feel totally normal for about 6 weeks - lovely. It could be worse I know, but this is pretty much the worst time ever for this to happen (leaving my work short a manager during the busiest time of year). Grrr . . . I have new-found sympathy though for lower-back pain sufferers. I seriously have never experienced pain like this before. When I was at work Thursday morning (I went for half a day before I had Chris come get me), I had to hide in the bathroom twice 'cause I was crying from the pain and didn't want anyone to see. It shoots up your back and also down into your "butt" area, but is also this horrible, constant pain. I know when I'm back to normal that I'll have a new appreciation for being able to move pain-free!!

So this is my first day of not sleeping all day ('cause I didn't take the 24-hr long pill last night - I'm not a fan of being knocked out for that long - dr. said it was okay). Apparently I'm not good at "doing nothing" when it's not my choice. At any other time, if someone had said to me "Hey Suzanne - just lay in bed and watch movies and read all day", my reaction would have been "yes please!!" But really, that's not a lot of fun. I'm bored already. I've already watched the first two Harry Potter's again (I got the ultimate extended editions - woo hoo!!), and every Christmas movie that's in the house. I started rereading the third HP book, but even that's no fun anymore. Argghh. I'm like a little kid. I've now turned to silly games on the computer to pass the time. Diner Dash and Chocolatier are my new friends (seriously silly games, but kind of addictive!!)

Anyhoo - expect a lot of blog posts from me in the next few days!

Hope everyone else out there in internet land is having a good Holiday season so far (and that it will remain injury-free)!!

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Day 91 - "Go on"

>> Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Alrighty - so I finally finished it! "Go on" - the song I wrote and recorded for the Canadian Radio Star National Songwriting Competition (wow - that's a long name) is done and submitted! We Fed-exed it to the radio station today, so cross your fingers for me that something comes of it!

I'm pretty proud of it - I know it's not perfect, but I really put my heart into this one and hope that someone out there finds some inspiration in it. I've attached the mp3 (and the lyrics) below, so have a listen if you have time and let me know what you think!





Go on

Fallen dreams are lyin’ on the floor
I know that you’ve seen this once from me before
but I’m tellin’ you now this time’s different
I feel it inside, I’ve got peace with it

Time passes by when you’re lookin’ down
I know ‘cause I felt it flip my world around
I stood by and watched as it passed me by
my eyes would not see, could not realize

I was drifting out of reach
‘till I found my voice to speak
I was running out of time
‘till I remembered to breathe

The sun will always shine above the clouds
Use the rain to wash away your doubts
Don’t let unknown fears get in the way
Use the time given to you today
Go on, Go on

Second chances to live the life you dreamed
They never expire although it sometimes seems
‘cause once you take one step down the right path
the rest will fall in line, you’ll have your truth back

I was drifting out of reach
‘till I found my voice to speak
I was running out of time
‘till I remembered to breathe

The sun will always shine above the clouds
Use the rain to wash away your doubts
Don’t let unknown fears get in the way
Use the time given to you today
Go on, Go on

Where I’ve been is where I had to be
Where I stand is where I’m supposed to be
What I’ve done is what I had to live
Who I am is what I have to give

The sun will always shine above the clouds
Use the rain to wash away your doubts
Don’t let unknown fears get in your way
Use the time given to you today
You’ve got strength you didn’t know you had
Keep runnin’ forward, never look back
Go on, Go on, Go on

Go on, Go on, Go on, Go on


Music & Lyrics by Suzanne Judge
Copyright 2009 Suzanne Judge

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Day 82 - I'm still here!

>> Monday, November 30, 2009

This is just a quick blog to say that yup I'm still here, and hopefully will get back to blogging everyday soon. I'm been super busy at work (Holiday season in Retail!!) and have some deadlines coming up for some music stuff, so that's why this little 'ole blog of mine has been neglected lately. Until mid December I'll probably only blog once every few days or so, but after that things should get back to normal (well, at least a bit!)

On a sidenote - I got my Christmas present early this year (courtesy of my fabulous husband of course) . . . I got a new microphone!! I've been using a mic that's more suited towards live performance and not studio recording work, so I wasn't getting the kind of sound capture I wanted in my home studio recordings. I am now the proud owner however of an AKG Perception 420 microphone - an amazing quality mic for recording both vocals and instruments. Super excited about it and can finally now finish laying down the vocals on "Go on". Thank-you Santa!! (aka Chris).

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Day 77 - You have GOT to be kidding me!!

>> Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chris let me take his van to work today. My car was getting cleaned up at the shop so it's ready for me to turn in on Friday. I never drive his van to work - ever. He was going to drive me this morning but was too tired so said I could take it. I was super careful, making sure to pick a parking spot with lots of room, basically treating it like a baby.

After a long and tiring day at work, I walk up to where I had parked it (the upper parking lot at the mall - where I usually park my car) and see mall security and a police car, all of them standing by a car taking pictures. As I walk past I see that the front driver's side window had been smashed it. "Awww, man" I think to myself - "I feel sorry for whomever owns that car". I keep walking for a few steps and then the van comes into view. I immediately stop. Guess which other vehicle has been broken into? Yup - Chris' van. I must have stood there for a full minute just looking at it when the police officer comes up and asks me if it's my car. He explains that both the van and this other car had been broken into - mall security had discovered it and had called the police to come take pictures and file a report. I guess security had been paging the license plate # over the loudspeaker in the mall, but we can't really hear the mall pages in our store so I was completely oblivious to what happened until I came out and saw for myself. They stole our GPS unit, but thankfully Chris had cleaned it out the night before so there wasn't anything else of value in it to steal. I phoned Chris and explained what happened - he was awesome though and had someone from work drive him over right away so he could survey the damage and see what to do next. There was glass everywhere, even after the police officer had helped me clean it up a little bit. Security had to find a broom and dust pan and stuff just so we could clear off the seat enough that we could drive in it.

Arggghhhh - so frustrating!! I just find it so sad and also so aggravating that someone would do this. We are thankfully in a situation that although it sucks to have to pay to get it repaired, although I wouldn't say we can afford it, we can pay for it without it keeping us up too much at night. But how can people do this kind of thing with no regard whatsoever to whose lives it effects? It's so disturbing to me that while I was at work in my store only a minute away, someone was breaking into our car and doing something so wrong and scary.

I'll chalk it up to the week I'm having and continue to hope and pray that next week is a better one.

I guess to look on the bright side I should be thankful that my family even has a car in the first place and that I wasn't actually in the car when someone tried to break into it.

Oy vey . . .

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Day 76

>> Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What do you think of my new template? I've finally fixed and reloaded everything (after several hours) and here it is! Whew! I tried reinstalling the template I had before, but it was still coming up really weird, so I decided to go with a new look. I'm lovin' it so far as I can put a lot more info and gadgets on here - plus it's got a bar on the very bottom for pictures which is pretty cool.

I'll hopefully be adding even more gadgets and widgets on here in the next few days, so I'm not finished yet, but I guess a blog is never really finished, is it?

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Day 75 - Blog Update

>> Monday, November 23, 2009

So my blog decided to go completely berserk today - I have no idea how it happened, but I came to my site only to discover that the whole page was covered in an crazy "inactive" error messages from photobucket - a site I don't even use. Not sure if someone hacked in or something, but it was royally screwed up. I'm managed to change it back to a basic template for now until I can figure it out and make it look nice and pretty again. I've lost some of the info that was on the sidebars, but my actual posts seem to be intact, so that's good.

Please bear with me as I try to figure this out - it may take a few days.

:( Suz

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Day 72

>> Friday, November 20, 2009

Well, I'm definitely been starting to feel better about things these last two days. I've thought and prayed, and while there hasn't been a moment of enlightenment or anything, I'm starting to just trust that things will work out the way they're supposed to.

One decision I have made in the last few days is that I am giving up my car. After looking at the insurance issues (rates for Toronto drivers have recently gone up) and other driving options I might have if I do turn my car in (renting, autoshare and zipcar - 2 Toronto car-sharing companies), I have decided I want to stick to my original plan and go car-free for awhile. I don't know for how long, but it'll be at least for a year. I really want to be able to be in the situation where I can save more money, and also just couldn't shake the fact that I really don't need to drive and that my car was just one more unneccessary car on the road. The fact that we don't have kids yet and I work an easy bus ride away makes this change a lot more feasible for us as a family. I also had prayed a lot about it and just really feel like this is the decision I need to make. I called my insurance company today to cancel my insurance policy as of the end of this month, and then I turn my car in next Friday morning. I'm making the 2 1/2 hour drive to my parents farm this weekend, so at least I have one last weekend with my "baby" before we part ways.

I'll be incommunicado and blog-free this weekend - my parents and I are going to Kincardine, ON for my Aunt Pat's memorial service. I'm glad I'm going 'cause I want to say good-bye to her and see how the family is doing and give them all my best, but it's still a little surreal to me that she's actually gone . . .

Anyway - hope everyone out there has a great weekend ahead of them and I'll be back to blogging on Monday!

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Day 70 - Part 2

>> Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Okay, so I should be in bed by now (early morning tomorrow), but I was just listening to a new CD ("The Lost Get Found" by Britt Nicole - an amazing Christian singer I discovered recently) and one of the songs on there just spoke so strongly to me I almost broke down in tears. It is just exactly where I am right now faith-wise and I just had to share it. I found a video on youtube that someone made that has the lyrics, so here 'ya go. It's called "Safe":

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Day 70

Well I had my doctor's appointment today. She thinks I suffer from severe tension headaches. That would explain the headaches, upper back pain, tiredness, etc. The eye-thing she thinks is from being stressed and being tired and it should go away in time. She wrote a prescription for me to start massage therapy - she said a chiropractor wouldn't be the best as she only recommends them for lower back pain. She also said I could do physiotherapy, but that's a huge time commitment and I'd probably get more out of massage therapy. Sooo - massages here I come!! I need to find a good therapist close to home and will probably go once a week at first and then down to twice a month. My insurance will only cover it up to a certain amount, so there's no way I could afford going once a week for very long. Hopefully it helps out a lot - if it doesn't there are certain medications I could go on, but that wouldn't be the ideal thing, so cross your fingers for me that this does the trick!!

An update on the car situation - Chris and I talked about it a lot and to our insurance broker and have pretty much decided that the best thing to do would be to buy a used car (on the cheaper side) and for me to keep my current insurance and drive that car. I'd still be saving money as I wouldn't have a monthly car payment, just the insurance payment, and I wouldn't run the risk of having to pay super high insurance rates when the day comes that I want to get a car and start driving again. Apparently having any sort of lapse in paying into car insurance (when you have accidents on your record) means you pretty much start from scratch when you go shopping for insurance again - I would be starting at a 1-star rating and rates for 1-star drivers are astronomical. Even though I would only have 1 accident on my record in about a year, that 1 accident would end up costing me a lot of money. Soooo - we're going shopping for used cars tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of time to find one (about a week and a half), so please pray for us that we find a relatively inexpensive, but good used car that will be good for our family.

Anyhoo - I want to list some things I am grateful for today. Making a list yesterday really made me feel a bit better about things and it's something I'd like to keep up. I may not always post it on here, but today I'd like to share again:

1. Having a new family doctor I really like who took the time to listen to me and give me good, practical advice and solutions
2. My new Bible - it's the Zondervan NIV Quest Study Bible and it's really thorough and helpful and connects with me (plus it has a beautiful light blue and brown leather cover which the girl in me loves)!!
3. The man at the parking booth at Credit Valley Hospital today - he was really nice and made me laugh and was an "everyday angel"
4. Being able to wake up with a bit of a new perspective today on things.
5. I've been praying a lot recently and today I really felt like God was speaking to me about some things I've been asking Him about

I'll end this blog with something I read today that not only made me laugh but touched me to the core - hopefully it's something I'll remember in moments of struggle and frustration:

"Good Morning - this is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help. So, relax and have a great day!"

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Day 69

>> Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I know I've been a deliquent blogger later. I haven't been feeling very well and, . . . well I think I'm depressed. I feel foolish just writing that 'cause I know there are a lot of people out there who have way more reasons than I to be depressed but are standing up straight and making the best of it. I have my reasons of course, but I know in the grand scheme of things they are very, very small and insignificant.

I just feel so unmotivated lately. I haven't been taking very good care of myself and it has really started to show in how I feel day to day. I'm tired all the time, I've had a splitting headache for 7 days now, my left lower eyelid has been having these weird spasms about 10 times an hour for about 3 weeks, and this morning I woke up and my entire upper back felt completely tense and frozen. I went to work for an hour and a half but then had to come home 'cause I was almost in tears. I wonder if my dissatisfaction with life right now is causing all these physical things, or if it's the other way around.

It's also so upside down, 'cause the only time I've really felt "alive" and like my old self lately has been when I'm working on my music. But - I end up spending most of my waking hours at a job I don't really enjoy, the whole time wishing I was at home doing the music stuff that I truly love.

I don't know. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow with my new family doctor so I'm hoping she can shed some light on some things. I just wish there was some sort of "motivation" shot you could get that would help me shake these blues I've been having.

It also doesn't help that I turn my car in next week (the lease is up) and have to start taking the bus. It's not that I mind that, but Chris and I just found out today that his insurance company won't add me to his policy (the plan was that I could occasionally use his van to get to and from work, to go shopping, etc) because I've had 2 accidents in the last 5 years (both not my fault but that's a whole other story). So basically once I turn my car in next week I can't drive at all. I could always rent a car if I really needed it, but now on my days off and such, I won't even have the van as an option. It's bus-it or stay at home. Arghhh. How can I pay into insurance for so long only to be punished for accidents that were unavoidable? (one was in a parking lot so even though someone hit me we both were technically "at fault" and the other one was weather related). It really pisses me off that the Ontario insurance industry is so screwed up.

I really need some divine intervention here. I hate feeling like this and being whiny and mopey. I need some quotes or bible verses or something to cheer me up, so please share if you have any.

I should probably focus on what I'm grateful for - maybe that'll help get rid of my blues. People say that what you focus on increases, so maybe I've been focusing too much on the bad things in my life and instead should focus on the good . . .

Alright - so even though I'm not in the mood, here are some things I am grateful for today . . .

1. I have a computer so I can blog and vent
2. My husband - instead of ignoring me when I'm in a mood he actually listens
3. My dog Franklin - he lay on the floor beside the bed when I was lying there this morning in pain and upset
4. My blue guitar - just looking at it now is making me feel better a bit
5. The thought that even if I can drive at all, at least I'll be saving $700.00 a month and won't have to worry about car and insurance payments
6. My family - I've very excited to see them all in December and have the whole clan together again under one roof
7. Carpeted floors - I'm grateful my house is mostly all carpet - I find it warm and comforting
8. My bed
9. My house
10. My friends


Okay so I do feel a bit better now. Still not great, but a maybe not quite as bad. Anyhoo - if anyone reading this has any helpful tips on how to remotivate yourself and get your energy up and your "joie de vivre" back, please do share. I always do appreciate any and all comments I get . . .

Suz

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Day 63

>> Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finished the Strings today!! Yee haw baby - all done! Now just have to do the actual vocals and then it's a wrap!

So here's something I was wondering today (completley unrelated to music btw): why do the female shoppers in the mall I work at feel the need to walk around with their yoga mats all the time? Seriously - in the last few weeks I seem to be noticing yoga mat-toting women everywhere. They have them in their little yoga-mat bags, flung over their shoulders as they shop. The weird thing is - the mall I work at is very upscale. I'm being totally honest when I say I can pretty much only afford to shop at the Shoppers Drug Mart (and maybe Gap on a good day). The high majority of shoppers at my mall are people who, let's say, don't have to worry about money. That being said - most of the people who shop at this mall tend to drive to the mall - they don't walk. So why the yoga mat toting? If they just finished a class, why not leave them in the car? Is it a fashion statement? Some sort of status symbol? I'm just baffled by it. It's also strange as although some may also be wearing work-out clothes - they're always the expensive Lululemon kind, and these women always have perfect hair and make-up and never look like they've just broken a sweat.

It's probably one of the many things lately that has me saying (inwardly at least) - Really?

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Day 62

>> Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I had a moment of pure "connectedness" today - if that's even a word. I worked the early shift today (6am-2pm), then came home and decided to continue recording strings for awhile, even though I was tired and worn out and really just wanted to lie on the couch and not think about anything for awhile.

I've been working for several hours now, and just played back the entire track of "Go on" - full piano and strings at full volume. Now I'm not saying anything about the quality of my work or anything, but when I was listening to it, it was like I was fully in the moment. It's a very personal song and reflects 100% how I've been feeling about things lately and to just hear outwardly what I feel inside made me really be "me" for a minute.

It's hard to describe and it's totally cheese I know, but I guess it's like if you play a sport and you get in "the zone" as they say and everything just becomes very clear and focused and simple.

I also know, for sure, that this is why I am here - to write music. Even if it comes out and people think it sucks (although I'm really hoping it's far from the "it totally sucks" end of the scale) I'm going to keep doing it 'cause (to coin an Oprah term), it makes me in the process be my authentic self. No BS, no pretending - here I am. Just me, with my heart on my sleeve.

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Day 61

>> Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm at the end of my rope. It's a rope that I've extended time and again for many a year, but it seems that I've finally come to the end.

I can't go into details at this time, but suffice it to say that I believe something rather significant in my life will be changing soon. My gut instinct has pretty much been kicking me in the stomach every single day for about a month now and I've decided I can't ignore it any longer.

Not sure what the next few weeks / month will hold, but I think it's all gonna' change pretty quickly . . .

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Day 60 - Day 60??

>> Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wow - can't believe I'm on day 60 already. Time really flies by when you're spending time doing the thing you love!

So I had the day off today, but I actually really took the day off and just chilled. I went to church in the morning, then went for a drive to just enjoy the nice weather for a bit, then came home and just relaxed with Chris. I was a little productive and cleaned out my car a bit and did a few little work-related things, but overall it was a good day just to sort of float around and do nothing. We just finished watching "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" - I know, I know - totally cheese, but fun nonetheless. I'm heading to bed soon (it's only 9pm!) as I have another early shift tomorrow and I have a looong day tomorrow with a lot of commitments so I want to get my sleep.

On a sad note - my dear Aunt Pat passed away a few days ago. She was actually my Great Aunt, but she was quite young and I always just thought of her as my Aunt. She was simply magical - I have nothing but great memories of her. So much fun, always had a twinkle in her eye, and had one of the best laughs you would ever hear. She started having health problems when my Uncle Jake got sick and then passed away 18 months ago. She had Lou Gehrig's disease, but I think she died of a broken heart. I know she's with him again now, looking down on us with an even bigger twinkle in her eye.

Aunt Pat - I'll miss you. You always held a very special place in my heart. You were a role model to me and someone who always made me feel special and welcome. The world won't shine quite as brightly now that you're gone.

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Day 58 - Strings

>> Friday, November 6, 2009

I recorded strings today. It was awesome - I got to borrow the Kurzweil digital piano from the church and the string inventory on that thing is huge compared to the string options I have on my Roland piano. The strings I'm using on the Kurzweil sound so amazingly real - I'll definitely have to think about upgrading to my own Kurzweil someday (hopefully soon)!

I made good progress today - I arranged and recorded the strings for the intro, verses, pre-chorus and chorus. It'll take me another day to do the same for the bridge and refrain, and then it's on to the vocals! That'll take me probably 2 full days or so to get it just right (and do all the harmonies, etc), so I'm hoping I'll have it done in another week or so. I like to devote whole days to it, so I've been writing and working on some other songs on workdays and waiting until my days off to do the actual recording (as I'm not tired and can really focus and get into it).

Anyway - I'm super excited to get it done and post it and see what people think! I'm also getting excited 'cause I have so many ideas now and everything's really flowing and I'm feeling very inspired musically. Chris has also been super supportive and encouraging and fueling the fire, which is awesome. How lucky am I?

Alright - it's off to bed for me as I have the 6am shift at work tomorrow. 'Till next time!

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Day 55

>> Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Redid the piano track to "Go on" today. Took hours to get it just right but finally got it done. Booyah!!

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Day 53

>> Sunday, November 1, 2009

Only in Canada - I had to use my snowbrush to get all the fallen maple leaves off of my car yesterday morning before I left for work. I literally could hardly even see my car, it was so covered. I mean, it was pretty, but I kept thinking to myself "only in Canada, only in Canada". I guess I should be thankful it wasn't snow and ice I was trying to get off!

I've had a very busy few days - I've been having a lot of 6am shifts at work, which actually isn't too bad during the day, but by around 7pm at night I pretty much shut down and am ready for bed. The thing is, I'm always so worried about sleeping through my alarm and not getting there on time, that I end up tossing and turning all night and hardly sleeping at all! Several days in a row of that pretty much turned me into a walking zombie. I finally got a chance to really sleep last night and this morning 'cause I don't have to be at work today until much later on in the afternoon (we're setting up all our Holiday displays tonight!) - so I took advantage and slept in as much as possible today. All I can say is - sleep, I missed you - so nice to get reacquainted!

On a musical note - I've decided to rerecord the piano track to "Go on". Chris listened to it last night and while he thought it was good, said the piano was a bit heavy on certain parts, and listening back I'd have to agree with him. As someone who started out first playing piano, I sometimes tend to really play up the piano and make it all about that - so much so that it detracts a little from the rest of the song and the actual lyrics. He also suggested that I put the Intro back in, so I think I'll probably take his advice on that as well. So . . . back to square one. I have Tuesday off this week so I'm going to spend all day recording and hopefully can get the piano and string tracks finalized. Hopefully in a few weeks the whole thing will be done. Then on to the next one! I already have about 3 other songs I'm currently writing, but am not sure which one will be the next to be recorded. Stay tuned!

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Day 51

>> Friday, October 30, 2009

I just spent 3 hours recording a vocal "guide track" for my song. Meaning, it's not even the final vocal, just a guide so I know how I want it to sound while I'm recording the other instruments. It should have only taken about a half hour tops, but my perfectionism won out yet again. (Some may call it obsessive-compulsive instead, but hey - whatever floats your boat . . . )

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Day 49 - Piano time

>> Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I've been working on recording the piano track to "Go on" tonight. I was really excited as I was just about finished when I realized that my song was about 5 and 1/2 minutes long - which made it at least a minute and 1/2 too long! Although there is no perfect length for a song (and granted there are some that are 6+ minutes in length), most radio-friendly songs are somewhere between the 3-4 minute range. Anything shorter than that you can't really get into, and anything longer than that and the audience starts to disengage.

For me - this means I ended up cutting the intro. It did sound cool, but wasn't really needed and to be honest I don't think completely matched the feel of the rest of the song. I'm also going to shorten up the ending so it doesn't drag on too long.

I had to start all over again, but it's all good - it'll be much faster this time around as I know exactly what I want and how I want it to sound when I record it.

Back to it!!

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Day 48

>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh thank the heavens - my hair is no longer green. After 2 and 1/2 hours at the salon tonight, my hair is still dark, but instead of a hint of green it now has a lovely hint of red in it.

The stylist was awesome and also gave me a trim and blow-dry so it's now nice and shiny and straight as well as a beautiful shade of brunette! She said it will fade a bit though, so if it doesn't totally stick I may have to go back in a month or so to get another semi-permanent wash put on it. That's fine though, as it actually didn't cost me nearly as much as I thought it would. Probably helped as I drove all the way out to a salon in Barrie to get it done (and things tend to be a lot cheaper out in the sticks). I knew it would just cost me way too much in the city, and the salon in Barrie "Pure Bliss Salon and Day Spa" also specializes in colour correction (which I discovered when I was googling salons the morning after my hair disaster). So if I do need the colour touched up sooner rather than later it's not too bad. The stylist mentioned that she has at least one client a month who comes in for colour correction - at least I'm not the only one who makes bad hair decisions! You live and learn, I suppose . . .

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Day 47 - just another day in the life

>> Monday, October 26, 2009

Never, ever, ever try to dye your own hair dark if you're currently a blonde. Yours truly got it into her head late last night that my hair needed a change and "hey - I should dye it really, really dark brown!!" So off I went to the drug store and bought 2 bottles of Garnier Nutrisse hair dye in "dark chocolate brown". (2 bottles 'cause I have a lot of hair and knew that 1 wouldn't be enough). I was smart though (or so I thought) and even snipped off a bit of my blonde hair beforehand to do a "strand test" - basically to make sure that it would work and wouldn't turn anything other than brown. Sure enough, it seemed to take, so off I went (this was at midnight by the way) and started to dye my whole head. Well halfway through the second bottle of dye I realized that I was going to run out really fast, and at that point only half of my head was done. Thank goodness for my hubby though, as he rushed off to the 24-hr Shoppers to get some more bottles of dye. By the time he got home and I finished my whole head it must have been about 1am, and then by time I had let it all sink in and then washed it out it was after 2am.

Well . . . in the bathroom light at the time I thought it looked pretty good - it was darker than I had wanted and definitely wasn't the nice rich colour I thought it would be, but it was okay. This morning though when I saw it in the mirror under natural light, I realized it was worse than what I thought - I had definitely missed some parts, and some parts underneath were looking a little green. There's also some parts on the top that looked kind of patchy. It wasn't disasterous, but I definitely started to regret my spontaneous decision the night before to do it. I also quickly began to realize that if I didn't try to fix it, it would really start to bother me and I'd feel really self-concious. This time I was at least smart enough to know it was time to take it to the pros - I found a salon that specializes in colour correction and headed out this afternoon for a consultation (thank goodness I had the day off today)! The hair stylist took one look at me and said "yup - I can definitely see the green in there" (yikes!) but said that she could fix it by redying it with a colour that was more red (fine by me). Unfortunately she couldn't actually fix it today as they close early on Mondays, so I'm heading back there tomorrow afternoon for colour and a trim (figured I might as well kill 2 birds with 1 stone). Sadly though this means I have to face another day in public with this hair. If I just pull it back you can't see the bad parts though, so I guess it's fine. Keep your fingers crossed for me that the correction works and I end up with gorgeous hair!! And keep this story in mind if you ever find yourself thinking late at night "hey - I should dye my own hair!!" Trust me, it's not worth the hassle - just pay the money and get it done right the first time around . . .

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Day 42 - Back to the Daily Grind

>> Wednesday, October 21, 2009









Well I'm back, and not too happy about it I may add . . . ;)

Chris and I had an awesome trip - every single thing was just perfect - the rental car (my fave - a Jeep Wrangler!), the hotel room, the weather, the food, the scenery - we really couldn't have hoped for more.

Of course the time went by wayyyy too quickly, and we're now back to the daily grind and our mini vacay already seems like it was months ago! It was so great to get away though - I highly recommend Mont. Tremblant and the Laurentians in general to anyone who hasn't experienced that location yet. It's just absolutely gorgeous and so nice to have a mix of getting back to "nature" yet having the luxury of nice hotels and great food and shopping!

I'm now back to a hectic schedule at work - we started 6am starts this week (normally the earliest shift is 7-3) - not good as my body has gotten used to staying up really late these last few weeks, so I'm sure it will be quite a shock tomorrow when I have to wake up before the clock even strikes 5am! (Yikes!) We've already started getting our Christmas stock in, and that "pressure" feeling I get when the Holidays are upon us continues to build and build. I keep reminding myself to not get stressed and everything will get done, but it's sometimes hard to do when there seems to be an overall sense of panic throughout the store . . .

I am excited though 'cause November 1st for me means the start of . . . Christmas decorating!! Last year, both Chris and I were so busy that we pretty much forgot about Christmas decorations in the house altogether - I don't even think we put up our tree! This year though I am determined that we're going to have a good, down home Judge Christmas - complete with a tree with all the trimmings and the house decorated both indoors and out. I may even go crazy and actually do some Holiday baking this year! (shocking for anyone that knows me I'm sure)

I'm also . . . dum, dum, dum . . . planning to enter a contest in December! That's right - I have decided that I will be entering the song I'm working on now into the Canadian Radio Star National Songwriting Competition! The deadline is December 11th, so I know I need to finish recording and putting all the finishing touches on my song soon. I know it's a longshot as it's a really popular annual competition for Canadian songwriters, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?

BTW - I finally have a name for the song - it's called "Go On" - you'll know why when you hear it.

Anyhoo - I guess I should be trying to get to bed soon - 4:45am will be here before I know it!

(The pics above are from our weekend - Chris doesn't like pics of him on the 'net so I didn't post any that he was in)

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Day 39

>> Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm lying on the couch by the fireplace in our suite at the Mariott in Mont. Tremblant, Quebec. Chris is watching a movie and we're just chillin'. Doesn't get much better than this.

I don't want to come home . . .

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Day 36

>> Thursday, October 15, 2009





If you're ever bored, just google yourself. I was overcome by vanity just now and decided to google my youtube name "sjdisneyfan". Wow - the amount of crazy pages my videos have somehow ended up on is pretty hilarious. My actual name doesn't really come up with anything too exciting - apparently SJDisneyfan is much more interesting! ;)

So I'm off on my mini vacay with Chris tomorrow - Mont. Tremblant here we come! We are both pretty stoked to get away for a few days and just do some serious chillaxing - read, sleep, watch movies by the fireplace, shop, play guitar, take the gondola ride up the mountain and look at the leaves, and eat a whole lot. We leave tomorrow morning and I may not be able to post while we're away - we'll see how well our internet stick works. Hopefully it's good and I can post some updates and pics.

Here's to 4 straight days of downtime!

(I've posted some pics of the Tremblant area for your viewing pleasure!)

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Day 35 - Taylor Swift

>> Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Home from work and watching my PVR of today's Oprah - Taylor Swift is being interviewed and performing - how great is she? Seems so grounded and focused. I bought her CD "Fearless" awhile ago and love it. Current favourite song would have to be "Breathe", her duet with the fabulous Colbie Caillat. Apparently her tour is coming back to Toronto in the spring - think I may have to get tickets this time around!

P.S. They showed a tour of her house in Nashville and she has a blue guitar too! Love it!

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Day 34

>> Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I had insomnia last night. I lay in bed all night, tossing and turning and trying to will myself to sleep. I finally must have drifted off at about 4am, but it was kind of pointless as I had to get up at 5am. It was the worst - knowing that I had to get up early and that I needed to sleep but just not being able to. I was exhausted all day and pretty much felt "off" during my entire shift.

I'm sure I'll sleep like a baby tonight. I'll probably be silly and end up staying up late anyway, playing my guitar or fiddling on the piano, but I don't have a crazy early shift tomorrow so at least I can be fast asleep past 5am!

I'm eagerly counting down the days until my mini vacay - 2 more work days and off we go!

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Day 33 - so much to do, so little time!

>> Monday, October 12, 2009




I've been feeling a little time-deprived lately. There's always so much to do and so little time to do it all in!

I've had a very busy few days. We had the concert at the church on Friday and it was awesome! Long day, but so worth it. Quimi, Lanae Hale and Matt Brouwer were all amazing, but I was particularly inspired by Quimi and Lanae. I got to spend quite a bit of time with them as I picked them up from the airport and was responsible for taking them to and from hotels, making sure they were fed, helping with merch sales, and so on. I had some really cool discussions with them, and as a songwriter just feel even more motivated now after hanging out with them for the day. They're living their dreams and lifting up and inspiring others by doing what God put them here to do, and it really doesn't get any better than that. If you've never heard any of their songs (or Matt Brouwer's), do yourself a favour and check them out on youtube or through MySpace - you won't regret it.

After the craziness of Friday, I had to work all weekend, but thankfully the store was closed today for Thanksgiving and I had the day off with my hubby. He took me on a really great drive in the country and by the lake, and we came home to have yummy leftovers from the amazing Thanksgiving dinner he cooked for me last night - how lucky am I?

Tomorrow it's back to work first thing in the morning, but in three days we (Chris and I) leave for a 4-day weekend in Mont. Tremblant in Quebec!! We're going to celebrate Chris' birthday, and to enjoy one last "mini vacation" before the craziness of the Holiday season starts and life gets even busier. We're super stoked, as we went there last year in the summer for our anniversary and completely fell in love with the place. This year we'll see the fall colours and we're staying at a really nice resort hotel right in the pedestrian village, which should be awesome.

I have a lot to do before Friday morning though - lot's of chores to do around the house, but I also want to get in a lot of guitar practice time, and really want to have at least the piano track recorded and locked in my computer before we leave. I was up way too late last night experimenting with some instrumental effects on my home studio recording software (Cakewalk's Music Creator) and figured out some cool things I want to add to this song I'm working on. Before I get there though, I have to get the regular piano track recorded exactly the way I want it. Once that's done, then I fiddle with the rest of the instrumental, then finally I'll add the vocal track. Lots of work, but hopefully it'll be worth it with the finished project!

Alright - I'm off to practice guitar! (That's a pic of my lovely lady at the top of this post!!)

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Day 29 - Out of my mind!

>> Thursday, October 8, 2009

There are a lot of technical aspects that go into writing and recording a song, whether you're an amateur or a pro, and whether you're recording at home or in a recording studio. It's not just about writing a song that captures a certain moment and emotion, you've got to have certain musical elements that make the song easy to listen to from an audience's point of view. One of these things is tempo, or the speed of the song.

I have a tendancy to get really hung up on the technical aspects of a song, especially when it comes to tempo. The speed your song is played at and sung determines what kind of song it is, and really whether the song is going to work or not. Sometimes when I'm writing, I'll start out writing a fast-paced song, only to change it later so it has a slower, more melancholy pace. Or, I'll start writing what I think will be a slower, emotional song, only to have it morph into a faster upbeat melody.

The song I'm working on now has had me obsessed with it's tempo for the better part of a week now. First it was on the slower side, then faster, then I became obsessed with what the exact BPM (beast per minute) would be when I recorded it. I literally dreamt about it last night! Finally tonight I found the perfect tempo - 86 bpm. 85 was too slow, 87 too fast, 86 hit the spot on the nose. I finally found the song's natural cadence, which is good as I was almost at the "throw my computer out the window" stage earlier on today when I just couldn't find that perfect rhythm.

I've also decided that I'll probably be adding some strings and a wee bit of percussion to this track, which will probably delay it's posting by a week or so. I'm a perfectionist, and although I know that I can only do so much from my little home studio, I do want what I post to be "listenable" (hmm, probably not a word I know) so I don't want to rush it. I'm also going to be starting a MySpace music page, so it needs to be MySpace worthy!

I'll be working behind the scenes in a music-related capacity tomorrow - Chris is producing a concert at the church and I'll be helping out. It'll be a good one: Matt Brouwer is the headliner, with Lanae Hale (love her!) and Quimi as the opening acts. We had Matt Brouwer at the church last year for a concert, and he's had an amazing year touring, so this year's concert should be even better. I probably won't have time to post at all, but I'll try for an update on Saturday before I head out to work in the afternoon. I'll also try to post a picture of my beautiful blue gui-tar!!

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Day 28 - I'm obsessed

I learnt how to play "Ode to Joy" on my guitar today.

Yup, that's right - watch out now . . .

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Day 27 - guitar heaven part deux

>> Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just wanted to state again that . . .

I have a new guitar . . .

. . . and it's blue!!!!

(Seriously, how cool is that???!!)

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Day 27 - guitar heaven

I got a new guitar today.

It's blue.

I'm so excited I could pee my pants.

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Day 25 - Really?

>> Sunday, October 4, 2009

Had one of those days when all you can really say is . . . really??

People deciding that the bottom of the escalator is a great place to just stop and have a chat - thereby almost causing a human pile-up . . . really?

Parents leaving their young children in the store while they leave to shop elsewhere in the mall . . . really?

Someone getting offended 'cause I referred to them as the "next person in line" . . . really?

Having to clean up poo on the floor in the women's washroom . . . really?

I'll leave it at that.

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Day 24

Nothing much to report today. Worked all day and didn't get much of a chance to work on anything else - although in the shower this morning I did finish up a song verse - yee haw!!

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Day 23 - Bad Mommy!!

>> Friday, October 2, 2009

Ohhh, I've been a bad mom . . . thank goodness I only have a dog and not any real children, otherwise I'd probably be arrested for neglect.

I came home from work today and went straight to my recording studio (aka my "office") as I had some ideas for my song. I then thought I heard someone pull into my driveway, so I quickly grabbed Franklin and put him in the bedroom and shut the door (so that he wouldn't jump all over whomever came to the door). Anyhoo - turns out it was nothing, so I sat back down and continued working on my song. Well . . . that was 5 and 1/2 hours ago, and I just looked at the clock and couldn't believe that much time had gone by. I didn't get up once to go to the bathroom, haven't eaten a lick yet, haven't done anything, including . . . letting the dog out of the bedroom! I actually even forgot where I had put him. When I saw the time, I jumped up and yelled for Franklin to come so I could let him out to pee. I was waiting at the door yelling "Franklin, come on!" and then heard him let out a very sleepy and far-away sounding bark. "Franklin? Where are you? Stop being a sleepy head and come here!" I yelled again. In response I got another whimperish and confused "woof?" Then it dawned on me - he's still in the bedroom! I ran to open the door, and there he stood - all alone in the pitch dark, with his head tilted and looking at me like "what the heck happened mom? Thanks a lot!!" I have now let him out, fed him dinner, and gave him not 1, but 2 milk bones to help make up for my lack of good dog-caring skills.

I blame it on the music though - seriously - the house could have been on fire and I probably wouldn't have noticed. The good news is I'm almost done! I figured out how I want the musical transition from the end of the chorus to the third verse to go (which had been bothering me), and even started recording it to see what it sounds like with both music and vocal in playback (it sounds cool although it is in very rough format thanks to my lovely sick, stuffed-up sounding voice). Still trying to name it though - I never feel like I really "own" one of my songs until I name it, so it usually takes awhile for the right title to dawn on me.

Alright - I'm signing off now to go eat something and force myself away from my computer and piano. I'm obsessed I tell you - obsessed!!

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Day 22 - still sick, not quite as grumpy

>> Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hi all,

I am still sick, although I think I'm starting to feel better. My sore throat is (mostly) gone, although I've now developed this awful hacking cough that kind of makes me sound like a honking goose. If it didn't hurt so much every time I cough, it would actually be kind of funny. I went back to work today, although I probably should have stayed at home as everyone was avoiding me like the plague. I have upgraded from Benylin to Buckley's though, and although it tastes horrible (the commercials don't lie!), it does help the coughing for about an hour after taking it. After that it's back to goose mating season for me.

I also seem to have passed it on to my hubby, although on my defense I did warn him to stay away from me (but what can I say, I'm irresistable) ;) I'm currently writing this on the couch in his office at church, listening to him cough and sniffle, and feeling quite bad about it. I guess it's one of the side effects of marriage - passing on (and receiving) every single cold/flu you get for the rest of your life!

Being off of work the last 2 days, I did manage to be a little bit productive. Although I did spend about 48 hours either in bed or curled up on the couch, I was a good songwriter and did it with a pen and my notebook by my side. I managed to get another verse, the bridge, and the chorus done for a song I'm working on. It doesn't have a name yet, but it's about following your dreams and never giving up on yourself (how fitting!) I'll probably have it finished in another day or so, so I plan on having a demo (re: rough) version recorded and posted on here in maybe about 2 weeks. I've been having some difficulties with my recording software so it'll take me a few days to figure that out. Then once I have my voice back I can record again!

That's it for me for today - I'm off to go listen to our youth worship practice for awhile, then it's home for a bath and bed.

Hope everyone out there in Internet-land is having a good one!

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Day 20?

>> Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I think it's Day 20 - I kinda' lost count. I was away this past weekend for the junior/senior high youth retreat, and am now home and quite sick. Some of the youth weren't feeling well on the weekend and I've definitely caught it. Had to call in sick to work today as both my throat and my chest feel like they're on fire. I've been dosing up on the Benylin but it doesn't seem to be helping at all. I'm tired but my sore throat keeps me from sleeping, and lying on the couch watching TV makes my headache worse.

I hate being sick . . .

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Day 12

>> Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh, thank the heavens - I have my punctuation back!! Seriously - I never knew how much I depend on my commas and such until I didn't have them for a day!

Another crazy day at work, but I'm trying not to think about it now that I'm finally home.

So in all honesty, I don't have anything of substance to post today. I slept in as I was completely wiped, and by the time I got up and running today and had gotten some laundry done it was pretty much time to go back to work! I did have some time to just sit and have some lunch before I left though, so I read some of my current book "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown, and have to say that I'm completely obsessed. I didn't think I'd be that into it as it's been a long time since "The Da Vinci Code" and I really didn't think he could do it again, but so far so good. Mr.Brown has me flipping the pages as fast as I possibly can! They way he engages his reader and just draws you into the mystery and intrigue is amazing - definitely worth the wait!

Tomorrow we have author Douglas Coupland at the store for a reading and signing. He's a pretty famous Canadian author and I'm sure we'll have at least a few hundred people out to meet him. I always like meeting authors as just as with actors and musicians, I get a lot of inspiration out of people in the arts who follow their dreams and make an effort to make a living out of expressing their creativity into something that can be shared with others. I'm lucky that I've gotten the opportunity to meet a lot of people who work in the "arts", and now that I'm really pursuing this, it means even more to me and I find myself gaining courage and strength from the successes of others. If they can do it, I can do it!

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Day 11 - really late (or should I say really early)?

>> Monday, September 21, 2009

Crrazzyyy!! That would be the word to explain the last few days. Seriously - I can barely remember what day it is. At work today I kept thinking it was Saturday and was writing the wrong numbers down for budgets and schedules and stuff cause I kept looking at the wrong day on the computer! Oh to have a regular 9-5 job where I have weekends off and go to bed and get up at the same time each day. But who am I kidding - that would drive me crazy after a few weeks of never being able to sleep in!

I will not be able to write much tonight - seems my computer wonèt let me type commas and apostrophes and question marks and the like, (see above wonèt as example - the apostrophe keeps coming up as è - what is with that). I could just keep typing and not use the punctuation I want and not use any contractions - but Im already annoyed just reading it back so Im sure anyone reading is probably annoyed by it already).

Grrr . . . I will get Chris to have a look tomorrow.

Stay tuned for a real post . . .

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Day 10

>> Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ooohhh - I'm a delinquent blogger. I missed a day! My excuse is not really much of an excuse - I was tired and by the time I got home from work I wasn't feeling inspired enough to write anything. I was pretty much thinking "food . . . sleep . . . need to do laundry . . . food . . . screw the laundry . . . sleep".

I did have a moment of inspiration today though. As is normally the case, I was singing in the shower (acoustics are awesome!) and finally figured out how I want the melody to sound in the chorus of a song I'm working on. I've been struggling with it for awhile now so I was pretty happy about that (and what a productive shower too! :) My best work is done in the shower or bathtub, I have to say).

At the moment, I'm sitting on the couch watching a movie, having just finished a late-night dinner of Chinese food. I'm very happy to be veggin' out as it was another crazy day at work today. I decided I needed some relaxing and lazying around ("relazing" as I say) and swung by Blockbuster on the way home and picked out a few movies. I'm currently watching "Music & Lyrics" with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore - it's a little silly but I'm lovin' it so far! And seriously - could Hugh Grant be more adorable?

It's going to be a busy week as I'm in the midst of 7 days in a row at the store and then I'm helping out at the junior & senior high youth retreat next weekend in Muskoka. It's my first youth retreat and I'm pretty excited to be going, but I'm sure I'll be a little sleep-deprived when we get back next Sunday afternoon. Thankfully I had the foresight to ask for the Monday off so I could recoup a little bit. As busy as I know the next several days will be, I have promised myself that I will find the time each day this week to work on my music and acting. I'm currently trying to find some great monologues to practice with, and I'm also really trying to get a song finished soon. It's only day 10, but so far so good!

Thanks for reading, and good-night to everyone out there. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend (and the weather)! I'm off to finish my movie and scrounge up some dessert!

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Day 8 - yes I missed Day 7

>> Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh Day 7 - didn't go exactly according to plan. I woke up super tired and must admit that my first thought was "hmmm, wonder how upset my sister would be if I called and cancelled for tonight". I had only gotten about 3 1/2 hours of sleep and was pretty much dead to the world. It also turned out to be a horrible day at work - 3 of my day staff called in sick, plus I had orientation for 3 new staff, plus we were light on managers and on cash, plus it was crazy busy as it was the day after the new Dan Brown "The Lost Symbol" book release - not fun at all. I didn't even have time to grab lunch, just a cookie from StarBucks, so by the time I got home I was starting to get a killer headache. I was going to suck it up though and still go - I was just starting to get ready when my sister called. Turns out she's swamped at work and really tired too and would I be terribly upset if she cancelled? Ha! I was actually relieved and told her so, so we both ended up having quiet evenings at home.

I really wasn't disappointed at all - I was only hearing bad press reviews about "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" and had also found out that the tickets you get for premieres at Roy Thompson Hall are for balcony seating only. We would have been really far back, and part of me thought it just wouldn't be worth it. So I guess this year my Toronto International Film Festival experience will be limited to the "Invention of Lying" premiere experience, which is fine by me as it was a fun night out on the town and one I won't soon forget.

It turns out it's a really good thing we didn't go last night - my killer headache decided to morphe into a killer migraine and I pretty much spent the night curled up on the couch feeling nauseous and almost crying as my head just wouldn't stop pounding. Chris ended up giving me one of his percocets, which did help and I finally got some sleep. It was still here when I woke up today though, but it seems to have subsided quite a bit now, so I'm feeling like I can continue with my day (now that it's already 2:30 in the afternoon).

So . . . as I contemplate what do to with the rest of my day, I'll wrap up this post for now by saying "Cheers" to the Toronto Film Festival. My first year attending "TIFF" proved to me that as the world's largest film festival (I have heard and read this from many people so I'll assume it's true), it is very well run and I love how it opens it's doors to the public and we're all able to attend world premieres and screenings of films that we may never have seen otherwise. I love how it reminded me that we're all human and that celebrities are only "stars" 'cause that's what we make them. Labelling someone as something doesn't actually make them that. It doesn't make them any better than you or I or the neighbour next door. They're just people - people living their lives with hopes and dreams and good days and bad days. I am still inspired by some actors & singers as they're people who have followed their dreams and turned them into reality, but we're all equal and can all learn from each other and look up to one another.

I will definitely be attending TIFF next year - I may even go all out and book some time off that week so I can really experience the festival and all it has to offer. It truly is a great thing for Toronto and for Canada and I feel proud to have been a "tiny" part of it. Hopefully one day I will be going to see a screening of a film that I'm in!

'till next time . . .

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Day 6 - when I should be in bed already . . .

>> Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ohhhh I'm tired - after my exciting evening on the town last night I was definitely tired today at work. Tomorrow's gonna' be a long one too - I work the early shift (7am-3pm), then need to come home, get ready, and drive downtown to meet up with my sister at her apartment. We're going to the premiere of "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" at Roy Thompson Hall, but it doesn't even start until about 9:30pm so it'll be another late night for me. Thankfully I have Thursday off so I can sleep in for a bit!

About last night - I'm not going to bother posting pictures - we loaded them onto the computer and none of them really turned out well. :( The mix of it being darkly lit, then the explosion of camera flashes did not make for good cell phone pictures. I think I may take my actual camera tomorrow and take video of the introduction and post that - we'll see how it turns out.

So a few days ago I posted about my dilema with choosing the first acting class to take after my long hiatus from the profession (I think it's been 8 or 9 years)! Turns out my decision was made for me. I completely forgot that in order to apply for classes at Equity Showcase Theatre you need an acting resume and current headshot. While I could probably find copies of my old resume, my headshots are waaayyy out of date - my last ones I definitely look younger and have really, really light blonde hair. I don't want to rush to get new ones - that can wait until a little later on, so that means no Equity classes for me until then. For now I will retake the first Actor's class at Sears & Switzer, and then go from there. Sadly the next session doesn't start now until the beginning of November, so I need something to occupy me for a month and a half. I think I may take the next six weeks to study up on some monologues, and work on finishing some songs. I have two that are halfway done at the moment, but I think I'll focus on one at a time instead of flopping all over the place. I may just post a bit of one on here in a bit and see what ya'll think.

Okay, I'm tired now so think I'll turn in for the night. I'll post tomorrow either before I leave or maybe when I get home after the premiere (if I'm not dizzy from tiredness and still halfway coherent).

Ciao!

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Day 5 - 12:42am

I'm home! I had a blast at the film festival today. Turns out I didn't have to go solo - I managed to snag another ticket and my hubby was able to come with me! We weren't able to get downtown earlier today, so we didn't see any daytime screenings, but we did attend the world premiere of "The Invention of Lying" this evening at the Elgin Theatre.

I was really excited the entire trip down, and was even more excited when we noticed the security setting up the barrier gates around the front of the theatre for when the stars showed up. I picked up our tickets and felt very posh as we joined the "premium" line-up - turns out if you have a Visa gold card or higher you get to go to the theatre's "Visa Lounge" for some drinks and free snacks, and are then allowed to enter the actual theatre before anyone else to grab the premium seats! We grabbed a table and spent the next 45 minutes or so enjoying free chips and chocolate, and having a really great conversation with another couple who were enjoying their 10th film of the festival so far! The time flew by talking with them, and soon the time came to enter the theatre and grab our seats. At first we picked some seats a little further back - we didn't want to be craning our necks for two hours to see the movie - but then my excitement got the better of me and we ended up sitting in the fifth row from the front (Chris was rather amused by my excitement this whole time). We grabbed some popcorn and got ourselves settled in.

(Let me just take a moment here to marvel at the beauty of the Elgin theatre - it is absolutely stunning. If you live in the GTA and haven't been before, do yourself a favour and go see a show there - really truly beautiful and awe-inspiring).

Anyhoo - finally at about 9:30pm someone came out to thank everyone for coming and to introduce the makers of the film, Matthew Robinson and Ricky Gervais! They both seemed really nice and Ricky Gervais was hilarious - he seems exactly like he does on TV - funny and very British. They only spoke for a few minutes before they introduced two of the producers of the film, and then two of stars - Rob Lowe and . . . Jennifer Garner! They came out from the side of the stage to join the others (while the crowd went wild cheering and clapping) and waved and posed for pictures (they had let some press in so they were up at the front of the stage). They didn't say anything though (which was a little disappointing), and after another few minutes of Mr.Gervais talking, they left the stage to take their seats and then the lights went out and the movie started.

Jennifer did look amazing in a short green dress, and she actually looks even more beautiful in real life than she does on TV or on the big screen, (Chris took some pictures which I'll try and post tomorrow), but I really didn't end up as excited as I thought I'd be - it even seemed a little anticlimactic.

Here's the thing - they're just people. Like you and me, they (meaning celebrities) are just human beings. They just happen to have a job that puts them in the public eye. If you had mentioned Jennifer Garner to me this morning I probably would have said "oh I love her!" but no, of course I don't. I think she's a great actress and I think she seems like a really nice, positive person with a great attitude, but I don't know her - she's a complete stranger! I've been thinking about it ever since we left the theatre - we are we (myself included) so caught up in "celebrity" - why do we care so much about people we don't even know? Is it because they're rich? Is it because they're good-looking? Is it because of their fame? Why do we put them on a pedestal? I'm not saying I'll no longer be a fan of certain celebrities (Ms.Garner included), but I think it just really hit home tonight that they are no better (or worse for that matter) than me, and instead of spending time hero-worshipping people I don't even know, I should spend that time maybe working on myself to make me a better person and make more of a contribution to the world I live in.

I think it's still important to have role models and people in the world we can look up too, but we should be looking up to people for the right reasons - not materialistic ones.

I did have a good time this evening though - I'm really glad I got to have a great night out with my husband, and I'm glad we went (and the movie was pretty good too - quite funny although the direction they took with the film was a little surprising. If you're a religious person you'll know what I mean if you see the film when it comes out).

It's kinda' funny though - getting ready today I was most excited to go to a movie premiere and see the stars, but it turns out what really made the evening for me was walking around Toronto with my arm in my husband's and us having a really great conversation with that couple before the movie even began.

Funny that . . . the lessons life teaches you . . .

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Day 4 - 1:01am

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

Another late night at work - this time due to our new fall presentation set-up. I'm tired, but almost too tired to go to bed (as weird as that may sound).

I didn't end up going to see Mr.Caine today. Woke up super early after staying up way too late last night to see that they were still sold out. I was considering going downtown to try and somehow get a ticket anyway but my body was pretty much screaming at me to go back to bed. So off I went back to the comfort of my bed, where I fell back asleep in a matter of seconds and stayed as long as possible until it was time to get up and get ready for work.

Tomorrow is "The Invention of Lying" though, so I'm pretty excited about that. Not excited that it looks like I'll be going by myself, but I won't let that stop me. I am a huuuuge Jennifer Garner fan, and think Ricky Gervais is pretty brilliant, so I will go ahead and brave the crowds solo. The screening doesn't start until 9pm but I plan on being in line a few hours early so I can try and get a good seat. I also just may try to get a last-minute ticket to an early afternoon screening of either "The Road" or "Precious" - they may just release some same day tickets tomorrow morning, so we'll see how I feel at 7am. I love Viggo Mortenson (who is starring in the "The Road"), and well - everyone knows how I feel about Oprah (who just happens to be the executive producer of "Precious" - and is attending TIFF) - so who knows?

Anyhoo - I guess I should be off to bed to try and get some sleep. 'Till next time!

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Day 3

>> Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Toronto International Film Festival is underway in Toronto, and for the first time ever (I know!) I will be attending a couple of screenings! I managed to snag tickets to the premieres of two movies I have been interested in ever since I heard they were filming. The first is "The Invention of Lying" starring Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Garner (and directed by Ricky Gervais), the second is "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" with Natalie Portman and directed by Don Roos. I'm excited as not only will I be able to see the films at their first showing, but the directors, producers and actors will be on hand for the screening and will do an introduction of the film (and if we're lucky a Q&A session as well)!

There were several other films I really wanted to see ("The Road", "Precious" & "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" to name a few) but the demand was crazy and tickets either sold out right away or I'm scheduled to work and can't switch shifts on those days. I did just find out though that actor Michael Caine is doing a presentation tomorrow in the early afternoon at one of the theatres downtown - it's called "In Conversation with Michael Caine" and it kinda' sounds like it'll be one of those James Lipton Inside the Actor's Studio-type interviews. I don't know how I managed to miss this as I am a pretty big Michael Caine fan. When I was fresh out of my theatre program at college I was a little obsessed with him - he's a real "actor's actor" and I rented every movie he's ever been in and read his books and a ton of interviews he'd done to soak up every acting tip I could get. Now I find out he'll be in town tomorrow and I can't get a ticket! They're completely sold out, but I think I may just head downtown anyway tomorrow morning to see if I can get a last minute rush ticket. It would definitely be worth it and I think the timing couldn't be better as listening to his tales of life as an actor and his words of advice and experience would be something I'd never forget. There's nothing like seeing or meeting an amazingly talented actor in person to get the 'ole creative juices flowing!

Here's to TIFF and what I'm hoping will be an amazing few days at the movies!

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Day 2 - 2:42am

>> Friday, September 11, 2009

Just got home from work. We were doing an inventory count and as that all has to be done after the store closes, I had to stay late and help supervise. Now I'm home and even though I have to be back at work in about 8 hours I'm too wired to go to sleep. My mind has been racing all day long with things I can do and "next steps" I can take to help get back into the acting and music scenes.

I actually got an email today from Equity Showcase Theatre - a very well-known theatre/film school in Toronto that has been teaching classes and workshops for a really long time. I've taken courses there before (back in the day when I was right out of college), and the classes are always taught by working actors, directors, or other professionals in the business and are sometimes really hard to get into. There's a couple of fall session classes that sound really interesting to me, but part of me is really intimidated by the thought of being in a theatre class environment again. It's been so long, what if I've forgotten everything? I need to decide soon though - registration deadlines are looming and I know from experience that most of their classes will fill up quickly. Should I do the Classical Theatre Lab, or just sign up as an observer? Or, should I forget Equity Showcase altogether for now and just re-take the actor's introductory course at Sears & Switzer? (another acting school that's really good that I've taken classes at). That would be more comfortable for me - more like dipping my toe into the cold water rather than jumping right in.

Hmmm . . .

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The Challenge - Day 1

>> Thursday, September 10, 2009

I had a little solo outing yesterday and took myself to see the movie "Julie & Julia". I absolutely loved it and really related to the Julie character. Here was a woman approaching her 30th birthday, in a dead-end job and feeling like she's lost her way in the world. She gives herself a challenge - to cook her way through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a year, and to track her progress on a blog. As she makes her way through the recipes she discovers a lot about who she really is - what makes her happy and what impact she wants to have on the world.

I left the movie theatre feeling completely inspired - what would happen if I assigned myself a similar project? What if I turned this little blog of mine into something a little more focused, and used it to charter my course and steer me back on track? Of course, people may not find it all that interesting - but maybe others could relate to my feelings of being lost and wondering "how the heck did I end up here?" Others still may relate to feeling the tide of time feeling stronger and faster, and in my case pulling me closer and closer to what I feel is a point where I really should have it all "together" . . . my 30th birthday.

Here's the deal - I'm a creative person. I love to act, sing, write, tell stories and entertain people. I love how art (in it's many forms) can make people think about things differently, see things in a new light, can comfort them in times of sadness or lift them up when they feel on top of the world. I love how the arts can inspire, encourage, motivate, calm, energize, and simply make one really feel.

Here's the reality - I have let myself get way off course. There is no one to blame but myself. For reasons I will explain in a later posting, I decided to stop pursuing my dreams and settle into a job I don't really enjoy and that, while I am good at it, doesn't engage me and doesn't bring out my true talents. I have become lazy and complacent. I know it and I'm changing it.

Here's the challenge - I am going for it. I still really don't know how, but I am going to pursue my dream of being an actress and a singer/songwriter. Yes, I need to do both. Many have told me to only focus on one - but for me, one is not complete without the other. In order for me to really be me, I have to do both - it's just the way I work. How I will do this, I have no idea. It's been a loooong time since I've done anything professional in the entertainment industry, so I really don't even know where to begin, but I'll figure it out. I'm going to give myself a year. One year. At the end of the year, I hope to be at a point in my life (career-wise) where I can honestly say that I am back on track, and that I am doing everything in my power to make my dreams of being a professional actress and singer/songwriter come true.

So . . . what does this all really mean? Well, the format of this blog is going to change a little bit. You may have already noticed that it is no longer called "Here comes the Judge!" While that was cute, it wasn't really indicative of what this blog is now here for. My new blog title is "The Road Less Traveled" - I thought this was fitting as I know this will be quite a journey and I'm also hoping I learn things about myself and my place in the world along the way. I will also be posting every single day - sometimes maybe even more than once a day. It will be my way of holding myself accountable and keeping me working towards my goal. You'll also see more media on here - once I get some songs finished, they will be posted on here- so please feel free to post your thoughts and feedback.

I haven't totally figured this out yet - I'm just going with a gut instinct here, but I hope you (whomever you are) will join me on this journey and will hopefully be able to relate to my writing and the musings of a self-described "artiste".

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Thought

>> Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The whisper of a thought
it's colour so thick, like velvet it wraps around my mind
and I am lost

A promise of change
possibilites abound, a journey of unknown and excitement
and I am hope

The reality of circumstance
the harshness so cold, it stops thoughts from continuing
and I am not

The whisper of a thought

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If you knew

>> Monday, August 31, 2009

If you knew what I knew
you would know how I have cried

If you knew what I knew
you would know I did not try

If you stood in my shoes
you would know how hard I fall

If you felt what I feel
you would know I feel it all

If you cared how I cared
you would know I care too much

If you thought how I thought
you would know I messed it up

If you knew what I knew
you would know what I foretell

If you knew what I knew
we would know each other well

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The Watchman

He sits
Feet in water, eyes on sky
Watching
Waiting

He feels
Deep inside, something pounding
Fighting
Wrenching

He knows
In his heart, in his head
What he fears
It is coming

He stands
Turns around, feet are walking
It is time

He is the Watchman

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Go away Mr.Spider!!

>> Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I just waged war on what has got to be the biggest, scariest looking spider I have ever seen. I was about to walk out my front door to take Frankers for a little stroll when it repelled from the top of the outside door frame - inches away from my face!! This thing was massive - I'm not exaggeratting when I say that it's body was about an inch long, and with it's long spindly legs, it was easily at least 3 and 1/2 inches big. I let out a yelp (much to Franklin's amusement), promptly slammed the door shut, and then spent about 2 or 3 minutes spewing forth words that would have shocked anyone within a 100-metre radius and had young children covering their ears and crying for their moms.

I hatched a plan though - yes siree Bob, I would harness my fury about all things creepy and crawly and take this sucker down!! I grabbed my can of raid, carefully opened the door ever so slightly, stategically placed the nozzle of the can so it was right on target with my prey . . . and unleashed hell.

I must have used about half the can on this unsightly, nightmarish beast, but as I closed the door and peeked through the window to ensure it's demise I was shocked to see that it was still alive. It was trying to make it's way to safe hiding, but I was past the point of no return, and in good conscience could not let this creature endure a long and painful death. I came back for a second round of raid, and yet this pinnacle of horror would not die! It was not until my fourth round of spraying that it finally seemed to meet its fate. I'm still not sure though, as it refuses to drop to the ground - it remains curled up in a ball hanging from it's web. Yes it looks dead, but I think it may be a clever little devil and is simply putting on an act - waiting for me to let down my defenses before it appears again.

But don't be fooled Mr.Spider. I will not forget, and I will not fail. I will guard my home like a castle, and entry into my little sanctuary you will not get. I will stand guard, for as long as it takes, to ensure that you and all your spider friends do not get access to my home. You may have the power of fear and intimidation on your side, but I have a steely determination, and I will not fail. I am ready for battle - with my friend Mr.Raid standing by my side.

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Put a sock in it girl!!

>> Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I have a serious problem. It's something I can't control, something that often gets out of hand.

I talk too much.

Well actually, it's not really that I talk too much, it's more that I don't have a filter when I'm talking and usually am way too forthcoming about myself, my life, and my inner most fears and desires.

I often find myself thinking "too much information Suzanne" when I'm talking to someone, but for some reason just can't stop sharing info that most people really don't need to know. I know that it's probably considered a good thing to be open and honest with people and not be "fake", but sometimes it's good to keep some things back and private. I just kind of let everyone know everything and it really leaves nothing to mystery.

Believe me, I've tried. I've tried to respond to a simple question like "how was your night off?" with a simple answer, like "oh it was great - we went for a dinner and movie!" But it doesn't work - what spills out of my mouth would be something more like a 10 minute answer with details that people just don't need to know. I seriously have no control - I was talking to some co-workers the other day and the whole time I'm thinking "put a sock in it girl!", but nope - just couldn't do it.

I guess I shouldn't worry about it until someone else tells me to put a sock in it (which they haven't up to this point). We are who we are for a reason, and it's probably the reason why I've been told I'm very "approachable", but still - it would kind of be nice to be the "mysterious woman" every once in awhile.

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No, I'm not actually . . .

>> Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I win for most horrible moment of the day. A co-worker (a lady probably in her early fifties) came up to me at work today, put her hand on my stomach and asked me how I was doing with a "knowing" smile on her face.

WTF!! I'm not pregnant thank-you very much, I just had a little post-lunch bloating!! And yes, I know I've put on some extra poundage lately, but give me a break! Doesn't everyone know by now that one thing you never do, is assume someone is pregnant??!!

Horrifying, absolutely horrifying. In all honesty, I know I haven't been taking the best care of myself and have been meaning to get back in shape. But while I have needed a kick in the pants to get started, I would have preferred it to be a nice little tap instead of the "are you pregnant" (i.e. "cause your stomach is huge") foot in the arse.

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My new cover on Youtube . . .

>> Monday, August 17, 2009

Here's my new cover I just posted on youtube - I actually recorded it awhile ago, but just posted it today. It's a really meaningful song by Maria Mena called "All this time".


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Current Obsessions

>> Friday, August 7, 2009

A few things I am currently obsessed with:

* All things Harry Potter - I went to see "Half-Blood Prince" a few weeks ago, and ever since then my love of the Harry Potter franchise has resurfaced in a big way. I've re-watched all the movies and am currently re-reading all the books. I've also become slightly obsessed with watching clips on youtube of the filming of "Deathly Hallows" - how am I going to wait until next summer for that one to come out!!

* All things Lord of the Rings - while I am a fan of the books, the films of LOR are what I'm really obsessed with. The extended edition DVD's of the films are awesome - hours and hours of special features and behind-the-scenes stuff. I actually just found out that in 2006 New Line released "Limited Edition" DVD's of all three films that have more extended scenes and a never-before-released movie documentary about the making of the films. How I didn't know this in 2006 I have no idea but I have promptly ordered copies of all three from amazon and anxiously await their arrival.

* Almonds - I have just recently discovered the joy of snacking on almonds - a tasty & healthy treat, and a handful will fill you up!

* Nature Valley Granola Bars - (roasted almond is my current favourite - no surprise there)

* Sleeping in - I have been quite lazy this summer and have slept in pretty much every day I could

* Dr.Pepper - soooo bad for you (and full of caffeine, which I normally try to avoid), but sooooo good. Why do bad things always taste the best?

* Our netbook - the best thing ever - pretty much has everything a laptop could offer, yet is so cute and light and small (and cheap)!!

* Our Rogers Internet stick - never mind the above - this is actually the best thing ever - we now have internet access pretty much everywhere we go. I can bring the netbook with me on vacation, bring the Internet stick, and bam!! Connected to the rest of the world in a heartbeat.

* Not wearing any make-up. Sometimes I wear it, sometimes I don't (normally to work I'll wear enough to make me look polished and put together). Lately though, when I'm home I won't wear a stitch of make-up. I like not having to stand there for 10 minutes putting it on - plus in the summer it just feels gross having something on your face.

* Kings of Leon - I just discovered them (I know - where have I been?) I must have listened to "Use Somebody" about 500 times in the last 2 weeks.

* My khaki pants from Old Navy - bought them a few months ago and wear them all the time

* tank tops

* my Havaianas flip flops

* chocolate fudge popsicles from Skinny Cow!

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