Thursday, August 5, 2010


'Allo, family! Guess where I've been?
That's right, Venice! The actual Venice in Italy! The one with canals and everything.
The trip was amazing, obviously. We took hundreds of pictures and every one was beautiful, because Venice is about the most photogenic city in the world. It was just fantastic being able to get face to face with it, to see it for real. And we did see quite a lot. We visited some the wonderful Museo Carrero, which is in a building so pretty you could cry; it's all ceiling ornamentation, gold plating and larger-than-life-sized portraits. We also saw the amazing Biblioteca Nazionale and the Murano Museo Vetrario, or the Murano Glass Museum. This museum was my favourite: it featured glass artifacts from many centuries ago (how were they not broken???) as well as more recently made works. One of these was a "table centerpiece" that's about 2 square metres large. It's a garden courtyard made entirely out of glass - freaking unbelievable.
Then we shopped in Murano for glass jewellery - I enjoyed that VERY MUCH.
We also ate quite a bit. Since I was in Italy, I felt obligated to have a pizza, which was excellent. Afterwards, we had gelato, also excellent (I had Nutella ice cream with actual swirls of Nutella in it - for me, this is a dream come true).
But one of my favourite parts was meeting two great people on the train ride to Venice. They were from Great Britain, a father and son who we'll call Tom and Sam. They were backpacking across Europe and they were some of the nicest, most interesting people I've ever talked to. They made the grueling, day-long trip to Venice very enjoyable, and that's quite a feat (no showers, no dining car, water that's unsafe to drink - you get the picture. It's quite hard to enjoy).
They also reminded me what I love most about life: just when you've settled into a normal rhythm, life has a way of throwing it all thrillingly off. New things happen. You meet people, do things, and work through change. And no matter how certain your future, you never can really know what comes next. In the most mundane moment, something wonderful and unexpected could happen. When you're looking forward to visiting Venice and waiting for your train ride to be over, someone could walk into your compartment and change everything. No matter who you are or where you live, it's never a dull moment.
And I love that.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yawn: Greetings from an Incurable Bedhead

Hello, family. How are you this afternoon? (Or evening, depending on your time zone.) ...Ah, that's too bad. I hope he feels better. I always find a little bit of vinegar applied directly to the sores can help with that.
How am I? Well, I'm tired, despite the fact that it's 12:30 and I got up an hour ago. I had a late night last night catching up with friends, but before you start forming an image of me as some kind of irresponsible, late-night crazy girl, let me tell you about what I did BEFORE the catching up (which happened online anyways, so it wasn't irresponsible or crazy at all. Just comfortably geeky.)
So I went running yesterday with some "supervisors" (a.k.a my grandparents - my mother won't let me run alone) who were willing to let me go pretty much until I ran out of steam. I run every day along the local boardwalk, and yesterday I ran all the way to the end, then all the way back, then halfway to the end again, and then walked back. Obviously you don't know how long that is (for all you know, my "boardwalk" is ten metres long and there's a fries stand halfway), so I'll give you an actual measurement: I ran approximately 5k. Now, this might not be very impressive to all of you regular people out there, but for me it's pretty freaking amazing. The fact that I didn't die while doing it makes it all the more impressive.
In summary, the running is going well. I am kind of neglecting the rest of my responsibilities, such as studying for my driving test, but for the duration of this blog post at least, I am going to be proud of myself.
And when I sign out of blogger and return to the real world - well then I can change out of my shortie pajamas, pluck my eyebrows and finally get to the end of Chapter 2 in my driving manual.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

So Far, Holding Up

How are you today, family? That's good to hear. How am I? Well, I was just about to tell you...
I spent today at the pool. I did pretty predictable, pooly things: threw a ball around, splashed, played underwater tag, and suntanned while reading The Great Gatsby. I also had possibly the best pizza I've ever tasted at a little restaurant stand thing by the pool. I used to have this perception of people who advocated fresh, locally grown food; I thought of them as pampered and prententious. Obviously I agreed that it was healthier, both for people and the environment, to eat locally blah blah blah, but I always regarded it as something rich people unfairly expected us regular people to do. Why should we pay more at the grocery store for fresh, locally grown food or worry about whether or not our food was processed when we had so much other stuff on our minds?
But as I continue to taste the local burgers, pizza and the like - normal foods that I can find in my hometown - and taste the difference, I realize how much difference fresh, non-processed food can make.
But I digress.
When I came home I rested for a while, then went running. This is the third day in a row I've gone running, and already it's gotten a little easier. I've gotten back into the rhythm of regular exercise. The only problem is that the people I'm obliged to drag along to supervise me won't take me for much longer than a half an hour, which is barely a workout. Hopefully I'll be able to go for a lot longer tomorrow.
I also made the very frustrating discovery that the only scale in this house is unreliable, inexplicably adding 6 pounds to your weight between morning and evening. I'm just going to have to stick to eating healthy and not very much and running every day, and weigh in when I come back home. It's a little nerve-racking, but there you have it. That's how it's gotta be done. Either way, I'm proud of myself; so far, I'm holding up to my new reinvention.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Ran! Also, Some Talk About Success Highs

Hey there, family!
Today was a very good day. After a very long time spent begging and pleading, I finally convinced my mother to let me to go running. It felt great. I have to agree when they say 'victory is sweet.' 'Cause it really, truly is. Actually, it is sweaty with a side of running-shoe-induced blister, but, you know, whatever.
I am on that reinvention high that we all experience once in a while. You know the one. You manage to nail that concerto you've been practicing, or make the souffle without f*** it up completely, or you finally get your butt out of the house and into a pair of running shoes - and you feel like you could do anything. You tell yourself: "Hey, if I managed this, then hell, I can manage anything! Come on, Life, whaddaya got? I can handle it all!"
Now, I don't know if this is true, but it makes sense in a strange sort of way. I mean, if you can get the momentum going and start to feel really good about your accomplishments, you'll start to get addicted to them. You'll want to keep riding on the high of your successes, and if you kept that up long enough, you could technically turn your whole life around.
The obvious problem is that you can't just keep being succesful, all the time. Eventually, you will have to have a failure. And then what? The easiest thing to do is crash and burn and stay that way, until you can pick up the pieces and start looking for that high again. But is that really healthy? I think what it all boils down to is illusion, and specifically the illusions we create ourselves. When we ride on these "success highs", we tend to believe that we can continue building our new selves until we become some kind of perfect, immortal being. Someone without flaws. Someone no one can ever be. We delude ourselves into thinking we can be, must be, that person. Eventually, we ride ourselves into the ground. Crash and burn, yet again.
I think the answer is a happy medium (as it is with most things). It is good (obviously) to be happy about your successes and let them motivate you on to new successes. But we must be careful not to let ourselves set goals that are too high, or try to overcome the impossible. Our optimism about ourselves and our futures must be balanced out with a healthy dose of realism.
What does all this mean? I'm going to keep running every day, monitor my weight and eat as healthily as I can with the goal of becoming a fitter, healthier (and hopefully skinnier) person. But I'm never going to be a 100-pound supermodel.
Not that it's such a great career choice for me, anyways. I am a very clumsy walker in heels.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reinventing Myself for the 56th Time; This Time, I'm Sure It'll Work

Hello again, family.
Today should've been, by all accounts, a good day. I woke up at noon and spent most of the rest of the day shopping. Every girl's perfect day, right?
The only problem is that going shopping is usually not the best experience for me. Today was especially painful, and I'll tell you why: of the twenty thousand things I tried on, only two fit, and those just barely.
Now I know that I am rather letting down my gender by conforming to the stereotype and whining about my weight. And I'm sorry about that, girls, but every stereotype exists for a reason, right? In fact, this stereotype is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If people tell us enough times that girls worry about their weight, we will.
But despite the fact that I shouldn't, I do worry. Even though I know I am letting down all the girls by not being forward and feminist and worrying about my appearance, I do. I don't feel good at this weight. When I'm out shopping and unable to fit into any of the clothes I try on, I'm only reminded of this fact.
So I am putting my reinvention into place yet again. This summer, I have gone overboard with the eating, but I am deciding, here in the blogosphere, that that stops now. And - fingers crossed that I find a running partner, because my mom is ridiculously protective and won't let me go out alone when we are travelling - I am going to start running again, every day, starting tomorrow.
They say that saying something aloud - or in this case, writing it down - helps make it real, and tangible. Hopefully now that I have announced my campaign to lose weight to the internet, it will become a reality in the physical world, too.
Tomorrow I am going running, dammit, and a speeding train couldn't stop me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Am No Longer a Virgin Blogger...Now Come the Blogger Girl's Insecurities

Hello. Pleased to meet you. This is my blog. Shall I give you a tour? Yes, I just had the background done, thank you for noticing...actually, those are original borders...thanks very much. Well, sit yourself down, and I'll make some coffee. Sugar? Cream? Lizard, a la Matilda?
Good, now we're all settled in.
See, this is how I do it around here. Comfortable. Easy. At, we are all one big family. That is, assuming enough people end up reading this blog that we can actually call ourselves a family.
See, I was hesitant about starting a blog for a long time. The reason, I think, is understandable to most anyone who is on the internet. As you well know if you have a blog or a vlog or a facebook account or whatever else comes next, the amount of people you are able to reach is important. Whether they be friends or followers or subscribers, you care about how many people read/watch your work. Even if you don't want to admit it to yourself, I guarantee you care. Come on, now. Don't lie to me. I see that look in your eye. You die a little every time your mom posts a comment.
I believe that there are two reasons for this. The first is that facing the internet is DAUNTING. The fact that so many people are on it makes it a huge place, and putting yourself into that place can be scary. What you are effectively doing is throwing yourself into a void and hoping that rather than becoming part of the void, you become something more. You desperately want rise above the void and become something important, something that will make a difference in the world, and you are afraid that that might not happen.
The second reason is a lot more basic. The simple truth is that we all want to be liked. If you only have one subscriber and that person is your mom (who tells you things like, "That last post was interesting! Don't be dissuaded by the fact that people don't like your work - you're just not afraid to be DIFFERENT"), that can be seriously detrimental to your self-esteem. Not that it usually means anything - if you don't have any subscribers, it's probably not because you suck (as your inner voice would have you believe) but simply because there is TOO MUCH STUFF on the internet, and you have gotten lost in it. No one can dislike you if they don't know you exist.
Or at least, that is what I'm telling myself as I step into the big, scary world that is the internet, with its own set of rules and its own modus operandi. Like everyone else out there, I do want to be able to reach a lot of people and I do want to be liked. I am afraid, like everybody in internet-world, that I won't be noticed.
Despite all my fears however, I don't think that I'm going to stop writing in this blog for a while, even if not one single person reads it. Because the bottom line is, I love to write. And there is something maybe even comforting about the fact that in this most public of places - the internet - I could potentially hone my writing in complete privacy.
Well, that's all we've got time for today. Thank you, family member, for indulging my rambling. I hope to see you again soon. Drive safely. Oh! Don't forget your...magazine, on your way out. Wait. Were you reading that this whole time?