Monday, June 9, 2014

Follow me on Pinterest!

Anyone who knows me knows I have a near-unhealthy obsession with Pinterest, and I think everyone should join me! If you're into pretty pins about women's (and men's) style, travel, beautiful home decor and architecture, and a whole bunch of other things, maybe you should ...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lone Star

An appreciation post for Miranda Lambert. I was making a new iTunes playlist and I realized that Miranda's in almost every playlist I have because that's the kind of amazing artist she is - real, honest, and all-encompassing of the human experience. Of the feminine experience. For those from all backgrounds and types - in her songs she covers everything that's awesome, annoying, and hard about being a woman. I can listen to her and feel inspired when she belts out one of her anthems about being strong and independent from a man and screw what everyone expects from you, and be there with her when she quiets down into a sombre elegy about a love lost or hurt and all the vulnerability that's left. Anyway, instead of going on any further I'll let her lyrics say it all for me. I'll link to the songs they're taken from for the corresponding pictures!


If I'd have done what you and daddy done, would have never lost and never won
Or gotten myself kicked when I was down.
I would not know how to travel well,
A hundred bucks and cheap motels
I would not know how to fight for my own heart next time around.

Now don't you cry another night about me
In this city I've got angels all around me

Hey Mama I'm OK out here, I've seen how hard the world can be.
My step is sure and I know my name,
I'm strong just like you prayed Id be.

It's half past ten
Another six-pack in
And I can feel the rumble like a cold black wind.
He pulls in the drive
The gravel flies
He don't know what's waiting here this time.
Well, his fist is big ...
But my gun's bigger
And he'll find out when I pull the trigger.

She's beautiful
In her simple little way
She don't have too much to say when she gets mad.
She understands.
She don't let go of anything
Even when the pain gets really bad.

Guess I should've been more like that.

I should have held on to my pride
I should have never let you lie
I guess you got what you deserve
I guess I should've been more like her.

Me and Charlie boy used to go walking
Sittin' in the woods behind my house
When being lovers meant a stolen kiss
And holding hands with nobody else around.
Charlie said he wanted to get married
But we were only ten so we'd have to wait.
He said we'd never let our love run dry like so many do these days.

 Now and then I sometimes think of Charlie
And how we thought we new it all back then.
Now I'd give anything to feel love from a child's heart again.

You don't need a girl like me
I got bruises you can't see
And when the lights go out,
I won't be around
You don't need a girl like me

'Cause the rule remains unwritten
I still break it from time to time
If you're fool enough to listen
Then I'm fool enough to lie

You can't change the way I am
You don't need a girl like me

Sometimes I wish I lived in an airstream
Homemade curtains
Lived just like a gypsy
Break a heart
Roll out of town
'Cause gypsys never get tied down

Unanchored in the storm
Or safely on the shore
If this is all I need
Why do I want more?

I know they say you can't go home again ...
I just had to come back one last time.
Ma'am, I know you don't know me from Adam,
But these handprints on the front steps are mine.
And up those stairs, in that little back bedroom,
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar.
And I bet you didn't know
Under that live oak
My favorite dog is buried in the yard.

You leave home,
You move on,
And you do the best you can.
I got lost in this ol' world and forgot who I am

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself

If I could just come in I swear I'll leave
Won't take nothing but a memory ...
From the house that built me. 

Well I've been saved by the grace of southern charm
I got a mouth like a sailor and yours is more like a Hallmark card
If you wanna pick a fight, well I'm gonna have to say good night
I don't have to be hateful, I can just say bless your heart

So let's shake hands and reach across those party lines
You got your friends just like I got mine
We might think a little differently
But we got a lot in common you will see
We're just like you

Only prettier.

Well, I'll keep drinkin' and you'll keep gettin' skinnier
I'm just like you -
Only prettier

Cheap red wine straight out of a coffee cup.
One more down,
Drink you off my mind.
Lord knows I've tried a thousand times to give you up,
But it's closing time.
And we both know why.

I'm just too selfish, I guess
I know you're tired and restless
It's no surprise we've come undone
But I can't unlove you just because it's better
In the long run

Maybe somewhere a little down the line
I'll get a little better leaving us behind
Maybe someday
I'll be fine

I see the blue lights, we better run.
Throw out the bottle and I’ll hide the gun
If he pulls us over I’ll turn on the charm
You’ll be in the slammer and I’ll be on his arm.

Ain’t no use in trying to slow me down
‘Cause you’re running with the fastest girl in town

Ain’t you baby?
Well I told you I was crazy.
No I ain’t no body’s baby.

It's the same old you when you get to drinkin'
The same old you when you're on the town
The same old you in church on Sunday
Gettin' high when the sun goes down

Well your mama's gonna cry her eyes
There ain't gonna be no wedding day
What's she gonna say
When I tell how how I had no choice?
Same old you couldn't even raise your voice and ask me to stay
I wouldn't anyway.
So you can keep your ring,
And I'll keep my daddy's name.

Living alone
Here in this place
I think of you
And I’m not afraid

Your favorite records
Make me feel better
Cause you sing along
With every song

I know you didn’t mean to give them to me.

But you went away
How dare you.

I miss you.

They say I’ll be OK
But I’m not going to
Ever get
Over you.

It really sinks in, you know
When I see it in stone.

Ilsa was an acrobat who went and fell in love with that
Horatio the human cannonball.
A wedding 'neath the big top tent
With barkers, clowns, and elephants
Sideshow family oddities and all.
The dog-faced boy howled out with joy
As the tattooed lady was crying.
Ever since the beginning to keep the world spinning
It takes all kinds of kinds.

Thomas was a congressman with closets full of skeletons
And dresses that he wore on Friday nights.
Phyllis was a pharmacist
A dab of that, a pinch of this
Concocted to suppress her appetite.
When the children were fiddlin' she'd slip 'em some Ritalin
And wait for Thomasina to arrive.
'Cause ever since the beginning
To keep the world spinning
It takes all kinds of kinds.
All kinds of kinds.

When I play this old guitar from children's shows to smoky bars
I take a break and think about the past.
When I stood up in geometry and everybody stared at me
And I tossed my test into the trash.
I scratched off my number while hitching out under
That bush league population sign.
Ever since the beginning to keep the world spinning
It takes all kinds of kinds.

Now some point a finger and let ignorance linger
If they'd look in the mirror they'd find.
That ever since the beginning to keep the world spinning
It takes all kinds of kinds.
All kinds of kinds.
All kinds of kinds.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Boots & Hearts

Long time no see!

So in the midst of all my friends going to Digital Dreams and VELD and all these EDM festivals, guess which one I went to?

A country music one, of course!

Boots and Hearts is a pretty new music festival in Canada celebrating country music. It's a three-day fest that offers campgrounds for you to stay on so you don't have to make trips back and forth from Bowmanville, which is a bit of a drive, especially if you're from the city like my friend and I were.

This year they had some really impressive big-name artists on their weekend lineup. Last year's roster was pretty darn solid (with names like Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw) but this year saw the arrival of country super stars Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, and the one and only (and this blogger's personal favourite) Miranda Lambert! Even supporting acts like Dierks Bentley, Dean Brody, and Aaron Lewis are no small time newbies to country fans.

So my friend and I got there Sunday afternoon around 3-4 pm, at the sunny peak of the beautiful day (though it did get pretty chilly as the day went on. Brr! I tried to buy a sweater but alas, they were all sold out. It would figure, I imagine the rest of the weekend before also got pretty nippy at night!) Music was blaring, crushed beer cans and hay were everywhere (ah, that country charm ;)) and there were TONS of people. I was genuinely surprised at the turnout, though I don't know why I was. It was also kind of funny noticing that, while there were definitely a lot of "redneck"y people there, there were also quite a few that I would classify more as the EDM-concert types, decked out in neon colours and looking like they made a false turn and ended up at the wrong festival but decided to make the best of it anyway xD

We had a good time walking around checking out all the different booths they had set up. There were even a couple amusement park rides set up that really added some cool visual depth to the layout of the grounds. The festival also had multiple stages set up, the main one for bigger acts and smaller ones off to the side for more up-and-coming groups. A good excuse to walk around, and a guarantee that you'd find music wherever you went! The food stands were also understandably tempting, with the sinfully delicious aromas of sizzling BBQ and fried food wafting from the line of different vendors - all with their own 20+ man lines waiting to order. My friend and I opted for Mexican food, and even though I was disappointed they ran out of nachos my fish taco was quite tasty and made up for it. We also got an onion blossom because why the heck not, right?

So after some amusing encounters with several drunk people, nearly losing $60 to an ATM, and much walking and basking, we made it to the growing crowd of people gathering in front of the main stage for the act of the night - my woman crush, Miranda Lambert. And boy, did she not disappoint. Words can't express how ecstatic I was, and how amazing she was. While her songs were kickass as always, one of my favourite things about Miranda is the message she sends not only through her music but in her being. About a half dozen songs in she took a minute to speak to the crowd about individuality and always striving for more. "I'm looking in the crowd and I'm seeing all different kinds of people out there. White people, black people, everything in between, tall people, short people, big people, small people. If I can be up here living my dream, you can do whatever you want to do, because it takes all kinds of crazy people to make this world go around." Then she introduced her latest single, which happened to be one of my favourite tracks from her latest album, which everyone should take a second to check out because it's really a great song. Click the bottom picture to listen!

Suffice to say, I had a great time! My experience was overall very positive, though I have heard on the grapevine that the festival COULD use a little more organization to better control the rowdy drinking and driving and campground logistics. Hopefully they take these concerns and improve on it next year because I'm definitely going back and want to have a good, safe time! I only went for the Sunday lineup this time around because Miranda was headlining, and I bought my ticket pretty late so it was pretty expensive on its own anyway. Next year, however, I'm definitely going for the full weekend. And I'm bringing more people with me, 'cause doggone it it's a party and what's a party without friends? :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Product Review: Laneige Snow Crystal Lipgloss

I know it's been eons since I've done a post and I should really do a proper one soon (I've got like 5 different drafts of ones I started but just didn't get around to finishing so maybe I'll complete one of those one of these days) but I just had to do quick post on my new favourite lip gloss!

For the record, I'm generally not a huge fan of lip gloss. Because I already have full lips I don't need to plump them any more and since that's what lip glosses generally tend to do, I don't like the effect on me personally. That being said, there was one lip gloss I would use all the time since I discovered it in Sephora years ago, which was the Hourglass Extreme Sheen lipgloss in Origami pink.

I swore by this lip gloss for forever (and still probably would) ... it has a beautiful colour (much less intense than it looks in the bottle and the picture above), and the gloss itself was moisturizing so it didn't feel like you were putting something on that was sticky and suffocating like a lot of other glosses are like. It is expensive though, and popular - somewhere around $30-40 plus tax. The other thing that I've found with this is that my lips have to be in particular shape in order for the gloss to look good - it may sound weird, especially to guys, but my lips change colour ... in the morning often they can be a bit darker, or when I'm tired, or whatever. So really, this lip gloss only looked its best on me when I was already at my best. If that makes any sense xD

The new product I've come across that I'm totally head over heels in love with now is Laneige's Snow Crystal sheer lip gloss in Sugar Pink (LR 04).

I'll say right off the bat that where the Hourglass lipgloss feels good all the time, this one falls a little short and has a much more common "gloss" feeling to it. It doesn't have the former's noticeable moisturizing effect. However, what it lacks in texture it more than makes up for in look - I could put this on at any hour of any day in whatever state I'm in and it will make my lips look gorgeous! I can't get over how much I love the light pink colour of it - it smooths over any wrinkles in the lips and doesn't have an overdone shine that draws too much attention to it. Instead of being in-your-face, it's subtle and natural, and does its job damn well for a decent length of time.

I encourage any and every girl out there to get this product, at least to try. Fortunately I live right by a Korean market with a beauty shop inside that sells a bunch of Laneige products, but for those who don't have as easy access you should be able to find websites that support online orders for it, like Cosmetic Love. Give it a shot!

Aaaand girly gush over. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: Are you a Jackie or a Marilyn?

Just finished this book by Pamela Keogh, because what modern-day girl who knows her style roots doesn't ask herself this question? Or, at least, when faced with it on the cover of the book, wonder what the answer is? Haha.

I had an inkling beforehand that I'd be more of a Jackie, and the book more or less affirmed this. I was surprised to find I had some Marilyn-y qualities as well though, as the book states early on, "You could be a Jackie or a Marilyn, or more probably a bit of both."

It's a really cute light read for any girl (and really only for girls, although of all ages!). You learn a bit about the fabulous (and sometimes not-so-fabulous) lives of both Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Marilyn Monroe, and along the way Keogh provides advice on the "Jackie" or "Marilyn" approaches to style, housekeeping, dating/sex/marriage, kids, diet, diva behaviour, and all that jazz. I didn't think it would be one of those books you can't put down, but it's so fun I couldn't stop reading until I finished. It makes you suddenly feel classier when you're done; you just want to pour a glass of champagne, put on some Duke Ellington, and throw a dinner party wearing your prettiest little black dress.

4 out of 5!

(On writing letters to your man)
"Send it to the office. Men find the combination of business-like (his typed address on the front) and personal (your note inside) particularly compelling.

And let's face it: most guys working in offices are bored out of their minds and just looking for something to break up the monotony of the day. If he gets an actual letter in the mail and realizes its from you, forget it - he can close the door, ask his assistant to hold his calls, open it carefully with a letter opener (remember those?), put his feet up on his desk and take his time reading it.

Once he has read it a few times (with his feet still up on the desk), he will fold it back up carefully, look out the window at the sky for a while and think what a lucky S.O.B. he is to have you in his life. He might then take the letter from his desk again, carefully reread it, and have a very Cary Grant moment.

Anything you can do to make a man feel like Cary Grant in this day and age is not to be underestimated."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

To Serve and Protect

Posting while on a break from studying for my Policing test next week (for a university course, mind, not the actual joining-of-the-Academy kind). Any Criminology student will quickly get accustomed to the fact that most of the reading material within the field is dense and tedious to get through, but every now and then you find a pleasant surprise. In this case, one particular chapter in P.A.J. Waddington's "Policing Citizens: Authority and Rights" book really struck a chord with me. I also happen to be double-majoring with an English degree, so I feel as similar an attraction to artful rhetoric as I do towards the exploration of psychological, sociological, and legal explanations of crime. Waddington differed from his professional peers and impressed me particularly when I found him dipping into moments of some really simple but eloquent narrative descriptions that caught me off guard. He added elements of humanity and emotion to the subject that I've not really yet seen in other academic articles. I mean, I can understand why -- to maintain professional neutrality and all that -- but I think sometimes we need that extra dimension to ground us, away from all the formal statistics and philosophical theory, to remind us why we're studying crime in the first place and, in this case, those who deal with it face-to-face on a daily basis. As Patch Adams said, we need not forget to start treating the patient as well as the disease.

Following are some selected favourite passages - reader discretion is advised. Another not-so-pretty post.

What unites police in all jurisdictions is that they will kill fellow citizens, if necessary. Of course, any of us might do so in self-defence, but it is virtually inconceivable that ordinary citizens could lie in wait, armed to the teeth, then confront those whom we suspect of being about to commit a crime, and shoot someone dead. This is exactly what police officers in any jurisdiction in the world might find themselves doing. It is not a common experience, but common enough to be a reality with which police must cope. And what is the reaction of police officers to such experience? Well, it is very different to that portrayed in fiction, where the cop holsters his gun and moves on to the next gunfight. In reality it is mental illness - post-traumatic stress disorder - that debilitates sufferers for years afterward.

The armed police officer is given exceptional license to perform as a matter of duty actions that would otherwise be regarded as extreme depravity - they are 'killers'. By the same token, officers who fight with suspects who resist arrest engage in what is normally the behaviour of thugs and hoodlums, not respectable civilized people. Worse still, police fight not because they are enraged, deranged or intoxicated, but as part of their profession that they enter willingly and in the knowledge that they will be called upon to perform such tasks. Theirs is a morally ambiguous position: willing to perform dreadful deeds for a higher good.

For six months I observed the work of a small squad of (at the time) exclusively female officers who dealt with crimes of indecency. I was attached to one of them, a 21-year-old, who in the time that I spent with her investigated the rape of a 15-year-old; the gang-rape of a 12-year-old who was already the mother of a small child and suffered hepatitis-B infection; the forcible abduction of a 17-year-old girl by a complete stranger; and the sexual exploitation of a 14-year-old girl by her stepfather. Along the way she also investigated several complaints of indecent assault and indecent exposure. Now, I might be unduly sensitive about these matters [...] but I found this the most uncomfortable period of observation I have experienced. I was pitched, along with Jan (who my wife and I came to know as a friend), into a world in which parents exploited their children for their own sexual gratification; other parents abdicated all responsibility for their children; sexual love was debased into a sordid act of brutal selfishness; and the erotic was perverted by men who preyed upon any vulnerable woman to obtain a moment's satisfaction by exposing their genitalia. The moral stench of this world seemed to cling to me long after retreating from the field, leaving me to question my own sexual feelings. My exposure was modest - one, maybe two shifts per week: how could Jan survive and become the loving mother of three children?

Although immersed in it, the officers in this squad did not suffer a monopoly of exposure to the sordid and obscene. Like others who have observed routine patrol work, I have seen my share of dead bodies, sometimes left to rot by family and neighbours too busy to care; I have accompanied young officers who have had the task of quelling violent quarrels between spouses old enough to be their parents; I have seen alcoholics lying sprawled in their own vomit, urine and faeces; I have stood in rooms so filthy that I avoided touching anything for fear of infection and breathed the air with maximum economy lest the stench caused me to vomit; I have witnessed parents so uninterested in their children's welfare that they have refused to attend the police station where the latter is being held in custody; I have been numbed by the personal tragedies that others have suffered; and I have watched my fellow citizens, devoid of any vestige of personal dignity, appealing to the police for all manner of help. And all this is but a small sample of the experience to which any police officer can expect to be exposed.

Don't take me the wrong way, I'm not a blind worshipper at the feet of the police. Sometimes, even more than sometimes, bad things can happen within and under the institution, and I'm not an apologist for oversights and errors in judgment that many have made when operating by the power they wield. But we're all human, for better or for worse; and I always have had, and still have, an enormous amount of respect for them and for what they put on the line to address things many of us would rather not (nor ever actually will) deal with. Especially since a lot of it is far from the glamour and excitement we assume from cop shows and movies. There's a lot of extra onus on the police not only to do their jobs but on HOW to do it and how they're to deal with the results. Anyway ... I think a lot of the people who have cutting opinions about the police (a surprisingly high number, from my own personal observation) would find themselves eating their words if we suddenly found ourselves without them. But that's just my guess.
I'll leave y'all now with a quote from the transcendent Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from whom I could use many of right now but instead of trying to make that choice I'll just go with the safety of one of my all-time favourites ...

"We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in light of what they suffer."

Saturday, October 8, 2011


"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight and a half years ago. Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant."

There could have been no two hearts so open.
No tastes so similar.
No feelings so in unison.