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Monday, March 24, 2008

the journey

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

-Mary Oliver
(Dream Work)

When I was around four years old my mother packed up her life and her three small children and moved to France for a year. Most women in her place would find this idea impossible, whishful, crazy even. But my mother felt that it would be crazier to stay. She needed a change, so rather than bitch and moan, she made things happen.

This is one of the many reasons I love my mother. She is a risk taker. Today she turns 59, and she's still braver than ever. Currently the house is on the market and she's planning on moving to France for good. I couldn't be happier, or more impressed with both of my parents.

mom and me

On the side my mother is designing websites, planning a writing workshop, helping her sister deal with the legalities of her divorce and helping me with school essays. Needless to say, she's keeping busy. But this is the thing about her, she's always keeping busy. Her mind is always moving, causing her to sleep little, and take on countless projects. But even after a sleepless night, she does everything perfectly, paying attention to the smallest details.

car trouble

Someone recently asked me what my mother was like. "She's beautiful," I said "Crazy, bohemian, she loves a good burger, she's petite, fun, better dressed than me..." The more I described her the more I remembered how much I love her. All the little things about her, from the way she loves sensual finger foods, or bubble baths, or a glass of wine at five o'clock and a good book. I love the way she wakes up early to write, or sits in cafes with a notebook, and goes to get coffee and a muffin but never finishes her muffin because she's too distracted in thought.


She's also intelligent. Although she strays from news and politics like me, my mother has read more books than anyone I know. She has a beautiful vocabulary and a strong opinion. I have seen her make men twice her size feel uncomfortable with her wit.

susan and yvonne

And she's not afraid of anything. She'll talk about sex at the dinner table, travel through foreign countries alone, make friends with strangers and dance on restaurant tables.

happy times

When I'm with my mother I don't feel like I'm with my mother. I'm with my best friend. I can be myself. We have fun, we laugh, drink, dance, write together, talk about anything and everything and bask in each others silence.

yvonne and claire

To say she inspires me would be an understatement. She is the most beautiful, sensual, honest woman I know and I can't imagine my life without her presence. I honestly think the world would stop turning.

on the way to market

So cheers, to the sexiest, craziest, most beautiful 59-year-old I know. Life is a journey, and she inspires me to live it properly.

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irish stew and whiskey

happy easter!

I took the train to Port Hope last night at sunset. I arrived to a night sky and my brother waiting for me at the station.

We drove my grandfather's, who had a meat pie and his famous Irish stew in the oven. We topped it off with mushy peas, and I felt like a true Irish woman.

It was a perfect meal, not because of the food, but because I had my grandfather beside me and my brother across from me. And because my grandfather went out of his way to put a dinner together for us, sticking to what he knows best.

Later in the evening, I cozied up with my computer in his den to work on some essays for school. He came in, poured two whiskeys and passed me one.

"I never thought I'd be drinking whiskey with my granddaughter," he said.

"Oh, but you never knew you'd have a granddaughter as sturdy as me," I told him, grinning.

Hope you're all enjoying easter, whether it's with ham and potatoes, Irish stew and whiskey, some good quality chocolate or simply with someone you care about.

My grandfather is currently in the room next to me, singing and dancing to old classics for his morning exercise: "All of my love, all of my love for you, all of my love is true..."

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Monday, March 17, 2008

each time i think i've had enough

Heading home, I run up the subway stairs with a sense of well-being.

I'm exhausted, running off very little sleep, and my heels make the stairs an extra effort. But mentally, as I go over the day, a good feeling washes over me.

I could barely get myself out of bed this morning, but crawled out of my sheets and watched my boyfriend crawl deeper into his side of the bed. When I came out of the shower he was listening to my motown music, dedicating Let's Stay Together to me.

I grabbed my tea and jumped on the subway to make it to my 9 a.m. class. In my tutorial I hear my voice speaking up. I ask questions, make comments, and force my brain to wake up and contribute.

When class is over I walk on a sun-lit sidewalk to the nearest coffee shop, where I fuel up and finish reading my psychology textbook. I think of my room mate, editor for the school's annual review that comes out this Friday, and decide she needs some coffee too. I find her at school going through another stressful day, all responsibility on her shoulders, and she's grateful for the morning perk.

I spend the next eight hours of my day in the editing suites, working with my group on an interview we filmed for our TV techniques class. It's long, but the process is painless. I love the people I'm working with, and every day I appreciate the new friendships I'm making more. There's a common vision, a sense of teamwork and understanding. We make up for the work by laughing foolishly, stalking up on snacks and making our final piece as creative as possible.

Before heading home I spend an hour in the library studying, then jump back on the subway, and head home to the two beautiful girls I share my apartment and my life with.

I talk to my boyfriend on the phone, and we go over our business plans for Hidden Lounge (updates to come), before saying goodnight. "Is there anything else?" He asks. I tell him he's great. "Well if I'm great, you're amazing."

And even though I'm running on empty and my head is running wild with things to do, I feel young, alive, loved, and excited to wake up tomorrow and do it all again.

toronto streets

“Now there is time and time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!”
-May Sarton

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Friday, March 14, 2008

spring fashion

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

nothing short of amazing

You have to love the choreography and ingenuity it took to put this video together. These guys are my inspiration.

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la belle canadienne

My beautiful friend Karyna is doing an exchange in Paris at the moment.

I live vicariously through her stories of buying macarons, going to flea markets every sunday, eating yoghurt out of small pots, wandering the streets and discovering specialty grocery stores along the way. The woman is so bright and cultured that Paris fits her better than a pair of Christian Louboutin heels.

She was recently featured on facehunter, the ultimate style spotter, and proved just how Paris chic a Canadian can look in Paris.

You make me proud Karyna, show those Parisians what you're made of!


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Thursday, March 06, 2008

here we are now, entertain us

I love to work with on current affairs portion of our weekly broadcast.

As entertainment host I get to throw together images from last night's entertainment news, edit it down, do voice overs, add music, and have a little fun. With more time I'd like to add a little depth to these pieces, but as a short clip to throw into our show, I enjoy the creativity.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

you're like a brother to me

I remember sitting in the back seat of the car with my brother.

We drove my parents crazy. Sharing the armrest was out of question for the us, so we would fight for it until one of us was bitten or punched by the other.

And when I turned 16, and came back from a year in Ireland, things changed and I was finally at the age when we could be friends.

We used to drive home from school in his old Jetta, music blaring, the back seats filled with binders and garbage. We would go get food, pick up groceries, stop at the mall.

We’d cook dinners together, always with passion and plenty of garlic.

We would sit out on the deck at night, smoking, drinking, him strumming away at his guitar. I still can’t think of a more comforting sound than his voice singing Howie Day or Jack Johnson.

One night we went and visited our older brother downtown for dinner. On the bus home we ran into one of his friends. When she found out what we’d been doing that night she asked, “You mean, you guys actually like hanging out together?”

Another night we went to the same party, a mixture of his friends and a few of mine. He spilt red wine all over my white t-shirt, and we spent half the night together laughing and talking to friends.

He drove to get my learner’s license for my third try, when I finally succeeded.

When he moved downtown I visited every weekend in his large artist’s apartment. When the building had an open house he let me sing like a fool and play his keyboard as people walked through his place to see his artwork.

I have always felt alive around my brother. He is artistic, talented, passionate and has unique ideas. He can cook, sing, paint, and throw together the most beautiful graphic designs you can imagine in minutes.

Now that he’s living outside Toronto I escape to visit him whenever I can. It makes life more bearable knowing he’s only a train ride away. That all it takes is us getting together to cook dinner for me to feel at home again.

Today is his birthday, so I’m hoping to come down sometime soon to celebrate. For now I just hope he knows how much I love him, admire him, and would want to be his friend even if we weren’t blood related.

awkward brother and sister

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

video killed the radio star

"Five, four, three, two..."

Our intro comes up on screen and the music starts to play. The anchors start leading the top stories and the show is on the road.

Eventually our male anchor starts talking about the weather, it's the coldest day of the year so far.

"Here to talk with us about this cold weather is Gillian Young, what are we seeing here Gillian?"

It's on to me. "That's right Sean, it sure is cold outside. I mean you often hear about global warming, but when do you hear about global cooling?"

I take it from there, speaking with ease and trying to make our live Q&A as natural as possible.

I love this stuff.

The camera, the lights, talking about something that affects our lives...I feel good here.

I used to want to be a movie star. Who didn't? These days I'm falling for TV journalism.

I'm not reading lines or selling a product, I'm informing people, talking about real life, and finding meaning in the topic of the day.

Whether I'll end up on TV, behind the camera, in the editing suite, or doing something completely unrelated, my classroom experience is the best I could ask for right now.

broadcast class