Monday, 20 January 2014

The Buried Life

Animoto Video:

Twitter account:

What Now?: It’s one thing to make a list of the things you want to do, but it’s a different thing to actually go out and do them. Some of the things on my list will be very easy to accomplish, while others will take more organizing. For example, number sixteen; Go to skyzone. I have already made plans with a few of my friends to go in the next week or so while exams are going on. Done. That was easy. However, for number 30; Attend University in Toronto, it’s a little more complicated.

This is something on my list in which the plan is still a little unclear. I feel as though I can really start making this dream a reality once I graduate. The plan I have so far to accomplish number 30 is to spend next year working as much as I can and prepare for an audition for the school I want to go to. This is still another decision I have to make as I am contemplating auditioning for either the University of Toronto in vocal performance or Sheridan College for musical theatre. The dream is that someday, once I develop more skill in that area, I want to accomplish number one; get paid to perform.

With whichever school I choose I know that I want to be working on number four; getting a bachelor’s degree. I want to do this because if I do end up performing as a living, I know that that doesn’t last forever. If I do have a degree however, I can always go back to school and perhaps get a master’s degree. 

I can’t wait to start going out into the world and accomplishing the things on my bucket list. There is so much to do and see in the world that I am sure once I start completing the things on my list there will be many more that will replace them.

Author's Note:  Making a list of the things I wanted to do before I died turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated. As a student, I don’t really have time to think about the things I want to do, because I always seem too preoccupied with the things that I need to do. However, with this being my last year in high school, the world is just opening up and I’ll be more able to do the things I want to do.

I decided to use an Amimoto video to present the visual aspects because I felt it was a good, straightforward program that still allowed me to be creative. I used the “air” effect for my video, as the things I have on my bucket list are dreams, of what I want to do, and the sky is often associated with dreams. I chose the song “Forever Young” by Alphaville because I felt it was appropriate for a bucket list project. I’d like to stay young so that I have time to accomplish everything on my bucket list.

I decided on using a Twitter account to present the rest of my bucket list. I felt as though Twitter is a good way to present not only the pictures I used for 25 items on my list, but also the other 25 things that don’t have visual aspects.

The quote I used at the end of the Animoto video was said by Zachary Scott.  I thought it was very appropriate for the theme of a bucket list, urging people to doing what they want, versus not doing anything at all. I felt this was a good way to wrap up my video and also give something for the audience to think about.

 It’s scary to think that soon enough I’ll be able to have the option of doing whatever I want with my life. This project definitely got me thinking about what I what that may be and also how I would be able to make my dreams a reality.

Smooooooothie! (Personal Addition #38)

The mornings are a difficult time. Especially when were in one of the busiest times of the year where all you want to do is sleep. Getting ready for school becomes more of a chaotic mess than anything for me. However, skipping important things like breakfast are not good ways to cut time. But smoothies are. They are simple and nutritious and need hardly any preparation or eating time. 

Here's what you'll need 
-Frozen fruit (your favourite kind)
-Yogurt (your favourite kind)
-Juice (your favourite kind)
-Egg whites (optional)

Step one:
Fill your blender or magic bullet cup with frozen fruit. 

Step two: 
Pour the juice and egg whites in the cup. Egg whites are optional, however they are a good source of protein and do not affect the taste of the smoothie. 

Step three:
Next add the yogurt. And assemble the rest of your blender. 

Step four: 
Turn on your blender...

Step five:
Enjoy at home or on the go!

Suits (Personal Addition #37)

Netflix is a risky thing. It seems as though you can search and search and you cannot find one decent thing to watch. I can't tell you how many times I have watched a movie or a show for 10 minutes and then had to shut it off as it was no good.

The best way to watch things on Netflix is to listen to what other people are enjoying. That's how I discovered the show Suits. It's a show about a law firm, and it follows the story of a new associate that was hired. The only difference between him and all the other associates are that he's never been to law school, or has received any post secondary education. Yet he is still able to be an amazing lawyer.

Here's the trailer to the first season of Suits. I highly recommend it!

Dear Photograph (Personal Addition #36)

Making a Dear Photograph is something I've wanted to do for a very long time. However, it's harder than it looks to line up an old picture in the current setting. Obviously there will be differences in the picture from then to now, but the difficult part is finding someplace that will still be recognizable in the picture. Recently my mom has been scanning old pictures and so I found some that could work for a Dear Photograph and just had to try to get them to work. I am quite proud of the end result.

Dealing with stress (Personal Addition #35)

I'd be lying if I said that I'm not stressed at the moment. All of my academics and the thousands (it seems) of extra-curricular activities I'm in seem to be at their peak of business right now. It's so tempting  to just stay up all night to try and get all of the things I need to do done. However, risking your physical and mental health is not worth it. So here's a list I found of 5 healthy ways that help you deal with stress.

1. Take a break from the stressor
2. Exercise
3. Smile and Laugh
4. Get Social Support
5. Mediate

Visit for elaboration and more tips!

Good luck and hang in there!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

George Carlin, Giving Love (Personal Addition #34)

Recently I have been enjoying more stand up comedy acts and podcasts. I always used to think they were boring, however perhaps I have matured more in the past few years and now are able to enjoy them. Some of my favourites are; Amy Schumer, Dane Cook, Bo Burham, Katt Williams and of course, George Carlin.

Here's one of my favourite George Carin Stand ups, Giving Love:

After Ever After (Personal Addition #33)

Disney movies are great classics. The lives of the characters seem so perfect, and that's why it's so easy to watch them. However, I did come across a song that explains to you what happens after the Disney movies end. Created and performed by Youtube's Paint, here's After Ever After.

Warning, this may tarnish your perfect mirage of Disney films...

Enjoy nevertheless,

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Dress Shopping! (Personal Addition #32)

If you're a girl in senior year, you are probably facing the same challenge as me. Finding the perfect dress for your grad or your prom. I hear lots of my friends had already had theirs, many of which had chosen the first ones they had tried on.

My experience with this was not so simple. I went to many stores trying to find the perfect dress that I wanted to wear for my graduation. This was not a simple task for me as I had a laundry list of criteria that I wanted my dress to have. First of all, I wanted the cost to be within reason. I felt like anything upwards of $350 was way too expensive for a dress you will wear a limited amount of time. Next, I wanted it to be strapless and floor length. This is a very common style to many of the dresses so this part wasn't hard. I was having a hard time deciding how much rhinestones and embellishments I wanted on my dress. I decided that I wanted some for sure, however I definitely did not want that to be the main focus of the dress. The hardest criteria I wanted to meet for my dress was the fact that I wanted it to be flattering and nice, but at the same time look unique. I find that a lot of the dresses you find are much like the next one and are very typical. I wanted something a little different because I think that suits my personality. The issue was, anything that was different than your typical dress was not very flattering… I suppose things are popular for a reason.

Grad dress shopping is stressful and takes a long time. A tip I would give to people is to try and go when there won't be very many people there. My friend and I tried to go dress shopping during our holidays, and a couple stores said that there was a two hour line just to try something on. This is how that shopping experience ended up:
We decided to go out for sushi instead!

However, on monday afternoon I went shopping with my mom, and came across exactly what I was looking for! I was so relived to just know that the seemingly impossible task was over! Here's the dress that I finally decided on:

I feel like this dress is perfect for me as it has everything that I was looking for. I loved the embellishment as well as the fact that it was a little different with the multi colours. Even better, this dress was discontinued and so it was 50% off! I am really happy for myself and I can't wait to wear it to my grad in June!

Good luck and much patience to those who are still looking!

Social Fiction Project- New Beginnings en Paris!

Created by: Madelaine Lapointe and Taryn Wichenko 

Picture That Inspired Our Story
Photo by: Madelaine Lapointe

Courtney on Instagram:

New Beginnings en Paris!
Living in a city with millions of opportunities, I still do not have one idea of what I want to do. After studying for four years at the University of Toronto, I am left with an arts degree, majoring in Psychology and having a minor in French. I always thought at this point in my life, I would have everything figured out, but unfortunately I have no clue. However, it seems that my two close friends, Courtney and Jen have their lives put together. Courtney got a job as a teacher for the upcoming year and Jen is already married and talking about kids. Me? I’ve been with my boyfriend Chris for two years, and I’m still not sure if it’s the real thing. I love my job as a tour guide on the Toronto Harbour boats but honestly, I just want a change.

This morning I wake up to my boyfriend Chris practically pushing me off the bed. His arms and legs are sprawled to each corner of the mattress. We might as well just get two beds already.
"Chris, time to get up, you're going to be late for work." I remind him, trying not to sound like his mother.
"I got fired." He responds as if everything's just perfect.
"Excuse me? What? Why?" I question, surprised.
"Long story," he mutters, as he rolls over and pulls the covers over his eyes to block the light. "Turn off the lights on your way out." He says, as he rolls back to sleep.
I sigh and turn the lights off. There is no point in talking to Chris when he's like this. Sometimes Chris is so difficult to deal with that I just give up on trying.
I begin on my way to work, starting with riding the subway and continuing with the streetcar that drops me on a corner close to the harbor. Work is the same old thing everyday, but today it's nice to be outside and get a breath of fresh air.
To the forecast's surprise, there was a drastic change in weather and I am allowed to leave work early. I call Chris to pick me up so I don't need to wait in the pouring rain, but of course, no answer. I finally get home, looking like a drowned rat, frizzy hair and all. I open the door and just as I go to call for Chris, I hear someone else calling his name. Confused I open the door, and to my surprise, I see Chris in bed with another woman! Tears sting my eyes as I rush out of the apartment, not knowing where I am going. I hear Chris call my name behind me but it's no use as I am already halfway out the building and headed to Courtney's house.
"I can't say I am surprised," Courtney tells me as we both sit in her living room eating cake. "Chris always seemed like a player to me."
Without anything to say to Courtney's blunt comment I just sit quietly and try to distract myself in my piece of cake. Thankfully at that moment Jen runs into the room and comes straight in to comfort me. She's always better at that than Courtney.
"Tell me everything sweetie," Jen tells me and I can tell by her tone she will be an excellent mother.
When I am done telling them all the events of my whirlwind of a day, Courtney says, "What you need is a change."
Jen ponders the idea and agrees, "She's right Tamara, you work so hard you just need a break from life."
"Like a shopping spree?" I ask.
"No, not a shopping spree," Courtney demeaningly tells me.
"A trip Tam. A real adventure. To figure out what it is you want from life," Jen seamlessly interjects.
I had never really thought much of travelling as I usually was tied down to school, work or Chris. It was never a part of my life plan. Then again, neither was a cheating boyfriend. Maybe this was the change that I needed.
It took me no thought at all to decide where I wanted to go. Paris was always a dream of mine, from all the beautiful sights to see, the mouth watering, French food and of course all the eye candy walking through the streets. However, I never thought my dream of travelling to Paris would be a reality. Jen insisted that I buy a one-way ticket, therefore I could take a much time as I needed to find myself. For someone who has her whole life lined up for her, Jen has a rather spontaneous personality.
I move my things out of Chris's apartment and pretty soon I was ready to embark on an incredible adventure. Courtney hosted a going away party for me, which was the perfect send off for my new beginning. And after many tears were shed by all of us, the only thing left to do was board the plane!
I arrive in Paris a day before New Year's Eve exhausted from a long flight and filled with mixed emotions. I decide to head back to my hotel room to sleep and get ready for tomorrow's New Year's Eve adventures.
I find myself waking up the next morning almost in a panic, questioning if I am actually in the beautiful city of Paris, or if I’m living some sort of crazy dream. Everything in my life has changed so quickly that it’s hard for me; the girl who has never really experienced change to know what to do. I decide to keep an open mind and let the day ahead of me direct me whichever way it chooses to.
My first step outside in the daylight is everything I always hoped it to be. The architecture surrounding me, busy street life and the thousands of places to experience. Tonight for New Years Eve there are fireworks happening close to my hotel above Hôtel-de-Ville that I will go to, but for now I think I will walk to Notre Dame and take some pictures. My body is still a little jet lagged from the 6-hour time difference, but my mind is wide awake and ready for adventure.
After a long day of walking around and site seeing, I head back to my hotel to freshen up before I head back out to get a spot for the fireworks. Usually I wouldn’t be the kind of girl to dress up or wear make up, but something inside me feels this sudden urge to have some fun and live a little! I put on my new black sheer top with my leather high heeled boots, put my hair in a cute, messy low bun, put more than just mascara on and head out into the city full of light. As I walk through the streets, I feel like all eyes are on me. It’s amazing when you actually try to look good just how much your level of confidence goes up. Usually this kind of attention would make me feel uncomfortable and insecure, but there’s something new inside of me that is telling me to go and conquer the city. This year I need to focus on myself and create new beginnings like Courtney and Jen told me. I finally find a spot to sit amongst several people.
“Bonjour Madame!” a handsome, green-eyed man next to me began.
“Uhh,” I started, puzzled that he was talking to me. “Bonjour Monsieur.” I hesitated, remembering I hadn’t really had a conversation in French yet with anyone here in Paris.
"You're not from here, are you?" He jokingly questioned with a grin.
"My accents that bad?" I answered with a laugh to cover my embarrassment.
"No not at all, just different," He responded softly brushing my hand, "Where are you from?"
"Toronto... In Canada," I answered.
"Wow, long trip! What brings you all the way to Paris?" He questioned moving closer to me. I had never had a man be genuinely this interested in me before and I began to think to myself I should play up my look more often!
I talked to this mystery man for the better part of an hour, both in French and English and before I knew it he was asking me what my plans were for the evening. I told him I didn't have any specific plans, so he asked me if I was interested in going along with him. I obviously agreed and thus began the most magical night I had ever had. It finally ended with fireworks and a midnight kiss to bring in the new year.
The next day I awoke with a smile on my face and many memories made. After all the amazing moments we shared last night, we had come so far but I still didn't know who this guy was, not even his name. This is the time where I would want Courtney and Jen to be here, but I suppose a phone call will have to do. I told them everything and they were even more excited than I was!
"I saw that kiss picture on Instagram! Who is that guy?"Jen squealed into the phone.
"That's just the thing, we had the perfect night, but I still have no idea!" I said, not realizing how disappointed I was until I said it.
"Tam, you need to find him!" Courtney ordered me.
And I knew she was right. The only problem was, I had no information, except that he was a chef. I thought to myself that I had to see him again.
The next couple days I ate out every meal, trying new restaurants in search of my mystery man. All I needed was a name. I couldn't stop wondering if he was thinking about me too.
I continued touring around the beautiful city of Paris making new friends and seeing several amazing architectural wonders. I loved how the gargoyles each had their own personalities and some how just fit into every landmark. I was loving Paris but I still wasn't sure if this is what Jen and Courtney meant with "finding myself". As much as I wanted to stay here, I decided that this would be my last night in Paris as I was running low on money and was quite frankly was very lonely here in Paris. However I decided I would go and explore the beautiful city one more day.
At the end of the day I was exhausted from all the walking I had done and a still disappointed that I had not come across him. I decided to go have a bite to eat at a restaurant right next to my hotel called Le Drapeau before I went home to start packing up the life u had made for myself here in Paris. This restaurant had food unlike any I had ever had! It made me want to stay here and eat here everyday!
Then to my surprise, when I was paying for my meal at the front desk, I caught a glimpse of a familiar silhouette.
"Is that the cook?" I asked the hostess
"Bien oui Madame," she answered with her perfect French accent.
I reached into my bag and pulled out 10 of my last euros.
"Could you make sure he gets this and to tell him the food was amazing!"
The hostess looked at me and smiled.
"Oui Madame. Bonsoir."
And just as I went to exit, I was suddenly turned around and I felt the familiar lips against mine. It took me a few seconds to realize that this was the man I had searched Paris for.
"I thought that was you," he began as his eyes gazed into mine. "Please stay, until close and I will make you dessert, on me."
"I mustn't. I should get back and pack before I leave tomorrow," I reluctantly declined.
"For Toronto?" he asked, with obvious disappointment in his eyes.
"Paris is beautiful, but I don't think I am finding myself here. I should go home," I told him.
"I bet I can change your mind," he said with his adorable grin. And that was just enough to convince me.
"Wait here, I'll be back in a half hour when we close" he assures me. "But before I go, I must know your name."
I told him it was Tamara and he told me his was Felipe. And just like that, our lips pressed together again.
Thirty minutes later on the dot I was rejoined with the wonderful Felipe and two banana splits. The only thing better than the amazing ice cream was the company I was with. We talked for hours and I finally learned more about him. At the end of the night he walked me back to my hotel and just after we shared one last kiss, he softly whispered to me,
"I couldn't stop thinking about you."
The next morning my alarm abruptly woke me up at eight and I realized that I had to pack my things for my flight in seven hours. I almost forgot about the amazing night I had and the wonderful man that had made it so spectacular. It was more difficult than I had expected to leave this little fairytale I had been living the past two weeks. Courtney had planned to pick me up from the airport and then I'd stay with her seeing as my old apartment was occupied by my ex boyfriend. I considered stopping by Le Drapeau and saying goodbye to Felipe, but I thought it would just making leaving that much more difficult. The time we spent together was like a fairytale but at some point I have to return to real life.
Once I was in the airport, I suddenly regretted my decision to not say goodbye to Felipe. Why did I think that was a good idea? I had connected with him more than I had ever connected with any of my boyfriends, including Chris. And pretty soon we'd be separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Tears started to stream down my face. I had finally realized what I wanted and it was too late.
Finally it was time for me to board the plane. I wiped the tears from my face one more time and got up from my seat. Then faintly, almost inaudibly I heard someone call my name. It was so quiet I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, but then I heard it again. I turned around to see Felipe running towards my gate. He finally caught up to me and grabbed me and kissed me.
"You can't leave," he said with his adorable French accent.
"But, this is my flight," I told him as a new batch of tears streamed down my face.
"Tamara, this doesn't happen everyday. I've never felt this way about anyone before. I think," he stopped, "I think I'm in love with you. "
His words caught me by surprise but just as suddenly felt so right.
"I think I love you too," I said quietly hardly even realizing I felt this way.
"You can't leave. Please stay," he begged me and I knew at that moment leaving was not an option.
Life has a funny way of treating you sometimes. You can have a whole plan set up for yourself, but it turns out that the best things in life are the things that come as a surprise to you. Every story is waiting to be written, so don't worry about writing it before it happens. As for myself, I can't wait to see where this amazing story of mine takes me! So stay tuned!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

2014! (Personal Addition #31)

I can hardly believe that we are already into the year 2014! This year was much awaited for me and my friends as this will be the year we graduate and move on to different things. It feels like yesterday we were coming to high school in grade nine and thinking that the next four years would feel like an eternity. However somehow the year has finally arrived and we are coming into the homestretch of our high school careers.

And even though there will be very significant events that will happen this year that come along with graduation and being an adult, I thought to myself what it is that I truly wanted from this year. And being the musical fanatic that I am I immediately thought of a song from Rent, Seasons of Love.

What I'm trying to say by this song is that of course I want to work hard and have fun in the year 2014, but more importantly I want to love as much as I can. I believe that loving is what's most important in life and it is with love that we can truly be ourselves and succeed.

Take a listen to this song and I wish everyone lots of love in the year 2014!