August 31st, 2011 Daily Post Challenge

On August 31st, the Daily Post challenge was to pick a word you don’t know, and use it in a story. Find a word you like, and use it in a short paragraph, story, or a clever sentence.

Hustling to reach the end of the road, I felt panic widen my eyes. A hollow ache settled in behind them as tears run down my face. The sun had not yet broken the horizon, so whether I was too late or not, it was impossible to tell. The thought of waiting alone in the darkness, next to the groves of frozen willow that creaked indefinitely, placed me in an almost maddening state of terror. I abruptly turned to look behind me, seeing nothing in the complete dark. Feeling satisfied, I turned back, but not before seeing the faint adumbration of a figure coming at me swiftly…

The word I chose is adumbration, which means “a sketchy or imperfect or faint representation.”

 

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There’s more than just Starbucks in Seattle

February 8, 2013

The greatest white chocolate mocha I’ve ever tasted came in a cheap 12oz cup from a random tiny coffee window in the thick of downtown Seattle. It was around 7 at night, and I didn’t notice the window until I walked right by it. I don’t know what prompted me to wheel back around and head for the window, but I’m glad I did. It BLEW me away.

The next time I was in Starbucks, I ordered my favourite drink by habit. “Hi, I’ll have a tall white chocolate mocha please.” When I took a sip, cup in hand, I almost choked. The mysterious little cafe’s WCM made this one taste like an ultra sweet, tasteless imitation of what a white chocolate mocha is supposed to be.

I need to find this café again.

Sept 19, 2013 – Latte art from the heart

Mum once made me this latte and I’ve never been able to recreate it.

Latte art is impossible without the right cup for pouring the frothed milk (…and the right skill. I’m lacking both).

Looking at this photo reminds me of a time when a barista at the Hospital’s café made me a pumpkin spice latte with a heart in the foam. Maybe I’ll post that photo sometime soon. It was wonderful, and totally made my day a little brighter.

Uninvited Pal

I wish I could say that I made this all up.
Below is a true story, it happened to me. It really highlights the dangers any girl faces out there. You just never know.

I get a text from a friend asking if I wanted to go to the mall and out to Arigato for dinner. Joy to the world!

I arrive at the mall, park, and text her to see where she is. No reply. Okay, no problem-o. Guess I’ll head on inside. Maybe a few of my friends are around in there, wandering around and browsing the wide selection of shops Kamloops has. Hah. I step out of my Jeep and into a swirling world of snow.

Because earlier warm weather that day, I was only wearing a mesh cardigan, but for whatever reason, I didn’t find the air overly cool. I was in good spirits. My steps felt light, and I was looking up into the sky and smiling to no one in particular. If anyone was watching me, they’d think I was some happy moron. But whatever, I was enjoying myself. Snow stuck to my hair, my face, my clothes. Step, step, twirl in the middle of the road. I reach the door, go through it, and hold it open for the man behind me. I smile at him. Our eyes lock.

He’s young, only a little older than me. Our height is exact. He has colorless blonde hair, and bleached somber blue-green eyes. He might have been handsome if it weren’t for the way he hunched over, and the way his eyes met mine with abruptness. For that minute I felt something wasn’t right. I continue my smile, and pull away from him. I head for Sears, which is at the end of the mall, with my head held high.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see his black hoodie. Oh, guess he’s going the same direction as I am. I’m not paying attention to where I’m going really, and more concerned with the fact that no one is replying to my texts asking where they are. I notice that I’m almost in Sears and slingshot around. The man does the same. Now I’m a little curious.

Coincidence? What the hell?

I head for the opposite end of our modestly sized mall, turning my head often to glance at passing stores, that way I could see if he was still following me by our reflections in the glass. He is. Close by as well, only a meter away, and almost coming up beside me. I keep my pace causal so he assumes I haven’t noticed him. I walk past Booster Juice and swerve around the back of it. All the while staring down the people who worked there with a small smile. Translation: Fuck guys stop making smoothies and help me. Help me. Help. The man continues to blatantly follow me. He isn’t even trying to hide it, which somehow suggested danger more-so than if he was trying to.

I steal a look back at The Body Shop and consider entering, but I don’t. It makes little sense, but I’m afraid of possibly making eye contact with him again. I shoot straight for The Bay, rapidly thinking of ways I can observe him a little and maybe judge his intentions. Once in the store, I move left towards a random tea cup display. A middle-aged saleswoman approaches me and asks if I need any help. I blurt out, “I’m looking for tea cups without handles.” Wherever that came from, I don’t even know. Her face screws up in confusion. I can only imagine how long this is going to take her.

I scan around my peripheral vision for the man, and almost feel alarmed when I can’t find him. Oh. Eyes latch onto mine. 10 metres away. He keeps his face downcast, but tilts his head slightly to the left. I waste no time in looking back at the teacups. I’m unnerved. I absent-mindedly ramble about how my mom loves teacups without handles. I’m terrified. The saleswoman eventually explains (clearly baffled) to me that they don’t sell anything of the sort and I should check the kitchen store downstairs. I pretend to listen and then ask where the store is, all while keeping an eye on the man as he scuffs back to the store’s entrance. 5 metres away. Waiting for me, and likely listening to me. I thank the woman, and turn to leave. The man copies. I warily keep him in front of me, but he purposefully walks slowly, as if he wants to return to his position behind me. I tread to his left. We walk beside each other as close as friends.

When we reach adjacent to The Body Shop, I break away and bolt inside without warning. One of the women working there asks if I’m looking for anything in particular and offers me a pamphlet on the store’s sales. Not wanting her to bother me, I politely refuse the pamphlet and claim that I am only browsing for facial wash. “Okay, let me know if you need any help!” Cheerful smile exchanges with unsteady smile. She leaves me be. I focus on the products in front of me, pulling a few out and acting as though I am wholly focused on the back label. I glimpse the man standing with his back to me just outside the shop, resting his hands on the railing outside, peering down at the shoppers below. He twists around and rests his eyes on mine again. I hastily break the gaze, my face flushing, then refocus on a facial wash infused with tea tree oil. The man enters the store. Fuck. A saleswoman greets him. “Hey.” This is the first time I’m hearing his voice. It’s low. He retreats almost as soon as he enters, returning to his place along the railing.

I put the facial wash back into it’s snug place on the shelf and stroll out the store, veering right and retracing my steps towards The Bay. I hear the man’s footsteps at first behind me, then a moment later beside me. He matches my gait with a sort of urgency. He wants me to notice him. I’m uncertain. Raw fear overwhelms all else. I know I will regret confronting this man. A dangerous vibe of desperation leaks out of his every action. Before entering the Bay, I jolt to the right. I can’t face him.

I speed down the long hall leading to the washrooms.. The dingy headache-inducing fluorescent lights flickering on at random intervals give me a dim light. Hearing footsteps behind me and now almost in a blind panic, I swing into the women’s washroom, almost knocking over another girl my age. Her friend shoots me a strange look. I don’t apologize, and find a stall to hide in.

I can’t help it. Before I know it, I start crying. Finally one of my friends responds to her phone, and I shoot text after text of my situation. She’s already grabbed a table at the sushi place, and cannot leave or we’ll lose it. I have to get out of the bathroom alone. Almost 30 minutes of me crying and texting and reapplying my makeup pass before I leave my sanctuary. To my relief, he wasn’t waiting outside of the bathroom any longer for me. I sprint for my jeep.

I think if this sort of thing were to happen again, I would be more bold. When you read stories about harassment, you can’t help but think to yourself, “oh, I would be more brave. I wouldn’t react that stupidly.” Then you find yourself in an unexpected situation, and you fail yourself.

Creepy dude, I hope we never ever meet again.

Oct. 24, 2013 – Apple products galore

Earlier today I bought an adorable faux black Chanel iPhone case. It was a little pricey, but still worth it. I also snagged a new MacBook Air case from Future Shop, buuut sadly it barely fits the 13” model that I have. I’m tempted to take it back, only because of how difficult it is to pull the laptop out once it’s in the stupid case… it’s just…I like the style too much. I even got my Mom to sew a brown & gold-colored button on the front tab. ♥

I also updated my MacBook Air to the latest OS X, Maverick. It apparently comes with all sorts of new apps like Maps, iBooks, etc. The app that allows you to create iBooks is particularly beautiful. I don’t know what I will write, but I’m inspired to write something. The tags feature looks pretty sharp, and offers an impressive way of organizing every file on your computer. I can’t wait to start playing around with that. (Woo tag everything!)

And for my ultimate favorite feature ever to come in an update… MULTIPLE DISPLAYS! I can now wirelessly connect my Mac to the Apple TV, which means no more mess of HDMI cords all over hell. Using your TV as a display is super, super fun.

My second ultimate favourite feature is Finder Tabs. Not exactly ground-breaking, more like a necessity that should have been a part of Finder from the start. You can open one window in Finder, and instead of opening a bunch more (yikes, clutter), now it’s a simple as opening a new tab like in Safari.

“Have fun exploring the world’s most advanced desktop operating system.” – Apple

This laptop can do anything, and is a complete joy to work with. Totally in love with it. Sure,  I can’t update any of the hardware, which really sucks, and all the “stuff” Apple gives you from the App Store takes up 60+GB which is half of my HD… Still. It is awesome for what it is.

If fantasy were reality

Hi guys! I’ve missed a few daily post challenges, so here is my way of getting up to speed.

August 30th, 2011, The Daily Post question is: If you could be part of any fictional universe, what would it be? Why?

I used to dream of being in the Myst Series universe when I was young and first played the game in 2001. Myst Uru is where you can travel to any world imaginable using ‘linking books’, which after being touched will take you to wherever is described in the book itself. The possibilities of where you could go, what you could see and do, are endless.

 



 

Now onto sharing a photo recently sent to me…

Here’s a photo of a species of white peacock my uncle took in America. Really beautiful bird. You can click the image to see it full-size.

Also, recently I got Rosetta Stone! The goal is to learn French really well. It would be neat to speak/write in another language fluently… Plus, if I ever go to Europe, It’d be a great help. Occasionally in the future you might see me blogging in french too, for practice.

Ciao,

Shavonne

Spirited Away: A Movie Review

On August 29th, 2011, the Daily Post challenge was to write a movie review.

Here in North America, the highest grossing movie in history is Avatar. In Japan, a different kind of movie took the spotlight, and that’s Spirited Away

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Few people can say they’ve never heard of Spirited Away. When it was first released in 2001, it received huge praise from critics worldwide. According to Wikipedia,

Rotten Tomatoes reports that 97% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 155 reviews, certifying it “Fresh”, with an average rating of 8.5/10, and ranks as the thirteenth-best animated film on the site. In 2005, Spirited away was ranked the twelfth-best animated film of all time by IGN. The film is also ranked #9 of the highest-rated movies of all time on Metacritic; being the highest rated traditionally animated film on the site. The film ranked #10 in Empire magazine‘s “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema” in 2010.

All this praise is not empty. With 100% certainty, I can say Spirited Away is one of the best animated films of all time, alongside Princess Mononoke. The renowned Hayao Miyazaki directed both films.

Spirited Away starts off with a girl named Chihiro, and her family, who are moving to the suburbs. Chihiro’s father winds up lost while taking a shortcut to their new home, and they come to an abrupt stop in front of a long tunnel. Deciding to explore the area, Chihiro’s parents (whilst dragging along a sulky Chihiro), somehow end up crossing over to the spirit world. Their own greed turns them both into pigs, and now Chihiro is left to to weave the dangers of the spirit world, turn her parents back, and get them all home. Pretty daunting task for an ten-year-old.

One thing I love about this movie is how carefully Chihiro matures throughout it. At the beginning, we find a sulky, whiny little girl with no sense of adventure or independence. As time progresses and she matures, we watch her become someone who is independent and selfless.

Another thing is the soundtrack. Varied and beautiful to the extreme, especially the piano scores. The hours and dedication put into each piece shows.

Most of the scenes were hand-drawn, which is an amazing feat when you think about how long the movie is. The animation is smooth, colorful, flawless, and really is one of the things that makes this movie stand out any other animated feature.

The story line itself is enough to place this at the top. Deep and satisfying, this story doesn’t disappoint. You can feel the attention put into making the best story possible here. Hayao Miyazaki’s movies never feature the simple “good” vs. “evil” plots we often see, but explore the concept of an antagonist with many sides. We find in this movie that no person is simply “evil”, people simply have different motivations and beliefs. The result is that every character is well-rounded and complex. It’s hard to go back to movies with simpler plots after watching masterpieces like this.

Overall, Spirited Away is a brilliant movie, one that anyone will love. Even if you don’t usually watch animated movies, you’ll find it difficult not to appreciate this one’s charm. Give it a watch.

Do I believe in UFO’s, and my idea of a perfect Sunday

On August 27th, The Daily Post question is: Do you believe in UFO’s? If yes, why do you think others do not? If no, why do you think others do?

Honestly, I don’t know. There isn’t enough (credible) evidence of them being spotted in Earth’s skies for me to say that I think they do, yet I feel like I can’t 100% dismiss the possibility that something is out there. Who knows, maybe there have been UFO’s that have visited Earth. I think for now I’ll remain skeptical.

 

On August 28th, The Daily Post challenge is to: Describe the perfect Sunday. What is the best Sunday you’ve ever had? What is the best possible second half of a weekend you can ever imagine having? Who would you spend time with? Where would you be? What would you do?

My idea of a perfect Sunday is one spent doing something fun with my relatives, or friends. Either that or a good session spent at the gym, or going for a hike around the mountain, or even a jog around the block. I could see myself doing a lot of writing as well.

The best Sunday I’ve had… I can’t think of a specific experience, but it was probably one spent with relatives or friends. I’ve spent most of my Sundays having to go to church until this year, so there was never many opportunities to get much done during the day.

Best possible second half of my week would be to have little to no homework from my high school. Normally, I always make an effort to spend as much time as possible with the people who I don’t normally get to see, like my friends from other schools or my boyfriend. Long jogs and visits to the gym are the perfect way to end the day. I’d like to go with other people more often.

Ciao,

Shavonne

Six Word Story.

Today’s The Daily Post challenge is to write a story in six letters.

Clever girl, disregarding a bitter reality. 

Sounds almost… poetic? Somehow, it reminds me of a haiku, my favorite kind of poetry.

 

On another note, over the summer I have lost 7.3 lbs! For comparison, here’s a photo:

Woah.

It’s insane that the pic shows 7 pounds of meat! Harder still to think I’ve lost that much, just by changing my eating habits and doing a bit more exercise. The MyNetDiary app has helped majorly as well.

The photo is from another blog, you can view it by clicking the photo.

Ciao,

Shavonne