Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back to School

I believe I've been pretty negligible with updating this thing. I really should be doing this more often though, especially since I've started taking my Creative Writing courses at UofT.

I started classes about a week ago. Right now I'm in the UofT library making full use of my temporary 30-minute free internet time while I wait for class to start. I had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 7 am this morning ('ungodly' because it is Saturday) to:

1.) do the first homework I've been assigned (and subsequently failed to even do until last minute) and

2.) drive downtown early because of the out-of-the-blue TTC strike and to get a good parking spot before people wake up to realize that there is a strike.

Ah, to be a student again.

I kinda missed school while I've been doing the ol' 9-to-5. I missed coming to a class of strangers and having someone lecture me for 2 hours. Of course, I could have just stayed home for that, but these writing course topics are so much easier to listen to my dad bitch to me about doing my taxes (reminder to self: do taxes!).

So I am officially a part-time UofT student. Yeah, I have unintentionally followed in the footsteps of my dad and siblings. Ha. So far I have observed being at a university is not that much different than being in college. The people, the buildings, the atmosphere and the coffee shops are all the same. However, I don't have the anxiety of exams-to-make-or-break my academia and I'm not spending $30,000.00 on my education.

My classes have been quite awesome so far, however I do feel like I am out of my league here. Firstly, the students in my class range from different ages (about my age to 50) from different backgrounds and with different intentions of taking the course. There are financial analysts, publicists and even some published writers here. There's even a Korean who works in Finance and is taking these classes so he can learn to write stories for his children. I hate to admit it, but that is just so gosh darn cute. Despite our different backgrounds, we all seem to have that commonality of wanting to write creatively and apparently have always wanted to do so, despite our different professions.

The professors seem knowledgeable and are experienced. In the two classes I am currently taking (Intro to Creative Writing and Arts Journalism), one is a published novelist, while the other writes for publications like The Globe and Mail. The Arts Journalism professor seems like someone out of CBC Radio One, the classic music radio station. He's heavily into arts and all that fancy schmancy stuff. We should really have our classes in cafes, rather than a lecture hall in the Nursing Building because we are out of setting with this guy.

We've already begun several writing exercises and they've been pretty exciting. Back in the day, once in awhile I would get interesting assignments I would actually be excited to do. But this time, it's like, every assignment. I won't bore you with details but perhaps I will excerpt some of my work on here. Maybe.

I'm not that shy about people reading my work, but I like to think of my stuff as works in progress, so they can't 'released' yet. However, as with any other artists, it's not uncommon to believe that 'finished works' are still unfinished.

I would highly recommend these classes to other people who are interested in creative writing, even if it's just for fun. In fact, you might not even realize you're a great writer until you try [writing]. Whether you're a banker, paralegal, stripper or a Senator, there could be a hidden talent for story-telling that has yet to be unearthed.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Madonna Arms

I'm so proud of myself. I'm usually such a weak duckling. Anything that makes me break even a drop of sweat, I'm on the floor panting and ready to go to sleep. I can't even climb a flight of stairs without losing my breath.

It serves me right for not being in the best shape and avoiding all types of physical activity throughout most of my adolescence. I think I've realized alot of people tend to do things for me, because they assume/know that I can't do it or will just struggle with it: carrying canoes, opening bottles, carrying shopping bags, opening doors, carrying my gym bag...

I appreciate it all and I apologize for being a weak princess, guys.

But tonight, I think I can prove everyone wrong that I'm not weak ass. I did kick boxing and hip hop dance all in one night! How 'bout them apples?

I can't believe I can still lift my arms, but I can.

Kick boxing is one of the hardest things I've ever had to physically do. On Saturday, I did wall-climbing and it was a piece of cake compared to this. Tackling a wall was so much easier than tackling a punching bag or trying to do crunches (or basically anything else that requires me to pull my own weight). Nevertheless, I will continue going because I've never really worked hard in my life. I might as well pay $15 a night and do it once a week. Besides, it kinda feels like a drug because it suppresses my bad thoughts, like alcohol.

My biggest fear, though, is doing this more and more and getting Madonna Arms. What are Madonna Arms? They are when arms become atrocious and produce revolting and unsightly veins muscles... like the guns that Madonna currently has. I don't know what she does to get them, but I surely hope it's not a combination of kick boxing, hip hop dance, yoga, wall-climbing and Poker, because I will quit all at once if it is.

Everyone assures me that this will never happen but I swear, every time I look in the mirror and move my arm in a way that it kinda flexes, I see the 'seedlings' of Madonna Arms. Ugh. I began this quest to be physically stronger so that I could be emotionally stronger, not to become a Muscle Mary.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Love Actually

I recently had a great trip down memory lane. And by 'great', I mean 'awkward' and by 'memory lane', I mean 'the once-existent love life memory lane'.

I contacted C the other day. I didn't want to have to talk to him in the circumstances I did, but I felt I had the obligation to, circumstances of which I won't bore you with. I make it a point to not cut off contact with 'exes' (the little that I have and consider) for certain reasons: to not make it seem that our relationship was a waste of a friendship, to keep tabs on them, to see how much better I'm doing without them, etc..

However, C is different. In the past, our contacts with each other always ended up in a cycle of tension/lust/anger/hostility/love. This is why we never really remained 'friends'. To this day, I don't really understand why we can't just be friends and not go through that tension/lust/anger/hostility/love cycle. I hate to admit, but it is slightly true when they say you can't really be friends with exes. I think you can't be friends with certain exes: you can only be friends with exes who didn't feel the exact same way you did.

Unrequited loves, casual relationships, lovers-and-friends, and maybe, just maybe short relationships that ended amicable and mutual can last into actual friendships. But hardly the ones with too much off-and-on. Never the ones with the raw passion between two people. Never the ones you thought were The One.

Contacting C was nerve-racking, heart-wrenching and palm-sweating but I got through it. Even if it was done through Facebook. I don't think he enjoyed the circumstances to my phone call because he kinda yelled at me, but what could I do but just take it? I was used to arguing with him but this time it was kind of different. I guess he felt some sense of pleasure in rubbing it in my face that his two-year relationship with his girlfriend was a prime example as to how my lifestyle is foolish, garbage and immature. At least, that's how I felt after I talked to him. Nevertheless, it was good hearing his voice.

I would like to believe that people once in love with each other can remain friends even if they cannot be together. How can such a strong, intimate relationship dissolve into absentia and near-stranger relationships? Being in love is such an inexplicably wonderful thing. Why can't being in love turn into just love? I know that they are two different things but how can two words be the same but not be the same?

I wish I could be friends with C again. Sometimes I'll come across something that I wish could share with him but there's no one else I can share it with and then I start to think about him. Maybe even miss him a little. Although he has his own very different life than me and we are better off not being around each other, I wish I could be part of his life again. I suppose once in love, always in love.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Let it all out, any way that you can

I've failed to write lately. I'm not sure why, it's not like I've lacked anything to discuss. However, I figure there is no better time than now because I sincerely doubt I will be able to lift my arms tomorrow.

Tonight I took a kickboxing class with Konrad. I haven't done it in years, and I haven't done it as intensely as I did tonight. We barely got there in time, so we missed the stretching, which of course means I will be like a walking zombie tomorrow. We broke sweat 5 minutes into the training. It was tough but I survived and it felt kinda good. The downside to the whole thing is that everything stinks -- literally. The room, the gloves, and unfortunately, the hot guys. I spent 5 minutes in the bathroom scrubbing my hands of that horrid 'man sweat' smell I picked up from the used gloves. Time to buy my own pair.

I found that boxing is a great way to get rid of anger (duh) but it is a vastly different type of 'therapy' from yoga. In yoga, I just tried to let go of my stress and anger through breathing. In boxing, I let it out through my fists, through the gloves, through the punching bag...and probably straight to Konrad who was spotting me (he said I was best at kicking, which didn't surprise us since I've had lots of practice since elementary school :p).

I'm not sure which 'stress reliever' I prefer. I'm not a violent person (I swear, I'm not!) but I'm not a relaxed person either. I'd definitely continue to do both either way, since I haven't found that "middle" yet.

I can feel this is the beginning of my 'activeness' now that the warm weather is here. I'm starting hip hop classes soon and sooner or later, Sarah and I will eventually start up those yoga classes again.

I'm starting to feel anguished again, just when I thought I was feeling better. I guess this is due to work slowing down and me trying to go back to 'normal life' and having time to think and feel. It's not as easy I once convinced myself and others. I feel like this bad aura is just sticking to me like annoying lint, so I gotta do whatever I can to do away with it. I'm trying to get rid of it as feverishly and as quickly as possible. Breathing it out through yoga, losing myself through dance and music, punching and kicking until all those bad feelings are behind me. Can bad feelings be rid of through all this hard physical work? I think it's temporary, like a drug.

I wish there was some kinda 'emotional detox' I could do, but I guess this is the next best thing. I'm so sick of feeling like this.