Airport: the cast of characters by James Wysong

These airport observations by James Wysong made me laugh so hard because it made me think of last night when I couldn’t find this guy’s booking. We “appear” to be typing a novel because we’re literally looking at every possible flight to see where exactly you are booked under all while keeping track of cut-off times for your flight. We’re actually trying to help although I know sometimes it doesn’t look like we care but we do. My “favourite” thing is when people walk up to me, start spelling their last names to me without telling me where the heck they’re going as if I knew everything.

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1. The Lady of the Keyboard. This is the ticket agent who appears to be typing a novel — and faster than any typist you have ever seen. After a while, she starts talking to her screen as if she has an ongoing relationship with it (that’s me right there, constantly talking to my screen). Just when you think the system has lost your booking (sometimes, it’s true, we can’t find you, mostly because most people do not even know their flight information!), the computer spits out baggage tags, boarding cards and itineraries, but before you can say thank you, the gate agent is on to the next customer.

Find the entire story here!

Is the grass really greener elsewhere?

Last week I spent an afternoon in Banff. The rockies are so beautiful and that’s something I had forgotten. They are easy to get to with just an hour drive away. They are calming, inspirational and spiritual. They brought me peace of mind and made me realize how lucky I was to experience them and have them so close to home. We, as a society, complain too much and never seem to appreciate what we have right in front of us. We’d all love to live somewhere warmer, nicer and sweeter.  But is the grass  really that much greener  elsewhere or it is  just an illusion we create in our heads to make up for the the discontentment we constantly focus ourselves on instead of focusing on the good things we have? Really, if we learned to enjoy every single little things in the present moment, we would be content just with how things are, whether it’s a boring night at work, a “stressful” day at home  or an awesome day at the beach. Whether we are single and lonesome or whether we are  married with four children. Whether we are having a super awesome day or a super challenging day. There are what we call “blessings in disguise” in ALL of these chapters in our lives and once we start to chill out and enjoy ourselves, nothing will be as stressful ever again; things will just start to flow.

And for now, just enjoy reading this, meditate on it if you need to, and be happy.

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The Happy List

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I think sometimes we forget to sit down, breathe and remind ourselves of the things that make us happy. We easily get caught up in our heads, with work or with other things that make us feel hopeless, bored, or unhappy. We forget that there’s a simple recipe for NOT feeling down, bitter, tired, and uninspired. That recipe is to simply do things that make us happy. For me, it’s yoga… Yoga is my recipe to happiness. I practice it between 2 to 4 times a week and everytime I do, I feel re-energized, inspired and happy. (Drinking lots of water and mimimizing that chocolate intake would make me feel better too!)

The summer didn’t exactly start with the bang that we expected (a.k.a the Alberta floods), but that doesn’t mean we need to give up on summer altogether. Yes the weather has been annoyingly unpredictable…Just today I walked to an appointment in the warm sunshine and an hour and a half later, it was pouring like no tomorrow. Then it went back to sun. Between the floods, the fires, and the train derailments, it feels like we are living quite the apocalyptic year!

Apocalyptic theories aside, summer is here. Let’s take the time to get to know the things that make us feel good inside.

Here’s my happy list. What’s yours?

  • yoga
  • writing
  • my new comfy bed
  • Elle Canada
  • trying new things
  • feeling free and limitless
  • roads trips!!
  • heart-to-heart conversations
  • planning a trip
  • bookstores!!
  • patio time with friends or with a good book
  • hot weather
  • sun tanning in the backyard
  • volunteering
  • camping by the lake
  • the beach
  • my travel benefits (Tokyo 2013, here I come!)
  • saving for my apartment
  • traveling!
  • going for a massage
  • impromptu night outs with friends
  • doing my nails
  • music festivals
  • a really good movieI could think of a hundred more things that make me happy. Listening to my iPod on my way to work is one of them or enjoying my own company…a couple of hours ago, I was sitting in my yard. I was painting my nails and relaxing to the sound of the wind and watching the beautiful sunset.

    Life’s good. There’s beauty in everything.

    Cheers.

     

Help Kevin rebuild his life in High River.

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Friends, former classmates, strangers, neighbors and colleagues:

I know we’re all busy with our day-to-day lives but I’m inviting you to take the time to read the following message. For those of us who have not been directly affected by the Alberta floods, it’s hard to picture and understand the devastating consequences of the flood. But the reality is that some have lost everything, including their vehicle and all of their belongings.

Kevin, my good friend, former j-school buddy and the hardworking Editor-in-Chief of the High River Times is one of them.

On duty in High River,  Kevin saw the water levels rise at a rapid rate. He had to be rescued along with other residents who were still in the area at the time.

His car keys vanished in the overflowing river, his basement suite was completely submerged along with the High River Times office, home to Kevin and Kevin’s staff.

What’s really upsetting is that Kevin had literally just moved in his new place and had a house-warming just a couple weeks back. He had bought a brand new bed and new furniture and all his belongings, including his beloved books are now gone. He was able to save his camera and his laptop computer but that’s about all, folks.

Now, if this has happened to you, you understand how disheartening of a situation this can be. If you were not affected by the floods, I’d like you for a minute to put yourself in Kevin’s shoes: You’re starting out a new job, in a new town, and you have just settled in. And now, everything is gone.

Yes, it is only “stuff”, and what truly matters is that Kevin is OK.

However, I think it’d be amazing if we could come together and help Kevin out in this time of hardship.

I’m inviting every one of you to make cash donation – minimum of $10 plz – , or cheques to the name of Kevin Rushworth. Ikea gift cards and gift cards to the mall for new clothes welcomed too!

Kevin is one of the most hard-working and reliable person I know and I know he’d be the first one to be of helping hand if one of his friends were in a similar situation. Open your heart and help a friend in need. If you do not know Kevin in person but have been touched by his story (http://www.calgarysun.com/2013/06/24/reporters-life-washes-away-in-flood), do not hesitate!

Contact me via phone at 403 903 0898, via Twitter @Clairemig or via email claire.miglionico@gmail.com for more information on where to drop off donations.

Sincerely,

Claire M.

In love with Frances Ha

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Frances Ha 

Director: Noah Baumbach

Writers: Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver

Viewed: at CUFF 2013

Frances Ha will change your life: Frances Ha is the story of a contemporary dancer who is working towards being part of a dance company on a full-time basis. She lives in New York with her best friend Sophie with whom she is extremely close. They sleep in the same bed, say I love you to each other a lot, and have these big dreams of living these full and exciting lives. As Frances puts it, they’re like a lesbian couple minus the sex. Then one day, Sophie moves out, leaving Frances unable to pay rent by herself, which forces Frances to find a new place to live. She moves in with rich art kids with differing values in a beautiful apartment she thinks she’ll be able to afford better once she gets a part in the winter production of her dance company. When she doesn’t, she is forced to find other living arrangements and ultimately ends up living in a dorm room at her old college. As most protagonists would have fallen hard at this point, Frances chooses to make the most of each day. It’s the story of a strong woman who stays true to herself, joyful and full of light and decides to ride the wave instead of being engulfed by it. Frances is not perfect which makes her completely relatable to. She makes reckless errors along the way – like her weekend trip to Paris which leaves her completely penniless – or her stubborn decision to not take the office job proposed by her dance teacher in the meantime of finding a dancing gig. But these errors all ultimately end up being blessings in the form of life experience which takes Frances closer to her dream.

The film itself is filled with hilarious dialogues and quirky humour and the choice of black and white fits the story paradoxically well.  It adds this sense of mystery and playfulness. The film wouldn’t be the same in color. Frances Ha is one of the funniest and smartest film I have seen in years. Plus, don’t you want to find out the story behind Frances’ very short last name?

-Claire Miglionico

The Wreckers: Nola and Corey

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Brought these two lovely friends to Wreck. Here they are, posing….I love their faces, I love that house, I love how they almost blend with that house.

Child-like smiles and faces, ready to take on the world of temporary-dom, braving through dark corners and sharp edges and sliding through that steep slide, of course.

I remember thinking the entrance to the slide was on the outside of the house. Yes, indeed, the illusion fooled me quite well, silly gullable girl that I am.

My favourite spot was sitting in the elevated green house…I spotted a camera inside the house, directly positioned to capture the action across, in that greenhouse. Slightly creepy? Yes. But I love the idea…the study of human interaction, human reaction to things, dirt, the view, the people, the installations….

I’m someone whose not really good with change. I’d like to think that I am, but I think I’m actually quite terrible. When I don’t have grasp of a situation, I tend to hold on for too long. I had that sweet bitterness in the pit of my stomach, thinking, wow, all these houses will be gone very very soon…how sad. There’s so much history on this Wreck City block. But then, it’s all about that change in perspective: it’s time for a new beginning…Wreck City made sure the new beginning started with a bang and provided closure to what used to be, now only a cherished memory.

Let it go, Letting go, gone…

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Yoga Inspirations

 

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Yesterday in yoga class I discovered something new about myself. I used to go into practice knowing my limitations – or so I thought. I have been practicing yoga on and off since I was 19. Boys and school would oftentimes get in the way and instead of going to yoga to clear my head, I’d end up staying home too stressed out to barely move or think.

Those days are luckily over. When I feel shitty, I yoga it out. When I feel good, I yoga it out. When I’m sleepy, I yoga it out. You get the picture. I yoga it out no matter what and I always feel fantastic after (and quite sore for the time being!! But that shall pass!).

I’ve recently started going back to this yoga studio in Mission I’d go to three years ago when I used to live in the area. It felt weird going back there. It brought back some memories. In fact, the last time I was in that studio, I threw up after a too intense practice I forced upon my then frail body. It wasn’t pretty… Fortunately, the puking happened in the privacy of my apartment. Following that incident, I got distracted…. I ended up in Vietnam in May and later in France to see family in the summer. Then everything became a blur. For some reason, I had given up on yoga and my abilities to keep a religious practice going. I would attend a few classes at my gym and at my school but I did not have the same motivation and positive frame of mind. Being back at the studio is a big step for me. My first class was an Ashtanga class I attended with a friend of mine. It was super fast-paced and intense on the body. Clearly, both my friend and myself weren’t ready for such a class. I left the class a little depleated but decided I wouldn’t give up so quickly this time around and that I wouldn’t get memories of the past get in my way.  It’s only been a week and a half and I have been back at the studio several times already. I enjoy the serenity of the waiting area, the sound of the water against the wall, the tea selection with its kettle waiting in the left corner for us to sip on. I have a lot of respect for the discipline and the hardwork put into each practice by each and everyone at the studio including its dedicated teachers. I accept the challenge of the overcrowdedness of the studio I am not used to. At first, it was hard to find my centre and “space” within the packed studio (yes, you literally have someone’s ass in your face when you go for downward dog) but I’ve slowly learned to accept it as a challenge to not be bothered by it and to feel centered, whole and perhaps even connected to others no matter how close others are to my “space”.

Moreover, there’s  nothing like walking into a quiet studio before a class. That quietness is so strong and powerful. Each and everyone of us, unfolding our mats unto the warm floor, are preparing ourselves for practice with the power of silence and that inward turning of our gaze. It is much better than walking into a studio where  three yoga moms are gossiping out the latest dish – in my opinion at least!

Yesterday blew my mind. We were going for a backward bending of the neck during the first phase of a sun salutation when your arms are high up above your head and your eyes are looking at your hands. In my head I thought, “there’s no way I will be able to crane my neck all the way back”. My first try was painful. I was too afraid to let my head fall backwards. “If the neck is too tense, shrug your shoulders,” said the teacher to the class. On my second try, I gave shrugging my shoulders a try and to my surprise, it did release some tension in my neck, allowing my head to go further back than usual. On my third try, I shrugged my shoulders once again but this time around I took a leap of faith and let go of my resisting and stubborn head. I just let go, and there I was, with my head further than ever. And it didn’t even hurt because I was able to simply let go of my fears, my judgements and the limitations I was putting on my own body. It’s incredible what letting go and simply believing in yourself can do. That day was a revelation for me. I am super grateful for what that practice taught me about myself and what I feel I can now accomplish in life. Ever since, nothing seems too big or too small and that’s a huge step forward for me.