Monday, June 28, 2010

Adjacent to a busy one-lane highway, lies a circle of tranquility that I call home. In this circle are 20 houses unevenly spread, with tall, lush greenery to complement wild flowers and well-groomed yards of homes well-kept.

The thought of car wheels turning on their axle into the driveway, while crushing acorns and twigs from nearby maple and oak trees above, give-way to a lane lined with flowers that smell of Woodland Hearth. The home that makes all anxiety transpire, and dreams seem attainable, no matter how large.

After ascending the stairs to my loft, I am greeted with a familiar musk. The scent that reflects each season by taking on its attributes. Summer, a humid stale air, spring one that smells of flowers and budding greenery, the crisp Fall air, and Winter's refreshing and sometimes shocking coolness. I'm always comforted by the smell of familiarity. The smell gives way to the feeling of serenity that I always look forward to at home.

One of my favourite rooms - the library. In the library is a book that possesses some of my favourite things; islands, ocean, dolphins, California, and dogs. The Island of the Blue Dolphins is an easy read with a strong message - sustainability. It is about a young native girl who lived on an island with her family, a large tribe. Hunters end up killing the men over greed, and the rest of the tribe flees. Her youngest brother misses the boat off the island, so to the girl's dismay, she stays with him for a short time before he is killed by wild dogs. Her quest goes on to a tale of survival, friendships between animals on this island, and a mutual respect for wildlife and the nature surrounding her. Its a simple and beautiful story with strong and common messages, that never grow old.

Happy reading,
Ciar xoxo

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Far from the Madding Crowd

I often wonder what 'pop culture' existed in the years before ours... If gossip was as popular as we know it, without the obvious amounts of facets that it can be distributed by. Did people rely on newspapers for their daily fix of gossip? Of course the internet did not exist, so 'People' and 'Perez' were not an outlet so convenient to frequent... telephones did not exist, magazines were not quite available, and the television was certainly not an object to spend countless hours of wasted time in front of. Therefore, word of mouth and the print press would be what people were left to rely on. If I discount all of the aforementioned media tools, I am left to believe, that since word of mouth would be less often, peoples' gossip craving would be satiated much sooner than our modern day's minds would.

On that note, I move on to what I believe would be considered our modern day 'easy read'. The classic, "Far from the Madding Crowd" - Thomas Hardy (1874) is a tale of tragedy, love, death, pride and betrayal. The setting is in the English countryside on a sheep farm. Some feminists may argue the tale is quite ahead of its' time, speaking of an independent lady who is both a savy businesswoman/farmer and fiercely independent from men. In the novel Bathsheba makes mistakes that make readers cringe, yet exemplifies emotions that we can all relate to. Submissions of guilt after playing with a man's mind, which leads to the ultimate tragedy of the novel. Gabriel Oak's life speaks to having materialistic wealth, and losing it all with one small mistake. Feeling the true embarrassment proposing to Bathsheba and being rejected, leading to working on Bathsheba's farm after he had given her the first sheep she had ever owned. The irony and full circle theme with Gabriel relates well to the aspect of Karma. The other main characters such as Troy, Boldwood, and Fanny are interesting characters, but do not take the stage in the readers' mind alike Bathsheba and Gabriel.

The novel is centered around life, love and loss. The trials and tribulations of people in the 19th century as well as the things that are held most dear. The novel is beautifully written and and an enjoyable read. The descriptions paint a picture with bright gold pieces of barley stretched across a scenic English landscape with sheep dancing across the fields like mystic clouds in the sky. The words represent beautiful colous on a painters' palette that generate exquisite imagery in the readers' mind. A force to be reckoned with for something that may have been at one point in time, an 'easy read'.

Happy reading,
Ciar xoxo

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back on the bandwagon

My month-long hiatus from reading has officially been broken. The book to attribute such graces would be none other than D.H. Lawrence's Sons & Lovers. Initially, I felt the book to be dry and true to its age (written in the 1800s). However, about half way through, it began to pick up and I started to understand what gave it its acclaimed status as one of the classics. The novel explores the strong love and bond that a mother and son possess. Such a bond can never be broken or replaced and in this case, almost destroys the son's opportunity to even find love outside his mother. The story is not a fairy tale and does not have a happy ending, although, I did find it refreshing. I think that the reality is, some people may never find 'love'. They may simply just find companionship with someone they may have known for a long time, or someone who they know loves them, but they may not return such favour.

An interesting theme to the novel was the idea of 'having someone'. By that, they mean the idea of having ones' heart. We are all familiar with the difference with lust and love, however, the notion of love vs need is another. My favourite quote which was painfully beautiful went something like this; "She loves me so much that I feel if she could she would put me in her pocket, carry me around, and ultimately smother me." It epitimizes the feeling of knowing how loved you are, but instead of feeling lucky to be so loved, merely feeling overwhelmed and smothered.

All in all, I feel this book was one that definately allows you to appreciate the bond with your parents, however, also the fine line that can ruin future relationships if you can not separate wanting to please your parents by being there and having their approval vs. accepting that others can love you in an obviously different but equally beautiful way.

With that, I'm off to find another novel to dream about.

Until next time,
Ciar xoxo

Monday, May 10, 2010

The First to Bite the Dust

Saturday was the official day that my first close university friend was wed. She looked fantastic and the day turned out to be beautiful. She wore a simple dress with nice beading that suited her style and personality. The idea of wearing an over the top gown, thankfully, was not exercised. The ceremony was short and sweet and seemed perfect length. The reception was a great time. Very low key and missing a few of the typical wedding cliches such as the throwing of the bouquet and a long and embarrassing first dance as a new couple. Sadly, I did miss those. You get used to these cliches and look forward to them! I did enjoy myself immensely though and danced my bum off! Also, danced with the adorable little flower girls for a good portion of the evening.

The wedding inevitably made me think of what my big day will be like and more importantly, how I can't wait to help plan my sister's wedding! I think the biggest thing was the small details that make a wedding and how it can be either sappy or a huge party!! I would like to think that somewhere in between could be just about perfect :)

Until next time,
Ciar xo

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Out with the old and in with the new!

Gone are the days of playing in the sandbox and worrying about when you would get a turn on the swing at recess. Now we are into the era of wedding vows and wee ones. For those of us not quite there yet, but witnessing friends going through that exciting phase of life, it is expensive!! For those who have the good fortune of a lot of friends, the wallet starts to weigh much less and the penny-pinching to accommodate starts to takeover in order to compensate. For every wedding and every shower, hundreds go missing in the bat of an eye. Not that is it not worth it, just a difficult pill to swallow when ends are barely being met!

On that note, I declare the next two months a spending detox in order to compensate for a baby shower, three wedding gifts, and a wedding shower.

Brokey McBroke xo

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I fell off the reading bandwagon for about two weeks and have come to miss it. I decided to try and get back on board with a novel entitled "Atonement". I must admit, this is not the best book to entice someone to read more frequently, rather it is a book that applauded my skimming behaviour when I sense that my eyes are glazing over and I'm about to take a nap. My critique of the novel was it's attention to detail. It is not often that people say that one must pay less attention to detail, but this is that exception. The novel focuses on meaningless details and provokes frequent napping throughout the novel. I believe that the novel itself has an enticing plot and story-line and could be better with a more 'to-the-point' style of writing.

Anyway, short but sweet.

Ciar xo

Monday, April 5, 2010

I have a confession...

I am a self-professed chocoholic. I eat chocolate and sweets with an uncontrollable appetite; an appetite that never satiates. With each bite, I figure that I'll stop after the next and that I will quit the next day. It is truly a never-ending, vicious cycle! So like any desperate individual, I am quitting cold-turkey. As of this very instant, I quit. I quit sweets for a few days to start and hope to take each moment as it comes. I suppose like any addict, you have to stay away, not tempt fate, and keep away from it!

That is my goal. Chocolate goodbye, celery, bring it on!!

Ciar xoxo

P.S. Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Green Dress

15 degrees and sunny - great, I can wear a dress without nylons! Walk out the door leaving a few minutes early to ensure a leisurely walk to work. All is as per usual on a typical Wednesday morning, the usual people who seemingly have nothing urgent in life, the loud phone-talkers, the "I slept-in!" crowd, and the casual walkers. While enjoying the few spare moments of freedom before either embarking on a meaningless job, I realize I am one main intersection away. Enjoying my pineapple-apple gum, I blow a bubble while crossing the street with my hands in my pockets. A car with a trailer is in my way so following suit, I place one foot in front of another straddling the trailer hitch. Just as I'm about to move my other foot over the hitch, I am yanked by a stranger who has saved me from being hit by the reckless driver who wishes to hit law-abiding pedestrians with his in-the-way and middle-of-the-intersection trailer hitch! CLOSE CALL.

Lunch rolls around and I look forward to reading my nerdy book which gives a brief introduction to main concepts and theories of Physics. I am interrupted by a creepy yet normal middle-aged man asking, "A pretty girl like you, can't be reading that for fun?". Now, I am not a feminist, but what was he expecting, Barbie fairy-tales with pop-up pictures and scratch 'n' sniff? Thankfully, less than a minute later, an older and very lovely woman says 'what a pretty dress on such a pretty girl'. What a lovely thing to say! I was pleased then immediately after creeped out by creepy mcgie who proceeded to show me clips on his phone and homemade videos of his 'pilot skills'. I had to get out of there and fast!

Since wierd things come in three, I am going to stay locked up for the remainder of the night and hope for the best.

Ciar xo

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown

My blog has become a place to write literary reviews of the abundant amount of novels that I read. Continuing with that theme, the most recent novel that I read will come as no surprise - The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (hence the title of this entry).

I always find Dan Brown's novels to be page-turning thrillers that leave you on edge. If you don't finish them in one sitting you will yearn to read on until the novel is complete. Your dreams will be flooded by the characters' next moves, and attempts to solve the mystery will all seem trivial until you learn of what really happened in the end. The Lost Symbol was no exception. The main characters were all intriguing in their own right:

Robert Langdon - As learned in the previous novels, Angels & Demons, and the Da Vinci Code, is a lovable, lanky brainiac with all of the answers. The villain focuses most interest on Robert and thus, he is naturally the epicentre of the book.

Katherine Solomon - A scientist and the brainy beauty of the book, is a philanthropic genius attempting to help the world with Noetic Science. Of course her work threatens the villain's livelihood, and so she is dragged along for the ride.

Peter Solomon - A former and trusted colleague of Robert is what initially lures Robert to the villain. His capture is the start of the novel and it is Robert's reason for agreeing to the mission of the villain.

Mal'Ekh - The villain, is well-casted. You feel that you know him from the descriptors. However, his character tends to disappoint at the end of the book.

Overall, I felt the plot was well done. The start and middle were it's strongest. I found the end to be cliche and lost my interest. I thought that Dan Brown could have finished the novel a bit sooner with much more mystery and enticement for what could have easily turned into another sequel. That said, it's Dan Brown, and I don't believe Robert Langdon's insight into theology and anthropology is over... I'm sure there will be another novel to follow-up.

As per my next book, Katherine Solomon enticed me to read a Physics piece. It's called a Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking. I look forward to posting about it next entry.

Until then happy reading,
Ciar xo

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wuthering Heights

A literary classic of the late Emily Bronte. Her one and only novel remains a timeless piece set in the isolated north of England. The cool and desolate lands of Northern England embody the novel's morose and dark tale of love and anguish. The character development is what makes the novel such an interesting read. How the characters evolve and the turning points which make their personalities change over time enables the reader to feel as though they are watching the lives' of the characters from a bird's-eye view.

Heathcliff, the main and most morose of the characters, attempts to get revenge of a lost love. His plot backfires and he ends up losing his one true love. From that day forward, he inflicts cruelty upon others around him to die a lonely and complicated man. The one good dead that he does try to do, ends up not working out, so he in turn, gives up right away. Successfully turning everyone on him, his brooding and dark persona is nucleus of the novel.

Catherine is Heathcliff's cousin and 'true love'. She dies after saying goodbye to Heathcliff and saying that she does hope that he is haunted by her. Her personality is bi-polar and 'saucy' which peaks the reader's interest.

Linton and Catherine are the children who continue the novel and the streak of the dark and sad tale. Linton ends up dying young leaving Catherine with no one to love.

In all, I think it would be fair to infer that Emily Bronte (writer) was not a happy lady. Her thoughts of unhappiness are apparent and reflected in the novel. It was said that she was a quiet woman and she died young from tuberculosis at the age of 29. Perhaps, one could conclude that each character in her novel had a small piece of her; morose and destined to die unhappy and alone.

Ciar xo

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Literary Update

I have never been much of a 'dear diary' person, so blogging has proven to be bit of a chore; necessary evil nonetheless. So my objective for today's blog was to review a few books that I've read since my last book update;

1) My Cousin Rachel - A dark and brooding classic sure to leave you craving a warm blanket, in front of a stone-lined fireplace, with tea and crumpets. The author's command of the english language makes you feel as though you are an apparition watching the characters' tales unfold. Rachel's character is a mysterious and compelling individual allowing people to be open to interpret her actions in a variety of different ways.

2) Moby Dick- The Whale - A difficult classic that engages the reader, yet can also be quite dry at times. Hermann Melville's descriptions and vocabulary makes for a bit of a slower read than most, but a necessary read for any individual who enjoys classic and beautifully written novels.

3) Madam, Will You Talk? - A fun and short read that engages the reader and allows them to almost feel the wind in their hair as they speed down the curvy road in a convertable dodging the enemy and leaving little room to catch one's breath. A truly enjoyable and quick read.

4) Guns, Germs & Steel - A rather intense book whose author won a well-derserved Pulitzer Prize. The novel encapsulates why some human societies have evolved differently than others. Why the tribes of New Guinea vs. the states of the Americas have differentiated. How, the 'third-world' nations are no less intelligent than the developed nations, rather a matter of circumstance and environmental attributions. A dry yet interesting read for anyone willing to engage their academic side and expecting a roller coaster of both fascinating to putting an insomniac asleep.

Anyway, that concludes the update of my novel review. Goodnight and happy reading!

Ciar xoxo

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Burning Bridges

Ever wonder where/when the term 'burning bridges' came about? Clearly the term is suitable, but why not 'don't expect to be friends/foster relations with an enemy that you had formerly beheaded and thereafter placed said head on a stake to scare others away'? Or 'don't give someone the HIV or the H1N1', or even, 'bastardizing ones' kin'?? Cruel, yet all with the same overall effect of ostracizing oneself for gain at a solatary point in time and after that gain is achieved, effectively 'burning bridges' when the individuals recognize you actually had alterior motives. Sometimes it's an honest mistake, albeit honest or not, a mistake. Other times it's intentional and only satisfying for a small point in time until you realize that that mistake will ultimately have consequences... To burn the bridge or not??

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Quest for Improvement

I am strong-willed, focused, and intelligent, yet lazy. My laziness is the biggest obstacle to overcome when trying to improve - well anything. Growing up, I studied less than most and achieved good grades. However, as age multiplied and schooling advanced, wading in a sea of mediocracy led me to a well-deserved unambitious position in a bureaucratic maze where laziness got you as far as it should, the tipping point. After many nights, weeks, even years, the ambition and fire to do and be more grew... I applied to law school. Now in the middle of Moby Dick, I prepare for the riskiest and most challenging road-block yet; the question that remains unanswered... does my laziness continue to prevail? In due time it will become clear, but all the while, I will be optimistic in the dig out of a dark hole that was the impetus of reigniting my fuel to succeed.

Sweet dreams,
Ciar xoxo

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ageless Wonder

I grew up with the notion, that immaturity has direct correlation to age... Wow, was I ever wrong! Although I'm not old, my experiences have led me to believe that immaturity relates to feelings and state of mind at the time of the action. For example, if an individual feels that they are being treated poorly or unappreciated, they react to situations 'immaturely' at times. Age seems to have extremely little to with it. Some of the most immature people have to be some of the most unhappy/vile individuals. So rather an age factor, perhaps it's a happiness factor??

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rookie Blogger

So I have to be honest... I'm a terrible writer. In fact, it's what I consider my biggest weakness. After expressing such concern to my sister (an avid writer and amazing individual to go to for advice), she suggested that I create a blog. My original thought was natural - how do I do that?! Since it's not exactly rocket science, I figured it out and here I am. So as per the first posting, it's a blog with no clear focus, just an outlet to practice and improve my writing. Enough of that, here we go!

Over the weekend I read 'Chasing Harry Winston" written by Lauren Weisberger;
It was a quick and easy read. By no means intellectual, a simple girly and fun novel to read. Not to discredit her writing, she's extremely well spoken. Her novel read smoothly and the story-line moved at a quick pace. I really enjoyed book as a break from the daily motion of the city and her overall message of finding love without settling for love, was cliche but cute. I loved the idea of the girls breaking away from routine and doing things that made them uncomfortable. I find that what makes us most uncomfortable (within reason), is usually what is best for us. That said, that will be my next venture, to do something that makes me uncomfortable and pushes my boundaries! Skydiving anyone??

Ciar xoxo

Pumpkin Carriages

Hi everyone,

The purpose of creating this blog is to primarily to improve my writing whereby having a therapeutic outlet to write what's on my mind.