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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thankful Thursday 3/23/2017

Happy Thursday! It's that time of week again and I have a lot to be thankful for.

As I posted on Monday, I was waiting to see if the DJ from WRTI would e-mail me back about Romeo and Juliet. Sure enough, on Tuesday he did!

Jessica, I'm so glad you liked Romeo and Juliet at the Met!
Great pics! I feel like I was there with you!
Thanks for sharing!

I am thankful he responded and was nice about me reaching out. I was a bit nervous that he would be annoyed or think it was weird. Then again, I think radio personalities get this a lot and they are gracious about responding. I am thankful for the classical station and the niceness of the staff.

In May I am putting together a display for the library. My theme is "explore your world" and I'm going to share my world. I am going to put my scrapbook travel pages, my travel photos, some journal entries, and some postcards my friends have sent me from all over the world. I am thankful the library is supplying me with colourful paper so I can use it for my journal entries and scrapbook pages. Last night I posted some scrapbook pages that I am going to put in the display. I asked Karen if I could buy some on Tuesday, I explained I was going to use it for the display I'm doing in May, and she said, "help yourself since it's for the library." I am grateful.

I'm also thinking about putting an entry about my IELTS exam to move to Canada. I was going to put the picture of when I met Majd, the Lebanese girl I met during the IELTS exam and befriended, and was going to explain why I was there. Lately, I've thought about being more open about my progress and hard work; I'm thankful for the people that have been encouraging me to share. I'm hoping by opening up my world and sharing my world with others (travel, etc.) that people will be able to see the joy in their own personal worlds. We all have a story and we should share some of it. I'm also hoping the display will put some of the diverse communities at ease.

I'm also thankful for dad. Last night our dinner didn't turn out as great as we hoped. He overcooked the chicken and I was sort of rushing since I worked both jobs last night. I wanted to eat before 8 PM (I got done work at 6:30, we sat down to eat at 7:05). I apologized for my attitude and he said, "no, it's okay. I didn't realize how much prep was involved."(Mom is away on business.) I'm thankful he overlooked it, then apologized for overcooking the chicken. He bought me Caesar chicken salad for lunch.

I'm also still thankful for the Met Opera experience!

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Some Scrapbook Pages

I finally started to scrapbook again. For the ice skating page, I have to add a few more snowflakes. For my opera page, I am going to add a smaller picture to the bottom.

What do you think?

Monday, March 20, 2017

International Day of Happiness 2017

One of my new Facebook friends. This put a smile on my face. Yes, I love bears.

Happy First Day of Spring! Happy International Day of Happiness! To learn how to get happier, please read Action For Happiness.

I wrote a special piece for my happiness box today:

Today I have a lot to be happy for. I have wonderful friends that have stood by my side and supported me. I am thankful for the friends who have supported me in this Canada endeavor and have encouraged me to keep trying, even if things seem rather difficult. At times I worry about doing too much or this dream is too big, but Christine keeps on assuring me that my goal of moving to Canada is not too big. I am thankful for her cheerleading as well. I am thankful for my village of people, a village that consists of people from all over the world. I am fortunate enough to have friends and pen pals abroad.

I also shared my opera trip with some RTI coworkers today. They were happy about the great time I had and inspired some of them to take trips. Sometimes I worry about sharing my travels with people, but maybe I shouldn’t because people seem to love seeing my travels and being inspired by them. I also sent Gregg Whiteside, the one DJ from WRTI, an e-mail about my trip. I was so excited to tell him about my first opera that I didn’t even worry that it might seem weird. He wasn’t in the office today (according to the radio), so we’ll see if he even responds. If not, that’s okay… I wanted to share my excitement with the DJ that will induct me into the Sousalarm Club on May 10.

Weather is beautiful on this first day of spring. I took a walk at lunch and listened to Young Wicked while thinking about what I was going to write tonight for my first article. I was hired by a diabetes website to write and research different topics about diabetes for their blog. I’ll be paid $24/article and it’ll definitely help me save. I also look forward to writing about topics that will help people all over the world.

This article attached appeared in Friday’s New York Times. PM Justin Trudeau makes me happy and I can’t wait to call him “my Prime Minister.” I can’t wait until Canada is officially my home.

Y Jessica

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Day at the Metropolitan Opera | Romeo et Juliette | March 18, 2017

As a member of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I always receive program listings in the mail. Since I am saving for a move to Toronto, I often take advantage of the free member programs that the museum offers. However, when the March guide came in early February, I noticed there was a bus trip to New York City. There was a cost, but a reduced cost. I wanted to go to New York City, especially on an art trip. After I booked the trip, I realized I would be seeing an opera at the Metropolitan Opera. I have never seen an opera and I was excited.

Yesterday, we left from the Philadelphia Museum of Art at a little past 8 am. We made very good timing and arrived at 10:45 AM. We had an early lunch at an Italian restaurant called Bello. It was maybe about five minutes away from the Met Opera. I sat with a bunch of older folks and they were great! We talked about my hopeful move to Toronto, what I'd be doing, and how exciting it was going to be. The only guy to sit with us turned to me and said: "if I was younger, I'd move to Toronto too. It's such a great city and you will love it there." I smiled. The rest of the time we talked about our travels, old memories, and I loved hearing their stories. I thoroughly enjoyed lunch, the food was pretty good too! I had clams and salmon.

Lunch was an hour-and-a-half affair. When we arrived at the Met Opera, we had twenty minutes to find our seats. I wanted a picture of me in front of the Met Opera, I handed my phone to a New Yorker and she struggled with my phone camera. I definitely needed another picture after the opera was done!

When I walked inside of the Met Opera, I was amazed by the views! It was gorgeous! The lights hypnotized me and I wanted to take some pictures. I also had to find my seat. We were sitting in the orchestra and since I had never been to the Met Opera, I had to ask. Fortunately, my seat was not hard to find and I had some time to take pictures.

The opera was in French yesterday. For the first half, I wanted to listen without reading English subtitles on the seat. I could make out a few words (Nuit, bisous, couer [heart], adieu, etc.). However, I noticed one phrase wasn't translating on one person's seat. I thought they said, "trieste a demain!" Sadness until tomorrow? Tears until tomorrow? Maybe I heard it wrong. I liked testing my knowledge of French and I'm glad it wasn't distracting.

(from the end of the show... we could take pictures of them bowing)

In the second half of the opera, I decided to translate the opera into German for fun. It was interesting listening to Romeo et Juliette in French, but reading bits and pieces in German. I enjoyed it. I loved listening to the French, though. I knew the story of Romeo and Juliet; it was easy to follow along and it was just a wonderful experience.

I loved the memories I made yesterday. It was a perfect day, especially since this will be my last time traveling far this year since I am saving for immigration. I met so many wonderful people and I can cross off "seeing an opera" from my bucket list.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, dear readers!

I've been thinking about making this blog more of a scrapbook of my life, my writing, and travels. Tonight I'd like to delve into the past. I'm half Irish, my great grandma immigrated to the US in the 1930s. She was the only one in her family to immigrate and I still have family in Ireland. I always loved listening to her Irish brogue and her tales. She was a storyteller and loved to read (I guess I know where I inherited that from! Haha).

Anyway, when I was in elementary school, every time I was on break I would go to the Senior Center with Nan (dad's mom), we'd meet up with Great Grandma (she was mom's grandmother - Nan and Great Grandma got along great), and we would all play Scrabble or participate in events through the Senior Center. I always loved the tea parties. However, every once in a while I would go home with Great Grandma instead of Nan.

Great Grandma didn't drive. We would ride the Rambler, the community bus, back to her house and I'd eat dinner with Great Grandma and play Scrabble with her until either dad or Nan would pick me up. She'd always make some sort of hamburger with potatoes and then would have a pastry for dessert. Sometimes she would make the best Irish soda bread. Sometimes I would go outside and explore her tiny backyard. I remember always dreaming about jumping the fence to jump in her neighbor's small pool. I loved those evenings.

Those evenings with Great Grandma and even evenings with Nan were always fun. I always enjoyed spending time with both of them. Great Grandma passed away in November 2009, age 99.5. She would have turned 100 on May 3, 2010.

Nan and Great Grandma.

Nan and Woo.

Both of these pictures were taken in 2005. One of these days I will have to go through old pictures and scan them.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thankful Thursday 3/16/2017

Happy Thursday! I can't believe we're half-way through the month and Friday is only a day away. I think this year will fly by again, but I hope it slows down a bit. I won't be traveling far this year as I'm saving for a move, but I hope to get some swimming in this year (even if it's only a day; I don't think my uncle will open his pool this year, but I might see if I can use the community pool once without a membership). Though, I think this year I want to focus on roller skating and ice skating. I will do that!

Regardless of what I choose, I know the trade-off will pay off in dividends because Toronto has some beautiful beaches! Toronto Beaches Though, I also look forward to catching up on all of the travel writing from last year!

Anyway, I have a lot to be thankful for this week. Hanan and Liz donated to my fundraiser; they said they will continue to help me as much as possible. I am truly grateful for them both and thankful to call both ladies my friends. Thank you again, Liz and Hanan!

I also posted this on Tuesday to my blog:
> I also reached out to Moe. Although we had a falling out in December and I
> said I wasn't going to contact him again, he is the only person I know who
> rents in Toronto. My other friends all have houses. I was reading an
> article in the New York Times about how Toronto is having a housing boom.
> Younger people (people around my age) are staying home longer to save for a
> house and that apartments are going to foreigners. Apartments are hard to
> find in Toronto according to American sources. I was surprised because I
> saw a lot of apartments for rent online, but then I remembered the debacle
> of Detroit. I wanted to ask Moe. He said it wasn't that bad and when I make
> a move, he'll talk to his old landlady about getting me set up. While I
> don't expect him to follow through, it gives me a peace of mind that I can
> find something for relatively inexpensive. It gave me a peace of mind that
> my eyes weren't deceiving me. While I know not to pin my hopes on one person, I am thankful for how helpful it turned out to be. It was also not much different than what another friend was telling me.

We also had a winter storm on Tuesday. It was mostly ice and snow, I had a day off and used it to my advantage. I wrote and planned things. I am thankful for the calm day and thankful my writer's block was broken on Tuesday. I can now write again!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's a Beary Wide World

This is my first time off of her desk today,
an anxiety that lingers in my mind; don't stay--
safety now as she rests me into her arm's crook;
gently holding me, the stairs have me shook.

Cold air hits my patch-work face
as she puts a scarf around my neck's lace--
smiling before she puts me down,
as she lets go of me, I begin to frown.

Trees, ominous rocks block my path:
where should I begin? On the concrete swath
I take the first step forward -- forward ho!
Clouds guide me, I hear water flow;

she is behind me, watching me,
I stop to rest on a rock, I love all I see;
lakes, streams, I can't wait for the blooms,
she grabs me for her friends, loving words loom.