Heart & Sound

Sidewalk Chicken

Lifestyle & Culture | November 18, 2009

While the death of chivalry may be debatable, it appears that manners in general are about ready to kick the bucket – especially on the sidewalk. Drivers are at least told to use their road sense, but no ones asking that businessman or shopper to use their sidewalk sense. Granted, road sense saves lives, but sidewalk sense would at least save my leather boots from an unexpected dip in a puddle.

The same basic principles used to drive a car should be used when walking: stick to the right side; pass on the left; and try not to hit anyone. But apparently the lack of mortal danger keeps people from following any rules of the sidewalk. They walk where they want, run where they want, and stop where they want. I thought I was done playing the game of chicken when I finished elementary school but now it is part of my daily commute. The walk from work to the bus stop just wouldn’t be the pain that it always is if I didn’t have to stare down the person walking towards me only to wonder if I’m invisible as I jump out of their way at the last second.

From dodging people, bumping into shopping bags, and falling backwards as an umbrella whizzes past my face (the owner to busy running for the bus to notice), the sidewalk seems almost dangerous. But mostly it’s annoying. These day’s there are no hellos, no good evenings, and definitely no I’m sorrys, but please could you at least watch that your umbrella doesn’t hit me in the eye.

Losing Momentum... or my decrescendo

Writing | July 23, 2009


Earlier this year I committed myself to doing the things I always talk about doing. I signed up for guitar lessons, started a blog, and decided that while making ends meet and gearing up my bank account for world travel I would gain experience on my own time for the career or at least well developed hobby I would someday like to have. Meanwhile, as an administrative assistant for a communications department I spend my days trying to gain as much communications experience as I can despite the fact that it is a direction I'm not entirely sure I want to be headed in; hence the writing on my own time.

Now it's July, many months later, and a couple of weeks ago I found that I had lost all my momentum, I was barely remembering to put write/blog on my to do list (I make way too many of those). The guitar is another incomplete story. I still attend lessons once a week. I still really enjoy them, but I find myself getting home from work and being too tired or too lazy to practice. Too lazy to write too. I tell myself that I’m too busy, I have a to do list and I’d have to leave the dirty dishes in the sink to afford the time to play the guitar. Some nights the dirty dishes stay in the sink anyways.

So here I am, still unable to say with confidence, that I play the guitar. I'm still learning yes, but I've found that just like I have a lot of introductions and no middle or end, I've also got a few riffs, a chorus and a verse but none of them go together. I still can't play a song from beginning to end. I hope to remedy this soon. To listen when I tell myself that being lazy is not an excuse, in fact some people believe it’s a sin, and to pad my resume with blogs and articles about things I care about instead of promo pieces for an organization I’m not with for the long haul.

Today, I went to the beach after work. I took a notebook and a pen and while most of what I attempted to handwrite (I might need to go back to elementary school and re-learn cursive) was random thoughts and disorganized recollections from my thoughts earlier this week, it brought me to this point: Flickspin blog post number 3.

My next step might even be to write a blog entry about something other than my struggle to write.


Music | April 5, 2009

After years of talking about it and many failed attempts at teaching myself, I have finally committed to learning how to play the guitar. And when I say committed I mean I have finally signed up and payed for guitar lessons. Granted, the gift certificate I got for Christmas is most likely what convinced me to finally sign up, at least I am doing it. I have been taking lessons since early January. I still can't play a whole song, but I am learning a lot about the guitar as an instrument that I wouldn't have learned if I continued to insist that I could teach myself.

Unfortunately, just as I was starting to get into it, I suffered a setback. My clutsyness overcame my desire to practice and, in one of those moments where I'm still not sure what happened, I dropped my guitar. At one minute I was holding it in my hand and the next it was on the floor. It broke. I can't tune three of the strings and I have spent the last few weeks desperately trying to make the hardest purchase of my life, a new guitar.

I have come to the conclusion that it is almost impossible to buy something without either one of the following two things, knowledge about what you are trying to buy or a helpful salesperson. In my search for a guitar I had neither. It seems that music store employees are not as interested in customer service as they are in the employee discount, as most of the time I spent in the store they spent playing guitar and ignoring me.

So, not knowing what to look for, i looked at the ones that were pretty. Now don't get me wrong, I was not going to buy a guitar solely on how it looked, but given my lack of knowledge I wasn't sure I had another choice. And the more stores I went into on my own the more hopeless everything felt and the more I wished at least one store would put up a mirror, so at least I could hold a guitar and imagine myself as a rockstar.

But I finally, with the help of my dad who knew more about what to look for, I found one. I'm happy with it and I can once again practice and maybe even learn a whole song.

Overcoming My Own Worst Enemy

Lifestyle & Culture | March 10, 2009

I moved from a small suburban town to the city of Vancouver 6 months ago. I graduated university and quickly got a job in the city so that I could dive into the lifestyle and culture I had always dreamed of. I always thought that my location was holding me back but I've since discovered that no external factor was ever the reason behind my lack of success, it was simply me. I have the uncanny ability to talk myself into doing everything and quickly talking myself out of it the next day. I think my laziness may play a major factor in this. And now, living in the city, opportunities surround me and here I am at 9 o'clock in the evening trying to resist the urge to just give in and watch television, again.

However, I am determined and now putting it in print that I will do the things I've always said I would do. The first is to write, hence the blog. The second is to learn to play the guitar. The rest I'm going to make up as I go along, but my guess is that it will include some if not all of the following: learning another language (probably Spanish since I took it in high school); learning to sew; taking a course; being a tourist in my own city; jogging; taking up yoga; in general being more active; and taking as many pictures as I can. The last one definitely won't be hard, assuming I remember to charge the batteries for my camera.

About Julie Christine

With an eternal infatuation for music and a desire to write something that means something, Julie is an aspiring writer who likes to write about musicians who write lyrics that mean something (and play catchy beats too).
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