Sunday, January 31, 2010

My New Blog is Born



After a week and a half of work I'm pleased to announce I'm launching a second blog.  I got the idea to do this after a comment I received from Betz, who said she'd like to read more of my work.  I decided it was time to present myself a bit differently, as an alternative for readers.

Thus is born The Glass Wall.  It's a condensed version of this site, and expresses who I am through poetry, short stories and essays.  I've pulled selected posts from the past.  My day-to-day musings will remain here on Life in Quotations while my more creative-writing posts will appear on both blogs, so I won't be posting there quite as often.

I decided on the name when I thought of people I've known who put up walls around themselves.  I've always tried to stay approachable to others and let them in, this is another way to show those around me who I am.  You can access this second blog through my profile (under "My Blogs"), or link here.

Please drop by to visit!

Barry ♥

Thank you Betz for being so amazingly encouraging.  If you haven't checked out her site I encourage you to visit her (here), she's one of the most uplifting people I've met.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Secret Friday

                                  "Secrets:2003" by Charli Siebert


Hi guys, I can't believe it's Friday already.  This week feels like it's flown by!  I know it's Saturday for some of you, so I hope you're enjoying a good start to your weekend.

Time now for the eighth installment of Secret Friday, a chance to anonymously share some secrets and/or fantasies you've kept to yourself.  Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and yes, some are just plain naughty.

All are valid.

If you get something from this I hope you'll consider hosting one on your blog as well. Feel free to copy and paste the guidelines below if you choose. All I ask is that you keep a regular eye on your feedback; contributions can be intense sometimes and people writing in need to be respected. It's very important. If you decide to do this on your blog please, please let me know. If we link to each other I think we could start something great.

Okay, here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wishes to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) Post a secret or fantasy anonymously, no names please. It can be anything from mild to wild, anything goes. All I ask is that it's true. You can post as many as you're comfortable with.

3) I don't plan to censor content or language. However I do reserve the right to remove anything which appears to be posted with the sole intent of offending. I also reserve the right not to remove content that may be considered controversial. It's a fine line sometimes.

4) If you're someone who is easily offended by swearing or sexual content you may not want to read through the comments. I have no idea where this will go and won't be reviewing comments until after they are posted.

5) I'll be participating as well. (After seven of these I have to dig deeper!)

6) Feedback directed towards me is welcome, anonymously or otherwise.

7) As always I'd like everyone to please refrain from commenting on what someone else has written; what may seem trivial to you can be very personal to someone else. Everyone has feelings and I want to see them respected, therefore inappropriate remarks will be removed.


And now to it...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bloggers over Borders update


                                               
Hi everyone, just a quick update to let all of you know where we are with this project. To date there are twenty bloggers involved in five countries (Canada, USA, Egypt, UK and the Philippines).  The USA is represented by nine different States.

 I want to thank all of you who have signed up so far.  I'm still considerably short of target (I'm hoping to have at least 50 bloggers by February 5th), so please consider joining and/or spreading the word about this to those you know. The further this reaches the better.

I'm looking forward to setting this in motion.

Love you guys,
Barry

Quick YouTube Trick

If you enjoy music and video on You Tube, try adding &fmt=18 to the end of the URL.  Very often it'll give you fuller, HD audio and widescreen video.  Check it out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Happiness Continues...



I've recently received another Happy Award from my wife Sandy and my high-school buddy (and long-time friend) Tony.  The rules with this are:

1. List 10 things that make you happy.
2. List 10 bloggers that brighten your day.

I've decided to combine these two lists of ten into one list of twenty, so here goes:

Twenty things that make me happy:

1. my wife Sandy (always first on the list)
2. my friends
3. my family
4. all of you who visit me
5. meeting someone new
6. conversation
7. creativity
8. passion
9. music
10. art
11. poetry
12. my writing
13. my studio
14. massages
15. a hot soak in a tub
16. the smell of perfume
17. flirting
18. sunsets
19. sports cars
20. renovations (yeah they're a pain in the ass sometimes but I enjoy the work)


Continued from my last list, here are twenty more bloggers (plus one) that brighten my day:

Sandy (Getting Fit and Loving It) 
Tony (Nut in a Lifeshell) 
Cara (Synchronistic Catalyst) 
Liz (It's Unbeweavable) 
Betz (Her Armoire)
(Miss Always Carried Away)
Lauren (Little Loves) 
Sara (One Long Road) 
Sophia (Blue Chair Diary)
Valerie (Marley and Me) 
Miles (Thunder From a Quiet Storm
Lauryn (LauReality)
Jenni (Absent Minded)
Mayra (Life Is Bananas)
Jill (Life After College)     
Sophia (A Poet's Circus)
Acquiles (Minute by Minute)
Bassi (Queen of Shiba)
Jess (And My Reflection Troubles Me)
Michael (Spice of Life)
Laurnie (Some Whine With Cheese)

You guys don't have to do the lists but I do want to pass this on to you.  For reasons each as unique as your blogs you all add something to my day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Q&A


                                               here

I've received some questions over the past couple days, so I thought I'd go through them now.  I've been slacking on my latest post anyway so I figure what's a few extra minutes, right?  Here goes:

From Sophia :

1) Have you always lived in Canada?
    I have, I was born in Toronto and haven't moved from the area. I've travelled a bit through Canada, the US, Ireland and much of Europe, so I can't say I've been stuck in my own little world forever. :)


2) What is the one thing you enjoy doing the most in your spare time?
    If I had to pick ONE thing I enjoy doing most at the moment, I'd have to say writing. I have a lot I want to express.  My most consistent hobby has always been model-building, I've participated in competitions for over twenty-five years.

From Lauryn :

  What place have you enjoyed traveling to the most so far, and why?
  If you're referring to a country I'd have to say Italy.  Why?  I have a love for everything Italian.  The country, the cars, the food, the women, the history, the art, all hold a certain beauty.  I always tended to romanticize that culture, when I was there I realized why.
  If you're referring to a specific city, it's Paris hands down. Why? Paris is magical, it has an awesomely breathtaking charm that no other place anywhere has held for me.  It's very cosmopolitan, amourous, historic, cultured.  I love impressionist art, so a chance to see some of the Great Works was amazing. I left part of my heart there, and I want to go back and share all of it with Sandy.

From Cindy :

  How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll?
  What are you saying?  Is this some sort of Freudian metaphor?  Are you being naughty again?  :)

Thanks all!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This Might Put A Smile On Your Face...

(I decided to change the title of this post)
This is the best way to kick off a wedding I could possibly think of.  Life should be celebrated...


Jill and Kevin's wedding entrance
(click to link)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Any Questions?


                                                      here                                                                   

I don't have a post ready tonight, so I'm taking a short break.  In the meantime (at the risk of seeming presumptuous) if there's anything you're curious about, feel free to drop me a line at barrysquotations@gmail.com and ask me.

I'll answer whatever I receive on my next blog entry tomorrow night.  More personal questions may be answered by e-mail but I'll get to anyone who drops me a line.
                                                _____

Thanks to all of you who are participating in some form with Bloggers over Borders, your interest is much appreciated.  :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Secret Friday



TGIF everyone and welcome to the seventh installment of Secret Friday, a chance to anonymously share some secrets and/or fantasies you've kept to yourself. Since I started this I feel it has helped people connect, by realizing there are others who have experienced or are now going through what you have. By providing a forum in which to understand you're not alone in your thoughts. Some fantasies and secrets are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and yes, some are just plain naughty.

All are valid.

If you get something from this I hope you'll consider hosting one on your blog as well. Feel free to copy and paste the guidelines below if you choose. All I ask is that you keep a regular eye on your feedback; contributions can be emotionally intense sometimes and people writing in need to be respected. It's very important. If you decide to do this on your blog please, please let me know. If we link to each other I think we could start something great.

Okay, here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wishes to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) Post a secret or fantasy anonymously, no names please. It can be anything from mild to wild, anything goes. All I ask is that it's true. You can post as many as you're comfortable with.

3) I don't plan to censor content or language. However I do reserve the right to remove anything which appears to be posted with the sole intent of offending. I also reserve the right not to remove content that may be considered controversial. It's a fine line sometimes.

4) If you're someone who is easily offended by swearing or sexual content you may not want to read through the comments. I have no idea where this will go and won't be reviewing comments until after they are posted.

5) I'll be participating as well.

6) Feedback directed towards me is welcome, anonymously or otherwise.

7) As always I'd like everyone to please refrain from commenting on what someone else has written; what may seem trivial to you can be very personal to someone else. Everyone has feelings and I want to see them respected, therefore inappropriate remarks will be removed.

And now to it...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Bloggers over Borders"- update



Hi everyone, just a quick update to let all of you know where we are with this project.  To date we have 18 bloggers in five countries (Canada, USA, Egypt, UK and the Philippines) involved.  I want to thank everybody who has signed up so far, this should be fun.

I'm still considerably short of target (hoping to have at least 50 bloggers), so I'm encouarging everyone to participate.  I'm also asking all of you to please spread the word about this to those you think might be interested.  The further this reaches the better.

Thanks, I'm looking forward to setting this in motion.

Love you all,

Barry

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Passion


"Oily marks appear on walls
Where pleasure moments hung before."
-Imogen Heap, 'Hide and Seek'



Passion.  It's been my favourite word in the English language for as long as I can remember.  It's the driving force behind the grandest accomplishments, greatest works of art and the most beautiful expressions of the heart imaginable.  It can raise buildings, bring bodies together and turn dreams into reality.

I wrote this last year.  At the time I wasn't featuring my own writing on my blog so I didn't post it but I remembered it today, so here it is...


"Passion can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy.
It'll lift you up then turn around and tear you down within seconds.
Passion can fill your heart until it swells, or break it until you question whether it will ever recover.
It can push you to do things to appear a hero in someone's heart, or make them endlessly doubt your motives.
It'll make you feel higher than any drug, yet bring you to a place where you question everything you thought you knew about yourself.
Passion is the Soul's child, forever needing, forever hungry.
It is a living, breathing, seductive beast that will embrace you but consume you if you let it.
It'll breathe life into you, then mercilessly draw your last gasp without warning.
Passion is as vital as air, and I can't breathe without it."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Guest Post

Okay I'll admit it,  I'm surrounded by women here and I feel wonderfully spoiled.  It's been great getting a view of life from the 'other side', and having nice things said about you certainly doesn't hurt either. I'm fortunate my wife Sandy is so understanding.  :)

In my travels to your sites and those who associate with you, I've encountered a lot of fashion blogs.  While I  love the pictures, this isn't really my scene so I tend to not linger too long.  Although I always make a point of looking at a post or two to see what's happening.

I'm glad I've kept an open mind.  Recently on my travels I stopped by "It's Unbeweavable".  Over the past months I had seen the name pop up everywhere, and finally out of sheer curiosity decided to drop by.  I soon realized it's more than a 'fashion blog', and found myself reading some great introspections.  I loved the post below in particular, and Elizabeth has allowed me to reproduce it here. Thanks Liz!

Check her out, there's heart behind the clothes. 


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Love Story...Of Sorts.

I originally wrote this for the sweet and amazing Nicole at My Teacups in Peony, as part of her Love Story series...we thought it might be a neat little twist. Instead, I am posting it on my blog because as much as it is a Love Story, I truly adore how hers are stories of couples, and she was gracious and kind enough (of course) to understand and support me posting it here...for you. Especially because ya'll have been with me on this journey of mine. You should definitely check out Nicole's blog if you don't read it already, it's lovely!



So It's a Love Story...of sorts.

I haven't been single since the 4th grade. Brandon Payne brought me flowers on the playground (lil pimp) and I was smitten with him all the way to middle school where I promptly broke his lil heart and have since dated and loved some of the most wonderful men with whom I shared amazing years, take your breath away special moments, and built memories, some I thought would last forever.

They didn't.



I am single, at this moment, tonight, by choice. I ended my last relationship in April, and the past 6 months have taken me on a journey that at first had me kicking and screaming, crying and fighting. I didn't want to be single, you see. I wasn't supposed to be. I experienced a particularly rough weekend, a few months ago, filled with horrible dates, wasted makeup, multiple teary calls to my best friend after which I told myself NO MORE DATING. Me? I am the worlds BEST girlfriend, I thought. I have so much love to give! What am I going to do with all of it? Why is God, the universe just letting it go to waste? Where's Ashton because I am totes being punked!

It was one of those moments...lightbulb, kick in the ass, whatever. Maybe I was wasting it on those who were undeserving. What if instead, I channeled all that love into...myself??



I stuck to it. My love story is one of turning inward...and learning to love myself, on my own. I used to depend on my significant other for so much, and I'm talking about way more than late night runs to CVS to bring me ice cream. My self worth, my identity, was always wrapped up completely in whomever I was dating. I lost friends. I hate to say that I was at times, that girl. I'm still a work in progress, but I have never felt as complete as I do now...single. Of course I get lonely, and miss having a chest to rest my head on at night. It's in those moments, where I look at my grandma's rosary hanging from the lamp on my bedside table, barely lit up by a street light and remember...now doesn't mean it's going to be forever.

Have you ever felt your heart getting stronger or seen your identity emerge with a force you've never known? I am so different...and I love it. I have had so much time alone to think...to work on myself and figure out what exactly I need from my next, and hopefully last, partner.



I love being in love, you guys. I'm good at it. I truly believe that it is out there for me, again. HE is. I believe that if I had settled, or stayed or forgave yet again, sure I might be part of a couple, an "us", but I wouldn't be happy. I would always wonder...about myself, and about him.

Life leads us on so many different journeys, takes us places we never expected to go. I believe my love story began when I broke free of those expectations and let go...instead of wanting what I didn't have, I began appreciating every single thing I DO have....all the love being literally showered on me by family, friends, even and especially my bloggy ladies (and gents! there are like 3 of ya)...and I began to love them back with the same vengeance and fierceness. I began to get to know Liz again...Not" Liz and Derek", or "Evan's girlfriend Liz." (Names have been changed to protect the dbags.)



With that said, I can't wait to meet HIM. Now, when I meet someone I am willing to invest in, I don't forget who I am, what I have learned in the past 6 months, the things you have helped me see. My self worth, my identity will never be dependent on a man. The next man in my life will encourage my friendships, because these ladies aren't going anywhere, ever. I will never stop loving myself, because as I've told so many friends before and finally decided to take my own advice...How can anyone truly love you when you don't completely love yourself?

They can't.

So Mr. Wonderful, whomever you maybe...I certainly hope you are working on yourself as much as I am, I can't wait to meet you, one day. Some day. No rush. My favorite ice cream is cookies and cream, just in case you are, by any chance, swinging by CVS. Until then, I'll get it on my own. :) See you soon...



XOXO,
Liz
Thank you, Nicole, for inspiring me to write and share this.
(images via my packed inspiration folder, most of them via weheartit, vi.sualize.us

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bloggers over Borders



“Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but is also their means of communication...Every separation is a link.”
-Simone Weil

  A while ago I discussed an idea that’s been brewing for some time, that is, making a connection with some of our BBs (blogging buddies) beyond these pages. I was inspired to do this by Mae, who came up with the idea of sending postcards to those who were reading her blog.
The purpose of this is to get to know each other beyond the confines of the computer screen, and is based on the idea of 'pay-it-forward'.

Here's how it works:

-this is open to everyone who stops by my blog, whether you're a regular follower/contributor or a first-time casual visitor.

-you'll be sending an item which says something about you to a fellow blogger. It could be anything that expresses who you are; something you’ve written, a picture you’ve taken, a trinket you’ve made, a collage with photos, etc. It doesn't have to be anything big or elaborate, but something that holds meaning to you and represents who you are.

-you'll include ten random facts about yourself, as well as a few words about something you've found interesting on the blog of the person you're sending to (you may not know them so this could entail a little reading through their site beforehand, which will only help familiarize us with each other).

 -if you'd like to participate, contact me at barryoshea69@yahoo.ca  (please don't use the comments section in my posts). You must be willing to provide me with a mailing address. It doesn’t need to be your home; it could be a place of work, PO box etc.  Please indicate the name you'd like used with your address, and include the address of your website.

-once the time limit has passed I’ll post a list of those participating. I'll then take your name and draw another one randomly from 'the hat' (this will be the blogger you're sending to) and I'll provide you with their name and mailing address by e-mail. Each person will be both sending and receiving, you won't know who is shipping to you until you receive it.

-your mailing address will only be provided to the person who is sending to you. After I've posted names of the participants, if there is someone whom you would prefer not to mail to or receive from (no reason needs to be given), let me know privately by e-mail and I'll adjust my distribution list accordingly.

-everyone has their own comfort levels so I'll try to accomodate any concerns to the best of my ability.

-you may end up drawing someone on the other side of the world.  Please don't enter unless you're willing to put in the time, effort and postage to see this through.

-when you receive your package from another blogger, please let us know about it in the comments section of my current post at the time.



Giveaway: I've set Feb 5th as the deadline to receive names.  If response isn't what I'm hoping for I'll extend it one more week to the following Friday and make an announcement that I'm doing so. Once I've stopped taking entries I'll draw five names the next day, and each person will win a softcover copy of the book "Toronto: A Photographic Portrait" by Mike Filey, with a note from me inside. I've chosen this book because it's filled with descriptions and lavish colour pictures of the city I've spent most of my life in.  It's very well done, you won't be disappointed.
  I'll mail these books to any destination in the world, no limitations.


This is the first time I've done something like this.  If there's anything I've overlooked or you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.

Please pass word on to those you know, I'd like to do this big! 

-Barry 

Note: this post has been edited since it first appeared on Dec. 5th.  For those of you who showed interest in your comments on my original post, please e-mail me with your address.

My Very Own Animal Planet

A good friend of mine (Jennifer Fabulous) recently remarked that with some of the stories I've related about my experiences with critters, I could start my own show in the spirit of Animal Planet.  When I look back through my life I realize this may not be such a stretch.  So here are some of my more memorable moments, in no particular order. 

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you:

My Very Own Animal Planet (or, When Good Animals Go Bad)





-as a boy I used to capture snakes with my brother.  One day we took some garter snakes (above) home in a pail, and put them in the basement with a weighted lid on top.  He and I took a trip to a science museum for the day, only to find out from my mother upon our return that they had escaped. (One of them had poked its head out of a sock when she was doing laundry).  She was furious; how I survived to my next birthday I'll never know.




-when I was about twelve I was chased by a flock of very angry white geese on someone's farm.  Scared the shit out of me.





-around this time also in Nova Scotia, I remarked to my mom with wild enthusiasm how great it was to see two cows playing on my uncle's farm, one up on the other's back. "They're not playing", she said smiling.
(I was hoping to find a pic to place here of two cows doing the nasty, but no luck.  I guess there's no great demand for graphic cow sex on the internet, so you get a photo of a cow ho instead).  If you don't like it use your imagination, just leave me out of it.





-also when I was twelve (I had a lot of crap happen to me when I was twelve) a St. Bernard decided to sit on me when I was in Ireland.  Ever had a St. Bernard sit on you?  Try having your mom park her old Buick on your chest.  Same thing, just not as furry.  At least Buicks don't drool.



Horses.  I should hate them by now.  But I don't.

-as a young boy I visited Sunnybrook Stables, where the police kept their mounted unit. Shortly after feeding one of them some hay I learned a valuable lesson: always know where your thumb is. Oww! The force of a horse's teeth chomping down on your finger is like getting it caught in a slamming car door.

-here I am back at twelve again, so you know I'm screwed in this story too. Galloping through a field in the Irish countryside with my dad. Picture-perfect setting, surrounded by fresh green meadows. Patty O'Connor holding his shillelagh while Danny Boy echoes through the ethereal mist that blankets the lush, rolling hills. Actually I made most of that up, I don't remember shit about what the place looked like. But it was in Ireland. 

Anyway.

There I was, riding my trusty steed when I was tossed and fell off the side, only to be dragged through the field with one foot in the stirrup. Luckily there were no cow-patty speed bumps to make life more interesting.

-when I was in my early twenties I went riding at a local stable with friends. The horse I was on had no interest in doing much of anything. So we just sauntered along for a painful eternity until he sighted the stable, which happened to be at the bottom of a large hill with a 70 degree incline. Sure, now we decide we want to gallop!  In Trigger's enthusiasm I was almost bucked over the front, sure to meet some grisly fate in a tragic equestrian trampling accident. Despite these experiences I love horses and would ride again tomorrow.





-when I was twenty-two my friend and I were backpacking through Switzerland when we were met by a vicious Daschund.  Apparently we had ventured onto a farmer's property and he was protecting it.



Stop looking at the pictures.
He was vicious.  The demented weiner dog chased us through the Swiss countryside.  We feared for our lives.




I said stop looking at the pictures damn it!!
Don't let the cuteness fool you.  That's what weiner dogs do, they lead you to believe they're cute. "Oh, look at the cute weiner dog," you'll probably say, most likely in a high-pitched voice because you're so enamoured.  Maybe your girlfriend will say it too, falling for his deadly canine charms.  He'll look up at you with his little weiner dog eyes and lull you into his perilous trance.  Then he'll move in and make hamburger of your ankles before you know what happened. 
Weiner dogs are the most vicious land-animals alive.  More vicious than tigers, bears or even sharks. 
Okay, so a shark isn't a land-animal.  But you get my point.



                                                                       here
Aww, isn't he cute?  This is a picture of Bambi in his natural habitat right?  Tell that to the deer that made its way into my warehouse office space and had me scrambling over my desk.  True story.





-when I was in my teens I kept African frogs in an aquarium in my room.  Why frogs, and why African frogs in particular I have no idea.  Maybe it was because they couldn't escape anywhere.  I mean, it's not like an African frog can board a plane and fly home to Zimbabwe.

They weren't really great pets.  They're not very warm to cuddle up with, and frogs suck at fetch.  They're also a lot of maintenance. I wasn't sure what to do when it came time to get rid of them, I should have checked with pet stores but instead I released them into a local swamp.  The genetic effects are probably still being felt today, and in a few years we'll be faced with mutant Afro-Canadian frogs.  And it'll all be my fault.

I think that same year also marked the beginning of mild memory loss for my mom, as she had obviously forgotten about the snakes.  Maybe I should have had them at the same time, it would have made disposing of the frogs much easier.




For those of you not in the know, this is your typical North American robin.  They're about as common as flies and twice as tenacious.  What the hell that means I have no idea, but stay with me.  This is about to get ugly.

Several summers ago one of these little darlings decided she wanted to do this to the security light on our garage...



I wasn't about to let that happen.  She put some straw there.  I took it down.  She put more when I wasn't looking.  I took it down.  She put it back... you get the idea.  So Mr. Genius here comes up with a brilliant plan.  The Plan of the Century.
"I know," says I. "I'll put a beach towel there during the day, then take it down each night before the light comes on.  Jesus I'm brilliant.  Why...I believe I just might be the Most Brilliant Man on Earth." 
So, nearly straining a muscle from patting myself on the back, I place the blue beach towel where she was trying to nest. 
"Eat that, bitch!" I proclaim and happily go on my way, knowing with this thinking I could quite easily solve most of the world's problems.  This solution worked remarkably well. 

Until the night I forgot to remove it.

Flash ahead to 7:00am.  Sandy and I are in the garage (it's actually an open carport for those of you who know what that is).  I happen to look up and see a towel there, but it's not ours.  "Hmm," I say. "That's peculiar. I wonder who replaced our blue towel with a black one."  I grab it to take it down and it disintegrates, gradually and rather gracefully fluttering in a bazillion pieces to the driveway.

Apparently the light shorted and incinerated the towel.  I just about had a coronary with the realization that had the towel been made of cotton instead of polyester I quite likely would have burned the house down.  The same house I'm sitting in now as I type this.

At the time this was Sandy's parents home, which would have made it even worse.  Not wanting to be late for work or worse, get busted by her mom, I frantically swept up the ashes (yes ashes) and disposed of them.  I removed the light from the wall (the power cord was melted) and scrubbed the blackened wall.  I later explained to her mom that we had to toss the light out because it got 'slightly singed' from a short.  No big deal.  I hated to lie, but I valued my life more.

Robin 1
 Me    0






In my entire life I've met only four dogs that didn't like me.  One was rabid (I'm talking full-on, white foaming at the mouth, chew-your-face-off psycho Cujo dog from Hell).  One was protecting his owner (aforementioned Swiss weiner-dog) and one was just plain stupid. Then there's Pluto.

Pluto didn't like men.  Any men.  My wife Sandy and I would regularly see neighbours of ours taking him for a walk past our house, and very soon he warmed up to Sandy.  Me?  He'd just bark his fool head off and back away.  Not able to understand how a dog couldn't like me (insert overinflated ego here), I decided to change that.  It had become my mission.

Repeated visits were met with repeated barking and little success at making a friend.  So I decided to change my approach.  Pluto loves women.  So kneeling down to make myself less imposing, I pulled my shirt out to mimick a set of rather well-endowed breasts and spoke in my highest falsetto voice, "Hi Pluto, come here buddy."

Damn if he didn't come over to me.  A quick scent of my hand and we became fast friends.  Now anytime his owners take him for a walk he literally runs up the driveway to see Sandy and I, licks my face and lets me rub his stomach.

Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'd Like to Thank the Academy




I'm diggin' this, I've been nominated for two more awards.  The first by Melanie and the second by Ari .  Thanks ladies!

There are rules attached to the O.T.T. award so here goes.  I have to answer in one word:

1. Where is your cell phone? car

2. Your hair? missing

3. Your mother? loving

4. Your father? distant

5. Your favorite food? lasagna

6. Your dream last night? hmmm...  :)

7. Your favorite drink? Coke

8. Your dream/goal? kindness

9. What room are you in? studio

10. Your hobby? modelling (I build plastic models competetively)

11. Your fear? indifference

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy

13. Where were you last night? home

 
14. Something you aren't? insecure

15. Muffins? please!

16. Wish list item? threesome

17. Where did you grow up? haven't (yet)

18. Last thing you did? laugh

19. What are you wearing? nothing  :p (actually pajamas)

20. Your TV? 56"

21. Your pets? cats

22. Your friends? kind

23. Your life? fulfilling

24. Your mood? positive

25. Missing someone? always

26. Vehicle? Matrix

27. Something you're not wearing? bra

28. Your favorite store? Chapters (bookstore)

29. Your favorite color? soft-pink (on women, not me)

30. When was the last time you laughed? tonight 

31. Last time you cried? Sunday

32. Your best friend? Sandy (my wife)

33. One place that I go over and over? studio

34. One person who emails me regularly? Sandy

35. Favorite place to eat? Xenos

I pass this on to the following people:

Getting Fit and Loving It
Life After College
Style Artisan
Blue Chair Diary
It's Unbeweavable
Ms Arscott


The second award is the Happy Award.  I don't have a badge for it but if I had to guess I would imagine it looks something like this:



God I'm so creative sometimes.  The  rules for this one are:

1. List 10 things that make you happy.
2. List 10 bloggers that brighten your day.

Ten things that make me happy:

1) Sandy (my wife)
2) my cats
3) music
4) art
5) the opposite sex
6) poetry
7) all of you guys
8) sunrise
9) writing
10) weekends

And ten bloggers that brighten my day (this is so hard  'cause you always end up leaving people out):

1) Cindy
2) Leah
3) Jennifer
4) Melanie
3) Mae
5) Diane
6) Missy
7) Ari
9) Louis
10) Jon

Melanie and Ari thanks for the nominations, it's been fun!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"On the Edge"- guest artwork

The sketch I'm featuring here has had an indescribably profound impact on me. Before you look at it too closely, I feel it's important to provide some background to present it in its proper light.

A couple months ago I came across a blog called Hope to Dream. It's written by Sophia, who has courageously been recovering from the effects of child abuse, rape and domestic violence. It stirred something in me, and I decided to place the badge in my sidebar. Sophia chanced upon me recently and noticed I had done this, and we've been in contact ever since. In her other blog, Blue Chair Diary, she has also been posting her thoughts along with her artwork. It's amazing, profound, unnerving but hopeful. I think the best way to make yourself heard is to stir emotion in others, and she has done this beautifully.

This is what she's told me about the reason she started her sites:

"Yes, part of it is to heal. A bigger part of it is hoping that I can help others in similar situations - to encourage them by sharing my story - showing that I made it through such a dark time and have blossomed into something beautiful. Even if I struggle with my confidence from time to time."

Sophia's sketch below is called "On the Edge".  Please take a minute to look at it and picture it through the eyes of one who has felt the effects of abuse, but is courageously fighting to recover through hope and determination.




I encourage you to stop by her blog(s) and leave a few kind words. I know she'd love to hear from you. Sophia, thank you so much for allowing me use your words and artwork; your courage, strength and compassion inspire me.  I know the sun will continue to shine on you.

And you'll always have a friend in me.


Personal request: Sophia didn't ask me to mention this, but she's been struggling with some very serious health issues that have exerted considerable financial strain. As a result she has been unable to afford many art supplies. If you feel you'd like to contribute in some way, please let me know by e-mail.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another of Life's Sweet Surprises


                                                                         here

"I believe in a love that leaves a vapour trail
in my wake as i pass by the world"
-sweetmango

Ever have one of those moments when you stumble upon something that just hits you between the eyes and leaves you reeling hours later?  It doesn't have to be anything grandiose, in fact I find the things that make the biggest impression on me are generally those which are found in the everyday.  A writer's few words or an artist's work amongst thousands, the others being perhaps equally as well-presented but not having nearly the same impact.  The reason can rarely be explained.

The two lines above are an excerpt from the work, "Reigning Love" by sweetmango .  Her poetry has always affected me in its depth and eloquence, but when I read this poem these lines just jumped off the page and grabbed me.  I don't know why.  I don't need to know.  Sometimes it's enough just to experience a reaction this strong, and it's always a pleasure when it happens because it's relatively rare.  My exact words to her were that I think this is the most beautiful thing I've read so far this year.

So sweetmango I want to thank you for allowing me to post these lines out of the context of your poem.  I'd normally present the piece in its entirety, but in this case I wanted to illustrate the effect that even just a few words can have.

Tomorrow I'll be presenting another example of this, a sketch that has had a profound impact on me.  I think when you read the post you'll see why.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Guest Post

Today I'm bringing you something written by Cindy from Language Is Wine Upon The Lips.  Her writing has affected me tremendously, and inspired me to return to writing short stories and poetry shortly after I started my blog.

I chose the post below as I felt it typifies something we should all pursue... our dreams and aspirations.  It's too easy to put things off for fear of taking that next step, not knowing what lies ahead. I've been as guilty of this as anyone.  But what I've found is that when you take that leap, there's usually a net waiting for you at the bottom.  We just have to recognize it when it's there. 

Here's life through her eyes...

Walking Gets Too Boring When You Learn How To Fly





Here’s to making resolutions for a wonderful new decade and wishing our loved ones a warm, happy new year while wondering if anything will really change at all!


Salud! *Tight Hugs*


Carry on please… Your quiet desperation awaits…


My father, who over twenty years ago took a rather successful giant leap of faith by moving his entire family to a new country, is having an awful hard time deciding whether to take a job opportunity near Seattle that pays more than twice his current salary. He calls me to discuss it every other hour and likes to incessantly list the reasons why it’s not a good idea. What about health insurance for your sister? What will I do about the house? Your aunt really doesn’t want me go… And what if I don’t like it there?

So what about the cheers and the hugs and the champagne we drink at midnight on the last day of every year we’ve ever known? Are we just going through the motions because that’s what we have always done and what our families and friends do? Or do we take that drink, eat those twelve grapes, and really… truly… take on this new decade by the BALLS and make it ours?!



The funny thing about happiness and adventure is that it’s actually up to you. It’s really your choice.


No really… it is!


I can’t make my father take the job offer, but tomorrow I’m spending time with him updating his resume and reminding him that we’re more likely to regret the things we don’t do than the risks we take. I’ll remind him that in a few months if all the planets align and all fairy dust has its way, I’ll be dropping my life as I know it and on my way to school, and that my sister is already living her own adventure while learning a few lessons along the way. I’ll remind him again that children come through you but not for you and that my aunt needs to live her own passions and let him live out his. It is not his job to assure anyone’s happiness but his own.

And so all I can do is open the door and hope he walks through. I’m not responsible for his happiness either and if he chooses complacency instead of opportunity and learning… well… that’s just his path and I will love him no less.



Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it all happen.


I think about that all the time… I live it ALL the time.


So I made the decision not to be fearful, to be happy, and to follow my bliss. I decided to finally listen to my guides and wonderful friends who saw things much clearer before I ever did. It was a conspiracy alright… a really, really good one. Thank you… to all of you here, up there, anywhere.


Wholehearted warm wishes in this new year. May the universe conspire in your favor and may the search for truth and happiness be the guiding light in your life.


Your dreams await, you know…


Where are you flying to?




…cause I’m a gypsy
Are you coming with me?
I might steal your clothes and wear them if they fit me…

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Return of Secret Friday



It seems like forever since I decided to take a break over the holidays.  But here we are, with the first installment of the year and the sixth in a continuing series.  I've met many new faces since we last left off, so for those of you who are new I'll tell you a bit about it.

Secret Friday is a chance to anonymously share some secrets and fantasies you've kept to yourself. The reason I started this is I feel it helps people connect, by realizing there are others who have experienced or are now going through what you have. To provide a forum in which to understand you're not alone in your thoughts. Some fantasies and secrets are uplifting, some are heartbreaking, and yes, some are just plain naughty. 
All are valid.

If you get something from this I hope you'll consider hosting one on your blog as well. Feel free to copy and paste the guidelines below if you choose. All I ask is that you keep a regular eye on your feedback; contributions can be emotionally intense sometimes and people writing in need to be respected. It's very important.  If you decide to do this on your blog please, please let me know. If we all link to each other I think we can start something great.

Okay, here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wishes to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) Post a secret or fantasy anonymously, no names please. It can be anything from mild to wild, anything goes. All I ask is that it's true. You can post as many as you're comfortable with.

3) I don't plan to censor content or language. However I do reserve the right to remove anything which appears to be posted with the sole intent of offending. I also reserve the right not to remove content that may be considered controversial. It's a fine line sometimes.

4) If you're someone who is easily offended by swearing or sexual content you may not want to read through the comments. I have no idea where this will go and won't be reviewing comments until after they are posted.

5) I'll be participating as well.

6) Feedback directed towards me is welcome, anonymously or otherwise.

7) As always I'd like everyone to please refrain from commenting on what someone else has written; what may seem trivial to you can be very personal to someone else. Everyone has feelings and I want to see them respected, therefore inappropriate remarks will be removed.

And now to it...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yikes, I've Been Nominated!



  Hi guys, I was just nominated for this by Jill at Life After College.  Actually I've received it vicariously in a sense, as it was for the post below in which I hosted a piece from my wife Sandy's blog.  But as someone who absolutely loves attention (as Sandy will attest to) I'm very pleased and quite flattered to get it.  Thanks Jill!!
  There's an interesting trend developing here.  First I received the Sugar Doll Award from my very dear friend Jennifer Fabulous.  Then I get this Beautiful Blogger Award.  And lately I find I've been taking more interest in women's fashion.  These are things that happen when you're surrounded by women.  It's a hardship, but I think I can learn to deal with it somehow.  :)
  Plus I take consolation in knowing I have no desire to actually wear the clothes myself, so I think I'm okay. Being misunderstood here= epic fail.
 
 Okay, I've had a few awards before but I think this is the first time I'm playing by the rules.  They are:

1) Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2) Copy the award and place it on your blog.
3) Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4) Tell us 7 interesting things about yourself.
5) Nominate 7 bloggers.
6) Post links to the 7 blogs I nominate.

   Here are 7 things about me:

1.  I've never drank a cup of regular coffee in my life, don't like the taste.  Yet I have a shot of espresso every morning. Go figger.

2.  I once had a lost deer find its way into my first-floor office and walk up behind me at my desk.  True story.

3.  I'm starting to think all my years of studying in school would have been better spent pursuing psychology.  Now I read it for personal interest.

4.  I lost my virginity in my early twenties to a girl who was five years younger, in the back seat of my own car which I later sold to my mom.  After that I couldn't sit in the back without remembering that steamy summer night parked by the river.  The fact that my mother now owned that car was kind of..icky.  But I was just thankful I was able to get the handprints off the windows. If she only knew...

5.  I'm a night owl and would stay up to 3am every night if I could.

6. I believe the highest honour I can be paid is to have someone take me into their confidence.

7.  I occasionally produce music on my computer when the mood strikes me.

Okay, the seven bloggers I nominate are:

1. The Happy Cactus
2. Oh Missy Me
3.  I am the Walrus
4.  I Know, Right  
5. Melanie's Randomness
6. One Long Road
7.  Little Loves

and four more, just because I can:  Queen of Shiba
                                                       Leah
                                                      Language is Wine Upon the Lips
                                                      Marley and Me

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Guest Post

  My first guest post for 2010 comes from none other than Sandy, the love of my life.  She's spiced up her site "Getting Fit and Loving It" over the last couple months, no doubt due to my tremendous influence and touching humility (gag!).  She can be found here.
  I found this one pretty inspirational. 
  Here's to women!

                                It's About Confidence





I was watching an old episode of Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. Tim had the woman meet with a Life Stylist (Jared) who came out with a line I absolutely fell in love with. "I cannot control how I am perceived, I can only control how I am presented." I LOVE IT! He went on to put the woman in front of two mirrors (fun house type). In the first one she was very short and squat, in the second exaggerated tall and skinny. Jared then went on to say that since we cannot control how others perceive us, we have to choose a mirror in life. So we can either choose to present ourselves in a negative light and people will definitely pick up on that, or we can choose to present ourselves as confident, self-assured and owning our look and people will be attracted to that.

Self confidence comes from within. No one else can give it to you or take it away from you. We all have to look deep inside and figure out who we are and what we want in life. We need to decide what kind of image we want to present to the world. And I don't just mean clothes, makeup, accessories. I mean the whole package. Outer as well as inner image. You know the woman ... the one who, when she walks into the room, people's heads turn. And it's as much about her self confidence as it is about what she's wearing.

So here's to confident women who know what they want and go for it. 2010 is a new year. Let's approach it with confidence and the soundtrack of our lives running through our heads. To girl power!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Pretender


                                                                here


The Pretender


Strut with false bravado
Sure to catch their eye
Flash your Cary Grant persona
As you slowly pass them by.

Who’s your victim this time,
Falling for your game?
Her aspirations, fears and hopes
As incidental as her name.

Pray the in-crowd notices
With her draped upon your arm
Alone corrupt her innocence
With coy, pretentious charm.

Sell yourself just to impress,
Brag of a prowess you’ll never possess,
Break everything around you
You strain for that sound
In the backseats
And heartbeats
That you knock around.

And you treat their dreams like playthings
And you drop them without care
Beneath your three ring circus tent.
As you juggle them in the air.

Then light those taunting shadows
That fill your silent home
Believe nights of broken promises
Beat sleeping all alone.

But when the doors close behind you
And your darkest night sets in
The only empty space inside this house
Will be the one that lies within.



Intellectual property copyright Barry O'Shea.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's All About You


                                                       here



I've developed several goals this year as far as my blog is concerned. Amongst them are (in no particular order):

- strengthen relationships with those I have come to know
-continue and increase contact outside of these pages with those I have grown close to
-develop new relationships
- increase my readership
-experiment with new projects, things that haven't been done before or very rarely on other blogs
-cross-promote other bloggers to bring attention to their sites
-work to provide support for others in any way I can

So in summary I'll be shaking things up a bit this year from time to time. 

At the moment I'm developing a short story which I plan to post in multiple installments in the near future.  It's the most ambitious piece of writing I've done to date, if not in content then through volume. I'm hoping to devote more time to it than usual, and as a result I can foresee that I may not be posting as frequently.

This is where you come in.  In an effort to fill in some of these gaps I'd like to periodically feature the work of others.  If you'd like to see your writing featured here, please e-mail me at:  barryoshea69@yahoo.ca .  Include a link to a post or other piece that you've written. Depending on feedback I may not be able to use everyone's right away, but I'll do my best to get to everybody.  All credit will be given to you as author and I'll link to your site. Your post will appear 100% as you've written it.

So if you're interested, drop me a line.  I'd love to see what you have for me.

In the meantime, I'll see what other trouble I can stir up.

Pillow Talk (it's not what you think so get your mind out of the gutter)


                              "First Light" by Steve Hanks


I was kissing Sandy goodnight a few minutes ago, as she typically goes to bed before I do at the end of the week (I realize I've just told the whole world I rarely get any late-night action on Fridays). Anyway.
I'm just about to turn off the lights when she hits me with this:

her: "I have a confession to make."
me: dramatic pause ..."What?"
her: "There's a guy who left you a comment.  I went to his website and now I'm following his blog."
me: waiting to hear something crazy like she's having his cyber-baby "And?"...
her: "A while ago he wrote a post called "Makin' Love Ain't Just in the Bed".  It's about how men should treat women, not just in the bedroom but in all areas."
me:  "And?"...
her: "I left him a comment on his most recent post."
me: feigning disgust "Oh I dunno, I get awfully jealous when you follow other guys' blogs.  I don't think I can sleep with you anymore.  And since making love isn't "just in the bed", I'm not gonna sleep with you on the stairs or the kitchen table either."
her: "We don't have a kitchen table."
me: long pause "Well...that's why I'm not gonna sleep with you on it."
her: giggling "You're a goof."

I wonder if I'll  find this as humourous in the morning.  I wonder if she will.  (Heh heh).

Friday, January 1, 2010

From Today On...



"What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now."

-Buddha