Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Party Pics

The party was amazing. There were some great costumes, plenty of food, booze and dancing. It was a great place to cut loose and have some fun...

Yours truly ("Big Pimpin' Mac Daddy-Style Big Heavy DJ Grand Flashmaster B")

Sandy (aka "Bambi", my ho)

Bambi workin' it. I'm in love.

Don't ask.

By the end of the night (or was it morning) I was wearing Sandy's wig.  I'm not sure why.

A belt
A rope
A banana
And a nurse's outfit.

God I love house parties.

Secret Sunday

As I mentioned last week, after 41 rounds Secret Fridays have now moved to Sunday. So...welcome.  Here's a chance to share some secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty.

All are valid.

Here's how this works:

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

2) 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.

3) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free. You may copy the rules if you wish.

And now to it...

Friday, October 29, 2010

More Q&A

What is one thing you want to do before dying?

Visit Australia. I love everything I've seen about it; the outback, the beaches, the culture. I've met a ton of Aussies in my travels and they were all amazing people, friendly and fun-loving. Huge partyers. And the accent...just ask Sandy what effect a female Australian accent has on me.

I've visited many countries and there are still many that I want to see, but without question Australia's at the top of my list.

What are you most afraid of?

Even more than losing Sandy my biggest fear is not making a difference, in her life and in the lives of those I know. I think we have a responsibility to affect people's lives for the better while we're here. It doesn't necessarily have to be life-changing, but when a relationship is no longer (either through eventually parting ways or something as significant as a death), if somebody can look back and feel better for having known us then I think our time here was spent with purpose. I want to leave my mark and be remembered with a smile.

What do you think of children?

Children scare me. Okay, they don't really scare me but the thought of having kids of my own scares me. They're kind of like baby lions, cute but I wouldn't want one in my house. Having said that, for the mostpart I enjoy being around kids and have tremendous respect for parents and what they go through to raise a family.

Now babies are a different story. They're just moist, gurgling bundles of ambiguity. Babies scare the crap out of me, probably because I don't know what they want.  I don't have that gene.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Q&A- Why Do I Get So Close To My Bloggers?

Please note that Secret Fridays are moving. I hope you'll join me for the first Secret Sunday this weekend.

  I had planned to answer questions some of you have sent me (thanks again!) through video posts. However my webcam and YouTube don't seem to be talking to each other at the moment. Maybe it's a lover's quarrel, I dunno. I'm troubleshooting the upload issue but it may take a bit of time to figure out, so I'll start answering the old fashioned way- in writing. After all, if cavemen were able to communicate before YouTube so can I.

  Today's question, the first I was asked is: "Why do you get so close to your bloggers? (not saying it's a bad thing, but a lot of people don't care)."

  The short answer is I feel someone worth knowing is worth knowing well.

  Like most of us I like to visit new blogs. Sometimes I'll leave a passing comment, other times I just read a bit and move on. But once in a while I come across someone who makes me want to stay and find out more. It could be their attitude, maybe their sense of humour. Sometimes it's not so much what they say but how they express it (there are some tremendously eloquent writers around). If what they've written strikes a chord with me for some reason I always take time to let them know the effect their post had on me and why.

  Although I sometimes find myself wanting to get to know a blogger, I don't make a conscious effort to get close to them. If it happens it has to happen naturally, if I'm fortunate as in "real life" sometimes these connections turn into friendships. For me the most rewarding relationships are those that started by sharing something very personal, on either side. I'll always give more of myself than I'll ever expect in return; still, on rare occasions I'll get to know someone whose story completely draws me in and floods me with questions. Lauren* was such a person, and a significant turning point for me.

  I found her blog very shortly after I began Life In Quotations. She was a mid-to-late twenties bisexual woman, the sub in a D/s (Dominant/submissive) relationship with her female partner. Lauren self-harmed as a way of coping with the world around her and her own internal struggles; she was my first introduction to cutting. In short time the conversations we were having were extremely revealing, as she very openly discussed her mental, sexual and emotional sides with me. Hearing of her obsessions, her desires, her fears and darkness was intense.

  This was the first time I realized how much I could learn from other bloggers and the kinds of relationships that were possible. Lauren and I never developed a friendship, although she was very willing to help me understand what she was feeling she did so at a distance. Her moods were very unpredictable (looking back she showed some signs of Bipolar II), and as quickly as we met we lost touch. Still it sparked in me a wild curiosity in what other people were experiencing, and marked the beginning of my interest in Psychology. It was also my first realization of how much I got from listening to people's problems, victories and heartaches.

  And so it began.

  As it's turned out, most of my readers are much younger than myself, and mostly women. I didn't plan it this way, but to be honest I feel extremely fortunate to have female readers. Every man or woman has their own life experience to share. There are a few male blogging friends (you guys know who you are) with whom I've shared some great conversations. With my female blogging friends I've been able to see life from the other side of the fence and get different points of view through their experiences. It's hard to explain why I'm so drawn to this. I have a great relationship with Sandy, she's amazing and I'm very fortunate that she gives me room to explore this side of myself.

  I feel an almost ravenous curiosity to discover everything I don't yet know.  Learning about life from people of different ages and cultures, building trust and friendships with them is to me incredibly rewarding and something I very strongly need in my life.

*not her real name

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Yes, a post called aaarrgh.  For some reason I'm having a struggle uploading my personal video to You Tube, so I won't be able to post my answers to your Q&A for a bit as I had planned. :(

However please set aside a few minutes to read the post below, written by a friend of mine. It's well worth your time.

A Greater Understanding- Anorexia

This is the latest in my "Greater Understanding" series. These posts introduce things in life that many of us may never experience, through the words of some of you who live them. They're not always comfortable to talk about, not always pleasant, but I really believe we need to open more dialogue if we're ever to understand what people are going through.  It's the only way to create empathy and compassion.  If you have experienced or are experiencing something you'd like to help others understand, please drop me an e-mail.  I promise to keep you anonymous.

As the title indicates, this post has been written by someone who is battling anorexia. I've only recently met her, yet in a very short time we've forged a close connection.  Knowing someone so unselfishly willing to give, to turn their insides out, has been an intense experience.  It's something I hold tightly to.  Knowing, knowing...

This is her life in her own words, exactly as she wrote them to me. No edits. 

"There have been days where, astonished, I've realised that I seem to be, forever, completely,
engulfed by this wondrous disease. Anorexia, my mind will whir; the sweet word rolling around my tongue hotly, dangerously. It seems absurd. Nothing is forever, is it?

Then the thought will have vanished, just as a speck of dust caught in the wind. A slippery thing, I never gave the word a second thought; for how could any one person's entire existence be fit into the definition of one word?

And the day will go on, seasons will change, the seconds will pass; time stops for no one. I am simply one spot, in the cogs of time, in the work of life. Perhaps I will think of it again tomorrow, perhaps I will think of it again next year.

But that word, and all that it brings; the sudden realisation, that I am a diagnosis. I am tainted, I am tweeked somehow, so that I differ from the others, I differ from what they call Normal, Healthy. I am Anorexia, and all of it's symptoms, its' weights, it's responsibilities and rules, the terms and regulations; I am suddenly nothing, but a statistic.

How can an entire life; and entire person, for that matter, be changed so definitely and completely, in the split second of a thought stumbled upon accidentally? No, no it can't be right. Perhaps something else.

So I will continue on, through my day; the endless rhythm I am defined by. I wake, eyes crinkled, face creased with the folds of the pillow, the tosses and turns of a disturbed, dreamless sleep, prepare the corners of my body, pack my school bag and pack my thoughts; all folded neatly, and contained, in the bag and the mind that I prepare to take to school. Zipped, and sealed, carefully placed, careful so that none of the delicate belongings I cling to will spill out, vulnerable to the rest of the world. Most precious belongings shoved to the bottom of my bag, just as the most fragile of my thoughts are buried beneath those layers and layers of others.

It is an unspoken rule; one I have known and acknowledged since I learnt the difference between thoughts spoken aloud, and thoughts kept inside. Those that are vulnerable, should be kept inside; deep, deep inside. Those that are accepted, should be spoken out loud.

There wasn't a single day I realised I was, had become, or had always been perhaps, 'Anorexic'.
I am forever realising it again and again.
The lovely distortions I see reflected in the mirror.
The pale of my once olive skin, the fading of my once pink cheeks.
The dull of my hair, and eventually, what I will come to terms with; the loss of my hair.
The ridiculous way my body will grow hair over my smooth skin to keep warm when I am forever trembling, but have not the strength nor the nutrition to keep the hair on my head.
The blue of my nails, of my fingers.
The blood I will spit in the sink, the weak cough that will lead to this frail body buckled, trembling under the force of something that had begun as small as a cough.
The tears I haven't the strength to cry.
The cold, that will keep by my side through thick and thin, through winter and summer.
The days and nights spent hating myself.
Wishing for sweet release, for escape. For death.

And yet here I am; spidery thin fingers whirling across these keys, sipping iced water, unflinching, unmoved.
I know all this.
Hair pushed back, limp and thin. Cut short, because I couldn't bear to see such long, beautiful hair lose its' shine with every day
I continued living.
Nails cut short, because the less I have, the less there is to look after.
I know, I know.
I am the prettiest contradiction; a girl lost in a world she hates, and enveloped in an obsession she ridicules.
Perhaps it was the day I cried, a sweet, ripe age, perhaps maybe seven at the most, for hours in my room, such bitter, mean words spat at me from the cold lips of my father. Lazy, fat, slob, all of it. Or perhaps it was the day I stood, shivering in my underwear, in front of my new full length mirror, years afterward; the tremendously fragile age of fourteen, those same words stirring in my own mind, from my own, pink, naive, lips.
Perhaps, perhaps. Is there any one day I decided to diet, to begin that never ending diet?
Is there any consolation in the swelling of pride I so willingly become enveloped by, each time my jeans slide down my hips a little further, a little easier; each time I return to the clothes store, a size smaller? Did I sell my soul for a size zero pair of denim jeans?
The blood that runs through my veins is tainted, it has been poisoned with something I cannot live with, yet somehow cannot live without.
There are those who will not recover, there are those who do not want to recover.
Those souls who have sworn themselves to the lovely Goddess, Ana.
Those, who know nothing of themselves, but of what they cannot eat, what they cannot drink.
Deprivation becomes everything, in a world where indulgence is for the weak, dependence is for the damned.
We don't need food, they will whisper proudly, in the dark of the night.
We need nothing but air, and water.
And when that heavy feeling floods their stomach with each sip of water, they will whimper, realising again and again that they need to be empty, to be pure. Suddenly, water becomes poison.
A diet of 200 calories which turned into 100 calories, only then to slowly slide to zero calories, is somehow more than a diet, more than a phase. A lifestyle, perhaps.

I won't lose myself, I whisper, in the dead of the night, over and over again.
I, will not, lose myself.

Recovery is dangerous.
Recovery can pull you from the depths, and bring you back to life. But if gone about the wrong way, Recovery can simply bring you above the surface, give you a gasp of that sweet, full air, then throw you over the edge of the cliff, and watch you plunge deeper than ever before, into the icy cold waters of Anorexia.
Recovery needs to be planned, to be measured, to be precise.
We fear venturing to the kitchen for a sandwich, because we are terrified we will devour the entire cupboard.
Those of us who have tried recovery, tried again and again, have lost hope, and found hope again... Those of us who are
still to try again, I have hope for.
But for now, this is what we've got, this is all we've got.
We are okay, because we need to be okay... Because if we're not okay, then what have we got?
There isn't a day I can pinpoint when I became the property of Anorexia. There isn't a day that I'm even completely sure, that I am.
Nothing is certain in life; nothing is certain in Anorexia.
Perhaps what I fear is that I will wake in the morning, for this to all have been a diet; simply, a diet. To have lost so much, to a diet.
Though again; perhaps what I fear the most, is that I will wake, and realise entirely... That this is not a diet, at all. And I will fall, completely hopeless, faithless... To the certainty, of such a realisation.

We float in the uncertainty, waiting for a better tomorrow. For a stronger today.
We float about... And for the moment, the most important thing is, that we are here".

To the sweet soul who wrote this, you're defined not by your disease but by your friendship. You've found strength in the face of weakness to fight through until tomorrow. And tomorrow again.

I hope to share many, many more tomorrows with you.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anyone For A Little Personal Video Q&A?

 I've been thinking of what to talk about for my next video post. (It's amazing how fast you can go through a page of writing when talking!) A blogging friend and I were chatting about this today and came up with an idea.

  If you have a question you'd like me to answer, leave it here as a comment or drop me a line at barrysquotations(at)gmail(dot)com. I'll select some I receive and answer by video, whatever remains I'll answer by e-mail. I'm looking for something more in-depth than "what's your favourite colour?", so use your imagination.

 Hope to hear from you.

Photo credit here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

If You're Reading This I'd Like To Hear From You

Hi. No matter who you are or where you're from, please don't leave without telling all of us who you are and what your blog's about.  Let's blitz this post with comments from as many people as possible!

Feeling This

Thanks so much Dolly Daydeam for introducing me to her music!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


If you want to make a difference don't move mountains.  Move people.

A Few Of My Favourite Things

trying to make a difference
sad love songs
driving fast on an open road
making love first thing in the morning
the sound of a piano
an unexpected wink or smile
a purring cat in my lap
driving fast on an open road
kicking leaves on a Fall walk
children's laughter
the smell of old books
sharing secrets
thank you's
deep kisses
hot baths
sleeping in
the smell of the garden after a summer rain
rough-housing with big dogs
family get-togethers
my studio
the smell of Sandy's hair after a shower
Psychology books
lazy weekends
loud concerts
the smell of a nice perfume
anything eloquently written
a warm bed
listening to girl talk
a warm bed
nights out with friends
something in the mail from a blogging friend
the girls of summer
the smell of a blown-out candle
chocolate, chocolate and chocolate
a baby's eyes
the beach
listening to a person talk about something they're passionate about
the theatre
watching football with Sandy
impressionist art
sports cars
doing something that makes me nervous but allows me to grow
being warm inside with nowhere to go on a snowy day
freshly-baked anything
re-uniting with old friends
drives in the country
Latin dance
discovering myself through others

Hope you're all having a great weekend!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Guest Photo Feature No. 7

Just a reminder that I'm taking submissions for random photo features on my blog, see here for more info. I hope you'll participate!

Today's entry comes from Shannon at Tattoos and Cupcakes. Shannon cares for animals at a veterinarian hospital and has recently welcomed a tiny addition, Meeko, to her family. Drop by her blog and say hi sometime.

In her words:

"Photography, while not my day job, is one of my passions. I'm hardly ever seen without my camera in my hand. I don't proclaim to be a professional photographer, but what sets me apart from most is the fact that I don't use an expensive camera. I use my Canon Powershot, just an average digital camera. I believe I was given a gift, and while I may not be able to afford all of the bells and whistles right now to truly shine, no one can take away my 'photographer's eye'.  Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."

Thanks so much for your photos Shannon.  Anyone else?

Thursday, October 14, 2010


  My life was touched by another today. A broken soul, lost in darkness. Yet I saw so much more; determination, passion, hope. Amazing isn’t it, how we can be surrounded by caring hearts yet sometimes feel so alone. But can we ever truly be broken, if still holding hope that tomorrow may bring with it even the slightest chance of healing?

  The intense emotion of these internal battles, with angels and demons pit against one another is unsettling, yet exhilarating. Emotions of others wash over me as water over rock, and if in so doing they erode me they also polish and refine my edges. The tide of despondence is almost relentless, yet every wave brings with it for me a new experience, a new piece of life. With this too comes guilt for taking interest in the pain of others, but paradoxically allows greater understanding and ultimately strength to walk beside them. The darkness is captivating. I’m drawn not because I wish to see it consume, but because it’s so often accompanied by light. This I’ve found unwavering. As much as we may feel so, none of us truly will find contentment forever bathed in shadows.

  We don’t stand alone uninfluenced or unaffecting; every breath we take, every single heartbeat echoes in another. Each word we speak affects someone. We wear our conversations like clothes, wrapping ourselves in compassionate words, eager to keep warm and safe. If scornful they hang off us like tattered rags.

  Every woman, each man and child influences us through their presence. We give and take of ourselves as much in passing on the sidewalk as through constant interaction. Why must we feel we walk the earth weightless without leaving imprints behind? Our footprints are not always visible to our eye but they are there, and they are followed. They’re ours to make deep so that others may have a solid footing.

  My life was touched by another today. And through the manic deluge of emotion and uncertainty she allowed a glimpse of light, interspersed amongst the heaviness of her words. And I felt strangely comforted. Because where light glimmers, hope glimmers in anticipation.

Photo credit here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Some Of My Quirks...

  • Sandy has to be on my left side for EVERYTHING.  (Okay, almost everything)...
  • I can tolerate the sound of a power saw or hammer drill but I have to leave when she runs the coffee grinder or the hair dryer.  In my defense I will say that these are pretty irritating sounds early in the morning.
  • I have to have my fruit salad cold otherwise I won't eat it.
  • Before leaving the house I check the doors, windows, stove etc. like a bazillion times.
  • I think my belly button is off-centre
  • I take FOREVER to get settled in bed, to read, on our deck...
  • I prefer to sit cross-legged at the table
  • I have to have latte on the weekend or it's just not the weekend
  • I buy high-end technology but rarely read the entire manual because I don't have the patience or the inclination
  • My veggies have to be separate, not mixed.
  • I'm kinda cell phone-challenged. I don't always keep it on or charge it.
  • I like to chew my cat's ear
  • Hyperventilate when we walk through the baby aisle in department stores
  • I obsessively check e-mail and go through withdrawal if I don't get a new message within 20-30 minutes.  Doubt I'm the only one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Unpublished Poem ("Love Story")

I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to post this. It’s the first and only poem I’ve ever written for somebody to give to someone else. I’ll give you the background behind it.

I first began blogging in March of last year, and very shortly afterwards stumbled across the blog of a young woman in Australia. The way she wrote about her boyfriend was charming and completely captivated me. It was innocent, and honest, and passionate, and everything it should be. We started corresponding and soon became good friends. Several months later she revealed that she was much younger than I had thought, and that she had been writing under a pen name to protect her privacy. I thought it was a smart decision considering some of the stories I've heard. Telling me was a huge step for her, she was afraid she’d lose my friendship. She didn’t.

In the following months she experienced an extremely traumatic event in her life which she confided in me, we were able to talk through it and it strengthened our relationship. (She and Sandy traded a few e-mails as well). She became not only a friend but I felt as protective of her as someone would their own daughter. It became an incredible relationship.

We don’t talk as often as we used to but are still in touch. It’s been an amazing thing to watch her grow through this part of her life, to see her learn from her experiences good and bad. She’s a fighter and has moved on, and although the relationship I wrote the poem about has since ended she’s found another who treats her well. Makes me very happy.

Most lines in the poem refer specifically to their relationship. She loved the Taylor Swift song it's named after. He always got down on one knee and proposed marriage, and she always accepted (“So come to me on bended knee”). He was her ‘prince’, she was his ‘Juliet’. Said he made love like a tiger, hence “tiger skin”. And so on. 

So here it is.  One chapter in a young woman's life whose book has just begun.

Love Story

So come to me on bended knee,
And calm my insecurity.
We'll lay beneath the Aussie skies,
Fight the dark and greet sunrise.

With stained-glass rays to warm our face
We'll run each day's uncertain race.
Love's moments spent near or apart
With you forever in my heart.

On crashing beach and windswept plain,
Through winter's chill or summer's rain,
We'll act like fools for all to see
Or be content to simply be.

Stolen nights entwined as one
When passion's dance has just begun,
Your deep blue eyes and 'tiger' skin
With every breath I'll breathe you in.

Then hand-in-hand we'll face the day,
Climb obstacles that come our way
And thank the day that we both met
My shining Prince.
Your Juliet.

S., thanks for agreeing to have this published.  Our friendship means more to me than I can say. Registered & Protected

Friday, October 8, 2010

My New Webcam (video is on previous post)

  I thought I'd tell you a bit about the webcam I picked up. Partly because I really like it, mostly 'cause when I decided to shoot in widescreen I wasn't thinking the video would push out into the sidebar. Doh! So this post pushes that one down a bit and positions it a better, even if it's not ideal. Next time I'll shoot in a standard format.

  I narrowed my choices down to either Microsoft's LifeCam Cinema 720p HD Webcam H5D-00001 or the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910. I finally decided on the Logitech unit, based on:

  • full HD 1080p recording
  • 720p video calling on most major instant messaging applications
  • Carl Zeiss® optics with autofocus
  • stereo audio
  • it's very adept at adjusting to produce the best picture in dim or poorly backlit settings
  • photos: up to 10 megapixels (software enhanced)
  • one-click upload to Facebook and YouTube
There you go, short and sweet.  I'm enjoying it so far and I feel that if it's something you'll use regularly it's worth the extra few bucks.

My First Video Post!

Secret Friday

  Hi guys, welcome to round 41of Secret Friday, a chance to share some secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty.

All are valid.

 Here's how this works:

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

2) 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.

3) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free. You may copy the rules if you wish.

And now to it...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

8 Questions

I was tagged by Jill to answer these eight questions.  I'm not playing exactly by the rules and tagging eight others, but if you want to play along feel free.

Thanks for this Jill (and our conversation today), it was well-timed.

1. Boxers or briefs?

2. What's your favorite kind of ice-cream?
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, baby!

3. What's your most embarrassing moment?
Something to do with being in my first apartment, porn, and an unexpected visit by a window washer.  Don't ask.

4. What age was your first kiss?
Can't remember.  My first crush was in Grade 2, although we never got to first base.  First base in Grade 2 is, like, just having a girl look at you.

5. Cats or dogs?
Dogs, I love being able to rough-house with a dog.  Too much responsibility for me though, so it's cats all the way in this house. 

6. Do you have any tattoos?
None that I can see.

7. What do you hope has changed in this world by 3010?
Man's way of thinking about pretty much everything.

8. What's your favorite book?
Honestly? "Why Women Have Sex" by Cindy M. Meston, Ph. D. and David M. Buss, Ph. D.  Go ahead and snicker if you'd like, but I can pretty much guarantee it'll change how you think in some way.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


It's been a few days since I posted.  I was going to write something today about relationships, but this morning I found out one of my blogging friends was sexually assaulted last week. I'm upset and (mostly) just angry.  Angry that it happened to her, angry that it's happened in some form to many of you. Upset and angry that there's nothing I can do to stop it.

But this isn't about me. If this is how I feel I can't begin to imagine what she's going through.

I've been in touch with her today, she's not okay but she's determined to get through it and has a lot of love in her corner.  Please keep her in your thoughts, she's a beautiful person and didn't deserve this.  No one does.

I'll be back soon with something more positive, I promise.