Monday, May 30, 2011

From whence came Her Fearful Symmetry


by William Blake

TYGER, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

I love both of Audrey Niffinegger's novels, and am in awe of her ability to weave such gorgeous and unique stories. I'm always curious as to what inspires her tales. What, possibly simple, thought blossoms into an entire novel that grips the hearts of its readers from the first chapter? According to an interview my Mom heard, Blake's poem The Tyger inspired Her Fearful Symmetry. A poem whose theme revolves around what it means to live in a world with an undeniable existence of evil and violence, and how a being can be both beautiful and horrible all at once. For those of you who've read Her Fearful Symmetry, I'm sure you'll be able to see the connections, and know which character(s) possess this fearful symmetry.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. If I could get away somewhere for the weekend I would go to Sydney, obviously, and I would bring my mother and I would make sure Jamie was in the city, too. Magic would clearly be involved since it would take the entire weekend just to get half-way across the world, and I would want ample time to show Mom the sights, eat some mussels and drink entirely too many flat whites. I like when magic is involved.

2. Something I often rant about is everything! True story: I'm a ranter, but my main topics are people's stupid life choices, bad drivers and work drama.

3. One item I need to have in my fridge at all time is milk. I drink a lot of milk and always have some in my fridge. Yogurt, broccoli and apples are on this list as well.

4. My "life-saving" product is either volumizing mousse or mascara...but mascara probably wins because I will not leave the house without it on, and if I was stranded on a desert island I would want to have a few tubes with me.

5. A friend is someone who knows the real you, the good, the bad and the ugly, and loves, appreciates and respects you despite it all. You can fight with a true friend, be brutally honest, and know that at the end of the day that person is still there for you no matter what.

6. If I could write my own blank it would be "If I could be a character in any novel, I would be _____"

7. My favorite kind of art is oil on canvas. I'm a sucker for Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. I love the way layers of oil paints look on canvas and the depth that comes from it. I also love water colors. Both art forms can have a rather romantic feel to them, which is probably why I love them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A few inches off of the top

Well folks, I finally gave into the urge that has been plaguing me for a couple of months: I chopped off my hair!

I've been quietly toying around with the idea of cutting my hair into more of a pixie and when the day of my hair appointment came, I was more than ready. I've had short hair since high school, and as much as I've enjoyed my bob these past few years, I was craving a cropped 'do again.

This picture isn't the greatest, and I'll work on getting a better one up, but if nothing else you can see that my hair's shorter and you can also see the new color. I have the best hairdresser and I always give her free reign with my color. I've been a bit anti-blonde lately, but she convinced me that the blonde and red would be great for summer, and would also show off the choppy style best.

And, as always, she was right!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"This country immerses you, wraps its stories round you, makes you care about them"

I have a confession: my heart aches when I look at pictures from Australia, both mine and other people's. Sometimes it's the kind of ache that comes from too much happiness crammed into a short amount of time, but sometimes it's an unsettled, unfinished business kind of ache. Sometimes it's a fleeting feeling, but other times it feels as if it starts in my chest and radiates out to the tips of my fingers and toes, consuming every inch of my body for hours at a time.

This sounds dramatic, doesn't it? And perhaps it is, but it's the truth. I've talked about my flair for drama, for feeling emotions deeply, and that more than applies to this subject.

I still haven't started composing my posts about my trip because I haven't been ready to fully invest myself in reliving my life-altering adventure. I feel silly as I type that because it was just a 2 week vacation, right? A vacation that I was really only taking because I wanted to see my best friend. A vacation to a country that was hardly even a blip on my radar for the first 24 years of my life. So why get so worked up? Because something about the entirity of the experience, from traveling alone to going against my control-freak nature in order to embrace whatever came my way, changed me. I'm more my true self now than I was when I left Denver on April 9th. The people who know me best, the ones who can read me like an open book, can vouch for this. I am different; not any better or worse, just changed.

Australia changed me. And, I like the new me, but I still long for the country and the people and the culture that felt so much like home to me.

quote about AUS by Annamaria Weldon

Monday, May 23, 2011

Length and Width

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
-Diane Ackerman-

Friday, May 20, 2011

To be defined by love.

I'm late to the game in finding Meg Fee's beautiful blog, the wild and wily ways of a brunette bombshell, but nonetheless, found it I did. And it is beautiful. She has a way with words that I only dream of and her soul-searching posts capture the essence of what so many of us twenty-somethings are going through.

She also has a love of quotes that matches my own.
In reading through her blog, I came across this quote by Zelda Fitzgerald:

I don't want to live. I want to love first, and live incidentally.

Normally a quote about love and life would instantly pull at me, but not this one. And, my reaction when I read it caught me off guard: I don't like this. I don't want to live incidentally in a world that is consumed first and foremost by love. I want to live. And love. I want to love my life and the pieces that make it a whole, but I don't want it to be controlled by love, whether that be the searching of love, the finding or the maintaining. I want the two to go hand-in-hand, and above all, I want to live my life in whatever way makes me the happiest. I want love, but I don't want to be defined by that love.

I want to be defined by me.

Fill in the Blank Friday

I feel like it's been a while since I played along with Lauren's Friday blanks, but to be perfectly honest I cannot remember exactly when the last time was...before I left for Australia, maybe? No matter, I'm playing today and encourage you all to link up as well!

Happy Friday!

1. People always tell me I look like my mother, even though I see more of my father in my face. My personality is pretty much all Debby, but I physically look more like my father.
(I've never been told I look like a celebrity, by the way)

2. Friends don't let friends make big decisions without first discussing the pros and cons; they don't let friends walk around with food in their teeth or things in their hair.

3. A sunny day is perfect for drinking coffee on the patio, going for a long walk or hike, reading at the park, grabbing a glass of wine and then wandering around Old Town with the girls.

4. My favorite accessory is a fun pair of earrings. I love earrings, and because I have short hair they are usually visible.

5. If I could afford it I would quit my job, pay off whatever officials I needed to in order to get the residency required to live in Australia, move into a killer flat with Jamie, call it my home base and then travel the world. Yep, sounds like an awesome life plan to me.

6. The cure for boredom is to go for a long drive or walk, and to get just a little lost, both in direction and in your thoughts. A good book works, too. As does spontaneous wine nights with friends.

7. I am currently "in like" with If I Die Young by The Band Perry because it references my favorite Tennyson poem, with the idea of a pixie-ish cut (I may chop off my hair this arvo!), Twinings Lady Grey tea, long walks when it's sprinkling outside, avocado and tomatoes on toasted sourdough, etc, etc...

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I'm the kind of person who needs time to decompress.
I get worked up easily, which is one of those character flaws that I really should work on rather than embrace, but I am capable of calming down easily, too. If, that is, I am given time to mentally sort and compartmentalize; time to decompress.

I like that I'm an emotional person. To some this may be synonymous with over-reaction, but to me it means passionate. Everything we feel, every action we take is a personal investment, and any investment should be done fully and passionately, don't you think?
I do.

So, yes, I get worked up. I instantly feel more than was expected, and perhaps more than was necessary, but that's my reality. I need to feel it, need to roll with the intensity and I need to analyze my own reactions. Give me a little time, read my body language, pay close attention to how my eyes change. You'll see my emotions, my passions, and you'll see how I process.
Just give me the time to decompress .

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A flame ignited

Morning is when the wick is lit. A flame ignited, the day delighted with heat and light, we start the fight for something more than before.
-Jeb Dickerson-

Tea Tins

I just saw this image on weheartit and I am in love! I think this idea is so clever, sweet and charming, and I may need to try it out. I currently have 2 empty tea tins that I've been saving because they're just too pretty to get rid of, and even though they're the same tea (Harney & Sons Paris blend...try it, you'll fall in love) I still think they would be pretty with a little herb or flower in them.

My generous mother has already gotten my pots ready with lime mint, basil and a few pretty flowers, but maybe I'll try out my gardening gloves this weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Heritage Tea Rooms

I'm hormonal, annoyed with cost share agreements, in desperate need of a haircut and, unfortunately, wearing my cranky pants today. We all know these days happen, and they really aren't anything to get too worked up over, but having the ability to escape them is always nice. Now, when I say "escape" I don't mean a literal one because, obviously, I'm kind of stuck with my hormones and hair no matter where I go, but a mental escape usually does wonders for the psyche. So, please join me as I jet across the world to Townsville, Australia. You see, this university town in North Queensland just so happens to be home to the most relaxing (and possibly happiest) place on earth: The Heritage Tea Rooms. I kid you not, if I lived in Townsville I would spend entirely too much time at this place, drinking heaps of tea, eating scones and just taking in the scenery. It's wonderful.

(located in North Queensland's oldest building)

(used to be the Eureka Hotel in the 1800s)

(truly amazing tea)

(blueberry and pumpkin scones)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rainy day reading

I always find it fascinating just how much power the weather has over us and our moods, from the colors we dress in to our level of perkiness/happiness. I've never been someone who gets depressed in gloomy weather, in fact, I actually love it, but the weather plays a significant role in what kind of music soothes my soul that day and what genre I feel like reading. It's because of this that I tend to read more than one book at a time; I need choices to match my mood, and sometimes the weather.

Today was a grey, gloomy, rainy day, which I absolutely loved. Not only do we really need the moisture here in Colorado, but I liked the excuse for a little mental and emotional down time. Gorgeous, sunny days typically hype me up, make me want to be outside and put me in the mood to read chick lit. Rainy days, on the other hand, make me feel quieter and calmer, and make me want to read more generalized or historical fiction; books that require a little more focus than chick lit.

Thanks to today's weather I finally started reading The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley, and I am hooked! I love books that grab me right from the start, and this one had my name written all over it with history, a little potential romance and a Scottish castle:

"History has all but forgotten...

In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.

But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her..."

I just hope the story continues to keep hold of me right up to the end.

What are you all reading these days?
Does the weather affect your genre choices like it does me?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Henry and Clare

"Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?"

"We laugh and laugh, and nothing can ever be sad, no one can be lost, or dead, or far away: right now we are here, and nothing can mar our perfection, or steal the joy of this perfect moment."

"Clare, I want to tell you, again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you."

"And Clare, always Clare."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. What I love most about my home is that it's all mine. My days of living alone will be coming to end soon because I'll moving in with a friend (or 2!) once my lease is up, but for now I am going to bask in the Erin-ness that is my home. I love that my apartment is my safe haven.

2. I'm excited because my Mom and I are going to the Denver Art Museum tomorrow to view their current display of Italian Renaissance Art. Renaissance art is my favorite, and I'm excited that meine Mutti wants to go with me! I love mother-daughter Denver dates.

3. My preferred method for blowing off steam when I'm frustrated is to go for a long drive, so I can be alone with my thoughts and my music. Once I've processed my frustration, chances are I'll need to vent it out for a bit, and this sometimes involves a few tears.

4. Currently I am craving a cozy chair, a cup of tea and some uninterrupted time with my book. I know this question was probably more along the lines of food, but I just had a yogurt, so my stomach is satisfied. My soul is the one with the cravings right now.

5. The thing I love most about my mom is her selflessness and her unwavering love for my Dad and me. My mother loves us with her entire being and will do absolutely anything for her family. With that being said, I am also always impressed with her ability to maintain her friendships and to do things that are important to her. My father and I are both demanding of her attention, but I've always felt that she balances everything well. You'd have to ask her if she's happy enough and has enough "Debby" time, but I will be forever indebted to her for everything she has sacrificed for me and given to me over the years.

6. If I was going to write a book about my life, the title would be The Constant Evolution of an Emotional Gal...a bit wordy and not overly creative, but it sums it all up. I feel like I am ever-changing as I experience more of my life, and I kind of hope that never stops. I'm also entirely too Gemini to pretend like I'm not ruled by my always better to warn people of this straight-away.

7. If I were to eat one thing for the rest of eternity it would be, like Lauren said, bread and cheese, but I'd also throw in some fruit. I could eat all types of rustic bread with different cheeses for the rest of my life and probably never get tired of it. Give me some fruit to feel like less of a fatty and a glass of red, red wine and you will have a happy gal on your hands.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Music for the Soul

As you all know, I am the kind of gal who becomes obsessed with a song, plays it on repeat for a week or two, sings my little heart out and then, like a magpie and a shiny object, I move on to a new song. It works for me...probably drives my coworkers crazy, but they have all grown accustomed to my semi-eccentric ways (thank goodness!).

This week's song obsession is Love Lost by The Temper Trap. It's true love. Seriously. And, I have Miss Jamie Lynn, that favorite eccentric bestie of mine, to thank for this song. She turned me onto The Temper Trap several months ago, and I liked them right away, but it wasn't until we were listening to them in Townsville that I really felt a strong pull.

So, without further ado, give 'em a listen!

Our love was lost
But now we've found it
Our love was lost
And hope was gone

Our love was lost
But now we've found it
And if you flash your heart
I won't deny it
I promise

I promise

Your walls are up
Too cold to touch it
Your walls are up
Too high to climb

I know it's hard
But I can still hear it beating
So if you flash your heart
I won't mistreat it
I promise

I promise

Our love was lost
In the rubble are all the things
That you've, you've been dreaming of
Keep me in mind
When you're ready
I am here
To take you every time

Oh our love was lost
Lost, lost, lost, lost....
Our love was lost
But now its found

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why yes, I do read even when I travel...

...but to be perfectly honest, I actually thought I would read more than I did while on my trip. I'm usually a horrible sleeper on airplanes and I tend to read for a few hours straight when I'm flying. But, the usual rules didn't seem to apply to my international travel. I read a little on my flight from Denver to LAX; slept basically the entire flight to Sydney; read a fair bit up to Townsville and back to Sydney again; and read a bit here and there while I was in Sydney and Townsville. All of that amounted to an entire book and two-thirds of another. That is usually what I read on a weekend trip to Boston...I take this as a sign of the amazing amounts of fun I was having; clearly too much to give in to my book nerd ways.

Anyway, the few books that I read in April were:

ps- I'm a tad obsessed with Kristan Higgins right now...perfect Spring, chick lit reads!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Feedback Needed!

Ok, lovely readers, I think I am finally ready to delve into my Australia trip and share with you all, but I need your feedback on how to go about posting. I am sure you all don't want to hear every little thing, nor do you just want to read a bulleted list of what I did each day, so what kind of format would you like: a daily breakdown, 2 longish posts on Sydney and Townsville, a couple of posts on each destination with highlights discussed, or something else entirely different? Picture will, of course, be included with any format. Please share your thoughts with me.

Thanks, loves!

Gorge and gab-fest with girlfriends

I just got back from a long lunch with 2 of my favorite ladies, and it was wonderful! I'm slowly, but surely getting back into the routine of my life, and I must say that time with my girlfriends is my favorite. There is nothing like catching up, giggling over boys and their silly antics and venting about work with your girlfriends. Girls just get it! And, so I babbled about my trip and we talked about our respective jobs (2 of us work for the same agency) and discussed living situations for the coming year all while gorging on some of the best sushi in town. It was lovely.

Is it strange that I always feel a little cool, city chic when I meet my girlfriends for lunch? It's the perfect break in the day, but the office is still kind of calling to you because no matter how much you want to just escape, there is still work to be makes me feel very adult-like.
Yes, I'm an odd one.