Speak Now

A window is open

In a small but empty room

Light wood floor

Cracked and marked

With age and actions gone unseen

Now host to spots of

Bright

Clean

Light

Falling softly through.

 

The moment teeters

On silence

All but for the unsteady

Rustling of paper

The affection of a passing breeze

Begging at the corners

Whispering of unseen skies.

Like the room

The sheets appear blank

Unused.

 

But with the slightest balance

Of care and disregard

Each page is full with

Words that in sequence murmur

With the saddest joy

The loneliness of thoughts unspoken

Each letter

A delicacy in white  ink

Upon white paper.

 

The writer is gone

The words are buried

The room is empty

The breeze has strength

The paper is weak

A window is open

And through it the sheets are pulled

The moment cracked

A new story sketched.

 

And clever time so quickly

Passes

A thousand breezes come and go

Each moment falls in streams

That carry out to sea

Passing farther from memory.

Paper yellows

And with this contrast

Each silent love letter

Begins to speak.

 

But the words do not matter.

 

The reader is blind.

 

The room is empty.

 

The writer is gone.

5 Tips from An Easter Egg Hunting Veteran

“Hey grandkids, See that up on the wall? That’s the tin foil from the Cadbury Crème egg I hunted back in Easter of ’97. A whopping 8 inches in diameter that beauty was. Sure don’t make ’em like they used to…”

The goal of your mission

The goal of your mission

Oh, I’ll be speaking of my egg-hunting glory days to my future grandchildren for sure.

Ah yes, as a timid vegetarian and disgrace to my cavemen ancestors, Easter eggs are the only thing I’ve ever hunted for. But what a hunter I was. Thanks to our twisted western society, as a child I understood Easter only as a second, more competitive Halloween, and these annual candy pilgrimages were treated with all the competitiveness of an Olympic sport.

Though I have since retired from my hunting days along with the discovery of post-Easter discounted chocolate, I still have enough knowledge of hunting strategy gleaned from my years in the battlefield, of which I will impart upon you, young grasshopper, in the following paragraphs.

The Mastermind at work

Tip #1: Know the hider/sEvery hider has a distinct style. When my dad was designated hider, he favored reverse-psychology spots that we typically wouldn’t think to look because they were too obvious. Think more, sitting on a corner of the dining table than hidden in the teapot. Mom? The egg on the windowsill was her signature move, and there was always guaranteed to be one or two in the dollhouse or propped up in a stuffed animal’s arms, for the sake of cuteness.

Tip #2: Do as much pre-hunting as possible

It’s not technically cheating if you just so happen to spot some shiny egg wrapping out of the corner of your eye while taking your average daily tour of every room in the house. So before you get whisked off to church or swept into the car to brunch, make mental note of where you accidentally saw the goods. Make sure you also use any pre-hunt time to strategize your egg-hunting itinerary and plan a route through the hunting grounds. Meditate, perhaps, to clear your mind of any thoughts other than the mission you are about to embark on.

Tip #3: Stay focused

Yes, this is terrifying. Just shield your eyes and keep them on the prize.

Once the hunt has started, it is essential to keep your mind on the task at hand. It’s all fine and good to thank Jesus and celebrate his birth for the rest of the day, but get distracted during the hunt and before you know it, Billy’s running by with SIX Cadburys in his basket and you’ve only got 2 of the wimpy no name branders. Uncle trolling around in a creepy bunny suit? Ignore it. Grandma wants to help? She’ll slow you down. Mom accidently set the house on fire trying to recreate The Last Supper? Focus. On. Those. Eggs.

Tip #4: Use sympathy to your advantage

This works especially well if you have older siblings or fellow hunters, and are good at being cute. When done right, the slow start strategy can be very beneficial to a successful hunt. ONLY EMPLOY THIS METHOD IF YOU HAVE A SYMPATHETIC, EASILY FOILED HIDER. When the hunt commences, hang back and look like you’re desperately hunting, without actually taking any eggs. Hopefully, once mom notices your older brother stealing the show she’ll be sympathetic and start helping you out with clues. Once you’ve found a significant amount in this manner, quickly go and collect all the other eggs you’ve secretly already found and make an epic comeback.

Tip #5: Enjoy the post-hunt

After all, is The Easter Egg Hunt ever over? That’s the beauty of it. All the forgotten eggs that were hid a little too well sit in their ridiculously impossible hiding places for days, weeks, months, or even years, until finally found. And, man, let me tell you, the greatest egg find is the one you find wedged between the Christmas mugs at the back of the cupboard eight months later, in December. Never question the staleness of the egg. Simply brush off the dust, crack off the wrapper and enjoy this vaguely chocolate tasting reminder of the day you owned Billy at egg-hunting.

Happy hunting, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

Reunion

Reunion

Fun with photoshop/poetry? Photoetry?

“Your Name” (If It Was Mine To Say)

The truth is, together, we’d be great.

We could take over the world with a glance
We could run this town with our hands behind our backs
We could scale mountains, cross lands,
Cure cancer in our sleep,
Or we could just make good chocolate chip cookies
And talk about something on T.V.

Oh I wouldn’t care.
To sit beside you would be to light up Times Square
With the electricity in my veins.
To listen to you would be to melt Winter to Spring
With the alchemy in each laugh.
To dance with you would be to move the Earth closer to the Sun
To swim oceans
And climb straight to the stars.
To die and live and explode and forget it all
But know
It’s we.

But it’s not, no
It’s she.

A match that is supernovas and tidal waves
That I can’t deny.
The light of your love lifting dust specks like me
From the floorboards underneath tarnished windows
You stream through, together
Waking up sleepy towns on your way
Singing through forests beyond my reach.

I watch from below
And hairline cracks begin to show beneath my surface
As I bloom in your beauty but wilt inside
At every look you share:
The momentous glances of two people falling in love
While I plummet towards a sea that will swallow me with soothing whispers
That love just isn’t for all of us.

But before I drown I’ll see the world spin in your perfect grace
Bowing to the beauty
And I’ll have to smile
For maybe in the next life I’ll see you first
And I’ll be the one you cannot let go of.

And in that world, dimension, and space
I promise you
If nothing else
Our chocolate chip cookies
Well,
They’ll be divine.

Stop Hating on Love!

Okay. Religion and politics are two of an admittedly endless list of things that I know I don’t really understand. But this isn’t about religion, and it isn’t about politics. It’s about the greatness that is the small, simple, life of a human being on this planet.

And what I don’t understand, more than any religion, more than any type of political complication, is why we try so very hard to make it difficult for each other.

Because isn’t life hard enough?

There is so much hate and negativity in the world. Collectively, we’ve got enough of it to upset all our stomachs, with leftovers to feed generations and generations to come.

As for love? It’s scarce. It’s rare. Or at least it’s hiding itself inside of us very well. Because when I turn on the news, or listen to the radio, or open up the internet, the only examples of love that are commonly talked about are the ones that aren’t accepted.

That’s the problem.

What little love there is, we squander unless it’s something we approve of. But at the end of the day, we are not judges of the feelings of others; we cannot change them, and we have no right to tell someone that the most beautiful feeling in the world is not okay.

Gay marriage. Everyone gets all up in arms over the issue and people start whipping around bibles and tearing through texts, and working, much to hard, to justify why it is wrong. There’s name calling, and anger, and a whole lot of negativity. You’ve heard the stories. You’re read the news. Maybe you even believe that it’s a sin.

But from a simple point of view I can’t see how we fail to see the truth that love, no matter what kind, no matter between whom, no matter how it is measured, or conceived, or verified; is love. And hate, no matter to whom it is directed, no matter why we think it is justified, no matter how it is spurned, or grown, or desensitized; is hate.

Hopefully you’ve felt love. Certainly you’ve felt hate. Forget the reasons and the circumstances. Which felt better?

Is there any God or law so worth defending that it not only asks to be verified or upheld through the tool of human hatred, but strives to dismantle and eradicate the positivity, support, and strength of love?

Live and let live, whatever your beliefs. If two people love each other, the world is a better place for it. Marriage is not the issue. Whether they want to, or don’t want to get married, doesn’t matter. What matters is that we need every ounce of positivity we can get in this world, and I can’t imagine anything more justified to exist in that weight, than love.

5 Hit Songs That Make My Ears Bleed

In general, I love music, and I’m pretty tolerant of it. The judgements I make are usually based solely on the song in question and in it’s own context. I’m not one hate a specific artist or band. (Justin Beiber haters, don’t even try, there’s no army more powerful than sexually charged teenage girls.)

BUT THEN THERE ARE THOSE SONGS THAT FOR WHATEVER REASON COMPEL YOU TO EXPRESS YOUR DISAPPROVAL IN ALL CAPS.

Maybe you didn’t mind it the first time. But that’s the thing about “hit songs.” They’re played again. And again. And again. And just when you think you’ve escaped, you hear the telltale first notes of that catchy-in-the-wrong-way song in an antique carpet shop on the outskirts of a ghost town in Bolivia. They find you, no matter where you hide.

So here are a list of several songs that are extremely disappointing for my eardrums.

Will.I.Am ft. Britney Spears – Scream and Shout

I feel like this song didn’t try hard at all. It’s like the song itself is saying “Yeah, I suck, so? It doesn’t even matter, I’m still going to get played. All. The. Time.” It even literally is referred to as “shit” in the first line. Seriously? Seriously? I want to smack this song. You want to “scream and shout and let it all out”? Because the way in which you so monotonously say so makes me think you would rather have each of your hairs slowly plucked out by tiny gremlins, Sir William.

NE-YO – Let me Love You

Ne-yo wants to love me. Until I learn to love myself. After that, I guess I can just fuck off. And why shouldn’t I take this song so literally? It’s not like it has any artistic, discussable, content. Don’t get me wrong, I can love a song with no message behind it with the best of them. But this one just pisses me off. Maybe it’s because I feel as if Ne-Yo just decided that all girls are helplessly in need of good examples of love and he is able to deliver it, and isn’t this song just so convincing of that fact? Also, pop songs in general have got me confused as to whether “love you” means “cherish and support you”, or “bang you”, so the integrity of the word is kind of lost. After all, this is a world in which “fucking” can be bleeped out and replaced with “loving” (Enrique, I’m looking at you.)

Rihanna – California King Bed

Sorry I’m not sorry, but this song has #firstworldproblems written all over it. Essentially, Rihanna is explaining to you that things are just really tough for her right now because her bed is too big. Enough said.

Pitbull – Back in Time

I used to kind of like this song. And then it became my ipod’s favourite song. I swear to you, out of the hundreds of songs I have on that thing, should I choose “shuffle”, “Back in Time” is guaranteed to come on within two minutes. Also because I never have a clue what Pitbull is saying, I’m completely confused as to what the point of the song is. I think that the main theme is that “to understand the future, you have to go back in time,” but he doesn’t really have any evidence to support this and just talks about how he’s super fly for the rest of the song and then throws in some reference to Ray Charles being blind. How rude.

Maroon 5-She Will Be Loved

“WHAT?” Hear me out. I too used to like this song, until I moved in with my Korean roommates with whom I thankfully no longer live. They had absolutely no grasp on the English language, except when discussing how much I owed them for rent, or when making love. Because for whatever reason, they would SING THIS SONG while doing the nasty. I’m serious. It was also their alarm, so every night I went to sleep to the sound of “she weeeeeeelllllllll be loved,” and woke to “beauty queen of only eighteen,” etc.

As much as I throughly enjoy hating on these songs, I value them for helping me appreciate all the amazing songs in the world. For songs I am actually loving, check out the Song of The Week.

Maple Walnut Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Like 90% of the creative content in my life, I found these beauties on pinterest. The link took me to tortillasandhoney.comsplitcupcakeedit(http://bit.ly/XoqJHj)  who cited the original source of the recipe as Dinner, Dishes, and Desserts. The frosting recipe is modified from: http://bit.ly/1078apM

As the only thing I have in common with Martha Stewart is that we are supposedly both human beings, the cupcakes that I made look a little bit amateur, BUT THEY TASTE LIKE MIRACLES.closeupgroup

The cupcake itself is vanilla flavoured and super light thanks to the addition of whipped egg whites. INSIDE  is a rich, big ol’ ball of walnut cookie dough. (Walnut? Yeah, it’s supposed to be chocolate chip, but lacking those, I figured I could just substitute anything else and then change the frosting to accommodate it.)

As far as how many cupcakes you’ll get out of the recipe…well…that seems to sort of vary. The recipe I used claimed to make 24 cupcakes, but I only ended up with 16. I think this may be because I sort of failed at the whole egg white thing. They deflated a bit before I folded them into the batter.

Anyways, without further ado, the recipe!

Cookie Dough Filling:

1 cup butter, softenededitcupcake
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk (I always use 2% because yolo.)
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cupcakes:

4 egg whites
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

Frosting (I halved this because I was short on icing sugar, but it also made me pretty scarce on frosting, so if you have the means, make the full recipe!):

1 cup butter, softened
2 3/4 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar (plus extra as desired for decorating)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or two tsp maple imitation flavouring)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Extra cookie dough for decoration if desired

Cookie Dough Filling:

With an electric mixer or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the milk and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.

Mix in flour and salt.

Fold in walnuts.

Scoop the dough out by rounded tablespoons, and roll into a ball. (Make at least 24 balls, just in case you have that many cupcakes. Any leftover dough can be used to decorate.) Place balls on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour.

Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Set aside. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy; about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In multiple additions, alternate mixing the flour mixture and the milk into the butter mixture. Once everything is incorporated, gently fold in the egg whites until fully incorporated.

Place about 1 tablespoon of batter onto the bottom of each muffin liner. Place a frozen ball of cookie dough on top of the batter. Cover with more batter. (I filled mine almost to the top of the liner.) Put any leftover dough balls back in the freezer.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cupcake springs back when pressed. Allow to cool completely before frosting!

Frosting:

Place softened butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 30-40 seconds until whipped. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl. Beat with the mixer for 30-40 seconds. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup. Beat for 2-3 more minutes until mixture is fluffy. Stir in walnuts until just mixed (OR if you want to decorate your cupcakes nicely with a frosting bag and tips, don’t do this, or the walnuts will clog in the bag.)

Frost cupcakes in method of your choice (I used the “slap-on-with-a-knife-and-call-it-a-day” method.)

Grate leftover frozen cookie dough balls into shavings, and sprinkle on top of cupcakes. Sprinkle brown sugar over everything.closeupedit

Enjoy and promise yourself you’ll have a salad tomorrow.