A Deeply Moving Quote…

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

“I do not mind dying, but to die without having a child is most painful because I shall go to my grave knowing that nobody will remember my name.”

-A young woman from a Ugandan village speaking shortly before her death from AIDS in 1989.

Categories: Life, Personal, Thoughts, University Tags: ,

Universal Beauty

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Hubble

Fragrance Connoisseur

August 30, 2009 2 comments

Givenchy Blue LabelOver the course of the past few weeks and especially the past few days, I have become somewhat of a cologne collector and thus a self proclaimed fragrance connoisseur.  In total, I have purchased a total of seven different fragrances in the course of 15 days or so.  Most of them are the full sized bottles, the 100mL +.  There is a small story behind this that I am all too willing to share.  Given that I am a student and money is always low, I consider this to be one of the greatest triumphs in my shopping career.

About two weeks ago or so, a friend and I were taking a late night drive.  He had wanted to go to a Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up some milk for his mom.  So we went to one near his house, which was open til 12am.  While he went to go grab his milk, I had noticed the cosmetics section of the store was still open and began to browse around the fragrance section.

Only a few seconds after browsing, this very nice woman working at the cosmetics counter asked me if I needed some help.  I asked her if she had any cologne that was priced for under $30 dollars.  She nodded her head and mentioned that she has a whole range of fragrances that are on for 50% off.  She handed me a page with two columns of perfumes and colognes that were on sale.  I asked her why they the prices were cut in half.  She said that her manager had ordered a whole bunch of stuff that he/she shouldn’t have by accident and they simply didn’t have the room to store it.  So they needed to get rid of their excess stock as quickly as they could.

That night, I ended up buying a 125mL bottle of Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue Pour Homme cologne, retailing for just under $90, for $44 dollars and some change.  I was ecstatic that night.  D&G colognes never go on sale.  And to find a mark down of 50% on something as high end as D&G, I tell you, I was the proudest shopper in the entire global market that night.  And it was at that night that my cologne connoisseuring began.

After that day, I went back periodically and bought six more bottles for a total of seven altogether:

D&G Light BlueDolce & Gabbana Light Blue 125mL ($44)

Dolce and Gabbana Pour HommeDolce and Gabanna Pour Homme Classic 125mL ($44)

Givenchy Blue Label Givenchy Blue Label 100 mL ($31)

hugoHugo Boss Hugo 100mL ($28)

polo_explorerRalph Lauren Polo Explorer 40 mL ($19)

fcuk connectFrench Connection UK Connect 100 mL ($19)

Nina Ricci NinaNina Ricci Nina 50mL ($39…for my aunt).

Not bad huh?  My favourite fragrance by far is Givenchy’s Blue Label.  It has this amazing, fresh scent to it. It smells like you just got out of the shower.  I absolutely love it.

I had to buy a going away gift for my aunt and I thought perfume was a nice gift to buy and so I bought her Nina by Nina Ricci.  This is also another scent that is amazing.  Ladies, I highly suggest you buy this fragrance.  It has this sweet fruity scent to it that makes it stand out among the others.  And it’s not one of those corny smells, it’s actually quite an elegant and luxurious fragrance.  The bottle is very unique as well, shaped like an apple.

Nina by Nina RicciI looked up all of these fragrances online, just to get a glimpse of how these scents were advertised and I must say Nina by Nina Ricci by far has the most amazing and creative marketing campaign for its perfume.

If you go to the website, you will discover a fairytale surrounding the perfume.  The Tale of Nina is a short narration about a fairy, Nina, who is on a quest to search for femininity in the form of a perfume.  She finds it in the form of a bottle shaped like an apple hanging off a silver tree in a castle chamber.

They have a whole movie that you can follow along with the story (it takes 30 seconds to get through).  The amount of work that they have put into shaping the whole image and feel of the perfume simply rocks my world.  They have actually created this fantasy world around their fragrance and it actually makes you want to buy it and be part of this fairytale world.  If I were a girl, I would definitely be buying Nina on a regular basis.   This is how marketing is supposed to be.

Go to the site, watch the movie, download the ringtone (which also serves as the soundtrack to the fragrance) and become part of the Nina world.

All in all, I think I scored some pretty good deals with these colognes.  I probably won’t have to buy another bottle of cologne for some time now, which is good.  In the long run, I have saved a lot of money which is never a bad thing.  Hopefully, this will be my last episode of splurge shopping.

P.S Here is the English version of the Nina commercial.  The longer, french version can be found here.  You may recognise the model in this campaign as Ruslana Korshunova, the Kazakhstani model who died at the age of 20 after allegedly comitting suicide by jumping off her ninth-floor appartment building in the financial district of Manhattan.

Chipped Teeth

August 10, 2009 5 comments

Ladies and Gentlemen, I now wear the hallmark of a true Canadian.  Three of my teeth are now severely chipped due to a hockey stick hitting my in the mouth.  I forgot how it exactly happened.  All I remember is seeing a bottom end of a hockey blade with black tape around it heading directly to my mouth.  It hit me and I got stunned and stood there waiting for some sort of sharp horrible pain to hit me.  When that didn’t happen, I waited a few seconds to spit out any teeth that may have gotten loose.  Thank God that didn’t happen either.

What did happen however is that my two front teeth are severly chipped.  A good chunk of the bottom part of both those teeth are gone.  And I have a bottom tooth that has a chip from the back.  Plus my upper lip is cut from two places.  I guess that’s just part of life when you play hockey.

What I didn’t expect to happen after this happened was an odd feeling of depression.  I don’t know what happened to the other pieces of my teeth but I found a large chunk of my chipped tooth on the ball hockey floor.  After I rinsed my mouth out and the bleeding stopped, all of a sudden I began to feel depressed.  I can’t really describe it but it was almost that feeling that a part of me was missing, was gone.

I have heard many cases of people going through this state of depression after having a limb amputated and their accounts were similar.  They articulated a similar feeling that they were missing a part of themselves.  And rightfully so.  I too, would be devastated if God forbid something like that would happen to me.  But this was just a few parts of my teeth missing and almost immediately I began to feel withdrawn from everyone.  And people saw that on my face.  It was clearly evident that I was feeling down.

I remember I was sitting alone by myself for a few minutes while my team finished off their game.  I sat there and I wanted to cry.  I was so depressed.  I’ve been thinking about it today and I for the life of me, I really don’t know why I was feeling like that.  I mean chipped teeth are a common occurrence.  And it’s something that can be fixed very easily (although very costly).  My friends tried to make me feel better but it just didn’t work.

I am feeling a lot better now.  That wave of depression has passed.  Now I am more concerned about if my university med plan is going to cover this.  I really hope it does because I can tell you right now, I can’t afford to get my teeth fixed.  And I NEED to get them fixed.  I have exposed nerve endings and it’s proving to be very difficult to eat and drink.  I guess I’ll have to go to university in the morning and find out how this goes.

Max Richter – Autumn Music 2

Here is another sublime piece of composition by Max Richter to end off the night.

The Red Light by Rene Gruss

I first came across this song sometime in the middle of the night while studying for an exam at university.  I have this little widget on my sidebar that plays classical music on sky radio.  I remember just being absolutely mesmerised by this song.  I wasted a better half of an hour trying to locate this song that night but to no avail.

Finally a few nights ago, I decided to tune into the station once again and this song played again.  So I decided to do a search and I finally found the song.  Since then I’ve been listening to it over and over again.

The description in the youtube box says “Quite possibly the most beautiful piece of composition ever.”  I have little reason to disagree.

Departures

departuresDepartures.  The television show that I am using as one of my many mediums for inspiration for my backpacking trip next year.  Essentially what is is two friends, Scott and Justin who travel all over the world for one whole year.

This show is absolutely amazing.  First off, it’s filmed in high quality HD.  The production of this show is stellar.  The music, the picture quality, the editing is all probably some of the best on Canadian television right now.  But more importantly than that, the concept of the show is superb.  It’s not just a show about two people who go to obscure and beautiful places.  Departures really captures the essence of their friendship in the context of travel.  These two friends, while being around each other almost 24/7, get to share some life changing experiences together.  Scott and Justin were best friends before they embarked on this year long experience. But by virtue of them experiencing these different countries together, their friendship has formed a new bond that very few people in this world ever get to experience.  And you get to view that in the show.

The best part about the show is that it has been able to capture the intrinsic value of their travels.  You literally see Justin and Scott appreciate this world and come to these amazing realisations about where they are at that particular point in time.  Literally, their eyes and their minds open and expand right before your eyes.  That is probably the best part of the show in my opinion.

On their one year long journey they travelled to Jordan, India, Ascension Island, Japan, Cook Islands, New Zeland, Thailand, Cambodia, and rediscovered their very own Canada from ocean to ocean to ocean.  The travel bug has bit these two friends pretty hard because season two of this show is set to air on January 25, 2010 where they will have travelled to Morroco, Lybia, Brazil, Cuba, Mongolia, Iceland, Zambia, Madagascar, Chile and Antarctica.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Every time I watch this show it gives me drive and motivation to make this trip a reality.  I realize that I too can experince with my friends what these two are experiencing on this television show.

The website for the show is here and their youtube channel is here.

My heart calls out for Southeast Asia.  All I need is a bit of patience and discipline.