September 2010


So in the news today there was a release about changes to the homework allocation system in our Catholic school board. Apparently teachers are now capped as to how much homework they can give students and are not permitted to assign any on long weekends or during holiday breaks. A maximum of an hour a night for junior high kids when I can probably guarantee you a large proportion of those kids spend more than an hour outside of school hours on Facebook, watching TV or doing other mindless crap. I think that is utterly retarded, what are you preparing a kid for by doing that? Sorry to say but Catholic kids aren’t going make it through university with that kind of “preparation”, I can only imagine them trying to juggle the reading alone in up to 5 classes a semester.

Good job, way to lead the future generation down a path of ill-preparedness.

Something dawned on me last night — I have not read nearly enough since I have finished school. At first it was a nice break from the endless readings, I thought watching documentaries would be a nice change so in one weekend I watched all of the available documentaries on Shaw on Demand plus a few randoms I found online. Watching the documentaries however only made me want to read more about to the topics discussed. Apparently my mind is never quite satisfied, and thus I went to the book store today and picked out some selections I thought might be interesting to read. Further to that, I thought it might be an idea to start reviewing — more so reflecting on — what I read for all the e-world to read. Hopefully these new finds will suffice and occupy my mind just enough.

Be looking for my upcoming “reviews” on the classic Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Francis Bacon’s Of Empire and a recent New York Times Bestseller Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell.

Why did I choose these specific books? Well, throughout university I always had profs reference Sun Tzu but I never actually read his entire piece, so what better time. In first year history I read Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, which I enjoyed, so I figured why not read something else by him and Breaking the Spell addresses religion as a phenomenon which just sounds interesting to me.

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.

More sweet tunes:
Brand New –  Gasoline
Guillemots – Sea Out
The Arkells – No Champagne Socialist
Bullet for my Valentine – Bittersweet Memories
Bayside – Don’t Call me Peanut

des – ti – ny
/ dĕs’tə-nē, dɛstɪnɪ /
noun

1. the inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person or thing is destined
2. a predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control

As much as I am a believer of living in the now and enjoying what you have in the moment it is undeniably difficult to avoid thoughts of the future. So many things that have happened in my life push me reflect on, not only the past, but also what the past has to do with my future.

The ways in which we react to situations drives us down the path that is our life, always being redirected when new decisions are made. Sometimes life can even seem like some sort of experiment where your soul is the constant being introduced to ever-changing variables waiting to see what happens next. This however doesn’t always feel like the case to me, and lately I keep reflecting on the concept of destiny. Do our spirits already have some sort of predetermined destination, be it a place or person whose spirit you are uncontrollably tied to? So what happens if destiny is the ultimate director of your life and your entire existence is spent letting destiny take you where you are meant to be and to those who you are meant to see, do you always make it?

I do question myself and the logic I use to explain most of these thoughts however this concept is something that I just keep coming back to.  I have talked a lot about expectations and how they more often than not end up being detrimental and set you up for disappointment. I even got my latest tattoo to document, if you will, this time in my life where expectations that had been built up over a long period of time have done nothing but screw with me and leave me unprepared for reality. The idea of destiny taking this understanding of expectations into consideration almost provides a sense of comfort where I have realized that planning ahead and creating expectations for my future is redundant because “destiny” has a plan for me. But then I think the concept of leaving destiny to play everything out right for you also sort of goes back to having expectations of a future that eventually makes sense because there is some sort of spiritual element taking care of things.

What gives?!

I am so full of anxiety thinking about these things over and over, I don’t know how to shut my mind off. I want so much to understand and have some clarity in regards to various elements in my life but then I wonder if life is ever meant to be translucent?

If only there really were a book that gave you all the answers. For now I suppose I shall follow my gut. It’s just so crazy how uncontrollable physical feelings can be – the mind is far more controllable, who hasn’t talked themselves into or out of something at least once in their lives? Talking yourself out of a stomach ache or an all over queasy feeling on the other hand not so easy, is it?

New music to scope:
Fake Problems – Done with Fun
Fake Problems – Songs for Teenagers
Parson Redheads – Punctual as Always
Broken Bells – The Ghost Inside
Mayday Parade – Kids in Love
The Arkells – John Lennon
Gaslight Anthem – Film Noir

For those of you who follow my day to day life (which probably isn’t many) you will already know that I spent some time in Los Angeles this and last week  for a mini getaway and birthday present to myself. My favorite part about this trip was the fact that I not only got to see a friend I met in Costa Rica last year, whom I haven’t seen in a year, but also just the fact that I wasn’t going to be staying there as a “tourist”.

I had a brief stint in LA when I took a road trip through the states to Las Vegas and Disney in 2008 but all we really saw were the shit places you see on a tour: the Hollywood sign, the stars, Universal Studios and all related bullshit. To be honest, my time there 2 years ago left me with the thought of never wanting to go back to that hole. Luckily for me because I happened to have a friend living there I decided to give the place another shot and lo and behold places can actually turn out being more enjoyable when you don’t spent your time in tourist traps and with a bunch of foreigners snapping pictures of useless shit! (man I  said shit a lot)

When most think of LA they think of celebrities and the glamorous lifestyle, they think of what they see in the movies and on The Hills, but in all honesty all that hype really isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Spending my time there I got to know locals, hang out in local spots and actually really enjoy my time and understand what most people living their day to day lives in the area are about. It is quite tragic that people get caught up in all the hoopla and stupid celebrity craze, the LA you get fed images of through the media is overrated and not worth anyone’s time in my opinion and sadly the LA I got to experience is very underrated.

I did fall victim to some of the craze in the sense  that I was expecting a rocking local music scene, mainly on Sunset in West Hollywood, with a picture painted of great musicians and great venues every night, but that didn’t pan out to be everything I had envisioned. The situation worked itself out when I found a hole in the wall bar with some sweet acts a few nights later however, reinforcing the fact that all the pictures people paint aren’t actually going to be the same when you find them. It really pushes me to ponder why people decide to travel when they don’t want to venture anywhere the heart of where they are visiting.

When I had first heard my friend no longer lived in Venice where all the surfer dudes hang and trendy people dwell, I was again sort of disappointed especially when she continued to tell me she moved to the hood — Inglewood; another incident reinforcing why you must personally experience somewhere, something (etc.) before you become trapped by the ideas others have painted in your head. Staying in Inglewood was actually really interesting and a great experience: the area was cleaner, quieter and really had nothing wrong with it although I stuck out like a sore thumb, it was a good place to be.

My conclusions made from my time in LA are the following:
– the people that live in the “hood” have more respect for their surroundings
– driving on the 405 isn’t my idea of a good time
– celebrities aren’t on every street corner and if they are I didn’t notice
– most of the people I met weren’t into becoming famous they were about enjoying life, smoking pot and being good people
– hippies are still alive and well
– convenience is lacking
– pot is extremely socially acceptable
– Hollywood needs a face lift, and some garbage pickup
– the sun is not always shining
– giant Patron margaritas are delicous
– people commute significant distances

Malibu

Being a women, it is sort of a given that I have picked up a women’s magazine on occasion for some light reading, mind you more so when I was younger than now. Considering the only magazines I have really read in the last few years have been either Maclean’s, the Walrus or Adbusters, it doesn’t surprise me that after spotting a copy of September’s Complete Woman sitting on my table I felt intrigued to take a peek.

What a mistake that was.

Flipping through the piece of junk magazine that apparently has a $5.99 cost attached to it I couldn’t get my head around why anyone would actually pay that much for something so shitty. It’s one thing to have a ton of fluff articles that have been recycled and re-worded for years, but it’s another to have generally crappy pictures, a terribly schizophrenic layout and more advertisements than content. The best part about the advertisements is that they aren’t even for the usual things like Maybelline or Secret deodorant, they are for 1-800 numbers to meet singles, phony psychics, lip plumping machines and all sorts of strange shit. I kid you not, if I didn’t know any better I would think the magazine was just a farce.

For a little insight to how crucial the information in this magazine must be for women everywhere let me share some of the charming article titles with you:

How to Change Someone you Care About
All the best tips on how to mind fuck people in your life and pressure them to be the people you want them to be, including best friends, boyfriends and family. Yeah that sounds nice, are you sure you actually care about these people considering you don’t seem to like anything about them and think they need to change their ways to better accommodate your preferences? Just a lovely read.

10 Ways to Charm Anyone (& get what you want)
The quality of articles doesn’t stop here! Read up on how to fake your way through life and make people think you are who they want you to be and then get what you want from them and peace out! Great things to encourage, just great.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker make me a match (and a fortune)
All about how to attract and reel in rich men on the dating market — essentially all women need to know these basic skills, right?

One of the most golden of all the articles found within this edition was one on cheating significant others. I have seen my share of these type of articles during my Cosmo reading days, but this was really one in its own. Part of the article actually discourages women from breaking up with men who cheat saying that you will eventually get over it, so your misery isn’t forever, thus maybe your relationship won’t be forever doomed. Despite the fact that trust isn’t exactly there after he cheats, forgiveness is key (uhhh I thought trust was the keyest of all??). Another part of this phenomenal read, which I sure hope women everywhere take into consideration (not) are the tips on how to spy on your boyfriend and snoop through his things without getting caught. Why the piss don’t you man up and talk to your boyfriend about the situation if you think something is up? I don’t really think going through his emails and knowing how to mark them unread after you snooped or remembering to take a note of how everything was placed in his drawers before you riffled through them are really good bits of info. If I had a significant other that psycho snooping through my crap I’d probably be cheating too or on the verge of contemplating it at the very least. I feel like I will waste half a day if I keep going into what was wrong with just this one article, but remember, if your man starts going to the gym after a hiatus he’s not going to get healthy he’s going so he can look good for other women — the magazine told me so.

I am not sure what gets me frustrated more the fact that people find it useful to print garbage like this or the fact that people actually buy it? I am scared to know what type of women actually read this stuff and how many of them take is seriously. Wouldn’t be a neat concept to fill your mind with legitimately useful or half interesting information for a change? No wonder a good number of women over analyze everything, we’re bad enough at over thinking things out with our girlfriends over drinks on Friday nights but with encouragement from magazines like this I can only imagine what some of you are like.

Do men’s magazines have this much crap? Or 3 different sections of horoscopes? Save your $5.99 and read a newspaper at least!

I'm pretty sure I saw a male sex toy that resembled this once....

I have been thinking about legit starting to “share my ideas” on a regular basis through this great medium of communication we call the internet. When I say legit I mean regular, like I already mentioned, and well thought out thoughts pertaining to specific topics. I don’t think my blogging is really that bad however I think it could be better.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how I can amalgamate my current WordPress blog, Youtube and Twitter? I do have blog entries posted to Twitter but I want to somehow incorporate video blogs as well — I have a lot of things to say and I think some of my thoughts are half interesting and what better way to spread my knowledge and ideas while gaining feedback?

I am going to take advantage of the communication craze! Suggestions are welcomed and encouraged!!

So the best month of the year is here! Who doesn’t love the colours of fall or the fact that September is just awesome?

I may be a little biased considering my birthday is in September but none the less I really do love this time of year. As a kid I was such a dork back to school was the best. Every September would bring new clothes, reunions with friends and an end to boredom — believe it or not over the summers I used to become very bored and couldn’t wait to get back into the academic groove.

This September is a surreal one for me though, the first September in 16 years that I will not be going back to school and the routine I have been accustomed to for so long is a thing of the past. So far though, this month has been shaping up to be a great one despite the fact that it is a strange time.

I had been planning a fundraiser through work for the Red Cross Pakistan flood relief efforts and it finally took place on Friday and went off with a bang. It felt so good to enjoy my days at work during the planning process because I was actually doing something in my realm of interest despite the fact that I was still just at the bank. We raised over $700 in loose change and small donations in one day and my efforts were actually recognized by the VP who came to our branch to check out the fundraiser and personally commend me. The assistant to the VP also invited me to join a charitable planning committee she heads and, as I have mentioned not fully enjoying the job I am currently in, getting this type of recognition helps and is crucial to my professional resume. I am really proud of what I have accomplished in the last little while and I am beginning to feel less disappointed with my career developments as I know that my capabilities are no longer going un-noticed. Time really is of the essence.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to spend more quality time with friends as almost everyone I know is finally done school and we are all starting to get our lives in check. Before the crappy rain on Saturday Jess and I spent a nice day hopping around Kensington, we have some really nice boutiques I never thought to explore until Saturday. Ixchel met up with us when she got off work and we checked out a really neat new pub called the Bottlehouse Beer Parlour which sort of borrows the 1410/1600 concept of different non conventional beers but this specific place specializes in Canadian beers and sustainable food selection it was really rad. I have become really interested in the 100 mile challenge type restaurants and to see it in a pub setting was neat.

The month has barely begun and I don’t want to see it end, it is only going to get better and I can’t wait! Thursday I am going to see Gaslight Anthem, on the 16th I am having a birthday dinner with my closest gal pals, the 17th I fly out at noon for LA to visit Danah and spend my birthday celebrating on the west coast and when I get home on the 30th I get to go see the Beach Boys!!

Happy September to all and happy birthday to me!