Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Amendment

In the spirit of the season, and rejecting the spirit of materialism, I propose the following amendment. Gifts may be exchanged if they fall under the following guidelines.

I will not be offended if I don't receive any gifts. 

Presents can be homemade.

Gifts can be bought second hand, as long as I will not be offended if they get re-donated.

I can purchase gifts that are locally made/grown. For example, items from the farmer's market or craft fair.

Presents can be something that you know the person really needs or wants (for example, socks).

Let's appreciate this Christmas season together! 
My sister wrote this up two months ago on a scrap sheet of paper. At first it was just an idea, but each of my immediate family plus my sibling's room mate plus my boyfriend signed it. It's only binding to those who enter the agreement. It might sound a little Scrooge-like, but it makes you re-evaluate the whole Christmas thing. 

What do you hope to get out of celebrating Christmas.

With times a bit tighter, out of  our family of  seven, plus the two extras, only two of my younger siblings are regularly employed. My Dad and brothers are waiting to sell a house. The room mate generally doesn't work and my boyfriend and I are both full-time students.

That's not really why this amendment has made us rethink the season, though. We don't need just more stuff. We don't need to just purchase to fill expectations. There has been some incredibly creativity, and a little bit of socially conscious purchasing going on in this household this season. I still have a few friends I shopped for more traditionally... But this Christmas is going to be a little simpler and, in some ways, a little more meaningful.

I absolutely love this time of year! 
However you celebrate, I hope it's an excellent holiday for you! 
Merry Christmas

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ladies Wear a Little Lipstick

I am a girl of very little make-up. Always have been, I don't imagine that will change. For the most part I think it's a construction of society aimed towards artificial impressions of expectation on females and surface beauty. I also think it causes a level of consumption that is both expensive and extremely harmful to the environment. Now that I've ranted that out I will admit that I have a tube of mascara and some make-up left behind by my favourite cousin when she was my room mate. I wear them sometimes when I want to feel particularly girly. Boys I've dated have always said (if I asked) that they prefer me without make-up, and I'm fairly confident they meant it. Works out well for me.

This weekend I went to visit my Grandma. She thinks it important, to this day, to put a little time into her looks. She looked at my face full of natural beauty and asked, "Do you ever wear any make-up?"

"Oh, once in a while. Not much. I'm not at the moment."

"I can tell." Gee, thanks Gram. "You should really wear some lipstick once in a while, you know. Do you ever wear lipstick?"

"No. I haven't got any."

With that my Grandma dragged my off to the washroom and opened her basket, the one that always fascinated me when I was but a child. She handed me a light pink shade. Once she'd admired that she told me I could wipe it off and try another. After trying five shades she decided I should have one, and narrowed it down to a deep shade, subtle if applied lightly.

"And now let's powder your nose."

She's from a different era, my Grandma. One that delights in lipstick and stockings. Girls that remember the rationing of the war, the hippis of the '60s, and the silly acid washed denim age that I was born into. They did the twist and they prayed in school. They were teachers, nurses, secretaries and housewives.

They faced it all with a tube of lipstick. Looking good, working hard, and caring for the men they loved.

I'm not a lipstick girl. I'm not even a mascara girl. I'm sure the woman from my decade will never give up on this messy, clumpy black paste. Maybe they'll demand that they're liberalized granddaughters paint their eyelashes black. (I speak for Canadians. If you're from too far south feel free to continue with your lip liner and non-matching colour)

Somehow I having a tube of lipstick in my pocket and a bit of colour on my lips made me feel like a lady. I don't think I'll ever signify glamour but maybe, once in a while, I'll tuck it in my bag for an evening out.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Better Late Than Never?

I realize the time for post-Halloween posts is almost a week past. 
Still, I saw a another, but similar, costume post and thought, what the heck. 
I mean, it took enough time to put together, right?
Who am I?

I told my guy that he better appreciate it since 
this is the only year I'll be a geek-themed character.
If you need another hint scroll on down.

Several good nights were had by all. 
Bowling, Barn dance, Karaoke...
I think Halloween is the only good chance we get 
as "adults" to wear a costume (in public).
Oh, and eat candy unabashedly.
What's not to like?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Broken Pieces

I think of you like yesterday,
a smile on your face.
An array of broken pieces
all but dappled shades of gray.

I think of you as everything.
Deception that was chance.
The thought of what we used to be.
Fading error, trip and dance.

I think of us as nothing,
just the stories that we told.
The passion of a summer's morn.
Open water, flakes of gold.

I ponder.  Pensive.  Carefully,
a thought I should forget.
The heavy rest of midnights past
a glimpse I should regret.

For tightly tangled, hidden now.
Leather boots, my thoughts, this kiss.
The comfort of an autumn day.
So much I must dismiss.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Don't Shop at Walmart

I'm Loving it...?
It was when I was traveling with my sister that I first really started to notice an inconsistency with myself.  I truly believe in things that I don't necessarily live out.  An example at the time was McDonald's.  I'm not a fan to begin with.  At all, actually.  I'm also not entirely supportive of globalization and I think McDonald's (or, to a greater extent, KFC) is a perfect representation of all that is negative with the concept.  Still, there were a couple unfortunate times where we found ourselves with hours to waste before taking a bus/flight/taxi/ect but no hostel and we would park our over-sized backpacks on a tiled McDonald's floor and eat ninety cent sundaes that usually differentiated a little bit from one you'd buy in Detroit.

That's right. I am guilty of supporting McDonald's (but never KFC's) proliferation in third world countries.  I always felt guilty about it.  I don't even ever eat McDonald's here at home.

About a year ago I was talking to some friends and the subject of Walmart came up.  Yup, as you would imagine I don't think they're all that great either.  Now, I do realize that Walmart is not all that is evil and wrong with the world.  The just happen to be the biggest example.  My sister, who just returned from local clinic midwifery work in the slums of Manila says that shopping, especially in Walmart type institutions just feels gross.

So one of my friends said, "I don't shop there (Walmart), I just don't.  I think they do a lot of harm to small business and ethical practices.  Sometimes it's tempting to run in and scoop up the cheap 'natural' peanut butter but, you know what?  It's not worth it."

I was all, "Yeah, Allie!  Good for you.  I'm really supportive of that.  I should really do that..."  All the while feeling some nagging guilt that, even though I don't believe that supporting Walmart is a good thing I do it wholeheartedly anyway.

Before I turned twenty-five I decided to quit Walmart for at least a year.  There is no Walmart in my hometown so I figured it wouldn't be hard to avoid that six times a year that I would normally shop there.  That was before I knew I was moving to a small city with a central Walmart for my school year.  I went in there once with a friend.  The price drop signs beckoned me, but I'm extremely happy with my abstinence.  At least I don't have to feel guilty with my fifteen dollar jeans or swear at them when the zippers break after a month.

Maybe eventually I'll put even more effort into eating locally.  I'll drive less, pray more, stop procrastinating, go to bed on time...  Until then I'll just blame Walmart.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Worth Having

Come Autumn I need change... and things. 

It's been a summer full of fun, confusion and living like I was free.  It was rope swings and barbeques.  Rock climbing and iced coffee.  It was boys and camping and a star spread sky.  To much rain and not enough lightening.  Best friends and family, the two of those combined.  Long talks, happiness and the world beneath my motorbike.  It was mistakes for all of us, decisions among us and more good relationships than I could possibly have hoped.

It was a summer worth having.

And now I'm here.  In a big empty beige house with no furniture.  And in classrooms discussing Philosophy, Psychology and knowing I'll be struggling through homework.  Learning how to write creatively.  Because I've never dabbled in that before.  Thinking about taking on more freelance journalism through this all.  With a blue-eyed boy I care for.  In a city I've always thought was unattractive discovering hidden places where beauty exists.

Feeling seventeen sitting on the back step drinking lemonade out of mugs because we don't have chairs or glasses.  Holding hands, smiling lots.  Opening crisp new school supplies and learning my way around.

It's more change than I could possibly hope for.  It should be a fall worth having.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Exciting Stuff. Unexciting Presentation.

I've seen a few of these around these days.  These brief and simple updates to let you know what's going on in everyone's lives.  Let's blame summer, shall we?

It's the depressing irony of blogging:  when things actually happen you don't write.  Anyway, I'm going to  list.  I am sorry.

1. I am 25.  I know that's a big number but I'm completely unfazed.  Weird, I know.  23-24 seemed a much bigger jump to me.  I'm not particularly accomplished for a 25 year old but I'm exactly alright with where I'm at.  It's been a while since I was this fine with getting older.

2. I'm going back to school!  I know, about time, right?  Quitting my job and getting heading to university...  Probably.  Stay tuned.

3.  I just got back from a road trip to Alberta.  It's was awesome.  I'm always excited to spend a little bonding time with my brothers.  I'm also learning to rock climb.  'Cause I'm hardcore like that.  And also I have to much money to throw away on gear...  Apparently.  Yeah right.

4.  I'm going to camp!  To counsel.  14-17 year olds.  The easy age group, don't you think?  Out trips and all.  Yup.  101, you are going down!

That's all for now.  In short I am ridiculously excited about life!  I have to go camping now and I will be away sailing next weekend.  I will update you in the future, though.  I might even write properly once in a while.  Cheers!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Wrapped in Fleece

I'm lying on the floor. On the edge of the carpet. Wrapped in fleece. Trying to sleep. Except that I'm really actually looking at the footprints in the dust on the hardwood that blew through the open window. That I'm really listening to "Bookends" without really listening at all. Because acoustic guitar is just part of the background. Because that's just where I'm from.

And I'm writing this down on the space that's my mind. And aware of my breath and the things that unwind. Listening to "Blue Jean Blues" without really listening. Because that's just the way I am.

Needing this place. Some time just to breathe. A break from the best and a place for my dreams. Listening to "Old Love" without really listening. Because that's just where I'm at. Needing to be alone, wrapped in fleece and trying to sleep.

Wishing you were here.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

In My Blood

I'd like to start by saying that I grew up on motorbikes.  I'd like to, but I can't.  Still, I think it's somehow in my genes.  My parents fell in love on a motorcycle.  Riding out to band practice.  Taking of their helmets to kiss on that first date when they were younger than my now-youngest sibling.

By time I came along motorcycles were traded for a brown Toyota with car seats in the back and an ancient pick-up to go with a budding construction business.  Five kids later these eventually turned into a stubborn minivan and "Big Red," (hint: not a bike.)

I always knew, regardless, that my parents both held class 6 driver's licenses.  At ten I had my first ride when my Dad's oldest friend brought around his cruiser.  I don't remember what it was but I remember the thrill and the wind on my arms.  I clung tight as we accelerated.  I didn't know about counter-steering and had it explained to me after trying consistently to upright on corners.

Once a biker always in your blood, so I've been told.  Once you start you'll never really stop.  When I was fourteen my parents bought a little orange Yamaha Enduro 100 from roughly the stone-age, aka the 1970s.  That's what I learned to drive up and down our lane.  With a throttle in your fist and no license in your pocket 100ccs feels like a lot of power.  20MPH feels like a lot of speed.  An old gold helmet from your parent's dating days feels pretty cool.  And it starts to get in your blood.

At sixteen I drove it on Mexican highways to neighboring villages for an internet fix.  The smell of tortillas and the muggy wind on my face was nothing but pure independence.  I wanted more.  My little brother drives it around mountain roads with his friends now.

I moved out and my parent's young family grew up enough to justify getting rid of the minivan.  They bought a Honda 400.  This time only from the Dark Ages.  AKA, the early 1980s.  It looked like this only until my oldest brother turned his mad airbrushing skills its way.  I made it past the first two steps of licensing and then life got in the way.  I still hoped for the wind on my face and a ride down the lake but my lifetime commitment of achieving my own class 6 was still out of reach.

My middle brother fixed up a Honda 400 dual sport from the same era and would take me burning around mountain trails and rock outcroppings.  I learned to manage the kick start and I'd take it out on my own.  My cousin let me take a   less-than-legal spin on his 600 crotch rocket.  It was only a matter of time.  My license requirements finally fit themselves in last year.

Here's what I'm driving these days.  Yamaha Seca 550.  Check off item 24.  Apparently we have a thing for old-school bikes.  Yes, it's also from the dark ages.  But it's still a whole lotta fun.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Try

She was from Stats Canada ("Or elections B.C.   Or something like that...").  My sister was pretty much her choice demographic.

"Did you vote in the last election?"
"Errr.  I was out of the country."
"So you didn't vote?"
"Uh...  No."
"You weren't aware of alternative voting options?
"There are alternative voting options?"
"Alright, thank-you.  How did you hear about last election?"
"And your primary source of information?"
"Ummm, Facebook."
"Did you receive your Elections Canada voter's card?"
"...My parents might have..."
"How did you know you're registered to vote?"
"I'm registered to vote?"
"So, have you ever voted in a national or regional election?"
"Umm...  I don't know.  I don't remember.  I don't think so?"

They say change should start at home.  I try.  Really, I do.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I am Canadian. I am Embarrassed.

Alright, so we lost.

That doesn't even really matter right now. I admit that I never invested very heavy emotion into this series. Regardless, any disappointment in the loss is severely overshadowed by disgust in what followed in Vancouver last night.

I turned off the t.v. And went for a walk with a friend. I'm glad to say that every fan I know, personally, handled themselves with decorum, even congratulating Boston. Unfortunately, the gathered "fans" in Vancouver's streets had other ideas.

I'm embarrassed for Vancouver. They're going to have reason to wake up hungover and embarrassed for themselves. It's a beautiful city. I know that what I say won't have any neutralizing affect on international headlines but I want to say that the vast majority of us are appalled, anyway.

Maybe Canada needs to learn what it is to have something worth rioting about. Because apparently some of us think our tax dollars and reputation are worth burning away with RCMP cruisers and frustration of a lost hockey game.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Scratch That

I kind of forgot what blogging is about.  Actually, scratch that.  I never really knew what blogging is all about.  Quite honestly, I've always been confused there.  I know I don't blog strictly for myself.  I certainly don't blog for financial gain.  What is it that's so fulfilling about posting my ramblings on the internet?

Regardless, I still managed to somehow forget.  And, I suppose, sometimes a breather is needed.  I have no intention of actually going away.  I've been dreadfully sick with a tonsil infection but it's just now starting to clear up.  I still like mutual-like guy, and it's still mutual.  However, we just recently decided to just be friends for the moment.  Mostly due to my reservations.  It's kind of sad but also remarkably relieving and I'm happy with the decision.  In an ironic twist he gained a lot of additional respect by concluding that I needed to be confident with my decision and either jump in or step back.

Today it's raining and I have on my rainy-day mood.  All of a sudden I refuse to be carefree and I need to question everything.  Here I am.  Maybe that's what my blogging is about.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

That's Me, Alright

Shayla: Oh, I love Taylor Swift.
Kris: I like Taylor Swift far to much for a self-respecting twenty-four year old who doesn't like country.
Shayla: I love country music.  You don't like country?
Kris: Nope.
Shayla: What do you like to listen to, then?
Kris:  Ummm, I listen to a lot of different stuff.  Mostly like....
Shayla (interrupting): Hip hop?
Kris: Errr, no, more like....  Wait.  Hip hop?   Do I strike you as someone who listens to hip hop?
Shayla: Yeah.  Or, you know, something you can groove out to.

Apparently I come across as a pretty groovy person.

Monday, May 02, 2011


This post will not be long. It will not have photos, it will not rhyme, and my wording will not be impeccable. I will not be telling you to vote (my ballot was cast advance) or commenting on certain political developments. This is the first full blog post I am composing via iPad, but my reasons are good.

I am in Prince George, en route in a two week back-country hard-camping road trip to the Yukon. Last night we slept under Jasper stars and watched a hint of northern lights streaking the sky.

I recently turned down a job promotion, met a boy I share a lot of mutual like with, found a room mate with a thirst for adventure and a long history of learning to appreciate each other (we're succeeding). Pre-wrote half a month of paid posts and put my car on the road after biking for a month.

It's nice to have an open road, a full tank of gas and two of the coolest brothers you can imagine to share this with. This is here.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bloggerstock: Photo Inspired

I'm so pleased, this month, to be hosting K. Syrah!  I don't read many social commentary blogs (they're a little too biased for me), but K. has one I've been gladly following for a long time, now.  Be sure to check it out.  I'm certain her bit of writing from our photo inspired topic (how cool is that) will make you want to visit.  Now, on to the post.

I’m K. Syrah, I blog at Shoes Never Worn, and this is a story about a Dad and his little girl. 
            He watched her grow up, in tiny shoes, and tiny socks, with floral dresses and mismatched little caps on golden curls. He remembered tying her hair up into little pigtails, combing the ringlets and ticking her under her arms until she squealed and giggled with delight.
            He lifted her up, propping her on his shoulders when the Christmas parade came into town, just so she could see over the heads of the on-lookers. Her little gently hands wrapped around his forehead as she laughed she pointed and gawked at the fat man in red, with his wavy white beard.
            Then came the day when she didn’t need him to do her hair, to tie her shoes, or to put a little bow in her sundress.
            She stopped reaching for his hand, and she crossed the road on her own. First looking over her shoulder to see if it was okay, then later, looking straight ahead, because she knew it was okay.
            Her little hands were swinging freely at her side, and he watched her grow up tall until the day came that all fathers dread; the day their little girl thrusts her hip to the side, with a stubborn hand on her belt loop, looks at him with defiant eyes.
            “As long as you live under this roof, young lady, you’ll obey our rules!”
            Then, she wasn’t under his roof anymore and she drifted even further; across the country, to a college dorm room. She’s talking to boys, saying, doing and acting like she can cross the road without him over her shoulder.
            But she’s just a kid, in tiny shoes, and golden curls.

You can check out my post at co-founder Alex Weisman's blog!  And, of course, you can sign up to participate in the next Bloggerstock through the home site.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If You're Canadian

I was up 'till 2:30 last night watching the National Leaders English Debate (as any of you who follow me on Twitter know full well...).  If you're American you might want to skip this post.  Because, you know, it's international politics so it really doesn't matter.

In case you don't have over two hours to watch the debate's entirety here are the general impressions.  If you're Canadian, though, I do recommend viewing it.  And then voting.  Because you live in a democratic country and you better appreciate that.  Just watch a news clip on Libyan rebels for a little perspective.

The Bloc Quebecois: Duceppe treated this debate exactly as one should expect of a Blog Quebecois leader.  Quite frankly, it got boring.  He referred, at least twice, to Quebec as a nation.  None of the other leaders were stupid enough to point out that he was  sorely mistaken.  The poor guy is a little misinformed.  Not in good taste for a party leader.  I, however, am an unpaid semi-anon blogger with no influence in Quebec so I don't mind saying that, in actuality, provincial referendums have defeated sovereignty  twice.  Grow up, suck it up, and learn to contribute to the actual country you help govern.

I'm not anti-Quebec.  I've lived there and I have struggled to try and form some degree of pride in our dual-heritage.  My redneck friends aren't helping and neither are the separatists.  It's extremists that make me want to swear off French.  A shame and something that's not going to do Canada a bit of good.

Oh, and taking a question about immigration and using it to yell at Layton about bill 101?  Not classy.  In the end I just want to laugh at Duceppe's obvious agitation, singular agenda and pronunciation of "ghetto," (geeto) and "ship."  I'm sure he's owning in today's French language debate.

The New Democratic Party:  Jack Layton was clearly upset at references throughout the debate to the fact that the next government will be either Liberal or Conservative (even if, more then likely, a minority).  I can understand that it gets frustrating being the head of a party that never even gets the title of official opposition.  However, Layton needs to realize his party is unproven.  His flippant idealism has to be accepted because it's never been tried nationally.  Somehow he managed to avoid straight-up saying that the NDP really isn't all that concerned about the deficit or tax cuts.  The NDP wants to promise ready medicare solutions, open immigration policies and an environmental agenda.

Layton also went out of his way to slam the Liberal leader for supporting certain initiatives brought through by the Conservatives.  Look.  Nothing wrong with that.  If it's something they can support then, for crying out loud, support it.

NDP's economics freak me out.  Jack Layton will appeal to the buy-now pay-laters.  People without foresight.  In short, the NDP will win a few seats thanks to socialist votes.  I think high-spending socialism is something Canada has taken to far already.  Layton, however, is also the most engaging of the four leaders.  The one that I can most easily imagine buying his grandkids ice cream.  He was well spoken, at least.

The Liberal Party:  This is where the politics gets serious.  We're down to the two top parties in Canada's history and the Liberals want their lead back.

There is really no argument that the three participating opposition leaders pounded away on Steven Harper throughout.  Ignattief contributed his share in attempting to paint the Conservative party as one full of scandal.  Expected, I suppose, given the historic coalition and the contempt of parliament against the current minority.

The Liberal leader did, however, bring some valid points to the table.  He is fairly adamant that something must be done to remedy Canada's falling reputation on the international stage.  He was the only leader who pointed out that an American justice system doesn't work.  He was also the main voice for initiative in healthcare that begins with education and Canadian effort.

Ignattief readily stated that he's fond of the idea of raising corporate taxes.  He figures this will fund extensive moves in post-secondary education, in child-care, in green initiative and in international policiy...  For a start.  Certainly strong promises.

The Conservative Party:  Harper certainly took attack after attack in this debate.  Not surprising.  He has been governing the country for five years so everything can be blamed on him.  Opposition mostly had to do with a lack of releasing certain financial reports, a plan to buy fighter jets and the traditional conservative tendency to avoid international spending and meeting environmental targets.

Harper was steadfast and brought replies to the table that focussed on his party's commitment to easing the deficit and lowering taxes in a bid to improve the economy.  In my opinion Harper was the only leader who willingly laid out strong economical intent.  He also stated several times that we're in the throes of an election "that Canadians didn't want."  He's actually being ballsy enough to say he wants a majority so he can get things done.

Harper may hurt himself with an endless focus on tax cuts.  What do Canadians really want?  He's refusing to make promises in regards to the international stage and the environment.  Healthcare is a major debate that I did not hear any definite conclusion to from Harper.  Medical coverage is something embraced by all Canadians that is not going anywhere.

Harper doesn't have all the answers.  He certainly doesn't have all the election promises.  But if they country wants a stodgy follow-through on solid economic effort he may be in the right place.

I don't actually like politics.  They will not be making a regular appearance on my blog.  I will, however, be voting.  If you're Canadian then I expect that you will be too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Debt: A Crisis I Can't Make Sense Of.

There are several many things in life, in our society, that I don't even pretend to understand.  Our disrespect for our elders.  Our tendency to be workaholics.  Our willingness to cheapen so many experiences.  Our fear of death.  Even the ones I engage in I don't understand.

But this post is about debt.  I just don't get it.  We're a society driven by the stuff.  When I Google "Average debt in the Canadian household," the front page is full of articles on how Canada's average debt surpassed $100,000 this February.  One.  Hundred.  Thousand.  Dollars.  On average!  Americans are in even worse shape.

Why are we okay with this?

Back in the day if you wanted more land you went out and grew some wheat and if your crop succeeded you expanded.  If you didn't have a crop and you needed a new jacket you went out and harvested someone else's until you got paid and then you bought what you needed.  I'm sorry, but doesn't that make sense?

The worst part is we're not even over our heads in order to put food on our tables.  We're buying homes that are significantly larger then they were just a decade ago.  We're charging brand-new clothes and restaurant meals on credit cards that have interest rates to the tune of 20%.  Twenty.  Percent.  Is that annoying?  I can quit spelling it out like that.

I don't mean to be down on anyone who lost their job because of the downturn and can't find other work.  Or any American with unexpected medical expenses.  Or the single Mom, or someone reeling from a nasty divorce.  Or the student who got in over their head.  But where do we draw the line?

Some debt makes sense.  A mortgage on a basic home, for example (take into consideration, first, housing prices).  Also certain small business loans.  Let me put a disclaimer here:  I am not a gambler by nature and I will never treat my finances like I am.  Low risk, low reward.

I'm also not an economics expert.  I almost definitely make less money then you.  I don't fully understand credit scores or RRSPs.  I do have the advantage of not having to pay for a degree at a prestigious school.  I live in a small home with a room mate.  I drive a car from 1998 that I work on myself and sometimes I buy clothes from a thrift store.

But I live very comfortably.  Admittedly, I don't have children and I live in a low-cost part of the country (read: rural).  I prioritize.  I get a thrill out of saving.  I also travel extensively, but cheaply.  I choose to go through periods without steady employment.  I volunteer.  I market farm.

I know, I have the luxury.  I live in a prosperous society.  But I could live for years on what my fellow countrymen owe, on average.

I work and then I buy the things I want.

Doesn't that make sense?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011

If Evil Lady is the Look You're Going for...

We all know someone who thinks they're rocking this hairstyle right now.  Yup, I'm talking about the two-tone-blonde-black whatever you want to call it.  I'm actually not sure what "look" it's supposed to convey so if you're in the know please fill me in.  Is it punk, emo, trashy fashionista?

 If you have this hair you can make plenty of excuses to over-ride my opinion.  I'll actually nullify it for you.  Here: First of all, I know a hair student who currently has a  frizz bouffant in white-blonde that features black bangs.  Hair students clearly know more about hair then I do.  Me with my boring brunette curls.  Clearly leaving my hair healthy and the close to the way it grows out of my head can't be very cutting edge.  Then there's also the selection of decent looking celebs who've tried this out.  Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Shakira...

Even though I'm pretty low-maintenance I don't really care if you want to experiment with your image.  Whatever.  turn your  hair purple.  Defy gravity with the assistance of products called things like "hair glue."  Dye it white-blonde or black or flaming red.  Cover yourself with ink or poke holes in your tongue.  I really don't care, life can use a little variation.  But, quite frankly, this particular two-tone comes across as the opposite of class.  It's not evoking a rebellious image.  Ditto edgy, unique or young.  

Maybe I'm the only one who consistently makes a connection between this "look" and this particular literary character.  Probably not, though.  Which makes me wonder, what kind of world do we live in when Cruella De Vil is a trend-setter?
She gave my sister nightmares for about eight years

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bloggerstock: Stop the World I Want to Get On/Off

It's Bloggerstock time again!  Don't forget to check out my post at the ever-funny Good Music, Bad Math.  With a name like that how can it not be good?  My guest, Jessica has a great blog and has written me a really great post!  She's also introduced herself.  So, without further ado...

Thank you to Kris for hosting me for Bloggerstock! I also want to ask all of you to check out the great and wonderful Lily on my blog Cerebral Lunchbox.

Now, I’ve procrastinated enough, so I guess I should really get on with it. 

Stopping the world.  It sounds like a nice proposition.  I first thought about all those painful moments that I wanted to escape or hide.

But then my mind turned the to moments that linger even more powerfully in my mind.  Those moments that I want to freeze the world and hold the moment for just a few more seconds.  Or hours, or years.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a laundry list of precious moments that will mean nothing to you because you weren’t there.  You’d just roll your eyes and skip to the next blog.  Or maybe laugh at my moments and joke about them.

No, instead, I want you to think about those times in your life.  The moments that to you encapsulate what it means to be alive, in whatever state you might have been: radiant, wistful, triumphant or simply content.

Those moments, however brief, are more powerful because they were so short.  Because we couldn’t stop the world, we couldn’t become bored with the sensations.  We can replay those moments and they still feel fresh and important.

Life is short, too short many times.  But that’s what makes life so precious.

What is it about us creative types?  We can go on and on about something we've created, but when asked about ourselves we suddenly clam up.  Well, I'm no different, so bear with me.  Where will I go from here?  Who knows, but I know now that one way or another I'll see my name in print (even if it's in the local blotter sheet for a caffeine induced crime spree.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Granola Temptress

I can't buy granola bars.  Well, I mean, I physically can.  It just never works out for me.

Before I go a little farther let me admit that I'm well aware that "granola bar" is actually secret code for chocolate bars you can justifiably eat for breakfast.  I've had ones called things like, "Peanut Butter Caramel Chunk."  or maybe "Decadent Double Chocolate."  The term Granola and about eight flakes of oatmeal means they can market to mothers who don't want to feel guilty about what they're sending their kids to the bus-stop with.

All this taken into account you'd think I could be an adult about granola bars.  Sometimes I think I can.  I walk down the aisle and think to myself, "okay, well, I'll just buy this box and take one in my lunch this week."


Here's what really happens.  I get home, open the box, and eat one well I unpack.  That evening I'll eat two before bed.  Chocolate for supper anyone?  The next morning it's two for breakfast and that leaves one for work.  Which I'll eat on my coffee break.

I'm actually well versed in nutrition and follow that a majority of the time.  I was, however, raised having desert after dinner.  We always had homemade cookies or cake.  From scratch.  My Mother is a housewife.  And now I can pass on those.  It's those darn processed granola bars that we only got twice a year when my Grandma would give them out as treats.

So now I can't buy them.  I suppose I could just go through fifty boxes in a month and wear the learned novelty out.  Also develop diabetes, gain twenty pounds and get out of breath walking up stairs...  On second thought, I'll just walk past them when I'm picking up a box of cereal.

Because when they're in my cupboard I turn back into a buzzed little kid with a severe sugar craving.  Only this time with no imposed limits.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Big Girls Don't Cry

"Big girls don't cry."

I spat it out.  A reply to a taunt.  An answer in place of the one I refused to give.  I meant it.

If someone could make me cry I'd feel like they'd won.  They'd feel like they'd won.  I'd feel weak.  I learned to hate crying.  Something I never was very good at and something I never did often.  I forgot how.  I tried to learn to clench my jaw instead.  To pound with words well I'd defy the tears.

I'm not sure where I got this from.  Society, probably.  From a personality that told me I had to always be strong.  I'm just not sure what it is about tears that we consider so weak.  It's an emotional reaction, isn't it?  Why is a natural display of our emotion something to hide?

I still hate crying.  I think that's so deeply ingrained it will never change.  People who know me can immediately tell you if they've ever seen me cry.  It's memorable.  Awkward, ugly, uncomfortable.  And vulnerable.

I hate feeling vulnerable.

But if I'm going to cry then I still can't stop myself.  When my re-channeling doesn't work my eyes well up, my chin quivers and there's not a freaking thing I can do about it.

Big girls don't cry.  I'll get there someday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Never Lose

Insinuate that I'm less than you.
I'll hate you.

Call it insecurity and see if I care.
You might be right.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Fought and Forgot

I listen to Eminem, sometimes.  My headphones on, the volume up, my angst and anger cringing in the face of pop's greatest claim.  But that's not why.

I listen for the blonde crew cut.  For the baggy jeaned white wife beater of a culture not my own.  For the thrill of memories I'll never have except scrawled in this poem.  And with you.

For those times we parked and fought or didn't fight and I forgot.  For the words that say you better then I ever could.  For the ones that are actually good.  For Stan.  Haunting obsession and dysfunction.

Do you listen to Dido, thinking of me?

For regretting your past, for you.  My present, with you.  A future without.  Not dreaming I'd end up with  some commercialized beats on a mix disc of songs we could both appreciate.  For Cleaning Out the Closet.  Our one common conquer of communication.  For the times that disagreement and you lips on mine were a confused passion.  A plethora of emotion, of action.  And of painfully knowing I could never like Eminem.

Because he reminds me of you.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lonely Again

My room mate is leaving tomorrow and I'd be lying if I said I'm not even a little bit sad.

Not because she's the best room mate I've ever had.  She's not.  Not because we spent a lot of time together.  We didn't.  I alternate between sadness and very glad that never again will she eat all my food when I'm not looking.  Never again will I have to listen to her boyfriend and her at 2:00 AM through cardboard walls.  Never again will all the dishes and the salt shaker end up in a pile on her bedroom floor.  Never again will she leave the toilet paper empty and the lights all on.  Never again will....  Umm...  That's it actually.  She's a beautiful (and incredibly hot) seventeen year old who's sweet and mostly pretty considerate.

She makes me want to mother her.  Not to worry.  I never treated her as anything but an adult.

I'm also kind of excited for her.  Because she's excited with the excitement of a seventeen year old who's never headed out on her own.  And I'm a little bit jealous because she's going on a road trip with the boy she loves to plans she's optimistically thrilled about.

Oh, to be seventeen again...

But I'm sad.  Because I'm not nearly as optimistic as she is.  Because we'll never eat popsicles for breakfast and talk about travel plans together again.  Because I never met her brother, never saw her step-dad's straw house construction, never talked to her about things I think are most important.  She taught me I'm not quite as confrontational as I think I am.  Especially with someone I don't know and wish I did.

And I'm selfishly sad.  Because I know in two weeks I'll be talking to myself again.  I'll be sitting on my couch eating a meal I cooked for myself.  I'll realize I'm more comfortable if I know someone else will come home.  Or that, even if she rarely emerges, there's someone else in my other room.  And I'll realize How much I don't like living alone.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Worn Jeans

"A penny for your thoughts?"

"They're worth more then that," she protests.  Less adamantly then intended.

"Alright, then.  A nickel."  He reaches, this time, into his pocket and searches through a spattering of change.

"Here."  He places a dime on the table between the.  "When you're done I'll owe you some of mine."

Kalee glares at the dime.  She's normally more words then thoughts.  Crafting opinions, stories, debates as she goes.  She usually sounds good every time.  But today, no, this whole damn week she doesn't feel like it.  Who is he to wait patiently for her attempt?  The dime will end up in the pocket of somebodies worn jeans.  Kalee can't decide who's.

Her thoughts aren't worth five cents.  Not, at least, to you or me.  But they're labour intensive.  For once she's struggled to build them and she doesn't want to let them go.

"I don't know," she sputters.  He lowers his chin, raises his eyebrows.  A man who can say more with an expression than a phrase.  Of course he expects more.

"I don't."

There was Madison.  She had always been the pretty one, the domestic one, the nurturer.  Well she started dating soccer players and doctor's sons Kalee had done what little sisters do best.  She shaped herself into someone completely different.  The student, the scrapper, the arguer.  They were comfortable in these roles and friends and competitors.  Each knowing they would never succeed wherever the other excelled.

Kalee had one boyfriend in high school and another in university.  Boys she shared notes and lunchtime sandwiches with.  Ones she could attend parties with when she had time.  They filled a role but mostly they were boys she could talk to.  Endlessly.  On the phone, in the car, late at night.  Around campfires at the lake well everyone else played drinking games and dared each other to come skinny dipping.

Kalee could thank these boys for her prowess with words, her lauded communication skills.  Her honours degree in journalism from McGill.  They were what she needed.  When she shut-down with her family she always had someone worth shaping her thoughts for.

And now here was Daniel waiting.  And she couldn't do it.  She is tired.  Twisting her white ceramic mug she hopes the waitress will bring another refill.  Kalee never drinks it black but she is today.

So, Madison is married.  Of course she is.  Finally she is.  Married in a beautiful ceremony on a beautiful beach.  A beach on that pretentious B.C. island with the waves rolling in, the sun overhead and the shells lining the aisle to the alter that wasn't an alter.  The spot where Kalee had stood holding the bride's bouquet, smiling and acknowledging that she had a different lot in life.

Hers was the flight back to Toronto.  The pumps, the meetings, the assistant editor's job and the ambition.

"I hate my ambition," she spits.  "How dare they downsize?  'Cut my position' when I'm at my sister's wedding, of all things!"

Daniel nods.  Kalee continues.

"Screw them.  Screw Madison.  Screw my student loans and my so-called career."

She is tired.  Wondering, briefly, why Daniel is listening.  If he recognizes that this is just a little piece of her incoherent thoughts.  The little part that's a little less vulnerable then the rest.

The diner door swings shut behind them and they pull their hoodies tight against the autumn breeze.  A caffeine buzz and plans not made.

She doesn't know.  Nothing apart from that Madison is married, Daniel is here and she is unemployed.  She'll take herself away if she finds that scrapper's courage.

The waitress is right behind them, coming off shift.  She's changed her flats for scuffed leather and tied a scarf around her hair.  That last booth is empty.  She thinks it's about time.  Might as well check before she goes...  C'mon.  Seriously?  Sure, there's a downturn but this is friggin' ridiculous.

And she slides a dime into the pocket of her worn jeans.

Monday, February 28, 2011

New and Improved. I Think.

Because or Why Not has gone through some purely aesthetic changes.  New packaging, same great product.  It started with trying to eliminate the header white space and...  Well...  It still has a sort of orange/gray/burgundy colour theme.

Your feedback is appreciated.  Especially if it's in the form of endless praise and appreciation.  Thanks to Rish for the early suggestions (including header photo, by dorguska).  It took some messing about, I'm not much good at all this, but I've done what I can.

I've cleaned out my sidebar as well.  You can now find my blog roll on a separate page.  Because I can't have them update I have tried to include my favourites that stay current.  If you still blog and have featured me on yours please let me know so I can return the favour!

Does anyone know how to put a Reddit button on each post?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


"If you should leave here tonight feeling... Unfulfilled, please remember that this is a human condition." -KD Lang

"Because or the way you write, and what you write about, I'd expected you to be much older."  -The Mayor

"I know about Hitler, and I know Japan wanted half the world, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't mourn war anyway.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't feel grief at the terrible way conflicts are negotiated in a world absent God." -Donald Miller

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crushes and the Blogger

I have a blog crush.  Yes, I do.  But, warning:  You can read this whole post.  I'm still not going to tell you who he is.

See, because this is a real blog crush.  There's the "Hey, Girl!  I think you're funny and a great social network connection so, guess what?  I have a crush on you!"  Those are fun.  They're fine way to tell people I like their writing, I like chatting, I like their twitter and the pictures they take of themselves in the mirror (just kidding.  I don't "crush" on anyone who does that.)  But I think it's a lame use of the term.

Then there's the real crush.  As in, I think I'd like you for real.  I'd like to hang-out with you, go on epic adventures with you.  Maybe, you know, marry you.  That's all.

I think you're funny, intelligent and kinda cute.  Yes, I think about you.  Mostly when you post.  I wish we could be friends.  It would be nice if I could see if we're both the same as we seem to be when we write.  If we could really argue about music on road trips to places we're both excited about.  If we could really talk about what's important and where we want to go.  If you'd let me tag along when you do fun, creative things.  If you'd want to learn to do the things I know.

I never had any sort of never-met-before crush until I started blogging again.  I thought it was stupid to like celebs or people you'd never meet.  I still do, actually.  I like myself better in real life.  I simply like the real part.

Still, though, this post is about someone specific.  The only blogger crush I've ever had that I honestly thought maybe I shared values, lifestyle opinions and interests with.  But he's far too far away.  I've never stalked his Facebook (because I've never thought about it before.  I know what I'm doing after this publishes) or anything silly.  I'll just keep reading his blog and thinking that he's a pretty cool guy.

The internet sucks.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Memes: Blogging isn't Blogging Without Them

I'm not doing a very good job of blogging here by myself these days.  Instead of fulfilling my role as pessimist I'm going to use this opportunity to complete a few of those tag thingies.  For those of you who hate memes (me, on a good day) hold on.  I'll write something better next week.  

This one, though, is really pretty cool.  A chance to check out someone's handwriting?  Yes please.  Here as I usually write (just a little bigger).  Non-perfectionist and in my notebook with a Bic ballpoint.

1. What's your name/your Blogger name?
2. What's your blog's name/URL?
3. Write "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"
4. Favorite quote?
5. Your favorite song?
6. Your favorite band/singers?
7. Anything else you want to say?
8. Tag 3-5 other people

Just realized it's crooked.  Heh, sorry.
The other tag comes from the ever-funny Coyote Rose.  She wants to know my five current loves.

1. Random adventures in general.  Road trips, more specifically.  I may be planning one now.  It may involve a camperized bus, seven friends, and the Alaska highway.  Having something to look forward to keeps me relatively sane.  Stay tuned in a couple months.  Or, like, May.

2.  Thrift stores.  Eco friendly finds that give me a double rush of endorphins.  One for cool "new" clothes.  One for saving money.  What's not to love?  Although I did go on a bad actual-new clothes bender just lately...

3.  Slippers.  I used to hate them.  Being all barefoot-tomboy and all.  But my great-aunt from England sent me some for Christmas...  And I've been wearing them every day.  Yes, I am getting old.

4.  Dancing.  Of almost every variety.  I can't wait for summer barn parties, since that's about all the opportunity I get around here.  Well, other then break dance episodes upstairs with my brothers.

5.  Sunshine!  We've only seen little bits of it, but it gives me a little high every time.  And now that I'm almost giving up on more successful snowboarding I'm 100% ready for spring.  Green, warm, lovely spring.

Again, I'm not tagging.  But this was a good no-blogging-slump remedy.  Thanks girls.