Thursday, 31 December 2009

The Beginning of The End - Mark

I was waiting as my marks showed up one by one, a little worried since I need good marks to get into grad school, and now they are all in. I was stressing over getting a B+ or lower but luckily the courses that could have meant that I sneaked into the A range and got my usual A-. I'm actually borderline disappointed when I get A-'s now since I seem to always get them in English. Anyway, now everything is in and it is just one more step towards feeling like I'm finished this BA. I'm spending the next little while working on my Ryerson application for grad school, it is going to make me wish I was starting it all sooner than September.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

So I'm Home

I don't know if I really have anything to say about being home, especially as I have only been here for about 5 hours. But Paris is Paris is Paris is always Paris. All day I have felt like crying, I don't know what this town does to me, though maybe it is just a final hit from the shock of being done my undergrad. I had an amazing little ski trip with Teri and my dad, it is one of my favourite traditions. It was great to chat with Ter, I love her perspective on everything. Obviously I don't always agree with her, if you have met me you would know that most of the time I just don't agree with anyone. However, Ter is so awesome to talk to and everything is just a little better when in person and not phone or skype. Today I have been pottering around the house with my dad, which has been really nice. We don't get a lot of time together just the two of us, so it has been fun. Christmas is coming and it is great to be home.

Monday, 21 December 2009


Thanks to Tyra Banks, the world has a new verb "smizing" which means "to smile with your eyes." This was on the last season of ANTM and everyone thought it was hilarious, Tyra is awesome. Yes, I am smizing in this picture, taken by Steph as part of her Algonquin assignment.

Friday, 18 December 2009

A Table For Twelve

Last night Jerrica cooked a Christmas dinner, complete with a huge turkey. We piled 12 people into our apartment and made a long table so everyone could sit together. She had us come dressed up, since she had recently noticed that there really aren’t any events that we dress up for. It was amazing, everyone looked so good. The food was obviously the best part, and I got to have more of it for lunch today. The company would be the second best thing about the evening and I’m sad that we didn’t take a picture of everyone sitting at the table. Steph was taking pictures throughout the night so we did document it. I’m sure they will show up on one of her blogs but I wish I had remembered to ask her to setup a big table shot with a timer so as to have one with everyone in it. Really was a great night.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Talk Radio

In general I’m not a huge fan of radio. (Though I enjoy the commercials, which is the part that everyone else seems to hate.) If music is on I find it distracts me from thinking or if there are other people around it distracts from conversation, and I like both thinking and talking. I really don’t like news radio and talk radio is the worst of all. However, this morning in the cab (yes, on occasion I take a cab to work, please don’t focus on this detail) talk radio was on. Some interesting topics were being discussed, both related to the City of Ottawa, so I thought I would share the issues and my opinions on them.

Larry O’Brien & The Lockout
For those that don’t live in Ottawa, O’Brien is our mayor. I truly feel that he embodies all that is corrupt and terrible about politics in a single person. Even before the legal scandals that have overshadowed his term I didn’t like him or his ideas for running the city. The latest drama surrounding him is a discussion he had on a local television station about transit strikes. Last year's winter OC Transpo strike was terrible, so so awful. On TV, he said something along the lines of “If it looks like we are going to be in a situation like that again, then I think we need to lock them out during the summer, so as to avoid a strike in the winter. If they are in position to strike, we are in a position to lock out.” People are very unhappy with his statement. While I don’t know if this tough talk is the best approach, he is right, legally the city could lock out their employees if there is no contract. That is the employer part of the whole strike thing, they have certain rights as well. Unions have the right to strike, their employers have the right to lock them out. What I think is important about what he said is that he reminded everyone of a very key component that is often forgotten.

Bilingualism & The Olympic Torch
The Olympic Torch ceremony held at City Hall over the past weekend was conducted solely in English. There is an uproar over this which has lead to the city working on clarify their bilingualism policies to ensure that French is not forgotten again in the future. (Ironically the memo that went out about this was only in English and it wasn’t until an hour and a half later that a bilingual notice was sent around, along with more apologies for forgetting, again.) I can not believe the ceremony wasn’t bilingual. We are an officially bilingual city, policies should be so solidly in place that official languages are always considered. I don’t understand how it wasn’t caught earlier on in the planning. I definitely think that it should have been in both languages and that it was a huge error on the city’s part.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Beginning of The End - Exam

I really only had one exam this year. (In the upper years, especially in English, they don't do exams as much.) I had an end of year test in one course, which was held on the final day of class, which seems like ages ago now. I had one exam during the exam period and it was yesterday, it went alright. So, now I'm done!!! I just have to wait for marks, which I have been checking daily....

Saturday, 12 December 2009

The Beginning of The End - Essay

Handed in my last essay yesterday. I was getting really sick of writing them. I really wanted to try something new, so this one was written in a very casual style which I think is very readable but I might lose marks for not being professional. Also, the number of all-nighters I have had to do recently has really started to take a toll, it was a rough night for sure and the essay ended up being a little shorter than I would have liked. I hope I do well though, on it and all the others I have handed in over the last couple of weeks.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Our Wrecked Planet

"A lot of people on the wrecked planet were Communists. They had a theory that what was left of the planet should be shared more or less equally among all the people, who hadn’t asked to come to a wrecked planet in the first place . . . Dwayne Hoover’s and Kilgore Trout’s country, where there was still plenty of everything, was opposed to Communism. It didn’t think that Earthlings who had a lot should share it with others unless they really wanted to, and most of them didn’t want to. So they didn’t have to."
--Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Put My Arm Where My Mouth Is

I finally got around to getting my H1N1 flu shot today. I actually got both it and the seasonal flu vaccine, one in each arm. I have been lecturing everyone who doesn't want to get it - you know who you are - so decided I should get mine before I lost the chance to. I don't want to do a long post about my pro-vaccination stance because I think I have written one already a previous year. I don't seem to really be reacting to it negatively, which is good since I have an essay to write tonight, fingers crossed things stay that way.

Also, today was the first big snowfall. I'm sure tons of people are talking about it, signals the start to excellent winter office small talk. I also didn't want to do a big post about snow since I do that every year. However, I love it and it is beautiful. I can't wait for more. I live in Canada, we get snow. I live in Ottawa, we get alot of snow!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

So Sweet

Sweet and maybe just a little bit sappy.

(Unless you think at the end that the baby comes pretty quickly and it isn't really love but a hasty move and marriage of necessity.) The mass communications part of me thinks that this is a really genius google ad (which isn't even presented as an ad), like the search engine wasn't already taking over our lives...

Monday, 7 December 2009

Postmodern Art

Postmodern art often focuses on everyday subjects from consumer and popular culture. (Like the Campbell’s soup cans depicted by Warhol.) This burrs the line between high and low culture.

"In postmodernism, the effacement in it of some key boundaries or separations, most notable the erosion of the older distinction between high culture and so-called mass or popular culture. This is perhaps the most distressing development of all from an academic standpoint, which has traditionally had a vested interest in preserving a realm of high or elite culture against the surrounding environment of philistinism."
- Fredric Jameson

Throughout university, when studying English and Mass Communication, I have watched the elitism of 'good art' dissolve and have taken classes where I studied, in depth, Science Fiction, Television, Comic Books, etc.

"It's a way, above all, to justify oneself in preferring less demanding art without being called reactionary or retarded (which is the greatest fear of the newfangled philistines of advancedness)."
- Clement Greenberg

Dang, looks like academics are starting to catch on to my lazy philistine ways.

"Philistine - 1) A person who is lacking in, hostile, or smugly indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, aesthetic refinement, etc. 2) A person who is contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes."
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Christmas List - 2009

So I'm A Big Kid Now
-nice winter coat
-pretty but warm winter hat
-leather gloves
-warm socks
-external hard drive, compact in size
-Moleskine 2010 Large Weekly Planner Horizontal
-a set of 2 or 3 connected cordless phones
-Rickie's GC
-anything to with learning/speaking French

But Still Feel/Live Like A Student
-Sims 3
-pouch for bike handlebars
-tea towels
-cream corn
-french cut green beans
-Chef Boyardee with tab on top
-foaming hand soap

-small travel umbrella
-wheelie luggage
-SD memory cards for camera
-plug adaptors (Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China)
-pre-paid picture printing, Blacks
-Backpacking backpack
-Eyewitness Top Ten for Beijing, St. Petersburg, Moscow
-Trans-Siberian Handbook by Bryn Thomas, 7th Ed
-anything to with learning/speaking Russian or Chinese

-Mighty Ducks Trilogy
-Boondocks Saints
-The Saint
-HIMYM Season 4
-Cutthroat Island
-10 Things I Hate About You

Doesn't Need To Be New
(Used Would Be Awesome)
-good quality vacuum

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Avoiding Bad Luck

I hate writing in books. I just can't do it. (This is actually part of my Love-Hate list, since some people love it. They write all over their novels and textbooks and others go so far as to collect used books that they find writing in.) I think my problem with it stems from the fact that I was a big library kid when I was younger. We would go to the Paris Public Library about once a week and take out tons of books. You can't write in library books and I think I was also instructed by a librarian at my Elementary School to never 'dog ear' a book by turning a corner down to mark a page. My whole life I have respected books in this way. In other ways though I'm very bad to books. I wear them out with use very quickly, reading them in the bath, at the beach, breaking the spine, etc. I just don't ever write in them and I always use a bookmark of some type, usually a ghetto version where I just throw a peace of scrap paper or old receipt in to hold my spot. However, I found out this year that it is bad luck to give someone a book that you haven't written in. So despite how much it pains me, I now write on the inside cover whenever I'm giving someone a book as a gift. Some times it is a simple To: and From: thing with the date, other times I will actually write a little bit, like I would in a card. I like the tradition aspect of this rule but at the same time it is just so horrid to write in a book.This Christmas I think I will be giving a few books and I will write in them but it will pain me to do it every time.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Beginning of The End - Class

Today is my last day of classes, for my undergrad. Actually, I had my last traditional class this afternoon, I still have one to go to tonight though. However, it is for my Fiction Workshop so was never traditional, and tonight we are at someone's house having a end of term party so it really doesn't feel like class. Today was a pretty solid end of classes experience, really was symbolic of my university career at Carleton. It started very early in the morning, so I didn't really get time to look good, my hair has been a mess all day. I'm wearing my Carleton hoodie in honour of the occasion. I was late to my first class, but not super late. Handed in an assignment. Went to see a couple of different professors. Talked about my grad school applications with the career centre. Spent quick bits of time in the library working on other assignments. So basically my day was spent rushing from class, to class, to professors, to the library to work last minute on something, to some other random campus chore. Normal day of classes, busy, busy, busy!!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Things I Hate

I hate that the commercials are always louder than the TV show, even when when watching TV online. This is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book, everyone knows they are doing it and notices it. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure it still works, time tested and true. I hate it though, absolutely hate it!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Started on 1st December 1988, today is World AIDS Day. According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35. The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries.

But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Loving The Layton

Since this is from the 2005 Gallery Dinner I don't get some of the references. I don't follow politics very closely as it is, let alone remember stuff from 4 years ago. I still love this clip though because, well, Jack is awesome. I still think that the NDP slogan should be "Who wants a mustache ride?" and my response would totally be "I do! I do!"

Friday, 27 November 2009

The Beginning of The End - Presentation

Yesterday morning was my last presentation of my undergrad career. I will never again have to speak infront of Carleton students as part of my BA. I hate countdowns, both on Facebook and MSN so I won't be putting anything like that on my blog. So even though I have 4 huge papers and 2 exams to do in the next 3 and a half weeks I won't be announcing each one as I do it. I'm very very glad to be at the end of this degree. I'm not done with school at all, I'm just done with Carleton and my undergrad, can't wait for it to be over.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


The first deadline for grad school applications is coming up in early December. University of Toronto (MA in the Field of Creative Writing), for some reason, wants things then instead of in January and February like most of the others. I wanted to give my two references lots of time so went to the UofT website to find out what the whole thing entails. (Hoping I could just print out some sort of reference form for them and worry about the rest later.) Turns out I had to go through pretty much the entire application so that UofT would send my references e-mails to get their letters, after I paid. One part of the application was my Statement of Intent, where I explain my area of interest. In the case of my program this is a novel pitch. They only gave me 250 characters, including spaces, to do this!! That is like 2 or 3 sentences. So, I freaked out and stressed about it for a minute then wrote a bit of something and submitted it. Thankfully I found out at the end of the application that you actually later on submit a Statement of Purpose which is a longer pitch, of about 500 words, still really short in my mind, that is only about a paragraph. Anyway, this is my tiny novel pitch...
I would like to write a genre women’s fiction novel which uses the technique of typography. The novel will not only focus on the female protagonist’s use of new media but also include quotes and references to classic and popular literature.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Learnt & Learned

I didn't think 'learned' was a word. After arguing with a friend about the proper past tense for the word 'learn', I decided to look it up. It turns out that both 'learnt' and 'learned' are equally grammatically correct. They are alternative forms of the past tense and past participle of the verb. 'Learnt' is more common in British English, and 'learned' in American English. There are a number of verbs of this type (burn, dream, kneel, learn, leap, spell, spill, spoil etc.). They are all irregular verbs, and this is a part of their irregularity. For most, but not all, of these irregular verbs I use the 't' in past tense. I like that I'm a little more British than I am American (6 out of the 9 words I would use with a 't').

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Different Tastes

Christine's Favourite
By Stephanie Beach

This picture is also from the Algonquin College photoshoot with Steph. I gather she took over 600 photos which have been edited down to about 250. Then she has 6 or 7 polished ones that she submitted for the assignment. I have been seeing them in drips and drabs and will eventually get the whole folder from her. When I saw this one I couldn't believe it. I love it so much. (It is already my Facebook Profile picture, and I never change that.) Steph wrote on her Photo Blog (see link on right) that her favourite picture from the shoot is the one I posted a few days ago but I like this one way more. There also is a really nice one with me and a tripod. I'm so looking forward to having the lot of them.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Enhances Energy & Helps Alleviate Fatigue

I got these herbal energy pills from my mom when I was last down for a visit. Since it contains B12, which I have been instructed by my doctor to take daily, we thought that this might be a good pill to try. On the front of the bottle is says Swiss Natural Sources, Solutions, Energy, With Siberian Ginseng, Vitamin B12 & Guarana. Seeing that I have never heard of the last thing, and that ginseng has a tendency to mess with other drugs we also thought it was a good idea to check with my doctor about it. (Siberian Ginseng sounds super cool though.) Anyway, this morning my doctor nix it saying that since it only contained 500mg of B12, and I need at least 1000mg, I would have to take two. The reason I shouldn't take two is that this Guarana thing has 22% caffeine and also in the small print it tells you that it contains Green Tea (not mentioned on the front I might remind you) which has 8% caffeine. She doesn't think it is a good idea to have that much caffeine. Basically this is a caffeine pill masking as a herbal supplement. I am going to choose to ignore my doctors advice for the next few weeks because I have tons of papers and presentations due and could really use the caffeine. I don't like coffee or tea and pop or chocolate are a bad choice. I think this will work out well to get my caffeine intake, especially since I won't be compounding it with any other caffeine sources. Now before you start lecturing me on ignoring professional medical advice or the dangers of caffeine pills, herbal or otherwise, I want you to think about your own use of the drug. What is your coffee, tea, or pop intake look like daily?

Thursday, 19 November 2009


"I think everyone writes poems when they are sixteen; it is a phase in a passage from adolescence to adulthood. I do not remember where I read that there are two kinds of poets: the good poets, who at a certain point destroy their bad poems and go off to run guns in Africa, and bad poets, who publish theirs and keep writing more until they die."
- Umberto Eco from The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

I don't really get the whole "run guns in Africa" reference but I really like the idea that it is the bad poets who are publishing. I have a very weird relationship with poetry. I write it but I think my poems are hilarious crap. I read it and love some but as a whole find the form fairly annoying. I hate studying it. Poetry is a strange thing.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

You Know What I Mean

I'm A Mmmmodel, You Know What I Mean
By Stephanie Beach

Monday night I did a photoshoot at Algonquin College for Steph as part of one of the assignments for her photo course. It was great fun, Steph is amazing to shoot with. Just from looking briefly at the photos on her camera I think we got some good shots. This is one that she sent me quickly since I was begging to see something. Keep an eye out on her Photo Blog (see link on Right) as I'm sure she will post more from the shoot at some point.

The Creek

I don't know why but I was thinking about the show Dawson's Creek. It started when I was in Grade 8 and continued all through my years in high school, I watched it off and on. Some seasons my friends and I would gather each Friday to watch every episode, other years I would just catch it a few times. What I realise now is that not a lot happened on that show. Relationships between the characters came and went, love was sometimes unrequited, a student slept with a teacher, parents had affairs, and as far as I can remember that was pretty much it. Maybe there was some party episodes that talked about drugs and the dangers of drinking and driving but on a whole it was a fairly mellow show. In contrast to the more recent Gossip Girl and The OC which are crazy teen dramas filled with action. I liked Dawson's Creek though and I wonder if I watched it now what I would think.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Don't Ask Me How

Late last night I put a load of laundry into the washing machine, it was a Red Load, not that it matters. This morning I went to go and move it into the dryer. After taking all the clothes out of the washer I noticed something at the bottom of the machine. Somehow I had washed one of our cordless phones. I have no idea how it ended up in my laundry basket and how I didn't notice it going into the washing machine. Anyway, it looked ok, though the screen was a little bubbled from being washed. I tried to turn it on but it wouldn't, so I thought the water had completely broken it. Taking the phone over to the charger and putting it in, the red 'charging' light came on. Maybe the washing didn't wreak it and the battery is just low. I guess I will find out when I get home tonight.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Spanish Train

There's a Spanish train that runs between
Quadalquivir and old Seville,
And at dead of night the whistle blows,
and people hear she's running still...

And then they hush their children back to sleep,
Lock the doors, upstairs they creep,
For it is said that the souls of the dead
Fill that train ten thousand deep!!

Well a railwayman lay dying with his people by his side,
His family were crying, knelt in prayer before he died,
But above his bed just a-waiting for the dead,
Was the Devil with a twinkle in his eye,
"Well God's not around and look what I've found,
this one's mine!!"

Just then the Lord himself appeared in a blinding flash of light,
And shouted at the devil, "Get thee hence to endless night!!"
But the Devil just grinned and said "I may have sinned,
But there's no need to push me around,
I got him first so you can do your worst,
He's going underground!!"

"But I think I'll give you one more chance"
said the Devil with a smile,
"So throw away that stupid lance,
It's really not your style",
Joker is the name, Poker is the game,
we'll play right here on this bed,
And then we'll bet for the biggest stakes yet,
the souls of the dead!!"

And I said "Look out, Lord, he's going to win,
The sun is down and the night is riding in,
That train is dead on time, many souls are on the line,
Oh Lord, he's going to win!.."

Well the railwayman he cut the cards
and he dealt them each a hand of five
And for the Lord he was praying hard
or that train he'd have to drive...
Well the Devil he had three aces and a king,
and the Lord, he was running for a straight,
he had the queen and the knave and the nine and ten of spades,
All he needed was the eight...

And then the Lord he called for one more card,
but he drew the diamond eight,
And the Devil said to the son of God,
"I believe you've got it straight,
So deal me one for the time has come
to see who'll be the king of this place,
But as he spoke, from beneath his cloak,
he slipped another ace...

Ten thousand souls was the opening bid,
and it soon went up to fifty-nine,
but the Lord didn't see what the Devil did,
and he said "that suits me fine",
"I'll raise you high to hundred and five,
and forever put an end to your sins",
But the Devil let out a mighty shout, "My hand wins!!"

Well that Spanish train still runs between,
Quadalquivir and old Seville,
And at dead of night the whistle blows,
And people fear she's running still...
And far away in some recess
The Lord and the Devil are now playing chess,
The Devil still cheats and wins more souls,
And as for the Lord, well, he's just doing his best...

--Song by Chris De Burgh (guy who sings Lady In Red) I saw him in concert a few years back and despite seeing many concerts over the course of my life that one was still the best. This is also my favourite of his songs.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Don't Be Afraid

I shouldn't write this post but I'm going to because I'm feeling broke and I have dreams of making money from my writing. In my current circumstances this could really only come from my blog and logically the only way I can make money on my blog is through the advertisements by AdSense. I put them up a while ago and the pennies are adding up, just not very quickly. I just wanted to tell you not to be afraid to click on an ad that interests you. I have clicked on some on Steph's blog, every now and then an ad about photography or writing appears on hers and I feel the need to check it out. They aren't terrible spam things. You click them and it goes to some normal site about something or the other, you don't get piles of pop-ups and other scary things. So, if something appears that appeals to you, don't be scared, click on it and check it out.
*Note: When I signed up for AdSense I promised that I would not click on ads that appeared on my own blog, I may also have agreed not to promote the ads by writing about them in this fashion but I don't really remember. So while I hate to write this cause it is annoyingly selling out, I also might not even have been allowed to write it.

Generation Z - All Those Kids

The future of our tomorrow who are predominantly the children of Generation X. This is a very young generation with the oldest at 12 years old. Despite their young age, the characteristics of this generation are quite apparent. They are exposed to technology very early in their lives and most already have an online identity. They are considered the most stressful generation for their involvement in too many extra-curricular activities – piano lessons, tap dancing, swimming, soccer practice, singing class, etc. With the rigid schedule of daily activities, they sometime forget to be children.There is no doubt that each generational difference is marked uniquely. The previous generation lays the path for the next. Of course, conflicts between generations are commonplace as one generation expects conformity from the other generation. This would indubitably make our relationships less complicated, but that is not reality. The reality is that generational differences should be embraced, accepted and respected.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Generation Y - Me!

The offsprings of the Baby Boomers are Generation Y. They love fame, celebrities, technology, brand names, and six degrees of separation through social networks. Somewhat ironic, Millennials inherited and benefited from the creation of Gen X platforms such as Google, YouTube, MySpace, and Amazon which are largely responsible for classifying this generation as the Internet Generation. With their sense of empowerment, they demand “I want what I want when, where and how I want it.” Quick access to information and to communication equate to instant gratification. This generation’s easy access to a plethora of information can be an overload. This trend will continue to a great degree onto Gen Z.Born in the mid-1980's and later, Gen Y is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce. Gen Y grew up with technology and rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerrys, laptops, cellphones and other gadgets, Gen Y is plugged-in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face-to-face contact and prefers webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations. The fast-track has lost much of its appeal for Gen Y who is willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules and a better work/life balance. While older generations may view this attitude as narcissistic or lacking commitment, discipline and drive, Gen Y professionals have a different vision of workplace expectations and prioritize family over work. Nurtured and pampered by parents who did not want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, Gen Y is confident, ambitious and achievement-oriented. They have high expectations of their employers, seek out new challenges and are not afraid to question authority. Gen Y wants meaningful work and a solid learning curve. As children, Gen Y participated in team sports, play groups and other group activities. They value teamwork and seek the input and affirmation of others. Part of a no-person-left-behind generation, Gen Y is loyal, committed and wants to be included and involved. Gen Y craves attention in the forms of feedback and guidance. They appreciate being kept in the loop and seek frequent praise and reassurance. Gen Y may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their young careers. For the most part, I find all of this true for myself.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Generation X - A Little Older Than Me

The letter "X" originally suggested the ambiguous, misunderstood, disheartened generation. Gen X can be described as growing up with MTV, Pac Man and The Breakfast Club. Pressed between two large generations of the Baby Boomers and Gen Y, Gen X is also characterized with having the middle child syndrome - always being ignored and underappreciated. Like sibling rivalry, with Boomers as the self-righteous eldest and Millennials as the pampered baby with a sense of entitlement. The media has focused a lot of its attention on the Baby Boomers entering into retirement, social security problems, health issues and the rise of biotech. With even more spotlight, the media is fascinated with tabloids of today’s youth, their lifestyle, their relationships, and more of the same monotony. Gen X are feeling overlooked and invisible. They have a generational chip on our shoulders. Generation X encompasses those born between 1965 and 1980. Members of Generation X are largely in their 30’s and early 40’s. On the whole, they are more ethnically diverse and better educated than the Baby Boomers. Over 60% of Generation X attended college. Generation X came of age in an era of two-income families, rising divorce rates and a faltering economy. Women were joining the workforce in large numbers, spawning an age of “latch-key” children. As a result, Generation X is independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. In the workplace, Generation X values freedom and responsibility. Many in this generation display a casual disdain for authority and structured work hours. They dislike being micro-managed and embrace a hands-off management philosophy. The Generation X mentality reflects a shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. The first generation to grow up with computers, technology is woven into their lives. This generation is comfortable using PDAs, cellphones, e-mail, laptops, Blackberrys and other technology employed in the legal workplace. Many Gen Xers lived through tough economic times in the 1980s and saw their workaholic parents lose hard-earned positions. Thus, Generation X is less committed to one employer and more willing to change jobs to get ahead than previous generations. They adapt well to change and are tolerant of alternative lifestyles. Generation X is ambitious and eager to learn new skills but want to accomplish things on their own terms. Unlike previous generations, members of Generation X work to live rather than live to work. They appreciate fun in the workplace and espouse a work hard/play hard mentality. Generation X managers often incorporate humor and games into work activities.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Baby Boomers - My Parents

Baby Boomers are predominately in their 40s and 50s. They are well-established in their careers and hold positions of power and authority. This generational segment constitutes a large majority of today’s law firm leaders, corporate executives, senior paralegals and legal managers. Baby Boomers are extremely hardworking and often motivated by position, perks and prestige. Since they sacrificed a great deal to get where they are in their career, this sometimes workaholic generation believes that Generation X and Generation Y should pay their dues. Baby Boomers may criticize younger generations for a lack of work ethic and commitment to the workplace. Baby Boomers are confident, independent and self-reliant. This generation grew up in an era of reform and believe they can change the world. They questioned established authority systems and challenged the status quo. Baby Boomers are not afraid of confrontation and will not hesitate to challenge established practices. They welcome exciting, challenging projects and strive to make a difference. They are clever, resourceful and competitive. Boomers believe in hierarchical structure and rankism and may have a hard time adjusting to workplace flexibility trends. They believe in “face time” at the office and may fault younger generations for working remotely.


--The Lost Generation, primarily known as the Generation of 1914 in Europe, were those who fought in the First World War.

--The Interbellum Generation is composed of those born at the close of the 19th century and were young adults during the 1920s.

--The Greatest Generation is the generation that includes the veterans who fought in World War II. They were born from around 1910 to the mid-1920s, coming of age during the Great Depression.

--The Silent Generation is the generation that includes those who were too young to join the service during World War II. Many had fathers who served in World War I. Generally recognized as the children of the Great Depression, this event during their formative years had a profound impact on this generation.

--The Baby Boom Generation is the generation that was born during World War II to the late 50s, a time that was marked by an increase in birthrates worldwide. Baby Boomers in their teenage and college years were characteristically part of the counterculture of the 1960s, the generation remained widely committed to keystone values such as gender equality, racial equality, and environmental stewardship.

--Generation X is the generation generally defined as those born after the baby boom ended, extending from around 1960 to the late 1970s.They were the first generation with widespread access to television during their formative years. Other names used interchangeably with Generation X are 13th Generation, and Baby Busters.

--Generation Y is also known as Generation Next or the Millennials. Generation Y spans from the late 1970s to the late 1990s.

--The following Generation, referred to as Generation Z, and various other names, was born between the mid-1990s and end of the 2000s.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Halloween Cat

Me & My Halloween Cat
By Stephanie Beach
To see more: visit Stephaine Beach Photography
(Steph's Photo Blog) Link on Right

It Just Isn't Important

The first time she heard the song she asked the room who sang it, they all glared at her. She never knew music, it just had never been important to her, never crossed her mind in day to day life. Trained in Ballet and often found on the dance floor of any club or bar, you would think that music would have had a more lasting effect on her life. She didn’t own an iPod or any mp3 player, before that she hadn’t had a portable CD player, walkman or diskman. Walking to school or sitting on a bus you would never see headphones in her ears. The only CD’s she owned were gifts from distant relatives or ill advised new boyfriends. It isn’t that she doesn’t like music, it just isn’t something she does. It is something that is done for her. Someone else will put it on, someone else will pick the track, someone else will make the playlist, someone else will choose the station. She knows words to songs and can sing along, just from hearing the overplayed ones off and on around town, but she never knows their titles or the artist. It really just isn’t important to her, it isn’t a part of who she is. People find it shocking, they never understand it. She always has a hard time explaining this strange relationship with the thing that means so much in everyone else’s life. The real oddity is that there isn’t a single song on her computer. Her 4 year old laptop is completely pure, clean, free from any music. She asked again who sang the song, then sheepishly asked what it was called. Maybe, just maybe this one would make it onto her hardrive.

A Fiction Workshop Jump Start: Write a Memoir "The first time I/She/He heard the song ….. by …..” While the above is fairly accurate in my life, I did take slight poetic license of course.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


Show Me The Monet
By Banksy

It is hard to describe this artist as he is pretty much anonymous at the moment. British and part of some kind of pacifist anarchism movement, Banksy is a really interesting artist. I personally don't really care about his background, beliefs, or even who he is. His work speaks for itself. He is predominately a graffiti artist but has also done some controversial things in the art world like walking into galleries and hanging up his own paintings. Look into him, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


I had my first presentation of the semester this morning. It wasn't really a normal one though. In my Renaissance Drama 4th Year Seminar we had some options for our first assignment (worth 25%). We could either write an essay, do a formal research presentation, or preform from memory a section of text. I joined in a group of three and we preformed a scene. It was so much fun. I wish all my school presentations were like that. We took the John Webster play, The Duchess of Malfi, and refashioned it in 1950's mafia Chicago. I played two parts, both the nanny and the crazy brother. As the brother, I got to threaten my sister, The Duchess with a hand gun, and I had some great lines, including; "Die then quickly! Virtue where art though hid? What hideous thing is it that doth eclipse thee?" when yelling at my sister, who I incorrectly think has had a child out of wedlock. And "Do not speak" when she is trying to defend herself. I also had two big (20ish lines long) speeches that were really fun too. Including one that is a big story about Reputation, Love and Death. " 'Stay,' called Reputation, 'Do not forsake me, for it is my nature if once I part from any man I meet I am never found again.' And so, for you, you have shook hands with Reputation and made him invisible." Then I end the scene as the brother by walking out and saying, "So you have some virgins that are bitches. I will never see thee more." It was great fun!!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

A Sweet Story

I took the book "No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog" out of the library a little while ago and this was in it. It is written by Margaret Mason and was featured on her blog Mighty Girl.

17 2006

Social Indicators

This couple is crossing the street on a cold Sunday morning. He’s wearing a baggy sweatshirt, jeans, and a baseball cap. She’s wearing a black halter top, dangling earrings, tight jeans, and high heels.

-Wow. He’s walking her home from last night.
-They had a good night last night.
-That’s why he’s walking her home.
-She’s extra cute. That’s why he’s walking her home.
-He’d like for that to maybe happen again sometime, please.
-Why didn’t he offer her a sweatshirt or something?
-He did. She’s fine. Thanks though.
-Look at how he’s looking at her, he wants to keep her around.
-If he were on his game, he would have dressed up a little so she wouldn’t look so Saturday-night next to him.
-That’s why, when you shrink a sweater in the wash, you should keep it around.
-For the tramps?
-She’s not a tramp. Tramps walk home alone.

Lesson Of The Day

The worst thing to eat when you have a sore throat is popcorn.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


So no one reads my blog on the weekends. (I have Google Analytics tracking the visitor traffic, significantly less people check the site on Saturdays and Sundays. It's a creepy statistics tool I admit.) But, since it is Day-Light-Savings-Time and I have gained an hour I thought I would write a little post. I have been sick all weekend which has royally sucked!! I missed Erin's party tonight and more than half of the one held last night at my own house. Basically I have been holed up in bed with a wretched sore throat, massive aches, and a runny nose for the better part of a the last couple of days. I hope everyone else is having a better Halloween than I am and that you all dressed up, since costumes are the best part. Happy Halloween, I'm going to continue to drink lots of fluids and hope that this cold passes quickly.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Free Again

For years it was free to visit the National Art Gallery. Then they started charging admission which sucks! For a couple of years I bought a membership because the student one wasn't very expensive. It was just announced that entrance to both the permanent and special exhibitions is free for Carleton students, you just need to show your student card at the door. This is in place until June 30, 2010!! I'm really impressed with Carleton for making this happen, I think that the National Art Gallery is an amazing place and I can't wait to start going regularly again.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Rerun Time

Just when I get used to a good TV schedule it stops. I know what shows I'm watching this year, when they are aired, where and when I can find them online! This week nothing new is airing. I'm hoping that America's Next Top Model will keep going but everything else is a rerun. I don't know why they do this, I was complaining and asking if it was an election but it turns out it is probably because of The World Series. So this week I can't watch:
-How I Met Your Mother
-Big Bang Theory
-Saturday Night Live
-Private Practice
I'm quickly running out of West Wing episodes on my computer so that is making it even worse. I was saddened by all this but then remembered there were other shows I liked to watch that I hadn't started this year. That means a lot of catching up to do with:
-30 Rock
-This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

I Burnt My Face

Ok, this is strange and it took me a while to figure out how I did it. I'm on a new skin care washing regime. This includes face cleanser at night then toner and moisturizer morning and night. This morning before work I brushed my teeth, threw some water on my face, and did the toner. Then I bummed around the apartment doing little things, putting away dishes, packing my purse, washing the counters, getting dressed, etc.. Then I sat down on my bed to put on the moisturizer. My face started to feel weird and tight, which is strange because the moisturizer is really nice and normally makes my face feel great. Anyway, I'm really thankful I had decided to put on make-up today or else I would have just left the house at that point without looking in a mirror. (I seriously look in a mirror maybe once or twice a day, I don't even really have one in my room, I'm just not a mirror person.) So, I get into the bathroom and my face is bright red and puffy, not my forehead but my cheeks, nose, chin, and around my mouth. Bright red! I touched it and it was sore. It looked like a really bad sun burn. Anyway, I pile on the make-up, but you can actually see the redness through my high quality, high pigment, mineral foundation, I'm having to layer the stuff on. Anyway, I can't figure out how I did it until I go to wash my hands. Then I realise that it is the first time I have washed my hands since brushing my teeth, and I wiped the counter with a cloth and bare hands. Using a lot of lysol. Then when I did the moisturizer I must have got lysol all over my face. I guess my hands can handle the lysol, but my face can't. Yea, and it is still sore.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Laughed Until I Cried

The greatest nights are when I stay up laughing and talking with friends. A recent evening that comes to mind is "The Night of The Worst Case Scenario Game" with Erin and Jenn. I found these The Worst Case Scenario cards somewhere and they had been kicking around Die Höhle for a while, I kept meaning to send them to my brother as part of a care package. I think they are meant to be part of a bigger game or something but I just had the cards. Bored one night, Jenn, Erin, and I decided to make it into our own game. Just reading them aloud to one another and guessing the right answer. The cards were very strange and we laughed a lot at their strange obsession with hotel rooms and gift giving in foreign countries. The cards are all set up the same. The top has a real life situation like "How to dress a puncture wound" or "How to tell if your phone has been taped". Then the card has three options, A, B, or C. The back of the card gives the correct answer but sadly no explanation why. What brought us to hysterics was a card we came across near the end. In a sea of believable situations related to espionage, survival in the wild, or medical emergencies this one just seems hilariously surreal;
How To Attack An Alien
A) Go for the eyes. It will be the only sensitive area you can readily identify.
B) Never, ever attack an alien. Most cases of alien abduction have been harmless information gathering exercises.
C) Jump up and down and act erratically to distract the alien. Then punch it in the mouth and run.
It was Jenn's turn and some how she got it right, option A. The fact she knew the right answer and agreed with the explanation the eyes would be an identifiable sensitive area was both amusing and a little unsettling. I thought the phrase "punch it in the mouth" when referring to an alien was too funny for words. And, we all thought that option B was a frightening notion. We laughed for ages about this. Every now and then I remember it and still giggle.
Note: Photo by Erin Armstrong-Hivale and this story was originally posted on her blog (see link on Right)

Friday, 23 October 2009

Not The Same Person

I found out tonight that the person who sings Piano Man is not Billy Idol but instead someone called Billy Joel, who is a different person. I thought that Piano Man sounded very different from White Wedding and Billy Idol's other songs but for some reason I didn't figure it out before.
Clarification: I know and love the song Piano Man, and many other Billy Joel songs, I just thought they were sung by Billy Idol. I was quite impressed that Idol had such a varied musical repertoire. I just don't think I paid attention after someone said "Billy" since I thought there was only one "Billy" singer. Turns out there are two.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


So many people have told me to start watching the new TV show - Glee. I hadn't gotten around to it until last night and I must say it did not disappoint. I had read a bunch of reviews where critics praised it and tons of my friends have raved about it. I thought it could never live up to the hype, however by the end of the first episode I was hooked. It sits on the great line between pure frivolous escapism and smart funny satire. (Plus it has some really cute guys in it who sing and dance, so hot!) You can catch most of the episodes online at Global TV Online and the rest is available on the deeper darker areas of the internet. I think it airs on television on Wednesday nights for the people who still enjoy things the old fashion way. Trust me on this, Glee will move you! (I think it is better watched in succession, but that might just be because I like to watch everything in order.)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Recipes Of Depression

Prepare any recipe well ahead of time
Don`t pre-heat the oven
Hide the knives
2 Celexa
4 Welbutrin
3 Effexor
Toss together and serve over a generous helping of Crown and Coke
3 Balanced meals a day
8 Hours of sleep at night
Regular exercise
Bake for 6 hours with a well greased Hash Pipe
Prozac 3 times daily
Weekly group therapy
Individual counselling
Stir with Incessant Gambling and Unprotected Sex
Combining all three recipes makes for a delicious late night meal
But the next morning can be killer!


A Fiction Workshop Jump Start: "Recipes to Cure Depression"

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


MSN had a really neat photo article called Now & Then: Heartthrobs Through the Years. I could not believe that they listed Leo here as a "Then" as well as Freddie Prince, Jr and J.T.T.! It makes me feel so old. It was nice to browse through and drool a little though.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Monday's Child

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

I always thought the year I was born that I was actually born of the holiday Victoria Day, which would mean a Monday. That would be great, then according to the poem I would be pretty but instead it turns out I was born on a Thursday so have 'far to go.' I don't know what that means. I think it either means that I will have to work harder in my life or that I will be really successful. Find out what day of the week you were born online.

Friday, 16 October 2009


The attack squadron was now in orbit over Skylon-4. This would mean that Toby would be quiet for at least 15 minutes. Carol went into the living room, away from the TV. “Bless television,” she thought. “Bless bad children’s shows selling toys, candy, and fast food chains to my captivated 4 year old. Bless animated aliens and their annoying ramblings on Skylon-4.” Carol closed her eyes slowly as she sunk into the quiet comfort of the overstuffed designer couch. She tried to ignore the nagging voice in her head that reminding her that years ago she hadn’t even wanted a TV in the house while she was raising her kids.
A Fiction Workshop Jump Start: "The attack squadron was now in orbit over Skylon-4…"

Fiction Workshop Writing

I haven’t wanted to put any of my Fiction Workshop writing on Always Standing since I didn’t feel that the blog posts of my short story went over very well. However, most of the stuff I’m doing in class is very short. We call them ‘Jump Starts,’ the instructor gives us a topic or starting sentence and the class just writes for 10 minutes or so. I really enjoy it, it is the most pressure free way to write. The story doesn’t have to be anything or go any where; there is no planned purpose of it other than to just spend 10 minutes writing. It is great! I guess this is similar to the One Minute Writer that Steph always does on her blog. I rarely finish a story during these exercises and sometimes it comes to a clean little end. Since they are small I think I will start posting some of them occasionally.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The Eyeballing Game

This is interesting and addictive. Some people are bothered by pictures on the wall hanging slightly crooked. Others may not even be aware that something might be amiss. This game tests the ability to see if things are straight or crooked. The best way to figure out how the game works is to simply play it. The game shows you a series of geometries that need to be adjusted a little bit to make them right. A square highlights the point that needs to be moved or adjusted. After your done, the 'correct' geometry is also shown. You do each challenge three times. It tallies up your average error. The lower your average error, the better. I got a 4.9. How did you do?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

I Made A Bowl

This took me FOREVER. I painted it at The Mud Over over something like 6 separate trips and a total of over 20 hours of sketching and painting. I'm happy with how it turned out and now use it to keep my pill bottles in beside my bed.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Halifax is an awesome city. I have been three times now and always enjoy myself. It is so interesting and colourful. There is tons to do, even though I didn't really make it to any of the tourist places this time. Instead I got to hang out with my brother and had a couple of driving tours with Anna's Dad while hearing about Halifax history from a true Nova Scotian. Anna's parents also had a traditional Kitchen Party while I was there, complete with musicians playing banjos, fiddles, guitars, etc. I definitely joined in singing Barrett's Privateers, great song! Spending time with Little Brother Mike was so nice since he is rarely in Ontario anymore. The course he is on right now sounds pretty cool and he loves being in the Maritimes again. My parents are going out to visit him this coming weekend. I'm jealous and wish I could go again. Halifax such a nice place, you totally need to go if you haven't been there.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Thanksgiving Sonnet

This poem will sit at fourteen lines long.
Perfected by Shakespeare, however my
Iambic-pentameter isn't strong.
Lines are ten syllables, thought I should try
My hand at a Sonnet. The rhyming scheme
Is beyond specific but I will keep
Writing these poems as if in a dream.
Wait that's a lie, shouldn't get in too deep,
This is the last poem. Holiday's done.
My plane leaves tomorrow, so much to do.
I'll miss Halifax as it is such fun.
But I need to get back, school work is due
Soon. Don't worry it is still on my mind,
Happy Thanksgiving, now back to the grind!!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Thanksgiving Limerick

The Limerick is another poem that's small.
I like it much better there's no need to stall.
It's so much easier,
Just couldn't be breezer,
Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving all!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Thanksgiving Haiku

I hate all Haikus
Have to get it over with.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Poetic Thanksgiving

I am leaving tonight for a little trip to Halifax for Thanksgiving weekend. I'm going with Anna and staying at her parents. This is a much needed Anna visit since she now lives in Montreal and it is harder to stay in touch. I was so much easier when she worked full time on campus! I am also going to see Little Brother Mike who is out there training, something to do with scuba diving or blowing things up or both together or something. As everyone knows I miss him terribly and love him so much, can't wait for the visit!! I want to keep the blog going since I really don't like to take long breaks from it. So, I thought I might write you some poems for the holiday! Stay Tuned. Happy Thanksgiving!

Time Management Games

I really love Time Management Games. It is the strangest style of computer games but basically it is what it sounds like. They are similar to simulation games but there is a higher emphases on speed. Usually it is some type of shop scenario; a restaurant, spa, salon, bar, florist, bake shop, etc. I first found the genre with Diner Dash, which is still a classic. I have since rediscovered it with Sally's Spa and Sally's Salon. (See picture Right.) I actually got into them again because Lindz just got a new iPod Touch and I found Sally's Spa for that and it is amazing. Actually inspired a deep desire to get an iPod Touch or even, dare I say it, an iPhone. I digress. Anyway, I wonder if these games are enjoyed more by girls since they all have very girly themes. What does that say about what women find enjoyable? They are pretty hard to find online to play, you usually have to download a free demo which only lasts an hour or so. I keep being tempted to just pay for a full version of one. They are just so much fun, despite sounding so very lame.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

I Can Always Justify It

*Phone conversation this evening about going to the mall*
Me: So I think we should take a cab there.
Ottawa Erin: Oh, ok, why?
Me: 'Cause you know, we are running late, it is raining...
Erin: Really? It is raining?
Me: I don't know, it could be!
*Turns out, it wasn't raining*
Erin: What do you mean you don't know if it is raining?
Me: I'm in a basement apartment!
Erin: It has windows.
Me: Yeah I know, I'm looking out one. It doesn't seem to be raining, but still, it could be! I think we should take a cab.
*Turns out, the whole evening it didn`t rain at all*
**Still took a cab though**

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Only A Matter Of Time

I have only had Google AdSense on my blog for a couple of days and already I'm adding more. I am worried that it is going to be too much, that readers will find it distracting, and that it means I'm selling out. However, I really like that I can customize the colours of it so that it matches my blog. I love the matching!! I'm sure I will soon find out that the money comes in so slowly it is barely worth the aesthetic compromise but for now I am curious to see how it all works.

Monday, 5 October 2009

So Much Junk

I don't what has been going on with me these last few days but I have been going crazy with the junk food. This, coupled with no longer training to run, is going to have a pretty negative effect on my body very quickly. But I crave it all so bad....
-apple crisp
-french fries
-chocolate milk
-sour candies
-brown sugar, just plain
Note: In the last three days I have eaten all of the above, some multiple times. However, I have a plan. I'm going to try not to eat any more junk food until Halloween. Then all that candy, chips, and other goodies will taste so much better. I may end up eating some bad things over Thanksgiving but I figure that will be alright since it is also a holiday.

Envying My Future Self

"Every publicity image confirms and enhances every other. Publicity is not merely an assembly of competing messages: it is a language in itself which is always being used to make the same general proposal. Within publicity, choices are offered between this cream and that cream, that car and this car, but publicity as a system only makes a single proposal. It proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives, by buying something more. This more, it proposes, will make us in some way richer - even though we will be poorer by having spent our money. Publicity persuades us of such a transformation by showing us people who have apparently been transformed and are, as a result, enviable. The state of being envied is what constitutes glamour. And publicity is the process of manufacturing glamour.

It is important here not to confuse publicity with the pleasure or benefits to be enjoyed from the things it advertises. Publicity is effective precisely because it feeds upon the real. Clothes, food, cars, cosmetics, baths, sunshine are real things to be enjoyed in themselves. Publicity begins by working on a natural appetite for pleasure. But it cannot offer the real object of pleasure and there is no convincing substitute for a pleasure in that pleasure's own terms. The more convincingly publicity conveys the pleasure of bathing in a warm, distant sea, the more the spectator-buyer will become aware that he is hundreds of miles away from that sea and the more remote the chance of bathing in it will seem to him. This is why publicity can never really afford to be about the product or opportunity it is proposing to the buyer who is not yet enjoying it.

Publicity is never a celebration of a pleasure-in-itself. Publicity is always about the future buyer. It offers him an image of himself made glamorous by the product or opportunity it is trying to sell. The image then makes him envious of himself as he might be. Yet what makes this self-which-he-might-be enviable? The envy of other. Publicity is about social relations, not objects. Its promise is not of pleasure, but of happiness: happiness as judged from the outside by others. The happiness of being envied is glamour.

Being envied is a solitary form of reassurance. It depends precisely upon not sharing your experience with those who envy you. You are observed with interest but you do not observe with interest - if you do, you will become less enviable. In this respect the envied are like bureaucrats; the more impersonal they are, the greater the illusion (for themselves and for others) of their power. The power of the glamorous resides in their supposed happiness: the power of the bureaucrat in his supposed authority. It is this which explains the absent, unfocused look of so many glamour images. The look out over the looks of envy which sustain them.

The spectator-buyer is meant to envy herself as she will become if she buys the product. She is meant to imagine herself transformed by the product into an object of envy for others, an envy which will then justify her loving herself. One could put this another way: the publicity image steals her love of herself as she is, and offers it back to her for the price of the product."

--John Berger, Ways of Seeing

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Link - Always A Mess

New Link on Right
Blogging is great! Through my influence or otherwise a bunch of my friends have been slowly starting up their own sites over the years. Ottawa Erin is the lastest!! As a personal rule, I don't feature or link to a blog until it has at least 5 posts completed. This gives the writer time to get used to the format and gives readers enough material to get a sense about what the blog is about. Also, a lot of people start blogs and abandon them, I need to see commitment! (See section of an XKCD comic called Superlative on Right.) Erin's blog is called Always A Mess and is part of an effort to clean up her life, "sometimes habits are hard to change". She has been keeping a lot of clippings, pictures, cutouts, ripped bits of newspaper and other scraps for years now. They have been kept in pages of books, old shoe boxes, tucked into the back corners of drawers and every other imaginable place, I know this is true because I helped her move a few months ago. Now Ottawa Erin is attempting to clean up by cataloging all of it and new materials she finds on Always A Mess. One other thing, she has two really cool features at the very bottom of her blog, a Fish Pond and a collection of quotes. See Link to Erin's blog in My Links.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

It Was Time

I finally got Google AdSense. I don't think I will add too much yet, I'll maybe add more later on. (Yes, there is a pun to be seen there, but I'm choosing to ignore it. I hate the puns.) Right now it is just one small banner at the very very bottom of the blog. I'm trying to ease myself and others into it. I figure if I can make money, I should try to make money. I don't think it will take me long to add a side bar one below my Blog Archive, maybe in a couple of weeks once I have gotten used to it.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Blow Your Mind Hole

I saw this little bit on an episode of West Wing sometime over the last week. It has been haunting me ever since. I have always know what it says to be true but to see it presented so clearly really blew my mind. I wanted to share it on Always Standing but didn't know how. I figured I would have to further research what they are talking about and write a post on it. I also could maybe find the episode online somewhere and direct everyone to the proper point in it. On a whim I thought I might be able to to find it on YouTube to see if the exact clip I wanted was available. I didn't think I would have much luck since West Wing is an older show and this was an obscure section in just one episode of its seven seasons. Turns out when I typed in just 'west wing' without even further qualifiers this was the third clip listed. I guess it was interesting to a few other people too. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Link - Four Litre Chocolate Milk

New Link on Right

I miss Anne. Since she we stopped working together at Natural Resources and she left Ottawa, I have missed her joy, beauty, and most of all humor. The funniest things happen to her and she tells the stories in the most interesting and entertaining way. She has recently started a blog; Four Litre Chocolate Milk. See the link to Anne's Blog in the My Links section.

Bad Blog Post

I want to write something good
I want to write something deep
But have been watching too much West Wing
And haven't had enough sleep

Urban Walls

I bought these cool 3D flowers for my wall. I kept seeing them at the store up the street and thought they were so interesting and modern. They were actually designed by a Canadian industrial design student - Marion Lanktree. Umbra is now making them and they aren't expensive. You can buy them on the Umbra website, through Amazon, or in stores. They are called Wallflower Wall Decor and there are a bunch of colours. It is hard to really show or explain what they truly look like or how they are installed without seeing it in person. Basically, you put a magnetic tack into the wall and these light weight curved plastic pieces attach to that. The texture they create is really funky. Here they are up in my room:

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

So You Can Search

I often search my own blog. Actually, for the most part I am looking to copy and paste -Die Höhle- since the -ö- is a bit of a pain. I have been finding the Search Blog by Blogger (in the blue bar at the top of the page) hasn't been very good at this lately. It has really been bugging me actually, especially when I'm looking for a specific post and don't want to wade through almost three years in the Archive. I decided to add a Search Blog Archive by Google to the sidebar. I'm not totally happy with it since you have to scroll down to get to it and then scroll back to see the results. (However, I don't want to just have the search at the top of the sidebar so this is partially my fault.) For now it will do. Hopefully it will prove to be helpful and more reliable.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Weak Ankles

I twisted my ankle yesterday. I stumbled off a curb, randomly, for no reason. (And, before you ask, I was sober.) It is the opposite ankle as the one that I sprained a number of years ago. The sprained one is super ugly now, I call it 'The Hoof' since it is noticeably different and larger than the other. Now the other is a bit messed up too. It hurts when I twist it certain ways. I guess I should have slept with it elevated, or something. I'm going running tonight and am going to have to take it easy when I do.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

And Then We Were Awesome

I bought a cheap little bathroom set over 6 months ago; towel rack, hand towel ring, and toilet paper holder. We don't want to use the towel rack so gave it away a while ago. We just need to put two things up. But, I don't own a drill to install them. Eventually I asked our landlord to borrow his. Jerrica and my first attempt didn't go well. Basically it was a total disaster. We abandoned the project for a couple of weeks, leaving some sizable holes in our nicely painted bathroom walls. Today we tried again. Success!! It was a struggle still and at times we were both shaking pretty bad, worried that more things would go wrong. However, we got the hand towel and toilet paper things up, I have never been so proud!!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Great Link

Jerrica and I have a new roommate, Lindz. She signed the lease with us back in May but went home for the summer and we had a boy subletter for a while. Now she is back for school and it is nice to have a Girl House again. When at home, Lindz works at Walmart. Right now her family is actually living in The States, so she works at an American Walmart. She showed me People of Walmart and has shared some good stories about her times working there. (Did you know they ID kids for Spray Paint, White Out and Sharpies? Yes, the markers. They have to be 16 or 18 or something to buy them. Crazy! I don't think we do that here. I'm pretty sure that poor little 13 year old Suzy is welcome to buy a black permanent market for her school project.) Anyway, People of Walmart is a great site, super funny!! Don't get me wrong I love the store, especially since the one in Ottawa went 24 Hours all year round. But I still like to laugh at pictures of trashy people; who are found in Walmarts in Canada as well as the US. Enjoy!

Good Morning

Question: Is it a bad idea to have Sour Patch Kids for breakfast?

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Taking Over My Life

I love the boardgame Settlers. However, it is fairly complex and people rarely want to play with me. A couple of months ago I found a site online where I can play it with other people across the internet. I actually got my dad set up on it too and now sometimes at night we meet up and play each other, which is pretty cool for living 6 hours away. Last week though, the site went down. I know I was playing it a lot but I didn't know how much until I couldn't play it at all. Addicted!! I did however find its sister site which is exactly the same - only in Dutch. After wading through the Dutch to get a login and other such things once you are actually playing the game it is the same and set up in English. I am going to use this until the English one gets fixed. Anyone who wants to join me, keep an eye out for the main one to get fixed and in the mean time you can try the Dutch site or obviously I would always be up for the real life boardgame version!! Goedenavond!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Beautiful Hull

Bridge To Gatineau
By Christine Sweeton

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Carving Off Time

I did the Army Run today. Start time was at 8am which is early and it was pretty frosty. I have a cold which meant that the run was hard this morning and for the rest of the day I have been feeling pretty achy and icky. Ottawa Erin and I ran together the whole way which made the race seem much faster than last year. Turns out I actually did it faster than last year too!! This years time: 39:09. Last years time: 44:22. My mom is in town and did the run as well. She beat Erin and I by 19 seconds! (Next year I will be faster than her, I swear.) Erin and I might do Run For The Cure in a couple of weeks too since we have had fun training and had a great time today at the race!!

HIMYM Drinking Game

I have one now for three different shows I like to watch; Friends, The Office, and now How I Met Your Mother. I pulled it off the internet but have made some of my own modifications.

How I Met Your Mother Drinking Game

One Drink
Anyone says "Awesome!"
Anyone says "Bro" or "Bro-something"
Robin says "literally"
Barney says "legendary"
Barney uses a pickup line
Barney says "Suit up"
Lily talks about or is around her kindergartners
Anyone says "Have you met..."
Barney does magic
Anyone does a high five
Barney says "Ha, please."
Barney says "Daddy's home"
Marshall says "Lawyered!"
Ted does a voiceover
There is a flashback

Three Drinks
Barney says "What up?"
Barney mentions his blog
Marshall sings about what he's doing
Canada Mention!!
Barney calls himself Ted's best friend
Ted says "How I Met Your Mother"
Any mention of a slap bet
Telepathic Conversation
Ted makes a Star Wars reference

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


I'm at work and I have no lunch. I had class at 8:30 this morning (a class which looks like it is going to be pretty awesome) and didn't have time to pull something together. However, I also have no one to go out to get lunch with me. I'm not keen on eating by myself as it is, but I hate spending money on food that I have to eat alone.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

When OSAP Comes In

My expenses are piling up and OSAP is being a pain. I don't have it yet but when I do, I need to:
-pick up a bus pass
-pay off my parents for buying my plane ticket to Halifax
-get groceries
-buy textbooks and novels, there is a lot and they are expensive
-go to the dentist
-buy the Second Season of How I Met Your Mother

-get my eyebrows waxed, and maybe my legs
-pay off my credit card

-give Steph cash for chairs I'm buying from Dave's sister
-get cat food
-go shopping to get new bras, underwear, boots and a pair of jeans

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Social Tick

I have a (new) social tick. I can't stop it. Now that I have noticed it, it bugs me every time I notice myself doing it!! I have discovered that I list examples with letters (and occasionally numbers). For example,"Yea, so I decided not to go out last night because A-it was raining B- I have no money and C- I was super tired." I have always done this, but now I have noticed I do it ALL THE TIME, like 3 or 4 times a conversation maybe even 20 times a day. It is so annoying (and I hate being annoying) but I cant seem to stop. (Often I'm doing it when only have two things to list so it is just going to be A&B or 1&2, which makes it even more stupid) I do sometimes catch myself about to do it and I then will try to say "because either such and such or such and such" or try to just list things normally. However, sometimes I don't catch myself doing it until after I have done it. I'm actually annoying myself. I have to fix this!!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Oh, Those Chicks

Brontë Sisters
By Patrick Branwell Brontë (c. 1834)

I'm reading Wuthering Heights for one of my English classes and am really enjoying it. It is written by one of the Brontë sisters but, while talking to Steph over e-mail about it, I couldn't remember for sure which one. In yet another example of why I'm a terrible literature student (English Major, What?) I told her that I knew there are three of them, but only from the painting (see above) and that one or more of them committed suicide but again didn't know which. Steph confirmed this; "Yeah there were definitely three Bronte sisters and they weren’t the most stable of chicks." Turns out none of them committed suicide, though they and their books, were pretty messed up.

The Brontë Sisters
They make me thankful for vaccinations!! For anyone else who is a little foggy on these writers here is the break down:

Maria and Elizabeth: Eldest sisters. Died of tuberculosis at 12 & 10 years old respectively.

Charlotte: Wrote Jane Eyre and other books/poetry. Married. Died in childbirth 39 years old.

Emily: Wrote Wuthering Heights and poetry. Died of tuberculosis, 30 years old.

Anne: Wrote Angnes Grey and other books/poetry. Died of tuberculosis, 29 years old.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Not Blocked

It looks as though I can post on my blog from work, which is strange since I thought it was blocked. I am not going to spend any time on this post right now, since I'm actually fairly busy at work these days. However, it is nice to know that I have access since right now at Die Höhle our internet is down. The router broke and we can't get online until they send us a new power adapter. Hopefully it comes soon!!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Cover To Cover

I arrived home this weekend to find a copy of the Sears Wish Book sitting on the coffee table. I sat down immediately to look at it. I tend to read all magazines cover to cover - Cosmo, gossip magazines, Cottage Life, news magazines, Natural Geographic, and even sometimes in doctors offices Parents Magazine. I like to look at all the advertisements and read every article. The Wish Book is the same. I look through it for hours, even the Men's Clothing and other irrelevant sections. I now have tons of ideas for what I want for Christmas, as well as some thoughts about what to get for others. I'm bringing a copy home to O-Town. If anyone wants their own copy you can request one (then you have to go pick it up at a Sears Store.)

Friday, 4 September 2009

Odd Sensation

I was trying to remember something I had been meaning to tell Jerrica, while I was thinking I started snapping my fingers. Then I realised - I have not snapped my fingers in years. It is the strangest sensation. I can do it with both hands and pretty loudly. I think I find it so amusing because I can't whistle and as aforementioned I can't even remember the last time I snapped my figures it was so long ago. I did then proceed to snap them for about an hour - very amused by this. Never did remember what it was I was supposed to tell Jerrica.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Epic Blog Mention

Not an epic mention of Always Standing actually, but of myself on Heather`s blog (See Link on Right). Heather is leaving for England soon and has been doing a series of posts about saying goodbye to her friends. I hung out with her on Monday and she has since written a glowing review of our friendship. She says so many nice things, I was positively beaming as I read it. However, many of them are more than little bit of a stretch, especially for anyone who actually knows me. I also had been trying to keep The Humus Story from appearing on the internet, but it really was only a matter of time. I am really excited for Heather and her awesome Masters program in the UK. I am looking forward to reading and hearing all about her experiences over the coming year.


The Future of Farming
Wind Turbine at The Erie Shores Wind Farm near Long Point, Ontario.
By Christine Sweeton

Near my cottage is a wind farm. It isn't like the ones I have seen in the UK, which are fields solely dedicated to wind turbines in neat rows, but instead the windmills are dispersed over 25 kilometres of shoreline, scattered within farmers fields. Driving through it is an amazing and inspiring experience. I think they are beautiful!!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Thoughts For 20-35 Year Olds

Edited from an e-mail forward:

Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on ( and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

I'm always worried when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. Do I ask them? Do I ask them again? But that will that look like I don't want to watch it. What do I do?

Bad decisions make good stories

When I meet someone new, I'm terrified of mentioning something they haven't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

I Got In!!

I just got notice from Carleton that I was accepted into the Fiction Workshop. I guess my story was good enough, or not many people applied. Now I'm really scared!! I'm going to have to be regularly producing creative fictiony type stuff. I have no idea how I'm going to do it.

They Are Tiny

I found out tonight that the province of Newfoundland only has a population of around half a million people. Canada as a whole is working its way over 33,000,000. That means that Newfoundland is like one-sixty-eth of our nation. That is crazy!! Ottawa has one and half times that many. It is the last remaining province for me to visit. I have seen all the others. I'm dying to go, it is supposedly absolutely beautiful. Teri, who has Newfie liniage, has been. (Though she hasn't been to Manitoba so we are tied on provinces with 9 of 10.) Teri , Anna - the Nova Scotian and Jerrica - the true Newfie, all correct me on my pronunciation of Newfoundland as I tend to say New-found-land which is how it is spelt. However, it is actually said New-finland. There is also a bit of an ongoing debate on whether the term 'Newfie' is derogatory (a provincial-slur) or not. I don't think so and I would never say it to mean anything negative. To quote Jerrica, "Newfies Rock!!"