Thursday, January 27, 2011

A few days ago, my roomie got Ivory soap for our bathroom to replace the liquid soap that ran out a long time ago (using dish soap in the interim). This evening while I was washing my hands I happened to smell it and it gave me this huge flashback. When my mother was still home schooling the pack of us, we did a project on Inuit art and each of us were supposed to make a "soapstone" carving with Ivory soap. I made a teddy bear (with considerable input from the mother, who is artistically inclined). Ben broke one of the legs off of it and I was so upset about it. Ivory soap. Hmm.

I'm having a hard time adjusting to the new way of things. Past few months have been thoroughly unpleasant. A bunch of things that I have been entertained by in the past I just can't enjoy any more. Things like Firefly, Questionable Content, smoking, scotch, Colin Firth, driving, weekends, Matt Damon, The Other Guys... etc. They just keep reminding me of how much I screwed up.

Furthermore, silly printer won't print my black and white document because it is out of magenta ink. Grr.

I need to get myself back into some sort of container. Without any restricting influences I find myself a shapeless, useless, mindless creature indeed. I used to enjoy being left to my own devices, because I had some idea about who or what I was. It turns out I've lost all that cytoskeleton, and I've been depending on some sort of external framework for a really long time. Gotta build something up that's not dependent on where I am or who I'm with. I know what I have to do. It's gonna be like a cicada moulting - getting rid of an exoskeleton.

For all you lovely people who have put up with this crazy season, I do thank you.

I watched American History X again this evening for the fifth time in the past 2 months. If anyone is ever in need of a solid cry, that is the film to watch. The King's Speech was also magnificent in that respect.

Now I'm gonna hug The Robot Cat and get to bed. Class, meetings, and shower tomorrow, in that approximate order.

A little smile before you go.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Politicians Who Are Truly Awesome

I want to say before I begin that any politician should be proud to have their name on this list. I realize that my opinion is not as highly valued as all the political analysts out there, but each of these people stand out as examples of effective, beneficial leaders. I have linked each name to its wikipedia page so that if you don't know who they are you can check them out. (Sorry the links are hard to read! Hover over them and you should be ok!)

Paul Kagame - has turned Rwanda into one of the safest, most advanced countries in Africa in the 17 years since the genocide

Vladimir Putin - Has he killed a lot of people? Probably. Has he done more for the recovery of Russia from its years of economic and political backsliding than anyone else? Also probably.

Nelson Mandela
- There's still a lot to be done in South Africa, and he really is more of a figurehead, but he has remained so dedicated in his work for the people he loves.

Barack Obama - You all knew this was coming. He is saving the USA internationally and internally, but the country is too self-absorbed to recognize how great he is.

Abraham Lincoln
- Pulling a country together after a civil war is no easy thing. Doing it with as much class and beard as he did? Nigh impossible.

Queen Victoria - Have you seen this lady's empire? Madness.

Queen Elizabeth I
- Shows how much a lady can accomplish if she doesn't have a silly man to take care of. I really admire her for pulling together a country that was at war with itself and Spain, and for not getting killed. Also, she was a wonderfully eloquent and educated person.

(Do queens count as politicians since they weren't elected? Neither of these ladies were ousted either, so that is to their credit.)

Hugo Chavez - He is outspoken, Socialist, effective, and good to his people. That is really all I ask.

Aung San Suu Kyi - She's been in jail most of her life. She was given 3 years of hard labour when some American dick-wad decided to swim to her house while she was under arrest. There's something to be said about perseverance, eh?

William Lyon Mackenzie King - Crazy smart and crazy crazy. I think he was sickeningly effective, but on the downside he is the main culprit for the navigational mess that is Ottawa.

That's all I can currently think of. I can see that there are a lot of holes in my knowledge of political history, specifically in the Middle East and Indo-China.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sweet Things

Counting out quarters at the record shop
London Calling and the Pressure Drop
Skipping double dutch with your sister's friends
The landlord's calling for the rent again
If all I have is all I need
And all I need is all I have
Then why is all I ever want is more
Why can't I see the sweet things until they're all gone

Sitting on the grass at your mother's grave

Staring at the letters that spell my name
Stars still shine in a sky blue sky
You just gotta look with better eyes
I lay face down in the summer dirt
My ear pressed into the conducting earth
I hear radio waves and ghosts that fizzle and fade

It's ten years later now

You said I wondered about your age
I said I got ID'd today
You said "ya, I get that too
It's like we'll never die
Just grow younger every day"

Shoebox photos and birthday cards

I've got an old tube amp and no guitar
Living in a Salvation Army shoe
All we had was me and you

-Danny Michel

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Better or Worse

I think it's better to not have any moments of awesomeness at all than to have a small fleeting one in your youth.

Some people seem to be able to live in a state of continual 1-upping of their past actions. Every day they get up and do their thing just slightly better than they did the day before. These are the kind of people that get famous in politics or musics or sports or whatevers.

Some people, on the other hand, don't do much of anything very well, and they get over it by the time they're 25 or so and they live out their lives in a complacent mediocrity.

The problem arises when someone attains something good early in their life, and can't outdo themselves after it. I'm thinking of two books right now. One was a short story, actually, about a man who wrote a book on the day he got married, and it ruined his life because he couldn't write anything better than that. The other is Madame Bovary, who was popular and beautiful and gifted in her youth, but eventually became aware of her own drifting to obscurity and it made her do all sorts of distasteful things. What about artists or athletes who have to continue living off of the contributions they made in their 20's until they die in their 80's? Paul McCartney is kinda stuck like that, along with most of the greatest classic rockers.

It's almost better for a person to die when they are famous, like Elvis or Lennon, than for them to endure the withering effects of age, obscurity, and Family Guy.

So I guess my advice to all of you is either to never achieve anything of lasting importance or to kill yourself if you ever achieve accidentally.

No matter how you slice it, it's gonna end in tears :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I've recently discovered a feature on Blogger that lets me check how many people actually read each blog post. I'm actually surprised at how many page views I get each month.
That being said, I don't know how many of these are just the same people compulsively clicking over the this site.
So, if you don't mind, I want to try and assess who is kicking around here. If you are a somewhat regular reader, let me know what you think of the new layout via comments. You don't have to leave a name or anything if you don't want.

In regards to the new layout, I wanted something a little more cohesive. I didn't like the 5 colour, 3 font scheme that was going on. I like green, so I kept it. I'm still unsure about the blackness. I feel like it gives it too much of an 'emo' tone or something. I really like the way everything is all aligned in this one, and the black-text-on-grey-box for the posts. It's not too hard to read or anything is it? I think its nicer for night reading now. I hate opening a wobsite that is predominantly white when I've just woken up or when I'm sleepy. Burny retinas.

Another thing I want to point out is that I do cater to the people who read this to some extent. I know that a lot of people think it's a silly way to live life; changing how you act around different people is seen as a form of dishonesty. However, I think that if I said everything I thought all the time I would be in very big trouble. I filter the way I present myself, and I think that it is a fair approach to relationships (unless you're getting married to the person (which I'm not (and certainly not to any of you))). If I know what sorts of people are checking up on me here, I will try to put in things of interest to those sorts of people. Don't think that by not telling me you're around you'll get a "more honest" representation of me in here. No matter who I'm talking to there will be filtering. It's not an issue of more or less honesty, but rather sometimes there's things you don't want to hear from someone, and I would like to facilitate everyone's comfort.

I will not straight up lie, of course. Editing out some things is a good way for me to assess my actions and thoughts.

Somehow, after typing that all out, I think I'm a rotten person. Is filtering cheating? Crap.
I just want people to like me. That's what it all boils down to, sadly enough. Is that wrong? I think it is probably wrong. Not morally really, but in a "Life: you're doing it wrong" sense.

Anyway, comments or suggestions for the layout would be awesome!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm listening to the Pirate Radio soundtrack and I just want to dance around with Robo-Kitty. Imma dance around with Robo-Kitty.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sleepy little Robo0-Kitty is licking my laptap. Weird.

School starts for me tomorrow. The idea is that I will be working really hard at school and rock climbing with my father or friends and generally working hard at making myself more useful.

Truthfully I'm just all grey about this semester. I don't care much. I'm having an existential evening. I've needed either a hug or a SuperSoaker. I got Facebook instead.

And this sleepy, warm kitty, whom I envy greatly. Darling kitty.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I am bad at life

Here is an example:

Yesterday I was sitting in the University Centre lap-tapping away, getting stuff done for housing next year. It was maybe 130pm, and I had to meet a girl to sell a textbook at 230. I left Jam Haus early to avoid the landlady, because she was showing it to some prospective tenants.

Out of the blue a guy walked up to me and just struck up conversation. Wishing to be polite, I went along with it, chatting about majors and school based things. He asked me straight up if I smoke pot, which I thought was a strange thing. And he asked if I wanted to get lunch. I excused myself, saying I had to meet my landlady to talk about something. He said ok, but would I want to hang out tomorrow (as in today). I am spineless and don't like to make people sad, so I said sure. He asked for my number, and I gave it to him.

After freaking out very hard for a while, I talked to some helpful people who said this was a good thing and that it's ok. It was decided that lunch can't hurt.

So today at around 1130 he called and asked if today was fine for lunch. I said sure, and we met at this Chinese place. About 15 minutes into the conversation it became apparent that we had absolutely NOTHING in common. It was difficult to hold up conversation because he didn't believe in follow up questions and just moved from one topic to the next like he was checking them off a list. He also kept talking about how he like cooking and had worked as a massage person and that if i was "nice" he would give me one. So peculiar.

Lunch over with, he invited me to his place to watch The Hangover. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I had seen it twice and didn't like it at all. So we went to his house and he kept making a big deal about hugs (bad sign right there eh?). I told him I had to be home fairly soon because my roomie and I were gonna go look at a house to rent. About 3 minutes into the movie he straight up tried to hold my hand and I was like "Watch the movie" and he was all "Don't you like to cuddle" and I was like "I'm not a very touchy person". He seemed to lose all hope at that point and I left pretty soon after that.

I'm actually kinda giggling to myself about it. Who does that? Just walks up to a chick, asks her out to lunch, and expects to get cuddles out of it? Do I come across as a particularly easy or cuddly sort? I must be losing my sharp edges. I like my sharp edges.

So I have learned that people are ridiculous, and some of them deserve to be shot down immediately, before they get any silly ideas. Also have remembered that I am very bad at saying no to people. I very much hate to disappoint.

Right now though, I'm pretty chipper. This whole thing kinda cheered me up, and off to see TRON! tonight with the good people that I like.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Smoking is better for lady problems than ibuprofen. Spread the word.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Roomie is from home this evening, and the landlady had to show the apartment (we will be moving in the spring) so I went for a walk and spent the last of my money on cigarettes.

I' taken to visiting Doug and Lynn at the farm on most Sundays. It's so calming, and they always give me a drink and a cigarette. Now that I have some of the tasty ones I can return the favour. They are so lovely to be around, and they make me feel like they enjoy having me there, too.

It's funny how I ended up being friends with them. I saw an ad for very cheap horse board in the Elmira observer the summer before I got Jemma, so I called, set up an appointment, and biked out to the farm to have a look and chat. Lynn was out walking her massive Irish Wolfhound, and the silly dog came running up to me to say hi. I only found out later that Una, the wolfhound, is very shy. Lynn and I hit it off, even though I was completely clueless and she knew it. I was very scared of Doug for a while, because he is not an overtly friendly person and I am scared of everyone.
They taught me a lot. When Jemma had colic they helped me walk her and let me borrow some of their supplies. When I got screwed over by the people I leased her too they let me bring her back on really short notice. When I couldn't pay for her any more, they looked after her. It's rare (especially in the horse industry) that you find people so willing to help and be good people.
Whenever I've had problems at home or stress with school or friends, I've gone out there to have a ride and a talk. I don't know which did me more good - the time alone in the forest or the time talking to Lynn. She always backs me up when I'm fighting with my mother or tells me when I'm not making smart choices. Doug always teases me about my "little mennonite boyfriend" or chats about movies and travel and books and music. We have similar tastes.

I consider them to be replacement parents, or at least an aunt and uncle.
Having older friends is the best thing in the world. They are much better at perspective than young friends. Sure, I don't go out drinking with them or anything, but they remind me that there are good people in the world. It's worth trying to get to know people, because some of them are like Lynn and Doug.

That's all I wanted to say. I'm gonna re-watch some Band of Brothers and be thankful for the awesome that is Winters.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Imma try

Or try to try.

One of the worst things for me in life is that I haven't had to try for much of anything yet. School has never been very difficult; putting in the bare minimum has always gotten me good enough results. Friendships in high school were easily made, easily broken, easily mended. Anything which required effort I've habitually avoided: sports, commitment, achievement, etc.

I think I'm sick of scraping by. I'm sick of not trying for fear of failure. It's such a yellow-bellied way to get through life. I want to stop having lame excuses for why I waste so much time watching movies or on Facebook.

If something or someone matters to me, I'm gonna try. Or try to try. I'm very bad at it.

Also: Happy New Year!

Part of this whole effort is to improve my mind is to read more than I have been in the past year.
I currently have 3 books on the go, all of which are very much worth my time, energy, respect, consumption, and application. I have already mentioned "The Problem of Pain" by C. S. Lewis. I am also reading "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu and a collection of essays on the greatest military leaders of the past which is also entitled "The Art of War".

Sun Tzu's book is tiny, and written in this weird poetic manner. Most of the strategies he outlines seem like common sense to the modern observer (eg: attack a weak point, don't drag a war out for long), but for his time it was revolutionary. It is interesting, after reading his collection of military SOPs, to see which leaders in the other "Art of War" book followed his suggestions.

My other current endeavour is a brief study in formal and symbollic logic. I have a week before school starts, no job, not a whole lot going on. I dloaded a bunch of lectures on the subject from iTunesU for free.

I shall sit now with my delicious-smelling candle and laptap full of good things and accumulate some knowing.