"All the world's a stage, and the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts."

- William Shakespeare

Saturday, October 30, 2010

here it goes again

So I was doing a little bit of research after posting my v-blog online and discovered that even Imogen Heap keeps her v-blogs under twelve minutes. And she's Imogen Heap - of course she has much more interesting things to say. What I'm trying to say here is sorry, again, for making such an insanely long v-blog about pretty much nothing. Next time I'll keep it under five minutes (if there will even be a next time).

Anyway, I just wanted to write a short blog today (partly because it is another way to avoid the inevitable which, today, takes the form of three 4-5 page essays all due on Monday. Of course I haven't started them yet! But at least I've read the material I'm supposed to be writing about... so there's that).

I was scrolling down on my facebook home page (yet another good way to avoid essay writing) when I came across an interesting tidbit of information. My friend Mark (aka Fyodor Lewis) - sorry Mark, I don't know how to make a direct link to your page... I wish I was more tech-savvy - had a poem of his spotlighted (is that a verb?) on another blog which is super cool. And that got me thinking about a short story I just wrote. I don't like writing short stories. I like novels... and plays... and screenplays... and that's all. So obviously, the short story was written under duress (creative writing assignment). I wrote it the morning of the due date and I wasn't really happy with it... I still think it's incredibly corny and too obviously reaching for a stereotypical tearjerker. But my teacher thought it was 'wonderful' and 'publishable as is.'

Seeking different perspectives, I lent it to my parents to give it a read (hoping they'd agree with me, for some masochistic reason). My mom said it made her cry (in the right way) and my dad said he agreed with my teacher.

So that coupled with the inspiration received from seeing Mark's work commended, I've decided to enter my short story into a competition or two.

I don't like competitions. Especially writing ones. Because we all know how the last one turned out. But here I go trying again.

As 'luck' would have it, there are a bajillion and one short story writing competitions that all close tomorrow or November 1. So at least this time around I won't have to wait forever to hear the news, good or bad.

I'm only submitting my story to two competitions. That keeps things simple. I like simple.

Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know about this zany new development in my life. Of course I'll let you know the outcome as soon as I'm told what it is. And if I win, drinks on me! (Just kidding... I have to save, remember? Maybe I'll get you a little umbrella like the kind they put in cocktails so you can pretend I bought you a drink...)

Now I really will start writing those essays. Boo. Hope your weekend involves a lot more fun than mine will! Oh! And Happy Halloween!! :D

Keep it real.

Friday, October 15, 2010

inside look

Today I had a few things on my mind and I thought it would be fun to show you instead of just talk about them with you. So, since I have a wildly entertaining (at least, in my opinion) imagination, we're gonna go on a little tour of my brain...

(This isn't actually mine, but let's pretend.)

You know how you can get a song stuck in your head? Or sometimes it's just a few lyrics playing over and over again all day. Well, today's was a good one:

(start watching from the 30 second point)

"I read with every broken heart we should become more adventurous."

And on your right - [pretend I'm speaking like Tour Guide Barbie now] - you'll see one of my favorite clips from one of my favorite movies, The Count of Monte Cristo (with one of my favorite actors, Jim Caviezel):

"Life is a storm. You will bask in the sunlight one moment and be shattered on the rocks the next."

I also haven't been able to get this out of my head for the past few days:

I finished reading it just over a week ago, I think, but I'm still trying to process everything so I won't be able to write about it just yet. There's so much to say, but I have no idea how to say it. So, yeah... just thinking it through for now. Hopefully my brain won't explode before I get a chance to actually talk about it.

And then, of course, there's this stuff:

I wanna go to New York so badly right now!
Can you believe I've never been to New York City?
I mean, it's getting to be a little ridiculous!

Is it weird that something I once dreaded,
I now consider therapeutic?

Yeah, I know it's still 72 days away,
but I love it so much!

Anyway, that it for the tour... Hope it was somewhat enjoyable... 

Yeah, I should probably get back to the one thing my mind doesn't want to think about, and that's homework. Soooo muuuuch reeading to do this weekend.

Super fun.


...I'll get to it.

Keep it real!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

turkey day

So it's Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, eh?

I gotta say, I've been so busy lately I've barely had time to think so there's nothing in particular on my heart right now that I absolutely need to blog about. That being said, I'm so thankful for a break so this Thanksgiving will not go unnoticed - I'm very appreciative of it.

I've already experienced half of the Thanksgiving festivities I'll be privy to this weekend. Earlier today I drove for four hours to Brockville - I'm pretty sure it was Brockville - to have Turkey dinner with some of my dad's side of the family. Not everyone could make it but it was still pretty fun. I mean, it took a while to get interesting... for a while I thought the topic of conversation would stay on farming restrictions forever, but after about forty minutes we discovered something else to talk about (something I was eternally thankful for)! The greatest part though was getting to hang out with my immediate family. Two of my siblings don't live at home anymore and I'm usually only home to sleep or do laundry so it was good to all be in the same room for more than five minutes.

Tomorrow I'll be hitting up Courtice, Ontario to see the other side of the family so that should be another adventure.

Thanksgiving's a pretty sweet holiday if you ask me. There's no gift giving or candy hunts, there's just family get-togethers for the sake of getting together with family. And taking a break from the daily grind. I think it's cool that Thanksgiving's managed to stick around even though it's not the most exciting holiday on the planet and you always come out of it remembering once again that yes, your family is nuts.

So whatever your Thanksgivings look like, I hope you get a chance to sit back and relax, eat some delicious meals and enjoy time with family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Keep it real.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

shine bright, white night!

I'm an aesthete. Or so I've been told. The truth is, I'm usually only an aesthete when I'm feeling lazy. Oscar Wilde is an example of a super hard core aesthete - he thought there didn't need to be any reason at all behind art and it should be loved for no other reason than the fact that it's art. (When you boil it down, the notion is beauty for the sake of beauty.) Sometimes I agree with his stance, other times I really like relating art to life, so I see a practicality in it.

The great thing about nuit blanche is that there is art there for all types of people. Art with a purpose, like exposing issues, and art whose only purpose is to be enjoyed - however that looks.

I went downtown last night with a group of about ten friends just to see what all the fuss was about. I had heard a wide range of opinions about the night, so I wanted to see it for myself. And at first I was not impressed.

Let's begin with the fact that driving into Toronto always causes a little bit of tension, so trying to relax after finally finding a parking space was a little difficult, but we managed. Once the group had re-gathered (we'd travelled in two different cars) we set out on our adventure.

It took longer than I had expected for the evening to turn into a truly artsy one, but it did eventually. It wasn't really until we went to the distillery district that the experience began. We went into galleries, saw some live dancers, took a quick two minute dance class (and failed miserably - all of us), and discussed our various opinions about art with anyone willing to listen. I saw some really interesting stuff.

Disclaimer: the following photos were not taken by me because I, like an idiot, forgot to bring my camera. My friends didn't however. Unfortunately, they're slow to upload them on their computers so I took images from scotiabanknuitblanche.ca. I've only included pictures from the exhibits I actually saw.

Auto Lamp


Endgame (Coulrophobia)


The best part of the night was definitely the bubble wrap part, though. We were strolling along a cobblestone road (within the dist. district) when we heard what sounded like wild yet sparse applause. The five of us (Our numbers had dropped by then) looked up to see an enormous line of people jumping and the mob was growing by the second.

"Is that bubble wrap?" Sharon asked in confusion. That caught everyone's attention, even the people within earshot of our group.

"BUBBLE WRAP!!" We all screamed as we ran towards the mob. I didn't look back, but I could see in my peripheral that I definitely wasn't alone. Tons of people were running with me, screaming about bubble wrap, anxious to get in on the fun.

And then we jumped around on bubble wrap for at least three or four minutes. There was a long, long strip of it, so everyone had a spot. I felt like a three year old again which was great. But what made it even better were all the other adults around me screaming and laughing rambunctiously like three year olds too. I love what something as simple as bubble wrap can awake in a person. That was definitely art.

After examining a few more art exhibits we decided it was time to head home. As luck would have it, just as we turned the corner to begin our 45 minute walk back to the car, the free shuttle bus (which happened to be a double decker bus) arrived at its stop by the curb so we gratefully jumped on. That was probably the second best moment of the night. You haven't really experienced a bus ride until you've driven through Toronto on the second (roofless) floor of a bus. Toronto's beautiful at night and the bus ride was icing on the cake.

"No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist."
-Oscar Wilde.

All in all, my white night was great fun and so much better than I'd hoped it to be. Every time I get an experience like that under my belt, I feel like my life has become just a little more enriched. It's a good feeling. If you didn't get a chance to go this year, I'd highly recommend trying to make it out next year. (It lasts all night, so you hardly have an excuse!)

Anyway, I have to get back to reading some books for my American Lit class... side bar: Benjamin Franklin was a pretty impressive person - I'm just starting to realize it now with this week's reading material... but that's a subject for another blog entirely... or maybe a thesis for bigger and better educational aspirations... So I'll just leave it alone for now...

Keep it real!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lars vs. the 'Real' World

I don't quite know how to start this one... I guess I'll start with the planting of the seed (of thought) - pardon the pun, though you don't even know it's a pun yet...

Today a co-worker of mine walked into the lunchroom and announced that a friend of hers was pregnant... and that that was a bad thing. In practically the same breath she said that she really hoped her friend 'wouldn't go through with it.' Another co-worker, in an attempt to keep up the flow of conversation since I was too busy being dumbfounded, asked how far along in the pregnancy the friend was to which my co-worker responded: "Two months, so she still has time to decide."

Again, all I could do was pick my jaw up off the floor. My co-worker was shattering my world and she didn't even know it. I couldn't believe she didn't realize the implications of what she was saying. I wanted to jump up and scream, "You know that's murder, don't you?!" But I thought that approach might be a little... offensive.

Still, the thought kept running through my mind as she continued babbling about it - how can someone not see what an abortion really is? Do people honestly think a child within the womb isn't human? It boggles the mind!

I did a little research just to see what a baby at two months gestation looks, feels, acts like - how far along they are, etc. This is what I found out (courtesy of birthingnaturally.net):

In this second month of life, your baby continues to develop internal organs and other major structures of the body. By the end of the eighth week, all the organs are present. There is also continued growth and development of the brain and spinal column.
The arms and legs begin as small buds off the body, and during this second month they begin to lengthen. At the end of the arms and legs, tiny finger and toe buds begin to form. Even at this early stage, your baby already has individual fingerprints.
Your baby's eyes and ears are beginning to form, although he will not be able to see or hear until later. If you could see into his gums you would find that tooth buds are beginning to appear.
At the end of the eighth week your baby will be around 1 inch long and weigh 0.1 oz.

That's what gets vaccuumed out of your body when you decide to abort.

"Two months. So she still has time to decide."

My co-worker never actually said the word 'abortion' during any part of the discussion. Later she was calling clinics to see who could 'help' her friend the fastest and I heard her refer to it as 'terminate the pregnancy.' We still dance around it because I think everyone knows deep down how repulsive an idea it is.

And this is when all the people who are 'pro-choice' want to start screaming right back at me. But guys - it's been up to the mother all along. If they don't want a baby, if this "isn't the right time" for them - maybe they should consider the choice they have in how often they choose to bang their boyfriend and which contraceptives will work best. There are always exceptions - people bring up the rape idea often - but a. that's an exception, and b. I can honestly say - and this'll sound drastic, but it's true: If it were me in that situation, I would still see a baby for what it is - a baby, a new life, someone who deserves to walk this earth just as much as I do.

How selfish a society are we living in when murder is condoned for the mere sake of convenience?

And I'm not saying that people who get pregnant 'by accident' (like he tripped and she fell) should necessarily keep their babies if they honestly can't deal with the responsibility at that stage in their life, but seriously - why do people automatically think of abortion in those scenarios? Why can't people think of adoption? Yes - you'll carry a baby inside you for nine months, but then you can bring a miracle into the world and enrich so many people's lives just with one child. I mean, you did the deed - what makes you think you shouldn't have to honor the consequences?

Clearly I could say a lot more on the subject, but I should probably stop ranting.

I will say one more thing. And that is that I know I'm not speaking from experience here. I realize that. I've never had to deal with a pregnancy scare or a legit pregnancy. I do have a little brother though, which wouldn't have been the case if my mom had succumb to this type of thinking. She got pregnant with him a little later on in life and a doctor actually encouraged her to think about a test she could have done on the fetus to see if it was properly developed, healthy. The test would be risky and might even kill the fetus - not to mention the fact that if the fetus wasn't healthy, if it was mentally handicapped in some way, abortion would be encouraged to an even stronger degree. But my mom refused because she understood how valuable life is - even when the kid might look like an alien (my brother at two months gestation) or act like one (my brother at sixteen years old). He entered the world as healthy as a horse, by the way - and he's definitely the smartest kid in our family.

So, now that I've tackled the heaviest and most controversial topic I'll probably ever address on this blog... I'll leave you to the rest of your day.

Keep it real.