Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Every time I hear about restrictive laws in countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia, it makes me want to buy a plane ticket, head to a main street, strip naked and run down the street screaming "You can't make me, you misogynistic turds!"
When I tell people this, they remind me I could be stoned. So could the women there, I remind them, and for less.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
After some delay and consternation (so, I got lost on my way to my original G2 test and missed it and had to reschedule for a month later... it happens), I went this morning at the crack of 8:20 for my test. And I passed! With flying colours, I might add. She only ticked one box on my whole test. You can round that up to 100%, right? Excellent.
I'm looking forward to putting my license to good use when I hit the road with Phil later this month!
Friday, 30 July 2010
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Thursday, 22 July 2010
I've been feeling totally exhausted all week. Last night was my first full night of sleep in many days, which felt so good. Wednesday was a very low point. Super sleepy and coming up on 24 hours of headache, my boss sent me home early. I spent the night lying in bed, watching bad TV, until the thunderstorm started (with ridiculous amounts of lightning! Did anyone see all the lightning?). Thunder makes me uncomfortable, so I called up Phil and sat on the porch, watching the storm roll through and feeling my nerves settle as we chatted. My sister came and sat with me. After it had mostly passed, we went to bed.
I had the headache of doom as the result of an elbow to the head at rugby practice. I came home on Tuesday and immediately applied ice packs, moving them in rotation from sore hip to shoulders to head. Hopefully I will kill it tonight!
Here is a video a friend sent along to me this week when I told her I was feeling down. As she predicted, I did get a good chuckle out of it. She and another friend from school are coming to visit, and I am very excited for a crew-union (that's a good play on the word reunion, right?).
Friday, 16 July 2010
I think typewriters are so neat. Dismiss me as a tragic hipster, but I have loved them since I was a kid. I don't know why - it probably related to my love of words. And my love of old things. And my hipster tendancies too, perhaps.
Now, typerwriters are extra attractive because it's writing without a computer. Why is this good? No internet. No distractions, no YouTube, no Twitter, no Facebook. Sure, I could close the internet, but that doesn't last very long on papers, and is worse when I'm trying to be creative. I want one.
In fact, I think I have one. It's got a neat leather case and I bought it at a garage sale but, alas... no ink strip. I don't know where to get one, or how to install it. Or, for that matter, where the typewriter is.
Are there any typewriter enthusiasts out there who can help me out?
Photo: noobits on flickr
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Nothing super exciting has been happenning to me. I've been riding one of those lows lately. One of those, hate my body, hate my passions, hate my voice (literal and more figurative voice), and just generally wanting to crawl out of my skin and into someone else's. It's all cyclical, I think; I go through high points and low points, monthly, yearly, whatever. Blah. Anyway, the cycle will go up again, but until then, I just want to see friends and remind myself that the world is good, great even. Hey world: I'm open. Let's have fun things happen, k?
I'm also feeling politics-jaded. Not only did the city council vote yes on the awful Lansdown plan (urban voted no, rural yes; most of the time on the discussion was devoted to accomodating the developpers... I'm going to stop before I start fuming), BUT ALSO the government has made the long-form census optional, taking the legs out of any data it gathers. As Jeffrey Simpson wrote in his column the other day:
"When it comes to a tiny minority of citizens being required to fill out the long
census form, the Conservatives say this requirement invades privacy and should
be abolished, another example of ideology trumping good policy."
I just feel like the people who are supposed to be working for me are ruining my country and my neighbourhood.
Sorry for the downer, team. Write me about nice things in the comments, if you'd like. Or tell me what you think of this census shenanigans. Or write a haiku! (Delightful haikus over at my friend Saf's blog).
Thursday, 8 July 2010
I have recently started writing a fashion blog called Hey Good Lookin'. Some of the astute among you may have already found the link I stashed in the sidebar when I started it. I'm having a lot of fun with it, and it's even making me more excited about this blog, now that I feel like each have a focus, and two different interests of mine have their own spaces.
If you have any questions or comments about the new blog (or this old one!) you can email me at inajarblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
I'm hoping to snag some pics once various people upload them (for example, the super talented Milan), but in the mean time, you will have to use your imaginations.
The room was packed with bloggers, mostly ladies. Can I just say that everyone was dressed fabulously? Seriously. We Ottawa bloggers are an attractive bunch, just sayin. I especially liked Megan and Jennifer as pseudo-twins in cute black and white print summer dresses. Fave dress of the night goes to Nadine.
I hope my reading went OK - I was in the last chunk and by the time I got up on stage, my nervousness and the beer I'd ingested took over. (Last year, I was not old enough to drink beer at the event... strange thought. The beer was great). I got some laughs, which I will take as a positive, and my dress didn't fall down, something I was mildly worried about. Let's call it a win, shall we?
Oh, and I double-checked the story I told last night about Evelyn Waugh** - it's true! Wiki it yourself if you don't believe me. And no, I didn't go insert it in there this morning to make it true.
If you want, you can go back and read the post I read. I am a bus creeper, it's true.
Milan posted about his fave reads, and I agree with them all; check 'em out here.
* The title is from a comment Maven made on the BOLO site. I liked it.
** Evelyn Waugh's wife's name was also Evelyn (Ee-vuh-lin). To tell them apart, their friends called them "She-Evelyn" and "He-Evelyn". Cute, right?
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail - in the Daily Miscellany column.
"In Seed magazine, reviewer Eric Michael Johnson writes: “For the husband and wife team Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha in their new book Sex At Dawn … there is little doubt that human beings are an exceedingly sexual species. As an example they detail how in 1902 the first home-use vibrator was patented and approved for domestic use in the United States. Fifteen years later, there were more vibrators than toasters in American homes.” "
Those turn of the century ladies had it right. Vibrators > Toaster. Really, which one make mom happier? Easy choice, isn't it...
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
The Mariposa Music Festival of Orillia is celebrating 50 years by putting its archives online! All sorts of amazing people have stopped by the folk festival, Bob Dylan to Raffi (as he was starting out). Also? My dad and his band. He performed there in 1970, and the archives include pictures of him at a workshop that year! These are fantastic. They capture the time and my dad looks so cool.
Monday, 5 July 2010
Sunday, 4 July 2010
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Thursday, 24 June 2010
First Kady O'Malley was posting about feeling it. Then a couple friends. Then the jokes started. The rumours and info and one-liners started flying across the Twitterverse, grabbing my attention. I felt instantly connected to everything going on, which I loved, as I passed on tweets and read down the stream.
I did not have access to a TV, so I don't know what that response was like, but CTV's twitter account was excellent. Their website crashed, apparently, but they did a good job of collecting information and passing it on.
CBC radio kept playing Writers and Company, as if anyone in most of Ontario cared about writers or their company after feeling the earth shaking. CBC online posted its story a whole hour later.
The Globe and Mail's response was good as well. They tweeted that they were evacuating their Ottawa building, and soon had a livechat set up on their website, gathering and sharing information. From there, I saw that people as far as Detroit said they'd felt it.
From my experience yesterday, you can't really beat Twitter for instantaneous response. I think media outlets should keep that in mind, and make sure they put enough effort into their Twitter accounts.
Zoom wrote about this topic today as well. The Globe and Mail tech blog posted this about Twitter and earthquakes.
PS: Favourite jokes of the day include anything about fake lake tsunami warnings, declarations that "Quebec is finally separating!" (topical, since today is St Jean Baptiste Day), and Industry Minister Tony Clement's post: "I blame #bieber #earthquake". I liked his trending topic convergence.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Monday, 21 June 2010
Friday, 18 June 2010
In my Reporting Techniques class this semester, one of my favourite teachers, the radio teachers, taught us about radio newscasts. His amazing, deep, classic radio voice lends anythign he says a certian gravitas, and I love listening to him recount stories and explain the ins and outs of radio in his affected tones. He taught us that the theme jingle that plays each hour before the newscast plays an important role. The sound is meant to invoke a Pavlovian-like response. Doug explains it: "They go 'HEY! DEAR! SHUDDUP! No, no, shh, the news is on, quiet.' Then they turn the radio up". *
The CBC themes and voices are very sentimental, nostalgia-inducing things for me. The As It Happens theme (and voices of Barbara Budd et al, natch) makes me think of driving home from dinner parties with my parents, half asleep in the back. The old Quirks and Quarks theme makes me think of Saturday afternoons, driving home from gynastics/horseback riding/dance class. It has such a feeling for me, I was very sad to learn of the new theme when it came in.
When I moved to Nova Scotia for school, one of the things I had to get used to was the different shows and voices. Instead of being from Ottawa, the voice between shows said "you're listening to CBC radio one, 90 point five in Sheet Harbour". That, and there was way more country, folk, and even celtic music, AND there were CO-HOSTS on the morning show**! I liked the Sunday afternoon shows because they made me feel at home, the same across the country.
Even with the weird newness, I listen to a lot of CBC in Halifax, and it's my primary source of news. I leave it on pretty much all day. I didn't realize how much affection I was starting to feel for those characters a CBC Nova Scotia until today when, on a whim, I turned the internet CBC tuner to Mainstreet, the drive-home show in Halifax. When the news ended and the theme played and Stephanie Domet's voice came through, announcing the stories for the hour, I felt a happy warm feeling. She then announced a folky celtic style song. Of course. Oh CBC Nova Scotia. I guess I miss you more than I thought!
*Word for word what I wrote in my notebook.
**True story. Also, the Saturday morning show is co-hosted by a horse.
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Some call Canada a "melting pot", others a "fruit cake" (for the consistency more than the connotations, I think) but even in our diversity as Canadians, isn't it important that we hold some general, basic values in common?
The city simply has not thought through the chaos that this development, including 350, 000 square feet of retail space, the large new stadium with far less parking, and a twelve story hotel, will bring. There is no rapid transit to the area. There is nowhere near enough parking. Bank street is already in effect a two-lane road because the parking is used all the time.
I urge anyone interested or affected (residents of the Glebe, Old Ottawa South and East, etc) to come out tonight to the meeting, or to go to http://www.letsgetitright.ca/ and send a message to city councillors. While I agree that Lansdowne needs a new plan and needs to change, this is not the answer.
Tonight there will be lots of great speakers discussing the plan, including Ian Lee, Director of the MBA Program at Sprott School of Business at Carleton University. You can see what he's previously said about the Lansdowne Live proposal in this video.
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
16-year-old Aqsa Parvez was killed by her brother and father in what the media love to call an "honour killing".
I don't like that term. I find that that label allows people to file it away as a problem that doesn't relate to our western society, not really. It allows people to think it's the problem of other countries and cultures. But this happened in Canada.
What I find most disturing is some of the comments quoted from the brother. He said that were Aqsa his daughter, he wouldn't have killed her. He would have broken her legs, a more reasonable option to him.
Aqsa's father said he killed her because he would be disgraced for not controling his own daughter. As if she were his to control. An object.
This did not happen in a far away country (not that that matters). This happened here. It is heartbreaking. It is disgusting.
The world still needs feminists.
UPDATE: On Ontario Today, Rita Celli had an interesting chat with Shahina Siddiqui with the Islamic Social Services Association. She also took issue with the term "honour killing", and made the important point that murder is not part of religion. "Abusers will use any excuse," she said. She suggested that mental health issues could be at play with this highly controling man. This is another important issue - "honour killing" makes people think it's part of his religion, whereas with Christians who commit violent acts in the name of their religion, they're sick in the head. It's all about a lack of understanding, I think.
Many quotes and info from this Globe and Mail story, among other news stories I've read while following this.
Monday, 14 June 2010
Now, I know that not everyone has the same disturbing, finger-nails-on-a-chalkboard-like reaction every time someone says "less" when they mean "fewer" (it's so bad I usually have to correct them, even under my breath, to feel better), and there are those things we all struggle with (who and whom takes years to master)...
And I know that typos happen all the time in the land of the intertubes. I myself am guilty of these, they pepper my blog even as I try to avoid them (more concerted effort in future, I promise)...
BUT honestly, people, "its" and "it's"? Kids stuff. Definitely a primary level grammar course. And it drives me nuts when people don't even try*, especially when these people have large audiences listening to them. Grammar is important! It's about communication, about being heard. A forgotten or misplaced comma can change the meaning of your sentence completely. And the wrong homonym makes you look silly. Come on. Make an effort.
*I don't think that the Design*Sponge people (or person who edits everything, I'd guess, since all posts are guilty) has any idea there are two different forms of "it's/its", let alone how to use them. I have pointed it out several time, politely, but nothing has changed. I may have to stop reading. It's that frustrating.
Saturday, 12 June 2010
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Sunday, 6 June 2010
Friday, 4 June 2010
The thing I love most about the bus these days, now that I (mostly) live away from my parents and bus surfing has become old hat, is the people watching. I see so many cool people on the bus. I especially love taking the late afternoon bus, and seeing all the different kinds of people.
I love the woman I encounter most days who gets on the bus in the Glebe, always wearing a skirt suit, with her baby in a carrier on her front. She wears her suit jacket over the carrier, so she looks perfectly office ready, with a literal baby bump out the front. She spends the whole bus ride with one hand on him, with a beautiful light in her eyes.
There’s a guy who I notice on the bus from time to time, less for his snappy dressing (so classic, refined, and masculine… but he looks my age. Props.) than for his confident attitude. He breezes on and off the bus, in his own world, unconcerned by anyone else on the bus. I always wonder where he’s going.
The other day I saw an androgynous girl with a funky short haircut and fantastic sneakers. She had an iPod tucked into her back pocket and held a copy of Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. She carried it the way some girls carry clutch purses – books as accessories! Fabulous. Especially since so many books have a lot of aesthetic value, whether they’re trendy new paperbacks, or yellowed and old, with a worn cover (can you tell I love paperbacks?). I wanted to take her picture, and kicked myself for being without my camera.
I find buses to be extremely inspiring places. I always see someone I want to capture, as an image or a story. I mostly imagine where I think they are going, why they’re going there, and most importantly, where they’re coming from, gathering any clues I can from their body language. I would love to spend hours sitting on a busy bus, listening to intriguing riders tell me their stories.
Thursday, 3 June 2010
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
And… fall fees are due in only 3 ½ months.
Today on the internet:
This high school principal deserves a medal for dealing with this Prom vs. G20 meetings fiasco.
Though I love Being Erica, CBC TV is not where I look for my quality entertainment most of the time. I think I’m with John Doyle from the Globe and Mail – wouldn’t it be great if a public broadcaster took some risks?
Halifax is a pretty stylin’ place (if you think I’m being sarcastic, you should go visit) with a great biking community. I think me and my new bike will fit right in.
Monday, 31 May 2010
Beyond the fun filter through which she delivers the day-to-day events on the Hill, I get to see how it works on the Hill, kind of. I am a student, and though I’m from Ottawa and took class trips to see that Parliament buildings as well as the classic tests on basic Canadian parliamentary processes (a la “How Does A Bill Become A Law?”), I don’t really know how it works. O’Malley, through her observations, as well as her extensive knowledge of the basic and less-than-basic parliamentary processes, shows to any Canadian who wants, how things work, in a nuts and bolts way.
As an aspiring journalist, I also enjoy reading when her coverage interacts with journalists on the Hill, such as at press conferences, scrums, etc. Not only do I get to see which journalists I read ask what, but I also learn from following the kinds of questions asked, how interactions with MPs and ministers work, etc. It certainly doesn’t substitute hands-on (or on-Hill) experience, but I find it valuable nonetheless.
Today is Quit Facebook Day, a day to encourage people to join the two Torontonians who started it to sever all Facebook ties. I wonder if anyone I know will drop off the face of the ‘book. Facebook has been getting a lot of flak about privacy controls, especially here in Canada, so the movement is topical. Milan recently removed any info from Facebook that he thought could be easily collected by bots (interesting idea, read it here).
I have three thoughts about this. One, I like Facebook. I like how easy it is to share and connect and organise. These are things that enrich my life, and Facebook is my chosen tool. Could I do this other ways? Probably. But this is the way I use.
Two, I know very little about what my privacy settings are right now, which probably means they’re low. And I should look into that. I know Facebook and its creator are not my buddy*, and I can’t trust them to have my best interests at heart, because they don’t. Only I do, and I need to be in charge of that.
Three, Facebook isn’t going anywhere, at least not yet. The next thing will inevitably come along, but for now, it’s a tool that anyone who works in anything communications-related needs to learn and use, along with Twitter and oh yeah, email.
Besides, isn’t quitting Facebook the new, cool, hipster thing to do, with new sites like Diaspora** popping up?
*Yikes, the Facebook story movie Social Media doesn’t exactly look complimentary to Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, does it? Aaron Sorkin-written, which means I will have to see it.
** "the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network."
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Saturday, 22 May 2010
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Last night was Michael’s memorial service, and it was beautiful. His favourite music was played, memories were shared, and everyone hummed and sang one of his favourite songs. Some of Michael’s friends got to say a few words, which made everyone cry, and laugh. The laughing was good.
His family really wanted a focus on Michael’s friends, as his dad said in his eulogy, because for a 19 year old, often you’re closer to your friends than your family. And did we ever turn out in force; all sorts of people reconnecting for the first time in a while. It would have been better if the reunion had a happier reason, but no one else could have brought us back together like that.
Throughout the service, I was very focused on Michael's dad. He tried very hard to stay upbeat, to celebrate Michael’s life, nodding his head along to the music and positively grinning as he encouraged Michael’s close friends, shooting them thumbs up after they spoke. He showed how much he appreciated it. It really got to me when I saw him jamming along to the end of a song, pulling on his blazer to stand for the eulogy. To say goodbye. I couldn’t even imagine the incredible pain he was in, but he smiled as he prepared himself. It was incredible. It was what Michael would have wanted. After he finished, he gave over to the sobs, but we all had our moments, and I think Michael would have understood that too.
The best part was the reception after the service. Almost all the friends and family gathered at their house, sharing food and drink and celebrating his life. There were lovely moments, of quiet music being played, and an army of candles planted in the back garden.
I got home at midnight, hours later than expected, but feeling full. Full of joy and sadness, love and companionship. I still can’t believe this really happened, that he’s really gone. I think that part will take a bit more time.
Monday, 17 May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
This week has been my first at my summer job. Mostly I’ve been filling out security forms and reading piles of things to try to understand where I work, exactly. One of the branches of the agency I work at has the same name as the agency itself. This causes confusion, for obvious reasons.
Things will slow down slightly around here after our “team-building day” on Thursday (all preparations for said day are TOP SECRET. I cannot confirm or deny if I spent half an hour today attaching foam stars to lanyards. Some people take this verrrry seriously). Hopefully at that point my boss and coworker will have time to go over my work plan and, you know, give me projects to do. The snippets of conversation I’ve had with them so far sound promising. I think I will get a fair bit of autonomy (as much as you can get working for a government agency), and I’ll be doing some fun story writing for the website.
A sort of side-project I have going on is working with my mom to teach her to blog and use Twitter. I’m not kidding. She works in communications at a doctors’ organisation, and runs a website and public forums, etc, and so she got her website a Twitter account. Which she doesn’t ever use. One day I suggested to her a couple ideas I had for her Twitter, and the next thing I know, I’m writing blog and Twitter strategies and sitting at a public forum, livetweeting about menopause. I don’t know if I’m going to get paid for this, but even if I don’t, it’s good experience, I guess. One of these nights I’m going to teach my mom to actually use Twitter. She has an iPhone, I feel like she should have just figured it out on her own by now…
At least so far this week I don’t hate my new job, Davis is home from Halifax and I’m seeing her tonight (we’re going to a bar! For drinks! And to watch improv! God, I love being 19) I have two other nights this week with firm plans to catch up with friends, and I remembered my work pass 2/2 days. Am I talented or what.
Also, send some positive thoughts Stella’s way as she tries to recover her voice for her show tonight. Good luck, Stella!