Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A Review

It's been a while since this blog has had some love. Part of this is because of my other project sucking up time. But honestly? I've never been more in love with blogging, and I think it's about time I spread that back here.

I've been trying to figure out what I want to do with this blog. For a while I was thinking about moving to a different blog and doing something more professional, more like a portfolio, but I decided that I'm not ready to say goodbye to In A Jar. It started as a way to keep in touch with old friends and make new ones and I want to keep it around.

New Year's blog resolution: try to give this blog more love. I don't think it will be exactly the same as it's been; I want to try to include longer pieces when I can. But I also want to use it to keep in touch.

Thank you guys, whoever is left reading here. Hopefully I can build it up again. Feel free to email me with questions or comments, any time: inajarblog at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Ottawa Guide

We interrupt this radio silence to bring you the AWESOME Ottawa Guide from the FUN design blog Design*Sponge!

Check it out.

My neighbourhood made the "cool" cut - and so did Raw Sugar!

Monday, 20 September 2010

The Divide

I know it's been a while since I posted, and I'd love to catch you up, for now now here's something that's on my mind today.

Parliament is back this week, and the long gun registry is one of the top issues. Before this year, the registry was not something I thought about very much. And until yesterday, I'd never encountered a rifle at work, killing anything.

As a middle-class, white girl living in an urban centre, all I knew was guns are scary, and they're for bad guys. In my young, Bambi-loving heart, hunters all counted as bad guys. Because Bambi is CUTE. Over the years, I learned a little more about guns. I shot a BB gun while visiting my godfather in Massachusetts one summer, and thought it was kind of fun, although that probably had more to do with the fact that I hit the target than the act of shooting. I watched a lot of cop shows, which didn't really teach me much of anything real. I met friends, Americans, whose families hunted deer for fun and meat. I decided hunters weren't all evil (but maybe a little backwards).

What changed this year was my introduction to a world I'd never really entered before: rural life. My boyfriend's family has lived on the same piece of land for 120 years or so, and they were mostly farmers. They've let the farm lapse now, but not the way of life; they grow most of their own vegetables, make maple syrup in the spring. They chop and split the firewood to heat the house all winter, and it comes from the woods behind their house. The traditions are carried from one generation to the next, traditions that include hunting.

For the length of our relationship I've known that his family had guns. I wasn't surprised by it, except maybe a little when I first heard, but then I heard the stories from hunting season. Phil's dad is a good shot, and bags a deer most every year which they then butcher and put in the freezer to eat, beside last summer's chickens. I even ate some at dinner and earned some respect, I hope, when I declared venison to be delicious, which it was. At least I was eating as "free-range" meat as you could get. This deer had a long, happy life munching grass and running around before it made it to my dinner plate. And this hunter's care was obvious: he's a good shot, not to brag, but to limit the suffering of the animal.

Guns, and the registry seem to come up a lot when I meet Phil's family members. There's the city-living uncle whose brother was killed senselessly by an angry farmer with a shotgun. There are the farmers who have grandpa's gun sitting in the attic, and use them regularly. No matter who I'm talking to, they all oppose the registry. "It's too expensive" some say. Others point out that while it's only registration now, later it could be regulation, limits on guns, and while they are dangerous objects, they're also heirlooms and part of their livelihood. Once they're registered, they lose sole ownership over that part of their family's history.

I always assumed that registration made perfect sense. At least the authorities know who has a gun when they show up, right? Well, to a certain extent. There are all of those illegal firearms in our country, killing people in urban areas. Besides, the police favour it, and the police know more about guns than I do. But I do see that slippery slope feared by gun-owners:

First comes registration then comes... regulation? Limits? Outlawing guns altogether?

I don't favour those final steps. Registration, yes, imposing some limits, perhaps. But taking away these pieces of history? Not really.

It's all fine for me to say these things, but until yesterday, I was far removed from it. I'd never seen a gun used to kill anything. I'd seen them fired in parades, or in the movies, but not in real life. I'm not going to go into much detail on this one, because I'm still working it over in my head, and this post is long enough already. I'll keep it short. Coyotes showed up on the hillside, and a young one was on the hill beside the house frolicking. There is no other way to describe it, and in fact, it was pretty adorable. But we soon realized it was a coyote, and when they grow up, they are not so cute (they killed that songwriter in Cape Breton last year!). As I mentioned, this hunter is a good shot, and the animal was dead in seconds, shot right in the heart. When we looked at the body, it was still warm.

We left it for the birds to eat, and packed up back to the city. Phil asked me if I was traumatized by the event, which I don't really think I was. In fact, the most traumatizing part for me was that I was so untraumatized. Me, the Bambi-loving city girl who was afraid of guns saw the logic and necessity of what had just occurred. And I've gained respect his father, not lost it.

I guess I mean to come to a kind of conclusion here, but I don't think it will be very neat. I think this debate is divided along city-rural lines, and I think as Canadians, we forget about the other half (must less balanced than half, actually) much of the time. We dial out and don't listen to the side the other presents, or if we do, we dismiss it with our handy stereotypes and the grumblings of disillusioned farmers who need to get with the times, or the condescending speechifying of men in suits who've lost touch with the land they exploit. This divide must be examined, must be bridged, if we are going to find unity on this issue. And that is much further away than this week's vote.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

End of the Week, Beginning of the Year

Phil reading on the beach

Playing beach rugby 7s


Frosh week, every year, is brutal. This year we started with a hurricane (and I was up to 3:30am doing frosh stuff the day before the frosh even arrived!) and a whole lot of enthusiasm to make up for it. There was carnival, scavenger hunts, pie-ings, laser tag, sherry, casino night, dancing, dancing, drinking, and dancing. The drinking is what I do to get through it. The campus is a party all the time and no one thinks about their 10 am class when there's retro dance partying to be done on a Wednesday night. We just dance some more.

Well today it draws to an end with the culmination of dancing and drinking, the frosh leader party. I will say only that last year I did a keg stand, drank mystery punch, and lasted about 2 hours, tops, but I have no real way of knowing. I'm looking forward to it.

And then I guess the real fun begins. Classes seem strangely unappealing. So far, I avoid readings by avoiding buying the books. Good strategy, no? I don't think that will get me very far.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Update!

So, I'm in London, Ontario, visiting some family, and seeing a show in Stratford tomorrow night. (The Tempest! With Christopher! Plummer! Yeeeeeeah).

I am feeling totally freaked and overwhelmed by how quickly my summer is wrapping up. I leave for the Maritimes one week from tomorrow. ONE WEEK. Do you know how many things I have to squeeze in? I barely even realize. I try not to think about it, lest I begin hyperventilating.

The worst part is there are so many people that I want to spend time with, lots of time, more time than I have. And I have to pack. And packing makes me want to freak out, which comes out as punching friends and family in the face (emotionally). I am the worst.

Somewhere on the other side, circa September 2 evening, when I am moved in and there and with my Halifax friends, everything will be OK, and I will breathe deeply. Until then, my eye has started to twitch.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

I'd like to join her

Following an altercation with a disapproving woman, a British tourist in the United Arab Emirates (which does have "modesty" *ahemoppressionofwomenahem* laws) stripped down to her bikini at a mall and wandered around. She was briefly detained, had a complaint lodged against her, and left.

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

Licensed to Drive


the drive, originally uploaded by .faramarz.

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

Rugby Love


My spectacular rugby bruise one day and two days old. Hot right? I'm so proud of this thing, I show it off at practice.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Team Member

Women's Rugby, originally uploaded by kategottli.
I have joined a rugby team!
I am not a natural born exercise freak. I do not run. I never think "OK, I have an hour, I'll just go out for a bit and run." I spend much more time avoiding running. I once "went for a run" with a boyfriend. It ended up being an hour of me bitching at him about how much I hated it. My insides burned, my side hurted, my lungs wheezed. No thanks. And that thing, whatever it is, that allows someone to get up and run and not stop for extended periods of time, I don't have it. I have 30 seconds before that burning feeling makes me slow.
But, I know exercise is good for me, and I know that a commitment to a team has lit the fire under my ass before. So when some friends from university joined a summer club team with some friends from high school (small world, eh Canada?), I gave myself a push and showed up to practice. It just so happened my first practice was also a team bonding/goal setting meeting. Warm and fuzzy times? I couldn't just slip away after that.
It's been about a month now, of practices twice a week after long, of tiring days, of cold packs on shoulders and hips and head, of re-learning how to tackle, ruck, and hold the ball, and of laughter and new friendships, as well as renewal of old ones. It's been a lot of fun.
It's also been super frusterating. I am a self-psycher-outer (real thing? I think so). When I do it wrong, I feel my face turn red and I want to run away. Last night I forgot my mouthguard somewhere, and fought back angry tears as I stood watching drills, mentally kicking myself. On Saturday, in my second game, I missed a tackle and the girl scored. I miscalculated and they scored again. I want to be one of those fast, mean, hard-hitting girls on the field, who know what they're doing and run right through the competition. Even more I just want to successfully tackle someone. It's frustrating, and I know I should use it to hit harder next time, to run faster and push further, but often I just end up feeling more hesitant than before.
But even in those moments of pain, even when I get it wrong and so completely wrong everyone knows, even when my teammates pull me aside to remind me "run straight" "aim low" "get OUT of the way of the fly half" I know they are supporting me. If I could feel safe going hard and failing hard, it should be there, where I know my teammates will pick me back up and high five me. Even after I missed tackles and made mistakes this Saturday, my whole team cheered me on after the game, celebrating my first try (touchdown, basically) that had come earlier in the game. I was happy and they knew I was. I knew I needed to work on things, and I know they knew too. Hopefully they also know I will bust my butt to get it right next time.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Blink

Where did my week go? Seriously, where? It's already been 6 days since my last post. ACK. What is this? Come on, me, get it together.

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 (heart) Typewriters



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

July Doldrums


Hey readers, sorry I've been so lame lately. I've been putting more effort into Hey Good Lookin', since it's a baby and needs more attention. Unfortunately, In A Jar became the cranky toddler.

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).
Photo: via imagespark

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Hey Good Lookin' blog

OK, it's been a couple weeks... I guess it's time for my new blog to be introduced for real.

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.

"Springbreak of the Blogosphere"

Blog Out Loud Ottawa was, once again, a big success! There was laughter, awws, beer, and even a bra flash (quickly to become BOLO legend, yes?). I loved seeing and meeting lots of fun people and I've picked up a couple blogs I will definitely start following!

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?

"Who needs toast?"

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

Mariposa turns 50



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.

He's the one with the banjo and the mutton chops.

Monday, 5 July 2010

BOLO Wednesday

I will be reading at BOLO on Wednesday*! Come on down to Irene's pub at 7 pm and stick around - I'm near the end. I'm excited to meet any and all of you.

Check out the website to see the lineup (or to read the super nice things Lynn wrote about me - thanks!)



*not friday as I previously tricked Elizabeth of And Go into thinking. Sorry!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Weekend of Awesome

YOU GUYS! I just had the best weekend ever. Phil showed up from New Brunswick and surprised me. When he knocked on the door and I opened it, he was holding a red gerber daisy... he'd sent me eleven on our anniversary the week before. Cute, right? I almost fainted.

He's been in cahoots with my family and my friends to surprise me! I feel so lucky and blessed to have such amazing people in my life who want to make me feel special.

For Canada Day we went and saw the queen on the Hill - actually saw her! And then Phil joined in my plans with my friends and I to go and see Dessa Darling at Montreal Jazz Fest, which was amazing. (Video of her singing Hallelujah here).

Friday we shopped up Montreal and spent Saturday and Sunday relaxing, holding hands and looking goofily at each other. Now he's gone back home, but this time the separation is shorter. Only five weeks until he's back in Ottawa and we embark on an exciting adventure for us: dating and living in the same city. I am so much looking forward to that.

I had pictures to go with this post, but the uploader isn't working... Boo.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Blog Out Loud Ottawa

So as I did last year, I will be participating in Blog Out Loud Ottawa again this summer! I am super stoked, because it was really fun last year and I'm glad to do it again this year.

The event is July 7th at Irene's in the Glebe, (check out the website for more info). Come on out Ottawa bloggers! Even if you don't read, it's fun to meet everyone. Come out and say hi! And give me encouraging looks. Because even though I read last year and it was fine, I still wonder how it will go...

But seriously, go. The lineup this year is AWESOME. I am looking forward to it.

Also, I will be on Ottawa U radio CHUO (89.1 FM in Ottawa) being interviewed about BOLO with fellow blogger Elizabeth Cooke. I just read her blog, and I'm glad I did. Go and read it. If you like the Twitter, she is a prolific Tweeter with many followers. My Twittering pales in comparison to hers. Lynn from Turtlehead blog, BOLO organiser, will also be on the line tomorrow. So tune in at 5:20!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Earthquake Response

My first instinct when my building began to shake and bounce was to dive into a doorway. My second was to turn to Twitter.

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

Reasons why I'm tired right now

1. I don't seem to be able to get to bed before 12:30. I try, but I always fail.

2. Staring at a computer screen all days puts me to sleep. Ditto the air conditioning.

3. I joined a rugby team!

4. I just spent hours shopping. My sister and my mom are champs.



I think I will sleep very soon. And stretch first, in the hopes that I will be able to use the muscles in my thighs tomorrow for practice. No promises.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Cool Lady

Right now I'm reading Kelly Cutrone's book If You Have To Cry, Go Outside and other lessons your mother never taught you. Cutrone is a major publicist in the fashion world, owner of the company People's Revolution. She's currently famous for her role on the MTV shows The Hills and The City.

I love Kelly Cutrone, most of all because she knows her shit and she takes no prisoners. She is ballsy, she takes control, she does all those things that are traditionally "masculin" and she does them unapologetically. I find that when I take on those traits, I find myself compensating by being sweeter, or being diminutive in other ways. Kelly will take none of that.

That's not to say she is completely masculin. She's excellent at challenging the feminin; she calls herself Mama Wolf of her tribe. She looks out for the people who work for her, especially the girls, who she wants to help navigate a world that's crazy and has ridiculous expectations. Though she works in fashion, she wears black head to toe every day and forgoes makeup, as a rule.

Her office and home are different parts of the same space, allowing her to take care of her seven-year-old daughter and her company. Where women are so often forced to choose, she chose to say "screw that" and do it her own way. And she did it alone. She loves being a single mom, and doesn't need a man to be a complete person.

She is a seriously cool chick. I love her guts and her spirit. I love how she embraces feminism and knows she's cool for it. And she is.

Friday, 18 June 2010

CBC Themes

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

Citizenship and Immigration

Margaret Wente's column today brings up an interesting question about citizenship and immigration. In Canada, our society is based on a set of values where individuals have control and freedom (with certain restrictions, such as prohibitions on murder and theft) and men and women are considered equal. I don't personally know many Canadians who would disagree with this. I assumed naively when I was younger, that people who come to Canada know this and are looking for this kind of society in which to start a new life. This is what we are taught in school, by teachers, and by parents.

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?

Lansdowne Meeting Tonight

Tonight at 7:30 at Lansdowne, the Friends of Lansdowne are holding a meeting to look at the plans for the redevelopement of Lansdown Park. This is a very important issue. I do not live in the Glebe, but I live near there, in Old Ottawa South. It's about a fifteen minute walk from my house to the edge of Lansdowne. My street and streets all over my neighbourhood are slated for use as parking areas for this new development. Sunnyside ave in my area would be used as a main route to get to the new development - nevermind that it's already operating at 100% capacity, according to the city.

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

And People Think We Don't Need Feminists Anymore: Aqsa Parvez's Murder

I find it disturbing when people tell me (and this happens on a regular basis) that the world doesn't really need feminists anymore.

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

Grammar Rant

Yes, it's true; I think grammar is very important. Grammar is the rule set of the language game, which is my game. So I learn the rules. Sure you can bend them, but as they say, you have to learn the rules to break them.

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

Bloggers on T-shirts!


My, my blogging really is big business! Forever 21 with Danny Robberts put out a capsule collection of T-shirts with fashion bloggers on them. They're so cute, I will definitely try to pick up the Pandora T-shirt. I went over to her blog and it's very cute.

Photos: here

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Driving Lessons



Learning to drive is a lot of work. I underestimated that when I signed up for both Driver’s Ed and an online course. I’ve made the decision to put my course on the back burner while I finish up my driver’s ed program.


This week is crunch week. From last Sunday to this coming Monday, I will have racked up 11 hours of driver’s ed, in-car and in-class lessons. And that doesn’t include time spent practice driving (parallel parking isn’t as scary as it seemed!) as well as on the online component now mandated by the Ontario Government. That’s right, in addition to 20 hours in a classroom and 10 hours in a car, students are also required to do 10 hours* of online training as well. I haven’t even started. Pretty soon, things will get harder with the minimum waiting period between G1 (learner’s permit) and G2 going up to 18 months in Ontario, less with driver’s ed, though I don’t know what the difference will be.


I’ve had my G1 for three years already (WOW time flies), so I don’t need to complete Driver’s Ed before taking a G2 road test, but it will get me a break on insurance costs. I’ll try to wrap up the online next week and practice, practice, practice in preparation for my test, scheduled for July 7th. I really hope I pass – just me and the open road! Brilliant.



*approximately 10 hours. In reality, the online part takes between 6 and 10 hours.

Photo: from a trip to Vancouver last year.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Business Cards



A couple of weeks ago, I went to an event where I met a lot of high-profile national journalists, people I read and listen to and admire. It was a great experience, something I'll write about later, but they did that thing that you do when you're a grown-up and you meet someone new: they exchanged business cards.

I need to get me some business cards. Something simple, just my name, my email, and a phone number, something I can give to people I meet, socially or professionally. As much as it's about how good you are, it's also about who you know, it's the way it works. It's an easy way to make connections.

I don't yet have a design in mind... in fact, my design skills are not stellar. If I had my way, I'd make them by hand with watercolour paper and my paints and pens, sort of like the ones above. This process does not, however, lead to effective mass production.

Photos: 1 2 3

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Night at Irene's

After a full day spent inside, I ventured out to Irene's for beers and music. Good night!

Creepy, ominous sky that never came through with a storm.

Even with a broken clavicle, Milan took some great pictures!

The Avenues (of Peterborough) played a fun set. Plus, Stella and her Guinness.

Letters

I love snail mail so much! There's something very satisfying about holding the words in your hands. I guess I'm somewhat of a tactile creature.

Last summer, Phil and I wrote letters back and forth. The letters were about random things; our days, dreams, some sweet words. They were slow, as we waited for Canada Post to pass our envelopes across two provinces, wrote a response, and sent it back.

For the past couple of weeks, Phil has sent me a letter every single day. I get two every second day, usually two consecutive days, but not always (thank Canada Post). There have been a couple cards, most short, some just a few words. But he's sent one every day.

Apparently, I'm to expect a culmination of all of this.

I've also started snail mailing with a friend in BC. I am thrilled to be collecting pen pals; if anyone else wants a pen pal (even someone in Ottawa... I do live in Halifax 8 months of the year!), let me know. If you write me, I write back!

Pictures for "Rainy Day"

For some reason my computer wouldn't upload the pictures properly for my post the other day... here are the pictures who go with it.


Scenes from the Great Glebe Garage Sale:



My fantastic vintage dress find:

Saf! On our bike ride down the canal.



Friday, 4 June 2010

Bus People

When I was a kid, I walked to school and my parents had a car to drive me to gymnastics and dance on the weekend. I didn’t start taking the bus until I was in high school, and even then, only in grade 10. It was a revelation. With two little coloured tickets, I could go anywhere I wanted to, and be totally free, until I had to be home for dinner. And my parents were handing them out to me. They were giving me freedom.

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

Rainy Day

A dark grey sky always makes me grumpy and cranky, craving fluffy pillows and cozy sweatpants. Even while working in an office all day, I feel that greyness of the day oozing into my head. It’s like my neurons have been replaced with cotton balls. Not fun.

After a jam-packed weekend that left me friend-high and downtime-low right up until Sunday night, I have been mostly hibernating for a couple of days. I’ve had to force myself, basically – seeing people and going out into the world is my favourite thing to do, even when my body is telling me it would rather sleep.

Seriously though, it was a great weekend. It involved friends from out of town, watching the half-marathon in Ottawa Race Weekend, the Great Glebe Garage Sale, and The Neon Bible Project. And more friends. Plus Bubble Tea.

Here is me with my #1 find at the GGGS – a vintage, hand-beaded beauty of a dress that fits like it was made for me. I ducked into a stranger’s backyard to try it on, and though it was not exactly usual Garage Sale fare, I couldn’t resist for $20. Amazing right?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Tuesday News

Today’s exciting news is… my second year of university is paid off! Oooh, that feels good. My parents and I work to pay it together, and my last contribution put us in the black for 09-10!

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

Liveblog Lessons

One of the reasons I enjoy Kady O’Malley’s liveblogging [www.cbc.ca/insidepolitics] is because I learn from it.

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.

Quit Facebook Day

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

Only Wednesday

Long weekends are supposed to make the following week feel shorter, right? My week didn't get that memo.

Tomorrow I'm going to my formal event! My hair is sorted. I'll try to get a picture.

Things I'm thinking about:

1. Pay Meeee $75 to scout Facebook for you The Ottawa Sun reported that the Canadian government has hired people to hang out on Facebook for them to reply to what they're saying*. Funny, any of those social media are still blocked in my government workplace. Bad idea? I think so.

2. Canada Excellence Research Chairs So I love invigorating the research community in Canada, and I think "innovative" is something we should go for... but NO women at all in the Canada Excellence Research Chair Program? That I'm a little less jazzed about. You can tell me the usual stuff about women not wanting to uproot themselves to move for a new job, or a lack of female talent to choose from, but I will still give you a displeased look and say something to the effect of "Academia is a boys' club that they used to make this program come together quickly". I think this will come up again.

3. I disagree with Stephen Harper - Reason of the Day Stephen Harper, I don't care if my right to my own body isn't threatened, I don't like you opening up the abortion issue at all, especially not in a way that will help you with direct mail fundraising campaigns and galvanizing people who wish you would take away my right. I wish more people were more pissed off about this. Thank you Bono, I know partisanship shouldn't get in the way of actually helping people, and that's not what I want either. I want my government to help the most women it can. Can't that be the point? (As usual, I disagree with Margaret Wente)



*In fact, a group called "The Social Media Group".

Momma Seal

So, this photographer goes to Antarctica to photograph this seal so big and scary that, quote "her head is twice the size of a grizzly bear's". He gets in the water with her, and she spends four days taking care of him. What a spectacular story, and his photos are amazing!

Time Waster

I loved the totally rad Google salute to Pac-Man’s 30th on Friday. I indulged in a couple minutes of playing Google Pac-Man, and it looks like I wasn’t the only one! Apparently, people playing Google Pac-Man added up to 550 years of time wasted. It was a slow Friday – that’s my excuse. Also, you can still play Google Pac-Man here if (like me) you miss it a lot.*


*I can't beat normal Pac-Man. Not even close.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Hair-Do



Over the past couple of years, my hair has been everything from cute pixie cut (so low-maintenance!) to choppy bob to its current style… medium-length. I’ve been growing it out for a while, and it’s nice for it to be so long, but I’ve just barely managed to figure out how to shampoo it effectively (a skill you can lose over years of short hair, apparently) and now I am facing a major challenge. A formal event.

I am not a “hair-doer”. Clean is the way I wear it day-to-day and day-to-night. If I feel so inclined, I use a banana clip to put it up. The end.

I need an easy, formal style for this event on Thursday. What will I do…

May 2-4

What is better than a long weekend? Seriously? What could be better than a whole day of time to program yourself, do the things you need to do (groceries, yard chores, Driver Ed) and spend some time on real relaxation. I spent my relaxation time watching a whole lot of Sex and the City, seeing people I like, and sleeping. Mmm.

I checked out the new Museum of Nature on Saturday, as promised, during the free day. Milan and I went, and we took it all in. I don’t think we missed a single exhibit. We did, however, skip the historical/ghost tours since the line went forever, as Trevor at Apartment 613 put in his liveblog.

Since most of my excitement was related to my childhood love of the place, the visit was bittersweet. I miss the dark, winding dinosaur exhibit, a model they’ve abandoned in favour of the generic museum “big room, in and out same door” model. Although, I concede there were many cool things (the blue whale skeleton is exactly as neat as you'd think it would be) and I did love the “lantern”, the glass tower on the front. The view there is beautiful. I could have stayed there all evening, watching the sun set.

*****

I also spent a great deal of the weekend going for 24 hours at time “offline”; not checking Facebook, Google reader, Twitter… As a journalism student, I use all sorts of different "social media". I've never thought about the stress keeping up with those things puts on me. It felt like a break to just tell myself the emails can wait. Is this unhealthy? And am I the only person who feels this way? I certainly have what I call the “know-know-know” drive, the need to keep up-to-date with as many things as possible at once – it’s one of the reasons I like journalism. Should I work on "unplugging" more?

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Rain Soaked


I love those quick, hard storms that roll through in the late afternoon! I love going out to stand in them. When I was younger, my friends and I would put on bathing suits and run around. I guess I never shook the habit, because when I heard the rain start this afternoon, I ran outside and stood on my steps, getting completely soaked. It was fun to watch the sky lighten and the rain taper off. It smells so good, and the rain water tastes so good!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

I am woefully behind the times


I knew that a bank was firebombed in Ottawa. I just didn't realize it was MY bank, my branch.

There are some CRAZY people in the world.

*****

I am so looking forward to the reopening of the Museum of Nature! It was one of my favourite places to as a kid. The T-Rex would literally reduce me to tears (his HEAD was over WHERE YOU WALKED. I squeeze my eyes shut and clung to my mom as I shuffled under). I saw lots of Paperbag Theatre shows. I am famous in family lore for striding across the main lobby to the netherparts of the moose mosaic and said loudly: "Look! He has a real penis and everything!"

I will be going on Saturday to the free admission Museum At Night. Ghost tours, wine bars and Nature exhibits! What more could a girl want on a Saturday night?

*****

In blog news, Stella got her house - and promptly ripped up the floors, the first night. That girl gets shit done. I look forward to reading more about her renovations over at her reno blog.

Exhaustion Day

Today is what happens when you start the week with an exhausting funeral.

I woke up this morning, rolled out of bed, and started my morning routine. I was standing in the mirror in the bathroom, putting on makeup, when I realized I was so exhausted, I was about to fall over. So, I went back to bed. And slept. All. Day.

Now I am groggy.

I have so many things to do this weekend, that I wonder how long my weekend will really feel! Well, over-packing my time is classic me.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Professional Crush: Kady O’Malley

I got some good news the other day while chatting with an old friend.

“I’ve been getting more into following politics,” she told me, “ever since CBC got Kady O’Malley [http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/].”

Putting aside for now that I can’t believe I didn’t realize Kady O’Malley hadn’t disappeared from the blogging world when she left Macleans and her Inside the Queensway blog that I read religiously, I was very glad to hear this, on two accounts. First of all, I like her. She is smart and snarky and I enjoy that. I list her among my inspirations*, blogger -wise. Also, how cool would it be to have her job? Seriously.

Also, I think it’s a good idea for those who are in the news business to get all over this hip-happenin, new-fangled technologies (kids these days). Kady O’Malley does well with Twitter, blogging, and liveblogging. I was surprised to find no one liveblogging or livetweeting at Ottawa City Hall, since I remember it being all the rage for Larry O’Brian’s court case. Of course, most of those lacked the certain snarky* je ne said quoiof Ms. O’Malley.

Good work CBC; I’m excited to have Kady O’Malley back in my RSS reader. I’m a little embarrassed I didn’t notice her over at CBC, but I’m not a huge fan of CBC online, so not altogether surprising. Now if she had a radio show… Wait. Does she have a radio show I don’t know about?**

*I realize I have used snarky twice now, but it’s just such a good word. Also, I checked in the thesaurus: no synonyms. Probably because Snarky made fun of all the other words like it until they ran away or transferred to other meanings.

**A: Google says… no.

Crying hangover (and hangover hangover)

You know that feeling in your eyes and the front of your cranium you get the morning after a lot of crying? You feel tired and heavy and sluggish? My eyes are all over that this morning. I’m even a bit hungover! Not something you’d expect after a memorial service, but somehow, I’m not surprised.

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

Mother's Day Coffeecake

This weekend was Mother's Day, since my mom was away on Mother's Day. We did it up just like normal Mother's Day: picked up the requested items to make for dinner, invited close family friends to join us for the dinner, created a list of the chores we were do for my mom on Sunday, assembled gifts. This year we surprised her with a big ticket item she never would have bought for herself, but really wanted - a netbook! She was shocked and very excited. I also picked up an new iPhone case, since hers is falling apart, and stuck on a new screen protector, which she loved.
I started off the surprises early in the morning by making this cake that I found on Jennifer's vegan cooking blog, It Ain't Meat, Babe. It has cranberries in it, and we have a large surplus of cranberries in our fridge, so I dove right in.
I didn't make it vegan; I used cow's milk and milk yogurt instead of soy options. It wasn't until I was making it the morning of that I realized the yogurt in our fridge I thought was plain was vanilla! So instead of adding vanilla bean scrapings, as Jennifer's recipe called for, I used vanilla yogurt, and it turned out really well.
Just as I pulled the cake out of the oven, my mom came downstairs for the first time that morning, with a smile on her face. "I was in a deep sleep, in a dream, when I suddenly smelled this delicious baking - and it woke me up!" She's usually the one baking, and always the one baking early in the morning, so I think she enjoyed being spoiled. Even though I was worried about the vanilla yogurt substitution, everyone loved the cake. We wolfed down almost the whole thing immediately. I decided to make another one to use up more cranberries (seriously, we have loads) as a treat for the family to have in the mornings. Turns out our old beast of an oven got upset and burned it. It still tastes good, just a little crispy on the topping!
I will definitely be making this again - I think I'll try other ingredients, like blueberries when they're in season.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Michael

Yesterday, I found out that a friend from high school passed away this weekend. I'm not sure I even want to use that euphemism. It sounds so stiff, reserved for someone old and tired, in a whole life lived kind of way. Michael was full of energy and positive energy, quick with smiles and laughs and kind works. He was also full of life, life left to be lived.

He will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Goodbye, Michael. You lifted me up when I was down more than once, and I remember that. I don't know if you realized while you were doing it, but you did touch me.

My thoughts are also with Stella, who also found out a friend from high school passed away yesterday.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

My New Job Doesn't Suck!

Whew, it’s been a busy week already!

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!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Picnic Season

(pictures from Nina Barry www.ninabarry.com/blog)

It seems as though many blogger people had picnics on the brain today. I know that the rainy, cold weather made me want out even more. All I wanted was some sunshine, a bike ride, and now, maybe a picnic to go along with it! I know that if Phil here here visiting, I'd take him down to the park for a picnic, with some sandwiches, a thermos of tea... and maybe a flask of something stronger.

I almost-but-not-quite woke up on time to hit up the Jane's Walk for my neighbourhood and ended up stuck inside all day, once the rain and clouds moved in. I did go out to meet a couple friends for a beer briefly, and got free beer in the process. To the friendly man in the overalls who bought me a drink: thanks! I'm sorry we didn't get to chat for longer.

I hope you're all enjoying your weekends, grey or not!

Friday, 30 April 2010

End of the Lazy Week

My week-long vacation of lazy is, sadly, coming to an end.

I did pretty much nothing all week, which is why you haven't heard from me. I slept until 11 most days. I wore sweatpants. I watched bad TV (the top pic of the week: TLC's wedding dress show Say Yes To The Dress. Bad, I know. Worse: anything on MTV was a close second. Sometimes I even disgust myself). I didn't really see many people or go many places.

I did stop by my favourite neighbourhood consignment clothing store to pick up a few new things for work (and some for fun too!). Before leaving Nova Scotia and upon arriving, I cleared out some old things from my closet. It's still full to bursting, but that's a headache for another time.

My top find is a stunning, classic trenchcoat, the real deal. It makes me feel like Lauren Bacall. When I get my act together (and my camera battery cha
rged... where did I pack that charger?), I'll post a picture. For now, here's my cute new jean jacket! I've been eyeing them all spring, and I knew I'd find a good one either in my own closet, or at a consignment shop. My old one was a little lame, but this one is so cute! It's a Gap Kids XXL, which makes it cute and shrunken. Win.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Terminal Disease

The students in the fourth year advanced Investigative Reporting class worked away for ages, in secrecy, hiding behind the Twitter hashtag #funkytown. They worked so hard, and here is the result, a story on Video Lottery Terminals and Gambling addiction in Nova Scotia. It was published in The Coast!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Back in Ottawa

After many hours of driving, I am back in Ottawa! (Beautiful bike in tow). It's nice weather, so I guess I can't complain, and I think I will take advantage of it by going out for an inaugural ride on my bike (which I've decided to name Flo). I also don't start work until next Monday, so this week will be my week of sleep sleep sleeping.

On a completely separate note, I have a question for you, Ottawa. In Halifax, I follow the goings on at city hall by following two Twitters that livetweet from the council meetings, one from a writer for the Metro Halifax and recent King's grad, and one by The Coast. The Chronicle Herald has also just jumped on the bandwagon with a dedicated Twitter account for council livetweeting.

Is there anything like this in Ottawa? I would love to keep on top of Ottawa City Hall as well.