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Showing posts from October, 2012

Too Many Tabs

Sometimes I get SO BORED at work and think, Why is the internet so dull and useless?? Then other times, I have SO MANY tabs open that I can’t catch up on all the thoughts I have.

Today is a many-tab day. Here are most of them:

Charlie Wilson’s “Music for Sleeping Children” -  I don’t even know what it is yet! But I’m intrigued.

Self Service” via The Walrus – convicting and thought-provoking, as I consider my constant desire to move to a developing nation:

This is the conundrum: earnest thinking about work in the developing world brings the potential of neo-colonialism. But if you embrace the approach I felt so proud of, viewing Africa as a place to learn from, then you risk falling down the Kony hole. This can have practical consequences. Young foreigners interested in self-improvement, who may feel unsure about why they are there in the first place, don’t make the best workers, and they can take jobs away from locals. 
Does this mean we should disengage? It would be a shame if, in our…

Fall Colours 2012

With the rainy cold weather, it is easy for me to get super-grouchy super-fast.

To help remedy this, I've put together a little collage of the past month's beauty.

Please enjoy - download either version if you are so inclined!

The Other Side of the Camera: Oak and Myrrh

Last month, I had the immense privilege of working for my gorgeous friend Aisling (pronounced Ash-ling). She has recently started a photography business and was in need of a second shooter for a wedding…I was nervous to say yes, because I know that I’m only just a newbie with photography. I haven’t intentionally worked at developing my skills or knowledge, and have actually been very guarded about only doing projects I love. But the timing of her request was just right, so once I verified that she was sure she wanted me, I was in!

It was a fantastic experience – Aisling is the right combination of clear-headed, focused, fun, and laid-back. I felt free to take the photos that caught my eye, but had enough direction to make sure I got the shots she needed. And despite the inevitable flurry of a wedding day, we laughed a lot together. A LOT.

Being a second shooter means I don’t do any of the post-editing, and frankly, I hardly remember which photos I took! But of the ones below, all but…

Learning To Be Loved

You know what is weird about being a human? We care so much about how people view us, but then when they actually tell us, we’re all surprised and flustered and either insulted or unable to take a compliment (at least I’m this way, and like to assume I’m not alone in this).

Case in point: my friend Shelly took some photos of me in the summer, and just published them on her site, along with her story of our friendship.

It hadn’t occurred to me that she would write anything about me, how she sees me or how our friendship has grown. And as I looked through the photos, I thought, Really? That’s what I look like? What is wrong with my head? Where did those wrinkles come from? Why don’t I know how to put on eye makeup yet? My arms look…like spaghetti. Ugh. Were the roles reversed and any of my friends had such fantastic photos up on Facebook, I’d be raving all over them (like my friends did for me).

It’s not unusual for me to talk to myself - and subsequently talk back, which is what event…

The D-d-d-dentist

My childhood dentist had a basement office. With fake wood panelling on the walls, a massive poster of BJ Birdie holding a toothbrush, and toys of the 80s. I picture his receptionist with blue eyeshadow and hairsprayed bangs; whether this memory is accurate or not, I do not know.

I do know with great certainty that the door into his office was located past the furnace room. This is the room of strange noises, thumps and wheezes: terrifying to a child. Deadly, when located next to the dentist.)

There was no hygienist in this little outfit. The dentist did everything. He was tall and old-ish and had very bushy eyebrows. When he was leaning over my face, I could see his nose hairs. This was the first time I realized such a thing existed.

He was not much for talking. He gave instructions: "Open. Again. Spit. You can rinse now..." And at the end of every visit, he would say the same thing. "Well, there doesn't appear to be any problems, but I'm going to take an x-ray…

The Hazards of Online Dating

I'll admit it, I've used the internet to meet some men.

It has its strengths, absolutely. There are hazards along the way, however, and a great deal of filtering is required.

Case in point:

Pretty sure the recipient of this match is not as "unique" as Swagalicious.

(Do his parents call him "Swag" for short?)

A Quick Trip to Texas

Texans are a kind and helpful people. Everything is big, yes. And sprawling. But there is diversity, there is beauty, and there are kindred spirits.

Many things happen over four years, but it is possible to hug a friend and know, in a matter of minutes, that nothing significant has changed.

And then you begin to talk and laugh together, and you play Bananagrams, and eat scones with clotted cream (so very Texan of us), and then you make the experience more authentic with Tex-Mex and a hearty breakfast, some Persian food (fun for all to try) and of course, BBQ.

You eat enough meat to feed a small family and you walk around the town where you can't see businesses from the road (bylaws say they have to be behind a row of trees), and you see quinceaƱera parties in a park in Houston.

There are conversations about life, dreams, cycling and writing. You sing along to The Beatles' Paperback Writer with the windows down. You listen to the country music station and discuss the difference…

Very Big Conversations: Is That Joke Actually Funny?

post #2 in my series on Very Big Conversations About Women

I was going to start this post with the statement, "rape jokes are never funny." But as my thoughts have taken shape, I've realized two things - first, that my concerns extend beyond solely  rape jokes. And secondly, I know that I have laughed at jokes that may fall under the rape-joke category. The one that comes to mind is Mike Birbiglia's story about moving a new bed into his apartment. Last night, I lay in bed unpacking why I find this particular joke funny rather than offensive, and I'm not sure if I can explain or justify it. (what do you think? Is it offensive? Why/why not?)

So I am not going to say, categorically, that any kind of joke is never funny. Humour is a complex blend of art and science, and one of its functions is to push limits and make observations that otherwise may not happen. I recognize that.


I have been in the room when an off-colour story or joke is told, and it is all I can…

Mid-Week Music Miscellany

There is a lot of singing around my apartment. Karen sings better than I do (don't let her play shy - she's quite spectacular), but what I lack in pitch, I make up for in exuberance.

It amuses me greatly to hear the unpredictable snippets of song that come out of us early in the morning, late in the evening, and pretty much any time. Here are a few that have been kicking around:

Edge of Seventeen - Stevie Nicks
Take a Chance on Me - ABBA
Blood Pressure - MuteMath (mostly, I sing the opening guitar riff)

A Very Big Conversation About Women

Disclaimer:I hesitate to write anything on this blog that may be considered ranting/venting/raving/criticizing/complaining. It's important to me that I am careful with what I say, and I usually shy away from posting things that may churn up conflict. This post, while not a rant or vent, is certainly something I feel passionate about. And is likely to surface a little conflict. I'm okay with this, but I do ask that we're gracious with our words.

Back in June, Canada was voted the Best Place in the World for Women to Live.When I read this, I felt incredibly proud of my country and our culture.

Then last month, there was a flurry of sexual assaults in my city, and someone told other women to stop "dressing like a whore" and one of the victims responded and someone else shared their story of writing about assault and knowing their body as "a site of violence."

I took the bus home from a friend's one night, and noticed a guy trying to take a picture of m…