"A lady ain't what she wears but what she knows" -Miss India Arie
5:26 PM | 0 comments

First off, I won’t pass judgment here or anywhere because I’ll never know the whole story about anyone. Everyone’s got something going on beyond what they present, and as easy as it is to assume what we see is what the truth is, we’ve all got skeletons in our closets.
That being said, I have something of a public service announcement. Just because you wear expensive clothes, have boys doting over you and have high end makeup on your face doesn’t make you immune to bad manners. Whether you are rich or poor, bad manners are not in good taste. I went out to the bar with the girls last night to celebrate other friends’ homecomings and the series one win of our beloved home team. In walked some girls from our high school. They were the ones whose parents could always buy them nice clothes and handbags. They used to make fun of people, sometimes out loud, and would qualify as the “popular” girls. Since graduation, they frequent one or two bars, usually in the same pack of people they walked down the halls with at school. I know they know who I am. I know because depending on who I am with, they may say hi to me, and because I have heard what’s said about me from their perfectly pink lips.
Yesterday was an instance where one or two of them walked by without choosing to acknowledge my presence, more than once. Ladies: Good manners, i.e. saying hello, smiling once in awhile, are in good taste. No matter how attractive or lavishly dressed you are, bad manners are such bad taste they will ruin the effort you spent preparing your appearance. You’re not doing anyone any favours. Psychologically, it’s said that you act like b*tches because you harbour your own insecurities from your abandoning father or childhood illness, etc. If you would just smile at people when appropriate, I guarantee you will feel better AND still be pretty. It’s a win-win.
I am not saying this for my own validation. I don’t need their “hellos” to have a good time or feel better. Being with my girls and drinking is enough for me. But I am putting this out there because you might as well understand the value of good manners and taste now, and not delay this realization until that day when you are in your forties and realize you’ve been treating people poorly you’re whole life and no one’s a fan anymore. Maybe that day will never come and you’ll continue surrounding yourself with like-mannered people, feeding off of each other’s snobbery. If that’s the case, you are blessed to have friends. But in the odd case that your karma meets you in this life time, better to begin being nice now rather than later.

A year ago today...
1:35 PM | 1 comments

...We were headed around the world for adventures in Santorini, Ios and Athens, Greece. Yamas to our many memories, (absynthe, spanakopita, high pitched voice guy) the culture (evil eye, living on top of parents, nassacizi) and the love we each have now for our time in a wonderful country.

If you want to be a somebody, wake up and pay attention
6:44 AM | 0 comments

Someone I know recently turned his life around. While I am still scared for him, I am so proud of him for taking on the challenge in spite of his fear. He has made mistakes in his life and lived in comfort and shelter, relatively speaking, and now for the first time he has stepped out on his own and is responsible for his own life course.
He has to do his own laundry and try not to shrink or discolour it. He does his groceries and is realizing how expensive a constant supply of Gatorade really is. He is furnishing his first home that only belongs to him, that he can call his own. He also gets to buy the cereal he wants, listen to his own music, and take as long as he wants getting through his Saturday to-do list.
If he falls, all the responsibility of the fall is on him. I’m sure he has nights where he lies down before going to sleep, wondering how he’s going to do it all. I hope there are fewer of those moments than the moments where he celebrates being on his own.
I found it pretty scary moving out, but it was also fun doing things myself for the first time. I feel proud to say I pay my own bills, I manage my own schedule, and I take care of myself. I am sure anyone else who has taken that step can relate.
I wish good luck to anyone who has made the decision to take responsibility for him or herself and become independent. To those of you unsure if you could do it, or weary to step out on your own, I highly recommend independence. It inspires confidence to tackle almost anything, and it humbles the spirit previously accustomed to depending on others.

My tea's gone cold I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all...
3:51 PM | 0 comments

I will be missing in action the next three days. I actually got a gig as a pretend reporter at people's media training. I guess that brings me one step closer to being an actual reporter. Anyhow, see ya when I get back. Hit me back just to chat, I'm the man, this is Stan.

"Ya had a bad day, you're taking one down"
7:59 AM | 5 comments

First of all I have to congratulate my little brother Patrick, because this morning he was voted valedictorian by his high school class of 2006. I am so proud of him!

This morning was so miserable, I actually laughed at myself. I had a bad sleep because I was too hot, too cold or too frustrated by bad dream that wouldn’t go away. I woke up early and was still late for work. I put on my pants to discover they’d been shrunk in the dryer. My gym shoes in my backpack were poking me in the lower back on my walk to work. My coat didn’t have a hood, so I brought an umbrella that blew inside out within the first few minutes of the trek. I got into work and realized I forgot my coffee money. Ughhh. It was so awful I couldn’t help laugh at how pathetic I must have looked walking into work. The hair I’d made myself late putting up had blown into a drippy, flat catastrophe. My skin actually looked gray.
This would be a perfect day to give up my run. It’d be so much more in keeping with the day’s theme to sit placidly at a table and read the papers or play solitaire. But it’s been almost a week since my last one, (I had to rest my mega-aching ankles), so I know I am going to have to kick my bum into gear and get moving. Maybe it’ll give me the endorphin energy I would have had from a cup of Tim Horton’s French Vanilla. It’s going to feel soooo nice to go home and put on my sweatpants, eat some refrigerated Dijon chicken and watch the playoffs with the boyfriend.

Give into the power of the tea
11:42 AM | 0 comments

I woke up today with the rainy mist moistly making its way through my opened windows and onto my red-toenailed feet that stuck out the end of my duvet. Yuck.
I wrapped my thick, fleecey housecoat around me and slipped my cold grey feet into my slippers to protect them. It was so gray when I went into the kitchen I had to turn on the light, as if it was sunset darkness outside, and not 7 a.m.
I knew it was a day I would rely on tea.
When I think about what ingredients make a perfectly peaceful moment, tea always makes the list, usually along with a silk duvet, an addictive book and jazz music.
When I became to poor to buy milk this winter, (I can do without, I get my calcium elsewhere, worriers) I knew I’d have to find teas I could enjoy without it. I pushed some Sidekicks packages out of the way in my cupboard and found the pink box of Hibiscus tea my Aunt brought my from Egypt last Christmas. I certainly owed it to the universe to at least sample the treat brought to me from so far away. It sailed across my tongue and warmed me without putting me to sleep. The best way I can explain it is like fruit punch without the sugar.
Over the weekend, I sampled a Chai Green tea and a Vanilla Chai, which I made into a latté, (because I have milk again). I suppose like wine, teas come in enough varieties that make them fun to sample, able to be tied to specific memories, and fit just nicely into perfect moments when you know what to expect and it’s cooled enough to sip.
At work, tea is my time-marker at 10 that separates early morning from late morning, which brings me closer to lunch and end of day. It makes me feel so much more peaceful to sip tea after harrowedly going through emails, answering to urgent requests and waiting for my hair to dry after being dampened on the walk in.
I highly recommend improving your own rainy mornings, afternoon lounges and friendly gatherings with a cup of whatever is your favourite.

Because You're Worth It
7:09 AM | 1 comments

I woke up early again this morning for yoga and found myself with an extra 10 minutes to arrange my hair, makeup and choose an outfit. Feeling joy for this extra 10 minutes may seem shallow. I could have devoted it to writing my mom e-mail, or preparing an especially healthy lunch. Instead I chose to devote it to my appearance, and let me tell you why.
I listened to my fave morning songs (London Skies, Clocks, Baby it’s you by Jojo) and arranged my hair in a strategically messy bun atop my head. I chose my pants and tank top that make me look like I’m going to a dance class (at least that’s how they make me feel) and covered my top with a pale pink see through cinch shirt. I took time to do my makeup, because I usually rush through and finish thinking, “Well, Ill just wear my glasses to cover it up.”
When I walked into work, greeted by my jeans-clad colleagues, some asked if I had a luncheon to attend later, or what the ‘special occasion’ was. I felt shiny and new when I received their compliments. And I said thank you. I didn’t bash because I knew if I looked as good as I felt, they were being honest.
I felt good being wrapped up in carefully selected clothes, attentively created hair, smelling of my perfume.
It has really been a morning where I understood the value of putting your best face forward. It felt good to have put effort into my appearance, and not as a mask to hidden insecurities or secret sad feelings, but as a reflection o how good I felt. Club nights and job interviews are key situations where attention to appearance detail is necessary, but this morning I realized that it is fun and renewing even to look nice “just because.”
Note, I did not wear super expensive clothes, (because in my current rent money bills situation I have little extra, after drinking money), I just felt good in my own stuff. I’m never sure how anyone reading my posts will react because it all makes crystal clear sense to me. Whatever your reaction, I challenge you to experience how much better you feel knowing you’re leaving the house looking the best you could for the wonderful world you enter.

Touch your toes and knee to nose
8:14 AM | 0 comments

Inspired by a former Computer-Assisted Reporting professor I had, I signed myself up on a few key interest Google Groups as a way of being involved in a larger dialogue about things like yoga, youth crime, and Jason Mraz. I don’t always read the messages sent to my inbox, but yesterday I poked around the yoga group to see what people were saying. Typically this group seems to be geared towards people who have studied yoga in India for like a decade, and I often don’t understand a word they write. (One day I must remember to look up what ayurveda is, that word gets thrown around a lot) Yesterday a gentleman shared his positive experiences stretching in the morning, and soon after members posted their similar experiences. Some were corporate execs whose only sanity salvation was their morning yoga practice.
I thought that sounded pretty good: Waking up early, doing 20 minutes of yoga and then having this super power energy that carries you through the day and makes all stress melt away once you return to your deep breathing. It went well this morning and after I remained focused on not falling back asleep, it was enjoyable. It is now about 11:00 and I guess you have to do more yoga or every day for it to make a difference because my face wants to fall on my keyboard, my eyes seek the camouflage of sunglasses to close behind and if one more person asks me to pass my stapler I am going to throw it between their eyes and tell them to get their own.
I’ll try it again tomorrow and maybe Saturday, minus the waking up early part. I’ll let you know if I ever tap into the secret powers of yoga energy in a significantly large and impressive way, like my fellow yoga Google group members.
There is certainly an advantage to daily stretches. I’ve always been blessed with flexibility so stretching has never been strenuous. It makes me feel so good to stretch while watching TV at night (that way I’m not being a couch potato), and try to get as close to the floor and as flat as possible. It really feels good. I never feel worse for doing it, I’m told it can make you up to a half an inch taller when done regularly and hey- maybe if I keep it up I’ll still be doing the splits at 80. That’d be something to impress the toothless wonders of my retirement home with. If I can offer any substantial piece of advice to the reader reading this, it would be to always roll your shoulders back and mind your posture. This makes it near impossible to hurt yourself when stretching or doing yoga (though I know there are those special ones out there who will still manage to).

Maybe not THE city, but it's my city
8:26 AM | 0 comments

Yesterday after work, I celebrated my good mood (and first pay cheque with my raise on it) by getting groceries. I bought a black canvas roll-along cart to bring my groceries home with at a Lebanese store on Bank Street. That in itself was wonderful. (I’d previously been stuffing groceries into a backpack and laundry bag, struggling along with another six bags in my hands.) With ease, I boarded the #4 bus back to the market.
I passed by the tea store on my way to my stifling hot, store-top apartment. I thought it might be a good place to check out, now that I’ve decided to bring my own tea for coffee breaks at work. So I put my iPod on pause (it didn’t feel right to listen to anything but jazz in a tea store, and it happened to be Rob Base in my ears). There were thousands of teas! I’m sure you’ve seen something like that before, but for a new-to-downtown Ottawa girl, it was beautiful. I ordered a bag of pear-vanilla cream tea, and just finished my first cup before writing this. It was a strong odour that made me think of sour apple Jolly Ranchers.
I came home, and stripped off my almost damp clothing as the temperature was hot now and I’d dressed for the cool morning. My roommate invited me to a patio with two of our high school friends for a drink. I can’t remember ever sitting out on a warm night drinking sangria with girlfriends before, as it’s only in the last 2 years I’ve been legal, so I mini-celebrated this first. We talked about summer plans, travels, boys and then made our way to Piccolo’s for gelato. I was already stuffed from my unhealthy dinner and the mozza sticks I’d just eaten, but the raspberry and chocolate-chocolate mix looked SO GOOD. We laughed some more as the gelato dripped down my fingers and we made fun of people who wear those ear-clip cell phones. (If you have so much to do that you can’t even hold the phone, you may be too busy, especially for this warm weather).
I know that unless you are a particularly interested voyeur of mine, this all may seem boring, like an end-of-day phone conversation had with my Mom. But when the work whistle blew and I was out in my city, with a little bit of money in my pocket, I was happy to celebrate. With tea, with sangria and gelato, and with girl friends.

10:25 AM | 2 comments

The gulls are squaking, the smog is out and people who shouldn't wear revealing clothing are doing it anyway. And with summer comes the writing of my summer reading list. So I make this post to ask for any suggestions you may have for summer reading material. I am a fan of the classics, (though I have read most modern American ones and dislike Shakespearean ones during summer), chicklit, most things to do with supernatural phenomena or superstition and mysteries that make readers use their brain. The list I've created so far includes:
"The Devil Wears Prada” – Lauren Weisberger
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – Truman Capote
“Lolita” – Vladmir Nabokov
Any suggestions appreciated!! If your fave books don't fall within the aforementioned categories, share it with me anyway, I keep an open mind. :)

Pay it Forward-- Respect, that is
7:48 AM | 0 comments

After taking a bit of a news break this weekend (no 24-hour news TV, only glanced through three newspapers), I read the headline of this morning’s paper, tilted my heavy head to the right and heaved a big chest up-and-down sigh.
“At least 9 dead, 60 hurt in Passover attack”
Usually, I keep quiet about religion because you never know who you might offend. At that risk, I hope I can address this with my thoughts and reflections, without making anyone feel hurt.
I’m not going to argue the dynamics of this latest development in Tel Aviv. I have been trained to recognize there are more than two sides to every story and I respect that on an individual level, everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. I also read these stories on a daily basis and wonder if anyone else looks at the black and white on the page, swirls around in their desk swivel chair and wonders, beyond “why”, to “how.”
I joined my family to attend Easter services at my community’s Roman Catholic Church. People sat shoulder-to-shoulder in one of the Church’s two busiest services of the year. I anticipated the priest’s typically long homily because I was interested to hear if he would include any reaction to this new Gospel of Judas, Baignet’s Jesus Papers and the Da Vinci Code. He preached that they were all wrong, not to worry, and “we know the truth.” He went on to dispel the Judas gospels as being inaccurate because one of its many teachings don’t correlate with the other Church-accepted gospels. He said the Jesus Papers and the Da Vinci Code also could not be true because they don’t agree with the Bible. Is it really about what is true and what is not? Or, could it be about what each person believes, individually? What stopped him from telling the congregation,
“Look, this is what people are saying. It contradicts what we Catholics believe. I want you to decide for yourselves what you do and don’t believe to be true. Then, take that belief, and live the best life you can.”
Nobody has been built with the authority to say what is an absolute truth and what is not when it comes to a belief. It’s impossible-- beliefs are subjective, decided upon by each individual person. If everyone believed something different, respected these differences among his fellow man and did the best they could to live a good life (by their own definitions), wouldn’t there be more time to enjoy each other? My sympathies go out to the Jewish families affected by the Tel Aviv suicide bombings, and to everyone in the world who suffers punishment for their beliefs. This wish applies to all sides of the spectrum. If you read this and feel offended, why not smile at five more people than usual today, regardless of what belief system they appear to belong to. It will be much more productive than sending hate mail.

Joyeux Pacques
10:47 AM | 1 comments

Happy Easter everyone! Or for you non-Catholics or non-denominationals, happy long weekend! Use it well .. the sun is out (at least here) birds are out and we can start wearing flip flops again. I know my toes ae happy. Fell good song all should check out: "Good night and Go" by Imogen Heap, half of Frou-Frou.

Trading Britney for Braff
7:36 AM | 4 comments

For Lent, I gave up reading celebrity tabloids, and the things of celebrity nature. It had become an addiction! If I didn’t know what Lindsay Lohan had allegedly done the night before, I felt lost. After checking the CBC and BBC web sites online every morning, I read People.com and MSN celebs. I don’t know what the draw was specifically, but I have a hunch it had something to do with my desire to BE a celebrity. “Maybe if I too wear spandex pants and UGG boots while shopping at Chanel on Sunset, I will be famous….” OK, that was extreme, but part of it. I needed to hear who’s marriages were falling apart, how pregnant Angelina Jolie was, and what Nicky Hilton was wearing at the Chateau Marmont.
I started giving up things for Lent last year, because every other year’s vow to give up chocolate lasted about 3 days on average. And no one’s life is made better by giving up chocolate. The paper said it helps cure cancer! Last year I gave up red meat. I didn’t notice much of a difference, but I did become aware of how much I typically eat. When thinking of things to give up this year, I didn’t want to include anything that may affect my health while training for the run in May. So I thought, hmmm… giving up celebrities would be hard…
Almost 40 days later, I haven’t visited People.com (which I now hear you have to pay for anyway) and I have stopped reading the Metro before the celeb gossip section at the end. But I did need something to fill my space with. I think Oprah said that once…to beat an addiction you need something to fill its place. That’s where this comes in.
I started reading blogs of writers and creative minds I admired. (Jason Mraz and Zach Braff started it off) Then I started reading what people had to say about international events, and I got turned onto a beautifully written blog by a woman living in Baghdad. (It’s called Baghdad Burning for anyone who’s interested). I know it’s a little voyeuristic, reading about people’s lives from their on-line diaries, but I really do like learning about what’s going on in different places of the world without the aid of a newspaper. It’s so much more intimate to find out about the slums of India and the wonders of the Netherlands through other people’s eyes.I felt guilty for taking all that information and experience for myself without giving something back. Lent..I’m a Catholic..guilt isn’t too far behind! Lent’s supposed to be about sacrifice of some sort, and morality, blah blah so it only made sense I gave something back. Luckily, I am a writer by habit and doing this is fun. But here is my contribution

Financial security or financial fun?
7:21 AM | 1 comments

I just heard a commercial for Freedom 55 Financial that urges viewers to "continue dreaming, and start planning.” I thought to myself, “Isn’t that the just the hardest part about seizing the day?” It’s so much more fun to blow your savings on an amazing trip: An experience you’ll relish and savour forever. Or, how can you seize the day when your friends are calling you to come out and play, but you know you have to stay in and write an essay or else you’ll fail a class? I’ve often been reminded of things like “reality” and “planning”, but they seem so far away in actual grown-up realm. Suits and bills and mortgages do not belong to any seize the day-er I know. But in my imagination future, I see myself with my family in a nice house in a neighbourhood with clean streets and I am seizing the day there as well. I just don’t think about what it takes to get from point A to B. The potential sacrifices, nights in, saving money it takes to get to that higher ground. What’s a twentysomething to do when all she wants is fun, memories and enjoyment? If I get hit by a car in a year, will I be glad I had contributed regular monthly amounts to my RRSP? Or will I instead be glad I took my money and used it to help people, have fun and go out into the big, wide world while I could? Thoughts?

Metrosexuals and My Romance
10:37 AM | 3 comments

Metros: I think that’s a wonderful idea! Guys who can be fashionable, wear hair gel properly, enjoy art and not have to worry about being called gay as a derogatory term because they can call themselves metro instead. I know a few who do and I enjoy their company thoroughly. But just like we can’t assume all gay men have wonderful fashion taste, I know I can’t assume all self-described ‘metros’ are the same. Are metrosexuals self-described, or is it a label given by others?
Are they just as credible in terms of people you’d call when organizing a touch-football game? Or are they reserved for the list of people you call when going to a swanky night club? I personally enjoy a friend who has similar interests, and mine include art, music, art-as-fashion and books. Whether that be a girl or a guy who’d call himself metro is cool. But I’m absolutely pleased with my boyfriend who would gladly trade an art film or going shopping, for a night watching Die Hard or playing hockey. Opposites make things more fun in the end.

“…the way you love the first person that ever touches you and never love anyone quite that way again.” –Joan Didion, “Goodbye to all That”
I realize more and more as the calendar keeps a-flipping that I am so so lucky to have found my 'someone' so young. Someone once said sarcastically, “What’s the fun in finding your soulmate in high school?” (I think someone said it in a move, actually). You know what, ask me someday and I’ll tell you how much fun it is. :)

7:56 AM | 4 comments

I looked up chivalry to see what the hard qualifications to make a man chivalrous were. Turns out chivalry is a behaviour code that has to do with olde Knigths and the Church. Looked up gentleman and I found lots of information about the word’s roots and some info about Shakespeare. So, I don’t have a cool, contextual way to begin this post, my apologies.
I did, however, want to share my thoughts on modern-day chivalry. What we all understand it to mean today, that is, holding doors open, pulling back chairs. I work in a place with traditional, older men who are accustomed to orders, proper etiquette and a sort of hierarchal sense of where they stand in the building. (No, it’s not a gentlemen’s club or anything of the sort) It’s enjoyable to know they will always hold the elevator door open, allow me to exit through the doorway first and even address me as ma’am. It may be atypical but I think every girl, regardless of how pro-feminist equality blah blah they are, appreciates a gentleman. One who’ll bring you a drink when you need it, introduce you to the people you don’t know and reserve himself to only a brief kiss in public. *
I really believe any man, whether he prides himself on being a metro, or a bad-ass, whatever, could stand to learn a thing or two from today’s gentlemen. They aren’t a dying species or anything, but it sure makes moments nicer when there’s an element of chivalry in it.

* Saturday night’s contest kiss was a drunk one, no judging! Exception to the rule of this lady.

A Reality Show Evening
8:06 AM | 1 comments

The BF and I had entered ourselves into Ottawa's Hottest Couple a few weeks ago. Rich was working an overnight shift and heard on the radio that we could win a prize trip to Paris, and he wanted us to sign up. So I sent in our picture along with a few sentences on why I tought we should win. They chose us as contestants, and last night we had the semi-finals at a swnaky bar, Suite 34. It was tons of fun: We (well I mean, I) got my hair and makeup done by these nice salon girls from Scissors. Then, once we'd all imbibed upon a few martinis, we had to stand on a stage in front of a crowd of well-dressed drunk people. We answered 3 questions without looking at eachother, newlyweds game style. We got them all right, of course, because we are a fantabulous-o couple. Anyway, then we had 15 seconds to passionately kiss. We'd known about this before hand so we rehearsed a sweet fancy dip. We did this then kissed for everyone and apparenty impressed the judges and crowd because they voted us the first place couple! We were SO surprised, we totally thought other couples would win! So now we move on to the final round April 22, up for a trip to Paris. So pumped! Mostly, though, it was such an incredible experience for me and Rich together. We won together, and that was the cool part.

Summer Running..Having a blast
7:56 AM | 2 comments

I am really getting excited about the increasing frequency on days I wake up and its sunny outside. Sunny with actual green grass! There is a stark difference between waking up tired from a 9-hour sleep just because it's gray and rainy outside and the days I can wake up after getting only 6 hours of beauty rest with a full stock of energy because its warm! And sunny! At this stage of my prep-for-race program, I can ONLY be motivated to run on days that aren't raining, rain-snowing or hailing. Lately my runs have been taking me to the point where it actually feels good. No more coughing up a lung's content after 15 minutes, now it's just go and go and go until I've got no more juice left in my legs. So far, my favourite songs to run to are:
"Right here, right now" -Fatboy Slim
"Bombs Over Baghdad"-Outcast
"Body Rock" -Moby
Song selection is key for me. I don't know about you but I actually find more energy in a strong beat. Before a few weeks ago when I began running, I gave up way too easy. At the time, of course, I thought I'd done "good enough" after awhile. I was indifferent to the hundrd of runners I saw along the canal every day. "Good for them." Besides, only out of shape people need to run, right? But now I get it--I get why people do it FOR FUN. It is! It's like the mind-numbing bus trips I told you about only now I'm running and forgetting about everything else but what I see ahead and how good it feels.

A soundtrack
10:51 AM | 0 comments

Jason Mraz’s voice…pretty sultry. Patrick and I were lucky enough to see him in concert last fall and it was one of the top 5 musical experiences of my life. He’s got a cool way of looking at things and subsequently recording those thoughts into lyric. I love that I have his music…it gives me a different step. I wouldn’t say I have a crush on him or anything creepy fan-ish like that. It’s more like, I’d love to sit with him in a coffee shop and pick his brain for a while. Or have him be a contact on my cell phone that I could call up on a Thursday night and say, “Hey, Mrazinator, wanna chill?” and he’d say, “Just lemme put my guitar away and I’ll skateboard over.”

It’s fun having these imaginations. Unfortunately, I typically have them while listening to my iPod at work when I am supposed to be sending e-mails or something like that. I really am glad I have it. When I walk through the market or through campus and I’m listening to a song, (usually something folksy or “hip-hop”), it feels like I’m in a movie. I like to imagine the song is playing everywhere, and everyone hears it knowing it’s playing for me, the star of the movie who at that moment in the plot is walking through the market, or campus.

Also I enjoy it on the bus. Getting on the bus is typically a time-travel transformation where my brain goes into autopilot and I stare blankly ahead, not even thinking, really, for however long the trip is. I can always get off the bus and return to normal, but the bus ride itself is usually a bunch of strangers who stare straight ahead, or fall asleep, to the sounds of breaks and dings. Now, though, I can enhance my experience by pretending everyone on the bus hears the same Janet Jackson or Joshua Radin song that I’m listening to. Sometimes the weird combination makes me laugh, like when there’s a bunch of depressed-looking cubicle people walking on the bus monotonously, who sit down, eyes bobbing open and closed, while I’m listening to something like “Where’ve all the good people gone?” It gets me imagining what everyone’s story is, what they do when they get off the bus. Are they the good people? All these imaginations make me remember my first dozen or so bus rides that were made exciting by people-watching. I think people who listen to music on a commute are generally happier commuters.

Underwater death matches
2:20 PM | 0 comments

Tonight is the last underwater hockey game of the season. My Dad and I joined up just before Christmas. The first game made me want to run away, if not for the lack of muscle control in my legs. I felt like my whole body was jelly, my lungs had expanded to just before their explosion point, and my ankles were unable to hold my frame up anymore. I didn’t think the redness in my face would ever go away.
Underwater hockey is what it sounds like. We play in a non-competitive* league, on teams of five, with a few substitutes if we’re lucky. We all wear a mask, snorkel and fins. Carrying a stubby mini-stick to the bottom of the pool, we hold our breath passing and stealing the weighted puck trying to get a goal. Or, in my case, trying to stay alive as I swim back up to the surface to inhale.
The overall goal of it is to practice holding our breath and our swimming skills for the upcoming scuba diving session. I admit, it has helped my lung capacity expand, and lately I’ve been coming out of the hour-long games with the ability to walk into the change room, which is a real plus. Without fail though, 10 minutes into every game I think to myself creative excuses I can use to leave the game. I do end up feeling kind of proud of myself for playing the game (No, FYI, I’ve never actually wussed out of a game); last week I even scored a hatrick! (I think because the competitive players who wear water polo ear protection took it easy on me after seeing me flail for air most of the previous game).
So that’s what I’m doing tonight. The end of the underwater hockey season makes me happy, but I will actually miss hanging out with the other players, they’re fun. I sure hope to see them on dives this summer. My Dad and I signed up for the regional forces scuba club, so it looks like we’ll e hitting up some sweet shipwrecks and maybe even the ocean this summer! If you’ve never tried scuba diving, it is amazing. I’ve only ever gone in Jamaica for the last 2 summers where I was trained, but I am hooked. Seeing a whole other world with a whole other environment that is so chill moves me. My favourite moment of all time under water was when my dad and I swam alongside this sea turtle, just calmly making his way home, I guess. Well, he looked over at us with his sea turtle eyes, the same way a driver on the road looks over and gives you a nod, only it was a sea turtle. It was magical. I love the sea.

Where've all the smart people gone?
11:41 AM | 0 comments

Never mind the good, where are the smart? Not the people who know the answer to every crossword clue or the explanations of the theory of relativity. I mean smart people who use their head when in conversation with someone.
Earlier this week in class, we had some free time before a broadcast so a bunch of us sat around discussing. We were just talking about the class, reflecting on news as it showed up on the class’ TV screen, the weird tech guy, whatever the conversation evolved into. We were laughing and smiling until this one girl joined us. Man, she would even cut people off to say something stupid. For instance, some of us were talking about dance lessons when we were younger, when she chimed in with, “Yeah, and it’s like so annoying to wear dance shoes.” She had never taken dance lessons, or worn dance shoes, she later told us. She just wanted to say something, anything, for the sake of saying it.
It’s the difference between talking and speaking. Talking is the stuff that just fills the air with words, any words, because they don’t know what else to say. Those who speak actually have something of value to say, to contribute to the conversation.
I’m not teasing the people who are shy—I’m challenging the people who typically say “Yeah, true” and “Well, you know.” Those aren’t thoughts; they are just a mouth spewing word garbage. Every word should mean something, and that is my challenge today (myself included!) Haha, can you tell I’ve been in journalism school for three years?? I hope this isn’t a precursor to my becoming a cynical, lonely cigar-smoking coffee-drinking news junkie. Time will tell….

Starbucks ISN'T so bad
11:05 AM | 0 comments

In another episode of "I'll teach you before you learn", I'd always avoided Starbucks because people said it is a "capitalist coffee giant" symbolic of a go-go-go society. Damn the man! Well you know what? I really wanted some chai this morning. I actually had money too, so I worked up my tastebuds and walked down to the Starbucks inside Chapters- ANOTHER box store giant, mua-ha-ha.
I ordered my grande Tazo Chai Latte and a skinny guy yelled to the procession line. I gave him my money and off they went, putting it together. I waited in the dark purple room, as nice, up-tempo jazz music played. People at tables engaged in what sounded like philosophical discussions, and the smell of coffee was goooood. (I only like the smell of coffee though, the taste is deceivingly different)
When mine finally joined the other drinks on the counter waiting for owners, I hurried over to the coffee condiments counter, shook some cinnamon on, and walked back to the office.
I didn't even have to wait to drink it- no tongue burning at all. And the first sip confirmed it: I am definitely a fan. The cinnamon-apple-Chai melee was so ... comforting. Good word. It comforted me with warmth, sweetness, happiness. Who doesn't like a nice, warm drink on a cold day like today?
Starbucks wins, for satisfying my Chai needs, entertaining me with jazz while I waited, and proving that there's something to be said about the successful ingredients of a capitalistic giant when it makes me this happy.