Friday, December 4, 2009

Ending Violence Against Women

Hey All,

New Post time.

Well it's that time of year - hitting just before christmas, after thanksgiving - that festive time of year when one gets soaked in the heavy rains on the way to work. As was my day - wasn't too bad though, I brought a change of clothes and all was well.

Something sparked in me today at work though, and I wanted to share it. It's a few days early, but those who know me are sure to forgive my being early for something for once, as opposed to being late.

On December 6th, people across Canada wear a white ribbon to signify solidarity in the pursuit of ending violence against women. Contrary to the belief of some, the abuse still occurs every day, and there are many women who are too afraid to come forward and receive the help and protection they desperately need to break free of the violent and abusive cycles that they have been trapped in.

This all came back to me today as I was reading the news, and came across an article discussing these points and bringing back some of the history for those who may be new to this day and even or were too young to remember what had happened that day. I myself was four when it happened.

The date of Dec. 6th is significant because on that date in 1989, 14 women were killed at the Polytechnique in Quebec, singled out by the killer through a deep-seeded mysoginistic hatred of women, feminism and all such advances therein.

Reading the stories brought about reflection and emotion in me, and I began to consider my life, and life of men and women, humanity in general, and how far we've come in twenty years in many ways on this front, but also how much further there still is to go.

One point of contention however, was that the article I was reading fell into the 'Entertainment' section. Which just felt wrong in my gut. I'm glad that it is receiving news coverage, but I'd consider this more news or life section, than 'entertainment'. but perhaps thats just me on a labelling rant.

I also have some reading material to suggest. In 'The Lovely Bones,' Susie Salmon was murdered on Dec. 6th, 1973. The movie comes out in a couple of weeks. I'd suggest everyone read it and see the movie. It's a story of staggering beauty and sorrow, which takes us through the afterlife of Susie Salmon as she experiences her family's grief and growth from her old heaven, while still being haunted by her attacker.

It's a fantastic book. I am also going to be compiling some links and I'll be adding them on for people to check out.

Until next time,

Cheers All

Monday, October 5, 2009

5th Annual Belly Appreciation Day

Hi All,

In appreciation and support of Belly Appreciation Day, created by my good friend Emily, I thought I'd post the original email (as passed on to me through Ally of 'Ask Ally' and 'The Neighbourhood Zombie Watch') so that we may all bask in the loveliness that is Belly Appreciation Day, which actually also coincides with Alexander's Keith's Birthday. So drink a Keith's and Rub Your Belly!

It's October, most of you are feeling gloomy, it's probably raining (well it is here) and for some reason your belly probably looks more unsightly today than ever. Do not feel bad. Take a moment, rub your belly and be thankful that you have one. There are people in this world who don't. I know, it's a tragedy, but it is true!

The Steps to Accepting Your Belly:

1. Admit that you have a belly (and if you don't have one, call me and borrow some of mine! Just pretending you have one will work too).
2. Name your belly (Gertrude, Janine, Maynard, and Timmy the Tummy are already taken).
3. Give your belly a rub.
4. Talk to your belly (this might seem strange, but people talk to their pets, plants and computers. Why not talk to your belly?)
5. Love the belly.
6. Allow your belly to hang out (at least in the privacy of your own home). It needs to see the sunlight from time to time.
7. Rub and talk to your belly everyday.

If you love your belly, soon it will love you back. Don't listen to the beauty magazines! BELLIES ARE BEAUTIFUL! It's beautiful whether it is a big belly or a little belly. Most people are stuck with their belly forever, you might as well love it! Please pass the message along to any and everyone you know so that they, too, can learn to love their own bellies, whatever size or shape.

I love you all (and your bellies!) and I wish you the bestest Belly Day ever!


Everyone enjoy your belly day and your Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale!

Cheers all

Friday, September 4, 2009

House Husbandry

Well there have been a few jokes and comments (most from myself, but a few from others) about me being unemployed and at home every day. lol.

Anyway, as I sit here watching Rachael Ray (Bette Midler is the guest) I consider the house husbandry that I am currently doing. I am actively searching for employment, had an interview this week, but am still waiting on callbacks and such. I'm plastered all over this city, but nothing as of yet. September 9th is Post-Secondary Recruitment with the Canadian Government, anyone who is looking to get into the Civil Service should look into this. But I am otherwise unemployed and living on the dole, while Krystal brings home the bacon, literally and figuratively. lol.

Anyway, so I sit at home, watching my stories (mostly CSI's and MASH) and do things around the hosue. We moved into our new apartment - once it's all organized and decorated I'll be taking pics and I'll do a virtual facebook tour for everyone.

But for now, thats what I do. I'm unpacking, I'm decorating, hanging pictures and mirrors and valances and blinds, etc. So I'm a house husband, I also cook and clean and it's not so bad. Got to use my new barbecue last night, as I had made a tequila lime chicken and mexican rice. It was quite tasty. I also made oatmeal cookies. Regular ones, not my banana ones (no bananas). But they're still delicious. And so here I put one of the best points of being a house husband type person. Sometimes, I just lie on the couch and eat the cookies I baked while watching TV. Does it get much better than that? lol.

Also, I'm not trying to throw a meal together post 6 PM. I've got the day to plan it, and as for yesterday I saw the tequila lime chicken on Rachael Ray, and so had the time to whip the recipe together. Brilliant.

Sidenote: There is now a hot fudge sundae pop tart. yum.

Anyway, I'd better get to dishes and perhaps make a spot of lunch.

For all of you in London area, go to St. Mary's and go to Darjeeling Teahouse, opening soon (possibly already open, I'll update later on).

Cheers everyone

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crangrape Juice gives me heartburn

Sometimes titles can be quite literal. I'm sure the twix bar didn't help either.

Anyway, Easter. Chocolate and bunnies and eggs and Jesus oh my. It was an emotional one, but a good one. This was actually the first time in five years that I've been home for an Easter. Most often, as all of us who have gone through University would know, we are preparing for exams and finishing papers and theses at this point. Having graduated and recently moved home I was home this time - though I did miss the Catholic Easter vigil. Having lived in Antigonish these last five years, I've most often gone to catholic services, as many of my friends there are catholic and would be the ones I went to church with on said occasions.

But this is not a religious rant. Perhaps there will be one someday, but not today. Today's more about family and our connectivity and what happens when one is lost.

In the last post, I spoke of my grandfather, Roland Wood, and his passing back in December - and the void that is left in all of our lives after such a man who has had a positive influence has died. Earlier today, we went to the graveyard to interm his ashes into the wall. It's a nice little condo flat and he should be quite comfortable there. It's groundfloor and has a view of a garden. Groundfloor, mind you, as Dadda was always afraid of higher leveled rooms in buildings - He always wanted an easy escape route in case of fire.

Things like this, interming the ashes, and all the way back to the funeral and everything else are powerful things, meant to provide for times of mourning and closure. And I'm hoping that what we did today provides that closure. As the hurt becomes a little bit less each day, and the idea of him not sitting in his chair dispensing pearls of wisdom becomes more bearable, I hope we remember the lessons to be learned from him. Kind, generous and wise. All great qualities that I would aspire to have within myself and to confer upon others.

I also learned how to put up vinyl siding this weekend.

Anyway, I'm not writing anything very coherently anymore, so I am going to head to sleep.

Cheers all!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ends and Beginnings and Middles

Hey Folks,

Well it's no real secret anymore that I'm moving back to Ontario. I'm doing so this weekend actually - packing now. Packing's emotional, and I'm not ashamed to say I've cried a couple times today, packing up my Nova Scotia life.

It really is difficult to pick up and go - and I should know, I've moved 11 times in the last five years - this will be move 12. All over Antigonish, home and back, England and Halifax. So many houses and apartments, its dizzying sometimes. Though a tough skin does develop after a while - for a couple years I just lived out of a suitcase, not seeing any real reason to unpack fully since I was going to move again so soon.

I'm moving home because it's the right thing to do right now. As most people know, I lost my Grandfather over the Holidays, and right now my family is hurting. I by no means believe that moving home means all these problems will be fixed, but I feel I need to be there. Being there to help my grandmother and my mom and everyone else, as well as having that familial support will be helpful. I've also been gone for five years, and haven't spent any significant time with the famdamily in the last two. I'd like to go fishing with my Dad, and other such sentimental sappy things.

Beyond that, I have four weddings this summer. I'm standing in two, am a co-MC for another and walking my Mom down the aisle in September, and travel costs to live in NS and go back for all of them is prohibitive. So to be home for the summer is good for those reasons, at the very least. I can even help Sarah and Eric with some of the more intricate planning, which will be nice.

So why is it so hard to move then? With so many great things awaiting me back in Ontario, including greater opportunity to be in my field and get some more work experience? As most of you know, there's a special girl in my life. Her name's Krystal and she's an East Coaster (Nova Scotian, right from Halifax). And she was sneaky and nabbed my heart. My moving means that we'll be seperated for several months until she joins me in Ontario in the fall. But she also understands the reasons behind me going, and I'm so glad that she is so understanding and compassionate and supportive that she is willing to stick with me through this. It's a real testament to the character of the woman I've let into my heart, and whose let me into hers (am I getting brownie points yet? lol).

There are also other reasons - not the least of which I just plain love the East Coast and Halifax is a fantastic, vibrant city. the Farmer's Market and Waterfront give this place such a character. It's a living place full of history and culture, while still maintaining that Maritime charm and comfort. It truly is a home, and I have made some excellent friends here. There's a way of life out here that I'm going to miss when I return to the hustle and bustle of Ontario. But who knows, I may be back soon - Dalhousie has one of the lawschools that I am going to apply to, with an option to specialize in environmental issues, which is right up my alley.

Anyway, I apologize this is not more cheerful, but sometimes cheer is hard to come by. But I keep smiling - I'm excited to see my family and friends and spend some real quality time. I've been blessed with my time out here on the East Coast and to have met someone as wonderful as Krystal whom, though we will deal with the hardships of long distance, still have a lot of support in our relationship, and I believe we'll make it through with flying colours. Love you hunnie.

Cheers All,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Good Deeds

Hey Folks,

On a fifteen minute break here at work, so I'm gonna throw up a little update on some random things that have happened to me this evening. As many of you know, I work at the front desk at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax. Through consistent face-to-face interaction, I have developed automated responses to making eye contact with people anywhere and everywhere. More than a nod, I'm often saying 'hello', or 'how are you?' and then people tend to look at me blankly and hurry on with their lives.

Well today I said hello on Barrington St, and a gentleman actually stopped. Taken aback, I stopped too. He had a wide smile, and and asked quite genuinely how I was today. I gave him a typically Canadian response, saying I was well, and asked him how he was. Apparently he had just finished work and was heading home. Must've been a productive day. And with that, we waved good bye and I moved on, my mood sunnier for the meeting.

Then I got to work. And all was well. I'm back on the desk and things are going fairly smoothly. I then have an interaction with a homeless man who can't speak. 99% of the time, this means that we send out a message to get the homeless person out (bad for business you know). But he was fairly clean, and it was quiet, so I wound up helping him out. He laid out his papers, and pointed to the word 'shelter'. So, with a wave of my hand, I brought up Google and found Halifax shelters, found the closest one for men, and got him directions as well as instructions for the bus so that he could get there. Took probably about 15 minutes communicating through pads of paper and hand signals, but we were finally able to get him on his way to a bed for the night. I just hope he makes it and is alright.

Anyway, just wanted to share these couple of experiences I had today that served to make me feel pretty good inside.

Cheers all

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lunch Break Fixer

Just a quick fix from my last post:

Ask Ally is not on hiatus, the blog just has less frequent postings due to the January craziness that Grad Students endure. However, still feel free to ask questions, and remember that if life is handing you lemons, Ally has great recipes for lemonade - and/or a slingshot with which to shoot lemons back at life in a sneaky counter-attack. I'm sure zombies also hate lemons - but I'm no expert, she'll have confirm or refute that.

Cheers all