Monday, March 10, 2008

Conferences and Birthdays

Hey Folks,

Well it's been a while and it's time for an update. Been in one of those 'I just don't have the energy or time to do this' kindof slumps, that I once again need to get myself out of. Sometimes and uphill battle, but people comment and apparently read this, so it is up to me to continue writing it. lol. And I do enjoy it when I actually do it.

Anyway, first order of business. Toby, my computer, is broken. Which is one reason why I haven't been online as much or updating as much. 2nd order of business, I spent a week in Ottawa for Spring Break as well, which gave me sparce internet connections for most of the week.

Some Cheers to Ottawa however. The airport has some decent vegetarian options and there is a restaurant called Zak's which allows you to order any burger on their menu as a veggie burger. Made my life, I assure you. Ottawa has a bevy of different green and vegetarian and even vegan food places that are just fantastic.

A jeers to Toronto Airport though. I had a stopover, and unless I wanted a tiny salad, or some rich bread-product from Starbucks I wouldn't have been able to eat anything. All sandwiches with varying meats on them. I was not impressed. Well, there was Tim Horton's too, but still. Are these the only options I'm allowed? Even the Halifax Airport has better options than that.

On to some more naturalistic things: This weekend, aside from it being my birthday and International Women's Day, it was also the APICS Conference for Environmental Studies. I re-presented my groups poster on UK Coastal Zone Management and there were a slew of talks regarding climate change, geologic models for temperatures, and tonnes of data on trees on Saturday. A particularly enlightening talk was one discussing tree migration over the next century dependent on different concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. It was amazing to see how the Acadian Forest, like an animal, would migrate North as global temperatures rose. The gentleman from Mount A had some very interesting animated maps plotting it all out.

There was also a keynote speech by the most darling woman of my life, Elizabeth May. lol. I've beamed about her before on this blog, but as leader of the Green Party she steals my heart. As an environmentalist, who through classes discussing the validity of climate change science, the concept of nature and Canada's climate plan (or lack thereof) its easy to get depressed by it all. But whenever I see Elizabeth talk, or get an email from the party talking about the accomplishments that are occuring on local and regional levels it brings my spirits back up and reminds me its not too late yet and things can still be done.

It was also my birthday this weekend and thanks to all who came out and all who wished me well on my 23rd! As per usual it was a drunken debauchle that cumulated in a terrible hangover. Every year it happens and every year I say never again. We'll see how 23 goes however though. This is a year of big change. I'm finished school as of May, have to start looking for a job and I'm looking inward as well to see what changes can be made. The diet, the exercise (which is a bit on-again, off-again depending on scheduling and craziness) and now I'm looking a bit into the spiritual as well. It's all kindof interconnected, the body, the mind and the spirit. And I mean spirit in a rather ambiguous sense. Raised Anglican, strong connections with Buddhist teachings, I'm kindof all over the map and am really rather moderate on the religious stance. We all want peace and good will, we're all just going through different channels to find it. No worries.

Anyway, on that topic I've begun reading the book put out by the Dalai Lama himself, 'How to View Yourself as you Truly Are' and though it sounds very self-helpish, kindof like 'In Praise of Slow (another fantastic book based on a lot of introspection and viewing of yourself and your life - In Praise of Slow discusses the advantages of a slower lifestyle - I'll discuss it later on and its effect on my life). But back to the Dalai Lama and his teachings. It really speaks to me and of a selfless doctrine, realizing the connectivity of everything and how to view the world in an unexaggerated sense. We all have flaws and qualms, but this book shows how through meditation an contemplation we can understand the World and be calmer people, truly embracing the ideals of peace and love and harmony.

But I'm starting to sound preachy. If you're into meditations and contemplation, its a great book with a lot of great thoughts and ideas. If you'd prefer a story of elephants and impossible love, get 'Water for Elephants.' I have a love for elephants, Jumbo was killed in my hometown (another story for another day) and this book is brilliant, recalling the days of the Circus on trains in the 1930s. I'd suggest it to everyone.

Anyway, that's enough for one post.

Cheers all

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