travel the globe

Go Places

the story breaks free here

Friends Mostly
travel the globe

Are you Canadian?
travel the globe
 So I was taking this Canadian Studies class this semester (which I ended up dropping..) and it was on Canadian culture -- WTF is it?

In summary, being Canadian is just about being someone else, as far as I can tell. Pull all the good things out of European culture. Add in some Northern Hardiness. Ignore the indigenous culture. NO, WAIT! Appropriate all the interesting, beautiful bits of it, and then assimilate and destroy the people. Glad we got that out of the way.

I wear a Canadian flag on my backpack. What does this tell people? I'm probably polite. I'm nice. I've probably met a Mountie. Maybe even a beaver. Céline Dion is my neighbour. No biggie. 

I have no Canadian ethnic dance, food (don't talk to me about poutine), custom, festival.... I just borrow those of my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents.

How many people tell you about their background? Oh yeah, I'm Irish-Welsh-Scottish-German-French... or possibly a bit of Métis... No, French.

This somehow feels inadequate and false.

Why does it feel like I'm missing something?

"The essence of creativity in all things is what makes the universe shift"
travel the globe
"Creativity is our responsibility, our purpose. One empowers oneself to do the impossible. The more impossible the more creative. The world around us opposes that in a powerful way. The world opposes all change. That nature of a defined set of structured knowledge is that it does not shift easily or automatically. One must expect opposition. To move from the known, you must know that the moment you make a decision in that direction, you totally oppose all and you face total disagreement. It is at that moment that you jump out there in a creative sense. To do otherwise is not new. It is not creative, but simply a shifting of pieces. "

"There is power in every individual because there is power in the word. Humans are very powerful in this way. To turn the realm of thought, which is abstract potential, into a thing of the physical world, through word, is powerful creativity as a natural act. The essence of creativity in all things is what makes the universe shift. It is to cause something to become from nothing. The word in that way is powerful. When we speak a word we declare something. We create it then it can be. It can become action. So it is a sacred act. We as humans are extremely powerful in this way"

Douglas Cardinal
architect -- most widely known for The Museum of Civilization,
also an incredibly inspiring speaker and writer,

Alana vs. Christmas
 Christmas and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship:

I love christmas tree lights, red-green-and-white-striped stockings (on my feet), sleigh rides, santa hats, some christmas music, and this strange sort of "Christmas spirit" that appears this time of year. I like to get excited and festive about holidays that tell you to be cheery and watch stop-motion animation about elves that want to be dentists.

I hate christmas shopping. I don't like presents and gift exchanges and the malls and the ads and the roads and stress and the angry shoppers.

I grew up in a family that was definitely middle-class. We always had enough money for everything we needed, but as far as I can remember (and from my subjective point of view of that kid on christmas morning for the past 22 years) my parents never went overboard for Christmas presents. I doubt they racked up the debt or spent hundreds of dollars on us as kids. (Except the year after my parents got divorced, mum took us and her new bf to Cuba...  I'll never understand that one???) And more so now, presents are probably under 50$ sort of items (or cheques). But the point here is that we were never hard done by.

BUT -- my only extended family is on my mom's side. That extended family would be more upper-middle class that us, I would guess (bigger houses and better cars being my indicators) and in the years where we were still exchanging presents with the cousins, we would always give less expensive gifts than we would get. My cousins were always getting extravagant piles of presents under the tree that we would get to hear about. My mom would stress about how much she could spend on her siblings and their families for christmas. I found it just a little bit uncomfortable. And I was just a little bit jealous of those super expensive gifts my cousins were getting. I'm sure a was a brat about it too. 

And now, this has led to me simply hating christmas gifts. It's taken this long to fully manifest itself in the form it is today -- the one that actually brought me to the point where I asked my mom to not exchange gifts. I got to my dad and step-mom too late, they already have a present for me, and I've got a book list for them. And that is what really does it for me. The point where I've got to ask you what I should get you for christmas. Or I've given up and given you a gift card?! Is this was Christmas is really here for?! Is the point just to spoil your kids, to out-gift your siblings? For me to be jealous and awkward and uncomfortable on Christmas with my extended family? To rage against crowds at the mall to get the "perfect gift for _______"? 

Let's review here: Christmas happened because Jesus was born. And since that isn't really important to me, and it's been a long time since I've been to church, I'm thinking Christmas is about appreciating the people you care about. Letting them know you love them, you care about them, you miss them, that they're awesome, that this magical day on the 25th of December wouldn't be the same without them. And so we do this with cards and gifts. This makes sense to me. Write them a lovely card, make them a nice little present, buy them something really special that you know they will really appreciate, take them out for dinner. That's great. But why is there all this extra pressure at Christmas? I'm sure this is the work of zillions of dollars worth of marketing, but can't I boycott that? I love you everyday. I'll send you a card with a little christmas tree on it in March! It frustrates me that this is really hard to express to people. And what do I do with people who have already got me a christmas present? A lot of people are going to relate this opinion to being cheap, or scrooge-y. I suppose those people are going to be gift card recipients.

Why can't we just spend some time with the people who mean this much to us instead of just spending as much money as we can on them?

Tell me LiveJournal: did I miss something in my frustration and Christmas-shopping induced anxiety? Do you get this?

Beauty in our backyard

Wakefield, Quebec

when we're walking by the water
comes to my toes to my ankles to my head to my soul
i'm blown away

Long time no see
My favorite season is approaching and my god-awful (money-making) summer job is nearly over and things are starting to fall into place...

I'm going to Carleton. Going to attempt to finish a Bachelor's of something after 4 years of being a sometimes-student. My major in anthropology is not preventing me from taking both a course on Astronomy AND on Dinosaurs.
I'm still living at home, in my my mom's basement. I now own a car and spend lots of money paying for it. However, I am thoroughly enjoying the road trips. 
I'm going back to work at Bridgehead in the fall more than once a week. The coffee shop is a great place to be working when it's cold outside. People are happy in it. 
Went climbing yesterday for the first time in 4 months. Felt terrific afterwards. 
Have spent the last 2 months reading Stranger in a Strange Land. I'm pretty sure it took about as long to finish the previous book. Once you've spent 2 months reading a book, you forget about a 'book list', so better start ignoring that entry on my blog. 

So life is grand, and now it's time for bed.

fuck it.
There is absolutely no point in celebrating Christmas if I can't use it to justify eating gingerbread cookies for dinner.

So I shall.

Acknowledgements as due:
I would just like to take this moment here to say that the past few weeks would not have been possible were it not for the timely addition of many a cup of tea to this here wreck.

Orange pekoe,
Turkish apple,
Earl Grey,


I love you all.

And thank you for your continuing support.

the ocean
" is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came." -JFK

fuck it.
I haven't been a very good LiveJournal friend lately, so I figured to make up for my boring and infrequent updates, I should draw you a picture. Or... rather, a cartoon. This is a true story. Happened to a friend of a friend of mine, uh, last Saturday night. And if you've got both prettyfrocks  and myself on Facebook, you may sort of know what's going on here. If not, I apologize if this makes no sense and is funny only to myself...


Log in