“Yesterday was a bust and I’m sorry but I think today will be all right” – John Steinbeck

jsI recently came across a collection of quotes from the diary of John Steinbeck that he kept while writing The Grapes of Wrath.  I found it really encouraging to read the frustration of such a great writer as he berated himself for not being more productive.

If John Steinbeck experienced doubts, fears, and unproductive days, then I suppose I am allowed to as well.

I am doing significantly better than I was at the time of my last post in January. My mental state has improved even though my thesis writing continues to be sluggish.

It is a rather strange time of my life. I am very much in hibernation. I rarely leave the house, except to go for a run. Running continues to be a potent cure for my stress and frustration – even throughout the wretched winter we have had here. I’m suitably outfitted with winter running gear, including metal spikes that are strapped on to my sneakers. Continue reading

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Unfinished Business.

Oh hello.

Look at that. I never posted once in 2014. Shameful!

Well seeing as it is the time for making goals and resolutions… maybe I will be more active on here in 2015. We’ll see.

In brief, by August 2014 I had finished my professional master’s degree in Toronto. I wrote my big licensing exam shortly afterward and then moved on to tackle my other very protracted master’s degree in social anthropology, which I started in 2009.

2009. It is typically a two year program.

Oh the shame is thick and the burden is heavy. Continue reading

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Also, I love being alone.

I love being alone. I never want to get married or have kids. Is that weird? I would consider a long-term partnership… if we could live in separate houses.

Polyamory fascinates me. Similarly to the author Sirenita Lake, monogamy and contract relationships repel me. I recently met someone who does poly well. Whether I decide to adopt that label or not, my encounter with him helped to validate what I am currently feeling and the way I perceive relationships. That might change of course. Maybe in a few months I’ll decide I want to build a life with one committed partner. At the moment though, I think polyamory best represents where I am at in life.

I really like being alone. As I said in my last post, I am a classic introvert. I draw my energy from being alone, rather than from being around other people. The internet these days is awash with introvert support and buzzfeed pages about introverts. The Western world (North American Culture) upholds an extroverted ideal. In response, the introvert “movement” has been quite assertive in pointing out the advantages to not meeting this norm. In response to this, introverts have been accused of elitism… which I admit is somewhat true and can be found in many of the posts on introvertism. However, I appreciate this proliferation of introvert-related social media. It does make me feel more comfortable with being me.  Continue reading

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Happy Thanksgiving

I am currently lying in my fur-lined hammock on my balcony in Toronto. It is 7:30 pm. My neighbor is using his outdoor fireplace and the nostalgic smell of wood smoke is drifting up toward me. It is warm, for October. 17 degrees Celsius. The sun has set and my balcony is lit by multi-colored lanterns. I’m listening to a relaxing 8 tracks music mix and a soft breeze is gently rustling the curtains that line my balcony. I’m thankful.

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I got two teeth extracted on Thursday (including one wisdom tooth). I was petrified. I think it tapped into the deep well of emotion and trauma that I have repressed, related to my dad’s recent health journey. I was more terrified of the general anesthetic, than the actual extraction process. I even left a will on my bed when I left my apartment in case I didn’t wake up. I cried as they hooked me up to a heart monitor and inserted the IV. Then I grew sleepy. 45 minutes later I woke up. I survived! I’m thankful.  Continue reading

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Time for a run.

I miss my blog.

It seems low on the priority list these days… In January I moved home to save money and also to support my siblings and take responsibility for household maintenance while my mom takes care of, and advocates for, my father who has now been in the hospital for 8 months now. I feel quite disorientated sometimes. There are the day-to-day tasks of cooking supper and cleaning. My Dad’s situation is still quite serious and his periods of relative physical stability seem few and far between the many crises. I try to get in to see him as regularly as I can, but I have accepted that now that I have moved home I am supporting my family in another way. Before moving home I used to go into the hospital for at least an hour every day; now it is about once or twice a week that I go in to see my Dad otherwise I find I stretch myself too thin. Staying at home with my siblings means that mom can be at the hospital all day and all evening after supper.  Continue reading

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Winter Solstice 2011

 Manhattanhenge – sometimes referred to as the Manhattan Solstice – is a semiannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The term is derived from Stonehenge, at which the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices. – wikipedia

Last year I wrote about Stonehenge and Newgrange. This year I thought I would highlight the modern equivalent – ‘Manhattanhenge’.

I don’t have much energy or inspiration to write much tonight. Last year I promised myself that I would work on building my own traditions for the winter solstice. Perhaps next year I will plan more of a ritual or celebration. Continue reading

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Bucket List: walk the Camino de Santiago

This afternoon I watched The Way, about a man who unexpectedly decides to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a 800 km pilgrimage also known as The Way of Saint James.

 

I have heard about it more and more over the last few years. I have had several Facebook friends make the pilgrimage recently and I perused their photos from the journey… I am intrigued. Once primarily a pilgrimage for Catholics, now a wide variety of people walk the trail for a diversity of reasons. I’m sure – as with the many middle-aged women who flooded into Bali after Eat, Pray, Love became a huge bestselling book and popular movie – the Camino will attract even more visitors due to the release of this mainstream film. That sort of detracts from my desire to walk it myself… but only a little. It’s still on the bucket list. Continue reading

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having a transitory life

helloooooooooooooooo

It has been a while, no? It has been a busy-fun summer. Iceland was fantastic, so was trip #2 through Montreal down to Toronto. Amazing really. Now the fun is over for a while. Back to my job and thesis-writing. Head down. Concentrate. Be productive. yes. yes.

Currently I am watching the rain come down in buckets while I contemplate that I am in fact, mortal. Meaning, “subject to death; having a transitory life”.

Someone recently posted on facebook: “how weird will it be to have teenage children who can see hundreds of photos of you online, going back to your own teenage years?”

Indeed. That is a weird thought. I joined facebook at the end of 2006. I was 20 years old. Now I am 25. Will facebook still be popular when (if) I have children? Maybe not… technology is quickly replaced (ex. google+). However, facebook definitely has affected the way I experience life and time.

Usually maybe a few times a year I might have pulled out old photo albums to revisit the past. Now with facebook documenting every moment of my life and the lives of my friends, I feel like I am always looking at photo albums, continually watching the present becoming the past. In a few seconds I can go back 5 years and find pics of my friends just fresh out of their teens. Now their accounts hold wedding albums and albums documenting their growing pregnant bellies.

I like the video below. Kind of depressing, but nicely crafted and produced. It illustrates what I am talking about.

Continue reading

Posted in An afterlife?, Food for thought, Self | Tagged | 1 Comment

Critique of that awful slut-shaming PSA

 So glad someone put together a critique of that awful PSA that I mentioned in my previous post

Anti-Sexting (HUNGRY BEAST) from Elmo Keep on Vimeo.

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Victim-Blaming & Slut-Shaming (Part II)

Disclaimer: In general, this article will be about the victim-blaming and slut-shaming of those who identify as female and where potential perpetrators are male. I write from my perspective being female and also with the awareness of the following statistics: “Eighty-four per cent of people over the age of 15 who are sexually assaulted are women, according to the 2009 status of women report. More than 90 per cent of those accused are men” (source). However, I am aware that people are raped and sexually assaulted regardless of their gender or sexual orientation and I do not intend to undermine the experiences of those who may not relate to those statistics.

This is Part II to an earlier post on Victim-Blaming & Slut-Shaming where I introduced the SlutWalk marches and controversy that surrounds them as the marches transform into a global movement. I also provided a few examples of how our society sends the message to women that they are responsible for not getting raped. Society consequently holds women accountable if they are raped and sexually assaulted.

At the time I somewhat arbitrarily titled the previous post: ‘Victim-Blaming & Slut-Shaming’. While it is true the two often intersect (as in the case of the police officer’s infamous comment), they are also two distinct social phenomena. Since writing the previous post it has occurred to me that one of the reasons the movement is so controversial and so many people have mixed and conflicted feelings about it, is precisely because the movement is trying to simultaneously protest both victim-blaming and slut-shaming.

Here is a video clip of the original SlutWalk which occurred in Toronto on April 3rd, 2011:

Continue reading

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