Tuesday, February 28, 2006

the joke whore

its almost eight o'clock. i stated work at five. and this is pretty much the first break that i have had all night. and by break, i mean time wherein i am paid to do the things that i would do for free. i started out pretty early this morning, so i have to admit i am tired. i was back in TO by one, starting out in oshawa, and that was all good because i have time to relax in the afternoon (and digest my sausage mcmuffins).

a weird thing happened to me outside of the go train. people were annoyed that the train doors were not open when the bus dropped us little bugs off and were standing around, doing the typical its-cold-out-here-poor-me mumble. when, a rather large older man, with a drop of snot hanging from his nose (i choose to believe it was cold weather induced snot, not the from a real cough-sneeze-sneez kind of cold), started cracking, in a very articulate professional manner, jokes. seriously. a whole show. complete with mother-in-law fat jokes, wife jokes, all kinda of one liners. i looked around for hidden cameras, wondering if this was really happening. i told him that i had heard them all before and tried to bury my nose in my book. (why wasn't my ipod on, i will never know). the other people in the shelter could feel sorry for my position i could tell.

when the doors did open, he handed me a booklet of paper. on it was ordering information to the tune of: "if you liked what you heard today, order book 1 or book 2 for 12.95..." what the fuck? if you are out there, reverend of door-to-door comedy salesman, i am giving you a very serious shake of the head. i felt used! here i was being all sympathetic (to what i thought was a crazy old guy) like the sucker that i am! and really, here was a real joker, an up-to-no-good comic whore, prostituting himself with jokes, giving out his first hit for free, and seeing who would buy! i threw out the sheet though now i almost wished i had kept it.

all in all, it was a pretty relaxing day. spent the afternoon reading at starbucks (as per usual) wherein i encountered several delightful examples of "didn't their mother teach them any better," a new fashion crimes game that i play mostly in my own head. first up, the girl in the purple scarf and headband who was wearing a waffle-style long underwear shirt. okay, i appreciate the cute little flowers. i myself saw that shirt at american eagle and contemplated buying it. but. when wearing items of clothing that are traditionally used as under garments, you have to take especial care to ensure it doesn't look like you are wearing your underwear outside of your clothes. she did. i think i could see her bra. (shame!) the prize winner of the day however was a girl, my age, who was wearing over the knee light brown leather boats. with navy tights. and a black ugly zeller's jacket. with...a summer skirt! the horror! it was linen. and stuck to her tights. and it made me want to shake her. sometimes i wonder why i even care about what other people are wearing. and then i remember. i'm shallow. so if you catch me at moment where i am perhaps waxing philosophical, don't forget i am such a petty person underneath. a friend tried to engage me (and some others) in a very intelligent discussion about the downfall of jesscia simpson and the way the media has portrayed that fall from grace. and i realized, unless i am talking about celebrities within the context of their clothes, their sex life, or their drug use, i do not care to discuss them at all. like i said, shallow.

promise of the day: i am going to learn how to knit. a friend of tasha's is making this absolutly crazy striped blanket. i am going to copy her. bright colours, no rhyme or reason, ordered chaos here i come. it'll be like my striped rug, only for my bed. i think that jarrod is going to love it. and by love, i mean, might burn it while i am sleeping.

confession of the day: i definitly rammed one girl on the way to school. she was walking in a group and just wasn't moving. well, neither was i bitch!

oh, if you are bored, check out Snap Shirts. apparently it randomly selects words and creates a cloud of them. you can, if you'd like, swap words in and out.

Monday, February 27, 2006

wherefore art thou, cell phone?

i forgot my cell phone today. i feel like i forgot...well, something really important like my cell phone. and, i am stuck at school all day finishing a paper and then three hours of class. which is all fine and good, except, that, i forgot my cell phone. i am not sure when or how i became so dependent, but apparently i am. i think it might be karma because yesterday i was teasing diana about having also forgotten hers at home. yep, this is definitly all my own fault.

i am at starbucks now, stealing the utoronto network for myself. okay: when did starbucks start charging for their internet? while in ottawa, i happily spent hours at bridgehead on their free network. i suppose there's no motivation for starbucks. toronto happily keeps afloat nine million of them, why would they care if people came to use their internet or not? but it makes me a little sad. the whole bright brilliant thing about wireless Internet was its inclusive nature. but, of course, capitalism wins. it always wins. i hate money.

one thing that i do like about starbucks, however, is the fact that i see the same people over and over. for instance, sitting beside me are two men. they are here always. to the point where i smile at them. to the point where i feel like if i was walking down the street i would say hi...and then realize embarrassingly that even though i recognize them it is not to the point where i get to say something. i used to do that on the bus sometimes. see people day after day on the commute, and then, see them in another context, and start to say something along the lines of "don't i know you?" when i realize that no, indeed, i don't know them. i just see them. and to say hi would simply demonstrate, that yes, i am a little off.

did i mention the badel stop inside the starbucks is serving clam chowder today? i love clam chowder. but it only takes cash. who only takes cash nowadays? does anyone even carry cash anymore? damn it! a girl deserves clam chowder after a morning of paper writing.

also, how do people feel about FIS t-shirts? seriously. robin posted this site for Librarian Gear. I am finding it pretty amusing. And you can personalize the shirts as well. I am thinking "FIS Class of 2007" Pretty creative and original eh? this is why i am not designing my own shirt...

check out, in particular:


come on! laugh out loud!

oh, one more (and this might be my favourite):

Saturday, February 25, 2006

chasing steeples

task for the day: get a good grip on book history paper due monday.

tasks accomplished:

1) escort jarrod (i heart jarrod) to union for early good bye (to help facilitate original task)
2) buy super jumbo coffee (love love love)
3) clean kitchen (what's worse than cleaning up after two boys? cleaning up after two boys plus their guests...why do i do it? i feel like a better person complaining from my high horse. besides, i have tried the cold war method. and then had to clean up not only a mess but a rotten mess.)
4) laundry...three loads. oops.
5) updated the ol'ipod (i also heart ipod) with several cd's from my collection, as well as adding cover artwork onto already existing mp3 files. i'm anal. get over it.
5) discovered coffee whitener is actually pretty delicious (yes, second and third coffees of the day)
6) downloaded a gilmour girls that i had already seen
7) saw a 23 year old idiot make $60 000 on a house reno. change life plans to incorporate being a house flipper. consider dropping out of university to achieve this dream. i mean, i am up on two counts: i am 24 (yes!) and i am not an idiot.

conclusion: not one step closer to writing paper, although i did do a bunch of interent research. (does that count at all?) this is the last piece of procrastination that i am allowing myself. school work, here i come.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

slack master

Slacker Kid

High school was a place you showed up occasionally, but you didn't really leave a mark.

You hated rules, authority, and structure. In fact, you still do.
Who Were You In High School?

okay, most of the reason that i am putting this up is because of the absolute hilarity that a few of my friends (and by a few, i mean tasha) will greet this as.

and in my defense, i did so leave a mark.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

jane seymour is hot

well, its a rather quiet thursday afternoon. after a day of shopping with kim (and little cousin megan), i am back in jarrod's basement, chilling out and watching Wedding Crasher's. which i have never seen even though i don't seem to be living under a rock...but better late than not at all. and can i just say that right now, i am liking the angsty twenty two year old son? but back to the shopping, i spent relatively little. and i say relatively because, yes, i have had larger shopping days. but, the bank account suffered...oh well, c'est la vie, right?

in my quest to find amusement online, i have turned to google's blog search. and of course, since the funniest blogs seem to be about a) dating, b) sex, and c) partying, those are the terms i searched by. sure enough, several blogs that fit my criteria were found. the thing is: these blogs are not as clever as what i was expecting (which was more the clever and amusing tone of It seemed like a good idea at the time...which is actually written by an acquaintance of mine while i lived in Belgium. i point this out becuase she's not a "professional" blogger, just someone with a great sense of word play) but are actually out and out explicit. single men and women giving very specific details of sexual adventures while using wonderful code names, a la The Teacher (Sex, Sports & the Single Guy) or Red Beard (I am, therefore I Date). they made me blush, i do believe. it turns out that i just might be more old fashioned (and i use that with all its negative connotation) than i thought.

Still, they are blogs that i would be absolutly embarrassed should anyone outside of my partner be reading. (if they are true. perhaps the authors and their friends just sit around and bust their guts laughing at the shit people will believe...). on one hand, i feel like they are doing something remarkable and on the other, i feel like they should be ashamed. are these really the moments you want to share with other people? Shouldn't these be the most private moments of life? i mean, i talk about relationships as much as any other girl, but i leave out the specifics. some things are: private. until the blog. that crazy undefinable beast. they certainly don't write anything that cannot be found in a standard romance novel or playboy magazine, and indeed, are often more clever and observant than other things that have been published.

i like blogs because they expose to everyone the wide wide spread of human thoughts. (suddenly i am reminded that the Internet is one of the reasons why child pornography is so rampant.) then i get all annoyed with myself. and the ones that make me think, or laugh, are the ones that i will continue to read and tell my friends about. just like my standard celebrity blogs. i guess its just an extension of living vicariously. now, i am blogging vicariously. don't worry: i won't follow their lead. i am much too PG for that. or, perhaps, just cowardly. and

things i love to love

jarrod sent me this little ol'link during an msn chat the other day. definitly worth a look:

(one day i will figure out how to make photos a link, for now, here ya go: The Monkeysphere)

okay, maybe one thing other thing i hate. how even when i think i am getting something (in this case, the basics of html) i always find something to stump me. and now i will probably spend the next half hour trying to figure it out. but, also, i downloaded Rent (i couldnt bring myself to see it in the theatre even though the girly part of me really really wanted to) and i should probably just watch that. it should be over just when jarrod will be getting home.

things i love to hate

after reading tasha's blog, i decided that there are definitly things that annoy me too.

for instance, last night i desired a bath. i went to put the plug in. when, lo and behold, i realized, as i realize every time i have a bath, how retardly not universal the plug is even though it is supposed to fit any drain, including mine. it doesn't fit securely, and more annoyingly, often gives the impression of being secure, but the second you turn the water on, it just pops up. a little bit. so the bath water is constantly draining and there is not a thing to be done. except by a new plug. which is what i will do one day.

now, this next point is both a dislike and a public service announcement. ahem. ladies and gentlemen, when buying a new coat, often a nicer coat, or a skirt, also, often of the more quality kind, if the slit is closed with a loosely stitched X, then you undo it BEFORE you wear it. yes, i know, i am blowing minds here. but please. the stitch is to be removed. the whole point of the slit is to allow for the natural movement of the body and for the garment to maintain its shape when being worn (you know, no awkward bunching). To leave the stitch in only negates the existence of the often flattering slit. a sub point: if you are buying wool, and on the sleeve you note a small, also loosely stitched, tag, you are to remove this as well before wearing. what? a modern day hero you say? i am just trying to make the world a prettier place, one wool coat at a time.

wow. that's all i got right now. you'd think i would just be able to rhyme off dozens of things that bug me. and i can't think of a one. i think that actually speaks to what a kind, understanding compassionate person that i truly am, down to my very core.

update! I thought of another pet peeve. a few weeks ago, i babysat for a good friend while she and her husband attended a wedding. they traveled from out of town (ottawa), paid for a hotel, several meals out, and...they were not allowed to bring their children to the wedding. the actual ceremony was at ten a.m. and the reception was over by eight, so it is not as though they were partying until the wee hours of the morning. my pet peeve, in particular: brides today! what nerve to ask your guests to spend so much of their own money and time (also, free time, i mean, weekends are valuable!) only to exclude their children. in my opinion, should you decide that children and your wedding are anathema (which blows my mind in itself), then you are obligated to ease the burden on your guests by providing childcare. my message: people are neither obligated to attend your wedding, or to give you a gift. should these people decide to, please ensure their day is a happy one. yes, its your wedding. but that means it is also your friends and family attending. treat them well.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

truth equals the internet quiz

Your Scholastic Strength Is Deep Thinking

You aren't afraid to delve head first into a difficult subject, with mastery as your goal.
You are talented at adapting, motivating others, managing resources, and analyzing risk.

You should major in:

Foreign language
What Should You Major In?

Well, well, well, looky here. Now see, i found this little quiz on my friend alex's blog and i thought to myself, well, alli, why don't you take this little quiz and just see what it reveals. and then i thought to myself, and of course, you don't have to post it if it says something such as "Commerce, Math, Biology, or Computer Science." But, lo and behold, its says PHILOSOPHY. score: Alli, 1, Dad 0. Oh, i love the internet quiz. five questions and the answers to the riddles of life. and, i, for one, believe pretty much everything that i read on the internet, so i am pretty sure this is as close to truth as it had been carved in stone and handed down to one of god's most trusted disciples (in this case, the Internet being god, and the quiz being the rock, and me being the disciple? i am not so sure this analogy works).

on a brighter reading week note, i have talked myself out of heading over to the thomas fisher rare book libary. we have an assignment due on monday that involves evaluating a collection of author's papers, or publisher's papers, and discussing how the collection can contribute to a study of the time period, the genre, even, more specifically, of the author and their influences. Basically, how these archives can contribute to the study of book history, in some way, shape, or form. the reason i am so hesitant is, quite simply, personal shame. this summer i interviewed for a position there. what i would have done was catelog incoming donations/gifts to the library and check them against what already existed in the collection to determine if the new addition is of higher quality. well, what they handed us (and by us i mean the other people who interviewed, i am assuming) a book and told us to write about it. well, what i know about rare book cateloguing now, though it is not much, is significantly more than what i knew in august. it is pleasantly enough to be horribly terribly embarrassed by what i wrote. you know, leather binding, crest on inside cover, etc. when really, what they would have been looking for was a detailed whether it was a quarto or octavo (or folio or some other size), the number of leaves, the watermark, the pagination, etc. etc. when collected correctly this information provides an almost codelike description of the contents. very detailed, very specific, and meaningless to the lay person. which is what i was. which is what i am. i am tempted to send them an email to apologize. however, on the off chance that they have forgotten, or that perhaps i was not included in the weekly "let's laugh at students" newsletter, i have no desire to bring them back to that morning. besides, i plan on applying again this summer. i mean, hey, new year, new chance, right? i will have to venture to the library tomorrow, but, as always, working tomorrow seems so much more appealing to working today.

besides, i am reading a wonderful book called Deafening. grania, a deaf woman, and jim, a hearing man, are newly married when he ships off to fight in the Great War. their story is one of little sound, but much love, and the tale, from the beginning has been tinged with sadness. so much sadness that i almost fear to keep reading, as if, by only starting the book, i can meet these people while also avoiding whatever sad fate is going to befall them. okay, fine, i read the last page, so i know that jim comes home, but i do not know about her family, and somehow, having happiness in her marriage, though wonderful, becomes even more sad when i know that her family cannot possibly survive intact. so i keep reading. i'll let you know how it goes. i am such a sucker for war books that even though i "joke" about not reading to the end, there is no real way that i would stop. i am not sure where this infatuation comes from, but if there is a war in the book, i will read it. perhaps it is because human behaviour in war is always unexplainable and unpredictable. does that make it interesting? yes. but it also makes it heartbreaking. and inspiring. and it makes me feel incredibly, incredibly thankful to those who came before.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I am feeling a bit down this evening. you'd think it might be because i just put in a nine-hour shift at the library, but alas it is not. so instead, i am remembering better times, a la une chemise (okay, i think that means 'shirt' in french. clearly i want t-shirt...any ideas?) rouge pour la festivale d'pasta. a few weekends ago, jarrod and i rented a car and headed down (with cousin chris is tow) to visit the extended family for a large pasta fundraising dinner. my extended family, many of whom are members of the Essex Rattlers yearly host a large ($17 000 plus) shin dig wherein most of my cousins end up serving as volunteers. i was shocked at the scope of the evening. although this was the fifth dinner, it was the first time i had been able to make it (living in ottawa and all). jarrod and i, as well as the other volunteers, scurried like the mice we were to sell tickets all evening. it was fantastic. there were prizes galore, to the tune (get it?) of an ipod nano, weekend trips to niagara falls and other lovely cities, tickets to plays, plus tonnes of gift certificates. i loved feeling involved, especially in such a fun evening. i loved that jarrod was meeting all the other people that i love. i loved getting out of TO for the weekend. besides, having family around, especially my aunt beth and uncle jim who kindly let us sleep at their house (in the same bed! take that mom!), is a nice feeling. there is something about family, isn't there? i can't put my finger on it, but its there.

this past weekend, jarrod's company hosted a bowling evening. i think i may have pulled a bum muscle, but i was getting really into it. i love bowling! julia t. made an appearance as well, and let the record state, that i kicked her little bowmanville ass in the sport of go karting. its hilarious, actually, because to decrease the amount of "bumping" and "grinding" (and you thought those words had some other kind of meaning), if you do so, the cars automatically flash a yellow light and slow you down to half speed. now, see, if i was racing, this would be a problem. but i don't race! i bump! i grind! and going slow, just gave my enemies even more time to see me swerving, rendered helpless by the small track and tight turns, right into them! six dollars well spent, my friends, well spent. the evening was quite hilarious. i swear, the people that work at DCC are the popular kids from high school who forgot that popularity stopped mattering, when, people say, turned eighteen. this is what i mean: bowling. people look ridiculous. no one is a 'cool bowler.' and yet people were standoffish, cliquey, lots of tank tops and jewellery. it was bowling, for goodness sake! but, it made us laugh, and anything that makes one laugh cannot be all bad a thing.

my parents were in town for the evening. they are on their way to...dare i say it...another exotic location. mexico it is! unfortunately the tickets were booked before England was planned (in my opinon, they are not too upset about it.) and they had a quick quick stop over in toronto. of course, it had to be on a night that i was working. i was sorry to only see mom and dad for a minute, but, mom has the wonderful ability to cheer people up, to say exactly the right things, and to give good hugs, just when you think you cannot hold it all together. i hope all mom's are like that, but i have a feeling mine is special. i have asked them to send me photos, and if they do, i will post them on here. i mean, hey, the word traveling is in the title. i know, i know, we all thought it was in reference to moi...but i will take what i can get.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

FIS1311 Project Profile

For our Introduction to Technology class (remember: this blog began as a class project) , we have been asked to post selected assignments online. The following is said assignment. Now, just because you are not in the class, this does not mean you should not feel like you can comment. Actually, the whole wonderful point of this is to get some discussion going! So let's hear it...


Our public library, in a traditional town in Canada, has begun investigating the different varieties of Library System software available on the market. Gone are the days of simple patron-librarian reference service—our users are now demanding a software medium that is quick, easy, and allows web access to search from home. Even our librarians, who have happily discarded the card catalogue, are looking for a tool to help in all areas of library administration—our librarians are now demanding a software tool that allows them to update records, track acquisitions, and other tasks that allow the maintenance of the collection, quickly and effectively. Our library is publicly funded and non-profit, so we have budgetary restrictions in adopting new software. Also, we are not programmers, so this new system will have to be friendly enough that we can use it and sophisticated enough that it is compliant with other library systems.

The question is, how do we find a library system broad enough to encompass all of our objectives and yet, still be financially affordable? Fortunately, there is a Library System currently available that addresses and meets many of our needs.

A view of the Koha Homepage:

Koha is “the first open-source Integrated Library System (ILS).In use worldwide, Koha's development is steered by a growing community of libraries collaborating to achieve their technology goals. Koha's impressive feature set continues to evolve and expand to meet the needs of its user base.” It offers the same practicalities as a more traditional library system, such as modules for circulation, cataloging, acquisitions, serials, reserves, and patron management. The Koha Integrated Library System lists the following as its core components:

• A full featured modern integrated library system (ILS).
• Award winning and open source no license fee, ever.
• Linux, Unix, Windows and MacOS platform.
• Web Based.
• We can full integrate it into your website.
• Copy cataloguing and z39.50.
• MARC21 and UNIMARC for professional cataloguers.
• Tailored catalogue module for special libraries.
• Use as a document manager or digital library.
• Manage online and off line resources with the same tool.
• RSS feed of new acquisitions.
• E-mail and/or txt patron's overdues and other notices.
• Print your own barcodes.
• Serials management module.
• Full catalogue, circulation and acquisitions system for library stock management.
• Web based OPAC system (allows the public to search the catalogue in the library and at home).
• Simple, clear search interface for all users.
• Simple and comprehensive acquisition options.
• Koha is multi-tasking and enables updates of circulation, cataloguing and issues to occur simultaneously.

If our library were to adopt a new system, it would have to provide the same level services that we currently offer. Koha provides not only these, but also provides them more effectively. For example, unlike bulky traditional systems, often housed on an in-house server, Koha is a web based program that, while designed to provide inter-system operability, is entirely open source (and therefore non-proprietary). It provides an easy-to-use interface, designed for library and non-profit environments. On the following examples, we see the manifestation of Koha in different ways. Koha is very adaptable and caters to each specific library environment.

A view of the Koha web interface, as used at the Horowhuena Library Trust:

A second example, as used at the Nelsonville Public Library:

Koha, as a system, has won several awards for usability and innovation. The effects of the new online system will be seen immediately and positively by both librarians and patrons. Now, librarians can update records, add newly catalogued items, link records to useful WebPages, all at the touch of a key pad from any location. In turn, library patrons can now perform detailed searches from home.

By choosing an open source product, our public library will avoid the largest issue facing libraries when adopting a sophisticated integrated library system—the cost of it all. In the past, not only would it be financially difficult to finance the proprietary charges for new software, but we would continually have to pay for new upgrades whenever the software provider issued an upgrade. Koha’s existence is in direct response to this. It is open source software, ideal for all libraries and other non-profit organizations. Open source software is a new resource for today’s organizations, not only well funded or large institutions. One of the key elements of the nature of open source is not only that the software is distributed free of charge but also that all the coding and programming languages used in the software are available for public use. This means that many brains in many locations, anyone who is using the software, can now develop innovations and improvements that can be passed along to others using the system. (Currently, volunteers working to improve Koha are spread across New Zealand, France, Canada, and the United States. If you would like to contribute, please click here.) The Library System can be continually upgraded, even many times a year, which would simply have been impossible with proprietary software. It also means that our library can choose to upgrade when we need to, not when we can afford to. We would retain a greater amount of control over our own system.

If our library chooses to adopt Koha software as for our system needs, it needs to have a proven track record. Fortunately, Koha, the first of its kind in the world of integrated library systems, has been in continuous development since 1999. Open source somehow seems to lack the reputation of proprietary software, but as time passes, and the consistency of the program is demonstrated, this will surely change. In the meantime, Koha has posted Case Studies on its web page to showcase successful system integrations.

Unfortunately, this system is not perfect. For our library, unless we have an information technologist well-learned in the Koha programming language, we will have some issues in receiving timely assistance if we experience problems with our system. With no licensing fees, there is also no tech support. There are several vendors who will support Koha, for a service fee, and there is a large (and free) support resource online. Also, the largest library the Koha is currently operating in has a circulation of over half a million. For us, this should easily meet our patrons’ needs. Koha is designed to support any volume of circulation, however, this has not yet been tested practically.

For our library, Koha is an effective, cost efficient choice. It provides all of the services that our library is looking for, is easily upgradeable, and does not require a large amount of hard ware to run successfully. Although it is new, it is not so new as to be unproven. Also, the choice towards open source can be a statement made by our library that shows our support for technological innovation at a price that everyone can afford (free!).


All facts and details provided on the Koha project can be found on its website: www.koha.org

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

squeaky wheel gets the grease

finally, a tacky tourist photo to be treasured forever!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

wishing that i could be writing what i wished

well, i have a twelve page research methods paper due in two days. less, even. oh, god, less. and despite having read the article weeks ago, and despite having sat down to write it on several occasions, i have written...zip. and even when i have tried, i have realized that perhaps i am not a critical thinker. crap. that is going to make writing a "critical review" very difficult.

instead, i read this on a friend's livejournal:

While on the website yafro.com, i came upon a tonne of homophobic posts, all from the same guy. so i responded with the following. it wasn't intended to be a livejournal post, but as it chronicals my present, i thought what the hell.

Your logic is childish and rooted in dogma and fear. If god hates gays, then why did Florida and New Orleans get hit with hurricanes and not San Francisco, Montréal, Belgium or Netherlands?

I don't know which way to rebut you. Easily walk though the inconsistencies in your posts, or respond with love. I'll choose the later because it seems you haven't been exposed to much of it.

I am gay. I live with four straight men, one straight women (we are university students) and my homosexuality barely plays into my relationship with them (ie. the boys I live with are very hot, all skinny and tall with great bodies and fucking hot faces. So occasionally I make a joke about getting with them. They laugh and joke back. Sometimes a housemate and I will go to the gym or pool, and they aren’t nervous about me seeing their package. Despite to popular belief, I do have self control). We all have significant others that we have been seeing for quite a while who always hang out in our house, meaning there is frequently 12 of us at home. Each of us are of completely different personality types, evident in the 12 different university programs we're enrolled in. This diversity makes our house awesome. And there is a genuine sense of love in our home. And I must play a big role in this as I frequently get told that I am the alpha male.

I love my partner. And I have dated many people before him, and had casual sex, and I don’t regret either. I can give you excuses about growing up in a small town of 31,000 people where being gay would take your stock off the social market, and about thinking that I would never be able to really love the wife I would have to get because of my family, because I would always feel that I am lying to her about a core aspect of my being. But if you are uncomfortable with casual sex, I respect that, and have many friends that never partake in it. Having found someone I love now, someone who is tall, hot, graduated top of his class for a top university, enrolling in a MA, and is smitten with me, wow, I never thought I would get here. I never expected to be able to have this sort of love in my life – complete honesty, acceptance and enjoyment. Being able to marry him (as I am Canadian) matters a lot. It means that I have the same [potential (as I will not rush into marriage)] validation of my relationship as my friends. It means that when I have kids – through adoption or surrogacy – they will know that our family is a real family, recognised by law.

Mr. Crapper, I am shocked that you would expel energy on a campaign against gays, a campaign of hatred. I guess the only comparative exercise I have participated in is the thousand essays I have written for school about how the American version of free-market capitalism, known as neo-liberalism, is destroying global cultures and serves to keep billions of people in insolvent conditions. But even then, I don’t hate capitalism – there are hundreds of little reforms that could happen that would make it work for more people. What I do hate are the pious folk who are scared of change and of not being the centre of the universe, who hide behind religious doctrine (or are atheists comfortable with extreme inequality) and partake on crusades against those that are different. Mr. Crapper, love doesn’t have to be scary, indeed it doesn’t even need to affect you if you don’t let it.

There are times when i find myself surprised at how wonderful and inspiring, and absolutely original, my friends are. sometimes, hey, we can be assholes, but then, then there are moments like the above. perhaps its is when something strikes a nerve deep inside of us...but i do not think this would do my friend justice. he's brilliant. and lovely. and admired. not because he is gay. but because of who he is.

Monday, February 06, 2006

an old friend messaged me today, commenting on the existence of this blog. a friend from highschool, we lost touch once the whole separate cities, new lives thing that is university happened. but, somehow, it strikes me as wonderful that, now, a few years later, we can chat again. i mean, really, we should have more to say now than then, with more life, more mistakes, more happiness, characterizing us. and yet, this blog seems to bridge the distance. it records, a little tiny bit, of our lives, just enough that that little string stays attached. enough so that familiarity can survive. i am glad that she reads this. i am glad that she messaged me.

in the spirit of old friends reading this new blog, perhaps i should back up a step. the title comes from a) what i like to do and b) what i'd like to be. traveling has always been a bit of a passion, realized first with a trip to greece and then with a year long excursion in western europe. hopefully continuing this summer with a trip to england to visit my expat parents. after that, who knows? africa? literacy programs? something? which brings me to "what i want to be." currently, i am doing my master's in information studies at the university of toronto. its going well, some classes more than others, topped off with a wonderful collaborativ program in book history and print culture that brings me back to my humanities roots.

has anything else changed since i walked the walls of st. stephen's secondary school? i am not sure. many of the friendships that i value most were formed there and they continue in the present. so something must be static. but i think that i was happy then and i know that i am happy now. and a bit healthier. i drink a lot less and i execise a lot more. i read. i write. i download illegal music to my ipod. i lay in bed and eat mcdonald's breakfast with my love, sometimes even with a newspaper. i walk more than i drive. i watch too much crappy tv and i love it. i promise to write emails that never seem to find time to write, i make resolutions to spend more time at school and less in coffee shops looking out the window, and i wish i called my mom more. so yes, life is different and the same, and in many cases new has replaced old. but i suppose that is what is so amazing about memories. they can keep the old new...like covering the windows in the student council room with ryan. or endless coffe trips with steph. endless movies with julia. the endless comedic antics of chris and paul. learning to like myself through the energy that is jeanetta. jacqui, chantal, cassie, brian, russ...names that i think of not as often as i should but ones with whom i associate some of the best experiences of my life. i just haven't figured out how to keep the old as close when time marches on. if someone has that secret, i'll buy it. or maybe trade my book stand for it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

there's a party tonight. a boy from FIS is kind enough to have invited our entire program over to his house, as well as i believe a great deal of his and his room mates' friends, as well as a few of the more musically inclined and all signs point to it being a raucous good time. and yet, here i sit, in my lululemon pants, eating some microwave popcorn, half heartedly working on my presentation for monday and mostly watching 'rollergirls' (new obsession) on tv. there was a time when i would have jumped on this whole party idea. seriously. flash back four or five years and i would have been raucous. but now, the idea of having a night to myself (after a wonderfully nice visit with jarrod...will i ever get sick of watching the sketch that is kensington market? i propose that i will not...)

this is something a friend sent to me. basically, the artist travels around western europe doing these absolutly amazing 3D chalk drawings. let me check out his name. Julian Beever. if you care to look him up.

I guess the key to his art look 3D is taking the photo at precisely the right angle. This is what it looks like at not the right angle:

and then, at the exact right perfect angle:

I am pretty sure that that is FUCKED.

on the party front, i am pretty sure i'll go. because hey, there's some good kids going and well, i ain't getting anything productive done here. seriously. i bought a book stand (five dollars) and i have taken several different sized books and magazines and tested how well they work. its wonderful. this is going to make reading while eating breakfast so much easier. do you need to know what i am talking about? why, i would love to show you!

here she is:

look, i know at least one of you wants one. even if that one is me mum.