Sunday, April 11, 2010



Have been contemplating a tattoo - don't freak out, it will be lovely and tasteful. In the meantime, here are plenty of tattoos that I came across in my Google Search that are either interesting or just plain strange.

You have to admit this is kind of awesome even though its tragic that this guy will have this on his chest for the rest of his life....

Individually, all of these would probably be cool, but all at once makes it just seem like she couldn't make up her mind!

Eh... I'll find more later. I really should be studying for exams.... :-( x a million

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Update: My Meat Meanderings

WELL. Funny how interested everyone is in meat these days. I have to say two years ago I wouldn't have given it a second thought, let alone blog about it, but now my partner and I have had to come up with a whole plan of how to work towards "Happy Meat".

After reading Catherine Friend's book, I expected the process to be long, drawn out and fraught with disappointment. The results we found were almost laughably easy. I drew up a list to put on our fridge of our "Happy Meat Goals". It went like this:

1) Talk to farmer at the ******* Farmer's Market
Questions to ask:
Are they locally raised and "finished" cattle?
Where are they slaughtered?
What percentage of their meals consist of grain, and what grass?
How much access to pasture do they have?

2) Farmer's Market - is there anyone that sells eggs or chickens?
Are the chickens caged?
If they're supposedly "free range", how much time do they actually get to spend outside? If they are kept in a barn, how many chickens are kept in what size of barn?
How are they slaughtered?

3) Research meat sold at the Save Easy.
Who is the source for this meat?
Where are the animals taken for slaughtering?

4) Purchase "Happy Meat"
Must be locally and humanely raised.
Small conventional/organic/pasture farm.

After creating this little poster for myself in an excellent move towards organized-goal-setting-behaviour, my partner walked down to the Farmer's Market that week and talked to the local farmer, owner of Star Dust Farm in New Brunswick.

In a matter of minutes goals 1 through 4 were accomplished, as this farmer raises cattle, hogs and lambs in the pasture, raises chickens free range (in the barn for the winter, then outside in the summer) and has his animals slaughtered locally.

All that really needs to be done is to visit his farm at some point in the summer, and maybe enquire further into where his animals are slaughtered.

More ethical, responsible global citizen ..... funny how become a more responsible (and ethical) global citizen almost always means embracing the local businesses. Oxymoronic isn't it? Regardless, I feel better already.

Happy meat, here I come!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Latest and Greatest

Its been almost a year since I half heartedly made my New Year's resolutions to be more green. I'm happy to say I still only very rarely purchase plastic bottles (though I must admit, I buy the large plastic milk jugs in the Maritimes because they're 4L and it seems a waste to buy twice the necessary amount of carton just to avoid plastic), I will eat meat somewhere around 2-3 times a week TOTAL. Chickpeas and kidney beans have greatly supplemented my diet. Hankies have up until this point been largely erroneous after coming back from France (probably because I was no longer practicing outside in the rain in January), and I haven't bought any micro-beaded exfoliants (I even raided my parents' bathroom cabinet and disposed of what sea-creature killers we had).

Speaking of meat though I would like to recommend the latest and greatest on my reading list this year - right up there with The World Without Us in terms of chanigng-my-world-outlook-forever-and-making-me-change-my-lifestyle-and-blogging-about-it-NESS. My latest and greatest this year is: The Compassionate Carnivore by Catherine Friend.

(photo taken from

This book was like a wake up call. Its not preachy, it discusses some difficult issues but issues we need to be aware of as consumers (and she doesn't beat your around the head with it either).

The biggest thing for me was what she said about waste. According to her calculations (and she footnotes everything, including these calculations, I like that - you can actually see where she gets her information if you don't like it) at LEAST 7,500 cows, 18,000 hogs and 1 million chickens are slaughtered in the U.S every day and then basically go in the garbage (Friend, 57). The meat expires in the store, or gets wasted at restaurants, or gets scraped out of our old tupperware - but its all just waste. That's not to tell people "don't eat meat" because I like meat, you like meat, our entire human species has been eating meat from day one - what she, and what I'm saying is, we have to realize that this isn't just food.

These animals have their lives taken in order to feed us. It would be massively disrespectful to go and throw that life in the garbage, or scrape it off your plate because you're full. As beings that respect that death and cherish life we should at least have the decency to use every last single bit so that those deaths shouldn't be for nothing!!! I tell you, when I'm cooking meat now, its a precious thing - nothing is to be wasted, or go uneaten or left on my plate. I only cook as much as I know for sure will be eaten, and I'm going to try my best never to let meat go to waste.

We never think of that. We think of the money going to waste, the time going to waste that went into cooking it, but never the animal who died to give it to us. We need to rearrange the way we think and realize that its not just money or corporations or labels but living things that we're dealing with here. And we should treat them with the respect they deserve.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Aphra Behn and Going Back to School

The first day back!

If nothing else, university is a wonderful place to get inspired. No wonder we're seeing a societal trend where people accumulate degrees!!! Had two of my English classes today. Enjoyed them immensely.

I met the woman I want to be in 15 years, a professor for one of my second year English courses. Her vocabulary is immense (she used the word "draconian" to describe her marking style), she refuses to communicate via e-mail ("I didn't become an English professor to talk to a machine") and during the first class banned all laptops from her lectures, insisting that since we're studying 16th and 17th century literature we should write everything, to get more in tune with the works we're studying. (Photo credit: <>)

The other class covers literature by women up to the 20th century. This poem was one of my course readings, and I enjoyed it immensely. It made me laugh (how many poems written in 1684 can accomplish that?). Apparently the poet (Aphra Behn) is the first woman to have "lived by her pen" - essentially the first woman to live off of her written works. Quite a feat in the 17th century!

On Her Loving Two Equally
How strong does my passion flow,
Divided equally twixt two?
Damon had ne’er subdued my heart
Had not Alexis took his part;
Nor could Alexis powerful prove,
Without my Damon’s aid, to gain my love.
When my Alexis present is,
Then I for Damon sigh and mourn;
But when Alexis I do miss,
Damon gains nothing but my scorn.
But if it chance they both are by,
For both alike I languish, sigh, and die.
Cure then, thou mighty winged god,
This restless fever in my blood;
One golden-pointed dart take back:
But which, O Cupid, wilt thou take?
If Damon’s, all my hopes are crossed;
Or that of my Alexis, I am lost.

Behn, Aphra. "On Her Loving Two Equally." 1684. Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women. 3rd ed. Vol.1. New York: Norton, 2007. 184-185. Print.

Forgive me, I need to brush up my MLA skills (and what a great way to review!).

Pretty racy wasn't she?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What Do You Mean 'I'm not ready?'

I'm starting to buck the normality of planning everything in one's life out down to a tee. Kind of funny really, since I'm a very practical person (perhaps too practical) - my parents were both bankers, what can I say? I've been raised to analyze, save money, prepare for the future, think ahead... But everyone's busy planning and preparing is starting to get to me a bit.

Sad story: Lady wants a baby. Her and her man decide to wait until they have a nice house. Wait until they have enough money put away, waiting, waiting, waiting for the "right time". One day she looks in the mirror and she's closer to 40 than she was to 30, and the clock is ticking. Her man loses his job - now where do they stand?

We've been getting pregnant for hundreds of thousands of years. We were CAVEWOMEN when we were getting pregnant - back when giant cats and animals were hunting us, and all we could really do was put pointy sticks together to protect ourselves, and hope that we would get fed sometime that week... So why is it now that before having kids, everyone HAS to have paid the mortgage, saved up boat loads of money and bought out BabiesRus? We've lost sight of the whole reproduction process and turned it into this big défit that makes babies The Ultimate Nightmare. Whatever happened to getting pregnant when you got pregnant and just being happy to have a baby...?
I guess my point is we've started building up all these standards of what wealth and security and responsibility is supposed to mean that we've lost sight of the essential - hundreds of thousands of years ago women were giving birth in caves, where they didn't have epiderals, or c-sections or a 10 year plan and look where we are today? We've overpopulated the planet?!?! Surely just about anyone can do better than pointy sticks and nooks in a cliff - so if you want a baby, just get pregnant already, and worry about the mortgage when you're 40 and can't have children anymore.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hometown Glory

Hometown Glory

by Adele

I’ve been walking in the same way as I did
Missing out the cracks in the pavement
And tutting my heel and strutting my feet
“Is there anything I can do for you dear? Is there anyone I can call?”
“No and thank you, please Madam. I ain’t lost, just wandering”

Round my hometown
Memories are fresh
Round my hometown
Ooh the people I’ve met
Are the wonders of my world


I like it in the city when the air is so thick and opaque
I love to see everybody in short skirts, shorts and shades
I like it in the city when two worlds collide
You get the people and the government
Everybody taking different sides

Shows that we ain’t gonna stand shit
Shows that we are united
Shows that we ain’t gonna take it
Shows that we ain’t gonna stand shit
Shows that we are united


This song makes me think of being home again: "I've been walking in the same way as I did" - as if I were a different person walking in the same body, along the same roads and paths... the old me and the new me at the same time.

"You get the people and the government/Everybody taking different sides/Shows that we ain't gonna stand shit/shows that we are united/shows that we ain't gonna take it" What better way to describe the political climate in Iran right now?

Anyway when I hear this song it makes me think of coming back, of the current events that welcomed me home, of being back to everything I ever knew and fighting not to forget everything I now know.


Went to the book store today for the first time in about a year. I haven't really let myself buy too many books because I knew they were either going to have to stay in Canada or that I'd have to drag them halfway across the world with me. So naturally this was the first time I was really able to spoil myself and get a whole bunch of stuff.

Without even realizing it I kind of put together an amalgam of stuff that I'd like to think represents the different facets of the person I've become - here's what I ended up buying;

Puppies for Dummies by Sarah Hodgson

The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth by James Lovelock

Thanks for Coming: One Young Woman's Quest for an Orgasm by Mara Altman

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I was pretty interested in the book by Mara Altman because she's a 26 year old with a journalism degree that went on this kind of "spiritual" quest in search of her own sexuality - not entirely unlike A.J. Jacobs' The Year of Living Biblically, in which he searches for a better understanding of religion. I feel like these kind of books are becoming more and more common, and I must say that I enjoy reading something about an actual person's discoveries or understandings on life, rather than that of a fictional character. Its very much like following a dedicated (read: not me) blogger - you can relate to them, you know that somewhere out there, this person is existing, living their life.

I must admit that that's not the only reason I like those books - the second is that if they can do it, I can, right? Ever since I decided not to be a teacher and have been seriously

(image from

considering journalism or editing as a career path, its like my mind just shut that part of itself off. I've been trying to figure out why, and I think its like candy when you're a kid: When you're little, candy's a treat, you only get to have some every once and a while. When you have your own job, your own money though, that changes - candy's not that special anymore since you can have it whenever you feel like it. I think writing is starting to get like that for me - when it was just a dream, something that would never come to pass, I loved to think about myself as an author someday, or a journalist. But now that my livelihood could very well depend on how well I put sentences together I'm scared that I'm not good enough, that I won't cut it.

All this time I've been trying to follow my dreams, but what do you do when those dreams are suddenly within your grasp? I'm almost too scared to reach out and grab for it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Updates on Life

Since Amsterdam I have:

Visited the South of France - Avignon, Arles, Marseille and Cassis.
Tried couch surfing for the first time in Avignon and had a blast.
Saw my first corrida (they didn't kill the bull) in Arles.
Hiked the Calanques of Cassis in Crocs. (alliteration...!)
Done so little school its too sad to be funny.
Had my first surprise birthday party (Thank you C, R and the MtA kids <3).
Had my first drunken karaoke surprise party (Thanks to Les MISS).
Visited family I hadn't seen for 14 years, and still felt like I was at home.
Played rugby in Belgium and partied in Brussels.

Man I should do more blogs like this. I've covered about 6 hours worth of blogging ;)