Friday, March 30, 2012

Fill in the _____ Friday

Sorry for being a delinquent blogger this week *hangs head*... I've been reading the Hunger Games. And as most of you will know, that means nothing else has existed since last weekend. But I'll try to do better next week... I might even write a post about HG when I'm done. And it's Friday! WOOHOO!

  1. My greatest strength is... that I am honest, and often say stuff even if the other person won't like to hear it. Sometimes this is a good thing.
  2. My greatest weakness is... see above. My big mouth gets me in trouble a lot. I also struggle with emotions. I have a lot of them, and they're really strong. But I'm a rational person, who likes to make sense of the world around me (and the world in my  head). Emotions are not rational, so they make me uncomfortable.
  3. People always compliment me on... well I don't know about ALWAYS. But I have been told I have a nice ass. I mean... eyes. Nice eyes.
  4. If you found me procrastinating, you'd probably find me... exactly as you expected. If I wasn't procrastinating something, now that would be news. 
  5. The most cosy place in all the world is... in a comfy armchair wrapped up in a blanket like a burrito with some sort of fire nearby reading a good book. Preferably with snow outside and no work the next day. This is what retirement will look like for me, people.
  6. Something new that I tried recently was... um. Does reading the Hunger Games count??
  7. This weekend I would like to... read. I'm on a real book kick lately. I'm currently reading the first Hunger Games book (to be quickly followed by the second and third, I'm sure), The Wisdom of Whores by Elizabeth Pisani, which is a very interesting look at the AIDS epidemic and the things we don't do to stop it because of the moral issues involved (that's my impression so far, but I haven't finished it yet. If that's not a fair synopsis, sorry.) and Assata, which is the autobiography of Assata Shakur, who was unfairly imprisoned after her arrest for involvement with the Black Panthers in the '60s and '70s. And a whole big pile of other books. 

As always, thanks to The Little Things We Do for the blanks! Head on over and join in!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fill in the _____ Friday

  1. My favourite colour is... Hmmm. I don't really have one, but I like certain colour combinations, like lime green and dark brown or teal and grey. 
  2. My home decor palette includes... whatever I've picked up totally randomly over the years. I'm not that fussed about making things matchy. (Also still don't like the term "home decor.")
  3. Other people tell me I look good in the colour... no idea. Black? Dark green, maybe? 
  4. The colour I detest is... baby pink. *puke*
  5. If you were to look in my closet most of the colours you'd see would be... blue (as in jeans) and black. Some grey and brown. The occasional pop of colour, but not a lot. 
  6. A colour that I simply cannot pull off no matter how hard I try is... peach and light beigey tan colours. I'm very pale with a lot of pink in my skin so those just make me look washed out and yucky. I don't like those colours much, fortunately, so I don't even try.
  7. The colour of my favourite dress is... *snort.* You don't know me very well, do you?  JEANS. Not dresses.
That's it for another week! Head over to The Little Things We Do if you'd like to join in!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sunny Thursday - No, Really!

It's a particularly sunny, cheerful Thursday here - which is quite surprising given the weather lately! It's nearly the end of the week, and though I woke up with a pounding headache that I believe means the beginning of allergy season, I'm in quite good spirits. So I thought I'd share some funnies in case you're not.

Sounds legit.

I  might have to try this next time I go to the movies. Beer's cheaper than their soda anyway, 
and with the quality of movies these days, you really need to be tipsy to enjoy them.


I have also thought this for quite some time.

In honour of today's sunny outlook.

Fair point. Would be cool though, no?

Not soon enough.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. I appear to have started reading again! I went for a year without finishing a single book - and if you ever saw my house, you'd be shocked. Books everywhere. I think I was burnt out from years of school and my brain decided to revolt. However, it appears to be returning (slowly) to work, and books are actually fun again! I finished a very small book this weekend and am now moving on to.... oh, about 5 others. We'll see how that goes.

2. It's been an interesting weather week here on the west coast. It was snowing and hailing yesterday, but today is sunny and nearly feels like spring. I'm just hoping tomorrow doesn't bring a hurricane or tornado.

3. I am three weeks behind on the Walking Dead, so don't tell me anything that happened.

4. This Saturday is World TB Day. I'm betting many of you don't really know that much about TB - its history, what it is, how it's spread or who has it these days. The truth might shock you. One third of the world's population has TB - and a tenth of those will become symptomatic in their lifetime. In HIV-positive populations, the chances of getting it (and dying from it) are much higher than the general population - as with any other at risk group (the homeless, anyone with a pre-existing medical condition). Every 60 seconds three people die from it. And yet it is curable. Here's a short video with some more info, or visit Stop TB's website.


5. I started watching a few new shows this week, leading to potential faves. One I really like is Touch, starring Kiefer Sutherland as the father of an autistic child who has never spoken, but uses his considerable intelligence to identify patterns in the world around him. Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? The idea that a butterfly flaps its wings in one place, causing it to rain on the other side of the world? That every action, no matter how small sends out ripples into the world that can cause strange, unpredictable reactions? Well, this show is basically about these actions and reactions. Another one I'm hooked by is The Firm - it has a couple of Canadians (Molly Parker and Callum Keith Rennie), plus I really like Juliette Lewis these days, so she's a bonus! It's based on the book by John Grisham (yes, like the movie starring Tom Cruise) about a lawyer who stumbles right into the middle of something deadly when he takes a job with a law firm.

6. I really wish life came with some sort of indication of where you're supposed to head and when. I'd even settle for some sort of red alert system when you're making the absolute wrong decision if we couldn't have clear cut instructions. I mean, that's not so much to ask, right?

7. In case you didn't catch the update to my Wicked Wednesday from March 7th, Jason Russell, one of the co-founders of Invisible Children, the organization behind the Kony 2012 YouTube video, had a meltdown. Apparently he was found wandering around naked and drunk (before noon, no less) in the middle of the street. I'm not quite sure what to make of this - I guess we all deal with pressure in different ways - but I do think it's a shame.

8. Loving Ashley Judd right about now:  

9. Is it Friday yet?

10. And because I like to end it on the upswing:

If you haven't already (which would make you insane, but whatever), check out Sherlock.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

Reporting live from the snowy/sunny/windy/rainy metropolis of Vancouver... it's Ten on Tuesday!

1. I think that whoever devised daylight savings was an evil bastard. That is all.

2. We had a wind storm here yesterday which caused rain to hit at a 45 degree angle and parts of the city to lose power. Unfortunately not the part I work in (but magically leaving my house unaffected so that I could go home and watch TV).

3.  I have not been sleeping well. So add that to losing an hour and I'm running on about 5 hours - and that's only if you add up all the little chunks of about 20-30 minutes before I woke up inexplicably. I am not a cheerful person today.

4. So we use the space under our bed to store stuff, since I am a pack rat and we don't have enough closets. It almost never gets touched, but I decided that it was time to pull everything out, get rid of whatever we don't need, and clean under there. Sounds great in theory, but this strange urge to clean hit me at about 10 PM, which is far too late for cleaning - and for kicking up clouds of dust under your bed. Just a little tip from me to you.

5. One of my wonderful colleagues, Ceci, got me a peppermint mocha and chocolate banana muffin from Starbucks this morning, which pretty much made my week! Yum.

6. I've spent the last week working on a Kony 2012 blog post - I've published it and taken it down about 12 times because I keep thinking of other stuff to say, or coming across more info. It's getting to the point where I either have to stop trying to write about it, or just post what I have.

7. I work for a lung health organization, as some of you may know. So I'm particularly interested in the two class-action lawsuits that have been brought against Canada's three largest tobacco firms in a trial that started yesterday. The combined damages are over $27 billion and it's the largest civil lawsuit in Canada's history. Read more:
8.  It was International Women's Day last week. This is a very important day, and one that I think doesn't get enough attention (and is widely discounted and misunderstood). I wrote a blog post about it here - and if you haven't already, check out my post from 2011 (it has Daniel Craig in drag - need I say more?). I also came across a really interesting article on One's blog, that I think is worth taking a few minutes to read if you need some inspiration: An Ordinary Day with an Extraordinary Model

9. Because we all need something funny in our Ten on Tuesday:

10. After chatting with our intern, I've realized how much I miss the information I absorbed, seemingly by osmosis, in University. I also miss talking about social issues and current events at length with intelligent, enthusiastic people. Perhaps it's time to look into whether it's possible to do a Master's part time in night classes? Of course that would seriously impact my TV watching time, which would be a big problem.

Just four more days until the weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fill in the _____ Friday

  1. My favourite room in my home is... my living room... because... it has the fireplace and the TV and the comfy chair - not to mention the Christmas lights! (Yes, all year. They're cosy. Don't judge.)
  2. My current decor style is... I'm sick of this question. Stop asking it. I don't have one - because I can't afford one.
  3. I wish I could redecorate... I don't know. I wouldn't mind a new couch and bed frame, but other than that I don't care much.
  4. My dream house absolutely has to have a... waterslide from the roof to a swimming pool in the back yard. Doesn't everyone's?
  5. One house item I am willing to splurge on is... the bed. Everything that goes on there is important.
  6. A decor trend I just don't "get" is... using the word "decor" without sarcasm.
  7. The aforementioned Christmas a little touch that makes my house feel like home.

Thanks as always to The Little Things We Do for the blanks! Head on over and join the fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy International Women's Day!

Even though International Women's Day isn't an official holiday in Canada, it's still one of the most important awareness-raising days of the year, in my opinion. While I support all the health awareness holidays - like National Non-Smoking Week and Eating Disorders Awareness Week - few affect such a large sector of society. More than 50% of the world's population are women, but it doesn't stop there. I firmly believe that the way in which women are treated within a society affects everyone - including the men in their lives and the children they bear.

For this reason I hope that all of you will take some time to reflect on the meaning of equality - particularly as it relates to gender. To notice not only the many, many ways in which we have become a more equal society, but the many more ways (small and large) in which we still have a lot of work to do. And I'm not talking about patriarchal societies in far-off lands and developing countries, I'm talking about everywhere.

If you'd like to learn more about the history and meaning of this day, check out and my post from last year that has links to some other awesome blogs. Now go give an awesome lady in your life a really big hug!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - Kony 2012

I'm sure by now most of you have seen this video circulating in your social media feeds. Some of you probably clicked on it right away, others thought about it but realized it was 30 minutes long and couldn't be bothered, and others just skimmed over it and barely noticed. I want you to watch it. Every second of it. Twice.


Done? Good. Now I want you to share it with everyone you know and spend some time learning more about this issue. Not for yourself. Not for me. Not even for these children who have been abused, stolen and tortured for most of their lives (though they are more than reason enough). I want you to do it because if we don't stop atrocities like this we are not fit to call ourselves human.

Of course, this video is not the be-all story on this issue. I don't puport that it is. I am not asking you to watch it or share it because it's perfect or beyond criticism. I'm asking you because it makes the issue accessible. And my hope is that it will pique your interest and you'll go on to research it further. 

Like any complex human rights cause, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the Kony 2012 campaign. Following my own advice, I've been doing some online research and have found some interesting perspectives not necessarily obvious to everyone who cares about this issue. I'm including some links below - for your reference, not because I am necessarily saying I agree with everything - or even anything, in some cases - that they say.

I encourage you all to spend some time learning, not only about the issue, but about the groups who are attempting to help end these human rights abuses, so that you can come to your own (more) informed decisions and decide who/what you feel comfortable supporting. Some things that I've come across that may be of interest in terms of framing the issue are:

  • Apparently US organizations have tried to get to Kony over the years, but because his "bodyguards" are children, it's not easy to get to him. 
  • Kony 2012 is reported to support the Sudan People's Liberation Army, who themselves have been known to rape and loot.
  • There is also the issue of whether or not we should impose our own idea of justice on a war criminal in a different country (the "White Man's Burden" perspective) or whether that in itself is stepping over a line. 
There are, I'm sure, many other criticisms and ethical/moral grey areas to be considered. I encourage you to consider them - but at the end of the day we must make a decision based on the information we have rather than becoming frozen into inaction. At the very least, spend some time thinking about and talking about this - and other - human rights abuses, because learning about the world around us is always important.

Here are some viewpoints:
Invisible Children have also released a response to the criticism that you can find here, should you wish to read their side of things.   

    Update - March 16/19, 2012:
    As you may have heard, Jason Russell, one of the co-founders of Invisible Children, had a very public, very embarrassing meltdown during which he stripped naked and wandered around yelling. Unfortunately this came at possibly the worst time for his organization, having just gained a very large amount of attention. Oh well, we all have our bad days, right? Here are a couple of stories about it:

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Ten on Tuesday

    I'm not in a good mood today. Just thought I'd get that out there so there's no doubt. If it weren't illegal, I'd be going on a vandalistic rampage to let off steam. Instead, I'm here. You've been warned.

    1. I hate public transit. There's this one bus driver who lets people keep getting on the bus until it's jam packed to the doors... then proceeds to say he's not going anywhere unless they can all fit behind the red line. There's this transit mentality where people won't get off a bus once they're on - regardless of whether the doors close or the driver wants them out of the doorway. But the driver either doesn't know or doesn't care about this rule. So instead of stopping them from getting on when it's starting to fill up, we sit there for 5 minutes with the extra ten people trying to squeeze everyone back and everyone else grumpily refusing to move. It's the most aggravating thing ever.

    2. My boss is away. Seeing as this is the week after an event, the week of a big conference, a press conference for a charity marathon and the release of the US Surgeon General's report, it's pretty busy around here. I have so much to do that I can't even begin to figure out where to start. I am not enjoying work right now.

    3. It's finally sunny, and I can't remember where I left my sunglasses.

    4. On the plus side, my Hunter boots finally arrived! They're the right size and everything. And they got here just in time for a few days of torrential downpours and some snow last week. So there's that.

    5. One of my co-workers shared this website with us today. It's the only thing stopping me from murdering someone.

    6. If you're having a day like mine:

    Remember - it could always be worse. You could be this girl.

    7. I worked late last Friday and was the only one left in a three-floor, old, brick building with faulty wiring and odd noises. You may remember me mentioning that there is a weird zombie hatch in one of the upstairs bathrooms, but there is also a creepy basement with lots of random locked doors and complete locker/shower rooms. Overall, it's a terrifying place to be alone, even if it's not all dark and stormy and rainy out - which it was. According to one of my (somewhat cruel) colleagues, our office building not only feels creepy, but is actually haunted. It's on the tour of local haunted houses. It gets worse - it's haunted by the ghost of a little girl who was crushed by a bookcase in the basement while chasing her cat. She still wanders around looking for it. Even alive little girls are creepy - there's no way I'm ever working late again.

    8. I may have to work on Saturday. Awesome.

    9. I really, really, really want a vacation. I'm feeling completely burned out and disillusioned with everything. I just need a break.

    10. Because I need a laugh, and I assume you do too:

    Happy Tuesday, y'all. Here's hoping we all make it to Friday without snapping.

    Fill in the _____ Friday

    So clearly I really suck at this whole blogging thing lately. Don't even look at my other blog, because I haven't touched it in months. Good thing no one's paying me for this shit. On the plus side, it's like a fun little surprise whenever I do actually get around to it, and you can feel like it's a different day of the week than it actually is! See, it's all good. Here's Friday's... only a few days late. So we're good.

    1. The highlight of my week was... getting my voice back.
    2. If I had to classify my interior design aesthetic it would be... nonexistent. Unless you count occasionally moving books from one pile to another. Which changes the whole colour scheme of the room.
    3. My first vehicle was... Honda Civic.
    4. An item I need to have in my day in order to function is... my iPod. Seriously, it's the only way I don't stab people on public transit.
    5. My favourite way to waste time is... Facebook. And TV.
    6. Right now I could really go for... a nap.
    7. This weekend I will be... I'm going to say what I would have last Friday - sleeping!
    As always, thanks to The Little Things We Do for the blanks! Head on over and link up!
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