Saturday, July 29, 2006

book worm

it is past midnight on a saturday night and i am up reading and writing about african sovereignty... and actually enjoying it!

i was feeling so stuck with my dissertation and just wanted to get it over with and move on to the next phase of life while i was at home. i was even dreading coming back to university to spend my days working, and i have really been embracing the process. i am actually wondering if i will miss it when all is said and done and i don't get to pack my lunch, load up my backpack with books, trek over to the library, have coffee breaks with friends, and set up my work station with books, pens, pencils, staplers, highlighters, sticky notes, notebooks, and white out.

(i have just accepted the fact that i take up a lot of space where ever i go, i am a spreader)

then i wonder if people are ever capable of appreciating what they have until it is nearly over or gone. although i'd like to think it is possible, i am just not sure. maybe some things are meant to live in our memories exactly as we'd like to remember them.

all this thinking is hard work and sometimes my brain hurts and sometimes steam feels like it is about to come out of my ears, but i am making progress and am at 4200 words. not even a quarter of the way there yet, but i figure it is not too bad considering the circumstances under which i started this whole process.

and remember when i said i'd never do a phd...? well, never say never, i suppose.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

an hour well wasted

if you are interested in the israel/palestine conflict and the influence of the media on how we perceive it and have an hour to spare watch this documentary. it is about the american, israeli, and british media and the representation of events in israel and the occupied territories and helps explain why the conflict continues as it does. i do recommend it.

it made me think about the canadian media and i believe that they are frighteningly similar to american media in that we hear only about what is going on in israel and palestine through a filter. israeli action is usually depicted as a defense of their land and people and palestinians are most often shown throwing rocks, attacking peaceful soldiers, or suicide bombing. it makes me wonder whether the broadcasters are even cognisant of what they are reporting to their audiences.

i have noticed that in the uk people are more willing to say that they support a palestinian state and that they disagree with the occupation. and i bet i have never heard that from any mainstream media source in canada. you don't necessarily have to agree with that side of the debate, but it is most certainly missing from our national dialogue, and i think we deserve to see both sides of the situation before we deicide for ourselves.

it would give me so much more hope that the violence and rhetoric won't go on throughout my lifetime to hear more about the stories of israelis and palestinians working together towards peace, as is mentioned in the documentary. especially considering all that is happening in lebanon.

anyways, it is a good piece if you have the time to watch it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

sore feet

i went for a hike yesterday to the nearby hills and came back extremely exhausted and with very sore feet, but it felt great and i had a fantastic time. sheep, stone fences, views of the ocean, wind mills, caterpillars, old fancy english cars out for a sunday drive, and old farmhouses. but perhaps the best part was the excellent company!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

itchy feet

my grandma had all these superstitions about what different itches meant and i have had itchy feet all day! no, it is not athlete's foot or any other abnormality.

has anyone heard of what itchy feet is supposed to mean? i would guess a long trip in the near future, but i am sorta hoping for great success or happiness.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

to love is to risk not being loved in return

i returned to lancaster today (in the midst of an british heat wave - hot and sticky and train tracks falling apart due to the heat) and i was forced to face some of the things i have been pondering and stewing over for the past few months. saying good bye to people and cultivating friendships all overshadowed with an overarching sense of sadness, confusion, and excitement about the future. then my sister sent me this quote and it seemed to sum everything up rather succintly

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss

To love is to risk not being loved in return,

To hope is to risk despair,

To try is to risk to failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,

But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

The optimist expects it to change;

And the realist adjusts the sails.

William Arthur Ward, "To Risk"

i have decided to take a risk and post some goals i have for the rest of the summer here in lancaster.

i want to run 16km per week.
i want to foster relationships in these last few months and take advantage of opportunities to continue knowing the people that surround me.
i want to work for at least 5 hours per weekday on my dissertation.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

achieving the unachievable

i managed to do the nearly impossible today and go to the mall to investigate bras for purchase and actually walk away with not 1, not 2, but 3 new bras!! and not feel absolutely horrible about myself in the process. why oh why is bra shopping so difficult?? give me bikini shopping, jeans shopping, or even day-long-forced-conversation-making-hair-appointment before bra shopping. but not today, i managed ok, came out alive, and had 3 new bras to show for it. so that should do me for another year because i hate the whole process so much that i avoid it til support systems are falling apart at the seams.

Monday, July 10, 2006

stampede scrooge

i wasn't excited about the stampede coming to town this year until i turned on a little country 105 and saw those flags up on the light poles.

i went to the parade and had some serious pride happening with the rcmp, the canadian olympic medalists, the natives in their traditional dress, and even a touch of my pacificist spirit was proud of the military servicemen and women who were driving their enormous tanks through downtown. and i like all the horses and our western heritage that we all pretend not to have.

but then the whole thing started up and i am even less excited about it. it seems as though the calgarians have left the stampeding to the tourists now. and i can absolutely understand why. too many line-ups, too many people, too crowded, too expensive. i am such a stampede scrooge, but i am just up for the battles with people for beer, corn dogs, or bathrooms.

and $50 to get into cowboys, are you kidding?! apparently not. because that old cowboy vickers is just a sleazy profit-driven man at the end of the day. i can't say i blame him but i am just not interested like i used to be.

maybe a trip to the rodeo or the chuckwagons might change my attitude, as long as no horses get hurt while i am watching.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

canadian celebrities... no, not ben mulroney

today i had lunch in downtown toronto with one of the best nhl stars that played for the maple leafs and the future leader of the liberal party of canada.

if by lunch i mean afternoon drink in the same lounge.

and by best nhl star i mean the scruffy guy known for scrapping.

and by future leader of the liberal party i mean a liberal mp who might want to run for the leadership of the party.

perhaps that first sentence should read - i had an afternoon drink in the same lounge as both tie domi and belinda stronach, but did not talk to them, make eye contact with them, or sit with them.

but i considered introducing myself to tie after i saw him walk by for the benefit of my little brother and then once i saw he was dining with belinda i thought i should introduce myself to her and then tell her that one day i want to be her. well minus the conservative party stint and the rich and famous father that got me the job.

but i like her anyways.

toronto is an exciting place.

Monday, July 03, 2006


toronto is great and i realise i have dropped the ball on the blogging, but the break from life and from any place i've called home has been good.

home on wednesday and then i am going to have to wind myself up to take off for the greatest outdoor show on earth... i hope i can make it through unscathed.