Sunday, April 27, 2008

Third Time in Four Years...

...that the people of the Kashechewan first nation have to leave their reserve due to flooding. You probably remember the e-coli problem they had from a couple of years back. And yet, the government refuses to move them to a different location permanently, saying it's "too expensive".
It's often hard to believe that there is an entire group of people who lives like second class citizens in this country that is so good to so many people, and so open to giving so many the opportunity for a better life.
I know it's more complicated than I'm making it, but sometimes it's so heart-breaking, I don't know how else to think about it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Feather Fur and Fin

Have I mentioned recently how much I love cbc radio? Today I heard this absolutely lovely song by Danny Michel about nature, and I enjoyed it so much I had to look it up when I got home. Here are the lyrics. Do you ever feel like this is how the earth will end up if we don't change?
I went to the country
to escape the noise and lights
I laid there in the pine cones all night
I woke in the morning
and all the trees were gone
I got this sinking feeling
everything felt wrong

There were strip malls and dollar stores
and diesel in the air
So I slept in a row boat
and I anchored far from shore
Now I don't hear them chainsaws no more

I woke in the morning
when someone pulled the plug
I was stranded in the lake bottom sludge
With all the tires, paint cans and things

Well,

Every little critter
with feather, fur & fin
cried to Mother Nature
to come back for them
for every piece of litter
for every little sin
She cried for all of them
feather, fur & fin
She cried for all of them
feather, fur & fin

So I went to an island
down the Caribbean way
And I laid there in the sand all day
I turned on a radio
and I heard the DJ say:
Well, batten down the hatches
down Santa Elena way
I swam the ocean reef,
with coral all was gray

Every little critter
with feather, fur & fin
cried to Mother Nature
to come back for them
for every piece of litter
for every little sin
She cried for all of them
feather, fur & fin
She cried for all of them
feather, fur & fin

She saw the eagle's eye
weeping in the willow
She prayed to the mantis
and she cried into her pillow
for the salmon in the Fraser
and the salamander's kin

She cried for all of them
feather, fur & fin
She cried for all of them
feather, fur & fin

Well, I went to the city
when all the trees were gone
and I laid there on a asphalt lawn
And she cried out a thousand days
of hurricanes and floods
Her face ran with tears
and the streets ran with blood
Fur coats and sushi boats
and diesel in the air

Every little critter
with feather, fur & fin
cried to Mother Nature
to come back for them
for every piece of litter
for every little sin
She cried for all of them
feather, fur & fin
She cried for all of them
feather, fur & fin

Feather, fur & fin
she cried for all of them
for feather, fur & fin,
she cried for every fin

It's very very new, so If you want to listen to it, this is the only version I can find on the web so far. Go about halfway through the video before he starts singing.

Joke of the Day

Stolen from CBC radio this morning, with a slight modification. Because it's so bad, it's good:

A neutron walks into a deli and orders a sandwhich. The waiter brings it over a few minutes later and says, "For you, no charge".

Knee-slapping ensues!

Friday, April 25, 2008

To Sleep... or not to sleep?

If I was trying to complete my allusion, I should finish with "that is the question", but in reality, it's not a question any more. Just about everyone I know wants more sleep, and just about everyone I know doesn't get it. This article in the Globe and Mail hit the point home, and I've been meaning to post it for a few days, but it was always late by the time I got around to it, and I kept deciding to sleep instead.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dying Professor's Last Lecture

This is beautifully inspiring. At the time of this lecture, the professor speaking was given weeks to live. It's been over 6 months:

Other things we have to be proud of...

In my dream last night, Les Boys eked out a victory in their series by pulling off a 4-1 win tonight, and all was forgiven... at least until the first game of round two.
But seriously, we took a walk through the old port yesterday, and as a transplanted Montrealer, still adjusting to the city, I have to say that we have lots to be proud of. Notwithstanding the awful roads, this town is gorgeous: we have fabulous architecture, a very European character, and lots of natural beauty in the form of the mountain.
Here's some of what I found spectacular yesterday.




Sunday, April 20, 2008

Crushed!

A few days ago, my Montreal Canadiens were leading their first round series 3-1... After last night, they come home to play the crucial seventh game of the series tied 3-3. Needless to say, I'm on the verge of nightmares. I've decided it's in my best interest to brace myself for the worst, so that on the off-chance they manage to pull off a win and proceed to round two, I'll be pleasantly surprised, and should they complete the self-anihilation they started so convincingly last Thursday, I'll have been expecting it...
Of course, I know that no matter how well I prepare myself for failure, I'll be crushed. Any self-respecting Habs fan suffers with every failure the team fails, and glories in every victory. It's our nature: we can't be cool, calm, or collected... this is Hockey, and this is the most storied franchise in its history, and no matter how true it might be that it's only a game, it's also a culture and a passion. My brother-in-law yesterday suggested I should follow his approach:
"I used to care about the Egyptian national team," he told me, "and they always lost. It was once I stopped caring, that they finally started winning."
And as right as he is, I'm just incapable of turning off my obsession with hockey, or of the Habs in particular. I just wish they weren't so determined to give me a heart-attack, and had more concern for my poor nerves.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Indoctrinating Beauty

Have you heard about this? It's a "children's" book coming out just in time for Mother's Day about Mom's getting plastic surgery. And it's called "My Beautiful Mommy".
That's right: so now it's not just enough for women with low-to-no self-esteem to go update their bodies with expensive and painful surgical procedures, but we need to explain it to children in the form of picture books since they're so confused by the whole process... Okay, I know it's happening anyway, but do the kids really need a book to legitimize the whole thing? Do we really need anymore signals hitting children, or adults for that matter that it really is what's on the outside that counts, and that appearance is everything?
Signing off and grossed out...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First Canadian Team Eliminated

The Pens swept Ottawa 4-0, and my hometown is now out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and though I love my city, I've never actually been a Sens fan, so my only real sadness about the whole situation is that Canada now only has 2 teams left: Montreal and Calgary... If betting wasn't haraam, I'd put my money on my Habs of course, and that's where I'm putting my support...
1 more win tomorrow night and we're on to round 2. Pray for me that our new antenna starts picking up CBC's tv signal from over the mountain...
g'night!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Slippery Digital Slope

1- I used to write in a journal, not "dear diary" style or anything of that sort, but the kind of poems that end up on this site every so often, and other writing that's either too terrible or too private to share. I keep it in my overstuffed purse and have kept one there (or in my school bag back in high school and university) since the ninth grade, in case the mood should move me and I should be inspired to put something down.

For maybe 6 or 7 months, I haven't put anything down in my journal except maybe a phone number or directions. It's become more like a notepad than a place for writing... and I miss it.

2- My old cell phone was a pay-as-you go plan, essentially used to say "Baba, I'll be at the bus station in 25 minutes" after a late class, or "Mama, was it walnuts or hazelnuts you wanted me to pick up from Bulk Barn". My new cell phone is a full-fledged, long term plan with lots of minutes and unlimited talk and text to "my 5" which I used to make fun of endlessly before I signed up for the same thing.

3- I had a laptop at work a few years ago before switching jobs, but I rarely used it and stuck instead to my trusty, old Windows XP Service Pack 1 machine for all my computing needs at home. When I switched to my "new" job about 2 years ago, I went laptop-less until about 3 months ago, when I decided to buy one for my new, mobile, double-citied life.

4- Around that same time, I got a new mp3 player which also happened to play FM Radio, so now I can listen to my beloved CBC Radio in transit.

I would have scoffed before at getting internet access wherever I was, but now that I can listen to CBC anywhere, and make endless phone calls on the Greyhound between Montreal and Ottawa, I'm practically itching to be able to check anything from anywhere. But here's the catch: I don't need to. I sit at work for 8 hours with internet at my finger tips. Depending on the day of the week, I can check the internet either 1 or 3 hours after leaving my office. That's barely any time to be "un-plugged" but I think I'm hooked.
My solution is to slow down, get a bit more "disconnected" and read solid, physical, tangible books or my Quran on my bus rides... The physical world is actually a fabulous place, and for all the advantages of constant connection, it's nice to stop and notice what's actually around us once in a while. There's something to be said for having access to too much data and not enough information, and that's what I'm afraid the digital age has done to some, including myself...

Friday, April 11, 2008

FYA (For Your Amusement)

A photo from the scene outside the Bell Centre last night on my way home. Taken around 8 p.m., game was already well underway, so things were quiet outside:


And on a completely different note, If you liked Lord of The Rings, check this out:


video

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Little Angel Update

He walks!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Where are the words?

I've always been better at writing it down than saying it but
today, I can't do either
can't find the words to put to paper to screen to mind to ear to dream
because each time I dream the words I find myself looking for a way to forget
them to replace them
with easier words
like 11 degrees and sun
like 1st place like water like rain slush spring
all happy words while parting is a sad one
and the word that I try to forget becomes a sentence a page a book
and my eyes are half open half closed and my brain is lost somewhere
between waking and sleep
hoping and dreading -remembering
and forgetting

I've always been better at writing it down than saying it but
today
I can't write or say or think

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Dissecting the Hug

Because I love these 'sociological' investigations and politics, I thought this Globe and Mail article was pretty interesting: How do you hug? What do you mean by it? Is it spontaneous, or pre-meditated? Is it in private or public?

Check it out here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Clinched!

With their 3-0 win over the Sens last night, Les Boys can finish the season in no less than 2nd place and have clinched their first division title in 15 years! So proud of my team. Now, if only Saku Koivu can figure out a way to play on that broken foot, and Komi and Hamr can come back healthy, we'll be good for at least a round of play-off action...
I always get funny reactions walking around with my Habs scarf in Ottawa... More on that in a future post...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

On My Coffee Cup This Morning

I liked this a lot:

"The law, for all its failings, has a noble goal - to make the little bit of life that people can actually control more just. We can't end disease or natural disasters, but we can devise rules for our dealings with one another that fairly weigh the rights and needs of everyone, and which, therefore, reflect our best vision of ourselves."

-Scott Turow

What would you do? (Smile, you're on camera)

This was on ABC a while back. Commonplacer has actually already discussed it, but this is a longer version of the same video.
So, would you encourage, discourage, or do nothing? Fascinating.