Wednesday, September 27, 2006

dear abby

DEAR ABBY: This is the first time I have ever written you, but I'd like your opinion about something. Do you think that good and moral qualities in a person are taught, instilled, or just come naturally to people? I'm talking about things like honesty, optimism, sincerity, tidiness, consideration, charity, fairness, etc. -- CURIOUS IN TEHACHAPI, CALIF.

DEAR CURIOUS: I believe the qualities you mentioned are taught, modeled by parents who set examples for their children to follow. And they are instilled when a child is very young.

The other day D and I were having a nature/nurture conversation - and I was more on the side of nature than he was. So this dear Abby brought me back to that. I think I believe that things like sincerity and honesty and charity are taught more than optimism or tidiness. trust me.... if tidiness could be taught my mother would be a much happier person where I am concerned.

I think that talents are definetly nurtured - but things like athletic or musical ability or intellectual or artistic ability come more naturally to some people than others. And that many people will just hit a ceiling in how far they can go due to natural ability. And that some people just need a little bit of nuturing/encouragement to maximize some talents, and some need a lot - and obviously the solution is not to say to a child "you are not good at art, but it's okay you are good at soccer" it is to encourage them in everything, though no amount of training or coaching could make some people good enough to make varsity soccer or get into OCAD (ontario college of art and design). Because some things are very difficult to teach - like vision (be it artistic or how to sense a teammate when they are behind you)

I also think if someone is an optimist or a pessimist and other such things are for the most part innate, though they can be nurtured, or you can give someone coping strategies to deal with being a pessimist but you can't teach them to be an optimist.

That being said - it is much easier to destroy a naturally innate sense of fairness through a bad upbringing than to teach a sense of fairness or compassion to someone who is extremely selfish. And just for the record, as far as me as a person goes, my parents could not have done a better job. Sure, I might have benefited from Kumon or violin lessons or being forced to stay in dance classes against my will, but those things pale in comparrison with sincerity, compassion, charity, kindness and all that other good stuff.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I've been thinking lately about change.

we spend years trying to figure out who we are, and what we believe, and what we stand for, and once we figure something out, we can just put it in a little box and keep it there. decided. peremanent. part of who we are. but then someone comes along and asks "why"? Why do you think that? what assumptions have you made that are causing you to think that. look at my assumptions - aren't they valid too? and then you have to work through everything again. looking at their arguments and your beliefs and deciding what to keep and what to throw away.

and this is not always an easy thing to do. it can be very unsettling when changing beliefs can affect how you define yourself. and on the one hand, sometimes I think that if I were really strong person I would stick to my thought out beliefs no questions asked. but I think the situation is more nuanced than that. I believe that by allowing myself to question my beliefs I can gain both compassion and wisdom. and I think admitting that you are not right makes you stronger, and not weaker.

today I got really upset about something really stupid and I kept going over it in my head, and then I said - wait an hour - see how you feel then. So I did lots of things and then came back to it. and realized that though I still thought what I thought and wanted a chance to work through my thoughts and feelings outloud - that the situation as a whole was not as important, not as life and death as I thought it was. I am in this great big hurry to grow up. to appear grown up on paper. but there are many ways of growing up - most of which are not quantifiable - and owning a home, having more degrees, being married, buying a dog - these can all be things that I want to do someday - but doing them today won't make me happier. I am happy. these "grown up" things will make my life different - but not better. and at some point change for the sake of change is pointless. I want to look to the future - to choices and decisions that will affect my life - and I want to have many many options. but not forcing my hand, just because, when I am already happy now.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

8 things I thought today

1) If I can't read the globe in the morning, cosmo is not a bad alternative
2) mmmm.. London Fog
3) a gentleman will not only open doors, but also stare into the sun for you
4) playing with toys is fun for children of any age
5) I used to think I didn't mind doing dishes; I was wrong
6) I watched "my three wives" and I've got to say, I don't think I'd be a big fan of having more than two people in my marriage
7) Maggie Gylanhal is gorgeous
8) it may be fall, but summer is still here in victoria

Friday, September 22, 2006

public health

From Friday's Globe and Mail.

taken from an article by Andre Picard - divided into part 1 and part 2 by me as they are two parts of the same conversation - with part one being obviously tragic and part two being less obviously but also more intensely tragic.

Part I
Each year, more than 1.6-million people worldwide die in violent circumstances and many times more are wounded, according to the World Health Organization.

Of that total, an estimated 815,000 committed suicide, 520,000 were victims of homicide and 310,000 died in armed conflicts, including terrorist attacks.

In other words, for all the news headlines about war, murder, suicide bombings and bloody mayhem, the stark reality is that most violence is self-inflicted.

In Canada, the statistics show an even greater disparity -- six suicides for every homicide. Each year, in a country of 30 million, there are about 650 homicides and 3,700 suicides.

Part II

The homicide at Dawson College last week generated unprecedented levels of media coverage because it was unusual -- very public and involving several guns.

Two young people died tragically that day: An 18-year-old woman was savagely slain, and a 25-year-old man culminated a violent outburst by taking his own life.

All the sympathy, the tears and the concern have been for Ms. De Sousa. But, from a public-health perspective, just as much -- if not more -- attention should be paid to the suicide of Kimveer Gill.

There are fewer than two homicides a day in Canada but more than 10 suicides daily -- each of them a violent act, and each of them a failure of public health.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

television part II

Do you know who else is brilliant? John Doyle.

Making the counter-argument [why television is good] against this attitude [why television is bad] tends to give me a headache, so I'll keep it brief here. You want to know why many, many Canadians are uneasy about our current fighting role in Afghanistan? Try watching the most popular Canadian-made TV series of the moment. That would be Corner Gas. Nothing happens on it. There's no fighting, no gung-ho stuff about heroes and guns and mayhem, and similar themes. A bunch of people in a tiny town swap low-key jokes and get excited about what's on the menu at the local diner. The cops are a bit incompetent and crime is non-existent. The harshest word heard is a coot hissing "jackass!" Canadian viewers love it. They lap it up. It's how we see ourselves, that's why.

for the record, I also love corner gas.

Monday, September 18, 2006


well folks, it's that time of year again.

the new television season.

my plans for this viewing season are Grey's Anatomy and Studio Sixty on the Sunset Strip.

seeing as the former hasn't aired yet, let me say why I am planning on watching the latter.

two words: aaron sorkin.

for those of you who do not know who aaron sorkin is - he is a genius. He was the creator of Sports Night, which (for those of you who do not know), was a very funny, ABC, half-hour, laugh-track-less comedy show, which first brought the beautiful and talented Feclicity Huffman into homes across America. He is also the creator of the West Wing (brilliant!) and wrote the screenplay (and possibly the play-play) for a Few Good Men - which is, without a doubt, one of my favourite moives of all time. He has fabulous ideas, dialougue, employs brilliant actors and I will jump on any aaron sorkin television bandwagon until such time that I have reason to jump off.

secondary viewing: House, Smith, Ugly Betty (i'm hearing good things people), and of course the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Of course, for the most part I will be spending my life NOT watching t.v., but that is all the more reason to take time to chose wisely with what I will watch.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

celebrity, cars, and coke: reflections on 21st century society. (okay - so it's a random list of stuff - but I was trying for a clever title)

1) I am glad that I did not grow up in a small town
2) I really like David Duchovny. I like him because he has been married to the same woman for a number of years, and because he takes on a wide variety of film and movie roles, and because he can make fun of himself, and because he is extremely good looking.
3) The next time I have breakfast, I really want to have bacon and eggs and toast and hash browns and sausage. Except I don't eat bacon or sausage, but eggs and toast and hashbrowns is all too much the same. I think maybe I want to start eating (red) meat again.
4) My boyfriend is an absolutely amazing chef. Even when he's just "preparing" food and not actually making anything - it is beyond fabulous.
5) I was watching "Rich Bride, Poor Bride" on t.v. and the wedding budget was $20,000 - except the bride bought the husband an SUV as a wedding gift, putting them $40,000 over budget. They had previously decided together to buy a house before a car - and it was mostly the husband's money, not the wife's that would be paying for this car. If my partner bought me a $40,000 gift that we had decided we couldn't afford - I would probably have to completly revaluate our relationship because that to me is not a partnership.

Quote of the day:

(as said by me, in context, during a conversation with one of my friends)

"well really, there is no right age to do cocaine."

with valuable insights like that, is it any wonder that I got into graduate school?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

sarah's visit

1) taxis
2) psycopathic taxi man
3) irish times pub
4) gbs and Jeremy Fisher
5) hypodermic needles
6) seafood
7) bread
8) chocolate
9) Ferris
10) water taxi
11) shopping - the bay - the gap - metrotown - robson st.
12) ice cream
13) whales
14) hot springs - rainforest - boardwalk
15) sudbury - to NYC - to LA woman and her two children
16) $100 hoodie
17) dinner with s & j
18) matching roots bags
19) american television
20) st. regis

things I am now

1) cold
2) tired
3) happy

Saturday, September 09, 2006


my friend who was visiting me left yesterday.

I miss her. I miss having someone to be with - sit around with - watch t.v. with. I love living by myself - but after having a roomate for two weeks I must admit to feeling a little lonely.

when I am sad I like to think about all the people who love me. my family. my friends. I don't tell my friends how important they are enough - or that I love them enough (not that I love all my friends, sometimes I feel that word is bandied about a bit too much... but i'm making a bigger point here). and I know that they know - but I still think that we should say it more. everyone should say things like that more. so people know. because everyone likes to know/be reminded of the fact that there are people out there who love them and value them and care about them. and it's hard being so far away from my friends. vancouver. toronto. hamilton. waterloo. london. belfast. ireland. tucson. boston. and all the friends I have lost touch with - who could be anywhere. I want to go to the starbucks on avenue road, or common ground, or empires (the one with the penguins) on botanic, or serious coffee in oak bay, or that place in chinatown that I love, or heck, even finnerty's and sit and talk and laugh over over-priced, elborately named coffee-type-beverages. I want to be with many different people in many different places - but I can't. I am here. and really - here is not so bad. here has a lot going for it. in fact, the only bad thing I have to say about here, is that here is not there.