Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fun Facts about Wyoming

Dear Governor Freudenthal,

You have my apologies. I was, perhaps, too quick to judge Wyoming. So I will share some fun facts about Wyoming in attempt to educate both myself, and my audience, about the lower 48's least populous state.

1) Wyoming's Nicknames are "Equality State" and "The Cowboy State"
2) Wyoming's Population is 505,907
3) Wyoming's Area is 97,914 square miles. (I am not going to do that math, but if you really wanted to, you could figure out the number of people per square mile)
4) Wyoming's Capital City is Cheyenne (and the population of Cheyenne is 51,507)
5) Wyoming's state mammal is the Bison
6) Wyoming is the birthplace of abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock
7) Wyoming is famous for Yellowstone National Park, being the home where the buffalo roam, agriculture and dude ranches.

These fun facts courtesy of the Lonely Planet USA Guide Book, 2006

Jeopardy - part II

So last week we heard about Devin getting final Jeopardy right based only on the category. Well on Friday I did something equally impressive, and yet completely pitiful.

Friday's final jeopardy category was "US Population Geography". I said "North Dakota" on the assumption that the question would be "Which state has the smallest per capita population."

Well apparently I am too smart by half. I correctly guessed question (or in Jeopardy terms, the answer), but my question (or answer) was incorrect. Final Jeopardy was in fact "Which of the lower 48 states has the smallest population per square mile" or something like that. To which Devin immediately got the right answer. The right answer which was not North Dakota.

In fact, on our recent road trip, Devin and I had discussed this very question, and he had told me the right answer. If only I had listened more closely I would have remembered. And then my story would be that I got final jeopardy right based only on the category, and not that I guessed the clue, only to come up with the wrong answer.

And for you trivia buffs out there, I have revealed the correct answer in the comments section.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

a small little ranting thought

from Today's Globe and Mail

by Preston Manning

"How do Canadian cities measure up in terms of quality of life, economic performance, civic governance and leadership capacity?... In seeking answers, former Ontario premier Mike Harris and I have been examining some recent data [which] suggests that all is not well with Canada's largest city."

Hmmm.... Really? Mike Harris is examining data to try to figure out what is wrong with Toronto? Well, I imagine that this is subject he is intimately familiar with considering how much of what is wrong with Toronto today is the direct results of the Harris government policies of the 1990s. Thanks anyway Mike.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

when invasive species attack

Yesterday I was hit in the leg by a rabbit.

"You hit a rabbit?"
"No, I was hit by a rabbit"

I was walking along a path, and on my left there was a garbage can. Now I guess that the garbage can blocked the rabbit's view of the path, as it ran, full speed, into the side of my leg. I must say I was quite startled. Although probably not nearly as startled as the rabbit, who after a few seconds of disorientation, continued it's full speed run across the pathway to the grass and bushes on the other side.

I thought I might end up with a giant rabbit shaped bruise on the side of my leg, but I seem to emerged from the incident unscathed. I can only hope the rabbit was as lucky.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

rise and shine!

Last night I found out my friend Carly wakes up everyday at 5:00am. Just because. I get up every morning at 7:30am. She said she can't sleep in that late.

Last night I also found out my friend Carly is CRAZY!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reason #241 why I love my dad.

Because no one else I know would read the introduction of my thesis, which is on culture, and say:

"Gee now doesn'’t that sound like a sophisticated psychotherapeutic approach to the integration of self-states, ego states, differing cognitive-affective self-schemas, good and bad objects etc. It is the same process and prevents one state, schema or object relation from dominating the many and an awareness and appreciation of the many paradoxically leads to a stronger sense of self."

The older I get, and I more I learn, the more I realize how incredible my dad is.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I can do it!

This morning, at 7:30, when my alarm went off, I laid in bed for about a minute not wanting to get up. And then, I said to myself, outloud, "C'mon, get up - you can do it". Apparently I now need to give myself inspirational pep talks before I can get out of bed in the morning.

On the plus side. I did get up.

Monday, June 16, 2008

word of the day

I was recently reading something that I wrote when I came across the word "colliery".

I realized that I wasn't too sure what colliery meant and that I was probably misusing the word. So I looked it up.

Colliery: A coal mine together with its physical plant and outbuildings.

So I'm not really sure what word I was going for, but yeah, definitely not colliery.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Canada Post

On Tuesday at 3pm I mailed my dad a father's day card.

And it arrived in Thursday's mail.

It took less than 48hours to get from my mailbox in Victoria to my parent's house in Toronto. Go Canada Post Go!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

sparkley! and bunnies!

I saw this (obviously old) picture this morning and I was really drawn to the sparkles and the cut - although not Ms. Heigel so much, who looks a little weird.

Also - right now I am in the library - and right outside the window there are five baby bunnies, three black and two a tawny tan colour playing with each other. And my goodness don't I just want to go outside and pick them up and hug them. And feed them. And do my part to support an invasive species.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Dog Swimming with a Dolphin

Can you think of anything cuter?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Tonight Devin got final jeopardy right.

That is not what is impressive. What is impressive is that he got the right answer from the Category. Not the clue. The category.

The Category was "Great Chefs of Europe" or something like that.

And from the category alone, Devin knew the answer was "Escoffier".

I mean seriously. 1) I never would have known the answer in 100 years. 2) I have never got a right answer from the category alone. I am beyond impressed.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

more from Mr. Copeland

Heather: "Here's what I think: the five most unattractive traits in people are cheapness, clinginess, neediness, unwillingness to change and jealousy".

Douglas Copeland, Hey Nostradamus!

I don't know if I agree completely - but it is interesting to think about.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Over the past few days there has been a story in the news about a young boy named Alex Barton. Alex is five. He was recently diganosed with aspergerus (sometimes described as a milder form of autism).

One day, when he was in the vice-principle's office promising to stop disrupting the class (by crawling under tables, kicking tables, throwing crayons etc.) his teacher gathered the students to talk with them about Alex's (mis)behavior.

When Alex returned, his teacher, who had 12 years experience, made Alex walk to the front of the class, and asked him to listen to what the children didn't like about him. According to Alex, the children complained that he "eats paper, picks boogers … and bites his shoelaces," and the teacher herself said, "I hate you right now. I don't like you today." She then polled the class about whether to let Alex back in. Alex lost the class vote, 14-2, and spent the rest of the school day in the nurse's office. That night, Alex did not eat dinner and would not sleep in his own bed.

This story really struck me. In part for the obvious reason, the public shaming of a five year old. But also I can somewhat understand what it must have been like.

When I was eight, in grade three, there was a disruptive boy in our class, Mehran. Mehran was from an immigrant family which was less affluent then most of the upper-middle class white families whose children went to my elementary school.

One day, we all sat in a circle, while the student teacher, under the watchful eye of the regular teacher, had us all say what we didn't like about Mehran's behaviour. After a while he turned so he was still in the circle, but with his back to the group.

I remember coming home and telling my mother - and how outraged she was. I was eight. I didn't really understand why it wrong. I knew Mehran was disruptive, although his disruptions never bothered me. And I knew it made him sad that the group was saying bad things about him. But at eight, I didn't fully understand the abuse of power and violation of trust on the part of the teachers. I only wish that someone had understood. That someone had been able to speak out. To protect him. But we couldn't. We didn't understand. And neither did he. He couldn't protect himself. And the teachers, the ones in the room who were charged with the duty of care to protect him, were the one's responsible for this abuse.

After that day we had a jar on the teacher's desk. Everytime Mehran did something good the teacher would put a marble in the jar. When he did something bad a marble would come out. When the jar was full the class would get popcorn. So basically, the class of third graders was charged with monitoring the behaviour of one of it's members. Surveiling him to make sure he contributed to the greater good. Giving the rest of us a positive incentive, while further marginalizing one member of the group.

I left that school the next year, and from what I understand, Mehran didn't come back either. I have no idea what happened to him. I hope he is somewhere happy and thriving. And I don't know about the rest of my classmates, but I hope I remember the lesson of that day. The duty of the strong to protect the weak. And the strength to stand up for what is right - now that I have the critical skills to understand and a voice with which to speak.

Sex and the City

"Here at last were women who talked to each other the way women talk (fast, furious, filthy) and - this was important to me - fought with each other the way women fight. Not like the pseudo-friends, the frenemies, you see in countless films and TV shows, where the subtext is that women only relate until some guy comes along, or that we secretly hate each other. The Sex and the City women fought for good reasons: They called out Samantha about using sex as a distraction; Carrie about her masochism over Mr. Big (Chris Noth); Charlotte about abandoning her career. But they didn't fight to crap on each other, they fought to protect each other. And they were pained by it, and palpably relieved to make up."

Johanna Schneller's Kick-Ass Commentary on the new Sex and the City Movie for the Globe and Mail