7:21 PM Comment0 Comments

Its a question I'm asking myself as the seasons are changing. So recently it was summer and now winter is knocking at the door. I want everything to slow down. Soon it will be time for exams, and time to think about my future in school (Yeah that's right I'm a little behind by.. two years). I'll be applying to places, and for scholarships (that is if my grades are any good). I still don't know what I'm going to do. But more and more I feel the pressure to get out of here. It started with my plan to visit my friend in Germany and has ended up with thoughts of leaving home for school (elsewhere in the province or country). It was only a month ago that I would have told people that I'm completely satisfied to stay at home for school. But not only would that get stale with them (parents) always needing to know where I am and when. Home, and dependence has just lost its appeal. Over the summer I made giant leaps. I tried new things in an attempt to define myself, and I'm finding myself satisfied to be who I am where I am and to continue on this journey of discovery and experimentation. This sounds like sex or drugs or something, but whatever, why should I change what I'm writing, to satisfy those who might stumble upon this? No. I'm okay with the way its written, straight from my mind, no stumbling, no edits, no nothing. Here's a poem I wrote "The Autumn Wind":

An Autumn wind blows with grand elation,
Full of new scents and sensation.
It starts off briskly with a chill,
And takes a peak with a thrill,
Damp leaves, and frosty leads,
Fresh gourds and pumpkin seeds
It takes a twist and a turn,
Where to go? It can't discern,
Headed in all ways at once,
Full of energy it runs,
Like a dream, not sure where,
Towards, some goal, without a care.
Moved forward by the coming freeze,
Saddened by the falling trees.
An Autumn wind blows without direction,
It only knows it seeks perfection.

My inspiration for this, is a long story. Well not particularly long, just dull, and long-winded. Its a story that includes 3 out of 4 of the public schools I grew up in and countless places I called home as a child. Its the story of me and every other average suburban teenager who has lived in the same place their entire life. Dressed as a zombie (weird I know) I somehow passed by and relived some of the most defining and changing moments of my life. Exploring under the stars, I discovered the playground of the school I spent 5 dedicated years working and playing. It was the most surreal thing to be back there 7 years ago under the light of the moon reliving the memories of a first grader, second grader, third, fourth and fifth. If I could have stayed there all my life I would have, because I grew there and changed there, and became the person I am today there. Some people may forget their old public school, but it is the most amazing thing to be back there, seeing first hand how much I have changed. It was one of the most eye-opening, experiences life has offered me, and it was all inside my own mind, my memories. That's my inspiration, for the poem. Its my journey, through life, and my favourite season, autumn. The season I live for, its a season full of fun, love and hard work. The weather ranges from beautiful to horrid, and autumn sees the most drastic but beautiful change. Maybe its my liberal roots, favouring change, truth and beauty. Or maybe it's just how I grew up. All I know is I love it. At the start I said I wanted everything to slow down, but even as I typed it, I knew it wasn't true at all. This is the way I want it. And also, I do want home, but home is not a building, or a place, home is an emotion, and a state of mind. I'm at home.

10:08 PM Comment0 Comments


9:10 PM Comment0 Comments

This is another addition to my Halloween Guide for Dummies (and foreigners).

Its come to that time of year again. The jolliest time of all. When children run door to door singing in a cornucopia of pitches, the merry Carol, "TRICK OR TREAT!" Its Halloween again. The only holiday worth celebrating. It has no religious undertone in fact some argue it goes against religion, and before I get all political its the only holiday that embodies the spirit of FREE CANDY! Now of course with candy comes many other aspects of Halloween. I already covered the Halloween costume and now I'll cover the Jack-o'-lantern.

The Jack-o'-lantern has a long history. In Ireland and Britain lanterns have been carved from vegetables and gourds for centuries. The lanterns were given their current name in 1837 in the United States and first associated with Halloween in 1866. Since the original menacing face was carved on a gourd centuries ago many more have been carved in the spirit of Halloween with the soul goal of making the scariest pumpkin.

Here is my how-to guide to carving pumpkins:
Step 1: Pick or buy a suitable pumpkin (shape depends on what you want to carve, but round is a good standard).
Step 2: Stand the pumpkin so the stem points up.
Step 3: Take a pumpkin carving knife or another suitable knife and cut a circle through the pumpkin exterior, with the stem at it's center. Make sure you cut at a slight angle pointing inwards (this will be your lanterns lid).
Step 4: Take a spoon or scoop and remove all the seeds and flesh from the inside of the pumpkin scraping it clean (these can be saved to make delicious snacks like baked pumpkin seeds).
Step 5: After removing all the pumpkin guts you can begin the fun part, carving the SCARY face. If you have a chosen design take a marker and draw said design on if not I have supplied the best design.
Step 6: First carve out two triangular eyes (point up).
Step 7: Carve another triangle for a nose in the center of the pumpkin (again point up)
Step 8: Now carve a large crescent with the points both pointing up (add as many teeth as you want but usually teeth are sparse).
Step 9: Carve a triangular hole in the lid as a chimney to let smoke escape and air in.
Step 10: Place a tea-light or candle in the bottom of the lantern and light it.
Step 11: Place your Jack-o'-lantern on the front porch to scare the neighbours.

There you have it, a scary Jack-o'-lantern to be proud of for more information or inspiration go to these websites:
Cool Jack-o'-lanterns
Gusick's Jack-o'-lanterns
15 Incredible Jack-o'-lanterns

10:51 AM Comment0 Comments

With Halloween coming up many of you are wondering. What can I be for Halloween? You've gone through all the cliché costumes like Dracula, witch, zombie and you don't want to be Michael Jackson, because you already know 6 people dressing up as Wacko Jacko, or even Zombie Jackson. So what are you left with? Well, you only have one choice. The costume SO cliché that its not. Ghost.

Here's My Step-by-Step Guide to making the perfect Ghost costume.
Step 1: Decide on the kind of ghost you want to be (eg. spirit, poltergeist, apparition, etc. this will affect your personality).
Step 2: Find an appropriate bed sheet (usually white or off-white, some light-greys and light grey-blues are acceptable as well; plaid sheets are not ideal; the purpose will be clear momentarily).
Step 3: Find the middle of the sheet. Make sure when you put your head in middle that the sheet covers all the way to your feet on all sides.
Step 4: Cut two holes near the middle of the sheet big enough to see through and spaced far enough apart for both eyes to be exposed (research your preferred type of ghost for ideal eye shape, eg. slanted angry eyes for poltergeist).
Step 5: Place the sheet over your head so that your eyes fit into the position of the eye holes.
Step 6: Now walk in front of a mirror or friend. Ideally it should look like you're floating (practice that supermodel walk).
Step 7: Give yourself a persona. Who are you? How did you live? How did you die? Why haven't you moved on to the afterlife? Are you haunting anyone in particular?
Step 8: Go out and make yourself heard (practice your creepy ghost noises). Try to appear out of nowhere scaring your friends and family.

Additional Options: For ideal Ghost effect fray the edges of your bed sheet to make it appear ragged. Also, bring the sheet up under your arms to define limbs leave some hanging for ragged effect. Mouth holes are also optional.

11:48 PM Comment0 Comments

This is my 10 Step plan to getting to Germany.
Pre-step: Organize the when and where
Step 1: Get driver's license (extra ID)
Step 2: Find reference's for Job and Passport (2/3 done)
Step 3: Apply to some of the various businesses looking for part-time work. (To earn funds)
Step 4: Voice my plans to the Parental Units (I'll need their cooperation)
Step 5: Fill out Passport Application
Step 6: Get picture taken and signed (For passport)
Step 7: Mail Application (to the nearest passport office)
Step 8: Research tickets (easy these days)
Step 9: Buy tickets (with money earned from job)
Step 10: Go to Germany (on a plane)
Post-step: Have fun, and try not to go broke. Again.

10:13 PM Comment0 Comments

Its nothing new. Everyone knows it. The media is the opiate of the masses. But no one has realized just how bad it is. Every single aspect of the media only serves to aid in building apathy in the youth of today. From the most frivolous materialistic tripe on MTV to a deep and thoughtful documentary about war-torn Sudan. The problem with the media we see every day is, we see it every day. It has become an everyday occurrence to hear about the troubles shaking a far off country. Blood and gore do not have the same effect as they used to. When footage of a genocide is seen alongside footage of Saw IV, the trivial becomes reality and reality becomes trivial. It all meets on this basic median level, entertainment. The opiate of the masses.

Its a problem that I've been hearing lately. Media tells us all these things that are happening in the world and all these evils that must be fixed. Media tells us to stand up and do something about it so this media can't be the opiate can it? No the opiate tells us everything is alright, not to worry, nothing can go wrong, just be happy. But that's where things have changed since the 60s. Unfiltered, raw media coverage of world events is now the norm, so we should all be very aware of the evils in the world. We should all be standing against them, right? But we aren't. The youth are mesmerized by the evils they see in Michael Moore's documentaries and movies like Hotel Rwanda and even Youtube footage of violence against peaceful protesters in Iran, but do we stand up. No. It stays in the back of our heads. We feel like because we saw Blood Diamond, and because we listened to a protest song by Rise Against or The Flobots, that we have done our part. Education is as far as we go.

Some of us will pass the information on, teach other people, tell them about what goes on in the world. But truly we are just introducing our friends to the opiate. Its come to a point where knowing whats going on in the world and learning to live with the fact you can't do anything about it is better than not knowing what is going on in the world around us. This is why even the most morbid and depressing of media is an opiate. If we know whats going on in the world we are less likely to go out and see it, and if we are less likely to go out and see it we are less likely to try and change it. Very few of us will ever, learn the truth, teach others, and go on to take action against the evil.

The other problem is when we confuse meaningful media with media that makes us feel good. An example that can be made is of Bob Marley. While Bob Marley does have quite a few protest songs, his songs are famously happy-go-lucky. There is value in music that promotes peace and love, but at a certain level it starts to give a false impression of peace and love and allows us to believe that everything is okay. Meanwhile wars are being fought all over the world and soldiers on route to fight in Iraq are listening to Bob Marley in their Jeeps to keep up their morale. Happy music does create or invoke feelings of happiness and satisfaction, so it can also, not kept in moderation, make us blind to the truth of the world around us.

So there it is, the source of all our apathy. Its the connectivity; the media bombardment we encounter every day. A mélange of good, bad, morbid, frivolous and earthshaking content. It all becomes overwhelming when we try to separate it into its respective categories, especially when we have to deal with the bad. So what do we do? On some unconscious level we mix it all together into the one category we can easily manage, entertainment. We become desensitized and our sympathies do not become actions or even often words. We have to be careful with our intake of media. We have to be sure to separate the good from the bad, the frivolous from the meaningful, and we have to consider what does it all mean? How does it affect me, and those around me, and others? These are all important questions for every concerned citizen. And finally if you want to break the cycle of apathy, what can I do to change this?

9:39 PM Comment0 Comments

So, Sony releases their slim version of the PlayStation 3. True innovation if you ask me. Where other companies look to innovate and provide a better gaming experience to users, Sony just says, "Well, we'll make our system smaller and more attractive, and everyone will buy it." So they put it on a diet, but it wasn't working so what did they do? Lowered the price to $299. They basically turned the PlayStation 3 into a cheap crack whore. But look at what the competitions doing. Microsoft is going to revolutionize gaming with Natal, the motion sensing, AI peripheral... that will cost users upwards of 400$. Okay, so Microsoft is innovating, but not doing much for the consumer's wallets. Then there's Nintendo, who's been fucking us all along. They had the technology for 1:1 motion sensing at the very beginning, but instead of releasing it on launch day bundled inside the little Wii remote they decided, "Hey, we'll let them play with half-assed motion sensors for two years and then when the novelty of flailing their arms randomly wears off we can make an extra buck off 1:1 motion sensing and no one will notice our clever trick." Also, how can the slim, HD, blu-ray playing, 120 Gb hard-drive PS3 system with 100 times more processing power than the Wii be only 100$ more than the meagre Wii? Finally, after 3 years Nintendo has agreed to a 50$ price cut that brings the Wii from 250$ to 200$... they could have done much better not to bundle Wiisports with it in the first place and sell it at 200$ then cut it to 150$ now, but maybe the economics isn't on my side here. What's one of the selling points for the Wii? Its supposed to be cheap. Its supposed to be accessible to everyones price-range, but you'll probably find that it quickly becomes more expensive than any system with its many peripherals. Between the console, an extra wii remote an extra nunchuk, classic controllers, virtual console/wiiware games, SD cards, 2 wii motion pluses, balance boards, a few games, maybe a few accessories a la Wii Zapper we're looking at upwards of... 600-700$. That's only if you don't want to go for the full 4 controller set. And whats this new feature in Nintendo games that allows players to skip parts of the game if they're too hard? Or to have the game play it for them? I thought game guides were bad, but now the actual game will play for me. That's just obscene, its an interactive media for a reason, you aren't supposed to watch it like a movie. Casual gamers are hands down ruining gaming. So Sony sucks, Nintendo is screwing us over, and Microsoft is... tolerable but still staying costly. What choice are we to make? Well, to be honest, the choice I should have made was not to get a gaming system at all, because I rarely play videogames these days. They just aren't living up to their hype and publicity anymore. The gaming industry has taken a long slippery slope since the hayday of Nintendo 64 and PS1. There was a point where the Big Three stopped being passionate about what they did and just started grabbing for money at every turn, that is the point where I stopped being passionate about gaming. I feel like, as much as the gaming crowd is "expanding" to new audiences, it is ultimately dieing because of the policies of these corrupt organizations. The new gamer is a gamer that gets bored after a week and moves on to new things, but these are the perfect impulsive people with disposable income for the gaming industry to market to. These people don't care about quality, they care about a cheap thrill for two minutes and once the companies have sold their system what do they care if it gets thrown in the garbage? Nintendo sure doesn't care about attach rates, considering the average attach rate is 0 for Wii (with WiiSports bundled). Hopefully someone will start developing for people who actually enjoy videogames, hopefully, this boom of casual gamers will prove unprofitable for the companies, and I can start to enjoy gaming again.

8:59 PM Comment0 Comments

This is, a fluff blog. A day where I feel I have nothing concrete enough, or good enough, or complex enough to write about at length. So I'll just talk. The difference between writing and talking? Writing, I try to be formal, and usually don't say the words I, me, etc. Talking, informal, unorganized, personal, biased (more than usual) subject to change. Subjects of the day, Olympics, destinations versus outcomes, and emotion.

So, in the news. Rio de Janeiro has earned the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. This is.. to say the least, exciting. Its the first time a South American country has hosted the Olympics, it is being hosted in city considered to be a developing nation. It is in short, a breakthrough.

A lot of people are surprised as Rio was the weakest bid and the strongest contender was Chicago. Personally, I was not surprised that Chicago was the first eliminated and Rio the ultimate winner. People don't want to see another American Olympiad they don't want to see a second in Madrid and they definitely don't want to see a third in Tokyo. Rio de Janeiro is exciting and new and what everyone wants to see. So it's a breakthrough, what can we expect for 2020? Maybe a city in the Muslim world, most likely candidate, Dubai. To be honest, if Dubai submits an Olympic bid, I feel that they will be the strongest candidate regardless of the competition, will they win? Who knows? Other exciting options are South Africa, unfortunately, extremely unlikely. Its not likely that Africa will host the Olympics for years to come.

Rio 2016 is a destination. A place I'd like to be. A place I hope to end up. Speaking of destinations, today I was thinking, about the difference between destinations and where we actually end up. There's a difference. We start at Point A and want to get to Point B. Point B is a destination, but regardless of whether we get there or whether we end up at Point C somewhere along the way our destination became something else. Not a destination, but I don't quite know the word. The most logical word I can think of is an outcome. But at the same time, it seems inadequate. So I asked, "If a destination is where you want to go, what is where you end up?" The answers I got: a destination (if you're lucky), Hell, emotion, an end, a beginning and I don't get it. All valid answers, reflecting optimism, pessimism, idealism, and even realism. Yes I'm just adding ism to the end of words to sound smarter. Jism.

I liked emotion though. In literal terms the answer doesn't make any sense in relation to the question. But it makes me think. Emotion drives us. Its what creates a destination, and also what makes us stray from our very plan and leads to our end or beginning or outcome. In four months I've had copious amounts of plans and destinations. In this time, I have reached, very few of these destinations, because of emotion. I realized that I have been consistently happy for several months, without even coming to any destinations. And its weird because it makes me sad knowing that I'm not experiencing the full range of emotion. It feels as though when you're happy, you lack the passion and emotion necessary to truly excel. If you're happy you're no longer improving. Hence, why I am sad tonight.

It sucks that my blog has become an emotional personal shittay blog that a 15 year old girl would write. Mmmm, Rio, Destinations and Emotions hurray!

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