Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Aging Disgracefully

Tonight, on all Hallow's Eve, I found myself reminiscing about, well, childhood and the annual promise of a pillowcase overflowing with mini chocolate bars, lollipops and bags of chips. Costuming for the night of trick-or-treating was always given the utmost consideration and concentration. In the end, it was usually Mom that put in the most hours, using her creative genius and the sewing machine to turn me into a black cat, angel, leprechaun, gypsy. Once Sara and I were in full costume and makeup, we'd pack up our bags for the night (always hopeful that one would not be enough!) and hop in the old Volvo for our candy excursion. Some years we scoured the countryside and lucked out, with neighbours dumping entire bowls of candy into our cases or rummaging through the pantry until they found canned pop or some other elusive treat that would be bragged about the next day on the playground. Other years we went to Kensington and stripped the streets of Suburbia, counting on getting loot through sheer volume of households covered rather than through generosity at every door. Once curfew hit, we'd head home and dump our bag(s) of treats on the livingroom in two piles. Then we'd methodically organise our loot by candy type - chips in one pile, choclate bars in another, packaged candy in another and, of course, the 'undesirables', which most often included raisins and floss. Finally, we'd start the negotiating/trade process. It's a good thing Sara and I didn't like the same types of candy, because we both left the bargaining table (or floor) believing we'd gotten the sweeter deal. Candy was then consumed in mass quantities and walls were bounced off for days to come.

When did the appeal of this ritual wear out? When did I decide I was too old to dress up and go candy hunting? I'd like to say it was when my sister began refusing to join me, but no matter, at some point I would have resigned myself to that fact that trick-or-treating was not acceptable at my age.

This year I bought Hallowe'en candy for myself, dressed up in a somewhat riske costume, hit up a couple of house parties and drank too much wine. It wasn't nearly as fun as going out on October 31st with my big sister , both of us in costume and freezing our fingers off in the bitter cold of a Canadian autumn, receiving 'oohs' and 'awws' from the adults that opened their doors to us and gave us candy for no particular reason, sorting out our treasures and then begging Mom to let us have more than one for lunch the next day..and every meal thereafter!

It's funny, in the crossover from childhood to adulthood we willingly relinquish so many rituals and beliefs with little more than a short-lived sense of resignation before embracing the rituals of adulthood. We give up planning Barbie weddings, in favor of planning our own;we stop believing in Santa Claus, telling ourselves that there is no magic in this world; we stop painting the sky purple because it's supposed to be blue.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Global Warming...oooh..Sorry, I Mean Climat Change

So I have a TV with 60 channels and I'm watching the Fifth Estate on CBC. Go figure. I haven't watched more than ten hours of t.v. since I got home in June, but I'm glad I flipped it on tonight.

Right, so tonight the topic of discussion is global warming and, more specifically, how big business and government have employed spin doctors to raise doubts about the scientific validity of claims that the Earth is heating up. The Bush administration recieved direction from Frank Luntz, who studies the impact of language on people's reactios. In 2000, Luntz wrote a memo for the Republican party, advising them on how to talk about global warming. Actually he suggested they call it 'Climate Change' because it is less threatening and seems like something that is going to happen over a longer period of time. Someone recently challenged me as to the fact that people aren't using the term global warming anymore (although they actually are in places like Australia..just not in America), implying htat perhaps it was because there wasn't sufficient evidence of global warming. Well, nope, it just looks like the Republican party was actually successful at spinning the term 'climate change'., But, well, a rose by any other name....

Anyways, I think it's 'cute' that this debate is still going on about the existence of global warming, when evidence is taking place every day in the form of catastrophic fires, record droughts, unusually high temperatures, super extreme storms, etc. A couple of years ago, I had a hard time talking about global warming with anyone, becuase most people still wanted to believe it wasn't happening, but now I think the proof is too prevalent for the majority of people to ignore. Those that continue to question it are either looking to get a good night's sleep (read Michael Crichton before heading to bed), or have simply been exposed to an excessive amount of 'Luntz' spin via the media, business and government. This was going to be a rant, but I am too tired, so I am going to sleep instead!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I'll be the first to admit that my blog is self-censored. Whose isn't? There are simply some subjects that are not for public consumption. But then, if a blog is supposed to be a journal, and you're skipping the real meat of what's going on in your head and heart, well that begs the question - what's the point? Why am I writing a blog that is, for the most part, self-censored and self-centred at the same time?

And the answer, I have come to realise, is that I am self-censoring for ME, moreso than I am for anyone who might be reading this blog. By choosing to journal on a public forum and neglect any private journalling, I am really censoring myself from delving too deeply into my thoughts and feelings. The only time I ever journal privately is when I am travelling for lack of access to the Internet and when I read these pages back, it's damn revealing. And sometimes inspiring. And sometimes embarrassing. But it's all there in ink and for my eyes only.

So where does that leave me with blogging? Well, I still like All Shanadian, it gives me a chance to bore people without having to look into their eyes while I do it. Kidding. Now I am being self-depreciating. Sometimes I blog things that people indicate they found to be insightful or inspiring. Those are the posts where I let my emotions reign free (only the positive ones though!). I also like rereading my blogs to remind myself of what I've done and where I've been. My memory is fading fast with age. So, in the end, I think I will have to continue blogging, but take on the private journal too. All that being said, I *may* decide every once in awhile to blog more candidly than I have in the past. Just so you are forewarned.

Yawn. I am tired. I was tired when I started writing this, and I am tired now. yawn. yawn. yawn.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Gastronomical Overload in Toronto

Is it possible to gain 5 pounds in 5 days? I hope not, but my belly tells me I may very well have accomplished this feat. I look forward to many, many hours at the UPEI gym starting tomorrow.

Thanksgiving 2007 was spent in Toronto with my friend, Andrew. I flew up to TO on Friday evening, after the most hectic week I've had in a VERY long time.

It all started well enough last Saturda with me gratefully accepting Mom & Jim's old computer, and a desk & chair from my newly acquired friend, Ryan. Then on Sunday I arrived home after an afternoon with my Dad, to discover a TV and stand sitting in the livingroom - on loan from the fabulous Patersons. So yeah, I was all hooked up by Sunday night, with my new desktop and 60 channels of TV to flick through. Woohoo!

Monday started out innocently enough, with work somewhat busy, but not overwhelming. Then, somewhere between Monday and Wednesday things started to get a little crazy. To make a long story short, I had to enrol in a UPEI course....which meant I had a month's worth of work to catch up on and no text. This was Thursday's fun little adventure. I'm also in the midst of applying for a couple of scholarship and had to pack and do other things like eat, work out and work. Anyways, in a nutshell - it was a crazy week and I was looking forward to a relaxing long weekend in Toronto.

So...Toronto's been enjoyable, although I do have to admit that I still prefer medium-sized cities, small towns and the countryside to BIG cities. Anyways, Andrew happens to like cooking and baking as much as I do, so we spent a good portion of the weekend in his lavish, massive kitchen cooking up pot roast, a turkey dinner, portobello mushroom stacks, cookies and other things that I can't even remember, but which I know were both sinful and satisfying to the palate.

Did I mention that on Monday, the temperature was a sweltering 36 degree in Toronto?? If that's not global warming, I don't know what is. We ended up at a pumpkin patch farm, where we picked everything except pumpkins - they even had raspberries & freaking OCTOBER! Cooking a turkey dinner in the heat was super fun.

Today we rented a car and headed down to the Niagara region for some wine sampling and sightseeing . I had fun at the wineries, although I wish Andrew hadn't had to be the DD, as it's never as much fun to drink alone. We stopped in Niagara Falls and I couldn't get over how ridiculously tacky it was - seriously, get me on that city planning board, I want to make some changes! Went to the Hershey store -had high expectations, but was completely underwhelmed by the store - namely because of the super high prices. I did, however, love Niagara-on-the-Lake, a much classier, very quaint town. Reminded me a lot of a town in Michigan...right down to the plethora of fudge/chocolate shops.

Yes, yes, I did eat chocolate and candy this weekend -waaaaay too much of it. Andrew doesn't believe that I resist such foods at home, he's convinced I'm addicted to candy. I've given up trying to convince him otherwise - every time he sees me, I am celebrating a special occassion (eg. birthday Nibs!) or on vacation.... And it's not entirely me fault - I mean, he was the one who mentioned the Annual Candyland event at the Runway 224 bar on Saturday night. I was pumped, because the ads said the whole bar would be covered in candy & chocolate. When we arrived to discover four tiny piles of candy at each of the four corners of the rectangular bar, I have to admit I was truly disappointed. Luckily, we hadn't paid the $15 cover charge, or my disappointment 'may' have turned into a stronger feeling. As it was, we simply left early and found ourselves in the midst of an extremely heavy downpour. Good grief, weather in Toronto is crazy.

I am tired and have to fly tomorrow. I also have work to do. Boo. Good night.