Tuesday, March 30, 2004

What strikes me as funny is how one such as myself can be so easily roped in to doing things. Not that I'm complaining because I tend to bring most of it upon myself.. but, well...I wonder if sometimes my ENFJ personality can be a bit of a burden. See, now apparently I'm the type of person that likes to help others out, likes to do it all, and tends to be a bit of an overachiever. Couple this with tendency to seek out others' approval and appreciation and you've got yourself a 'sucker-born-every-minute....a 'go-fer and a do-fer' that's me!. And you know..99% of the time I love it..I seriously do enjoy baking 10 banana loafs at a time, planning surprise birthday parties, editing resumes/cover letters, making big dinners for the gang, heck I'll even try to help someone find the best flight prices to Asia despite complete lack of travel agent skills

But, well...when one comes to realise that they are now doing for free what they'd been expecting to do as a part-time job only a few months ago..one tends to get a bit disheartened. I mean, I understand the limts of budgets and voluteering is great, but there are just some things I'd rather not do unless cash payment was involved - one of these things is speak in public.

Now, anyone who knows me well may be raise their eyebrows at self-proclamation that I am shy. Actually, come to think of it so would I, because I'm not really shy under most circumstances..I just don't like talking in front of big groups of people..particulary groups of local employers who may represent Shannon's future source of income. When standing at microphone I am reminded that I tend to talk at lightening speed..so in one way am reassured that even if my sentences are 'nonsensical', no one wil notice anyway, but on the other hand audience may mistake fast delivery for nervousness and judge me harshly :(

Oh well, what's done is done and it went over well. I got a free lunch out of it - although there really isn't sucha thing accrodig to economists, but what do they know. Have made mental note to carefully consider erquests for time/voice in the future, rather than be first one to eagerly rasie hand and accept opportunity to help out.

OK...onto other noteworty(ish) thingies:

I really don't deserve my big chocolate bunny now. I've been referring to him as 'Allen', when really his name is 'Allan'. To some this may seem a mere technicality, but what an ego-deflator for this Branded Bunny. Could he ever forgive me? I'd gamble on the side of yes..but I'm a wee bit biased. I almost took him home with me last night..but I was afraid I would suffer rejection with possible sidecourse of guilt. Am trying to convince myself that I should take him home and just put him away in safe place, so no one can get their hands on him. Ah, but I know myself too well..I'm too weak. I'd give in to temptation within 48 hours. So still he stays in the Superstore, with that ghastly price tag advertising that he is up for sale..anyone with $1.95 (plus taxes..as is legit business here) can take him home.

I received an extension on my Honours thesis..I didn't even have to grovel or plead or pay up front. Extra time was simply handed out (the Dean must have seen the desperation in my eyes). So I now have until April 8th to finish this lovely little paper, which, incidentally is a whopping 67 single-spaced pages at the moment. No, I'm never at a loss for words..although on occassion the right ones do ecape me

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Well, I've done it , I've found the perfect companion.

His name is Allen. He's the strong and silent type. Solid and dependable. Did I mention rich? And sinfully so? Top of the line in my books. Really, what more could a girl ask for?

I've been paying him more and more visits as of late, although I've yet to give into the temptation of taking him home. Not for lack of desire mind you, but a gal such as myself must maintain some willpower and dignitiy, no? Must admit, I do feel a bit stalker-like though, as my visits are more often than not of the walk-by type. I'm a bit reluctant to stop for any longer as Allen really is too irresistible for my own good. My biggest fear is that some other girl who doesn't have the same appreciation for his greatness will come along and snatch him from under my nose. Well, I am simply not going to let that happen, he deserves better....and I believe I've earned myself some leeway with regards to giving into temptation....

Soon enough Allen will be all mine to devour - all one pound of solid, milk chocolate Easter bunny. I've reasoned out that I have nothing to lose, can only gain from such an experience. Gain what you ask? The satisfaction of tasting milk chocolate in large quanitites, something I've not experienced since the heydays of my Eurotrip. And, yes, one pound of weight...but I concluded that one pound of chocolate can only result in one pound weight increase and I can live with that.

Sure, sure, I realise Allen is 'only' a chocolate bunny and has limited potential as long-term companion, but that's the beauty of it. He's disposable!!! And there are hundreds of others just like him in each and every grocery store across the country...an unlimited supply of Allens!!!

Now for all you other gals out there who are seeking the perfect chocompanion, let me just say this - the one-pound Allen is the only way to go. Nothing else will suffice, nothing else will give you complete satisfaction.

What about the Comet you ask? Sure, sure..the Comet is OK if you are on a tight budget and only looking for a little bit of sinfulness, but in the end you'd have to have 10 Comet bunnies to match the satsifaction derived from 1 Allen, and they laev an awful aftertaste.

What about the Lindt? Well, for those only interested in status and exterior appearances, maybe the Lindt is acceptable, but you know what? He's hollow on the inside, only a shell of a bunny. Hardly worth the big money he demands.

What can I say? I stand by my Allen bunny. He's the best bang for your buck and the most delicious treat out on the shelves these days.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Today I should have been working on my Honours paper. But I didn't. Instead I chose to make the day healthy, fun-filled, educational and gluttoness (in that order).

Healthy = Aerobics.
Fun-filled= tubing at Brookvale Ski Park.
Educational = Watching 'The Corporation'.
Gluttony-ess = 1/2 price appetizers at East Side Mario's

Right, so which turned out to be most shantastic? That's right, the Educational option!

The Corporation is an absolute must -see. I went in with pretty high expectations, they were far exceeded. Where to begin with explaining how disturbing, moving, eye-opening and inspiring this documentary is? I'm not sure I can give the film justice, you will just have to see it to believe it. But here's a bit about it to entice you (I hope):

It is a Canadian film and is out in select theatres now (City Cinema but only until March22!). It's already won a load of awards at fliim festivals including Sundance. A lot of the film is focused on Corporate America, but there is some Canadian content and much regarding the impacts of globalization.

There's a really interesting segment on how two investigative journalists for Fox News were harassed and eventualy fired for refusing to alter their investigative report on Monsanto's growth horomone for dairy cows.

Oh..and did you know that 9 years ago the US patent Office made an official statement that any living thing, aside from a fully-born human infant, can now be patented. And yes, the pharamceutaical companies are patenting human genes like crazy..within ten years a small number of huge corporations will literally and legally own the blueprints to human life.

There's another bit about the privatization of water...I think it was in Bolivia that they started privatizing water..these people who made $2 a day and could barely afford three meals were being forced to pay up to one quarter of their wages to purchase water...They couldn't even collect rainwater,not legally anyway. Huge protests were launched and in the end the power of a united people won, but not without casts - 6 dead and 175 injured...by their own government who sided with the corporation. And this was supposed to be the big victory/hope story of the film....Mind you it really was, but to realise that the cost of going up against corporations can be life itself is disconcerting to say the least

The film's commentators include (amongst many): Jeremy Rifkin, Ray Anderson (CEO of Interface..world's largest commercial carpet manufacturer and corporate do-gooder) and Michael Moore (BTW, he does have the last word in the film)

It's been likened to Bowling for Columbine and rightfully so. They are distinctly different in a number of ways, but in the end you are left with many of the same feelings - outrage, sadness & hope, and thoughts - its the end of the world as we know it, power needs to be put back in the hands of the people, corporations need to be accountable for their actions

A theme throughout the film revolves around looking at the corporation as a real person, since this is what the judicial system has essentially declared it to be. Based on the World Health Organisation's criteria for mental illness the coporation is diagnosed as a psychopath.

OK -well that's my movie plug. There are few films that have affected me like this one. I doubt anyone could walk away at the end of it unchanged in their views of capitalism and the so-called 'progress' it has brought about.

Friday, March 19, 2004

It's Friday morning, another week has simply flown by in a blur - this may be due to occurence of St. Paddy's Day mid-week. Here's a reflection posted on my webcourse discussion board - I swear this course is so therapeutic!

An Old Cherokee Teaches His Grandson About Life.

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It
is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One
is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority,
lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is
good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity,
humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity,
truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you - and inside
every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then
asked his grandfather which wolf would win.

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


Look at what you choose to do each day in your personal
and professional life. Which inner wolf do you feed?

You’d be wise to reduce the negative-feeding experiences
in your life, especially those featured in much of the
media these days. Stop feeding yourself extreme
makeovers, fear factor, gangsta rap, shock jocks, Judge
Judy, average Joe, millionaire shows, and “voting people
off the island”. Replace them with meaningful work,
volunteer activities, hobbies, exercise, learning,
travel, socializing, family time, writing, dreaming or
anything else that proactively enables you to express
yourself, connect and/or contribute to your community.

John Lennon sang, “You know that what you eat you are.”
This is especially true when feeding one’s soul.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Well...as it turns out Monday was a great day for another friend of mine too! So I'm sending out congratulations and best wishes to my long-time, brilliant, intelligent, hilarious gal friend, Schemida, for getting a great job with Fluor, which sounds a bit too much like a baking ingredient for my liking..but also sounds like an awesome company to work for. So Ms. Process Engineer is packing up her bags and heading West to Calgary, famous for its Stampede, proximity to the Rocky Mountains and cowboys, to take on the adventures awaiting her and shazam the socks off her new employers
Raeanne 'Lucky' Perry's account of her meeting with John Mayer and the rockin concert that followed. Hope that one day I too will have the chance to enjoy John live on stage..or elsewhere :) Thanks so much for the report and pics Rae!

Hello everyone,

Well I made it back from my journey to Montreal. Turned out to be a LONG day. Up at 7 a.m. and didn’t stop until I crashed in my bed at 1:32 a.m. So the following is a summary of that day (with the majority happening between 5:30 and 11:00 p.m.)

So day started off great, all set, didn’t forget anything! Got to work got a lot of work done in the morning, which was great, because all that needed to be done before I left and didn’t want a big to do list left at 2 p.m. just before I left. (Also turns out I wasn’t at ALL productive in the afternoon – I can’t imagine why?) So 3 o’clock rolled around and Sandra and I were rolling out of Ottawa – headed east on the 417. We arrived in Montreal just after 5, considering it was rush hour, we made great time and didn’t get stuck in any traffic. Found the Bell Centre without a problem… it was weird how it all came back from the UPEI trip a few years back. I’m happy to report that our good ole hotel is still standing on the corner of Guy and RenĂ©-Levesque.

So we arrived at the Bell Centre around 5:30 at which time Sandra and I were checking each other out, reapplying makeup, and making sure everything was okay. We got everything together (I had to remember three things: tickets, picture to get autographed, and camera) and after almost forgetting the camera, we went to Le Cage aux Sports for some dinner (another nice memory of the UPEI trip). Needless to say that I didn’t have much of an appetite… but managed to get something into me, and Sandra, being the smallest person with the biggest appetite I know, finished up my dinner as not to let anything go to waste.

From the restaurant we went to wait to get in. I was told I had to pick up my backstage pass at the “will call.” Now, why do they have to call it “will call,” nobody knows what “will call” is why don’t they just call it “the box office” because THAT’S WHAT IT IS! Anyway found the box office, got my pass and proceed to go find where I had to go. Found it fine and there were already some others there waiting, so we chatted while waiting for Scotty Crowe to come and get us. Those of you who are John Mayer fans will know he’s the one who writes the Road Journals on JohnMayer.com, he’s a great friend of John’s. Scotty came and got us, counted us about 8 times to make sure nobody was sneaking in. So once we were backstage (or if you consider where the trucks unload, backstage) John came around the bend looking oh so delicious. Dressed in jeans, and a bright green hoodie (very close to the colour of my shirt) and in serious need of a haircut (a little shaggy, but very cute nevertheless) he walked up to us very nonchalant. He was so down to earth and seemed very interested in meeting us all. He was so gracious. I was the third or fourth person in line to meet him. Our short conversation went as follows:

John – “Hi there”
Rae – “Hi, how are you?”
John – “Great how are you?”
Rae – “Great thanks. I’m Raeanne.”
(Takes my picture to sign)
John – “Raeanne?”
Rae – “Yeah, I’ll just spell it – R-A-E-A-N-N-E”
John – “What show is this picture from?”
Rae – “Ottawa, last fall”
John – “Great!”
Rae – “Yeah it really was great!”
John – “Thanks!”
(Turns to pose for picture with me)
Rae – “Thanks so much for this”
John – “You’re welcome!”

So yeah that was about it. Another girl who talked a lot gave him a scratch ticket because of what he says in the commentary on the Any Given Thursday DVD (Becky, you are probably the only one who knows what I’m talking about). I snapped a few pictures of him and Scotty while he was signing and talking to other people. And that, my friends, was the extent of the “Meet and Greet” – short, but most definitely SWEET.

So I was off to find Sandra who I left somewhere… where though? Found her without too much trouble and we proceeded to find out seats. Fourth row, slightly off to the left. Turned out to be great though, perfect angle to see John’s face when he’s singing. Guster opened the show. A great band – I thoroughly enjoyed – check them out!

John came on stage at about 8:45 to a shrill of excitement from the crowd. I was quite calm, as I had already seen him. He started out the night with Clarity, his current single or what I like to call the “a woo hoo” song. Next song out right out of the block was none other than Why Georgia to which he worked a little “Portable” into (those of you who have the live CD, Any Given Thursday, it’s the intro that begins Why Georgia. Next was Something’s Missing that had a little something extra inserted into it (an old song I knew, but it escapes me now – he added little bits of other songs into his songs all night – if you want to know all the songs, let me know and I’ll find out). Next was none other than City Love. The line that normally goes “She keeps a toothbrush at my place… As if I had the extra space” turned into “She keeps a tampon at my place,” it got a few laughs. Next was No Such Thing, which always sounds great. After No Such Thing the band left and John was left playing Home Life acoustic – sounded incredible. Band returned and John said to the crowd the next song was Comfortable, which got a HUGE cheer (especially from me) only to turn around and play My Stupid Mouth instead. It was great though, no complaints. Next, John did an amazing jam, UNBELIEVABLE, he was totally showing off, playing all this crazy stuff, with one hand and backwards, etc, etc – it was a Stevie Ray Vaughn song and then he went straight into Come Back to Bed – very fitting, both very bluesy songs. Next was the very upbeat, Bigger Than My Body. He followed that up with a brand new song that will be on his next album, called Hummingbird – a great song that doesn’t disappoint. Next was the crowd favourite Your Body is a Wonderland. The night wrapped up with an incredible 83, which showcased John on drums at one point! The encore featured the beautiful song Daughters sung with just acoustic guitar, keys and drums (instead of the full band) he closed out with Back To You – Awesome.

And that was the night. At the very end, a girl threw her bra up on stage. He thanked us for our “support.” Another great line from the show included “Thanks for coming! You can burn CDs, but you can’t burn tickets.” He had some other great stories, including about how he loves us and not enough artists love their fans because they’re looking at themselves too much, he related it to going to the Grammys this year somehow, but I forget parts. He had another great one, where some members of the band played background music – really fun! He just told a story (just made it up) about JJ (the drummer) and how he found his first drum set in a junkyard…

Anyway, all in all the show was AWESOME. I have to say Becky (sorry) but this show was so much better than Ottawa. He seemed to be in a better mood or something… I don’t know… He kept throwing in other songs (a lot of Police stuff) into his songs. He was more talkative… There was just something about it.

Aanyway, I hoped you enjoyed this lengthy report (can you believe I left some stuff out)!

Friday, March 12, 2004

For each additional day I remain on PEI, without reprieve from this cocoon-like existence I become more aware of the fact that I should have been a geriontologist. With all the 'mature' people inhabiting this Island, I'd be guaranteed a freakin job. They're everywhere, they've infiltrated every single institution, social arena, shopping centre and, worst of all, the Island's highways (or is that singular) and backroads. Even places that could once guarantee a young person escape from wrinkles and grey hair are now becoming the 'older person's domain.

Trivia. Now there's a good example. Who'd expect older people..the kind with respectable jobs and kids and maybe a mortgage, to be out on Friday night answering questions re: movie tag lines and the % of American women who would have breast augementation if their boyfriends paid for it (30% BTW)? Not me, that's for sure. But they're there..they come in droves and they leave with all the bar tab prizes..leaving the younger teams to vie for third place..the coveted Greco Party Pizza. Even more disturbing than the fact that the overwhelming majority of persons at trivia are over 40..is the fact that they are in denial about their age and, in some cases, their gender. For instance..the Hot Chicks team..well, in my humble opinion..they're not quite sizzling, and one of them is a gent. Bruce to be exact . He's been off the cigarettes for a year and recently lost 8 pounds. So we all give him a round of applause and I start wondering whether I might have walked in on a BBA meeting - Baby Boomer's Anonymous

Then there's the gym..with all its space age machines and hydraulics..its enough to make even a youtful perons like myself a bit apprehensive about stepping foot on the floor. Well..there they are again..all the maturely aged people in their spandex and headbands. Some are walking a snail's pace, but most are running a good pace or cycling up a storm..without breaking a sweat. Now don't get me wrong..it's great to see them taking their health seriously and being active..but, well, what is it gonna be next - the Elderly Olympics?

And the topper? The blatant, over-the-top, atrociously obvious amount of flirting that goes on. You see it everywhere - the man in the white T-shirt and green sweats, leaning up against the elliptical, trying to chat up the lovely little lady..or the semi-inebriated, moustached man cozying up to one of the Hot Chicks and distracting her from the trivia game in progress.

Well, I guess I'm not the only one that has noticed the prevalence of this courting behaviour, because now we've got Social Adventures. Yep, that's right PEI's got speed-dating. Speed dating..what is that you ask? Well, can't say I've ever participated in it myself..not officially anyway..but goes something like this..you get a room full of guys and a room full of girls together. The girls sit at tables and the guys do some sort of fancy rotation-like thing..spending 10 minutes with each girl (I'm not sure..do they blow a whistle when its time to move on to the next victim..er..girl I mean?) At the end of the evening, the gals write down the names of the guys that piqued their interest and vice versa..then each perosn finds out who was interested in them. Right, so I first came to learn of this new dating phenomenon while in the hip&happening city of Dublin. From what I gathered, speed dating was for 20-somethings,maybe 30'somethings and often took place at a pub.

But not here on PEI. Nope, speed-dating here on PEI is reserved for those in their forties, fifities..the Golden Years. Now, perhaps I'm being a bit unfair, but doesn't the name 'spped-dating' seem to conflict with the target age groups? I mean, wouldn't these in-need-of-romance people get tired of the constant rotating, the high-paced conversation? Would they even remember who they'd met by the end of it? I know I'd have trouble recaling faces/names..of course, this wouldnlikey be due to consumption of alcohol...

I don't know, it just all seems a bit out of sync to me..but, the again, it is PEI. The old rule and the young..well, they leave....and come back when they're old, so they can rule the roost. What lovely little circle of life we have on the Island.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Ah..have made it through another week, only to be confronted with the weekend. To be somewhat (rather than completely) honest, I've become quite indifferent to which day it is. It made all the difference in the world when I was 'working' in the real world. Monday..well, let's not even speak of it...it was never pleasant. Thursday on the other hand, oh wonderful Thursday - precursor to all good things, foreplay to sinfulness (ie. alcohol consumption, sleeping in, having a hang-over, being lazy, over-indulging in food and other good things)a . But now, with obligations limited to completion of Honours and webcourse, days have lost their individual identities. Now they represent only one thing: Certain Doom/Failure when March 29 arrives and 50 page paper is only 5 pages complete. Sigh.

Thursday past meant dinner and a movie night for me. We decided to see 21 Grams, an intense drama starring Sean Penn, Naoim Watts, Benecio Del Terro (sp?). Anywho, jury is still out on whether it was worthwhile to see. Depressing? Definitely. Acting? Superb. Storyline? Interesting enough, however excessive use of time sequencing was probably more confusing than it was artisitc. Anyhow, point is not whether I enjoyed movie...point is that this movie was actually playing in Charlottetown. Now, if one were to peruse the Empire Theatre listings, one would be hard pressed to find 21 Grams. That's because it's playing at Charlottetown's other, oft forgotten theatre, City Cinema. Unfortunately, its existence is recognized by a rather limited number of Islanders...namely the 'artsy' crowd and a few wanna-be movie buffs like me. Even more disturbingly, this fabulous, locally-owned business has been Christened with a nickname which, while slightly clever, is rather unappealing 'Shitty Cinema'. Well, in any case, this quaint little cinema with affordable ticket prices and appetizing concession treats serves up one thing that can't be guranteed at Empire Theatres - quality films...those gems that seem to fly by the mass-audience appeal radar for whatever reason, but tend to end up collecting at the Film Festivals, Academy Awards and Golden Globes.
This month's highlights include 'The Corporation', 'In America' and 'The Barbarian Invasions'. I suggest, no, I insist, for your own viewing pleasure, that you take in a picture at the City/Shitty Cinema (and get some Red Nibs for a treat..yummm!!)

In continuing with artsy theme, must also suggest checking out The Buzz on regular basis for best info on local arts & entertainment (including listings for all karaoke and trivia nights around town!!) You can pick up a free copy just about anywhere, or check them out online.

Right, so my brain is on aspartame (perhaps this is reason for sudden interest in all things artsy). Yes, have discovered that secret to weight loss is continuous consumption of Diet Pepsi and chewing of Sugarless Trident gum (cherry-flavoured is best..Peppermint works in a pinch) Unfortunately, side effects have been occuring on regular basis and include, but are not limited to, throbbing headaches, hyperness (even more so than ususal) and sore tongue (following consumption of 16 sticks of gum within one hour period). Vow to find new 'weight loss miracle' Actually, 1 hour/day at gym and avoidance of sugar/baked goods has been working fabulously... so perhaps vow should be to ween myself off aspartame....

Ms Raeanne Perry, formally of Summerside, PEI, currently of Ottawa, Ontario will be making history (and conjuring up jealousy of certain friends) when she officially goes backstage to meet John Mayer, prior to Montreal concert appearance. Suffice to say, with fourth row seats and lucky win of coveted Meet&Greet, Raeanne has got lots to smile/squeal about. Envy is disipating slowly but surely. Narrative of event will be posted in future. Stay tuned

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

20 Questions on Music
An idea stolen from someone else's blog. Will demonstrate my musicality..(is that even a word??) or lack thereof...

1. Your favorite song with the name of a city in the title or text.
'Barrett's Privateers' by Stan Rogers. Good ol' Maritime foot-stomping song that mentions Halifax (Nova Scotia).

2. A song you've listened to repeatedly when you were depressed at some point in your life.
"Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley & the Wailers. Used to think it was called 'Every Little Thing is Goonna be Alright).

3. Ever bought an entire album just for one song and winded up disliking everything but that song?
'Godzilla' soundtrack..for 'Come With Me' By Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page.

4. A song whose lyrics you thought you knew in the past, but about which you later learned you were incorrect.
Can't think of any off hand - have slight tendency to deny making mistakes..so may have repressed such memories. Do recall a friend thinking wondering why the Beatles would write a song about a 'Paper Bag Writer'. ..Sigh. Amateurs- it's 'Paperback Writer'

5. Your least favorite song on one of your favorite albums of all time.
'Donkey Riding' on Great Big Sea's 'Play'..although it is starting to grow on me..just have to block out the images that it conjures up..

6. A song you like by someone you find physically unattractive or otherwise repellent.
'Purple Rain' by Prince. He's not repellent, but, well, he's not exactly attractive either

7. Your favorite song that has expletives in it that's not by Liz Phair.
"Fuck Her Gently" by Tenacious D.

8. A song that sounds as if it's by someone British but isn't.
Anything by Bruce Cockburn. I don't know, don't ask. Just think he sounds/looks British

9. A song you like (possibly from your past) that took you forever to finally locate a copy of.
Am not ambitious enough to seek out songs...they will come to me in time if it is meant to be.

10. A song that reminds you of spring but doesn't mention spring at all.
'You Can Call me Al' by Paul Simon...actually the entireity of his Graceland CD reminds me of spring.

11. A song that sounds to you like being happy feels.
'Day-O (The Banana Boat song)' by Harry Belafonte

12. Your favorite song from a non-soundtrack compilation album.
'Do You Love Me?' from my recently re-discovered Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971. The artist eludes me at the moment., but what a great song to dance to! You know it..'Well baby, I'm back to let you know..I can really shake em down. ..Do you love me now that I can dance.' OK..probably these lyrics
can be used to answer #4..but you get the gist.

13. A song from your past that would be considered politically incorrect now (and possibly was then).
'Imagine' by John Lennon. I don't know ..is it politically incorrect? was it ever? It's all perspective I suppose

14. A song sung by an overweight person.
Oh..am tempted..am very tempted...but won't let myself say it. How about 'What a Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong. I don't know..maybe he was just a wee bit chubby??

15. A song you actually like by an artist you otherwise hate.
"That Don't Impress Me Much" by Shania Twain. Not that I hate her..she's Canadian after all..and not that I really, really like this song..but it's catchy..

16. A song by a band that features three or more female members.
"Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles

17. One of the earliest songs that you can remember listening to.
"Burning Down the House" by the Talking Heads. Surprisingly I've grown up with slight fear of fire

18. A song you've been mocked by friends for liking.
'Deeply Dippy' by Right Said Fred. Can't help it..memories attached..

19. A really good cover version you think no one else has heard.
JohnMayer's 'Message in a Bottle' or 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun', by The Police and Cyndi Lauper respectively. Am quite sure Raeanne has heard these covers..but will say more re: her & John in another post (still too jealous at the moment). Oh, and Gav too..since he's the one who got me hooked on Message

20. A song that has helped cheer you up (or empowered you somehow) after a breakup or otherwise difficult situation.
So many to choose from...'You Oughtta Know' by Alanis Morrisette, 'I will Survive' (Arethra ?), "Wild Women Do', 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' Cyndi Lauper', 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' Bobby McFerrin.....they've all had their moments!

Monday, March 01, 2004

It's the beginning of March, which means one of the inevitables/certains in life must be faced. Yes, it's that time of year again - its Tax Time!!!!! I can't believe a year has passed since I last filled out one of these utterly-confusing -and-complicated-for-no-reason-other-than-to-makes-us-plebes-believe -the-government-has-a-whole-building-full-of actuaries-and-economists-working-to-ensure-that-each-and-every-Canadian-citizen-pays-their-fair-share-when-really-they-just-stick-to-the-people-in-the-middle-income-bracket income tax returns.

Oh dear, I'm becoming cynical at such an early age. I shouldn't be complaining in the least, the government is pretty friendly to us students and I've been getting nice refunds these past few years. Plus, I did work for the CCRA last year and actually enjoyed it, perhaps because we were helping people do their income tax rteturns and they were usually guaranteed a refund due to being in low-income bracket. My only complaints re the tax thingie:

1. Why am I paying CPP?? By the time I am old enough to collect CPP, it will no longer exist. We're simply paying for the baby boomers to live out a comfortable retirement. I'm sorry, but the demographics speak for themselves- we won't be getting any Canadian Pension, heck we probably won't even be allowed to retire until we're 75.

2. Why do I have to claim income I made while living outside Canada? I wasn't in Canada during that period of time to take advantage of the services that are supposed to be provided through taxes (eg. health care) and had to pay for these services through travel insurance.

I guess I should have asked Brian of CCRA these questions when I called up with a few queries yesterday, but he was just too nice and I'd already taken up a half hour of his time. Guess the intricacies of income tax will just have to remain a mystery.

All that being said, and I apologise for slight seriousness of above paragraphs, I've discovered a way to make the tax filing process quite a bit less stressful - its called software!! I used QuickTax last year..it's great, but it costs about $40. If you're like me (cheap....when it comes to paying money to file your taxes!!), then I suggest visiting U-File. It's a great website based program that does all the calculations - all you have to do is answer some simple questions and then pay $12.95 plus taxes to either Netfile or Print it.

The other option, for students or persons with simple returns and income of less than $25,000, is to visit a CVITP tax clinic organised by the CCRA. A volunteer does your taxes for you and submits it electronically, so it is super fast. Just check with local CCRA office to find info regarding location and times of clinics.

There, am finished! My educational post for the week. Hold the applause..no, really, I insist. Oh..well..if you must....if I can be of any more assistance...