Monthly Archives: March 2008

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Widely acclaimed for good reason. This doesn’t follow the typical sci-fi genre that most time travel stories automatically write themselves into. Nor is the focus “butterfly effect-esque” but actually deals very little with the possibility and rammifications of altering the past (thankfully, because it has been written, filmed, read and watched before).
The back alludes to the relationship between Henry and Clare that the novel centres on. Clare has known Henry her whole life and has been patiently waiting for him to become the man she first met when they meet for the first time (in Henry’s world) when he is 28 and she is 20.
It deals with the question “If you could know, would you want to?”. If you knew what would happen in the future and how it would affect the person you love could you hide it from them?

Throughout the novel we are shoved between times and from Clare to Henry and back to Clare so often that I started to forget who was talking and their lives became the same life lived in different orders. It is a beautiful love story and an easy swallow in just a few days.

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Champagne Birthday (minus the champagne)

March 23rd =’d my 23rd birthday. This is officially my 24th year and I keep worrying that this will finally be the year when I do silly things and people no longer say “you’re so young!”.

Thursday – Monday: Essex, near Windsor Ontario
Met the WHOLE family of the boyfriend. The wii bowling broke the ice. Along with a rousing game of scattegories and a home-made chocolate raspberry cheesecake to celebrate. This was the first time in a long time I haven’t celebrated my birthday in Guelph surrounded by my housemates and bestest friends and being crazy. This was a more mature birthday but good nonetheless. I definitely felt cared for and enough the centre of attention to satiate me for a while.

A successful bout of PMS without losing my crap as well so props to me. A certain someone typically gets the brunt of my erratic emotions and easily irritated character during that time. Funny how I never really thought I PMS’d until I was dating someone.

Meeting of the UN 12,000 years ago

Sure I would love to be original and have an opinion that differs from the mainstream but, in this case, I have to follow the pack. 10 000 BC: terrible. Since it cost $4 in the theatre last night I couldn’t back out of going to the show even if the movie looked that bad. Luckily I claimed the right to mock. Open mocking, loud laughter, even outright imitations in the theatre and not in my inside voice.

The first tribe you meet conveniently speaks English and looks like a group you might see on a Toronto bus. The beginning of a great prophesy brings another tribe on horses to capture most of the Agal (the first tribe) as slaves. This evil tribe happens to look very middle Eastern (and ugly, bad guys have to be ugly). The group of four (from the same lineage) that sets off to save the day has a white man, a Pakistani, one guy that looks Natice and a Black kid.

For some reason the other tribes are allowed to be of one race (many Black African tribes and a few that look like Indian Eunuchs). The horsed-men were collecting labourers to build their pyramids (this whole movie is an anachronism). Just don’t bother.

Its so hard to dump liquidy, milky chocolate in the garbage

9 days and I can eat chocolate again. About a month ago I realized that I was eating waaaay too much chocolate because it was around the house. So I stopped, until my birthday (which just happens to be on Easter, we aren’t talking Lent here). This weekend is busy for celebrating. Tonight is a sweet 16 for a friend’s daughter so I made marshmallows dipped in chocolate and rolled in graham cracker crumbs (oh how I was to try one). Tomorrow I have a shower for Amanda from work in the afternoon. The theme is drinking cosmos and giving her home-related gifts since they just bought a house (we grouped and bought a shop vac, sprinkler and cooking pot….woot). And then overlapping is a wild party for a young engaged at our church in the Penthouse of a hotel, swimming in the pool and eating good food. So I guess I should have just skipped the glass of milk and cheerios I just ate for lunch.

At the grocery store today I got to thinking (I am so guilty of buying cheap food: the cheapest massive bar of chocolate and the non-organic chickpeas): maybe our big problem with inequality in the economy starts with overproduction of food and low food prices.

Food is one of those things that we are going to buy no matter how much money we have. However, now is takes up a very small percentage of income in comparison to what it used to. In 1933 consumers spent %25 of their income on food. Now we spend less than 10%, of DISPOSABLE income (source). This has been great in improving nutrition (or would be even more if we ate the good stuff) and freeing up money to provide for shelter, education, clothing….and and and. The ”and’ is the problem. We now have the money to consume until our heart’s content (which is sort of an oxymoron) leading to environmental problems, wastage and a corporate culture that actually directs money away from the lower and middle classes into the corporate pockets and concentrating the wealth at the top.

So far here we are at. High food production and low food prices cause:
1) too much disposable income
2) cheap unhealthy foods linked to obesity
3) increasing culture of consumerism
4) culture of consumerism causing us to mass-produce everything with little regard for the environment
5) pollution
6) general discontent with all the ‘stuff’ we have (the story of stuff)

But there is more. It is ruining our economy. The demand for cheap food prices causes large corporations to agglomerate farmland and output so that one farmer can feed the same number of people with less land and well, fewer farmers. This has two major consequences:
1) less land for more food means pesticides and unhealthy soil. This in turn means unhealthy food that may be poisoning us and practices that are bad for the environment
2) fewer farmers are making a living off the same amount of land. One farmer stays and ten leave because if we want cheap food we can’t pay for expensive (and caring) human labour. These people need to then find work elsewhere. That means the cities (pollution and consumption) where they work for the corporations making the cheap food (or supplying it or the cheap products we also demand) but making less than they would have otherwise.

Now, this part also includes a great amount of globalization at fault and the exporting of employment. However, our society can run on services. Yes, to an extent. But there aren’t good jobs in most services unless you work at the top, and we all know the pyramid of corporate structure: there is so much less at the top than the bottom. If a greater chunk of the population was making a decent living wage in agriculture then they wouldn’t be in the job market for low-paying service jobs. We are having the carpet pulled out from under us and we can’t do anything. When there is no production left, where is the money entering our economy?

Maybe the rise in food prices does have its benefits. Although just paying more won’t change much if the system stays the same. The corporations that own the massive farms just make more money. No, we need to go back to small farms, with small but organic (or at least well-taken-care-of crops). This gives the money back to the farmers and creates real jobs. It also cuts off the supply of cheap sweet corn that goes into most of the cheap, nutritionally void food we buy in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

This was long. It seemed like a “stick it to the man” post. Maybe it didn’t make sense. It is a rather broad of conspiracy type theory. I still have to think it all over a bit more but I think that is one of the major downfalls of society today.

My Favourite Brother

I never pictured my brother turning into the sensitive environmental type. This is a quote from him this morning (while holding a wad of plastic from his recent purchase)

“None of this is recyclable, and that pisses me off”

Juno Should have Won

The evening wasn’t totally bust and my feelings of regret are minimal but I cannot recommend “No Country for Old Men” to anyone. When a movie seems to no point and lots of killing I tend to pass on it. It is actually one of the first movies in a long time that disturbed my sleep (I kept seeing the guy with the bad hair coming at me with his high pressure device). But if anyone ‘got’ the movie then I would appreciate an explanation.

A good movie though, a good movie is Benny and Joon. Wholesome, sweet, clean; a perfect early 90s, Johnny Depp romantic comedy. The characters are unique and quirky with adorable Aidan Quinn playing the older brother taking care of his schizophrenic (maybe manic depressive?) sister. Depp plays the random who moves in a changes the routine. This would be a good one to watch along with “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”.

Today I spent an hour or so at the local college for their Diversity Day. While many of the booths were for non-ethnic groups (pride, womYn, hearing society, etc.) there were some surprises. I ran into a group of Spanish speaking students from Ecuador and Mexico (there were also Korean, Ukranian and French students all taking Enlish at an adult learning centre). They even provided a good explanation for choosing such a frozen wasteland that is the Soo: they are forced to speak English since no community really exists from their homeland. So I guess there are a few advantages to being culturally homogenous (although not for me). Hopefully I get to hang out with my new Mexican and Ecuadorian acquaintances.

I though I was a master at awkward

over some greasy Chinese food in the mall food court after church today:

acquaintance (actually a really nice guy), let’s call him Jim

Jim: So, how long have you [and Mark] been dating?

Us: almost 9 months

Jim: So, why aren’t you getting married? (uttered with almost complete seriousness)

Us: uh….

Jim: Mark, what do you do?

Mark: I’m a librarian.

Jim: really? Cool. How much do you make?

Mark: uh, well I get by well….*jim keeps staring*….uh, you really want to know?

Jim: yeah *looks expectantly*

–a little later–

Jim: So, Mark, you’re what…23? 24?

Mark; I’m 28

Jim: nice, good job man! *high five/hand shake*. And, Katie, you’re 27 then?

–we also had a really good convo about his upcoming missions trip and a bit about Peru since he is interested in going. But really? I’m the one in my late 20s? I thought I had a few years before I had to start spending hundreds of dollars on wrinkles creams.

once in an easter on my birthday

All my clothes are clean. And put away.

Starting all over again

Yesterday i dropped a ludicrous $304 to apply for university. I don’t remember it costing that much the first time ’round…however I didn’t pay for it either.

1. Western: Bachelor of Arts: Linguistics
2. McMaster: Humanities: Linguistics/Cognitive Science
3. Queen’s: Application for 2nd degree, linguistics minor, advanced standing

I didn’t realize that some schools gave the option to apply specifically as someone looking to attain a second degree. Hopefully it means that they will give consideration to courses previously taken.

If i didn’t have to think about time and how many more years i would be in school (plus: what the heck will I do with this degree?) I may have applied for Spanish studies with an emphasis in ESL. That is where my passion lies. But then again, there are many routes to working in any field. Another knock to my pride, I may soon be a first year again. As a matter of principle I unchecked the box requesting residence information.

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