Thursday, August 31


Bonjour/Hello. The most commonly uttered phrase in Ottawa. I now know that I could never work in that city because my french is atrocious. I spent four days there with the fam before coming back to school. None of us siblins had been there so it was an adventure. The city was probably the nicest, cleanest city I have ever been to.
As we drove into the city we passed a festival just moments away from our hotel. Wanting to get out of the hotel we unloaded and quickly went back outside to explore this 'folk' festival. Well we get to the gate and find out that its Ottawa's Pride festival. We didnt' pay to go in. I couldn't help but wonder if everyone I saw that weekend was gay.

Things confiscated from our family by Parliamentary security:
One hacky sack (brother)
One nail file (mom)
One bracelet with spikes (sister)
I was confiscation free.

Favorite place in the city: National Art Gallery. They had everything! They had a Chagall of a goat and it was fantastic! There were paintings and other pieces of art from the 1300s and you could stand as close as you felt you needed to. Although, they don't let you touch the walls. Woops.

Thursday, August 24

End of a Era

I have some grave news to report. The tiny frozen rock finishing off the solar system for us, Pluto, has been downgraded from Planet to "Dwarf Planet" which by definiotn is not a planet at all. Therefore the official decision puts the planets in our celestial neighbourhood down to 8. It is indeed a sad day.

On a lighter note I attended a a card making class at the local scrapbooking store. I left with some great ideas and really snappy cards. I was without a doubt the youngest person in the room of about 12 people. The woman beside me who kindly shared her glue and scissors with me was about 50. I think it was quite the social gathering as they happen about once a week so most of the women know each other. Its just one more step towards my becoming a middle-aged woman.

I had a great time hanging with the sibs today. We decided to hit up all of the thrift stores in the city. First the salvation army where my brother paid a quarter for a canary yellow Guinness world records from 1991. We went to a mall on the other side of the city that I have only been to once or twice and never consider shopping at and you know what? I've been missing out all this time! Its a little depressing upon entrance, the dim lights and empty benches made even more melancholy by the fact that the mall is beautiful but deserted. Once past all of the uninhabited store fronts however there were plenty of treasures. A fantastic book store with beautifully illustrated children's books and locally published works. A second hand music and book store with almost any record, CD or comic one could desire. My bro picked up an Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Van Halen and a few other records. Next door is a Red Apple. Like a Bi-way or giant tiger. I bought a sweet long-sleeved shirt with a hood (not to be confused with the thick material'd 'hoodies') and a tank for $15. Not too shabby. All in all, a good hang out day.

Ed note: if you glance rightwards to the blog-roll list it has been alphabetized by popular demand and to prove that I do not favour anyone. Or I appear not to.

Monday, August 14

CBC Radio

Over the summer I have taken a keen liking to CBC radio. It was the only radio station my boss would allow on in the office and the Jaxx likes to regale me with anecdotes from her favorite radio shows. Now I'm hooked. Which is good. It makes me feel intellectual, and gives me an option other than the general pop station and the country station (hey I like country but I can only handle the same 15 songs played ad nauseum for so long).

They have a new show for the summer about the english language called "and sometimes Y", i would recommend and listen. The other day they discussed whether there really is such a dialect as Canadian English. I did not hear the conclusion but I think I would be lying if I did not admit that Canadian English is no more than a patriotic creation to keep that tighten our ever-loosening hold on the 'canadian identity'...not that its a bad thing.

More to the point. I was driving home and heard some startling news. So startling that I thought I should share my opinion on the subject. A conference is meeting later this week to decide once and for all if the miniscule Pluto is in fact a planent at all. My position is, if it circles the sun, its a planet. Maybe I'll make t-shirts. Mvemjsnup, would all of a sudden end in a very unsettling "snuh" sound and the useful anacronym would eventually fade, become cliche, used only by those 20-somethings who can't let go of a faithful friend and continue to keep the P or the 40-somethings who have yet to be informed that the "P" is no longer relevant to this generation.

Who is going to tell the poor, confused fourth graders when they make their solar systems that there are only, in fact, 8 planets and everything they had been told before this time had been a lie. That carefully speckled styrofoam ball dangled on a bent close hanger, dangling past uranus (hey, don't snicker), carefully added right before bed to the horribly off-scale solar system, would actually earn them 3 demerits on their assignment for not having listened to CBC radio. Well it won't be me. My vote is, Keep Pluto. If you change its name will it not continue to circle the sun fairfully year by year (or every, what, 206 years?). Don't you remember what happen when you first found out that the Brontosaurus was not actually a species of dinosaur but a hoax? I rest my case.

Saturday, August 12

End of a Hiatus

You would think that after taking almost a month off from blogging I would have something interesting to report. Well, I'm done work. Last week. I had the exam for my DE class today. Frighteningly easy. I had to read it over and over to make sure I hadn't missed half the exam.
I took the exam in the basement of Sault College. One of two people. One of two Guelpites. Actually, one of two C4C'ers. Alex W. was the only other person in the room. Different exam though.

So its official, i'm free. I was at church on Sunday. Last week I had been talking to a friend from project (way back last summer, wow) about her going to a native community up north and doing a VBS. I was telling her how native people in the soo make up a reasonable percentage of the population (maybe 8%) but they are very marginalized. Most live in their own communities or in the reserves. Whenever there is a drunk driving accident (a cop was killed at the beginning of the summer, he had two young daughters) or someone gets killed on the highway (there are low speed limits through the reserves now because children would get killed on the highway) or someone hit by a train (two weeks ago) the whole community says:
"Oh my Gosh, thats awful, it could happen to anyone. Oh, it was a native person? That is too bad, you know, they should really stop drinking so much."
I worked at the Rotary club and regularly went to their meetings. There are over 100 members and I don't think any of them are aboriginal. By population estimates there should be about 10. But the thing is, the Rotary Club is made up only of managers and business owners. That is a community that native people are typically cut out of (at least from what I can see)

So anyway, I was at church. The pastor was talking about how even a little church at a univeristy in northern ontario that few people have heard of is making an impact for Christ, and impact in places like China through international students. A man stood up. He was obviously aboriginal, about 55, he was in town for a celebration at the school for the new aboriginal studies univeristy opening. He used to go to school in the soo. He became a Christian and began sharing the gospel with other native people all over the country, his life was changed. What he said to us after telling everything God had done for him, he forgave us. Me. White people. He said through Christ he could forgive all the hardships caused to him at the hands of white people. It sounds weird. Our community needs the forgiveness so we can put it behind us. I needed it for falling into the same attitudes towards them as the community; marginalized, a charity case.

I hope that made sense. I may have to come back and edit to get across the impact of his statement.