Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Meeting With Tommy Chong - Reasons Not To Smoke That Much Marijuana

So today I was dragged down to the bookstore on behalf of my twin brother, by James' two friends. I don't usually have to be dragged to the bookstore, and they probably aren't used to dragging people. This was because Tommy Chong (of the infamous stoner duo Cheech and Chong) was doing a signing. Right now, Cheech is singing for the amazing reality TV singing spinoff, Celebrity Duets. This features some D-listers, and washed-up celebs trying to sing with desperate for money credible legends like Smokey Robinson, and crappy popsters, like that female country singer I can't remember the name of. And there's Little Richard too!!! Chong is signing his autobiography at independent bookstores in Calgary. That, kids is why you base your career around being young and smoking pot. You will be sure to go far.

So James' friend bought the 30$ book, probably'll help the old guy with his retirement. We walked up the stares, and the excitement brewed as we saw a pleasant looking old man with a slow voice, who could be anyones grandpa. Now we get in the two person line, and wait to get Chong to sign the book. Behind us are these punks who smell like pot and have dreads and leather jackets. We look like a couple of nervous teenagers. So Chong signs the book, he's very nice to us teenagers, asks us our names and is good when James' friend asks him to sign it for all of us. He can't spell the last three letters of my name, and he doesn't understand when I say I'm there on behalf of my brother cause he's at drumming. Oh well. He was very sweet though, and he didn't snipe at us like some adults do. I came out of the book store grinning, washed up celebrity encounters put a smile on my face. Hey, but I gotta give the man credit. He's not on a crappy D-list show, and he wrote a book about prison after spending years smoking pot. I'd rather him be my grandpa then a 65-year old version of one of those punks behind us.

What a couple of QT's.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Everybody Knows

Okay, I'm not sure what Everybody Knows, but I'm listening to this specific song right now (at least the Rufus Wainwright cover) and I figured it might be a good title, because I quite enjoy titles and I can't think of anything else to write as a title. I suppose this song is kinda relevant. This song has I kind of rich get richer, poor get poorer feel to it. Which fits appropriately with my topic of Starbucks. It's not about how I never go to Starbucks because I think it's immoral (that's a dead lie) or how a love Starbucks, think it's great and go there every day (not a huge lie, but it's definitely untrue). If you hate the fact I go to Starbucks sometimes once a week, just don't read this.

Anyways, I sometimes I go to Starbucks once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. Point is, I go to the exact same Starbucks and I'm pretty familiar with the Barista's. One of them has blonde hair, one played the Smiths for me once, and there's one with short hair and stubble and a round face. So my mom was there the other day, and Mr. Shorthair starts talking to her, something like this.

B: So is your daughter back to school?
M: Uh..yeah?
B: What grade is she?
M: She's in grade 9.
B: Oh really, I thought she was in grade 10 or 11, she's so mature.
M: Nope, grade 9.
B: So, what does she like to do?
M: She loves music, she likes art and current events and stuff
(Where my mum tries to tell Barista-man about Sounds Like Canada or at least Jian Ghomeshi, obr something about me being interviewed on CBC)
B: Wow, sounds really cool.
M: Thanks for the tall decaf.

I actually didn't remember which Barista this was until I went today on a quest with my friend, to find the Barista who knows me. And he was there! Yay. I remember him now. Come to think of it, he's the one I thought was gay. Anyways. He's always been really nice, I don't know how he connected me to my mum. He was sweeping up some spilt cheerios, when I asked him if we could sit on the chairs. So Barista man's like:

B: Yep, they're all yours!
H: Oh, thanks.
B: Yah, I wanna put a sign on the door that says "no kids under 5".
H: Haha, yeah, did little kids make the mess?
B: Yes, they had cheerios.
H: Oh. I didn't know they had cheerios at Starbucks!
B: No they don't, they brought 'em.

Yay! I accomplished the mission of meeting the barista who I didn't think I knew but who talked to my mum. Now if only I could finish up my Humanities and Math homework. Is anyone really good at factoring special quadratics?

And here is my song, the campy, quirky Rufus Wainwright version of Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows". You'll probably love it or hate, or it might just make you dizzy.

P.S. I only have the URL cause I'm ignorant at posting sound clips from Bolt. Click if you want to:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

If This Is FO-SHO I'm Really Excited...

So my mum is going to a career fair, for her work. This is from October 27-28. She just phoned me about this, and said that her brochure advertised one of the main presenters as being a Mr. George Stroumboulopoulos, someone you are all probably very familiar with. I'm hoping she read this right... and maybe Strombo's coming to Calgary... if it's true I doubt he'd bring the Hour with him... Cause it's on a Saturday. My mum read me the brochure on the phone, it sounded like he was going to be at the career fair. I'm not getting all riled up, cause this could be a misread, I mean it doesn't say anything about it on the career show site (http://www.thecareershow.ca). But if it's true, it would be very awesome. I get free tickets cause my mum's there too. I definitely can't confirm this, can anyone else?



The 2006 Seminars list is coming soon, so my mum's brochure could be hot off the press, or it could be something for insiders. I'm not sure, but there still is hope.




Monday, September 18, 2006

I can write some mediocre propaganda

*pssst* this isn't actually my opinion, sorry to disappoint everyone. I did write it though.

The Canadian military entered Afghanistan to assist the efforts of those rebuilding the country, after the destructive reign of the Taliban. Canada is playing a major part in Afghanistan by collecting and decommissioning thousands of heavy weapons, as well as millions of land mines, helping Afghanistan become a safer place for its people.

Our troops have bravely taken a role in Kandahar, and they are are helping to make the southern countryside more controlled and less violent and dangerous. Before the international forces came to these areas, the land and the people were torn by violence and abuse.

The Canadian troops in Afghanistan are working hard to make the country more safe for the people. If international forces were not in Afghanistan, war could very quickly break out. We are already seeing signs of freedom, women attending school, people voting for a leader. The part Canada has taken in the war is helping Afghanistan along on the road to reconstruction. This is important to Canadians as global citizens, and it is very important to the many innocent people living in Afghanistan.

If Canadian troops continue what they are doing in Afghanistan, continue saving lives and fighting against those who want to destroy the lives of innocent people, Afghanistan will continue to get closer on the road to safety and reconstruction. We need to keep up the support for our troops, both from the people of Canada and the government of Canada.

Yeah, whatever Hilary.


PS. Final Fantasy (aka Owen Pallet, aka that major cutie gay boy who plays the violin or fiddle or whatever the damn thing is called) just won the Polaris prize. Who woulda thought. Maybe I should have gone to the concert after all. And... Billy Bragg sold out before I could bother my dad to get us tickets. Errr. That's the worst type of procrastination.

Don't you just want to give him a hug!!???

Friday, September 15, 2006

My room = Sooooo being painted right now

I've been wanting to get my yellow-cream/excess dirt coloured walls painted for a while now, and it is finally happening! I moved out of my room, and my laptop is currently residing on the dinner table. So I might not be on as much. But, the room is gonna be bright red, with a high-gloss grey in my nook, and maybe one wall that is mottled red and other colours. I came in this afternoon, and it was pink. Thankfully, this was just the primer. But I didn't mind the pink that much. I'm really excited about the painting though, and possible redecorating too!! That's one of the more girly things about me.

In other news, school is as busy as ever. It's weird, but one of my favourite classes right now (besides Humanities) is math. I think it's because we have a good teacher, but it's actually kinda fun solving all the cute little problems. I've never had that much fun in Polynomials! I'm having some trouble and procrastinating a bit in Humanities though. We're doing a lot of stuff that interests me. But a lot that doesn't. Of course, I'll have my work finished up and stuff by Monday... but still. In Science, I switched back into Science 9, because I'd rather focus on my other subjects and not have to do a whole bunch of extra work in science, which isn't my fav. My science 9 teacher is pretty awesome though. He wears glasses and plaid shirts, but he also really likes punk rock... We had him last year too, although this year he's claiming to make us work harder. So far it's been pretty easy though. Last night was "meet the teachers". I love these things, cause I can guide my parents around and see what teachers think of me, and check if they are fake in front of my parents. First we came to my humanities teacher, who my parents really like. He seems not to really mind the fact I raise my hand a lot. Then we saw my science teacher, but my brother's science teacher was in the same room, so I came in and talked to him while my parents were talking to my brother's teacher. Problem is, when they were finished with James' teacher they didn't have a lot to talk about with my science teacher, cause I already talked to him. After that we saw my math teacher, my parents were nervous about me going into the room because my brother's math teacher (who I had last year) was in there too. They didn't want her to know I was his sister, in fear of soiling his reputation. I still went in and talked to my math teacher, who my parents have met before. I think I tired them out in the end though. Oh well, I still love "meet the teachers".

Tomorrow I'm going to the Chili Pepper's concert with a friend. I'm looking forward to it, though I feel like a bit of a concert poser, for not having any of their CD's. Oh well, it'll still be fun.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Leonard Cohen and Church

Err!! I've tried to do this for the tenth time today before my stupid computer overheats and zaps away.

Yesterday my mum and I had a lovely night out (the last night before my brother came back), Indian + movie. We went to a really good east Indian place by the theatre. First we shared a coconut calamari that was realllly good, I was embarrassingly trying to pick up the rest of the sauce with my fork when the waiter came. Then I had coconut curry with prawns for an entree. The sauce was basically the same as the calamari which was really cool with me. We also had a side of garlic naan... mmmm. Anyways, really good meal, not too big which is sometimes a problem I have at some restaurants when the food is in outrageously large quantities. After we walked down the block to the movie at 6:40.

We saw Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man or I'm Your Man: Leonard Cohen or whatever. The movie was a bit of a tribute to Leonard Cohen, with different artists performing his songs, flashbacks to his life and an interview with the Man himself. This film got pretty good reviews, it was kinda trashed by the Globe and Mail, which I thought was a bit unfair. I really enjoyed the performances by the different artists, although I'm a little biased because I was not unfamiliar with the cast. That would be Wainwright/McGarrigle clan, Beth Orton, Antony Hegarty etc... I thought for the most part the performances were really refreshing. I really liked Martha Wainwright's rendition of "The Traitor", Nick Cave's "I'm Your Man", Rufus and "Chelsea Hotel No. 2", Anthony's "If It Be Your Will", Beth Orton and "Sisters Of Mercy", most of the performances actually. Really the most engaging points where when Leonard Cohen talked about his life and his songs, between the performances. He said the performances "brought his songs to life", which is so true because Leonard Cohen song's aren't living, but immortal and spiritual. The only part I kinda hated was when Bono talked. Because he sounded silly with his sunglasses and pretentiousness and stuff... not very Leonard Cohen at all.

Speaking of spiritual, this morning I attended church for the first time since... probably when I was five and went to church once with my granny. We walked to the nice old inner-city United Church, and despite the fact it was an inner-city United Church and the pastor was like 30 and there was a little gay rainbow on the sign I still came in there a little cautious. Turns out it was really interesting, not at all "hell-fire and brimstoney" but very tolerant and cool. The two main subjects I recall were wine and casinos. The reverend talked about visiting the Naramada vineyards this summer (which my parents visited and loved last summer), and specifically the story behind one of the labels "Blasted Church". I won't go into the story because it's 10:00 and I've already typed too much. But he said thought he would really like this to be a "Blasted Church", because of a couple reasons, all very interesting and relevant. Then he talked about how Bishop Henry's (outspoken and very annoying, intolerant Calgary religious leader, in my opinion) thing on banning casinos from fundraising, and how it was the only thing he'd ever agreed with Bishop Henry on. My mum was at a casino for an organization she works with on Friday night. She really hated it, the smoke and the sad people, but it did help the organization. The reverend was talking about how wealthy people will go to a casino to get 50 dollars off for their kids hockey even though their rich and they wear their worst clothes because of the smoke, and make comments about the less-fortunate people at the tables. I agree with him about that being really wasteful, and I think it's stupid that their work is definitely not benefiting the poor people who are gambling. This is a really two-sided issue though, because casinos are something that really helps out schools. Personally I think the government should be helping out Alberta schools more, but that's okay. It was a really interesting service, and I'm glad that there are some sensible, tolerant religious people in the world. It made me change my mind a bit about organized religion.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Falling Man

I remember September 11th, as a nine-year old waking up in the morning, hearing about a tragedy in the United States. It was a tragedy amongst other things in the world, heartbreaking because it was an act caused by humans. After I first heard about the planes and the people, I would hear much more at school. I remember a fuzzy school TV turned to the news, my teacher writing “Palestinians” and “Terrorists” on the board, as possible causes of this horrible occurrence. She told us how she remembered what she was wearing the day Kennedy was shot, and to this day I recall wearing light flower-embroidered jeans and a white jacket. I recall this so vividly because to my nine-year old self it seemed so close to me, the buildings and the people in a city not completely different from my city. The days that past we saw the pictures of the firefighters and the rubble, we heard the explanation, that as a young child I only somewhat understood. Slowly the event faded to the back of my young mind. There were other tragedies, other social issues, some close and some far, some that were immense and almost intangible, some that seemed closer but still very large.

Every year in September we remember 9/11, it was something that brought death closer to us. But for a long while I have only briefly thought of that day, as the memory of it becomes a discussion for the media. In school this morning, my English teacher showed us a cream-coloured paper with a painting on it that his young son had drawn on September 11th five years ago. It had three different symbols, one big picture, or whatever someone might have seen it as. We saw a simple blue and black plane, broken and jagged with a yellow flame on the wing and a red cockpit. I might be describing this so harshly, because I’m aware of the context, but this was a serious airplane. The next one was just a person, alone in the middle of the page. With a circle head and an oval body with long legs and no arms. Standing between the two cold structures. Beside the person to the right was a big blue building, with a black, yellow and red explosion of heat below it. The top of the building had a streak of red, vertical toward the bottom.

We were told to talk about these pictures until we finally ran out of words. I contributed to the conversation, sometimes I think I raise my hand too much in class and this particularly made me want to talk. I thought the plane looked “harsh and fast” by the colours and the way it was painted. People commented that it looked “broken” and they mentioned the burning wing. We heard that the person was “hollow”, how they might be facing the fire, how they had no arms, I thought the person looked very alone in the middle of this painting. After this we talked about the building. Some mentioned the black shape surrounded by red and black could be an explosion. There was fire, and the building also looked “broken”. I thought the building looked a bit like it was bleeding, and the warm colours of the explosion really contrasted with the blue in the building. This made me think more about 9/11, and for the first time in 5 years I really thought a lot about the tragedy that happened when I was just nine years old.
Tonight on TV I watched a documentary on CBC’s “The Passionate Eye”, a program I’m not unfamiliar with. The feature documentary was called “The Falling Man” and it was about the people who jumped from the building, particularly a man caught in a graceful position, with his head to earth in what appears to be a serene moment during this plunge. This documentary told a story that we haven’t often heard, the one of the jumpers. This picture captured not only the chaos and intensity of the moment but the serenity in someone’s last seconds on earth. The falling man represents to us someone struck by tragedy, just a simple person who felt the pressure to jump for freedom from the smoke and hopelessness of the building. He is just one of the many people who perished in the towers but he is the face of all those who died. Staring at death and making the final decision, and trying to escape from the heat of the building to freedom. Now that I’ve heard about this, I think back to that person in the middle of the painting. It doesn’t have a race or religion; it isn’t a man or a woman. It is someone who is affected by a tragedy, who feels heartbreak; it could be anyone on earth. Horrible things happen, and all of us could be affected. The falling man and the person in the picture share common positions; they are both in the middle of everything. They are both connected to that tragedy, and represent something to us, something that is definitely human.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Tomorrow Morning I Will Wake Up At 7:30

Because, tomorrow morning is the start of a new school year. I probably won't wake up at 7:30 though, more like 7:50. I'm not exactly an early riser. And I'm not as excited about school as I was last year, there are certain aspects that are very positive for me and there are parts that aren't. But that's life. I know the first week will be a lot of fun, it usually is. The excitement will die down, and I'll get into my regular routine of procrastination and uhh... homework too. They don't go hand in hand well, but I manage to make it work. Nahh... I don't procrastinate too much, or at least I don't want to.

This year's pretty important for me, even though I have no clue about my future. Which gets me talking about careers and stuff, and how people change their career's and the future is (definitely) unwritten (the poster on my wall says this). When I was five I wanted to be a veteranarian. But now I'm not to keen on science, and I think I'm allergic to cats. Grade 3 it was the Prime Minister of Canada. I think I've read the news enough to know that that's a shitty job. Grade 6 it was a lawyer (I don't know what I was thinking). Currently, I enjoy reading, writing and learning about things. I'm interested in music and entertainment, politics and the world. I'm not too shabby at English, and I'm interested in Social. I like writing, creative writing and telling stories. Research projects are interesting, but I need to learn how to take notes and reference better. I somewhat enjoy math, although I'd never think of it as a career. I'm not too good at science, though some of it's interesting. I'm pretty creative, and I'm not bad at art. I like performing arts, although I'm not brilliant at it. I like talking to people, meeting people and people. I'm pretty opinionated which can be good and bad. I love to read. I'm not sure what that could lead to, but it doesn't matter because I'm not old enough to care that much.

In other news, we went to BC this weekend which was plenty fun. Spent a lot of time walking, lounging, swimming, talking and messing up my hair to look like Ryan Adams' (you know, really messy and a couple inches above shoulder length). Thought of a really cool idea on the way there. If I have nothing to do during the school year, I could start up another blog with video and audio stuff. Basically I would pick a topic every 2 weeks or something that has to do with current events or everyday life and put together a video or audio clip about the topic. I could interview people in this little city who somewhat have a connection to this topic, or ask people on the street. I could research it up and add my own commentary. I would need some more equipment, but I think it might be really fun. But it depends on the amount of time I have and if I can get the equipment and a lot of things.

ohh.. plus++++

Things that scare me: Metal music, breaking expensive things, death
People who make me laugh: Morrissey, my brother, Barry Manilow, Sabrina Jalees
Things I hate the most: Intolerance, horrible music, brussel sprouts
Things I don't understand: Intolerance, the stock market, Stephen Harper's wife
Things I'm doing right now: Looking at a screen, listening to the clothes dryer, breathing

Things I want to do before I die: Have a successful career, move somewhere else, go to university, travel somewhere very different
Things I can do: Talk, write, curl my tongue, ski
Ways to describe my personality: Outgoing, silly, inquisitive, a little cynical
Things I can't do: Watch TV for more than 2 hours, not finish something, sing Rufus Wainwright while playing guitar, sleep in the car
Things I think you should listen to: People who care, music you like, The Clash

Things you should never listen to: Judgmental people, nails on a chalkboard, Mel Gibson
Things I'd like to do: Find a new band to like, Learn both english and french, get good grades
Favourite foods: Indian food (curries and Shrimp Korma), fetuccini alfredo, seafood, chocolate

Beverages I drink regularly: Chai tea, water, orange juice, milk
Shows I watched as a kid: Sesame Street, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Arthur

But I still am a kid.