Saturday, December 31, 2011

should old acquaintance be forgot

As of right now, there are 7 hours & 7 minutes left of 2011.  I, for one, am glad to see the back of this year.  Between the natural disasters, crackhead family and other goings-on, midnight just feels like paradise.  Imagine - when the bell tolls the witching hour, we can say all the crap that happened to us in 2011 (or is still happening now depending on your situation) happened last year.

Next year.  It's tomorrow morning.  It's a few hours from now.  A clean slate awaits us on the other side of midnight.  We've all got those pesky resolutions that seem to wither & fade around February 10th yet the one thing I know I'll be doing is taking care of ME.  2012 is the year I straighten myself out. I get healthy.  I get happy.  Hell, I'm getting married!  I also turn 35 but let's not talk about that.

Thank you to Your Pocket Guru for the insightful tweets.  Thank you to everyone who's following me on Twitter!  Thank you to Linda from @treeandtwig for following my running Social Commentary!

If I haven't said it before, 2012 is going to be a BIG HUGE year of change.  There are things that will happen in 2012 that will change our lives forever.  Spend tonight with your loved ones.  Better yet, spend every day with your loved ones.  Make every day count.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

bleary-eyed & happy

It's gonna be a great Christmas after all!  I went to a Twitter part & I won a $200 Visa Gift Card.  HOLY CRAP!!!  I can actually afford presents this year!

I need to go to bed.  I believe I'm at the overtired point.  Before I go, here's a treat for you all - my new profile:


Thursday, December 1, 2011

I want that! Feisty Frugal & Fabulous


looky here My Organized Chaos...

Skechers for the Family Giveaway! (hook me up)

In my daily travels around the Internet, I find there's a TON of giveaways. I found this one on

People, I do love me a good pair of Skechers!

 I want the following 4 pairs:
1. Women Bikers Proposal in White/Blue
2. Women Reggae - Roads
3. Women Prospeed S R R
4. Men Tantric - Corum

Please please please please can I win these?  Please?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Peep this as well...

Visit Temple Illuminatus

handmade stuff

Now that the holidays are here, craft shows are popping up everywhere.  My dear friend Jax took me to my first show several years to while we were still living in TO.  I remember buying a ton of soap.  I've also been checking out Etsy - it's this site where you can buy all sorts of handmade stuff.  Get this - you have to pay (???) to upload your stuff then they take a cut of what you sell.  Dunno bout that.  Why not set up a free Weebly site & get a PayPal account?  Just sayin'.

I'm going to start a collection of craft show artisans.  I've got a few business cards from the last show I went to.  This way, if I ever need a gift for someone, I can choose from local & national artisans.

Oh yeah, I am green!

Look at me!

Visit Empath Community

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

links, blogs & more

I spent some time earlier today on LinkedIn - a rather poncy version of Facebook.  LinkedIn is supposed to be for professionals to connect with other professionals wanting a piece of the 1%'s pie.  I'm not sure why I'm on it, to be honest.  I'm so not the corporate type.  In fact, I don't know why I'm on it.  I've made great connections without it... maybe it serves its purpose for others - just not me.

Just saw an ad for Netflix.  Why pay $8 per month when you can get whatever you want for free on the Internet?   Just sayin'.

I've also been cruisin' the blog scene.  I consider myself a blogger - perhaps more of the non-profit variety.  Didn't know that bloggers charge $$$ to promote stuff on their blogs...?  I need to get on that gravy train! Then again, my blog isn't exactly mainstream.  I have no idea if anyone is even reading this blog.  I've got  less than 10 followers on Twitter.  Come to think of it, I'm not sure if I even want to go mainstream.

Speaking of Twitter, I got a retweet from Michael Phelps last week.  Yup - the Olympic gold medallist himself!  For those who haven't heard, Michael Phelps is the new face of Head & Shoulders.  As you all know, I'm an eco-warrior.  I don't believe in crap products peddled by multinationals.  So as you can imagine, I was surprised to see Mikey was even paying attention!  Please don't sue me.  As the leader of the #BrokeFolks revolution, I got nothin'.

Friday, November 11, 2011

green or what

Ethan and I have decided to "go green" with things around our house and with personal care products.  So far it's going really well!  We've saved a ton of money making our own stuff from scratch.

During this process I've turned to Google to search out natural shampoos, etc.  I cannot believe how much stuff claims to be "natural", "organic", "plant-derived"... not to mention what's in stuff you buy in the drugstore!  Next time you see a commercial with a stick insect model with hair waving in the sunlight, check out the ingredients in that product.  Shite.  Yes, folks, most of that stuff is nothing but shite.  Artificial suds, things to make your hair look shiny, adhesives - best of all, there's no regulations to how much shite a company can put it its products.

Not too long ago Johnson & Johnson got busted for its shite-filled baby products.  We've all grown up with that baby powder smell; even gone so far as to equate it with all things newborn.  Too bad things like   fragrance (aka a whole mess of toxins that smell good), sulfates and FD&C colours haven't turned our babies into the three-eyed fish from The Simpsons.

What's worse is that green is the new black.  Everyone is hopping on the green-fueled bandwagon to get a piece of the pie.  The general public is indeed becoming more aware; yet I fear they are falling for the greenwashing phenomenon.  Just because it says green or has a green label doesn't make it so.

Read labels, kids.  Ask questions.  Find out where your product comes from.  Demand better for yourselves and your family.  Buy local!   During the holiday season, go to your local farmer's market for the best in-season produce.  Check out an arts & crafts show for great gift ideas.  One merchant I've come to love is CurlyCanadians.  They have amazing stuff for curly haired people like me!  They sell Canadian-made hair products.  Also look at OrganicOlution from LA.

We can be really green.  It is easy, after all.

Monday, November 7, 2011

eleven eleven eleven

Yes folks, it's been exactly 2 months since I've been here with my running commentary on life.  It's 11/11/11 and there's so much going on - the Occupy movement, Europe's debt crisis, nastiness at Penn State and much, much more.

Today marks a new chapter in my life.  I now know what direction to head in.  I don't know where it's going to lead me - the fear of the unknown is unbearable.  Yet I have to have faith that there won't be anything in my path that I can't handle.

Now I rant.

Props to the Occupy movement!  I feel like I'm part of it just by speaking my mind here on this blog.  People gotta wake up & realize all is not what it seems.  Just the other day I was speaking with my brother about his job in a major bank.  While the bank takes in billions in profits, he works his ass off for a $1/hr raise.  Sad thing is he's actually happy about it!  For those of you out there Occupying your town, keep fighting the good fight.

I'm sure you've all heard about what's been going down at Penn State lately... disgusting shite.  A football coach has a football camp for kids and starts sexually abusing them.  Miscreant. So the head coach finds out about it and tells school officials who decide not to do anything to protect the school's name.  The head coach got fired not too long ago and people are up in arms about it.  Frankly, I see why he got fired. He didn't call the authorities to alert them of this sexual deviant.  Granted, he did tell somebody however I do believe his actions, along with the rest of the school's actions were carried out in the sheer interest of protecting the school's name.  May shame befall you, Penn State.  These victims' lives will never be the same thanks to your inaction.  Sick bastards.

Finally, this heifer who says Justin Bieber knocked her up is a perfect twit.  Clearly her lawyers neglected to advise her that if what she's alleging is true, then she faces charges of sex with a minor.  Of all the celebrities in the world, you say it's 17-year-old pubescent Justin Bieber that's your baby's father?!  His voice is changing for God's sake!  Maury Povich, only you can help us now.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ten years ago

Ten years ago I was waking up to yet another day of job searching.  I was living in an illegal basement apartment at the time.  Life just seemed hopeless.  I had no job, no money and no job prospects. (Little did I know I would experience this several more times over the course of the next ten years)

I turned on my 13" TV to watch the news just like every other morning.  Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary until I tuned into ABC News.  Peter Jennings was reporting on a hijacked place flying into the World Trade Center.  The tower itself looked like a burning smokestack.  Holy crap.  All the other major networks were reporting the same thing.  Then I watched in horror as another plane hit the other tower on live television.

I spent ten hours in front of the TV that day watching in utter disbelief.  The grounded planes in Newfoundland were a sight to behold.  The thing that struck me the most was the quiet skies.  My apartment was in the flight path of Pearson Airport so I used to hear planes overhead all the time.  On that day the skies were eerily silent.

To this day it all seems odd to me.  Almost 3000 people died for no apparent reason.  They were people from all over working away on a Tuesday morning; some at the water cooler, others at the photocopier, others still in meeting rooms.  In a nanosecond a plane enters where they were working and explodes.  Just like that.

Being the curious person that I am, I wanted to know more.  I read newspapers and watched endless newscasts (even CNN which I despise).  I scoured the Internet for answers.  My burning questions have yet to be answered.  How is it possible that all these planes veered off course and no defensive action was taken?  How is it possible the PENTAGON let this attack happen?  Where's the plane wreckage from the Pentagon crash?  Where's the plane wreckage from the Pennsylvania crash?

Let me be clear.  The loss of life from 9/11 was a tragedy full stop.  No one had to die that day.  NO ONE.  It's just there are things from this event that still raise questions in my mind.  Our lives have been forever changed as a result of that Tuesday morning.  We look at Middle Eastern peoples with fear in our eyes.  We think another attack is imminent.  We look at our neighbour and wonder if they are with "them".  The mere sight of a mosque or Muslims praying generates rage, resentment & fear.  People were selling t-shirts & other patriotic merchandise for profit knowing full well that these items would sell.

Are we fighting terror still or is there something else we need to fight?  I do feel the war on terror ended years ago.  As a human race we don't think of fighting intolerance, ignorance, hatred and injustice.  Gandhi asked all of us to be the change we want to see in the world.  Let's just be just that.

Friday, September 2, 2011

death is all around

Feels like everywhere I turn someone has passed away.  Last night I found out my auntie died of cancer.  Her situation was similar to Jack Layton's - she had breast cancer, recovered after a mastectomy and an identified type of cancer came back.  My auntie was 55 years old.

Being surrounded by death makes me really take stock of my life.  Am I just pissing it away?  Am I taking care of myself?  Am I going to live out my dreams?  The one thing that keeps going around in my head is that life is indeed too short.  We've all heard it before - pursue your dreams, always use the good china, etc etc etc.  I'm here to tell you these just aren't clichés... they're reality.  If there is something in this life that you always wanted to do, ain't no time like this time.  DO IT.

I've decided to live my dream of owning & operation my own business.  I do not belong in the corporate world.  Plus Ethan & I want to secure a prosperous future for our family.  It's insanity to rely on multinationals for this as the economy is so volatile at the moment.  Besides, why work like a dog for someone else?

Life is short.  If you gotta let people in your life go, let them go.  Stay healthy.  Be wary of chemicals in your foods & cosmetics.  Be wary of cancer charities that spend a lot of money on advertising & events - chances are your donation is going to buy t-shirts & ribbons instead of funding actual cancer research.

One more thing, folks - be informed.  Know what's going on around you & how things affect you & your world.  Don't take everything you see & hear at face value.  Engage in meaningful conversation & discussion.  Have an opinion & stick to it with conviction.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Canada is orange... if only for today

Almost a month after the passing of Amy Winehouse, I heard this morning that Jack Layton has passed away at the age of 61 from cancer.  He stepped down temporarily as leader of the NDP to fight cancer in July however cancer got the best of him.  Cancer is so ugly.  But before I tackle that, I gotta say this.

I voted NDP in my riding during the federal election. I wanted Jack Layton to lead this country.  He was a man of the people.  He campaigned tirelessly for the working class people - better jobs, health care, better lives.  I, along with millions of other Canadians, couldn't wait for September to see Jack Layton, as Leader of the Opposition, mess up Stevie H's diabolical plans to paint the country ignant with his right-wing archaic propaganda.  (just sayin')

As I was watching CBC News' coverage of Jack Layton's death, I noticed a significant delay in our PM's response to the passing of the Leader of the Opposition.  Coincidence?  Of course not.  Let me be the first to tell you why there was this delay. When Jack Layton stepped down as NDP leader to recover from cancer, he appointed Nycole Turmel as his temporary replacement.  Did not Stevie H proceed to attack Ms. Turmel because she used to be a member of the Bloc Québecois?   Okay, so that plan seemed to work for awhile.  Not sure why the Tories need to keep up the attack crap when they're guaranteed a job for the next 4 years... who knows.

Let's go back to our sheep.  The Tories are notorious for stirring the political pot.  While their shitstorm on Ms. Turmel goes on, Jack Layton steps down.  The country is immediately sympathetic despite their own political alliances.  Now that Jack Layton is gone, all the attacks on Nycole Turmel look petty and unnecessary.  People who otherwise wouldn't give a second glance or thought to the NDP will now be curious to see what all the fuss is about.  Of course, Stevie H can't speak ill of the dead or he'll be lambasted in the public eye.  Stevie H was sitting with his people trying to figure out how to spin this latest development to the Tories' advantage.  Seems odd that the Tories seem a little uneasy as they're very quick to talk smack about everyone else... relax, people!  You're in till 2015.  Sit back, relax and collect your pay for life.

Now I have to rant about cancer.  Cancer has affected family members and friends of mine over the years.  I've donated to charity groups thinking I'm doing my part but I've stopped doing that.  How could I do such a heinous thing?  Well, I know for a fact some of these charities spend less than half of money raised on cancer research.  Less than HALF.  So where's the rest of the dosh going?  Administration & fundraising events.  Fun runs, t-shirts and TV commercials all take precedence over finding a damn cure. I volunteered for a United Way member agency and what I saw made me sick.  The United Way raises hundreds of millions of dollars yet member agencies have to offer up their firstborn & other essentials for a few crumbs of the pie.  Next time you donate to your favourite charity, do a little digging.  Find out where your money is going.  Don't just do it for the tax break - make a real difference to an organization that can do some real good.

Read Jack Layton's letter to Canadians here.  Let's all continue what Jack Layton started.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

uprising and other shenanigans

I'm watching a live feed from the BBC right now as I write this.  After the shooting death of Mark Duggan by police on the weekend, riots broke out in Tottenham.  I must be clear when I say I do not condone violence in any fashion.  Over the last few days, riots have spread into other parts of London and the rest of the UK.  Those riots appear to be copycats yet something tells me otherwise.  I do believe British youth are fed up of being treated like shite by all parts of society.  The British government has announced deep cuts to government-funded services.

I have family & friends in the UK and I hope they are all safe and far away from danger.  To the young people of the UK - read this carefully.  Take notice of the uprising in Egypt.  Young people gathered peacefully to make a stand.  Their voices were heard around the world.  You can do the same.  Destroying your neighbourhood isn't going to cut it.  No one is going to take you seriously if you burn everything down.

Let's move on to something equally disturbing.  Thylane Loubry Blondeau is a 10 year old girl gracing the pages of French Vogue.  The French don't see a problem with it yet on this side of the pond people are losing their minds.  These pictures are indeed disgusting.  Thylane (what a pretty name) is 10.  TEN?!  Where's her childhood?  Does she play on monkey bars with other children?  Did she ever watch 5, rue Sésame?  More fashion houses are using teens to sell clothes to grown-ass women.  Not like I buy designer labels anyway however would the average woman be enticed to buy something modeled by someone less than half their age?  Models are young to begin with but this is ridiculous.  I'm sure perverts everywhere are having a field day.  Yeah, I said it.

Lastly, the USA has averted financial meltdown by increasing their debt ceiling to a bazillion trillion dollars.  Analysts believe an "Armageddon" of sorts has been averted.  Uh... how so?  Plus everyone's freaking out over the credit rating downgrade from AAA to AA+?

How much is a trillion dollars?  This video will tell you.  So here's where my understanding of this debt ceiling jazz gets a little fuzzy.  If you borrow a lot of money to buy unnecessary things, eventually you will have to pay it back.   How is it you can keep borrowing and still maintain an amazing credit rating?  Either you'll have to stop spending needlessly or start paying it back.  I took the decision to declare bankruptcy because no matter what I did I couldn't keep up with my debts.  I still have dopey collection agencies calling me to this day!  I've learned about debt & finances now; I'm proud to say Ethan & I have no debt.  We rent our home and pay cash for the things we need.

** sigh ** Be safe, everyone.  It's scary out there.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

standard of Athena

In my last post, I wrote about an opportunity that has presented itself to me.  Without divulging too much information, I have begun work on it.  Yet, I have to wonder why I'm doing it.  To answer my own question, I believe I've had this need my whole life to prove myself - prove I'm not thick or a failure.  Maybe there's this standard of Athena that I feel like I'm not living up to.

Sometimes I do feel like I haven't accomplished anything in my life.  I went to school, had a string of useless jobs and now here I am.  Perhaps I need to prove to myself first & foremost that I'm not just anyone.  I can do things.  I learn quickly.  Plus I need to throw myself headfirst into something... not just anything but something I can put my name on.

Plus there's the money issue.  I know if I want my dreams to come true I have the power to make it happen.  Daunting, isn't it? I am fearful of the possibilities and outcomes.  I admit I fear the unknown.  What if I fail again?  It could very well be that I won't.  Down with complacency!

Athena can do anything.  Athena just needs to keep telling herself that.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

spread my wings and fly

From the time I was a child, I knew I was different from everyone else.  I couldn't explain why or how but I just knew it.  I was good at things - school, sports, etc yet it was almost as if I wasn't allowed to let my true light shine for fear of others feeling insignificant.  Sure, it sounds exceptionally laughable and even conceited. What I'm about to say is coming from a place that's been kept down inside me for way too long.

After a long chat with one of my dear friends, I realized I've been suppressing my needs for the sake of others.  I've been downplaying my true self because others might feel bad.  For example, after Ethan & I got engaged, I was told to curb my happiness around his best friend because it reminded her of her failed engagement.  I was so upset by this.  Why should I not be happy because it made someone else feel sad?  Does this mean I have to stop smiling and not wear my engagement rock ring with pride?  NO.  A big fat resounding NO.

I wanted to stop working for other people and start my own business some years ago.  I knew I had it in me to make it successful.  Instead of support & encouragement from family & friends, they all told me it'll never fly and just get a job and pay your bills.  So I did.  Stupidly I listened to them.  In my heart of hearts I could feel myself going against the grains of my true desires & calling.  My dreams slowly eroded to a pile of dust inside my head.  When I'd come home from work drained & frustrated, I'd wonder if all those naysayers were happy that I joined them as part of the hoi polloi.  I became just another person.  I didn't even feel like a woman.  I was just one of many mashed into the morning southbound train to mediocrity.  It wasn't until I moved to Quebec when I started to feel some kind of freedom.

This something in me has laid dormant until just recently.  I call it my phoenix spirit.  I feel it rising inside me every so often however it's only now that I've started to pay attention.  I need to fly.  I need to soar above the clouds without anyone feeling bad about it.  An opportunity has presented itself to me; an opportunity that would let me soar for the first time in my life.  Ethan has joined me on this journey only because he felt like I was leaving him behind.  He thought I was moving on without him.  Ethan was the latest person in my life to let me know it wasn't okay for me to do something great so in order to spare his feelings, I folded my wings and came down.

Right now my head hurts from crying so much.  I want to stop making concessions for others and do right by me.  I'm going to soar until I come back down when I want and not because somebody feels bad.  That's just too bad.  I wanna do bad for the first time in my life.  Is that such a crime?

ill of the dead

The world lost Amy Winehouse today. Yesterday more than 90 people died in Norway in the country's worst violence since WWII.  Truth be told I don't know what's worse.

Sure, Amy Winehouse had issues. People were quick to say all kinds of things and still are even after her passing.  Is that right?  Why do people feel the freedom to publish such drivel on message boards & forums online?  What if it was your loved one in Ms. Winehouse's shoes?  Would you be so quick to dispel such hatred?  It is wrong to speak ill of the dead - full stop.  Think of her family who has lost a daughter and a sister.  It never ceases to amaze me how inhuman people can be.

I just finished reading an article on about a survivor of the shooting in Norway.  This person pretended to be dead in order to avoid being killed by the gunman yet he still was shot in the shoulder.  At least the gunman has surrendered himself to the authorities.  How a person gets to that point I'll never know.  Norway is a country you rarely see in the news; now it's in the world's spotlight.

Our lives must forge ahead.  We must endeavour to move forward and live each day.  This life is short... something I've always said and will continue to say.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

as I shake my head...

Every day I read the news online.  Sometimes I read nice stories (the Nadeshiko winning the Women's World Cup) yet these days it's mostly crap.  I don't even know where to begin!

In case you haven't heard, there's a massive phone hacking scandal across the pond.  Somebody thought it would be a good idea to hack into dead people's cell phones to glean information for a story.  Not only was the newspaper involved, the fuzz and a few MPs were in on it as well.  Unless you are the girl with the dragon tattoo this shouldn't even be happening.  Yet again we have another instance where the media only cares about selling papers at the cost of people's lives.  Yes, Newsweek, I'm referring to you.

The madness doesn't stop there! The Beckhams welcomed their baby daughter into the world last week.  She is indeed beautiful despite her unique name.  Now that we know Harper Seven was named after the author Harper Lee, sales of her book To Kill a Mockingbird have skyrocketed.  When Chris Martin & Gwyneth Paltrow named their daughter Apple, was there a sudden demand for this delicious fruit around the planet?  Are people flocking to Kingston, Ontario or Kingston, Jamaica in honour of Gwen Stefani's son?  Why, people?  Why??

Now for the one thing that's really burning my cookies - IQT.  This call centre company woke up one morning and decided to axe 1000+ jobs out of this great country of ours in order to move them to Nashville because they'll get a grant from the city; to the tune of 1.8 million bones over 5 years plus 5 bills for every job created in Nashville.  In a surprise twist, (read: karma) Nashville has decided not to give IQT the grant for the way they treated their employees here.  The mayor of Nashville had no idea that IQT management were up to no good.  You see?  Don't mess with karma.  If you were an employee of IQT, I wanna hear from you.  Congrats on becoming part of the Broke Folks revolution!

I couldn't believe this bit of news - Canada's immigration rates have dropped 25% from this time last year.  Way to go Stevie H on shutting Canada's doors.  As a first-generation Canadian, I know for fact people come here seeking a better life.  Never mind the ongoing Arab Spring, the famine in the Horn of Africa or people dying in conflicts around the world; what better way of lending a hand than allowing them to come to Canada?  It's not like we don't have any room.  Canada has a little over 34 million people living in a land mass 24 times the size of Japan.  Still not convinced?  Try mashing 125 million people in an area the size of Newfoundland & Labrador. Squishy.  Immigrants are not people who take our jobs and sit on government handouts like people think.  They come here to escape war, famine, torture or death.  For Canada to close its doors like some posh nightclub is preposterous.  Multiculturalism is what makes Canada known the world over.  With the Tories in power, it won't be long before minorities are sitting at the back of the bus.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

leave Diana be

Shame on Newsweek for printing the "Diana at 50" article.  I too am outraged at this disgusting article.

Not only does the author make some gross assumptions that Diana would have swanned around New York tweeting her days away, she even goes so far as to create a Facebook page supposedly belonging to Diana and say that the former HRH would have had regular Botox injections to keep herself looking young.

This article is just sick. Diana, Princess of Wales was somebody's wife, mother, sister, friend and champion for the underprivileged.  Clearly Tina Brown didn't think about that when she made up this life of Diana's that she might like for herself.  Obviously Newsweek will profit from all this attention; thus it leads me to wonder if the magazine chose to do this to sell a few more issues during these hard economic times...?

My heart goes out to her children right now.  I'm sure not a day goes by where they don't think about her.  Remember when they begged the world to leave Diana be on the 10th anniversary of her death?  Looks like the decision makers at Newsweek didn't listen.  There's a group of people out there who are responsible for the mock-up for the article, Facebook page and the digitally-enhanced picture of Diana on what would have been her 50th birthday.

Tina Brown, how would you feel if you were Princes William & Harry looking at this shite?  Do you actually think they would approve of you creating a farcical world for their mother?  Or do you care?  You don't or else you wouldn't have created such utter rubbish speaking ill of the dead.

I urge you all to not purchase Newsweek.  Please leave The People's Princess be.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

too many rainy days

It's finally stopped raining.  I'm watching track & field on CBC reliving my days as a track star many moons and many pounds ago.  Come to think of it, I think I just started running as a kid.  I ran to get from A to B.  I ran amok on the playground at school.  There was a trial for a 8x50m relay and I made the team... guess I just kept on doing it.  There is still a runner in me someplace... these days I'm trying to get it out.

Guess what I've done today?  Nothing.  Nada.  Nowt.  I woke up late which didn't help; sat around most of the day however I have been doing a few loads of laundry.  Makes me think depression still plays a significant part of my life thus far.

My mind, of course, is fantastically on fire.  I see myself as one of these runners flying through the air with the wind pushing me along to the finish line.  Inside my head I've achieved my own pre-defined success - a blog read by millions; renowned untrained artist; inspiring mother; wanton sex goddess.  Yet there's a notable disconnect between what's in my mind and what's my reality.  I actually don't know how to get from this A to B.  I try to make a start over and over again then I stop.  Not being funny but I'm tired of starting.  I wanna be able to finish strong just like I used to when I ran. Clear through the tape I'd run and I'd keep on going.

Time to bring running (sprinting) back.  It'll definitely help me get my groove back.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Props to the Food Revolution...

I just got a retweet from the #FoodRevolution!  WICKED!!!!

rise up

I just finished watching the last few episodes of "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" and let me tell you, I was right.  Sometime last fall, I told my darling Ethan that the people were going to rise up and not put up with any more crap.  (I am an empath - I can feel these things)  Months later came the Arab Spring; Brigette DePape; the Food Revolution in LA.  No, this isn't a Miss Cleo moment I'm having.  I'm just fired up, that's all.

It amazes me that people are so afraid of change.  Ethan got it spot on - he thinks the reason why people are so against eating healthy is its residual effects on health insurance & food service profits.  If the masses start eating better, there would be less need for health care, which, in the US of A is a hot mess of HMOs and outlandish fees.  Health insurance companies would literally lose billions if there was a decrease in their usage.

If the masses start eating better, food service companies that have multi-million dollar contracts with institutions like school boards would suffer at the bottom line.  Crap food is cheap to produce and can be sold at top dollar.  Yet if an institution decided to go rogue and grow their own food (the audacity of it all!), the food service company has lost its profits.

Kids, it's all about money.  Not money for you & me of course, but for the few who don't give a hoot on whether or not you eat well.  They don't care as long as they get paid and keep getting paid.  Let's face it - there are those out there who think we (as Broke Folks) should continue to eat crap because it's all we can afford; thus they're doing us a favour by keeping shite in our stomachs so we'll pay more in medical bills and get addicted to food service 'food'.

p.s.  I just got a retweet from the Food Revolution team!!  WICKED!!!

Granted, I live in Canada where the health care system is universal and offered to all.  This doesn't mean I don't feel for people who have to mortgage their homes to get life-saving medical attention.  To think all of this could have been prevented with knowledge is rather scary.  Makes me think that the conspiracy theorists who claim the 'establishment' is purposely keeping people fat & stupid isn't far from the truth.  Those of you who have watched the film "Zeitgeist" know what I'm referring to.

In essence, it comes down to this.  As Broke Folks, improve yourselves by eating well and exercising - it's that simple.  No need for crazy workout regimes that promise the PhotoShop look... just make smart choices and move.  Go for a walk around your neighbourhood.  Sign up for a community garden if there's one near you.  Run around with your kids in the park.  Invite your family & friends over for a BBQ and grill homemade foods.  We can do this!

Friday, June 10, 2011

broke folks spring eternal

Right now I'm watching a documentary called "A Job to Get Work" from the BBC.  I have to say I'm incensed at what I'm seeing.  The program takes an in-depth look at the town of Rhyl in Northern Wales which has a high percentage of people on unemployment insurance.  When asked about 'benefits' (the local term for government assistance), residents called for reform as they didn't want their salaries going to pay for people to stay on benefits.  Fair enough.

Then two former drug addicts, a woman on disability and an able-bodied man were profiled in their quest to get work.  All have completed skill upgrade courses and are actively seeking work yet they can't seem to find any.  One of the drug addicts stated that he would not just find any type of work - he would rather find work that not only he enjoyed but work he could see himself in for a long period of time.

What got me the most was the entrepreneur who lived in the nicer part of town.  You could see her driving to work in her BMW dressed to the nines in designer threads.  She trains people on benefits on how to get jobs.  Talk about an oxymoron (emphasis on the moron).

Straight up, this show pissed me right off and I'll tell you why.  First of all, this documentary had no problem depicting people on benefits as the dregs of society; hideous-looking, no skills and no hope whatsoever for a better life.  This simply isn't true.  I've never been a drug addict.  I've got a university degree and a community college degree.  I know how to use most business information systems better than the people who use them regularly.  Put simply, I'm not an idiot.  Yet, because I'm on assistance, my standing in society is in the toilet.

Next, I plan to stay on assistance to find something that is worth doing.  I am one of those people who refuse to work just for the sake of working.  If this is a measure that the state wants to push, then consider this: For all the people working for the sake of working, they are unhealthy (e.g. stress, high blood pressure, etc).  Unhealthiness costs companies thousands upon thousands of dollars, not to mention the stress on an already-stress public health care system.  One part of government is saving money by not having as many people on assistance yet those savings and much more are eaten up by the millions who are unsatisfied in their work lives; in essence, robbing Peter to pay Paul.  I'm sure even Conservatives wouldn't take too kindly to this kind of preventable government overspending.

Let's talk about job hunting for a minute.  Never mind the fact that the economy is crap.  Employers are increasingly particular about who they want to join their ranks.  I spent 10 years in Human Resources... the things I've seen are nothing short of disgusting.  Nowadays, employers are more concerned about adding members to existing cliques; this is called "fit".  When a potential employer tells you in an interview situation that they're looking for the right "fit", it means they want to know if you'll sit with them at lunch in the break room; if you're a coffee drinker (I drink tea which I do believe is one of the reasons for my career's eventual demise); if you'll party with them during happy hour; if you'll divulge everything and anything about your personal life for all to hear.  Your skills & experience are secondary & tertiary at best.  Ever come out of an interview thinking you've nailed it and the job is yours only to get a call from the crusty HR rep to say they've given the job to someone with more of what they were looking for?  Uh-huh.  I've heard that many times over the last ten years. That's HR-speak for we found a better playmate for our sandbox.  I used to be a recruiter for a large multinational.  I've hired people with exceptional skills & talents only to be told that the candidate I hired brings food that stinks up the lunchroom. *sigh*

Broke folks, we need to rise up.  We need to come together and show the world we are not pieces of shit gathering dust.  We are intelligent, well-spoken individuals merely seeking the right opportunity to show the world what we can do.  Money does not make a person.  Broke folks are an untapped resource who, if given a proper chance, can make a difference.  We are talented, articulate, innovative and resourceful.  May all you broke folks live long and prosper!

Monday, May 30, 2011

paying homage to the original revolution

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by the 
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.
There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.
Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.
There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be right back after a message
bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.
The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

this revolution sure ain't gonna be televised

I never heard of Gil Scott-Heron before today but I'm loving his song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised".  May he rest in peace.

I want to be credited with starting a revolution of my own.  Broke folks, rise up!  Not being employed does not make you part of the scum echelons of society.  Unemployment does not mean you have lost all capability of cognitive & complex thought.  Living on a budget still means you deserve respect.  There is such a stigma about being a statistic and I'm here to say that today, that stigma has died because I killed it.  We all can kill it and make it stay dead!  Why is it that one is perceived to be better off working for a pittance than collecting EI?  Yes, right now I'm collecting EI.  I've been paying into it for almost twenty years.  Sure, I'm not looking for a job at the moment.  Wanna know why?  I'm finding Athena.  I'm healing my mind, body & soul.  So step off if you think I'm not a contributing member of society.  I'd rather have my health than be broken from the inside out.

Join me in this revolution.  I can tell you how to thrive while being broke.  I've been through it all - downsizing, firing, illness, eviction, bankruptcy; yet I found the love of my life while I was unemployed.  I'll show you how to make the most of your severance package.  I'll let you know when the essentials are on sale so you can keep your head above water.  Broke folks are not down & out - we're on a time out from life.

Fear not retribution!  Your bank balance does not define you!  Your employer does not define you nor your lifestyle!  Life will go on!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

broke-ass cookin' tonite!

I love my Ethan.  Know why?  He's agreed to test my broke-ass cookin' with me today!  Keep ya posted.

it's a... baby?

I just read with shock a ridiculous article about a Toronto couple who've decided not to reveal the gender of their newborn child.  Only Mum, Dad & brothers know if the baby is a boy or a girl.  The parents feel that they'll mess up the kid if it has to identify with what's in 'between its legs'.


This is one of the most asinine things I've heard in a long time.  What is wrong with parents today?  Why is there this incessant need to shelter children from life?  My friend Jasmine is a teacher - she has told me some stories about the generation of kids growing up today.  For instance, there are some sports leagues out there that will enforce a rule where if you're blowing out the other team, you will lose so that no one has to experience losing.  Or how about not keeping a kid back a grade?  The best story Jasmine told me is how she's heard of parents going to their kid's job interviews.  Back in my HR days, I actually got an email from a mother who was sending out CVs for her son...?  What the eff is this nonsense?  Are kids today just supposed to float through life?  What happens when they have to face up to situations requiring complex thought & decisions?  Will Mommy & Daddy always be there to save the day?

Come on, people.  Talk about effing a kid up for life.  Sure, there are kids out there with gender identity issues.  Let me be crystal clear on this - I am simply saying that to deny a child its gender is taking its decision-making ability away from themselves.  Mommy & Daddy have decided I have no gender.  What bathroom do I use at school?  Am I supposed to like dolls or trucks?  No dear, you're not going to be anything at all.  So what happens when the child asks why did I grow up like this?  Why did you choose me for this sordid social experiment?

Of all the things to do to an innocent child.  Call CAS - this kid needs to be repossessed.

Besides, the baby looks like a boy anyway.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

broke-ass cookin' with Athena Titanides

Watching Oprah's last show really struck a chord in me.  She spoke of finding your true calling and to listen to the whisper of Higher Power.  I heard a whisper and so here it is - I'm going to share with you how to eat well when you're broke.  I have a lot of experience in this area... trust me on this.

First of all, doesn't matter if you're a singleton or if you've got a lot of little ones to feed.  You can eat good food (read: not shite) on a budget.  For all you recently downsized six-figure suits wondering how on earth you'll survive, hear me now: Cooking is not beneath you.  If you can make multimillion dollar decisions, you can cook.  Losing a job no matter the circumstance is hard; it doesn't mean that you need to turn to mechanically separated meats to get by.

I'm using Metro's flyer for May 26 - June 1st.  For breakfast, why not have some strawberries, blackberries and raspberries (3 for $5)?  For all you superkeeners, add a serving of yogurt ($1.99).  Seven dollars will give you a great start for about a buck per serving.  That's right - a loonie.

Cashmere is on sale for $2.99 for 8 oversize rolls.   Stock up on this, kids - this is a great deal.  There's nothing like wiping your backside with the good stuff.

How about a nitrate-free roast beef sandwich (roast beef: $1.59 per 100 g) with Boston lettuce ($1.49 a head) on Vilaggio buns (2 packages for $5.00)?  Wash it down with a glass of  Garden Cocktail (2 bottles for $5.00) for an extra serving of veggies.

Dinner has to be my favourite meal of the day.  Take a pork tenderloin ($2.99/lb) and cut it open.  Sprinkle salt & pepper all over the surface.  Line one end with fresh herbs of your choice (3 for $5) and a   couple of slices of brie cheese ($2.89 per 100g).  Roll it up and bake at 350 for at least 30 minutes.  Serve with steamed asparagus ($2.99/lb) and sliced cucumbers (3 for $1.99).

Here's the best part.  All this will cost you $38.92 before taxes.  Not only will you be eating well, you'll be eating like a rock star.  I've done my best to stay away from ready-made processed shite as this is just poo in its purest form.

Before I move further, I want you all to know that I'm a firm believer in great food that's great for you.  If you can, make as much as you can by hand.  That way you know what's in your food.  If you see something on a label that says "mechanically separated", run for the hills.  That's nasty.  I want to put this myth of cheap food = shite food therefore it's all I can afford to rest.  It's a load of crap.  I know what it's like to be broke more than you know so trust me when I say this - DO NOT turn to processed foods when money is tight.  It's not worth it in the long run.  Your health is priceless and during times of broke-ness is not the time to gamble with your health.  A healthy you is going to get you back on track.

This is something I've been meaning to do for some time.  I love food and I want to share my broke experiences with you all.  If you're unemployed like I am right now, there is NO SHAME in your situation.  You are still you.  Don't let anyone treat you like a piece of poo because you don't have a job. You are merely going through a temporary situation - that's all.  If anyone does treat you differently, always remember that the world works in circles; one day that person who cast that stone will be looking to you for advice to eke out an existence on a budget.  It's high time that this negative stigma disappear, especially in these economic times.

Whew!  That's all for now.  Follow me on Twitter: @athenatitanides.  You can also email me at if you have questions, beefs or congrats.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

weight loss according to me

Not sure if you all know this but I've been trying to lose weight for a few months now.  Before I got started  I googled programs that I thought would work for me.  My fiance Ethan bought me a Wii Balance Board for Christmas with The Biggest Loser Challenge and I did that for a couple of months. I lost 5 lbs and gained back 2 lbs.  To be honest, I got bored of it.  Yes, I do have more than 20 lbs to lose however I'm a very muscular person so losing weight is more of a challenge for me.

Yet that's not even the half of it.  There are some programs out there are are completely asinine - Insanity is one of them.  It involves activity to induce cardiac arrest so you can get "ripped" in no time.  Between getting "ripped", "shredded" and reducing my diet to that of a zoo animal, I realized something.  There is no magic way to lose weight.  All you need is a proper diet and exercise.  That's all.  No foolin'!

I tried the Atkins diet several years ago and became very ill as a result.  Carbs are not the enemy, people.  Shit food is the enemy.  When you watch The Biggest Loser, the contestants have been eating shit for years so that's why they are 300+ lbs.  If you weigh that much and never move around then obviously you're going to lose all that weight right away because your body is in shock from eating things that are actually good for you.  Don't get me wrong - I am a huge fan of The Biggest Loser.  I just wish that people would wake up and realize ready-made foods are full of shit.

After watching 2 episodes of Two Greedy Italians, I had another realization.  In Italy, fresh food is plentiful yet not everyone could afford it.  People made ends meet by making 'poor-man's food' or 'cucina povera' (the latter sounds more posh in my opinion).  They didn't stock up on Ramen noodles or instant macaroni & cheese; they made pasta with tomato sauce.  They made pizza.  They made stews from fresh fish caught earlier in the day.  In other words, they created a way to survive and it was healthy.  So why can't we do that over here?  We are surrounded by foods that are supposed to make life easier.  Zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds and you have a meal.  Instant this and pre-cooked that make people fat.  

Therefore I've found a way to lose weight that I'm confident will work for me.  Eat fresh food and move.   That's the key, folks.  Never mind all these cockamamie programs that promise to slim you down beyond all recognition.  Stop eating shit.  I've done it - you can too!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

walking on - Athena style

What a lovely Mother's Day.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue and I've just completed day 1 of my new Walk for Wellness program.  It's pretty simple - I walk outside for 20+ minutes 3-4x/wk.  Just my iPod and myself al fresco.  I wanted to change up my workout program and do something a bit more holistic... meaning I can be alone with my thoughts if I choose to.

Let's talk about Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the NDP's new 'it girl'.  We all know the story - she was in Vegas during the election (to me this means Stevie H could've gone to the Royal Wedding), she barely speaks French and she's been keeping a low profile this whole time.  Yet the people of Berthier-Maskinonge voted overwhelmingly for this woman to represent them in the House of Parliament.  Call me crazy but doesn't it seem odd to vote for someone you've never met and didn't do any campaigning?  Did these voters know who Ms. Brosseau was or what she stood for?  I maintain to this day she was elected in order to give a seat to the NDP in Quebec despite her candidacy.  

Ruthie, if you're out there, spare yourself any further grief and just show your face.  Stand up to the naysayers and prove that you will do what it takes to be the MP for Berthier-Maskinonge.  If you're not up to the task, then for goodness sake just say so and be done with it so we can all put this behind us and proceed to the inevitable task of having Stevie H as our Prime Minister (dammit).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

guess who's bizzack?!

Hello world, I'm back.  After many changes to this blog and lots of time passed, I had to come back to the world of blogging because I've got something to say about life.

Two days ago my beloved Dominion of Canada sunk into its darkest hour.  A bunch of people decided that they don't mind corporate tax breaks and new fighter jets and gave Stevie H a majority government.  Who voted for this wingnut?  Was it you?  If it was, then shame befall you.  I never knew Canada to be so right-wing.  People around the world think that we're idiots.  Let me be the first to tell you Mama didn't raise no fool to vote Conservative.  All you people out there who voted for Stevie had better not whinge when it all goes to hell.  It will, you know.  And I'll be there to say I told you so!

There is a bright spot in all of this - Jack Layton & the NDP will be the Official Opposition.  This means we might have some hope in all this.  Jackie L isn't going to stand for foolishness.  If I have to, I'll write to anyone who'll listen to say please help us; everyone's turned into a total wanker.

Before all of this nonsense, there was the Royal Wedding.  Wills & Kate's nuptials were gorgeous.  For one day the world stopped to celebrate love.  We all watched as these cuties promised to love one another come what may.  The next day, Osama bin Laden's been shot dead and buried at sea.  Since bad things happen in threes, Canadians elect a rather odd-looking bloke to run the country.

Kids, we have to stay strong.  We have to rise above the Conservative tossers in Parliament.  Please Lizzie, save us from ourselves.  Do not give Stevie the OK to form a Parliament.  If you do, you'll send us back two steps too many.