Thursday, December 27, 2012

my book

It is snowing like a mickeyfickey today!  I had a specialist appointment this morning but it took Ethan & I a full hour to dig out the car to only drive down the street.  As much as we love our neighbourhood, it's not going to be plowed for awhile yet.   Oh well.

I was just reading through my blog archives and I kept seeing this recurring theme - my book.  I've been talking about writing a book since 2008.  Next year is my blog's 5 year anniversary.  Dammit, I'm going to write this book!

There's a million questions that are going through my mind - do I self-publish? I most likely will since the major publishers seem a bit odd to me.  If I do self-publish, do I go the e-book route?  I am a huge fan of actual books instead of annoying files you have to download into a teeny-tiny screen that may or may not be compatible with your device (bollocks).  

I guess I just need some courage.  Just thinking about writing this book is actually quite daunting.  I'm scared it won't have the impact I always imagine it will.  Or maybe no one will read it as I'm still not sure if anyone is even reading my blog.  

Either way, I just gotta do it.

what if there was no money?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Watch Bowling For Columbine in full

... it's okay because Michael Moore wants us all to watch it for free.

the truth about mental illness

This kid who shot 20 children to death is being perceived as having a mental illness.

Let me tell you what I know to be true about mental illness.  Mental illness has a million symptoms unlike a cough due to cold.  Some traits of mental illness can be hereditary.  In the cases that have personally affected my life, mental illness has been the result of a traumatic event.

I suffer from anxiety disorder.  I developed anxiety disorder as a result of a series of traumatic events.  I sought help for my condition (therapy, exercise & drugs) and now I am using alternative healing therapies.  I don't know if I'll ever be fully healed but at least I'm on the way.  Plus with Ethan by my side unconditionally, I know I'm not alone.

Violent video games didn't happen to Adam Lanza.  He didn't just play a few levels of Call Of Duty & pick up a bunch of guns.  Something happened to this kid that pushed him to a mental state where he thought the only way out was to pick up a gun.  Maybe he was bullied.  Maybe his family abandoned him.  Either way, he needed help.  If Adam had someone he could count on, those children would be alive today.

If you or someone you know might suffer from some form of mental illness, GET HELP.  The time has  come to stop the asinine stigmas that surround mental illness.  All you media outlets have to stop portraying people who have mental illnesses as batshit crazy.  Treat others how you want to be treated instead of treating others how you see fit.

Come together... every day

I've just caught the tail end of the interfaith vigil in Newtown, Connecticut.  Something struck me as quite interesting.  Major faiths came together to lead people in prayer.  Jews, Christians, Muslims came together to support one another.

So here's the question I want to ask you all - why can't we come together in peace like this ALL THE TIME?  When tragedy happens, it seems that we can put our differences aside.  Yet when the sun goes down & up again, we're right back to where we were before the carnage took place.

Here's a candle of hope for the world.  I want you all to come together.  We are indeed in this together.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pray for the children

I broke down today after I heard about the mass shooting in Connecticut.  Yes, I know it sounds weird however I'm an empath therefore I feel everything.  I could feel the panic, shock, anger and sadness of everyone affected by this tragedy.

Tell me something you gun totin' advocates:  Does this

look like something that should be legal to carry around?  How would you feel if someone took one of these & shot up your kid?  Never mind - I already know the answer to that question.  You'd take one of these

and go find the mothertucker.

Sure, there needs to be more laws in the US regarding gun control.  I think it's easier to make buying guns harder than it is to address the REAL issue at hand - why people are being driven to do such things. 

If someone or something has done you wrong and your immediate solution is to pick up a gun, then what does that say about the society that surrounds you?  What is pushing people to commit such heinous acts?

During last year's UK riots, I said there's more to the riots than just the protest against the person that was shot by police.  It was indeed so - it was a way for the underclass to protest the society they live in.
In no way am I condoning setting buildings on fire or anything of the sort.  It's time to take a good honest look at our society and ask the tough questions that we've all been guilty of avoiding.

This clip from "The West Wing" says it all.

Friday, December 7, 2012

In support of Ontario Teachers

Are Those Darn Teachers Still Complaining About Their Salaries?

An opinion piece, by Karen Nancarrow, Ontario Certified Teacher

I’ve just read one too many teacher bashing posts on Facebook today.

As a teacher, I will of course, provide a slanted opinion, but here you are. Disagree with me if you’d like, but not until you read this entire article, start to finish.

I love my job. Period. I would do it for less money, fewer sick days, and less time off. I would do it if I had to be tested yearly by the government to show that I know my stuff, and even if extra-curriculars were forced on me. I would still do it. I love it.

I went into teaching because I love kids. Yes, there are many people who think we go into this profession for the money, but please consider this. A starting teacher’s salary in our school board is $39 000. And this is after an average of 5-7 years to get a contract. In order to move up on the pay grid, teachers must have years of experience (so our salary goes up a little every year up to a maximum of 10 years) and we must also take extra courses in order to be paid the maximum amount. So in order to reach the top of the pay scale, a teacher must have had a contract for 10 years and have taken several extra university credits (paid out of their own pockets AFTER two university degrees).

So given that it might take 10-15 years to make it to the top of the pay scale (which is still a modest amount), many people’s assertion that teachers are in this for the money really have no justification for their position. When you ask teachers to look at “how good we have it”, please realize that when we go into teaching, the reasons are NEVER about the money!  If I wanted to get rich, I definitely would not have chosen teaching as a career.  

Pensions:  Yes, we have a good one.  Because we PAY into it!!  Every maternity leave that I’ve taken (3 in total), I have paid back my pension and paid $8000 plus each time to keep it updated.  Pulled it out of an RRSP.

So putting the money argument aside for a moment, this fight with the government actually has NOTHING to do with money. The bottom line for most teachers is that we have the RIGHT to negotiate with our employer. In fact, when this whole thing first got started, most teachers I know said “pay freeze for two years – yup, times are tough – we get it”. But it was only after more details evolved that we realized that the government wants to take away WAY more than two years of a pay increase.

Some say that we should be negotiating with our employers.

POINT OF CLARIFICATION here – the government is NOT our employer!!  The school boards are.   Imagine a third party coming in, going over your employer, who you have a good working relationship with, and telling you and them what you will be paid, how many sick days you will get, what days you will take off without pay, and that EVERYTHING you have negotiated with your employer in the last 20 years has now just been taken away in a heartbeat. No discussion. You have no say and your employer has NO say.  Not even 5 minutes of discussion were we given – thanks so much!

Wouldn’t you fight to at least have the discussion with your employer? Even if you ended up with the same thing the government wanted to impose, would you not fight to have the ability to try?

Here are the two biggest concerns that I have:
  1. Yes people not in unions dislike unions. But unions are the backbone of a lot of our working class people – whether they are in one or not.  If unions fall, we should ALL be very afraid!  What the government seems to be attempting to do is to get rid of unions.  This is not about an argument with teachers. This is about the government exerting unjustified power to wave their magic wand and do whatever the heck they want and this is NOT OK!!  Whether you are in a union or not, whether you support unions or not, remember that they are the ones who have fought for statutory holidays, minimum wage, overtime and good working conditions.  Whatever is negotiated, ALL workers benefit!  Get rid of the unions – you’ll also be getting rid of the middle class.  Less people have less money to spend = more people out of jobs.  Period.

2.  This fight is about protecting our democratic right to free collective bargaining with our employers. If Bill 115 is allowed to stand (which I doubt, because one very similar to it was just reversed in BC because it was considered unconstitutional and unlawful by the courts), then this allows governments free reign and places themselves ABOVE the Human Rights Act and ABOVE the Employment Standards Act!! We should ALL be very scared of this! They are putting themselves ABOVE the law.

    That’s it. Top two concerns for sure. Not about money, sick days, pension or benefits.

    The government could have easily said to the school boards (OUR EMPLOYERS) that they had a certain amount of money and then teachers would have (just like we do every 2-4 years) negotiated our contracts with our employers. But they didn’t.

    Because of their excessive spending over the last 8 years, the Liberals panicked when it came time for the bi-election a few months ago. In order to get the Conservative vote, they acted hard-nosed to get a majority.   How’d that work for you McGuinty?

    I get it. You’re upset.  When teacher’s contracts are splayed out in the papers for everyone to see every few years, people get pissed off at our “privilege” and our sick days, and our summers off. We all have that one teacher who was mean to us (or 2 or 3) and it’s time we give all teachers heck because of the very few bad apples.

    AND on top of that, what we have always gets compared to what everyone else has.

    Teachers work hard. No one is saying that you don’t.

    Teachers deserve every penny they get. No one is saying that you don’t.

    Teachers need sick days because we are around sick kids who wipe their boogers on us every day. And get lice, Fifths disease and pink eye. The flu, barf on our shoes, and sneezing in our face. Oh yes. Fun times.

    Teachers get the summers off. Yup. And we don’t get paid either. We get paid for TEN months.

    Teachers negotiated banking sick days. This actually ended up being better for the government than paying us vacation pay, so we actually gave in and took the banked sick days over having vacation pay every year. Banking sick days means that we have a bit of a short term disability plan if we get really sick. It means that at the end if we haven’t used all of our days, we get a small retirement gratuity, which is then taxed and half taken away. This actually SAVES the government money in the long run – cheaper than the supply teachers they would have had to pay had we taken all of those days. (Let’s not mention that Dalton is getting paid right now for doing NOTHING (excuse me, I mean organizing the Liberal Leadership convention), and when he retires in a month will get a retirement gratuity of $315,000), but who notices that?

    We get that we are well taken care of. But we help you RAISE your children. And for some, we provide a safe place, food for breakfast, a hug a day, love and support when they get that NO WHERE ELSE.

    And we do a ton of extra-curriculars. The public loves us when we do them and they get outraged when we don't. They are ALL VOLUNTEER!!  And we love doing them, but NO ONE has the right – not our employer, not the government, and not the public – to pressure us or to chastise us when we choose not to VOLUNTEER! 

    I had a student tell me yesterday that I have changed his life. Not because I do an after school activity with him, but because I listen to him, care for him, spend time with him and value him.

    Yes, we’ve all had a crappy teacher or two. But please everyone… don’t make it about that. Teachers deserve your respect. You love us all year until it’s time to negotiate with our employers which we have every right to do.

    Parents – you’re pissed off?  Good.  Because now you’re paying attention!  So how will you expend that frustration?  Posting more Facebook posts about how horrible and greedy teachers are?  I hope not.

    Do better than that. Stand with us.

    We are fighting for your children.  For our own children.

    We are fighting for public education.

    We are fighting for democracy.

    And if we get taken down, I’d watch your back, because you might be next….

    Saturday, November 24, 2012

    In case you were wondering...

    ... these are the English lyrics to Gangnam Style:

    Oppa is Gangnam style
    Gangnam style

    A girl who is warm and humanle during the day
    A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee
    A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes
    A girl with that kind of twist

    I’m a guy
    A guy who is as warm as you during the day
    A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down
    A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
    That kind of guy

    Beautiful, loveable
    Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
    Beautiful, loveable
    Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
    Now let’s go until the end

    Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
    Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
    Oppa is Gangnam style

    Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
    Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

    A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays
    A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes
    A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all
    A sensable girl like that

    I’m a guy
    A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays
    A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes
    A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles
    That kind of guy

    Beautiful, loveable
    Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
    Beautiful, loveable
    Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
    Now let’s go until the end

    Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
    Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
    Oppa is Gangnam style

    Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
    Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

    Read more: 
    Follow us: @kpoplyrics_net on Twitter | kpoplyricsnet on Facebook

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    The feds don't think anti-bullying strategies are worth it

    After reading this article on how our Tory government doesn't feel the need to design a national anti-bullying strategy, my heart sank.  

    Apparently our federal government is more concerned about pushing forward its oilsands-friendly foreign takeover economic action plans & buying an arsenal of fighter planes than protecting Canada's youth from bullying.  Remember that yahoo Vic Toews & his "you're with the pedophiles" malarkey?  Where is he now?  Isn't a stance on anti-bullying right up his alley?

    I can only imagine how Amanda Todd's parents must feel about something like this.  Not only that, what about the people who are being bullied right now as we speak?  I've seen workplace bullying and it's just as bad if not worse.  Bullying in all forms must be stopped.

    Looks like we can't rely on our elected leaders for help.  This is something we have to do for ourselves.

    If you're being bullied, tell someone.  Doesn't matter how old you are.  Just tell somebody that you're being bullied.  Once you tell another person, you'll feel much better & you can begin to heal.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Four more years

    After last night's US election, I'm so happy to be here to say that change is indeed here.  Republicans are sadly realizing that old rich white men are a dying breed (literally) and can't be counted on to win over the country.

    Doesn't that make you think? I've read several articles (read this one in particular) about how the Republicans are whinging that there are too many minorities not voting for them. Well duh.  As a minority, why would you even consider voting for someone who takes one look at the pigments in your skin & instantly judges you as lazy, welfare-hungry and an overall burden to society?

    If you happen to look like the Monopoly man, your time in the ruling class has come to an end.  Your hoards of money won't serve you once you leave this planet.  Let it go now.  Besides, I've heard shuffleboard is a really intense activity.

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    the US presidential election

    Today is the day Americans go to the polls.  It's been a close race so far.  Four years ago on this blog I wrote about Barack Obama's historic win.  Tomorrow, I hope to do the same.

    As a Canadian, I know we have a half-wit in power.  I urge all Americans not to vote for a half-wit - vote for someone who will take your country forward.

    If you won't listen to me, at least listen to what Chris Rock has to say.

    Saturday, October 13, 2012

    the story of Amanda Todd

    Fifteen-year-old Amanda Todd took her own life as a result of extreme bullying.  Such a tragedy happens all the time.  Bullying is real, people.  It's not just about kids.  Adults bully each other too.  I've actually witnessed workplace bullying and nothing was done about it.

    If you're a parent, I strongly urge you to watch Amanda's video with your kids.  Engage them in conversation about bullying.  If your child is being bullied at school, take charge!  Don't wait for the school system's passive-agressive anti-bullying policies further harm your child.  Get involved.  Talk to the bully's parents.   Call the cops.  Do anything that will prevent another tragedy like this.

    Adults, bullying is real among you as well.  Sure, there might be a geeky co-worker in Accounting but is he/she really going to do you any harm?  Is it necessary to send joke emails & set up dating websites for the guy who wears polyester suits?  Workplace depression is on the rise and it's because people feel it's OK to be a douchebag in the workplace.  Well, it's not.

    We need to rise up against bullying in all its forms.  No one should ever be persecuted by another for any reason.  When Ethan & I have kids, we want them to feel they can come to us if they're being bullied.  Grown-ups, tell a friend, family member or loved one.   Bullying just has to stop.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Stanley's adventures in space

    From time to time I see something that makes me stop and just be.  Take the time to watch this video and you'll see why it made me stop and just be.

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    Gangnam Style

    I just wanted to share this video with you because it's been the highlight of my day.

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Quebec Votes - not sure what for

    *sigh* Looks like Quebec will have a female premier leading a minority government.

    Maybe Pauline & her band of merry péquistes will get a taste of what it's really like to have your voice heard as a member of a minority group.

    As for Ethan & I, we don't even know what to think.  Lucky for us our riding is not a PQ riding.

    For those of you overseas, here's the deal: Quebec is a province in Canada that is going through a regional election.  Quebec is primarily French-speaking & has been threatening to become its own country for years now.  Now the people of Quebec have elected a political party who want to leave Canada but still want to keep the Canadian dollar.

    The PQ wants to revise Bill 101 in the next 100 days.  That means English speakers like my husband & I may face difficulties if we want to commerce in English.

    When I wake up tomorrow, I'm still gonna have the sick feeling I've got right now.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Quebec votes... for what I don't know

    Quebec goes to the polls on September 4.  For those of you who live abroad, Quebec is a province within Canada that is mainly French-speaking and known within Canada as "a distinct society".

    I find myself torn over all of this malarkey.  As an anglophone, I don't have much choice.  I can use my vote to support the brown-envelope party, the hardcore English-hating separatists, the Stevie-like separatists, the liberal separatists or the Green Party.

    Of course, the parties are debating over (guess what?) separatism, who did what to whom way back when... that's really about it.  Anyone who's ever been to Quebec will see the crumbling roads for themselves.  Infrastructure is in the hands of the brown-envelope recipients.  Health care at best is abysmal with emergency room wait times exceeding 12-14 hours.  Family doctors are scarce for the general population.   Education isn't not really a priority, unless it's in French.

    Quebec is most likely the poorest of all provinces yet it wants to become its own country with continued economic ties to Canada.  Does this make any sense to you?  If it doesn't, don't fret.  You're not alone.  Too many people are concerned about language in this election.  When another piece of concrete falls on a highway, does it matter if the workers fixing the damage speak French or not?  How come other Francophone nations aren't bullying their citizens to preserve the language that's being threatened by those dastardly English speakers? Oh, heavens to Betsy - the horror!

    I think about Jack Layton (may he rest in peace).  I have every confidence he would be standing up for a better Canada that includes a better Quebec.

    Now hear this all you political types.  It's time to pull your finger out of your bottom orifice and see the forest for the dying trees.  Stop whinging about separatism or the language issue.  No one wants to do business with Quebec because of the crackhead rules about nothing that's really of importance.  Fix the roads.  Stop the corruption already!  Focus on what's really important - education, health care and the economy.  I have a sneaky feeling after this election there's going to be another mass exodus as people are gonna get the H-E double hockey sticks outta dodge.

    If you know me by now, my sneaky feelings are usually right.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    looky here - Athena's in the newspaper!

    Well shiver me timbers, I've gone & got myself quoted in a Sun News Network publication!

    Thanks Gina for publishing my tweet for all to see.  In case you were wondering what the fuss was about, I had heard about Angela Merkel's visit to Canada.  Turns out she was here asking for a handout bailout.  Stevie H told her to sort herself out.

    Stevie, this is the one good thing you've done since taking office.  At this rate you'll have 5 gold stars on your chart by the next federal election!

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

    the Olympics so far

    Well kids, I have been pleasantly surprised by CTV's coverage of the Summer Games.  Gone are the nonsensical whims of fashion & teenage angst.  Analysts include some of Canada's greatest athletes who provide great insight into each event.  Overall, a significant improvement from 2010.

    So what's burning Athena's cookies?  Product placement.  There was a bottle of Coke prominently (read: purposefully) displayed during Ryan Cochrane's press conference yesterday.  This morning the CTV & RDS hosts had a cup of McCafe front & centre.  I wonder who's paying the bills? Hmmm.

    This brings up another question for me.  How is it that McPigs, Coke & P&G end up being Olympic sponsors?  Doesn't the Olympics represent the pinnacle of athletic achievement & performance?  You train hard, endeavour to eat properly and keep yourself in the right frame of mind to have the opportunity to represent your country in front of the world.  Instead, you are surrounded by brands that encourage you to eat shite, drink shite & wash yourself in shite.  Nasty.

    What's all this whinging about the Opening Ceremonies?  I thought it was great!  Ethan & I watched it over a glass of sparkling wine & had a blast.  So what if they highlighted the NHS.  People, it was a tribute to the Great Ormond Street Hospital which is one of the world's leading children's hospitals.  And yes, the British health care system is something to be proud of (I'm talking to you USA)!  Loved Mr. Bean's performance.  Great Britain has given the world the Internet, Harry Potter, James Bond, football hooligans and Coronation Street.  By right they should be proud of that!  All those who oppose just sit down & have a cuppa (tea for all you non-Brits).

    I think I need to get up earlier to watch the good stuff.  Athletics starts Friday August 3rd!

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    wedded bliss

    Ethan and I are married!  Holy crap!  We just got back from our honeymoon in Santa Banana.

    We had the time of our lives during our wedding and our honeymoon.  And yes, our marriage is legally binding, if you catch my drift.

    While we were in Santa Banana, we learned so much about the people and the culture.  The one thing that I will remember most is the power of the human spirit.  The people of Santa Banana may not have financial wealth but they are extremely talented.  We saw so many artisans and musicians that would be world-renowned if it not were for the government restrictions placed on these people.

    Should we 'free' them?  No, it's not our place to do so.  The best thing we can do is visit their land, learn from their culture and find a way to showcase their talents to the world.  It's the next thing to do on my bucket list!

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Ethan & I are getting married!

    Next weekend, Ethan &  I are getting hitched!

    I still haven't decided if I will to change my name to Athena Thornton-Harrison. 

    Or I could do Athena Titanides Thornton-Harrison? That would be one hell of a signature.

     Heck, maybe I will. Athena Titanides Thornton-Harrison. I LOVE the sound of that.

    find your path... go ahead, it's ok!

    Watch this video by Ralph Smart - a very intriguing man Ethan and I have found on our YouTube travels. He eloquently explains why the corporate world isn't for everyone (read: me).

    don't poo on my dreams

    Well folks, the job search is no more.  I can't find a job to save my skin.  Nobody replies to my incessant applications save the "we got your resume thanks for coming out" automated response.

    So I've decided to start my own business.

    Why is it as soon as you tell someone you're going to start your own business they feel the need to poo on your dreams?  It's hard, they say.  You're gonna fail, they say.   Just get a job and don't do anything to jeopardize what little you have.

    NO.  I don't wanna.  I don't wanna work for a company that lines the pockets of a few.  It's time for me to start a venture of my own so I can have a lasting legacy for my children.

    What's my business going to be?  Lemonade.  Okay, so it's not really lemonade but it's pretty close.  Can't be revealing all my secrets, now can I?!

    My lemonade business is going to be earth-friendly, sustainable and completely my doing.  Of course, Ethan will be right by my side.  (awww)  We want to be the best lemonade makers of this whole planet.

    Get a job I certainly will not.  Join me in saying Yay For Lemonade!

    by the way...

    ... I update my Twitter feed more regularly than my blog.

    Don't hate - appreciate!

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    burn my cookies

    Folks, I don't even know where to begin.

    First of all, I support the Quebec student strike!  They have every right to protest tuition hikes.  Something you all should know is that it's not just about tuition hikes.  It's about student debt.  It's about working for pennies (oh wait, they don't exist anymore) after you finish school.  It's about how frustrating it is to get a job and pay off your loans without sacrificing food or shelter.

    Many moons ago, I finished my post-secondary education with a debt of $50K.  I got okay jobs however after paying bills, rent & food I'd have nothing left over.  I used to pay upwards of $1000 per month to student loans.  Then when I lost my job the bill collectors were ruthless.  Get a job, they'd tell me.  So off I'd go to the gift shop, grocery store or mall to get a job to pay the bills; once they saw my resume, they'd tell me thanks but no thanks.  You tell me what I'm supposed to do.

    I also just read some bollocks about changes to EI...? Seriously??? My cookies are on fire.  So Stevie H has decided (in his infinite wisdom) to make it so that if you're on EI, you have to accept a job at a certain percentage of your last job because people are allegedly sitting on their backsides on EI.

    For those of you outside Canada, EI is basically unemployment insurance.  I've been on it a few times - it's not fun.  I would never want to sit on it for good.  I had to go to these asinine workshops that taught me how to look for a job.  Talk about a good waste of my time.  Funny how the feds just ASSUME that the employed are lazy & stupid.  I am neither, for the record.  I know how to pimp my CV.  Better yet, remember my job search?  Dead as a doornail.

    People, blame the employers for lack of jobs.  There are millions out there who are capable of working.  It's the employers who don't want you.  They want people to fit their perfect mould - people who'll be their BFF after 8 hours on the job; people who'll wander around the downtown core in nice expensive clothing on their lunch break; people who'll put work before food, family & friends... I could go on.  Employers need to do their part.  There are indeed jobs out there however the snobs employers will ensure that you'll be on the outside looking in so they can feel better about themselves.

    Good Lord.  Ethan thinks the world economy is going to collapse and money will cease to exist as we know it.  With everything going on in the world today, I'm beginning to think he's right.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    out of the mouths of babes...

    12-year-old Victoria Grant has told it like is! Watch her speech about Canada's banking industry here:

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    this blog hasn't been abandoned...

    So here's a quick update on life:

    - Ethan's mother passed away in March
    - Stevie H is proving to be an exact duplicate of General Admiral Aladeen
    - Despite massive cuts to the CBC, they still renewed Coronation Street (sweet!)
    - FC Barcelona fired their coach
    - Canada quietly bailed out its banks a few years ago
    - I've been watching Oprah's Lifeclasses online and they're GREAT
    - I have a new lease on life!

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    I wanna win an iPad 3!

    Here's my link to Reeves, Aitken & Hightower

    Please please please lemme win an iPad 3 (please)

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    KONY 2012

    I was stopped in my tracks by this video today.  Watch it now:

    Words can't express how I feel about this video. I don't watch YouTube videos that often as most of them are pure bollocks... yet this film stirred up some serious emotions in me. I watch the news (read: what the 1% wants me to know) and try to keep current about what's really going on in the world. Can't say I'd ever heard of Joseph Kony until now. This man is kidnapping Ugandan children to be sex slaves or child soldiers.  It's been going on for more than 20 years.  Did you know that?  I sure didn't.

    There are two things that really touched me about this film.  One is Jason Russell's belief in this cause.  He is a textbook example of how it only takes one person to make a change in this world.  The second thing is how Invisible Children initially approached the US government and were told the US wouldn't intervene unless Kony's actions were a threat to national security or financial interests (read: oil).

    So kids can be killed in someone else's backyard and as long as it doesn't cost me a Benjamin or two it doesn't matter?! What the eff is that!?!?!?!?  I'm so glad that in the end the US feds woke up to this cause.  If it happened to just one of their children they'd be out for blood.

    Finally someone has let the mainstream know that there's more going on in the world than what we see on the news.  Crimes against humanity often takes a back seat to bailouts, falling currencies & who's not playing nice in the sandbox.  People make this world go round; not the euro's latest shenanigans, not the latest GOP primary results and certainly not fossil fuels.

    By the way - did Invisible Children really have to pick Stevie H as one of their 12 policy advisers?  He can't even win an election fair & square much less worry about humanitarian efforts.   We could do with sending Canadian troops currently in Afghanistan to Uganda to flush this Kony fool out.

    Show your support to the Kony 2012 campaign here:

    Let's do what we can to bring the Ugandan children back home.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012

    get a job update #6

    Nil naught nowt zero zilch zippo nada nothing Nil naught nowt zero zilch zippo nada nothing Nil naught nowt zero zilch zippo nada nothing Nil naught nowt zero zilch zippo nada nothing Nil naught nowt zero zilch zippo nada nothing Nil naught nowt zero zilch zippo nada nothing The search continues...

    leap day

    Since I last updated my blog, Whitney Houston passed away.  Yes, she had her issues. Yes, she turned to drugs to deal with her issues.  It's always sad when someone with such talent leaves us.

    While the world was mesmerized by Whitney's death, thousands of people were (and still are) dying in Syria.  The Syrian government has taken complete leave of their senses; as a result, the country is suffering.  Where's the aid, world?  Where's the outpouring of aid that we clearly use very selectively?  Is helping a Syrian bad for PR?  If you'd like to help, make a donation to the Red Cross here.

    I found out not too long ago Davy Jones passed away from a heart attack this morning.  Man, I used to watch the Monkees all the time as a kid!  Guess I'm really becoming an adult now - I feel like my childhood is slowing drifting away.  Then again, my childhood was mostly shite so I wouldn't want to remember it anyway.

    Sure, I'm shocked.  What I'm more shocked about is this robocall nonsense I keep hearing about.  Props to Anonymous for their relentless yet intelligent attacks on our "elected" government.  How is it you are so scared of not winning the election you hire some two-bit company that actually pays their employees to direct voters to the wrong polling stations.  What's worse, these people who received these calls actually believed that Pierre Poutine was telling them the correct information.

    Does liberal/left-wing thinking really scare the bejesus out of people? I believe so wholeheartedly.  The Occupy movement is a prime example of this.  Conservatives around the globe are pissing themselves because the masses are rising up.

    Listen up, Canada!  We need to rise up and expose the Conservatives for what they really are - petulant scaredy-cats who are afraid of their own shadow.  Clearly they didn't think anyone would find out about their reindeer games during last year's supposed election.  People DIE in other parts of the world for the right to vote.  The Conservative government was banking on the fact that you, Canada, took that right for granted.  Unfortunately, they were right.  Canadians have elected a gun-lovin', thievin', good-for-nothing government that's burned more money than any other government in history.  I said it here first - let's begin the Northern Spring.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    get a job update #5

    Since I sent out that initial CV, I sent out 2 others.

    Guess what?

    I got a "we got your CV and we're looking at it" email.  That's it.

    No calls, nothing.

    Easy, is it? (bollocks)

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    it ain't easy being green

    I saw a commercial the other day for Crest Whitestrips that can whiten your teeth in 2 hours.  I wanna know - what in tarnation is on those strips that can whiten the eff out of your teeth in 120 minutes?  Better yet, the women in the commercial were going on a 'road trip'.  Where exactly where they going?  Did they stop because some bloke told them they had arrived?  Confusing.

    It still amazes me how people just don't get how they're slowly being poisoned day in & day out.

    Yeah, I said it.

    How about this candle that can change colour while it breathes phthalates in your airspace?  Reminds me of my Hypercolor t-shirt I had when I was a kid.
    People, I'm on my soapbox with a mighty megaphone called the World Wide Web!  We can do so much for ourselves to be green, healthy & chemical free.  How much money would you save if you cleaned your home with vinegar (about $1 per bottle) and baking soda ($1 per box)?  Let's stop feeding the machine.

    Plus, going green saves you a TON of money.  Ethan & I have saved so much $$$ making our own personal care & cleaning supplies.  Here's a link to a show I'm completely addicted to called SuperScrimpers - they've got some amazing money-saving ideas!!

    get a job update #4

    Still no word from that job I applied for.  The posting did say "Ideal for students".  Guess that means if you're over 30, don't bother.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    in case you didn't see it...

    All Hail the New York Giants! Here's last night's halftime show: Here's another one of my favourite halftime shows of all time:

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    get a job update #3

    Still no word from the job I applied for.   In the meantime, check out this article from CBC News:

    Sunday, January 29, 2012

    get a job update

    I've done it!  I found a job posting, pimped out my resume & cover letter & sent it off.  It'll be on their desk bright & early Monday morning.

    It's actually not a bad opportunity to be honest.  I could do it in my sleep.  Root for Athena as she goes on a quest to land a part-time job paying $200 a week!

    get a job

    My future mother-in-law is always on my arse to get a job.  She thinks I'm a total gold digger like the chicky in this song:

    Well doesn't it just suck for her that I'm not a trifling gold digger.  "Get a job" she tells me through Ethan. 
    "Why can't she just get a job?  I used to get jobs very easily"
    "How hard is it to get a job?"
    "She can get a job as a secretary no problem"
    "There's so many jobs out there - she can't be choosy"

    Rather than telling her where to go & how to get there, I want to tell you all just what it's like to go get a job.

    First, let's look at my qualifications.  I have a bachelor's degree & a college certificate.  I have 10 years experience in people management.  I know Mac OS, Office, Adobe, HTML & a bunch of database systems.  I can type 60+ WPM.  I can read, write & breathe on my own.  

    I see a job posting that I know I can do.  I adjust my CV to highlight my experiences to illustrate how I would be good for the job.  I fill out the long-ass online application. I draft a lovely cover letter & upload my CV to the employer's and/or recruiter's database.  I get an email saying thanks for your interest - don't call us we'll call you.  Then I wait.

    Here's the thing.  There are thousands of jobs posted online.  There's the "hidden job market" that's clearly not available for you & me.  So why is it so damn difficult to get a job?  I'll tell you why.

    Employers want people who will keep up the serfdom atmosphere of their establishment.  The ideal candidate is someone who's going to kiss their ring because they pay them every 2 weeks.   Someone who won't question their methods or business decisions.  Someone who'll eat lunch at the cool kids' table in the lunchroom & play with them after school.  Someone who'll be their confidante after 1 business day.  People, listen to me when I say employers will look at your qualifications to a limited degree.  If you aren't willing to do any of the things I listed above, they'll tell you that a) they have found someone who meets their requirements; b) we've found someone who's a better fit or best of all c) we think you're overqualified & you might leave for something better.

    As you can see, my job searching experiences has left me with somewhat of a bitter taste in my mouth. Just to illustrate what I mean, I'm going to apply to a job.  I'm going to send my CV & do all the things I'm supposed to do.  Of course, I'll keep you all posted. 

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Year of the Dragon

    The Year of the Water Dragon begins on January 23rd.  This year is shaping up to be one of momentous change for all of us.

    Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!

    death of a salesman

    Joe Paterno, football coach at Penn State University passed away today from complications of his lung cancer treatments.  He was 85 years old.

    Not too long ago Joe Paterno was implicated in the Penn State sexual abuse nastiness scandal.  He found out about the nastiness, reported it to school officials then did nothing else.  I believe the nastiness wasn't reported to the local authorities because of the scandals that would surround the school.

    Joe's death got me thinking. Was his passing a result of karma?  Did his actions come full circle?  What do you all think?

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    How to defeat worry by Robin Sharma

    Folks, watch this video by Robin Sharma:

    If it doesn't make you go hmm, watch it over & over till it does.

    dawn of a new Athena

    As I've said previously, 2012 is a big year; not just for me but for every single person who walks this planet.  Life as we know it will never be the same again.

    Having said that, each day I surround myself with positivity.  I've lived too long shrouded in negativity.  I've been surrounded by people (family included) who think life is just one big pile of shite.  Is it really?  No - simple as that.  Life is a gift.  Life is amazing.  Life continues to take my breath away.

    I'm in the process of losing weight - really truly honest-to-God losing weight.  How wicked is that?  My Twitter feed is just full of affirmations that serve to remind me that life is indeed beautiful.  One look at the news'll tell you that there's a lot of shite happening in the world - uh-huh.  The economy is in the toilet.  Swordfights are happening between countries to see who's got the biggest rod nuclear arms cache.  Plus there's just way too many ignant-ass people on this planet.

    To all of this shite I say count your blessings & not your pennies.  Your worth isn't determined by the size of your rod but what you do to help yourself & others.  Take off the blinders & look around.  Learn from someone who walks a different path than you.

    Speaking of which, I keep seeing bits & pieces about the GOP race in the US.  I like to call it the "ignantest-ass contest".  I just can't believe some of the utter rubbish that's been coming out of these fools' mouths - education isn't a right? Scholarships for white males only?  Food stamps to fight obesity?

    Never thought I'd say this but to all you GOPites out there: y'all need Jesus.