Wednesday, December 20, 2006

perhaps a bit too honest

“I think our difficulty in accessing happiness lies in large part right there: We are usually preoccupied with being useful – doing something with an outcome in mind, rather than being open to where we are at this moment . . . happiness, not to mention joy, can help us forget ourselves altogether, at least for a time. It can take us into the wide world beyond our own self-preoccupations. It can join us to the trees, to other people, to cows and to stones and to the living pulse of humankind itself. It can join us to the china mug of tea in our own right hand. Strange, then, that it should seem so fleeting and difficult to grasp.
Happiness is our natural state. It is the feeling tone of who we are when we are most at home in ourselves. It means there is nothing to add to what we already have, or to who we already are.
Let us . . . remember . . . that some great music is playing, even now, in the midst of it all, and the happiness inside us is part of the melody.” (Roger Housden, "Taking a Chance on Joy," Oprah December 2006, 277-278)

Yes, its from the Oprah magazine. Big surprise.

Happiness has always been a struggle for me. Not in attaining it persay, but in my struggle with how to approach it. Is it something to be desired? To be pursued? To be cherished? Does happiness provide any sort of meaning? Is it in essence merely a reprieve from suckier parts or moments of life?

Basically, is it something that I should want, or merely something I should be grateful for if it happens?

I’m not quite sure that I agree with the author when he states that “Happiness is our natural state.” I think that he assumes that if we take those little moments, those moments looking at trees or simply enjoying a hot cup of tea under a blanket on a cold day without anywhere else to be, that if we just stop focusing on all of the busyness and tyranny of life, then happiness will creep in and envelop us. I very much understand the value of appreciating life as it is right now, and I am very much a fan of pursuing simplicity in forms such as this. But life is a painful beast. And there are moments when I am very much enjoying my tea under a fuzzy polar bear blanket and I very much appreciate that moment, yet I am not at all happy. It is often those moments where everything is quiet, where I am content physically and am thankful for that very moment which my mind and heart laments passionately and painfully for the existence of mine and the world’s sinfulness, for the very existence of death, for the frustrating mysteriousness of God, for lost dreams, for broken relationships . . .

Should it frighten me that the “feeling tone of who (I am) when (I am) most at home in (myself)” is one, at least lately, of overwhelming sadness? Should I embrace that? Should I fight that? Should I struggle through that? Is this merely a phase . . . a temporary part of the journey . . . or a permanent fixation?

Is this me? Or not?

Am I too pessimistic? Too busy in my head? Am I getting life wrong? Am I getting myself wrong? Should I just learn to freaking relax?

Happiness would be great. But I don’t think that’s in store for me today. And honestly, sometimes I am ok with that. Sometimes.

Was Julian of Norwich happy? Hmm.

Monday, December 18, 2006

selfish day...but it felt so good

I frickin’ watched 4 movies yesterday – with 4 different sets of people. That’s what I did. And I slept. Lots. I slept so much I thought I was Jack Van Impe. Wait, I think I mean Rip Van Winkle.

So here’s a helpful hint; whenever somebody tries to convince you that genetically modified foods are the answer to ending global hunger, tell them this: Hunger is Due to Injustice, Not Lack of food.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

are you supposed to peel turnips?

I’m such a loser

I cried twice already today, and it is only 8:30 am. First I cried when my bus came and the driver was dressed like Santa Claus and there were Christmas carols and he was so happy. That made me smile lots. But then I watched when at every bus stop people would get on, and then their faces would brighten so fast and there was such a feeling of commonality and goodness on their faces. There was something special and significant there, and it is all thanks to the bus driver who doesn’t have enough personal shame not to dress up like a badly dressed old fat man. I have lately begun to appreciate Christmas in ways which I haven’t before. Though not all in North America profess Christ, or may even understand what Christmas is all about, there is still something there holding people together. Something special about this time of year which everybody understands, even if it is just fleeting or very subtle. Something is there which brings strangers together in a very small way. And that is cool. And it made me teary.

Then I cried again when Quincy gave his life to save Madame Mina from the evil vampires. It was very touching.

Yesterday was the first time that I remember ever eating a turnip. I’m not even sure if I made it right. Are you supposed to peel turnips? It seemed like a good thing to do, so I did it. I made Stock with it. But now I have a half of a turnip left, but don’t quite know how to cook it. Any help? Janie? Martha? Luke? John? I claim ignorance in turnip-ness. Perhaps its not even a turnip at all, but was something which seemed to me might be a turnip at the time. There was a bin of 4 things, and one of the labels above was turnips so I took my best guess. Don’t mock me for my ignorance – it’s not my fault that my mother deprived me of turnips as a child.

Anyway. Happy Christmastime, all. That’s all for now.

Oh, yeah. Wait. I met with Jenny Gerbasi this week at Hy’s Steak House. SWANKY! It was fun, and I learned lots and also got 2 free tickets to a Hillbilly Burlesque show, dessert, and a picture for my wall (not of Jenny, of Portage avenue, though I think I can tape a picture of her in front of the MTS centre. We’ll see). It was great, and very eye-opening. Sometimes I think my calling is in politics, sometimes I think my calling is more pastoral, other times I think and wish I was called to more of an unemployed and hippie-ish type life where I eat the roots out of my backyard and spend all day trying to make a non-animal harming djembe out of berries and moose snot. Sigh. Where will the future lead? Who the heck knows?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Is Water A Human Right?

In 2002, Canada was the only nation to vote against accepting water as a human right at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Canada has not since changed it stance on water in International affairs. This stance also affects Canada’s domestic water policies, as the inquiry into the Walkerton water situation discovered that Canadians are not guaranteed the right to water anywhere in Canadian legislation.

Why are the implications of proclaiming water as a human right?

1) If water is declared a human right, than privatization of water is limited or abolished altogether. This means that Internationally vendors and governments can no longer deny their customers and citizens access to water because they are not able to pay for it. This means less profits for governments and multinational corporations. People die and suffer everyday because they are denied access to water which is readily available, though they cannot afford it.

2) If water is declared a human right, governments will be forced and obligated to provide all of its citizens with healthy, potable water. Again I reference the situation in Walkerton. Likewise, there are a number of Canadian reserves which face issues of access to safe drinking water. If water is declared a human right domestically, the federal government would have to address these issues and be responsible for providing potable water to all communities.

3) If water is declared a human right, governments will be forced to mandate more strict environmental controls into place to protect this human right.

I have provided some resources which I encourage you to take some time and look at. I have also added a voice defending water privatization for some balance. If you feel so moved to contact the government to speak out against this situation, click here.

The Council of Canadians

Blue Planet Project

World Health Organization

CBC News In-Depth

Pro-Water Privatization

THE UNTAPPED POTENTIAL OF WATER PRIVATIZATION - a report paid for by American Water Works Inc.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

thank you all . . .

. . . for thinking that i am cooler than I actually am.

Most of you thought that I chose Ace Burpee. Nay, you have too much faith in my coolness. I chose councillor Jenny Gerbasi. She is actually one of my local heros - she does great things to fight poverty and to fight for equality of everybody. So I will have lunch and bask in the wonder that is her for an hour. I am really looking forward to learning as much as I can from her.

Does anybody know that I am still considering politics as a career? Does anybody else know that Ace Burpee and I went to the same high school, knows my brother, and that I know his real name? I am afraid of being sued, so I won't tell you what it is.

More questions: Who the heck thought I would hang out with the Manitoba Hydro Guy? And who is it who still thought, and probably continues to think, that I didn't win this stellar prize? It is true. I will give you an update after it actually happens. I don't want to be a geek or anything and stalk her or whatever, but I would really like to have a picture taken of this momentous event. Would somebody be willing to hang out at the restaurant and take discreet pictures of us? You know, pretend you are taking a picture of the plant or the sexy lady at the table (me) but actually be taking a picture of me, Jenny Gerbasi, and the security guard who most likely accompanies her everywhere?

In other news. A bunch of wonderful sexy ladies chipped in around my birthday and gave me money to buy a drum. Thanks, girls! I have chosen one. Its very pretty. Unfortunatly nobody else is here to take my picture of me drumming on it, so i attempted to photoshop a pic of me playing a drum. It didn't work, as I don't have a picture of myself in that position. So then I tried to photoshop a picture of my head and hand onto it. It was creepy because I was a floating head and hand around this drum (my mom would like it, though). So then I tried to photoshop a body of a little person onto my head, but this particular little person was wearing all black so it didn't really turn out too well. So then I gave the person a yellow shirt. Yay!

Thanks, girls!

Oh, yeah. And check out this Adbusters article: Who Owns the Word Terror? It's interesting. Words are so powerful.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Super Random

So I won a lunch with a downtown celebrity. No, I am not joking. I had a choice of four individuals:

- Ace Burpee - Hot 103 DJ

- R.B. Brennen - CEO of Manitoba Hydro

- Scott Arniel - head coach of Manitoba Moose

- Jenny Gerbasi - City Councillor

I thought it would be great fun if you guys tell me who you thought I chose. Follow this link to vote (feel free to leave your name in the comment section . . . or not)


The "Truth" will be revealed on Wednesday! Have fun!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

surgeon general's warning

Do NOT go see Fast Food Nation. It can be hazardous to your health. One of, if not the WORST movies I have EVER seen. bad writing, bad acting, even set lighting which does not fit the tone of the movie. I have never seen this much unnecessary drama since the Backstreet Boys came to Winnipeg (that one's for you, Kara). I would rather watch 18 hours straight of full house, sticking a needle into my eye everytime Michelle says "You got it dude" than have unsuspecting friends throw away their money and time on this movie.
Anyway, enough of that rant.

A few weeks ago me, Mom, Candy, and Lisa went down to the states for some serious female bonding. Enjoy the pics:

Monday, November 20, 2006


Last week I watched the film "Everything is Illuminated" with a very small group of people. The first half of the movie was honestly one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I laughed so hard, I even did my famous cackle. It was "premium."
The second half was significantly more intense, emotional, and sad. It was deep. Sometimes too deep for me or my boss or other people in the group who tried to understand what the heck happened at certain parts. But it was very good and very enjoyable and I would like other people to see it so that I could quote all of the funnyness like Napoleon Dynamite and so we could all laugh together. Sammy David Jr. Jr.?

Afterwards we had a discussion - the movie was about a young Jewish man who was trying to dig into his family history. Lots of stuff about the Nazis, and lots of painful memories of people. During the discussion an individual said, and I use these quotes loosely, "The essence of Christianity is believing, while the essence of Judaism is remembering." I believe he was quoting a rabbai friend of his, which hopefully gives this more credibility.

This made me ponder a lot and has made me feel very jealous towards Judaism. The essense of Christianity is believing - that is very true. But honestly, sometimes that sucks. Or that is a very frustrating and struggling thing for me. To have something so intangible, something that can at times be so plagued with doubt that you doubt its very credibility, that it is very hard sometimes to find meaning in believing something which you cannot see. There are often days, weeks, - sometimes significantly longer, which I try so hard to find something meaningful in this world in the lens of Christianity and of Christ, and I cannot. The purpose of pain and suffering in this world is one which plagues me because the point of it seems so "out there," so intangibly hard to grasp in light of our (and, most especially, friends and family's) mortality. I used to be able to see meaning in pain for the purpose of character building, soul building, but since J's death this has been hard and I have become cynical about this. It is hard to hold onto hope and hard to find value in something that seems so utterly unnecesary.

i think spelled that wrong.

I envy Judaism. To have an essence in remembering - to be able to point to that for meaning, to find value and, to a point, salvation, in remembering the past - that i can see is very significant. very poignant, and very powerful. Also very much more excitingly tangible. I personally can see very much significance, power, and meaningfulness in this essence.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

anybody like heathen music?

I have an extra ticket for Powerball on Thursday (Theory of a Dead Man, 3 Days Grace, and some other groups I don't care about). Wanna come? Or know somebody who wants to come? (I can make friends, pretty easily. They won't even have to talk to me. Just buy me a corn dog and I'll be happy). Email me or post a comment if you don't have my email addy, or if you merely are a strange person who doesn't know me but wants to get in on this.

Monday, November 13, 2006

ramblings . . . not even good ones

First of all, kudos to Dave for beating me to a posting on the Easy Answer Squirrel. Check out Wondercafe, and click on the squirrel on the lower right. Awesome. Also, if you are bold enough, check out the print ads (click on “Ad Campaign”). They are wonderfully disturbing.

Onto other things. Some weeks it is hard to find something to post on, but this week it is far too easy. I am quite stressed out and as such don’t think that I am physically able to put much feelings into words, at least not effectively. So I will choose one of the simplest thoughts I have had this week and try to be coherant – hopefully my thoughts on the rest will sustain until I actually have time to devote to writing about them.

During my weekly SCM group at the U of M, we were speaking about lots of issues – liberation theology, human rights, peace – the normal good stuff. We were also speaking about choices, that there are so many choices out there, so many choices, both good and bad, to make which help or harm people (or help or harm ourselves). Sometimes it is difficult to make a descent choice – even when the shades of good and back are pretty starkly black and white. Then one of the individuals said something along the lines of “We have already made our decision on what we are going to. We decided to follow Jesus. That’s it.” That was pretty cool. It is funny to think about how many things that I struggle with – how many things that I toy with what to do – when, if I am truthful to my testimony, I have already decided about long ago. It’s a funny, and even liberating way to think about life. Should I forgive this person? That’s not even a question. I decided years ago that I would follow Jesus. Following Jesus means living a life of forgiveness. I think the hardest questions in terms of this fall around issues which are a bit grey, especially those which mostly affects me and not anybody else. The biggest issues for me lately in this respect is, “should I keep pursuing this faith?” “should I keep striving to become closer to Christ?” “should I keep pursuing justice even though it seems so useless and it doesn’t seem to make any difference?” “should I do my best to follow Jesus today?” Yes. I made up my mind about these a long time ago. It’s silly to even come back to them – I gave that answer years ago, I made up my mind long ago. I will pursue Jesus. I will strive to become more like Him in my attitudes, spirit, and behaviors. Frick, that’s hard. But beautiful. And that’s cool.

Monday, November 06, 2006

2 important things . . .

Check out "The Wuzzles" blog - you can find their link under "Links" (I know, I am creative) on the right hand side. You can see my stellar Care Bear birthday cake there! Thanks, all for the great birthday parties from this last week!

Thought for the week: "It needs to start feeling strange when you flush the toilet with water that you could be drinking." - Anna Weier (Geez Magazine, Summer 2006) In light of severe water shortages worldwide and the upcoming water crisis, it has started feeling strange to me already. Anybody have any thoughts on this? I don't have the time or energy to expand today, but "they" say that the wars of the future will be fought over water . . .

The Council of Canadians (of which I am a proud member) has lots of info on Water privitization, water as a human right, Canada's water policy, etc, if you want to read up a bit on water issues, if I haven't already preached enough to you personally.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

26 on 31

"it's a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life."

I think that is from a Michael Buble song, but I'm not sure. nevertheless, it has been in my head for the last few days.

today i am 26. and have decided to start my new life today. to make not only new life resolutions, but a whole new beginning.

This is cool. I don't quite know what this means, honestly, and I accept the fact that it may only last about 2 more hours. but i have decided to step forward starting today, to look at the past not as something to be continually longed for, but more as a guideline, a "lonely planet" as to how I want to live out my future. to be thankful for experiences which, though may have turned sour, were really really good at that moment and deserve to be cherished. to look back with fondness at my relationships with very good people, and to focus on that and not the sometimes devestating loss of these relationships and these people in my life. to go with the flow more, to practice experiencing joy, not take myself or life too seriously when life does not warrant it, and to take myself super seriously when the moment demands it - when there is injustice, when there is oppression, when things which are urgent but unimportant take precedence over things which are important but non-urgent. To see how much more important it is to appreciate a sunset, a game of puppet show, the beauty of a quiet moment, to see how much more important these things are than other urgent silly things such as work deadlines, car maintenance - to focus on my goals, to really prioritize what is truly important, to love and serve God with my entire life and to continue the dance that we have started so many years ago.

I realize this is very abstract. sorry about this.

I am committed to the following:
1. Being less dramatic. That is, not to heighten situations to points where they should not be heightened, and not looking for negative attention through unnecessary drama.
2. Simplifying my life. In terms of possessions, but mostly in terms of my schedule. I have no idea how I am going to fix my crazy schedule problem. But I am committed to a life ethos of focusing on the important, even though at the time there may be more urgent but unimportant tasks. Please help me figure this out.
3. To be myself, passionately and unashamedly. To see truth - to love myself as a true creation of God with wonderful gifts, abilities, and attributes. To find a balance between challenging myself to become more and to grow yet embrace the person who i am at that moment. To allow myself the grace to continue when i fall. To "go with the flow" a bit more (that one's for you, Odes).

I will fail at these, for sure. But that's ok - its a process and i think new lives take a bit of practice, so its all good. any help from my friends is greatly appreciated (I have the BEST friends, by the way. They are all stellar, and I am truly blessed).

Happy Birthday to me,

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

my hair is purple

once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a beautiful princess named bre. bre's kingdom was not extremely wealthy, so she did not have stores of gold, scads of bmw's, or rooms full of mac computers (she did, however, live in a great country and was among the wealthiest 25% of the entire world, so really she was pretty well off). Princess Bre always struggled with wanting things. Worse off, she struggled with being owned by her possessions. One day she realized that this was a major problem, and she tried hard to curb her expenditures, focus on paying off her debt, and try to realize a rich life without silly things like dvd sets, laptop computers, and a nice car (well, the car was a mistake).

She struggled and struggled and struggled with wanting lots and lots of things. And then she got to a point where she was able to let go of wanting bigger and better possessions. And this was great. And sometimes she was able to make it past an HMV without feeling like she NEEDED to go in. And it was literally 3 months since she logged onto Ebay. She was making headway. Yay for Princess Bre! She is conquering consumerism!

unfortunately, as in all fairy tales, bad things happened. Princess Bre was having a birthday. It is tradition that every year Princess Bre allows herself to buy something fun that she would not normally purchase. This year was different, though. "I honestly don't want anything," said Princess Bre. "There is nothing really that I desire that is under $100." This seemed curious to her, but she was happy about this, as it meant that her addiction to consumerism was getting better.

She did, however, walk past the music store. "That's it!" she said. "I would love to buy myself a new drum!" This she thought was useful as she could buy herself a smaller drum that could be brought along on camping trips or other places which it would be useful, but awkward to take her big drum.

A few days later she walked past the UM bookstore. "That's it!" she said. "I would love a UM sweatshirt!" Then she thought of how much she would like a UW sweatshirt. Then she thought about how sweet it would be to get a DVD recorder, some cool 80's cartoon paraphanalia (because she doesn't have enough), a star trek dvd set, a new vcr before they stop making them, a popcorn maker, a shelf unit, some cool books, a new bed tent (just kidding), a kicking new journal, a blender, a descent pot set, a kangaroo, more muppet figures, and a subsciption to Oprah magazine.

Suddenly Princess Bre was not so content with her life. There were so many things that she desired, and felt that she could NOT live without. she NEEDS all of these things to be a happy person.

And then Princess Bre realized that she messed up a pretty good thing, and fell right back into her problem of wanting and wanting and desiring so many things. "Stupid birthday," said Princess Bre. "It ruined my life." Princess Bre is a very dramatic individual. However, she is also highly attractive and very determined to always grow, and she was confident that she would be able to beat this returned desire for consumption. Someday.

The end.

p.s. Wednesday is election day. Please, please, please vote. i don't care who you vote for, just vote (well, i do care, but that's my problem).

p.p.s. Due to popular demand, there is now a "cool winnipeg-ness" section at the right of your screen. No, the right. Look over there --> Yes! There it is. This will be constantly updated. Fun.

p.p.p.s. don't forget the "take some sweet action" links under the cool winnipeg-ness and change the world with me and lots of other people who super care about justice, the earth, and the importance of giving everybody a fair chance.


Friday, October 20, 2006

High Efficiency Worship

Check out this article:

High Efficiency Worship

It appears in my favorite magazine, Geez. Info on Geez can be found on the webpage.

Let the world know what you think - leave a comment!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

whoa! two posts in one week!

I just want to make everybody aware of an event coming up this friday entitled

OPERATION BLESS OUR ENEMIES: A religious gathering to coincide with the opening of the Franklin Graham Festival.

Friday, October 20, at 5:15 p.m. at Knox United Church (400 Edmonton Street, 1 1/2 blocks north of Portage Place).

Background information on this can be found online at

I am not endorsing this event, as I haven't really gotten a real chance to research these issues. But I highly respect the organizers of this event, so will be researching myself as to what I think about all of this.

CNN does quote Franklin Graham as saying the following: (emphasis mine)

Graham: And this may sound rough, Judy, but we need to use every weapon in our arsenal that need be to defeat this enemy. And I don't think we should hold back. And we'll make a great mistake if we hold back our technology and hold back our weapons and put young men and women in there and sacrifice them because we're scared to use some of our major weapons. And I think we're going to have to use every -- and I hate to say it, hellish weapon in our inventory, if need be, to defeat these people.
WOODRUFF: Do you really believe that the American people are prepared now to have young Americans die?

GRAHAM: No. But I think they're prepared to stop this, and not to put our young men needlessly or our young women needlessly. And yes, there may be some young men and women whose lives may be lost, and I pray not. And that's why I think we need to use these weapons that we have, and not our young men and not our young women and just sacrifice them as (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But let's use the weapons we have, the weapons of mass destruction if need be and destroy the enemy.

This makes me sad, as I am (was?) a big fan of Franklin Graham and of Samaritan's Purse. I will be doing more research on this, but wanted to throw that out there.

Monday, October 16, 2006

the never-ending treasure hunt

Man, kids are cool.

This is my nephew. He is fun.

This is my other nephew. He is fun, too, but this story is not about him. But I want him to have his picture on the internet, ‘cause he’s cute.

Seth is 4 years old. Sometimes he is sweet, sometimes he is fun, sometimes he is a terror, and sometimes he whines. But mostly he is sweet and fun and I adore him.

I was sort of shamed to discover something this week. I often play with him – usually cars, or treasure hunt, or puppet show, or some other game that he likes that day or that is around. I have played with him unnumerable times during his short life, and especially now that I live downstairs from him.

Last week he came down to play, and instead of normally rushing through play time like I would normally do because there is something else I should be getting to, I really took time, sat down with him, and really played WITH him. For, I think, the first time in his young life. I came down to his level, gave him as much attention possible, and really tried to understand him and play and explore instead of rushing through things, or going through the motions of the treasure hunt without actually engaging him through it. OK. Treasure hunt time. I will just follow you and try to pretend to be surprised when we find the treasure though I know exactly where it is because you hid it in the same place the last 6 treasure hunts we went on in the last 30 minutes.

We sat down together. And we PLAYED. And it was cool. Though sometimes I thought I would go insane because we did the same puppet show about 18 times over and he would be upset at me if I would change the smallest part of the puppet show - innate repetition seems to be one of his favorite things in the world. But I really tried to focus on the joy in his eyes and really tried to be excited about spiderman saving Lightning McQueen from certain death over and over and over and over and over again. To play with him – to not just go through the required motions, to be there in that moment fully and completely, like there is NOTHING else in the world as important as saving Lightning McQueen even though he is dumb enough to drive himself into another dangerous situation. To really have that be the most important thing in the world, and not be thinking about what else I SHOULD be doing. That’s cool. And radical, even. And I am a bit ashamed that I was playing with him so often in ways that were not really meaningful.

He’s very smart. He knows when people are listening, when they are not, when they are engaged, and when their mind is somewhere else. So I am trying to really, whenever he comes downstairs to play, to put aside WHATEVER I am doing to really just BE with him. And this is cool. And it seems that he is coming downstairs more often, and simply the amount of eye contact we have, our smiles and giggles together, have increased. And I wonder why I was so dumb that I didn’t realize that I was robbing him of my complete and whole attention before.

Sorry, Monkey. Sorry for wasting so much time, and for disrespecting your need for real connection and real engagement when we play puppet show and treasure hunt. I look forward to many more puppet shows and treasure hunts in the future. Love you!

Auntie Tootsie

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fair Trade Manitoba

*****UPDATED OCTOBER 11th*****
I found the Fair Trade Manitoba Webpage! Info on becoming a member can be found here (click on "about us" and then scroll to the near bottom). Membership is FREE!

On October 17th at 7 pm in Eckhardt-Grammate Hall in the University of Winnipeg, there will be a film screening of Black Gold: Wake up and Smell the Coffee as well as the official public launch of Fair Trade Manitoba.

I am proud to say that I am a member of Fair Trade Manitoba - an action network promoting awareness of, and support for, fair trade issues among Manitobans. Issues of economic justice are very important to me and I am excited about this new organization. If you are at all interested in these issues, I encourage you to come out. The fee is $5 - $3 for students. I will definitly be there! Let me know if you are coming so we can hang out. Feel free to click the Black Gold link to see a preview of the movie.


Monday, October 02, 2006

a little break . . . mostly

my blog has been so serious lately. here's just some random thoughts and things which have been on my mind. not too serious today, which i think is needed, at least for myself.

First, the regal catalogue. i got this in the mail, and there are some fun things in there. First:

This is a cute picture, and it wouldn't be so bad, but the caption beneath it says: Now your dog can be warm AND stylish! Really, come on. Now I not only feel guilty for not being stylish myself, I feel guilty that my dog isn't stylish and will be made fun of by all of the other cooler dogs. Sick! Even worse, I don't have a dog to make stylish!

Way to go, Regal. This haircut guy is awesome. Lookit how happy he is!

On another note - i am truly and completly blessed. I was with a bunch of people, good people who i appreciate and enjoy muchly, and we were doing visualization exercises about when we really felt loved. I was thinking and was trying to pick from all of the times running around in my brain - when Janie sat with me in my tent, when ernie bought me a fringe pass, when odie makes me supper, when my mom tells me about her funny and fascinating life. I was astounded and floored when I realized that not everybody shares this experience, and that it is a struggle for some to think of one specific time which they felt completly loved. This has been such a part of my family and my friendships and of my college experience i think i have just taken it for granted. this re-kindles a passion in me, at least mildly, to love people as i have been loved, by Christ and by Christ through others. This used to be my passion, but has lately been taken over by a need for self-protection and basic fear of giving to people. i think i am on the way back . . . albeit slowly. There is such a need to share real, unconditional love to people that everybody needs. someday i will be able to do that again, i hope. i pray.

lastly, i found a great quote/passage which directly answers my question of my last post (a big thanks to all who commented on this post, by the way. Comments are awesome!). This passage has given me unspeakable peace. Problem is, some people consider this author to be pretty much a heretic. i don't, though. And since she is long gone, the text is public domain. Sweet! No danger of being sued! Here it is:

"The continual seeking of the soul pleaseth God full greatly: for it may do no more than seek, suffer and trust. And this is wrought in the soul that hath it, by the Holy Ghost; and the clearness of finding, it is of His special grace, when it is His will. The seeking, with faith, hope, and charity, pleaseth our Lord, adn the finding pleaseth the soul and fulfilleth it with joy. And thus I was learned, to mine understanding, that seeking is as good as beholding, for the time that He will suffer the soul to be in travail. It is God's will that we seek Him, to the beholding of Him, for by that He shall shew us Himself of His special grace when He will. And how a soul shall have Him in its beholding, He shall teach Himself, and that is most worship to Him and profit to thyself, an d(the soul thus) most receiveth of meekness and virtues with the grace and leading of the Holy Ghost. For a soul that only fasteneth itself on to God with very trust, either by seeking or in beholding, it is the most worship that it may do to Him."
- Julian of Norwich

Monday, September 25, 2006


Lately I have been wondering if I am on the wrong track. My desire is to serve God – in a way which is true to both his and my own character. Am I doing that? Have I gone off of the wrong track?

I think of how different I am now than I was 2 years ago. I think of how my passions have changed – my time and how I live my life looks very different now than it once did. Two years ago the church was my life. I gave it everything that I had. Outreach, for the purpose of introducing people to the character of Christ was utmost in my heart, mind, and prayers. I was excited to see others discover this God that I had discovered. I was excited to pursue God in ways which really encouraged creativity (and sometimes some silly off-the-wall-ness). I knocked on doors to understand how best the church could serve its community, and I just really really wanted to love people and to show them the great life and freedom that can be found in Christ.

Things are different now. I am passionate – but the thought of outreach for the pure purpose of introducing people to Christ makes me uncomfortable. I see much value in other religions and other spiritual practices. I have met and prayed with a number of Godly people who do not necessarily know the person of Christ, or at least not Christ as Savior. My passion is to see good done in the world – to fight oppression, to stand for justice. My passion is still to help and encourage others to pursue God in creative and unique ways which fit their unique creation, yet I am now very open that this pursuit and this worship of God can sincerely and powerfully occur outside of the region of Christiantiy.

At the risk of sounding too Oprah-ish I believe that God has grace, and that people can pursue him in so many different ways, including religions, which gives me great peace and excitement. It is great to see people find God in different places.

This is so different. And at times it haunts me. My semi-fundamentalist upbringing screams at me that Christ is the only way – that Christianity is the only way – that personal salvation is of utmost importance and that everything else is secondary. Yet in my pursuit of God in the last little while, this is not where God has taken me. I do believe that I have been sincere in following God to this point. I do believe that there is no other place that I can be right now.

But at times I question whether this journey is merely a reaction to some bad church-ness stuff in the past. Or if I am mistaking my own thoughts about justice and what is right for the Holy Spirit’s leading. How can I tell if I am lead by my own desires, or God’s desires?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

another lifechanger. these can get tiring.

while sort of attending a workshop this weekend (that is, before i left that to attend Pukefest 2006. Too much information, I know), the girl two chairs over from me said something which was very poignant and which struck both Ernie and I significantly.

Although I did not have the mind to write it down directly, it was something along these lines:

"Every dollar that you spend is a vote for the future that you want."

Isn't that stellar? The power of it comes in its truthfulness. As consumers, we have so much power which I don't think that we even realize. In essence, me buying a specific product is me telling that company that specific product is valuable to me, that I accept the terms under which I purchased it, and that I accept the practices of the store which I purchased it at. And, more importantly, I am telling them that I want them to make more in the exact same way.

This means that, in essence, I voted for and supported the business and production of the following things this last week:
1) Staples Busines Depot, a shop with generally bad service and generally low wages, which I overlooked due to the low prices.
2) Sprite and the Coca-Cola company in general. Though this purchase was made at a time of illness-induced delirium, I still take responsibility for it. Coke does not have the best reputation Internationally in treating people well.
3) To be fair to myself and give me some fuzzy-wuzzies, I did purchase some organic bananas visited Harry's Foods, and chose to eat out at Prairie Ink Cafe, a restaurant with strong Winnipeg roots and a commitment to fresh non-processed food.
4) to again be fair to myself, I did purchase a sweater which I am pretty sure was made by a 5 year old child in Indonesia.

I am embarassed at most of these.

Do you think Staples or Coke is going to sue me? If they do, they should know that I don't have much money. Anyway, continuing on . . .

So yet AGAIN, because I apparantly don't always get these things right, I am re-affirming my commitment to building a better world. This time specifically by voting with my money.

I choose to vote for a world in which corporations accept and take seriously their social responsibility. I choose to vote for a world in which businesses are localized, run by the people which they serve, and offer living wages. I choose to vote for a world which places people before profit. I choose to vote for a world which includes having Johnny Depp sunbathe on my front lawn (just kidding). I choose to vote for a world which does not employ child labour. I choose to vote for a world in which all people are respected, and all people have access to clean water, healthy food, and health care. And I choose to vote for this with my wallet, although it is at times difficult and significantly more expensive.

What world do you choose to vote for?

Monday, September 11, 2006

i have hit a new low

years ago i promised myself i would never ever ever live in a basement. this is due mainly to my fear of spiders. in case you never made the connection, spiders really really really like basements.

Well, due to financial reasons and a handsome, godly, incredible man running away with my best friend, i am now living in my brother's basement. which is at times cursed with the odd spider. the biggest problem here is when i am trying to fall asleep i always feel them crawling on me and i freak out. i have devised an ingenious (i think) solution to this problem. All summer i have slept in a bed on my tent.

spread the word! it works, although i can't really fully stretch out. but sometimes i can pretend i am just camping outside which is mostly fun until the bears try to eat me (and others who happen to be around). But besides the being eaten by bears part, things are pretty good.


by the way, i have added a "take some sweet action" section to the sidebar. I'll be posting some easy ways you can take action to promote some uber-important peace and justice issues. feel free (and feel encouraged) to click away!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


It is official. I am a geek.

There are 2 things which happened to me in the last 24 hours which really excited me. I mean, giddy excited. Like a little schoolgirl. They are:

1. Standing in line at the U of M. Yep, standing in line. Made me giddy. I got to pretend that I was again a full-time student. There is NOTHING better than being a full-time student. There was such a buzz of energy around, so much excitement. A huge line-up at Tim Hortons. Freshmen with a mixed look of terror and confusion. The smell of academia in the air. Good deal. It made me very happy.

2. Roller Coaster Tycoon. Yes, like other areas of my life including my clothing and musical preference, I am also 8 years behind everybody else in my choice of video games. I stayed home yesterday because I felt ill. I tried to hard to do something productive but my basic discomfort coupled with my prescription medication made that nearly impossible. It was honestly a feat to walk to the kitchen sink. So I was forced to whittle my time away exploring this “new” game Roller Coaster Tycoon. It is so fun. I made this great little park and finally got everything to a point where it was smooth and all of my guests were happy. Is that strange that I get a great feeling when I think of the good times these fake computer people are having at my park? I even kept my entrance fee low. My nephew was really annoyed and that and told me constantly to up my fees. But then I told him that if I did that the low-income computer people wouldn’t be able to come and then everybody at the poor computer orphanage wouldn’t be able to have fun at my great park. I thought this was pretty straightforward. Until he reminded me that these people don’t really exist, and I am really not helping anybody. Still, I have not raised my park admission price. I have yet to decide if this is really cool of me or really pathetic. I’ll let you know when I make a judgement call on that one.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006


Another excerpt from Girl Meets God.

Again, it is very hard to reduce a linkage of thoughts of another into a short succinct paragraph. But I will try. Here Lauren speaks of her friend’s marriage, and what it means to her.

“I look at Hannah and I am . . . jealous because I believe that marriage is a school of sanctification . . . I have seen clearly the holy work done in Hannah and Jim’s home this year. Being stuck with each other, being forced to stumble through her (affair) and his heartbreak, has made them better spouses and better Christians . . . God has been who he said he would be “He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.” . . . He has used their marriage as soap.
I praise God for his soapiness, and then I get so jealous that I think I might literally start to see green. It is the old question, the pathetic question: Why them, Lord? Why them and not me? . . .
I try to picture watching her being pregnant . . . I try to picture the baby shower . . . I try, while I picture these things, to picture myself being happy for Hannah, and I can’t. I can’t imagine feeling happy. I just feel jealous and pathetic and lame. I feel miserable . . . like a bad, selfish person, so uncharitable that I can’t summon even a shade of joy when my friends do great joyful things like have babies. . . .
Later, in the shower, I get it. I get that Hannah’s pregnancy is my own school of sanctification. God is sanctifying Jim and Hannah through marriage and parenthood, but He is not just blessing them and leaving me out in the unblessed cold . He is using my ridiculous jealousy and my endless self-pity to sanctify me . . . He is using that baby shower to somehow grow me into the person He wants me to be.”
- Lauren F. Winner, “Girl Meets God,” Colorado Springs, CO, Shaw Books: 2002.

Sanctification. Soapiness. It is a struggle to see my struggles as soapiness. Once I was able to, but now this seems sufficiently more difficult considering the numerous deaths I have witnessed this past little while. I am unsure as to the value of being cleaned and sanctified when death is an imminent reality. It seems so futile.

But I digress. Back to the issue at hand.

I wonder about the events in my life and whether they were intended as a sanctification school for me. And I think about how I have approached these – some I have embraced as opportunities to grow. Some I have cursed and resented. There are so many possibilities which overwhelm me. What is God trying to use to clean me? My job? My living situation? My stupid new car? My relationships with people who have hurt me? My jealousy of my friend’s attentions which are no longer focused on me? My unhealthy view of my place in other’s lives? My bus rides? The dog who lives upstairs? My pen which exploded yesterday? How far does this reach?

I don’t know. But I will try to know. And that is always a fun journey.

But now this is my biggest challenge. This has added another dimension to my perpetual cycle of struggle – now I struggle with my struggling with struggles, if you can follow that. Is this struggle in itself a method of sanctification as well? I believe so, which is encouraging. Now I have decided to take steps to deal with my hurts and my pains, with the real possibility of more hurts and pain looming over me almost daily in terms of my medical health.

I am fearful that with these new health developments that I will again forget and spiral downwards into a heartless oblivion. It is my intent to become healthy again. To get myself again in that position where I approach God in a humble and gracious manner whether I am seriously ill or whether I am seriously healthy. And that is my struggle. And that is my goal. And this is my attempt at embracing my sanctification schooling. I have even become so cheesy as to hide little “remember what you goals are” post-it notes around my office and around my room. It is my commitment to try hard to re-orient myself to my God. And through that to allow myself to be soaped. Cleansed. And sanctified.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

ponder ponder ponder

One of the best gifts I received this last Christmas was a poster entitled “How to Build Global Community.” My wonderful friends Dave, Janie, and their then-unborn superchild Corrina gave it to me. They got it from Ten Thousand Villages (yay!)

It has been a great thing to hang on my wall in my office and ponder over. Ponder ponder ponder. Lately I have been pondering over the second point on this how-to list, which says “Don’t confuse your comfort with your safety.”

At first I really didn’t get this, although it sure sounded good and poetic and powerful and I felt freaking smart and activist-like having it hang on my wall. But over time I have begun to understand what is going on in this little line and it is outstanding. So much so that I have tried to intentionally make this statement impact my life and influence the way that I live.

Don’t confuse your comfort with your safety. How many times have I used that excuse – I don’t feel safe – to cross the street from a particularly offensive looking panhandler? From somebody rifling through a trash bin? How often have I walked the long way around downtown just so that I don’t have to walk down Spence or Balmoral? Or stood at certain bus shelters instead of others? I think that I have very often confused my comfort with my safety, and have used the “I don’t feel safe here” excuse in order to cover up my simple discomfort with a certain situation or certain people.

So why do I feel unsafe? Is it because the environment is unsafe and that person on the corner is going to hassle me? Or is it simply because I am uncomfortable? Is it because I do not have control – that I did not choose this person to be there asking me for money. That I did not choose to consort with these people who obviously had too much alcohol. It is more likely that I am merely uncomfortable. When I think back to all of the situations where I felt unsafe there is only a slight few which any real action was taken against my safety, and these actions have always been relatively minor. My feelings stemmed only from the presence of another who seemed different than those whom I normally choose to consort with. And that is my problem, I believe.

Being a woman, I have been taught to always be careful around strange men who are “different” in any way – in dress, smell, ethnicity. I do not believe that this has been taught as an intentially racist statement, but it does reflect general Winnipeg values of who the “good” and who the “dangerous” people are on the street. A drunk white woman is far less dangerous than the same-sized drunk woman of another ethnicity. No matter how much I am convinced I am not a racist, these truths of my beliefs come into play when walking around downtown. And I am ashamed of them.

But this is a slippery slope. At what point should I respond to a feeling of un-safety? Certainly some situations are dangerous. And not listening to my inner voice of caution could be quite dangerous and have severe consequences. I think I just need to practice a bit more on telling the difference between a truly dangerous situation and a merely uncomfortable one.

Just some random thoughts.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

i know. its childish...

but funny. janie and i had a great time the other day letting spiderman free into the world. some of our misadventures are below.

by the way, those of you who are fearful of the comment box. this may be a good chance to stretch your wings. use a fake name even, i don't care. comments are fun!

Friday, August 04, 2006

a confession

I have just completed reading a stellar book. One which has crept into my top 2 favorite books of all time. (Well, top 3 because I guess I have to stick the Bible in there somewhere. Just kidding.) I have finished it and now have to return it to its rightful owner and therefore the next few posts will revolve around some responses to this book before it leaves my pretty little hands.

This is my first post. Some background which is essential - This book, Girl Meets God, written by Lauren F. Winner (Shaw Books, Colorado Springs, CO: 2002), tells of the story and struggles which Lauren deals with as she becomes Christian after converting to Orthodox Judaism.

I recommend it highly. Especially for females. Anyway . . . this struck me when I first read it:

Sometimes divorce is the only thing to do. Sometimes it is the more loving thing to do. Sometimes, you have to do it. But before you divorce, you try every imaginable avenue to stay married. You quit your affair. You find a good marriage counselor. You tell your husband everything you should have told him three years ago .. . and then you get down on your knees and you ask the Lord to help you forgive your husband, and you remind all of your friends who witnessed your wedding that they witnessed it and are supposed to hold you to the promises you made, and you do anything else you can think of to save your marriage.
To further the analogy: I had married Judaism and then I had an affair with a foreign God, another religion, I took another lover. And I realized I was in love with that other lover, and I wrung my hands for a while. I struggled through my own inner turmoil and angst and then I handed my shocked husband divorce papers, threw my stuff into some empty cardboard boxes, and moved out, setting up house with my new love before an even passably decent interval elapsed.
I did not do what I should have done. I never once sat my husband down and told him the cold, hard truth, that I had fallen in love with someone else but I wanted to try to make this marriage work and what, exactly, were we going to do about it? Not one conversation. I never said a word to Rabbi M. about Jesus. Nothing to Beth, no discussions at all. I never said, I made that mikvah pledge and I am failing and I need you to help me.
The marriage analogy cuts both ways. My husband was not really a hapless dope. Those divorce papers were not the first hint of my affair. There were the unexplained absences at dinnertime, the strange men calling on the phone, the lipstick stains on collars and the otherwise inexplicable cycles of ecstasy and depression: glowingly happy when I'd seen my paramour, morose to end the world when I hadn't.
I doubt Beth or Tova or my rabbi suspected I was out on the town with Jesus, but they knew, all of them, that I was around less and less. That I was going to shul less frequently, that I was spending Friday nights lingering over Shabbat dinner less often . . . I doubt any of them thought I was filling my shul time with church, but they knew I was filling it with something, and none of them ever said anything. None of them ever said, Hey, just checking up on you. Is something up? Is something the matter? Or, harsher, Lauren, you know shul. You really
need to be there.
I was part of their religious body; saying those things was their job.
So now I tell all of these words to Beth . . . The words spill out fast with anger . . . I want her to have tried to hold me to those promises . . . to have said something, to have asked me why I wasn't doing what I said I would do. It want her to have done the rude, invasive thing, the hard thing. I want her to have read my own words back to me and to have stood there in the silence till I somehow had to respond.
- Lauren Winner

I read this section about a month and a half ago, and I had marked it to respond to later. I had all of these thoughts in my head about blogging this, interacting with it, and pleading with my friends to hold me accountable to my faith in Christ which seemed to be slipping away so uncontrollably.

I had delayed writing this blog, due mostly to my fear of transporting this book to my workplace and somehow wrecking it in the process. (I have a huge fear of destroying other people’s paperback books. One which is valid because in the transport a teeny corner of this book got damaged. SICK! Sorry, Kara!) So there is much of a delay, and my situation and place in life and faith has changed a bit. However, I would still like to send a plea to my friends, albeit a little differen than what was first conceived.

Life changes quickly. And faith seems to change quickly, which confuses me, but I think that the core stays the same. My journey is not completely the same as Lauren’s. No affair or luring from anybody or anything - I had have many conversations with Jesus about friends and he was not kept in the dark. Many friends have conversed with me about important matters of faith, and I appreciate their boldness and courage in this. Thank you, friends. I know that I have a great family of support and care for my spiritual well-being.

I do ask that you would keep it up. That you would feel free and encouraged to ask the hard questions, to “read my own words back to me and . . . (stand) in the silence till I somehow (I have) to respond.” I need people to remind me of the promises I have made to my God. I need people to read back my words of commitment, of love, back when things seemed so clear. I need to, when I stray, have a gentle (or maybe not-so-gentle) reminder of my baptism.

Times have changed. I have straightened some things out, and the threat of divorce is not quite as imminent as it was a few weeks ago. I am trying. I am committed to Christ, but the pains attached to that life and life in general are oftentimes so overwhelming, so intangible yet so cutting. I feel like I have lost who I am. But I am trying to get back on track, and I feel empowered and supported by so many. Thanks.

So this is really a post of hope, and of thanks, and of a request for help. Things are better. I am determined to make them better. But I need your help to keep me accountable to who I was, who I am, and to my words of commitment to my faith which I expressed in more clearer times than these.

Thank you for your friendship, support, and challenge. You are all very important to me.

Friday, July 28, 2006

it's the most wonderful time of the year!

This may be a bit heathenistic, but I’m not really a big fan of Christmas. Instead, my favorite time of the year is Fringe time!

And hey, there is lots of spiritual stuff in here, so it sort of gives me some heaven points.

This year . . . so far (it’s not quite over yet!) I have learned about Jewish kids camps, feminism, old cranky people, bad dialogue, the life of a famous showgirl in the 1950’s, that you can hip-hop to Spanish guitar, bus 24 is highly unreliable, and that there is no such thing as an ugly duck.

Here are my top 3:

1. So Kiss Me Already, Hershel Gertz. Funny. Clever. Poignant. A Jewish kid gets sent to Jewish kids camp and has some problems there. Very good. Check out a clip here.
2. Flamenco Con Fusion 2. Picture this. Some amazing guy on a Spanish Guitar. One (very passionate-less and uncomfortable looking, unfortunately) flamenco dancer, plus one hip-hop sassy teen. Perfection. Watch a clip here.
3. You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Its been a dream of mine to see this on stage, so even if its performed by 10 year olds I will for surely check it out. I was impressed with these kids. Lucy was amazing – she’s such a jerk! I love it! It made me ponder today whether I will be able to watch Charlie Brown and other things like it in heaven. I doubt it, but that thought makes me so sad. It is so clever and so innocent and teaches me so many things everytime I watch or read it. Perfection. Clip!

Anyway, that’s it. Oh, and I also watched Lady in the Water yesterday. Its good – I recommend it.

The Fringe Fanatic

Thursday, July 20, 2006

oprah and bikinis

I’m growing. In unexpected ways.

There are a few things that I have done in the past little while which I swore I would never do. Here is a list:
1. Eat a Rotton Egg Jellybean.
2. Buy a bikini
3. Live in a basement
4. Like Martha Stewart
5. Fall in love with the Oprah Magazine.

Number 5 surprises me the most. I’m not a big Oprah fan, but her magazine, I would like to tell everybody, is stellar. Very good content, inspirational stories, thinkpieces, serious consideration of women and equality issues. I highly recommend it. The only thing I don’t like is the cover. Oh, and there is a certain amount of inconsistency with some of the articles . . . Such as having a story on body self-hatred which attacks society and corporate media for “decree(ing) what we should look like," when 15 pages later it has a section called “How Not to Look Fat in a Swimsuit.” Hmm . . .

Anyway, I have copied a section of the article which has impacted my life. Copyright info is below. Please don’t sue me, Oprah.

“Body hatred has been defined as a personal problem. But it is a social problem, a poilitical problem, a cultural problem. It is not accidental or incidental. It is induced, injected, and programmed. We Americans like to tell ourselves we are free, but we are imprisioned. We are controlled by a corporate media that decrees what we should look like and then determines what we have to buy in order to get and keep that look. We are controlled by our mother’s idea of how we are supposed to look, and our father’s idea. We are controlled by other women’s ideas. . . .
The antidote to body hatred is social activism and community. None of us alone is strong enough to stand up to the daily onslaught of propaganda, imagery, programming, seduction, and mind control. But as a group we can shift and lift the tyranny. Resisting this ideology requires support. It requires a movement. No diet, no surgery will fix the problem. It is collective, pervasive, and ongoing.
Hating one’s body is an all-consuming occupation and a dangerous distraction. It is an addiction. As we spend our days focusing on our thighs and butts, thousands die in Iraq, 37 million live below the poverty line in America, more rivers become polluted, more civil liberties disappear, more rights for women are being erased. In our isolated pursuit of thinness or the perfect body, we give up our power, our vision, our rights. We abandon a world that is in desperate need of our attention.”
- Eve Ensler, “Belly Dancing,” Oprah June 2006 216-218

I think it is revolutionary to state that “the antidote to body hatred is social activism and community.” However, I am not sure if that is correct. I am all about focusing not on our bodies, but on our community and helping the oppressed and downtrodden. However, is this a permanent solution to this particular body hatred problem? I think that it can only serve as a distraction to the problem, as it does not address the real issues involved here, including our society’s obsession with physical beauty or manipulation by the media at large.


Monday, July 17, 2006

the jenny's are wailing and they want company

does anybody want to come see the wailin' jennys with me? september 22. $25. Let me know by Wednesday so I can order tickets. right now they are selling second row. :-)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

it's a new day

this is how i feel today. a mixture of both.

a poem:

But today is going to be different
You can stop the leak when you know where the hole is
Cause a thousand yesterdays have kicked the crap right out of me
But today I'm going to throw a few of my own punches
I'm gonna drink from the living water
I'm gonna eat from the broken bread
And the day I finally get into heaven
Ends the war between my heart and my head
- Miranda Stone

thanks for all of your support during tough times, friends.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Where do I begin? I am thinking a lot this week about why I have been so sad lately. What it means. How it affects me, how it affects my family, how it affects my friends. It is a strange place to be in when you do not know exactly who to be. When you do not trust that the real you will actually be welcomed or accepted or at all desired. I asked sarah this week where the line can be drawn between being honest and between testing the patience of your friends.

Another friend this week, wonderfully oblivious of what is going on, lamented to me about her roommate – how she has been sad for so long and how this person doesn’t know what to do or how to deal with it anymore. She was pretty upset about all of this and seemed at the end of her rope. She doesn’t know what to do with her roommate anymore.

Where is the line? I don’t know.

So I feel left with the choice between being a huge burden to the people that I love, and trying their patience, and lying to my friends saying that I am stellar. Which I did to somebody this week. Sorry, friend. I don’t want to drive people away. I don’t want to be an overwhelming burden.

This sounds sort of pathetic. That makes me sad.

Anyway. These are my thoughts. A friend this week said “you want to know who I am? Meet my family.” This has inspired me to say “you want to know who I am? Read my blog.” It has seemed to become a good friend of mine, albeit somewhat unreliable. But I can overlook that.

It has been made painfully aware to me this week that I have a problem giving grace to people. Sorry about that, everybody.

Please don’t put comments on this post.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

i am sure i am breaking copyright laws . . .

...but this is funny. copyright Scott Adams (I assume). If you are Scott Adams' lawyer please don't sue me.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

what can i say? i have fallen hard. ernie, this is for you.

"You Owe Me Nothing In Return." By Alanis Morisette. For my hot Mexican. this is us.

I'll give you careless amounts of outright acceptance if you want it.
I will 'll give you encouragement to choose the path you want if you need it.
You can speak of anger and doubts, Your fears and freak-outs and I'll hold it.
You can share your so-called shamefilled accounts of times in your life and I won't judge it.
And there are no strings attached,

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give.
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have.
I give you thanks for receiving, it's my privilege,
And you owe me nothing in return.

You can ask for space for yourself and only yourself and I'll grant it.
You can ask for freedom as well or time to revel and you'll have it.
You can ask to live by yourself or love someone else and I'll support it.
You can ask for anything you want Anything at all and I'll understand it.

This is the only kind of love
As I understand it that there really is.

You can express your deepest of truths Even if it means I'll lose you and I'll hear it.
You can fall into the abyss On the way to your bliss And I'll empathize with.
You can say that you'll have to skip town To chase your passion and I'll hear it.
You can leave and hit rock bottom have a mid-life crisis and I'll hold it.

This is the only kind of love
As I understand it that there really is.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Our Niagara and Toronto blog has been updated. To save you the trouble of going there, here is the post:

My man Ernie has calculated how much we walked during our trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto. He figures that we walked 14 kms in Niagara, and 26 km in Toronto, for a total of 40 kms!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


"how dearly i paid for those happy periods when the presence of God was so real, for this possession which seemed to me so perfect was but the preparation for the times of total deprivation." -Madame Guyon

Monday, June 12, 2006


When you don't eat sugar
a free cookie
is like a free penlight
you don't really need it
you don't really have a use for it
when you really think about it, you don't even want it
but even so,
it is still hard not to take.

nude beaches
are like Neelix from Voyager
simply a bad idea all the way around
but you still can't help but watch

a cup of decaffinated coffee
is like an escalator
no matter how hard it tries, it can never really justify its existence

is like rat poison
its a stupid thing to eat

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Same old line - by The Five O'Clock People

maybe you´ll never know why
i stare off into silence sometimes
maybe you´ll never see
maybe that´s what scares me

it´s the same old line
if it makes you happy i´ll say that I´m fine
it´s the same old line
look in my eyes and i´ll lie everytime

Monday, June 05, 2006 hurts

Ok. So today I was surfing a desktop wallpaper site which I always use, clicked on the “insect” section and among the options were 4 different pictures of flies and hornets mating.

Who the heck wants that for their wallpaper? Ridiculous.

I was a social deviant today, in a strange way. I was walking down Spence to work after seeing my crazy chiropractor. It was so nice outside, and there were a bunch of people sitting on a front porch just hanging out. I, of course, ignored them because that’s what Winnipeggers do best. But they didn’t let me ignore them. When I walked by one of them said “good morning” in a way which startled me because it was the most sincere “good morning” I think I have ever received. It made me feel good. I said good morning back and smiled. And then realized how rude I was in the first place to ignore them sitting ten feet away from me. I was deviant because I didn’t say hi. And it was great. And now I want to live on Spence street. That’s awesome.

Anyway. Here is a picture of me wearing full makeup for the first time in my life. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Our trip

We are in Toronto! Catch our updated trip blog at!

Sorry - i can't seem to make the direct link work. Stupid mac.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

this post is way too long

Warning: this was written like 2 weeks ago but wasn’t quite ready to be published today. Mostly because of the wedding yesterday. Yes, before you ask. I was gorgeous. And so was odie.

So yesterday I was asked why I hate the show “what not to wear.” . . . and I found myself unsure exactly of how to answer this question.

The first objection that comes to my mind is the simple fact that this show in on a channel called TLC, which at least used to be known as the Learning Channel. What not to wear? That’s just stupid. There’s not much learning happening there.

I think I must have watched about 5 hours of TLC shows this weekend – not my first choice but I was pretty much held hostage in a hotel room. I must admit that at first I was amused. Until, after turning them off I went to bed depressed and feeling uglier than ever. It was just like I was back in Junior High. My clothes aren’t nice enough. They don’t always match, although G-d knows I try. I have no sense of fashion which has always frustrated me. Its not like I’m not interested in looking cute and trendy, but honestly I’m not good at it, and even more important I am far more interested in looking and feeling like myself. Dave and Janie, you guys have taught me that more than anybody (and I’m super excited to see the colorful combinations of clothes that you will let corrina wear once she is big enough to choose!) But when these shows were over, I felt ashamed of the spongebob squarepants shirt that I so proudly wore all day, and was ashamed of my style-less mop of hair. It is no coincidence that I have a hair appointment an hour from now. Something happened during that night that I just can’t shake. And I don’t like the feeling.

I feel so constrained and attacked by this beast called fashion. It’s strange how confident I can be in so many areas of my life, but when it comes to my clothing or my overly bushy eyebrows or small breasts I feel timid and even ashamed. Why am I so afraid to take fashion risks? I think its connected back to when I was young and some significant exchanges I had with my mother. I love her to death, don’t get me wrong. But when I think about taking fashion risks I think of those little comments when I was young, y’know? I remember one day my parents promised to take me to McDonald’s (I did not know about the evils of global conglomerates in those days, forgive me). My dad, not caring or understanding the need to look pretty (bless him), allowed me to come along in my house clothes. It just didn’t occur to either of us that I should change out of my camouflage pants into something a bit nicer for public view. And then we picked up my mom and she was so upset, she didn’t let us go to McDonald’s. And I was so sad. And I just didn’t understand why I looked so inappropriate for people to look at me.
And there was another time I think of when I was a bit older, like 12ish or something, and I just got this nice hand me down button-up shirt from my cousin or something – it was purple, and was just a little too small, but I really wanted it lots and so spent about an hour finding an undershirt to go underneath it and I worked so hard and I felt so pretty and I left my room feeling so proud and pleased with myself and then my mom told me to wear the shirt properly because I looked dumb and everybody would laugh at me.

Please don’t think my mom is horrible. I love and adore her dearly.

Anyway, needless to say, after being told pretty much every week that what I chose to wear was stupid and that people would laugh at me if I went out in public, I am a bit sensitive and unconfident about color matching or personal appearance.

Self image is a funny thing. So are childhood moments like this that stick with you for a long time.

“What not to wear” is like those moments for me, watching it on television again and again and feeling for all of these people. Their entire wardrobe, life choices, and sense of identity are torn apart in front of millions of people. There was this big tough biker guy who came in looking, appropriately, like a biker guy – leather, t-shirts, big beard. He came in so happy. And then after the main part of the show they gave an interview with him and he said that being in the show and dealing with the comments made was THE hardest thing he’s ever done. And he was a huge biker guy. Pretty harsh. And why? To what end? To amuse me. To fill my day for half an hour, this person’s self-perceptions are torn apart and redirected, althought its ok because they got $5000 worth of free clothes. Problem is, he went in looking like a real person, but came out looking like a cookie-cutter of everybody else on TV. And that made me really really sad.

Why is material consumption and personal looks and attractiveness seen as the ultimate answer to all of our problems? Why do we believe these people will have better lives once they learn how to style their hair? Why do I? Why do I waste my time with this, and why is TLC spending millions of dollars to perpetuate this destructive lie?

There are many days where I don’t feel beautiful. But no matter how nice my clothes or hair are, I don’t think I will ever stop having those days.

And the other reason which just kills me is that there are reasons why people dress the way they dress which aren’t dealt with at all. An abused lady wears baggy clothes due to her painful past. A low-income worker can’t afford anything nice because he is paying for his family. And they are given $5000 to get new clothes. Why are we spending so much money “fixing” the symptoms and not the cause of negative self-image or economic inequality? Why not use the $5000 to pay for healthy counseling for this lady? For an educational course in a trade or University for this gentleman so that he can gain skills and provide more for his family?

It just doesn’t make sense.

So, I guess, that’s why I hate the show “what not to wear.” There you go.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

boys shouldn't read this

OK. I’m back. Everybody settle down. You can thank my crappy economics course for my extended absence. I’ll let you guys know my mark once I get it. I was the first one finished, which is never a good sign.

Anyway. Back to my story.

So as some of you know, I’ve been having some trouble with some areas of my body which some people have, in the past, taught me to refer to as my “private parts.” This is why I have warned the boys not to read this – I think It may get pretty graphic. Anyway, I got an appointment with my doctor, but she wasn’t available, so I had to see this guy who I don’t normally have. And we talked and we did some tests which were uncomfortable and all that and we were waiting for some of the special results.

I was, I can admit, more than a bit nervous about this whole deal because I have lately become terrified of any medical complication more serious than a hangnail. So . . . literally . . . neurotic me, every time the phone rang and it was a number I didn’t recognize I got a bit jumpy expecting bad news of test results.

So I got probed by this strange new doctor on Friday and then on Tuesday got this phone call.

“May I speak to Sebrina please?”
“Yes, this is me.”
“This is Dr. May’s office.”
Hello. My heart is starting to pound and I am starting to get worried. They said that they would only call if the tests indicated something was going on, so this is not a good sign. I am a bit jumpy at this point.
“We are calling to ask if you would like to make an appointment for a cleaning.”
OK. Now I am embarrassed. A cleaning? I thought I was pretty clean. Oh, man. This is embarrassing. How much more vulnerable can you be? Lying pretty much naked on a table and then your doctor has his receptionist call and schedule you for a cleaning? I didn’t even know there were such things. I’ve never heard of this before.
“A cleaning?”
“Yes. We were wondering if you would like to come in. We can take you tomorrow if you’d like.”
So apparently this is an emergency of sorts. Should I be ashamed of this? What’s going on? Is there some womanly secret to cleaning that area that my mother never told me about? It seems hardly fair to judge me for that.
“So, like . . . do I need one?”
“Well, our records show that its been a year since your last one, and its advisable to have at least one cleaning per year.”
What? I don’t remember having a cleaning. Except . . . .
Frick. Dr. MAY. Now I remember. He’s my fricking dentist.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Zac, this one's especially for you

Religious Cell Phones

Also . . . I've added a link to your right (no, Dave . . . your other right) called "Letters at Large." It tells of the exploits of a Winnipeg student who, while he is bored in classes, writes inane letters to different companies. He posts both his letters and his replies. Some are quite amusing. Check it out.


Monday, March 27, 2006

12 days of festivas

so i am a bit ashamed and intrigued by the fact that i can't seem to write a cognizant complete article on this blog without shifting back and fourth from a million different subjects. today i think i have figured out this problem. its that i write these at work where i am pressed for time and have a million things to do during my short breaks. just like right now. well, not really a break, but i'm waiting for my wonderful friend kara to pick me up to show me a night on the town.

"bring it around town, bring it around tooooowwwwwnnnn." -Spongebob Squarepants

so until i have a good amount of time to actually sit and think, i think i will have to simply attack you with short jabs of thoughts a la much music. sorry about that.

do you know that Spongebob Squarepants in french is Bob Esponja? isn't that great?

so these are the other things i have been considering today:

1. do i really need these stupid antidepressants? they're expensive and cost me an hours worth of time today.

2. do i really want to let everybody i know know that i take antidepressants?

3. why do i keep typing without erasing the first two points?

4. i read an article today where somebody slammed winnipeg bus drivers for being rude and ignorant. i don't think that is true, and i also think that somebody should stand up for them. but i don't know how.

5. how is it that some days my pants fit great and others i feel like i can barely breathe? does it have to do with the sugar free jones soda i drank yesterday? if so i don't think it was worth it. i don't think my body likes sucralose.

6. why am i so lazy to not reach my pinky over to the shift button in order to capitalize letters?

7. why does my new apartment hate me? last week the fridge stopped working and spoiled my cheese, croissants, and my honey's papusas.

8. why are you even bothering reading this? its sort of pointless.

9. Its Dave's birthday today. yay dave! happy birthday! you are loved and cherished like crazy, even though i don't always tell you. you are the best. i can't think of a more loyal and fun friend that i have ever had and if for some reason you weren't able to speak or move anymore i would totally still hang out with you even though you would have no way of communicating with me becasue that is how important you are to me. enjoy the old muppets, my friend.

10. today i came to the conclusion (realisation?) that i really, really, REALLY need Jesus. Now I just have to figure out how to find him again. I looked behind my bookcase but he wasn't there. forget prayer. its not working. what else should i do?

11. jenn taylor, are you reading this? i adore you and miss you terribly.

12. frick. too many bullets.

Bye, Candace. Have a super time in Haiti. I think you should pretend you are going on survivor and always refer to everything as an immunity challenge. they probably won't know what you are talking about and everybody will probably think you are a loser, but i think it would be worth it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

no soup for you

i feel pressure to write in order to keep my massive readership happy and satisfied, however, there does not seem to be a whole lot of things which have inspired me lately.

Well, maybe New Orleans.

What should we discuss today? Voluntary Simplicity? Minneapolis? The Congo? Communal living? Urban vs. Rural? There are many things that I am pondering, but none which I think are either particularly intersting to others, or which I have gotten myself to a point of being able to verbalize quite yet. poverty? The ridiculous price of brazzires? the fact that I don't know how to spell brazzires? babies? muppet figurines? The fact that i am really really bad at paying back my friends for muppet figurines? I am a bit ashamed about that one. how to keep daisies alive in my office? The harsh sting of betrayal and mistrust? The blueness of the sky? The sadness I feel that I can't make my easter gorilla make his gorilla noise because the volume is way way too loud and there are some anal people working in my office who wouldn't appreciate that, so he sits on the shelf taunting me with his bunny ears, just waiting and pleading for me to pull on his arm so that he can scream and shout for joy? The oppressive nature of cocoa beans? The stupidity of having a monthly period? The fact that the u.s. is spending billions of dollars on a war but none of health care for its citizens or on reconstruction efforts in new orleans? racism?

how can i fix the world when there are so many things wrong with it? it seems a large task. oh, well.

otherwise. ramble ramble ramble. i am determined to take up my entire legally-required break today since i haven't taken one in a long time. technically i think its pretty much over. but first i want to make a little face sticking out his tongue.


Monday, February 27, 2006

So my great aunt thrice removed from my mother's side visited me at my office the other day. She was a welcome break and companion even though she was wrinkly and fuzzy and smelled a bit of moth balls. however, for some reason she did not particularly enjoy posing for the camera. The only features she would allow to be photographed were her eyes and cool dreadlocks.

anyway, i thought you may be interested in knowing a little bit about my great aunt thrice removed's history and life up until february 24, 2006.

Marpheus Mcfee III was born in the beautiful okanoganiopian valley of beautiful Canada in 1863. However, she decided to ditch the beautiful province of beautiful ontario because the tuition at beautiful ontario universities were far too ridiculously high. So, after investing 13 years of her life in high school (yes, it took her 13 years to complete high school. ha, ha) she moved to beautiful manitoba, where tuition is far too ridiculous on the other side of things, and due to that there is often no toilet paper in the washrooms. "Oh, well. I can always use my cat to wipe myself," says Marpheus, who is an eternal optimist, and altogether not understanding what God really gave us cats to do (which, as everybody except for Marpheus knows, is eat mice, look pretty, make people sneeze and be eaten by dogs).

Once she completed her cheap degree at the University of Under-Fundedness in the urban bowels of beautiful winnipeg, Marpheus Mcfee decided to follow her dreams to . . . Norway? No, silly. Europe? No. Asia? No. All of them put together. It was only on the plane to NOrway that Marpheus realized that her true calling was in stopping global conglomerates in selling unsuspecting students cheap garbage at stores such as future shop and Wal-Mart. "Who cares about poor children in Thailand?" complained Marpheus' seat-mate, Gordon Bush. "I refuse to spend more than 29 cents for a pair of jeans. Its my right as an American!" Marphus gives complete credit to the Spirit of God that this gentleman is still alive, as she is amazed that she did not strangle him then and there.

Marphus landed in China, and then realized that her brake was over, so she had to stop typing.

Monday, February 06, 2006

don't read this

it is so much easier to go to work when it is light outside. i'm not sure why, but it just seems so cheery.

i had a good talk with a friend last week over some thai food (mmmm...thai food) which was great, but altogether made me feel like i was once again stuck right into the sink hole that i keep thinking i escaped. (it is haunting me probably as much as the bad grammer in the previous sentence is haunting Corrina, queen of the womb.) i CANNOT reconcile things. i cannot see a way out of this which keeps a personal God in the equation. I cannot watch a play such as Pentecostal Wisdonsin without losing faith in a God who claims to respond to our longings for him. i cannot ignore the freedom i have seen in people's lives once they have left Christianity. i cannot reconcile a personal god with the reality of this dark world.

strange that the car accident that i had last year is my best source of hope. even with the above, i cannot accept that the guy who dug us out, who took us to his church, who took care of us was there by chance. The only reason he was there was becuase of a fungal infection. Good story, which also raises good questions. I'll leave that one for later.

but it gives me hope.

organic food gives me hope, too. more on this later.

and good friends. a huge thanks to B.N. and his email. this gives me hope. that there are those like me who can search and wonder and cry but still, somehow, remain true to our God throughout it all. I hope i am doing that. God, I pray I am doing that.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


i have decided to use the word "astonished" as much as possible in the next two years.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I ain't nothing but a hound dog

So the day after the Conservatives get voted in, the Beliveau bus is severely late.
Coincedence? I think not.

ahhh. my heart grieves for the future of this country.

Anyway. enough of the drama. I'll give Stephen Harper a chance. Mostly 'cause I have no other choice. oh well.

enough of this politics crap. let's talk about real things. like weddings. no, not mine. goodness everybody settle down; all in due time. this week has been a week full of wedding stuff for odie's wedding. gotta say the crapulent wedding show was quite crapulent. do you know how much it costs to release doves at your wedding? Like hundreds of dollars. and its not like the company loses the doves; they just fly back to them. ridiculous. and do you know that you can take pole dancing lessons? sweet. janie and i are signed up already. we got the "lower extrematies deal." You can learn how to pole dance, lap dance, AND discover your pelvis. anybody want to join? no, NO BOYS ALLOWED.

Do i even have a pelvis? pelvis rhymes with Elvis. I think there are more pictures of Elvis in my parent's house than there are pictures of me. oh well. Maybe if I die of a self-inflicted drug overdose my parents will pay more attention to me.


Just random thoughts.

Million dollar question: who sings this song lyric? "Heaven has a ring around you." Hint. one of my fav bands, although sometimes the lyrics are pretty cheesy.

God is so fricking intangible and that depresses me this week. Its all so complicated. I don't even know what it means to follow Him anymore, or to love Him or to serve Him. Any ideas?

Monday, January 09, 2006


one year ago today i was sitting in my car . . . upside down in a ditch . . . with my best friend . . . in my beautiful Pontiac Sunfire, may Max rest in peace.

a year. though there are still very real repercussions from this day, i am glad to see this anniversary come and will be even happier to see it go. Bad things have come . . . I still have back pain from this day. had to write off my car which I worked so hard to pay off and upkeep. dealt with some emotional guilt with almost killing my best friend. but overall i look at that day as one of more blessings than curses. we were blessed that we had our seatbelts on. blessed to not hit the hydro pole. blessed to hit soft, fresh snow. and indescribably blessed to have a wonderful Christian man come and dig us out of our dark car. blessed to have another wonderful Christian man come pick us up and take us to a movie even though that turned out to be a very unsmart thing to do . . . what can i say, we weren't thinking clearly. I have grown. Grown to respect the ice more. grown to forgive myself for allowing this to happen to my best friend in the car with me (thanks to Tig for your help on this one). i am indescribably thankful to autopac whose adjusters made the whole situation relativly easy, and were most willing to help out with my accident insurance claims and such and who gave me, I believe, a fair price for my smashed car. Throughout my years as a Manitoba driver and my ridiculously high amount of collisions they have always impressed me with their customer service and help during personally hard circumstances. I know everybody seems to hate Autopac, but I have always found them to be very easy and fair to work with.

So . . . just some reflections. I have found in my life that there are always always good things that happen along with bad, and I think that this can be attributed to nothing but the grace and goodness of God. Redemption. Beautiful.