Monday, April 30, 2007

Uni-lateral Divorce

So I was reading about Uni-lateral Divorce. I started wondering what the absence of it would mean for me. As I finally met the man I want to marry and I was thinking about if things went wrong somehow. What if I was forced by the law to stay in a marriage I was unhappy in? Anyway here's a few articles I was reading:

Matrimony Has Its Benefits, and Divorce Has a Lot to Do With That

The Scandal of “Unilateral Divorce”—How No-Fault Divorce Undermines Society

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bjork's New Album Cover For Volta! and she has some thoughts on the "Princess" thing too.

Bjork says feminism is a major them of her new album: "It's sort of trying to put out some good vibes for the little princesses out there. There are actually other things than losing a glass slipper. I mean, part of it was having a little daughter and realizing, what are we telling girls? All these books out there about finding your prince. All these little girls, all they want to do is be pretty and find their prince, and I'm like, what happened to feminism here?" (courtesy of Feministing and Pitchfork)

The Shins- Whincing the Night Away

I had recently purchased the newest Shins record "Whincing the Night Away" . I have to say I was disappointed. It seemed so wishy-washy. I was a huge fan of their second album "Chutes to Narrow" with its country inspired upbeat, indie-rock. The entire album had radio appeal, perhaps only not received due to unpolished vocals-which I must admit, I adore. All the songs were kept tidy between 3 and 4:25 minutes. "Saint Simon" being the longest track. Although I've been known to adore epic songs from "Genesis", "Yes" and even stoner-doom metal like "Sleep" with their 56 minute epic claim to fame "Dope Smoker", I have to say that I still love and appreciate anyone who can sum it all up in 3 1/5 minutes! and damn do the Shins have it down on that damn record.

My disappointment on "Whincing the Night Away" came about because the music felt like it was trying to be something it can never be. It felt like it was going the way of the drawn out post-rock bands which are still of course, gaining underground popularity. Now don't wig out on me. I'm not dissing post-rock... completely. There are a few notable post-rock bands that I happen to enjoy, these include various bands on Montreal's own Constellation Records and other bands like "Explosions in the Sky".

And let me just define what it post-rock . Post rock in my terms, is atmospheric music, usually vocal-less and created by the standard guitar,drums,bass combination. Sometimes (and more and more often) including Keys. Although often mistaken as synth users, most of the distorted sounds are made with guitar pedals, rather than keyboard synthesizers and laptop medi files and loop tracks. Post rock typically has 15 minute songs that usually build up and fizzle out. Now I have to say that I'm not the biggest Post-rock fan and that may be due to a lack of THC in my blood. But there certainly are some diamonds in the category.

Getting back to "Whincing the Night Away", I wanted to say that I really disliked this new wanna-be atmospheric writing style. They don't pull it off very well. Although there were a few track that seemed to reflect a certain "oh Inverted world" (the shins first album), the whole album felt like a step backwards. Although there was still vocals, many of the songs seemed to exude an anti-climatic, spacial linger. It didn't seem to matter if I started the song from the beginning or the middle, I was relatively unaffected by its content. I know I have to give the album another chance though because I can't believe that they could let me down. Even the raw garage-rock feeling was missing from "Whincing".

There was also this feeling like they were giving up or something. I wonder if the Shins will fade away now? Or perhaps other fans thought this record was a breakthrough. I just found it hard to listen to. Like a book with an awful Prologue, after the first song I had to make myself finish.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mentrual Cycle Suppression

So I was reading this article mentioned on about women giving up their menstrual cycle. I just have to say I found a lot of point in the article quite entertaining.

But others view their periods as fundamental symbols of fertility and health, researchers have found. Rather than loathing their periods, women evidently carry on complex love-hate relationships with them.

Right because get horrible cramps, bloating, headaches, sore back, muscle pain and in worse situations diarrhea and nausea are the perfect fundamental symbols of health. Not to mention psychological well-being!

But let's not poo all over the menstrual cycle yet! We must consider the only key benefit to getting your period "thank god I'm not knocked up".

Then there is Ms. Chesler in the article saying how women aren't sick and don't have to control their periods.. okay, but Ms. Chesler, a lot of women are sick from their periods. A hell of a lot of women suffer horrible psychological problems around the week before and of, their period.

So really after I finished the article the only thing I read that was negative about the suppression of the menstrual cycle was that there must be health risks involved. This just seems stupid to me, because look at the health risks involved in taking ANY hormonal therapy. Everyone know that BC can cause a whole slew of problems and that if women had any other choice, they probably wouldn't take them. But guess what, we don;t! Because for some stupid reason, no decided it would be a good idea to remove the SPERM component from sex.

So really, whats the big deal with risking your health (that you've already agreed to do by taking hormonal therapy as BC method) and saving yourself a little hassle a few times a year? Because I just disagree that there are women out there, loving their period for anything more than a sigh of relief that they are without child.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm A Music and Film Addict! Free Me!

I've been neglectful lately. I thought I'd post my appreciation for second hand music stores here in Ottawa. "Turning Point" has always been my weekly stop for records, dvds, and cds. I have an addiction.

I can't stop purchasing albums and movies. I've had to set my limit to 5 cds a week, 5 records a week and 2 movies a week. Sometimes I get carried away and get more, but I try not to. I've recently started going to CD Exchange on a regular basis. I've found that they have amazing indie cds for 10 bucks, not to mention that they have great prices on their New cds as well. Yesterday I got Jerusalem by Sleep, for 15 dollars! Beat that End Hitz.

My wonderful finds from CD exchange yesterday include: Song:Ohia- "Ghost Tropic" , Chavez- "Gone Glimmering" (which is an album I've been looking for since 2003! seriously, I can't find their music anywhere!) Arab Strap- "Elephant Shoe Jet St", Constatines-"Shine A Light" (which I've always neglected to buy since I memorized the album and can listen to it in my head whenever I want. I've seen them in concert more times than I can remember, although missed the last show about 3 weeks ago)

All in all, an excellent day at the music store. I rarely find good DVD's at CD Exchange and I have recently resorted to ordering my movies from HMV because I've exhausted all other sources. I'm excited because both "Zelig" and "Shadows & Fog" (woody allen) came in today! And an oldie "They Shoot Horses Don't They" which is such a disturbing movie! Jane Fonda is great tho! It's the only movie to be nominated for so many academy awards yet never got Best Picture! Nominated for Nine awards! Only Gig won for Best Supporting Actor. I can't wait to see it again!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Avril Lavigne in the Globe!

This article from the Globe and Mail actually made me laugh quite a bit. It's about Avril Lavigne's latest album... read it, you'll laugh.

I saw her on SNL last week and it was so pathetic. I mean, could she look anymore "happy" to be on the show? She looked like she was gonna go to sleep. Poor avril, up past her bedtime.. okay so she's 22, she's a whole year younger than me... you know what I did last night? I stayed up getting wasted at a bar till last call. I didn't get married and record myself singing to a bunch of songs that other people wrote.. God, would you even pay for those songs? That record probably cost her label about a quarter million, just for the songs then you got records costs, reporduction.. blah blah blah. so much waste.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Chapter One: Peru was too Optimistic.

I'm suppose to be half-way to Peru by now. Instead I'm halfway finished a one-hour flight to our nations capital-Ottawa. I was suppose to be leaving Halifax behind me forever and going on a fantastic adventure. I had met a young man named Alex who looked an awful lot like Jared Leto. He was couching it like me while holding down a shitty job at another Irving Gas Stop. He told me his father lived in Peru holding some kind of position in water purification. Could have easily have been a lie but it didn't seem to matter much at the time. I just wanted to go see Machu Picchu. I had been reading about those spectacular ruins since I was a child. I was in love with ancient cultures. South America was littered with cultural artefacts that remain unsolved in their mysterious silence. I obsessively read about them and had every intention of seeing them all in person one day.

Instead my dreams were thrown out due to lack of an adventure partner. I couldn't very well travel all the way to South America alone. Alex who was excited and seemed very adventurous turned out to be nothing more than a lay about. He wasn't homeless because he was being sexually bullied by a room-mate. He was homeless because he didn't like to work more than 15 hours a week, which left him broke. Alex made his livelihood by mooching off friends and whatever he made at work was spent on beer and drugs. And what an addict he was. Mostly an E-tard but often playing with all sorts Special K and various relatives of speed. I was always fairly indiscriminate towards pill poppers. Mostly because at the time I was one. However hard chemicals like acid and K frightened me. I never took uppers either. I always used tranqs.

So when Alex decides he enjoys Halifax and wants to live it up in dingy pubs stuck in a K-hole, I realised that my dream of going to an exotic world was destroyed. For a while I toyed with the idea of going it alone but stopped daydreaming. I would have never made it there alone. Thus being homeless and pretty much jobless, as I had quit my gas station job after a nasty fight with my boss. He wanted me to work a double and I refused. I was speaking with an old friend name Jenny on the phone who said "hey, if it sucks so much there, come up here and you can stay with me!"

I was delighted by her offer. I hadn't seen her in years. We always kept in touch however through letters, emails and phone calls. Peru for Ottawa didn't seem like a fair trade off but it was the best offer I had. One thing I did know, I had to get the hell out of Halifax.

So there I was sitting on a stupid plane. I hate planes and prefer to travel by some means of ground transportation. It turned out it was cheaper to fly to Ottawa than take the train. The plane I took on the way up there was one of those extremely small ones where there it's all coach and no first class. It's horribly crammed and every time the plane hits an air pocket everyone holds their breath and sighs at the same time which of course makes everyone else more nervous. You know, knowing your not the only one in fear of your life is probably the least comforting position. At least if everyone else is in denial of death you can try and play gate yourself.

After about 20 minutes of the flight they start going around with that drink cart that really hurts your elbows when you've got an isle seat. I order a Gin and tonic. They give you those little gin bottle that have like an ounce and a half of liquor in them. I rather like those because you can get two small drinks out of them. The great thing about getting drunk on planes is that when you land your a hundred times more drunker. It's something about the air up there in that plane that just doesn't make you feel so drunk. Or maybe it's just because your sitting down the entire time.

I end up making conversation with the St. Mary's University student sitting next to me. He reminds me of an old Newfoundlander roomie I once had. He's got the matted looking auburn hair. He's mostly likely a jock. The conversation is boring and pointless. "what do you do?" "have you been to Ottawa before?" "I hope the weather is good there" "can you ask the stewardess for another drink?" okay well that last one was mine. But you know the same boring dribble. At least I didn't get stuck sitting next to one of those disgusting old men. You know the kind with the hair growing out of their ears and poorly shaved face. They obviously have money but they are still wearing that damn rug-like tweed jacket from 1964. You know the ones. They take a drink and somehow every time a bit escapes their mouth and dribbles down their stubbly double chin. God they make me sick just looking at them. You know they're some sort of powerful business man, but for some reason hygiene didn't enter into it! But those men are the worst to get stuck on a plane next to. They're always leaning over you for no reason and calling you "young lady" while trying look down your shirt.

Anyway, I'm getting a little tipsy and bored. I'm considering asking the jock to join me in the bathroom. I've never gotten laid on a plane and figured it would be an interesting experience. I take a trip to the bathroom to surmise the possibilities. Unfortunately it appears that the jocks arms would probably have a hard time fitting through the door. Inside is a disaster of papertowl and moistness.. it just didn't seem like a very sexy atmosphere. It makes you wonder how passionately someone would want to fuck to make themselves do it in there.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Streets Are More Inviting : conclusion.

I'd like share with you the frightening conclusion of the chapter "the streets are more inviting" :

"WHAT?! Marcus, you have to give someone a deposit on an apartment if you expect them to hold it for you for two months!" I yell. The man is fucking forty years old. How the hell did he make it to 40 not living in a box?

"Things don't work like that with me. People trust me Amy. I have a way with people- when they shake my hand they know I'm giving them my word."

I'm dumb founded and unsure of what to say next. "So what are we going to do?" I ask.

" Well Jenny and I are going to find another apartment. But see Amy, things like this don't happen to Jenny and I. We always have good luck in life because we exude our positive energy. As it flows out into the world it comes back to us so that we don't experience misfortune, " He's going into one of his tangents again. "But you Amy, have negative energy. Your aura is dark and by being around you, has caused us to absorbed your negative energy. Now we have your bad luck. Losing the apartment was because of your negative energy." I snicker at this point cause it's so typical that he would say something so ludicus. Jenny sits by, complacent and seemingly unaffected by this accusation towards me, the supposed best friend.

Marcus continues ignoring the fact that I'm not buying his position. " So Amy, we've decided that we cannot continue to live with you. You got here and everything changed.. and not for the better. So we want you out. Right now. We won't be able to find a place to live if you don't leave."

It is at this point that I turn to Jenny. I'm through speaking to Marcus who is incapable of reason. "Jenny, what the fuck!" I shout. "Are you seriously suggesting that I just get out!?"

"well you can stay tonight but you gotta leave" Marcus looks angry that Jenny says this.

"Oh fuck you!" I say. " Fuck the both of you and your fucking high and mighty attitudes, you fucking pothead flakes!" I grab the mickey of sourpuss that I had been sipping on during this confrontation and I chug half of it. I point at them both and shout again "you fucking assholes. I have nowhere to go and you know that. I can't believe you would invite me here and then just fucking toss me out in the cold. Fuck you I'm not staying so you can beat up on me for the remainder of the evening. I'm leaving now." I run, I grab what I can and, "I'll be back tomorrow morning to get my shit. If you so much as touch anything I'll fucking call the cops." And I run out the door with my accoutic guitar and a backpack full of cds and a pair of undies.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Streets Are More Inviting

I decided to post another piece of a chapter. Yet unfinished. I will post more later, this one is long!

The Streets Are More Inviting:
There was little speaking most of the morning. Jenny and Marcus had fought extensively a few nights ago. When Marcus got angry he tended to yell " oh you wanna see the real Marcus girls! I can really terrorize a woman!" his face would turn bright red and he'd throw something. On this occasion Jenny locked herself in the bedroom and I just stay on the floor not wanting to get involved. Jenny had once told me how he use to knock around one of his x-gals. Why Jenny would wanna date anyone like that was always beyond me, yet I felt it was never my place to say. I could never bring myself to tell Jenny she should leave him, although she often said she wanted to.

Today was odd however. We were a few days away from moving into our new place. We had put a deposit on a great apartment that was big and bright. Jenny and I were always daydreaming about decorating it and drawing pictures of our designs. I was having my second thoughts about the arrangement however. Staying on Jenny and Marcus's floor for two months made me realise just how dysfunctional their relationship was. I only knew one person in Ottawa, a guy I was dating. I didn't make much money at work so I couldn't afford to get my own place. Maybe in the new apartment with my own bedroom it wouldn't be so bad I rationalized.

Jenny finally spoke and insisted that her friend Lauren was available to help me with a resumes I was developing to find a graphic design position. She very much insisted that I go right away. So of course I went. I had the day off so why not.

Upon my return to the house, I quickly discovered what Jenny and Marcus were up to. I step in to find Jenny and Marcus sitting quietly on the beat up little couch. All of their furniture came from the garbage. They would spend hours trying to make them look less like pieces of junk. Which of course, they always had hours to do since they were both unemployed. Not to know garbage finds. I myself have loads of awesome stuff tossed to the curb, but Jenny and Marcus' finds always seem to be in the most rough condition. I was convinced the couch was growing mould under all those blankets.

Marcus speaks first. To be honest, Marcus did most of the talking. Jenny sat idley by as the "good girlfriend" sure to never raise a word against him. This is what Jenny did when Marcus finally beat her into submission with insults.

"Amy we need to speak to you about something," he begins. I smile thinking how odd they are when they try to talk rationally about things instead of lunging things at each other's heads. It's obvious this is some sort of intervention although I can't seem to tell what for.

I tell him sure and pull up a grungy orange foot stool. Another garbage find, although this one in decent shape. I'm sure it was thrown out for the repulsive fake orange leather not for lack of spectacular condition.

He begins to explain why we need to sit around like one of us is going to be committed. He's talking with his hands a lot. A lot of wrist movement, further adding to my suspicion of repressed homosexuality. Marcus was a well known homophobe. He often told me how disgraceful he found it. Sick, unnatural and worst of all that all he said "gay men loved him" which as he put it "sickened him to the point of violence". This is funny for someone who is a self-proclaimed pacifist. Marcus liked to preach the hippie life, so much in fact that you couldn't enter a conversation with him without it turning into a lecture on you outlook on life. How it was somehow wrong and without "light". Jay use to always say "It's a wonder he doesn't walk around in a white robe and sandals" . What Jay didn't know was that Marcus has a violent history and his chronic dissatisfaction with himself is what triggered it. To imply that Marcus may be wrong, was to certain to hurl screamed insults and books at you.

Now I've never been terribly good at dismissing peoples "ugly" sides. Poor personality traits we all have and I know this. Yet when a persons bad traits outweigh the good, I find myself unable to tolerate them quickly. Marcus was one of these people. Marcus was the type of guy that would borrow 80 bucks and give back 60. He would shoot a look at you, right in eye not letting a word slip through his smug grin and you just knew he wasn't going to give you that 20 bucks.

So when Marcus turns to me and says there is something we must speak about, I'm immediately interested. What else could he possibly say to me that he hasn't already stated. Is it about my lifestyle of loving bars and music? That I worked too much as jenny and he often told me. That I was naive about the world and its dangers? Wasn't it enough that he disagreed with every thing I ever said? Apparently I spoke too often which commented on as being a bad quality.Marcus often refused to let me out of the house after eight unless Jay came to pick me up. I knew this was twisted but put up with it for the tie being considering we were soon to all have our plot of house. Mine with my very own exit! I felt as though I was a prisoner in that house. I felt like a child, a 21 year old child. I hate myself for never gaining the courage to leave. I had run away from ever problem I ever had and I simply didn't want to do it again.

" I spoke with the owner of the new apartment and we aren't getting the apartment." Those are the next words to leave his mouth. I'm scanning my brain for information. 'We already gave our notice.' Noted 'We will be homeless in 4 days' Noted. 'we will be homeless in 4 days...' WHAT?!

'we already gave the landlord the deposit' I relax a little. "Marcus, we already gave the landlord the apartment. I don't see what the problem is! You said that the apartment was ours"

"He screwed us Amy. He lied to me" Marcus replies.

"Okay well where's the receipt?" I question.

"There is no receipt I didn't give him the money"

I begin to panic again. "Didn't give him the money? Why didn't you give him the money?"

"I shook his hand and looked him square in the eye and he knew that I knew that we had the apartment" He says completely calm, oddly calm.

"WHAT?! Marcus, you have to give him a deposit on an apartment if you expect him to hold it for you for two months!" I yell. The man is fucking forty years old. How the hell did he make it to 40 not living in a box? My next thought is, "you've known about this for this long?".

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Jugde seems to think its natural for Old men to be attracted to 2 year olds.


I saw this was just posted on I was just so shocked that I had to post here too. Here's an exerpt but you should read the whole article.

"These kinds of offenses are problems with impulse control," said Carson City District Judge Bill Maddox prior to sentencing. "When I say that, it's my understanding that most men are sexually attracted to young women. When I say young women I don't just mean women that ... you should be attracted to. I mean women from the time they're 1 all the way up until they're 100."

The judge also said this :
"As an example, having sex with a girl between 12 and 16 is prohibited because we say it's prohibited. It's because we decided as a civilized society you do not want adults engaging in sexual conduct with children below 16 years of age, which flies in the face of our, I guess for lack of a better description, our normal impulses," he said."

The articles also states :
"He said child pornography could be considered malum prohibitum because in some countries and cultures it is acceptable to engage in sexual conduct with young girls."

apparently malum prohibitum, means acts that are not necessarily inherently immoral or hurtful, only wrong by statute.

Fucking disgusting..

"Excell is eligible for parole in two years. He was given credit for serving 391 days in jail. "

He should be going away for life. God knows what those dropped charges were. Probably sexual assult charges.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The "Princess" Problem and it's Answer:

A friend of mine was telling me how her sister doesn't approve of Disney cartoons because of the "Princess" role. The beautiful damsel in distress waiting for her Prince to rescue her. Women in very weak roles and depend upon men. She doesn't like or agree with them and rightfully so. My mother of course raised on Disney and had bought every movie available on VHS. I often wondered how differently I would have been towards men if I had been raised without Disney Princesses. However, as I grew older it didn't much matter because my favourite movies were always the ones with the female heroine! I always like this video game called Secret of Mana because in the beginning the gal rescues the guy from being turned into stew by cannibals!

I was trying to think of cartoons for little girls with strong female characters. Then obviously it hit me, my favourite cartoons to this day remain that of Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki movies are not only among the best non-CGI animated movies in the world, but carry important messages with strong character development and plots. For instance, "Naussica and the Valley of the Wind" is about a princess who is strong, confident, adventurous and courageous. She strives to save her village from a toxic jungle that threatens to invade their eco-friendly (wind powered) village. The movie takes place after the industrial age.The toxic jungle that suffocates them is the result of humanities environmental ignorance. The remaining humans are unaware of how their ancestors wronged the planet. The toxic jungle has evolved with it's own ecosystem and developed giant insects that remain peaceful unless provoked. The problem is the plants have become toxic.

This movie was released in 1984 and still manages to remain timeless. It heeds a great warning to all who watch it of humanities current situation in the world, while telling a story with fantastical creatures. The resolve of the story is that humans learn to live with the toxic jungle rather than try to destroy it and it's inhabitants. (the other details I won't mention for fear of ruining it)

Miyazaki re-uses themes over and over in many of his movies. Another man vs. nature feature is developed is "Princess Mononoke". This time there are two main characters male and female. Both characters have excellent qualities and have realistic personalities. Again conflict in the movie is created by the ignorance of man to respect nature. The resolve of the story is that humans learn to live with nature rather than quash it. This movie is a little violent for a small child but would be suitable for say, a 12 year old. There is no sexual content or course language in Miyazaki movies.

Miyazaki also toys with gender roles. Hence the switching of the damsel in distress role. The female role in the movies "Naussica", "Howls Moving Castle" and "Princess Mononoke" rescues the male character in many ways. Sometimes from physical harm and sometimes from his own emotional issues, such as in Howls Moving Castle. The male role is a wizard named Howl who is tortured by his own fear. Incapable of loving or courageous acts. (Howls Moving Castle is based on the novel by British writer Diana Wynne Jones, while his other films were developed from his own graphic novels) Also, the majority of his movies deal with the sadness and tyrany of war.

Miyazaki movies are released in North America (and endorsed) by GASP! Disney. There was a lot of controversy with the release of "Princess Mononoke" by Disney because of it's violent content. But of course the high demand for the movie forced Disney to release it. Disney being almight and powerful were smart enough to hire REAL actors to play the voices in the English dubs. Famous actors such as Uma Therman, Billy Crystal, Claire Danes, James Vanderbeak, Christian Bale, and many more translated the emotion of the Japanese voices with precision into the English version so that little of the original movies essence is lost. Many of the Miyazaki movies have been nominated for Academy awards although only a few were awarded.