The Beginning...

The Beginning...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Pipes

Oh Johnny Boy. So the thing with the taps in this place is that when you want cold water from the kitchen tap you must wait a long time. For example today I turned on the tap and almost burnt my hand the water was so hot. So I let it run while I emptied the dish rack, then I tidied the kitchen, then I got ice cubes into the glass, then, then I waited two more minutes until it was almost cold and filled the glass. The opposite, however is true for the shower, you must wait an equal amount of time for hot water. You turn it on and walk away for a while then come back and just endure the first few minutes of not quite fridgid water. So today I am finally in warm water, getting all wet and the hot water goes out. So I turn off the drizzle of cold which keeps it at an ok temperature and nothing. And not nothing as in it is still cold. Nothing as in as soon as the cold water tap was turned off no water came out of the hot water tap. Tried the bathroom sink nothing there either. If we have plans together today- I am sorry that I stink. I didn't have time to use soap and there is no way I am taking  a freezing cold shower. It is comparable to jumping into a Canadian lake in the winter. Oh Johnny Boy what the heck is up with the pipes in these digs!? If only the kitchen sink was bigger.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

gratitude

Things in the Downtown.

      It has been an interesting two months since we moved to the new digs. I have become our primary breadwinner and as I work retail and make the bare minimum things are tight. We have our budget and there is very little wiggle room and no compromise. We stick to it. If our food budget is adhered to and we can save a little we treat ourselves to take-out once a month for a date. If we don't go too many places there is enough money for gas and we can try to visit my family. But however the numbers barely add up on paper there is always extra some how at the end of the month. A few dollars to have a few friends over for dinner, or to put up for when our '96 car dies on us. I promise you that there should not be enough for savings. But at the end of each month there is a little. I believe that all the things that we have are blessings. Not just the little left over each month, but the amount before all the bills come out.
Knowing that all that I am given comes from a loving Heavenly Father brings a peaceful feeling, but also a desire to show my gratitude. The way that I choose to show that gratitude is to give a percentage of what we make and give it back to my Father in Heaven. With that donation others are blessed too.
I can't tell you that I know for any logical reason. There is no proof, other than that our family should never be able to live on 160-180 dollars a month on food and eat as well as we do or that our budget never makes sense at the end of a month. But I can tell you that there is always a bit left, I feel very assured that is because I have shown my gratitude. I know that it doesn't make sense that if I show gratitude for all that I have, I should then be blessed even more. But I have come to rely on it.
Another awesome thing about this principal is that it comes with a promise; if are honest with our giving back we will never feel the burden of poverty. We may very well be in poverty but we will never feel that terrible burden. Mr. Sollywood and I always laugh and high five each other because in school Mr. Sollywood gets a low income family grant from the government. We love our little apartment in the bad part of town. We look around and see the extreme poverty around us as we live in Downtown. It breaks our hearts to see the extreme need here and that there is so little that we can do to help. We give of our time and what we can of our means, but although most people would say that we are one of these for whom we feel sorrow- in our hearts we do not feel that it is so. What a beautiful blessing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Bystander Effect and the Avengers

Here's what happened.

I'm doing some homework. Writing about the connection between conformity and the bystander effect. In short, conformity is going along with the rest of the group and the bystander effect is to assume someone else will do something. In short of course. The bystander effect takes cues from the group. When no one else is doing anything about a given situation for some reason people assume someone else must be doing something. Made famous (or perhaps infamous) in 1964 when Kitty Genovese was killed while a good 30 something or more people watched from their apartments. Each assumed someone else was calling 911.
Anyway, I hear a loud crash in the apartment above me followed by some colourful language and screaming. My immediate reaction is something isn't right. But then I justify it by thinking probably someone dropped something and the resulting screams were out of anger or frustration. Understandable. I hear more smashing and screaming. Still I think oh boy, stupid people having a fight. But distinctive thumping and crashing aren't normal for a healthy spat. I use the term healthy VERY lightly since I believe they are never necessary but that's another issue. Oh and I also hear a baby crying now. Also, having primed myself with thinking about the bystander effect and not wanting to fall into such an unfortunately common statistic, I called 911. Well the landlord first. I had never called before. It was exciting. After I hung up I thought okay, back to homework. But it continues to escalate. Words like stop and get away were clear and no longer muffled by the floor seperating us. So I went up there. I took off my glasses in case I had to throw down. Ya know, I'm a pretty big guy. I've had fight training even though it's only been in a dojo and was several years ago now. Now I listened outside the door I assumed it was and yes I could still hear everything and that confirmed it. I banged on the door but it was locked and I hear someone say look what you did now. People heard. And then silence. Well kind of. Baby still crying but nothing else. I found that odd and I can only imagine what the reason was. Did they both want to keep private even though it may or may not have been abusive? Certainly sounded that way but I never saw. Was one constrained from speaking at this point? I don't know. But the police arrived. Very quickly I also. I was inpressed. Just a couple minutes. Then I left. I don't know the whole story. That's the role I played. Did I butt in where I wasn't welcome? I don't know. Was it unnecessary? Can't be certain. But if it was then I'm glad I did.

And the first trailer for the Avengers movie came out this week and I went all geek over it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stuff I make - Tomato Soup

Almost out of tomatoes... finally. And listening to Anberlin.

-So get yourself a nice big pot. Oil it up. Or use butter. That might work nice.
- Chop up some onions. Doesn't matter how much. I just used a quarter of a giant spanish onion but use whatever you want. It's your soup.
- Crush some garlic with the side of your knife like the half blood prince. (Remember that scene from the movie? You better, or you're gonna be lost here)
- Cook your onions and garlic. Garlic will brown and onions will get kinda clear
- Throw in tomatoes. Like literally throw them in. From across the room. It's fun. Cut out the seeds if you want also. But you don't have to. Seeds never hurt anyone. I did about 20 Roma's but more or less tomatoes will make it more or less tomatoey. Do what you want and stop asking me these questions.
- 10-15 minutes cook it up.
- add some chicken broth. Up to you how much. I did half a box but if it was full I may have done more. I just dump it in.
- Boil that junk on medium heat
- Now get out your blender (or smoothie maker in my case. It's all the same.) Blend every little bit. We are not making salsa here. Get the chunks out.
- Back in the pot, add some oregano, basil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Or any combination of those or whatever other spice you like. Chillis for some heat. Sure. Jalapenos might be good too but I've not tried it.
- Now add some cream. 18% table cream is what I used but get as fat as you want it. I guess you could use thinner stuff but give me a break. Weak.

When it's hot again - eat that crap. It's good. Add garlic bread croutons. But that's a recipe for another day

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pearl Jam and Tomato Sauce - a balanced diet

Last night Mrs. Sollywood and I went to the Pearl Jam concert that we've been waiting for since... May I think. Dusty tickets. Mrs. Sollywood wasn't feeling well but she stayed out late and ate street meat anyway! (It's the most delicious meat the street can produce) The opening band was Mudhoney - a classic grundge band that never made it into the mainstream. They weren't bad but I can see why they never made it to the level of Nirvana, Pearl Jam or Sound Garden. I won't be running to buy their cd's anytime soon. Pearl Jam was awesome as always. Eddie Vedder is one of the greatest rock vocalists out there. (It was also awesome seeing Chris Cornell in July since he gets that praise also) Pearl Jam always has an energetic show. They did tease about Neil Young and almost made me think he would have an appearence since they are all buddy buddy and stuff but nope. Just a Neil Young cover I had never heard of. Plus side - they played Wishlist and Last Kiss - both songs from our wedding. Down Side - no Betterman, which completely blew me away in 2005, no Black, Daughter, Breathe, or Glorified G.

So here's a live version of Betterman. It's pretty wicked.

http://youtu.be/_4BObpNQqNo
(I don't know why it's not letting me just post the video. Links are good too)

And there's still more tomato sauce to make. Want to know how?? Here's my recipe.

- Core and score your tomatoes. (cut a little x on the bottom)
- Boil water and dump your tomatoes in it. Leave them there only about a minute
- Slotted spoon preferably, remove tomatoes and put in ice water to prevent further cooking. It also makes it easier to peel the skin off if it's not burning hot.
- Peel the skin off! it's gross in sauce
- Cut them if you want. Whatever.
- Dump them back in the pot, cook on low. 3ish. Whatever.
- Now roast your onions and red peppers. Cut them up small. Or large. Whatever. It's your sauce. Throw in 5-6 garlic cloves on top. olive oil. Cook about 10 minutes. I broiled but 350 or 425 Probably work also. Just cook them. jeez.
- Add some pepper and salt to the cooking tomatoes. Maybe some basil. That might be good. Italiano Spice rocks too. Just dump some in.
- Dump in your roasted veggies and let it cook away for a good 5 hours. Keep an eye on it since I don't know how juicey your tomatoes are and you want it to reduce, not burn.
- Get a masher thing if you want. Help break down those tomatoes. They will all melt together eventually but it takes freakin forever. That's why we still have tomatoes a week later.
- Cool it, freeze it, eat it. Whatever. It's your sauce. Just add some tomato paste to it before doing anything. Helps bring it all together. Or don't. I don't care.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

tomato(e)

We have been making home made pasta sauce the last three days. Only 3 more flats of tomatoes to go. Our apt is now loud, hot and tomatoey. I bet the carpet cleaning guys thought we were crazy when they came into our apartment and saw that it was filled with tomatoes and swords.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

letter to B

A letter to my body.

I just wanted to apologise for all those bad things I do to you.
I am sorry for not always brushing your teeth for the full two minutes because I don't leave enough time because I always choose sleep.
I am sorry for complaining about small breasts as a tween and complaining about larger ones now.
I am sorry that I am at my ideal weight but still feel a little fat and pinch at you when no one is looking.
I am sorry that I don't ever exercise and then complain that you aren't as strong as you once were, and then even complain that you are sore and achy. My fault- not yours.
I regret starting to crack your joints, fingers, toes, neck, back and sometimes ankles- that probably isn't that good for you.
Also really sorry that I never give you breakfast.
Oh and I feel bad about the lack of greens in your diet but I have been trying over the last year, have you noticed?
I am pretty happy with the height you are- Mr. Sollywood likes it too.
And thanks for having small feet despite your height. I am good with your lack of balance- totally worth it.
I will try harder to be more considerate of you in the future, but can I start after we move tomorrow? Cause I could really use your help there.
Sincerely Mrs. Sollywood.

I think that I need to be more conscious of my body but in a health promoting way, a Dove soap kind of a way. I have spent my life not really thinking about bodies because I was blessed with the right shape for this period of history. But I see others stressing and having such negative views of themselves. Also as I age I become more aware. Is it lame to say I have a goal for this new period of our lives? I am going to continue to have a good body image and to take care of my body but only to promote health.

The Last Final One

I have noticed in our few short years of marriage that we move a lot. Fourth time in two years... transient much? I don't mind moving, I don't mind packing and hauling and reassembling all of our furniture and most of our belongings. The part that I hate is the part that I am on now. All those loose ends; the calender and that random drawer full of things that you need but are just a jumble of junk. aka the junk drawer, the book you are currently reading, the last two glasses you kept out so that you could have a drink the week or so before you moved. (I am one of those people you want to help you pack because I am efficient and get it all done way in advance.) But I always am still up way late the night before procrastinating the last two boxes. The 'do I pack ____ now or in the morning?' boxes.
Here is the deal I will make with anyone who knows me personally. I will pack your entire house if you will pack my last two boxes. Honest. The last time we packed up most of our belongs they went into storage for a year and one of the nice guys who helped us moved said that he had never moved someone who was so organised. All our things were packed, labeled what room they go into and what was inside, AND all of the boxes were moved into the room closest to the door. He was appreciative, as the last person he helped move had a load of laundry IN the washing machine he helped haul up the stairs and into the truck. (Sorry if that was you and I just smash talked you.) So... do we have a deal or what? Last two boxes... anyone?

PS I will make you banana bread if you can tell me where/who/what the post title is from.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Snuggles

I love Mr. Sollywood. Especially when he looks over his glasses at me
and smiles with his pretty white teeth.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Superman and Neil Young

So the other night I'm at work, it was sucking but the night was almost over. I had closed down the kitchen and was ready to go home. But ohh no, someone orders food like 10 minutes before I go. That sets me back by like 20 minutes because of the following clean up. I grudgingly make a stupid club wrap, ya they're stupid. And a ceasar salad. Soon after I go out for some lemonade since I can only get it at the bar and I'm not allowed out there in my filthy chef uniform when we are open. Now what random celebrity is eating that club wrap? Guess... I bet you guessed Dean Kane! Yup, the guy who played Superman in the old Lois and Clark show. Also host of Ripleys Believe it or Not. But whatever. I would have prefered Christopher Reeve eat my club wrap. May he rest in peace.

Did you know that the artist who created Superman was Canadian? Joe Shuster. However, the writer - Jerry Siegel, was American. Let's end the debate about which country created the guy seeing as it was a combination of both Canada and the USA. Also, Heracles was one of several inspirations for the character and originally they shared similar abilities. Superman couldn't fly or shoot lasers out of his eyes at first. He was just very strong and could leap tall buildings and break through chains. He's evolved much since the first comic of his in 1938. Lex Luther was also quite different at first. He first appeared in issue 23 in 1940 and was a power mad, evil scientist.  Well, I suppose that wasn't too far off from where he went. It was just not the charismatic, manipulative business man that he became when more rounded and thought out.

And I've been listening to Neil Young today. Try some.


Do it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chocolate Milk and Kicks

I have this thing for old men. Basically I think they are the best. They are always in the funniest stories. Here is my list of reasons for liking them;

1. They have candy in their pockets
2. Their faces wrinkle up when they smile
3. They smile a lot
4. Their eyes get all twinkly when they look at young people/babies
5. They realise that you should just enjoy the good things
6. Suspenders
7. Compliments
8. Warm hearty handshakes
9. Quick sincere laughs
10. Winks

There is this older gentleman who is obsessed with chocolate milk. (AWESOME right?! I love it too and would have it everyday if I could.) He lives in a retirement home. So everyday he comes downstairs from his room and goes up to a member of the staff and demands his chocolate milk 'Will you get me my chocolate milk dear? Can I have it now? Go now dearie, now. You aren't going Dear, I need it  now.' And he pesters you until you get his chocolate milk (which the retirement home carries just for him.) After which he professes his love for you and the world around him. 'Dear do you know how much I love, Oh I love you so much dearie.' So the other day he goes outside with his chocolate milk and his love for everyone now that he has it, and sits by another elderly gentleman. He leans over to him and says 'I just love you deary, just so much. I love you' Whereupon the other old man stands up, looks at him and says 'don't you ever say that you me again' and kicks him.

HAHAHA, Old men are the best. The very best dearie.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This offering has been accepted by the god of rock and roll

Last night - July 2, 2011 - was the first time Sound Garden played a show in 15 years or so. And I was there. And I saw that it was good. It was an outside venue and rain clouds built up before the show. They opened with Black Rain - questionable opener but somehow appropriate. Then once they got into Spoon Man everyone knew that Sound Garden was back. The played everything I wanted to hear except Pretty Noose but that's okay. Fell on Black Days, Outshined, Burden in my Hand and Blow up the Outside were all there. And then the lightning started. CN tower kept getting smacked in the back drop and lightning danced all over the skies all night without any interupting thunder. The god of rock was showing acceptance for this event.
Coheed and Cambria opened up but weren't all that impressive. I had hoped for more. Their sound just wasn't meshing together well. You can blame the sound guys for that one but I've noticed that one big difference between great experienced bands and not so much ones is the sound quality. Sound Garden made slight adjustments after the first song but from there it was perfect. And the range of Chris Cornells vocals live was just huge and awesome - Coheeds vocalist (who shall remain nameless until I know it) just was no comparison. They weren't terrible by any means but just fell into the average whatever side of performances. But Chris Cornell truly is one of the great vocalists in rock history. No doubt at all. And he brought his son with him who couldn't have been more than 6... and he sat on the side of the stage playing air drums all night. Good times.
It was also an aging crowd. Alot of 90'd rockers and very few teenagers. Youth these days... with their emo. Just don't know. But I've saved the greatest part for last. During Black Hole Sun (which sounded fantastic live. It was never a favourite of mine but was so good live) a saw a woman with Downs Syndrome, probably in her late 50's, head banging with a cigarette in her mouth and an over sized Sound Garden shirt on. She is rock and roll. And she knows it.

Books

So I don't know if you know, but I am a book nerd. For anyone who had ever helped me, or will help me move- I am so sorry. I just found a list put out by the BBC, it is their 100 Must Read Books, and their stats say that most people have only read 6. Which is sad because school requirements should mean you have read 8. The red ones I have read, the underlined ones I own for sure (most of my lovely books are in storage so some I can't remember 100% if I own them so I did not underline them. I almost positively own more. And the highlighted one is one I owned and it is the only book I have ever just thrown out. I love books, I don't even like when people leave them opened to the page face down because it ruins the spine. But that book is awful and full of terrible things. Which is really too bad because Atwood is a sweet Canadian Authoress. I have read one third.
This is the list.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (just parts, not in entirety)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell

This is close to our collection now & we are still young

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (some titles, not all)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X,
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I will update this list as I read more.... which will happen when my books and I meet again, which!!! should be very soon! We are also big fans of The Book of Mormon, cause we are LDS and that pretty much rocks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

They killed my Spiderman

This made me sad.

Background and Context - a little more than 10 years ago, Marvel started a new line and continuity of comics known as the "Ultimate Universe". Basically it was for a more comprehensive and realistic (as realistic as super hero comics get) line of stories without the 40+ years of back story that may make it difficult for new readers to understand what's going on. It began with Ultimate Spiderman. It was far superior to the Spiderman comics that have existed since the 60's which, frankly, haven't been very good for many years. But that original Spiderman has nothing to do with this. Unfortunetly, ever since that hack Jeph Loeb decided the Ultimate line is expendable and could be used for shock value (he also wrote Heroes Season 3 in case you were wondering how bad a writer he is... what, am I the only one who got past season 2?) and taking risks that no one would dare do to Stan Lee's characters - no one was safe. He didn't write this but still... I blame him. He started the publicity killings. Now someone else will be Spiderman and I will now mourn the passing of Peter Parker. I've got the entire collection on my book shelf and now at least I don't have to take up any more room with it.  


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why do you like the music you like?

I'm reading a book called "This is your brain on music". The chapter on why we like the type of music that we do has been very interesting so I wanted to write out some of what I've learned here. I'm not really satisfied with the answer "because I do" for any question. So it's nice to find the scientific explanation for behaviours that would sometimes have that as an answer. I want to write out the points I found most interesting but it is hardly an explanation for the entire picture. Any behaviour is much more complex than to explain it away with a simple if A then B statement. (Also known as a modus ponens for logic nerds like me). That being said - here goes:

It all begins in the womb. Long story short, research has found like babies prefer music that they were exposed to in the womb. The auditory system is fully functional after 20 weeks and will be taking in all sorts of sounds. Traffic, conversations, heart beat rhythm and of course, music. On a similar topic, the "Mozart Effect" has many scientific flaws. It claims that making your child listen to Mozart for 10 minutes each day will increase their intelligence - specifically with spatial-reasoning tasks. Now there is a correlation between classical music and intelligence (also a correlation between rap and well, the lack thereof) but the directionality is questioned. Is it the music causing increased intelligence or is it parents that prefer that music create learning environments to foster intelligence. Most scientists in the field do believe that music with greater complexity enhances cognitive functions but would be hesitant to say as an absolute.

Social Consequences. This a a product of Western culture but as Western values permiate the rest of world it certainly is spreading. Musical preference becomes a mark of personal and group identity. This is a very strong influence mainly in the teenage years. You identify with a music and it becomes a part of you while another type may be seen as an attack on your values and thus despise it - even to absurd lengths. Remember Tupac and Biggie Smalls in the 90's? Gang wars over hip hop styles. To a large degree, this is determined by chance factors. For example, in the 60's CCR was huge in northern California. But if you went down south as a CCR fan you wouldn't fit in among all the surfer/Hollywood Beach Boy fans or David Bowie followers. Adolescence is such a critical period of growth that these distinctions become hardwired into our thinking. Much like language and mathematics which have only a limited time for the brain to pick up (if a child doesn't learn a language by the age of 6 or so then they likely will never learn and math by the age of 20) so it is with music. If your brain thinks it doesn't need something then it goes through synaptic pruning and that portion dies off so energy can be used in the areas that get used. So the teenage years are very important for connecting identity and music. Culture and environment are very much chance factors.
Balance between simplicity and Complexity. Now complexity is very subjective. What one finds insipid and simple, another might find difficult to understand based on whatever their previous experience and schemas are. If a musical piece is too simple we tend to not like it. Childrens songs are great for young developing minds but we all know how much adults wanted to kill Barney the purple dinosaur. Also, if it's too complex we don't see it as being grounded in anything we are familiar with and find it too unpredictable to be enjoyable. All art for that matter, needs to find a balance between simplicity and complexity for its audience to enjoy it. It's the same with games. Some games have complex rules that turn off many people from continuing (perhaps board games like Hero Quest or War Hammer) but games that are too simple aren't stimulating enough (Maybe checkers or tic-tac-toe). When complicated music (or games) are given continued exposure, an appreciation can develop as your brain develops landmarks for it and understands the rules. When you don't understand the rules all other types within the genre sound the same. (As with the game analogy - all RPG games may seem the same to someone unfamiliar) A common criticism of rock and roll during it's infant years (1950-60's) was that it all sounded the same. People who are not fans of any particular genre today still use that criticism. But to someone who has learned the rules there can be a vast difference among not just bands but also from the same song writer. Nirvana and Pearl Jam were polar opposites in the grunge scene but to someone unfamiliar with grunge may think they sound the same. (Poppycock I say but then again I'm familiar with it) In short - unfamiliarity leads to frustration or simple lack of appreciation. It can be graphed as an inverted U.
The X axis represents complexity and the Y represents how much you like.

Pitch plays a part also. Some people can't stand the low beats of hip hop and other hate the high pitch whininess of violins. This is part of our physiology. Different ears transmit different parts of the sound frequency spectrum causing someone to experience a sound as pleasant and to another as aversive. To add the influence of previous mentioned things - physiology is affected by development in the womb, the culture you grew up around (microspheres to chronospheres) and development during puberty and what was used to identify with.
As with other preferences, musical preference is influenced by previous experience. If there is a good memory attached then you are likely to enjoy the music. If a negative memory is attached then you may not like the music. It's like if you eat broccoli and then throw up you will likely be hesitant to try another broccoli recipe. But if it was positive then you may be willing to experiment with unknown recipes that use broccoli. (Personally, rap music makes me metaphorically puke)
Then there is safety. We surrender ourselves when we listen to music. We trust the composer with a part of our hearts and our spirits; we let the music take us somewhere outside of ourselves. We allow them access to our emotions on a level that few ever open up to. It is unusual to become so vulnerable to a complete stranger but its music that brings us together. A great composer will make you feel one with them and what they feel. This can be positive or negative. Think of the purveyors of some pop music that is blatently crude, sexist, racist or worse. You allow those attitudes into your deepest emotions. These connections influence our preferences. Think of someone like Johnny Cash who cultivated the outlaw image and played many shows in prisons for the inmates. It turns out, people who have spent time in prison or appeal to the outlaw image are more likely to enjoy his music then someone who wants nothing to do with that lifestyle. If you like the artist on a personal level and value what they do then you will more likely enjoy the music. Same goes for the opposite. If you think Marilyn Manson is a horrible human being then you probably won't enjoy his music. You preference may even be changed when learning about an artists personal life. "i didn't like so and so until I found out we had this in common" or "I use to enjoy whats-his-face until he said this about blah blah".

In conclusion, there are developmental, physiological, experiential and environmental factors that determine what music we like... Ya, it get a bit complicated. Hope that all made sense.

PS - I have the bestest wife in the world! I love you Mrs. Sollywood!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The "What's New" Post

So we have been looking at apartments to rent in Hamilton. We don't have a huge budget and want to be close enough to a major bus line so I can get to school and that has limited us a bit. For example, one apartments tried to sell us on how they have only had a prostitute come to the door once. Oh and we should get to know the local beat cop. He'll take care of us. But what if we don't get to know him...and there's only been cockroaches once. These are the selling points. There was also a place that I liked and may be the one so it's not all a complete joke. It's got a garden out back, nice storage attic but no dining room. None of these apartments have dining rooms. Don't people eat in places that aren't in front of the t.v.?

Now watch this:



Grab onto our tongues Charlie!
Sometimes I just can't sit here and type more than this

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fathers

Father's Day is pretty sweet, this year we shared our two year anniversary with it (TWO YEARS!!). Crazy town. But as that will only happen every 7 years (except when the leap year messes that up), we thought that our Dads should get that day.

I love my Father. He is such a calm gentle soul. I think it was from him that I learned about unconditional love. He is so proud of me (which feels awesome, but slightly undeserved because I haven't really done anything awesome.) But it is strange the things he is proud of in me. It makes me realise his priorities and reminds me what mine should be. My father William David Manley, can not have a conversation with me without tearing up and telling me that he is so proud that I have a belief in Jesus Christ, and that I try to follow Him. He is a man who loves the Lord. My father always tells me how beeyewtiful I am and how I must get it from him because he is so good looking himself (which is totally true, he is a handsome man). It was hard for me to change my last name because it reminds me so much of my Dad. Dad has built a solid and good reputation with that name and ever since I was a little girl I have wanted my name (our name) to mean something too. It may seem odd to you but at 16 and 17 I would stick out my hand for a shake and say 'I give you my word' (and in my head add 'as a Manley') and when I do that I keep that promise. To this day my handshake is my solemn promise. I love my Father from his white hair, to his squinty twinkly eyes to his big round belly and deep into his heart. Happy Father's Day Daddy.

I have a step-father too. Maybe you didn't know that. I became his step-daughter when I was around 11 years old. We fought a lot when I was a teenager. But as I have (finally) matured I realise that he is a good man. William Carl Sauer treats my mother well, he loves his family and is a hard hard worker. I learned to work hard from his fine example and I love him. I wish that I could undo those years of being a ingrate.

My father is law is awesome. He is a very serious man, or so I thought. But I have come to realise that anyone who likes to drive fast while listening to rock, eat ice cream from the container, and get down on the ground and play with his grand kids can not be all that serious. I think that my favourite thing about David Walter Solomon is his smile. He loves people who are happy and he just beams at them back. He smiles so often this big fantastic smile. You should see it! He is a good husband and father, He has taught (by example) my own dear husband just what to do. I will be forever (we are sealed in a Temple of God for eternity) grateful that he has been such an amazing example of what a husband, father, man should be to his son(s).

My own dear husband. I am so excited to see him become a father (when it is right for us). He is so adorably nervous around infants and such a 'terrible' example to our nieces and nephews. He has taught my mild mannered and quiet nephew how to smash cars, rawr with dinosaurs, splash others with water and run around the house screaming to the horror of my sister and brother in law. But MAN do I love that about him.

There are many good men who have helped to raise me to be the woman I am. Christian Smith and Neal Schoen being among the greatest not mentioned above. I am fearful of the trend that is leading men away from their homes and families. I have relied on and cried with more 'fathers' than I have 'mothers'. I am a Daddy's girl. And I know that it is because of these good men that I can stand strong and be whatever I want. Career woman, leader, helper, commander, mother, wife, daughter, whatever. To good, honourable men!! Huzzah!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Hunting

I went apartment hunting the other day. Tuesday. When Mr. Sollywood and I lived in our first place we looked at exactly one apartment which a family friend owned and we loved it and rented it. It was three houses down from our Church, fifteen minute walk to both our jobs, and the same to University (also main bus lines went to all those locations every 15minutes. Prime, that place was prime. Also it was spacious and inexpensive ( I love our landlord Walter!) So Tuesday, was not like that place at all. So many places far away (thirty minute drive from the school is not 'close to the university'), dirty (ants, bugs, dirt- you name it), tiny (the master bedroom was smaller than our bed!- granted it is a king BUT STILL), expensive, creepy/sketch all around no good. And when I say no good I really mean no good no goodnic.
Also the kitchens are awful, some were so small that I could barely move around in them and I am a thin person. Do these tenants just heat up food rather than making it? Mr. Sollywood would legit not have fit in some of these kitchens. Just walk into your nonwalkin closet and you've got yourself a kitchen 'near' the University. But today is a new day and hopefully something will turn up. Fingers crossed everyone!


*try not to mock my paint skills


Monday, June 13, 2011

Evil Bunny... ate my strawberries

Yes, exactly. An evil bunny ate my strawberries. They pack the right combination of helplessness and cuteness to catch you off your guard and then they take your children. Or in this case my strawberries. It's a good thing I don't have kids yet. But I do have a mature strawberry bush that was blossoming beautifully recently. Until this morning I realized the horror... it was picked clean. Not a single survivor. Blood red strawberry juice all over the snow white fur. Sins as scarlet indeed...

Friday, June 10, 2011

We are moving... again

The thing about this past week is that a weird thing happened. My face basically exploded from the nose down, and also the left side joined in a few days later for kicks. Lots of hives, lots of swelling, lots of itching, (no scratching though, I am hardcore about no scarring), and lots of peeling, and ..... leprosy (or so it looked like.) I am allergic to pineapple, strawberries, and (newly discovered) mangoes.
Which means that tonight whilst Mr. Sollywood is at work, I will be home alone listening to our newly acquired Star Wars record. I love vinyl. And packing up some of our things. Because Mr. Sollywood got into a sweet and hardcore Masters Program at a fancy University!!!!!!!!! Bet you would rather have had details about that than about the allergies eh? Let's see how long it takes him to post about it shall we? Here is one little tidbit though; he looked almost as excited as this picture

Saturday, May 28, 2011

another mother

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you left out the second s in sollywoods? If we were only one, which would mean that I was only me?
This

Friday, May 27, 2011

This may not make a whole lotta sense. It's cause I have a headache

Have you ever worked all day with a headache but instead of feeling miserable you just use that throbbing to explore regions of your mind that are other wise unknown? Like this...

What's even happening here? This is not how donkeys look on ordinary days. These are the donkeys from my headache! But oh no, there's more...

I think I touched something like that while I was in Malaysia... when I had a headache. They don't actually bite but just friggin look at this creeper! nughh...






Next month is vegetarian month. I'll let ya know how that goes. I'm going to the kitchen to get some meat while I can.

Like Calvin once said "You can't turn creativity on like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood - last minute panic." That sums up my thoughts that occupy the unexplored regions of my headache.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

music extended

One of the things that Mr. Sollywood and I have in common is music. (Note our wedding photo above.) And although we like a lot of the same music, especially bands from our teenhood; Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Tool, Metallica to name a few, we have very different music experiences. He likes music because it expressed how he was feeling in those lost years (I might be a little over simplifying.) I like music because it expresses all the different sides of me that I don't usually let people see. Eg In high school I loved harder music, I like Mindless Self Indulgence, Metallica and Tool because no one knew that I had a loud and aggressive side. Now I tend more towards more obscure but upbeat songs because I feel that is a side of me that people don't see much of either. So in reply to Mr. Sollywoods request these are the songs that I have listened to a lot lately.
Meaghan Smith- Heart Broken
Don't you just love LOVE drums in this one?? So awesome.
Also I love the 50's.



Gregorian Chanting- Moment of Peace
I include this song because it is slightly more main stream than the others, so you might enjoy it more. But there is something about Gregorian chanting that just gets me. Their Ava Maria is great too. I'm not Catholic but it is still sweeeet!



Mindy Gledhill- Anchor
I think that this song perfectly describes Mr. Sollywood... if he were the one singing. hahah but also if I were singing it to him.



This list is a little strange as I (usually) STRONGLY dislike female vocals and all three of these have them exclusively.

Post Rock - the genre you never knew existed

I wanted to write another music post because I love music. Post rock is a style I have recently found within the past 2 years or so. I dig it. I've done a little research on this style to understand it better and maybe I can briefly explain it in a coherent way. Like so much alternative rock, it can be traced back to the Velvet Underground in the 1960's. A band that didn't sell a lot of records but everyone that bought one became famous and influential. But writing about the history is going to take up more room than I would like. Velvet Underground sums it up. (Along with all modern rock)
Post-rock is often, but not always, instrumental. They use typical rock instruments like guitars and drums but it is also common to throw in other stringed instruments and synthesizers. Wait a minute... hasn't traditional rock bands been doing that for years also? Yes, but the main difference - imagine alternative rock (Nirvana, Pearl Jam) meeting up with progressive rock (Pink Floyd, King Crimson) and deciding to use rhythms and guitars as facilitators for timbres and textures that are not found in traditional rock music. (By the way, I totally had to look up that last line because my own words didn't feel accurate. Here's some examples starting with...

1. Godspeed You Black Emperor - Sleep. This song is over 20 minutes long and takes you on quite a journey. Don't look for the typical verse chorus verse because you won't find it here. I particularly enjoy the last 5 minutes.


2. God is an Astronaut - All is violent, All is bright. It was difficult to choose which song to pick. All their songs could be awesome movie soundtracks. (If These Trees Could Talk was a close runner up for this area of Post-rock.)


3. A Northern Chorus - Winterize. One of my all time favourite songs. I was sad when this band broke up a few years ago because Mrs. Sollywood and I had just started dating and I couldn't wait to take her to see one of their shows. Being a local band (I use to work for the singer) they played the area alot. This is my sad face when I found out they stopped playing a couple weeks before I looked for tickets. Oh and this one has vocals so for all you people who can't listen to just instrumentals you may like this one better.


I've been to 2 of their shows and I put them up there with Pearl Jam, Tool and Trans-siberian Orchestra for pure awesomeness. Just blew me away. Their last album was a bit more mainstream but still keeps their post-rock roots alive (also known as chamber pop)

You may or may not be able to tell, but these 3 bands, all post-rock, sound quite different from each other. That's why I say it's difficult to classify genres.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Without music, life would be a mistake - Nietzsche

I don't know about you but I'll go through phases with music. I can track long term and short term ones. But I like music and like to listen to it everyday. I enjoy music where I can tell the artist has put themselves into the sound. Like all good art, music will capture an emotion the isn't satisfied verbally. I'm not a big fan of the "Andy Warhol" styles of music. That is, music created for mass production and sales purposes and ultimately without a soul. (And there's my thoughts on Andy Warhol, feel free to disagree if you will but he was totally in it for money and fame Actually, if you disagree with me about Andy Warhol then write it in the comment section below.) As of lately I have given less thought to musical genres. It seems a little odd to me to classify things as such. Even saying something is "Rock and Roll" can have such wide variation that 2 rock songs can sound completely different. Led Zeppelin is often considered the first heavy metal band and Stairway to Heaven as their leading ballad. When most think of heavy metal, thoughts of crunching, distorted guitars arise, angry vocals, fast beat and aggression. But that's not stairway. (you could argue the last minute or so that explodes but still...) Anyway, my point being, while I gravitate towards "rock" and away from "rap", I don't let genre tell me what type of music to like.
I could totally rant about music idea's for a long time but I'd rather share some that I've been enjoying lately and maybe it can enrich your life as I have felt it mine.
1. The Skids - The Saints are Coming. Classic punk at it's best. These guys belong with the ranks of the Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash. Perhaps my thoughts on punk will come out in greater detail in the future. It's a fun ride.



2. The Foo Fighters - I Should Have Known. Founding member of the Foo Fighters was also the most well known drummer for Nirvana from Nevermind until the Kurt Cobain died. You may also know I've always been a big Nirvana fan since music first meant anything to me. Here is a song on their new album that gets Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic and producer of Nevermind Butch Vig back together since Smells like teen spirit. The Cello is a great addition here



3. Break of Reality - Circles. Only Apocalyptica can rock cellos harder than these guys. And just maybe. If you like rockin cellos (which I've totally been diggin lately) but think Apocalyptica may be just a bit too heavy for you then check out these guys. You can go wrong.



That's enough for now. I've got a list of songs I want to praise but three at a time sounds good.
Whatever you're flavour is, I hope you can enjoy it. Maybe Mrs. Sollywood can share her current three songs next?.... and feel free to share any songs in comment that just move you. Not just what gets in your head but something that awakes and stirs something within you. That's when it's good music.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mars and Venus


Here is the thing about girls: cortisol
Here is the thing about boys: testosterone

When women are stressed, in order to reduce their stress, they need an increase of cortisol which will cause them to relax and will cause the 'fight or flight' reflex to abate (Fight or Flight is triggered in all stressful situations not just those which are physically harmful FYI.) To do this, women need to find nurturing situations. The best example of this is compassionate talking and listening. IE venting to a loving husband.
When men are stressed, in order to reduce their stress, they need an increase in testosterone which will cause them to relax and that F or F reaction to abate also. To do this, men need to sit down and relax. IE sitting on the couch and watching the tele.

And now the revelation about today and why I am telling you all this: Today I had high levels of stress and need some more cortisol. There is no one home; it is too late to call anyone. I tried sitting on the couch and doing nothing. So basically this is my attempt at a rant or a vent session. I sincerely apologise for the rant blog- sorry! But a Venusian has got to do what a Venusian has got to do.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dreamy and Conquering



Here is the thing, my husband is dreamy. Here is the other thing, I like being a wife.
SOOOoo if you had known me very well when I was younger,(which most people did not- I am reserved) you would have known that I wanted to be the prime minister of Canada. Eventually, first a lawyer (obviously) or at the very least a big wig in a multi-national corporation. And I was very sure that through my success I could then have the contacts and means to help save a portion of the world. I am not lying, these were my goals. I am a fairly confident individual. Many of my ex-boyfriends pressured me, in that they wanted me to be a wife and a stay at home Mom. (Remember when I said most people didn't know me?)
Then this happened; I met Mr. Sollywood, he is dreamy. And he said to me 'hey, you want to be career driven, and successful and change the world? Go for it, I will support you in whatever way you want, I will be a stay at home dad if you want that too.' Which meant that I was free from the stupid stereo-type of Mollydom (or mollydoom) and could be the first legit female PM! Score! What is strange though is that now that I am free to do whatever I want. I realise that to some extent (and only some, I really am rather ambitious) I want to be a wife and mother. And here is the other thing. Which I learned from a poem by L.M.Alcott called 'The Kingdom' (this is just a portion of the poem)
"I do not ask for any crown.
But that which all may win;
Nor seek to conquer any world
Except the one within."

I realised that there is something greater and harder to conquer than the world. Something more noble. And so, although I still want a career. I have come to realise that I will gladly give it up for the goal and task that I set before myself. If I may. PS Margaret Thatcher Ulrich is my favourite Historian, she said this "Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History." That is possibly my favourite quote of all time. You should look her up, she is not dry like most historians (I can say that because I am one.) In fact she is awesome. Go- read her work- now- do it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Suicide- A religious prospective.

I have found in my life that there are themes or events that seem to happen to me or around me more frequently than to others. Perhaps this is all in my head, maybe I just see the themes because I have an emotional connection to them. Either way there is something that you should all know.
I am about to be blunt- you've been warned. If you hold the view that those who commit suicide are selfish and awful people you are wrong. Please know this because at times I would like to scream it in your face. But as that would be rude and counter productive I will just calmly type it here. Let me also add that your opinion comes from a place that either lacks experience or compassion. However if you do hold this view, and choose to continue to, please keep it to yourself. You have NO IDEA how much it hurts and rips at the hearts of people who have experienced a loss due to suicide.
I offer this advise because many people want very much to be comforting, but are unaware of the damage that they do. Always it is the quiet listener who follows the promptings in their heart who helps to comfort those who stand in need of comfort. Never those who yell their opinions (however well intended) to those grieving.
I have personally experienced the great loss of someone who committed suicide. And through the grief and pain I learned to come to my Saviour for not just comfort and peace but for answers. (Just so you know sometimes the answers are the comfort and peace.) But here is what I have learned.

I believe the Lord will consider each case separately and judge the circumstances of each individual. I have sincerely sought direction from our Father in Heaven to help me understand. And I have come to know that these people have a place in the kingdom of our Father, and it is not one of darkness or despair, but one where they can receive comfort and happiness.

We do not know the extent to which the door is open for these particular people to grow and develop in righteousness until they possibly receive the blessings of exaltation. They committed a very serious sin, and some consequences of it may remain with them throughout eternity. Only our Father in Heaven knows the full answer to the questions our hearts ask regarding those who take their own lives.

But it is clear that hope exists. President Joseph F. Smith learned this important principle in vision he saw the work of salvation proceeding among the dead, and wrote:

“I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.

“The dead who repent will be redeemed through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,

“And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.” (D&C 138:57–59; italics added.) The act of taking ones life does not alone determine our place in heaven. All of what occurs in our hearts, minds, and lives are taken into account.

I am grateful for the great plan of salvation our Father in Heaven has provided for us. It is a plan of great fairness and a plan of great love. Please know that God really is our Father and has such great love and therefore such great compassion for us.

As I think about the worry and agony of those whose loved one has taken his or her own life, I find deep comfort and faith in the Lord’s promise and blessing to us who remain in mortality: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27.)

Please know this; In individual events those who remain to mourn and grieve can turn to their Father in Heaven and may receive comfort and peace and ofttimes answers to their questions regarding the motives and eternal state of the souls of those they have lost. If you are not one of these people let it be known that you are not commanded to give your opinion, but rather to comfort those who stand in need of comfort. This will only be accomplished through quietly listening to 1. the person who is grieving and 2. to the prompting of the Holy Ghost.
My heart and prayers are with the Family of Chris Mitchell at this time. Rest in Peace Chris, I know that you will.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My argument against anti-immigration

So I've been interested in the whole Libya situation lately. When I read article online from various websites about it I also like to check out people comments. I do it on youtube also and there's alot of trolls out there. People turn into jerks when its anonymous. Anyway, I've noticed something common among the comments for stories about Libya. Its not just from these comments also. I've heard this argument from people in general and I find it abhorable. Here is a quote from a Yahoo user who sums up this view:

"Our forefathers faught and died to give us the lifestyle and freedom we enjoy today. Our generation is handing it away be letting immigrants change our laws and culture. Why do they leave their @#$% countries, then try to make ours like what they left?"
"Get rid of the idiot & all his family before they end up in Canada as refugees@ our expense !!"

It's the anti-immigrant argument. Sound familiar? Sometimes it's coupled with the "come to our country and learn our language or else" argument. It just chaps my hide a little. I've heard from both Americans and Canadians. Both countries that have their roots in immigration and multi-culturalism. Both countries also have also have a history of eugenics and cultural dominance that seem to contradict this but I think most of us recognize that as a mistake. (treatment of natives is the prime example but racism in general, also religious persecution) But these are things that I'm under the impression we (as north americans) feel is wrong and not part of our ideal so it's unfortunate to have happened. Call me naive if you will but I'm pretty sure that's one of the freedoms people have fought for.

Why do immigrants come here? Many reasons obviously but I'll generalize for a moment. Compared to many other countries, North America has a much higher standard of living. And I'm happy to live in Canada where I don't have to worry about obscene violence or even locking my doors at night. Imagine the relief that it would bring to escape a country of violence to a place that offers peace. I'm proud to be from a country that can claim that. It's not perfect but it's there. North America, as it's cultural and political system currently stands, was started by people who wanted a place could live freely and prosperously. So, it is a fallacious argument to use the motivations of the forefathers to claim anti-immigration. I call "ignotartio elenchi" on this one. (missing the point)

Let's look at the argument and ignore cultural origins for minute. Because you don't have to care about history to try to make that point. People who make this argument theoretically are saying they are okay with immigrants as long as they change who they are and act like the "rest of us". North America is a very individualistic society. But there is a surprising amount of conformity. I sometimes wonder if that's caused a kind of cultural cognitive dissonance. (Psychological tension created when an ideal doesn't match reality). Topic of another blog though... Lets do some circular logic now. Individualistic society telling people to be like them means they must be an individual and not be like them. IS YOUR BRAIN EXPLODING YET! Sounds like you are not being very north american if you are telling someone to be north american!

Here`s what it ultimately comes down to for me. People are people (Depeche Mode) no matter where they live. You can say we are all children of God or just say we are all the same species and genetically similar. Whatever works for you. But when you have the ability to offer something to help someone else (whether its opening a door to a building or a country) it is our civil, honourable and priviledge to do so. Anti-immigration arguments are essentially saying some people are not as good as other people. And nobody likes Hitler anymore. (except those neo-nazi weirdos)

Now, in all their 80`s glory - Depeche Mode!


I have to go to work now and can`t proof read this. Hope it makes sense!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sollywoods World News Segment

I don't know how often I'll do this, I'm fairly irregular when it comes to blogging anyway, but I want to do a weekly news segment. I figure weekly is do-able. I'm not even sure where I'm taking this. Let's see what happens:

- A man in San Antonio became a little upset at the price hike for the beefy crunch burrito. It was a 50% increase from 99 cents to $1.49, which really does suck. He ordered 7 by the way. But that's not his biggest problem. He reacted by shooting an employee with an air gun and later used an assualt rifle for his shootout with the police. They eventually tear gased him and won the day. I have a feeling he may also have had American flag boxers on since this would never happen in any other country in the world! (I apologize to any any civil and respectable American readers butyou know it's totally true!)

- News from Japan now. Radiation levels in the sea water surrounding Japan have been tested and it has been determined that it poses no threat to humans. Thank goodness only humans live in the ocean!

- News from Libya now. An American f-15 fighter jet has crash landed and the 2 passengers were rescued by rebel forces. It apparently wasn't shot down. Who knows. Those rebels are such nice guys. It's a good thing the west is now intervening so this whole conflict will be able to make a summer blockbuster movie in a few years. If Gaddafi wins then only independant film makers will want to touch it!

- Any of you get paid to babysit when you were younger? Well I bet you didn't get paid the way a 27 year old Missoula mother pays her babysitters. This woman has been charged with paying her sitters with perscription anti-anxiety and sleeping pills. What kind of baby sitter takes that for payment... or what kind of mom see's this type of babysitter as an acceptable person to watch her child? Sometimes I think eugenics may not have been such a bad idea...

Let's end with a video. If you've never seen the Onion news, well, you are just missing out.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Zombies - This is why they are fun

It seems to me that zombies have gained alot of popularity in the past 10 years. Maybe it was the remake of Dawn of the Dead that showed how horrifying these things can be and not the campy joke they were by the end of Night of the Living Dead 3. Whatever it is, I`m all for it! Here`s some basic education of zombies for those of you who may not be well informed. It would do you well to know this for the coming zombie apocalypse.

The past week has been full of zombie awesomeness. Chunks of my family spent several days north of here at a nice cottage where we played Zombies!!! - a sweet board game that allows you to kill zombies and screw over your fellow players with brain cramps and such. We also watched I am Legend (kinda fauz-zombie movie, same genre I feel)and Mrs. Sollywood sat through it all which impressed me. Then we watched the mini series The Walking Dead and it was awesome too. It took practically all the classic zombie movie cliches (unexplained zombie breakout, protagonist wakes up in empty hospital, lots of guts and humans that can`t be trusted, ect.) and made them fresh and somehow original. Making a cliche original... not easy to pull off. So today I went out and bought the first tpb (trade paper back for al you non-comic book nerds... so all of you) of The Walking Dead that the series is based off of. I haven`t got around to reading it yet since I had some Spiderman and Avengers that took priority. And I`m saving it for tonight. Anyways, there`s a few things that make zombies appealing on various levels. You have the superficial gore fans. Hahaha, that reminds me of my moms face during a particular gross scene in Walking Dead. Wish I had a camera. Absolute transfixed disgust without the ability to look away. HILARIOUS! Then theres the survival aspect. Stories of survival come in many forms and all are exciting and have been around since stories have been around. Hatchet was a good book about a boy surviving in northern Canada. And completely non-zombie but same idea. Surviving against the odds. There`s something about that idea that adds drama and excitement into whatever media we find it in and will continue to search for. Now there`s one deeper level to zombie stories that I find to be the main appeal. For me at least. There`s an interesting contrast that zombie movies can achieve greater than other genre`s that come to mind in this particular area - social commentary. Even good zombies movies are basically ridiculous in premise. But that complete insanity can be contrasted with a very dramatic and serious view of human behaviour. They show us just how messed up humans can be and also how brave and heroic we can be. A contrast within itself. I enjoy any form of media that can get you to ponder the nature of your humanity and can help you explore a range of emotion - positive or negative or both. A good zombie movie will get you to question and ponder the fabric of society. They also take an almost satirical approach to the fears that many have towards the future - chemical warfare. There`s all this hysteria for years now about crazy diseases from SARS to H1N1 and everything inbetween and it`s just making us all into a bunch of zombies. I also like Dawn of the Dead approach to consumerism and having the survivors in a mall surrounded by zombies. Oh and they give you plenty of gory, tongue in cheek excitement. And then there`s this - The Zombie Love Song!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vaughan

Whenever I get lost I end up in Vaughan. All roads lead there. Except the ones I want obviously. But honestly every single time I see the sign "Welcome to Vaughan" I inwardly go "crap, not Vaughan." So today was no exception to the rule. We wanted to go to a store house and get some bulk food (sweet!!) and the place we wanted to go was apparently just 30 minutes away. But here is the thing: MAP QUEST SUCKS. Don't ever use it. The road Nearctic does not exist. The road Vulcan does however which was a sweet find in our lostness. (Mr. Sollywood says if you can name the Greek version of the Roman Vulcan you win an awesomeness prize!) The best part about being lost together is that both of us find it hilarious. Which is nice because there is nothing that you can do about being lost so just let it go...just enjoy it. The more lost we became the more amused we became.

Here is how we became lost: We took an exit but according to our mapquest directions this was supposed to be a collectors and it was not. So we get off the highway and turn around to get back on the first highway. It is here in the turn around that I notice this cute little shop next to a giant box store and I thought about how I like little businesses. Then we headed to Vaughan (Que "crap not Vaughan") and we turn around again and pull over for directions and We start driving again, some how we are five to seven minutes from where we want to be ??????????? And we drive past that little shop that I saw before when we turned around AN HOUR AGO. We didn't even know we were in the same city. How did that even happen?

And we get there and it is closed, they aren't open on Fridays. So we drive home which does in fact take us 30 minutes. Though it took us and hour and a half to get there.
Also just so you know Etobicoke smells like peas.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I don't even know to title this one

So the Wing Master was closed the other day... very sad. Broke my heart. And then a panzaroti (spelling?) sounded like a decent backup. So we go in and order and I ask how long. The guy says about 40 minutes. He's just got to close up, go pick up his kids from school and then he can go make it. I think, haha, he's playing with me here. Keep in mind I've already paid for it. But nope, he's serious. Who runs a business like this? Sometimes its hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.

New story - On Saturday I have to write a test that will determine whether or not I get into grad school. I can only hope everyone else writes it poorly so I look better. It's going to be one of those tricky tests where I have to use imaginary numbers, like eleventeen.

And now for your enjoyment, I present to you - LASER CAT BOWLING

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

25 and Olde?

25 and olde?
Alright so here is the thing I just turned 25, I am so new at being 25 that the wii fit told me I was 24. But yesturday at work I was told that I was old. And guess what, you are too. Let me prove it to you. The conversation with a 17 year old from work went like this:
Girl: yo so last night I met this guy and i'm like totally thinking that we should be whellin
Me: Whelling?? What does that even mean?
Girl: no Whellin it means like before youre gf and bf and are just tryin it out to see if you want to date but you have make out and have sex
Me: Well obviously. So what did you and this guy do this weekend?
Girl: nothin we were just mossin
Me: ... mossin'? Oh, I got it, it is like you go slow because moss grows slow.
Girl. no it means chillin but this girl was chirpin me hardcore
Me: Chirping?
Girl: bad mouthin me but it was ok cause then the guy I was with did this sweet trick on his bike that was so gang related
Me: Gang related? What does that even mean?
Girl: like rad or awesome
Me: Wow you have the strangest vernacular.
Girl: what does that even mean vernacular

And herein is the difference between being olde and being young. (I left out her punctuation and grammar on purpose- it just felt right.)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

From now on, I'll connect the dots my own way!

So the other day after eating some chicken wings I burped and I was able to re-live that last chicken for a one brief delicious moment. Then I thought, when birds burp it must taste like bugs.

ad sequitar

So it's been a while since I've blogged. I've been busier lately... but still broke. Not fair is it? I've finally paid off my credit card though! Two years ago it was over 10,000 and now it's gone. I feel like I've reached the end of the underground railroad and Canada is still freakin cold! Does that make sense? Who writes this stuff? He doesn't really know whats going on.
Ya, so I'm a therapist now. I'm an aknowledged member of the OACCPP which means I can legally do this stuff. I get to tell people what to do and they listen! I've mainly been dealing with relationship issues. I'd say marriage counsellor but not everyone who comes in wanting help is married. So as an intern, I get the people of the lower income demographic who can't afford the guy with the phD. Man, that guy make good money. 150 - 200 an hour? delicious! But i get more intrinisic rewards. I get to charge people next to nothing, see none of that money and get the fuzzies along with the worries. I'm pretty excited. I get my first aspergers patient soon. Thats going to be fun. There are several couples I work with, only one couple actually comes in as a couple though. With the others, one half feels its the other ones problem and they don't want any part of it. Anyone else see the problem already? And then there was a young boy who doesn't talk much and only comes because he has to. (As much as I want to give details, the consent form did not mention anything about spreading details about our session online in my blog.) I wasn't sure how to deal with this guy until I had a talk with another more experienced therapist yesterday. Gave me some interesting advice. Told me not to be just another authority figure. Therapy isn't just about asking questions and spilling your guts. Especially for kids it's important to be a friend and in doing so modeling appropriate social behaviour. He mention some specific examples of doing this that have worked well for other and then I remembered Calvin - From now on, I'll connect the dots my own way. I'm not going to be the psychiatrist type who just says sit down and tell me everything. I have no need to feel obliged to do this like anyone else has before me. It's going to be fun! Maybe everything is psychosomatic and everyone just needs lobotomies. I'll go buy a saw. I really like this job...... I just really wish it paid money along with experience! How cool would that be???