Saturday, January 28, 2006

Yeehaw Week: Feng Shui for my Soul

I had a pretty busy week with doing assignments and practicing music. I also conducted some info table sessions at school promoting the upcoming job fair that's happening this week at RIM park. Unfortunately I can't go because I have class all day, but it was good to browse through the employer guidebook, to get a hint of who's hiring. Lately I'm trying to live a balanced life and have a little bit of everything, just trying to keep my head on as I make the last leap towards graduation.

Job Placements
Speaking of hiring, I just applied to three different jobs to give my unpaid services in Public Relations: an internet broadband company, a governmental centre that specializes in connecting scholars and researchers worldwide, and an art gallery. I was a little disappointed not to have heard back from them, so I followed up. Apparently they're still waiting to get all the rest of the applications from our class. The competition is tense. This job placement is a required portion of our diploma, and also a time we get off school. Since the program has had to make time for work, our courses are all scrunched into six weeks and as a result, we have a lot to cover, which is why it's busy.

Wonderful Gifts
Chloe over at Froth on the Daydream sent me some lovely gifts all the way from Greece! I never really knew it snowed in Greece, but that's what it's doing now. Chloe is a journalist and a fine woman who shares my love of music. The package she sent includes a CD, a postcard, and a compass, "so that I will never lose my way." Lately, I'm anxious and uncertain about finishing my school, starting a career, and figuring out my bearings, so it is a nice pick-me-up and reminder to keep things going smooth. I sang to her over the internet, and now apparently I have Greek fans!

Country Night
I was a security guard for the theme night. Of course as soon as I happen to be in a position of authority, who comes in but a friend of a friend, completely drunk. He behaved himself rather well, although he acted silly and made sure I wasn't too rigid and that I join in with him, singing along to the country tunes. I was glad that there was a turnout. It made things less boring. Plus, it was good to see all the big shiney belt-buckles and cowboy hats, the short skirts and the boots. Hearing Cotton-Eyed Joe took me back to grade seven. As the night got later, there was a singing competition where contestents sang a line from their favorite country song. Almost all of them were terrible singers, but they had heart. Three girls got booed off the stage for their rendition of "Achey Breaky Heart", a song that had been played too many times ten years ago, but someone handled Garth Brooks alright:

"Cause I got friends in low places,
Where the Whiskey drowns,
And the Beer chases my blues away,
But I'll be okay,
Now I'm not big on social graces,
Think I'll slip on down to the oasis,
Oh I got friends,
In low places."
(From "I Got Friends in Low Places")

In class this week we were presented with a real problem and we were supposed to come up with a summary for the client what that problem was, with an execution plan of finding out what we would need to know to solve it. It had to do with the need to increase student engagement on campus, and as a result, student pride. I go to the college that has been ranked #1 in Ontario for the past seven years but when I asked other students what it had been ranked #1 in, know one could say. It seemed to me that our school suffers an ambiguous identity because it has so many diverse programs. If student pride is to increase, our identity as a school needs to be more distinguished.

In the last few weeks, I've seen Brokeback Mountain, a heartbreakingly beautiful story about a special relationship between two men who meet each other when they are ranchers on the mountain. It follows them through their lives and interposes their family lives with the dream/fantasy life they escape to together. On the one hand you conclude that they are both repressed homosexuals who want to be together but they are ruled by the prejudices of outside influence, on the other it seems to be a romance more about a peculiar homosocial lifestyle of being free in nature together, with only themselves to depend on for company.

The other movie is March of the Penguins. This movie has great music, excellent cinematography (those camerament must have been cold!) and some astonishing facts about emperor penguins. Morgan Freeman is the perfect narrator. It is a documentary of the voyage penguins make yearly to hunt and mate. I really adored the penguins. They are fascinating! The way they show affection to each other by caressing and kissing with their beaks after searching thousands of penguins just to find the mate they will be loyal to for that year, really makes me wonder whether animals can experience love. A little known fact is that the male takes care of the egg for months and months, going without food, waiting, while the female goes out to sea. He has to shimmy along with the egg under his bottom to keep it from freezing. If it breaks, all the work for the past year is gone!

Web Design
We had some nasty interpersonal conflict this week between some students and our web design teacher. Our class is very unforgiving and the teacher is young and laid back. We talked about the concerns and our other teacher helped us frame the issue in an appropriate way to basically say we're responsible for our own learning. He is actually a very brilliant teacher, but the problem is that some people take advantage of the fact that he's not breathing down their necks all the time and instead use the precious moments of class to chat on msn, then complain that they aren't learning anything. Students complained about him behind his back to this other teacher and boycotted his class (which was very rude). He rescheduled one class to a time when a lab was available, but most students used that as an opportunity to show their lack of respect. The next class, he was visibly upset, and expressed the disappointment of being ratted on by students he had previously been very proud of. He felt betrayed that people wouldn't address their problems with him personally. During the class before it, I was one of three students who actually came. Obviously he couldn't lead a whole lesson though. Instead I got to play around and get better at Adobe Illustrator. I figured out how to make animations by copying images into frames, modify each one subtly, then play through.

Now that things are back to normal, we're making websites in Dreamweaver, which is very exciting. When I learn more, I'll be able to apply that knowledge here, then I'll link my resume and post animations and do all sorts of fun things.

Tarot Cards
Last night I visited Frenchman and we just spent time at his house playing guitar and talking. He has a degree in physics and we talked about philosophy and how the universe is like a matrix that doesn't fall apart only because it is in perfect tension. We debated whether time existed and had one of those deep conversations that are fun to have every once in awhile. He taught me the tree of life and the Kabbala, then we applied it to Tarot card readings. Here is an example of the deck we used and one of the cards that came up. To me this card shows that I sometimes try to overationalize things and ignore my feelings in an attempt to simply get through things, to charge forward, without thinking. I feel rushed and cynical and this conflicts with the pleasure I could derive from good works. It would be better to enjoy where I am right now in this moment.

Tarot cards are a good exercise allowing you to relate and see yourself in the cards. There isn't an absolute right answer to the cards, but you have to use interpretative skills. It can be a helpful hint as to the things that are bothering you and the things you are working on.

Cleaning and Organizing
So now I must clean and organize things that have gotten out of sorts. There are papers and electronic devices and misfiled things all around me. I think maybe if I organize my exterior, it will help me organize my interior.

Feng shui for my soul


Blogger Maddy said...

Where is Chloe in Greece? Also
I don't see the postcard - I am
visiting my cousins in Devon
this Summer and was thinking
of going either to Spain, or
Greece or Turkey - but probably
Turkey. Greece is gorgeous -

6:16 p.m.  
Blogger Udge said...

Tagged you, you're it!

6:55 p.m.  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

How cool...I did not know you were a musician as well! what instrument do you play?

7:26 p.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

I wonder, I don't KNOW but
I feel they are not gay -
just in love - surprisingly
beautifully and painfully
in love. I think I'm wrong here
it's just I felt this for some

7:32 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

madelyn mulvaney -I know what you mean. They didn't strike me as gay either (surprisingly) but what they have is difficult to describe. That they are in love is certain but questions of sexual identity: gay, bi, straight, are tough to answer. It's like arguing whether or not smurfs believe in God. I guess the only way to understand is to watch the movie.

udge -Thanks for the tag. Meme coming up!

barbarafromcalifornia -I play several instruments. I grew up playing piano like the rest of my family and singing in a children's choir. I took up the guitar when I was in grade six and learned classical guitar. Now I still play classical and write most songs on it but also play electric. I've also played trumpet and occasionally accordion, though not very well.

8:51 p.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

...perhaps we have this desire
to put feelings in a category and
Hey, have you seen Match Ooint?
Genius or Farce?;;;
Maddy says - GENIUS!!!!!!!!
Woody's little tragi-comedic
London Opera.

1:11 a.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

...smurfs ARE God.

1:12 a.m.  
Blogger Chloe said...

Madelyn Mulvaney i live in Athens. If you plan holidays here and need info email me at

Barrett, you are welcome. Your gifts were great too. I'm sending you more. I want to spoil you! xx

11:42 a.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

Chloe - THANKyou!!!!! I will
e-mail you anyway. Lucky you
to be serenaded by phone. I was
serenaded one night when I was
sleeping - outside my house -
persistant crush - but I don't
return the crush - it's unfortunate!


1:40 p.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

Barrett - how can I can your
music - is it in shops?
Available on line?

1:54 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cleaning and Organizing
So now I must clean and organize things that have gotten out of sorts. There are papers and electronic devices and misfiled things all around me. I think maybe if I organize my exterior, it will help me organize my interior."

I tried that. Didn't work. lol

2:00 p.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

...what I meant was - how can
I get a copy of your music -

2:49 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

chloe -Yay! More is good!

captain bee -Isn't it disappointing?

Maddy -I'm not mass-produced or internationally accessible yet but if you email your address, I could mail a demo for you.

8:05 p.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

Well, thankyou and I will make
you one of my famous
(ask anyone) compilations...

11:58 p.m.  
Blogger transience said...

cool, fulfilling week, my dear. my feng shui for the soul would be sleeping all day and the fan blowing neverending breezes up my legs.

12:41 a.m.  
Blogger Adorable Girlfriend said...

Good luck with the job hunting. It's never easy, but you will find the right thing and learn so much!

Thanks for stopping by RoD! Do come back again soon. We love our neighbors to the north.

8:23 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i got friends in low one of my most favorite ROCK!

10:18 a.m.  
Blogger Lorena said...

you really did have a nice full week. it's great how you keep your mind working.

i use to work concerts and i like the power it gave me when i worked the floor. it was fun.

i will have to try the tarot cards one day.

to work in an art gallery would be great!! good luck in the job search.

when are you going to share your music!! i would love to hear it.

on Brokeback Mountain....i think it was a love story and i also think they were gay (or bi) but i like the interesting thing you pointed out how they loved the escape, freedom with nature. still i think it was love and since they are both men, it would make them gay. I wanted to see the March of Penguins!!!

anyhow, hope all is well :)

4:46 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

maddy -Haven't sent it yet but I will tomorrow. I would bet you make a good compilation with your eclectic tastes.

transience -I like my sleep too, but you add some novelty to feng shue with your fan. Cool breezes in this season?!

ag -I finally got a call for a job interview today so thanks for the luck! I will come back and visit soon.

mitzee -when that song played my friend came over and put his arm around my shoulders and sang with his drunk breath in my face as I stood there and tried to look responsible as a security guard. It's a great song!

lorena -really? What did you do at concerts? If you want some music, you'll have to send me your address. I think afterall I trust good old mail more than computers. My mic to USB port is acting weird lately -speeding up and making me sound like a chipmunk. So hopefully I'll get it fixed and find somewhere to host that isn't a pain, but yeah. Brokeback is an interesting topic. I suppose that's why it has so many nominations and definitely go see the penguins. You'll love them :)

6:18 p.m.  
Blogger Nabeel said...

Man I so much wanna see March of the Penguins .. but I haven't seen it (on purpose) .. it will just make me sad .. I have a tendencay to get sad after seeing cute animals (why? because I so much wanna have a pet but I can't because I won't be able to take care of it - my JOB and all)

Let me know if you ever have a question about Illustrator or Dreamweaver or well Web Design in whole ..

Did you use Flash for the animation? If you're using Illustrator CS2 ask your teacher to walk you through the LIVE Trace and LIVE Paint options! They will come handy in professional life !! And ya .. don't forget the PEN tool!

11:03 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's awesome about chloe. anything to pick you up...share your music with the rest of the class too. now you'll have a place to stay in greece if you ever make it there.

tarot is so my thing and feng shui. no card is a bad card...only the position of it, and the circumstance in which it is chosen.

peace to you.

9:11 a.m.  

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