Friday, March 30, 2007

Adventures in Warmerland

Let me just say that I love spring because it means the summer is coming! How I love the summer! Let me count the ways:

There are now flowers shooting up to the sky in front of my house where, one week ago, snow laid.

This has had great effects on my psyche.

The most practical positive result is that I finally got a job! It's funny. Part of what I think actually helped was mere mental power. I'm not superstitious but I watched "the Secret" last week and now truly believe in the logic of mental activity being energy -energy that becomes real, material power. If Einstein was right that E=MC2 then psychical energy shares the same characteristics as electricity, natural or other power and it can be transformed to your advantage!

In my mind I decided that my little holiday had gone on long enough: sleeping in, lazing, watching movies all day, etc. I decided that this week I was going to get hired and I did. Guess what happened my first day of work? I turned on my phone to find four other voicemail messages of jobs requesting an interview with me...which is typical. When it rains it pours!

So I'm now a Bilingual Receptionist for Ontario College Application Services. I was just relearning French by reading the French section of the Ontario Colleges Guide to myself out loud. How exciting! But speaking of rain, we had quite a storm this week after the weather changed for the better. While I was jogging the sky turned an ominous black shade and then it came down in torrents. I kept jogging because the crack of lightning was like a motivating whip at my back. The drains started clogging with old leaves, the puddles raised up to my ankles and hail started pelting me. Everyone was exstatic! I saw other joggers jogging soaked, happy simply to be alive, bikers splashing through rivers, cars slowing down, unsure. I also went down a forest trail near my house where I found strange relics in odd places: concrete bench structures, shingles, metal pipe caps labeled "City of Burlington" and things like that. I jogged further and further down this path until I felt like I was in another world. My sense of Blair witchiness was confirmed when I came across a part of the forest where spoons, beads, shells and wire designs dangled from tree branches. I went even further getting a little spooked when I came across a sign that said "WARNING: BEWARE OF GUARD DOGS. AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY". That's when I did a 180 and booked it out of there.

Becoming more athletic as I am now becoming, I discovered the game of squash! Since my roomate and I are both university alumni we have special access to the atheletics centre where we booked two appointments this week to whack the rubber ball against the wall and trip over eachother, sliding to return each serve.

Of course, another reason why I am feeling so grand and so healthy is that it has now been an entire month of not smoking!! Perhaps few of you knew that I was a stinky, dirty smoker before for about 10 years. Well, I took up the driventoquit challenge at the end of February and I am proud to say that I haven't had a single drag since! Yes, I do still crave sucking that filthy, black tar smoke into my lungs but then I think of all the benefits -how in a few years they could be pink again, how my sense of taste is returning, how I save about $80/month and I can run for so much longer that the craving passes.

So I guess the point of all this is that I'm finally starting to feel that I deserve to enjoy life a bit more. I'm still looking for another part time job and have some great resources now but I'll make the best of the rest of the time I have as summer presents so many more recreational options.

What's your favorite thing about summer?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tainted Pet Food Takes Drippy's Life

Aminopterin, a rat poison that would usually do a cat’s job for them has this time killed the cat.

My friend’s cat Drippy, so called because her beautiful Persian coat was marked with black “drips” was pronounced dead this Friday after suffering and exhibiting adverse side effects like diarrhea and vomiting. Although no autopsy was done, her owners confirmed that she had eaten one of the tainted brands on the recal list and suspect she died of liver failure like the others. She will be missed by her family who enjoyed her cuddly, blue-eyed adorable nature.

Shelly Grogan, another pet owner who fell victim to the pet food taint was featured on CTV news in Vancouver earlier today. She said that coming home without her pet is not the same and she wants more answers. After spending hours on the phone, it still remains unclear how remunerations are to be made. Menu Foods said they’d pay veterinary bills if there is “proof” that their food killed the cats but that involves getting tests, which cost money. It’s a good idea for any pet owner who thinks their cat or dog died as a result of their food, to keep the receipts.

Menu Foods makes a variety of pet foods for dogs and cats including brands like Special Kitty, My True Friend and Iams. They released a recall list earlier this week with product codes to alert pet owners of potential risk, however, so far no one knows how the taint occurred, whether intentionally, from a byproduct of mold or a reaction to new ingredients. [Original article here]

We are likely to see more lawsuits like those going on in Windsor, Toronto and Chicago as angry grievers seek compensation for those fluffy friends who can never truly be replaced.

News Reviews

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Music Video of the Week: Fidelity

The spectre of my attention this week has been New York Pianist/Singer Regina Spektor. It has also been this theme of relationships, choices and how one person's life influences the lives of those they care about around them. "Caring" can be both a nurturing and a hazardous force depending on how it's done and why -whether to control, lead by example or comfort through mutual affinity. I've seen it go many ways. Every relationship is filled with different sets of terms to negotiate.

A friend once told me about her current "boyfriend" who she spent time with developing a crush. She was nervous to have "the talk" worrying that starting something serious now might not be smart considering they will be geographically separated in the summer.

She didn't know if the relationship label had the official stamp or not but her girlfriend basically told her to "go for it" and let it happen while there was the chance -worry about the summer when it comes.

From what I gathered of her anecdotes of flirtation, trust and growing sense of togetherness, it seemed to amount to a relationship whether or not they called it such.

They made snow angels together and then kissed.

It quite reminded me of this video which I made her watch, forgetting that the couple in it actually make angels out of the coloured dust that comes out of the heart locket she lets free. Many of the fears have to be faced, whether they break your heart or not, for it is "better to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all."

This song is about taking those risks, baring your soul, not getting caught up in the second thoughts and "voices" in our heads but trusting our hearts. No matter how cliché the message, I found the video very cute and the melody of piano and upright bass something solid to tap my foot to.

Thank you Regina!
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