Winter’s Fail

imageImagine having waited six years for someone to make a film adaptation of your favourite book. Now imagine yourself sitting in a theatre eagerly anticipating what you believe deserves to be the cinematic equivalent of Star Wars. But almost from the outset you realize it’s not going to be Star Wars, it’s actually Space Balls. Except it isn’t meant to be a parody, it’s meant to be a dramatic interpretation of your book. Welcome to my world last night, when, for the first time in my life, I seriously considered walking out of a theatre.


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Senna-sational Inspiration

ocean-wise-icon-largeAt the end of my entry yesterday, when I mentioned our Wednesday dinner/blog arrangement for the year, I wrote that Wilf and I are aiming to eat a wider variety of sustainable seafood in 2014. And although this did not transpire last night (more on his culinary creation later), it did get me thinking about New Year’s resolutions. (If you don’t want a pep talk, skip the next two paragraphs.)

Like many, I don’t really like the term ‘New Year’s resolution’. I absolutely believe that change is good, but having a resolution implies that something needs to be fixed, that last year wasn’t good enough, that you’re doing something wrong with your life. Not only is that an unfortunate outlook, for the majority of people, it’s also wrong. The other interesting thing about resolutions is that for some reason, once you’ve made them, it seems like if things don’t go as smoothly as you would have liked (e.g., you miss three workouts in a row, you keep postponing the tuna painting you want to start, &c.), then you’ve failed. For me, this typically happens around January 10th. (Which means that come January 11th, I feel great about life again.) But I think that the biggest problem with resolutions is that they feel like an obligation. Which is why I like to use the term ‘goals’ instead. It’s less finite, and much more motivating. What I also tend to find is that goals are constantly being created, regardless of the time of year. It’s like you’re building on an already wonderful and appreciated you. Ok, well maybe that’s a bit much…

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When Carpenters Play Dentists

I wasn’t able to make it downtown on Thursday for Chris Turner’s talk, but I continue to think about the three images that remained central in my mind when I read his book, The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilfull Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada. The first was a generic Ontario lake, the second: a shot from V for Vendetta of High Chancellor Adam Sutler shouting to his government groupies from a giant TV screen. The third (and most powerful) image was that of Philippines Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Saño when he broke down at the COP19 Climate Summit in Warsaw earlier this month while pleading with his fellow international delegates to translate climate change promises and signatures into actions. (I encourage everyone to watch the full video of his speech, but if 17 minutes is too long, the transcript can be found here.) And, while I’ll be the first to admit that these images may seem a bit random and disconnected, I think that in many ways, they actually embody the past, present, and future of the Canadian government’s relationship with science and, in particular, the environment. 

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Shipwrecked by novel. Saved by tacos.

IMG_8702Just so we’re all on the same page, I think it’s important to say right from the get-go that I believe in a strong calibre gradient when it comes to literature. As such, I don’t really consider something that’s featured as a must-read in TigerBeat to be in the same category as the likes of Dumas, Tolkein, or the Brontë sisters. And while I know I’m no Jane Austen, I do feel safe in saying that M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans is tied with Twilight as the worst book I’ve ever read. Which is surprising because over 2,000 Amazon customers appear to be in genuine awe of its existence (i.e.,  reviewers describe it as “complex”, “extraordinary and heart-rending”, and “irresistible… seductive…[with] a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page”). Seriously, I’m convinced they were reading a different book. Because the only emotions I entertained throughout the entire novel were boredom and boredom. And maybe also boredom.

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Invincibility and Mortality


I’ve torn my MCL. Not completely (thankfully), but enough to justify a grade II tear; which means I’m off strenuous physical activity for the next few weeks at least. And for someone who plays on three hockey teams (two field and one ice) and leads an incredibly active life, this is a pretty significant downer. Or so I initially thought…


About three years ago I broke a toe playing soccer. This was the first time I’d ever broken a bone, and the defected digit wasn’t even fully cracked. But hairline or otherwise, it hurt like a bitch and essentially made me immobile for about a month. Which I took really badly. It was during the winter in Guelph (i.e., sometime between September and May) and the fact that I had to hobble around on crutches in the snow made me incredibly miserable and self-pitying. And while I laugh at the situation now, I know that my outlook toward it often made everyone around me pretty miserable as well. And that’s not the happiest thought. But on the bright side, I know I learned a lot from that experience.

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Insomnia, Bravery, & the Tribulations of Translink


Last week I read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit. Last Wednesday, between 3:37 and 6:58 a.m., I read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I couldn’t sleep. And since doing laundry at this time would probably have incurred the wrath of my fellow tenants (rightly so), I chose instead to make myself some tea (Crème Caramel de David), and hunker down with Hux.


On second thought, maybe it wasn’t actually this serene and cozy. Upon reflection, it was actually more akin to a contemporary (and slightly feminine) version of Jekyll and Hyde. It went something like this:

11:06 – good job Laurenne, you’re in bed before midnight. You’re being so proactive about improving your sleep habits. Well done; you’re awesome; gold star.

11:44 – OK, why aren’t you asleep yet?

11:56 – does my dresser really have those weird grooves in it? What an odd pattern. I could design furniture. No you couldn’t, shut up.

12:08 – hmm, I am definitely not tired. It’s really raining hard outside. Did I leave my umbrella on campus again? I should get a spare. I wonder who invented the umbrella. Who cares, go to sleep.

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