Thursday, November 19, 2009

Trading Yesterday

Wow. It's been so long since I posted. And I come on here with nothing really to say...

At the moment, the two songs with the most heavy rotation in my head and on my laptop are quite literally giving opposing messages. Story of my life I suppose.

Anyways, the first song is called Shattered by Trading Yesterday

And Ive lost who I am
And I can't understand
Why my heart is so broken
Rejecting your love
Without love gone wrong
Lifeless words
Carry on


All this time spent in vain
Wasted years
Wasted gain
All is lost
Hope remains
And this war's not over

Theres a light
Theres the sun
Taking all the shattered ones
To the place we belong
And His love will conquer all
Yes His love will conquer all

That one speaks about having hope and maintaining faith. The next song, however, does not. It is called My Ghost by Glass Pear.

Who can you trust, in this place?
In whom can I put my faith?
If you're real, then show me now,
Who you are.

How can I love, without grace?
Shine a light on your face,
If you're real, then show me now,
Who you are.


Who can you trust, in this place?
Where can I put my face?
If God is love, then why's the world the way it is?


Monday, February 23, 2009

PMPs and being broke

Since it took me two months to find a job after I arrive, almost 3 1/2 months before I started and then an entire month before I got paid at the end of January, my savings reserves were nearly empty as the end of January approached. Being very cognizant of my money situation I tried not to spend too much, but a couple unavoidable and unexpected spending situations later I was pushing it.

Then I started thinking seriously about buying a portable media player (PMP).

I watch or was following at least 15 TV shows. Lately, of course, with work, family and all I can only keep up with around 5 of them. Now, I commute roughly 3 1/2 hours round-trip every day by public transportation. I can't afford to buy books to read all the time and even when I take the 2 free daily newspapers, I finish reading them by the end of one way of my journey. So I figured I could kill two birds with one stone by getting a PMP: thereby decreasing my boredom and at the same time catching up with my tv shows.

I did not really want an iPod. I am a little bit against Apple. My thing against Apple is that while their designs are indeed great, it does not justify the very high prices for the small amount of features/hardware/space that their computers. laptops or media players come with...I really wanted something under $200 but then after seeing what I could get for a bit more my budget went up. After doing my research it came down to the Archos 705 with wi-fi or the Cowon D2. Now there are later models of both the Archos and the Cowon but for best bang for my buck these earlier models are way cheaper, serve just as well and have a plethora of features. I was leaning towards the Archos because of the features but it bothered me that I had to pay $20 a pop to take advantage of the cool features (for instance the web browser). However, Futureshop had a sale on the Archos 705 wi-fi 80GB model going for $250 and even if I bought a couple of the plugins it would be just a bit over $300..about the same / less than an iTouch and with way more features and space.

So I was all set to buy the PMP as an extremely early bday present for myself (and just not spend money for a couple months) :). But alas, it was not to be. The Monday after the same weekend I got all excited about getting a PMP, I discovered that I had misplaced $130. Someone may have stolen it. This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me but usually my financial state is much more stable. I mean who loses $130? That is so much money....and with losing that mount of money went my dreams of getting the PMP sooner rather than later. I would feel way too guilty if I got it now. So I guess I just have to steel myself to get used to trudging along (in the colde) on my way too long daily commute for a few more months.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Here is to 2009!

Happy New Year everyone!

I know it has been a while since last I wrote and it has been a while since I updated regularly. You would think that since I wasn't working it would be quite the opposite but alas. Anyways, with the new year comes new least for me :). I start my new job on Monday as a web developer at a cool startup! Besides looking forward to getting out of the house, I am pretty excited to start working. Plus, it will be my first real full-time salaried job.

Since I got back from France I have been getting rid of junk (old crap) in my room and my junk in general to mark the new phase in my life. I have spent countless hours on this task as I, like everyone else in my family, am a pack rat. I had loads of stuff that my family brought over from Jamaica and that I brought from college in the States....5 big boxes that really had not been opened since I placed them in my closet 5 years ago when my family moved to where we live now. Add this to all the junk I accumulated since those 5 years we have been living here and oh the things I have been finding.

The amount of paper I already shredded is garbage bags upon garbage bags statements, monthly bills, receipts, once important documents and basically anything with my name on it. And then all the recycled paper in the form of old newspapers, notebooks, scrap paper, useless paper, etc. With all the paper I find I get more annoyed. Of all the places I have lived, no set of people waste more paper than those in North America. About a month into the cleaning, I got rid of almost all junk paper in my room. However, I kept getting bank/credit card/bill statements and worst of all countless junk letters reminding me to service my car, give money to some charity, enter a lottery this year, buy this product, try some other product or service, give money to my alma maters or some other crap. It just never ends. I am so going to sign up for paperless bank/credit card/bill statements. And I don't care if there are recycling programs in place. If people didn't send out those darn solicitation letters then my and my family's junk paper, i.e. paper recycling pile, would be reduced by at least 75%. As an example, I think at least 50% of the the weekend Toronto Star is filled with inserts. When we lived in Jamaica there were barely inserts in the paper. Of course, this is probably because a great part of the population could not afford much more beyond basic necessities or because Jamaica is not/does not have the means to be as capitalist as North America. But I digress...

In addition to finding lots of paper during my cleaning, there are all the times I find things that make me nostalgic (happens about once every 1/2hr) like high school yearbooks from grade 9 onwards, prep school and high school report cards and exam results (oh how I long for the days when I was smart!), cards received from my friends while at college in the States, emails I saved from my family when I was in college in the States, papers/exams/assignments from university courses, flight tickets and entrance tickets from trips I went on and the list goes on. I even found a list done in my last year of high school in a personal development class which had the top 10 things I expected to be most important in my life in the future. These trips down memory lane have no doubt contributed to the length of time it is taking me to clean up. The further down in the boxes I got, the further back in history my mind traveled. Thankfully, I am about 80% done with the cleaning now and my room is now starting to look less cluttered. I look forward to being done.

Anyways, I get especially grateful every new year to be given the opportunity to live to see another year. I am grateful to God for everything he did for me this past year and all that he is doing and, come what may, what he will continue to do for me. I wish for everyone, especially my friends and loved ones a year filled with lots of laughter, much loving, prosperity and all things good.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Obsessions with Bones

I just spent an hour watching fanvids of my favourite tv show Bones on youtube. I can now no longer deny that I am, in fact, obsessed with the show. I used to mock and make fun of my sisters about how they could become obsessed with shows or songs or books. I could never watch a movie or show or read a book more than once in the same year. Until now. Nowadays I can watch an episode of Bones right after watching it the first time. I think I am suffering withdrawal symptoms right now because the last episode was Nov. 26 and the next one is Jan. 15. So now my sisters get to tease me endlessly about my obsession. Yes payback is a b*tch.

My Current Favourite Booth&Bones video

Friday, November 7, 2008

Welcome Back America!

I know everyone and their dog have already commented on the historic event that just took place in the US. I gotta speak my mind as well and add to the chorus.

Let me just say that Obama did not win the race simply because he was black. He won because he was the most suitable candidate for the job. He won because of his inspirational leadership skills, because of the policies he proposed and the platform under which he was running.

Coming from a predominantly Black country I grew up seeing a Black person holding the highest position in my country's government. However, even for me and for many persons of Black descent not living in the United States, words cannot express how it felt to watch Obama win the US elections and to listen to his victory speech. And for this, I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with an article I recently read which said that America has once again returned to its place as the land of opportunity in the eyes of many world citizens. When you think about the fact that just 40 years ago the law in the US supported the practice of treating Blacks as second-class citizens.

Less than 40 years ago, Blacks in the US were being killed simply because they dared to stand up to the inequality that existed at the time. And yet....and yet...just 40 years after...millions of Americans, (Black, white and all the shades in between), voted for a man of Black descent to be their president. Americans voted for a man who, half-white or not, had he been living in America 40 years ago, based on his looks, would have never come close to getting the opportunity to even consider running for president. That fact speaks volumes to me. It proves to many of us around the world that regardless of all the bad that exists there, that the United States is still really the main land of opportunity, where dreams can come true. For all other Western countries' talk of having more racial tolerance and equality, I have yet to see them elect a minority to their highest office in government. And those other countries abolished slavery long before the US did (European countries) or, hell, many of them did not even have slavery (I see you Canada).

Also, while I was just now referring to visible minorities holding positions of government, I was also using it to mean all minorities. I mean, with the exception of South Africa, I have not heard of another big (physically or influentially) country that has elected to their highest position in office, a person who is a member of a minority group that has faced at least centuries of hardship from the majority in that country. *I welcome corrections on that and am genuinely interested to learn as I know that there are other countries who do not really toot their horn much.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh Taylor!

One of the things that come from being home unemployed is the free time. Free time of course leads to some TV watching. I mean even when I am searching and applying to jobs online I have gotten into the habit of keeping the TV on for company.

I am currently watching the soap opera The Bold & The Beautiful for the first time in many many years. My family, like many I'm sure in JA, used to watch the soap religiously. The soaps come on at night. It is nice to sit and immerse oneself into the twisted bizarre worlds of soaps where people return from the dead with "plausible" explanations all the time and actors playing the same character are changed frequently (but we're not supposed to act like we notice). Anyways, I cannot believe how the actress who played my favourite character has changed. The character Taylor, played by Hunter Tylo, was my favourite character. I also liked her nemesis, Brooke, played by Katherine Kelly Lang. Both women were pretty but I always thought Taylor was more beautiful. Imagine my horror now to see how Hunter Tylo has ruined her natural beauty by the excessive plastic surgery that she has had done. I can't focus on scenes with her face on the screen because I keep thinking that something is so wrong and so off about her face. I mean her lips alone make me cringe, not to mention the other stuff. Katherine, on the other hand, while she may also have had plastic surgery (I really dunno), still looks pretty and definitely a helluva lot more natural. So sad. I mean Taylor/Hunter was SO pretty.

All that aside, I really am amazed at the power of soaps. It is true that no matter how many years have passed since the last time you saw an episode of a show, you can always just pick right up and start back watching and get right into the series again.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Boy Hardy

I can't wait another day to talk about Hardy. I met Hardy in December last year in Toronto. I spotted him in this store at the Scarborough Town Centre. It was one of the more expensive little boutique know the kind that don't usually have many people because it is usually too expensive. Anyways, he was standing there looking so handsome and proud it was impossible not to notice him. I had to have him although I wasn't sure if the price I was to pay would be worth it. In December after I met him, we didn't hang out that much as I was so busy getting ready for France. This was also because I knew he was going to come with me.

And yes, Hardy came to France with me but at first I didn't really keep in contact with him or pay him any mind. I was so busy trying to learn about French culture. These last three months though, I turned to him when I was in need. When I needed someone to help me on my trip to Porto, he helped without question. Same thing on my trips to Madrid, Brussels, Dublin, London, Rome and Venice. He has been there for me, never complaining, even when I treat him oh so wrong.

Hardy, you see, is my little carry-on suitcase. I have taken the poor thing through so many places he probably would not have gone to by himself. He spent the day rolling through Porto in drizzling rain, a day rolling through Madrid in 40 degrees weather and many hours wandering around with me because I could be counted on to get lost even on my way to my hostel/host's place. He has been rolled through dirt so many times...He's fallen quite hard in all the aforementioned cities at least once. I stuffed him to the brim and then some in Madrid. But the little trooper did not even whimper.

About 3 weeks ago, he developed some sort of physical problem. His pull-out handle keeps getting stuck or coming out altogether, no doubt from my mistreatment of him. Quite embarassing for him I'm sure. Especially since sometimes when this happens, I just open him up, for all and sundry to see. Then I usually stick my hand inside him to help his handle back down. Le pauvre!

Hardy is worth what I paid for him and I do not want him to have to be put down before I leave Paris. Therefore, I am willing the little fella to make it back home to Toronto safe and sound. Then we can see about getting him all fixed up. After all, I chose him right. He has a lifetime warranty.