Friday, June 30, 2006

wir kampfen gehen!

Ok, ok... so that's absolutely atrocious german. I apologize, but WE'RE GOING CAMPING! and I'm so excited that I can be forgiven, can't I?

A bunch of us have decided to escape the city and head to a little seaside resort town for a long weekend of beer-drinking campfire shenanigans. I am completely psyched to spend some time with great people outside of the stressful situations we usually get thrown together in...

We've got a vodka watermelon (please note- if using the syringe method, only create ONE hole... otherwise you will find that the vodka tends to spurt out the others, and that just isn't good) and a portable BBQ that bears a startling resemblance to the USS Enterprise (which I can't WAIT to try out!); Chuck tells us that he is providing home-made berry syrup for our morning pancakes (yay, Chuck!!), AND all of us being from the Maritimes, we have enough camping gear between us to house and care for a small army... let the good times roll!!!

Have a GREAT long weekend, everyone!!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

prior to consumption of caffeine.

It's raining, it's pouring
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and he bumped his head,
And he couldn't get up in the morning.

Hee. Happy Monday, everyone.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


This past weekend the gods finally answered my inward pleas for a reprieve in the form of a ridiculously low rental car rate. As I possessed myself of long distance mobility, which I have come to realize is science's greatest gift to humanity (a bit of an oxymoron, I'm sure some will think), I wracked my brains for ways to properly use this awesome machine. And then it came to me in a flash: Of course!! MINI BREAK!

Anyone who grew up near an ocean will tell you that if you remove yourself from the seashore, it won't be long until you begin to pine for waves. And pine I do. It was to be a gorgeous weekend- sunny and hot, so Saturday morning found me speeding off, picinic dinner, overnight bag, and camera gear in tow, to the splendiferously gorgeous Fundy Coast. Just me, myself and I. Fabulous.

My goal was to be incommunicado from all but those who share my understanding of an 'emergency' (ie- not being able to find the tea-lights does not qualify), and incommunicado I was. This was greatly facilitated by the fact that there is no (I repeat, NO) cellular signal along much of the Fundy Coast, which means even if you were calling, I couldn't know, and therefore couldn't feel guilty about ignoring you (I gave the number of the B&B I was staying at to those few who fell into the above noted category). Brilliant!

So I got to the B&B and hunkered down for an afternoon with the sun, the sound of the waves, my book, and a ridiculously luxurious nap. 'Twas heaven. My picinic dinner was scrumptuous, and then it was off to bed. In the morning, I awoke to the smell of frying bacon. You really can't beat a B&B for breakfast... especially a rural B&B. Bacon, eggs, toast, fresh muffins, fresh fruit, OJ, and a gallon of fresh coffee. Yum.

Once I had refueled, I proceeded to spend the rest of the day meandering my way along the coast. Part of the route I took is aptly labelled "The Scenic Route", which always makes me chuckle because, in my family, this was synonymous with "the looooooong way" and was universally loathed by all under-20's. Ah, how times change...

So it took me roughly 7 hours to complete what should... scratch that... could have been a 2 1/2 hour drive. It was marvelous. I stopped wherever the spirit moved me., which ended up including Mary's Point (see pic to the right), Cape Enrage (above) , St. Martin's (top), and Sussex Corner (below). Unfortunately, my pics are not ready yet, so I've had to turn to google image for illustrative assistance, but suffice it to say that it was gorgeous, and quite relaxing to be out of the city and away from my life, which has been unduly stressful of late. Just what the proverbial doctor ordered, I think.

Now it's back to the grind, and more of the same. But that's ok. Although I wish I had had more time and more money to continue my reprieve, I am rejuvenated for the time being. I highly recommend the solo mini break as a means to recharge batteries. It was incomprehensibly wonderful not to have anyone to answer to for anything. Even if it was only for a brief moment in time.

So... what did you all do this past weekend??

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Resisting Atlantica: a worthy battle if ever there was one.

SO. I participated in the anti-Atlantica demonstrations that were held in response to the Atlantica business conference this past Saturday in Saint John, New Brunswick. I was just one of many in a large group (~500 people) composed of labour, radicals, activists, and those who would merely call themselves 'concerned citizens', who gathered in the pouring rain and whipping wind to raise their voices against the newest in a long-line of proposed 'economic reforms' that are supposed to 'make life better for all'.

This latest proposal has been dubbed 'Atlantica', and seeks to join Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and much of New England in a new free trade zone. How, I would like to know, is a reduction in minimum wages and labour standards supposed make life better for all?? I mean, I can see how it will sweeten the deal for business owners, but what about the schmucks that have to work for the business owners? They have mortgages and loans and kids and health problems too, you know. I am reminded of the arguments that we were all treated to at the inception of NAFTA. Granted, I was eight years old at the time, but that doesn't damage my memory. The 'trickle-down effect' has always been my favourite. Why don't we ask the unemployed auto workers in Ontario and the Maquiladora workers of Mexico how things are trickling down? This photo is representative of the home of the average Maquila family. Looks like the lap of luxury, doesn't it? I can sure see how all those low-paying hazardous factories are paying off for the average folks of Mexico.

From what I've found (and believe me, I've looked long and hard), the only thing that trickles down from 'Free Trade' is misery and more poverty. Unless your last name in McCain or Irving, Atlantica is NOT a good thing. This is our future. We must resist it. We must continue to shout at the top of our lungs. We cannot let this pass without a fight.

For more information on Atlantica and what is being done to stop it, please stay tuned to the following sites:

Stop Atlantica
Citizen's Press
Left News

Oh! and if any of you know any other valuable information resources, please post them here.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Imagine my surprise when I toddled into the office this morning, flicked my computer on, pointed and clicked my way to my inbox only to find that over the weekend I had been brutally and ruthlessly blog-spammed!! That's right... over 25 spams in the space of ~ 24 hours. I am not amused. It's bad enough that I average ~20 email spams per day, enough actual physical junk mail to choke a horse, AND fax spams, but now to deal with a crazy amount of blog spams taboot?? I really don't want to turn up the security on this thing, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Yeah, FIFA!!!!

It's official. World Cup fever is in full swing, and I've totally caught it. YEAH!

I'm not a particularly huge fan of football (aka soccer here in NA) as a whole... I mean, I enjoy watching the game, but I don't rearrange my schedule based on TSN's coverage of the Man U season or anything. But the World Cup is a different kettle of fish all together.

My first World Cup was in 1998. I was in Greece, and really, there's no better place to be during the World Cup than a country that really and truly loves its football. It was amazing. I was in Athens during the quarter-finals. I have no idea who was playing, but it didn't really matter. One evening, the group of people I was with was hot on the trail of dinner when we stumbled upon an out-door restaraunt. The wrought-iron tables and chairs were literally set up in the street, there was a massive television propped against the wall, and the game was on. As the cook handed us our lamb souvlaki through the window, he yelled something in Greek at the screen with a considerable amount of vitriol. Just then, a huge roar of mixed pleasure and anguish was issued from the crowd of sixty or so folks watching the game.

Our group pulled up a table or two, sat down with our souvlakis and cokes and just took it all in. The atmosphere was electric, and I can't believe that I got to experience it. Now, when I watch a football match I can almost feel the energy coming through the screen. Magic.

So enjoy, folks! It'll be another four years before we get to feel the magic again!

PS- I would also like to note that FIFA makes a point of utilizing the World Cup for humanitarian gains- every World Cup they launch a new campaign. In 2002, it was an anti-child labour campaign (as the majority of the worlds footballs are hand sewn by children in Pakistan, I thought this was appropriate). This year, it's a campaign against racism. Check out FIFA's website (under FIFA Fair Play) for more information.

Monday, June 05, 2006

in spite of the rain...

It's been a great few days!! For those of you who don't know, the feldgling Fredericton Social Network hosted the first ever Fredericton Social Forum this past weekend. The concept was more or less modelled on the World Social Forum, and we have high hopes to expand in future years to encompass all of New Brunswick, if not Atlantic Canada as a whole.

The Forum was a success, and I couldn't be more pleased! The house was more or less packed both days, we had contingents from all over the province and even a group from Halifax, and the speakers were wonderful. Somewhere in the midst of having our curiosity piqued and our political passions fuelled, we also managed to have a bit of good ol'fashioned fun, which consisted of highly amusing conversation (just think of hickey-scarves, crazy phrases such as "blessed to heaven" spoken in an outrageous Irish accent, chicken periods, and impressions Mr. Miyagi performing reiki on Daniel-san and you'll begin to comprehend...), ample amounts of the local brew, some free-style rapping (thank-you Asaf!), and a rousing round of protest songs that we managed to butcher gleefully... ah well... it's the sentiment that counts, right??

I am rejuvenated by the comraderie of the past weekend and the knowledge that for the first time in a long time, all of my hard work (and that of my fellow organizers) actually paid off. Perhaps I am beginning to see through the bars of my prison a bit?? Too soon to tell if it's going to stick, but I'm working on it!

Anywho... I'll be posting pics and more of the Forum when I get a chance. In the meantime, I wish you all a fantabulous Monday, and a productive week!