Thursday, December 24, 2009

Whats so great about christmas anyways?!

I used to love Christmas, and on some level I still do. The spirit in everyone of giving, love, and generosity. Complete strangers saying hello, open doors for one another, and smiling, something often much to rare in North America. However, being back home, I beginning to remember why Christmas is also a time not so wonderful.
The whole family is home for Christmas, and all the tensions that come with that. The tension saturated silence between my brother and I fills the air every time both of us are in the same room. To start up a conversation would be tragic, because it would no doubt end in him making fun of me and I being upset. The mother who finds it necessary to criticize and judge every little thing: "you smell", "your wearing that?!", "speak up", etc.. There is no end to her love...

And of course, being vegan doesn't help. I am constantly faced with judgement, exasperation at my "eccentric" ways, and people being pissed off that I find eating animal products disgusting...uhh, can you blame me? Your inflicting unnecessary pain on another being, just so that your tongue can be happy, its not even making your body happy. Let alone the horrible environmental impact it has...but I will stop. I don't want to be one of those preachy vegans.

The point is, I love the idea of "Christmas", and the idea of happy family time, yet when it comes down to it, its a pain in the butt. Its walking on peanut-shells, choosing awkward silences over broken hearts, and feelings attacked and crushed over and over and over again. Sorry to be doom and gloom on Christmas eve! I just wanted to bring reality to the for-front and comfort anyone out there that is not having the "perfect" Christmas that you are not alone, and in fact, the "perfect" Christmas, I highly doubt even exists!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Flowing Life, landfills, and randomness

As part of my schooling I have to complete a 4th year design project, and thus, here I am working on the project on a friday night while listening to Santam Laun, shes this peaceful-yogaish singer. Anyways, so going through responses to a survey we conducted for our project, and one unknown person responded to the question "Why dont you compost?" saying "The world's doomed anyway, composting won't make a difference. Also, I don't garden." Umm....WHAT?!

I started this post, about 2 months ago, and I am just getting back to it now. How time flies when in school. School, as many of you know has a way of taking over our lives. As I sit here, "studying" for my last exam, I am much too aware of that fact.

This past week has been devoted to hardcore it normally is when exams hit. So, I have made many lists of things I want to do when done, food to cook, gifts to make, and yoga and meditation to get back on track with. I hate how I let exams take over my life, and my body hates it too. As I was on a run the other day listening to one of my favorite podcasts, "Compassionate cook", she reads short stories, tells you about interesting/scientific nutritional info, and just teaches me soo much! Anyways, she said "my bodies not a landfill" in reference to all the preservatives we tend to put in our bodies, via the foods we eat, these days!
I loved that phrase, and now whenever I eat I think of it. Not to say I eat terribly unhealthly (at least not when NOT writing exams) but its a very awesome/valid way to put it!

Anyways, this term is almost over, with that comes christmas, snow and winter
. I love christmas, snow, but not winter. Its cold. I end my random ramble now.

Japan in a teacup (just to add to the randomness)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Exciting or Exhausting, or both?!

Life is overwelming right now. this weekend i had a melt down, due to school, lack of sleep, trying to pull myself too many directions, financial strains, and putting myself down for someone i'm not. its funny how all week i have been enjoying little snippets of my latest edition of "YogaJounal" and the article about just being, and not getting wound and stressed out with all the doings of life, and what do i do? i get wound up. so today, as i studied for my midterm on wednesday, which i am not nearly close to prepared for, i tried to unwind, although counter-intuitive to do while studying, i think it did kinda work. getting a goods night sleep worked well too.

last night, in hopes to see my friend, who is now out of town, and thus i hadnt seen for a long time, i decided to go out for oktoberfesting to a very NON-german venue. it was, as i expected, nothing special, and in fact, upon arriving, i wanted to leave. i am not one for crowds, and acknowledging that i put myself down with ideas of how unsocial a person i am, and like there is something wrong with not enjoying the crowds. i dont think there is anything wrong with me, however i decided that there was last night. sooo i left pretty early, but it was really the best choice for my health, i think sometimes we have just recognize what our bodies and mental beings need, which is part of the challenge. my friend was extremely supportive, and actually, due to my melt down i was able to have a nice chat with her. why do melt downs always open up this space for nice chats and bondings? we shound really have melt downs more often if thats what their outcomes are.

i have so many thoughts flying around my head that i am itching to post, not expecting anyone to read them, except perhaps my imaginary friends...but just getting them out there helps. however i am tired, and thus sleep i go, but before that i will post a few pictures from the oktoberfest parade last weekend, went with mom and dad and it was fabulous! i lied, no pics, i will post them next time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New house, new school year, new me?

I love my new home, granted its still in waterloo, only a 10-15 minute walk from my "home home" its a place of peace and friendship. I can feel it. There are 5 of us in it, 5 girls, which may get a little crazy, but its also pretty awesome! We love to cook, and already have experienced many a fabulous meals! With all the chatter in the kitchen as we cook, eat, and just sit, its a great place to find calmness and zen, although perhaps too much zen. Its good now, but once school starts, i will have to train myself to pull myself away from the good times to go to work! It will take some practice, but i know I can do it. On the other hand, I will also have to pull myself away from the work to have fun, which will also take practice. The yin and yang, its all about the balance baby!
Alisha enjoying some much needed R and R.

This summer my friends have been plentiful, which is awesome and I am sooo grateful! I have gone on short trips to cambridge, stratford, the beach, and toronto, all with amazing friends! You guys rock! Without out you, by happy-ometer would be near empty! I can't wait for more adventures of crazy dancing (both swing and sexy random), cooking, potlucks, deep convos, falling asleep at shows, random walks, and perhaps picking up a few sexy men (I need to learn some tricks from one of my friends)!

Giant veggi burger I ordered at Fresh and ate gleefully!

However the summer is now coming to a close. School is about to begin, but don't make the assumption that fun will no longer exist, that theres no time for friends, hah HARDLY!! I am soo excited for school, excited to see my classmates which I havn't seen for just, well, too long! Excited to organize fun events, teach yoga, go to my friends yoga class, and go to class and be challenged academically in ways I never knew possible! Perhaps, hopefully, I will even be working and making a little money. If it sounds busy, well it is, but I am excited! Life is always changing, full of possibilities, oppurtunities, and challenges, which we should embrace!

Amy and I showing our true selves.

I love today, and look forward to what tomorrow will bring, whether its good or bad, both the failures and successes are equally important in life. That is what I have to constantly remind myself.

Oh life...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Why are Seal’s hunted in Canada? Is it really necessary? Should we allow it?

These are all big questions. Recently there has been huge effort by the European Union, Human Society, and other activists, to stop the hunting of seals in Canada. Yet, we also see Canada’s Governor General Jean carving up and eating raw seal heart on public television, so what’s the deal?

The biggest problem with this issue is that, as with many issues, it’s not black and white, and the line between aboriginal seal hunting and commercial seal hunting is often blurred. Aboriginal hunts are part of their culture, a way of life, for the people that live so far north, mainly in Nunavut and some areas of Quebec, that there is little access to other food and economic resources. As custom to their culture, they only kill what is needed, using not only its skin, but its flesh for food as well. The number of seals hunted by aboriginal people is a small fraction, at most in the hundreds, when considering the hundreds of thousands of seals hunted ever year off the east coast of Canada.

So there who is killing the hundreds of thousands of seals? Commercial hunting, and that is what the protesting is against. The activist groups and the EU are not against the aboriginal people, but rather the mass killing of seals. Every year thousands of seals, younger then one month old, not even able to swim yet, are clubbed or shot. To make matters worse, many of the harp seals (the main type of seal hunted) do not die instantly, but suffer with bullet wounds to their death, many of them not even dead when they are skinned. Why make the seals suffer? It is because the hunters loss $2 for every bullet hole in the seals skin, thus less bullet holes more money.

However, how much money? Canada seems to make the argument that seal hunting is a huge economic producer for the people of the country, yet is it? Yes, the aboriginal people, specifically the Métis people, are very dependent on seal hunting. However, commercial seal hunting, which is responsible for the majority of the seal killings, does not actually bring in that much revenue. When accounting for the, approximately 6000 fishers, which participate in seal hunting, in Newfoundland and Quebec seal hunting only accounts for 5% of their income. That equates to less then 1% of Newfoundland’s GDP. In fact, the subsidies the Canadian government provides seal hunters, over twenty million dollars, is almost if not as much money as the income that commercial seal hunting produces.

So what gives? The only other reasoning for killing seals is so that the cod population, the type of fish the fishermen depend on for the majority of their income, does not decrease. Yet, how valid is this concern? Do seals really eat THAT much cod? No, they don’t. In fact seals are opportunistic feeders, meaning they eat whatever they can get their flippers on. Although, they do eat cod sometimes, they also eat predators of cod, such as squid.

The real reason, agreed upon by activists and scientists both for and against commercial seal hunting, for the decrease in the cod population is over-fishing. As well, some scientific studies have shown that the drastic increase in seal hunting within the past few years may also contribute to a dwindling cod population. The less seals there are, the more predators, usually eaten by seals, there are for cod.

Therefore, why are hundreds of thousands of seals allowed to be commercially killed every year for valid reason? Why is Canada risking its global reputation so more seals can die? It confuses me too. The Métis people should not be denied their culture, yet hundreds of thousands of harp seals should not be denied their lives. Allow the Métis to live off their hunt, killing in a sustainable manner, but making commercial hunting illegal.

-Tricia Enns


[1] The Humaine Society of the United States.

[2] The

[3] Metis Culture.

[4] Discover Science and Conservation.

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Rubbish" photos as promised

Taking in Life

As one returns home, we often quite the updates we had going on to friends and family while away on adventures overseas or somewhere else, however being at home can bring just as much excitement, enjoyment, and adventures as being away! This is a realization I became aware of, ironically enough, when I was away from Waterloo in Singapore.

So whats so exciting about life in waterloo? Well, life itself. As I continue to be unemployeed, I am taken back by how busy I am, even WITHOUT a job. This being the first time I have had a chance to take sometime and write a new blog post in the past month, its kinda radiculous! During this insainity I have found joy in friends, crafting, yoga, cooking, eating, and running. I have also been reading, doing a LITTLE gardening, and started to volunteer once a week. Mostly yoga and running has taken over my life in a wonderful way. Today I taught my first yoga class, less then 3 hours ago I was up there in front of all the other student yogi's in the room bending and twisting my body away on that mat, and what an awesome time. I was nervous, yet there is also something I really loved about it. I love having that connection with the students. I am shy (although many people I know would disagree) so I takes a lot of effort for me to just chat it up with someone next to me with for no real reason. However, when I am the teacher, then as the teacher it is also my duty to interact with the others, which is awesome! So here I go, plunging into the crazy world of yoga. Its scary in a way, cuz you don't realize how deep the pool really is until you stick your toe in. There is so much to learn about yoga!

What else is exciting about life?! Well, I have started to sell my own jewelry at a store called RareFunk, however I also am selling pieces directly to customers, so if there is something you want, give me a shout. My line is called "Rubbish" and I will be posting pictures of a few of the pieces I have made very shortly! If your interested in it, give me a shout, I would love to hear from you! I love recycling, being creative, and making jewelry, and when others love it too its even better!

There is so much more going on in my life, but what really makes life special, no matter where you are in life, is those random encounters, awkward moments, and oh so sexy times with friends. Random encounter: bumping into Kurt (whom I havn't seen in 2 years) in the toronto subway last weekend, awkward moment: discussing ways to make one "feel good", and finally, the sexy times:

Love, live, laugh, and say no to stress!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Back in the Can-a-da

So back in this lovely country, however right now I am slightly revolted by my sibling in the kitchen. Is anyone else grossed out my protein powder? It kinda creeps me out...I don't get why you would consume that stuff, it just seems really scary to me, so thats what this said sibling consumes every morning, along with just now chowing on meat loaf...for breakfast! euw...gross...barf. Sorry, I am done now, no wonder my momma says he doesn't eat very well. Geez! Done my rant now.

Well, yes back in the country, and its beautiful, the weather has been so glorious it makes you wonder what we have done to derserve such amazingness! I have been reading a book called "How to See Yourself as you Really Are" by "His Holiness the Dalai Lama", and its great. I have really been enjoying it. I really like the point about how everything in the world is connected, nothing is independent of anything else, which is very true, as, for example, this table that I sit at, depends on trees that made it, which depended on the sun and nutrients of the soil to grow, but to make the trees into the table the table depended on the people that cut the tree down, then the craftsmen that made it, then our family depended on my dads family to buy the table so I could sit at it now and so on. Its an endless cycle, and amazing when thought about. 

Other then reading my book, I have had tons of friends back in Canada! Its radiculous all the amazing friends I have! I love it, its exhausting, but I really wouldn't have it any other way. I love being with friends and being social, but I also realized this week that its exhausting and I also need that time to sit and be with me, and be quiet. Be anti-social if you will. As my friend put it the other day "Your 'on' when your with friends", so I need time to be "off". However dispite my "off" times, the "on" times have been amazing. The existance of friends is soo important in life, I dont care about stuff, as long as I have family and friends that love me, then I am happy.

So being back in Canada is great, although I am not near adjusted yet(I continuously look around and wonder where all the chinese/malaysian/indonesian/indian people have gone) I am getting there, and my friends are amazing at helping me do that! Thank you guys! I love you all, as the dali lama points out, we are all sentinent beings, and are all connected, and we all deserve love and compassion. Please accept mine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

As I say Goodbye La

I have done very little blogging here, while in Singapore, yet the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of thinking, random thinking with no beginning, middle or end, so I thought it would be a good time to type it down. The past few weeks, despite the fact that I have only 2 weeks left in Singapore have been ridalled with homesickness. I have been missing everything from friends and family to the spring feeling that accompanies this time of the year in Southern Ontario. By missing all these things, I have unintentionally been missing all the amazing things that Singapore has to offer though! 

Singapore is a very interesting, yet amazing place. It stresses me out hardcore when I have an agenda and need to get somewhere, but, as usual, I get lost and it takes me twice as long to get to my destination. However, these past few days my Aunt and Uncle came to visit me here, and it made me realize and appreciate again all the amazing things Singapore is. Like the diverse food, the nature and urban mix (just go to Pulau Ubin and you will feel like you are in another world even though you are only 10min from maintain), all the fruit and fruit juices, the diverse array of people, the indian men that always stare at you in a such a creepy yet intriging way, the ethnic areas of little india and chinatown, and the livelyness of the city at night!

Without an agenda, or need to get really anywhere specific, Singapore is a wonderful place. Its always hiding new things to explore and learn about, and as I spent the last 2 days with my aunt and uncle both exploring what I thought I knew, and uncharted teritory, I realized how little I really knew about Singapore. 

With all this said, I am not sure I could live here, its too structured, too urbanized, and after-all a big city, which I am not. Well, I'm not a big city person, I can't do them for too long until I need peace, to grow my own vegetables, cook my own food, make my little dorky crafts. Singapore feels to glossy for a perminate home for me. Define glossy? I'm not really sure...but thats what it feels to me. There is so much more to learn/see/do in this city though, that I can't wait for exams to end. 

Open your eyes to the wonders that are right in front of you, because before you know it they will be behind you.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spotted in Laos

Neon Orange and religiously moving, who knew?!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Here's a link to my singapore photos I posted on facebook, it didn't work when i tried to post them on my blog!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

The End of the First Week in Singapore

Week one in Singapore has come to an end. And what a week. Singapore is, in essence, a big concrete jungle. Composed of many places to shop, buy things, and eat. Although I am not a huge shopper I do love the food. Food is also very cheap, if you buy it at hauker centers, I am sure I spelt that incredibly wrong. You can get chinese, japanese, indian, korean, malasian, and many other foods of origin I am unsure. 

What unnerves me about singapore is the "too perfectness" of many areas of the city. For example, yesterday, I went, with 3 other exchange students, to Sentosa, a man made island/beach in Singapore. It was really creapy and wierd, everything was so "perfect" and unnatural, it was like I was in The Truman Show or something. I went for a swim and there was seaweed though, so thats kinda exciting! And there was a warning about "sea stingers" although none were encountered. Another place that is a little too perfect: NTU campus. Its too pretty, soo many green spaces, flowers, trees. And all so perfectly manicured. I always see the workers (who are always Indian, I wonder why...) out taking care of the greenery!

I love the diversity of Singapore, not to say that its equal among all races, not in the least, but there are people of all races here. I guess if you switched the whites in canada with asian, the indians with white, and the asians with indians then you would get singapore, did you follow that?! haha its pretty diverse, I notice this the most when taking the MRT, which by the way is also very interesting(to be mentioned later), on my way to "the City".

Just some of the food I have tried so far:

green tea pumpkin seeds(eating now...)
Chinese peanut soup with glutinous rice balls
Glutinous rice covered in crushed peanuts (they love glutinous rice, and so do I!)
Barley Juice (not a huge fan)
Cocanut Water (love!)
wierd clear fruit that kinda tastes like grapefruit but is small balls...
Roti with tofu and mixed veggis (malasian dish)
Indian food(naan, veggi rice, channa masala, dal, mixed veggis, etc.) off of a banana leaf
Carrot cake (NOT western carrot cake, its a meal dish, with cooked diced white carrots)
Crazy mountain of flavoured ice with mango sauce and red bean, jellies, and fruit hidden inside the mound
Chinese stuffed buns, assorted
Bean curd
Etc. I'll stop there, you get the point! And that was only one week!

Some interesting points, observations, randomness about singapore:
1. They use a crap-load of cards (for keys, for the mrt(mass rail transit), etc.)
2. $500 fine for eating or DRINKING on the mrt
3. The fact that you pay per distance when riding the mrt and buses here
4. How much people eat, but how tiny they all are...
5. All the crazy herbal canned drinks
6. How cold it actually is here during the evening and night (ever night I get cold!)
7. All the sheltered walk ways on NTU campus
8. how loud students are during lectures, seems so rude to me...
9. the fabulous hawker centers
10. I don't like distance education courses
11. People go to sleep really late here (ie. 2am and later)

I'm going to go to bed now, although I am living in Singapore, I am not a 2am local, and thus need my sweet sweet sleep! This weekend was pretty busy, except for today, the good part is that I was able to hang out with a bunch of local malasians, which really is much more amazing then exchange students, not that the other exchangers arn't amazing, but the locals just actually know what they are doing, where to take me, what to feed me, and have much more interesting stories I can hear!

Good morning to all of you, and good night to me!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I arrived in Singapore two nights ago! Its been a little insaine thus far! I have been overwelmed with jet leg, meeting people, seeing the campus(which is massive!), buying all my nessesities to get settled in, and culture shock! Oh and registration for courses! The NTU courses system is insaine, annoeing and totally not cool!

Apart from all my insaine stress it is a beautiful campus. The following two pictures I just took (about 30min ago) from my dorm(or Hostel as they call campus residences here) room window. Yes thats my view, its pretty spectacular! 
Its so jungle'esk, which is amazing! 

What I find bizarre is how NO ONE cooks here! And I dont mean just on campus students, like very few adults as well...there are things called canteens which is where people buy breakfast, lunch and dinner! THey are very cheap (ie. I spent $4.10 for lunch and dinner yesterday), however not always that nutritious! Lots of rice and noodles, and for a vegan its a bit of challenge...I think I have already broken my veganism, but I do what I can, and thats all I can ask of myself. 

Yesterday when we, a swedish girl i randomly ended up spending the day with and myself, went to the canteen for dinner we started talking to this indian professor there who helped explain what Nori (I believe thats what it was...) is, its a traditional malasian dish, with bread similar to Nan, although greesier, and then toppings. They had a few different veggi toppings, and wanting to try some malasian food we went for it. It was really good, i had a tofu and mixed green veggis topping which you eat with the fried dough stuff...