Au Lecteur

If I was a morning person

Posted in Quirks by aulecteur on August 7, 2014

I would wake up at 5am. I would go out for a nice long bike ride. Maybe I would stop somewhere and read a chapter of my book. Or maybe I would read a chapter of my book once I returned from my bike ride, after a nice stretch and maybe a few sun salutations. And if I couldn’t bike, say it’s raining or winter, I would do a lot of sun salutations. I would wake slowly and do a gentle yoga routine while my cat sleeps on top of the back cushion of the couch, eventually waking up and walking around my upward dog.

Next I would jump in the shower for a quick rinse. Maybe I have to wash my hair, which will take more time, but it’s only about 6am now. Tons of time. While my hair dries, I make coffee and a bite to eat. Probably toast, maybe eggs. I have no idea actually. What do people eat for breakfast during the week that isn’t just coffee and and eventually half of their lunch around 10am?

I’d eat my breakfast and sip my coffee while reading the latest book I’m into. Or maybe I’ll find a good reliable news source to wade into or I’ll just watch an episode of something on Netflix – though I would rather not as it’s not a very good habit apparently, to zone out into TV first thing in the morning. I would be much better off engaging my brain with the written word. Or by writing words.

It’s worth noting that I’m blogging at work. It’s 9:30am and I got the itch to write about what I would do if I was a morning person. It’s entirely possible that if I was a morning person, I might also be a writer. Or at least a more consistent blogger.

If I was a morning person I would write morning pages – from Julie Cameron’s book The Artists Way. I actually forgot about that. I learned of morning pages a year or two ago. I tried it but three hand-written pages is a lot more than you think. My hand hurt after the first half page. But don’t type your morning pages. That’s not the point. The point is to empty your brain onto the pages. Do the brain dump in the morning and clear the way for productive creative thinking all day long.

If I was a morning person, I would be tired.

Can’t I do all this morning stuff at night? I really am more of a night owl. I would exercise and eat and write in the evening. And I do. Well, the eat part. But no, no that’s the thing. I don’t exercise at night. I don’t write at night. By the time I get home from work it’s the last thing I want to do (“it” being anything productive).  Mark Twain said to eat the frog. Exercise and consciousness are my frogs.

If I was a morning person.

You’re tearing me apart

Posted in Quirks by aulecteur on March 14, 2014

You’re tearing me apart!

Couple of years ago this aired on The Simpsons which made someone on YouTube make the comparison to that campy movie The Room.

But I’m pretty sure both The Simpsons and The Room are paying homage to James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.

Nice.

I fixed my own problem

Posted in Quirks by aulecteur on February 6, 2013

All of my friends are super into HBO Girls. This is great, since I love it and love talking about tv, and sometimes I feel like Hannah, or at least, that I “get” Hannah. And sometimes Hannah pisses me off so much. But I still get it.

Anyway, tonight I decided I’d had enough of not participating in the water cooler talk about Season 2. I’ve been putting off watching the new season because I wanted to watch the last episode of the first season to refresh my memory and really geek out with it. But I don’t have the last episode and the one time I looked online, I couldn’t find it. So really? I was just putting it off for no good reason.

When I got home from dinner with my girls, when I get the tenth episode of season one, some ridiculous shit happened and I ended up with a virus that installed a toolbar and all these default search engine settings. Well, fuck.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuck.

So I set off to Google the solution. I read some forum threads, tried some stuff, and in the end figured it out. I fixed my own problem.

Laura -1 ; Haters – suck it.

Don’t Let It Happen Here.

Posted in (R)evolution, Quirks by aulecteur on June 29, 2012

One day they came and they took the communists,
And I said nothing because I was not a communist.

Then one day they came and they took the people of the Jewish faith,
And I said nothing because I was had no faith left.

One day they came and they took the unionists,
And I said nothing because I was not a unionist.

One day they burned down the Catholic churches.
And I said nothing because I was born a Protestant.

Then one day they came and they took me.
And I could say nothing because I was guilty as they were,
For not speaking out and saying that all men have a right to freedom.

Mingus Big Band “Don’t Let it Happen Here” on Grooveshark

The spoken word has changed since Charles Mingus in the 60s and seems to be different in every recording I’ve listened to. Don’t Let It Happen Here is inspired by German anti-fascist pastor Martin Niemoller‘s poem “First they came…” – about how nobody who should have known better stood up to Hitler.

Mingus was a civil rights activist in his time and you can hear it in the music. There’s a lot of intensity, passion, and a sense of urgency in the politically focused stuff. Maybe it’s just my interpretation of it, but that’s what’s great about jazz, and music in general, right? Open to interpretation. The audience’s experience completes the piece.

The poem, the song, is about the dangers of political apathy. If left unchecked, society will stall, progress will regress, fear will trump reason, emotion will make logic its bitch.

We see evidence of this already. More people vote for reality television contestants than Prime Minister. More people read gossip rags and sports pages than the newspaper – but the newsroom has been gutted by media ownership concentration anyway. We listen to pundits and fake experts who tell us what we want to hear. We don’t think critically enough. We don’t stand up for our privacy rights. We don’t stand up for human rights if it means more expensive gas, food, shoes, etc. We don’t stand up for each other because who has the time to speak out, or lest we become targets ourselves. We are insulated in our own fearful comatose cloud of distraction, individualism and uncertainty. And somehow this cloud, what by its nature should float, instead is a lead balloon holding us down.

I don’t have a solution to advocate, but I would like to remind you to think critically (about what you hear, read, think you understand), consume less (products, media, land), give more (of your time, your money, your self), fear less, love more, and decide what part you want to play in the system. And maybe when the time comes, when the revolution is at your door, you’ll know what side you’re on.

And it won’t be based on blind faith, marketing tactics, ideologies, or false allegiances.

Oh Lord, don’t let it happen here.

Ten Years Gone

Posted in 30x30, Quirks by aulecteur on June 25, 2012

I don’t blame myself for the idiotic things I did when I was 19. Ten years gone and I hope I’m a little wiser.

Your twenties are not easy. They’re a time of maturation, of learning, of colossal cock-ups. At the end of it, they say, you should have plenty of regrets. And in your thirties and beyond you will know those missteps and moments of terribly poor judgment didn’t really matter all that much, really.

You know how I know I’ve come a long way baby? Tonight while sorting through the mountains of crap I’ve hoarded in the last decade, I found your mix cds. For those few months back in 2002 when we were really getting along and you wanted to share with me how cool you were and made me a tonne of mixes full of crap I never really liked? Really, horrible crap. Waste of blank cds and the petrol it takes to make plastic.

I threw out your mix cds.

And I laughed to myself as each one hit the trash.

Ten years gone.

Then as it was, then again it will be
An’ though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
Blind stars of fortune, each have several rays
On the wings of maybe, down in birds of prey
Kind of makes me feel sometimes, didn’t have to grow
But as the eagle leaves the nest, it’s got so far to go

Machismo Bullshit

Posted in Quirks by aulecteur on June 12, 2012

I was on the westbound 95 today on the way to a dentist appointment when something all too familiar went down.

One young punk sitting at the back of the bus, two seats from me, yells up at another nearby young punk, we’ll call him cracker, “Yo, you gay? Quit staring at me.”

A minute passes and the cracker gets up out of his window seat, pushing the woman next to him out of hers, and comes to the back sitting down in the perpendicular seat in front of the young punk. The cracker says shit about starting something. They quarrel a bit with words between Lebreton and Bayview, the cracker threatening to fight him on the bus and saying he’s going to follow the young punk off at whatever stop he disembarks at.

The woman sitting next to me, next to the young punk, is trying to talk the cracker down, I too try to interject. Neither are having any of it. One, clearly a cracker; the other, clearly a young punk with too much ego and too little smarts to not antagonize him, though he did shut up and try to brush off what everyone hoped were empty threats.

I’m getting off at Lebreton. I move to the back doors. Behind me waiting for the bus to stop, the young punk. We make eye contact and exchange a look of ‘that-guy’s-bat-shit-crazy.’

I used my OC Transpo app to get the number for security, poised to call should the cracker get off the bus. Which he did.

Somehow I missed the next few seconds and the next thing I saw was the young punk in the cracker’s tackle hold on the landing in the middle of the stairs.

A few people were on the stairs at the time. Young women who understandably moved away and a gentleman in uniform (appeared to be civilian navy style but I’m not good at identifying fatigues). The gentleman tried to pull the cracker off the young punk from the opposite side of the staircase railing. The two idiots were struggling to move, locked in each others grip, each one begging for leverage over the other.

Fearing escalation, I watched from the bottom of the staircase with another group of young women, one had left to find the emergency call box to reach assistance. I helped her describe where in the station the altercation was occurring. When I returned to the scene, another gentleman had arrived and the situation had diffused.

The young punk fled and I watched the cracker being led back down the stairs by the second gentleman. I assured them security were en route though I never saw them.

When I got up to street level, I saw I had just missed my connecting bus which was now driving away through the intersection, thereby making me miss my dentist appointment.

It was a full bus, half of which witnessed the words on board. There was a dozen people in the station that saw the fight break out.

Dear young punk and cracker: Your actions reach further than the end of your nose. They penetrate the psyche of sensitive attuned people around you. Some are desensitized to violence, other refuse to be. I’ve seen a fight on the bus before, one that resulted in blood and chaos. You have no authority to disregard the rights of bystanders to a peaceful non-threatening passage through their day. Cut the machismo bullshit and grow the fuck up.

Most days you wish for an empty bus or a free seat. Some days you just wish the threats are empty or a bus free of bullshit.

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We live in Heaven

Posted in Cycling, Quirks by aulecteur on June 11, 2012

It’s a million degrees today in Ottawa. Not a big deal when you spend 8 hours in a freezing cold office building.

My boss had to leave early today to run errands and said I could go early too if I wanted. Of course I wanted but did I want to leave the cold comforts of central air for an expedited return to the sweatbox that is my apartment?

Not really but of course I did.

On my way out of the office, I stopped by to say good night to a favourite colleague who had just returned from three weeks of vacation in Morocco and Paris and is off for business travel tomorrow. I told him my dilemma of choosing between leaving the AC for a sweatbox or not. It was a no-brainer for him, saying “Oh, it’s not so hot today, it’s a dry heat. Enjoy yourself. We live in Heaven.”

It’s not hard to find lessons that lead you down the right path, you just have to be open to receiving them. Sometimes it just takes talking to someone a little less pessimistic than you and being willing to change your mind.

I walked home jangling to the new Edward Sharpe, soaking in the sunshine, and soaking through my shirt. Drenched with sweat anyway I figured I might as well make it count and left again for my first bike ride since my bike got benched by a broken axle six weeks ago (admittedly laziness left it broken that long).

I had forgotten that the best thing about a blistering hot day is the wind you get picking up speed on your bike. And those who know me know I like to ride fast – feels like flying!

So here I am, face flush, skin coated with dirt kicked up from the road, parked in the shade on a grassy knoll. We really do live in Heaven.

20120611-175721.jpg
This is my happy face.

On Blogging

Posted in Quirks by aulecteur on May 16, 2012

See, this is why I didn’t want to start a blog in the first place. It’s been weeks since my last post.

Actually, that’s not true. There are 4 or 5 saved in drafts but they’re the type of blogs that I might not want to have everybody read. Unlike my Livejournal days when the Internet and I were young(er). In high school and college I wasn’t thinking about my online presence beyond the gratification of amassing a double digit amount of comments on a post. Now I get that gratification from Facebook – thank you, lovelies.

Facebook is private though. On Facebook, I know who I’m talking to. They’re my friends so obviously we have something in common, see eye-to-eye on at least some things. My thoughts and opinions exist in somewhat of an echo chamber. It’s a safe place.

This “blog” thing is very much public. I don’t know who’s reading (if anyone) or who will read it in the future.

I put off starting a blog for awhile. I wanted it to have a theme and a purpose; I wanted it to fit into a category.

But I don’t fit into a category, do I? I’m a méli-mélo of thoughts, ideas, inspirations, and stream-of-consciousness.

I wanted my posts to be researched, referenced, relevant, and timely. I wanted to blog about important things that I care about.

But I’m important, and I care about me.

Me, me, me. Sounds like I should be keeping a diary, then doesn’t it? But stay with me for a minute here.

One thing that I care deeply about, one thing I value and admire, is unapologetic self-expression. Artists who dedicate their lives to expressing their vision, people who follow their passions and are successful beyond imagination, those who embrace their true selves and live out loud wanting only to belong to a community of like-minded people if the rest of the world won’t listen.

I learned some time ago that I procrastinate because I’m a perfectionist with a fear of failure. At some point I heard the quote: “I might not be a rose, but I’m a damn good carrot.”

a) I’m not perfect. Perfection is a fallacy. It doesn’t exist.

b) The only failure is in not trying.

So here’s a blog post. Take from it what you will, I will give you that. What I won’t give you is perfection or failure.

“I’m a perfectly good carrot that everyone is trying to carve into a rose. I have good color and a nice, green, leafy top. When I am carved into a rose, I wither and turn brown.” -Reviving Ophelia

A Rancho Relaxo Birthday

Posted in Quirks by aulecteur on April 16, 2012

I’m turning 29 this year. I know it’s not a big deal, I’m not worried about getting old or anything, but something about 29 is sticking me in the side.

29 – the end of your twenties. Only people with regrets would mourn the loss of their twenties. I know what’s ahead. I know that you don’t just turn 30 and hit maturity. That’s what’s happening though, I’m maturing. I’ve noticed I’m thinking about the future more, worrying less about the past. I’m trying to identify and correct destructive habits, patterns, and behaviours – mostly in my career though, and I know I could stand to be stronger in this area when it comes to my personal life.

Maturity Goats (via: Anita K!)

While living in Iqaluit, a couple of us took a long-weekend trip to Pang to hike and camp above the Arctic Circle. The sun set behind the mountains for 1 hour a day.

I realize I’ve dug a bit of a trap for myself by openly stating that I feel 36 will be a good year for me.

I started to say it when I was 27 and looked back at 26 as a good year. I always felt 26 was going to be a banner year and it was. I had a truly memorable summer living in Iqaluit, toured around Paris by myself for nine fantastic days, and had a great final year of school that ended with me starting a great job that I loved.

Me! Working! Background: 13th floor view of Parliament Hill.

So, 26 was pretty great, but I can’t just wait around for 36 to deliver. I’m pretty sure I have to set myself up for success, as some motivational poster somewhere says. I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to do this yet, but I think it starts with saying goodbye to my twenties.

No regrets. No regrets for what I did or didn’t do, try or didn’t try. No wishing for do-overs. No contemplating answers to the question ‘If you could go back in time and change one thing…’ Fuggedaboutit.

This year for my birthday, I’m taking a staycation at Rancho Relaxo like I’ve always wanted. On Friday of my three-day birthday weekend I will go for a therapeutic massage followed by a relaxing bubble bath with a hot fudge Sunday, a bottle of Tequila, and Thelma and Louise.

This birthday staycation was inspired by Marge Simpson.

Laura’s 29th Birthday List

Posted in Quirks by aulecteur on April 9, 2012

If you’re interested in getting me a birthday present this year, here are a few things I’ve been eying.

  • David’s Tea gift card (I’m addicted and need more Skinny Tea)
  • Starbucks gift card (I’m working my way to my Gold Card!)
  • Giro brand white bike helmet. Or similar. (This one’s $85 at Bushtukah – see pic)
  • Bliss brand tried+blue body lotion (see pic)
  • Incense oil from Body Shop – Satsuma scent
  • Bath and Body Works foaming hand soap (any delicious citrus scent like pineapple!)
  • Hair dryer with super powers! Able to dry all my hair in 5 minutes!
  • Hair straightening iron (regular one inch width)
  • Winners gift card

Stuff for Mom to Get Me

  • Kirkland brand makeup removing wipes (4 pack box, 2 of 30, 2 of 15) – Costco
  • Dove deodorant three pack (Cucumber scent) – Costco

You can also check out my B-Day 2012 Board on Pintrest.