Delineating Dinner

I don’t know why I ever applied for this job. I don’t even really remember doing it. I must have clicked on the wrong link. But I couldn’t say no to the pay.

This sludge-whole of a restaurant is probably going to make me sick. I can picture it now… I’ll be lying on my bathroom floor in 8 hours, head hung over the rim of that porcelain, dewy bowl.

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Student Solidarity in your Streets

Early midday, frosty cold. She walked towards the gathering crowd alone. It was bitterly windy, but she gripped her Styrofoam coffee cup in both her hands, extracting its warmth. She stopped and scanned the scene, hoping to see a familiar face. Students bustled by, talking loudly to each other and raising freshly painted signs, forming a sea of red and black cardboard. DROP FEES! FUCK TUITION! Excitement was mounting in the crowd, but she remained apprehensive. The sheer number of students blocked out the wind as she made her way deeper into the crowd.

“Who’s streets? OUR streets!”

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“The JUNO Awards are fast approaching in the Nation’s Capital; What do Canadian’s tweets tell us about the upcoming event”

Canadians will gather at the Scotiabank Place Sunday April 1st in Ottawa, Ontario to watch the 41st Annual Canadian Music Awards, more commonly known as the JUNO Awards. The cultural celebration, as acknowledged by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, commemorates the achievements of the Canadian Music Industry.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) focuses on the exploration and development of the Canadian Music Industry in order to promote Canadian artists and music. CARAS sites that the industry is largely shaped and influenced by the enthusiasm invested by those who participate in their events, such as the JUNO Awards.  The annual JUNO awards show, which is nationally televised, was created in 1970 in order to enhance the Canadian music industry.

This raises the question, “what makes an artist or a song Canadian?” and thus vital to the Canadian music industry. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) defines a Canadian song within these regulations; four elements are used to qualify songs as Canadian: Music, Artist, Performance and Lyrics (MAPL). The MAPL system is designed to increase exposure of the Canadian music industry.

The Canadian music industry helps in bringing attention to new and emerging artists through the accessibility of Canadian music. As the JUNO Awards are an important part of Canadian culture, JUNO award nominees’ songs deemed “Canadian” by the MAPL system can be found on itunes for only $9.99. The album boasts 20 Canadian songs sure to develop a patriotic buzz. Continue reading

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A penny saved is a penny earned- A ‘change’ for the Canadian Economy.

Thursday March 29th 2012- The budget announcement by finance minister Jim Flaherty, announced changes that are being brought forward by the Canadian government. One of the major changes in the 2012 budget has to do with the irradiation of the penny.

The debate about eliminating the penny has been going on through decades. Pennies have been circulating in the Canadian system for the past 104 years costing the Canadian government close to $130 million to keep the circulation going. Finally the government has decided to phase out the penny. The machines at the Canadian mint produce pennies that cost them 1.5 cent apiece while the purchasing power of the penny is next to being zero.

Many Canadians think this is just a ‘waste’ that no one likes to carry around and is often left behind as ‘change’ . According to Mr. Flaherty, “ the penny is a currency without any currency” (Hopper, 2012).  Most developed and developing countries have already taken measures to phase out their coin system. The Canadian system has lagged behind in this system of change and is finally taking measures to improve the system.
Most Canadians have stopped using pennies for the lack of purchasing power they carry. Places such as bars, restaurants and parking booths don’t accept pennies as a form of payment. Homeless and poor people who are often seen begging for money don’t even look at the penny as its value has degraded considerably. With the changing times and economic expansion, where the purchasing power of the dollar is going up, pennies are seen as nothing but a waste.

Manitoba MP- Pat Martin on Thursday commented “ Finally, some common sense from government” (Rabson, 2012). Government officials and Canadian people don’t seem to be upset about the penny being eliminated from the system. They in turn think that the government has finally taken steps towards advancement that was long due.

The concern comes forward from the various restaurants and coffee shops owners that would have to re train their staff and re-price all their food and beverages to the nearest nickel rather than pennies. This growing concern of the food and beverage industry in Canada has made this sector ask the government to work closely with them to help ensure that the changes don’t drastically affect this industry.

Are Canadians Happy with the penny being gone?
Most people think that pennies might not be worth a lot of money now, but few years down the lane, pennies will be antique and would be worth a lot of money. For most women who think pennies often make their wallets seem heavier might want to start saving those pennies. Most Canadians are happy about the penny being gone but concerns over what is to come next, often leaves Canadians feeling anxious and confused.

What is to come next?
With the penny being eliminated, people are wondering what is going to be next? Canadians, who have been hit with the harsh budget changes, are left to think what’s in stored for the future. In 2007, Desjardins stated, “ the federal government should consider, a few years later, the relevance of removing the five cent”(Hopper, 2012).  With the many changes that the Canadian government is proposing, the question of what is to come next often lacks a definite answer.

For most Canadians this might not be an issue of concern since they might think that the changes are suppose to be good long term for the economy. For other Canadians such as the baby boomer generation, this might be a sign of a significant change to their values and customs that they have to adapt to since the penny has been part of the Canadian tradition and system for a long time.

The 2012 budget has proposed significant changes and it is up to Canadians how well they respond to such changes. Being a Canadian, the changes do signify some strong promises for the future but how well these ideas will be executed is something we all have to wait and watch.  In relation to the penny being discarded – old fashion tradition of saying – “a penny saved is a penny earned’ won’t be of much significance now.

Hopper, Tristin. “Now the Canadian Penny’s Days Are Numbered, Is the Nickel Next?” National Post. PostMedia Network, 29th Mar. 2012. Web. 29th Mar. 2012.

Rabson, Mia. “Penny Scrapped, Martin Applauds.” Winnipeg Free Press. 30th Mar. 2012. Web. 30th Mar. 2012.

Stinson, Scott. “Scott Stinson on Budget 2012: Canadian Penny Fell Victim to Changing Times.” National Post. Postmedia Network, 29th Mar. 2012. Web. 29 Mar. 2012.


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The Clock

It’s 11:55pm.
We enter a dark room,
hidden behind heavy glass doors.
In a place where I’ve fallen in love
with Carr, Rothko, Harris and
Burtynsky. In a place where
I’ve fallen out of love
with him.

Our arrival, like a film. I expect a stuffy old man to give us dirty looks, yet cue the quirky character at coat check. I imagine myself an actor in the plot – trying not to giggle at the Woody Allen dialogue. You chew a blue candy and stare, engrossed in the unfolding scene. It’s 11:45pm. I question my reality. I try to appreciate the particularity of this moment but I’m self-conscious of the —
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Skittles and Iced Tea are the New Weapons of War

February 26, 2012 – Sanford, Florida

It’s a rainy evening.  This weather always brings out the worst in people.

Trayvon Martin walks along the street, snacks purchased from a nearby convenience store in tow.  One hand in his pocket, the other is holding his cell phone connecting him to his girlfriend.  His hood is up, a protective shield against the drops.

There is a man ‘neighbourhood watch’-ing in the shadows.  Patrolling the streets in his sports utility vehicle, George Zimmerman spots his target.  This boy is up to something: he’s eyeing houses as he walks past them, perhaps too closely.

Without delay George takes out his cell phone.  He dials the number and awaits my voice on the other end.

9-1-1, what’s your emergency?

George informs me someone suspicious is wandering around the townhouses.  “This guy looks like he is up to no good.  He is on drugs or something.”  A dispatcher will be there shortly I tell him, do not approach.  I can hear a car door opening.  Sir, please let the police handle this.  I tell him again not to go near the suspicious character. 

He does anyways.

He gets out of his car and starts to advance.  Where did the young hoodlum go?  George turns to walk back.  The young man attacks.  They fight.  George is punched in the nose.  His head is slammed against the ground.

A gun turns fight into fatality.  One man lies motionless on the pavement, the other towers over him.  He was seventeen years old, wearing a hoodie.  He was Black.  And then, he was dead.

This is the story George recalls to the police.  Trayvon will not have the chance to share his.

9-1-1, what’s your emergency?

I am told a young man has been fatally shot in a gated townhouse community.  The address sounds familiar.  He had a gun and took matters into his own hands.  I answer hundreds of emergency calls every week.  I always wonder if I could do more.  I did my job; I dispatched a cruiser; was that good enough?

The boy was Black.  Was that his downfall?  A Black youth walking along the streets immediately garners suspicion.

George wants to defend his territory; Trayvon wants to get back to his younger brother.  Words were exchanged before the gun shot ensured silence, but what they were no one will ever truly know.  George saw Trayvon as a threat, or so he alluded to in his police interview.  Only one man was walking away from that fight alive, George knew he was going to be that man.

Fist hits face, but bullet pierces the skin.  It wasn’t a fair fight, but why was there a fight to begin with?  Some people look for conflict, while others avoid confrontation. 

Did Trayvon actually attack George, provoke him, threaten to kill him as George claims?

George is half WHITE, Trayvon is Black.  George still has not been arrested for his crime, the “stand your ground law” has given him the opportunity to plead self-defense; because he was protecting himself from a boy armed with Skittles and iced tea? 

George is a volunteer in the Neighbourhood Watch program.  He’s there to protect the members in his gated townhouse community, not shoot them.  Trayvon’s stepmother-to-be lives in one of these houses, that’s where he was headed when his life was taken.

A boy shot down because he looked like a criminal.  What does a criminal really look like?  I never received that memo; did it include race, gender and dress code? 

This society has become a place where people act before thinking of the consequences.  But George probably knew he would be able to claim self-defense.  We live in a world where killing someone over difference is a better solution than accepting diversity.  So certain of our own knowledge we refuse to admit there could be other truths.

Our ignorance has resulted in the death of a seventeen year-old boy.  There is blood on all of our hands.

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I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)

To accompany my last post – the inspiration behind the repetition.


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