Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One Dream



I'm writing this to get it out. I have told some people about the idea as it has developed, and this is its latest stage. Believe me, I will be updating this particular blog post quite frequently, as the idea continues to grow.

My blog is called In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which means "In the Garden of Life" in gobbledygook. I picked it randomly, but it reminds me now of something that I have been day-dreaming about recently.

What I want to happen (this summer or next, depending on funds):

A small group of carefully picked individuals from Bastión do a 1 month apprenticeship in organic-permaculture farm north of Bahía called Río Muchacho

The small group (4 or 5) return to Guayaquil, where a plot of land in Block 6, 7, 8, 11 or 10 of Bastión is waiting for them. They use their newly acquired skills to tend to this land, preparing the soil and dividing it into allotment plots. The number of allotments, and size, would depend on the piece of land.

These 4 or 5 individuals become the staff of the newly establish Community Garden project in Bastión Popular. Certain families, who could show commitment to the project and have gardening experience, are invited to join in the upkeep of one plot of land. They can grow food for themselves.

The staff advises people on what crops to grow when, what soil mixtures to use and how often to water. They coordinate the families and are responsible for the success of the project.

Heidi, who has spend the past few months working on permaculture farms, has volunteered to help me get the community garden going once if it takes root in Bastión this summer.

Schools in the area can take their classes on field trips to learn about the different plants. Maybe, in the future, school children could plant gardens (I remember having one in grade 7, in a cage at the back of the property of the American School. My group of 4 tended to our allotment once a week, during Estudios Ambientales. I used bricks to create a mini-path through it... a path appropriate for rodents, because the cage was about 2.5 metres square)

Would the Esperanza grade 6 school children be able to tend to their own caged gardens? I wonder. Would the community benefit from the education programs and the agricultural experience they could gain by having a plot of land in the garden? Yes, hopefully. Not just the fact that they can learn how to grow their own food, and set up gardens in their own yards, for their family, but that anyone can be responsible for life, and will learn to work together on something. I like that idea.

Well, this is my dream. I have been looking into funding options... grants to apply for, etc. So far, not much luck. I put a button on the sidebar for anyone who wants to donate. It will hopefully happen next summer. This summer, when I am in Ecuador, I will probably wander around looking for land in Bastión, and inquire about it.

Maybe it could happen this summer. I am not opposed to that idea, either.

It is nice to have things to think about on my repetitive walks/bike rides back and forth from school.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Another story for Creative Writing

Well, I am working on another story. Actually, I am supposed to be, but I am not. I am now wondering whether I should continue the story I was doing. I recently had a new story idea, and I am debating setting the first one aside.

VOTE! It's your constitutional right!




Here is the first story idea:

"Matthew has lived his whole life in the village of Burnley, in the shadow of the unremarkable Pendle Hill. Nobody remembers the first half of his life anymore, which is probably for the best, but everyone knows that the second half he has spent, from 10 to 5, Monday to Saturday, in the Arcadia Used Bookstore. He would have spend more time there, if he could. He would open it in the evenings, he would set up a cot in a closet and stay there over night, he would install a shower in the tiny bathroom and keep his shaving kit in the cabinet, if he thought he could get away with it. But, of course, she knows where his shop is. She would come to find him. She would make him go home.

Matthew has been married to Miranda for 30 years. It was two weeks after his marriage that he bought Arcadia, back when he would have still had a bit of control over things like that.

Miranda is a worldly woman. She has made sure to involve herself in all of the clubs and committee’s that tiny Burley could muster."

Story 1 Idea: Set in Northern England, in an imaginary village. Three characters, the old couple and the young man/woman who arrives and becomes their tenant. Miranda is a villian psychologically terrorizing her household, with a calm mask of middle-class manners.

Think her:


Something happens that drives Matthew or the narrator to kill her, and the two go off into the beautiful English countryside, fugitives. This section will be inspired by my epic hike with Brent, possibly climaxing with the finding of a wounded/sick sheep, floundering alone in the middle of a farmers field (this actually happened to Brent and I). What do they do?

(I am not sure if the narrator is going to be ironic, P.G. Wodehousey, or what. I hate what I have written so far)

The End.

Story idea number two: I came across it in a book of short stories by my prof (this might be a bit unethical: to appeal to his ego by writing a story that is inside one of his own ... but I could ignore that aspect, if the story I wrote was worth it).

Choyce's story is about a man who secretly tries to write fiction. His mountain of unfinished stories is discovered by a friend, who is amazed as he starts to go through them.

"The typing was bad, but I could begin to get a handle on things. The first story began with a long descriptive passage about an idyllic fishing village. The smells and sights were pleasantly intoxicating. There was a raw honesty that came through even though it read like a work of pure fantasy. I read three pages and then became entranced by the character of a woman who appeared almost out of nowhere. The writer had attempted to describe her, and then given up.

I started reading a second story. Different setting, different time. Everything was different except a sensitive style of writing that I found hard to tie to Ralph. The woman appeared again, same as in the first story, and then the story stopped"

So, he reads a few more... eventually the woman's qualities become plainer, she is not beautiful anymore, but she is kind, or caring...in a different setting every time. The typing and grammar improves as the stories go on.

At the bottom of the stack he finds the the only completed story.

"The typing was perfect, but it was as if written by someone totally unfamiliar with the English language. The woman was there but without any of the original traits. The setting was a small rural village in Eastern Canada. The details were obscure, incomplete, as if the writer was totally unfamiliar with the details necessary to flesh out a story. At the core of it was the woman. Only, not the same woman as before. A tormenting, cynical bitch of a creature who seemed to suck the life from every page, who ravaged her mate with criticism and abuse and turned him into something worse than her. In the end, she disappeared leaving the man she lived with shackled with her disgust for the world and making him feel that even she was too good for him"

Great stuff!

What happens, of course, is that this man, the author of the stories, started writing the woman he hoped he could find, but with every woman he met, he chipped away at his ideal, hoping for less and less each time, until he eventually expected nothing at all for himself. Cool, huh?

Idea: I write the stories that Choyce's character is actually reading.
(amended due to an informed comment from a faithful reader)

Either way, I have to write a really evil woman. Idea #2 would be way more work. But hey, what do you think?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

giving time

Volunteering in Canada: You feel like you are doing a job that someone else would do if you weren't around. You are not so much helping people in need as you are helping over-worked (paid) staffers. At least, that is how I feel about the food preparation gig I am getting with Phoenix Youth. They say they have a vacancy on Tuesday nights! How fortuitous, exactly the day I am available. What does that mean? That the kids have previously not been eating on Tuesdays, and because I have now volunteered to cook for them, they will finally be relieved of their weekly fast? No. It just means somebody on staff gets to go home earlier on Tuesdays. Same feeling at Sunday Suppers: yay, lets go walk some plates around on trays and feel really good about ourselves. Well, you know, it is not a very difficult job, and you know, if you weren't there, somebody else would be available to do it. I am not advocating for laziness and staying at home instead of getting out and helping something. Organizations really would not survive without volunteers. But do limit how much you feel good about yourself for doing something very minor. Perhaps our standards for actions that would make us feel good about ourselves should be higher. This leads me to my next sub-heading: Work that is not being done: It is a bit harder to think about those ideas, isn't it? Most of all, if you are doing so with the intention of following through on one of your ideas. I have heard about child-care collectives starting up in this city, so that single parents can become involved in social justice movements, just as much as anyone else. I have wondered about funding options for students from the global south wishing to study in a different country. What would it take to get something going? So many things. But for now, Phoenix Youth on Tuesday nights. I am not sure if I am punishing myself, or thinking about the future. I am in Canada and I wonder where all the money goes... families still get torn up, vulnerable people still get ripped apart in the modern scheme of things. And where are the people with ideas? On that note, maybe next time I post it will be about a certain idea that has been festering in my brain for a while now. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Birds

http://birdsforbulbs.com/

Rosemary drew this raven for me! It took months, but the promise was fulfilled (hover your mouse over it on her website and you will see I'm not lying. Good luck getting a bird of your own!).

I have less than a month of school left now. I will be done my only exam on the 5th. Of course, there is too much that has to be crammed into that month, but Remembrance long weekend is coming up, and I hope I will manage to finish some things then.

I biked to Books R Us yesterday and stocked up on used short story books. Alistair MacLeod, Truman Capote, Stephen Leacock and the man himself: Lesley Choyce (local celebrity, masterful jacket-photo poser, "Canada's response to the renaissance man", and my Creative Writing prof).

I have begun hunting for young adult novels I remember, because we talk about them so much in class (Lesley has written 65 books, most of them YA, so he believes in the genre). I bought The Chocolate War, but was not able to find Maniac Magee, The Giver, or The Girl Who Owned A City (HEY KATIE: This is the book where all the adults are dead!). I did find one Jacob Two-Two book, but it was the same one we had when I was a kid and I was hoping for a different one. I, of course, have a slight suspicion that they will none of them be as good as I remember them, but who says I am going to read them again? I just want to have them. Just in case. I mean, what if all the adults die for real?

Oh darn, would that have to mean me, too? No!

Friday, November 02, 2007

I've decided that returning to keeping a regular journal would be useful if only to document the day on which I had my last shower. Things like that are hard to keep track of, sometimes.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another paragraph

Writing has really come to take priority in my life these days... it is great! Yes, I work under a few deadlines, but the majority of what I write is not longer academic... I get to create stories (whether creatively, or journalistically... that word is made up) --------------------- I remember meeting him at one of these early morning rituals. Two careless kids, splashing in the shallow waves, stealing the littlest fishes out of the nets as the men struggled to pull them ashore. The little fish are so transparent, you can see the blue veins connected to the terrified eye socket, and through it’s flesh you see shadows of your own fingers. We would throw these delicate creatures into the air, and laughed at the gulls and pelicans that plunged after our offering, often tearing the meal from each other’s mouths. --------------------- It is fascinating to me how things get created... things you read that flow, flow because they were POUNDED with hammers and agonized over by some poor soul. It is an artificial process needed to create a genuine feeling. I am learning to be a much better reader, as well. Today we had a lecture about the future of newspapers. Don't be surprised if three years down the road, your newspaper is a sheet of soft plastic. A bendable flash memory you stick in a slot each morning and evening, that populates itself with an interactive front page. Wouldn't readership go up? Everybody loves their gadgets. It is always interesting to think about the future when you are in first year of university. The nature of the system is that you study the past, apply it to the preset, but the future... that field is wide open for speculation! And you are young and so anxious to GET there... imagining is nice. Personally, I was impressed in the lecture today by the need for a good photo. Good stories do not make the cover unless they have a good image to go with. This is the nature of information in a society that relies so much on images (being in a film class simultaneously to all this journalism talk really fleshes ideas like that out). Things are interesting in life right now, you know.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

First paragraph of a new story

Why is rewriting so painful? The part of me that writes just wants to write and deliver, write and deliver. That is why emails are so evil and consuming of creativity... they demand it in droves, and I can get away with sending the babies of writing away with no primping, minimum correction. How tempting! When really, writing anything that is actually good starts out as fun, and becomes WORK: scary work, because what if I don't find every error? What if I can't think of how to fix an imperfection? Oh, rewriting is not fun: I am compelled to write, obligated to rewrite. Obligated by the true spirit of any story or idea I have in mind... the first draft is rarely adequate. I am so impatient, I often settle for a less-than-perfect version. So, here is a paragraph. Some of it has been worked over a lot, some of it has only been written once or twice. So be gentle! --------------------------------------- Our lives are the ocean. We dream at sea and must live on land. We sleep cradled by the rhythm of waves, the damp salty sheets and the savory air, but wake to the church bells, the roosters, and traffic. The buses roll past and raise the dust on our narrow road that runs along the coastline and tilts to the west. Old Thomas built models, Canada sends them to our cities when they are too old for Canada, and the cities send them to us when they get too old for them. Local welders with artistic vision torch new life out of tired parts. They gut the carcasses to fit more rows of seating: more rows, more 25 cent fares. On the trip to the market, we lean left. On the trip home, we clutch out full bags and try not to fall on the neighbour to our right. It's a rough, violent ride. --------------------------------------- Sorry, I can't allow myself anymore. I just haven't re-written enough! This is very indulgent of me, very foolish, to publish something before it is really alive. Oh well, it has been a while since I've written at all.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Being Poor

My school fees this term were $3,601 ... that covers half a year, and includes all the extras. It does not include food, shelter or other living expenses. I got lucky because I could cover $1,051 of it with a scholarship cheque I get automatically for being an MK. However, second term I will not be so lucky. And next year I probably wont, either. So I have begun to worry about money. I decided to write it down so that I can maybe stop having bad dreams and coming back to the thought 50 times during the day. My rent is $280 a month. Records for the summer months were a bit sketchy, because of inconsistent habitation of the house, but during the past 2 weeks, my share of the grocery/household item has been $78. My share of the phone bill was about $15. So lets say that per month, I will spend $160 on food. My share of Rent+food+phone+power($20)+water bill($18)= minimun spendings of $493 a month. Of course, the power bill will skyrocket during the winter, so that figure is hard to calculate exactly. If I multiply $493 (a very conservative estimate) by 8 (September through April) I get $3,977. That is how much it will cost me to live, bare bones (this does not include movie rentals, eating out, developing photos, rat expenses, clothing, etc). Plus, of course, tuition for second term, which will be if not $3,601, at least dangerously close to it. I add the two figures and get $7545. Let's throw in a $1,000 margin there for extra projected power expenses (winter is cold): $8,545. I currently have $11,678 in the bank. I have to buy a plane ticket to Ecuador in May (mental health trip, not optional), so that could take anywhere from $700 to $1,000 "latas": That leaves me with $2,144 to live on come June (optimistically). I hope I will get a summer job. I am, however, not hopeful about being considered for any scholarships for next year. I can't even figure any out. Better people than me have gone through school with no celestial nods from upper management. Even if I get a summer job, it would be unrealistic to assume I would make any more than $1500. That is not enough for next year (not even close). So, options: -Student Loans (I am a bit morally opposed to going into debt, personally... remnants of parental indoctrination, of course. I am a bit spiritually unsettles by it, which comes from the fact it seems a bit unfair to have to pay back more than I used, in a system where education should be free, and it isn't because THEY (the people I am paying) decide it isn't) -Taking a year off (and working at what? Pizza Hut? Maybe I am too proud). -Selling eggs (It's illegal to sell body parts in Canada, but it is possible through American agencies.I think you can get roughly $8,000 from submitting to this highly unpleasant, invasive procedure. They hormone you up so you are on the same cycle as the person you donate to, then pump you full of painful fertility injections that make you produce like 20 eggs in a period when you would usually produce just one. I hate needles and selling stuff to rich California socialites, but I obviously considered this one enough to research it a bit). -Living out of dumpsters and food banks, sleeping in shelters, getting social assistance cheques (good ol' Canada. Good thing most of my books are still in Caracol). Well, this is enough wonderings for today. I have class to get to, and I payed about $50 for the privilege of being there, so I better show up. If I made any miscalculations, or have another option for financing the business of living, do let me know in a comment. I love to hear from y'all.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cultures at the far edge of the world

Watch this video: (a TED talk) http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/69 "Do we want to live in a monochromatic world of monotony? Live to see the range of human imagination reduced to a narrow modality of thought, then wake from a dream to have forgotten that there were other possibilities?"- Wade Davis I love the stories of the world. If you do, too, now is the time to learn them. They might not be around in 20 years. Go, learn from a different imagination. The country you are living in is probably stifling a few ancient cultures at the moment that you could learn about and store as a part of yourself, at least for one more generation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Horne's have flown

Spending a month with you guys was real nice. I'm sure much will result of this period, and we can only wait and see, but thanks for the time given. Communication indeed will be upheld. I'm different now, but still a daughter of something.

favourite poem for today

Friday, August 10, 2007

Grapes of Wrath

"I hear a business man talkin' about service, I wonder who's gettin' screwed. Fella in business got to lie an' cheat, but he calls it somepin else. That's what's important. You go steal that tire and you're a thief, but he tried to steal your four dollars for a busted tire. They call that sound business." Al: "Ain't you thinkin' what's it gonna be like when we get there? Ain't you scared it won't be nice like we thought?" Ma: "No, I ain't. You can't do that. I can't do that. It's too much- livin' too many lives. Up ahead they's a thousan' lives we might live, but when it comes, it'll on'y be one. If I go ahead on all of 'em, it's too much. You got to live ahead 'cause you're so young, but- it's just the road goin' by for me. "

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Don't Panic

I've had to answer this question so many times: What comes next? What degree are you going for? What are you going to do with it? I thought by enrolling in university I would appease all those well-meaning doom-sayers that would leave a few too many seconds of silence after my answer of "I don't know". Apparently, they are not satisfied yet. I wish I could tell them all that I am not worried about what I am going to do. I wish I could stop them when I recognize the look of doubt, and tell them that no matter what happens to me, I am sure it cannot stray far from what I am built for. My life will always be consonant with what my capacities and my needs. I do not distrust my nature and my strength so much that I would compromise certain things, on any path that I choose. So stop making those faces! Stop asking me to scramble for the most possible future. I am not worried, do you really care enough that you are? What have you invested in my life more than I have? Or does the answer of "I don't know" just leave you without a socially prescribed response. If I said something you recognized: "Social Worker, Journalist, Teacher, Mother of 5", you would be able to say "Oh, my cousin did that at UBC and is now the happiest individual in the western hemisphere, according to Newsweek". Well, I'm not going to feel anxious about the future so you can have an easier time conversing with me. I know that those conversation are like games of Jenga... we take turns to make legal moves, removing and dealing with the normal questions and comments by saying them. The person who makes the comment that crumbles the tower loses, there is a moment of silence, a smile, and we turn to the person on our other side and start again. Block of wood #1: "Hi!" #2:"I know you from that wedding 5 years ago" #3:"What are you up to these days!" #4:"Oh yeah, what's next?". Let me just crumble the tower before you get too into it: I don't know, ok? And I don't care to know. So deal with it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

.

I'm in Ontario, and everywhere, there are holes. I thought this visit would be very different from the last two, but it's like the negative of the previous image, the mirror's view, because everything is different, but not separate. Suddenly, you realize the mechanisms that held this house together have disappeared. Toilet paper runs out (I can never remembering being in that bathroom and running out of toilet paper, before yesterday). I do things I never would have had to before... serve the coffee, clean up the cake. Before, this place was so restful but now, there is so much to be done! So much to catch up on. Groceries, cleaning the bathrooms, changing the sheets. Where has the once unlimited supply of Kleenex gone to? This is not what a life boils down to, but this is what has struck me as I walk in to it all. I feel all our lives are that much more scattered, because the pivot is gone or moved, or lost for now. How to live with this scatter, with the shards inside that still cut once in a while. I agree that I would like to keep them... in fact, I find more shards all the time... things I thought I had lost. Memories of moments, of words... I can't conjure them, but they have come to me. I remembered those jeans she bought me that I loved and my parents hated. I remembered what she ate for breakfast, or what her hands felt like. I'm glad to have more of the glass shards. Yeah, they hurt, but they are supposed to. It means they are still growing, you are still moving, and the pain is that reminder.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Will It Blend?

Wouldn't it be great to throw Bush into that blender?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Crime School

The current realization of President Correa (largely brought to his attention by the "sicario" (assassin-for-hire) murder of the Director of the Penitentiary last month):

There can be no just society without an effective Justice system.

The Guayaquil Penitentiary (Penitenciaria del Litoral) was built to accommodate 1,500-1,900 prisoners. Currently, 5,900 are trapped within its walls, sleeping on cement floors a foot away from each other, if they allow themselves to sleep at all in an environment where tension is suffused with fear and distrust.

The prison budget assigns each prisoner 75 cents a day for food. This is enough for one meal, prepared with the cheapest expired ingredients, every single inch of a chicken (whether it is edible or not), dirty water and the ever-present rice. Thus, the families of the prisoners are largely responsible for supplementing this diet, and they must make daily trips to bring plastic tubs full of food to their loved ones. Only those with families who care, who can afford this expense, and live in the city, enjoy this privilege. Others must rely on their ingenuity to bribe, steal or swindle someone for a bit of nourishment.

75% of the prisoners in the women's branch are for non-violent crimes (drug trafficking, mainly). This majority is true in the men's prison as well. Many of these people were merely mules, carrying packages from one person to the next for a price. The drug business doesn't care if they get caught, as they are completely expendable, hired help. They sit and wait for a chance to explain this to a judge.

Of the 16,000 penitentiary prisoners Ecuador keeps, 11,000 are awaiting trial.

What sort of rehabilitative environment exists in the Pen? Gangs. Crime and violence education (because if you didn't know how to before, you have to learn to defend yourself in this charged environment). The first thing that happens to you when you walk into the common area is you are attacked and all your clothes are stolen. Someone throws you some old shorts 7 sizes too big. You have to barter to find a piece of rope to tie them up with. You have entered a society where acquisition is so vital, and you have entered it with absolutely nothing. Of course crime breeds in this environment: it is a microcosm of the outside world.

President Correa is going to declare a state of emergency for the Justice system. This will allow him to seize funds that are frozen in other sectors and put them towards the prison system.

They need psychologists (there are none). They need rehabilitation education (there is none). They need fair trials. They need food and beds. They need to repatriate the thousands of foreign prisoners, so they they can be dealt with justly in their countries of origin. They need to completely replace the staff and guards: corruption has seeped through that organization too completely by now. They need to create records for each prisoner: no such system exists. They need to eliminate the double standard: "First category" prisoners in shirts and ties who pay monthly installments and are blessed with a 5 star prison experience.

Another huge task for you, Mr. President.

His popularity with the people is huge. His popularity with the press is dwindling, as he recently accused them of incarnating human misery. In his speech at the Penitentiary, he said

"I am here, not with the rich, not with the owners of the means of communication. What freedom of speech have you had, you who have never had a voice?"

Friday, May 18, 2007

Temporary new mailing address

I took it down. the internet is too public. -Bethany Horne

Thursday, May 10, 2007

everything seems so much sadder sometimes

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

EVICTED

Yep, us. There is nothing like the thrill of conquering the moral high ground to give one enough energy to pack up a house and move it in 24 hours. We got boxes at the supermarket 10 minutes after being notified of the final decision. Friends have come to help with the process. Trailers and cars have been procured to help with the heavy stuff. Final destination is still unsure, but I guess we will know by tomorrow. We will have to, of course.

Monday, April 30, 2007

still travelling, it seems


human plans are so fragile. why do we even bother. it is nice to think of things lined up like dominoes... decisions make themselves and you can't do anything about it. you can take a piece out now and then and avoid certain outcomes, but really... do you understand how that works? liberating. why do we need to control so much, after all? i think i don't have strong feelings either way... control or anarchy, plans or seat of the pants. which is why both seem an imposition at times. and life doesn't really fit in to polarized perceptions, anyway.

finally tomorrow arrives. and at the same time, more dominoes topple after that... anxious to begin that game, but not sitting in suspended animation until it occurs.

yeah, i still daydream about the same things. i might still be stuck in the same indecision, it is a new colour this year, though. so paralyzed by inability, so distracted by desire. the same old problem. how can i concentrate long enough to become what i want to, when i am still filled with this drive to something huger. but it will only ever be a drive, unless i succeed at concentration. like in everything, i guess. i am a bad loser.

Friday, April 20, 2007

the loneliness

"In the conflicts between man and man, between group and group, between nation and nation, the loneliness of the seeker for community is sometimes unendurable. The radical tension between good and evil, as man sees it and feels it, does not have the last word about the meaning of life and the nature of existence. There is a spirit in man and in the world working always against the thing that destroys and lays waste. Always he must know that the contradictions of life are not final or ultimate; he must distinguish between failure and a many-sided awareness so that he will not mistake conformity for harmony, uniformity for synthesis. He will know that for all men to be alike is the death of life in man, and yet perceive harmony that transcends all diversities and in which diversity finds its richness and significance." Howard Thurman

Thursday, April 19, 2007


things are maybe looking up

Monday, April 16, 2007

ICU

The ICU waiting room is a small tense box with uncomfortable couches... waiting room couches... the first item that struck me was the tiny tissues box. I have seen lots of tissue boxes in my life... but one would think they would need a bigger one in here. But the environment is so taut, maybe the bigger tissue box should be put outside, for the people who leave to be able to express their grief in a less tense place... the busy hallways, the bathroom. The drugs they are giving her paralyze her... she can't communicate, open her eyes... we think she can hear, but who knows? It is hard. We slept to have emotional energy. All we go is sit and wait, the only energy you need is emotional. To sit straight. To talk. To look people in the eyes demands enormous strength. My dad and my uncle slept in this waiting room. Grampa, Auntie Mary, my cousin Pip and my sister Katie slept at 1350 Sycamore Drive... it is strange. It is Grannie and Grampa's house, without Grannie and Grampa. Feeding yourself in a house where you were only ever fed by others. Sleeping on a couch... it was fine, but it was a big reminder of the unnatural situation. As if we need any more.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It is going to be a strange day today.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Sad Day

Kurt Vonnegut. 1922-2007

The first Vonnegut book I read was Breakfast of Champions. The quick humour, witty drawings and feeling-saturated ending captured my young affection. He wrote shocking, daring, hilarious, outrageously false stories about the truest feelings I knew. He would go on for a page about the genitals and reproductive history of his characters, include illustrations of his interpretation of assholes:





among other things. interspersed with the silliness were poignant images and TRUTH that hit you like a sledgehammer, because you weren't expecting it, you were expecting to laugh. The perception of the artist who put piece of day-glo orange reflecting tape on a bright green canvas haunts me still: "We are all unwavering bands of light." Simple, really.

I loved every Vonnegut book I read. His sharp, cutting sarcasm was always so infatuated with foolish hope, when so many people have taken the opposite approach. He was a misanthropic humanist. He was a doomsday prophet comedian.

I read Galapagos second, I believe. It appealed to me because it was set in Guayaquil. Of course, it diverged a bit from reality when the passengers on the cruise ship turned out to be the only humans on the planet with reproductive capacities. They settled on the Galapagos islands and evolved into seals, since all the miseries of humankind were caused by "the only true villain in my story: the oversized human brain."

Slaughterhouse 5 changed me just as much as it changed anyone who ever read it.

Timequake was another book I read over and over. I wanted to contain within myself the wisdom of the man who could write that, the humour, the comprehension.

All I can say is, you must read Kurt Vonnegut if you respect yourself at all as a human being. Read his articles about war, you can find them everywhere online. Read his short stories, read his interviews, they are always funny. Read his books. Just, read him.



Life here feels a little lonelier without him.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

caveat lector

It is nice to think that most of the papers on my floor could be safely thrown out, and it wouldn't matter, as they no longer belong to projects which need to be worked on, but rather to courses I have now written final exams for. There is a nice little limbo now, and the final deadlines will have come and gone by the 17th. There are a few things I have postponed mentally until after exams are done to think about... in fact, most thoughts have been pushed into future time slots, just for convenience. House search, travel plans, personal priorities, cleaning stuff up. I can't even spend energy thinking about things I need to think about, that would violate emergency procedures.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What have you learned today? Never get involved in a land war in Asia. What have you unlearned? Buckets-full.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My Way

In the spirit of taking jokes too far: "If you know the words, sing 'em, if you don't: shut up, it'll sound crap."

1 down, 4 to go.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

My philosophy prof says I write using too many open ended questions, so I will end with this: The only way to keep our humanity is to retain our critical faculties.
(ring ring rrrrrring!!!)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Yea Katie

In solidarity RIMA LIII Volverán las oscuras golondrinas en tu balcón sus nidos a colgar, y otra vez con el ala a sus cristales jugando llamarán. Pero aquellas que el vuelo refrenaban tu hermosura y mi dicha a contemplar, aquellas que aprendieron nuestros nombres... ¡esas... no volverán!. Volverán las tupidas madreselvas de tu jardín las tapias a escalar, y otra vez a la tarde aún más hermosas sus flores se abrirán. Pero aquellas, cuajadas de rocío cuyas gotas mirábamos temblar y caer como lágrimas del día... ¡esas... no volverán! Volverán del amor en tus oídos las palabras ardientes a sonar; tu corazón de su profundo sueño tal vez despertará. Pero mudo y absorto y de rodillas como se adora a Dios ante su altar, como yo te he querido...; desengáñate, ¡así... no te querrán! Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Sunday, March 25, 2007

March 25th, 2005 Don't forget.

Friday, March 23, 2007

"I assure you, that the typewriting machine, when played with expression, is not more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation. Indeed many among those most devoted to domesticity prefer it." -Oscar Wilde, 1897

Wednesday, March 21, 2007



write
write
write
write
write
write
write
write

Monday, March 19, 2007

Developments in Ecuador

The issue of the suspension of the 57 congressmen and women has gone to the courts. Judges are now in the news, weighing in on one side or the other. A Supreme court magistrate thinks that the congress-members should be allowed back in to sessions, while the Supreme Court considers the case. One judge, Wilson Mendoza, made statements about a suspended congress member who threatened violence if the suspensions were not revoked. The party this man belongs to has distanced itself from these remarks, and the judge has not pressed any formal charges. Mendoza is a provincial judge in Manabí who ruled to pass the case on to the higher Tribunal. He was invited to a meal with this congressman, who showed up accompanied by a former cop (a cop who lost his job for being involved in the coup d'état of Lucio Gutierrez, in January 2000) and said things like "I hope you don't regret your decision". Ah, and Barcelona lost 4-1 to Olmedo, for those more interested in the fútbol news. At least sports are less ambiguous: we know for sure Barcelona losing is a good thing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

the wind


I listen to the wind
To the wind of my soul
Where I'll end up,
well I think,
Only God really knows
I've sat upon the setting sun
But never, never never never
I never wanted water once
No, never, never, never

I listen to my words but
They fall far below
I let my music take me where
My heart wants to go
I swam upon the devils lake
But never, never never never
I'll never make the same mistake
No, never, never, never

(Cat Stevens)

MPs clash with police in Ecuador

















Sacked opposition lawmakers in Ecuador have clashed with riot police while trying to regain their seats.

Tear gas was fired at a group of 20 former MPs as they forced their way into Congress. Two of their supporters were later shot and wounded.

The demonstrators were part of a group of 57 legislators dismissed for trying to block a referendum proposed by left-wing President Rafael Correa.

He has vowed to curb the powers of what he calls a "corrupt" Congress.

The congressmen and women fought their way through police cordons into the congress building in the capital, Quito, to take up their seats.

After failing to gather a quorum, they left the building and faced an angry pro-government crowd outside.

Later unidentified gunmen fired shots at anti-government protesters, wounding two.


-BBC Americas



Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"It's the sun, stupid"

If philosophy is a threat, what kind of an ideology are you defending?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

?'s

I was going through old blog entries today, trying to remember good stuff I've written. I have to write some fiction. Pathetically, I can only think to begin with things that have already made their way through my mind and out my fingers. The best things I feel right now that I have written, are the questions. I have written a ridiculous lot over the past year. A lot of it is scattered across the globe, or in some garbage dump in Vancouver, because it was a letter to someone. Some is here in this blog. Some is in my journal. Some is in this cheapo orange notebook i filled with thoughts too fractured or scandalous to qualify for my journal (I am not wuite convinced of the honesty of the feelings in the orange notebook...which is the reason I subconsciously left them out of the main journal in the first place...but I hang on to them). And everywhere, so many questions. Those may have been the only original thoughts I produced...and they weren't even thoughts. They were pre-thoughts. I have few answers. I have fewer every day. The better I get at asking questions, the worse I get at answering them. And yet life is carried out amidst action and decision, inertia is defeated daily. more questions, more questions. they never stop coming. i want to know all the questions in the world, and then invent more. i want every action to be pure faith, forcing me beyond the doubt...you have to doubt, but you also have to act. and what can you trust in? sorry. the answer is nothing.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Stay informed


Oh, Ecuador. First, the congress fires election court chief to try and stop the referendum in April. The referendum aims to limit the corruption and power in the traditional political parties, and re-write the Constitution. The Congress is, of course, filled with members of said corrupt political parties.

Then, Ecuador's electoral court sacks 57 congressmen for breaking the law, by interfering with an electoral process (in a Congress of 100 members). The President of Congress says this decision is unconstitutional and they will not pay any attention to it.

The Executive branch, however, supports the Court decision, and the Minister of the Interior Gustavo Larrea announced that the Police will be at the disposal of the Electoral Court to enforce the decision. The Congress building was surrounded by police at dawn.

Of course, politically, this battle is mind boggling in its complexities and possibilities. Some warn of civil war, some dream of freedom from the corruption, finally. Who is this President Rafael Correa...saviour? saint? Strong, at the very least.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Many miles away, children sleep uneasily, expectantly, going through mental lists of toothpastes and favourite shirts. or have children even acquired that nasty habit yet? maybe it's images of water balloons and sand castles that keep them awake. too many memories, too many histories to sort out, stories to tell to themselves tonight. they chuckle to themselves and the younger ones who share their bed are shaken out of their slumber. they hear the stories, the jokes, the laughter. tomorrow is going to be charged, it is going to shimmer. a revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

a piece of a lesson


the cabin in the woods was a refreshing reminder that there exist places of beauty, even close enough to travel to for one night. you don't have to go too far to get away from yourself and see things new, so there are no excuses. you know there are no excuses, but its good to be refreshed. everything worked out perfectly and nature left some new impressions: the quiet of a forest at twilight, a secret you are spoiling, a story that has been unfolding quite contentedly without you, but lets you walk through and ruin its concentration. Very gracious, i thought.

night falls. Clear skies and a new moon make for a sheet of pinpoints of light that looks so fresh, you would guess how much they have traveled to get here. You get to see shreds of this fabric, because the silhouettes of the giant spruce trees cut into it, so it looks like you view it through a tunnel. just stand still for a change.

"i haven't seen stars like that since i was young and still believed you could wish on them and it would make a difference"

And the coyotes. Who are they? So wild and so close, in the middle of the night, to our box of a shelter, howling and yelping at each other. Fear is trumped by wonder.

Wonder was a big thing. It is unfashionable, to walk around in awe. I kept my cool, though. We were all pretty happy, so someone with their eyes open a little wider than the rest really wouldn't get noticed.


It is good to be learning still... to be amazed by nature and people and keep moving... to let that be a new part of you.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

from Neruda's Book of Questions

Why does the hat of night
fly so full of holes?

Do uncried tears wait in small lakes?
Or are they invisible rivers who run to sadness?


Where is the child I was,
still inside me or gone?

Why did we spend so much time
growing up only to separate?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Going to a cabin in the woods for the night

Friday, February 16, 2007

Clayton, Paul, Paul.




recording for the university CD collaboration. The only blues band in town, and they practice in our nook-under-the-stairs. good for musical tension in a house, bad for people trying to learn new instruments: discouraging, to be so bad, amongst so much good.

ah, but the beauty. the beauty!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A faith that is undermined by education and engagement in society is... a weak faith. an insecure faith, either unsure of its object, or of its own purpose. my faith that has fallen away (and continues to be shed, further each day) through this 2 or 3 year period has been one of those faiths. Undermined by experiences, or the lack of them, it is was a faith with little grounding in truth. it was a faith in what i was told, what i thought was right. but indeed, if it is weakened by engagement in society, then it is not true. Because engagement in society is the most basic, easily observable, purpose of life. And true faith has to lead you to strengthening that, to supporting the community around you, binding people together. What is the point, otherwise? beautiful comment. i bet it was from a philosopher.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Instructions on how to cry

Putting the reasons for crying aside for the moment, we might concentrate on the correct way to cry, which, be it understood, means a weeping that doesn't turn into a big commotion nor proves an affront to the smile with its parallel and dull similarity. The average, everyday weeping consists of a general contraction of the face and a spasmodic sound accompanied by tears and mucus, this last toward the end, since the cry ends at the point when one energetically blows one's nose. In order to cry, steer the imagination toward yourself, and if this proves impossible owing to having contracted the habit of believing in the exterior world, think of a duck covered with ants or of those gulfs in the Strait of Magellan into which no one sails, ever. Coming to the weeping itself, cover the face decorously, using both hands, palms inward. Children are to cry with the sleeve of the dress or shirt pressed against the face, preferably in a corner of the room. Average duration of the cry, three minutes. -Julio Cortázar

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Anna Binder on Skype Stephen Morris on MSN and a package from Ecuador in the mail across these new small pieces of love a shadow of something bigger falls

Thursday, February 08, 2007

the debt monster



as part of today's Freeze for a Freeze protest, a huge puppet was constructed to illustrate the burden of debt. the puppet stole the show, and made for a very successful afternoon. Also, it was freezing, it was below freezing, i would have cried if i thought i could get away with that without looking like a baby.

towards the making of the puppet, i contributed the hand. was pleased with that.

but, of course, the protest was just a part of what made this day today. so many stories converged, so many pages turned. its a good day when you simultaneously get affirmed by people and disgusted with yourself. I think its a pretty honest experience.

Ah, and then of course there was The U.S. vs. John Lennon...first Sackville cinematic experience. I liked the use of photographs and stills, powerful montages and significant interviews (Walter Cronkite, Angela Davis, Tariq Ali, Geraldo, Gore Vidal and Chomsky) . Also, its always good to get a little Beatles exposure...and John Lennon quotations...can't complain.

I'm glad today is over, though. What a build-up. And what a sleep it is going to be. The built-up stuff wasn't half as pleasant as the surprises.

rhetorical questions

What the hell does that have to do with anything, Candy? What the hell kind-off a name is Candy?

Monday, February 05, 2007

what a curse, to understand the width and depth of human misery. Of the problems that exist in the world, the ones I know the most about are the ones that baffle me when its time to think of solutions. where to even begin. as we struggle for accessible university education in our small Canadian corner, i can´t help but be consumed by thoughts of less fortunate societies where education is never accessible to all, much less at the post-secondary level. i get angry, i get sad, i get frustrated. where to even begin. equality, such a simple idea, such an impossible mountain. there is no equality, and those that struggle for it struggle against the strongest foe, the enemy is too big, too big to describe or quantify...a cancerous mass, the giant marshmallow man in Ghostbusters II, an unstoppable 40 foot wave. because what can you do, without education? what sort of people are we creating, when we deny them the most basic right, to know and understand themselves and their context. education is generative, you can take people to a certain place and if you have done it right, they will go on from there. But this doesn't happen. Those on top don't know, don't care to know. Those on the bottom know all too well how it is. i sat in the snow in the waterfowl park for a while trying to get less angry. trying to make sense of the feelings, trying to find a way forward, a compromise that i could live with. what am i going to allow myself to feel and what am i going to have to do something about. i would be sitting in the snow still if it weren't so cold. i have sorted nothing out. i have such little commitment to even my personal part in all of this that i let myself off the hook because of a little temperature discomfort. i do not want to be irrelevant. i don't want to carry around this anger about unsolved problems. problems so big. why is it this way?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I truly do believe that if people stopped themselves more often, and decided over and over again, as many times as they needed to, to honestly go about being themselves to the best of their abilities, that this world would be a more compassionate place. Maybe this is naïve. Maybe my battles with humanity should be aimed at getting people to be better, to strive for some ideal, maybe there is something fundamentally wrong with us we need to correct. I might be more successful reminding people to act more lovingly, more responsibly, with more solidarity or courage. I don't think that the fact that we lack these things is because we don't have them, I think we aren't true to them. I prefer to make war against ignorance. Self-ignorance, and voluntary ignorance. The worst crime is mediocrity. The worst failure is fake.
✮✮✮
I have been reading Plato, Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest), Shakespeare (Twelfth Night) and Jorge Luis Borges, listening to Josh Ritter, "Bob Dylan", Vico C, Cat Stevens and Stars, in case anyone wishes to attempt a trace of why I am thinking about this right now.

Monday, January 29, 2007

We read a short story called "The excavation" by Augusto Roa Bastos in Spanish Lit today. The lifespan of humanity is equated with digging an escape tunel, the end of which we never find, until we die. The protagonist is escaping a jail, he is a political prisoner during the paraguayan civil war in the late 40's. I think in every story we have read in this class so far, except one, the protagonist dies at the end. No wonder Latin American literature carries such heavy connotations to me: they deal with heavy subject matter! My prof is really sweet, you should see him get excited, explaining the end of the story. His whole demeanor lights up, and he bounces in his chair.
+++++++++++++++++
spray paint, such a uniting activity. music, too. undercover operations. secret conversations. two flags curtain us off from the view. houseplant is looking a little droopy. how much time needed to BS a geography lab? defrost a bagel? the profound and the frivolous, the shallow... the strong sense of self. the sacrifice. what an undeserving thing you are.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

i saw a beautiful man that kissed me on all my a thousand cheeks, and i knew then that i’d know him forever and ever -zulu poet

Friday, January 26, 2007

Ecuadorian minister dies in air crash


Guadalupe Larriva, the Ecuadorean defence minister, has been killed in a helicopter collision in the Pacific port city of Manta.

Monica Chuji, a government spokeswoman, said: "We can confirm the death of the minister, of one of her children and two pilots in the crash of two helicopters."

According to local media reports, the two Ecuadorean military helicopters crashed in mid-air at about 9pm on Wednesday (02:00GMT Thursday). Rafael Correa, the president, was flying from the southern port city of Guayaquil to the scene of the crash.

Larriva took office on January 15 after being named Ecuador's first woman defence minister by Correa, the newly inaugurated president.

Correa appointed seven women to his cabinet, saying he wanted to promote gender equality in his country. Larriva was a university professor and leader of the country's small Socialist party.

She had promised to strengthen presidential control of military ranks, improve salaries for the armed forces and make the promotions system more transparent in a country where the military has helped to remove three presidents in 10 years.

Correa asked the country to "pray for the soul of Guadalupe, her daughter, her family and the government of Ecuador".

Source: Al Jazeera English Edition
**************************************

I can't believe this. I will wait until the independent investigations from Chile and France reach their conclusions, but it all seems too much. There was a lot of anger when she was chosen as Defense minister: she was the first civilian ever to occupy that position, and a woman to boot. This is really bad.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bethany and sister

I saw my dear Katie this weekend. Of course, her compulsion to leave indiscreet comments on my blog following this encounter must be some horrible lapse of judgment caused by the shock of saying goodbye once more.

I am pretty behind on school work, after taking off for the weekend, also. How does that make any sense. I took my laptop and work with me, filled with good intentions...

I went to church this morning. I had some thoughts. My thoughts are growing less and less share-worthy. Neglecting all airs and appearances I could put on, I just don't get it anymore. Why is church this way? Why am I this way? Where is the lie, because it is somewhere, inside of me, or is it just everywhere. There is a lie floating around, I swear it, and once I can put my finger on it, there will be no more believing it.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mac help

Some small questions I couldn't figure out, even with Mac Help:

-How do I install fonts again? I downloaded them, clicked the little "Install" bubble on the font file when I open it, but it doesn't appear automatically in my Font window when I open Pages. I am missing a step there. In fact, I only have about 15 fonts for use in Pages, but about 50 installed if I open FontBook. Confusing.

-Copying a non-music Cd. Is there a proram I can use? iTunes is fine for music CD's, but making a straight copy of a CD or DVD seems quite the procedure.



<---also, I now have skype...for those interested. groundhog593

Monday, January 15, 2007

the last day

hey kate, sorry i couldn't make it for the mock funeral. today and tomorrow will be full of thought as it is.

The photo is my dad...he was washing dishes with Daniel out at the well, because the running water ran out. This was the teachers Christmas dinner at the camp, 2006. Daniel will be taking over camp operations, and many other things, now that my parents are leaving. He's just one of the people, who will be taking on the many jobs and responsibilities that have undergone delegation. Daniel, Rolando, Franklin, Amaryllis, Janna, Alex, Freddy, Panchita, Dale, Willian, Ruth, Sandra, and Nikki, soon. Just names to you, perhaps, but after 14 years, this is what has been constructed. People, a network, part of the greater network perhaps. We're hoping that all works together for a purpose, now that things have been stitched together to account for us leaving.

I pray for these people that remain. I pray for safe travels tomorrow for my family. I pray for us, my sister and I, that this means something deep right now and that it leads to something real.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

electric blues

Garrett Mason show last night (winner of the 2005 Juno for Blues Album).It is quite the experience, I would recommend it to anyone. I went with Chelsey and Clayton and all my new friends, through the freezing freezing night to an out-of-town biker-bar-type joint called George's Roadhouse. Yes, they do still exist. The crowd was the most non-university age group of people I have seen since I went to the Anglican church.

Lots of white people trying to dance. The music was electric blues...and by electric, I mean it was a current that went through you and got your feet tapping...it was Chuck Berry, it was 50's, 60's and it was new, it was GOOD. It was filled with innovation. His fingers could bring anything out of a guitar...they were all over the place, they were active. It was a very enjoyable show.

*************************

The oil in our furnace ran out. We haven't had heat for 24 hours. We're baking cookies and sitting with laptops on our laps, in ponchos and blankets, doing anything we can think of to bump the temperatures. Toes are pretty frozen. The Mac trackpad doesn't work if I'm wearing mittens...damn.

****************************

Saw my future fold out before me. dreamt of darkness, felt for roads leading out. got bogged down in technocrap. moved on.

Friday, January 12, 2007

i feel swirled in a world of foreign. all of a sudden, new things are taken for granted, old faces forbidden, things misunderstood. but all is happening is learning.

Monday, January 08, 2007

in vs. out


first snow I've seen fell today. it was very wet. that is the view inside my room and the view outside my room. i still haven't exactly unpacked yet...or maybe its just the usual mess, i can't tell. its a bit of both. outside, everything is really wet, because the temperatures aren't extreme enough yet for the snow to be permanent. I'm learning how to walk on ice and slush again. My English notes from my first class have disappeared because the ink was water soluble and the water solubled in to the backpack.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Request

Can someone email me "Brown Eyed Girl"? I'm trying to learn it on the Mandolin, and I have it on my computer back at home, but not here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

UPDATED ADDRESS


Ok, the "Unit" number down below is now different, it is now #866.


Everything else stays the same.

Day 2 here. I had 3 classes this morning, of which I think I will drop 1, Macroeconomics, because he talks really fast and said something about basic mathematic skills and Algebra being used very frequently during the class...scared me right away. Maybe in some other situation, I will brave learning something that is possibly difficult for me...but not this semester. Not today. The temperatures are wacked, 12 Celsius ABOVE zero...in Canada, in January!

The classes I decided to keep for today were Intro to Human Geography (no tests, and a cool prof) and Plato's Republic (I've always wanted to read it).

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Me

Bethany Horne 152 Main Street Unit 866 Sackville NB E4L 1B3 Canada Phone number, as of tomorrow...(506) 364-8112 I'll be taking this info down off the internet in a couple days or so, so get it while you can. Its friggin cold here. But its life, waiting to happen. Its the starting line, everyone around me is revving, and I want to crawl into a corner and think until the sadness goes away, but the race is going to start and there is no time for me. No time for moping. I'm sad, yes, I'm scared, yes. But I'm ready. Please, let it ok for me to be sad for a bit.

from Bishop Lancelot Andrews:

Blot out the number of my crimes, renew the multitude of thy tender mercies. However unclean, Thou canst cleanse me; however blind, Thou canst enlighten me; however weak, Thou canst restore me; yea,though dead, Thou canst raise me. I commend to thee,O Lord, my soul,and my body,my mind,and my thoughts, my prayers,and my vows,my senses, and my members, my words and my works, my life and my death. I commend to Thee, O Lord,my impulses,my resolves,and my attempts, my going out and my coming in,my sitting down, and my rising up. Grant to me light sleep, rid me of all imaginations freshly and satanical.Yea, O Lord, nor let me in my dreams imagine things that will anger thee, or defile me. Visit me with your own visitation, reveal to me wisdom in the visions of the night. O Father of mercy, despise not an unclean worn such as I. O Lord look on me with those same eyes wherewith Thine did look on Mary Magdalene in the banquet, Peter in the hall, and the thief on the cross. So that I may confess with the thief, weep with Peter, and love as Mary Magdalene loved you.