Back on the Bike!

Today I got back on the bike! After falling and bruising myself i’m up again! I realized I wasn’t going to make my bus and I needed to get to school for my course so the bicycle was my only option. [SIDENOTE: Speaking of which, I think the bicycle needs a name. Suggestions?] I rode very cautiously and avoided the hill that led to my demise last time. I had some trouble finding the right are of the secure bike lockup that SFU Surrey offers. When I finally did get in there I realized I had no idea how to chain my bike up properly so I hastily tried to copy the bike next to mine. After class I had rehearsal and by the time I was back in Surrey it was 9:30PM and dark out. Since I had a black jacket on and have yet to find headlights I rode mostly on the sidewalks. It was very wet out. I really like the noise it makes when it rains though, and I found it to be quite cleansing for me.

I’m looking forward to my future as a bicycle commuter. I can’t wait to be one of those skinny active people who have the freedom to travel wherever, whenever. I mean workouts, spandex, getting to ring a bell… What’s not to love? Perhaps i’ll be able to give it a good rep and a new image less dorky image… who am I kidding haha x D

Also, while I was out I saw several other cyclists and had an amazing discovery. This is an awesome way to meet people! All of the bicycle commuters I know are vegetarian and they all care about the environment. This could be a great way to make friends and meet like-minded individuals. Futurehusband anyone? hehe.

See you on the road peeps.

Missionaries of Hate: Thoughts

Someone on facebook linked me to this documentary called “Missionaries of Hate” which you can watch online.

In a nutshell it is about a large group of religious extremists in Uganda who are trying to make homosexuality illegal and punishable by imprisonment or death. It isn’t too long and I recommend watching it.

I was at a leadership conference in January at in one of the workshops (about blogging and storytelling ironically) they asked us what our biggest driving force was. I think the issue at the core of my being, the one thing that makes me live my chosen lifestyle, is repression. I have been very lucky to have lived without much exposure to repression personally but it still really usets me. Repression of women, repression of animals, repression of certain races, repression of lower classes and in Uganda: repression of homosexuality.

This is the one thing that gets me the most about religion and extremism. Sure the bible may say “man shall not lie with another man” or whatever but it also teaches compassion and kindness. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Any law that violates this creed cannot be seen as even remotely “Christian” in my opinion. It’s one thing to make a personal choice about how you live but it is another to condemn, imprison or kill others because of the way they live.

I hope for and do the best I can to try and encourage acceptance in the world in an effort to stop things like this. After all, if everyone does what they can we’ll all get what we need.

We’ll do much better

if we all move together.

Also, to point out a specific flaw in the argument of misguided man featured in the film… When he shows the gay porn to his audiences he doesn’t mention that there is tons of equally, if not more disgusting, straight porn out there… just saying.

How to Be Green Without Being a Prick

“There are far too many ways to be green, in the smallest and biggest ways for anyone to tell you how to do it. The only way is to understand the problems that we face so you can make intelligent decisions for yourself, be informative to your friends, and help promote and create the solutions that will truly allow this world to become sustainable.”

– HANK GREEN

I think I really needed to see this. I agree with what Hank is saying, however I wish he gave more suggestions about how to be informative to others without coming off negatively. I’m struggling with that right now.

One of those days

Sometimes I feel segregated from everyone else. Let’s face it, most of the lifestyle choices I make are not the societal norm. It can be hard at times because I know in my heart I am doing the right thing but other people don’t always agree. Weather it be with food choices, how to react to a personal situation, or consumption. Right now I feel so segregated.

There is a difference between doing what is right and doing what is easy.

I don’t meet to sound judgmental in posting this but I know i’ve had a few rather judgey posts lately. This is kind of my little rant zone at times. I really try to find fault within myself before I find fault within others. No one is perfect. We all have our own challenges to overcome. I was thinking about my personal effort to have an impact on the world. Maybe instead of having my own causes I should try to see what my friends are doing to make an impact and help them out. Maybe they will in turn want to help me out. Even if they don’t it is easier to change the world together than it is alone. If we all work together we can do anything. Right?

I also realize that everyone feels like this at times.

I know there are other people out there. I just need to find them… *sigh*

Lend a hand!

Love your shoreline, love your community

Join the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

September 18 – 26, 2010

Sign up for a shoreline cleanup and join Canadians from coast to coast who are helping to keep Canada’s shorelines healhy!

http://shorelinecleanup.ca

The Carnival Band!

The Carnival Band Logo

A while back I blogged about this marching band that was playing randomly while I was on commercial drive. I don’t think it’s connected but when I mentioned it to a friend they linked me to these fine folks. The Carnival Band!

The Carnival Band in Action

via wdworden on flickr

Carnival Band rehearsals are held at the seniors’ lounge across from the library at Britannia Community Centre. The address is 1661 Napier Street in Vancouver. We meet every Monday evening from 7:30 to 10. Bring just about any instrument you can carry, or slap on your dancing shoes, and get ready for a good time. No auditions. All are welcome.

– via their website

Looks like fun! I’ll have to check it out.

Being a Weirdo in the Modern World

I sometimes feel that it is rude to force my beliefs on others. Just becasue I belive in certain things and chose to live a certain way doesn’t mean everyone should, right? I wouldn’t like it if a bunch of religious fundamentalists forced their belifes on me… but then I can’t see anything outside of my way of thought. To me there is no reason to not be vegan. There is no reason to buy bottled water. There is no alternative way to live. To someone else though, I am the religious fundamentalist. I am the crazy person. And what separates us really? Deep down we are all human. But just as I can’t see how joining the army is the right thing to do, many people can’t see how living an environmentally friendly life is right.

I’m trying to find a balance. My beliefs dictate that I should be sharing and spreading my knowledge, I suppose that’s what this blog is meant to achieve. After all, if nothing had spoken to me about these alternative lifestyle choices I wouldn’t know they exist. The point of individual change is to inspire and promote societal change. But then, what the best way to do that? Lecturing people about eating meat when out for dinner with friends just becomes a damper on a fun social outing. It’s hard to find the right way to communicate. Seeing someone accept a plastic bag at the store makes me want to scream out at them but of course that wouldn’t be polite or socially acceptable…

Why is this so hard? Because if it was easy it wouldn’t be worthwhile I suppose.

I’m making some more changes this week. With the summer semester starting i’m going to stop using public transit (so travel by bicycle and foot) and buy only local foods. Possibly other things too. It’s late and I need to contemplate what I want to implement in my life. I need to decide what I want to achieve.

Thank You: No Impact Man

I just finished watching the movie No Impact Man with my Mom. Basically he and his NYC family attempted to live without making any net environmental impact for a year (negative impact + positive impact = no net impact). He also wrote a book about it which I have just started reading. I wrote an e-mail to the man himself, Colin Beavan who completed the project. I was really moved and motivated by it and I felt I had to communicate that. At one point the angry part of me wanted to kick the collective ass of the haters mentioned. Some people get stuck nitpicking and don’t realize that someone trying their best and making a change is better than making no change at all. It’s a complicated societal issue. I guess “Haters gon hate.”, they serve the purpose of educating us about our shortcomings and the faults in our plans. ANYWAY, here’s the e-mail I sent Colin.

Dear Colin Beavan,

I recently discovered your project and am currently reading your book. I just finished watching the No Impact Man film and I had to write to you. Your story moved me to tears and I just wanted to thank you. I am so incredibly happy that there are other crazy people out there. At times it can be really difficult to live a unique lifestyle and to make a social statement (I am an 18 year old vegan) but projects like yours make me realize the importance of individual change. Sometimes it’s hard to know that what you are doing is making a difference so I just wanted you to know that you made a difference to me. I’m going to implement further ways of reducing my environmental impact that were mentioned in your film. Also, the movie allowed me to open a dialogue with my Mom (who I live with) and has made her more receptive to suggestions about changing our consumptive lifestyle. You amaze and inspire me.

Thank you,

Jenni Rempel

PS: Thank you to my friend Chris for blogging about this and introducing me!

Kent State

Photo by Chuck Ayers, Kent State University Archives

Today my Dad informed me that it is the 40th anniversary of the Kent State Shootings. On May 4th, 1970 four student protestors were shot by the National Guard. Dad showed me an informative article published in the National Post that features a very comprehensive breakdown of what happened. The shootings were a major turning point in the history of crowd control and also of public opinion regarding the Vietnam War.

I’m glad I got to learn about this historical moment today. With my limited (but still memorable) experience protesting (and my desire to protest in the future if the need arises) situations like this upset me. While the shooting was not unprovoked, I feel that violence is never the answer. I hope we can all look back on this tragic event and remember to always treat others with compassion and understanding.

Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Linkage

Flobots – Handlebars

Cool animation, awesome message too. It kinda starts out talking about how we can do anything and then goes into bragging (I can show you how to scratch a record) and then finally to how humans are capable of terrible things (I can lead a nation with a microphone). I think we can do anything but it is also up to us to do the right thing. This world is what we make it and we can make it anything we want. We are all so talented and can teach others so much but learning from others instead of teaching is really the most important thing I think. Instead of telling people what you can teach them you should ask people what they can teach you.

Official Seattle Glee Flash Mob Video – Seattle, Westlake

Flashmobs + Glee + Dancing + Singing = EPIC

LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls (HD)

This song is super catchy. I just found out LCD Soundsystem is playing Malkin Bowl at the end of the month as well. Tempting…