Reasons Why Being a Badass is an Appriopriate Life Choice For Me

  1. Feels good.
  2. Good way to be cooler.
  3. Sunglasses are fun.
  4. I’ve taken too much shit.
  5. The only down side is that people might not like me.
  6. Lots of people already do not like me, so no problem there.
  7. Fuck the haters.
  8. My life, my choices.
  9. I don’t owe anyone anything.
  10. If you don’t like it, you can suck it.

That’s all folks.

That is all.

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Yes, I’m still here: Why I have been a horrible blogger

I have done a horrible job of keeping up with this blog over the last year or two.

So much has been happening, I think I got so caught up in living life that I stopped writing about it. For example…

I lived in New York, I got engaged, I got unengaged, went to vegas (unrelated), went camping (for the first time in over 10 years), studied food systems, finished university, went to DC, dealt with physical abuse, battled stigma related to illness, developed 2 major illnesses, had 4 hospital visits in less than 6 months ( and 2 ambulance rides, wheeee!), saw all my favourite bands play together, went to Disneyland (as a vegan), did an Animal Rights internship, visited an animal sanctuary, worked on some huge projects, made films, took photos, started doing burlesque, started a band… and probably lots more things I can’t think of right now.

I have really missed the reflective quality of blogging and having a place to record all of my various adventures. Over the next few week I will be publishing some posts related to some of these things that I haven’t written about yet.

Thank you to all of the supportive people and organizations, and animals I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with over these past few years, and thank you to everyone who still reads/subscribes. Yes, I still exist!

Pro-Thought: Jenni Thinks About Abortion

http://nationalpostnews.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/abortion.jpg

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/07/graphic-abortion-in-canada-almost-100000-documented-terminations-in-2009/

Yesterday I spoke with the SFU Lifeline Club, the pro-life (and quick to mention anti-abortion) club on campus. It really got me thinking about the issue of abortion. As a generally left-leaning person I had “decided” I was pro-choice without giving the issue much thought or learning about the issue. When speaking with the representative I noticed myself saying that, while I, MYSELF, do not think I would ever get an abortion (seen Blue Valentine? Ugh, makes me shutter just thinking about someone doing that to me)… (even if it meant dying due to medical complications), I would not want to tell other people what to do. I noticed myself thinking that there are bigger issues that deserve my attention than abortion. I noticed myself judging past abortion displays I had seen thinking, why must they be so “in your face”? I realized that those are the same things many people think about vegan outreach and animal advocacy. I realized that, much like in the factory farms where animals are murdered and tortured, many babies are aborted around the world every year. Why am I so willing to tell people how they should eat and speak out against animal suffering, when I am so scared to speak about abortion? Sometimes when I reflect on ongoing animal suffering I wish I could close all the supermarkets, stop all the slaughter houses, and make all the killing stop. I wish I could run through the streets turning people into vegans. I wish the world was different and I feel an agent pull to create this change.

The group told me that Canada is one of only a few countries in the world with no restrictions on abortion. This means that abortion can occur during any term of pregnancy. I was very shocked to hear this. I realized that I don’t know very much about abortion, on either side of the “debate”. I found myself stating that I do not know much about the potential health reasons someone would get an abortion, or any reasons for that matter.

Based on the (very little and non-researched) information I have right now I think that there should be restrictions on abortion. I do not think aborting late in the pregnancy is ok. I think that non-invasive (this might be the wrong word to use) “abortion” techniques at the very start of the abortion are not cruel (before the central nervous system has developed). I think that stem cell research is a positive thing when the cells are harvested from the umbilical cord or right after fertilization…. I think.

Reflecting on my ignorance on this matter I am asking myself the following questions:

• How do I decide what to devote my time to?

• Which causes are worthy of my voice?

I can’t possibly learn about ALL social issues in a large amount of detail (or can I? Hmmm). That being said i think I would like to know more about abortion. I am not really sure where to start…

Do you have any articles or books to recommend?

Today…

20120904-144503.jpg

Today I…

  • Posted stuff on craigslist
  • Thought about Russell Brand
  • Did Laundry
  • Ate Banana Maca Smoothie
  • Went to school
  • Had Class with Dancers and Theatre Students at SFU where I
    • Did improvisation
    • Made improvisation overly sexualized because I figured Russell Brand would approve
    • Decided that pleasure is in fact merely the absence of pain
    • Realized that everyone looks like a star in the right lighting
    • Affirmed my recent commitment to become famous
  • Wondered if my nectarine had some sort of mould
  • Took photo of aforementioned potential mould
  • Pondered keeping it to perform experiments on
  • Decided I should write about my thoughts and musings for the day to entertain other and practice my comedy.

Cheers.

Time to Move: A Song for a Sunday Night

I have had a tough few days emotionally. I have been feeling really sad thinking about many terrible things that are happening in the world (for example…) and today that experience turned into a song.

I heard recently that the reason the new Jason Mraz album took so long was because he wrote tons of songs that didn’t make it on to the record. I have decided that I want to start finishing a recording as many songs as possible to practice my performance and presentation skills. Even if some of them are depressing like this one, or things I wouldn’t want to be MY song, I think it is all part of the creative process that I am getting in touch with. So here goes.

G

I can say thank you with a smile

C

But I’m weeping

Em

all the while

Em

The pains too great, This sadness makes me

C

weak

D

and weary

G

I can pray all day and night

C

But that wont make things

Em

alright

Em

Our world is sick

C

inside

Em

The light is hidden

D

by the night

G

There is something telling me it’s time to move,

Em

Weather I stay or weather I go there’s a part of me I’ll lose

C

Either way maybe it will all work out the same

D

Cause I’ve lost hope in the status quo

D

And I need help to travel

A7

through

G

Wish I could change the world I see

C

but I can’t do it

Em

just with me

Em

the world is wide, the web is

C

finely

D

connected

G

I want to stop all of the pain

C

without creating foes

Em

to blame

Em

the sun hurts

C

my eyes

Em

I wish for guidance

D

through the fight

G

There is something telling me it’s time to move,

Em

Weather I stay or weather I go there’s a part of me I’ll lose

C

Either way maybe it will all work out the same

D

Cause I’ve lost hope in the status quo

D

And I need help to travel

A7

through

REPEAT

G

Today.

I think Angsty Music Makes Me More Angsty

Circa February 2012:

This past weekend I went to see some of my favourite bands play downtown – ALL TIME LOW! Mariana’s Trench, These Kids Wear Crown… oh and the headliner Simple Plan. I mainly went to see the openers and I was really excited to enjoy the mosh pit and throw myself into other people for a few hours.

It was super squishy at the beginning – we were almost like an ocean the way the whole crowd swayed together – literally leaning on one another during ATL. I was glad that a bunch of girls actually started a pretty wicked mosh pit during Simple Plan’s set. I got my wish! Yay! I love it when dreams come true : )

MT was pretty awesome! They had glitter! And I love how harmonic their music is. And Simple Plan has been around for a really long time so it was nice to know so many of their songs.

At the very end they played one of their really old songs, perfect:

And do you think I’m wasting my time doing things I wanna do?
But it hurts when you disapprove all along

– Perfect, SImple Plan

I find this song awkward. I feel uncomfortable singing song of the lyrics. Maybe it’s because to me they represent an awkward phase of life… those angsty teenage years… Anywho this one really hit me. I was sitting at the back of the floor enjoying a full view of the stage, and I cried. Well almost. My eyes got all watery and my face was all screwed up. Anyways, I was very sad, but very grateful at the same time. And I think it is totally valid to feel these things and need to express them – I have written my fair share of things like this – but I can’t help but wonder if these types of songs influence the world in a negative direction.

Recently a friend of mine in Sociology was telling me that some research says that in cultures where suicide is talked about more often there are higher rates of suicide. I wonder if music describing sad themes is the same way.

And now i’m all excited to see Ingrid Michelson next month!

Woofs of Wisdom

I went to a storytelling event. It was really amazing to hear all of the stories… There was sadness, happiness, and mystery in all of them.

The biggest thing I took away was not from a story though – it was from the dog. When I was younger I was afraid of dogs. It took me a long time to get comfortable with dogs but now I am often the person a dog will spend most of the night getting rubs from. I like to think it’s because I am vegan.

Usually when I am with an animal ( dog, cat… any animal) I try to lure it closer to me, to sit on my lap or next to where I am sitting. I realized that instead of trying to force the dog to sit by me, I could move to accommodate the dog. And I did. I got to sit in a new place and discover something new. By listening I find that I can discover so much : )

Scribbles from a Self-Discovery Workshop

My awesome friend Chris did a great workshop for my SFU club: The LOVE Club (Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation). We had fruits and vegetables that got all eaten up! Yay! Here are some of my thoughts and inspirations from this workshop… my notebook scribbles if you will : )

• One of the first things Chris spoke about was the voluntary and involuntary changes in life. I think by CHOOSING (this is embracing, finding gratitude) all changes I can live better. Thanks CG for that perspective : )

• I was also pondering my stance on life… optimism, opportunism, pessimism… I think I am an adventurist! That is, I look at a situation and say, “Hey! This is Exciting!”

• Try embracing and letting go instead of clinging and resisting.

• I was thinking about self care. I think self care is basically breathing but in different ways. Breathing: it goes in and out and then around. I can “breathe” with my creativity, sending it in and out and around. I can “breathe” with my time management, putting it into myself, out into the world, and around to those around me… sort of a new way of looking at things for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfM9gQkfwyg

 WITHOUT A SONG OR A DANCE WHAT ARE WE?

• I think DUTY is a responsibility to others. This is a very important part of my life. It moves me to the four corners of emotion (joy, despair, anger and fear) – but what would my life be without this experience? I think I was born to be an activist.

• I was reminded to ask, “How am I contributing to your life?” and think of how others are contributing to mine.

• I want to make a sweater with a heart on my sleeve… hehe.

 

JENNI IS:

a creative, emotional, optimistic, extroverted catalyst.

a curious, skeptical, theorist.

a spontaneous, performing improvisor.

a dependable, multi-tasking stabilizer.

 • I am always curious about the relationship between self-discovery and acknowledgements… If I think about myself critically, especially surrounding my weaknesses am I just limiting myself and creating evidence that is not empowering? I asked Chris about this after the workshop and he said self-discovery is great to help people find blindspots.

• I mapped out my life and the moments that most defined me. Most of the cool things i’ve done have been the result of a desire for community. A search and a quest for belonging. It has led me to many wonderful places : )

• I also mapped out influential people in my life – I am so blessed to know so many diverse people!

Yay!

I Think I Fell In Love (on the skytrain)

Beautiful EyeI think I always knew that we are all of one… But I didn’t really realize it until I was staring into this boys eyes on the skytrain yesterday. It was the weirdest thing. I bumped into my transit friend again, for the third time via a bus. Usually if I bump into someone twice I assume it is a sign and some sort of divine coincidence or irony… but three times… wow that must be something special.

I am almost scared to write about it… what if he reads it? What if I ruin it? But then (as SuperForest Jackson Would Say) it is in the past, and it is already a fantasy. And it’s already open to the creation, interpretation, and the fabrication of my forgetful mind.

So basically I turned to my left at the bus stop and there he was, just standing there, reading. I said hi. We got on the bus and talked about wanting to get lost in a forest, and how gross fast food is, and what we would do if the martix was real (or is it? haha). He was really tired and kept almost falling asleep. We talked about Hippy University. He told me he lost his mind. I asked how. He said it exploded. I asked what it looked like. He said it looked like grasses. I said I think mine would look like rainbows and glitter. He said you don’t really know how it’s going to come out until it happens. I told him he was like the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat combined. He said he identified with the Caterpillar.

When we got to the skytrain we talked about being alone. I remembered how I think we are always alone (in our minds) and how we are never alone (in the world). Our disagreements weren’t like an argument, more like one person reminding the other of a different perspective, our thoughts blowing back and forth like the wind. He mentioned how he was tired and wanted to be alone… but then said it would be ok if I was there. Wow.

He said he had decided to be awake. I wonder if it was because of me. Then, i’m not sure exactly how but we just stopped talking and were sitting there next to each other, staring into each other’s eyes. While I was looking there I was trying to see inside of him (because they say that the eyes are the portal to the soul) but I noticed that there wasn’t anything to see. It was just me and myself. I had all of the these thoughts and I wanted to write about it, and tell people, I wanted to keep it a secret, and I wanted to know what he was thinking, and I wondered if he knew what I was thinking, and then I tried to send him some intentions (with my mind) so that he’d know that I love him, and then I wondered what he were trying to tell me by just sitting there and staring at me. And I watched him almost fall asleep, going in and out of consciousness, and I laughed because I know what that’s like and it was beautiful. I didn’t want to move. My heart was beating and I was ever-so aware. I realized that we were having a moment of being alone, together.

Part of me wanted to ask for his phone number or someway to contact him, but I didn’t want to do anything to ruin that moment or to change, it because it was wonderful.

Later I was pondering how unintentionally and amazingly romantic he is… the words he said, his eyes… but then I realized it isn’t him – it’s me! I think that romance is all open to interpretation. I can see something or hear something and think it is romantic – and then I create it to be that way. I was singing this when I got home…

I didn’t mean to waste the water
but I couldn’t feel my hands
I stood outside in the rain for 10 minutes today
and I wondered what role in my life that you’d play

I find this incredibly ironic because I often joke that if I had a pick up line it would be, “remember that time I starred at you?” BUT NOW THAT HAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

Anywayy… similar to our last meeting…

I love that I can fall in love a million times a day. And that connecting with another person doesn’t have to mean anything or have a future or a past. Just a moment. It was beautiful. Maybe this is my missed connection. Maybe it’s just a moment

I want to be a professional role model (and the reason I bought an iPhone)

This is the main reason I bought an iPhone today.

"Role Models" - after William Wegman

When I was in high school I didn’t think caring was cool.

I didn’t think it was cool to not eat animals. I didn’t think it was cool to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves. I didn’t think it was cool to eat vegetables. I didn’t think it was cool to drink green juice, or eat salad or kale. I didn’t think it was cool to be different. I didn’t think it was cool to dig through the trash looking for recycling to save. I didn’t think it was cool to say “no plastic straw please”. I didn’t think it was cool to bring my own water bottle, or my own lunch. I didn’t think it was cool to ride a bicycle. I didn’t think it was cool to hug other people or tell them how much I loved them. I didn’t think it was cool to be friends with my parents. I didn’t think it was cool to smile at people on the bus. I didn’t think it was cool to not have any enemies. I didn’t think it was cool to talk to the “weird” kids. I didn’t think it was cool to be weird! I didn’t think it was cool for everyone to make their own choices about drugs and alcohol. I didn’t think it was cool to take action to change the things that I didn’t like about the world. I didn’t think it was cool to ask where things came from and how they were made. I didn’t think it was cool to buy second hand clothes. I didn’t think it was cool to refuse to buy clothes made in sweatshops. I didn’t think it was cool to think about the big picture.

Or maybe I did. In hindsight my vision of myself is cloudy.. (after all everything in the past is a fantasy). Maybe I thought these things were cool but I was scared that other people didn’t think they were cool.

I know that right now, at this moment…

I want to make it cool to care. I want to make it cool to empower other people. I want to make it cool to value heath. I want to make it cool to care about the environment. I want to make it cool to ride a bike. I want to make it cool to grow plants. I want to make it cool to love animals and not hurt them. I want to make it cool to be vegan. I want to make it cool to show compassion to other beings. I want to make it cool to do whatever it takes to better the world. I want to make it cool to leave each place better than I found it, and each person as well. I want to make it cool to learn things. I want to make it cool to go to school. I want to make it cool to practice lifelong learning. I want to make it cool to pick up trash on the street. I want to make it cool to reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse. I want to make it cool to question everything and challenge the now. I want to make it cool to say hi to people and smile at them. I want to make it cool to appreciate others. I want to make it cool to say please and thank you. I want to make it cool to apologize and be humble. I want to make it cool to forgive people. I want to make it cool to love unconditionally.

I think I want to be a professional role model.

I am looking forward to tweeting, photo-blogging, tumbling and more!

Along this vein of thought, someone told me to check out philanthropy – that might be how I spend my life. Time to get started! Yay!

Also, I know Apple has recieved lots of criticism lately about human rights relating to the conditions in their Foxconn factories. Also though, they are the only tech company (that I know of) that actually puts of a report and is investigating the standards in the factories. I am currently doing a paper on this topic so hopefully that will add to this conversation.

So my plan is to use my powers for good and make the best of this.

PS: I also watched the movie Role Models. I laughed a lot! Cool stuff.