31 March 2009

Confessions of an Ikea Virgin

Yes, it's true, I have never been to Ikea! That is almost a blasphemous thing to say around my friends, but when I was growing up in Northern Kentucky, there was no Ikea. It's only been since I've left home that they finally built one in the north part of Cincinnati. Now my parents are Ikea-aholics and I'm still in the dark.
My boyfriend's parent's house is a self-proclaimed Ikea museum and I'm shocked at how gorgeous Ikea can be. The euro-chic style that I love in a home is present all over their house and it always looks stunning! It's now his mom's mission to take me on a day trip to Ikea. Apparently all Polish homes should look like this or at least this is the impression I get. And apparently you need a whole day to go to Ikea. Sadly, my dad confirmed this statement on his very first trip to the store.

So now that Piotr and I are moving in together, his mom wants to decorate and I can't say I object. If it's Ikea and will look anything like their home, I'm all for it! Hopefully she'll finally take me to the store in Burlington and my Ikea-virginity will be gone!

26 March 2009

Our Group Project

Hibaq, Bianca, and I are doing our final class project on advice in our channel on YouTube. In order for this to work, we need some questions to answer! If you have any pressing issues that need to be discussed, shoot us a line on YouTube and we'll provide a response via video.

Our YouTube screen name is MIT2412. I know, original, but easily recognized!
We'd all appreciate the help, so let's get this started!

Puttin' on the Ritz

I don't know what it is about this song, but it always reminds me of New York, which subsequently reminds me of New Jersey, which subsequently reminds me of my home state, which reminds me even further of my family that I miss. But it's a great song, puts me in a good mood, and makes me proud to be a New Jersey Polish girl! =)

And I'm sorry but Taco doesnt' do it as good as Fred Astaire!

25 March 2009

What Would You Do?

The other night I watched the TV show on ABC called What Would You Do with John Quinones as host. Basically it is a hidden camera show with actors acting out controversial situations and seeing how the public reacts. I have to say that there are several thought-provoking scenarios that have been played out, such as seeing what someone would do when seeing a homeless man lying in the middle of the sidewalk. It's also very heart breaking to see people who turn their backs on people in need. Such is the way of human nature: good and bad.

This show got me thinking if I had ever turned my back on someone in need in my life and unfortunately there has been. When I was 18 I was working at Kohl's department store as a cashier in Florence, Kentucky. At one particular checkout, I was ringing up a mother, father, and their little girl who had to be able 7 or 8. She was also overweight. The little girl asked her father, "Why can't I get the other outfit." He repeatedly told her that she weighed too much and to just forget about it. The little girl hung her head like she was ashamed of being who she was. Yet, this wasn't the half of it. The girl said finally, "But I liked the other one."
At this her father looked at her in disgust and said, "Well maybe we'll tie some rope to you can the car so you can run all the way back home. Maybe then you'll lose some weight." That little girl looked crushed and I could tell she was embarrassed. I wanted to tell that father that he was the biggest jerk (or insert other word here) I have ever met, but I didn't want to lose my job. That father had no right to make his daughter feel that way about herself or say that in front of other people. It was emotional abuse. As a person who has been in a few emotional and mentally abusive relationships, I know how these kind of hurtful words can destroy your self esteem. I was that little girl at one point, but it was children who were the abusers, not my parents. My parents were the ones who were my rocks. If they had said the same kinds of hurtful things the kids at school had said to me, I would not be as outgoing as I am today. I regret not saying anything, even if it would have cost me my job. I wonder about that little girl this day, becasue I can never get her sad little face out of my mind.

The Mass Media Graveyard? I Don't Think So.

Can you imagine a life without print, radio, or TV? I honestly don't think I could. I recently watched a doc by the CBC called The End. There was a section on each of the three major forms of mass media: print, radio, and TV. You've got to be thinking, This is absurd! Actually that is what I thought, but I was semi-wrong. Web 2.0 and all that comes with it (blogs, vlogs, social networking, youtube, streaming video, podcasts, downloads, itunes, ipods, etc.), are slowly taking over the space that was once claimed by the these three media medium titans (the big three). So let's go through each of the 'big three' to discuss the serious problems brought up by each of these mini-docs.

The End: Radio
As someone who is personally involved in the radio scene, I care deeply about is going to happen to it in the future. I've recently started doing a radio show on UWO's station, CHRW 94.9, and I can't tell you how fulfilling it is to put a certain brand of music out there for public consumption. But sadly, the radio as well know it is disappearing. Radio is switching to podcasts, streaming broadcasts, myspace, and digitial radio. The trick here is for radio to adapt. I think this is the goal with all three mediums. CHRW already let's users listen to streaming live radio on their website and they have podcasts for shows available for download. So it doesn't matter to me that 10 million people are now listening to satellite radio, because it is still radio. It may be digital, but that is where everything is headed anyways. Radio has to adapt or it will be left behind with the telegraph and other extinct forms of mass media. Just to give you an example of how much is based on online representation now: I asked a DJ friend of mine in Toronto to send me a CD of one of his mixes so I could play it on my radio show. He said that he would just rather have people check out his website with downloadable mixes online because it offered more exposure. I was blown away, but this really makes you realize that podcasts and downloadable music content is the future.

The End: Print
I grew up reading the paper. I know I'm a few years older than most kids in my university classes, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers sitting down at the kitchen table on Sunday mornings eating breakfast while my grandfather read the paper and told some jokes out of the comic section. When the news reports the death of big newspapers that have been going for over 150 years in the States and around, I get scared. There is something to be said for seeing a story in print. Recently the Ann Arbor News near Detroit announced it would stop printing daily papers. Instead, they would only print Thursday and Sunday editions; the rest would be online. Their reason for this was that everything was available online for free. And yes, this is true. I'm not the only one who has given up the paper for the most part for the instant fix of online news sites. It is easier to find the stories that you want and links that are similar to what you what to find out about. It is all about instant gratification. Newspapers just can't keep up. Newspapers are the only medium of the 'big three' that I have real concern over losing. Heck, even magazine readership is down. As more content is put online for our never-ending consumption, newspapers and print media suffer. Blogs offer commentary that can't fully be offered by traditional print media, and that is part of the appeal to the online community; anyone can become a famous author, even if it's writing about cupcakes, travel, or your dog.
Traditional print media makes this goal very hard to accomplish for the average Joe, because it requires more work than the majority of us are willing to put in. A blog simply requires you to babble at the least.
Actually, I'm not that concerned about print media disappearing, because I don't think it ever truly will. Along with radio, there is a need and want for it to succeed. It is instilled within the psyche of Americans and Canadians alike. Marconi sent the first radio wave here in Canada and the United States has had so much significant history made by the radio. It is a part of our history and the nostalgia it creates is not something the public wants to get rid of any time soon. Heck, who wants to read a novel online anyways, as The End puts it. It's much more convenient to flip through it at your own convenience.

The End: TV
I have no doubt TV will stand strong against its online competitors. Just because you can download a movie or watch a TV show online on streaming video now does not mean we will quit watching television. TV still has a bright future. If you don't think so, then tell me why Grey's Anatomy or 24 or Desperate Houswives has such a strong following, or why the Dancing with the Stars premier had the highest viewership in its history this month. Its true that internet sites such as Youtube offer new channels for media that can't be seen on the TV medium, but that will not dictate its disappearance. Vlogs are a compliment to TV in my opinion. Vlogs are online journals and tellings to various people via a webcam or video camera. This will not take away the need for the local news though. Although it may be in decline, I still make time to watch the local news every night so I can know what's going on in my community. The internet doesn't always foster the same connection that the TV can make to us. Even file-sharing doesn't fully cut it for everybody. Yes, it is great to just download movies, series, or individual shows, but it will never take away the experience of actually going to a movie or watching a sitcom at home with your boyfriend on the couch. I think television will definitely change along with radio and print, but they will never disappear.

Find the CBC videos here!

24 March 2009


I'm trying to clean out my freezer and fridge before I move in two weeks, so I let 1.3lbs of beef cubes out to thaw out last night. With that much beef, you can easily make two dishes and then freeze it, so that's what I did.
One dish I made was a chunky beef chili, but I want to focus on the other dish I made, which is a Polish favorite: Gulasz
This is such an easy meal to make if you cheat like I do and buy the sauce mix from a local Polish specialty store. Actually I think you can even get it in Food Basics if you're lucky. The only problem is it is usually in Polish and if you don't know how to read it, you might be out of luck if you're not good at guessing.
So what you'll need:
1lb stewing beef cubes
1 carrot
1 tsp minced garlic
1 yellow onion
1 packet Knorr gulasz mix
2 cups water (500ml)
2 tbsp butter
2 stalks celery
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 potatoes
sour cream
maggi seasoning

Like I said, this is an uber simple recipe:

I cut the cubed stewing beef into smaller bite-size pieces because I find it can get a little chewing in this recipe. I would recommend cutting a big cube into about three smaller pieces. At the same time, take the carrot, shred it, and set it aside. Also dice up the yellow onion and two stalks of celery and set aside. Save about a half cut of the diced celery for later use.

In a frying pan, place the meat inside with a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil. Fry the meat while stirring intermediately so as not to burn the meat. The small meat pieces will cook quicker than they would if left their normal size so pay close attention.

Drain the fat and oil and add chopped veggies. Stir continuously for a few minutes to the veggies fry a bit before adding water.

Add 2 cups of water. While stirring with a fork or whisk, slowly add gulasz sauce mix a little at a time. Reduce heat to low, put a lid on the pan, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.

About fifteen minutes before the gulasz is ready, I make homemade garlic mashed potatoes. You can make this to your own personal tastes.

When everything is ready to serve, place the mashed potatoes in a bowl and then pile the gulasz on top. Then add a dolop or two of sour cream and add the rest of the diced celery to the top of the sour cream. As a finishing touch, sprinkle some drops of Maggi seasoning on top for a very delicious flavor!

23 March 2009

A Walk to Remember

I've mentioned before that I love working in a hotel because of all the interesting people that I get to meet on a daily basis. My feelings on this proved true Sunday morning while I was working front desk and breakfast duty.

I noticed a few guys wearing the same jackets with a picture of Oprah on them that looked like this:

The story that came from asking a simple question was amazing! These six university/college students from the southwestern Ontario area are walking from Toronto to Chicago to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. As many of you may know, there has been a civil war going on in Sri Lanka since July 1983 and many innocent people of both sides have been killed or severely injured in the process. I talked with one of the members, Veejay (photo below), and he filled me in on their mission.
He assured me that there was no political agenda to their walk. They want to bring awareness to the plight of the innocent Tamil civilians who have been suffering throughout this war/conflict. I find it especially admirable that they would walk such a long distance to ask for help for their people.
Hopefully Oprah will let them on the show and give them a voice. That is their main goal. Veejay remarked that they it would take about two and a half months to reach Harpo Studios in Chicago. They walk between 20 and 40 kilometers a day. That's such an unbelievable thing to me. I can't help but be impressed the the resilience of these young men and the strength they all must have for taking action for a cause they so deeply believe in.

If you would like their voices to be heard too, please go to Oprah's website and send her a message: Oprah Show

Similarly if you would like to see the progress the guys are making or if you would like further information, please visit Oprahgiveusavoice.com

20 March 2009

Putting in the Two Week Notice

I put in my two week notice today, officially. It's more of a three week and then some notice but it's not called a three week notice, now is it? A little less than three weeks from today I will be living in St. Kitts with the love of my life. How great is that to say? It will indeed be great. Seeing someone you love every day is the best thing in the world. I know I'm a freaking sap.

It's just putting in the two weeks is a big step for me. That's me leaving my roots here in London and taking the final step. But hell, after the episode that happened last night I'm ready to leave now!

19 March 2009

When Friends Turn Out to be Sociopaths

It's inevitable that most of us will run into at least one sociopath in our lifetimes. It is estimated that 3% of the US population are sociopaths. Therefore, an American can run into 3.3 sociopaths, figure-wise, in their lifetime. Sad to say, I've had about three boyfriends who were sociopaths and dated another one briefly. The last one I had contact with when I was 20. So you can imagine my surprise to learn that someone I considered my good friend turned out to be a complete sociopath today.

So why do I say he turned out to be a sociopath? Well by definition from dictionary.com, a sociopath is "–noun Psychiatry.
a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience."

This all started out when my former friend hung up on me last night for no reason. He took a joke I made, twisted it beyond definition into something cruel, and yelled at me for something I didn't say. I had a disgusting voicemail last night from him but I shrugged it off and went to bed. This morning I had a note from him on facebook calling me all sorts of names and saying all sorts of cruel things that played on my insecurities. So I wrote him back, wishing him a good life, but saying I didn't want anything to do with someone who'd treat me with such disrespect.

All this created a barrage of text messages sent to me since 10am this morning until 6:36pm tonight. Like an idiot I responded back to him until I just stopped reading and deleted all incoming messages. At one point I asked him why he was trying to hurt me so badly. His response was "I'm sorry, I was venting, and I feel really good right now." This is when I knew he was a sociopath because he kept sending more cruel text messages which made him feel good. That is the epitome of a sociopath: getting pleasure out of my emotional pain.

My cell phone company couldn't block him and he was sending me multimedia texts which cost me lots of money to receive. He sent me fifteen multimedia texts within one hour, so I phoned the non-emergency police number and made a report. All they had to do was phone him and they stopped. I took control and stopped the situation. I let the boyfriends and the date emotionally and mentally abuse me to the point that I developed such a bad anxiety disorder that I was having panic attacks every couple of days. I'm sorry, but not anymore.

18 March 2009

The Plight of my Nephew

The title of this blog sounds like a title of some horrid novel that you're never going to read, but I don't know else how to put it exactly. My nephew, Krysiu (Christian), was born on September 24, 2008, and has grown into a big six-month-old bouncing boy, but at four months of age, my parents noticed he had a problem. His eyes would not focus on anyone. They just darted everywhere and didn't fixate on a single thing or person. He has since been to the Children's Hospital in Cincinnati to have an MRI. The results came out that he was blind or at least partially blind. His optic nerve is intact but extremely thin. Unfortunately, they can't determine the full extent of his vision loss until he can actually talk and tell them what he can or can't see. I feel so bad for my brother and his wife, but mostly I feel for Krysiu. There's nothing he has done to deserve blindness, but you can't pick the cards you are delt in life. I know this lesson all too well on a personal level.

Although his blindness is horrible, there are worse things that being blind. He could be mentally repaired or unable to walk, or worse. There are also special schools for the blind where he can get the attention he needs and can be taught in a proper fashion. Here's to my nephew with love!!

-Auntie Magda

17 March 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!!

So here it is finally.....the big green holiday.....St. Patty's Day! How do you properly celebrate this great holiday at the University of Western Ontario?

Simple: Wake up, drink a beer, stand outside on Richmond or Huron street at 8:30am with a beer while wearing green, drink more beer, walk around to other drunk people's houses, drink a beer, hang around to 2:30pm and strip off some of your clothes to get ready to go to the bar, appear half naked, drink a beerBold, walk to the bus stop half naked, get off at Jack's or Barney's or Molly's, or your bar of choice, drink a beer, try to pick up a guy/girl, dance, drink another beer, trip over a chair, drink ten beers, hang out til 11:30pm, hail a cab while drinking a beer or try stumbling home while hiding the beer you're drinking, open your door, fall on the floor while trying to drink a beer, sleep.

16 March 2009

Seeing Double

Ever notice someone who reminds you of a friend or family member? There's this guy in my Tech. writing class who reminds me of my Unlce Alex in New Jersey. It's kind of eerie how much they look alike. This guy is in his 50's and around the same age as my uncle, same haircut, same mustache, very similar faces, and same laugh. Really the only differences are hair color, slight weight difference.

I like to refer to these coincidences as "ghost sightings." It's like you're seeing an apparition of another person in someone else. Therefore......ghosts.

15 March 2009

Funeral of a Canadian Solider

I've been in St. Catharines this weekend visiting my boyfriend, but yesterday I had a random chance to experience the funeral of Warrant Officer Dennis Brown, 38, on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of people lined the outskirts of the immediate vacinity where the funeral was taking place. I haven't felt that sad in a long time, just standing there with my dog, watching this ceremony take place. The hundreds of people can with a multitude of Canadian flags and respect. Brown left behind a wife and four children. I can't imagine or even want to imagine what his poor family is going through.

For the story on Brown and the other two fallen soldiers, click here.

The reason I'm writing this blog is because being from the United States and knowing the amount of soliders who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, you would think that I would have been to a soldier's funeral before, but I haven't. I didn't even go to the funeral of Nick Carnes, (a friend of the family), who died in Afghanistan in August 2007. I find them too painful. I figured this would be a good opportunity to pay some respect. I may not agree with war, but I do support soldiers of both countries, and give my respect to Brown and his family. I hope they are able to move forward with their lives eventually and that Warrant Officer Brown will never be forgotten. I know Nick will never be forgotten by those of us who knew him.
For more on Nick and other Kentucky National Guard Members who have passed away, click here.

13 March 2009

Suicide Attempt? Man Goes Over Niagara Falls

On Wednesday a man jumped into the Niagara River on the Canadian side and went over the Horseshoe Falls. Not only did he survive the 175ft fall, but while resisting rescue efforts for 30 minutes, he managed not to die from hypothermia. Luckily for the idiot, local helicopter pilot and owner of Niagara Helicopters LTD., Mr. Hafen, used his copter to assist in the rescue. He actually used the rotors of the copter and the already wild wind to create an "artifical current" to push the man towards rescuers. Still, the man kept trying to swim away from the resucers. Finally after being in the ice cold water for so long, his muscles must have went rigid because he was able to be rescued. The man was stripped naked from his impact with the bottom of the falls, and he was rushed to the hospital.

A video featuring the story can be found at the link provided below.


It's horrible to even think of anyone trying to commit suicide, but if you're that trying to end your life, why would you try to do it in front of hundreds of tourists who are going to call the police? Granted only three people have been known to go over the falls and lived, but all that attention is just drama.

10 March 2009

End of the School Year Checklist

I think that everyone around this time of year who is in university/college should have an end of the year checklist. It's not that I consider students to be disorganized (although this is mostly true), but it helps relieve the stress of getting stuff done; you actually see the accomplishments you're completing.

Here's my End of the School Year Checklist:
(X) Complete American Studies Essay (6-8pgs)
(X) Complete Tech. Writing Proposal
(X) Complete Tech. Writing White Paper
(X) Complete Tech. Writing Manual
(X) Hand in Killer Culture 5 Logs
(X) Complete Killer Culture Essay (1000 words)
() Complete Group Project for Blogging Class
() Complete Sexuality in the Media Essay (6-8pgs)
(X) Complete last 4 journal log for Sexuality in the Media

Turnitin.com = Crap

Thankfully I haven't had to use Turnitin.com since first year, but I did decide to take an first year American Studies class this year. And guess what? I had to use it again. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this site, you submit an essay or term paper onto its online database which checks it against other essays on its database to see if you've plaigarised. Why this is stupid is because when I checked the results of my essay, apparently I have stuff in common with 11% of the other essays on the site. I checked what parts I had in common and it was stuff I had quoted from sources. Utterly ridiculous.

The majority of my professors hate this site and refuse to use it because it stores your essay, which is your own personal work. After you submit to the site though, it is available for the world to see....basically stealing your work. That is the argument that my professors have made. It's plaigarising your own work so it can catch plaigarism. Quite a paradox of stupidity if you ask me.

09 March 2009

On the radio. Oh oh oh oh, On the radio

Thanks be to God and all that jazz, cuz I finally had my mock show review for 94.9 CHRW here at good ole UWO. I'm really proud of myself at how well the review actually went. Of course, there's nothing like someone telling you how good you performed to make you feel on top of the world! Michael (the program director) doesn't want me to do another show. He wants to put me straight into a fill-in position on air! Yay!

He said I had a really strong voice and a natural knack for it. Apparently he said that's rare, but I don't think it's all that uncommon. I'm really proud of myself, and I think I'm entitled to some of those moments!

One of those days...

Ever have one of those days where all you want to do is sleep? Working the night audit does that to me. I have no quams about working overnight, but when you're in school it can take a lot out of you. Granted I had ALL DAY Sunday to recover if you count I didn't get off work til 7am Sunday morning. But when you have to go to early morning classes on Monday, it doesn't do the trick. I had to stop myself from falling asleep in Blackmore's class this morning. grr to night audit

06 March 2009

My Top 10: Spring

I'm so excited that spring is just around the corner! The snow has all but melted in southwestern Ontario and the temps are teasing me: 15C = 57F! So here are my top ten things I love about Spring!

1. SUN!

Yes, sun. No wonder the docs said I have a vitamin D deficiency! Yeah, no sun can do that to you. It's a little annoying to feel cold all the time and see nothing but clouds snow, freezing rain, and gloom from November to March. Today is a great day to head outside and catch some fleeting rays of golden goodness!


I know it's hard to believe, but under all that melting black snowy muck and decaying leaves there's green little plants planning their escape!


It's coming. I know it's not til April, but I love this holiday. It means no more winter and I love hard boiled eggs and all the Easter tradition!


This may be a foreign concept to people not from Canada or the American Northeast, but it's truly one of the best things about Spring! Sugarbushing is the harvesting of fresh Canadian maple syrup, usually followed by a pancake breakfast. Trust me, if you've never tasted the pure stuff, you're missing out. I'll never go back to that corn syrup junk!


Every student can agree with me when they look at the calendar around the beginning of April. Classes are winding up and exams are on the horizon, but that doesn't matter, because summer is almost here.


Even though I haven't gained any weight this winter, doesn't mean that I can't stand to lose a few pounds, and Spring is the perfect time to do it! There's more sun, more warmth, and just overall outsidey goodness.


Do you have a little Irish in you? I've got about 25%, but the rest is Pollack. But if you're not, who cares? Celebrate the day by throwing back a few green beers or Guinness at your local Irish pub (or Molly's if you're in London)!


This sounds a little crazy, I know, but think about it. Cleaning out and getting rid of all that clutter you've been storing up all winter long will clear your head, make you feel uber productive, reduce anxiety, and give you a nice clean space! If you don't have any clutter to clean out of your room, translate it to your life and that deadbeat boyfriend or girlfriend you've been keeping around for the hell of it.


These are the best Spring occurrences if you enjoy the natural theatrics of mother nature unless you live in a basement apartment that likes to collect water in the occasional spot. What's not to love about the beauty of a flash of lightning or thunder that wakes you up three hours before your alarm goes off? And who can forget the dramatic suspense that tornado watches produce! Ahh, spring!



What? I know you're thinking I've fallen off the deepend and am just making up words, but think back to your childhood and watching Bambi. Thumper says that falling in love is becoming twitterpated and almost all animals shack up during the spring, so why can't we? If you're already attached, do something to let your partner know you appreciate them. Go on a trip, go out to dinner, or just hang around your couch together. Spring means that love is in the air! Awww, makes me think of Piotr. <3>

04 March 2009

7 times Two = 1 month

Today is significant it two ways:

1. Today marks the 7th month that Piotr and I have been together.
I always say, "Where has the time gone?" I actually mean it, and wonder how fast our time together will go once we move into together. Will it progress slowly or continue at its current pace? Will we take each other for granted or be able to get along as well as we do now. These are all issues that I've been trying to reconcile in my head, but it makes me nervous. That's why I'm trying to keep the most positive outlook possible.

2. Today also marks the five week marker when I will move to St. Catharines.
We have an apartment all set up, so I'm starting to relax a little bit. We officially get the apartment near Penn Center in St. Kitts on April 1st, even though I don't finish school til the 9th. I only have one final exam in American Studies (cliche I know), so it will be okay. The other thing I have to worry about is finding a job. I've been applying to some hotels in the area and I actually have an interview at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls next Tuesday for a reservations agent. The two and a half years I've worked as a front desk clerk comes in handy in Niagara. Wish me luck!

03 March 2009

Vlog on Cheese

I'm trying my hand at my first Vlog....and it is on the most important discussion of CHEESE!!! mmm The volume on my webcam isn't super, so I apologize in advance. I also did not realize how horrible I looked on camera today. *sigh* oh well.

Happy Square Root Day!

Today is Square Root Day! It happens only 9 times every century.

So it works like this: It happens when the day and the month are both the square root of the last two digits of the year.

Since today is 03/03/09, three is the square root of 9, and works. The next Square Root Day will be April 4, 2016.

Although this is a ficticious holiday, some people are actually taking it seriously! A math teacher in California is actually going to give $339 USD to the person who puts on the best Square Root Day celebration. I'm assuming he's going to be the judge.

An article about the prize can be found here

02 March 2009

Expose on the Neighborhood Market

I've never been a fan of the chain grocery stores that house meat and veggies that can come from countries in the opposite hemisphere. Imagine my surprise to discover a hidden gem in my own Old North section of London, Ontario. This discovery was made last year near the end of first semester. Driving down Cheapside situated on the corner connected to Maitland road sits Sullivan's Old North Market. My interest was peaked, so I stepped inside and discovered my favorite store in London. They are on the pricey side, but what you get for your money is quality.

There is a small section of fresh veggies, but that's not the reason to visit this particular market. It's a very small store, but they have a variety of top notch, fine cheeses, maple syrups, tomato sauces, etc. Chef Les also operates out the this market and he makes delicous entrees that are available to be made fresh, pick up, or you can look in the freezer and take home one of his handmade frozen dishes. You can even ask Chef Les to make pies for you on order. MMMMM! In my opinion, the best part of this market is the butcher. I can't quite recall his first name, but he is super sweet, friendly, and a bit of a looker. He cuts all his meat fresh, and it is all from local sources. He's told me he actually goes out to visit his suppliers to make sure they 'meat' his standards. That is dedication to me.

Please go and check this market out if you live in the North London area. You won't be disappointed.

Sullivan's Old North Market
462 Cheapside St.
London, ON
(519) 433-3161

01 March 2009

Response to "An Anthropological Intro to You Tube"

I recently watched "An Anthropological Intro to You Tube" by Michael Wesch on YouTube.com in my blogging class and I can't tell you how much it hit home for me.

Wesch discusses the phenomena of Youtube and user uploaded video versus the broadcasting of major television networks. The sheer amount of video is shocking. Over 200,000 videos are uploaded to Youtube each day and is mostly represented by three minute movies. Wesch says that most of these videos are only meant to have viewership of 100 people or less. Youtube opens up new forms of expression that are unprescendented in our time. A cultural blurp in Moldova can spread throughout the globe and make a kid in New Jersey famous or broadcast the fictional or real drama of a teenage girl (aka lonelygirl15) into a soap opera made for the unquenchable thirst of the internet consumer.

User-generated content has the ability to reach millions of people within a short time period and can generate exponential amounts of new media. These videos link space and time of the world audience. This community of new media generators are what Wesch calls "networked individualism." As we get cut off from a community based on location, the community based on peer-to-peer community based on internet connectivity is possible through mediums such as YouTube. This is a great tool for people who are deathly shy or afraid of normal social interaction. Sitting behind a camera can make these individuals less afraid of saying things they wouldn't normally say in public. It gives the individual a way of expressing themselves without constraints, and yet there are still the cultural constraints against certain forms of self-expression. Deep connection may be possible on YouTube, but I still think that it is somewhat superficial, that it is not real. In reality, Youtube is not really reality, but a distraction from your location to venture out into the unknown world. Youtube is a great way to reconnect oneself to a community and humanity, but you still have to be careful not to lose sight of your actual physical being and where you really are.