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For if we meet again – Paris perhaps? (La Chapelle)

November 23, 2012

I’ve been taking an art history class for fun (yes, I am one of those people) and I can’t help but feel so inspired by all this daunting historical beauty. And yeah, it doesn’t hurt that my professor is a total charismatic babe. Seriously, for a Wednesday 6-9 class I have never been so alert and enthralled – this guy is the definition of a scholar. Anyways… my interest as of late has been captured by the Gothic “jewelery box” also known as Sainte-Chapelle in Paris from around AD 1243-48. I absolutely must visit this divine sanctuary! In the mean time, and being inspired by recent emotions I’ve managed to feel, I decided to write a poem.

For if we meet again – Paris perhaps? (La Chapelle)

the moment your eyes
cross my body
a rapture of joy is vibrant on your face
and your skin is lit quickly,
flustered in violet rushed rouge,
like the colors of the windows
in the Sainte-Chapelle.

and the moment my eyes
cross your body
I will have surrendered myself to you:
only arches of courage in my ribs
and the hidden iron of my spine
will keep me from fainting
under your marvel beauty.

we sacrifice our selves for trust in each other,
barefoot, but all over,
as we embrace
on holy ground.

On the world as I see it…

November 17, 2011

My education as a sociology and geography student has taught me to critically analyze society and my surroundings. Coming up to graduation I know I have to do a lot of important planning, and I need to make a lot of important decisions. My paradigm about the world will ultimately have a huge influence on what choices I make. In fact, because of the way I see the world I have already made the decision to not have kids, to not buy a house, to probably not get married, and live a realistic life style.

This is mental map reflects some of the main things I have learned from school, and it represents (vaguely) what I think might happen to the planet… At least in the western world…

Some days I am more optimistic than others…

On time, and the lack there of…

November 7, 2011

I (in some semi-busy state of mind) was working on my annotated bibliography the other day when I just so happened to come along this brilliant, and stunningly truthful insight:

“You ever notice that when you ask people how they’re doing the answer is always: “crazy busy,” “stupid busy,” “busy, busy, busy,” and they often say it as they’re moving away from you. I do it all the time too. Hopefully a little less now that I realized how much it pisses me off. Are people really that busy or do they just say that shit to emphasize their quasi-importance? I know that’s why I used to say it. Or maybe it’s true. Maybe people are really hustling like crazy to pay their bills and don’t have time to stop.”
~Matt Hern, Common Ground in a Liquid City

And this got me thinking about business, and my “lack of time” which is usually self-induced as I either take too much on, or procrastinate a little too much, or a combination of the two.

It seems like every other person you talk to, or overhear talking to someone else — beyond the edge of your book, or as you walk past — is talking about how blooming busy they are… and they never sound happy about.

This might also be because of the environment I’m in most days (you know, the academic world can be quite grueling when done properly), but when I think of people I know they either have a lot going on, or not much at all. It is a strange polarization…

I think for a while I would tell people I was busy to make myself feel important, or create some pseudo-sense of adulthood. However, now when I do tell people I’m “crazy busy” I try to say it more humbly, or maybe just apologetically… Usually I feel kind of bad for neglecting my social life so I feel I need to apologize, but I also feel like I have made the choice to keep myself this busy, and if the things I am doing are things I care about then I don’t want to sound like I am upset doing them.

This is what I don’t get, if you aren’t happy with being busy, then stop. I don’t think the success, the money, the pride, the fame, or whatever may be waiting patiently as you dance around in self-assumed importance and business, is going to be worth the trade-offs. Do what you love and that will be the reward. If you value you rest, relaxation, then be sure to incorporate that into your life. It doesn’t have to be hard.

If you are going to be busy then be busy, and if you want to spend your time complaining about how “crazy busy” you are, then you might want to think twice because if you are spending valued time complaining, maybe you’re not really as busy as you think you are.

Do what you love, and do it because you love it.

Just sayin’

Steve Urkel: the hipster before hispterism was cool.

November 1, 2011

As a sociologist (sociology student), I have analyzed things such as discourse, mass media, culture and counter-culture. It is interesting how eventually the discourse of counter-culture often eventually emerges and submerges with mainstream media, becoming far more common place than originally intended. In many ways authenticity of the original thing is lost in this process, and it becomes more of a joke to the originators at they try to reject those simply hoping on the band wagon.

Take “hipsterism” for example. Now it could be a West coast/Vancouver Island thing, or a way of urbanizing that grunge look of the 90’s, but the hipster/ faux-hipster look seems to be on the rise. This has, of course, led to the credibility or hipsters being flushed down the toilet with their cigarette butts, or at least apathetically tossed into the trash with their early 90s indie rock cassette tapes. The modern-day hipster looks like most other people though: trying too hard. Except they are trying too hard to not look like they are trying… and maybe that’s part of the problem, these fads catch on because they are too easily accessible.

So, it seems like I live in a sea of plaid, and I am drowning amidst thick rimmed glasses, suspenders and other comical accessories. Even though I love all of those things, unfortunately as they say, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

How exactly do these counter-cultures become adopted as part of the norm? Who is the original hipster? Steve Urkel is the first person that comes to mind when I think about the of the birth of hipsters. Sure the 90s made everyone look a little bit like a hipster (and yes I know Family Matters ran 89-98), but I think Urkel was the true birth of what hipsterism wanted to embody: uniqueness wrapped up in a package of some strange intellectual and individuality.

Think about it… He had the comical thick rimmed glasses, the awkwardness, the bright plaid shirts, mis-matched socks, suspenders, cuffed short tight jeans, vintage shoes, intense articulation… and I am sure the list goes on.

Steve Urkel may just be the original hipster. I think if Urkel was actually a real person he’d look around at all these people today,  wearing virtually the same thing did, and he’d ask “Did I do that?”

And I’m sure that in true hipster fashion he’d secretly think he did…

Luxury living

July 5, 2011

Fortunately for those with the right riches and fountains of fortunes, Versace has just come out with a home collection. Full of fabulous designs, all I can say is holly shit, I think I need to get a good paying job ASAP!

Giovanni will kill me if I don’t…

Doing it through design!

July 4, 2011

“If we can realize that all the styles of the past were direct solutions to the problems and needs of the past, we will realize that the styles of today must come from solving our own problems and fulfilling our own needs rather than by mimicking the past.”

Chalmers, Graeme (Author). British Columbia Houses: Guide to the Styles of Domestic Architecture in British Columbia.
Vancouver, BC, CAN: Pacific Educational Press, 1981. p 25.

Do we need to revolutionize our society though design? Can we? When restructuring our homes, the places we work, play and shop, perhaps we will be capable of changing our ideologies. Change the physical structure to change the structures of thought… and therefore our habit. Of course it takes a change in thought to create a change in physical structure I suppose…

Even though this is already happening with green building, and the shift back to smaller homes (if that is happening) as well as the changes in energy infrastructure, and as much as I love new urbanism, perhaps we need to go through yet another paradigm shift and become more post-new urbanism… haha!? One day at a time I suppose!

Etymology of the Suburbs: retrofitting our ideas

June 20, 2011

So I was doing a lil’ background check on the burbs’ and according to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), the first recorded use of the term comes from John Wyclieffe in 1382, when “subarbis” was used “On eche part it shal be halewid in fyue hundrid by fyue hundrid, four maner by cumpas, and in fifti cubitis in to the suburbis therof bi cumpas.” I am pointing this out, not because anything is wrong with this, but because I found myself shocked… Not only because I thought Wyclef Jean had time travelled back to 1380, but because I started questioning my own framework for defining the suburbs.

Suburbs are defined as being predominately residential places, typically away from the central city core. I am sure I am not alone in this assumption, but whenever I think of suburbs I automatically think of automobiles, particularly their influence on the vast spread of suburban landscapes…

I guess what I am trying to say is that suburbs were around long before automobiles. It is easy to get wrapped up in one’s own sense of reality, space and time. Not to get all post-modern here, but suburbs have been around a lot longer than me, and they are experienced differently over varying places at various times. I guess I just find it funny to catch myself being rather ethnocentric…

“What Suburbia means, then, is a question that can be answered by viewing it more as a continuation of the older values that still exist rather than as a new phenomenon that has somehow taken the worst of all features of American life and encapsulated them within a split-level housing development. Perhaps the fact that Americans are moving in such numbers from the unplanned city to the poorly planned suburb is symbolic that really nothing much has changed except the time and the place” (Ktsanes and Reissman, 1960).


Who knows, maybe next I’ll start thinking suburbs really are the hip place to be… Then again, I’ll make that judgement call when I see it come to fruition.


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