Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Campolo does Colbert

If you have the chance to catch the February 27 episode of the Colbert Report, do so, if for no other reason than an interview with Tony Campolo and Stephen reciting the Creed at top speed. Campolo looked a little off his game, but delivered an enthusiastic and dynamic interview nonetheless. But the couple of times Campolo got going were good. I guess he is a true evangelical: it might sometimes take a lot to get him riled up, but once he gets going he is a force with which to be reckoned. Campolo's best line: "Jesus is not a Republican." Take that, right-wing Evangelicals. Boo yeah.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Life goes on

Life goes on / no matter if your life is tattered / and you can't fix what went wrong / life goes on / the pattern in your life is scattered / you're a hook in your own theme song / life goes on / you're a fighter but the grip is tighter / and you know that you can't stand long / life goes on / girl, it's gonna get brighter / life goes on / boy it's gonna get brighter / life goes on
- "Life Goes On," Pigeon John (from the album Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister)

I find it interesting how life marches forward and how my life marches forward in relation to others' lives. My interactions this weekend proved very interesting, as they often entailed encapsulating in as short a time as possible where I am at in life and hearing others do the same for their own lives. In the past, these type of interactions have been more difficult because although I have been living a hectic life that has continued to change, not much has changed in my overall circumstances; I have always been "in school with lots to go." But it feels really good to be at a place in life where things are soon changing and I have some direction for the future, especially when responding to the inevitable question "so you're still in school?" This weekend felt like my last breath before submerging myself for the next five weeks of work, and thankfully I got a lot of oxygen. And in the end, as Pigeon John says, life goes on, and it's gonna get brighter.

Youth Quakin'

Every February, Briercrest College opens up its doors and its dorms to thousands of teens who flood the small prairie town of Caronport for Youth Quake. I went to YQ as a retreater in 2000, a concert-goer in 2001 (P.O.D.!), and as a member of the media in 2002 and 2003, to interview the bands there (Skillet and Superchick in '02, TFK and Switchfoot in '03). I had skipped the last two years due to weak bands (Kutless and Grits, Pillar), but made my triumphant return this year due to the presence of MuteMath, as well as John Reuben. MuteMath blew my mind with one of the best shows I have ever seen (on par with Switchfoot, Blindside, Project 86, and Underoath), as well as some great camaraderie and insight in our hour-long interview. John Reuben really impressed me with his thoughts on a lot of issues, and his show was a lot of fun. There was also a performer who has adapted Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz into a multimedia stage show, which is a book that became even more brilliant when brought to life. As I had hoped, I had the chance to connect with some friends I expected to see, as well as many that were unexpected and some that are expecting, and it was a very fulfilling weekend. And it turned out that the Further Seems Forever show in Calgary today that I was planning to go to got cancelled, so I have time for homework. Boo yah.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Are all political thrillers "taut?"

In the field of political thrillers, some films truly stand out. Though I have not yet seen The Constant Gardener or The Interpreter, I expect that at least the latter would blend into the mush of "political thrillers," a mush out of which few films emerge as worth watching. Syriana rises out of that mush. It is an incredibly intelligent, well-written, well-acted, and well-executed film, and it certainly compares favourably with writer/director Stephen Gaghan's previous writing credit, 2000's Traffic. It is a better film than the somewhat similarly executed but far more depressingly obvious Crash, which was written and directed by Paul Haggis and is nominated for Best Picture at the upcoming Oscars. The two films are fairly similar, but Haggis' characters are more predictable, and the ending is also easier to anticipate. Haggis also uses his film to beat the viewer over the head (figuratively) with his message, in a way that might suit a high school class. Gaghan, on the other hand, chooses to be more elusive and to leave many questions unanswered, and his films might be more appropriate for a more mature audience (grade 12 or university) not due to content, but due to the fact that the method and message are more complex. I do think both films are worth watching again, and I could foresee using both in the classroom someday, but they have both made me wonder about my tolerance level for these sorts of political thrillers, regardless of their level of "taut"-ness (an adjective that seems to be inextricably attached to this genre) - I think I can only take one or two in a year. I guess they are not the types of films that you can just sit down, pop in, and tune out, since they take a lot of thought both during and after watching. But what are the best political thrillers out there to watch? What are the non-negotiables? And more importantly, are they taut? I just don't know. Or do I?

Going for...zinc?

It truly is a shame that the men's hockey team had to lose today, what with Canada having perhaps its best day of this Olympics and arguably its best Olympics ever, but they deserved the loss to Russia. This team played a series of horrible games, and did not deserve to advance any further. The problems with the team, although not clear before the tournament, became clear soon into the action. The goaltending was solid, and had no problems at all. The defense was horrible, and certainly missed the injured Niedermayer and Jovanovski. Redden and Regehr were the best two defencemen, but the rest were all too big, too slow, and too used to the penalty box after taking dumb penalties. And where was Eric Brewer? I know he hasn't had the best season, but he sure fell off the radar quick. The forwards did not fare much better. With the exception of Doan, Richards, St. Louis, and Sakic, the forwards were embarassing, despite the fact that this was essentially the same core of forwards as the 2004 World Cup. The team lost Mario Lemieux and opted not to take Brenden Morrow, Kirk Maltby, or Patrick Marleau (Maltby's absence I understand, but Morrow and Marleau are playing great right now) in favour of Rick Nash and Todd Bertuzzi (there are two extra forward spots in the World Cup). It seemed like a good move at the time it was announced, but it sure didn't pay off - Nash and Bertuzzi were two of Canada's most criticized forwards, along with linemate Joe Thornton. Still, it does not matter how well the team did in 2004, because the Olympics are not the World Cup. I also believe the presence of a forward like Paul Kariya would have helped greatly. The forwards did not really gel, but considering how little they have played together, there is some reason for that. Of course everyone will be second-guessing Executive Director Wayne Gretzky, but the team he selected seemed great on paper. The players should take a significant portion of the blame, especially the slow defencemen and the weak forwards, but the rest of the blame lies on one group of people: the Team Canada coaches, particularly Pat Quinn. The team seemed as fractured as the coaching staff, and they also showed many of the same weaknesses as do Quinn's Maple Leafs throughout the NHL season. It is time to move on to a new coaching staff who do not have to interrupt their NHL campaigns to coach the Olympics and who have a new vision for the team. But let's face it: Canada has never been strong at the Olympics. In Salt Lake, the only really good game they played was the final, and their result was as much luck as it was skill, though they did have players who could step up and win a game by themselves (Lemieux, Sakic, Yzerman, even Nieuwendyk). Team Canada needs to make some adjustments for the next Olympics, primarily having a less injured and more mobile defense corps, a new coaching staff, and one or two more experienced go-to forwards, but they will be back on top again someday. And if nothing else, the loss in Torino will make a win on home soil that much sweeter.

Monday, February 20, 2006

He'll take care of the rest

You know it ain't no use, banging your head, up against that cold stone wall, cause nobody's perfect, except for the Lord, and even the best bound to fall. Remember He is de vine, and you are de branch, he'd love to get you through it if you'd give Him a chance. Just keep doing your best, and pray that it's blessed, and Jesus takes care of the rest.
- Keith Green, "He'll Take Care of the Rest"

What a difference a weekend can make. Within a couple of days of really turning the corner and turning back to God, I got a summer job (camp again, more details later) and the money I need to make it through the semester. I also feel like I have a much better handle on the schoolwork remaining (three presentations, four papers, and finals), as well as the other initiatives I need to complete by the end of April. And I got a cowboy hat at Value Village today. Everything's turning up Turner.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Half A Mile A Day

The break is over, and I was broken. Paralyzed. But I took the opportunity to take some small steps in the right direction, and I feel like I am still heading in the right direction. And so I take it one step at a time now. The semester is not lost by any means, and I do believe that I will get through and finish well. I have been spending a lot of time with Johnny Cash lately, and he has a song about making it to heaven a "Half A Mile A Day," which is where I am at. The progress may be slow, but it is progress, and I am going to make it after all.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Second Chance for Christian film?

Today marks the opening of a small independent film called The Second Chance which would otherwise have flown under the radar, but which is intriguing because of two of the people involved: Steve Taylor and Michael W. Smith. Taylor is renowned for his criticism of the Christian music industry, as well as launching the careers of artists such as Sixpence None The Richer and Chevelle through his now-defunct Squint Entertainment label; Smith is one of the flagbearers of Contemporary Christian Music and is a figure who has become increasingly active in the political arena as an outspoken Republican. The movie focusses on the interaction between an inner-city church and a megachurch, with Taylor directing and Smith portraying a pastor who is forced to re-examine his priorities and worldview. The movie's release begs a really big question: is this story worth telling, or was it made to fill a void in which there are few "Christian movies"? Do these kind of movies exist for Christian self-gratification, or because they are using the medium of film to tell stories that need to be heard? And can non-Christians relate to these kinds of films? It seems like a positive development that Christians can produce films, but is it really? And if this film succeeds, what does that mean for the future of "Christian" movies? At any rate, it's good to see a Christian movie that doesn't star "luminaries" like Kirk Cameron, Gary Busey, and Lou Gossett Jr. and that doesn't get "Left Behind" the rest of the industry.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Money, money, money...

"Money, money, money, money...Money!" - "For The Love of Money," The O'Jays

"Money, money, money...ain't it funny? It's a rich man's world" - "Money, Money, Money," ABBA

Money, it's a crime. Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie. Money, so they say is the root of all evil today. But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're giving none away." - "Money," Pink Floyd

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. - I Timothy 6:6-10

The problem of being someone for whom money is not an issue is when it becomes an issue that presents a problem. I do not have money, nor do I see a way of obtaining money that is possible for me right now, but without additional money I will not be able to complete things successfully. The lack of money has now become a blockade to being able to do the things that I really need to do, not just the things I would like to do. And it frustrates me that the lack of money becomes a focus when I have many other more important things to focus on. God has never failed me, but I am anxiously waiting to see what is going to happen this time. Stupid money.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"Evangelical Exemplar" Goes...Catholic?!

Mark Noll was named one the 25 most influential American evangelicals in Time magazine this last year. His particular designation was "Evangelical Exemplar," recognition of his influence as the most influential American evangelical intellectual around. He really is as impressive as they come and I've always been curious about his choice to stay at Wheaton College, the American epicenter of Evangelicalism, despite a growing list of options. Basically the guy could go and work wherever he wants, whenever he wants. And so I think it is quite something of interest that Noll has finally decided to leave Wheaton and, given his status, will make it the second major discipline to now be potentially dominated by Evangelicals at Notre Dame, a "distinctively" Catholic school. It is also interesting that he stayed within the sphere of a religious university, given that Harvard or Yale would no doubt have had him in a heartbeat. The philosophy department at ND has come to be engulfed by former Calvin College profs and graduates for the past decade (following the leadership of the legendary Alvin Plantinga), and I can only imagine that this will now be followed in the history department. So Evangelicals and Catholics eh? Just crazy enough it might work. We'll have to see what becomes of it. Check out the article here.

Monday, February 13, 2006


People break down into two groups when the experience something lucky. Group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck, just a happy turn of chance. I'm sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is fifty-fifty: could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they're on their own, and that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there's a whole lot of people in the group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they're looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever's going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?
- Graham Hess, M. Night Shyamalan's Signs

Sometimes God needs to use strange circumstances to bring us back to Him. For Graham Hess, the lead character in M. Night Shyamalan's Signs, God uses aliens (or so the film implies) to bring Hess back to Him. I often do not understand why things happen the way they do in my own life, but I don't think there's any possible way I could ever go back into group number two after having so much evidence that there is a God who is looking out for me. I may doubt and curse and lament and wonder and question, but in the end, I know and I believe, and I hold to God's promises, like those in Ephesians 2:8-10. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Amen.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Soli deo gloria

As I now enter spring break for the sixth time, I have been reflecting on whether I have made "the most" of my time in university, especially at the U of S. I loved my first three years of university at the U of R, and I know I made the most of those years, through relationships and opportunities. And my first year here at the U of S in the College of Education was for the most part really great: I was in a college that would give me a job, a college that was helping me attain an advanced skill set in my field, a college in which I was making friendships and developing connections, a college I enjoyed. And then I got sidetracked. I started taking arts classes in the summer of 2004, and I have continued doing so over the past two years in what has seemed like a continual diversion from the life that I feel like I should have been living. It was my choice to do so, but I made that choice knowing that I wanted to follow God's will for my life. Even though I made the choice to postpone the completion of my education degree in each of the past two years, as circumstances unfolded, it became abundantly apparent that I made the choice that I had to make, though I did not know how the course of my life would play out. And now I am where I am: at spring break, with the meat of my last semester of Arts left, and feeling completely drained and broken, not knowing how the rest of this semester will unfurl academically, emotionally, or financially. I know there are things to be done, and that they will be done, but I do not know how they will get done. I know where I want to go, and where I am, but not the journey from here to there. These last two years have been so constantly incredibly difficult, and I do feel like I have made "the most" of them, in that I have made the best of a situation that I would have rather not have to live through, nevertheless make anything of. And so I enter this spring break, a humbled and broken student, but one who has hope for a future that is better than this present. I have begun the process of restoration, and hopefully healing, and I need to make the most of the time I have left. I need to take a lesson from my friend Dwayne and finish well. Soli deo gloria.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A down day

Do you ever have one of those days when you're just... down? When you do not really want to do anything at all? When you want to be in a decent mood but you just feel down? Today is one of those days. I don't like it. Thank God it's now the break.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The new Joshua Tree?

U2 dominated tonight's Grammy Awards with five awards (in five nominations), including Album of the Year for How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, Song of the Year and Best Pop/Rock Group Performance with a vocal("Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own"), Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song ("City of Blinding Lights"). The album won three awards last year as well, so that makes a total of eight for How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, making it the band's most award-successful effort since The Joshua Tree. I have been listening to this album since its release fourteen months ago, and this recent success has made me reflect on the album itself and where it sits in the U2 canon. I realized that this album is very much like The Joshua Tree to me. Although they are the albums I would use to introduce neophytes to the band, I do not think that these are their two best efforts. I do, however, maintain that both albums would be in strong contention for my top 25 list of all time, despite their shortcomings - both albums get a little bogged down near the end. And it struck me that U2 has returned to the formula of Joshua Tree with the last two albums: a couple of rockin' songs, a couple of personal reflective songs, a couple of soft ballads about concern for the world.... It's a formula almost to the track number, but it works. As I listen to Bomb now, I believe that several of these songs are among the best the band has ever written ("Sometimes," "City," "Vertigo," "All Because of You," "Original of the Species," and "Crumbs From Your Table," for sure), but that like songs from Joshua Tree, these songs will likely mature and get even better in future incarnations. Think of how "Bullet the Blue Sky," "With or Without You," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "Where The Streets Have No Name," and "Running To Stand Still" have evolved into songs that are far better than the band ever could have imagined. I tentatively placed this album in my top 3 U2 albums when I bought it, and that position has not swayed - if anything, it has become more solidified over the last year. And judging by the rumours swirling about a new album, it's very possible that the next album could be as good or better, and could be done late 2006 or early 2007. But until then, I have Atomic Bomb (as well as all their other albums) to keep me company, and that's enough for me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Culture root canal

I watched Con Air tonight. It was actually my suggestion, and though I regretted that suggestion later on, I did enjoy watching it. I didn't necessarily enjoy the entire movie as much as I did when I was fourteen and I saw it in main-run theatre for $3 (!), or the numerous subsequent times I have watched it since, but enjoyed it nonetheless. But why did I enjoy it? Why did I enjoy this movie that is filled with excessive profanity and violence, when I summarily reject similar new action movies without giving them a second glance? I think that regardless of the content of the movie, I enjoyed tonight because it was familiar, and it was something I was coming back to, and the act of watching it was more what I enjoyed than the movie itself. And so I wondered why that would be. The best answer I could conjure was that because it is buried in the recesses of my brain, there is a certain nostalgia there, as there are for many movies I watched in my younger days - movies that I would almost certainly avoid now - that creates a camaraderie, a bond between myself and the movie. Watching movies like this remind me of past experiences, much like old friends do. Then it struck me - I was fourteen when I first consumed this film, and I loved it, every bit of it: the actors (Ving Rhames, John Malkovich, Nicolas Cage, John Cusack), the lines, the action, the soundtrack ("Sweet Home Alabama"). And even though I went through a "purging" time in which I stayed away from movies (except for Lord of the Rings) for two years, those roots are still there. The roots that draw me back to things like this are still there, and I need to be vigilant about maintaining them correctly: not being overly nostalgic or romanticizing movies or music from my past, but remembering them for what they were and are. Every so often I need a reminder like this to kickstart my brain and show me what is going on with these roots, and that I need to keep going to "the Dentist" (ie God) and getting my "cultural root canals," and dealing with these roots rightly. Do I regret watching this movie again? Yes, but I don't regret that it has caused me to rethink things and revisit boundaries that I had maybe let slide.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

...As one escaping...

"I'm just...frustrated" by a lot lately, and I use that phrase more often than I really want to. I spent this weekend at home, sick, instead of working. I watched television because I did not have the brainpower to do homework with the headache that plagued me all weekend. I got things done, but as seems to always happen these days, I feel now like I need another weekend to recuperate from this one. The perpetual feeling of always barely escaping whatever is going on is really becoming tiresome, yet I am still at a loss at how to stop it short of living the next few months and moving on. I guess all I can do is pray that somehow God is using all of this, and that it is building a useful foundation in my life. I don't know what of this time will survive and what will be burned up, but I feel like my life is encapsulated in these words of St. Paul from the first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 3 verses 10-15:

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. Amen.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The "five things" tag

Well, there's a meme going around, and it finally got to me (via Meg, so here's my take on the "five things" meme:

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:
Queen of West Procrastination
Bronwyn's Space
Janny's Blog
Le marriage de la fille Lipskey
Life of Turner

Next select five people to tag:
Scotty D, Evan, Hutton, Andrew, Lindsay

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was finishing grade 8 at Caswell School. My family had just moved into the house in which I would spend my high school years, and I got the basement room. Plus, I played a lot of Super Nintendo.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
I had just started my eighteenth consecutive month of school, I was finishing my second term as IVCF President, and Lee and I had just secured tickets to U2.

Five snacks you enjoy:
Fuzzy Peaches
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (in almost any form, except maybe cereal)
Tostitos with fireball salsa and sour cream
Miss Vickie's lime and black pepper potato chips

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" - Queen
"Fifty Mission Cap" - Tragically Hip
"Gel" - Collective Soul
"Vertigo" - U2
"Stein's Theme" - Project 86

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
Pay off all my debts
Help my parents out
Buy a car and house
Buy every CD I want that I don't already own
Go into ministry at university and live off the money that was left as long as I could

Five bad habits:
Procrastinating on the Internet
Being late
Not getting enough sleep
Not exercising
Picking hangnails

Five things you like doing:
Watching movies, then analyzing and deconstructing them
Ultimate Frisbee
Talking on the phone

Five things you would never wear again:
(It's actually surprisingly difficult for me to come up with five. I'm sure other people could easily come up with five things they would like me never to wear again, though.)
Denim shirts
Corduroy shirts
Anything from the Gap
Pink, purple, or lavender anything
My hair in the flipped-over way my mom had me doing until I was 15.

Five favourite toys:
Mrs. Incredible (she talks!)
Executive Desk Gong
Laurie (my teddy bear from childhood)
Building toys that end in "X" (I have a large collection of Construx, Googleplex, and K'Nex)

And so the insanity spreads...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Excited about Exile Island

Survivor began its twelfth incarnation on Thursday night, and all indications are that Survivor: Panama Exile Island will be as good as any of the post All-Stars Survivors (Vanuatu, Palau, and Guatemala). Reality News Online has already begun to publish the usual commentaries, and I am glad to be reading the usual mix of evaluation of strategy, explanation why each specific Survivor gets voted off, predictions of who will be the next to go, and random pop-culture-ish observations emanating from each week's events. This season features a very unique twist as the tribe losing reward must select one member to spend a night alone on "Exile Island," upon which there is an immunity idol hidden that may be presented at any point in the game to overthrow a vote, including after the vote has been read. In another first, the game has begun with four tribes of four people each, divided by age and gender (ie. younger women, older women, younger men, older men), although the teasers for the next episode indicate that the tribe structure will already be altered at this early point in the game. There are some very interesting characters on this edition, including a retired astronaut, a retired fighter pilot, a karate instructor, a missile engineer, and the usual mix of young aspiring actors and salespeople. The writers at RNO have already put forth their predictions for who will win and who will succeed, but it is incredibly difficult to do so correctly due to all the twists and turns that the game takes. That said, here is my prediction of the nine players who will compose the jury: Sally, Ruth Marie, Bruce, Terry, Dan, Bobby, Misty, Aras, and Danielle. As long as things go their way, the "older men" Bruce, Terry, and Dan (and I suspect Bobby will attempt to merge with them if possible) seem to stand the best chance of success, and I would be surprised if the winner does not come from those three. I'll weigh in with more predictions at the jury phase, but for now I'm picking Dan and Terry as final two, with Dan winning it all. It should be a great season!

"I'm here because I've got a messianic complex"

"If you're wondering what I’m doing here, at a prayer breakfast, well, so am I. I'm certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather. It's certainly not because I'm a rock star. Which leaves one possible explanation: I’m here because I've got a messianic complex. Yes, it's true. And for anyone who knows me, it's hardly a revelation. Well, I'm the first to admit that there's something unnatural...something unseemly...about rock stars mounting the pulpit and preaching at presidents, and then disappearing to their villas in the South of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird enough when Jesse Helms showed up at a U2 concert… but this is really weird, isn't it? You know, one of the things I love about this country is its separation of church and state. Although I have to say: in inviting me here, both church and state have been separated from something else completely: their mind. Mr. President, are you sure about this? It's very humbling and I will try to keep my homily brief. But be warned — I'm Irish."

As if we needed another reason to love Bono, take the time to read the transcript of his speech given to the National Prayer Breakfast, in which he urges America to raise the amount given in the federal budget to the poor by one percent. Maybe he writes these speeches himself, or maybe he has someone ghost-writing them, but Bono remains one of the greatest orators of our pop-culture era. If you're skeptical, read it for yourself, and tell me you don't support him by the end. "History, like God, is watching what we do." Well said, Bono, well said.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Frustrated by dust

I can live most of my life in relative ignorance of the dust allergy I have carried with me since childhood. When I was younger and we lived in a hardwood house, it meant that I had to keep my room clean, which I did anyway. But it barely bothers me now, which is why it is so frustrating when it chooses to affect my life. I was supposed to help with inventory in a local electronics parts supply store in a job arranged by my father, who also helps out with inventory there. But just like my experience attempting to sweep parking lots in May, I started to feel sick soon into the work, and I knew it was that damned allergy acting up. And so, because of the fickle nature of my body, I have been robbed of a weekend's work and the corresponding pay, and I am frustrated, mainly that my physical health got in the way of some financial health. As a result, I'm still broke, with no job, and although I have the time to work and the motivation to find work (ie.lack of money), I feel like I have little energy to put into finding work. I know God is doing something good somehow, but I don't know what it is, and I'm really frustrated. The dust allergy strikes again!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The system works after all!

Some of you may recall my consternation surrounding the Referendum held at the U of S in October regarding whether the USSU would join the Canadian Federation of Students, my warnings against joining, and my dismay when the CFS barely eked out a victory in the referendum. But today I received new hope, as the USSU posted two documents composed by the Elections Board, who were responsible for ratifying the results. In their thoughts on the referendum and the summary of their concerns, it is clear that they believed that there were fundamental flaws in the process of the referendum, and they vetoed the validity of the results. This means that the USSU is not a member of the CFS! There is a glimmer of hope in the system! The board's recommendation is to hold another referendum, but we live to fight another day. I strongly believe that the next referendum will be more decidedly against joining the CFS, since it was such a close vote last time despite the misinformation and flawed process. I don't know if I will be part of the fight when it resumes, but I am happy for now. The system may be slow, but it works!


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