Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gilmore Quotes

"If we don’t answer everything accurately, the Harvard police will come and hit you with an Atlas and say something mean in Latin."
- Lorelai to Rory on the day the Harvard application came (when Rory didn't want to use "Droopy Drawers" as a nickname)

"Do they let kids drink coffee before school?" - Luke
"Why, do you think it might lead to harder stuff... lattes, cappucinos?" - Rory's response

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Oh the church...


Somehow I feel moderately wound up, and I want to unwind, but I don't really know what exactly it is that is bothering me.

We really enjoy judging each other. Whether it's out and out judging ("how could you have a baby out of wedlock?" hehehe, side note: "wedlock... now that's a word you don't hear very often these days" - Lorelai Gilmore in response to a distant relative) or the subtle judgment of others' motives and intentions, we just enjoy judging. And let's be honest... we ALL do it.

And no one person has the answers. If someone did, we wouldn't have the problems.

This is all quite cryptic, I'm sure. But I get so frustrated with myself sometimes. I'll get into discussions and I must win. I must get my point across. And it would be easier to concede if every other person didn't also have the same agenda. And if I didn't feel they were judging me for their misinterpretation of my opinion.

So, the point is... let's just stop judging other people. And let's stop judging those whom we think judge. And let's stop judging the opinions of others. And... let's stop judging those who we think don't understand our opinions.

You first...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More on Poverty

Once again yesterday I was reminded that the "solutions" to poverty are much more complex than the uninformed person (i.e. me) can comprehend.

In ECON 101 (Intro to Microeconomics), we learn the pitfalls of minimum wage. Basically, if the minimum wage is set at a "binding" level (i.e. above the "market" level), then unemployment results because more people are willing to work at that wage than employers are willing to employ.

And, while I will still argue that minimum wage is irrelevant in Alberta (but don't pick a bone on that one with me, because it would be a mute point) since you can earn significantly over minimum wage even working at McDonalds (and let's be serious, would Mickey D's ever not hire someone?), there are still people working at levels that they can't afford to live on.

For example, I heard that if "affordable housing" is defined as that which costs about 30% of one's income, then one would have to work at $12/hour, 40 hours/week in order to be able to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Edmonton.

So what do you do? I would strongly advocate AGAINST at $12/hour minimum wage, because there are many people working part-time (i.e. high school students, spouses) or who are not the sole wage-earners in their families. But, what do you do about the people who don't work in jobs that pay $12 an hour? That's where affordable housing initiatives come in... but are those a good long-term solution?

Furthermore, I was a strong supporter of the $400 prosperity rebate issued to me by the government. It paid for my Reading Week vacation. But, for about half of what it cost to issue those cheques, the government could have set up a fund that supported the school lunch programs across the province in perpetuity. (Perpetuity, for all those of you who don't have to suffer through Finance 301, means that the interest each year would support the program, forever.) Well, I would be selfish to take that $400 when it could mean hungry kids would get lunch... forever.

BUT... I'm sure there are many, many charities around the province who could think of something to do with a fund in perpetuity. Not to mention university students who would whole-heartedly support a scholarship fund and health care supporters who would also support a fund.

So, the answers to that aren't easy either.

And, finally... the last thing that has me turned upside-down. I always thought a booming economy was a good thing. And, it probably is for an educated, brilliant soon-to-be university graduate like me. And I always just assumed that since we like booming economies, they are good for everyone.

But, I've been learning that the gap between rich and poor is increasingly widening. Units that were originally being set aside to be turned into affordable housing are being sold off as condos. And... well, to be honest, I don't know why the gap widens. I thought booming economy meant lots of jobs, meaning less unemployment and people having more money. But there are those who fall between the cracks.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts. I used to have all the solutions to the world's problems figured out, but not so much anymore. To quote Switchfoot, "the more we learn, the less we know." It's so true.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Tonight sleep eludes me. And rather than being stressed about it, I made myself a cup of mint tea and sat down to blog.

You'd think that an inability to sleep would be accompanied by some brilliant insights and poetic prose, but the truth is that I've got nothing. I spent some time reading the blog of my friend Sarah ( who's in Thailand right now and it made me feel... peacefully and ponderfully melancholy. (Can you be ponderful?) For some time now, I've felt a burden for those who suffer around the world, and Sarah has been able to see them, talk to them and tell their stories.

The solutions are not simple. Poverty is an illness with deep, deep roots. The causes are complex and diverse. But, more importantly, it is a big part perspective. To thrust North American culture on any people group would be a grave evil, I feel. We look at those who suffer from malnutrition, illiteracy and poverty and say, "you should be like us, we'll help." But they look at us, suffering from materialism, greed and obesity... We don't have it all together either.

But at least we have options. And I think the goal to alleviate poverty should be that... to give people options.

Of course, I talk as someone who has never experienced it firsthand. The closest I come to "the poor" is whiny university students complaining about another tuition increase which is going to be covered by the government anyway.

It's easy to come up with solutions to problems that don't affect you and that you don't understand. But while I feel mostly powerless over here in my comfy chair at my fancy computer, I still feel convicted.

What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Joshua Harris, I blame you!

Since we live in a culture of blame, I've decided to blame my single status on none other than Joshua Harris, who started the entire anti-dating revolution.

Here's my logic:

- When I was younger, I decided not to date. I decided that it would be truly wonderful if the first guy I kissed was the guy I married.

- Although I knew deep down that I couldn't expect that the first guy I dated would be the one I married, it still put a lot of pressure on me in my choices.

- This part is going to be confusing, so bear with me. I only wanted to date someone I could marry. I don't know anyone well enough right now (or at any time in the past) to decide that I could marry them. Therefore, I could date no one.

- However, rather than being conscious of this thinking, I simply sent out "stay away!" vibes.

And now it's too late.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's not even spring yet...

Since it seems I've been having many conversations about love and romance lately, I figure I should just tackle it in my blog rather than shy away from the topic.

I don't know why the topic has been so prevalent. I was at a friend's birthday party on Saturday night and when I returned from the washroom, the topic had turned to "prying into people's personal lives" and I was put on the spot. "Do you have any prospects?" After I answered them (and just for the record - not really), they guy beside me told everyone he was "looking."

The next day, I was out for lunch when the topic came up again.

As I'm getting older (yes, I know I'm not old, but let's face it - we're ALL getting older), it seems that all my friends that AREN'T getting married this summer are turning to more and more desperate measures. I can't even count how many Internet dating sites I've been recommended to over the past few months. I have friends who have tried speed dating. And on Saturday, I was invited to a "singles night."

Now, to be honest, I know approximately three single guys. And none of these guys seem to be showing any particular interest in me. But the idea of going out looking for a guy is still somewhat bothersome to me.

Is romance dead? I've always thought that girls deserve to be pursued. I want someone to meet me, fall in love with me and then pursue me. But as I continually fail to meet guys who could do this very thing, it makes me wonder. Is it still possible?

If I refuse to go out and find a guy myself, am I destined to eternal singleness? And is being single forever too big of a price to pay for my ideals? Are my ideals too much? Is it unrealistic to expect that anyone's ever going to chase me? Am I doing something to deter them? Sometimes I feel like I live in a parallel world where I hear that love exists, but I may never personally experience it.

At this point, I'm not too concerned. Singleness is still an appealing life choice. But it may be less so in ten years, and by then it may be too late. So I think about it now in case I need to change something.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Kids are great!

One of the joys I have in overseeing pre-school Sunday School is that I get to witness some of the cutest moments ever.

Today, as I was walking by the 4-year-old classroom to make sure everything was going okay, they were singing a typical 4-year-old song - Head and Shoulders. Their teachers had just finished leading them in a version of "giant" Head and Shoulders. Then one kid suggested doing it backwards, and they all decided on how it would work and showed their teachers how they wanted to sing it! (For all those who are wondering how it works - when you sing head, you touch your toes, shoulders is knees, knees is shoulders, and toes is your head. I think you can probably take it from there...)

So cute.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

That Finance Assignment Can Wait...

This is ripped from my cousin Wendy's blog (

A- Age of your first kiss: I'll tell you later.
B- Band you are listening to right now: The Turtles - Happy Together, now Switchfoot - Golden
C- Crush: Are they still called crushes at 24? Oh, for the good old days of Jr. High when there were lots of single guys to have crushes on. Of course, they were also Jr. High boys.
D- Drink you drank last: Diet Coke with Lime
E- Easiest person to talk to: Rebecca
F- Favorite ice cream: Cookies 'n Cream
G- Gummy worms or gummy bears: worms
H- Height: 5'7"
I- Instruments: piano, saxophone, varying skill in guitar, bass and drums
J- Jelly Flavor: raspberry
K- Kids: What about them? I have none, may never have any. But I do like them. Especially when you can send them back to their parents when they cry or misbehave.
L- Longest car/bus ride: Hmmm... Either Mexico or Phoenix. Phoenix was a 30.5 hour drive straight down. Mexico was spread over three days. Actually, come to think of it, Montreal would probably have been farther than either of those.
I love road trips.
M- Major issue: What kind of question is that? I guess the biggest thing on my mind is who to vote for in tomorrow's SU election.
N- Nicknames: Julie, Jules, Joolz
O- One wish: I wish I could be on vacation again.
P- Phobia: My current biggest fear is that I will "settle" in a relationship
Q- Quote: "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Eliot
R- reason to smile: God loves me!
S- Shoe size: 9 or 10
T- Time you woke up today: 8:30ish
U- Unknown fact about me: A lot of people don't know that I lived in Texas for a year.
V- Vegetables: What am I supposed to say for this one? I like carrots. Brocolli is only good if it's been steamed. Mushrooms (which, if you didn't realize, are FUNGUS!) are gross.
W- Worst Habit: Putting tasks ahead of people
X- Xmas gift you really want: I really wanted an iPod this last Christmas. When I jokingly told my parents, they had already bought one for me! So, I got it.
Y- Your dream date: Hmmm... I've heard it's bad to describe him, so I guess I will assume this question is asking for an activity or location. I would say mini-golfing in Phoenix followed by fish and chips in Seattle. Yes, I know, virtually impossible, but that's why it's a dream!
Z- Zodiac sign: Leo. Of course, I also put exactly zero stock in my horoscope.

Well, there you have it - the A to Z's of me.

Maybe something insightful will come sometime. For now, I'm just sleepy.