2016: the Darkest Timeline

Wow, Dear Reader. Just wow! What a crazy year it has been so far.

Like most Canadians, the election of Donald Trump has left me feeling befuddled, in it’s truest sense. I am unable to get my head around any aspect of this election or its repercussions.

As I write this out, my mind begins to tail spin about how he could ever get elected after the things he’s said and done. I worry about the reactionary and preventative actions that will be taken by other countries.

Course I shouldn’t have been surprised, the Simpsons predicted this 16 years ago!

As much as I’d like to (and may still) sort out this boiling mass of uncertainty with you Dear Readers at a future time, the other, only to be described of tumultuous, events of 2016 draw my attention now.

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Welcome to Generation Nostalgia

Zombies are nothing new. They’ve been around for years and peaked in popularity over the past decade.

But with an over saturation of zombie shows, movies, video games and every form of merchandise, they’ve started to take on a new form … cultural icons!

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They are ____!

Dear Reader, how does the world see you? If your essence was summarized into one word what would it be? What is your single defining trait?

Deep speculation of how someone might one-word describe me has caused many a sleepless night. Not due to paranoia or insecurity, but as an exercise to extrapolate my strongest characteristic. After much time spent, I still have not narrowed it down.

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It’s good to be crafty…

Dear Reader, being handy is a valuable skill. One that is considered unimportant in modern times. Why do I need to know how to level a shelf, replace a door knob, or change a light fixture when I can hire someone to do it for me? We see no need when others can, and can better.

But it is handy to be handy. As a student I had to learn the basics. After the first time a nosey roommate refused to knock, I quickly learned how to install a deadbolt. When friends got to raucous at a party, I learned the proper end of a putty knife and how to spackle.

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Now that I’ve graduated to real adult, it “isn’t proper” to have posters on my wall. Everything must be framed or on canvas. Dear Reader, you bet I discovered the easiest way to find a stud, measure the wall and choose the right hardware. Nothing is more annoying or disruptive than a leaky faucet (if you’re OCD or an insomniac). Who knew a simple $2 O-ring would be the answer?

washerless Growing up I never thought of my dad as handy, yet as a young child whenever I broke a toy he was almost always able to fix it. He took on renovations in the house, installed ceiling fans and rewired lamps. I didn’t realize my dad was so handy till much later in life.

Now I’m trying to achieve this skill set for myself. It feels good to look at a job well done and know it was you who accomplished it. It is different from the pride of an A+ paper. Something as simple as replacing an electrical plate can seem momentous to one who is new. We’ve all enjoyed this sensation in our lives. My first encounter was as a child of seven or eight.

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Uber you glad I didn’t say cab?

Dear Reader, Uber has been a contentious point for cab companies this past year. In my Toronto bubble, this dispute came to a head last December with a wildly disruptive protest. Here’s a recap in case you missed it.

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Now, cab companies threaten to do it again during the NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto.

Is this really helping the cab’s cause? Or is it just turning everyone against them?

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Cold War Redux (a.k.a. The Colder War)

Dear Reader, if you have been following my blog in any capacity you will know I love the Cold War. I found the entire time riveting.

The political posturing is intriguing, as is the indirect positioning for power dominance. However this is not where my true love lies. I am fascinated with the Cold War because it is the single best example of the difference one person can make. Despite pseudo-religious nationalism and political rhetoric, people rose above it and did what was right.

The actions of certain individuals of this time are remarkable:

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Gravity Falls left(y) an impression

Dear Reader, Gravity Falls is an outstanding children’s television program produced by Disney.

I have mentioned it before when discussing the failings of the movie Gravity. My clever title pun simultaneously alludes to my dislike for that movie, while allowing me to introduce a truly stellar program.

punsTo call this a children’s program is to do it a disservice. Maybe it is just me, but that label conjures up images of Caillou, the weird bald child who never leaves his house, Timothy Goes to School, with the anthropomorphic animals who learn to love (or something), and George Shrinks, where a child realizes the hellish nightmare of being only three inches tall is in fact his reality.

When I think of Gravity Falls, I’d call it a children’s show in the same vein of Adventure Time. It is an intelligent, well written show that deals with a wide range of pleasant and unpleasant topics in a creative manner.

The program follows 12-year-old twins, Dipper and Mabel Pines. They were sent to spend their summer vacation with their great-uncle Stan (or “Grunkle Stan”) in the fictional town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. While living in Gravity Falls, the twins are forced to help their Grunkle run his tourist trap known as the Mystery Shack. Assisting them are man-child handyman Soos and a local teenage girl named Wendy.

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Alternative thinking: investing in solar power

Dear Reader, with Canada in an election year I have been thinking more and more about my opinions and, with my sights set on a career in politics, what my policies would be. If you remember, I introduced the concept of CSI a few weeks ago. Not a perfect concept, but one that makes sense to me in a lot of ways.

Previous to learning about CSI, I was going back and forth on another policy. However I had no framework to give it context. When I learned about CSI the sky parted, a beam of light shone down from the heavens and my thought experiment made sense. Up until then, I stumbled around in the dark. I had the right tactic, just did not know the objective it met. Now I do: corporate social innovation. The policy? Alternative energy!

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Glossophobia: master your fear

Dear Reader, I am an extrovert. This one word has a monolithic impact on my personality. My energies are outwardly directed (i.e. interests, mind, happiness). I am energized by being around other people and enjoy social situations. I can also talk, a lot, with ease.

My sister, my parents’ firstborn child, was a timid little girl. She was afraid of her shadow, bugs and most everything else in the world. Then I came along, a tornado of energy. My parents did not know what to do. Teaching me to have an indoor voice was the first hurdle.

Yes… I was as bad as Dill from Stickin’ Around
Yes… I was as bad as Dill from Stickin’ Around

After wrangling my vocal chords into submission (sometimes they still get the upper hand), I was taught to harness my vocal power as a skill. Eventually I became very comfortable talking in front of a crowd. From speeches in elementary school to conferences in university, I am confident in my ability to communicate.

However no one is immune to the fear!

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