Archives for the month of: July, 2014

What would your perfect day be? I want specifics all the way down to what food you’d eat. No constraints, no expenses, no limitations. You can be in Spain one minute, and Germany the next. It’s about perfection not realism.

What would be an ideal 24 hours for you?


If life is a journey and the statement, “ten years down the road” is true, then what would you like to see in your rear view mirror?

Modern terms like “YOLO” and #noregrets have attempted to encapsulate this feeling that every one of us tends to have at some point or another but in a rather shallow and misused way. What do you actually want to do in your life to make it worth it in the end?

Another longer lasting theme is immortality: that timeless search for it that is so often seen in mythology. It’s what makes fame so enticing to so many: feeling like you mean something to the entirety of the world. The successes in this are people like Julius Caesar and Shakespeare. They have the immortal names: although they can’t live forever, their legacies won’t be forgotten by the human race.

And then there’s us. One in 9 billion. I think it’s been touched upon enough in other places to avoid delving into saying too much about how fame is overrated and not as fulfilling as most initially expect. And there are ways in which we touch the people around us day to day that are so much richer than being the headline of a tabloid could ever be.

We have an innate want or need to be felt by other human beings. It’s magnified by our insecurities but it is also entirely natural. We want to feel noticed by those around us, or justified by their good opinions of us. How many people can say with absolute honesty that they don’t care what a single other human being thinks about them? I know I am definitely not one of those desperately few and inhuman people. I care about the views of my friends, my family, and the people that I know, trust, love, and value in their persons and in their opinions. I value their esteem because I value their opinions. It means so much more to have their support when I know it’s based on good reasoning. It is this inner natural quality that makes us want to be remembered. We’re afraid of being inconsequential.

Being a part of that statistic 1:9 000,000,000,000, which we all are, can be daunting. Just look at all those zeroes. All those zeroes and one nine. Well, I don’t know about you but I want to be the nine.

I want my back mirror to be filled with nines. Bursting with colourful nines from all over the place. I want to look back and think wasn’t that a life to live.

Now the question is how we get all those nines. What are my nines? 

Happiness is the easy answer. But what goes into making happiness? I want to furnish the insides of my brain with knowledge and experiences that help fill my head with relevant and interesting questions. I want to surround myself with people that challenge my thoughts and my way of thinking so that I’m constantly refurbishing into new and better ideas. I want to see sunrises and sunsets, stories filled with laughter and songs and smiles: smiles that I helped create, laughter that I helped sing. I want to travel to places I’ve never been, and revisit some I have. I want to fulfill my hopes and dreams: I want to publish a book.

I want to a see a life. One that was fun to live.

I’m not so interested in making my mark on the world. Because sooner or later there won’t be the world I know to leave a mark on. I’d rather live my life for me, something that lasts as long as I need it to. I’d rather make it the best life I can live, and leave it with a fulfillment.

But to do that, I’ve got to go do all those wonderful things I’ve set my sights on. And I’m luckier than some that I have my health and my youth to help me do just that.

I need to stop saying “after school,” or “next year,” or “when I have the time and the money.” I need to start realizing that I can’t make excuses forever. I need to start saving for my nines, putting time away for them, realizing that next year means now.

So I ask you: what do you want to see in your rearview mirror? And when are you going to start collecting your nines?


Thank you to deannasallao for requesting and suggesting the prompt for this post! You can check her top ten things out here:


I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel all over the world to exotic locations. Whether it’s to the beach, the slopes, or the various beautiful European cities, there are a few things I can’t seem to leave behind. Some may be for necessity, others perhaps less so.


#1. My camera. This particular item may not be necessity but it may as well be. It basically becomes an accessory or a fifth limb in beautiful foreign places.


#2. My face wash. Especially after a long plane ride a refreshing face wash is what you want.


#3. Face moisturizer. For similar reasons but also particularly at the end of flights when you’re a little dehydrated (which is natural when ascending 30,000 ft in the air) and your skin feels a little parched.


#4. A good book for long train rides, plane rides, beautiful beaches or parks. Especially one by a really good author that you can savour the sentences and read it as slowly as you like.


#5. That slim but versatile dress. It packs away without taking up much space or adding to your luggage weight. You never ever know when you’re going to want to pull out a nice outfit: even when you’re on the road.


#6. A water bottle. Although some places are harder to find a good clean water source you never know when it can come in handy. And, when empty, it’s virtually weightless in your pack and can be filled with clean clothes to maximize space. It also might save you a couple of bucks when you don’t have to buy water.


#7. A deck of cards. Because in all seriousness you never know when this one will come out. On the plane; in your hostel; at a rest stop on a long hiking trail. Make friends and break the ice while being able to learn about what led all these wildly different people to the same place at the same time. Also, when you’re alone you can pass the time and play solitaire J


#8. Hair brush! Maybe it’s because I have such long hair but my special detangling brush is a necessity: twice daily. I’m serious.


#9. An envelope filled with ticket stubs, maps, or destination explanations so that I’m not spending vacation time planning my vacation. I’m more of a traveler who prefers to make the plan as I’m in the place, rather than setting my sights on a schedule in advance without knowing how I’ll feel when I get there. As it is, I do the research ahead of time and know my options. Every day I take a look and then go with whatever invites me the most.


#10. Journal. I know, I know. If you’re not much into journaling then this one isn’t relevant. Journaling has been all over the web recently and people tend to be either really into it, or not at all. But, hear me out. Especially when you’re just travelling for a few days or weeks a journal can go a long way. Even if it’s just writing down directions or other little things that were funny or interesting in your day. In five, ten years down the road you might not remember. And memories are priceless.



So those would be the top ten things I need to travel with. Maybe you wouldn’t agree with them all, and maybe you would substitute something here or there. If that’s the case I’d love to hear what you’d nix and what you’d keep! Comment below!


Any other requests, or questions, please leave in the comment section and I will be sure to respond as quickly as I’m able. 🙂 Thanks in advance!

           Whenever/wherever you travel, particularly if you have an extreme case of jet lag, take a photo of the sunrise. Find a beach, a mountain, or a high rise. It’s a beautiful way to see the morning.

           P.S. This includes when you travel home! 🙂

Why do people feel that they need to be represented by a specific type of advocate that is exactly the same minority as themselves? Isn’t the point to blur those lines so that they stop becoming important?

Correct me if I’m being ignorant or offensive. But seriously. This is getting ridiculous.

I love being able to connect to my idols. But why does that need to be aesthetically or racially? Why can’t that connection just be based on shared ideals, values, or because of whatever other reason they happen to be my idol for? Sure it’s important for women to be in parliament as they want to be, and as they earn it, regardless of gender. And it’s important for minorities to be represented and spoken for. It’s 2014 in Canada and our government and our people (at least hopefully) believe in equality for all. But a prerequisite for representing a minority, or a majority, is not actually being in it. In fact, people should be encouraged to speak for factions outside of their own. Right?

By disagreeing with that is equivalent to saying, if you are not in my minority, you cannot understand me or other people in it. You can’t represent me, or grasp why I deserve the same rights as you. Therefore I will only let this person, who is perhaps less qualified than you, speak for me and for everyone else like me.

The point of encouraging equality is to eliminate barriers created by differences. That means it has to go both ways. Just because someone happens to be a blonde haired blue-eyed white girl doesn’t mean she can’t understand discrimination. It doesn’t mean she can’t stand up for other people’s rights.

Representation of all people and all definite groups is merited only in that they are a part of the population. No other prerequisite is required. We don’t run on a system where the majority is the rule. Read John Mill’s On Liberty. He celebrates the individual’s opinion above all others. He believes that the divergent view is the most important aspect in any group or society.

So yes. I’m all for diversity and the representation of minority because everyone deserves equality. However. When people start talking about how they especially love this feminist or that rights activist purely because they happen to have the same background as themselves, I get itchy. That should be a bonus, not a prerequisite.


Am I missing the point?

What a great reminder to clean out the clutter in our daily schedule. Going to sleep/getting up early.. interesting

Starting Fresh At 21

So. Hello there!
I’m not really sure how to start.
I don’t really know what this is to be honest. Maybe on online do list thing? Sharing personal problems and dilemmas on the internet.. what could go wrong! Right?..

I have come to the conclusion that I need to Start Fresh. Things have gone a bit haywire this year, and I’ve found myself in a place which I’m not very happy with at the moment. And that needs to change.
-After finally finishing my second year of university, hoping to have an awesome summer, I’ve found myself facing 4 resit exams at the end of August after failing half the year. Which means, spending the summer indoors, studying.
That is very..not awesome.

Even though I have had a few unexpected obstacles thrown at me this year anyway, I know that these failures are all inevitably down to me…

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Very powerful. What a beautiful way to remember.

tales of a charm city chick

He loved Jackson Browne. His favorite line from “Running on Empty” was “I don’t know when that road turned onto the road I’m on.”

“Someday you’ll see how it’s weird,” he explained to me, “to look back and remember what was and how it all suddenly became what is, although you’re not sure when it happened.”

It seemed like we heard that song everywhere. We heard it at the bar on our first date, months later on the way to the beach, at our first baseball game together and almost every Saturday at the grocery store.

I also heard it on the morning of his funeral, which I thought was some kind of cruel joke. And the next day. And two years later, it’s still everywhere.

I can hear the way he sang that one line under his breath and it haunts me, but not necessarily in a bad way…

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There are reasons to feel good about yourself and to do things to feel good. There are also reasons not to do things, especially those who will make you feel bad. The first thing you need to do when deciding to go to the gym is to realize what is motivating you to do so. Is it health oriented? Are you worried about your weight for your own wellbeing? Or is it a result of some tabloid or some drop dead gorgeous young model dressed strategically to flaunt all her thin and perfectly toned features? If it were the second example, i.e., the model, going to the gym would be a good action mixed with bad motivations (Making yourself feel bad by comparing yourself to a skinny photoshopped model is not good or healthy motivation). In that case your good action is made inherently bad. That being said, the best way to feel good about yourself is to make sure that your action and your intention are both things that make you feel good: i.e. good actions.

To explain, an action may be a good one but it is made bad because of the intention behind it. A bad motive is one that is unauthentic to you or made for reasons other than what are good for you. If the goal is to feel good about yourself and your motivator is based on insecurities or other objectives that do not make you feel good about yourself, you can hardly expect to end up with you feeling good about yourself. Intention is everything.

Think about Martin Luther for instance. He believed that all humans are inherently sinful because every action we ever accomplish, good or bad, is for our own selfish benefit. We enjoy helping an old lady cross the street with her groceries because it makes us feel like a good person afterwards. It has nothing to do with the fact that she was struggling across the crosswalk and we want to make her day a little easier. Or at least, that’s his argument. If nothing else, for him, we want that internal reward.

I’m not going to say Martin Luther is entirely correct in his argument. I believe it to be a little extreme, and that humanity is not inherently bad. But that is far from my point. Where Luther’s beliefs relate to my own argument is where motivation and action affect each other. We both agree that the intention is definitive.

For example, if I decide to read Dostoyevsky every night before bed, I have to ask myself why I have come to that decision. If it is because I want to benefit my own intelligence and to push myself to the challenge, then good for me (hypothetically of course). But if it is instead because I want to later be able to say that I have read Dostoyevsky, or it is because I want to appear academic or intelligent, then it is not so good. That is an unauthentic motivation behind my action, and inherently makes that choice somewhat pompous based on my intentions. If my intentions are pompous, so is the action. And even further, that would reflect that I myself am pompous, which I do not see as a positive attribute and it is one that I do not wish to emulate. Therefore, I must not read Dostoyevsky every night before bed because I am not internally motivated to do so.

In this light, I return to the initial statement. It is good to feel good about yourself. It is great to do things day to day to feel good about yourself. But you must constantly be checking yourself and your motivators for good incentive vs. bad ones.

I realize that this is highly existentialistic. And perhaps that was not my intention. But I am a big believer in mediating extremes. I think that many belief systems are founded on extremes because grey areas can get messy and filled with exceptions. So here is my advice. Make your decisions for the right reasons. Go to the gym if you want to. Go for a run if it is in your best interest and it will make you feel great afterwards. Don’t go because some asshole said you needed to. Don’t go because some skinny model is plastered on some billboard. Go for good reasons. Go for you. What could possibly be a better reason than that?

Edit: To make the message a little clearer 🙂

       This is a theory about Game of Thrones that was mainly fueled by the many names that have proven to mean more than just a name. They tend to have some major significance or some prophetic value within the story of ASOIAF. You can read more specifically into of the Stark’s name meanings here:

        The significance of names and their inherent meanings work equally for the Direwolf names. So here is my argument. The five direwolf names are prophetic for the “ends” (and here I don’t mean deaths) of the respective Stark children. Hear me out:

        Robb’s wolf’s name is Greywind. I haven’t taken this name to be particularly literal as the name itself is rather vague. It could be taken to mean a number of different things. For one, grey is the Stark colour. But what makes it a little more interesting is the wind part. Now excuse my extreme Meta interpretation but wind tends to be fleeting, noticeable when it’s there, but not long lasting. It can blow hard and fast and strong, but regardless it is short-lived. I would like to apply that to Robb’s campaign and life. It was short but strong. Robb’s legacy for the Starks made a significant impression in history, particularly northern history, but it was not long lasting. Hence, the name Greywind represents and perhaps prophesied his fleeting life and campaign, as well as his Stark heritage.

       Jon’s future is a little more interesting as it is the potential prophecy for something that hasn’t happened yet. I’d like to put in my own opinion that there is no way Jon is definitively dead. Perhaps for a short term he will be. Perhaps he never truly died. We’re not going to find out until TWOW. But, Jon’s wolf’s name is Ghost, and taking into consideration this theory here’s what I think it means. I’d like to think that Jon does die, and in speculation maybe Melisandre realizes that he is Azor Ahai (this particularly intrigues me when Martin writes, “I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R’hllor shows me only Snow.” [ADWD] Notice the capitol letter). After this realization she resurrects him with the Red Kiss. As such, he is “reborn.” Regardless I believe that Jon dies but will not be dead forever. Ghost is prophetic in that it foreshadows his death and his eventual time as a ghost (even if brief).

            Next, we have Sansa. Now again, this is slightly catered to another pet theory that my brother and I have that Sansa will eventually marry Sandor Clegane. I could get into that, and maybe I will, but not in this post. Regardless of whether or not Sansa will marry Sandor, the direwolf theory stands separate. Sansa’s wolf’s name was Lady. She attempts to embody the values and qualities that she has been taught are ladylike her entire childhood. Regardless of whether or not it is Clegane, I believe Lady prophesizes that she will marry a Lord in the end and become a lady of some castle, perhaps Winterfell itself, as Littlefinger wants her to have. The fact that Lady died symbolizes the loss of innocence that Sansa undergoes as she realizes that the chivalry that she was promised in childhood songs, and the knights and ladies she had envisioned as a child, were far and few between in the real world. She will have the life that she so desperately dreamed of as a lady, just somewhat different then how she expected it would be, catering now to the reality of chivalry. Which would be a touch of irony that Martin has similarly and consistently used before.

        Arya’s wolf is Nymeria. This wolf name is rather interesting in that it is named after Queen Nymeria who was a warrior queen of the Rhoyne before it’s demise. You can read the history here: Explanation to follow.

        There’s a quote from ASOS where Arya talks about wanting to fly away, and how desperately she wants wings. That could be a foreshadowing Arya being a dragon rider, but it is not very fleshed out. This is what she says:      

If I had wings I could fly back to Winterfell and see for myself. And if it was true, I’d just fly           away, fly up past the moon and the shining stars, and see all the things in Old Nan’s stories, dragons and sea monsters and the Titan of Braavos, and maybe I wouldn’t ever fly back unless I wanted to,” (ACOK).

The places Arya lists as things she’d like to see are important as potential foreshadowing places she will actually go or things she will actually see. The ones of note in her list are the Titan of Braavos, which she has now seen, sea monsters, which could easily mean a Kraken, the Greyjoy house sigil, which could be any of the Greyjoy’s. Specifically, it could be Victarion, who just so happens to be with Dany, or will be soon anyways. Lastly she lists dragons. Hmm… How interesting.

          If Arya was to meet up with Dany and see her dragons, it’s very possible that Arya might end up bringing Dany’s people, perhaps the too old, the injured, and the women and the children from Dany’s original Khalasar and her since accumulated followers away from the battles and to a place of safety. Dorne seems to be a logical location as the Dornish have been plotting against the Lannisters and in favour of the Targaryens since Robert’s rebellion. This would be almost an exact replication of Queen Nymeria’s storyline. The only detail left would be that Arya could ride a dragon to lead them, and then marry a Dornish Prince. Again the dragon flying aspect of it is less fleshed out, and not pivotal for the theory itself but interesting nonetheless. Especially the way Arya talks about wanting wings in the above quote.

           Therefore, the name Nymeria I believe prophesizes Arya’s future in leading a horde of people to safety. Warrior Queen sounds like it could suit Arya pretty well to me.

            Next we have Bran’s wolf, whose name is Summer. It’s important to remember that Bran names his wolf right as he wakes up from his dream after his fall. Significantly, he sees the north in his dream. As in the north. “North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.” And then at the end of the chapter, “The direwolf was licking Bran’s face. Bran looked up calmly. ‘His name is Summer,’ he said.” Here, directly after Bran see’s what is beyond the north, and when he sees what lies within winter, he names his wolf Summer. This is interesting considering Bran’s current situation, his powers, and the expected influence of those abilities, coupled with this theory that seems to have wrung true so far. Bran is currently in a cave with Bloodraven finally able to begin to understand the extent of his power. As the readers we are entirely unsure of what that extent will be, and specifically what Bran can do. However, we are told numerous times and by a number of characters that Bran is pivotal in the impending battle with the Others as well as the fight against winter itself. Having named his wolf Summer immediately after seeing the north, it could very well symbolize Bran’s role in helping see civilization, or man, through the winter and through the battle until summer comes again. In this way it could mean a victory for man. Which men: Lannisters, Targaryens, Starks etc, is irrelevant. Survival till summer is the goal, and Bran may make it a possibility.

            Rickon is last but not least. We have Shaggydog, a little psychotic at times, and perhaps somewhat undomesticated, but nonetheless faithful to Rickon. However meaningless the name Shaggydog may seem, it actually may be the clinch in this theory. Rickon himself is AWAL at the moment. He departed from Bran at the weirwood in Winterfell. From there Rickon is unheard from thereafter.

              There is large speculation that Rickon is on the island Skagos: known to be the home of unicorns and cannibals. This is believed for two major reasons. The first is that Jon has a dream about seeing Shaggydog eating a goat with one horn. “A wild rain lashed down upon his black brother as he tore at the flesh of an enormous goat, washing the blood from his side where the goat’s long horn had raked him,” (ADWD). The goat with the one horn is thought to be a unicorn. In addition the character Wex says Rickon is at Skagos to Davos, who describes it as, “places in this world where men were known to break their fast on human flesh,” (ADWD). Both of these tales point to the island Skagos with their cannibals and their unicorns.

            As it is, fans have come to believe that Rickon will go, or already is, insane. Jojen himself says, “The black one is full of fear and rage,” (ACOK). Some fans of ASOIAF seem to think that Rickon is going to grow up corrupted, angry, and cannibalistic. Seemingly, that would make the most sense in his current predicament. Except, this is where the name Shaggydog comes into play.

            Seemingly meaningless, Shaggydog appears at first glance to be nothing more than a child’s silly naming for a pet. Even the name begs a sense of dishevel. However when you Google Shaggydog, it comes up as a term instead of a useless name cooked up in some three year olds imagination. It’s a literary term.

             You can read specifics here: But what does this mean? Well, I’d say that Rickon is a shaggy dog story. His story has been long, it has been pretty anticlimactic up to this point, but there’s a large sense of mystery building as to where he is and what his being alive will mean for the north. Suspense really accumulates in Davos’ chapter in ADWD when Manderly asks him to go and smuggle Rickon back to the north.

            My theory of the direwolf names would mean that Rickon will be brought back into the story and from there it will putter into an entirely anticlimactic finale. Whether it will be that he is simply not the expected bloodthirsty cannibalistic crazy person, or that he will instead not end up being the Lord of Winterfell, or even just that he will be insignificant to the rest of the story. I think that the name Shaggydog tells it all. Rickon’s storyline will be rather fruitless.

            As it is, the direwolf names have incredible meaning for the rest of the untold story and the fates of the Stark children. Thoughts? Arguments? New ideas? Alterations? Comment below!


            Summary: Robb-Greywind: A short-lived and somewhat ineffective campaign in the name of the Starks. Not literal, lots of room for interpretation.

            Jon-Ghost: He will die, or has already, but will live again and continue on in the story. See above for more detail.

            Sansa-Lady: She will eventually be the lady of some great household just as she always wanted. (Personal favourite would be Lady Clegane).

            Arya-Nymeria: Replicating the story of Warrior Queen Nymeria by leading some of Dany’s people, those to sickly, old, or female to fight in her war at Kings Landing, to the safety of Dorne.

            Bran-Summer: Bran will use his gifts to overcome the Others and help men survive into Summer.

            Rickon-Shaggydog: A shaggy dog story, he will not be crazy, or cannibalistic, or horribly corrupt. He will not be Lord of Winterfell, or do anything exciting. His story will be entirely anticlimactic.


TLDR: The direwolf names are prophetic for the fates of the Stark children.


Boxing Pythagoras

Let no man glory in the greatness of his mind,
but rather keep watch o’er his wits.
Cautious and silent let him enter a dwelling;
to the heedful comes seldom harm,
for none can find a more faithful friend
than the wealth of mother wit

Hávamál 6

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