Wednesday, July 29, 2009

#$@(*$)@(#$!!!!!!!

Okay, so this post is all about swearing. Ha ha ha. I though it would be a funny topic for a post. To be honest, I find swearing pretty funny. I don’t find it offensive in the least. Why is the word f*ck any different than the word puck?  It’s just another word, isn’t it? Yet people find it so offensive. I think it’s rather interesting. Oh well, swear words will be swear words I suppose. Actually I think that a well chosen swear used at the right time is quite effective! Swearing itself doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is when a swear is (a) used in a derogatory manner towards another person, and (b) when it is used is such excess that it becomes meaningless. Come on, a swear is a swear, it’s not supposed to be used as a noun, adjective, adverb, pronoun etc. (in one sentence!). So yeah, I’m not completely against swearing, I think it has it’s place, but I think it is way overused in a meaningless way in our society. Personally, when I stub my toe, I’m much more inclined to say “bother!” then anything else, much to my companion’s amusement.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daniel goes on vacation!

Hey everyone, I'll be out of town camping for the next four days, but I have a post scheduled to be published tomorrow (it's all about swearing!) Enjoy the next few days, and I'll be back posting on Friday or Saturday.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A great summer day

I had a very enjoyable day today (and it's not over yet!).

First off, this morning, I went busking at the downtown market. I've never been to that market before, but it's really neat! They block off a street and put the market there. With all the tall brick buildings, skyscrapers and scaffolding all around me, I felt like a struggling artist on the streets of New York. It was fantastic!

Then, I came home and went with my good friend Logan to a bike shop and an outdoors shop. I bought a little bag-type pouch to attach to my bike, and also a great little hacky-sack. Which has theraputic properties. I think so, at least. Logan just thought I was crazy. I am.

Then we went for slurpees, which is always a good thing, especially on a sunny, hot summer's day (+31 degrees!). It's funny, I'm more of a cold-weather person, but I gotta admit that I'm really loving this hot weather!

And then tonight, I'm volunteering at our local Shakespeare fest!

A perfect summer day. This is certainly how summer should be!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Lion King musical!

So, I went and saw the musical of the Lion King last night. Oh. My. Gosh. How to describe it? Breathtaking. Stunning. Beautiful. Powerful. Overwhelming. Below is a video on youtube of the opening number (Circle of Life) with various clips from the show. It's full of beautiful costumes, singing and some phenomenal dancing. There are some scenes are just utterly overwhelming, because you get engulfed in this powerful music, and bright, swirling colours on stage. If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hey look, two rants in one day. Lucky you.

I am constantly amazed at the lack of tack and privacy on facebook. Can't anything stay off? Do you really have to tell the entire world when you're invited to something, etc.? Constantly, I see people posting a lot of stuff that is certainly sensitive material. Seriously, think before you post something. Use your brains, and think about whether it could hurt or affect somebody who might not share your joy. If you're old enough to use facebook, you're old enough to have tact.

I'm having a nice day, hope you are. :)

Gay men can't donate blood? What the...???

SOMEWHAT MATURE CONTENT BELOW

Are you ready for a rant? Well, you're going to get one.

I just found out that Canadian Blood Services does not allow gay men to donate blood. You can read their reasons for it here. They say that
"The basic premise for our policy pertaining to men who have had sex with men is that the prevalence and incidence of HIV is much higher in males who have had sex with other males than it is in individuals having exclusively heterosexual sex."
Sure, that's true, but cleanliness should be the issue more that sexual orientation. I can certainly understand that they are trying to keep people safe and stop HIV from spreading through blood, but seriously? Ban all gays from donating blood? Even the huge majority that is HIV free? And do they realize that 60% of all HIV+ people got it from exclusively heterosexual incidents? Perhaps CBS should have some kind of screening process for everyone to make sure that nobody has HIV, straight or otherwise. Sure, they might lose some donors, but they'd gain a lot of people from the GBLT community.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I feel like there has been a lot rushing through my head at the speed of light, but nothing that I can really put into words and a lot of confusing thoughts that would be strange to most people. But I promise I'll post something worth reading soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Busking at the Farmer's Market

Every Saturday, my city has a Farmer's Market. It's a really neat place to roam around, with all sorts of great food and interesting creations. I've been going for as long as I can remember. Another cool thing about it is the buskers. All different kinds of musicians playing different styles of music on different instruments. I remember when we'd go the the market, I would always stand and watch the buskers, fascinated. Then my mom would give me a loonie or a toonie and I would happily go and place it in the instrument case. It made my Saturday morning.
About a year ago, I started busking at the market, playing flute. It's really fun (and makes good money!). But I honestly don't just do it for the money. It makes me really happy to just stand there and play music for people. And growing up with it, I can appreciate how neat it is to have buskers at the market, and know how much it adds to the ambiance. I love seeing little kid's expressions, as they stand and stare at me in fascination. And then their parents will give them money to put in my case. Although sometimes they need a little prompting. This morning, a little kid walked confidently up to me and was about to lighten my case by a few coins, until his mom walked over and said "no, thats his money", and promptly gave him some money to put in. It pretty much made my day.
I'll likely post more busking stories in the future, as they come!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.|
~Baba Dioum

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What I look for in a movie

Lately, I've been thinking a bit about what makes a movie really good for me. Here are some things that are important to me in a movie.
  1. Character arcs. The characters need to change throughout the movie, and go through some kind of journey.
  2. I especially like movies where the movie is held up purely by the acting. Movies such as Doubt or Frost/Nixon are good examples of this, where the plots are fairly slow moving, but are made interesting by the acting.
  3. Special effects are not important to me.
  4. A clever plot is a plus, but is wasted for me if there isn't an emotional core to it.
Those are some things that I look for in a movie. What do you look for in a movie?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Titus Andronicus

Hi everyone,

I'm writing this post because one of our local theatre companies is doing Titus Andronicus, and so I wanted to write about the play, and why I think it's an important play. This post is about the play, and not the production.

Titus Andronicus is believed to be Shakespeare's first tragedy, and is his most violent, and gory play. I'll give you a brief idea of what it's about:

When the play begins, Rome is at war with the Goths. Titus Andronicus, a renowned Roman warrior, has just come back from war with prisoners, including Tamora, the queen of the Goths, and her three sons, Demetrius, Chiron and Alarbus. Titus, angry that a bunch of his sons have been killed by the Goths, gives his permission for Alarbus' limbs to be cut off. Tamora pleads for her son's life, but to no avail. This sets off a cycle of revenge that doesn't stop until the end of the play.

I've talked to a number of people after watching it, and number of people have said "What's the point? What's the point of this violent play?" In my opinion, the play is all about revenge and its destructive power. It shows how one small action can set off a whole "domino effect" of anger and revenge that ultimately destroys. It's tough to watch, but I think it's important, because little things we do can snowball and become worse that we had imagined.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I saw a bumper sticker today that said:

HATRED IS LEARNED BEHAVIOUR.

I thought it was interesting, and it made me think, which is good. Do you think hatred is something we learn, or is it an emotion we're just born with? Not sure where I stand on this one.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Eric Whitacre's virtual choir!

Check this out:



People all over the world submitted videos of them singing parts of Eric Whitacre's magnificent piece. It was pieced together (thanks to the work of a man named Scottie Haines) and behold! Really neat.

Friday, July 10, 2009

MOVIE REVIEW: Slumdog Millionaire

I watched Slumdog Millionaire a few days ago. Check out the list of awards it was nominated for/won. (Source: Wikipedia)

2009 Academy Awards

To be honest, there was so much hype about the movie, that I was actually expecting something more. Don't get me wrong. I really, really liked the movie, but I was expecting (and hoping) to be blown away by it, and I wasn't. I don't think it's a masterpiece. But it's a beautiful story about a young man, who risks practically everything, and rises above his circumstances for the young woman he loves. It's worth seeing, and I'd recommend it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Musical theatre!

Hey everyone,

So today is day 4 of a musical theatre class that I’m taking. I’m having a lot of fun with it, but I am definitely the youngest one there in every way. I decided to do the “Adult Class” (ages 16+, so I just snuck under the age limit), so it’s a little intimidating. Everybody else has had waaay more vocal training than me, so it’s tough, but I’m definitely managing and we still have lots of time. I’m very happy to finally be in a musical, and it’s really neat with harmonies and everything. And in case you’re wondering, we’re doing The Mikado, which is a little operetta in 2 acts, set in Japan, but not really Japanese. It’s pretty comical and goofy, and rather fun to do. I’m enjoying it. That’s all for now, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Carpet, be gone!

I just finished ripping out the carpet in my bedroom today. I had this sickly bright blue carpet that was just horrible, and so I finally decided to take the time to take it out. It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. I probably took me no more than an hour between two days. But what a horrible, dusty job! The underlay stuff was disintegrating and so there was all this brown powder on the flooring beneath that would puff into the air. Horrible. But I finished and it looks great now! I have this light brown flooring underneath that doesn’t actually look too bad. My bookshelves are a light brown too, so it looks quite nice, and it really brightens up the room. And now I can just sweep it and it’s so easy to keep clean. Huzzah!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

100 posts!

This is my 100th post on this blog! I think that is cause for celebration! Haha, but when you consider the fact that I've had this blog for 868 days, that's not remarkable in the least. That's only 1 post every 8.68 days or so. Hopefully, I'll be able to change that ratio. :) Anyway thanks for sticking by, and I hope I can keep making this blog worth reading. :)

RAIN!!!

It's raining out! It's been raining pretty solidly all day long, and the plants are finally getting the drink they need! I love the rain. I love it more than sunshine, (but that's certainly not to say that I don't love sunshine too!). This morning, I went for a long walk in the rain and sang at the top of my lungs. It was raining really heavily, which made me really happy! At one point, I stopped and stood underneath a large spruce tree. The rain was coming down all around me, but I was dry. And there was nobody else around (I don't know why!) so the only sound was the rain, and me. It was great. And then, after lunch, because it was raining even harder, I went for another walk. It was a great morning.

*post correction*

In my most recent post, I said that I took some wildflowers, but I should correct and say that I took some photos of some wildflowers. I corrected the post, and thought that I follow up here. :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday morning walk

Went for a walk this morning in the woods. Perfect weather and not that many mosquitoes out. Took some photos of some wildflowers. There were so many blooming!

Some anemones.


More anemones.
Saskatoon.


Wild rose.And then we heard this chirping. We looked up and established that the chirping was coming from a small hole in the tree. It was woodpecker chicks! We waited around and sure enough, an adult woodpecker came and fed the young. I didn't get a video of the feeding, but I got a video with the chicks making a racket and the adult hopping on the tree and then flying away. Sorry about the poor lighting and quality in the video...

video

I also saw an Oriole!

And then I found a geocache. It was an easy hide, but still satisfying. I took a travel bug, left a travel bug and continued.

So that was a little report of our little adventure. I hope you enjoyed it!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Accidental Art

Often, when I’m bored, I go for an Accidental Art Walk. Basically, all you have to do is go for a walk and look at stuff! You have to look carefully, but if you look, it’s neat what you’ll find. I always take my camera along, and it’s fun to see the photos I can get. There is only one rule: You can’t arrange what you see. It has to be completely “accidental”. So you can’t arrange some sticks to make your name or whatever. But then again, anything goes, so I suppose you could. It’s a great lesson in looking closely at the world around us. Below are some photos I took. Nothing phenomenal, but it was fun!

And yeah, I messed with some of them in Picasa. :)









Thursday, July 2, 2009

What defines a wasted contribution?

Hello blog buddies,

Here is my question for the day. :)  If somebody makes a wonderful contribution to society, be it a piece of art, service to the community, political statement etc, but that said person is an adulterer, a thief, a murderer, or an otherwise twisted person, is their contribution wasted?

I mean, can you be a horrible, horrible person and still affect society for good, or is your contribution somehow marred or tainted because you aren’t actually living your contribution?

Dan, signing out.

Layout: Take 2

Okay, so I think I've finally come up with a new layout and colour scheme that I like. Thanks for your input!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Layout poll!

As you can probably see, I changed the colour scheme. Like it? Hate it? Vote on the Poll! (It's to the right of this post!)

Canada Day!

Today is Canada Day! For somebody who has always lived in Canada, I think it's hard to appreciate the unique country we live in. Although you hear about a lot of violence on the news even in our city, we really do live in a country when you aren't judged by your gender, religion, colour or sexual preference. I went to some Canada Day celebrations this morning. It was a beautiful thing, hundreds of people of every age, size, colour, all happily celebrating this country of ours.

Canadians are fortunate people. I hope that I'll be able to really appreciate how fortunate I am to be Canadian.