You Are At The Archives for 2012

30 December 2012 in , , , ,

Things My 20s Taught Me

Your twenties are such an interesting decade. Yes. Interesting. At the start of your twenties you're a kid who knows everything. At the end of your twenties you realize how little you actually know. It is a transformation of mind and soul. You evolve from a little bud to a blooming flower. Your heart hardens a little, your head is screwed on straight, the hangovers hurt a lot more and getting your shit together is a constant battle.

My 20's have taught me things.
  1. Your metabolism ages faster than you. It must. It slows down to a pace of a senior citizen taking an afternoon stroll with their walker. So take it from me, exercise and eat healthy if you want to keep that tight ass. I've picked up both activities after recently falling victim to a pregnancy inquiry. I'm 140 lbs, and I'm NOT pregnant.  
  2. Toxic is toxic is toxic. You can make all the excuses you want but some people are toxic. You think they care, they don't. You think deep down they're a good person, they're not. Just do yourself a favour, get rid of them. You're the main character of your own life, you're not here to save anyone.
  3. Remember that, you are responsible for the way you act no matter how you feel.
  4. Perspective is everything. Life gets tough and some days are shitty but you're either the survivor or the victim.  
  5. Weather you're in school or working things will slowly become mundane. There are going to be moments though, which catapult you into the extraordinary. They will be so intense that they will make you fall on your ass, take your breath away and make your heart skip a beat. Cherish them. Those are the moments we live for.
  6. An undergraduate degree, is for the most part, a really expensive piece of paper that does not make you more employable. Nonetheless, you will not regret your university experience. 
  7. Life gets messy. Make sure you learn how to forgive yourself. You'll make the wrong decisions but don't hate yourself for them. Move on.
  8. Love happens in the most unconventional ways and the most unexpected places. When love happens, let it.
  9. Your heart will get broken. Don't worry it's a strong muscle, it will keep you alive. The pain will go away eventually, some of the memories will stay forever. That's not always a bad thing.
  10. Have sex. Be safe about it. But. Have. Sex. You and me baby are nothing but mammals. Sex is good for you. I won't get into the benefits here, if you wanna know, google them.
  11. Be a person with your own convictions, but know that you will betray them. Especially in your twenties. Make new ones, having your own opinions and knowing why you have them is important.
  12. Be grateful. Love those who are there for you. You can't count on everyone. I found that if you keep your expectations low and standards high you end up with a solid group around you.
  13. Go after what you want. Failure is sometimes inevitable but achieving what you set out to do is worth it.
  14. Say I love you. If you mean it, say it. Say it as often as you can. People want to hear it. The people you love need to know you love them. 
  15. Laugh as often as you can and cry as often as you need to. 
  16. Be young and stupid, this is the only time you have to do it. Safety and security are not guaranteed. However, let those experiences make you older and wiser. 
  17. Live an honest life. Very few things compare to a life lived with grace and integrity.
Cheers,

the outspoken introvert


12 December 2012 in , ,

Hey you, yea...you. Listen up.


Here's the thing, in an extroverted world there are a lot of misconceptions about those who are introverted. Like moi. Yea me, in French. I'd like to get some of these straightened out; feel like I'm passing on some knowledge up in here.

Without further ado let's get started with the one that really gets my goat. 

You're a snob or there must me something wrong with you. In the spirit of honesty I will admit sometimes I can be a bit snobby, but for the most part it's not that at all. I simply can't stomach chit-chat. If I have to do it I will, but I really don't care about the temperature outside or the fact that it snowed again. Small talk is awkward and I don't do awkward. There is also nothing wrong with me. When I find a topic that I'm passionate about, I talk so much people want me to shut up; but when I'm quiet they ask what's wrong. I must be upset. I can't win. I don't get it, sometimes I just don't feel like talking. It really is as simple as that. 

You hate other people or are anti-social. Yes. Sometimes people piss me off and I do kinda hate them. However that passes and love and laughter prevail. The key difference here is that I hate them because they did something that upset me, not because I'm introverted. I'm not anti-social either. I will go to a huge party  and be just fine. That's because I'm outgoing. The thing is, big groups tire me out. After a while, like most introverts, I want to go home. I prefer small group soirees with people I know well. Why? No small talk, that's why. I thought we discussed this already. Keep up. I'm in my glory with a glass of wine and one on one action. I love the deep, thoughtful conversations. Oh they give me goosebumps. In short, I prefer to really know someone as opposed to superficial interactions. Bullshit has never been my thing.

You like to write, you're probably a shy loner. Actually. I'm not shy. I'm also not a loner. I do love to write though. Introverts need alone time in a quiet environment. While extroverts gain their energy from being around other people, introverts gain their energy from being alone. Writing is the perfect way to recharge my batteries so to speak. It allows me to focus and think about what I want to get across. I find I have a lot more to contribute after I've had time to think. For me, "damn it, I should have said that!" is a recurring thought two hours after a situation took place. As for the loner part. I have many awesomely close friends. I believe in quality over quantity. I do prefer to keep in touch with them through face to face hang outs. I don't like talking on the phone. I find it imprisoning. I get very easily distracted and being on the phone interferes with accomplishing other tasks I want to get to. Like with every rule there are exceptions. I do much better when I know someone is going to call me in fifteen minutes or an hour or some time in the future. I can focus then and it's totally fine. Out of the blue phone calls though, I most likely won't answer.

Consider yourself enlightened and straightened out.

the outspoken introvert    

09 December 2012 in

We are creatures of habit


Since forty per cent of our behaviour is habitual I found this to be a pretty interesting read. Charles Duhigg takes on the subject of habit in the book titled "The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business."

I found the topic fascinating. We all have patters of behaviour we'd like to change. That change comes from understanding the formation of habits. Duhigg proposes that bad habits can't be completely erased however they can be substituted with other more productive ones. An example he uses is the power of AA in the treatment of alcohol addiction. The twelve steps form a different structure which becomes a habit with time, taking the place of consuming alcohol.

The book is easy to read and the examples are relevant. Although it deals with scientific research and complex behaviours, it's written in a manner that doesn't make you want to fall asleep. It's divided into three sections, the habits of individuals, the habits of successful organizations and the habits of societies. The chapters focusing on individuals were my favourite. The argument is that in order to change a particular behaviour, one must recognize the habit loop. Cue. Routine. Reward. His prescription for breaking habits comes in four steps:

1. Identify the routine
2. Experiment with rewards
3. Isolate the cue
4. Have a plan

The following sections, although interesting, didn't hold my attention as much. The way Target compiles information for use in direct marketing campaigns was intriguing. Our purchasing habits can reveal a lot about us. Although not full proof, Target can determine when a woman becomes pregnant and send coupons directly related to pregnancy. This conclusion is drawn from the specific things purchased by most women, for example lotions in the first trimester. 

I also found Saddleback Church and the Montgomery Bus Boycott story captivating. Duhigg uses it as support for his argument on what makes effective social movements. Of course I am familiar with the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks but this book dedicates a chapter to explain the chain of events that sparked the movement. I appreciated the information and thought the author used the example well to his advantage.

I would have liked to see more focus on bad habits or addictions as those are the ones we are compelled to change. Issues like gambling and alcohol were briefly mentioned, but I felt they didn't get the consideration they deserve.

All in all this is a book worth reading. It's thought provoking, the material is not dry and it might help you gain a better understanding of why you do the things you do. I recommend picking it up.


the outspoken introvert 

04 December 2012 in ,

Teddy-bear Toss

I'm not a sport nut, but a hockey game is always a fantastic excuse for some wings accompanied by some pints. With the current NHL lockout there hasn't been any pro hockey to speak of. Junior hockey however, is in full swing! On Sunday my girlfriends and I headed to the teddy-bear toss game. It was a lot of fun. There is something electric about being in the midst of a crowd that's bursting with excitement and team spirit. 

First, we got our teddies.


The teddy toss is an annual event. Everyone in attendance is encouraged to bring a teddy-bear, when the first goal is scored by the hosting team the teddies are thrown to the ice.


Second, we sang the notional anthem.


This is hands down my favourite part of any hockey game. The lights dim, everyone stands up, and thousands of people participate in honouring their country. I tear up every time. I might be an emotional geek but it really is touching.

Third, we had pints.



I don't know what they put in this beer, but you have to be careful. It leads to an awesome time. Followed by blurry memories; if over consumed it tops off with a wicked hangover.

We took it all in and patiently waited for the first goal.
...
......
.........
............with five minutes remaining in the first period......SCORE!

And the teddies flew through the air. I'm sure mine hit someone below us, probably in the head. I guess I throw like a girl.

video

There were thousands of stuffed animals on the ice, all different shapes and sizes. There were elmos, cookie monsters, rabbits, dogs, cats and dragons. Some were as big as me! This particular moment beat the national anthem. It was so joyous to see everyone, especially the kids, get so excited and throw their teddies. 

The game had to continue so when the last teddy fell the trucks rolled out to collect. The cuddly creatures were delivered to 50 different charities right in time for Christmas.


Good cause, team spirit and friends make a super Sunday.

the outspoken introvert

03 December 2012 in

It Matters Monday


I haven't done one of these posts in a while. I'm actually a little ashamed because of how long it's been. In April 2011, I made a donation to another blogger who wanted to raise $500 towards clean drinking water in developing countries. This is definitely something I can get behind. Like many of us, I've never known what it's like to walk endless miles to get clean water. It's always been readily available. So I decided to help in at least some capacity.

I got an update on my donation today, which I had completely forgotten about. This made my Monday a little less Mondayish, and a lot more awesome. The funds went to work in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. The email from charity: water was a nice reminder that little things do make a difference. 

Having said that, I will be more diligent with my It Matters Monday effort. 

How was your Monday?

the outspoken introvert

25 November 2012 in ,

Advice to writers...

Writing is my cup of tea. It's my outlet. This is why I write. I'm not the best at taking advice. I will listen sometimes, but chances are in the end I'll do whatever it is I want to do anyway. However, here's some advice which is bound to come in handy.


Isn't that the truth. If you want your writing to have an impact it has to be genuine. This means letting go of your reservations, having an opinion. Most of all it means being honest and conveying that to your readers.


Edit. Edit. Edit. Make your writing concise. Get to the point.


Your experiences are just that, your's. Others can guide you but they can't pinpoint exactly what and how to fix something in your life. You have to achieve that on your own. You have to figure out your own story, you have to find your own path.


Make it interesting. Make your readers want more.


Probably the most solid advice of all. Reading a lot and writing a lot makes you practise and practise makes perfect. By reading, you see how others use words to connect, to make a difference. By writing, you put what you've seen to use.


Make every word count. Don't get attached to the useless ones. Every word should have it's place, every word should have a purpose.


Inspiration is everywhere. Don't be a hoarder, get it out there.


Take criticism and get better. Don't let criticism extinguish your dream. If you can't believe in yourself how do you expect others to?


Put in the time to get the words right. It's important. As a writer, getting the words right is all you have.


Use punctuation wisely. It's your best accessory, like a necklace or a great pair of shoes. Without them the outfit is just OK, and so is your writing.


Don't let others tell you that you can't. Don't lose your voice, listen to advice but stay true to yourself and what you want to convey.


The best summary I've seen to date.

the outspoken introvert


     

24 November 2012 in

I was here.


So I have a tendency to get a bit emotional. I mean I have a hard time watching an episode of Private Practice without tearing up. Don't even get me started on Grey's Anatomy. This song definitely hits on the heart strings. It delivers a powerful message. It's definitely worth a listen. 

I think all of us have to take a step back every once in a while and appreciate our life. The fact that we are here. We are alive and able to experience this crazy small part of the universe we call our world. I strongly believe that every life DOES make a difference. Every one of us is important to someone. Every one of us has brought someone happiness, laughter or tears. Every one of us has had an impact on someone. The way that human beings connect and lean on each other for support is heart-warming and marvellous. We need that connection to be happy.

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, "if this isn't nice I don't know what is."
Kurt Vonnegut

21 November 2012 in , , , , ,

How I dealt with...the friend that moved away


I decided to start a series called "how I deal with..." which will describe how I dealt with certain situations. I'm doing it for a couple of reasons:

1. To amuse my readers as the way I deal with situations is sometimes inappropriate, embarrassing and hilarious.
2. Feedback and a different perspective. For my own personal growth I'd like to know how and if I could have handled the situation better. Hopefully you can help me out.

These ramblings will be based on true events however the real identities of the individuals depicted in these stories will be hidden. Silly privacy laws or something. I'm not rich enough to get sued.  

Here goes...

One spring sunny day about six months ago my best friend of fifteen years gave me a little call. To hide her identity as promised, I will refer to her as friend x.

Ring Ring...

Me: "Hello"
Friend x: "Hey what's up?"
Me: "Oh you know not much, you?"
Friend x: "Well..."
Me: "Okkk, what?"
Friend x: "I got offered a transfer with my job (side note: a transfer to a city she's been wanting to move to for about a year) and I don't know what to do."
Me: (side note: devastated, because I knew she would take it) "That's awesome! Looks like you have a lot of thinking to do. Wanna grab a drink?"
Friend x: "Ahhh yea, come over."

Fast forward a couple of months and as predicted she was gone. The following is a recap of how I dealt with...the friend that moved away.

First of all I worked. I worked. A. Lot. Four jobs kind of a lot. I was doing my regular corporate gig full-time. Part-time, I was doing mortgages, bookkeeping for my parents and helping out at a friend's restaurant. I have to say those few months went by crazy fast and are now a blur! But I was busy, and didn't have much time to think about the friend that moved away. I liked it that way. I was happy pissed. I was happy for her, I've heard her talk about moving for so long and I was glad she achieved her goal. We're the type of gals who like checking things off our bucket list. So I was proud of her. I was also pissed. She left me. My partner in crime was gone.

Not to worry, when I had free time I filled the void of my missing confidant with wine and food. This is the second way I dealt with the friend that moved away. I got fat. Not "Junk in the trunk" kind of big, but something similar to the college 15. That fifteen pounds you put on because you just moved away from home, your parents aren't feeding you home cooked meals any more so you live on chips and pizza. I'm going to call my weight gain the abandonment 10. Clearly, friend x's fault. Ugh.

Somewhere between my jeans fitting tighter and a four job induced state of eternal tiredness, the scales tipped. I was more pissed than happy. So I cried. This is the third way of dealing with the friend that moved away. I cried. In secret of course. I couldn't let on, that I was fat, exhausted and slightly depressed. While she was galavanting in her new life. But I dearly missed my best bud. It's not because I couldn't tell her. She would have loved to hear it, and hold my hand through it. That's what she does. It's because I don't like talking about feelings. I also vowed to never visit her (side note: I really thought I would show her for leaving me.) I pulled dumb shit like returning phone calls with texts, and not being communicative at all. I was pissed. Like I said, I don't deal with things appropriately all the time. Lucky for me, she's used to my antics.

I classify the above as my three stages of grief. I don't need five. Then friend x came to visit. Dun dun duuuun. We laughed, we talked, we painted the town red. Everything was as if she never left. Which really isn't surprising at all. We've had our ups and we've had our downs, but we have a fundamental understanding of each other which you don't find in every friendship. 

This brings me to the final way I dealt with the friend that moved away. I broke my vow. Yup, I broke it. Last weekend, I went to visit. It was a stupid vow anyway. Although it rained all the time and going through airport security hungover is horrendous, we had an amazing time. 2AM kitchen dance party, to the greatest hits from the last 15 years, included. If there is anything I've learned about our friendship, it's that even though locations and circumstances change - nothing will ever change to the point where we are not the best of buds. Without each other we're like asentencewithoutspaces.

Now excuse me, I have to tackle the abandonment 10.

the outspoken introvert




20 November 2012 in , ,

Me, Myself and I


1. What are your top 5 movies to watch during the holidays?
Polar Express
Edward Scissor Hands
Bad Santa
Miracle on 34th Street
Home Alone

2. What are you thankful for?
It's hard for me to pinpoint a couple of things. I'm grateful for a lot. I'm not always super fantastically awesome at showing it but at the top of my list are: my family, my friends, my experiences, the love and positive influence I have in my life.

3. If there was a verse to describe your life, what would it be?
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, and you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security, and you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises, and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and you eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child, and you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is to uncertain for plans. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get to much. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure…that you really are strong, and you really do have worth. 
Veronica A. Shoffstall

4. Who in your family are you most like?
My dad is an Accountant
My mom is a Bookkeeper
My sister is a Probation Officer
I'm...the black sheep. 
I suppose I'm a little like all of them. My mom and I share perseverance and compassion. My dad and I share bluntness. My sister and I share stubbornness. 

5. What is your favourite drink to order at Starbucks?
Well in this sense I'm really not that exciting. A grande non fat latte, with two milk chocolate covered Graham crackers. Pretty much every time.

Thanks for the idea:

the outspoken introvert

19 November 2012 in

Get down.


Discovered this over the weekend, coincidentally it's by the weekend. Takes me back to the chill days of Jodeci. It's been a while since I've heard an R&B track that made me wanna groove. Check it out.

the outspoken introvert

18 November 2012 in

Just Some Jokes.

I needed a bit of a pick me up today. I may have had a few to many dirty martinis with some dear friends last night. Let's just say going through airport security with a headache of those kind of proportions is not my idea of an awesome Sunday. Nonetheless, I arrived home safe and sound. Upon my return I went straight to someecards it always gives me a good laugh. After my humour fix, I thought I'd share them with you. 











Cheers.

the outspoken introvert

12 November 2012 in ,

Junk in your trunk.


The Economist is a magazine I read often. It's a one stop shop in terms of a news outlet. It provides me with a dose of politics, business, finance, technology and culture. I enjoy it. I came across an article today which left me unnerved. This post is bound to ruffle some feathers, I'm OK with that. I'm going to talk about weight which is a sensitive issue for millions of people. I don't mean a few extra pounds, I mean obesity. Needing an extra seat on a plane kind of obesity.

The article, Obese flyers: How should airlines treat larger passengers? makes a comparison between American and international attitudes towards big travellers. In America, a passenger who is not able to fit in one seat is required to buy an extra ticket or wait for the next flight that can accommodate the necessary space. In contrast, good ol' Air Canada's policy is as follows:

"International airlines such as Air Canada address this issue more amicably: Because the airline considers obesity a medical condition, it provides overweight passengers with a free extra seat as long as they present a doctor's note."

Well, this would in part, explains why Air Canada needs all those government bail outs on a regular basis. Although I'm sure the article is right in pointing out that the cost is passed on to other passengers, who get nothing extra for their buck. I am typically a bleeding heart of such massive proportions it feels like my arteries are working overtime. Not in this case. America has this right! If I can barely bring my luggage without paying a premium on top of my regular fare, those who need extra seats for their butt cheek can pay for it as well. We are after all talking about extra weight.

It's not that I can't appreciate the difficulties associated with obesity. Not from my own experience, but I can sympathize with another person's pain and the feeling of humiliation. However, is making things "more comfortable" not encouraging the problem in the grand scheme of things? I'm not saying big traveller's should be treated poorly or with disrespect but they should pay a fair share based on their particular circumstance. Air Canada's policy for infants (children 2 years and younger) on international flights is 10% of the adult fare and they don't even get a seat, they share with the parent. It seems only reasonable that a person who is actually using the extra space pay for it.

Canadian flights are already extremely expensive in comparison to those in the United States  and Europe without the added costs of these free seats.

the outspoken introvert 

11 November 2012 in , ,

Stop being boring...it's boring.


I came across a little gem and it made my day, I had quite the chuckle over it. Chelsea Fagan has compiled 8 sure signs to tell if you are becoming boring. Its safe to say I'm there! I am guilty of committing ALMOST everything on that list. If you have a moment to spare and need a good laugh check it out here. It might save you from a boring existence with pj's and take out, so go on take a little looksie.

the outspoken introvert


10 November 2012 in , , , ,

Just let it go...


Relationships are weird. I don't just mean relationships with a significant other. I mean human relationships in general. There are moments when you connect with another human being and you can't imagine your life without them. You laugh together, keep each other company and confide in each other. They become ingrained in your daily routine like sugar in your coffee or brushing your teeth. You take comfort in their presence because it is automatic, it becomes the norm.

BUT...

This bliss doesn't last forever. People are like elastic bands, they come together and drift apart. Each individual who is let into your life teaches you something. They leave their mark on the way you see the world - sometimes it's positive and other times it's not. Nonetheless other people change us, maybe that's why it's possible to outgrow your relationships. Our interests shift and so do our priorities. All of a sudden life without that particular connection doesn't seem so unbelievable. It becomes real, almost a necessity. That's the moment to let go. 

The hard part is deciding whether a relationship is still worth your effort or whether you've exhausted all avenues and have nothing left to offer. The threshold is different for everyone. It doesn't make sense to let go of something you had for so long, but it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there. So true! The point of human relation is to relate. That's what makes us comfortable, that's what makes us sane - knowing that we can connect with like minded people and feel understood. If there is a disconnect in that relation the bond between two individuals will deteriorate. Keep the relationships which are worth keeping and nurture them with all you have; let go of the ones that are not worth it without looking back  

the outspoken introvert. 

29 October 2012 in , ,

Ma'am

I had a run in with Ma'am today. I have to say it used to bother me a little and made me feel, well old. Today, it nearly didn't bother me at all. The words, "thank you ma'am" have lost their chilling sting. Maybe because I've ran into debates about the dreaded Ma'am quite frequently as of late. Some opinions on this four letter little word are quite strong.

"Don't call me Ma'am, my mother is a Ma'am"
"Well before you reach a certain age its just rude"
"Quite frankly, it's ignorant. I mean, do I look like a Ma'am?!"

On and on it goes...

In all honesty, Miss, was my distinct preference. Who knows maybe it's the looming brink of my thirties that has dulled Ma'am right down. Or maybe it's the fact that I'm wise enough now to recognize a term which is meant to show respect. It isn't rude or ignorant, in fact it is considerate and courteous. It carries with it a sense of dignity. So let's give those Ma'amer's a break shall we, they mean no harm.

the outspoken introvert

27 October 2012 in , ,

Only miss the sun when it starts to snow.




I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm a sucker for a guy with an acoustic guitar. This little tune has been rocking my socks off all week. Take a listen, it's worth it.

the outspoken introvert

26 October 2012 in , , ,

You should write.


I write because it clears my head. It forces me to make sense of the thoughts zipping through my mind. It makes me take responsibility for what I believe in. Actually, it helps me figure out what I believe in. When I write, I write for me. It’s hard to hide from your own mind.
Writing brings me closer to the page and once there it makes me leave a piece of myself in the paragraphs. I am what I write. Writing exposes my vulnerabilities, my successes, my fears. It connects me to other human beings. With every word, it helps me keep my sanity. With every word it helps me figure out who I am.
This is why you should write
the outspoken introvert

10 June 2012 in , , , ,

It's hard to like everyone...



We all have our flaws and pet peeves. I know I'm full of them, but this isn't about me. This is about the kinds of people that rub me the wrong way. Let's be honest it is hard to like everyone.

Number One: The Broad With No Close Girlfriends
You meet her from time to time. After only a short amount of time she professes her love and calls you her bestie, because she's never had close girlfriends and it feels so good to finally have one. She's 29. Now, girls can be catty but let's get one thing straight, when it comes to our friends we stick together. I always found these "lone wolf" females strange. They freak me out. If you've gone through your teenage years and most of your twenties without any close girlfriends, you're doing something wrong. Probably a little to much boyfriend stealing, manipulating and back stabbing. I mean, like with everything there are exceptions to the rule. If, for example, your dad was in the army and you moved for most of your life,  makes sense. Chances are though, even with moving if you're a decent person you'll find people who will stick by you. My rule of thumb for the lone wolf female is to  run in the opposite direction. Seriously.

Number Two: The Person Who Says They'll Do Something And Never Do It
These folks are all over the place with their empty promises. Get out of here. The notion is simple, if you're not going to do it then don't say you will. It's not rocket science. For example if I'm getting a round of drinks, don't say you'll get the next one if you're not planning on it. It's rude to spend someone else's money while squirrel piling yours away. Or you promised someone to help them move and bail at the last minute. It's rude to promise and not deliver.  When you make promises whether big or small people come to depend on you. People come to expect that you'll live up to your word. So do it.

Number Three: The Liar
Ok fine, ignorance sometimes is bliss. Telling lies is part of our world. Sometimes it's to spare our feelings, other times it's to stay out of trouble - the list of reasons is endless. I'm not talking about a person that fibs from time to time; I'm talking about the person who chronically lies about everything. After a conversation with them you end up feeling like they live in an alternate reality or like a bunch of Nigerians just ran an email scam on you.

Oh you flew to France over the weekend, on a private jet with ten super models. Somehow you managed to do that without having a job. I mean hey, if you can stretch no income that far where is that money you owe me? Oh right, you had to send money to your sick grandma because she doesn't have health insurance, so naturally you can't pay me back.

I think I made my point.

the outspoken introvert

07 April 2012 in

Just a little Lykke Li



Love this!
Happy Easter Everyone.

29 March 2012 in , , , ,

Bizzarrooo World...

MARCH 29, 2012




OK. So many places to start with this one, it actually leaves me a little speechless. We as a society dress our dogs and put our children on leashes. That's messed up! This continent has officially gone nuts. Get a grip people.

Dear pet owners, your dog will do just fine without the latest threads. Believe me clothes are not imperative to an animal's survival. They have this little thing called fur, which stays on for, well....EVER.  I'm pretty sure your four legged friend will still eat, shit and sleep the same way whether it is sporting a Burberry coat or not. Don't try to peg me as some animal hater here either. That could not be further from truth. There is a miniature pincher in my life, her name is Maple. She doesn't belong to me, she belongs to my sister. That does not change the fact that I love Maple. I dog sit her when my sister goes out of town and I very much enjoy it. However in the winter I have to put on her stupid outfit as directed by my sister. I put on her coat and her shoes, yes she has shoes. I put them on reluctantly. But I do it.  I mean when it's -40, I can see how a dog that size would get a little chilly. Fair enough, I suppose I can agree with the fact that sometimes these clothes serve a purpose. Sometimes they are funny and cute, but some people take it overboard.

I don't see the point in giving your dog a ponytail, dressing him in jeans and a wife-beater then making him pose for what looks like a professional photo shoot. The one in the dress isn't any better. That's weird. That's over the top. That's completely unnecessary. Do people think dogs enjoy this? Do dogs enjoy this? Are people really this bored? Why not take the dog for a walk, or throw a bone without having the dog visit the beauty parlour first.  

And children owners, is that how I should refer to you? As far as I'm concerned you gave up the right to be called a parent the second you put your child on a leash. A LEASH. I mean it is actually laughable. I will admit I don't have children, but I can say with confidence that when I do they will not be raised on a leash. Why? Hmmm, maybe because they are not a dog. Are the people who are dressing their dogs the same people that put their kids on leashes? I am honestly baffled. I suppose an argument for safety can be made here. It keeps kids safer. You know what else keeps kids safe, and I'm just going out on a limb here, good parents that actually pay attention to their children. A leash for your child is another tool to allow you as the parent to not have to pay attention. I can't shake the feeling of how degrading it is. Is lovingly holding your child's hand the old phased out way of doing things? 

I don't want to down play the fact that parenting is hard, and that it gets tiring and that sometimes you are just at your wits end. I dig that. There has to be a better way than a leash though? 

So answer me this, when your child is embarrassing you at an establishment will you take them outside and tie them to a pole? And in the spirit of being ridiculous, can leashed and unleashed kids play together or should playgrounds be separated into leash and off leash areas?

the outspoken introvert


18 March 2012 in , ,

There's a pill for that.

MARCH 18, 2012

So the war on drugs wages on but is it being fought on the right front? I used to think it was easy to distinguish bad drugs from good ones; legal was good and illegal was bad. My naive way of thinking amuses me now. Being legal does not necessarily make something less harmful. Being legal simply means that it's distribution occurs in a different market; that market being the pharmacy as opposed to the street.

Heroin, for example, is horrible. Highly addictive with life changing consequences. It is illegal now, but in the past it was prescribed for pain.

Cocaine, is another one which now, is also illegal because of it's addictive qualities. It used to be prescribed for a number of things ranging from exhaustion to depression.

Marijuana can't be left out of the mix. Although it is illegal for recreational use, it is prescribed medically to help with a number of conditions. It is important to point out that in potency Mary Jane pales in comparison to the drugs listed above.

Throughout the years these drugs have gained quite a stigma. What worries me is that they originated as popularly prescribed medications. So is Valium the next marijuana and Oxycontin the next heroin? It is generally assumed that if it's prescribed by a doctor it's safe. This is a dangerous assumption to make in our drug obsessed culture. 

There is a pill for everything. If you have a headache, you take an Advil. Migraine, something stronger. If your body is aching, you take a Tylenol. If your stomach hurts, you drink a little Pepto-Bismol. If your dick can't get hard, pop Viagra. If you're sad, eat a Prozac. Having trouble concentrating, Ritalin will sort you out. Trouble sleeping, there is sleeping pills. A little anxiety, Valium will fix that. Pain, don't worry take an Oxycontin or Percocet. Don't want a baby, take your pick of birth control.

We are consuming over the counter and prescription medications in copious amounts. Who is paying attention to their effects? Oxycontin is an opiate and derived from the same source as heroin, it's addiction is reaching epidemic levels; yet it is still prescribed. Valium and the sort, such as Diazapam and Ativan are turning people into walking zombies unable to feel real emotion. Prolonged uses can result in memory loss and rage. Birth control pills are being recalled all over the place from causing irreparable damage such as blindness, blood clots and death. Ritalin, if used by someone who does not have ADHD has the effect of the street drug speed. Prolonged and excessive use of Advil can lead to breathing problems and hallucinations.  Tylenol has proven to cause liver damage.

The inspiration for this post came from a TIME Magazine article ADHD: Why the Youngest Kids in a Class Are Most Likely to be Diagnosed. I won't go into details of the article here. You should really check it out, even if you just skim over it. It makes a very compelling case. It's disheartening that Ritalin is being pushed onto kids who might not even have a disorder to begin with. They might just be regular, distracted kids. Not to mention the effects of growing up thinking you have ADHD, when you don't! Without standardized testing, it's really one guess over another.

Drugs are suppose to be available with a prescription because that is suppose to act as a checks and balance to keep them out of the wrong hands. That is a great little thought in theory, if it resembled reality even slightly it would be even better. Doctor's are given kick backs from pharmaceutical company's for using their product. It's almost like a commission. People die because of the wrong combination of drugs being prescribed to them. A lot of the celebrities who have passed away in recent years have been found with wrong combinations of prescription medications. It wasn't a street drug overdose. 

I'm not saying that we should doubt every single doctor, the majority are well-meaning individuals. However, we should be aware about what we are putting into our bodies. If you're not going to willingly roll up a bill and snort coke up your nose then you probably shouldn't fill that prescription blindly either. READ and LEARN. I'm not implying that everyone go to med school, but we should be aware. Prescription drugs can be just as addictive and harmful as street drugs; you just buy them in different places.

It is very clear that a guy selling blow or heroin by the pounds should be in jail. How about the guy prescribing Oxy and Valium like it's candy? Does the fact that he wears a white coat and has a prescription pad make him any less of a drug dealer; especially when he collects a bonus cheque from big pharma? 

the outspoken introvert

06 March 2012 in , , , ,

A Quick Guide to Apologies

MARCH 6, 2012

I rarely have to apologize because I'm perfect and never do anything that warrants an apology! (Insert sarcastic font, if it existed.)  I'm definitely no communication expert, but throughout my years of apologizing I have noticed things. Things which I will share with you.

For those of you who screw up from time to time pay attention; a proper apology goes a long way. Firstly, I have a general rule which I try to follow fairly rigorously. If I'm not actually sorry, I don't apologize. I don't see how my insincere apology is suppose to make things better. I'm lying! Which makes things worse.

Now let's get to the nitty gritty. 

I'm sorry, but...
Take but out of that equation and you might get somewhere. The but is a huge no no. You should omit it at all costs. Three letters cancel out the main attraction the, I'm sorry. Nothing positive can possibly come after the but. You're sorry, but it's still their fault. That's not the way it's supposed to work. Let me demonstrate:

"I'm sorry, I really didn't mean it like that. Let me explain."

OR

"I'm sorry, that's not what I meant; but if you hadn't brought it up we wouldn't be having this conversation."

The but creates a backhanded apology; it's quite clear. See the difference?  If you don't, you're a lost cause so don't waste your time reading further.  Keep it simple, say I'm sorry and state why. 

I'm sorry that's the way you feel...
You might be sorry that's the way they feel, but if they feel that way because of you, own up to it. From my experience there are two sentences there:

1. "I'm sorry."
2. "That's the way you feel."

This is easy peasy stuff. If you're looking to resolve matters with a constructive conversation start with the first one. If however, you're feeling argumentative and want to get into a fight please feel free to go with number two. Better yet combine them. Clearly when dealing with an apology aggravating statements should be kept to, non-existent. Therefore, I'd suggest steering clear of pointing out that you're right and the other person, and their feelings, are wrong.

Wide open arms
Apologizing isn't always an easy thing to do and therefore it carries with it a set of expectations. The person who was wronged expects an apology. Those who have screwed up come to the realization that they have to apologize. Ok. This apology usually comes with the expectation that everything will be forgiven once they muster out the I'm sorry. Hopefully they'll leave out the but. Clearly they should be welcomed with open arms, a drink, a laugh, maybe a little dance and the wrongdoing should be forgotten in it's entirety. Stop it people who screw up! Don't make it about you. If you screwed up allow the forgiver some space, don't just expect their forgiveness and a clean slate immediately. Sometimes you might not be forgiven. That doesn't mean you shouldn't apologize. Forgivers, remember that this space is supposed to be used for reflection on the apology and  to forgive; not to torture the person who is apologizing with silent treatment. 

If these tips fail you, I'm sorry I'm not an expert. However, refer to the Formal Apology Template above, it might be better equipped to help you out.

the outspoken introvert 

05 March 2012 in ,

Spread the blame, or not.

MARCH 5, 2012



Although a little outdated the cartoon still makes a good point. We as a society have gotten good at shifting blame. We are only a culture of "I" when it comes to pleasures; surely nobody wants to deny themselves anything. The tables turn when it comes to troubles though, immediately we turn into a culture of "you". Nothing is ever anyone's fault, it's always somebody else's.

It's pathetic really. We are responsible for how our lives turn out! Yes, of course other people have an impact. Sometimes it's good and other times it's not but that does not mean that they dictate the way your story goes. You have to take responsibility for that. 

Taking the above cartoon into account, I've encountered teachers who would have been more suited to be Stalin's personal assistant rather than an educator but me failing a class is not their fault. It's mine. School is just one facet of this trend. Blame shifting happens everywhere, in one way or another it affects our personal and business relationships as well. I see it everyday. I've done it.

Sure there's been times when I've blamed others for my problems. It makes it easier to deal with, depending on how serious the issue was. There has been times where I've felt like the victim and felt hard done by and like all of it was someone else's fault. Of course I get down when times get tough but after a while I get annoyed with self pity and I have to do something about it. Ultimately I'm the only one that can. I believe in personal accountability, it's my story. 

There has to come a point where one stops blaming others. It is imperative to one's evolution as a human being. We have to admit to our mistakes. We have to own them. We have to fix them.  If blame is constantly shifted to other individuals we never learn anything. Instead it reinforces the idea that we can be below average versions of ourselves and that we can get away with it. It is a self-deluded way of going through life.

In the end it comes down to a choice, an honest self-evaluation is hard. Are you going to own up to it or are you going to pass the buck?

the outspoken introvert

19 January 2012 in , , ,

Solid Relationship From a Single Standpoint.

JANUARY 19, 2012

My generation has redefined what a relationship means. The nearly thirty something's have made male and female interaction so confusing it's ridiculous. Let's see, there is:

"Just Friends (wink wink nudge nudge)"
"Friends with benefits"
"No strings attached"
"One night stands"
"Seeing each other"
"Kind of seeing each other"
"Dating"
"Kind of dating/Kind of seeing each other"
"Just hanging out"
"Down to fuck"
"Nothing Serious"
"Boyfriend & Girlfriend"

Blah, blah blah the list goes on and the rest of it is just as idiotic as what's listed above. Not to worry though there is plenty of material to guide you through all of this confusion. All you have to do is spend $14.99 on some book which promise's to get you a man in no time. Better yet you can even attend seminars put on by some middle aged guy who looks like he hasn't been laid in years. Your money would be much better invested in a push up bra and some lube.

I have actually been wanting to take this topic on for a while but it's so broad it is daunting. I'm sure you can tell I'm not a fan of this redefinition of a relationship. What the hell happened to:

"Hey I like you" and
"I like you too" so
"Let's be boyfriend and girlfriend."

I fully realize that I am simplifying things here maybe a bit too much. That's how things went down in grade six or the fifties. I'm not sure about the fifties as I wasn't born yet, but that's what all the movies suggest.

I'm confused. I don't know where this redefinition came from or why? Is it because young adults are afraid? Is it that we are confused? Is it that we need to simplify things to such a degree that we make them meaningless? What is it that drives the redefinition to continue? 

I have to admit that I am not entirely sure if we are meant to spend our entire lives or what's left of them with one person. I believe in monogamy while in a relationship, but people change and grow apart sometimes it's necessary to move on. 2011 meant splitsville for a lot of couples around me. It was weird. I have been thinking about relationships since. 

Is it better to be single? I mean you don't have to deal with anyone's bullshit, you are free to do as you please whenever you please. The world is yours! On the other hand you're alone and that's no walk in the park especially when you're eighty and need help changing your diaper. Your parents kicked the bucket long ago so it's nice to have someone by your side who loves you unconditionally or at least enough to change your diaper.

Is it better to be in a relationship? Yes you have to have patience for all the dumb shit they put you through. Yes you have to have the understanding to forgive them for all of the stupid things they get up to. Trust me there is a lot of understanding and compromise  required. You can basically kiss your individuality goodbye. I mean it might hang around for a while but in the long run, nah - poof gone. On the other hand you have someone to kiss goodnight and fall asleep with; you have someone to keep you warm and call your own and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

This is how I define a solid relationship (dun dun duuuuunnnnn drum roll):

You are getting laid!
This is a pretty basic requirement. Sexual satisfaction is necessary. Not just the wham bam thank you ma'am kinda sex; but the try new stuff because you trust each other kind. Relationship sex is just different, it's better.   

You have each other's back.
Now I don't care if he spit in your coffee right before you left the house, or didn't take out the garbage. I also don't care she's had her period and was bitchy all day. When push comes to shove you have each other's back, and please don't fight in public.

Trust is a must.
You confide in each other. You tell each other things which have not been shared with anyone else. You feel safe because you've established your own bond, something that isn't for everyone else. 

Laugh. Fight. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh. Fight. Laugh. Fight. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh.
We are not robots. We all have our flaws, moods and imperfections. We can all be moronic at times. It is important to fight. I think anyway. Fights set boundaries. They tear down walls and redefine truths. I'm talking about the healthy ones where things are actually discussed and get better not the kind where plates and fists are thrown and nothing gets resolved. Even though growing pains are expected in a relationship they should never outweigh the fun. In a relationship you need to laugh together, A LOT!

The two of you are a unit.
This is simple to explain but so hard to implement for so many. Take that ME and turn it into WE. I'm not saying every moment needs to be spent together, but if they are not around it's just not the same you miss them a little or a lot depending on the situation. You make big decisions together and you don't bullshit each other. 

R.E.S.P.E.C.T
You apologize when you did wrong. You're mindful of the other person's insecurities. You seek their insight on an endless number of topics from dishes to politics not because you have to, but because you value their opinion. 

Comfort never hurt anyone.
You know and genuinely care about each other. Not just in a lustful "I wanna do you" kind of way, but the content "awwww I love you" kind of way. You're comfortable in your own skin around each other. There is something to be said about that kind of acceptance from another human being, when it happens it's amazing.

Did I miss anything, how do you define a relationship?

the outspoken introvert

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