BEDA 14 – An Ode to Ramsackle

Ramsackle, you were a good word. I’d even go so far as to say that you were among my most-used words. You were the first word I sought out when I wanted to convey finding, taking, or stealing. You were the word I used when I was feeing lighthearted or silly. But today, I’ve found out that you are not a word.

I was writing an innocent note to my roommates when you were stolen, dare I say ramsackled, from my heart. I had suggested that we ramsackle a vacuum so as to clean our disgusting apartment. Along the way, I googled your spelling to see if I was doing you a disservice. “Did you mean: ramshackle?” Google asked me mockingly. But no! Ramshackle was not what I meant. It was you I was looking for, ramsackle. You, who had served me so diligently for lo these 18 years! It was you, not ramshackle, who ramsackled my heart.

I feel, somehow, betrayed by you, ramsackle. Betrayed by you, but also betrayed by society. Why couldn’t society accept you with the openness and love with which I so clearly have? Why can’t people see that you are such a good word? After all, everyone knew what I meant when I said you! Like susurrus, you sound like your meaning. You’re vaguely onomatopoeic in the nicest way.

You’ll be missed, ramsackle. You’ve left an unfillable hole in my vernacular and in my heart.


BEDA 13 – Memories

Today was the last day of classes. The last day of my first year of university. The last day of learning this year. Now, for the next two weeks, I have to focus on re-learning.

It’s weird to think that my first year is coming to an end. It hardly feels like any time has passed at all. I can still remember the day I moved in here with extreme clarity. I remember waiting in line, waiting to move my stuff in. I remember the crowded elevator ride up to the ninth floor.

I remember meeting my roommate, Christine, for the first time. I remember her telling me that we were the only girls in the apartment. I remember being excited, but nervous, to live with guys that weren’t my dad for the first time in my life.

I remember being scared of Cameron and Grant because they were older and cooler and Y-chromosomier. I remember becoming friends with Cameron quickly. I remember becoming friends with Grant far more slowly. I remember the nights I stayed up talking with Grant.

I remember Dustinwhoweneverseebecausehesamechanicalengineer. I remember calling him Dennis. I remember when he dropped out, moved out, missed out on the spectacular April Fools’ Day prank we had planned for him.

I remember that Wednesday night in the middle of winter, when Christine’s ex-boyfriend was over, and Grant and I got drunk on cheap wine, and he took us to the rooftop of a condo with the most spectacular view. I remember the clarity of that night. I remember feeling like I was a part of something.

I remember all those nights I stayed up with panic attacks. Sure I was going to die or fail or live a sad, lonely, unfulfilled life. I remember feeling like I was nothing. Like I was useless and lazy and a failure. Like I didn’t deserve to be here, at the best journalism program in the country.

On that note, I remember having a panic attack at Occupy Toronto. I remember feeling like I’d never be a good journalist. Like I was going to waste thousands of dollars. Like I’d already wasted thousands of dollars. Like I was a fraud. Like I was going to be miserable for the next four years.

I remember going to court for the first time. I remember feeling like a real journalist there. I remember being totally satisfied with the second court story I handed in. I remember feeling totally satisfied with the meagre 76 I got on that story, because I worked hard for that 76. I remember thinking that in high school, I wasn’t satisfied with a 98.

I don’t remember getting smarter. But I notice it in myself now. I can think about things more complexly.

I remember becoming more interested in science. In how the world works, and why. I remember thinking about things more philosophically than I have before.

I remember mistakes I’ve made. Mistakes I don’t want to remember, even. I remember being stupid, and I remember being exactly the kind of person I hate. But only for that one night.

I remember walking to Sharon’s in the middle of the night, scared because it was dark and late and the Big City, but excited, because I’d get to see Sharon. I remember talking with her and crying with her and laughing with her, and becoming closer to her than I ever had been before.

I remember growing.


I’d like to apologize to my friends and family for this being late. It’s been a weird day, and it shan’t happen again.

Tomorrow is the last day of classes, which is odd. It doesn’t feel like the end. I don’t want to write very much right now, because it’s late and I’m tired.


BEDA 11 – The Fact that my awesome friend Sam is here

I asked what to write about. I was thinking out loud. I didn’t expect an answer. I expected to sit for five more minutes until I figured out something to say.

But I got an answer. And an enthusiastic one! “The fact that your awesome friend Sam is here!” And here we are now.

I have a 10:10 deadline tomorrow morning which I’m desperately trying to meet. I’ll meet it. I haven’t been late yet. But anyways! Sam!

So Sam and I met when we were 12. I hated her. Because when I was 12, I was stupid. Also jealous because she’s, like, crazy-smart in a way that I’ll never quite be. I’m smart, but I’m a different kind of smart.

So anyways, I had a secret loathing for her for about six months. And then, as my brain started rationalizing, I came to like her. And as I became more of myself, more of who I am today, I came to love her.

Sam helped me through a lot of hard times. (She caused some, too, but so did I, for her.) She was there when I was in some of the deepest bits of my depression, which can’t have been easy. I really appreciate that.

And now she has pink hair. Which is pretty great. Here’s an anecdote (the climax of which has already been spoiled for you.) One night, lo eleven o’clock, Sam decided she wanted purple hair. And she went to Shoppers Drug Mart, and she bought hair dye. And so, she dyed her hair, as I chatted with her on Skype. She bleached it, and looked ridiculous. (Sam should never go blond.) And then she put the dye in, and looked like a total badass. And to this day, as much as a week later, looks way cooler than I, and consequently gets hit on way more often than I.

It turned out more pink than purple, though. But still, a badass pink. A hard-core, “Eat it, Barbie!” kind of pink. An “I’m not scared to be girly or punk!” kind of pink. A “So what if I display hipster-like qualities!?” kind of pink.

And that, friends, is Sam.

BEDA 10 – On Pain and Joy. Alternately: Sometimes I disagree with John Green

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I disagree with John Green.

In this case, I disagree with him about whether bad things make us appreciate good things more.

In TFiOS, John writes that the existence of broccoli does not in any way affect the taste of chocolate. This is inarguably true. However, I do think that the existence of bad affects how we experience the good.

For example, when I went to the Netherlands on exchange, I was in awe of how beautiful the architecture was. It was all so old and pretty and impressive. But the Dutch students were accustomed to it. It was what they knew. It was so old. But when they came to Canada, and saw all of the buildings built in the 90s, they freaked out at how cool and new everything was. There was nothing old here!

The things in which we were immersed were far less attractive to us than the new, foreign things.

Mundanities don’t strike us as beautiful. Take escalators, for instance. Just a common mall fixture? Think again! They’re stairs that can move. Stairs. That. Move. That is SO COOL. But we don’t notice that, because they’re everywhere. If they weren’t everywhere, though, we’d freak out every time we saw them! They’d bring us so much more joy!

Now, I’m not saying that cancer is justified because it makes us appreciate our health. That’s bullshit. Sometimes the pain outweighs the joy it allows us to feel. But would we be actively grateful of our health if health wasn’t something we had to worry about? I don’t think so. (But again, I’m not using this to justify cancer or any other diseases, because I’m not a terrible person.)

If every day was warm and sunny, would we really appreciate it? I’m not sure.

BEDA 9 – Street Evangelism

Outside of the Eaton Centre, across from Yonge-Dundas Square, there is a permanent fixture of evangelists. Some are Muslim, but many are Christian.

I’d like to preface this by saying that I am not saying these people shouldn’t be Christian. I’m not saying that they should change their beliefs, or that their beliefs are in any way bad. I’ve tried to make that clear on my blog before.

It’s just that these people are so aggressive. They tell me that I’m wrong. That I’m going to hell for not believing in their God. That one of my best friends is going to hell because he likes boys. That I am wrong, and sinful, and weak. That I should resist the temptation to have fun.

That is not okay. First of all, it bothers me that my beliefs are being called into question, when if I was to challenge theirs, I’d be labeled as a crazy atheist trying to convert the world. But evangelism is a part of their religion. It’s expected. (As a side note, I usually don’t mind evangelism all that much? I understand that it’s from a place of wanting to save me. But in this case, they don’t want to save me. They want to get into God’s good books.) But it’s more than just that they’re calling my beliefs into question.

Who are they to tell me that I’m going to hell? Who are they to interpret God’s word? What gives them the right?

Shouldn’t judgement be saved for Judgement Day? Shouldn’t they let Peter deal with me when my time comes? Why do they insist that I am wrong and going to hell? That is not their decision to make.

And that isn’t even to mention Matthew 6:5-6*, which says not to worship in public. (It mentions street corners specifically!) It says that religion is a private thing. That it’s personal. That it shouldn’t be flaunted so that people see how fucking devout you are. How fucking holy. Yes, you could say that they aren’t praying. That they’re preaching. But watch them. Watch as they speak to God. Watch as they pray that they will influence me. That they will change me. That they will save me. They don’t even know me.


*As I’ve realized in defending my points to Wayne, this argument isn’t really valid, according to my other philosophies. It shouldn’t have been included, because I’m saying that the Bible is up for interpretation, whether we like it or not, but this point enforces my own interpretation of the Bible. Sorry for being a hypocrite. (Sorry, that was a bad pun.)

BEDA 8 – Easter

This year, instead of chocolate, the Easter Bunny brought me wine. I’m growin’ up, kids.

My family has always spent Easter with family friends. Either they come to our place, or we go to theirs in Waterloo. This year (unlike last year when I was in Italy) was no exception.

We made the ham. My parents bought an expensive one, which I guess translate to having hair on it? I don’t know. It was gross, though. We ended up shaving the ham’s hairy ass. It was good, though, once the hair was gone. I glazed it with a combination of apricot jam, mustard, brown sugar, and a few cloves. Then, halfway through the cooking process, we doused it in maple syrup. It was pretty great.

Barb, our family friend, also made corn, scalloped potatoes, and a salad. All in all, a great meal. Also apple pie for dessert.

I think that’s really all I have to say today, because I’m pretty tired and want to sleep. (Even though it’s super early).