Cherry blossoms and yours truly

4 Apr

Queen Elizabeth Park lookout

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24 Mar

I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember thinking to myself this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn't the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment. Right then.

 

Greenest City Challenge

6 Mar

It makes me laugh when Vancouverites get snarky about the city’s #1 ranking as the most livable city in the world. I mean, undoubtedly everyone has their individual preferences, but clearly it’s easy to criticize when you’ve never lived anywhere else. Or perhaps I’m still in the honeymoon phase.

I’m incredibly impressed and endeared by city hall’s answer to a global challenge to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020. It’s hard to imagine that a world would actually look like this:

campaign photo

Is this local?

4 Mar

This is easily Vancouver:

<3 Vivian Pickles

3 Mar

 

Beyond Barbie: Real Dolls as Companions

2 Mar

My roommate and I got hooked into watching four consecutive episodes of TLC’s My Strange Addiction, promising ourselves at the end of each episode we’d walk away and accomplish something else. But, the introduction for the next episode would begin and we’d sit back down for another 30 minutes. It’s a fascinating show, although some things are tough to watch. I could do without watching a twenty-something eat glass for attention, or seeing a grown woman pick at her scabs.

What really compelled me, though, was a feature on Davecat’s relationship with a Real Doll. My own “strange addiction,” which the majority of my English MA projects resorted to, is cyborgs or hybrid bodies either animate and inanimate, as imagined in science fiction, and Davecat’s fascination with the doll somewhat exists within that vein.

While watching the program, I would repeatedly ask myself: is this even real? I wondered if I was being duped so that someone could claim 15 minutes of fame, like many of the terrible singers on American Idol auditions. And if it is real, what job does this guy have that he can publicize his “strange addiction” on national television without fear of repercussion. A separate interest to this story, aside from a synthetic companion, is how a self-aware man (he acknowledges the doll isn’t real and never will be) publically disregards social norms that really aren’t up for debate. Sure, people are forgiving if you’re Ryan Gosling and mentally unstable, but otherwise it’s generally regarded as disturbing.

E. directed me to the documentary Guys and Dolls, which is online and follows various men (including Davecat) and their use of Realdolls. What initally piqued my interest was that I found these relationships funny because of their absurdity. In the documentary, there is the one man who uses eight dolls, all with comically large breasts and over-done make-up as some glorified form of masterbation. I’m more intrigued, however, by the stories that document loss and social exclusion,  and was grabbed by the “human” aspect of many of these stories. I’m sure that most of us can sympathize with what it’s like to feel undesireable or disconnected from other people in some point in our lives. And in the case of many of these men, what would it be like to live for many years with unbearable loneliness?  There’s a sort of quiet desperation to many of these stories, and the documentary is worth checking out.

9 Jan