Friday, 30 September 2011


As you may have noticed in my description, I am a student in the Creative Communications program at Red River College. Today marks the (almost) end of my fifth week in the program (minus one day; I was happily in New York on the first day of classes...stranded in Hurricane Irene). Mon Dieu, have I seen and learned a lot thus far.

I have discussed my four beloved girlfriends on the radio (yes, I am referring to Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia), come across an advertisement for some kind of film called Public Speaking and through the advertising class assignment that lead me to it, discovered the brilliant, godlike figure known as Fran Lebowitz, discussed, in Journalism class, the comely creature making headlines today; a two-headed feline I only wish I could call my own, enjoyed a lot of time in the Public Library, directed a snippet of television, and designed an ad. for a bookreading.

Among other things, of course.

This week, I again was faced with something new; attending an electoral forum where candidates from the Minto riding discussed issues that currently affect the lives of immigrants and New Canadians. There I was, in a cropped t shirt bearing, in rather obnoxious print, NEW YORK F*CKING CITY (I am displaying the same courtesy here by using an asterisk as I did at the forum, where I used a bright green piece of tape), a little notebook and pencil, and the undying belief that I really did not belong. I watched my classmates, many of them with tape recorders and a geniune desire to collect enough evidence to create a story capable of providing its readers with the information they need to fend for themselves, to be self-governing. The type of information they need to be free.
Don't get me wrong, I do want to be a part of that. I, too, want to engage with knowledge powerful enough to liberate. However, I feel more inclined, in this case, to the other side; that is, to assume the role of a reader.
After leaving the forum, I felt kind of bad. I began to question if I am really in the right program or if there is something wrong with me, at least in comparison to my classmates. I told my mom about this and she answered very simply:
"That's okay."
I was in disbelief at her answer, but after she provided a little more explanation, it made sense: I, in the future, am not going to like every part of my job; of my Manhattan apartment, of my face, of my life. And that is okay.
Variety is said to be the spice of life and there are many things I am really enjoying so far (directing in media production loveeeeeeee that, informing myself about whats shakin' outside my own life by reading the paper) and that is all good, great even.
A more personal blog post, I know, and it does come off as a simple realization, I suppose. Many of you might even be thinking something along the lines of 'duh' but after this week I can appreciate that in this profession, this life, there is always going to be both sides of the coin, the loves and the hates.. and it really is good. And not so bad.
What are your experiences?

Friday, 23 September 2011


I am very much an old fashion type of gal.
To me, a chocolate milkshake (no cherry, please) and Golden Girls marathon (pay no attention to the involvement of the PVR) followed by some late night gossip with a girlfriend made possible by my gold-trimmed white rotary telephone sounds like a pretty happenin' friday evening.
Even a night on the town is nice once in a while. I've got the rounded sunglasses (yes, even in the dark) and you make sure your outfit is shoulder padded. After I get home I'll journal about the whole damn thing using my typewriter, Virginia Slim hanging from my mouth and all.
...Maybe in Manhattan. Maybe in the eighties. One thing's for certain: these events would not happen today, tonight, whenever without an entirely new meaning being assigned to the notion of 'a little birdy told me.' That's right, I am talking about twitter.
I am also thinking about it since I am now on it.
At first I was against the entire idea, and now I've reached a point of indifference although I am starting to see (meaning observe, not necessarily appreciate) what are known to be some of the benefits.

Sure, news travels fast. With twitter it travels way, way fast. And while I realize that when we receive information rapidly, we are empowered to react to it rapidly, I can't help but wonder why things need to be so quick. Our entire universe is changing at such a rapid pace and I would be lying if I tried to convince you that to me, it's all entirely positive. I can't help but get a little sad over the fact that we seem to be approaching a time where everything is instant and right there before us, a time when 'you' is expressed using only one letter (what I have come to acknowledge as the potential bane of english literature) and the human race may very well adapt square eyeballs if only to gaze at a screen and naturally be able to take the whole thing in. A time when a webcam is considered a means to an end equating to quality time and, possibly most sad of all, a time when people will not wake up in the wintertime, brew a fresh pot of coffee and sit down to read, in print, the stories of the world around them. There will not be the sense that, even if it's 8 AM and dark outside (thank you, Winnipeg) I am at my kitchen table properly informing myself of what's going on, adequately getting a sense of another perspective, and then another, and if only for those reasons, I would not want to be anywhere else. At least right now.
I guess I just don't want to trade that stuff for the ability to read 'stories' ('140 characters or less, people!' news editors will soon be shouting) only to move on to the next. Granted, 'newspapers' will still be available on your iPad but I've tried bringing my macbook pro in bed with me at five AM to get the scoop before school and trust me, it's not fun. You'd think a blaring screen and freezing cold case would keep you awake; it actually makes you want to go back to sleep and not wake up until the actual paper arrives on your doorstep, crossword and all.

I feel as though my insight has been strengthened by Page One, a documentary that allows viewers inside the New York Times. The film really touches on the future of the newspaper. I strongly recommend it.

So, what do you think? Does the early bird really get the worm, or can we wait and get what seems to be a more thoroughly investigated projection of information from the old-fashioned, ink-all-over-your-hands-by-the-time-you're-through-with-it papers?

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Bonjour mes belles,

Today something interesting happened to me.
As you know from the little description box, I am a communications student in Winnipeg. I was at school and I was becoming slightly frustrated because there is a public speaking engagement taking place in Minneapolis on October 14th (Fran herself, of course) and I desperately want to go, yet it appears that may not happen. I started off by posting status updates on facebook in attempt to garner interest and see if anyone wanted to accompany me. Once that proved unsuccessful, I began to talk about it more with my classmates. To my surprise, yet simultaneous expectation (if that makes sense), no one seemed overly interested in going with me. I grew increasingly desperate and called on a few friends who have dragged me along to such events as Kylie Minogue concerts in Montreal but again, no luck. This made me really sad because it kind of provoked the feeling of unfamiliarity and even isolation I experience at the realization that no one seems to like the things I like (this happens rather frequently when you become interested in bette midler and sewing lessons at the age of fourteen). Needless to say, it’s kind of an ongoing thing.
I left school thinking a lot about where I am, geographically, and if things will change in new york. I literally said to myself in my head “isn’t there anyone in Winnipeg who I can have discussions with, particularly, discussions about topics that I am legitimately interested in?”
I got on the bus and called my friend who we will call Beatrice. Beatrice is in her sixties and is another grandmotherly figure in my life. At the end of the conversation she asked me what the speakers name is again; the one I want to see.

“Fran Lebowitz.”

“How do you spell that darling?”

“, you know, Fran. And Lebowitz. L-E-B-O-W-I-T-Z.”
She agreed to look her up and we hung up the phone.
In the next minute or so, an older man sitting in front of me on the bus looked up.

“You like Fran Lebowitz?”

“Fran Lebowitz, are you a fan?”

I was in utter shock at his perfect pronunciation of her name-- he clearly was aware of who this was and all of the sudden, someone was speaking my language.
the book he gave me

“Yes! I love her, she is absolutely brilliant!”

“I agree. I read her first collection of essays, Metropolitan Life, a few years back.”

“I just ordered them in the mail, I can’t wait until they get to my house this week!”

“Nice to see someone young like you interested in a thinker like Fran. If you like her you should look into Sarah Vowell. I read a lot of her stuff too.”

“Do you read every day?”

“Every single day. If you don’t already have one you should get a library card. They have everything at the library and it’s a cheap way to continuously inform your mind.”

After this we continued to discuss various authors and books and he ended up giving me the book he had in his hands.

“I just finished it actually, provides a great sense of escapism. It’s yours.”

As he got off at an earlier stop and we went our separate ways, I experienced an overwhelming sense that I was supposed to meet this person. I had thanked him for talking to me, for bringing it up, and he said he enjoyed our conversation too. He joked that he works construction and trying to discuss literature and such figures as Fran is not really a success among the other guys. As I walked home I realized that my faith that there are people who care about the things I care about and who are willing to engage in informed and intellectually challenging discussion was restored.

What do you believe? I would love to hear any stories that come to mind or just general thoughts on coincidence as opposed to the notion of 'meant to be.' 

Friday, 9 September 2011


Bonsoir, bonsoir.

Me, 21.

I am beginning a blog that is inspired by the following things:

1) My age. As of last month I am twenty-one years old and the title has come with a lot more than a legal ability to exercise the old wig collection in the gay clubs of Manhattan. Here and now, I question everything; okay, that’s not news because I have always questioned everything. The difference, however, is that I am now interested in drawing conclusions-- that is, I am trying to do what I will often refer to as ‘developing my sense of morality.‘ You know, trying to decide what I think is right and what I think is wrong, setting all conventional wisdom aside, of course.  

2) Fran Lebowitz. For those of you who have not heard of this individual look her up immediately. She is brilliant and believe me when I say I do not describe many people as brilliant. Here is an example: Ever since the age of thirteen I have kissed Madonna’s picture goodnight religiously but I will never describe Madge as brilliant. She is great, no doubt. Great, but not brilliant. Fran, on the other hand, has become godlike in my mind (hence the name of the blog) and that is solely because of who she is as a thinker. Observant, bold, self-assured and most of all, direct in expressing that which she sincerely believes. I wish she was my grandmother so I could go to her in times that I, myself am not so sure. I would just go over to her place in New York, it would probably be just down the street from me. We would start chatting and she would light up a smoke. “Kristy, dear, as you know I smoke two packs a day and this old girl can’t be around much longer. Rather than leaving you a mere manuscript to my first collection of essays, I am going to teach you everything I know so you may carry my knowledge-” okay I am getting off track here. The point is, I cannot do that, unfortunately. I cannot just go and visit Fran whenever I want, or ever, most likely, so I am left to develop my own base of knowledge and build what judge judy describes as ‘moral decency’ upon that. 

3) My new partnership with you. Yes, that is right, you and me are now in on this together. I have learned that valid thought is the product of an open mind. I want to hear what you have to say about everything. I want this blog to be interactive, to serve as a forum for outspokenness. Speaking to this, I want it to be a chance for everyone to get their opinion in. As an aside, please do not ever refer to your own thoughts, or mine, as ‘two cents.‘ To me, everyone has ideas that are worth much more than that. Everyone counts here and you are a part of furthering others, here and in the world beyond, as thinkers; for providing your unique perspective and in the process, changing minds. Knowledge and wisdom come in various forms and the value of these possessions does not rise with age. You have something to say now and I want to hear it.

4) A lack of a better idea.

So here is how it’s going to work; every week I will post a ‘moral development’ (that is, a concise and much-shorter-than-what-you-are-reading-now-and-if-you've-made-it-this-far-i-commend-you-version of my thoughts on a given topic). After you read it, comment what you think. I want to know how you see it, what makes you think the way you do and from there we can build meaning and valid communication together.

In the words of Joan Rivers (another grandmother I wish to have but sadly do not)...

Can we talk?