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I don't know anymore

Feb. 16th, 2008 | 01:35 pm

So I was reading an article in Maclean's about Conrad Black that contrasted his fortunes against a former business partner, Peter White.  White has not been implicated in any wrong doing while Black is going to prison.

I read this and thought, "Ha ha, Black and White, how ironic..."  Then I realized that it wasn't by definition ironic.  It didn't go against expectations, it met expectations.  Only, here's the thing.  Irony isn't something inherent about something, it's in the eye of the beholder.

If I were being more objective I would say that based on the convention that people "live up to their name" then it is to be expected that Conrad Black would be on the dark side of the law while Peter White is on the light side. Thus by definition not ironic.

The problem is, I don't really believe that and my expectation is to find the reverse to be true.  I'm attracted to examples of irony, so that's what I expect. Thus, is it ironic to me?

It all reminds of that Simpsons episode at Hullabalooza, when one teen says "That guy is cool" the next responds "Are you being sarcastic?" and the first replies "Man, I don't even know anymore."

I feel the same way about irony.

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Global Village

Feb. 5th, 2008 | 07:31 am

I heard about this website called Kiva.org that allows you to make really small loans ($25) to help businesses in the developing world get going.  I love this website because one the the biggest problems in the developing world that maintains the cycle of poverty is that no one can get a loan. Can you imagine having nothing and having to scrimp and save to grow your business?  If you're fighting for food, you'd never be able to do it.

The other good thing about this website is that it's personal.  You pick a business and through journal updates, you learn all about how that business is doing.

The other day, I was checking out the journals and saw this entry
James Onunuga

They dragged Onunga out of the bed and begun hitting him with the iron bars. He pleaded with them but instead they hit him with a sword right on forehead inflicting a deep cut. Onunga fell down in pain as blood gashed from his forehead. Two gang members then tuned to Maurine and begun tearing her clothes down. When they started undressing Onunga knew that they wanted to rape her!

I had heard about the unrest in Kenya, but hearing a personal story nearly brought me to tears.  The best part is the reaction from all the people on the site offering to lend to him as soon the situation ends.

This is totally the future of international aid.

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Mistake

Jan. 29th, 2008 | 08:50 pm

This MBA thing is a lot of work.

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Dance with the Devil

Dec. 5th, 2007 | 04:36 pm

Fuck Timbaland.  He totally made a deal with the devil.  There is absolutely no rational explanation for why I like his beats so much except by some unholy intervention.  I like it even when married with Fall Out Boy. 

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We Was Po'

Nov. 6th, 2007 | 03:22 pm


TORONTO 2007 - QUEEN WEST
Originally uploaded by ettml.
I just wanted to share a story about Marc and I that we occasionally recall to remind us of how far we've come.

About 3.5 years ago Marc and I were living together in our craptastically cheap & tiny apartment (apartment is a lose term, more like large room) I was working my first job for crappy pay while paying off my student loan; Marc was trying to get his foot into the film industry during the worst year the industry ever had (it was post SARS, that concert did nada).

It's Saturday. it's cloudy, ugly, we've got 10 bucks between us to live on for the next week and we've got nothing to do. Being completely unoriginal, we went walking on Queen West near where we lived. You'd think this would be enough entertainment, but no. Queen West is full of the most expense stuff ever. It was more like a walk of shame than a walk of fun.

But anyway, we're walking on Queen when we walked past the Second Cup (near that lingerie place with the live models). We're stopped at the light when I look down. There, on the steps was a $20 bill. I quickly look around to see if anyone had dropped it (read: if anyone else had noticed it) but there was no one about (read: I stopped looking just soon enough). I quickly manoevered to pick it up and to my astonishment, it was two $20 bills.

I looked at Marc, he looked at me, and we made a break for it.

What did we do with this money? Something noble? Something original and creative? Nope. We went to the Paramount, saw a movie, got a giant popcorn and blew it all. It was a great day.

This story isn't quite Sullivan's Travels, but I think there's something in it anyway.

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Internet Entertainment

Nov. 6th, 2007 | 02:46 pm

I’m home sick today. I remember when I was a kid that meant I would probably be on the couch watching Murder She Wrote on A&E all day. But not now!

Cute with Chris has been my distraction from the burning pain inferno in my throat all day.


That started me out, but what got me hooked was the next one after.



Sarcasm, wit, kittens. All the things a sickly girl could ever ask for.

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I know I'm old because...

Oct. 12th, 2007 | 01:05 pm

…I’m sometimes surprised at the people who are in certain subcultures, much like I’m sure the old crusty punks were surprised to see middle-class nerd girls like me at punk shows.

I also know I’m old, because it makes me feel “cool” that bands I used to like when I was 14 are still selling records. Then I realize that the Stones still sell records, but that never made anyone who liked them cool to me.

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Limp Fish

Oct. 2nd, 2007 | 11:50 am

What the fuck is up with handshakes?  Having recently started a new job and started school I've had to shake a lot of hands recently and the variation in quality and creepiness is astounding. Everyone knows that a good firm handshake is good, right?  So why would anyone limply place their hand in your hand, like a limp fish that's been sitting on the counter for a few hours and reached room temperature.  It's so weird.

And it's hard to resist the urge to judge people based on the shake.  Are they weak and can be bullied?  Do they just not like touching people?

Or maybe I'm some kind of hand crusher and it's all relative.
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Irony in Learning

Sep. 2nd, 2007 | 02:27 pm

During MBA orientation one of the speakers made it clear to us that there would be a lot of course overlap. The suggestion was that we should all keep a journal of the things we’re learning. I plan to do that, but I’m not sure if the kinds of things I’m keeping in my MBA journal are the right things.

So far I have some predictable things.  For example, the notions of “reciprocity” and “trust” were both very important in the first 2 courses I took.

Another strong theme was resisting the “zero sum bias”; this is where you assume that if you gain, the other side loses.  This is not always true so we should strive to make sure everybody wins.  The idea, so far, has been to”expand the pie” so that either both manager and employee get more, or both sides in a negotiation get more.  It’s a powerful concept that I’ll definitely take to heart.

The final concept that I’ve taken note of is the “confirmation bias.”  We were told that as we’ll be studying a lot of real world examples, it’s important not to find out what happened in these cases, because once we know the outcome, all of our analysis will just serve to reinforce what we think is true.

Then, on the very last day, something funny happened. We were all quietly reading something over when someone’s cell phone went off.  The professor who had been warning us about the confirmation bias all week turned to the class and said “It always happens when everyone’s quiet.”   ……Do you get the irony here?  Even though this professor is obviously sensitive to making informed judgements, the minute we’re out of the academic context, he says something that shows this bias in real life.  Cell phones go off all the time, but when people are quiet we just notice it more.  If you think that cell phones only go off when people are quiet then that will be confirmed, because that’s the only time it’ll be distracting enough for you to note it.

Now, for sure, he was just being a nice guy and playing it down so the guy who’s phone it was wouldn’t be embarrassed.  However, I still found it a funny illustration of the huge gulf between what we were doing in the class room and the likelihood that we would ever really apply it.

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Panic! At the Opera

Aug. 22nd, 2007 | 08:04 pm

Has anyone ever actually had a dream where they show up at school naked? I've heard reference to such dreams in sitcoms. It seems to be a stereotypical anxiety dream. Lucky for me I've never had this dream. I express my anxiety in dream state with far more grandeur. In order to shake up my life a bit and end this insane spell of ennui that's been plaguing me, I've gone on a rampage of changes. New job, new condo, returning to school. I haven't been feeling any of it until I got the new job. The reality of leaving behind so many people I like is breaking my heart.

I know this because last night I had what I can only assume is my equivalent of the naked dream. I'm at the Opera. Actually, I'm starring in the Opera. It's a german Opera, I'm some kind of female lead and my part is coming up, only I don't know the words.... What will I do??
Well, the first thing I do is panic. Then my genius creative mind kicks into gear and I start dancing around like a lunatic all over the place until the audience just gets bored and leaves.

I'm trying to figure out what this is saying to me and all I can come up with is that in times of trouble, I should just look like I'm getting the job done and everyone will assume it is being done and look away.

Though next time, I might just get naked.
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