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Purging Social Media

Wow! I can’t believe that it’s already the end of February. Where did the time go? The beginning of 2015 has been a whirlwind of me (still) trying to get myself settled and find friends in this fine city. Halifax has been treating me well and I feel like I’m finally starting to dig out my little spot as a Haligonian. I’m already part of the cool kids club because I work at a pretty awesome little cafe downtown which has been a staple in the coffee scene here for well over 20 years.

Winter is still treating us fairly well, but the sidewalks are whole other story. Still being able to walk outside and not instantly regret that decision is a wonderful perk and honestly makes winter more bearable. I don’t feel confined to my house which is more than I can say for the way I was feeling this time last year. That being said, I’m still very much looking forward to spring when I don’t have to don ultra thick layers of winter apparel. Can anyone tell me how to be fashionable in the winter season in Canada because I am still trying to figure that out. My motto is warmth first, fashion later.

For the most part lately I’ve been avoiding social media. I’ve deleted all of the apps off of my phone except for the less distracting ones that keep me connected to friends across the globe. Facebook? Gone. Instagram? Gone. SnapChat? Yup, that’s gone too. I even stopped using Twitter which is one of the ones which I thought I might have continued to use. It’s liberating. Now instead of instantly posting a thought/observation that I think is hilarious to the world I now revel in my own comedic genius, text it to a friend or post it to the blog.

From a career/business standpoint clearing my life of social media might have beeen suicide but I don’t own a business nor am I employed in a field which requires me to connect with the outside world. I’m happy with my circle of friends and coworkers and actually enjoy meeting people the old fashioned way; through mutual friends or randomly. I tried getting rid of social media once before but was unsuccessful. What helped the process this time was an article I read about the way our brain works on social media. Those likes, follows and comments feed us dopamine which before these applications we got from real social interaction and being creative. This video (which you can watch below or at this link) planted a seed and once I realized that I didn’t give a shit about how many likes or follows I had, it was easy to remove the apps. I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy but social media applications do not make it easy to cancel your account hence why I only deleted the apps.

Maybe I’m a hypocrite considering the venue for which I’ve chosen to talk about this decision but for me, blogs (including this one) exist for an entirely different reason than accounts on Facebook, SnapChat or Instagram. I’m not writing here to impress anyone or to receive likes, nor am I here to brag about my life, I’m simply here as a writer, to express myself and my opinions in a safe environment. If I feel like debating an issue I’ll seek that interaction elsewhere on the world wide web. My blog is simply an outlet.

 

Winter Walking

Trekking to and from work and around town has been fun lately.

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My Street

 

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Is it water? Is it ice?

 

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The Life of Winter Pedestrian

 

Wintertime

I gotta say, Halifax, I’m really enjoying your winter weather. We had a couple of “storms” the last few weeks but nothing compared to what I experienced while living in Fredericton last year. That was brutal! Not only have the storms here been weaker but it seems like the sun shines a lot more and that in itself is enough to alleviate the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

With less inclement weather, it’s easier to both get out and be motivated to get out and do things. The best thing about living here is that you can find a lot of free events that aren’t just for kids or families. I ended up at the Casino last Friday night to check out the final installment of Take it To The Tiki, a battle of the bands put on by Music Nova Scotia. The final round featured Quiet Parade, Adam Washburn & The Elements, The Regal Beagle Band and my personal favorite, Like A Motorcycle.

The main reason I wanted to go (aside from the amazing cover charge of free) was to see Like A Motorcycle again. The first time I saw these ladies was during Halifax Pop Explosion and they blew my fuckin’ mind! If there’s one thing that has remained constant in my musical tastes it’s females that rock. Juliette and The Licks, Kilbourne, Tegan and Sara are just a few of the ladies that have graced the playlists of my iTunes and although I still love them all, Like A Motorcycle has stolen my musical heart (I’m also pretty sure that I’m in love with guitarist). It’s bands like this that make me want to be in a band. I could learn to sing…

I’m really excited to be getting to know the vast music scene here in Halifax. There’s a lot to be seen and heard coming out of this city from all genres. The Regal Beagle Band and Adam Washburn & The Elements didn’t disappoint either. Adam Washburn had a very Canadian sound (think Sam Roberts and Joel Plaskett) but was very unique at the same time. They put on an incredibly, energetic show which was a nice change from Quiet Parade who were good but just not what I was feeling that night.

I had heard of The Regal Beagle Band before but hadn’t taken the time to actually check them out. First impressions told me they would be great as they came out dressed to the nines with button-ups, vests and suspenders and one gentleman was carrying a fiddle. Often a fiddle indicates a boring celtic rock band especially when you live on the East Coast but I was pleasantly surprised at the way the fiddle was incorporated into their music. It was played like a guitar and often sounded like a guitar which gave them some cred in my books (not just another celtic rock band, thankfully).

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#wcw Like A Motorcycle

You know what else is free?! Skating at the Emera Oval and they even rent out skates! I love my city! I think the community helps to keep my motivated to get out and do things as well because even when the weather is less than favorable people are still out. There are always people walking, walking where I don’t know but it’s just nice to see that people are not afraid of a little bit of winter and don’t let it ruin their day.

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Skating on The Oval

 

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Rubbish

 

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Renewal

Books & Music

I’m going through a pretty intense reading phase right now. Ever since the new Central Library opened up here in Halifax, I’ve been reading non-stop. It helps that the library is located a block away from my workplace. At least once a week after work, I’ll pop into the library to look for a specific book or nothing specific at all and just wander around the beautiful space.

Holds Section

Holds Section

I’ve been diving into some classic Japanese writing (Murakami) and exploring some different manga themes as well. When I was living in Japan ボーイズ ラブ (Boys love) manga was (and probably still is) extremely popular among women of all ages. The name of it makes it sound like some sort of weird comic that would be written by and targeted at pedophiles but it’s not. Boys love manga is mostly written/drawn by women and the characters are young (20+) kakkoi men who somehow become romantically involved. The popularity of this genre of manga intrigued me enough to actually pick one up at the library and see what all the fuss is about. The one I’m reading, Ichigenme takes place in a law school in Tokyo. I haven’t gotten that far into it, so I can’t yet tell you if I like it.

Here’s an interesting article and interview on boys’ love manga.

I’ve also been thirsty for new music and have been soaking into the new Taylor Swift album which I enjoy much more than I thought I would. It’s a brilliant pop album and I think it’ll be one that will stay relevant and people will still enjoy years from now. I’m also stoked on the new Sleater-Kinney album. I’m just stoked that they’re back together and doing music again. Carrie Brownstein is brilliant and I love her.

The thing that has made me the most happy recently (besides my #CoPilot) is this song. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

 

*I’m totally going to start incorporating the Kendrick Lamar dance into my regular routine

Holiday Highlights

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Peggy’s Cove

 

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Nomnomnom

 

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Look out, little people!

 

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Go big or go home

 

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My favorite!

 

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Family reunion of sorts

 

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Stuff it!

 

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Turnip strength

 

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(Mostly) Paleo Christmas Dinner

 

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My first lemon meringue pie

 

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Boxing Day #ootd

 

December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014 – It’s still fall

 

It's winter

January 2, 2015 – now, it’s winter

A Very Special Year

The craziness that is Christmas is beginning to wind down. After a wonderful visit, my mom has gone back to the island and I’ve got the place to myself for an undetermined amount of time until my roommates return. This holiday season has been more introspective than years passed and I’ve learned a lot about myself and even had a few epiphanies.

I’m going to recap and reminisce about the year the old fashioned way instead of relying on Facebook or some other form of social media to recap the year for me. In reality all of the most significant moments that occurred in my life this year were not posted to Facebook or Instagramed or even tweeted, they were experienced and shared with some very special people.

I’ve heard that whatever you’re doing as the old year rolls into the new year is what you’ll be doing for the rest of the year. Well, last year I was ringing in the New Year with drinks in Halifax and now Halifax is my home.

It was right around the beginning of 2014 that I had enough of the endless, depressing winter in Fredericton and decided to do something about my life. I convinced myself that moving back to Japan would be the best thing for me and I got the ball rolling. As you already know, this didn’t work out the way I expected but am very happy with the way that it did. I’m working as a baker and have a pastry school goal in mind and am able to spend more time with a special someone that came into my life this year.

All of the significant events of 2014 came unexpectedly and unplanned, as if the universe was forcing things into my life. So even though 2014 started out a bit sad and stressful, I’m sailing into 2015 with nothing but positive things and people in my life and I couldn’t be happier.

Here’s to all the wonderful people that came into my life in 2014 and to those that never left, you know who you are.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Halifax Local <3

I’ve been discovering more and more great things about this little city lately. Stumbling upon boutiques with handcrafted items but also popping into the various cafes scattered throughout the city. That was one of my favorite things to do in Tokyo; find a cute, quiet cafe and sit for hours observing, writing, reading and just enjoying time with myself. Cafe dates are something I need to fit back into my regular routine.

Rose

Wild Rose: Made with wild rose petals from the Annapolis Valley

Heaven on Hollis Street. Rousseau Chocolatier

Environmentally friendly

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My new hangout, the new Halifax Central Library

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Libraries are fantastic!

 

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