Tuesday, September 28, 2010

With Arms Outstretched

  Hey,
  While this whole blog thing is still new and exciting, I am really enjoying posting frequently, so sorry for people who are trying to read and aren't keeping up. Yesterday I said I might post some autumn-y photos I took, but I thought I'd split up the photo posts a bit, so if people are reading, they can have nice little breaks between posts that are a lot of text and just look at some pictures. So, today I want to respond to something my friend said to me earlier this week.

"Earlier this week I had to give an interview [for a class] on somebody influential in my life,
and I talked about you."

  Now, that is one of the nicest things anybody has ever said to me. And I was so dumbfounded that I don't feel I really reacted properly. I rarely ever take the time to actually think about the people in my life and how they have influenced me.
 I mean, I try to take the time to think about why I love and appreciate the people in my life, but I don't really think about the influence other people have on me. This friend has influenced my life quite a lot and Thanksgiving is coming up in a couple weeks  and it's fall so people are thinking about change, so it seems like the right time of year to make a sappy kind of post like this.

  To my friend,
  I would not have gotten through high school without you. You were my crutch when we were wee freshmen who didn't know anybody else, and you were my best friend the whole time, helping me get ready for dances and big events (helping me pick out clothes, doing my hair and make-up for me); putting up with my angst (as trivial and important as it was); boosting my crappy car out of the school parking lot; going for long walks; throwing things in the 'creek;' going for coffee; driving fast and swearing when we were mad; visiting me at the mall on breaks from work; lending me clothes, books, music, advice; sharing stupid and hilarious inside jokes with me.
  Then in university, you were my crutch again when I didn't know anybody, and we still had the same important things in common - talking about friends, romance, books, poetry, music, art...etc.
 Now we are older and our definition of friendship has changed so much, along with our definitions of all the other important words, and I'm so happy we're still friends.
    You get me in a way that nobody else does, and I love the bond we share. I feel like we've grown up together, going through the same things (to some extent) and looking at things the same way, which is just so great to have.
  I wouldn't have gotten through my teen years without you, and there are some days that I still don't think I could get through if I didn't have you for a friend.
  I don't know who or what I would be if we weren't friends. You have been very influential in my life, too.
I am so proud of you and where you're at in your life, and where you're going. I hope you know I will always support you and wish the best for you. Keep being your awesome self and kicking ass at life!
  Love you!
                     -D

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances;
if there is any reaction, both are transformed."
                                                -Carl Jung



Monday, September 27, 2010

your name is the only word that I can say

This weekend I went to the Arcade Fire concert in Saskatoon.
It was amazing.
I took my camera and didn't end up taking any photos or video of the actual show, but I did take a couple pictures I want to share. Here:
Here's some land, and some 'living skies.'

My friend ordered a 1 lb. bacon cheeseburger for supper. He didn't finish it. It was bigger than his face. 

This is some hilarious graffiti we saw in Saskatoon.

   And I bought an Arcade Fire T-shirt. This is what it looks like:
  
  But if you look at in a mirror, it looks like this:

  The show was just beautiful and incredible, and such an experience.
They started the set with 'Wake Up' which was awesome. And the last song they played was "Rebellion (Lies)" and they ended with just the oooh-ing part, no instruments, and then they walked off stage and for a while everybody was screaming and cheering and clapping for an encore, and then everybody started singing the ooh part again, and so everybody at this sold out show was singing together, waiting for the band to come back. 
  They came back, played two more songs, and then the guy made eye contact with my boyfriend (we were in the standing section, fairly close, and my boyfriend is really tall), pointed at him, and threw him the set list. He didn't catch it, but our friend who was behind him picked it up off the ground, and then the guy threw another one, which my boyfriend caught. So that was pretty awesome.
  The whole trip was just really nice. It was sunny and warm on Saturday, which was a nice change since it's been so cloudy and gross here. I got out and took some autumn-y pictures this weekend and today, so I'll probably post those tomorrow if I get a chance. 
 In the comments, tell me your favourite Arcade Fire song. Or if you don't like Arcade Fire, what's the best concert you've ever been to?
  Have a lovely Monday! Bye.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Talk Nerdy To Me

*Disclaimer: The following blog post contains nerdy subject matter that may not be suitable and/or interesting to all readers.*
You have been warned.

  Today in one of my classes, the word "nerd" came up in discussion. It was in a poem we were reading, and we were talking about the meaning of the word, whether it has negative or positive connotations. The general consensus was that it depends who you are. If you are a nerd, being a nerd isn't a bad thing, but if you aren't one, it is. One guy in my class said nerds are taking over the meaning of the word, and "making it their own."
  This discussion reminded me of one I had on Monday night with my boyfriend.
  I was telling my boyfriend that I love playing Magic, The Gathering now. Magic, The Gathering is a 'nerdy' card game.

For people who are interested: he just bought us both starter kits (the 285 card deck builder toolkits, to be specific) and I started to play. I learned how to play on Thursday night, and played on Saturday night, and I have two decks now (one green and white one that my friend  helped me put together when I was learning how to play and one “Red Burn” one that I made.) and I really like it.
  Anyway, I said that I want to go around telling people I play so I can find out if they do, so I can have more people to play with, and he said that is a bad social strategy, and people will judge me and not want to be my friend, and even people who play will laugh at me. Then we started talking about the stigma placed on nerdy things like Magic and D&D, etc. We have a friend who plays D&D and he always calls it "that game" or says stuff like, "I may or may not play D&D with that person and that's how I know them." My boyfriend said there's a reason he does that - to avoid judgement. Well, I think it's stupid. I told my boyfriend that I hate it, and  I think people should just be proud of the things they like, and also people should accept other people for their nerdiness or differentness, whatever it may be. I realize this is very idealistic, but we all have our 'guilty pleasures' or 'secret shames.' I have a lot and I don't always talk about them. 

  For instance, in my post yesterday I mentioned that I am a Nerdfighter. This isn't something I'm ashamed of, but it isn't something most people know about me.
What is a Nerdfighter?
  In 2007, these two American brothers who lived far away from each other decided to make video blogs to each other every weekday for a year, alternating days. They also decided not to communicate textually, so the videos were there primary form of communication. They made these videos on the YouTube channel Vlogbrothers. Because they were smart and funny, people started watching the videos, and because one brother thought the game Aero Fighters was called Nerd Fighters, they started calling their followers Nerdfighters and this whole community of nerds sort of sprung up around their videos, and I am a member of that community, I suppose. 
  Basically, they make funny, intelligent videos about world events, thinking and reading critically, and a lot of other random stuff, and I like it. 

Watch this video. This is pretty much what I am talking about in this blog post.
Also watch this video from about 0:40 to about 1:40. 

  Now, I have never been too concerned with what the 'cool kids' think of me, probably because I always thought nerds were the cool kids. I think my friends are very cool, even if they do nerdy things. And for my friend who plays D&D and is ashamed of it, if you are reading this, stop hiding your true nerdy self from the world! (only sort of joking.)

If you are a person reading this, comment and tell me something nerdy you do or something you do that  you like that other people don't know about. (You can leave anonymous comments if you are really ashamed.)

I'm laying it all on the table: I am a Nerdfighter, I play Magic the Gathering, and I am not ashamed. 

P.S. If you are reading this and you know me and you want to play Magic with me, let's do it! 


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What's In A Blog?

Hello. 
Welcome to my blog.
   I've been wanting to start a blog for a while now, so I'm happy I'm finally doing it! I had a couple blogs in high school (a livejournal and one on blogspot) but I haven't blogged in years, and I want this blog to be a little different than my previous ones.
   I've been hesitant to start a blog because I'm in school studying to become a teacher, and teachers are supposed to have limited online presence, keep things professional and such, but I think it'll be okay. I don't expect anything outrageous or scandalous to show up here. As long as I keep it respectable and don't talk about sex, politics, or religion it should be fine.
   The weird thing about writing your first blog post is that you have to address somebody, and assume that somebody on the internet will eventually read this, but it feels odd to me because I'm not sure who I want to tell about my blog just yet.
   The name of this blog has kind of a story to it, but not really. As I said before, I try to keep a low online profile. I like the internet (Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) I just don't really want to be on it. So, a while ago I made a twitter account - not for posting but for following other people - and I called it theotherdani thinking I might use it to tweet for various contests and things, and maybe set up another one to actually use, but I just never got into the whole Twitter thing and so theotherdani is my only Twitter account, and I kind of liked the name. I used to hang out in a group of friends where there was a boy Danny and a girl Dani, and so my one friend started calling me GirlDani and it kind of stuck as a nickname. So I became GirlDani/The Other Dani. One of my friends started calling me The Better Dani as a mean joke to the other Danny. Also, I think this blog will be a place where I share things that I don't necessarily share elsewhere, so I will essentially be The Other Dani - the one some people might not know. I have a post saved to my computer that's kind of about that. I will probably post that later this week because while this whole blog thing is new and exciting I'll probably be really into it.
   Maybe I'll tell you a bit about myself and a bit about what I like about blogs/which blogs I like/what I want this blog to be. Sound good? Okay.
  I am in my early 20s, I live in Mid-Western Canada, and I am a University student. I like to read books. I am currently doing a Bachelor of Education Degree with a major in Secondary English and a minor in Special Education; and simultaneously doing a Bachelor of Arts in English. After this year, I have one year left of school and I really have no life plans after that. I love my family and my friends and my boyfriend. I love taking pictures. I love music - listening to it, going to shows, playing guitar (I'm getting better at it), singing, playing piano. I love going to movies and watching movies at home. I love writing. I love travelling but I haven't done much of it because I'm young and I'm in school. One of my biggest dreams for the future is to travel around the world. My boyfriend and I are sort of planning and saving for a trip to Europe when I graduate, so hopefully that happens. 
  Some other blogs I love are: 
Clever Nettle - I love her photographs and stories of travelling, and I love her shop although I've never purchased anything from it - not yet, anyway.
Color Me Katie - I love her photos and especially her posts that are like "things that make me happy" because they make my day!
Booklicious - I love books and am very interested in the publishing industry and all things book-related so this blog is one of my favourites.
I love these girls' blogs - Owlssayhooot, The Hayleylujah Chorus, and Oh Hey Kristina. We're close to the same age, and we like a lot of the same things. 
I also really love this guys' blog because he is one of my favourite authors and talks about the publishing industry a lot and he's very smart. Yes, I am a Nerdfighter...more on that later for those of you (potential/imaginary readers) who don't know what that is... or who do, I guess.
I am also a big fan of PostsecretThe Sartorialist and Hyperbole and a Half. I love how funny Hyperbole and a Half is but I don't think my blog will be like that, and I love the photos on the Sartorialist but I especially love the insights into the people's lives and stories.

  So, I want to make this blog a place where all my interests culminate - books, publishing, writing, reading, music, bands, fashion, art, humour, photography, and the people in my life. 
Sorry for the long first post. Since nobody reads this yet I figured it doesn't matter how tedious it is and I wanted it to be a good introduction to the blog. 
  If you like the same things as me, or if you know me and I've shown you this blog, you should follow it!
Bye for now,
       Dani