Otaku Fest Calgary 2017

For those of you who don’t know what Otaku Fest is, it’s simply a gathering of people who love anime, manga and that whole culture that surrounds it. My daughter is one of them, and after watching Black Butler I have to admit, I am a fan as well. I think if I watched more Anime or red any manga I would probably be obsessed with it so I keep the reins pulled in tight.

It was held in the University of Calgary Science Theater, which I can tell you no one on campus knows how to get there. There were no signs to guide you to the location and even the advertising for it was barely out there, so if you wanted to go and didn’t know about it, I don’t blame you. My daughter found it because she was looking for the  big one that is coming in May 2018.  This was funded by the Calgary Culture and Arts I think it was, I am sorry I lost my paper to let you know for sure who funded it.

This was not hugely organized, it was basically three rooms that people moved throughout. While in each room there was games or Japanese foods such an awesome cream pop and a variety of steamed buns in shapes such as turtles.

I enjoyed seeing the costumes and trying to figure out what characters each person was trying to be. I was disappointed that Black Butler did not make an appearance, or even Ciel was not in the room. When I realized that Grell was not any place I could have cried a little tear. I mean come on, Grell is awesome, how could no one dress up as him. So think I found my costume plan for May 2018 at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre . I need to lose a lot of weight to look like him, but I have until May drop 80 lbs, grow my hair 2 feet, colour it bright red, file down my teeth, and get me a chain saw! I did see someone with a Black Butler bag, so the night was saved.

I really enjoyed watching the chess game with all the characters. The chess masters were slow and lacking in chess skills, but they are University kids, what do they know? They couldn’t even count five squares. It was funny to see how they got confused on how many squares they are to move. You know Alberta Education is top-notch when University Students can’t count 5 squares to the left. Heehee.  To see these kids act out the powers to kill other chess pieces was entertaining. Fake dying is always entertaining.

This was a fun day to spend in celebrating cultural weekend in Calgary. I will discuss the Culture Fest we attended in NW Calgary at the Genesis Centre in a different post.

I encourage everyone to join in the Otaku Fest in May 2018 if you have a chance to get to it. I hear it is supposed to be as big as Comicon, Look for Grell, it might just be me 🙂 Makenzie is going to go as her favourite character, Mikasa Acherman. If you don’t know any of these characters go ahead and look up the anime Black Butler and Attack on Titan.

I am not getting any funding for advertising for this, I just really like anime and want to share this culture with everyone I can. It’s a lot of fun to dress up and be someone else for a day, and to be with like-minded people. I mean come on, who doesn’t want to have to have powers and the freedom to behave as these characters do?

Do you like anime? who is your favourite character? what is your favourite anime, or manga?

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Light Bulb Moment -maybe-

As you have read my last few posts show some struggles, ok, some crap I am pushing through. The first day after the abuse I took from the landlords and roommates, I spent the entire day in bed. I only got up to go the bathroom, that was it. I did not eat, not really slept, and the inside turned and I felt like that little girl waiting for her beating in the coal shed, and I had to get the strap myself. Nothing like delivering the weapon that is about to put you in serious pain. So sitting in my room still trying to find a way out of my once again impending homelessness and still scouring the internet for work I had a thought pop into my head.

“To thine own self be true”. Now I don’t want to get all religious on you, anyone who reads my writings knows my faith right now is as strong as a tight wire made of a single strand of human hair. My hair, so fine it would snap if a spider set upon it. There is NO WAY that will hold up to anything. But as I was sitting there day dreaming, as my mind wonders a lot. I thought “what the hell does that mean?” “why on earth did that pop into my head?” Then I realized my mind, subconscious or perhaps a higher power, who the hell knows, figured out what it means for me.

I have suffered crap since the day I was born, from my birth mother trying to kill me to abuse of any and all natures and then homelessness and now what happened a few days ago. There is one thing that made me get through it all. My father. Now that he is gone, my life seems to have taken even a stronger dive. What is the link. My father was able to change his ways and learn from his mistakes and became a really great man. One that I have not met since. But what I noticed about him is that he knew himself. He knew his weaknesses and he worked on them, but most of all he knew what he wanted to become. He knew the type of person he was, is, and always will be. He knew so well that I could lean on him and he helped carry me through stuff by just sitting in the seat beside me.

What do I know of myself? Who am I? What type of person am I? Am I a good mom, bad mom, or a fantastic mom? Am I charitable? A bully? Selfish? What am I really? If I am brutally honest with myself, no over thinking things, just stand outside myself and see myself for who and what I truly am and write it down. Don’t think about what I am writing down at this point, just think of any time I have been a bitch, bully, slut, and compare it to any time I have been charitable to others, been kind, helpful, caring, etc.

I realize that the world is not at all like it was when I was growing up. I remember people helping each other, strangers helping and friends were real true friends not superficial and what do they get out it. But I don’t want the modern selfish society to change what I know in my heart of hearts to be true, to be right, and to be admirable.

I realized that what if all those people in the world contemplating suicide, being abused, and depressed and struggling emotionally, mentally because they are from a different type of values that seems to no longer be in one with the non Christian world. Believe in religion or not, the fact that the world was ruled by the Christian values for many, many years. It has only been since Christianity is being attacked by non Christians and other beliefs that those core values of society have been altered, squashed and abandoned. Those still in the strong Christian moral value system are being under attack. So, even if you don’t believe in religion, do you still carry those core values? Are you kind at heart? Do you actually want to help others? Do you feel emotions so strongly you are empathic? Are you kind? Would you help a stranger just because they needed help? You don’t find humour in the modern idea of “reality TV” and the stupidity stunts and abuse of others? Do you care about the world and animals around you?

Why does this make any sense to me? If you know who you are, if you know without a doubt the person you are, and the person you are trying to become, that ultimate self that you are trying to be. So long as you are not trying to be someone else, but are trying to be who YOU are to be. Then it does not matter what the poo poo nay sayers are saying, who gives a shit what the judgy judgers are saying, and anything that is said about you, that is NOT WHO YOU KNOW YOURSELF TO BE, than you can disregard it. Toss it over the left shoulder into the abyss, and go on with your life. Doing what you know to be true, right, and worthy of you. Searching for like-minded people and leaving the rest in your dust. In the end, if, just if there is a judgement day, you can stand tall, head held high, and you will be successful over “those other people”. If there is not a judgment day and something else is among us after death, you can still stand tall and face whatever it is with those core values you know yourself to be. And you will make it through that too.

I believe we need to feel the pain, feel that hurt thrown on us. Think about it,and process it, but once we have felt it, processed the thought of it, we then can decide if it will continue, or be dismissed.

How do I learn about myself? Do I need to buy a fancy car or get a boob job or take a vacation to “discover” oneself? No. Nope, and No way. I feel we just need to sit down in a quiet place with a pen or pencil and paper or writing book. Then you start to ask yourself questions. Just like a writer asks their own characters who they are, to know them well, that is how you will know yourself well also.

I will post that in the next post how I am trying to work through this. Trying to reconnect with who I am and who I want to be? I don’t mean the house, cars etc, nothing of the world. I am talking deep in your soul, or perhaps you call it your chi, or maybe you call it your “self”. Either way, learn thy self is my new direction and focus.

Please share you thoughts on this, I would love to hear if anyone else has had an epiphany of how to overcome all of life’s challenges and is it working? have you needed to tweek it a little for situations? Does it keep you strong?

 

 

 

Organic or Non-Organic?

All the people I spoke to this week thought of fruits and vegetables when asked what is organic? Majority of the individuals I questioned, did not understand the real meaning behind “organic”. Fair enough, there is a lot of hype and contradicting information around this.  So, did you know that organic can be used to label fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, and type of fabrics as well? Think hemp and cotton.

Literally defined by the Oxford Dictionary, Organic (relating to farming) is: (1) “Produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals”. So far in (2) Canada our government states that a product cannot be labelled “organic”, “certified organic” if it is a G.M.O. product. So thankfully, for now, organic also means non-G.M.O.

So, what’s the big deal anyway? The big deal is that we as a human species, are losing the fight against obesity, disease, and it is costing us a lot of money and lives. Pollution is real. Global warming is happening. We can make a difference; it is not too late. How does this relate to our food?

Follow with me on the journey of our food. Let’s start with the plants. They are grown with chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides / pesticides, sprayed regularly throughout the growing season. These fields are grown strictly to feed animals; none is put into human food sources. The amount of acreages to grow food for these animals is far greater than it would take to grow for direct human consumption. Destroying our natural resources such as the rain forests, forests, and over use of the land. This plant food source is fed to such animals as cows, pigs, and fowl. (We will come back to the plant farming later.) The animal does not get to roam around eating a variety of fresh grasses, or even see the sun. Instead they are packed into small pens and cages so tightly they cannot move and stand in their own feces. They are fed these plants and grains in excess, so to assist with production of milk and increase weight. (Remember we pay by the pound.) The animals are also injected with growth hormones, fertility hormones and a lot of vaccines.

So far we have an animal that now has chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides / pesticides, growth hormones, fertility drugs, and a lot of vaccines running through the body which stores in the marrow, meat and fats. (If a human were to endure the stress and life of the slaughter animal, the human body would be extremely sick and in the hospital.) When an animal is stressed, such as being penned up, not allowed to sleep, beaten, prodded, the long tight transport to the slaughter house, and even walking down the line to slaughter; there are hormones the body creates that are also now added to this already packed list we just spoke of. This stress reduces the level of nutrient in the animal flesh depleting the vitamin and quality of protein.  (3)  (4)  Some believe that that fear is negative vibrational energy we too consume, as it has no time leave the body before being cut up.  As an understatement, the animal meat is tainted.

Now you go to the store and purchase some bacon, or a steak, or maybe a chicken to cook up for dinner tonight.  You ingest this animal flesh that is filled with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides / insecticides, growth hormones, fertility hormones, multiple animal vaccines and the stress induced hormones; no matter how hot or how long you cooked your animal flesh, you cannot cook this stuff out.  These toxic substances are not heat sensitive, they do not evaporate, they do not magically vanish. They must go someplace, and where do they go? In your body.  You had a cup of milk as well perhaps? Now you consumed another lactating hormone as well on top of those same toxins. We have not even discussed G.M.O. and I will not in this post as it would make this article too long.

Maybe you didn’t have milk, maybe you had water. Great, that is healthy and great for our bodies. Did you get that water from the tap, that got its water from the streams, that got its water from the run-off those grain / plant fields grown with chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides?  Or the water that seeps through the ground entering the waterways through underground water sources. Either way, that water has entered our main water system. So now you are drinking this toxic sludge as well and eating it.

So, what can you do about this? Through consumers shopping habits and letters to their supermarkets requesting organic grown and organic fed foods, it forces the farming industry to change its habits. But if consumers do not make the demand for the change, then farming continues as it has evolved into, and will continue to evolve into practices that pollute our water ways, and our foods. Stop buying animals that was grown with these toxins and cramped, stressful, and inhumane pens and cages. You want to look for (5) “free range”, “grown / raised without hormones / antibiotics”, “organic fed”, “organic or certified organic”. Do not be fooled either, “Humane” does not mean the animal was cared for, raised better, or slaughtered without stress. It is just as violent a life as any other animal endured in conventional farming. (7) (8) “Halal” or “Kosher” slaughter is another great thing to look for in your supermarkets. This is done by hand and with the care of the animal in mind. (9) Though, there have been some varying reports of some meat plants not performing proper Kosher slaughter, I leave that to you to investigate.

So, does it matter if we buy organic? I say yes, we can make farming change by our purchase demands. As a consumer, we drive the market to make changes, if you refuse to purchase “conventional” farmed foods they must change to make money, they must go organic.  I don’t want to feel fatigued all the time, nor do I want an unclear mind. I don’t want muscle aches, arthritis, impotence, disease or any other ailment from toxic foods and water. For me, I don’t have a lot of money, but I buy organic any place I can. I grow tomatoes and some veggies in a pot in my window and some fresh herbs.

Tina Curtis