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Well it’s officially 4 days from my departure off to OZ (Australia). Can you believe that?

I think it’s finally set in to my head that I’m leaving Calgary for a new place, some adventure, life, and challenges yet again (thanks for the nice chat tonight Wheats..you rock!) . I’m getting excited and a little nervous (expected) about going.

What are you going to do there? Umm well the plan is to buy a car like the one to theSlobbering at the thought right of this message. After spending some time with my cool Aunt in Sydney I want to tour around the country-side volunteering on permaculture wwoofing farms, do some other random jobs, see sights, talk about the environment, learn more, and generally just have lots of amazing experiences.

My dream is to head to Tasmania after a few weeks with my aunt and go see my crazy friend Ed (from Otesha) who lives down there. He’s a pretty great guy and it would be nice to have a little Australia reunion of sorts down there. Then after that I’m thinking of heading up the east coast, across the desert (oh don’t worry I’ll hit up the barrier reef too), and then down the west coast. Some of this might be overly ambitious and we’ll have to see how much time I really have to do everything. But my last three months travelling with be spent in New Zealand most likely. I’m flying out of Auckland on August 5th to head back to Canada for my sisters wedding which is happening on August 11th.

A last note. For those that I don’t get to talk to, drink with, or haven’t spent time with before I left … it kinda sucks but I’ve loved the e-mail chats and I’m sure that when I get back we’ll reconnect at some point. I’m wishing everyone an amazing year full of some adventure, life, love, happiness, and plenty of laughter (to the point of crying).

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No WAR!

I have talked with each one of you off and on about war, and I think all of you agreed that it’s not the way to move our society along. That people are dying for no reason. And that we don’t agree with Canada’s participation in this American war.

Well…if you want to make a peaceful statement here’s how.

BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW! Demonstration
Pan-Canadian Day of Action!
Where: Saturday October 28, 2006
When: Rally at 12 noon, Harry Hays Federal building (220 4 ave SE)
Who:
Everyone Welcome! Bring Signs and Banners

Followed by:
Afghanistan: 5 Years On
Panel on Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, from 1-:30 at Parkdale United Church (2919 8th Ave NW)

Last thought. You might think that this is ineffective and that you can’t make change this way. But really don’t you think that Harper will listen when people are getting together all around the country (which is what is planned) to rally against war on this day. To many soldiers are dying tragically, people in countries “accidently being killed”, and to not enough real progress is happening in the countries being attacked. End the occupation. I for one want to show my support against what I don’t believe in.

Hugs, love, and patience,

Shane

PS – Pass this around so we can make waves [even if you can’t go :)]

[This is an original letter I sent to The Whiskey — today, and will keep it updated with their response. I want people to know what happened there so they know what happens there and make their own decisions as to whether to go or not.]

Dear Toby Bird, Management at The Whiskey Nightclub,

On Friday, October 13, 2006 a situation happened at your bar that raises my question about the way that patrons at your bar are being treated on a regular basis. I arrived around 10:30 PM with three of my close friends from work (all women — useful for later). We spent the night dancing and hanging around together, and generally having a great time. At one point he had lost one of our friends so two of my friends left me at the bottom of a flight of stairs to go find their friend. During this time I was leaning against a wall waiting for them to reappear. After 3 minutes I gave up (I checked my watch) and headed up the stairs to find them at the top. We exchanged hugs and upon me stepping back after the hug I was grabbed. My arm was placed behind my back and another arm was placed on my shoulder. I turned slightly and was told by the bouncer in question that I was getting kicked out of the bar. He started to lead me down the stairs towards the back door. I never resisted his movements and along with myself my friends (two girls) were also lead out the back door. At the back door we were told by bouncer that he had reports that I had groped 4 women and he had been looking for me for the last 15 minutes. My friend Erin then asked how he could prove that in-fact I was the individual they were looking for and his response was, “The individual reported was wearing the same shirt, same hairstyle, and …… the same ring (as he pointed at my lip ring).”

I then indicated to the bouncer that we required our jackets to which he agreed to meet us at the other side of the building. After walking around the building we each gave him our tickets and I asked him for his name. Upon hearing me question the security another officer manning the front mumbled something to his friend. I asked him what he said to his friend and he told me that “he should just not bother with our jackets and send us on our ways.” Upon the return of our jackets and getting ready to go the security spoke with the police officers that were waiting nearby. As I was leaving they approached me and asked for my information. Now I was being questioned by them and my information was being taken in case one of the women in question wanted to file a complaint later. I was totally embarrassed and surprised with this method of procedure given it was completely hearsay.

Frankly, now I’m left with wondering as to whether I possibly gave someone a look that made them feel uncomfortable. I’m not the type of guy to go around groping women as I have a lot more respect for them than that. It also makes me wonder if I was being targeted because I don’t fit your “typical” clientele. Regardless I have a few questions and pieces of feedback that I would appreciate your comments on. I think the important part here is that I’m not trying to prove my innocence, because it’s my word against yours but I am questioning the procedures that took place that night.

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Thanksgiving was a funny weekend for me given that I spent the time on my own this year. It was a great time for me to reflect on my life and to be honest it was some ups and some downs. But I’m rollin with all of it…

Now on Monday I headed out with Deanne, Rachel, and Rachel’s son Jonas (who I fuckin love). The goal of the afternoon was to record some video material of Jonas doing Iron Man-esque activities (Jonas is 4) so that Rachel could put together a educational video on how to do an Iron Man by Jonas. One of Rachel’s friends is actually competing in the World Iron Man competition in Hawaii this year. So after a High Test (cup o’ java and two short shots of espresso) I was ready to hit the road with Jonas (a boy with endless energy). We had a rad afternoon.

But there is something about children that make people feel special. Like no other. It’s something that is genuine and innocent I guess because generally at that age you aren’t all that malicious. I was walking beside my little buddy Jonas when he turned to me and said, “Shane…shane…I think yur cool.” I lost my shit. I just about started to cry right there cause that was a super sweet thing to say to me. So I turned to the J-man and said, “Thanks that made me feel special Jonas. I think you’re one of the coolest guys I know…”

Okay after returning to Calgary most of you know that I started working at Good Earth cafe to sell fair trade coffee and drinks to willing coffee needing customers. It’s a weird dynamic being in the service industry again after working a 9-5 job at SMART using a completely different set of skills. It has given me an interesting perspective on being the employee in the service industry, and some of the things I’ve seen have made me realize a few things.

It should be law that everyone has to work in the service industry. I shit you not. I think it’s to easy for people to avoid this part of life and never learn that there’s a human being on the other side of that counter. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot of kind people out there who tip beautifully, are beautiful, and generally want more than their coffee (as in friendship and chats) but I think being on the other side gives you a different sense of appreciation. And props goes out to all those beautiful people that have worked service industry before. You know who you are. It makes me cry because it’s not like being in school is the cheapest life expenditure you’ll ever undertake. So the biggest hugs go out to you…oh and the ubber friendly people too. I love the chats!

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I’ve been reading the Motorcycle Diaries of Ernest Che Guevara these days. I came across something that I thought was interesting and could be generally applied to life (or at least should be).

“The first commandemnt for every good explorer is that an expedition has two points: the point of departure and the point of arrival. If your intention is to make the second theoretical point coincide with the actual point of arrival, don’t think about the means – because the journey is a virtual space that finishes when it finishes, and there are as many means as there are different ways of ‘finishing.’. That is to say, the means are endless.” – The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey by Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

So go out there and find many means and remember there are so many little ends!

So yesterday I headed out to the “One Dead Indian” screening for the Calgary International Film festival. I was lucky enough to get a free pass to any movie I wanted to see there from a guy who ordered a coffee at Good Earth cafe where I work. It’s a pretty sweet tip considering the tickets are worth $15+. The movie is based on a book about a peaceful protest that some aboriginal people took part in Ipperwash Provincial Park near Sarnia, Ontario by the Stony Point Natives. It was old land that the Canadian government had taken from the natives in order to build a military base during war times. They were told that once the war had ended they would be able to return to the land and live there again. Tragically, it had been turned into a provincial park and the original natives land owners were told it was no longer there land. The story is about a peaceful protest that turns completely wrong as one Stony Point Native is shot and killed during a police invasion.

I highly recommend this movie/book.

I think that our treatment of North American natives is disgusting and something that I’m ashamed to admit that I’m Canadian because of this fact. I think that all to often we find it easier to to things that would compromise their rights then try and negotiate a resolution that would be adequate and fair to these people. They lived here longer than us so to the politicians I say “remove thy head from thy ass”.

Yesterday was the first time I think I felt a little alone. I spent the entire movie crying and really needed some comfort afterwards. Lindsay (who I went with) and I went out for dinner afterwards which was really rad! But I still felt like it was oen of those nights I would have loved to just cuddle with someone. Yah I was a little upset.