Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Fall is here!

Hi fishies!

I hope you're all doing well today. In my city I think Fall has finally hit. While we've been experiencing a later than normal summer the frost has kicked in, the leaves are changing, and the air is brisk. I do enjoy Fall- but my body doesn't. Finding myself a little stiff and working hard with physio and yoga to stay pain free.

It's crazy what can happen in a few days! Since my last post I've had some lovely things happen. Let's take a look!

First of all, In the mail I received a tail from Mermaid Creations. It's very different from my current tail despite having a similar inspiration. Take a look:
The tail is also made of silicone and has a foil monofin inside of it instead of a competitor. It's easily double the weight of the tail on the right as well as thickness. Because I haven't been feeling well I haven't had much of a chance to put it on or test it out. I am hoping to do that soon.

It's exciting for me to have another professional tail. Not just because I like being a mermaid but because I love being able to give others a chance to be one too. My little sister will be trying this tail out. I wont be surprised if my boyfriend does too.

Next, I received a weight belt in the mail from Nerine. It's only 5lbs but should make the difference for me when it comes to being able to stay on the bottom of the pool and actually stay under the water. I always float the minute I stop moving.

On the environmental end of things I had a really amazing experience last night at our local film festival. I got to meet Canadian film maker Rob Stewart the man responsible for Sharkwater. Sharkwater was a documentary film that really got the issue of shark-finning into the public eye and spotlight. The movie has been tied to many shark-fin bannings. I remember seeing it when I was first trying to learn to be a mermaid with my fabric tail. It was one of the things that really inspired me to keep pushing.
Sharkwater is the #1 Canadian documentary, and #3 worldwide. Third to only Supersize Me and Fahrenheit 9/11. I got to see Stewart's latest film Revolution which just showed at TIFF. The movie takes up where Sharkwater left off. It opens with Rob screening Sharkwater in Hong Kong and asking for audience questions. A young woman asks why we should bother stopping shark finning if the UN predicts that we'll be out of ocean resources by 2048. To which... Rob has no answer. So he sets out to find one.

The film follows Rob on his journey all over the world seeing the affects of ocean pollution, ocean acidification, bycatch, and deforestation. It really makes those issues tangible to any person- not just the marine biologist (of which there were a lot of in the audience). I was shocked to learn that there are a number of ocean dead-zones where thanks to carbon pollution there is zero oxygen and zero life. The areas were very scary. I also learned a great deal about my own government and how our parliament shut down a  bill to protect the environment. Every year an award is given out to the country that is basically ruining the environment- Canada has won 5 times thanks to our no laws and the Tar Sands. We follow the journey of youth rallying to raise awareness about these issues.

Personally, I focus so much on what goes on in Halifax and what I do as a person that I was a bit ignorant to the tar sands issues. I knew about the pipeline business- but I really didn't grasp how big a problem this is. It was terrifying to see. Pollution aside- it was still terrifying! Even though Rob focuses on issues in the states as well seeing what was happening in Canada really shocked me. As if I needed any more evidence that our prime minister is doing a terrible job :(

Parts of the movie left me feeling pretty hopeless. But other parts certainly renewed the spark for me. We see a lot of youth taking action including a boy who started his own NGO to plant 1 million trees. This kid speaks more eloquently than any adult I have ever met. While youth are often thought of as immature kids who don't know enough yet to be jaded by the world- Revolution certainly spins it around to show you that they are what will save this planet. I was brought to tears several times. Having spent so much of my life working with kids and youth a lot of this really resonated with me. Just the fact that the film even chose to focus on youth was incredibly affirming.

I wont give away the ending or other key points but suffice to say I walked out of there feeling affirmed in my choice to focus on youth both as an educator professional and a mermaid. I am lucky to have the skills and training I do that I can help form and mold young people. I am excited to be empowering them.

I got to meet Rob after the film. We'd had a few exchanges through his public FB and twitter. He seemed like a lovely man but I wasn't aware of how much of a rockstar he was in the community. He's a very good looking man. 2/3 of the audience was female and my boyfriend and I both heard more than one comment about getting boobs signed or wanting to marry him. Statements like that just make me ashamed and embarrassed. Seems like they're there for the wrong reasons. But, if a good looking guy can get them involved in the environment- then I'll have to endure it and try not to roll my eyes haha.

Rob answered a lot of questions, explained future plans, and even talked about his own underwater experiences. I got a photo with him as you see above and we chatted for a moment about making connections from the film into a teacher's guide and lesson planning materials. I was so overwhelmed by the end of the movie at that point though that I was trying not to cry. The entire time I spoke to this man I stared at his teeth haha out of a nervous reaction to keep myself from blubbering. And of course, the first thing my boyfriend says when we leave was "He sure had nice teeth".

All in all, I think it's an experience that I'll be reliving for a while. The movie comes out on Earth day. I'll be writing several teachers and profs I know to encourage them to take their classes. If I am lucky enough to be employed as a teacher by then I will certainly be taking mine.

Honestly, I walked away from this wanting so much to do so much more than I already do. I was talking to a peer after the film and I said something along the lines of "It makes me want to start a youth program." to wish she laughed and responded "you already did!". I have to stop and remind myself that the Stewart family is well off, that the film also received funding, and that I have chronic health issue, massive school related debt, and currently no professional full time job. I'm not in a position to start something like that right now so I'll continue pouring my efforts into my mermaid environmental work, my health, and gaining full time employment. Still... it did light a fire in me :)


In other local enviro news... don't be fooled by today's headline that the Bedford waterfront work is on hold. It isn't. As quoted from the save the reef FB :

"This article implies that WDCL has initiated a public meeting on Sept. 27th at the Bedford Legion, when in fact, this meeting is being hosted by OUR group. Made up of concerned citizens who are members of this very Facebook group.

We have invited WDCL President Colin MacLean, HRM Councillor Outhit, NS MLA Regan, MP Geoff Reagan and members of the media to attend OUR meeting.

It is our belief that yesterday's letter from WDCL and subsequent posting of documents to their website is a direct result of our efforts to make residents aware of the potential project slated for the waterfront.

WDCL can at it's discretion continue to dump acidic pyritic slate in to the Bedford Basin. The only way this can come to a complete and full stop is by the Province of Nova Scotia. The best way to have the province take notice is for YOU, the concerned citizen of this city, to make yourself heard at OUR meeting, September 27th, 7pm at the Bedford Legion. We invite all residents to attend this meeting to get informed, voice your opinion and enact a change to the way YOUR waterfront will look in the future.

it is not too late to effect change in our community, but we must be heard and loudly!"

To stay up to date on all things Bedford Reef check out their official recently launched website.
Keep on fighting!

I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. – Muhammad Ali

In future news I'm planning on teaming up with Glass Dharma in the future for a guest blog post about single use plastics and their great glass straws. I've also got that music video shoot this Saturday which should be pretty neat. I'm not sure what to expect and trying not to have too high expectations. I'll just go in and do my best and see what happens :)

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day today. I love this day. When I worked at a book store all the staff would dress up as a mermaid (even though I didn't have a tail) and play pirate songs on guitar. How're you celebrating today?

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