Europe >>>>> Canada

danish style

DK style

leather jacket, sandals, blouse by LeCHATEAU  || printed leggings THRIFTED  || bag by CO-LAB

Simple look today for shopping in Vejle – printed leggings, a tunic and sandals. Stole these sunnies from little bro, and he already called me out on it!    This is my absolute favourite leather jacket, another super good deal from my time working in le shithole. Shop similar here and here.

travel the world

 

 The best part about traveling is seeing how different everything is from home. Well… best and worst, because though I live in Calgary, I spare the place little affection, and am planning on leaving at the earliest possible juncture.  Being in Europe with my grandparents, who immigrated here shortly after they were married, really makes me question their decision making skills.  Possibly because Calgary is one of the ugliest cities with its disgusting urban sprawl of suburban cookie-cutter homes and at the center of it, the oil giants monolithic structures looming over the “landmark” Calgary tower.  The biggest one of all (boasting to be the largest Canadian structure West of Toronto) The Bow, is home of Encana Corp and perfectly representative of every single thing in Calgary that I absolutely LOATHE- particularly the company that resides within. If it crumbled to the ground I would do a happy-dance on the ruin, no word of a lie. Compared to home everything in Denmark just seems infinitely more charming, with their cobblestone streets, beautiful boutiques and stunning architecture. (Oh, and no well-sites dotting every inch of the countryside… sorry guys, but I just read the latest from Harper on the Keystone Pipeline and have been extremely angry ever since… OH, AND… just after typing that, I read confirmation that his election was rigged.  I hate you Harper, I hate you Canadian Politics!) Okay, back to the point.. 

   I find it funny – whenever I go anywhere, or tell anyone where I am from – the comment I ALWAYS get is “you don’t look like your from here” (even when I’m walking around Calgary!) interestingly enough people often guess Toronto, so apparently I look like I’m from Toronto …which I am not.

TORONTO style

Visiting Toronto in 2010 with my Mom – we were there for the film fest,  presenting the CBC documentary, Burning Water,  if you would like to understand source of my political rage please check out the link at the top of the page for more info, or go to  Rosebud’s Burning Water.

My home is actually a little farm, but I don’t look very farm-girly either.  I sometimes think that maybe I don’t look like I’m from “here” (where ever that may be) because I don’t feel like I’m from “here”.  My grandparents are Danish and  my mother emigrated from Scotland, so I was raised by Europeans living in Canada.  If the above rant didn’t tip you off, I have approximately zero pride in being Canadian… it’s not that I hate our country, in fact I love the land more than anything.  I hate what we are doing to our land in the name of energy progress, what we have done and continue to do to the natives of this land, our justification of our actions, our cultural apathy, our government, and our winters.  Being proud of your nationality is like being proud of your race or skin color –  I didn’t choose to be born here, I have done nothing to contribute to Canada, and thus, feel no nationalistic feelings of pride.  When I look at the people who do represent Canada, like Harper, or Redford, or the many examples of ignorant racists among my acquaintances I feel less than hopeful.  At my brothers graduation I laughed a little to myself at the very few people who joined in mumbling the words to the national anthem, while mentally comparing it to the Americans belting out the Star Spangled Banner with such vigor.  It seemed to me that I am not the only one with so little pride in our home and native land. (More like our home and stolen-from-the-natives-but-we-don’t-like-admitting-it land.)

North Americans often express the sentiment that Europeans “think they’re better than everyone” sorry to break it to you, but that’s because they probably are.  See in Europe, they’ve kinda run out of space, they’ve been around a little longer, and they understand what it means to have to actually PLAN for future generations.  Canada (and America) were taken way back in the day by the Europeans who wanted MORE.. and thus the foundation of our nations is the desire for MORE than is rightfully ours. Greed can easily go un-checked when you have the one of the largest, most sparsely populated countries in the world combined with massive energy source deposits of oil and natural gas, right next door to the biggest military power in the world.

The moral of this story is I have been reading the news (which never works out well for me) and I may not ever be coming home.  

xo, aiyanajane

WIN IT HERE- Signed Burning Water DVD

For those who see no problem with the Oil and Gas development, I thought maybe you’d like to take a second look. These are the wells I see every day on my 5 minute drive to work, these photos represent a TINY percentage of the development in the area and this is only the beginning of what they have planned.

The warning signs are everywhere, and yet we continue to ignore them.

I’m painfully aware that the vast majority of my readers care little for my “save the environment” posts and would much rather I just make with the pretty pictures. I say painfully because it truly saddens me that anyone could care more about an outfit than about the future of the planet.

It’s easy to delude yourself into believing that in this big wide world your little voice will make no difference, but I assure you the only way you can be certain of that is if you never bother to speak up. Perhaps it’s because the problems in this world are so immense it feels insurmountable; or perhaps its simply ignorance, or unwillingness to accept things as they are. Whatever the reason for it, its nothing more than an excuse to do nothing, and that is absolutely unacceptable to me.

My stake in the situation is personal. My family moved from our home and sold our farm after our well water was contaminated by fracking. We got chemical burns in the shower, our animals got sick, and suddenly our water lit on fire; none of this could never be conclusively proved to have been caused by fracking. There were lab errors, there is naturally occurring methane, and obviously, we’re just crazy farmers who neglected our well. I could go posting all the proof of corruption that we’ve dug up over the years, but what would be the point? The idea that Oil and Gas companies are an economic savior is so deeply ingrained in the mentality of Albertan’s that trying to dispute this “fact” leaves one cast as a leper. Even among my closest friends if I bring up the topic it’s generally met with eye-rolls and I’m informed by them of how “safe” all the development is, and that it’s a ridiculous concern to even have. The beliefs of their parents have been passed down for generations, and that residual ignorance and unwillingness to consider an alternative stymies any potential progress.

This is because the companies have gone to great lengths to buy our compliance. And do not be mistaken, because we have all been bought and paid for. Farmers are paid land rent for each well-site, sometimes its the only reliable income in such a fickle profession. Local communities and business’ receive grants and generous donations to improve playgrounds or schools or theaters, and countless individuals are employed in the sector. In our capitalist based society the economy is the number one concern. In the upcoming US Presidential Election economic policies are central to the candidates chances of being elected. What matters is the bottom line, what matters is money. And while a strong economy is indeed crucial to a strong country, will it matter when we have nothing left to drink?

Fresh water, like oil and gas is a finite resource, and we are wasting all 3 at a phenomenal rate. We have the technology (and have for years) needed to make the change to green energy sources, and yet we continue to rely on oil and gas despite ever-increasing prices, emissions and environmental effects. Why? For one, the billions of dollars in revenues would disappear, giving anyone who financially benefits from the oil industry the incentive to continue to be set in their ways. Billions of dollars at stake and yet no one questions it when those billionaires tell us “everything is fine” all while continuing to rape the planet and get rich off their plundering.

Consider what is at stake here; on the one hand, billions and billions of dollars in revenues and, on the other, our fresh water. They will tell you it’s not that simple, but I promise you that it is. And while we can always find other ways to make more money, and already have alternatives to gas power, we cannot un-pollute the water after the companies frack it full of carcinogens.

 

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proceed with caution, our apathy today will effect the children of tomorrow.

Also please check out http://citystylecountrysmile.com/burning-water/ and like or share the page!

Want more? Win a DVD of Burning Water! Signed by myself and my amazing mother; Fiona Lauridsen. Like and leave a comment below!

And get involved! We will be in Camrose, AB November 2-3 2012 for the Alberta Surface RightsConversations on Fracking conference.  Our presentation is on Saturday afternoon, please come check it out if you have the chance! 

I’d absolutely love to meet you! XO, a

Still thankful.

I have been feeling like I’ve been failing to post regularly enough here. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for all the naps I want to take, cake I want to eat, yoga I want to do and animals I want to snuggle. Then I have to do other stuff too like laundry and work and all those other mundane things life seems to force us into. And I need to find the time to post. This would be easier if I didn’t insist on being so wordy but c’est la vie!

Lately I’ve been thinking so much about the future and what I want to do with my life. I know I was supposed to have figured this all out by the end of high school but I didn’t quite have it together enough at that point to have any clue of what I wanted. I wasn’t even 18 yet I was supposed to have a 20 year plan? How?!

Instead of rushing into school I rushed out of small town life and into work in the city. I needed that time to find myself as a person, to figure out what I needed from life in order to be happy and come up with a realistic way to achieve those goals. So now that I have my 20 year plan, I just have to put it into action! I won’t bore you with the details but continuing to blog and write is a big part of the plan. (As is the hobbit house, which I will have someday!)

These last few weeks I’ve been really busy lately kicking the plan into gear. I’ve been working on lots of DIY projects, (see sneak peeks on instagram) which I’m excited to announce are available in the Gift Shop if you’re ever at the Rosebud Theatre! I recommend you come if you are ever in the area, and I’m not just saying that because I work there, it’s a beautiful town, the food is amazing and the shows are always well put on. Tuesday’s with Morrie is playing now (based on the book by Mitch Albom) and it has a great deal of wisdom worth sharing. I highly recommend reading the book if you can’t make it to the show!

One quote in particular resonates-

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie

I want to devote my life to the things that matter. To me, and to the world. It’s part of the reason I run this blog, it’s important for me to create (even if its mediocre) to share (even if no one really cares) and to love what I do! If I could live in my hobbit house and read and write all day, then my life would be full of love. Because what I love most isn’t the things in the world, it is the world; the sky, the rain, the sun, the stars, the sound of wind through trees, of water over stones. Take the time to appreciate these things that are so often taken for granted. Be present in your life, feel the moment you are in, focus.

I’ve been taking my own advice and that’s why I haven’t been able I focus on posting- family comes first. My grandparents have needed support these last few months and it’s my number one priority to be there when I can. Yesterday they got a new puppy (if you follow me on instagram @aiyanajanee you already know) and its the cutest thing ever! I honestly cannot explain how important they are to me, or how thankful I am for all that they do and all that they are. Part of the reason I want the hobbit house so badly is because of my family. Our home, our farm, my grandfathers park- the history of our family is intertwined with this land and I do not want to lose that.

That brings me to the other reason I’ve been distracted from posting. I’ve been working with my mom on her fracking presentation. She (we) will be at Augustana University in Camrose November 2&3 2012 to speak about fracking and the devastating environmental effects it has; effects my family experienced first hand and that are being repeated all over the world.
I know most people don’t read this blog to listen to warnings of environmental doom but I really wish they did. What I find most frustrating about living in Alberta is the absolute apathy most people feel about the oil and gas industry. Most people are unwilling to believe or unable to see that there is a very real threat here. It’s highly possibly this land will become uninhabitable due to the repercussions from unchecked drilling. When I look around and see the dots of wells all over the countryside all I can think is what a god damn shame. If you have even the slightest interest (or just Eco-guilt) then I urge you to look into it more, starting here

Finally the rest of my time has gone into practicing with my dad. I supposed another reason I have to enjoy fall is it means that once harvest is over he has a bit of time to spend on things other than farming! My dad and I butt-heads all the time but it’s because we share so many traits- it would be funny if it wasn’t so annoying! One place we come together without argument is in making music. He likes to pretend that he’s no good but my father is a talented musician! We’re hoping to play a set sometime mid November, I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

So thats my excuse for not posting.. Too busy snuggling mini-dachshund puppies with my grandparents, saving the planet with my mom and singing the blues with my dad. Family first. Sorry ladies and gents!
Xo,a

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