Thursday, January 31, 2008

Challenge the "Truth"

Anything Goes Thursdays # 4

“No Authority can impose a “truth” on you in a dogmatic way – and if some authority tries to, you can challenge that truth in a powerful way, by asking what ideology it is based on.” - Stephen Bonnycastle. In Search of Authority pg 9

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Surviving Off Pennies

"S.O.S. breaker breaker 1-9 mayday
surviving off of pennies until my next payday.
All I ever wanted was a real nice lady
a clean pair of socks and some fish for my gravy
but all I get is rice which will have to suffice
cause I always used to think I didn’t need no advice
so I never ever really tried to heed no advice
but in the end we all pay the price.
So let’s get to the point of the whole situation
so many obstacles so many confrontations
but still I’m focusing on reaching every station
cause destiny is my destination.
I came to make it happen instead of wasting time I don’t got
the time is now cause I only got one shot
navigating through the scenes and the intricate plots
cause you and I is all we got,
let’s make it happen."
- Bush Babees “S.O.S.” from the album gravity

This is a verse off of one of the best hip-hop albums of all time. I could have broken this down into three of four great quotations but I decided to put the whole thing up here. I love the song so much that I actually could have posted up all three verses. If you get a chance to listen to this song, please do. Even if you are not a rap fan, this group has something to say, and they deliver great rhymes over amazing tracks.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All Men are Horrible until...

“He’s like a lot of men. They’re horrible until they fall in love.” When Harry Met Sally. DVD commentary to the film.

When Harry Met Sally is probably one of the best films ever made. I can watch it over and over again. I love absolutely love it. I watched it with the commentary on one day and I heard this line. I knew I had to include it in my collection. I’m not quite sure who said it. I think it was Rob Reiner but I could be wrong.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Nothing is Impossible

“The difficult is that which can be done immediately; the impossible is that which takes a little longer.” - Santayana

If I look back on my life, I was told more than a few times that I couldn’t do something. I never let these naysayers convince me of what they saw as impossible. I really do believe that if you want to do something, are motivated to do so, and work hard at it, that you can achieve anything. I don’t believe in impossible situations or impossible dreams. Just give it some time, keep your head up, and work hard at it, and you can do the impossible.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Obscuring the Present

“Taking his cue from author and painter Wyndham Lewis’s observation that the “present cannot be revealed until it has become yesterday,” McLuhan points out individuals see only the past as part and parcel of what he termed “the rear-view mirror phenomenon” obscuring the present and obliterating the future.” Judith Fitzgerald, Marshall McLuhan: Wise Guy. XYZ Publishing: Montreal, 2001. pg 3

I like the phrase “obscuring the present.” Focusing too much on the past or the future does just that. I think that we need to live in the present and to realize that it is a gift. Of course, this really does take a lot of effort. We work all our lives to get out of debt, to earn the things we want. We look back at the good times we had, or the bad times that steered us in certain directions. Most people don’t really focus on the right now. It’s about time that we all did.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Truth isn't Available

“Unfortunately ‘the truth’ simply isn’t available. If you are going to live intelligently in the modern world, you have to recognize that there are conflicting ideologies, and that there is no simple direct access to the truth.” - Stephen Bonnycastle, In Search of Authority pg 8

I have been collecting a lot of passages about truth. I think that we can search for the truth but that we can never find it unless we explore different ways of thinking. I have commented about this on a few of my favourite blogs.

For example, religion, myth, science, and the humanities all have something to say about the truth. If you put your all faith in only one of these disciplines, you can never get the entire truth. I think we need to be open-minded.

I find a lot of truth in fiction. Writers share their version of reality and truth with us all the time. We need to tune into this.

Science gives us a lot of answers but also a lot more questions.

Religion and myth attempt to answer some of life’s questions.

So where is “the” answer? Is there a direct way there?

Who knows? All I know is that I try to keep my eyes and ears open for tidbits of wisdom such as the one above. I believe that the truth is already out there just waiting for us to piece it together. It is a jigsaw puzzle. I’m just not sure that all of the pieces are still in the box.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's Not About Where You've Been

“It's not about where you've's about where you're at.” - Eric B & Rakim - I Know I Got Soul

Rakim writes amazing lyrics. His voice and delivery also make him one of the most quoted and sampled of all emcees. We need to build a hip-hop hall of fame. He deserves to be one of the first inductees.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Needs of the Many

"In any case, were I to invoke logic, logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." - Spock
"Or the one." - Kirk from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

This is another one of those rare examples where the sequel far exceeds the original. Star Trek II is a brilliant movie. I like the way the movie dealt with this theme and all of the different ways to interpret it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Everyone is a Somebody

“No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one’s life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.” Orson Scott Card. Speaker for the Dead. – transcribed from the audio book.

This book is the second in what is known as the Ender series. All the books have been produced as stunning audio books with full cast narration and sound effects. I highly recommend this series. The first book Ender’s Game is amazing and this second book is even better.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Search for Meaning

"What is this force that drives us far from the comfort of the familiar and makes us take up challenges instead, even though we know that the glory of this world is only transitory? I believe this impulse is called the search for the meaning of life. Over many years of seeking a definitive answer to this question in books, art and science, and in both the dangerous and easy paths I have followed, I have found many answers. I am convinced now that a definitive answer will never be given to us in this life, but that, at the last, at the moment when we stand once more before the Creator, we will understand each opportunity that was offered to us." - Paulo Coelho, acceptance speech delivered to the Brazilian Academy of Letters (from Life: Selected Quotations)

I came across this book quite by accident while at the library. It is basically a commonplace book of one author's work, Paulo Coelho. I have only read one of his books, The Alchemist, but it was amazing. I bought it after reading it, and reread it with a pencil. It is now full of underlines and notes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Live Life

I don’t have very many pictures in my commonplace book. I found this one while trying to find some examples of graffiti murals to use in an art lesson for my class. I was looking for colourful pieces that spoke to me. I really like this piece for its simplicity and its message.

Although, I think that there are three different or four different tags here. Some of which, I don’t consider to be art at all, but that is a different topic all together.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is It the Thought that Counts?

“If it’s the thought that counts, you can always count on me. I think about it all the time.” - Soul Asylum song “Close” from the album Candy from a Stranger

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Count Blessings

"Dreams aren’t meant to be understood any more than tragedy can be averted. Life happens to us. We learn to be grateful when things are good and-and to count our blessing when things are bad. And the only certainty in all of it is that it all just keeps happening." Harold on Everwood.

Monday, January 14, 2008

You Have the Power

“About the only power you have is the power to discriminate. Living in a culture like this, you have to make choices, and search out what has the most authentic content or substance.” - Crumb, R. & Peter Poplaski. The R. Crumb Handbook. MQ Publications Ltd: London, 2005 pg 60.

In this day and age, discrimination has become a bad word. It is so intricately linked with race that the word can barely be used in other contexts anymore. In fact, until I came upon this quotation in my reading, I had never really thought about how I make choices everyday.

This quote is inspiring. I don’t think people realize the power that they have. I’m often amazed at the drivel that we are fed on the radio, television, and cinema. I carefully choose the types of media that I let entertain me. I don’t simply accept whatever is shovelled my way. We don’t need to either.

When you really think about it, discrimination is a powerful too. We need to be able to distinguish between two like objects. This is what this quotation is really about. We always have a choice in everything and we need to explore our options, to make distinctions, and to make choices based good judgement.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Truth in Joking

“Off-comments are, often, painfully on.” - Chase March journal entry September 11, 2004

I wrote that line in a journal a few years back. I had gotten into a bit of a disagreement with my girlfriend. I was trying to be witty and funny and made what I thought was an off-comment. I didn’t mean anything by it. It was only a joke.

She told me that, “there is a lot of truth in joking.”

Maybe she was right. I think sometimes when people make jokes, they might be trying to be hurtful or speak their mind. I wasn’t trying to do that. I was trying to get her to laugh. I loved her laugh. But I ended up offending her and I never wanted to do that.

What she said has stuck with me. My quotation from my journal has stayed with me as well. That is why it has become an entry in my commonplace book.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Writing Remembers

“The palest ink is better than the best memory.” - Chinese proverb

I actually found this in a fortune cookie I received.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another Chance

“Each day is another chance to do the things I could’ve
the day before but didn’t and known I should’ve.”

- Little Brother song “Beautiful Morning” off the Minstrel Show Album

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Small Things Fit Sometimes

“Sometimes someone says something really small and it just fits into this empty place in your heart.” – Angela on My So-Called Life

This is quite frankly one of the best television shows ever. I will be sharing a lot of wisdom from this show here. If you like what you read, consider picking up the series on DVD. It was just released last fall and should be fairly easy to find in stores. It is an amazing show and you won’t be disappointed.

Check out for more information

Monday, January 7, 2008

Be Right

“Be in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.”

I made a banner of this phrase and put it up at the front of the classroom. It has become the motto of my class. I think it is a great quotation that applies not only to people but also to things.

I got this quote from the excellent book Growing Character by Deb Austen Brown. I highly recommend this book to any teacher of any grade.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy Marriage

Commonplace books used to be a lot more “common,” for lack of a better term. It seems that they have fallen out of popularity. However, many of the famous quotation sites on the Internet are really just digital commonplace books.

In the dictionary a commonplace book is defined as “a book of memorabilia.” Commonplace is defined as “an obvious or trite observation.”

My commonplace book is a collection of thoughts and ideas that I have taken from anywhere I find something meaningful. I will attribute the quote to whoever said it, or the source I took it from whenever possible.

I will try to post an interesting quote or passage that I have collected in my commonplace book here every weekday. My collection is continuing to grow. If you would like to add a quotation that is meaningful to you or one that you would like to share, please post a comment or send me an email. Thanks.

Here is entry # 2

“If you want to have a happy marriage, be the kind of person who generates positive energy and sidesteps negative energy rather than empowering it.” - Barton, Bruce. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Calendar. Sept 2004

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The entry that started it all!

I started a commonplace book a few years ago. In it, I collect quotations from things I have read or heard. I enjoy collecting these little tidbits of wisdom and information.

I have actually put DVDs on pause so that I could write down some of the dialogue. When I read a work of fiction, I use a piece of paper as a bookmark. When I come across a phrase or passage that I like, I write the page number down and the first few words of the sentence. This way it doesn’t really impede my reading. I read the entire book before I comb through it and type out the passages or tidbits of wisdom that I want to add to my commonplace book. If I own the book, I make underlines with a pencil.

Here is the entry that started it all. I caught it on one of those page-a-day calendars. This phrase just resonated with me and started my collection. So here it is entry number 1 of my commonplace book.

“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things . . . I am tempted to think . . . there are no little things.” - Barton, Bruce. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Calendar. Aug 28/29,2004