Ch-Ch-Changes…Moving Into A New Home

19 01 2010

Awwwwww…as sad as it makes me to have to say this, I’ve moved into a new home and will no longer be found here on WordPress. But no worries, you can all still find me just around the block at www.justineabigail.com. Thanks for the good times and I hope you’ll visit me at my new place 🙂





Guys, My Bra Colour is Pink – Let the Cries of Controversy Begin!

11 01 2010

So this seemingly playful bra colour meme that’s been taking over Facebook for the past few days has, well, proven not to be so playful anymore with many crying out with controversy.

Rethink Breast Cancer's Save the Boobs Campaign

For those of you who don’t know, here’s a brief run down…basically, some time last week a message going out to girls (and some guys) went viral asking us to change our ‘status’ to the colour of our bra as a way of raising breast cancer awareness. I got the message last Thursday from a good friend of mine and yes, I most definitely changed my status. Before long, my entire news feed was filled with a fabulous array of colours. Okay, fantastic! People are participating! I thought it was a fun and clever way to generate buzz on such an important issue but of course, it had to turn sour with some women outraged by the whole concept’s sexual undertones and the supposed objectification of women. Personally, I think that’s a whole load of feminist baloney. If you ask me, this whole line of reasoning only fuels the whole image of the woman as the victim and personally, I’m tired of being portrayed as such because uh, I’m not. And I know a hell of a lot of other women who aren’t either. Have we not reached the point in time where we can quit the whining bullshit? Plus, has the brassiere not been used as a strategic tool in the past to make such important statements? Why not now? Crying foul at announcing one’s bra colour is a) so immature and b) incredibly passé.

This is not to say, of course, that the campaign is a good one. Sure, I think it’s cute, clever, simple and has the potential to accomplish some real concrete changes. But like many other cute, clever, and simple ideas out there, this one is lacking and most certainly not infallible… Read the rest of this entry »





cystems launch

4 01 2010

I kick-started 2010 with the launch of a project I’ve been working on for a bit now: the rebranded website of our family business, Cystems Inc. The site went live on New Year’s Day and let me tell you, there is just no better way to start a new year than feeling totally productive and accomplished! So with that said, check out the website here at cystems.ca and feel free to give me any feedback/comments.

via Pop + Shorty

Anyway, building the site reminded me of my early days working with HTML…way, way back during the time of AsianAvenue (which I have just recently discovered is now known as “AsianAve”). I know there are a number of you who still remember that site (don’t lie now!). It’s probably the first social networking website that I was ever involved with and now looking back on that, it’s easy to see the seeds of this whole social media/social networking revolution. I remember back in the late 90s to the early ’00s (yeah, it’s been that long), all my friends and I would be on this site 24/7…it was the Facebook of that time, no doubt, and that’s where I first learned the magic of markup languages. We’d all show off our “AA page” whenever we had a new layout up or any other kind of new addition. We’d write about our thoughts and about our day to day life…like an unrefined version of how we blog today. And we’d write on “guestbooks” just how we’d now write on each others “walls” or write each other a “testimonial” (remember Friendster?).

So even though I cringe at the thought of my AsianAvenue days, the truth is that I owe a lot of what I’m doing professionally to that time in my life. It’s funny looking back and tracing the path of technology at a time when it was just bursting at its seams and being in the middle of its incredible explosion right now.

…But anywho, just thought I’d share some memories with you before I shamelessly plug Cystems Inc. one last time! Check it out, check it out!





every lovely thing.

1 01 2010

I start every year with these very words and this year is no exception. Wishing you all the best, xoxo.

Words by Pam Brown, photos by yours truly.





2009

30 12 2009

So it’s the day before new year’s eve and considering the fact that it’s not just the end of the year but the end of a decade, I thought it’d be appropriate to take a time out and take a look back on where I’ve been. Every end of the year, I have this ritual of reading through my collection of writings and looking through my many photos as a way of somehow reliving and recapturing those extraordinary and, well, not so extraordinary moments. All too easily and all too often we forget what we did just last weekend or even yesterday and so doing this is my own little way of refreshing my memory.

…And so, I just spent the last couple of hours reflecting on key moments from the past year…and damn, there have been many! There have been surprises and challenges at almost every bend of this road and it still shocks me to realize how much I’ve grown and changed in this relatively short time. I’ve experienced my first death (a conception that is still so abstract to me), my first real heart break (a place of lost and hurt that I hope never to find myself in again), and my first solo travels (a euphoric feeling of liberation and discovery like no other). This year I lost two important people in my life, one through death and the other through a break-up. But at the same time, so many new people have entered my life and in such little time, have managed to capture my heart completely. I’ve made friends who have simply swept me off my feet and reconnected with the one that I’ve missed. I’ve grieved and I’ve laughed like I never have before. I’ve been to the absolute heights of ecstasy and, on the other end of that spectrum, what seemed to be the bottomless freakin’ pit of despair. But even while in that awful aforementioned pit, the everyday heroes of my life emerged (as they often do) to listen, to talk, to sing, to dance, to drink, to hold my hand, and even to just sit in absolute silence. And let me tell you, there is nothing more humbling than to experience such acts of unconditional love and kindness.

2009 has been a defining year, no doubt. A tumultuous year, to say the least…and yet I wouldn’t have had it any other way. So here’s to 2009, my year of grief and laughter, of loss and discovery, and as for you 2010…you better watch yourself…cuz I’m gonna be bringin’ it 😉





Disappearing Ink: Thoughts On a Dying Art Form…

15 12 2009

“The bundles of paper are bound by brittle elastics, stuffed into broken-down shoeboxes and shoved under the bed.

Flowered notepaper displays the familiar swirls and curls of a childhood best friend who moved away. One glimpse and I am 12 again, ripping open envelopes and fretting over who has replaced me.

A teenage boy’s first declaration of love is hidden in a page of scrawl, the three brave words less daunting to put on paper than utter aloud.

My father’s quirky upright script is as distinctive as his blue eyes peering from a family photo. As a kid, finally managing to decipher it was as exhilarating as winning the 25-yard dash on track and field day.

There are a colleague’s reflections in fountain pen, so handsome they could have been written by a medieval scribe. Camp letters scribbled in haste by a son who couldn’t wait to get back to his canoe. Words that slump with the homesickness of a sister living half a world away.”

— Andrea Gordon


I read this article about “The Death of Handwriting” (excerpt above) earlier today and man, did it hit me like a ton of bricks! I know it sounds silly but I was actually fighting back tears as I was reading it. As a (hand)writer myself, losing this art is like losing a loved one. Growing up, handwriting was something I tried hard to master…yet something I always detested because it was forced upon us to learn in school. “Cursive?”, our class would moan, “…why learn it when printing is sooooo much easier”. It was hard and it was ugly. But as the years went on, we had no choice but to embrace it and I remember a time in junior high when my girlfriends and I would compare our handwriting with one another. “Ohhhh I like your ‘G’…let me see if I can copy it!” And so we would try to imitate each other…picking and choosing the letters and styles that we thought were ‘pretty’…each one of us trying to find our identity through penmanship. I remember distinctly, at one point, all of our writings actually looked oddly similar. Until those days of imitation stopped and comparing with one another was no longer a priority… Read the rest of this entry »





Human Rights Day

10 12 2009

Considering today is the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, thought this would be more than appropriate…