Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Give me one more dudes..."

I know that I'm kind of stealing Liz's thunder by posting right on top of her fine portrait below, but I'm being displaced and I thought it would be best to try and get in my last word here before my boxes start getting shipped out and I find myself eating not with seven housemates, but with myself.

I've been thinking a lot about my year of living here in the past couple of weeks. A year is a pretty long time and trying to think about all of the things that happen in a year is a really difficult task so let me some up by giving random points about things I learned and discovered living in The House Famous

1) My opinion matters: When I was in elementary school I was bullied pretty extensively towards the end of my time there. This had the pretty lasting impact of making me feel like things I had to say didn't really matter. Jason and I had a discussion about this a little while ago and he said that when I first moved in, I drove him crazy because I would bring things up and they would be good things but I wouldn't have any faith in them because I didn't think my opinion mattered. Living here has helped me to overcome that and feel like my voice matters in the grand scheme of things.

2) Living with lots of other people is better but not easier: I remember thinking that when I started living with people it would be better. I think some part of my brain also associated that with being easier. This is not the case. When you live with 7 other people in close proximity and intentionality, it's very difficult to maintain all of those relationships. Sometimes you miss talking to a person for a week and then you have to go back and catch up, and sometimes you offend each other just based on the way you live. These things can make life difficult. But in the end, it is better to live with others than to live alone. When you live in isolation, you find that you no longer enjoy your own company anymore and it's very easy to fall into depression.

3) Poverty exists in North America, it has a face, and it needs love: Having lived in the rich, vast sub-urban area of Kingston for 18 years, I've lived at a distance from those in poverty in my own community for quite sometime. I was over here and they were out there (wherever there is) and so it was easy for me to say that poverty wasn't a big issue in Kingston. Moving downtown (and more specifically to the north of princess area) was an eye opener. Not only was there poverty in Kingston, there was a lot of poverty in Kingston. And there wasn't just poverty, there were people living in conditions of poverty with names and faces and stories that would break your heart. Living in this neighborhood and having our house be as open as it has been has been uncomfortable for me at time but it has taught me things I never would have learned on my own.

So there you are friends, as I head out to a different level of interaction with The House Famous, I leave you with these thoughts. It's been swell.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

welcome newbie!

The House Famous is pleased to announce the arrival of another house mate - Liz Nolan! Liz hails from Ottawa where she has just recently graduated from the School of the Photographic Arts (SPAO). Liz has been a great friend to all of us for a long time and we are happy she's moving in to our crazy community. Let the tomfoolery begin!

Also. 1,000,000,000 House Famous points to whoever guesses what Liz is drinking in this picture...

come now and join the feast...

Dumpster diving is pretty darn awesome. This past weekend we got probably 30 feet of carpet from a hotel renovation, and then shortly thereafter we got a huge garbage bag of fresh bread. It's odd, on one hand it's a fun thing you can do with your friends that also cuts down on your grocery bill. Or on the other hand you can think about how incredibly wasteful and excessive our culture is, so much so that some people can actually live off of the excess of others.

I think this will be our new hobby. And if you happen to hear a ruckus outside your home or business late at night - don't worry- it's probably just us shopping.

Friday, April 10, 2009

An Unlikely Criminal...

But still guilty as charged.
My day in court is over and my fifteen minutes of fame are up. I must say, I've learned alot. That's not to say I've learned my lesson, if I could go back in time, I'd do it the same way. But I learned alot about how the courts work, how the media works, how important friends are, and that seeing things through to the end gives the closure I need.
Above is a picture of a prayer vigil we put on before we all went in to hear the verdict. We all got cold and wet, but I'm glad we prayed before it all started as it kept things in perspective for me. Whatever the judge decided meant very little - staying true to the gospel of peace (and my Lord who spoke that gospel into existence) as I understand it was far more important.
In the end I was found guilty and given a $300 fine. There was a small victory in it all that the judge did not give me a court order to fill out the census, as this would have put me into a much more serious situation of being in contempt of court if I continued to refuse to comply. God was good and showed me mercy. My job was done.
Thanks to everyone who prayed. Thanks to all who came out and filled up the courtroom and helped intimidate the powers (extra baliffs were called in to protect the judge from us rowdy peaceniks!). Thanks especially to those who helped me pay down the fine, your generosity will not soon be forgotten.