August 25, 2004
The World Today
by Amber Whitman
What is wrong with the world today? Just this morning, in Toronto, a woman was taken hostage. It was on the news. A man
took her hostage in front of a busy downtown subway station around 8a.m.
He earlier had shot his wife. He had a long history of abuse. He abused his two children as well as his wife. His wife
had filed for divorce. She was living in a different home with her children. After the police arrived on the scene, they tried
to negotiate with the gunman. He, however, continued to hold the gun to the womans head. She was only 20 years old. After
much negotiation, which was going nowhere, the suspect became irrate and the police shot him in the head. He died.
The women involved are recovering. The Police Chief told reporters that this was not the first such incident to have occured
in the city. My question is, what could have possibly happened in this man's life to allow him to do this? Was he unstable
to begin with? Had he been under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Surely he must have known this could not end well. What
could possibly have driven him to gamble with his life?
What is even more disturbing is that it happened in broad daylight. It happened in one of the most populated areas in downtown
Toronto. At the height of the morning rush. It had to be a extremely difficult and scary thing to witness. It certainly poses
the question of how safe we really are in today's society. What kind of world are we truly living in, when we are not even
safe going to work. Will there come a time when we must arm ourselves to leave our homes?
The government needs to step in with more programs. Society needs to step in as well. Many people who may need help, do
not recieve it. This man had already spent time in jail. He was known by police. He was even ordered to take anger management.
After all of his prior history, more should have been done. Obviously this man had serious issues. He felt if he was going
to die , he would take someone with him. Thanks to the fast thinking of one young officer, the outcome was good. Two women
survived. The cop did his job. Could there have been an alternative for this man? Now we will never know.
Seymour The Christmas Mouse
There once was a mouse named Seymour. He was a writer. Seymour was a loner,
he didn't have alot of friends and was not close to his family. He had left home when he was a young mouse, his father was
very mean, and an alcoholic mouse. He yelled at Seymour and called him names. One day Seymour packed a little satchel and
left. He did not know exactly where he was going. It was the dead of winter, and very cold. It had been snowing for days.
Christmas was just a few days away, and the streets were full of shoppers. They all had thier bags and presents wrapped. Seymour
could not help feeling sad. He wished he had a nice family to spend Christmas with.
After walking till his feet hurt, Seymour spotted a house. It was a triplex, with three apartments. Seymour walked to the
back of the house. It sat on a lot with a big backyard with a tire swing. There in the yard he found a snowman and some snowangels.
Seymour knew a nice family must live here, with children. He decided to find a way into the house's basement, to get warm
and find a place to live. Seymour looked around and found a crack in the back door. Upon entering he immediately felt a rush
of warmth. He carefully descended the flight of stairs into the basement. There was a furnace at the bottom of the stairs
which to Seymour was a definite asset. He also noticed alot of boxes and belongings which must belong to the tenants. This
is great, Seymour thought, " I can find a nice place to live here amoung these belongings." Seymour started to look around
for a new home. In a corner he spotted an old suitcase, covered in dust and cobwebs. This looks very old he thought, ''No
one has used this in years.'' Seymour noticed it was ajar so he slipped inside. Over the next few weeks Seymour went about
finding pieces for his new hideaway. Everytime he went out shopping, he would look through the back alleys for rubbage. Seymour
knew one mouse's rubbage was another mouse's treasure.
Soon he had found enough to furnish his tiny hideaway. One day Seymour decided to explore the house. He thought he would
find the family that made the snowman. When he got to the apartment he slipped through a vent in the wall. Seymour couldn't
believe his eyes. It was beautiful. There was a tree in the corner, with tinsel and sparkling lights. Under the tree were
presents wrapped in brightly coloured paper. Boughs of cedar gave off scents of the outdoors. There were candles lit, sending
a warm glow around the room. Soft holiday music drifted through the air. There was a family eating dinner. A mother, father
and son. They were talking and laughing about thier day. Seymour was stunned. This was the Christmas he always wished for,
but never had. At that moment Seymour knew, he had found his new home and his new family. This truly would be a Joyous Christmas.
Obsessed With Games
What is this obsession men have with games? My boyfriend will sit in front of our computer playing games for hours, when
he gets bored with that he will go upstairs to my son's room, and play games on the Gamecube system. Not only does he spend
hours playing these games, but he also has to look up different game cheats on the computer. Then if he is losing, he yells
and swears like a wildman. Like tonight for example, he spent the good part of the afternoon and night playing different games.
While I was doing all the work like the cleaning the house, doing dishes, gathering laundry, vacuuming, and wrapping Christmas
My son is building a Christmas village, so I tried in vain to help him with that. Speaking of my darling son, he has also
taken on the gaming obsession, he sits in front of the system for hours during the day and at night. Finally, I just get mad
and force him off, which inevitably ends badly. Today we had one such incident in which he was supposed to do a chore and
didn't. I basically told him that he had to do his chores and take care of his meager responsibilities before playing his
video games. After all he does get an allowance for which he contributes very little in the way of chores. He got very upset,
nearly to the verge of tears because in his words, "I have to do everything." The problem is that this year he is taking on
alot more work in school, as well as extra-curricular activities, he not used to the workload so everything seems overwhelming
to him lately. The problem is he rushes through his school work, as well as chores just to get back to playing these video
So there it is in a nutshell, I have two obsessed video junkies in my apartment. I am just glad I can escape into my writing
and block out the noise, competition, yelling and constant adrenaline that is flying around these two obsessed gamers.
Childhood Memories and Losses
The memories I have about my childhood and our house are fond ones. I lived with my grandparents on Vancouver Island, in
a town called Qualicum Beach. It is here, my grandparents built our home from the ground up. We lived in a tiny, cramped trailer
for a few years until it was built. When we did move in, it seemed like a big house to me, though I was small so anything
would seem large in comparison. I still remember every room in the house.
First there was the kitchen which was always the hub of the house. There we had a old wood-stove for cooking and delivering
heat to the house. Attached to the kitchen was the dining room where my grandmother displayed some china and antiques in a
china cabinet. There was a big dining table with chairs in the middle of the room. Beyond that was a buffet style dresser
for more collectibles and linens. Sliding glass doors provided light year round, as well as an exit to the backyard. The dining
room curved into the living room, which was the biggest room in the house, with huge windows for a cascade of light even on
the darkest days. I spent many days in this room practicing the piano and reading my lessons, sometimes for hours. There was
a fire place which backed into the dining room, but it was rarely used.
The hallway started with my room which was the first room. I loved my room which also had ample light, I remember spending
alot of time typing, doing homework, and other artistic projects like drawing on my desk. My window looked out onto a field
which was part of our land. I climbed out of that window on more than one occasion, sometimes getting stuck and hanging there
Down the hallway was the bathroom which was long more then wide. As you came out of the bathroom the front door was directly
in front with a stain glass orange window as accent. One of the nicest rooms in the house was my grandparents bedroom located
in the front of the house. This room housed a second fireplace flanked by two vertical windows. It had two sets of sliding
doors, along with a ensuite bathroom and closet space. The bathroom never did get finished as my grandparents aged, which
was unfortunate. I will never forget that house, even though I was very young, I can still have fond memories.
Now living in a tiny apartment in the city, I can really appreciate those years. The expanse of the house, the fire places
that provided heat and cherished memories. The large kitchen which I certainly don't have now, in my small apartment. I think
I have managed to maintain the coziness that I felt as a child in that house in my own home, so in a way I have carried those
memories, feelings, and a sense of family into my own tiny apartment. I will probably never get back to my childhood home,
but I will always carry it's memories of growing up in the country.