[FF] My (Current) Favourites List

Hey all. Just felt like doing one of these lists to keep a record of my favourites of the now, so here we go!

Favourite thing to do when I’m nervous: bite my lip
Favourite children’s book: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Favourite author: Pablo Neruda...poet's count right?
Favourite food topping: sour cream
Favourite soda: Coca Cola
Favourite Starbucks drink: Extra hot skinny Hazelnut Macchiato
Favourite class in college:  a Criminology course I took on professional misconduct
Favourite holiday: Halloween
Favourite cereal: Captain Crunch
Favourite cookie: Oatmeal raisin
Favourite song: Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
Favourite positive affirmation: "You have a divine right to be happy."
Favourite book: Phantom by Susan Kay
Favourite country: Canada
Favourite state of mind: feeling needed
Favourite character: Johji Koizumi from Paradise Kiss
Favourite cartoon: Paradise Kiss (anime/manga)
Favourite breakfast food: toast with honey
Favourite beverage: coffee
Favourite tropical fruit: durian
Favourite TV series: Sherlock
Favourite animal: kittens, in general.
Favourite utensil: chopsticks
Favourite vegetable: Chinese pea shoots
Favourite album: Kings of Suburbia by Tokio Hotel
Favourite board game: Telestrations
Favourite cheese: Bra cheese
Favourite sleeping position: on my stomach
Favourite romantic moment: when my bf and i made our relationship official
Favourite stress reliever: drinking coffee
Favourite life accomplishment: getting into my current school program
Favourite hero/heroine: Rorschach from Watchmen
Favourite villain: Malificent from Disney's Sleeping Beauty
Favourite day of the week: Saturday
Favourite actor: Benedict Cumberbatch
Favourite actress: Tina Fey
Favourite movie director: Baz Luhrmann

Feel free to take this list and complete them yourself in the comments below! I'd love to hear what some of your favourite things are!


[WW] The Young Murderers of James Bulger

In February of 1993, a CCTV camera caught a 2 year old boy being led down a shopping mall by a 10 year old. The pair are seen meeting up with another 10 year old boy. What onlookers did not know was that the 2 year old was being led away from his mother who was at a butcher shop in the mall. This was the last footage of James Bulger before he was murdered.

Photo courtesy of Mirror UK

The murderers, 10 year old Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, were arrested after Bulger's body was found mutilated by a railroad track. Bulger had been beaten to death by the pair and his body was dumped by the railway. There was no doubt that Venables and Thompson had killed Bulger, but the courts had to prove whether they understood the right or wrong of their actions. In 1993, laws in Britain stated that 10-14 year old's could not be held legally responsible for their actions and they could not be sentenced to prison. Therefore, when the jury found the two guilty of first degree murder, the two were sent to a secure housing unit.

Britain was angered with the trial decision as they felt that the two did not receive a severe enough punishment. The judge and the secure housing unit believed that these two boys did not need punishment per say, but to be detained in a place where the boys would be taken care of and adults would be able to exact authority. This was fueled by the idea that the two boys came from broken families, displayed deviant behaviour, and needed structure in their lives. It further angered the public when it was found that during their time at the secured housing, Venables was allowed to leave the facility with his dad and to play soccer. Thompson was able to visit shopping malls. The staff at the secure unit claimed that allowing mobility for these offenders prepared them to transition back into society.

In 2001, the parole board found that the boys no longer posed as threats to public safety and were released after spending eight years in the secure unit. They were released with conditions such as not being allowed to contact each other or the Bulger's family. They were given new identities and left to live their own lives. Some who attempted to identify the two boys had been sentenced to prison.

After their release, although the boys have been noted to have completed their education, Venables was arrested multiple times for violating his release conditions and later for possession and distribution of child pornography in 2010.

So here is a question for my readers. Do you feel that justice was served and whether the boys deserved their sentence? Should the public leave these two alone?

I am glad that Canadian laws have learned from our British law counterparts in understanding that age should not necessarily bar a child from being tried as an adult. This incident stresses the idea of the effects on broken homes and the allowance for children to wander and associate themselves with deviance. Of course, we cannot eliminate any mental history that these children may have which we will never know or understand as this happened a long time ago and even then the publication bans were strict.

There is an internal struggle within me because I too am angered by the idea that people who have committed a horrific crime have not been "punished". Some may remind me that they are 10, but I'm rather positive 10 year old's understand that taking a child and killing them is not something virtuous. I do feel that despite the idealistic goals of the secure unit in trying to give the boys structure, I hope (for everyone's sake) that their therapy sessions while detainment allowed for pinpointing the source of their aggression and can help to prevent something like this from happening. Considering Venables came out to further re-offend, I can safely say that therapy did not deter these children. It angers me because the secure unit staff were saying that the program allowed youth to find their self-worth and I hardly think that's an issue when such a thought out horrific act can only be associated with self-entitled individuals.

It's incredibly scary that young kids are capable of such horrific things and there continues to be a divide on how legally responsible infants or young adults should be for their actions.

Let me know what you think!


As 2014 Comes to an End...

My dad told me a story today that made me shed a tear or two and I really wanted to share it with all of you. The story goes:

A father asked his son to move a heavy chair made of stone. The son set out to do so to no avail and he returned to his father after some time. His father asked, "have you done all you can to move the chair?" To which the son replied, "yes, father, i've used all my strength and done everything that I can to move it, but I just cannot move the stone chair." The father then shook his head and said, "you obviously did not try your hardest because if you had...you would have asked me for help."

What my dad was trying to tell me in the best way that he could (through a story) was that I should never be afraid to ask for help. It's so often the instinct of children to take on all the burdens of life, but family is the best support system that anyone can have. I'm so lucky to have this family, even though I struggle to show it.

As 2014 ends, I wish all my readers, friends, and family the very best in the upcoming years. 2015 is going to be a life-altering year for me and the people in my life, so let us all brace for whatever the future brings us with strong and open arms.

Also, be sure to keep me a look out for me and this space for future updates!

Be safe tonight, everyone, and let's ring out the old year with lots of cheer!


New Year Resolutions?

In the spirit of the dawn of a new year, I find myself reflecting on the last year and bracing myself for the upcoming year. I'd like to think that I've grown quite a bit over the last year but 2014 has only showed me that I have a long way to go.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of things I have learned from the past year and hope to reflect on for the future:

1. Rekindle the passion for my career.
I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to walk down a path I can be proud of, but under the pressure of this new undertaking, I've felt incredibly burnt out. Too often I let a lot of unnecessary things get in the way of school and I really don't want my passing emotions to dictate my future. I don't want to look at myself as a failure any longer. A huge reason why I decided to start this blog was because of my passion for law. This calls for more law-related posts in the future and a stronger focus on my studies.

2. Look to the things I already have.
This "resolution" and the one before it are underlying reasons I have terrible spending habits. I am blessed to have all the things that I do, but my actions rarely reflect that. I need to take time to rearrange and declutter my room so that I am able to appreciate the things that I already own. I need to remember that the best things earned in life are not bought with money but bought with time. Although I have some hefty things I want to save for, the goal isn't necessarily to obtain a material item, but to prove to myself that I can be financially smart.

3. Appreciate those in my life, stop wasting time on those who aren't.
This year I have been able to meet and rekindle friendships with so many awesome people. I really want each and everyone to know how special they are to me. As we grow older, it becomes so difficult to make lasting meaningful relationships. I cherish the friendships that not only make time spent super fun, but help me grow as a person. Having grown up with a bunch of guys most of my life, it's an amazing change to be able to create connections with some girls. At the same time, I feel I ask a little too much from my friends at times and need to learn to be less selfish. After all, no relationship should be built on burden. It just isn't fair to them or myself.

4. Take care of myself.
My body is my temple, the only one body I will ever have. I am incredibly prone to headaches and stomach problems so I need to have a regular eating and sleeping schedule. I also need to lay off an excess of junk food. I definitely find I gain weight when I consume too much pop/soda. I also want to take care of my appearance, both in maintaining myself and as a respect for other people's eyes. There is nothing sexier than a woman who knows how to take care of herself.

5. Do more for the blog.
I want to be able to add my own pictures and photographs to my blog, mostly for copyright reasons. My readership decreases when I decide to leave my blog not updated. I need to get into the habit of scheduling posts in order to prepare for when I am busy with life. I also want to stretch my creative wings with art. I used to make pixel-art when those were a big thing, so I want to somehow incorporate that here. Please look out for future updates!

Have you all been reflecting as 2014 comes to an end? What are your wishes/resolutions for the future? Let me know in the comments box below!


Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

This year my family isn't here to celebrate the holidays with me and I was getting pretty upset as Christmas Eve drew to a close. Thankfully I phone call to my parents cheered me right up.

I am beyond thankful for my family and my friends for their endless support.
This Christmas, I'm surrounded by loving individuals who have taken time to show me that they care and for that, I am grateful. I wish everyone the same joy and encouragement I have received this holiday season.

- SMak