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Country Versus New York City Living

Two days ago I packed a bag, got on a Porter* flight, and flew into Toronto, Canada, to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. I actually grew up a couple of hours outside of Toronto, on Lake Ontario, about 20 minutes from a little town called Port Hope. Actually, the “town” closest to where I grew up is called “Welcome” (no, really!) and has exactly one stoplight and one store (well, in keeping with full disclosure, it’s really just a gas station with some candy bars and pop – yes, that means soda in Canada-speak).

port-hope-ontario

So here I am, back in farm-country Canada, in my old room where I grew up. The weirdest feeling is Read more

How to Avoid Letting Someone Steal Your Identity

I just got yet another pre-approved credit card letter in the mail, which is super annoying because each time one is mailed out it puts me at risk for identity theft.

What happens is identity theives steal these letters. (This is super common and I don’t know why it’s still legal for credit companies like Equifax, Transunion, etc. to sell our credit information. Oh wait. Greed. Yeah, that’s it.)

The identity thieves then reply and accept the offer (with a change of address) and then rack up tons of debt on cards in your name, tied to your credit union file. It takes an average of a year to get your credit fixed, if ever. Yeah, a year!

Here’s how you can avoid it: Read more

My 10 Best Bits of Life Advice

advice-teenage

If I could give my younger self some advice, I’d tell her a couple of things:

1. Stay open. Don’t be closed-minded. If someone has a different opinion than you, genuinely listen to it. They might be ill-informed, or they might have different values than yours, or  they might actually modify your opinion on a topic. Either way, part of growing is staying open and keeping your ideas somewhat fluid. That said, if someone says something based on contempt, feel free to tell them to shut the hell up.

2. Don’t take people’s opinions (of issues, politics, other people, etc.) as fact. Ask pointed questions – dig! – to find out what a person really believes. Often, you’ll find that people are just repeating things they’ve heard without really understanding it. For example, if they say they’re “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” ask “why fiscally conservative?” – what specific things do they think the government should cut back on? What social initiatives do you think the government should fund, and why?

Which brings me to: Read more

How to Have a Happy Marriage: 4 Quick Tips

Yes, I’m married. No, we won’t be getting divorced (ever).

I think it’s very important to really make an effort in marriage, and not take things for granted. Here are a few quick tips that I think are extremely important:

A Princess and a Party

New York is a magical place. There are very few cities where you can have such diverse, random and wonderful experiences. Thursday night was a perfect example.

Hilary Rowland

We started out the night at Cinderella on Broadway. I wasn’t sure what to expect, after all, I’ve never been a big fan of Disney. Even when I was a child I thought that the concept of being ‘saved’ by marrying a wealthy man was a dangerous message to send out to young girls. So I was happy to see that the modern Cinderella has several twists I didn’t remember… Read more

Centers of the Universe?

New York City is home to some of the most influential people in the world. It also attracts a large number of them from abroad. What’s interesting is how their importance seems to rub off on the rest of us.

New York City attitude

Walking down any busy street in Manhattan, you get the feeling that everyone is operating with a heavy dose of self-importance, on their way to some important meeting. It’s like NASCAR without the cars. Walking in this city is a contact sport, and you’ll get run over if you’re not careful.

Read more

Is it unethical to watch (and therefore support) football?

So here’s the reality of the situation with football:

Besides the fact that kids in college often don’t feel like they have much of a choice regarding whether they play or not, for a long time the industry had/has been trying to hide the facts about the severe brain damage playing football often causes.

football-unethical

The NCAA makes almost a billion dollars in profit annually off the backs of these kids (while the kids unwittingly deteriorate their brains and shorten their lives) and yet they Read more

Feminism: a Dirty Word?

When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said she doesn’t consider herself a feminist, I thought: How is it possible that such an intelligent woman could say that? To be honest, I immediately lost a certain amount of respect for her.

Then I started thinking: WHY would she say that?

feminism

Let’s start with this: What does feminism make you think of?

Burning bras? Extremism? Hairy arm pits?
A jaded and unattractive woman in a pant suit? A beautiful women in a sundress? Read more

New York – Shrunk

I was poking around on the web today, looking for cool stuff to share, and I came upon this really neat short film about New York City. It was made out of 35,000 still photos over 5 days. It kind of reminded me of the feeling of being in an airplane and looking down at all the little miniature-looking houses and cars. It always makes me feel like such a super tiny piece of a much, much bigger picture. Travel in general is good for that, and I think it’s healthy. Keeps it all in perspective.

This will make you feel good

Ology MoisturizerI love love love the new line put out by Walgreens called OLOGY. They make “paper” products (like tissue, paper towel, toilet paper, copy paper, etc.) that work better, are softer and stronger than all others I’ve tried, and are made from sugar cane and bamboo instead of trees!!

Yes, that means that just by buying Ology instead of tree-killing paper products, you can stop feeling guilty and instead have a positive impact on the world and prevent the rainforest from being chopped down just so you can wipe your bum. Really! Now that’s exciting to me!

They also have an incredible Read more

Danger in sending your kids to college…

college-loansSending your kids to college has to rank pretty high on the wish list of most parents. Much like owning a home, a college degree has been sold to the American public as a “dream.” Few would argue (including me) that attaining a degree provides an advantage for graduates to get the job they want. That was before I read the articles in Mother Jones and Rolling Stone (by Matt Taibbi, one of my favorite investigative journalists) on the college loan scandal playing out before our very eyes.

Read more

Lessons Learned

Hilary Rowland

Hilary Rowland with possibly the best advice-giver on the planet.

  • In times of great and heady success, you are most vulnerable to failure… Stay humble and work even harder.
  • You don’t accomplish great things without audacity… You always have a choice between thinking big and thinking small… Why bother thinking small?
  • Despair and despondency are your greatest enemies and must be fought with dogged determination… Don’t get down on yourself. Read more
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