Monday, December 17, 2007
Ok, I think I'm babbling. Let's just say that yrn is a pain. As purl lace in general.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
6 cups ( about three apples), chopped into 1-1.5 cm chunks. Use varieties which will stay firm when you cook them. I actually used four because two were only partial: Cortland, Ida Red, Northern Spy and Granny Smith.
1.5 cups raisins
0.5 cups dried cranberries (this is just in here because my landlady has some, and I wanted some variety, not all raisins)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts and pecans (straight pecans seemed like it would be a bit much, but I prefer pecans to walnuts)
0.75 cup packed brown sugar (I used golden, but I think that the darker the better)
0.25 cup butter, melted (unsalted, like always when you're baking, but who ever has that around?)
0.5 cups apple juice (or use a mix of apple cider and brandy, but I have neither of those)
zest and juice of half a lemon and half an orange (Don't forget to wash them!)
pinch of salt (skip this because you used salted butter)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp each: nutmeg (as both cookbooks suggested I used freshly grated/ground nutmeg); allspice; ground cloves
You also need some thickener because I cut back so much on the sugar- I added flour as I was cooking it, but I'd recommend cornstarch (I didn't have any)
Mix all the above ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and gently simmer until the fruits and nuts are glazed with a thick syrup.
Refrigerate for three days.
What I'm planning on changing for next time: cutting the apples smaller and (hopefully) more evenly; definitely brandy; bump up the spices a lot (particularly the cloves/allspice); add dates
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Hold on just a minute - most?!
Turns out that, yes, it is indeed most. The final explanation given was that, although there are no gravestones in the park anymore it is believed that there are still some bodies interred there, and the suggestion was given that the reader spare a thought for them.
Of course, I got jolted back to the real world soon enough. When taking Sophie back across the highway she sat down and waited right at the corner of the road. Far enough back that she wasn't hurt at all by the truck that zoomed by, but boy was she scared.
Oh, and by the way: I'm aware that I never actually needed to make the boleros.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
This job was more ummm... "interesting" than originally putting the strain gauges was because the grader has been reassembled. So instead of standing on the floor (well I'm short, so a box) and reaching inside the frame I was climbing up onto the tandem case and squishing in between the frame and the wheel. Squishing is really the right word, too. As in it's what butyl rubber (which cover all the strain gauges after they've been put on) does to jeans. More accurately, it's what butyl rubber does into jeans.
When I started to move and realised I was stuck I called for the engineer who was right there and explained what had happened. After wincing he told me to just pull myself off the side of the grader. And let me tell you, I have aim (I believe of the kind that one would call bad). In pulling the cover away from the strain gauge I took two wires with me. Not so bad, except that the wires decided to bring the solder pads from the strain gauge. The engineer was very nice about the fact that I had just ruined some expensive test equipment (to wit, the strain gauge), although he did seem to enjoy explaining that that stuff doesn't come out. (He was wrong. My jeans are in the dryer with no black patch now).
Actually it's not killing that strain gauge that bugs me. It's that when I went to glue the strain gauge to the inside of the frame (I had to try twice) I managed to kill it - popped a pad off. At that point I declared that I wasn't gluing any more strain gauges. I had already soldered two (one at least was done well, it was posited that I may have not had a good enough connection to the sink and the heat warped the pad). And I prepped the surface (sanded it with acid until it was smooth) twice on one side (once for the replacement and once after the strain gauge that I killed) and once on the other (for the first strain gauge I killed).
Given that it's probably close to half an hour to prep the bonding surface normally, plus soldering the leads to the strain gauge, gluing it to the grader, testing everything, etc., and that I had to squirm around behind the wheel, it's rather understandable that it took most of my day. What took the largest part of the rest was scrubbing my hands. And my face. And my wrists. See, not only was this grader (still) covered in coal dust, but a) my hair falls out of its braid all the time, so I constantly have to wipe it away from my face, to the point where only the part under my safety glasses wasn't grey, and b) my shop coat is too large, so I have to push it up quite a ways to keep it out of my way.
Oh, well. At least I've stopped rubbing black on other things.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Do people think that I can knit four of these and the rest of this: in approximately 18 months? (click the picture... you really need to).
Actually I know I can. However let's add passing 3B and fourth year too.
I was afraid of that...
The shawl centre is somewhat odd looking because I didn't really bother blocking it much (I'm sure you can figure out why not). It seems a little small, but I haven't even finished the first thing of yarn (but it might not last out picking up new stitches), so I guess this is less than a quarter of the finished shawl.
I'm off to start
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Unfortunately (and you all knew that that was coming, even without the title), I had problems with the cross wind. I reached the part which is less industrial park and more just outskirts of town (or whatever the town equivalent of suburbs are) without too many problems. However, after the traffic light and the second time when I was almost blown into the curb, I decided that enough was enough. However, a victory apparently wasn't good enough for the weather. I signalled a stop and hopped onto the curb.
I actually hopped rather quickly onto the curb. You know, like when a fire truck comes by. Put one foot on the curb, pull the other leg up and over the bike then pull the bike after the outside leg. Notice that I skipped the "move the outside leg out of the way" step. It never really occured to me before that this was a step. However, I never brought the end of the handle of my bike up into my knee as it was coming down before.
Oh well, live and learn
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Psychologists have recently discovered more information about etymological amnesia. Specifically, it has been determined that, while the effects can be predicted with great accuracy, there still is no known cure or preventative measure.
This suggests to me that there is simply no way to avoid that the fact that the next person to prematurely mention the w-word to me will completely slip my mind when I’m writing out guest lists.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
"4.76...7...8... it's still going up."
"What about now?"
"5.37...8...9... still going up."
"Yeah, I just unplugged the ground."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not deliberately fail PDEng as a protest.
I will not... screw that. Sleep is overrated.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I had a short shopping list today - cereal, soy milk (to go with the cereal), peanut butter (my landlady only stocks the sugary kind), some fruit and perhaps check out the tofu products, see what the fruit ones were like (quite affordable, healthy, filling, but a little too sweet and just odd. It grew on me though). It sounds quite simple. At least to me. (And this is considering the fact that tofu is always hidden in the veggie section).
First of all, some self-pity to get out of the way. There was a "veggie block", basically a new kind of fake cheese. And it was cheddar flavoured, which is nice because the one I can get is pretty gross in the cheddar flavour. Unfortunately the second ingredient was casein. Yes, I get fake cheese anyhow (not often), but it's waaaay down on the list for that stuff. So I'm going to mope.
Just so you know.
Now on to the ranting!
I was heading for the soy milk (yes, get the heaviest thing first, that's me, always sensible) and noticed aisle-end displays of peanut butter. These displays weren't the ones directly at the end, more the ones that stick out a bit into the aisle and are at the side. They had crunchy and smooth both, one on either side of the aisle. Now, I'm rather gullable. (I'm sure you've all already figured this out), so I made the assumption that that aisle was the one with peanut butter. Nope, no such luck. Neither was the peanut butter to be found on either side of that aisle (i.e. anywhere NEAR the display). It was about as far as it was possible to be, two aisles away (at the far end of the food aisles), and at the far end of the aisle. At least they had what I wanted (but only in the 1kg jars, and I know that the small ones are evil, but they're convenient when you're only around for 2 more months).
So I found peanut butter interestingly enough it's one of the few foods that I buy without looking at the price. I bought one of the others today too - apples. While there is more than 100% variation in the price of apples they're all fairly cheap. And most of the expensive apples are from the States anyhow. Which brings me to my criterion: local fruit. (I have almost completely weaned myself off of bananas. Aren't you all so proud?) I think that grocery stores need to learn geography. Frankly if an apple is labeled "Canada" it's even odds that it's from BC. At that point, the Washington apples are just as responsible. Fortunately the stickers will often say. I'm still not sure where the plain ones are from though (I've seen BC ones and I've seen Ontario ones). Actually I didn't see any BC stickers today. And only one set of Ontario ones - on MacIntosh apples. The which I am not fond of. The bag of apples I ended up getting though, says Ontario on the bag (and no, that's referring to the apples, not the bag). Shame that it barely fit in my knapsack (yes, I need to think about this stuff BEFORE I go through the cash).
From there I hit the tofu, where I had the disappointing experience with the fake cheese. However, as I mentioned, the dessert wasn't too bad. The only thing they were short on was actualy tofu...
The cereal wasn't that big a deal, I just grabbed on because I was tired after price-checking the soy milk. Said price-checking actually turned out well. Actually, I wasn't paying that much attention to the price, more to the nutritional info. And I ended up (deliberately) getting some unsweetened soy milk. I've tried some already, and I think that I shan't bother sweetening it at all, it's pretty decent. It's only 3/4 the calories and about 1/3 the sodium, and has all the good stuff I want. So I'm quite pleased with that, and will pay the extra 70 cents that it normally costs over the PC brand stuff (which has the most sodium of any I checked). Oh, and it was on sale. So today I only paid 20 cents more.
*happy soy milk dance*
After having been out on the floor for probably 15 minutes, covering three strain gauges with a butyl rubber coating (quite fun) and chatting with the test engineers and the shop guy who were showing me how to do this and actually doing the work...
"I'm not wearing my safety goggles"
*head for door*
"Yeah, good call"
Sunday, November 11, 2007
*insert panicked look on said seminarian's face*
"No, don't worry, I"m joking. He'll be sitting on various committees and helping with different ministries."
Saturday, November 10, 2007
We later continued walking out towards that river I mentioned (the Maitland).
It has a cool bridge going over it. This former rail bridge has been repaired and is now part of the Maitland Trail. The (now pedestrian) bridge has little alcoves off the side so that you can get a great view of all the people standing below in the river fishing. And of the fish that are swimming around laughing at them.
Friday, November 09, 2007
This trick worked quite well today. I turned off the highway early and just kept riding towards the lake. It's a perfect day to stand at the top of the bluff and look out over Lake Huron. It was grey and somewhat misty all day - I even used my light on the ride home, not that I think it actually made me any more visible. Somewhat dreary days apparently make for the best time to look out at the lake. From a distance it was difficult to see where the water met the sky. But from atop the bluff the water took on delicate turquoise and blue colours, and lapped calmly at exposed sandbars and old shipwrecks - a beautiful contrast to Wednesday when the waves had stirred up the bottom enough to make the water cloudy and more of a grey as the waves battered the shore.
I really wished I'd had a camera so I could share this with you. But it's probably better that I didn't. Now I have to properly remember.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
So anyway, I was out at the track when I hear a sudden bang. I wasn't too worried about it, because we weren't running a test at the moment, we were in fact backing the graders up after running a test. However it's still not normally a good thing, and this was from the direction of the bush - the only thing between me and it was graders, so I couldn't think what else could have caused it. I asked the test engineer, who looked markedly unworried (another good sign). I'm sure he was amused when he told me what the noise was.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
- The plastic part of a brake cable has metal on the inside. Never knew that before.
- Tightening up the rear brake makes things like "gee, I think my brake pads have worn into a funny shape" and "hmmm... my front brake seems loose" more apparent.
- Measure twice, cut once works a lot better if both measurements are done BEFORE cutting
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
For those of you who like visuals: remember Sophie? The cute little dal-lab that I'm living with this term? The one whose neuron is probably in danger of dying of loneliness? Yes, that one.
See, one of the reasons that she isn't the brightest, despite having some lab, is that her mother died while giving birth. This may have resulted in some brain damage in Sophie. That's not certain, but what we do know is that it resulted in Sophie being bottle fed. (As an aside: the woman who raised her as a puppy lost only one from the litter of nine. Rather impressive.) One (very noticable) side effect of Sophie being bottle fed, is that she doesn't sprawl the way most dogs do. She is quite comfortable lying on her side, or with her legs crossing over each other. If you look you can see how she would have been held as a puppy in her relaxed postures now. She's also comfortable pressing up against people. Quite comfortable doing so. Perhaps more comfortable with it than the people (such as me) are.
I'd show you a picture of Sophie deciding that standing with her forelegs on my lap, hindquarters curled up on the couch, head pushing against mine, was a good way to get attention. Unfortunately, that would have required me being able to get up and get ahold of the camera.
Part of the problem I'm having is that it's a small town parish. So there are a number of things I find odd because of that. It's a much tighter-knit community. That's probably also connected to the fact that the parish seems to be a merger of what used to be three parishes. (Which means that I can't even make the trek to the next town to find a church I like more). Some things are just modern though. Such as having the children off at their liturgy of the word for more than just liturgy of the word. Or singing the Our Father. Fortunately I'm not being asked to make this my parish, but it's a less fun aspect of co-op that never occured to me.
On a more cheerful note, I'm going to suggest that we pray for not only Parker (who was baptized today) and his parents and godparents, but for his brother, Jonathan, who received first communion, and had his day quite overshadowed by his little brother. Congratulations and blessings to you both.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
It digs in the sand. You sit on the yellow seat, and the whole mechanism pivots around the centre post. The digging itself is a five-bar, two input. Grab the two handles, and move them forwards and back to move and pivot the scoop.
Any ideas on how much it would take to get one of these for a backyard?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Cute li'l beggars, ain't they? Sorry about the picture quality by the way, they aren't very big on holding a good pose long enough for me to get a shot in. What they are big on, however, seems to be me. Seems that they've discovered that I'm a sucker for cute things. Unfortunately this coincides well with their enjoyment of attention. I say unfortunately because they seem to think that I'm fair game no matter what.
Charlie is quite skilled at being petted. Or rather at drawing pets out from people. He will walk up to anyone stationary and jab his head into a convenient protrusion (such as my chin while I'm doing push-ups) and then drag his body along. Sophie isn't quite as pushy. She's more a fan of coming and sticking her nose in my knitti- my lap. I'm not sure I want to find out what her plans where when she followed Charlie into my room while I was doing push-ups, but I'm beginning to regret setting a bad precident last night.
What did I do last night? Well Sophie apprently really doesn't like thunderstorms. Like the one last night. And I don't like her growling and whining. Like she does at thunderstorms. So I used logic - comfort is good. Unfortunately the reason I needed her to stop whining was that I was trying to sleep. So I opened my room door and told her to come in. It worked, she was happier curled up beside me taking up half the room on my mattress. That wasn't really a problem though, I'm in a queen-sized bed. At least, it wasn't a problem until Charlie decided to come join us.
I think that tonight I'm going to close my door. Just like I had to do this afternoon to be able to finish my push-ups.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
It's quite the nice trail, old rail beds tend to be great for lazy people like me (when I have a purse and a dog I never feel like doing anything interesting, those two take up all my energy and strength). I went as far as the tomb of "Tiger" Dunlop (Dr. William Dunlop), one of the founders of the Canada Company. He and John Galt had a lot to do with the founding of the town of Goderich, as the port was developed for the settlers on the lands of the Canada Company.
Because of this history the tomb is something of a known attraction. Off the trail there is a little path leading up the hill.
I read the plaque and took a little break, gave the dog some water and had some myself. I didn't sit though. I've never really been one to take long walks in graveyards, around the earthly remains of people I never knew. It set me to thinking - How would I feel if I knew that, after my death, my grave became what is essentially a minor tourist attraction? Are we showing respect or a lack thereof for Tiger Dunlop by trekking out to his lonely tomb and reading the plaque? He was more than incompetence and mismanagement, more than a town founder and politian. As I am now, so once was he. But just who am I?
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
The one says he's fine with it, the other one declares he's not. Won't change there without his locker. So, after discarding apparently tempting thoughts of declaring some cardboard box to be his locker and shoving it in the room (with a lock set to not let him out), the engineers went up to junk storage and found a new locker for him. From the stories though, he might well find something else to complain about, since his complaint about a lack of locker failed to stall for very long.
Me? Like the title says, I'll stay in the office until 15:31. We work the day shift here, and by 15:30 the place is dead.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
In other news the Grad Student Association seems to be stalking me. They sent me an e-mail today to come to a presentation about grad studies. I wonder if it would do any good to point out to them that a) I'm out of town this term, b) I'm really not cut out for grad school, and c) I can't stay in Waterloo after I get my bachelor's. Yeah. Right.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
*time for a quick recovery*
"Well I always figured that if I said that often enough it would work out to be true."
**In fairness that last statement might very well have been true. There was a complete lack of embarassment present.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
What does this mean? It means that our purpose is to love God, as happens from knowing him, which brings the desire to serve God. And because love is not something that can flow in one direction, it means that our purpose is to be loved by God. And God's love does not end, nor is it stingy. God loves us warts and all, no matter what we do. God wants to be there for us, and for us to be there for Him.
And God? Thank you for sharing.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Actually when I came in for my exam the other day I discovered that that was getting fixed. Which is a mixed blessing. I would really rather not have to climb over the markers that really look as if they're there to keep people out. However, given that both the entrance I would normally use, and then the one that I next walked to were out of comission, I didn't really have a choice. I understand that the work is important, but they really need to give warning. Yes, I leave myself extra time when coming in for an exam, but not so much extra time that I'm willing to go 20 minutes out of my way just to get on to campus.
Does anyone understand why the university is forgetting that there are people on campus this term?
Monday, August 06, 2007
However, I am now leaning towards K-W just having better sensors than Toronto does. Which is great. It also means that it's possible to make sensors like that, so I guess that's one fourth year project idea down the drain.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I have a final in two hours. I think I've stopped studying for it already (I'm looking over my notes for Saturday's exam though). Why have I stopped? Well basically I'm making two kinds of mistakes. One is chosing the wrong formula from the 10 that the book offers, all of which *should* be applicable in the situation (at least the solutions don't say why they picked the one they did, and the constraints given on the use of the one I used doesn't exclude the situation I used it for). The other is not noticing the units. Oh. that was Watts per metre squared, not Watts? And that sort of thing is NOT going to get any better by me doing more problems, at least not now. It would get better if I did more problems a week ago, but I think that at this point my best bet is staying somewhat unsure, so that I pay enough attention.
Wish me luck
Friday, July 27, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
As for how they're doing, I started a sock on Monday. These socks are strictly for in-class, as it's a busy time of term. I am turning the heel (on a men's dress sock, that I am knitting intermittently due to my lingering sprain and taking notes) today. I would have done so during my tutorial but I wanted to look up how to do an eye of the partridge heel. And the delay is no bad thing - I think I used the wrong yarn. As in the yarn that I have 3/4 of a skein left. Now I've been known to mix sock yarns before, but given that my other yarn is wool, and this is superwash... I'm going to go yarn shopping on Saturday. (no complaints about that one, trust me).
Let me know if anyone has suggestions on things that I ought to be knitting. I have a thrummed mitten to finish before I decide instead that the stink of burning wool isn't that bad a thing, and a binary scarf to do for Christmas. Oh, and I've ordered the yarn for my shawl (before you ask, no this shawl does NOT mean that I'm getting married). Aside from that though, once I've finished Allan's sweater repairs and these socks there's nothing. Well... aside from two years' worth of finishing up.
I don't seem to be helping my cause there... Unlike some Fools who think that hitting rock bottom is cause to dig harder, I'm going to call this a night.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
So any suggestions that can be given on making sure I freak out in the morning, and hurry as if I had early class would be appreciated. I'm aware that part of why I make it on time for 8:30 classes is that the professor for that class tends to not start the lecture until a few minutes after, however I make it for that, I should be able to make it for almost an hour later.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The other thing that annoys me about the anti-pass group is that they're pretending that it's a commuter pass. At $50 for the term this pass is not aimed at students who take the bus to campus. (Students who do take the bus to campus will definitely be doing a happy dance if this passes, because it's an incredible deal when looked at in that light). This pass is more of a "I use the bus occasionally, and it would be nice to take the bus home without having to worry that I don't have any tickets" thing.
So please, for the love of COMMON SENSE remember to vote for the pass!
It's nice to know that people do look out for each other. And nice to know that they'll still keep talking to me after I refuse a ride.
Monday, March 19, 2007
So what am I doing today? Well.. not a lot. Danielle Bean has linked to some traditional recipes, but I have guides tonight, and need to go shopping before that. I didn't make it to mass this morning, and I don't know of any this evening (even if I didn't have guides). Does that change the fact that it's a special day for me? Not in the least.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Advice on which one? And should I be using Katrina for this sweater. Oh, yeah. Should I be making the sweater at all?
Thursday, March 15, 2007
It's not listed on their site. I had a bit of fun going through eBay to find out what it was called (I remembered what it looked like, and that it was a Patons yarn. There are worse things to have to figure out). The advantage of eBay is that there is some yarn available there. However it's a bit more expensive than I'd like to pay. I like knitting, and I do need clothes, but the colour I like is currently over $50 for what is *hopefully* enough.
I am (possibly) going to Michael's soon to get supplies for my dress (although I've taken long enough that I can just wait until I go home and use what's there). I'll take a look, however if I'm going to need this online yarn I do want to know to keep an eye out for it.
Monday, March 12, 2007
"Did you just drop our sample under that packing crate?"
"Oh, look, I bet it landed top down. We're going to have some interesting scratches on that one."
A prof is walking down the hall, chatting with a colleague
"... but if you fasten something with Robertson screws, and then ship it to, say, Germany..."
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
The prospect of being able to find nice clothes in the stores (or in POETS) is a very nice one. Because it would appear that I'm going to need a *ahem* T-square if I ever want my dress to be done.
Friday, March 02, 2007
So the other morning I go to the washroom and notice someone's iron ring sitting on the edge of the sink. I was rather surprised by this. Why on earth would Strider have left his ring here? (Cut me some slack. It was morning, and I had lost an hour's sleep the night before. No idea why, just woke up and stayed up.) Eventually it did sink into my brain that two of my current housemates have received their iron rings, and maybe it belonged to one of them. I checked the size and discovered that the ring defintely belonged to one of my housemates (I've stolen Strider's ring often enough that I know what size it is fairly well).
Juggler then staggers into the bathroom to bathe. He quickly popped out again, letting me know about the ring. I then demonstrated that it was the wrong size, it couldn't belong to Strider. Juggler, not being awake, needed to have the fourth year housemates pointed out to him before he understood the source of the ring.
The real fun, however, started when one of the fourth years came out of his room. I asked him if his ring was missing, and told him that there was one in the bathroom. Explaining that, yes, I really think it's yours, it belongs to you or to the other guy who lives here, took a while. However we now (hopefully) have it all sorted out. The other fourth year is back, and he hadn't lost his ring, nor are his fingers small enough to fit into the one that was lost.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
There's the usual hungry which means that you haven't eaten too much. As in how I need to get used to hungry if I don't want to start gaining weight again. But that doesn't seem like what you'd aim for when fasting. After all, what's the sacrifice in that? Then there's hungry in terms of your body craving food because it is desperately short of calories. Even ignoring the new guidelines that the Catholic Church has set out on fasting (basically eating less than two meals), that's laughable for fasting. (Please note that I'm talking only people who could be fasting. If you're in a state where one day without any food would put you into starvation, you oughn't be fasting at all.) Then there's what I went for - I could tell that more food at dinner would have been really nice.
But does "going to bed hungry" even refer to food? yes, I'm still talking about fasting here, but there is more to it than that. Hungry can be many things, and if you pick the right hunger, it will last a long time.
And, since I know it shows, I will just point out that for me lack of food would appear to last a long time too. That or the fact that I'm feverish again.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
In other news - if my rice is hidden under more than 2kg of food again I am no longer responsible for the cooking or the shopping.
And if anyone knows the origin of the knitting e-letter that showed up in my mailbox the other morning please do share. It's not something I would have signed up for, as it's from a store in the States, that doesn't sell online...
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
I am far from being a supporter of the recently resigned vice president. Quite the opposite in fact. And I will definitely agree that he was out of line - expecting people to have self-respect directly opposing society is rather optimistic, making it unreasonable to say that The Vagina Monologues contains any content that gives cause to restrict the freedom of speech of the people involved. And the stated goals of the V-day campaign (namely the elimination of violence against women, especially crimes which primarily or exclusively affect women such as rape, honour killings, FGM and others) are definitely worth supporting. And although I have no actual information on the organisation, its site suggests that there might be a high enough degree of effectiveness that the creation of a new organisation was worth it.
However I have to almost admire the actions of the vice president. Were he in a position where he was free to act as his conscience dictated I would admire them, despite my doubts as to his motivations. Too many people are afraid of opposing any movement that does good, even if it causes harm as well.
In the interest of explaining to anyone who is willing to listen (i.e. those wiser & better than I) my reasons for opposing this is simple: I find the ideals of the organisation to be suspect. To quote from a defense the organisation has put on its website, the vagina "does indeed represent women both physical and metaphysically as a feminine being" (V-day:Opposition on Catholic college campuses, http://www.vday.org/contents/vday/resistance/catholic, 7 February, 2007.) To suggest that women are that strongly defined by their sexual organs is offensive. To suggest that a physical difference can so much define femininity is denying other differences between men & women.
On top of that, if the physical aspect of sexuality is so much a part of what makes a woman, one would assume the same to be true for men. This reduces society to little more than the proverbial naked apes. And even if it were in me to be contented with the dreams a naked ape might have, societal mores (which would not be needed by naked apes, and to an extent are disdained by the V-Day organisation) are a form of protection for the vulnerable. If you doubt that, ask yourself just why it is that the idea of a 16-year-old mother disturbs you.
If you feel that I've misrepresented or misunderstood anything that I present here I'd love to hear from you. However pettiness will likely be met by more of the same & summarily deleted.
Update: Having read the coverage of the story in the campus newspaper it would appear that I was wrong in maligning the former vice president. The presentation of the show is going to be done in the main area of the campus centre, not off in one of the small rooms. In other words, it is not necessary to decide to attend the event to be subjected to it. It would be nice if society agreed that everyone was allowed to choose (that's the big thing for society, right? Do what you want?) how sexualized they wanted their everyday life. Society's attitude towards sex is often called permissive. I would say that that term is somewhat misleading - permissive suggests that anything is permitted. Modesty, however, would appear to not be.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
I snickered when I read this (and again when I heard her tell the story when I went to hear her speak). People just don't think, right? Too bad that there wasn't time for that poor woman to realise what she'd said. Of course I'm sure you're all snickering at me now, being that foolishly naive.
My job at the moment is involving long periods of sitting and waiting, so I decided to take advantage of that to catch up on my knitting. (What with having a somewhat immovable deadline for this shawl that I'm working on the time is useful). The engineer in the office with me noticed me knitting & was amazed. He stated that men just don't have the patience to do that sort of thing. Now, while I agree that men and women have different skills, let's examine this. Starting with the fact that my boyfriend has knit a garter stitch scarf well over 2m long, and finishing with the fact that this is an electrical engineer talking. He designs chips. (The computer kind) for professors.
For those of you who haven't had to do it yet, working with electronic components is much finer work than knitting. Especially knitting on 5.5mm needles. And no, none of this sank in during our extended conversation on this. I guess it just serves me right for daring to doubt the Yarn Harlot.