Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Well That Explains a Lot

This is why hypochondriacs like me should not be allowed online.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Donald Where's Your Trousers?

You know what's the best part of the weather getting warmer? I get to wear SKIRTS again. *happy dance*

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dust and Ashes

Yeah, so normally I wouldn't be big on posting about fasting, but no one reads this, and I have a habit of mentioning it anyhow. It makes for an interesting topic though, because it's always a toss-up on how to do so. Sr. Janet told some an interesting story about some students she once taught about fasting. In doing so though she made the comment that when fasting you're "supposed to go to bed hungry". I think that begs the question of what hungry is.

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

I Smell 4th Years

So IRS has come and gone and I managed to survive (we won't mention the fact that I did close my office door, just in case). My roommates seem to have decided to skip the fun of IRS (and possibly of going around and scaring everyone in the engineering buildings). However they now have their shinies. Two more years and I will too (knock on wood). This year didn't have a lot of posters. I saw one that I didn't get (making fun of McMaster I believe), and one mocking the university saying "In the spirit of unimaginative mottos" There was also an underwear clothesline strung up over some stairs. I think it's good that they manage to find time, even in 4th year, to do their laundry, and that they don't want to have to use a dryer.

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

It appears that there has been a bit of a falling out in the FEDS exec. I received two e-mails forwarded to the engineering society mailing lists in rapid succession today. The first announced that the board of directors had overturned the Vice-President Internal's decision to deny the Women's Centre the use of the Student Life Centre to perform The Vagina Monologues. The second e-mail announced the resignation of aforementioned vice president.

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

Suuure You Can't

You may or may not be familiar with Stephanie's story of sitting in the hospital, knitting, and encountering a brain surgeon who was amazed that anyone would have the patience to do something that picky. (Yes, I'm somewhat worried by that too.)

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.