Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deep Breaths.

I just saw on Twitter (yeah, I'm on Twitter - deal) that flippin' Stephen Fry is in flippin' Toronto!

I have to think about what I'd say to him if we shared an elevator.

Shall I lead with, "You're the sole sitting member of the Gay Council on my Husband List!"?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Stick 'Em Up.

Hm. I like a good heist farce. This might be interesting.



I like Keanu. I think he's better than people give him credit for. He just has a very distinctive style.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Excerpt.

This is a paragraph from the psychology paper I'm working on. I know, it's a little reflexive, but eff it. It was too good to turn down.

"I did not control for equal gender balance. Although the instructions for the testing did not dictate gender requirements, I would have liked to have had more balance, especially in the younger age bracket. It only brought into sharp focus what I already knew: I do not know enough young men with whom I would like to spend time alone in a quiet room."

Friday, March 25, 2011

21st-Century Stalker.

I've been listening to Craig Ferguson's autobiography on audiobook. Himself is the reader, and it's great to hear it in his accent.

In the chapter about his first experience in America when he was about 15 years old, in passing, he mentioned that the visit pre-dated the internet, so the world was much bigger and he felt like he might as well have been going to the moon. America was a truly exotic place.

I have a stack of travel books. Brazil, Spain, Ireland... Why do I buy them? Maybe it's something tangible to hold on to - like I get to touch a place I've never been and may never go. Why do I buy these books at all? I can spend time on the internet and learn all I want to know about these places. And now, instead of schlepping them with me on my journeys, I could buy an e-reader and load them into it - from the internet. Still, instead of watching videos and reading endless travelogues from Random Q. Public's blog, wouldn't it be better if I picked up some tips from a book and went and experienced the place for myself?

Last night, I thought in passing, "I wonder if the house that Craig grew up in is on Google Streetview?" He told us the exact address in the gloomy Glasgow satellite town of Cumbernauld, and even described it: third-last row-house on the street.

There it was, the address clearly marked next to the front door. It really didn't look all that bad, but Streetview did have the good sense to visit on a sunny day.

Looking at that home (that looked like scores and scores of others in the town), I felt slightly creepy, like a weird decades-off voyeur. I felt like I shouldn't be able to look at it so casually. I found myself thinking about the family of six who lived there in the 1960s and 70s. He told us about playing in the attic with his siblings, so I found my gaze drifting to the roof of the house. I pictured the scene that went on when he was dropped off by the local police chief after he was found bloodied and bruised in a ditch having blacked out after his first drinking experience. He told us about the screaming match his mother had with the mother of the other boy with whom he had gotten drunk, much to the entertainment of the neighbourhood, and there it was! I could see the neighbourhood!

It made the autobiography less of a story and much more non-fiction, which, of course, it already was.

When I was a girl, if I had a crush on a boy, I would look up his phone number in the directory. That's all I really could do. I couldn't "friend" him on FB, or Google him*, or stalk him via Streetview. What did I do with my time? I read and drew and teased my sister.

I've been thinking about the internet lately, and my dependence on it. I've emailed passwords and PIN codes to myself. I don't write down phone numbers and addresses anymore, because Google has them for me. I take whole university courses via the internet, and do all my banking on-line. I kinda don't like it, but what choice do I have? I can sure cut down on my time on-line. I think what I'll try to institute is a "no screens before bed" goal, where I'll read in bed like I used to.

Well, this post went off the rails a little... Here: I'll bring it back.



*Although really, what kind of web presence is an 12-year old going to have? Did he study SEO?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jesus. Can I Catch A Break?

I did really crap on a physiology test yesterday. The physiol. tests are nightmarish - 30 minutes to do 20 multiple choice questions which are carefully written to boggle the mind and be absolutely as similar as possible.

How would a hypophysectomized rat's blood plasma concentrations be affected?
a) increase in T3, increase in T4, and increase in TRH
b) decrease in T3, increase in T4, and TRH stay the same
c) increase in T3, decrease in T4, and TRH stay the same
d) increase in T3, increase in T4, and decrease in TRH
e) decrease in T3, decrease in T4, and TRH stay the same

Or something like this. (I really don't think this was a specific question - I really hope I don't get in trouble for printing it...)

Anyhow, once again in my stressed out, pants-browning state, I effed myself over. Wait to hear about this!

Can I please just start clean, go back a few days and take a big honkin' deep breath?

Pulse racing, blood pressure spiking, I was tearing through my on-line test yesterday and I saw the timer nearing 20 minutes, so I submitted the test. I submitted it!

At 20 minutes!!!

I have 30! Effing 30 minutes to complete and submit it!

I just realized this now, a full 24 hours after I wrote the GD test.

I got an effing 55% on the GD test, and that when when I only used 2/3 of my allotted time. I could have brought that up by another 20% if I'd gone back over my notes and double checked my work, but I didn't think I had time to.

I really want to go have a good cry right now. How can I continue to be so careless and stupid when I'm just trying to do my best?

I've clearly spread myself too thin. I think I have to tell the TDSB that I can only volunteer once a week. Two whole mornings a week while I'm taking 4 courses is killing me.

That's right - I'm blaming the kids. Well, no... I'm blaming myself for taking on too many kids. I can't juggle all that's coming at me.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

You Spin Me Round.

I'm going to take a moment of your time to talk about revolving doors.

If, 130 years ago, Herr Bockhacker of Berlin had the epiphany to invent a draftless door because it was a good sense to keep the out-of-doors isolated from the indoors, why is this not a common goal for us today, the more modern (and not just money-conscious but also) energy-conscious citizens of the world?

After the tragedy at the Cocoanut Grove in 1942, planners were far more conscious about not just energy savings, but also emergency traffic flow, so now, in most places, it is illegal to not pair revolving doors with a requisite number of regularly-hinged doors as well. This offers most patrons a choice.

Choosing the revolving doors maintains what is basically an airlock. Just as an airlock in a submarine or a shuttle bay, it travails to keep two atmospheres apart. In the winter, it keeps in the warm, and in the summer, it keeps in the cool. It's the same reason you wouldn't leave a window open when you're cranking the heat or AC in your own home.

Also, you might notice that sometimes when you use a regular hinged door, it's difficult to pull it open or it might be slow to close on its own - this is because the two atmospheres are fighting with one another to equalize two pressures through that breach. Once the door closes again, the building's environmental controls have to redouble their efforts to reclaim the balance they once had. (Want more? Read about chimney effect, which can be designed into sustainable houses as a low-tech cooling device.)

The upshot is: if you have a choice between a regular door and a revolving door, please always choose the spinny route.