Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Choking Up At Glee

Glee handled Emma's OCD a bit more this week and I think they did a great job. In general I have a hard time with the way that they show her symptoms - it doesn't seem accurate or believable - but this stems from not having much experience with the washing/cleaning type. However, they are definitely on the right path in term of attitude towards mental illness.

The imputes for the episode is that Glee plans to do a group number where they will perform Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” They are to wear white T-shirts that will each have a word to describe the part of themselves that they are most ashamed of or want to change. However, as an example Emma has chosen “Ginger” to describe herself.

Will is upset that Emma doesn't choose OCD and realizes that she isn't doing much to work on her issues. He calls her on this and asks that she go to therapy. The therapist scene was very nicely done. (Though my affection for it might be the use of 'diabetes' which is a classic example I use all the time.) Though the whole scene is good, here is the best section:

Therapist: There's a stigma in this country about mental illness. I mean depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar - they're hard to diagnose, so people don't always appreciate that they are serious problems, but they are.
Emma: Yeah, umm, I don't know. You know I'm not sure I want to lay on a couch and tell some stranger all of my secrets. And I don't want to start popping pills just so I can turn into someone that other people want me to be. This is how I am. This is who I am supposed to be.
Therapist: Your illness is not who you are supposed to be. It's keeping you from who you're supposed to be. Look, your a guidance councillor right? So if a student came to you and said they had diabetes would you give them insulin, or would you say, "Hey, that's just who you're supposed to be."
Emma. I...hum....I, I just feel, umm, I feel so ashamed...

At the end, during the big Gaga number, Emma and Will are at the side of the stage watching and she opens to jacket to reveal a T-ship that reads "OCD."

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Wii Knows I Suck

It isn't like I've ever been good at tennis in real life, but it is sad how bad I am at tennis on the Wii. I never win! Often I don't even get any points. This evening, actually very early in the morning, as a break from all-night essay writing I played a couple of rounds on the Wii with my night-owl father.

My dad has recently retired so plays the Wii a lot. He has over 1000 points for his little tennis Mii, mine has 137. The difference in our skill level is so wide that Wii Sports automatically assigned him a second player. Normally each side of the court has two players and you control both, the front one and the back. I'm pretty bad at getting the front one to ever do anything, I'm not fast enough to have that one hit the ball and just use the back one for everything. However, my Dad didn't get two of his Miis, he got some other random chick with a point level of 120, and didn't have control of her.

Basically the Wii decided that I sucked so bad that I needed a player worse than me on the other side so that I could get some easy shots. It didn't even work! I still lost, badly.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Please Say Something Nice

After almost eight months of graduate school, I have yet to find something to excel at. I often get feedback from essays or presentations that is lackluster at best. However, a professor for a course I am taking on visual culture wrote the following in the comments for a presentation I did:

"Throughout this class, I've been impressed with your ability to analyze pictures in terms of their formal properties and to understand how compositions work. This is a real strength."

Basically I think this means I should have taken some art history classes in undergrad and maybe looked for an image-based Masters instead of literature. She also said, "You have a very relaxed presentation manner, with a clear voice and good engagement with your audience." This may have been true for that particular presentation, as well as presentations I have done in the past at work or school, but as a whole for this program I have been terrible at presenting. I am currently writing an essay for this class, which involves analyzing a lot of images, I hope I do well on it.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Almost Like Baby Chicks

So it is Easter weekend and I'm The Cottage for the weekend. (Teri, or was it Kristen? Someone was asking when I would stop calling it The Cottage and start just referring to it as my parents' house. I don't think ever.) Anyway, my grandparents are visiting along with their friend from England and later on today my aunt and uncle and little cousin will be here for a big turkey dinner.

This morning we went to the Bird Studies Canada - Long Point Bird Observatory. (I can feel your judgement already.) My grandparents are hardcore birders, and they wanted to show their friend. My mom and I went along because the place is pretty awesome. Anyone who I have brought there would agree that it is way cooler than they thought it would be. They catch birds in these huge nets strung up all around the forest, then go get them and put them in bags, then bring them back to the lab area to band, identify, and document before letting them go again.

Today the nets were filled with birds. I was walking past one that had three birds caught in it and was looking at them. My grandfather came up beside me and I turned to him and said, "This one is pretty. The one in the middle is not so pretty, I don't like that one very much. But I like this one, it's cute."

Pa replied with, "Wow, you're a great birder Chris." I was never very strong with the remembering of names or the identification part. I also don't like to be particularly near the wild birds. I like to watch other people handling them from a safe distance. Wild things, and dead things, just make me feel very very uncomfortable, and a little scared.

While we were there, wandering through the paths in the wooded area, someone saw a bunny. I missed the bunny but I figure that, and the fact that little birds are kind of like baby chicks, makes The Long Point Bird Observatory an appropriate place to visit for Easter.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Oh But He Is Pretty

I love Jack Layton and Anna just put this link up on Facebook. Check it out. I love him now, and wow would I have loved him back then! Click the link:

Research Your Vote

The election is coming, the election is coming. Election Day (Federal) is May 2nd and if I stand for anything political it is for sure the strong belief that everyone should vote. Though I am finding myself for the first time in my life sadly cynical about Canadian politics.

I don't know what it is about the 2011 Federal Election that is draining me of all my hope and passion but there is one thing that I am finding exciting - The Vote Compass! Developed by a team of 15 top Canadian election researchers and political science scholars, and co-ordinated by the University of Toronto, this survey uses a series of questions to take each person's political temperature.

I think this is the greatest tool ever. I love it!! Though am very surprised to see where I ended up. This is what I got:

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

To A 'T'

To double the 't' or not to double the 't', that is the question...
More reasons why I can't spell!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Emo Pony

This isn't as good as Goth Guinea Pig and it isn't nearly as awesome as the Emo Bunny, which was hilarious. However the saga continues:
Text and photo from Cute Overload (See Link to Right)

Nobody Understands Emo Pony
Emo Pony is destined to travel through the misty and cold fog of existence alone and cold. Emo Pony is going to put on his tight, itchy wool sweater and contemplate the failure of humanity. Emo Pony isn’t afraid to express himself with a forelock that covers 3/4 of his face at an angle.
Life is hard for Emo Pony.
(Erin AH sent this to me, she knows I love them!)

Monday, 18 April 2011

This Month

This is my life for the next month:
-writing papers
-marking exams
-marking final papers
-invigilating exams

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Missing My Riding

I miss my old riding! ('Riding' is slang for Canadian Electoral Distract, I have learned on wikipedia.) I used to live in Ottawa Centre, the shape of which adorably kind of looks like a maple leaf. Ottawa Centre is a predominately liberal riding, this is probably helped by the fact that it includes two universities: Carlton and Saint Paul's. It hasn't had a Conservative Member of Parliament since the late 70s and even then it was only for a short period of time. It has been represented by the New Democratic Party since 2004 when it was originally Ed Broadbent's riding, the old NDP leader before Jack Layton. Paul Dewer has been the MP for the last five years. I loved being represented by NDP and was so proud of the political leaning of my little district, even with the Glebe which I find a little too yuppie-hippie-leftist.

I follow Paul Dewer on Facebook and recently he linked to a video made by a high school student somewhere in Ottawa. It is a bit of a strange video in places but it is so nice to see the desire and drive to vote that feels missing from a lot of Canadian youth. I have always loved to and believed strongly in voting. On May 2nd - GET OUT AND VOTE!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Finer Things In Life

The government is selling thongs! Really. It is just strange and I have no creative way to write about this at the moment, except that JennB sent me the link and the story both puzzled and amused me. Read it HERE. If you too are interested in buying government surplus crown assets the full website is HERE. Personally I have no money. (Literally! I woke up this morning to some pretty scary numbers when I checked my banking online and am trying not to spend the day sweating about it. I should be getting paid tomorrow and that will sort it out, but today I'm a little money stressed.) I don't want to waste the day looking over the site, it looks like it could be a pretty cool distraction. It lists some of the craziest things for sale. I would really have liked to buy the shark research vessel though.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Working Not WoW

I got a part-time job because I was running out of money. I start today and am up way too early. Really I would just prefer to be playing WoW or Sims, which is why neither are currently loaded onto my computer. I need to start writing papers too, the rest of this month is going to suck.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Walked Home!

Kristen and I had intended to go to the gym this afternoon and she came to campus to meet me after I finished my meeting with one of the professors I mark for. It was a beautiful day so she suggested that we walk home. It is a long walk! I have always meant to do it but had really been procrastinating actually trying it. We walked for 55 minutes, though took a short break for a few minutes and sat down on a bench in a park. We had dinner at a pub on the way home. (I had salad with steak on it so was good and stuck to my diet.) It then took us 34 minutes to get home from dinner, though it was a short distance, it was up hill. It took an hour and 24 minutes of walking, I just mapped it and sadly it is only just over a distance of 5km. At one point I could run that in less than half that time. I need to start training again!!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

A Break To Paint

This is the painting I did for a creative assignment at school. (The text is part of a poem by Alfred Tennyson called The Lady of Shallot.) I don't want to show a close up of the person, since I'm not very happy with that part of it, I'm still so bad with painting people. But I do like the frame and the shattered mirror effect. Painting it was such a nice break from essay writing!
Close up on the text:

Thursday, 7 April 2011


---from an email forward

Dear Icebergs,
Sorry to hear about the global warming. Karma's a bitch.
Sincerely, The Titanic

Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Sincerely, Unicorns

Dear America ,
You produced Miley Cyrus. Justin Bieber is your punishment.
Sincerely, Canada

Dear Yahoo,
I've never heard anyone say, "I don't know, let's Yahoo! it..." just saying...
Sincerely, Google

Dear Windshield Wipers,
Can't touch this.
Sincerely, That Little Triangle

Dear iPhone,
Please stop spellchecking all of my rude words into nice words.
You piece of shut.
Sincerely, Every iPhone User

Dear Nickleback,
That's enough.
Sincerely, The World

Dear World of Warcraft,
Thank you for ensuring my son's virginity.
Sincerely, Parents Everywhere

Dear Fox News,
So far, no news about foxes.
Sincerely, Unimpressed

Dear Saturn,
I liked it, so I put a ring on it.
Sincerely, God

I find the following funny, but they might offend others...

Dear White People,
Don't you just hate immigrants?
Sincerely, Native Americans

Dear jf;ldsfa/kvsmmklnn,
Please lknvfdmv.xvn.
Sincerely, Stevie Wonder

Dear Osama Bin Laden,
Sincerely, United States

Dear Michael Jackson,
You really should have became a Catholic Priest.
The pay isn't great, but the benefits....
Sincerely, The Pope

So Cold

For the last couple of days Rrunuv Bayit has been freezing cold. Now I am always cold, though at the same time believe I should be able to walk around anywhere indoors in thin pajama bottoms, a tank top, and bare feet. Normally I don't have any problem in Bayit and it is a pleasant temperature. However, we only have one furnace for all three apartment, which is heated with water radiators, no one has a thermostat, I don't even know how it all works.

This morning sitting on the couch I am doing school work wrapped in a blanket. This does make typing a tad difficult and it is terrible to admit but I spent some time thinking that 'a snuggie' would be a good idea - my hands would be free to work on my laptop but I could still be totally covered by a blanket. I am ashamed to have considered it.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Money Money!!

I don't have any more OSAP coming in for my summer semester, the amount they have already given me is supposed to have lasted, (yeah, like that happened.) However, I should be getting a Research Assistant job through my program as it was part of my funding. It looks like that will be sorted out in the coming weeks. I'm also going to work at the polls on election day and that will make me a bit of money. I just got confirmation that I got the job today and am heading to a training session (also paid) on Friday. Finally, I did my taxes with my dad last night. Normally I do them by myself but it was good to have the company and double check. I mailed that off today and if I did the calculations correctly, and this fact is doubtful, than I should be getting a couple of thousand dollars back. I hope to soon be 'in the money' again!

Saturday, 2 April 2011


During the drive from Toronto to Long Point, my dad and I saw some sort of bird of prey perched on a wire. Dad said that it had been there when he had driven by on his way up to Toronto too. Thought I would post a picture of a falcon I saw in Mongolia. It was an evil bird, I swear it tried to attack me and I was only saved by the fact that it was tied by a leash to the pole it is sitting on. A Cairn (or Ovoo) is a ceremonial rock pile used by Buddhists, people stop while traveling to walk around it, clockwise, three times and throw a rock on the top for good luck or protection. One can be seen behind the scary bird, an enjoyable juxtaposition of good and evil...
On The Road In Mongolia
By Christine Sweeton
August 2010

Friday, 1 April 2011

Louder In The Spring

I arrived at the cottage this evening to the sound of waves. I couldn't figure out why it was so loud until I walked towards the water and realised that in the winter when ice is along the shore of the lake there are no audible waves. It makes it feel like spring. The ice is beautiful but having water at the water's edge, and hearing it, is so much better.