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Oil Barons, Cyborgs, Oncomice: Served Cold + Uncut Nov. 15th, 2005 @ 02:00 pm
calories 300(so far..) number of instants 0. hours of exercise 0. number of hours spent on essay 0. number of skeptical looks from TA in meeting 3. cost of not knowing the difference between amazon.ca and amazon.com 6 days (sans my essay books). bridget jones flashback(?)priceless.

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Finally registered for my distance course! woot woot :)

I'm paying an extra two hundred and thirty dollars over my regular tuition. This is why a couple of my friends never do distance. But since I am doing the class from Alberta's distance university, and not B.C.'s its still cheaper.

The Open University $800 a course
Athabasca University $630 a course. Of course I had to pay a onetime $60 registration fee. I am positive that the Open U has a similar cash gouge, though.

And yeah, I saved by going to Alberta. Yay prairie oil money! Apparently the province of Alberta is trying to spend their almost billion dollar reserve before the federal government grabs it again, like they did in the eighties, when it gave away all the extra money to Ontario and the Maritimes. I was also reading in McLean's magazine (popular Canadian news magazine, vaguely like U.S. News and Report) that we should watch out for the position of Alberta universities* on their yearly rankings. The other uni-s won't be able to compete with them in a couple of years, because they are all being "aggressively funded".

(*I should explain that we don't have college in Canada. Here, college means community college, and you only go if you don't have the grades for university.)

In related school news, back to the essay. I'm reading Donna Haraway in the original (hence the cyborg reference in the title), and she takes time.

Sacred Nov. 6th, 2005 @ 01:21 am
do you think i'll make it
will the storm let me through
will the world just fake it
in the dusk can i turn to you

do you think i'll make it
i can see where i need to be
do you think i'll make it
from where you're sitting here with me

SACRED

i'm taking the headland
he's waving both hands
beaches were made for prayin'
(i think you know just what i'm sayin')

the beach so grey bright
his voice in the light
air cold against our skin
i feel so sacred while i sin

feet leave tracks in the sand
i can feel the clenching of his hands
my watch has ten minutes
but the sky says forever in it

the sand it just won't leave me
the sky made us feel free
bright salt shimmers up our skin
i feel so sacred
(don't know why i feel) so sacred while i sin.

Nightshine HAS COPYRIGHTED these lyrics.

touche mon frere? Nov. 6th, 2005 @ 01:02 am
My brother: Oh god, you're like a nagging wife.
Me: No, I'm worse than a nagging wife, because you can't divorce me.

Ahahahahaha (!)

I am eating frozen strawberries out of the bag that I bought at Safeway on the walk home from studying.

Happy Diwali, my amaazing friends. (You know who you are:))

"When you stand on the shoulders of giants, it behooves us not to piss on them": a response =) Nov. 2nd, 2005 @ 09:58 pm
All kinds of nice news floating my way lately. I've also handed the application form for my distance course in, and I really hope that it will be approved. Apparently it was reviewed recently and should transfer as a third year credit (and it is a fourth year course) so this is quite hopeful. It should take about five days to find out.

I'm busy reading all of these modern theorists for Soci. They're interesting, and totally different from what I expected. I sort of thought that I had a handle on sociological theory because I have done wacked projects like reading Bordieu in the original. Still, there is way more to this type of theory than I imagined.

I remember two years ago when I was in this really terrific class, I asked the prof something that I had been struggling with for days: "What exactly is the difference between sociology and anthropology?"

She laughed and whispered her answer. "Don't tell anyone.. they're the same, but if that got out, half the sociologists and half of the anthropologists would lose their jobs!"

Really, its quite common to see anthropologists taking ideas from sociological theory and vice versa. Plus, fads in anthropology affect sociology, etc.

It's a trend across North America for sociology and anthropology departments to combine themselves, and anthro departments in general are fighting for resources. One of my girlfriends was in a prestigious grad program in the east and she used to love to tease me about whether anthropology was even relevant.

"Its the handmaiden of colonialism," she would spark at me mischievously. Or, big eyed, "do you think that it has a place in a modern university?"

I remember when she came back for a short while recently, I mentioned to her cautiously that some people thought that the system of classifying hunter-gatherers, pastoral societies, etc. was a bit racist and are classifying the society based on a few key variables which outsiders saw as relevant ie. how people get their food- and then using it to debase that society. "It almost seems like some people want to gatekeep anthropology to keep it that way," I added.

I have never seen her laugh so hard. "Well, with the roots of that discipline..are you really surprised?"

There is of course a major problem with this whole analysis, and that is, if we don't like the current classifications, then we have to replace them with something, and goodness knows what. I can't fathom what you would write in an intro text for anthropology instead. They represent years of thought from collaborating thinkers, and one or two people could hardly invent a better system singlehandedly. And its the intro texts where this even really becomes an issue: upper year courses in anthropology where you are working with contemporary critical theory sort of sidestep this debate altogether. They're off somewhere examining cyborgs or pregnant women or feminism or doing ethnographies (which may start with the above premise, but don't always belabour it). (**Much of this paragraph is taken from the ideas of a professor who is working in the field and has had time to consider these issues.)

A good friend of mine took an anthro class at a community college before moving on to university, and there were native students in the classroom. She read a number of papers by a theorist that referred in his literature to first nations females as "women of easy access". The theorist was presented by the professor as one of the foremost authorities on the subject of first nations in the area.

In response to the above comment: its an easy statement to make only if the giants aren't pissing on you- isn't it.

Nov. 2nd, 2005 @ 07:50 pm
A good friend of mine and I have started working on a paper together, and we're pretty optimistic and excited to be working together. The town is kind of dead these days, but all kinds of random nice happenings have been occurring from time to time that reassure me that for many on the island, we're all in this together.

I am home tonight studying. I will read my way through the winter, crewing for school as surely as someone scrubbing decks on a freighter in the raw wind. Its just as routine. School. I read the papers, and I figure out what people are saying. Sometimes in the back of my mind there is a commentary, a scant volley of surprise back at the printed page, that is tempered by the aggressiveness of the published word. If I were sent to a publisher to be black and white type, one cream coloured ream of paper after another, to be placed on shelves, to be referred to disparagingly or with a kind of mental lust, would I be more or less real?

Baudrillard thinks, of course, that being placed on a shelf, or in front of a viewer's face, is the only reality that is acknowledged in today's conditioned world. But then Baudrillard is trendy because he deals with tiny micro fragments- one bitty picture after another. When the scale is small, you offend no one. One hopes.

Anyway back to the ship metaphor. The island could be a ship, trolling up and down the BC coast. It would explain
...the quixotic weather, the change change change of the rain to hail to sleet to grey broiling oceans and white lank skies...
...the abundance of bad sushi, because fresh fish is cheap and thus can be abused in the hands of lesser chefs as well as by the few greats that exist.

The other day I ate caf sushi at school and vowed never again- something that I do every six months. The sushi at school is thick with salty mayonnaise that is its first and last taste. My Vancouver friends order it with easy assurance and then frown at paying five dollars and fifty cents for something that tastes like provincial crab salad from a fifties potluck.

My hands are clean but the fingers are red as a sailor's sunset and here and there bright red vegetative matter is embedded in my nails. I am eating anar, fresh off the boat like an sailor's eastern sunset that bled its way through the heart of the earth and up into an alternate reality. The other day I saw a white guy in a grey suit standing in the centre of Lakshmi's Cloth House. Now I have turned into him because I am stained red in the middle of this grey night.

Anar is sour on this side of reality. I could squeeze the seeds and add sugar and drink. I could stop typing and do something useful. I could go to the gym. I could hang with my brother. I could pack up my laptop and go and find a coffee shop to study. I could kick someone off my friends list. I could take care of myself. I could go another date with someone. I could leave the city. I could get an 'A' in all of my classes if I finally reverted to my default mode. I could apologize. I could accept an apology from someone and move on. I could never forgive someone else who tried to destroy my life.

I could do just about anything.
Other entries
» Creationism Comes to Campus
Was just checking out this semester's exam schedule last night when I saw a white piece of paper pinned above the room assignments for classes.

They've rented a room on campus.

They have something to say, for two whole hours.

They have a website.

www.CreationBC.com

I am really wondering if anyone is going to come to this. The David Lam Auditorium holds three hundred people. Filling it isn't exactly a cakewalk.
I should know..
I've done it =)
» Strike Two =)
I had a pretty good weekend =) I'm applying to take a course online from Athabasca University. Has anyone on my list taken classes from them? There is an exam at the end that you have to sit, and I am wondering if I actually have to physically go to Alberta to do it. Not that such an event would wreak mass havoc or anything :)

Yesterday Lin and Lex got hitched. Congratulations, kids.. Just to make it clear- they did invite me to their wedding and encouraged me to come, but it seemed like I would make it into a gong show with the number of people that they were having to juggle. They had a ton of people in their tiny apartment, and they had passed people off to friends and were still running out of room. Rather than turn the wedding into the mob fiasco of the year, I decided to visit some other time- when they might need more excitement than they do at present.

So it was a pretty slack weekend. I took some time off school to go and watch a movie on campus put on by the Indian Students Association. It was called "The Rising: the ballad of Mangal Pandey", and it was about India's first war of independence in the late 1800s. The ISA is a good crew. Its a lot of effort to put Bollywood movies on regularly for the public, but they make time to do it. They could easily get together at someone's house and just watch a DVD with a great deal less trouble, but not only do they put the movies on, they also sell samosas and other treats at the door for everyone. I don't think they really get renumerated for their efforts, which is also what makes them special =)

Also, pash29 and I got caught up over the weekend and really enjoyed ourselves chatting over the developments in her life and the latest Victoria news. She hadn't heard about the general strike that crippled the entire city. I had posted what I felt was an interesting description of the situation, but eljay ate it and I was too busy to throw together a recap. Life out here certainly has not been dull.

Strike TwoCollapse )
» Keeper of A Bug Zoo
If you took a look at my place, with its buff hardwood floors, east indian mats and low divans, you wouldn't guess at its alive side.

By alive, I mean the flying, creeping, spinning, anything- from- none- to- fifteen legged critters that keep dancing through the area and running amok.

I was over at my brother's the other night. In his cleaning closet, amid a forest of brooms and buckets, I could clearly see a giant web, spun as if it were expecting a fresh hatch of bluebottle flies to veer into it at any minute.

"Where are you?" I asked.

My curiousity was addressed when a giant spider moved into view crawling purposefully up a wooden mop handle. It was a rush to capture it with a piece of tissue and throw it outside- just in case my brother got to it first, and wanted to kill it.

He's never liked spiders. When he was a kid, he used to wake me up in the middle of the night to deal with them a couple of times a year. So its a major irony that now our place seems to be the corner pub as far as the arachnids are concerned.

"I don't understand where they are coming from," my brother mused. While I listened, I opened the bottom doors on his kitchen cabinet under the sink and stared at two more spiders idling past. These were daddy long legs, with pale brown furred bodies, and appendages so spindly that the trademark legs seemed to have been whispered into existence.

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when I startled a particularly exotic looking orange-striped vixen in my bathroom a couple of minutes later- more often than not, there are insects of some kind skating over the tub. If I don't notice them in time, they start to drown in the water and its a tough job to fish their spinning bodies out and drop them over the garden patch- just so that they can work their way back into the house again.

Once in a while I luck out- like the time that I found an intensely green slug a block away with the most amazing drive imaginable. I rescued it from the middle of the road. It writhed with such energy as it circled my closed palm that I will never again use the word "slug" to describe anything lacking haste. But generally the arachnidae inside the house run the show.

I wrote this piece up because, as I was sitting here working on my assignment, I could have sworn that I felt a shiver across my forehead. I looked up and saw the tiniest of black spiders dangling right in front of my eye, having launched its slim thread from a piece of my hair.

So, if you can't come to my house and see nature red in tooth and claw, don't despair.

They've even followed me to school.
» Welcome
EXCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP: to be a StAr, you must know me or my friends in some way. It is rare these days that I add new people, but I never make decisions about who to add without hearing from you first.

INSiDe: ..is the story of a femme, and her perspective on The World.

OuTSide: feel free to browse this journal's open content- remember, it does not represent what is inside.

I do hope that you enjoy these pages! =)
» I still like fortune cookies better
      
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