Archive for August, 2009

Post #52: “You know what I think’s your problem?”

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Dear Alice,

When do you have to respect your elders?  When should you respect those in authority?  I’m asking because I think there should be a reciprocal statement. Respect your mother, respect the environment, respect power. Ugh. What about respecting your children, and respecting those whom you have power over? (I thought about it. Respecting and rescuing are two different things, and saving a drowning bee from your toilet isn’t what I’m talking about.)

We had a big team meeting today - two teams doing similar work getting to know each other - and the managers stole the floor right from under us. Can’t they take their questions offline? Well, not unless someone speaks up and lets them know… and who’s going to do that? I’m sorry - I really am; it goes back to my biggest concern in post #50 - because if you’re in a place of power, you have to be even more sensitive to your surroundings.

My brother says, “Define elder.”
I say, “Me.”
He says, “Don’t quote me… and you didn’t say ‘me’ [outloud].  You’re a liar!”

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Post #51: Never Be Selfless For Small Gains

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Dear Alice,

As much as I’m comfortable talking about the previous post’s topic, it’s not something which I care to have front-row-centre. I’d rather move on to the next post.

I made a comment on Facebook that I’m becoming more selfish everyday (yay!) and it received some poor reviews. Why? Isn’t there a good sort of selfish?

The hypothetical question involves considering the greater good benefiting at your expense. “If we tortured you, and it made the rest of the world a better place, would you do it?” Well, that depends, right? What kind of torture, how much better of a place, and of course, how certain are we that torturing me is going to bring said improvement to the world?

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Post #50: Rape, or something like it

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Dear Alice,

Recently, I was directed to a few feminists blogs, but this one in particular sparked up a few thoughts. A Woman Walks Into A Rape, uh, Bar In it, she explores the mind of a rape victim when encountering a rape joke.

The blogpost really bothered me, and I wish I understood why better. It might just be that rape is offensive, but I think it’s also because it’s such a difficult concept to discuss. Rape involves two very important aspects of our society: sex and power. Sex is unfortunately still a very private thing so the rules aren’t too well defined, whereas power doesn’t always play by the rules in the first place. Victims can be too emotionally affected to talk about it, and I’ve never heard an offender advocating their actions beyond, “She was asking for it”. So then, who can rationally throw the first stone to say what is what?

Of course, I’ll risk squaring the circle and try to define rape from a more accessible level.

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Post #49: Migraine

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Dear Alice,

Last Friday, I woke up with an odd headache of sorts. It wasn’t painful at first. I felt like I had a bubble in the left side of my head - actually, I can feel something like that as I write this, days later - and by noticing and inwardly examining the bubble, I only made it worse. Solution? I slept right after work on Friday and all day Saturday, and was good enough to make it to the Ultimate Frisbee game on Sunday.

Is it the weather that’s causing this turmoil? I’m not sure. Angel was the first to make me notice how the weather affects your joints, so why not your head? And what an affect! Outside is having temper tantrums! Yoga is now permanently Hot Yoga! I’ve gotten over my initial secret fear of 2012, but when the sky goes from bright blue to stormy black in minutes, you start wondering how much worse can it get.

I mentioned another strange feeling I was having to my friend, Lissa. The right side of my face felt numb… well, slightly number than the left side. “Sounds like you have a migraine,” she replied. Ha ha. Noooo. Aren’t migraines supposed to be bad headaches?

Well, not really. Perhaps because of this novel diagnosis from Lissa, when I stumbled upon Dr. Oliver Sacks’ book, “Migraine”, I bought it without reading the back. (It’s O.W.S! He wrote Musicophilia! That, and the book got rave reviews, so I guess I did know something about it.) In “Migraine”, he explains that migraines are NOT just really bad headaches. They have multiple forms with different symptoms, such as nausea and lethargy, but more importantly (if my initial understanding is right) migranes are cyclical, which have led physicians to ignore them simply because these symptoms will go away in time. “Deal with it.” Even so, migraines are distressing and somewhat debilitating, and what Sacks has done with this book is build a rich and long-overdue foundation on the subject. It’s about improving our way of life, peoples!

I haven’t gotten far in the book, but as you can see, I’m already intrigued and hopeful.

Other than that, I’m pushing my Russian, bit by bit; I’m recording each song at home, step by step; I’m reading a lot, buying every other second-hand book I pick up; I’m watching TED talks; and I’m doing all of this on a slow and steady pace. I’m just getting it done.

Now, if only I could stop putting new things on the to-do list before completing the old!

David