21 November 2004

Goodbye, Lenin.

My lack of posting lately is directly correlated to my academic obligations. I had round two of my Global Warming mid-term yesterday, and I was determined to do far better on this one than the last, though I acknowledge half the class failed the first midterm (possibly including myself) as a result of the professor's ludicrously high expectations. And I think I achieved reasonable succes, since I knew the answers to all the essay-style questions and only 2 or 3 out of the 30-odd short answers. It's good to know that 2 weeks of solid studying for this midterm may have actually paid off.

My focus on this course, however, has left me miserably behind in my readings for my other classes. I also have to write an essay for my Major British Writer's class by Friday, though I think I'd rather stick forks into my eyes. I am sorry, but I can not *stand* English as an academic subject anymore. I enjoyed it to a reasonable degree in high school but by the time I hit 3rd year university, I couldn't care less about writing pointless essays that I personally don't feel enhance the English literature experience for either myself or for my professors. Though some people would certainly argue otherwise, and I am a big supporter of art appreciation in its many forms, I do not see how studying Milton will solve the political crisis in the Middle East nor provide access to food or medical attention for those starving masses displaced by civil war in Sudan. I just find that for myself, studying English literature is incredibly irrelevant to anything I care about in my life, i.e. social justice issues. Pah.

Sara and I watched Goodbye Lenin tonight. It was an interesting film which focused on a DDR family trying to adjust to a Re-unified Germany, and though most films portray life in Eastern Germany as horrid and ideologically backwards, this film portrayed it in a much more empathetic manner than I was expecting. Of course the film doesn't deny that there were loads of negative things that came with living in a (let's face it) totalitarian state but it showed how those who people had never known any other kind of life loved it for what it was - familiar, and thereby comforting. Good film.

And I can officially say, Edd arrives from the hinterland in 3 weeks!! Just in time to watch me have a nervous breakdown as final exams begin!

13 November 2004

Global Warming and Bubble Tea.

The end of another school week is upon us. However, rather than spend Friday night in an inebriated state, I spent it reading articles about the effects of increased CO2 emissions on the world's forests, followed by some more articles on the effects of increased GHGs (greenhouse gases) on agriculture. And unsurprisingly, these articles conveyed plenty of bad news. I think one of the most depressing things I read last night was that:

"There is a mismatch between beneficial projected climatic effects and low population growth and conversely, negative climatic effects and high population growth. A major concern is rice production in low latitudes, especially Southeast Asia, where yields are likely to reduce by 5% for each degree of C rise." - Taubes, G

As if people in the developing world don't have it bad enough, even global warming is biased against them. Not to mention that most of the GHG emissions originate from the western world in the first place. Why, oh why did I pick such a depressing field of study? (Probably because I can't help caring about it.)

Yesterday's highlight was going for bubble tea with Billie-Ann and Heather. I am trying so very hard to ween myself off bubble tea, or at the very least, get my addiction under control. Everyone who knows me well, knows that I am slightly obsessed with bubble tea. In my defense, my b.t. supply in New Zealand was very limited, so I nobely went a year without the stuff. Now, I'm trying not to fall into a daily habit with the stuff, which is not easy, seeing that there are no less than 5 shops within 100 metres of my front door. (Christ, I sound like I'm talking about a crystal meth addiction.)

The rest of weekend will also be relatively mundane as well, as I have a paper due and a hardcore mid-term to write at the end of next week, and I *cannot* get anything less than good grades on them...

09 November 2004

My new ridiculous hat. And no, of course it's not real fur. What kind of vegetarian would I be if it were? Posted by Hello

Before going out for Hallowe'en celebratin'! Posted by Hello

First Snowflakes of the Season

At 3:30 pm this afternoon, while we were watching Kids, we witnessed the first snowflakes of the season falling. Heather got very excited, and I got slightly depressed. Though I know this means great things for snowboarding, I really despise snow in the city as someone who walks everywhere. Who wants to have sopping wet pant legs throughout their 4-hour streak of lectures in chilly theatres? Not me. However, despite my resentment toward those little white f**kers, I took a photo standing our 'yard' embracing the snowflakes. Nothing like cursing out snow.

I' m also trying to figure out how to host photos in my blog. So let's see if this works. (And if it does, it's me in my new ridiculous hat!).

07 November 2004

Desperate Times.

I was doing my daily surfing around of various news sites, and I came across this:

Ground Zero Suicide Inspired by Election. You can read the story here.

Heather and I were discussing it, and we agreed that though he did make his point quite explicit, after the news hype has passed, he is ultimately dead, and for what? How will his death improve the political situation? He was a young guy, and Bush's reign is only another 4 years, so it seems pretty drastic to end his life over the election results. I better call my American friends and make sure they're not having such a hard time with the election outcome.

04 November 2004

Presidential Election.

In light of the recent events with the US election, I wanted to post an email I received from my wonderful American friend, Dan. Sadly, Dan lives in Austin, Texas - a liberal city surrounded by an ultra-conversvative and fundamentalist state. Feel sorry for Dan....

Dear everyone I know,

This is mostly for my friends who live outside the United States. I'm
sorry. I'm sorry that my country just said in a clear voice that we
hate homosexuals, that we don't care about global peace, that we want
women to get abortions in back allies with wire hangers, and that global
economic stability is not of real concern. The US is now under
"Christan" control. Soon Justice Jesus will be appointed to the Supreme
Court. I guess that is of less importance to non-Americans than the
further "preemptive" wars we will soon be waging. Just so you know, it
may become harder to communicate with me once Patriot Act 3 forces the
censorship of all communication in to and out of the country. I want
you to know that I have valued our friendship.

Good by for now,
- Dan

I wish Bush luck uniting such a divided country.