Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hamilton's Finest

so last night i was with the cubs at the fire station, and i have to say of all of the numerous fire station tours i have had to go on, this was by far the best. usually (and its understandable) the fire fighters seem so bored and uncomfortable with the whole thing. i mean, imagine if some ceo had to give a bunch of children a tour of his office. "here are my drawers, they have paper clips in them. here is my computer where i write dirty email to my secretary" etc. its boring to talk about your job. but these fire fighters were so into their jobs and excited about having us and it got the kids excited too. also there was this woman fire fighter who dealt with the group of kids i was with who was so cool. she was like super serious and i think a little afraid of children but also kind of excited to be talking to us. she just has such a cool but also odd demeanour and i really liked her a lot. i think she might be german. she had a sort of european thing going for her. anyway between her and the other guys it was great, so thank you to hamilton's finest. i have done my share of fire station tours and that was the best. seriously.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Affecting Change

you know, i have come to realise that sometimes we have more of a voice than we think we do, we just dont always see the results of the things that we have said or done. for example: yesterday, i reported a would-be throw down between two homeless guys to the security at the library, and today there is a new security desk in that particular lobby that wasnt there before. another example, i told my super that i heard our balconies arent up to code, and now all of a sudden we are having balcony inspections (me and my big mouth, i was forced to tidy the apartment).
my point is, so often we think that we have no power or we arent listened to or were just small fish in a big pond, but i think that we all affect change, every day. we just dont always get the opportunity to realise it, because so many of our interactions with the world at large are transient or fleeting.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hurry Hard!

i think part of the reason the olympics are so exciting is that we get to have all sorts of fascinating conversations that we only have once every four years. for example, we talk about how cross country skiing is wildly unpopular in canada or how womens hockey doesnt get televised often enough even though the women play so very much better than the men. my personal favourite of these quad-annual conversations is everyone's favourite"why is curling in the olympics"
here in ontario, curling is not that popular, and even the people who play the game do not all agree with the midwestern prairie zealots who are such fanatics about this "sport." surprisingly, curling is actually the most played sport in canada, beating out skiing, skating and hockey. what i find so interesting about this conversation is not so much the hilarious quips everyone comes up with about curling or the fact that if you hear it from another room it kind of sounds like porn with no music, but rather the more relevant discussion that never seems to take place.
the reason some people get very heated about this issue is because it all comes down to the meaning of "sport". how do you define a sport? is it a game of skill? is it a game where there are winners and losers? is it about being athletic? well how do you define athletic? take weight lifters, for example. they have great upper body strength and bulky thighs, but no cardio. are they more or less athletic than, say, a marathon runner who has very low muscle mass and great cardio? these are the questions and i really dont think there are concrete answers, but i will say this:
i am of the mind that curling is a game that does require skill, talent, practice and finesse and a certain amount of physical fitness (those brooms must really take the wind out of you), all of which amounts to me having respect for the people who play it. that being said, i really dont think it belongs in the the olympics, because it really does make a mockery of the elite athletes who have spent their entire lives and in most cases the lives of their families sculpting their bodies into winning machines. but thats just me.
ps. to the newcomers of my blog, i dont usually write about sports so much. once the olympics are over, i will be back to my usual meanderings.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Say What?

i noticed something a couple of years ago when i was at the worlds biggest bookstore with trevor and i noticed it again recently because it still bothers me. at some of the big box/franchise type bookstores, there are displays called "books for boys" which have some fantasy books, some vampire books, and the diary of a wimpy kid series, to name a few. although i have yet to see one, let us assume for a moment that there is also an equivalent "books for girls" display. so whats the big deal? ill tell you.
although i acknowledge that publishing is an industry (and a flagging one at that) like anything else and they try to market their products to the relevant demographics, the notion that a novel would be more appropriate for either gender offends me. the books on these "books for boys displays" are not the equivalent of those trite "dear diary/bffe/lets do each other's nails" activity books for girls either, by the way. they are simply novels, no more, no less, and by putting some books on a shelf for boys and not others and excluding those same books from a shelf for girls (if one even exists) simply reinforces gender stereotypes that have no basis in reality. furthermore, how is a little girl going feel (this is how i happened to discover the books for boys display) when she sees the book she grabbed off of a different shelf on the boys display on her way to the cash? my guess is at the very least, confused. i think this is an archaic notion and should no longer be tolerated, regardless of whatever marketing research the bookstores may or may not have to defend it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

With Glowing Hearts

well well well comrades, the olympic fever seems to burn brightly (aside: i can never remember that saying, feed a cold and starve a fever or if its the other way around. i wish i could remember because i tend to get fevers when im sick). anyway i was pretty excited to watch christine nesbitt of canada win the gold yesterday in womens long track 1000m speed skating. it was especially excellent because i watch the short track men and women and the relays and canada didnt do as well as anticipated. also, i am really looking forward to watching the womens hockey team tromp the usa when the time comes. ive decided that if that game isnt on during the weekend, im going to have to beg barbs husband to let me watch it with him at their house. im sure he will let me if i promise to be quiet. anyway, i guess there isnt much more to say about that at the moment, but lets all keep watching and cheering for our team!!!!!!!!!!! o canada!

Friday, February 12, 2010

True Patriot Love

well comrades, the time is upon us! not only are the opening ceremonies of the olympics starting in approximately 7.75 hours, but they are right here, in canada! i am so excited for the olympics this year for three reasons. first, most of my favourite sports to watch are only really televised during the olympics (ie. speed skating, all of the skiing events). second, they are here in canada this year so we have all the more reason to support our athletes. and third, i dont know if you are aware of this, but canada is the only country to have never medaled in olympics on its own soil. this is no small thorn in our national side and so there is alot of pressure on our team to perform well this year, which makes the festivities all the more exciting. it should be noted that this state of affairs is not necessarily only a reflection on our individual athletes, by the way. it is more indicative of a lack of funding for our teams. it doesnt matter how talented and hardworking our team is, they simply cannot compete with countries who have funnelled millions and millions into their olympians. supposedly, though, since we found out about vancouver 2010, we have been concentrating more resources on our olympians, so hopefully it will all pay off.
i hope you all hunker down and enjoy the ceremonies tonight and stay tuned into the events. let the games begin!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Downside of Pets

well comrades, seeing as this blog is called "science, tea and cats," you cant hold it against me that every once in a while i am bound to mention the cats. i havent in a while and im feeling a little strapped for a topic so i guess the cats are a good standby. anyway, i always thought that its my just my idiot cats who start acting like complete idiots this time of year, but i dont think so. i noticed on a friends facebook today that her cat is acting strange and i doubt we are alone. there is something about this time of year, they get the stirrings or something and they are driving me nuts! honestly i wish i could just leave them to their own devices for a month and then come back in march to a normal household. i dont know if any of you, my beloved readers, are pet owners (well except for callie) but i would love to hear if february madness is as common for you as it seems to be here in hamilton.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Let the Poison Spill

have you ever sat on the toilet and thought, "what would i do if i had to have diarrhea and puke at the same time?" be honest. we all have. well i had the lucky opportunity to find out this weekend after a violent, violent round of food poisoning. sadly, i think i now have taste aversion to egg salad, but that isnt really why im writing. i wont go into all of the nasty details, but i find it fascinating how being ill can cause even the best of us to regress back into six year olds. as i sat there, wiping the snot and tears off my face and praying that the last of my liquefied intestines had found their sordid way into the toilet, all i could think was, i want my mum, i want my mum, i want my mum.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Nightmare


why is it that when you are having a dream that is super realistic you arent really sure if it is a dream or not, but when you are awake and not dreaming there is absolutely no doubt that it isnt a dream? what a bizarre feat of consciousness. you know the strange thing about facebook is it gives us a way to hold on to the past while pretending to embrace all that is current.

Monday, February 01, 2010

How To Write a Poem By Accident


you fade into ellipses,

and i'll burst forth in hi-def as an exclamation mark.

because i

am awesome