Ink & Paper

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Oh my another Saturday has past, meaning that my week has only just begun...

Man, I can write and write and write on the blog and get no comments, but show just a little leg and the place goes nuts. Well, I guess the blog is gonna be nothing but revealing photos from now on. That ought to drive down the readership real fast.

Weekend was okay, altho I think this 10 day break is gonna have me going bonkers, as I find myself bored out of my mind after just two days. Mind you I am going to be feeding Jim's cats while he's gone, so I can mooch TV at his place. No dogs allowed though.

I may as well do this now, as I might not post before November 1st. So a Happy Birthday goes out to Marc X, who is now turning 26, which means that soon that big bump in the road known as puberty will be over and done with. Just kidding X, happy birthday and hope that your voice cracks get fewer and fewer as the years trickle by.

So my life is pretty boring actually, as I seem to have fallen into this rut of school, surfing the net, chatting with people on Yahoo, walking the dog, and sleeping. Jeff has been after me to get a hobby, but with no driver's licence yet (hey it's only been 2 months since they started the process) I'm rather limited. But thats okay, I have been reading a lot and writing some, so it's not a total waste of time. Hell, if I couldn't see the ocean, I could very well be in Ft. McMurrary, flying a desk for some oil company.

Anyway, such is life, only 82 more days until I see Megan again in London. Not that I'm counting or anything....Ciao

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 5:58 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Doublethink means, according to George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four:
the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. ... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

Election is drawing near and I hope everyone realizes just how important this election is. Yes, the spotlight is on Kerry and bush, but what also needs to be recognized is the probability that the next president will be appointing one, and maybe more, Supreme Court Justices. Don't think it matters? Well, wrong, it does, especially if the president (whoever that might be) chooses the justices based on ideological lines. There is a fear, and a genuine one, that if bush is re-elected he will appoint some very conservative justices, who would then implement conservative decisions affecting everything from abortion rights to immigration to civil liberties. And if this were to happen, the routes of appeal are limited and expensive, not to mention time consuming.

So the election is more than just Kerry vs. bush, it perhaps marks the first time in a generation that the balance of liberty, whatever that word has come to mean, is hanging in the air. Justices serve for a long time, basically until they die or retire due to health reasons. So the appointment of a few key people could be felt long after bush's (potential) second term is over.

The world, if it were allowed to vote, would overwhelmingly vote for Kerry. There was an article in the NY Times International today stating that Europeons are very involved in this election, quite concerned with who is going to win, as they see this election as having a dramatic affect on their lives. And it is true, don't you think Spain, after the March 11 Madrid bombings, is allowed to voice some concerns? And what about the vast majority of Britain, who is not standing behind Blair as he worships bush? The main reason Kerry would be their choice is the idea that he would be willing to work with them, instead of going forward alone. Hell, just the other day bush blocked access to his website from overseas countries (not Canada, last I read). What does that tell you about cooperation and world responsibilities? It seems to me that life would be a lot better in this world if people actually sat down with each other, talking and listening with genuine concern for anothers point of view.

So here we go. It is gonna be a storm and my prediction is that we won't know who wins until after a few weeks of court battles. The lawyers are lined up, the balloting system is chaotic at best, and the stakes of this election could not be higher.

(I would also like to shout out to Mr. T who helped me gather all this info together in my head. Cheers T)

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 11:35 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Monday and me

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 10:35 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Politics by William Yeats

How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics?
Yet here's a travelled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there's a politician
That has read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Of war and war's alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms!

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 10:51 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Monday, October 25, 2004

Out of my hands (and pocket)

This is not good news, not at all. The loonie is at 81 cents US, making it the highest it has been in the past 12 years. So what, you say. The problem is that the Kuwaiti currency (Dinar) is pegged to the US dollar, thus meaning that my dinar doesn't convert at a nice exchange rate to the Canadian dollar, meaning that while I am earning the same here, when I send it home to pay off debts and such, the amount is less than what I had counted on.

For example, when I arrived in Kuwait, the dinar was worth about 4.4 for every 1 Canadian dollar. Now it is worth 4.18, which may not seem like much, but adds up rather quickly when you are trying to pay your loans off as soon as possible. My salary is now about $200Cdn less than when I first landed here. So I am a little cheezed at it all, these things beyond my control.

I am hoping that the US dollar will gain in strength after the election, provided everything goes smoothly. And if oil wanted to drop from $55US a barrel, that would help a lot too. And I know that there are a myriad of other factors too, all weaving a nice little web that ensnarls my bank account. For now I must sit and wait, and crunch numbers, wondering where my little pennies have all run off to. Hopefully things settle down a bit. See this is all a learning experience for me, before this my life was blissfully unaware of how the fluctuations in the dollar could affect an individual. Sigh....

Oh well, at least I got some good TV shows to download from Mr. T, the Calgary Connection to Pop Culture. Cheers all.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 4:35 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Sunday, October 24, 2004

Hear ye, hear ye, the ranting blog is in session...

I strongly dislike my Dean of English. She is a moron. Scatterbrained, disorganized, mind-changing-with-the-breeze difficult to deal with. And a Republican. Wonderful. Mind you, I am learning an awful lot about how to make it on my own. But it gets to me, more than anything else, when she says: "Oh yeah, well it is your first year, once you get more experience you'll be able to go through the material faster." This she says to me as I watch her G11 class walk out on her halfway through the lesson. No shit, I do teach right across the hall.

She wanted me to teach Animal Farm, Hamlet, and 1984 in this upcoming quarter, which because of Ramadan and School's Without Walls, is a grand total of 6 weeks long, two of which are short weeks on account of Xmas and New Years, and one of which is the review week before semester exams. Give me a break, these kids are learning in a second language, plus they don't do homework unless the maids understand the assignment. Hell, I even have trouble with Hamlet. I told her that I would do Hamlet and 1984, which I still think is ambitious. She of course changed her mind, as perhaps she will do again when someone else suggests a new route. It is just frustrating when someone keeps changing the rules mindway through the game. But if there is a silver lining to this cloud, she is making (I have heard via the ever-reliable grapevine) a not so great impression on others on the staff, including the administration. So I'll bite my tongue, somewhat anyway, and press on, reminding myself that I would rather finish 75% of the curriculum and have the kids understand it, than to finish it all and have them only grasp 50% of it.

The other thing, and you will find this ironic, that is bothering me about the school, is the rather rampant negative talk from the teachers about the school. Now look, I understand I just spent 2 paragraphs griping about my Dean, but overall, I am enjoying the school. But a lot of people aren't and frankly it gets rather tiresome to only hear bitching and moaning all the time. I don't know if all schools are like this or not, I don't seem to remember this vibe in either of my two student teaching schools, but maybe I wasn't there long enough to get the dirt dished to me. But it just wears a little to only hear complaint after complaint. I have kept this pretty quiet, but the other day, as George and I were coming back from the vet, with Lucille, Cindy, and Monday sitting in the back seat, George mentioned it. And he put it well, saying, "Look if people hate it here that much, then leave, life is too short for living under a cloud." True, but I think people just find it easier to vent a little everyday, than to actually leave. I dunno, it just strikes me that if these few people hate their jobs so much, hate Kuwait so much, then perhaps they should leave. It would make my lunchtime a little less grating. But I am enjoying it well enough and people, bitching or not, seem to treat me well, so that's all I ever really ask anyway.

Um, what else? Not too much, I guess. Hope your weekend was good, and that you got to put your feet up. Go Red Sox, up 1-0 in the World Series. Until we blog again, I remain your devoted typist...

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 9:19 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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