Archive for January, 2011

Freshman fifteen … what is this?

Okay, so the folk wisdom is that the first year at college results in the so-called « freshman fifteen », the fifteen pounds gained from being able to eat everything you want at the dining halls, the stress, the drinking, the lack of exercise …

Well, so far, I’ve had, depending on how you look at it, either a freshman negative five or freshman negative ten (I don’t think I’m at a freshman negative fifteen yet, but it’s getting close!) See, having the gym right up the hill has caused a minor revolution for me, making it easy for me to go and work out whenever I want, after class, before class, between classes … Going to the gym has become a ritual purification for me, a way to simply not think about school.

So, yeah, I’ve talked about this before, but … honestly, college has been pretty good to me. I’m reflecting on it right now, because I had a Coke today for the first time in … at least a week. Wow. This is compared to the two sodas a day I’d drink at home, as well as the mug after mug of tea/coffee. Having a limited budget makes it really easy to make healthy choices, especially when they’re based around reducing costs!

It’s just a change of variables

So . . . sometimes a problem is very difficult to solve in one manner, so we look at it differently. All it takes is a change of variables, a different way of looking at the problem. Change the appearance, and you change the fundamental nature of solving the problem. It’s the same problem, it’s just gotten a lot easier. A lot of things in life just need the same method, looking at a problem through a different lens. If a particular situation is not susceptible to being broken down by one method of reasoning, change tacks and find a different angle to approach it. If you find you need to reëvaluate the situation later on, do it! Don’t allow your values to be fixed in a single manner, that is the death of creativity. Rigid values analysis breaks down with an application of a change of variables, and suddenly the reason for fluidity in values is apparent: adjusting to a shifting situation is difficult with a rigid values analysis – if you hold one dogmatic belief above all other reason, when something comes along that may require breaking that dogma, someone bound in a rigid value structure may not be able to adapt, while someone who allows adjustment is more capable of finding a solution outside their previous values analysis. This rigid values analysis can be seen especially in those who are strongly religious and gay, in religions which are disapproving of homosexuality (disapproving may be too light a word, in some cases.) They either need to be able to accept that not everything in their lives fits with what they have been told, or they will surely perish, or face what they consider their absolute doom. However, if you accept a little change of variables, suddenly that life-or-death dichotomy breaks down, and a clearer solution is evident.

It’s just a change of variables.

Taking a photo is harder than it looks

— at least, taking a photo one thinks is worth taking . . .

I understand people enjoy simply keeping snapshots of their lives, but I often feel like there’s nothing truly worth capturing on film, or as is the case with a digital camera, as sequences of zeros and ones. There’s just something so . . . vapid, I guess, in taking photographs without meaning. When I’m taking a photo, I try to frame something I find intriguing, something unusual or captivating; often, I want to take a photo but I feel like there’s nothing so special that it needs to be seen. I’ve tried looking for the unusual in the ordinary, I’ve tried seeing the beauty of the most mundane. I don’t. There’s nothing exciting in something so plain you see it everywhere, all the time. That doesn’t need to be captured on film, it’s everywhere already, and often forgettable.

It’s the ephemeral I seek to capture, something we only see for a moment or longer. I want to capture the essence of that strangeness, that bizarre feeling that something magical is happening and it will soon disappear, never to be seen again.

So, I reach for my camera, or my journal.

Dinner, unexpected.

So, I’m of a slightly culinary persuasion … which means I say, okay, what do I have on hand, and what can I make that will be nutritious with the fewest additional ingredients?

This led to a whipped egg, avocado, and bacon fritatta-thing. It is amazing — especially because it was made in the bloody microwave.

So … here’s what I did:

3 eggs
1/2 avocado, in chunks
3 slices bacon (pre-cooked)

1. Crack eggs into microwave bowl, stir and whip with spoon until air has been combined into the mixture and bubbles form.
2. Microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring and whipping between until partially solidified
3. Combine other ingredients into mixture, while stirring.
4. Microwave for another minute and a half, or until no liquid is showing (If there’s none on the surface, there won’t be any inside.
5. Add salt, pepper, other condiments/garnishes to taste, and … bon appétit!

A state of chaos

Well, I’ve already fallen off the post-a-day bandwagon, it seems … Then again, I didn’t even have time yesterday to do anything I wanted to do, separate from what I was already doing. I hope to have at least some time every day to just relax, but that doesn’t always happen. So, there will be another post later, about some of my thoughts. I guess there’ll just be more philosophising going on here, if anyone’s interested.

A series of random thoughts

  1. McGill needs to stop spamming me with mail. Specifically, all the organisations need to stop sending lots of mail.
  2. I don’t know who came up with the brilliant idea of combining Orange and Tangerine in one juice, they deserve a kiss. If it was a hot guy, he deserves a lot more. But at the very least a kiss.
  3. If people don’t move their shit out of the washer and/or dryer, I will do so, with extreme prejudice.

Solace overlooking the city

I’ve been telling myself I should climb Mont Royal for the past semester or so . . . I never seemed to have the time. So, instead, today, on a whim, I packed my water bottle and batteries for my camera, and went for a leisurely stroll up the glorified hill that I semi-mockingly call a mountain.

What struck me was the peacefulness of it all, the grand scope. Even with all the bustle of people, it was still calming and imposing. The mountain cares nothing for us; we are transient, it is lasting.

I may not worship, but I feel awe in a place of grandeur, and Nature is a far better craftsman than Man.