Saturday, January 28, 2012

Things I want

Sitting here trying to write a chemistry lab discussion. I don't want to do it. But I do want to:
  • Make a list
  • Distract myself
  • Think about happy thoughts
  • Eat chocolate
  • Explore my room
  • Put my head at eye-level with my desk and see it from a different angle
    • There's a lot of dust... I should do something about that
  • Swifer the floor 
  • Light the scented oil burner
  • Hold a mirror next to my beta fish and watch it be mad
  • Go to a place with flowing water and take pictures
  • Go to a place with a gentle stream and walk in barefoot
  • Be living in the summer
    • Without the bugs
  • Jump out my bedroom window and float for a moment
  • Create a glider
  • Glide down through the downtown core from the CN tower
    • Repeat on the Empire State building, Tower of London and Mount Everest 
  • Climb a tree
  • Sit in a tree-house
  • Go camping
    • And snuggle up with someone special in a sleeping bag
      • With mosquito repellent candles burning
  • Go fishing
  • Live a day knowing that tomorrow, no one will remember what I did today
  • Stop time
  • Be able to make firm decisions
  • Be a teacher
  • Focus
    • On this discussion I should be writing

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What's an internet?

Aka. Internet, World Wide Web... Cue xkcd reference:

What the hell is it?

Strange question I know, since you're USING the interwebs right now... as am I. And we're all quite aware of what it is and how it came about. Some of us even understand the internal  workings of the internet. The thing is, when my brother asked me, "What's an internet?" (after my repeated explainations of why we cannot yet download more games on his iTouch), I found I had a really hard time explaining what the internet IS. Stumbling for words, my inadaquet answer for him was, "It's this public space where you can get stuff... electronically... and... ya..."

Sure, I could have gone into the whole oxford definition:



(the Internet)
  • a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

But I doubt my brother's six-year old mind would have understood. So here's what the internet means for me:

  • A way to instantly connect with people
  • Instantly get information from anywhere in the world
  • Entertainment 
  • Global community
  • Place to share ideas
  • A place where ordinary social cues change 
  • Be yourself, or be anyone else
  • Where all my research gets done
  • Mutli-task extreme!
Thinking about it now, Jeffrey Deaver wrote a lovely short essay in his book The Blue Nowhere about the internet:

"The line between the real world and the machine world is becoming more and more blurred each day. But it's not that humans are turning into automatons or becoming slaves to machines. No, we're simply growing towards each other. In the Blue Nowhere, machines are taking on our personalities and culture- our language, myths, metaphors, philosophy and spirit. ... Now he turns on his computer and enters the Blue Nowhere, a place where he interacts- he has tactile stimulation of the keyboard, verbal exchanges, he's challenged. He can't be passive anymore. He has to provide input to get some response. He's entered a higher level of existence and the reason is that machines have come to him. They speak his language. ..."

It's interesting to think that the internet really is whatever we choose to make of it and it turns into what we, as a whole, create.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Naming Inanimate Objects

I've been desperately trying to find a suitable name for my new smartphone... it's quite difficult. Usually in the process of using a new piece of technology I somehow manage to find a name for it.

My very first cell phone's name was Flipper... it was a flip phone and I was uninspired. The second cell phone was named Smiles since for the longest time it's bluetooth device name was "=)". I decided that if people wanted to connect to my phone via bluetooth they had to be reminded to smile. When I got my laptop I named it Lappy completely without thinking... well I wasn't about to name it Toppy now was I? When I got the Asus Eee pad Transformer, which functions as both a tablet and a netbook really nicely, I named it Neblet, after sending a text to a friend and combining the words as to not have to write as much.

Now I'm at a loss for what to name this smartphone I have. And while I pondered it I started wondering why I name my electronics...

So for an elective this year I took a linguistic anthropology course. I remember distinctively in the book we were to read (written by the professor) a chapter about naming. It was interesting because it talked of names as a way humans tried to make a link with the "soul"... and by naming something, it was like creating life. In a way I understand this, adding a name to something personifies it for me... but not really to the point where I'd know if Neblet was male or female.

When I was small I named my stuffed animals. The ones that are now lost or given away I can not longer remember the names for, the ones that are still around I do remember the names for... generally. It seems the more attached to a plushie I am, the more likely I'd remember it's name.

My very first doggy plushie was named Tom. My favourite nanny gave me it when I was just entering "childhood". Tom was the first English name I learned and since I knew I was going to an English speaking country I decided that it would only be right that this doggy plushie had an English name.

Tom and I shared a lot of memories, and one day someone got me another doggy plushie (probably trying to win over my young heart's affection after seeing how much I loved Tom). This doggy plushie was actually a valentine gift, it was a doggy holding this heart that said something on it (beyond memory). I cut the heart off; I just wanted the doggy part of the plushie. Did this make me a heartless person?

Regardless, I named the new doggy Sarah, can't remember the reasoning now. But Tom and Sarah made for a good clique-like couple. I still have them now because I can't really bare to throw them into the cold confines of the basement.

So now I'm considering naming the phone Sandwich. Because soon (hopefully) it will run on android Ice-cream sandwich, and it is not the LG Ice-cream phone that I wanted in the past, hence it is only a Sandwich... But it really looks more like a Bar than a Sandwich. I suppose I'll have to decide later.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Just Cruising

So this last week I went on a cruise with NCL on their Norwegian Jewel. It was an overall fair experience that I think most people should try at least once... much like every other experience we have in the world.

In any case, I'm typing this in the car on the way home after having driven on the highway for a good 2-3 hours. I don't really know how long it was because I had road hypnosis... but more on that later. I'm going to now comment on several events of this cruise that I feel like commenting on.

Since family was opting for cheapness as much as possible on the room (to spend on other things), we had one of the inner ship cabins. No windows. Small space. BUNK BED.

Yes people, this little cabin had a beautiful bunk bed that flipped out of the wall. Did I ever mention how much I loved bunk beds when I was little? Parents never bought me one, which might be way I wanted it so much. Regardless, I only got 2 nights on the bunk bed because my brother, being younger and more entitled to the joys of a bunk bed, called dibs on it.

I should also comment that it was very easy to fall asleep in this little cabin. No moonlight from the window (though I'd admit the romanticness of that if I weren't with my family), very snug and quite nicely warmed. Not to mention the gentle swaying of the ship had a powerful sleep inducing effect.

Gentle swaying of the boat
While I'm on this topic, I should mention that I did not get sea sick as feared! Well not severly that is. Overall I only noticed the ship rockng back and forth if I closed my eyes and focused on it. But one night the waves were esspicially bad and I when I walked it felt as though I was drunk walking because the floor was swaying beneath my feet. Most frightening part would be looking out the window and seeing the ocean horizon raise as though the ship was about to tip over. Luckily, my mom and I were prepared for this and had Gravol ready. Anyone thinking of spending prolonged time on a ship should always bring it as a just-in-case.

The funny thing is that although I didn't feel the ship movement too much for the majority of the trip, after getting OFF the ship I started feeling slightly dizzy. In fact, we took a rest from driving a few moments ago and as I walked I could swear the ground was moving. Maybe I'll look into if the feeling is normal once I'm home and have interweb access, but if this sentence is still here then I probably got too lazy and/or had no time to do so.

We went on a tour in Florida. Saw wild and captured gators. I held one. Was fun. It was quite soft, anyone who hasn't touched an alligator before, I would definately recommend the experience.

Also we went to this zoo like thing. Found a peacock that posed for me and the most adorable little porcupine!

Anyone remember or heard of the kid's show Mystery Hunters? I remember they did an episode about hypnosis that was really quite interesting. Aboard the N. Jewel was the hypnotist Brenda Kaye. She had a show as well as a "Weigh less" hypnosis session. Now it might just be me, but I find there to be similarities between being hypnotized, meditating and in a lucid dream. Mainly I feel as though hypnothesis is prehaps like having a dream while meditating. Not sure if anyone else has experienced all three and can contribute their two-cents, since every hypnosis experience is different dependimg on the person. I feel like I'm going to have an entire post on hypnosis some time later because I do have a lot to say and typing in a car is not the greatest sensation for me.

Private Island
So was the plan at least. Sadly, wind was at its worst that day and so instead of havng 3 days at sea we had 4. Sad because I wanted to go snorkling. Last time family trip to Cuba we had a tour that involved snorkling but due to a misunderstanding on my father's side we didn't bring swim-wear. This time I was very determined to go snorkling. It seems my guardian angel is trying so hard to save me from potential shark attacks.

Because really, all you do on a cruise is eat. It's free anyways. Best part was that there were two rather formal resturants aboard the ship that were also free. Chance to dress up + free food is all I really wanted. That "weigh less" hypnothesis session better have worked since I ate 3 coursed meals three times each day...

This was the most disappointing factor to the vacation (if you haven't already guessed from my comments on the Private Island). Although we were in the Florida to Bahamas area, the temperature rarely went over 20 degrees! I cannot swim without at least 23.4 degrees. Also I packed a large variety of skirts and dresses for the trip. Right now I have a cough. Yes I know the cold doesn't give you the cold but I ought to mention it.

Well this wasn't really part of the cruise but I felt I had to complain slightly about it. I'M SICK! Right now on my way home. My voice is altered from a sore throat and I have occasional coughs. Though I should be happy that I didn't get sick on vacation, I'm now unhappy that I'm sick for the first week back at school. Horrible start to the new semester. {must-be-happy-aura activate!}

Overall I'm glad I went on this cruise. I feel as though this will be the last major vacation I go on with my parents. If I ever come into a thousand dollars or so my plan would be to grab some friends and go to a resort in Cuba or somewhere guaranteed to be warm. Until then, relaxing time over and intense keening time starts again.