Paste it in the head!


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Presents make the world go round

Princess Awesome, you're the best! When I arrived home from a frustrating day at school and work, there was this fabulous package waiting for me with two wonderful books in it. Miracle in the Andes is written by one of the guys who got stuck in the mountains after the plane crash, as chronicled in Alive. Everyone remembers the story (most people probably remember the movie with Ethan Hawke, but it was a book first) because the survivors must resort to cannibalism to keep themselves going. I read the book many years ago and loved it. I am a sucker for graphic, gory details, especially when they describe something real, and Piers Paul Read, the author of Alive, is pretty generous with his account of the cannibalism that took place. When Kristen offered to send me the ARC of Miracle in the Andes, there was no way I could say no!
The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits was an unexpected and very pleasant addition to the book package. I am an avid collector of knitting books and this is one that I don't have. My friend Aundra has it and I've browsed through it many a time. Though the authors use some prohibitively expensive yarn for their designs, the patterns are clear and easy to follow, and the words of encouragement that the Yarn Girls give throughout the book are excellent. In particular, I would imagine that my friends who are relatively new to knitting will enjoy using it as a resource/cheerleader through their first sweater/tank top.

Kristen, thank you very much. I would like to send you a little something in return, so if you would email me your mailing address that would be great.

In other musings: I am so sick of school. I am finding it to be kind of difficult to juggle a full course load and 20 hours a week of work. I know that I signed on for the job and the classes, but inevitably I have to skip at least one class a week in order to get all of my assignments done. Not homework or reading, but actual assignments. I will be a very happy girl when these next few weeks are over!

Today was the Dean's Tea at FIS, and it was the first that I have attended. I think it's pretty obvious by now that I'm not much of a joiner. Never have been, probably never will be. It annoys me when people expect me to have organized extracurricular activities--I'm not into team sports, I don't go to church, and I extend the non-involved attitude quite happily to school and work as well. I mean, people, my hobbies include knitting, spinning, and photography. How more loner can you get? However, the tea was really nice. I could only go for a few minutes cause I was at work, but I enjoyed myself. There was a vegan food theme, as apparently quite a few FIS students are vegetarian or vegan (myself not included) and one of the student council members thought it would be nice to share this common "food choice and way of life" with the rest of the students at the Faculty of Information Studies. The food was pretty good and though I definitely could never be a vegan and would probably struggle to be a true vegetarian, I think it's good that there are a lot of very food-conscious people in my program.

Obviously, the vast majority of the people in the US--I don't know about Canada--are not food-conscious in a healthy way. While vegetarianism and veganism are popular among some demographics, most Americans are meat-eaters--and proud of it! I almost never eat red meat, but it's not for ethical reasons, really; it's just cause I don't like the taste. However, I recognize that there are numerous problems with a diet that is meat-heavy and I take that into consideration when making food choices. On the other hand, I have found that people who don't eat meat can be really self-righteous about their eating habits. I have had several roommates over the years who have been varying degrees of vegetarians/vegans and more often than not, they tend to get up on their high...hmm. Well, it wouldn't be a horse, now would it? Their high carrot? Celery stalk? I don't know, whatever. They get a bit uppity about being a vegetarian. Not my current roommate, though, she's pretty cool about it. I lived with these two hippies in Portland, though. They were the most uptight hippies I've ever met--no caffeine; no alcohol; they were on some Ayurvedic diet which meant they couldn't eat garlic, onions, or mushrooms; organic everything; and they popped a million Chinese herbal supplements every day. I couldn't stand them, even though they were the healthiest people I've ever met. I think people need to do things--almost everything--in moderation, and just cause you don't eat meat or drink beer does not mean that you're somehow better than the rest of us!


  • Yay! I'm glad they came! (Sorry there wasn't more - it was a meager book day when I got it all together.)

    By Blogger McGeekan, at 9:34 PM  

  • I wonder how many fossil fuels were burned transporting their precious Chinese herbs to North America (or were they North American herbs masquerading as Asians)? I also don't like people who are stuck up about their eating habits. However, I also hate it when meat eaters decide to attack my eating choices out of the blue...I think they are aggressive because they expect me to be a stuck up hippie. It's sort of stupid giving names to people based on their dietary choices. It's just food! (Although I am happy to call those who eat endangered animals as "delicacies" disgusting, moronic, self-indulgent scum of the earth!)

    By Anonymous Lorien, at 12:03 AM  

  • I've met several vegetarians/vegans who define themselves by their food choices. My freshman roommate in college would actually introduce herself by saying, "Hi, I'm Adeline and I'm vegan." However, when she spent a semester in France, not only did she drop the whole vegan thing, but she started eating meat as well.

    I know that it seems stupid to be so hung up on food, but if you think about it, people have pretty interesting relationships to food and there are a lot of complexes/disorders as a result of that. We've all known people who have had control issues with food and/or who eat for emotional comfort (I'm pretty sure we've all done that at some point). Rationally, it is "just food" but I think that when you bring physiology and emotion into it, it becomes more than that--it seems that it does almost become a way of life, as the girl at the tea yesterday said.

    By Blogger Tasha, at 9:36 AM  

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