Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Problem Solving

When I was in seventh or eighth (or ninth) grade, we went on a school trip to tour some of the science facilities at the University of Saskatchewan. While I don't remember much about this trip, and (obviously) I wasn't instilled with the desire to pursue a life of science, I do remember some words said by a student specializing in sound:

When it comes to problems of sound, there are three paths you can take in solving the issue:

1.) Address the problem at its source (where is the sound coming from. We'll say we're dealig with a loud sound. . .can the source be eliminated?)
2.) Address the transfer of sound between the source and the receiver (put up a soundproof barrier, maybe) 
3.) Address the problem at the receiving end (Make the people who have to listen to the loud sound wear earplugs)

While this sort of a structure can't be applied in every situation, I've found it can be a useful tool in helping solve a range of problems.

Too cold? 
 1.) Move somewhere warmer
 2.) Invest in warmer clothes
 3.) Teach yourself not to be bothered by the cold

Annoying person in your life?
1.) Eliminate them from your life (no, don't kill them)
2.) Find ways to interact with them less, perhaps only in certain settings
3.) Change the way you think about them.

Relationship problems?
1.) Change your partner
2.) Change the ways you interact with your partner
3.) Change yourself

Can't concentrate on homework?
 1.) Change the homework . . .work on something else
 2.) Change the way you are trying to do your homework. Use a new approach.
 3.) Change yourself: get more comfortable, pep talk yourself into a more productive mindset. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

On being medicated. . .again.

I have recently started going to see a psychiatrist, on the advice of my doctor. I went to get my prescription refilled, and the conversation went something like:

Doctor: When was the last time you visited a psychiatrist?
Me: .. . never?

So I went to the psychiatrist. First visit:
Psychiatrist: Tell me everything horrible that has ever happened to you.
Me: Ok, here's some stuff that happened to me. But I dealt with it. I feel ok now. . .
Psychiatrist: I don't care about NOW, tell me about your HORRIBLE PAST
Me: Ok. . .*goes on at some length in increasingly gory and disturbing detail"
Psychiatrist: ". . .I think we need you back for a second assessment. . ."

Second Visit:
Psychiatrist: You're the girl with cancer, right?
Me: Not. . . to my knowledge?
Psychiatrist: Oh! Silly me! I have you confused with someone else. What pills are you on?
Me: (patiently, we went over this last time) Divalproex and Fluoxotine.
Psychiatrist: HOW MUCH?
Me: I don't remember
Me: . . . you didn't ask me to?
Me: ok. . .
Psychiatrist: Divalproex is bad. You've probably got ovarian cysts and that means you can't have babies. Also, your liver is dying. But I'm more worried about the fluxotine, because that shit's gonna drive you craaayyyzeeee. You need bloodwork!
Me: ok, I'll go get that done
me: OKAY!

So, I have since gotten my bloodwork done. On the fifth, I get to find out if I'm barren/have a dying liver/ am going craaayyyzzeeee. I'm a little scared, but surprisingly calm.
My shrink wants to switch me over to lithium, which has the potential to turn me into a zombie. Given the choice, I'd rather be happy, clear headed, and die young of a bum liver (at least I'll be barren and not be leaving any kids behind), than be a miserably depressed bipolar zombie. Quality of life over quantity of life. What do you think?   I think I should've not gone to the psychiatrist. She seems very reactive.

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Not a particularly good picture, but I felt like coloring something while I watched Armitage III (which was awesome, btw). I think I'm regressing. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Tandoori Chicken

Had a busy day, and am sorta tired, so I'll keep it brief. Here's dinner:

Tandoori Style chicken:

1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. each curry & chili powder
1 c. plain yogurt
1 (3 lb.) chicken (broiler fryer)

In a medium skillet saute onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender, stir in curry and chili powders. Remove from heat. Blend in yogurt. Pour over chicken in shallow dish and cover. Chill several hours or overnight. Remove chicken, reserve remaining marinade. Place skin side down on lightly greased broiler pan rack. Broil 6 inches from heat source 15 minutes. Basting occasionally remaining marinade

For the sauce I fried up some peppers, then used the leftover marinade, added some lemon juice, more yogurt, sugar, a whole bunch of cilantro, mixed this all together and let it simmer for a short period of time. Served with rice, this was yummy! But broiling the chicken set the fire alarm off which freaked out the dog :( 

Thursday, 15 November 2012


The "whirling dervish" was something I grew up thinking of as almost comical. Now that I'm older, and am looking at it again, I'm realizing there really is something beautiful and unearthly about this form of meditation and worship. Take that, close-minded nine year old me! 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Oder River

Cuz I'm on some sort of a landscape kick. Playing around with the oil-paint filter on GIMP, only time I've gotten it to look decent. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

moar cartoons

 could it be going somewhere? I dunno, but here's more, including a crappy odd man out panel.

featuring the most depressed looking waitress ever. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Salmon Frittata


Six eggs, beaten
One can salmon
one tomato
one red onion
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil. Fry onion lightly in oil. Add salmon and tomato and heat, briefly. Add beaten egg, mix with other ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a couple of minutes, then throw the whole thing in the oven for another few minutes until eggs are cooked through.

I love frittatas so easy, and a great way to get rid of crap in your fridge.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Parlor Culture

Today's thousand dollar question: does making intellectualism "fashionable" strip it of its value?

Some quick flashbacks:

Medieval times: intellectualism not fashionable; mostly monks actively pursuing and preserving knowledge, everyone else too busy waving swords/fighting dragons

Renaissance: new sorts of intellectualism rising, but often more dangerous than fashionable, re: conflicts with church

Enlightenment right through to the Victorian era: intellectualism all the rage. High fashion. Parlor culture, involving getting a bunch of "intellectuals" and "artists" together in a room to be self-important. That's not really fair : a lot of really good works came out of this time, but there were also a lot of intellectual posers drifting around, it seems.

1920's: A criticism of this sort of fashionable intellectualism from T.S. Eliot :

In the room the women come and go        35
Talking of Michelangelo.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,        50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
  So how should I presume?

Now: Parlor is long dead, but we have Hipsters. Think about it. And the need for higher education. Think about that, too. Steampunk = a nostalgia for parlor culture? The most intelligent among us have become chronically more vulgar , and tend to hate the academic institutions that give us the words to hate with (less now maybe, more in the nineties). 

I haven't really worked out what I want to say about this in my head, so I'm just throwing down some fragments of what's rattling around in there. Maybe I'll follow up with  an actual post, later.