Saturday, November 25, 2006

An Ode to Foot, 2

Useful, well-appreciated, and sentimental gifts. Not just gifts for the sake of gifts. Nothing in abundance. All in moderation.

Besides, had I not acquired such a lovely, useful, and recording of memories apparatus, I would never had snapped such a perfect picture.

Can't wait for your party, Foot!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Petit Papa Noël

Stumbling across this get-scared, get-ready for Christmas article, I was reminded how frantically early our society likes to indulge in the Christmas festivities. Now, I suppose that I cannot consider thinking about Christmas or even buying Christmas gifts an abominal sin. Of course, the abominal sin is when stores vomit Christmas all over their shelves and walls come November 1st. The horrible kitschy elevator Christmas music that floats around in department stores, the Christmas advertisements, the rows of cheap chocolate and duplicated white teddy bears with a red and green bow -- these are the sins of November that I am talking about.

Besides, all of the commercial Christmas-prep, all of the advertised useless gifts, the plastic bows, the ridiculously early Christmas start isn't Christmas for me.

I'm not religious, I don't go to any mass (save for that midnight mass in Poland, followed by meat-eating and vodka-drinking), so Christmas, for me, is much more than Christ's birth.

Yes, snow usually starts in November, but Christmas for me doesn't start until halfway through December, and it doesn't end until at least January 6th (have we all forgotten the twelve days of Christmas, the first day being Christmas day itself?).
What I absolutely love about Christmas are the carols, playing and singing them; I love the smoked salmon and the good food we indulge in during the holidays, I love living at home again and doing things with the family, I love seeing my North Dundas friends, I love the various Christmas parties, and I love going sledding -- this is what the Christmas holiday is about. This is what brings me to the path of warmness and fuziness. Doing enjoyable things with the best people -- c'est ça que j'aime!

Now, going back to the article; it's about worried parents who feel they can't keep up with the expensive gadgets that their kids want for Christmas, such as laptops and iPods and any of that more expensive stuff. The parents were lamenting that they couldn't get their child only one big present, such as just a laptop because apparently they kid will complain and say that they should have gotten more. This is ridiculous. I have just reached my twenties and already these kids are too much for me! Why do these children have high expectations that they should be getting so much? Do they compare themselves to their friends and school and feel like their friends get more? The demanding and the expectation, driven by extreme advertising solely directed to kids (as well as the advertising that guilt parents), kills the good Christmas feeling and makes everything so stressful, when in fact, the holiday should be a time to relax and an opportunity to "take a load off".

In fact, every Christmas, my family and I get uncomfortable when we see so many presents under our tree. How on earth can we need all of this stuff? Just get one thing for someone. Make something for them. Take them out, go on a trip, see a show, spend time together.

I already have my two front teeth, so I'll settle for hot apple cider, a crackling fire, a good book, and some cuddling.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

We're pretty tough

Bishop's University Gaiters

No, not "Gators" as in Florida Gators. Gaiter. As in this definition: "A garment similar to leggings, worn to cover or protect the ankle and lower leg."

Yes, fear the BU Fighting Leg Protectors.

Find out more about our Gaiters here.

You're too professor-y for me

Take yourself out of your every day self, of your every day thoughts, and just for a moment, plunge back into those innocent yet somewhat dreadful elementary school days.

Remember those days of teacher and principal authority. Your little self would whisper something to your classmate during class. Oh, but then lo and behold, it wasn't only your friend who had heard you! Your entire face would go white and your stomach would feel like someone poured cement in it when your teacher approached you with that look in her eye. She had heard you! It didn't matter whether she was 28 or 82, they were all equally frightening to me. It wasn't until at least grade 4 that I realized that teachers are also people. I never really thought about them much, but I figured that all they did was teach, and that was their purpose in life. Going to a school in another town meant that I only ever saw teachers at school; I just figured that they had no personal life.

During recess, lunch break, they could shut the majority of kids up. The kids who didn't shut up were punished and were thereafter known as the "bad kids". I remember the year above me during elementary school had a lot of "bad kids". They were a bit of an exception, though, because one of the boys in that class had set a church on fire at the young age of eight. It was clear that he did not know what he was doing, but he did it just the same. Even the "bad kids" didn't go that far; the burning-down kid was in a category all of his own, unfortunately.
Anyway, I digress.

Once you got to high school, authority had taken a large step down, but it was still there. You called your teachers by their last name (with Mister or Miss in front of it), they would warn you not to curse, they would give you detentions if you were late or had misbehaved, etc. In school, there is a thick line between teachers and students. Of course, it needs to be there, especially if one party needs to assume the position of authority. In high school, you can become more friendly with teachers, but they are still your elders, the ones you should respect, so it is highly unlikely that you will go out for coffee with them.

In University, it seems that line between professor and student becomes somewhat blurred. Of course, you are still expected to behave yourself and not act up during class (something you should have learned in grade 3); besides, you are paying loads of money to sit in a class, so you might as well respect the professor and listen to what he or she has to say. If you don't want to, you can simply decide not to attend.

At Bishop's, though, it seems that the line between professor and student is very, very blurred. Professors have been known to drink and even on rare occasions, smoke up with students. English professors get drunk with their students, Philosophy professors hang out in cafes with their students, and Music professors have been known to play and jam with the students. In many situations outside the classroom, professors and students are on common ground. Of course, you probably will not talk to a professor like you would talk to a close friend of yours, but hey, it seems as though some professors and students are actually friends here.

This is a phenomenon that I find hard to believe. I mean, it makes sense that professors and students are on a more equal footing; in many cases, they are both mature people (most students who befriend professors are usually different or more intelligent than the average) and have similar interests. What I don't understand is when students and professors hang out together. For example, I have seen one of my previous Liberal Arts professors hang out at the cafe with a few students of his. In fact, just last week, I was part of this little, elitist, smart group. I find it a bit odd to be sitting around with a professor discussing life and philosophy outside of the University grounds. What constantly comes to mind is the question as to why on earth are these professors choosing to hang out with twenty-somethings when they could be hanging out with their own friends and family? Isn't work just work? Why are they choosing to be around this young crowd? We must sound so naïve and inexperienced to them. I mean, when students are discussing philosophy with a professor, aren't they just bringing up questions and speculations that the professor has heard many times before? Also, when our choir director comes to student music events, how on earth can he sit there, drinking a beer and sharing a laugh with a group of kids? It all seems so strange to me. We can't be that interesting.

Once I voiced my opinion to Andrea, she reminded me that yes, we are young, but we're not that stupid. Besides, most students who hang around with professors hang around them for a reason -- they obviously have something in common and share similar interests. It's true, but I am still not sure. Perhaps I am not giving some students the credit they deserve, and perhaps I am still a little prejudice when a professor and a student become buddy-buddy, but this is mainly due to the fact that I am also frequently exposed to the completely idiotic side of students.

It's difficult to give students much credit when they swear at passing police cars, when they smash bottles on the road (indirectly puncturing car and bicycle tires), and when they throw up everywhere on the road and sidewalk. Of course, just like in "real life", there is always a mix of moronic and interesting people. It's just too bad that it's always the idiots who stand out the most.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


This is worthy of a major announcement -- Tex, the one who denies dancing and refuses to particpate in the act, based his fantasy movie on, yes, dancing!
It was not I nor Andrea who had the idea of making a boogie fantasy movie; it was Tex himself who suggested it. Of course, we all thought it brilliant and terribly amusing.

Tex and Barry entered an (inter)
National Film Challenge and recruited their friends to help out with the location, the sound, the acting, and all other parts of making a movie that needs to be done. This film challenge is unique in the way that you must write, create, edit, and complete a four to eight minute movie in 48 hours. Now, four minutes sounds like an awfully short amount of time, but believe you me, four minutes can take weeks to perfect, and we only had a few hours.

On Saturday, our friends and colleagues were invited over to partake in the filming of the movie. We had spent Friday night writing our script as it was only at 7 pm that we received our genre, line, character, and prop. Sunday was to be left free for editing and sound.

Our genre: Fantasy
Prop: Oil
Character: Bobbie Soxer
Line: "If it doesn't work, give it a shake."

Now, just by looking at this, it is beyond simple to deduce how we came up with the dancing theme. I mean, we already squashed the idea of the oil being shook; that was incredibly obvious. Oh no, we were to create a magical world in which everyone had to dance to do things. Simple things like opening a carton of juice needed a special dance for it. If you wanted to cook a meal, you had to dance, and there you have it, you'd be eating like a king no time. These magical dancing people don't even dream of using their hands. I mean, why would there when their shakin' it method works so well?

As soon as I heard the name Bobbie Soxer, a slightly disturbing yet exciting image came to mind: a dirty, chain-smoking, deep-voiced lesbian. With a name like Bobbie Soxer, what other kind of character could it possibly be? So, it was at the very early stages of the movie-making that I dubbed Andrea Bobbie Soxer. She won't outwardly admit it, but she loved her character (let's just say I had a tough time getting her out of her frayed, biker's shirt).

Making the movie was fun, tedious, hilarious, and long. It was really neat having your family and friends collaborate on making a movie. We took all day Saturday to film, and then collapsed from exhaustion that evening after replenishing ourselves with a Mamerz home cooked meal. After being on your feet all day long, repeating scenes over and over again, tweaking with the sound, changing angles, trying it different ways, and putting up and down the filming equipment, relaxing over sausages and Archie comics felt like magic (without the dancing).

Now that I have wetted your appetites, I am sure you are all dying to watch our five minutes of fame. You can watch All the Wrong Moves here.

N.B. If you wish to read another approach of the movie-making weekend (at least, I think that is what he's rambling on about), this will re-direct you to Tex's entry.