Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Non Sequitur

I went to a sports medicine clinic today to get my knee looked at. After a lot of bending, poking, twisting, and prodding, I was told some interesting things. Firstly, and most importantly, there's no serious damage to my knee. While there's currently not a lot of pain, there is some swelling around the interior of my knee - the physiotherapist said it seems to be around the cartilage. I have some exercises to do to strengthen the muscles, and obvious advice to take it easy when my aerobics start up again.

I also found out something rather worrisome. Apparently, my knee caps rest at an angle pointing out laterally rather than straight over the joint as they are supposed to do. This puts me at a higher risk for developing arthritis - the physio said she was even surprised I haven't had knee pain before this with all the sports I do. I'm a little upset over this because there's not much I can do to change it, though there are treatments available if (when) my knees start to bother me.

I finished A Million Little Pieces the other day - I rather enjoyed it. The style took a little getting used to: the no punctuation, short sentences, no indications of dialogue so you often don't know which character is speaking.

The reason why I enjoyed this book was obviously not because I could relate to the destructive consequences of addiction - but it really was a fascinating perspective of what it is like to embody a serious alcohol/drug addiction. The psychologist in me was intellectually moved by that aspect.

What moved me on a more emotional/personal level, was Frey's position towards AA and the Twelve Steps. AA is a system that bases it's methods on a belief in a Higher Power. So the dilemma arises when an individual has no faith in a Higher Power - many proponents of AA will firmly assert that there is no other way to sobriety.

Frey did not believe in God/Higher Power, and instead chose his own path of recovery: taking responsibility, a commitment to one's own decisions, strength of will, and self confidence.

I relate strongly to that - the fact that you don't need faith in divinity to take control of your own life. You don't need to live this life in preparation for an afterlife. The purpose of life is to live, and to live for yourself. I wasn't expecting to find a message like that in a book listed on Oprah's Book Club, heh.

Listening to: Trouble - Ray LaMontagne

Friday, December 16, 2005

Holy Snow Storm, Batman

40+ centimeters, and more on the way. Oi vey!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I just finished reading Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rushdie has a way of expertly combining elements of the supernatural with aspects of history, ideology, and religious conflict. In this novel, I really got a better understanding of Indo-Pak relations, seeing as the main character is Kashmiri. Kashmir being an area that is still fraught with conflict. The book also dealt with terrorism, and instead of producing the cookie-cutter thoughtless comments of the American hegemony version of 'terrorism', we the readers get to see what may drive an individual person to commit such acts. I thought it was very enlightening and refreshing.

Towards the beginning, a father tells his daughter a rather poignant parable about the nature of power. I was struck by it, and felt the need to post it.

"'The palace of power is a labyrinth of interconnecting rooms', Max once said to his sleepy child. 'It's windowless, and there is no visible door. Your first task is to find out how to get in. When you've solved that riddle, when you come as a supplicant into the first anteroom of power, you will find in it a man with the head of a jackal, who will try to chase you out again.

If you stay, he will try to gobble you up. If you can trick your way past him, you will enter a second room, guarded this time by a man with the head of a rabid dog, and in the room after that you'll face a man with the head of a hungry bear, and so on. In the last room but one there's a man with the head of a fox. This man will not try to keep you away from the last room, in which the man of true power sits. Rather, he will try to convince you that you are already in that room and that he himself is that man.

If you succeed in seeing through the fox-man's tricks, and if you get past him, you will find yourself in the room of power. The room of power is unimpressive and in it the man of power faces you across an empty desk. He looks small, insignificant, fearful; for now that you have penetrated his defences he must give you your heart's desire. That's the rule.

But on the way out, the rooms are full of half-human flying monsters. They swoop down and rip at your treasure. Each of them claws back a little piece of it. How much of it will you manage to bring out of the house of power?

Such is the nature of power', he told her as she slipped toward sleep, 'and these are the questions it asks. The man who chooses to enter its halls does well to escape with his life.

The answer to the question of power, by the way, is this: Do not enter that labyrinth as a supplicant. Come with meat and a sword.

Freedom is not a tea party, India. Freedom is a war'".

It's a beautiful passage, and the rest of the book is equally stunning.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Night In

A Saturday night home alone studying for my stats final while my parents are upstairs hosting a dinner party.

Thankfully my life isn't always this pathetic, heh. It was the Psych departmental Christmas Party on Thursday night, which the first year Masters students had to organize. The actual planning was the pure definition of hell, but the party turned out to be quite fun. I unfortunately sprained my knee the night before the party, but with a day of advil and ice packs, I still managed to don the 3 1/2 inch stilettos that I was set on wearing. I think the copious amount of alcohol numbed the pain - I ended up dancing for 3+ hours.

We had decided that instead of hiring a DJ, we would just hook up someone's laptop to the PA system. This resulted in us being able to choose the music: from Usher - Yeah!, to MC Hammer - Can't Touch This. Just in case you all wanted to know: yes, it is possible to do the running man in heels and a skirt.

The night didn't end terribly pleasantly, my friend having ditched me to get in on with some guy and then proceeding to ask me to wait up for her. I hope none of the faculty heard me telling her to fuck off, heh. That's always the risk of business type parties - the combination of drunkenness and people you work with can result in some dangerous and awkward consequences.

I think a partial reason why I was so pissed off at my friend was because I'm starting to feel out of place. I'm one of the youngest Psych grad students - only one other girl who is 22. Most of them are married, and if not married, in a serious relationship. It's absolutely bizarre. I went from a group of single friends without much relationship experience to a group of married people!? It's putting pressure on me, and this is a very new form of pressure.

Guess this is just a part of growing up. heh. Funny how I can feel simultaneously old and too young. I suppose it's just another new part of a new life.