Monday, May 28, 2012

Silencio

It's been mad silencio from me lately because I've been a sick, sick dog.  Sore throat, chills, generally not being able to face life.  It's been a no good scene.


And yet!  I have so much to say!  Like, regarding the student protests in Quebec, I have this: IS YOU TWEAKING?!?   Tuition increases at $325 over 5 years was reasonable, $250 over 5 years was a gift.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?  So are you telling me that all those protesting students have never learned the concept of INFLATION?!?  Why shouldn't your tuition ever go up?  Look: I was an idealistic university student once (I'm a slightly less idealistic university student now, technically), but even then, I was pretty rational.  But I get that it's easy to get kids all riled up.  And that they're now probably high from the carnival-esque interstitial/liminal space-ness of it all and the the fact that this generation is converging around a topic IN THE FLESH instead of "liking" something on Facebook.  I get that.  But, I don't think that education is "free."  Nothing is free.  You're just not the one paying for it.  If the choice is education or less healthcare, I will pick education.  As the roomie said, the Canadian government actually made it very easy for her, as someone with very low socio-economic standing, to take out loans, get 2 degrees, and pay back her student debt with a modicum of sacrifice on her part.  The roomie hasn't sacrificed.  Does she own the latest and greatest of everything? No.  But she was able to take trips, she has a car, it's not like it was hand-to-mouth to pay back her student loans.  And, more importantly, she was ACUTELY aware of how much her education was costing her and took it very seriously.  I know, because she stayed behind so many Friday nights in undergrad and wouldn't come to the Trasheteria with us because she wanted to study and make sure she earned the grades to get where she wanted to go.


Is there a problem with the funding model that allows the majority of funding to stream towards specific disciplines (like engineering, etc.)?  Yes.  But at the same time, someone pursuing a doctorate in philosophy doesn't have nearly the same research costs (hiring grad students, transportation costs, access to labs, equipment, etc.) as other disciplines.


I am not unsympathetic.  I believe that Charest was the biggest dummy in all of the land (seriously, who are his advisors?!?) when he passed the bill holding student organizations accountable for the actions of protesting members and otherwise limiting civil democratic liberties.  So dumb!!!


I'm reading Jeannette Winterson's stunning, beautiful memoir, Why be happy when you could be normal? at the moment and she says this (on the subject of voting for Thatcher):


"I did not realise that when money becomes the core value, then education drives towards utility or that the life of the mind will not be counted as a good unless it produces measurable results."


Without the unmeasurable results of the work of my heroes, I wouldn't be where I am today.  I accept that.  But I also accept that secondary school tuition isn't going to be free, ever and that it will likely have to go up. The rate of the increase proposed in Quebec seems well within the realm of reasonable, to me.


This weekend was crazy...but I don't really see that pattern changing for the next foreseeable, oh, 20 years.  Hahahahahaha...*sobs*  Friday night I skipped out on our softball season opener to hang with the roomie and be sick.  We had a nice time.  We ate steak with Greek salad and walked around and hit one of the fun fairs at a school close to Lil' Ugmo.  Uhhhh...school fun fairs are the new warehouse rave.  It's mental!!!  They had a giant bouncy slide, face painting, a bouncy fire truck thing, an obstacle course...and an ice cream truck.  The Big Yam was ONLY interested in the ice cream truck, in so far as he was able to get really close to it and walk around it.  It blew his mind.  There is something indescribably cute about the sense of wonder/joy on a kid's face when they're marveling over something that you thing is rather mundane.  He kept walking up really close to the truck and stopping, and looking at his reflection in the reflective metal bit, and then looking over at me and the roomie with a big, goofy grin on his face, totally in AWE of how close to a truck he got.  It was pretty adorbs.


Saturday was a day spent erranding and cleaning in preparation for having Lolly & T and SMcKay and her FroYo King over for dinner.  I wasn't feeling up to it, to be honest, but I rallied.  We also set up our window unit air conditioners, and not a moment too soon, since it's supposed to be THIRTY SIX DEGREES TODAY.  Lordy.  SMcKay and Lolls brought salad, an appetizer, chips, and roasted asparagus, and I made us prime rib, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and yorkshire puddings.  I also made us eton mess for dessert.  I loooove eton mess.  I made meringues and then crumbled them and layered them with stewed rhubarb mixed with fresh slices of the first of the Ontario strawberries and whipped cream.  Sooo good.  I can eat that dessert all day.


Sunday we went to T&T during the day and then met up with Dr. Rei who was going to watch the Boobla while we saw Momma D's choir perform with this volunteer orchestra at the Toronto Concert Theatre.  The orchestra was *pretty* good.  In a sign of how unremittingly immature I am, I turned to the Dotytron: "Do my eyes deceive me?  Is that a lady conductor?!  Now I've seen everything!"  But in all honesty, I wasn't a fan of lady conductor's style.  She had this weird limp non-baton hand going that was kind of distracting.  The orchestra is made up of people who are, I'm guessing, semi-pros, but there were a few tuning issues (they played Beethoven's 9th).  After the performance ended, I asked the Dotytron, "What was that high-pitched screaming sound?" and he started laughing and said, "The piccolo was having some issues. It's a hard instrument to control."  LOL!  Something about some poor sod trying to wrestle a piccolo into submission with the result being a piccolo that's overshadowing an orchestra with a train-type whistle/scream is hilarious.


Then we rewarded Dr. Rei for her babysitting services with a trip to Phoenix where we feasted on a Phoenix "greatest hits" meal of: Hainan chicken rice, pork chop sandwich, ox tongue spaghetti with tomato sauce, Malaysian beef brisket curry, and this Korean pork rice bowl thing.  AND we got a black sesame ice cream crepe.  AND Dr. Rei got her indulge her taste for a hot Ovaltine.  It's pretty much the perfect restaurant.  We drove home and chiefed it up with the neighbs for a good long bit.  


I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love love love my 'hood.  We've got a ladies-of-the-street dim sum brunch planned.  We're doing a street sale, a street party, and there's talk of everyone going camping together this summer.  Cutest!!!  


Here are some weekend snaps (mostly food):


This Harajuku Lover's kid's line for Target t-shirt was the find of our trip to Geneseo.  Look how cute it looks!!!  Sweet little Lion of Zion.



Thursday night's dinner was a fig, Cashel blue cheese & bacon lardon tart 

Steak & Greek salad 
 

Yorkshire, prime rib, mashed potatoes, jus, asparagus, and strawberry rhubarb eton mess.


Fin.

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