Saturday, September 29, 2007

naturally selected hair

Years ago I used to do my own hair cutting, because I didn't like most haircuts at salons. Most haircutting people types are too wussy, they don't do anything exciting. I always say--do what you want! And the result is death by boredom.

But I returned to Cheap Salon Land the last 3 times (that is, one haircut per year, because that's all I had time for), and the first two times went pretty okay--the cuts weren't exciting, but they had nice shape, they fell well. But the last time threw me back into Hmph!-land. I didn't like the way it hung, or the shape of it or her technique. To me, a good haircut means your hair looks decent even when you roll out of bed, or it dries funny. That last cut was very hit or miss, as far as Boring Hair Days go.

Meanwhile in Hair Colour land... I had gone as blondie as I could with bleach, but that meant leaving the bleach on for 2 hours, which brought my hair to the consistency of straw. So, like, vegan... but straw.

So now I've decided to leave the bleach on less long, and go back to darker yellow, which is where my roots are now; but in the meantime I have all this bright blonde hair leftover. And of course, what's the real purpose of bright blonde hair? Well, to die funky colours, of course!

Yesterday I chopped up my hair so that it has a better shape/wider bangs/more choppy uneven bits; and today I dyed the bottom layer an orangey red. I originally wanted pink, but it's Fall now, so I thought a more autumnal colour would be appropriate. And it will better match the orangeness of my blonde hair.

There's actually three colours (four if you count the two shades of blonde, five if you count the gray), because I'm also letting my natural hair colour grow out in the underlayer. I think I'm only allowed two-tone hair at work, but ummm... hopefully the dark underlayer will just seem like a trick of the light. Heh heh.

Anyway, so you can go to Facebook to see The Evolution of My Hair 2006-07.

countrified & satisfied

Alright, I'm reading A Town Like Alice again. After finishing the 7th Stephanie Plum novel, I finally reached my breaking point. --> I never usually read past 3-4 books in a row of one author, because no matter how great they are, you get tired of their style; but I was trying to read all the Plum books in a row just for A Lark. Doesn't work.

I'm studying Southeast Asia this semester, and Alice takes place in Malaysia during the Japanese invasion of WWII, so I'm in the right mooood.

I must say I'm quite enjoying my Asia class. While I'm a bit tired, after 4 years of McGill, of talking about civil society, and the state, and authoritarianism, and democracy and the economy, etc. etc. etc. (a bit like reading 7 Stephanie Plums in a row), the prof spends a lot of time telling us about the countries. And the readings are very case studyish, and historical. I LOVE learning about countries.

If I look at a map of Europe, the countries all look like Individual Countries--because I've known people who are Swiss, Greek, Italian, Polish etc. You grow up just naturally knowing more about these places, and studying European history, and seeing European-set movies. But I hate it when I look at another region of the map, and it's just a big Blank. When I first studied the Middle East, it was just land with lines drawn over it; and I loved how, as I studied the region, it took shape in my mind. It started to mean something.

Studying sub-Saharan Africa last year was a bit tough, because most of the readings were so broad (eg. covering 6 countries at a time), so it's hard for me to Say Something about these places now. What's Chad? What do I know about Chad?? Or Benin? Or the Central African Republic? Or Guinea-Buissau? Ah well, I'll have to get there on my own.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

me rita craze

I took out a Les Rita Mitsouko best of, just for the song "C'est Comme Ça" -- and fell madly in love with them. Ahhh this is early Dresden Dolls - weirdness and great pop.

Not sure their newest album is as good, but here's a duet from it, with the System of a Down guy.

And here - the fantastic wailing of "Les Amants."

Let the Holidays Begin!

Oh no! Christmas album season has come to iTunes. Ohhh I love it. I get all sucked in and listen to everything! As I said last year, it's the ultimate cover genre, and I love cover genres.

Up this week - Gloria Gaynor, and Hall & Oates! I don't get more cheezy and random than that. But I think I'll have to pass... hold out for something truly great or truly crap.

Speaking of holidays, my cooking mood seems to have survived through September. Last semester whenever I got fed up with homework I went and baked brownies or something, and then ate them all, which didn't do my Petite Waistline any favors. This semester I still find that restlessness, but have discovered that I can quench it by cooking anything, doesn't have to be sweets. Well it can be sweets... yesterday I made pumpkin bread, and last week little low fat brownie cookies, but I'm learning to pre-wrap and freeze these things, so there's a mild barrier between cooking and scarfing.

But I also make chick pea sandwich filling, or try fake cheese recipes, or stuffed mushrooms... and I watch whatever I've taped off tv at the same time. And then I go back to my readings with my little treats. And then there's food in the fridge to take to school! It's all rather revolutionary.

So all this to say--bring on that inevitable holiday cooking mood! This year I'll be ready!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

the magical hair

Decided to try out a two-tone bleach job. Less work to only bleach the top half. And then if I decide to grow the bleach out completely, well, the job will be half done.

I almost considered growing it all out now--at the rate my hair grows, I'd be able to cut out the blonde by about graduation. And then start fresh with some new ideas. But if I happened upon a job interview in the meantime, it would look pretty crappy.

So now I'm just sitting here before I have to hit the shower and rinse, and then go to schoolz. Loo loo looooo...

Dance in your given smarty-pants!

A lot of the thinking in teaching these days is about understanding that people learn differently. Which is connected to this multiple-intelligences concept, that we're smarter in some ways than in others. These (below) are the ways usually identified right now, and I find they make a lot of intuitive sense.

Myself I am very bad at kinesthetic and mathematical, though I'm okay with logic, depending how it's phrased; I'm not great at visual-spatial; I'm stronger re. musical; and my strongest areas are in interpersonal, intrapersonal and linguistic.

I like this idea, because, for example, we often don't talk of body-intelligence as intelligence. Like, if someone can cook well but knows nothing of politics, we think they're stupid; same with the "jock" who's great at sports, but maybe terrible at reading. But this approach sees these things as just different kinds of intelligence, not measured by SATs or even the school setting. Or, for example, I'm watching Beauty & the Geek right now, and the thing about the geeks is that they're very smart in math or logic etc., but often have low interpersonal skills. Or sometimes we'll know someone who doesn't think very critically, but they're just really nice... that, to me, is a skill -- a kind of intelligence.

Anyway... I think people who go into the teaching profession need to take more of an approach like this, and stop thinking of some students as stupid.


The broad spectrum of students - and perhaps the society as a whole - would be better served if disciplines could be presented in a numbers of ways and learning could be assessed through a variety of means." The learning styles are as follows:

Visual-Spatial - think in terms of physical space, as do architects and sailors. Very aware of their environments. They like to draw, do jigsaw puzzles, read maps, daydream. They can be taught through drawings, verbal and physical imagery. Tools include models, graphics, charts, photographs, drawings, 3-D modeling, video, videoconferencing, television, multimedia, texts with pictures/charts/graphs.

Bodily-kinesthetic - use the body effectively, like a dancer or a surgeon. Keen sense of body awareness. They like movement, making things, touching. They communicate well through body language and be taught through physical activity, hands-on learning, acting out, role playing. Tools include equipment and real objects.

Musical - show sensitivity to rhythm and sound. They love music, but they are also sensitive to sounds in their environments. They may study better with music in the background. They can be taught by turning lessons into lyrics, speaking rhythmically, tapping out time. Tools include musical instruments, music, radio, stereo, CD-ROM, multimedia.

Interpersonal - understanding, interacting with others. These students learn through interaction. They have many friends, empathy for others, street smarts. They can be taught through group activities, seminars, dialogues. Tools include the telephone, audio conferencing, time and attention from the instructor, video conferencing, writing, computer conferencing, E-mail.

Intrapersonal - understanding one's own interests, goals. These learners tend to shy away from others. They're in tune with their inner feelings; they have wisdom, intuition and motivation, as well as a strong will, confidence and opinions. They can be taught through independent study and introspection. Tools include books, creative materials, diaries, privacy and time. They are the most independent of the learners.

Linguistic - using words effectively. These learners have highly developed auditory skills and often think in words. They like reading, playing word games, making up poetry or stories. They can be taught by encouraging them to say and see words, read books together. Tools include computers, games, multimedia, books, tape recorders, and lecture.

Logical -Mathematical - reasoning, calculating. Think conceptually, abstractly and are able to see and explore patterns and relationships. They like to experiment, solve puzzles, ask cosmic questions. They can be taught through logic games, investigations, mysteries. They need to learn and form concepts before they can deal with details.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bush vs the babies!

I'm reading an article about this fight over some health care coverage of children:

The president says the measure, which would renew and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, costs too much and would be “an incremental step toward the goal of government-run health care for every American.”

The bill would cover four million children, in addition to the 6.6 million already enrolled. The overwhelming majority of those on the rolls are in low-income families.

Bush wants to veto this bill, and Congress is preparing to counter the veto. What I liked was this phrase:

Administration officials said they were concerned that the White House was being hurt by televised news reports that portrayed the fight as a struggle between Mr. Bush and poor children, rather than as a philosophical debate over the role of government in health care.

Well ya, but um, that's the point right? That there are real world consequences to our philosophies? Hmmm there must be some good cartoons for this one... let's see...

Monday, September 24, 2007

playing on my mp3 player

So apparently Sinead O'Connor is bipolar. Ahhhhh that explains her whole career!

Anyway, my album of the moment, from library, is a cd of cover songs of Dolly Parton. It really rocks. Melissa Etheridge has a pretty I Will Always Love You, and Sinead has this spooky Dagger Through the Heart (I like it better than the bluegrass original), and I love this version of Jolene from some unknown Mindy Smith. Parton is such a great songwriter, and you see that in Jolene. There are lots of songs about cheating in this world, but not many of them to the tune of "I know you're hot enough that you could take my man, I'm just asking that you don't!"

I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don't know what he means to me, Jolene

Or The White Stripes if you prefer.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

today's supper at work

Avocado with Mrs Dash and flax oil for omega 3s.
Stuffed mushrooms.

I could have had some homemade low fat brownie cookies, but I ate them for breakfast.
I could have had a banana muffin but I ate it for breakfast.

popper break

I happened upon this cartoon site, through the network-ahj that is Facebook. They're pretty durn funny. But now I have to get back to Popper.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


I just watched the beginning of the MTV Video Music Awards, which opened with Britney. Wow, that was... wow... one of the worst performances I've ever seen. It was like she didn't know why she'd even bothered to roll out of bed this morning.

The CTV review, the first I could find, agrees--so it wasn't all in my mind: "She lazily walked through her dance moves with little enthusiasm. It appeared she had forgotten the entire art of lip-synching."

That poor girl needs to find a new profession.

Sarah Silverman is hosting and, at least in the first couple minutes, she seemed as unfunny as usual.

Pavarotti! Oh la!

Ohhh... le Pavarotti. I got goosebumps and almost Burst Into Dramatic Tears when Charlie Rose played a clip of him singing Nessun Dorma the other night. What a voice. Always stick around for the last high note of this piece... Pavarotti makes it seem like a walk in the park.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ads - is it just me?

I was just skimming a NYT article about--what will happen if we all start using applications that block ads on web sites. Because ad revenue is what makes so much of the internet free, right? And I've often wondered this about tv too, what with the Tivo Revolution on its way. Already there's lots of product placement in the film world, and even more aggressive than that - the Absolut Vodka storyline on Sex and the City was actually a paid advertisement. They paid to have a storyline based on their product.

But what I've long wondered about too is how influential tv and internet and magazine ads really are. I would love to see some studies on this. I've OCCASIONALLY seen a product and thought "dude totally!" like the Bounce sheets that repel lint (cats!) or the odor fighting garbage bags. I often don't buy the product anyway, because it's too expensive; and I don't set out to find it. But if I'm in the store and see it, I'll be all "ooh there's that Bounce stuff!" (I did actually buy the Bounce. It does work.)

These cases are few and far between. Am I in the minority on this? I need to sit down one evening, record all the ads I see, and if I've ever bought these products because I saw them on tv. Usually I try new things out just because I see them in the store.

This even applies to ads I love. I love those Malibu ads, but never buy it. Bicks pickles, but I would buy generic.

Internet ads, even less. The only time I click on them is to get a handle on a site's philosophy ( is it conservative, hippie dippy, liberal, etc.)

Is it just me? Maybe advertizers are worrying for nothing.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sing to Rule the World!

I read a fun article in Real Simple today - Gail Blanke "Find Your Song (and sing it)."

"I wondered where you get that kind of conviction, that you're exactly the right person to take the room, get the part, knock 'em dead? I bet it's from the music. ... We all need a song."

She believes that everyone needs a theme song, a pep-me-up, for those times when you're about to do something that makes you nervous. Or she counseled a 40 year old exec whose boss had told him to work on his communication skills: he recalled when he used to play soccer, he would sing "My Sharona" in his head on the way onto the pitch, to get in his super-star mode; she told him--well you have to do the same thing before you go meet a client! "Roger came out of himself; he became a motivator. He energized his clients, and they loved it."

I used to have my I-am-nervous theme song, but I'd forgotten til I read this article. I think it started in grade 11 when I was leaving my driving lesson. Going to my driving lessons made me queasy, and leaving them, I felt like an idiot. And I recall walking down St. John's singing to myself "I Have Confidence" from The Sound of Music.

After that, I used to sing it all the time in nervous situations. It's a great song because it's long, with lots of lyrics, so remembering it all keeps my brain occupied. And I love the way it starts with Nerves, builds into Confidence, builds into Bursting Confidence, has one last moment of Nerves ("oh help!") and then ends on one last blustery I'm-gonna-fake-it-if-it-kills-me note. I mustn't forget this again... it will come in handy for teaching.

"Somehow I will impress them
I will be firm but kind
And all those children
--Heaven bless them--
they will look up to me
And mind me!"

I guess you could have a few sub-songs for specific situations. Blanke has a client who chose a specific song for dating, after her marriage ended. When I'm on my way to an exam I sing "funky fresh dressed to impress - ready to party" by Missy Elliott.


If you have a power-song, you should Commentify me. If not... well, you should get one.

Saturday, September 1, 2007! Where all the cool stats go!

Ho ho, I love my new toy!

I think I found once before and then forgot about it. (And if you're on firefox, you can add it to your list of search sites. Do it! Do it! SO much fun.)

Look at Yahoo and Hotmail battling it out, and then Gmail's swift climb to join the ranks! (Though Gmail, Google, Blogger all give the same line--so I guess these represent the companies at large.)

Or let's see what happens to facebook and myspace this year. Myspace is still ahead, but look at that little facebook rocketing upwards!

Of course, youtube is leaving them all in the dust...

Hmm Fox looks less popular than I would have supposed. I guess Fox newsies prefer the channel to the web site. (And everyone prefers... youtube!)

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