Sunday, November 30, 2008

Good Morning, Beautiful!

What's this?
Comfortable, Lacey?

What are you doing sleeping on the clean clothes, ma?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Value of a Kiss

I recently had an interesting conversation about the value of a kiss. Too frequently people undervalue this great gift and either waste them on people who aren't worthy or they themselves are unworthy of taking it at that point in their life, and have other things to work through first (or both- a bad combination). I would like to point out that I think this is a decision that people have to come to on their own; I would not say someone who has a different opinion than me in this area is wrong, but I would say that if they have an opinion that they have not fully thought through, then they are wrong. It's something that needs to be addressed, especially if you're in a relationship.

It's not a big deal
The most important evaluation that has to be made about a kiss is if it's a "big deal". If it's not, then why does it matter? This conversation is a waste of time. However, I would say most people wouldn't walk up to a stranger and kiss them. It is somewhat a big deal, and takes a certain degree of intimacy before people take that step. But how big of a deal is it?

Let's look at a married couple. Is it a big deal if they kiss someone else? Yes. And the fact of the matter is that some day most people will marry. So, as you are kissing someone, you are kissing someone who one day will be a husband (or wife) to someone.

Well then, when?
However, I also believe that intimacy is an important part of any relationship. I don't think it's good to have a set-in-stone rule that it's a sin to kiss until you are married. However, it takes commitment. I believe that kissing someone who isn't, at least one day, your spouse, is nearing the line of cheating on them. Therefore, the way to avoid this is wait until you know they will be your spouse- engagement. Though it's not a marital covenant, engagement is a commitment and promise, and therefore should only be broken in "extreme situations."

Emil Ludwig (1881-1948) said, "The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because the kiss already has within it that surrender." I would add that surrender, done without commitment, is a dangerous emotion that frequently ends in people getting hurt and having regrets.

There are alternatives
As I stated before, intimacy is important in a relationship. Some people argue that kissing is a way to show affection, and I would agree. However, there are alternatives. A sweet note telling them how you feel shows affection. So does holding hands. The danger with kissing too early is kissing leads to other things. My roommate puts it comically (completely joking): "Kissing leads to stuff, and stuff makes you explode." She does have a point though: kissing is designed to lead to other stuff. A Chinese proverb says that, "Kissing is like drinking salt water: you drink and your thirst increases." Basically, I believe that it's important to keep things simple and uncommitted until there is a commitment.

Again, I understand that there are several different opinions on this, but I wanted to share where I am coming from. I would love to hear your comments, annonymous or named and welcome any discussion-sparking questions. I will withhold publishing if you'd like by mentioning that within the note.

Another good perspective here.

Picture by julpi Creative Commons liscence: Non-profit and non-derivative.

My Sternocledidomastoid

I got home from school today, and was talking to my mom. I jerked my head slightly to the left at one point and OW! It kind of hurt. So later, I was lying on my mom's bed on the phone and it happened again! It hurts when I lift my head, turn it, sometimes even when I swallow and definitely when I laugh. My kinesiologist roommate thinks I pulled my sternocledidomastoid muscle (aka neck muscle, but that sounds so much cooler). :P
All this, on thanksgiving, has made me realize three things: 1) I am thankful for my duel citizenship and the benefits it offers, 2) I am thankful for the normal use of my neck and my health, and 3) I am thankful for those who care that my sternocledidomastoid hurts (especially those who offer massages!)

Update: November 28th
My other kinesiologist roommate offered to give me a massage, and it felt wonderful. I woke up this morning feeling rested and loose, but sort of a dull pain, so I looked in the mirror and the back of my neck is actually bruised. Hah. No ponytails today!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Air Mattresses and Frenchies

There's a lot going on in our little house on the icy road. This week, Aberhart High School is hosting the National Seminar for debaters, and since I was in debate last year, I volunteered two beds for billeting (mine and Kassi's). OH YA, KASSI'S HOME! :P
So we've been sleeping on the air mattress, in the game room. It's awkward to sleep with someone else on an air mattress, because with each move, the whole bed goes up and down (Newton's laws of physics and all). However, we're managing.
The girls that are here are both from Montreal and are very sweet. I watched one of them debate yesterday [in English] on direct foreign aid, and she had a good handle on the concept. I also listened to way too much French for my own good. It really is exhausting listening to an incomprehensible foreign language for hours. Today the girls have four debates, all impromptus (two British parliamentary and two Canadian parliamentary style).
As for myself, I have been working through 1 Corinthians, 1 Chronicles, and Fatal Misconception (historical narrative on population control). At first, I didn't know what to think about Fatal Misconception because it is written with so much bias against both the pro-life and pro-choice side. It sorta ticked me off. I mean, pick one side. I don't know. We'll see- I'm only on pg 64. I'm also on section 4 of my Princeton Review AP Calculus Study guide, and that's going really well. I ought to get off this and do some Calculus and Social homework. Procrastination is such a pain.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Models Wanted

I really want to work on my photography in general because it's something I would like to get serious about in the future. I find it easier to do nature shots like landscapes and scenery because I hate putting people in an awkward position where they are the only focal point. Plus, then people feel like they have to pose, and it looses the candidness.
I understand how awkward it is to have someone take lots of pictures of you, especially if they pose you in a certain way (prom, church grad, my sister, etc). I understand that you're self-consciously thinking about how the pictures are going to turn out. I am equally guilty of shying away from the camera, especially when certain people become shutterbugs (I am working on it). However, I really want to take more shots of people and expand in that aspect. Not even so much in social groups, but one-on-one or couple shots. Looking back over my shots of people, they're all group pictures or children, who could care less if they have a lens in their face.

To do that, I need supportive friends... who want to model. I'll give you all the electronic copies you want, and even take it upon myself to get a few prints if you're interested. I would really appreciate the practice. If anyone wants to take advantage of the offer, please let me know. :)
Photo by Anne Ruthmann, Creative commons licence: Attribution, Non-commercial, Non-derivative licence.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Halifax: Trip to Lunenburg

Here's the route for Lunenburg. The yellow arrow, pointing the yellow dot, is Peggy's Cove from the day before. The red dot is Lunenburg, home of the Bluenose, and the green dot is Mahone Bay (the bay, as well as that town, is called "Mahone Bay"). This trip was a bit longer, and involved some extreme map examining (I'm still not sure the exact route we took coming back). We also got to view Lahave, Upper Lahave, Lower Lahave, the Lahave ferry, and Eastern Lahave, all within a thirty minute timespan. They really liked to name towns Lahave.
Anyway, Mahone Bay is a little town, known for the view of its three churches. We stopped at a couple little craft stores, as well as watched a demonstration of pewter crafting. Then, in Lunenburg, we stopped for fish and chips and wandered to the ports. This is where the Bluenose I (and subsequently, Bluenose II) were built. It was in port being winterized, so we caught a glimpse but couldn't get much closer. Mostly, we just explored small towns, which is lots of fun. :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Halifax: Trip to Peggy's Cove

The map does not do the trip justice, especially since I don't think you can read the names. :) The red line was our route, heading southwest first, and continuing clockwise. One afternoon, we decided to take a trip out to Peggy's Cove. It's about a two hour drive on the route we took. Peggy's Cove is a very tiny town that is known for its lighthouse and big rocks (basically...). The view is supposed to be spectacular if it's clear, which it wasn't. However, it was still fun climbing around on the rocks and avoiding large waves. We also went into the town (which is basically a circle of houses, clustered around the harbor) and walked around the boats. There were TONS of lobster traps. Here are some pictures from that voyage.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Come to Canada

Because we're number 2! :P

Halifax: The City

I've made it back safe from my trip. Halifax is such a unique city. It is still small- less than 400,000 people, and has several universities within its limits. This results in a very young population. At one point, the average age within the city was 28. It's also very Scottish. Some of the older population still has a very strong accent, and all the town names are Scottish. There are also a lot of pubs, and I love pub food, so that was very nice. :) A lot of the jewelry we found had a celtic design. Just little things like that. Overall, I really enjoyed it.

The only downside is the weather. When it was nice out, it was beautiful, but that didn't happen often. It was mostly rainy and foggy. While I like rain and fog, my skin feels gross after a day of humidity. We shall have to figure out a solution to that, because I think that's where I'm headed. :)

The school itself was beautiful. I have decided to go to Dalhousie, which is one of the top schools in Canada. It was actually the first English-speaking University in Canada, founded by looted American money after the War of 1812. :P That will give you an idea of how old the campus is. It's located streets from the ocean, and has an really well-rounded mathematics program. I actually took a calculus class on Friday, and throughouly enjoyed it, as weird as that sounds. The amount of content that was covered is at a good pace for me. Here are some pictures that we took around Halifax itself. The first is the Math and Stats building at the University. The second is inside the Halifax Citidel, the old fort that was built there. The third is by the clock tower at the Citidel. You can see how cloudy it was for the second two.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

First Snow Pictures

I took Ziggy and Lacey outside to get some fun shots in the snow. Not many turned out, as I am still trying to figure out how to deal with the lighing issues that snow creates, but here are a couple good ones.

And some not so good ones (so you can see the fun we had). If anyone knows how to fix this dull, seemingly underexposed look, let me know. It may have to do with ISO. If you'd like the settings that the picture was taken under, let me know.

I messed with the histograms (somehow?) a little, and liked the effect. Then I cropped the last one, so here's the updated version: