Wednesday, November 30, 2005

We're off to the races

Looks like it will be a fun holiday season, with an election just after the festivities. Right now we have a choice of candidates:

Paul Martin: "I love Canada"

Stephen Harper: "We need change" (x 50)

Jack Layton: "Let's get some results"

Giles Duceppe: "Scandale"

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Christmas Dinner Posted by Picasa

Heading for a Christmas Dinner Posted by Picasa

You Know it is November When...

Here we are, a day before the end of November. What have I done lately, in terms of school work? Zip and Nada. Why? Because I am fed up and tired. It was a long weekend for me, and I have not caught up on my sleep yet.

It is the last week of classes, and I still have two papers due. Of course I have not written anything for either one of them. I am all ready for a break from this school year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Well, here I am, getting closer to having all (or almost all) of my assignments done for the year. Today I learned that I have an extension on one of my papers (making it due anytime before January 11th of next year). I do not know yet whether or not I will be taking that option, because I did not really want to be doing school work over the next month.

I am currently preparing for my presentation on Troilus and Cressida for tomorrow's class. I still have not exactly figured out what I am doing, but somehow, I think I will pull it all off.

Anyhow, I am heading off to work again now, feeling much better after conquering my cold. I am looking forward to this Friday's night out (grad party thrown by my bartending school).

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Two Places At Once?

Today was my mother's birthday, and I hope it was a good one at that for her. We took her out to dinner and bought her some gifts. It was also my hunny's nephew's birthday today. He turned ONE! He was quite adorable, and it was worth the drive out to see him and his cute siblings.

Anyhow, I was also scheduled to make it to another birthday get-together tonight, but it was just not feasible... Happy Birthday to you birthday people, and a happy un-birthday to everyone else!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

How Could I Forget?

After all what transpired today, how could I forget an important point? I was called this morning, before heading out to school by a woman from Victim Services. She was finally getting back to me about my trial situation for next year. Sets me pondering again about the situation, as all has been quiet for a while now. *Sigh* I suppose it is just another one of those hurdles that life throws to bog us down.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Well, here is another day, come and gone in the marvelous month of November. Apparently my name is still Julia according to my prof. for Shakespeare. Oh well, it seems that everyone in that class has an alternate name. I was also pointed out today to the class, that everyone should be more like me, as I handed in my paper a week ahead of time. (Somehow I do not know if this was such a good thing, considering my paper was not all that fantastic.)My hunny also, although a bit late (he was in conference about another paper), handed in his paper too.

My tragedy class went well too, finished the midterm in about one hour, and scooted my way out of the room. Other than that, I have a day at home tomorrow. Work apparently has messed up the schedules, and failed to give one of the full-time workers enough shifts. So I had to sacrifice one of mine. Nonetheless, this will give me another day to plug into my assignments. Intention: work on presentation for Troilus & Cressida, which may be pushed back by a day, and do laundry. I also hope to get started on some of the other essays I have to write.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is anybody out there?

I haven't seen a comment on this blog of mine for while, and I was wondering if anyone is still reading? Perhaps its just the time of year that people get the beginnings of the winter blahs.

"Now is the winter of our discontent", seems to sum up the mood of a lot of scenarios these days. Work is a bitch, but enjoyable, for the most part. We are having a staff meeting next week, and I finally, finally managed to get a night shift. Who would've thought it? LOL, so that means I will have to put up with our PMSing manager (who is not female). Oh well, goes with the territory I suppose!
On the positive side of things, I am knocking off the assignments, one by one. I stayed home (playing hooky today!) and got a lot accomplished. I had a paper due for my Shakespeare class, next Thursday, but thanks to my dedication today, it is done, a week-and-a-day early! Otherwise, I am all ready (hopefully) for the midterm test I have tomorrow, working on a presentation for next week, and starting another essay later this week.
So, onward everyone, plodding on to Christmas!

Friday, November 11, 2005

In Memorium

Hope you had a chance to remember the brave men and women who sacrified their lives for our freedom. Lest we Forget this Rememberance/Veteran's Day. Keep the faith and pray for our soldiers and peacekeepers all over the world.Today also marks two months since my grandfather passed away.
In Flanders Fields
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Light through, light on

There are many ways that light touches human existence. It can serve as a beacon, a medium of hope, or in another sense, a symbol of perception. Marshall McLuhan focused much of his exploration on how light influences the world. Light permeates the world in a way which most people are oblivious to its effects. It is our perception, or the illumination of the ‘Eureka’ light bulb that places us in a sphere of comprehension.

Light, as in the example of a candle, needs an external force to light it. Candlelight bathes a dark room in light, but just as easily can be snuffed out. In such a technological world as ours, we are constantly bathed by light waves. However, as individuals, we often lack the ability of personal perception. As McLuhan stated:

You are the content of any extension of yourself, whether it be pin or pen, pencil or sword, be it a palace or a page, song or dance or speech…The meaning of all these is the experience of using these extensions of yourself. (McLuhan Essential 280)

This statement can extend into the realm of perception. Our environment and we are not mutually exclusive. Each of these parts is an integral part of the other. The light that passes through us, also should give us the means for reflection. The statement “Light through, light on” resonates with the other commentaries made by McLuhan about the media around us. Rather than being an entity without us, the media we use becomes an integral part of our whole. Thus, we are in a constant state of evolution:

Apropos “the medium is the message” I now point out that the medium is not the figure but the ground, not the motor car but the highways and the factories. Also, I point out that in all media the user is the content, and the effects come before the invention.
(McLuhan Essential McLuhan 276)

To truly understand how the media works around us, we must remember that it would not exist without our aid. Instead of picturing the media swirling around us, we should instead perceive it as moving through our bodies. In his chapter on Hybrid Energy, McLuhan states:

If the student of media will but meditate on the power of this medium of electric light to transform every structure of time and space and work and society that it penetrates or contacts, he will have the key to the form of the power that is in all media to reshape any lives that they touch.
(McLuhan Understanding Media 60)

The electric light, a favourite analogy of McLuhan, serves to represent the effects of our surrounding world. Just as the electric light changed the conception of the world at night, illumination or perception of the world is not to be taken for granted.

As the light of the world passes through each individual, these people are inextricably changed. We synthesize the light being forced into our pores, and before we know it, glow with our own phosphorescence. To live in our electrified society, we must always keep in mind that although the light may pass through, it is our own eye or perception that is the most crucial. To recap on the levels of understanding, we must return to the levels of perception:

Formal Cause Literal Level
Material Cause Figurative (Allegorical) level
Efficient Cause Tropological (Moral) level
Final Cause Anagogical (or Eschatological) level
(McLuhan Laws of Media 218)

Each level can hereby explain the idea behind “Light through, light on.” At a literal level, light illuminates and sometimes penetrates the object closest to it. On the figurative or allegorical level, light can be used as a symbol in a past event. At the moral level, it can represent an ideal, like a beacon of hope. Finally, as with before, the fourth level of anagogical reference is the most significant. For the viewing individual, it is important to receive the light, but also to be able to project it back out to the world. In the example of the media, critical study and reflection show the ability to receive and transmit perception. However, if the light only passes through, and is not reflected upon, there is little that will be achieved. We must be critical viewers of the light around us, not letting it just pass through us, but also to touch us individually.

McLuhan knew that the electric light served to illuminate the world, not only on a literal level. It is through a careful examination of the medium that one learns that there is more to it than meets the eye. Our personal perception of the media surrounding us is the only means we have to shed any light on the subject of the media.

Works Cited

McLuhan, Eric and Frank Zingrone. Eds. Essential McLuhan. Concord: House of Anansi
Press Limited. 1995.

McLuhan, Marshall and Eric McLuhan. Laws of Media: The New Science. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1988.

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1964.

A Place of Sad and Sorry Neglect

I seem to have left this blog in a state of disrepair. To blog or not to blog, that is the question. It has been such a busy time: school, work, and club activities are the main issues at hand.

I handed in one essay today, on "light through, light on" and now only have three more major essays, a presentation, and a midterm to deal with. So I suppose, this part of the school year is coming to a close.

These last few days have put me in a state of melancholia. Yesterday would have been my grandmother's birthday, and Friday will mark two months since my grandfather's death. This has been a difficult year for the family, but we are gradually coming to terms with everything.