Writer's Block: School days

I definitely believe that kids should learn about sex in school, but I do have reservations about some of the way that it is taught. Why do I think that it should be taught in school? Because people need to be exposed to an alternate viewpoint. Regardless of what is taught in the family (or not taught) or shown in the media (or not shown), there needs to be an availability of information (in an ideal world it would not be biased, but this is impossible) that is based on a curriculum that covers major points in sexual education, and directs students to resources that they could access (without fear or concern about how they would be perceived). Ideally, I think a such curriculum should be crafted with both librarians (to ensure depth and breadth) and teachers (to ensure appropriate pedagogy) working in tandem.

Of course I still have qualms with how individual instructors take up the cause or are forced to teach this material, however I do believe it essential to our collective educations.

Writer's Block: You've got the look

It is really important to me that there be a balance between physical attraction and mental attraction when it comes to romantic partner selection. There have been times before that I have broken up with someone before because of an eventual lack of physical attraction (as great as the personality attraction). Yet it cannot be entirely in the other direction either — I've lost respect for a perfectly physically attractive person due to personality differences. While I wouldn't say that it's a 50/50 split of attraction, believing instead that personality and behavioural and value attraction is more key to me, but perhaps it's a 35/65 split or thereabouts if I had to put approximate numbers on it.

Day of Ali Grotkowski 2011

Just so you're aware most of my blog posts today are posted here: http://ra.tapor.ualberta.ca/~dayofdh2011/aligrotkowski/

Check it and the rest of the Day of Digital Humanities posts at http://ra.tapor.ualberta.ca/~dayofdh2011 as well!

Writer's Block: Double vision

Gosh, how would I want my double to differ from me? Well, I would think it would be good if my double had some super powers or something extraordinary. I wonder how she would get through life if she had that to contend with!

Car?! And other updates

I really shouldn't be continually updating to note that I'm busy these days (that should I guess be assumed, because I am).

Lately I've been busy with a few things that are a bit less expected for me: one of which was car shopping. To put this into context for those who don't already know, I don't have a full driver's license (I do have my learner's license though), I don't like driving, and I really value walking and public transit. Still, JD likes to have access to a car, and finds it rather essential to have a car (for various reasons). So I helped him search online for car ads. One of these ads led to us going in to Sun Toyota on Saturday to look at a 2008 Toyota Matrix that was advertised at a particularly good price. I actually prefered it to the 2009 model in the showroom, and the price (which we did negotiate a bit) ended up being quite amenable for purchase.

Yesterday we went to test drive this car. It performed rather well, the seats were comfy, I found it quite nice from a passenger's perspective. And JD confirmed that he would buy the car (we should have it sometime this week I would imagine.

In other news, JD finally repaired the Barbie doll that he broke in my apt back when we first met and started dating 14 months ago or thereabouts. He also reglued the baseboard things, and replaced an outlet or two as well as helped clean my apt (in particularly he helped clean areas that I found particularly difficult to get at or clean. He has also managed to break quite a few things in the guise of 'fixing' them. Fortunately we've also replaced, or made plans to replace quite a few of these items, whether by fixing them (for real) or purchasing replacements (eg. the shower curtain rod that we purchased at Home Depot yesterday after he had broken it on Sunday).

Lately I've been having quite a lot of aches and pains. They've gotten so bad, particularly in my right wrist (this is not the wrist that I had had the nerve injury in ages ago) that they have somewhat derailed my exercise routine. Heck, I miss pole dancing, pushups, and Wii exercise games at the moment (among other things). So perhaps I'll go to the health centre again to get that checked out. I'm a bit worried that it might be carpal tunnel or arthritis or something equally frustratingly annoying.

This week I need to finish putting together my conference presentation for HuCon (HuCon is on Friday) among other things including a paper to write on the weekend (due Sunday night I believe), and catching up on many things that I've neglected (both online and in real life). So we'll see how successful I will be.


This is just a brief note to mention that Plants vs. Zombies by Popcap games is such fun on JD's iPhone! As much as I keep accidentally hitting the wrong squares (I hate capacitive touch screens on occasion), it's tonnes of fun!


Regaining balance tends to be a personal goal anytime something upsets it, whatsoever that something might be. And that tends to be the case when I return from a break in my classes. Reading week is no exception: certainly I got a lot of different things done (not enough necessarily, but a lot just the same), but getting back to the grind is not easy. And that's something I think I have a bit more motivation to do at the moment — I feel like I'm somewhat (though certainly not completely) getting back on top of things.

JD has lived here with me for a month now, so I guess we're slowly developing a routine of sorts and trying to balance out each other's demands/desires/etc. It's not perfectly balanced (nor should or would it ever be), but it's getting there, I guess.

School work and work-work are progressing. Perhaps I'm giving far too much importance to my courses rather than to my thesis or my RA work or any of the other demands on my time (including Kiwanis and being the CKI district administrator) but while classes are still going on (which will be until the end of this calendar year essentially) I think this is likely a reasonable balance. I don't feel like I give enough importance to school and the rest of things that are my own personal expectations of self and yet, I think I'm doing much better with relation so my enjoyment of my personal life and social life and so on — aspects I've struggled with for so many years, so it's not a loss, but that balance is still important.

And really, that's what my life is all about: balance. I'm far less stressed when I feel more balanced. I'm more invigorated when I feel more balanced. etc. etc.

So it's kind of nice to reflect on this and get more done as a result.