Friday, 31 July 2009

7 Quick Takes (III)

1. We are in the midst of preparing for Heritage Day. By "we" here I mean my employers and I. Because of my place in the Park hierarchy, I manage to sidestep most of the drama (also called "hostility" by some) of the office girls. I run between them and the other guys who do the physical and maintenance stuff in the Park. That's not to say that there aren't things that irked me or that I thought might have prevented me from having to go in tomorrow (which I have to do), but overall it's fine. I am also less stressed about it this year than last year for a myriad of important reasons. Foremost of these is that I actually haven't been in the park all week, and I'm not the one on whom the responsibility lies.
As you can infer, I'm at the Heritage Park location and not at the Marine Park location, so I am getting to work with people other than the two I've mentioned before. I suppose I am getting to know them a little better.

2. My brother and I postponed seeing Harry Potter until tomorrow night. We both work tomorrow, but not Sunday (I better not be working Sunday), so tomorrow night makes more sense. I am excited, as I hear this is the best one yet. The trailers certainly look epic, but that doesn't necessarily mean much. The trailers always look better than the movie these days. Except for 300. I thought the movie was OK and the trailers awful. So that's the exception.

3. Speaking of 300 and of working at the Park, the forestry guys volunteering there make me look like an effeminate four-year old. I mean, these guys are built. This isn't something I usually worry too much about, but then I usually work in the summer, as opposed to paperwork. "Paperwork" is really something of a misnomer, as it doesn't seem to be actual work to me. (Apparantly, Pacific islanders have in the past thought that paperwork was a religious ritual, as it makes goods appear without any labour going into it.) So I'm getting soft. Not that I've ever been anything like these guys, real work or no.

4. I finished reading Many Waters by Madelaine L'Engle. I think it is my favourite of her books. That is not really fairly said, of course, as I have only read four in my life, and two recently. Still, I found this book quite enjoyable.
Oddly, however, it is filled with sexuality. No overt sexual scenes, but I still thought it was a bit overt for kids. Desire is dealt with frankly, and some characters are almost portrayed having sex (or portrayed as almost having sex, which is different). Also, everyone wore only loincloths. I just thought it odd for a kids' book. I thought The Amber Spyglass was shockingly implicit; I can think of why, compared to Many Waters. Regardless, the book has seraphim (which I've always found cool), takes place in Biblical times, and deals directly with complicated romantic relationships that include more than two people. There are also mammoths, unicorns, manticores, and griffins. And, for a fantasy, it is unique in being set in a single oasis community, and not traversing vast space (except for the first and last chapter, of course).
In sum, I liked it and suggest it to anyone who would read my blog. Eventually I will do a post of L'Engle's work.

5. On the topic of reading, I am struggling through 1 Chronicles. I do not want to say that any part of the Bible is boring, but gah! There are little gold flecks between the genealogies, of course. I found the name Hazzelelphoni, for instance, as well as such interesting things as how the priestly families guarded the tent (or tabernacle). It has also been helping somewhat as a refresher for the last several books; I've been ploughing through the OT to improve my "overhead view" of the history of Israel, making a cohesive story from Joshua to the prophets instead of a collection of episodes (which has been my usual interaction with the first Covenant). However, it's still hard to get even this from lists of names which are all very similar and often actually the same.

6. At Heritage Park we have a volunteer named Jens. He is from Germany, and has a degree in Industrial Engineering, with electives mainly in Electrical. Jens is a very friendly, funny guy, and is volunteering at the park until he gets a job as a way of staving off boredom. His English is quite good, though not perfect. He is quite tall and well-built, and has a gently teasing sense of humour. He's really a great guy, I think. Anyway, my co-workers have three times in the last day brought up the World Wars or Nazis casually in conversation around him. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive about this, but I thought it was generally polite not to mention anything like that around people from Germany. I knew guys in a history class who said that their German friends got uncomfortable if you mentioned Indiana Jones, so saying, "I felt like I was in the trenches in World War I," or (of some disobedient children), "At least they're not marching down the street yelling anti-Semetic slogans," seems like it might not be very polite.

7. I was accessioning drawers in the Miskanaw galley earlier this week, and I have no idea what half of these kitchen utensils are called. Some of these things I have used before and just never knew the name of (and often enough didn't realize I didn't know the name of), or didn't know the Nomenclature-ly official name of; other of these things I have frankly never seen.
Actually, to be fair I was inventorying most of these drawers and not properly accessioning them. It didn't make much difference, though, as far as naming them goes. Inventorying just winds up being less paperwork.

See the Quick Takes Queen.


Jon Wong said...

Interesting you should mention the HP trailers. I would just like to say, though I don't know if you'll agree with me, having read the books, that before I saw the film, I formed certain guesses as to "what's happening here?" based on each clip they show in the trailer. And I turned out to be COMPLETELY wrong about every single one.

Christian H said...

Yeah, I can't claim to have had quite that experience. Images of people holding hands, for instance, didn't necessarily mean anything plot-wise to me, and a few scenes didn't actually happen in the book that happened in the movie, but other than that, I pretty much did know what each clip was about.

Marie said...

Found you through Conversion Diary, love the image of the four year old vs. forestry workers.

I worked several years ago in a greenhouse and we had a guy come in from Germany. I had taken German in college and for some stupid reason made an "Ubermensch" joke to him when he was doing some work or other. I only meant it in a way I'd use "superman" to an American, but the rest of his stay there we fought about everything. Thinking back, I think I failed to be sensitive to the Nietzche and WWII links to that term. He probably thought I was being a real jerk and it colored everything I said and did from that point out. So, I think you're right -- avoid those references like the plague. . . .

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