Canadian Yankee
Friday, January 16, 2004
Open Sesame!
N.B.: This post is inspired by a recent post on this man's blog, which was inspired by a recent post on this man's blog.

When I was in college, I lived in the University Scholars Program dorm (i.e., the geek dorm). Unlike most dorms on campus, which were divided up into named "houses" (which is supposed to build community I guess; instead of just living on the third floor, you could live in "Cumberland House"), we were divided up into numbered "suites". For three years, I lived in what was officially called "Suite 2". Yay.

Our RA's apparently decided that they wanted to get in on some of this community-building goodness, so each suite got to give itself an unofficial name. After some discussion, we boys of Suite 2 came up with the name "Sesame Suite". And there was much rejoicing (I told you we were the geek dorm). Eventually, we all had Sesame Suite t-shirts complete with a custom coat-of-arms featuring a silhouetted snufalufagus repassant (need I mention the "geek dorm" thing again?).

Some time in my third year, there were rumors that the university was going to abandon our numbers and give our suites official names. Our RA wrote to the housing office with a formal request to have our offical name be "Sesame Suite". We received a completely humorless reply saying that all residential suites and houses on campus had to be named after either counties Pennsylvania (and these were all taken already) or trees indigenous to the state of Pennsylvania. If we could offer evidence that the sesame tree was indeed indigenous to the state of Pennsylvania, then they might consider our request.

We pretty much gave up on it at that point, but apparently the next year (after I had moved out), someone had either discovered an old-growth forest of sesame trees somewhere in the mountains of Pennsylvania or the housing office had given up on their Pennsylvanian-county-or-tree requirement. I was back visiting my old suite and couldn't help but notice the University-provided labels proudly proclaiming this part of the dorm as "Sesame House".


Thursday, January 15, 2004
An Open Letter to a Certain Two Guys Who Were at the Gym Last Night, You Know Who You Are:

Dear Twinsies,

The only possible situation in which it is acceptable to wear a shirt identical to your workout partner's is when you are both members of the same sports team. "Abercrombie Gym Issue" is not a sports team.

Note that if A&F has whimsically attached the number "92" to the back of said shirts to make them more closely resemble sports team uniforms, the fact that you both are player number 92 makes you look particularly ludicrous.

Please dress more carefully in the future, otherwise the thin bonds of social convention may not be strong enough to restrain me from walking over and barfing all over you during the middle of your bench press sets. I somehow found forebearance last night - next time you might not be so lucky.

Thank you for your attention,
A Concerned Citizen
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Philosophical Zoning Ordinances
I work in a neighborhood commonly known as "clubland" because of its unusually high concentration of nightclubs (more on that in another entry to come). Anyway, it seems that at any given time, at least one of these nightclubs has its operating license temporarily suspended for one reason or another: overcrowding, illcit substances, underage drinking, or that most bizarre of Toronto bylaws, allowing people to carry alcoholic beverages into the restroom (yes, this is prohibitied in Toronto).

Anyway, today I noticed that a nearby club had been shut down for two weeks. The reason given was, "Exceeding the lawful capacity of the premise [sic]".

This sounds more like a philosophical violation than anything else to me. In fact, I'd really like to be able to give out this citation myself: "I'm sorry, Mister Ayn-Rand-Worshipper, but while your idea that government should not control every aspect of our lives is a good one, I'm afraid that your insistence that any law governing the disposal of toxic waste is tantamount to Stalinism has exceeded the lawful capacity of your premise. You are hereby ordered to pay a fine of $300, and you must wear a large nametag stating 'I am not the main character in a Robert Heinlein novel' at all times for the next two weeks."

I think that philosophical zoning ordinances are a must-have. They've been added to my list of executive orders that will be issued after I have been appointed Empress of the Known Universe.

Prepare yourself accordingly.
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Bad Trip
Last week, on one of the very last days of 2003, I was working out at the gym and something went snap down near the bottom of my ribcage. I originally assumed that I had pulled a muscle, but it really didn't feel quite right and when it didn't seem to hurt any less one week later, I went to my doctor to make sure I hadn't seriously broken something. He poked and prodded a bit and said that no internal organs seemed to be damaged and assured me that an actual broken rib was very unlikely, meaning that the source of my pain falls into that nebulous category of "soft-tissue injury". This basically means that I've been encouraged to sit around in warm baths a lot and I was issued a prescription for "Tylenol No. 3" (which is the Tylenol that's filled with the creamy goodness of codeine).

Now comes the part where I was really stupid. I went back to the gym yesterday for a light workout since I've just started the one-week trial period at a new gym and I wanted to really try it out before I get stuck in a non-refundable one-year contract. I figured that I couldn't hurt myself too much more if I took it easy, but I did in fact end up straining my injury and putting myself in more pain. I ended up taking two Tylenol #3's at about 8:30 PM, and then two more when I woke up in pain at 2 AM. This did not exceed the recommended dosage (1 or 2 pills every 4-6 hours), but it probably was a little more than was completely wise considering that my body weight is a good two standard deviations or so below average.

I woke up again at about 3 AM in really strange state of mind. If I concentrated, I could be completely lucid, but if I let my mind wander, I would drift off into a strange fantasy land dominated by thoughts of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the nineteenth-century suffragette and Temperance Union agitator (no, this is not exaggeration or humorous absurdity - I really, honest-to-God, lay in bed last night with the name "Elizabeth Cady Stanton" echoing through my head over and over again). Why Elizabeth Cady Stanton, I have no earthly idea, but I really had been given the understanding that opium dreams were supposed to be a little more, um, voluptuous than Victorian-era social scolds bearing a more-than-passing resemblance to Winston Churchill.

I discovered from a bit of googling today that Lizzie-Cady (if I may call her that) sought to undermine not only the manufacture and sale of the Demon Rum, but also hoped to see the end of the opium trade. Perhaps she is now continuing this crusade from beyond the grave (Ooo-oo-ooo!), which would explain last night's visitation from the Ghost of Temperance Past. If so, her strategy is working - I'm definitely restricting myself to only a single pill every six hours.

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