Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Of Sleep Labs, Good Food and a Singing Window-Washer...



So, what has weird ol' Daphne been up to lately?


This is what!



Wired-up and ready to go to bed!




TeeHee...

I am one of a handful of people on campus who are participating in a sleep study. When I saw the amount of studies going on in campus, the first one I made a beeline for was this! Cos it's just so horribly cool...The criteria is pretty stringent but hey, I got in, and I will be spending part of this week sleeping in a lab...


When I saw the ridiculous amount of wires that I had to wear, I had this feeling I won't be sleeping at all throughout the night, but I slept surprisingly well. In fact, this little piggy had a very good night's sleep! Actually, I even woke up in almost the exact position I went to sleep in...






Making stupid faces after dinner...




So what else have I been up to? Besides being buried deep with assignments and exams and work?


Well, had dinner at a nice colonial mansion over the weekend to celebrate our Baha'i New Year. After so many months of cafeteria food, that was heaven alright! You would think having good food is nothing to blog about, but believe me, that is so hard to come by...



And just last weekend, this pretty 'famous' guy who lives in my community passed away. His name was Lorne Clapper and he was known as the singing window washer, who would wash windows while singing at the top of his lungs.

Some people find him not-so-right. Me? I found him very amusing. In honour of him, people washed windows downtown while singing over the weekend, which I thought was really sweet...




Sigh...Am gonna miss passing the shops and hearing Lorne sing 'Amazing Grace' at the top of his voice. So loud is he you can hear him a block away...RIP, Lorne...This community is going to miss you...




Sunday, 15 March 2009

Update: A Doll in the Pram...



You know how you can sometimes see something that completely freaks you out?

Well, I saw something which did do just that about a week ago...


I was out in the town when I passed this middle-aged couple with a baby-pram, and you know how people on the streets usually comment on how cute a baby is, or coo to babies? Well, it happens here too, and if the wind is not too cold, some parents will even carry their baby out for you to play with...

This couple, however, drew no such reaction. People walked pass them as if they didn't exist...


I was curious...The place where I live is very small and cosy, so most people seem to know each other, in some way or another...


And as I walked pass, I looked into the pram, and nearly freaked out...

Inside...was...a doll...A doll that was dressed just like a baby and covered in a blanket very much like you would tuck a baby...




I must have jumped, cos this middle-aged lady behind me patted me on the shoulder and lead me by the arm and whispered that this couple has been going around with the same pram and 'baby' for quite a while now...



And just a few days ago, we were discussing mental illness in the community, and the professor made brief mention of this exact couple, and I remembered this shudder going down my spine...I have met people with so many different disabilities and illnesses that not that much fazes me anymore.


In fact, on the way to the hospital for work yesterday, I met a man with Schizophrenia and chatted with him throughout the way. Contrary to popular belief, people with Schizophrenia are NOT violent. Only a very few are, and these cases are blown out of proportion by the media, which serves to perpetuate the myth and stigma...


Do you know what is the main cause of violence in society? Substance abuse!



But this whole incident with the doll in the pram really threw me off course...It just reminded me of the Living Dead Dolls collection.

For those who are not familiar with this collection, suffice to say all the dolls died in some way (drowning, murdered, butchered etc), and all have porcelain skin, with horrific deathly features, like gored out eyes or completely white eyes, and all come with a death certificate. You can even purchase coffins for your dolls!

I kid you not! I can't belief there are people who would pay between $600-800 for these collector items...



*Note: Do NOT click the link to the Living Dead Dolls if you have a weak heart and have no stomach for anything creepy...



***


Update: I chatted with my prof and it turns out, the couple in the story above could not have kids and that hurt them so much they started pushing a doll pram around with a doll in it. I don't know how far the story is true.


Whatever it is, just in case people start labelling them as 'freaks' (drawing from my story), let me point out that just because the doll freaked me out, it does not make the couple freaks. They have a story behind it. And I freaked out because I was reminded of the Living Dead Dolls collection--I don't know, it was just the idea of how something 'dead' was actually 'alive', but the 'death-like' features were still so prominent--and the retrieval cues freaked me out!

I was also strongly reminded of this movie of how a lady wanted a child so much, she actually started getting 'pregnant' and then had a baby. At the end of the movie, the camera panned-up close to show the 'baby' for the first time. It was a doll, whom she bathed, talked to, cuddled, dressed etc.



Sorry, I had to make that clear, because I think some of the comments posted have been misintepreted as labelling the couple as freaks (and I'm sure you guys just worded it ambiguously--it could be a label, or it could be an active expression of your own feeling). Remember, me 'freaked out' is a feeling I have. It's very different from labelling them as freaks, which is a stigma we apply.





Tuesday, 10 March 2009

I'm an Introvert, Really!



You know, most people assume I am an extrovert. I am essentially an introvert, however...Personality tests have shown that, consistently!



True, I am comfortable in crowds (selected crowds, mind you) and can function in big circles, but after a day of being with hordes of children and other people, I need that time to run back to my little caccoon and just be with myself!

I sometimes find it weird why people find that so difficult to do, really...I have no problem going on long walks alone, just immersed in my own thoughts or even singing to myself...And I am very happy to be alone in my room just starring at the wall!


How this silence and solitarity affect other people, however, is sometimes made apparent! Which is something I don't think about, because it really does not bother me...


Just wanted to share what happened at the hospital yesterday, at 'work' (volunteer=work), in the little room I work in, faced with a shelf and drawers of nothing but documents, envelopes, baby-armbands, plastic bags, and all kinds of stationery.


A man in scrubs popped in with equipment, and after exhanging pleasantries, left. He then returned with another load, and mused:

Man: "Gee, it's awfully quiet in here, eh?"
Me: "Uh-huh". *Smile*
Man: "Doesn't that bother you?"
Me: "Nope!"
Man: "Whoa"...



I went on with my work, and suddenly, this nurse pops her head in and says something so quickly, I just stared at her, and went "Pardon?"...It could have been I was so engrossed in my work, I wasn't paying any attention to what she said until I actually saw her standing at the door!

She: "Would you like a radio in here or something, hon? We could look into getting you one".
Me: "A radio?!?"
She: "Yes, it's so horribly quiet here, you poor thing. If it was me, I would have died of boredom!"
Me: "Oh!...Actually, I'm good. But thank you very much!"




After she left, I wanted to kick myself for turning down the offer of them putting a radio in the room, but then I realised I actually like it nice and quiet...My thoughts are entertaining enough, thank you very much...

In fact, in one class seminar where we were asked to simulate a conversation between two people (yourself and an imaginary friend), when the professor asked us to stop, many were still writing (me included), and he mused: "Quite some people have conversations that are going very well!"

Sheesh...



Anyway, back to the nurse. I was pretty touched she actually noticed 'poor me' stuck in that room enough to bring up the issue of the radio. After all, none of the staff actually know my name or actual existence, save for the ward-clerks. The rest know there's someone who comes in who does their paperwork, but they don't really know who that person is. And it's not that hard to miss me. My 'office' is outside the main wing!

I'm just the person who stops random people in scrubs in the department when I run out of documents, stationery or baby armbands...I have a badge, so they know I am associated with the hospital...



But yeah, all that peace and quiet isn't all that bad...Just the mechanical, repetitive motions can be strangely relaxing, and you know the only hazard you have is a paper cut, which I get almost every week, by the way...


Hmmm...Maybe I am weirder than I thought! =)