50 Ways to Waste Your Summer
To all of those people who might take the title of this subsection to mean that I consider my time too valuable to be spent with the likes of you, I apologize immediately. My point and purpose is nothing of the sort. I am - in fact - quite happy with how this summer is turning out, so much so that I'm afraid that those weeks which remain will not compare. It's too easy to waste time sitting, pondering, hesitating, and sleeping in. The last one is like to be hotly debated, but it's just awful to wake up at 11 or noon, because it means that my day won't get underway until maybe 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Granted, my day often ends at 2 or 3 in the morning (and those aren't the latest, but more on that later), but for some reason I cannot suppress the sensation that if I'm only just getting out of the house at 2, my day is as good as over.
My best guess is that it's a hold-over from those days when I could - and had to - wake up early. These last two years I have pressed my reveille to 8:00 most mornings, to disasterous effect. In junior high, I was one of that "unlucky" bunch whose schools began at 7:00 or so, necessitating a 6-ish waking time. Ah, the days of taking a bike to school and back. I hesitate to remember any more than that, as I have just as many bad memories as good from that wretched place called "Middle School"...
Anyhow, I'd like to wake up early, again (I used to be able to get up at 4:30...then I'd watch Discovery Channel). The urge was stirred some days ago when I was ascending to my chambers (ok, chamber....well, room. It's far too messy and not-stately to be a chamber) at a quarter-to-six in the morning, after an animated, but long-runnning MSN conversation. It was light outside, and not just the light of the sun perched expectantly beneath the horizon. This light was comprised of the invigorating rays of morning, bringing illumination to the tabula rasa of the neonatal day. For a lingering moment, I considered eschewing sleep for the crisp embrace of morning air. I would throw slothful rest to the dew-frosted grass, and there it would land with a dull thud. Through eyes crippled by shock and pain, idle rest would see me frolic with abound. In that brief moment, I felt the morning person swell within me...before he(?) was pushed aside by the rational mind informing me that without sleep I would doubtless collapse in the mid-afternoon if not before.
I'd like to wake up early, because that same morning person who has endured year after year of ever-later bedtimes wants me to believe that somehow, if I were to wake up at a "proper" hour, I would feel better, do better, do more. And without any proof to the contrary, I feel compelled to try, despite the protests of the currently-dominant night-owl, and the rational mind, secure in the knowledge that it matters not which end of the candle I burn (so long as it isn't both, which is a sometimes-habit of mine).
My original plan was to go to bed perhaps two hours ago. I've given two hours' concession to the night owl within, and as such I shall attempt to wake up at ~7:00 this morning, which is again two hours later than I would have liked.
On the good side of things, I might be getting paid for work I do tomorrow
On the bad side, the job isn't going to be steady, and it isn't so much employment as 'paid chores'
I think that in general summer is an awful time because so many of a schoolgoing child or young adult's hopes are pinned upon a two-month span which is ill-equipped to support them. For years have I watched as so many summer projects died deaths of neglect or impossibility, and for years have I felt the worse for it. This year promises to be no different, unless I exert a continued effort to bring all the plans stashed within my cranium to fruition (or at least those which are at all possible). So far, I've spent far too much time out of the house (not that I regret it), at the expense of other passtimes.
There never reallly is a perfect balance, is there?
Anyhow, that's quite enough winging about my inability to galvanize myself to act, and it is now time to share with you a small but VERY IMPORTANT goal for this summer. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated, leave me a comment/drop me a line/email me/call me if you want to help, it would mean so much
I want to spread the word about the upcoming referendum on the electoral system in Ontario. I'll be of voting age when the day comes, and I know how I will cast my ballot on that issue: I wish to support changing the system to a mixed-member proportional-representation system (I think that's how you write it in full. The short form is MMP). In contrast with the currently-used first-past-the-post system, MMP is better in some areas, and worse in others...but I would not be voting for it if it were a lateral upgrade! MMP offers voters one thing which FPtP CANNOT in a poly-party environment: a vote that counts all the time. In FPtP, practices such as strategic voting or vote-swapping occur when - for example - a supporter of party X lives in a riding dominated by supporters of party Y. Party X is far smaller than parties Y and Z, the latter of which is the only party which can challenge Z. In this instance, the X supporter can either vote for party Z for fear of Party Y winning (strategic voting), or agree to vote for either Y or Z, in exchange for which a supporter of either party will vote X in a riding in which X can win, but Y or Z (whichever this voter supports) cannot (vote-swapping). If the first voter votes for X in his home riding, Y wins, and his vote DOES NOT COUNT FOR ANYTHING, not in his riding, not in the legislative assembly, not ANYWHERE. What's worse is that even with vote-swapping, a supporter of, say, The Green Party is unlikely to be able to affect change. While an overall share of 5-10% of the vote might equate to a population equivalent to one riding's worth or more, it means nothing if that 5-10% is distributed evenly among the ridings, because in no single riding will the Green Party get the required 51% to win. Short of every Green voter in the province vote-swapping with a different member of ONE SINGLE RIDING, there is no way that a less-known party like it will get a seat. In this way, 5-10% of the VOTING POPULATION, which is an increasingly rare segment of people in Canada, go COMPLETELY UNREPRESENTED. In an MMP system, a certain number of seats are not tied to ridings. Instead, parties are given seats (filled with members in the order that they are written upon a party-created list) until their share is roughly equivalent to their percentage of the popular vote. This generally creates minority governments, which must form coalitions to rule. Some call this solution unstable, while I personally believe that a coalition government cannot pursue one single political ideology, instead cleaving far more to the will of the people, whose opinions are clearly NOT IDENTICAL, and NOT IN LINE WITH ONLY ONE PARTY'S VISION.
In short, I support the system which is - to my mind - far more democratic. You should all do the same, no matter which system YOU believe best deserves this prestigious title!
Ah, yes. I have a final note to make:
I am now linked in a tab at the top of the page here. I'm actually kinda flattered, as it's quite a prominent link.