lundi 8 octobre 2012

Of Death...

Raylene Rankin, a member of the internationally acclaimed Celtic-country band The Rankin Family, died after a long fight with cancer at the age of 52 last week. I was not a huge fan, but I enjoyed her songs. What a young age to die, though...
And this Sunday, there was a radio-documentary on the CBC where she talked about her illness, and it was nice to hear her speak. But what really spooked me was to hear her speak... her body barely cold... it felt really, really real - death that is. I love to listen to people who have passed - Einstein, Churchill... all the others - it is kind of nice to imagine them alive. But when it is so soon after one's disappearance, it is so real... And death is real. I will be 50 in the spring, and a few people of my age are gone already. A colleague of mine lost his wife last year to cancer, and she was younger than I am. It seems all at once so unreal, and yet so, so real.
And I realize now that I have to get acquainted with Death. My parents will not live forever, and my friends may go with or without warning. And I may too go. Not now I hope - I want to see my daughter grow: become a child, and a teenager and a woman. I would actually like to become a grandmother, though mathematically it is improbable...
At any rate, this feeling of Death being near - not threatening, only near - is a new feeling for me. And I do not know what to make of it.

vendredi 20 juillet 2012

Where is the rage?

I feel it so deeply inside of me, but I feel as though I am the only one. Where is the rage? Another mass killing in the USA. There was a shooting in Toronto last week, and I still remember so vividly in my mind the Polytechnique Massacre of 1989... Yet, there seems to be no rage out there.

People seem to be sorry, scared, chocked, but no rage...

I wish people would get out in the street, demonstrate, burn guns, mobilize... Ah! But no! Guns don't kill... people kill...

What is this fascination with guns? I don't get it. What I get is this culture of ours - Western culture in general - that glorifies guns and shooting. It is all over the movies and TV shows. The more Pow Pow, the better... Shows like CSI Miami, or films like Bruce Willis' Die Hard.

What I get, as a sociologist, is that most people are not affected by the violence on TV and elsewhere in society. But there is a small percentage of people that are psychologically weak, and these few integrate this violence and act upon it. And when they act, what carnage!

What do people need guns for anyways? To catch a thief? Please!... To protect themselves? Right! This false feeling of security is actually pretty dangerous. The data show that most of the guns used in crimes were actually stolen from homes during break-ins...

And then there is the pro-gun lobby. I wonder if they feel any rage too when they hear of such carnage, the lost of lives, or do they automatically get on the defensive so that their precious guns don't get taken away or worse, legislated out of their hands... Hey Charlton Heston, do you sleep at night? 

jeudi 5 juillet 2012

Downs and ups...

Yesterday was sort of a sad day. I and a colleague have put together a manuscript for a course that we both teach, and have been using the manuscript with our students for the past 3 years or so. And it works great, and the students love it, and so do we... So of course, I strongly believe that this could be a best-sellers on the textbook market, and set off to find a publisher. I must give credit to the rep. of a company that said he had no textbook of the type to offer to his clients and he basically told me that I should write it and it would sell. Which I did.
Now, one company turned me down rapidly, then a second took the time to thinks and then said no. A third company looked at it and it looked promising, but alas! they declined. So I went back to the second company with help from another rep., who talked to the acquisition editor, and we had a great meeting, she fell in love with the project, and we got going... She did her number crunching, her viability research as for as markets were concerned, sent a sample chapter to 8 reviews, and all seems to be going the proper route... until she changed position in the company. The new acquisition editor told us he'd go along with the project too. We met with him in April, set a to-do-list of revisions to the manuscript based on the reviews. And my colleague and I set out to do the rewrites this summer. And we have been working hard at this until yesterday... when the editor told us that the project was probably not viable and he is putting an end to it.
It felt like a punch in the stomach... it's my baby... it is a great project.
At the same time, it has a taste of freedom... now we can do minimal changes to get the text ready for our classes in August, and actually enjoy the rest of the summer without pressure.
Mixed emotions...
I have yet to answer to his email. 

On the up side, my girl, who is 2 1/2 this month, is an outdoorsy person. Her first words in the morning, after asking for milk, is either I want to go outside (maman, I wanna go dehors!) or to go to the park (maman, I want park!).
This morning at daycare, her educator told her there was no park today because she had to leave the premises for a couple of hours. The other educator, in the older group, was taking her kids to the park and to the sprinklers. She saw how sad my little one looked, left the room for a minute, and told me upon returning that she had permission to take her along... B. let out a cry of joy and ran to go get her 'maillot' (swimsuit). Bless that woman - it is a little gesture, but my girl is in heaven, and I am so grateful that she'll have a happy day. The reality is that she still would have been happy had she not gone to the park, but the kindness is good to my heart. Thanks D.!

mercredi 27 juin 2012

Ok - so this week is sort of shot. B was sick for most of the weekend, and as it is a 4-day-weekend, I feel like I am running out of time to do all that is on my to-do list for the summer. Which is why I am sort of taking a day off today... Makes sense, no? Oh well. So I spent the morning at the mall, looking for little underwear - size 2-3, and buying wine. Tomorrow, I will definitely work... I have a textbook to re-write.

I am Lyne Marie and live in Montréal, Canada. My life is sort of quiet, but at the same time quite filled... mostly with my little one, B.
I am a sociology professor, and teaching is great. Writing is a nice outlet... so I will give it a go!

June 2012.