tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Domestic bliss and other tales

Last night Dr Wheel hunted me a mammoth. Well, actually it was a rare breed of mammoth, one consisting of fish rolled in rice and seaweed, and he couldn't tell me whether he'd chased it off a cliff or dropped jeeps on it from a helicopter - but it was food and he brought it and unlike the woolly, ice age variety, this mammoth came with wasabi!

So I made him a sammich. Well actually I washed the 3 dishes we created in the consumption of said WasabiFishMammoth. So now we're even. Also, I got to say "How was your day dear?" in a totally non-facetious way, and feed him lemon/pepper chocolate while making smartarse comments about Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Such is the shape of domestic bliss in the Wheelverse. Hey, don't judge us, we don't get to do this very often!

I also had a productive day, ending on 3996 words, just at the end of a discussion about framing - specifically the irony of the way Anonymous frames itself as a leaderless 'incoherent machine' without hierarchy or structure, while at the same time displaying a relatively unified identity and program claims, and an ability to mobilise resources incredibly efficiently and fast. Anonymous frames itself as a meme and this is in line with its roots in 4chan - to do otherwise would alienate potential participants - so according to social movement framing theory, in order to maintain the collective understanding of Anonymous as 'not an organisation', as it has grown more popular it has had to engage in the organisational activity of framing.

Weirdly, this kind of reminds me of Kiwiburn and the struggle to retain radical inclusion and radical self-expression and do-ocracy while still being able to provide infrastructure that supports a growing event. "Plan now for spontaneity later" requires a level of organisation that's at odds with the philosophy many burners would like to live, but it's necessary. How it's framed makes a big difference to how it's received and integrated into the shared understanding of What Kiwiburn Is.

Today: how the media has framed Anonymous, and how that has worked for and against its legitimacy as a social movement. And if I have time, some stuff about the state response. Friday, the development from the end of Project Chanology to WhatIsThePlan and how this relates to observed cycles of protest. This is a bit of a change from the original plan, but the whole WhatIsThePlan thing represents a new step in its development and I suspect might make for a tidy conclusion with some suggestions for future research, which is always good.

I'm quite enjoying this more relaxed approach to essay writing - I'm putting a few hours a day into it, both reading and writing. It's nice not to be pressured to study between work and normal life stuff, and it feels as though I'll end up with a better result because of it. Here's how most of my study is being done:

With the air conditioning going full bore it's still in the mid-20s in here, which is actually quite nice as long as you don't try wearing clothes. *cough*

And after all that brainbending, I did another successful shopping mission, this time for gifts. And a pair of cargo pants, known here as Korea Jeans. The shops (as opposed to the stalls) in the market downstairs don't let you try things on, but they do have a handy measuring tape. Instead of buying the item you look at, you take it to the counter and then they get a fresh one in your size from out the back and put the display one back on the rack. This is all a bit nerve-wracking, but the ladies who work there know their stuff and I came away with a pair of 'korea jeans' that, when I tried them on, fit almost perfectly. I'll have to dart them in the back because there's a gape (have I mentioned the problem of being of European descent when buying Asian-made clothing?), but other than that, bang on. Nice.

I also had my first conversation with a Hong Kong native. She had been to New Zealand and expressed how cold she had found it compared with Hong Kong, and also surprise at the early shopping hours and the cost of clothing there. She asked me how I was liking Hong Kong and helped me through the whole clothes-buying process, and I really enjoyed talking with another person even if it was about trivial stuff. It made me realise how much I miss the little niceties of interaction that happen when you're comfortable with a language. My Cantonese amounts to 'hello', 'thank you', 'please' (but only one kind of please), and 'stand back from the door'. Mostly I communicate with arm waving and grinning. It generally works, but easy talking was a pleasant luxury.

I like it here, it's warm and the food is awesome, but if I didn't have to leave Dr Wheel behind I'd be looking forward to getting back to New Zealand. Of course, when I get home our country will be going nuts with rugbyhead-itis and I'll have to throw myself into house-moving, and in no time he'll be there too and then our domestic bliss won't be newsworthy. ;-) I am looking forward to this.

A thing appeared in my infostream yesterday that I find intriguing - new ways of disposing of bodies, ways that claim to be more environmentally friendly than burial or cremation. One involves dissolving the body in pressurised hydrogen peroxide at 180 degrees for several hours, then pouring the resulting waste into a standard municipal water system. This is apparently sterile and contains no DNA. Bones and things like surgical implants/dental amalgams are not dissolved and so can be disposed of safely.

The other involves freezing with liquid nitrogen, then vibrating until the body fragments. Implants and amalgams are then removed, and the body dust is then placed in a biodegradable coffin for shallow burial, which is apparently akin to composting.

I'm interested in alternatives to burial or cremation. Both of my parents tried to donate themselves to science, but as luck would have it this option has become so popular that they can't take everyone and they both got turned down. I'm curious to hear what other people think of these options. Would you have yourself liquefied or frozen and shaken apart? What about your Aunt Dora? Why or why not?

PS my OCD likes this:

Tags: hong kong, my cantonese is crap, ways to dispose of bodies
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