Construction Zone!

Hello, blog readers… if I still have any. 🙂

I am in the midst of moving my blog site here, which is why my domain name brings you here.

So sorry – I have about 100 too many priorities in my life, and only so many hours in a day.

Also, I’m a bit clueless about how exactly to get my old posts over here. Does anyone know anything about WordPress 2.5??

You can still see my blog site as you know it at:

Leave a comment!

Connect me! A perspective on instant messaging and social connectedness

(Sarah Koopmans, MIT 2371, Prof. Jennifer Martin, February 2, 2011

Contraceptives, Abortion, or… The Baby Hatch?

The Saturday May 1 edition of the Toronto Star included a very interesting article by Petti Fong called “A refuge for unwanted infants”. The article reports that a Vancouver hospital is taking after a centuries-old tradition of churches having a “foundling wheel” where mothers could leave their unwanted babies, then ring a bell notifying someone that the baby was there before running away.

In Canada, it is illegal to “abandon a child in circumstances where the baby’s life is likely to be in danger”, but the problem of mothers abandoning their children continues to be a problem. Some (many?) women are either unable to or neglect to use contraception and/or do not resort to abortion, and thus find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. What, then, do they do?

While adoption is an option, it is a complicated one that some women don’t feel able to pursue. It seems to me that leaving a child at a hospital is a great last resort! The mother is given 30 seconds to place the child in the hatch and get away before an alarm alerts staff of the situation. Brilliant! If a baby is at a hospital, its life isn’t in danger, thus its mother hasn’t committed an illegal act. The mother has freed herself from a burden she feels she cannot handle, yet the baby does not physically suffer.

I agree with the Vancouver police that “anything that helps to save a child’s life is a good thing”!

Oh Apple Mac, You’re the One! You Make Springtime so Much Fun!

I love spring. I love my MacBook. And I love tomatoes! Why not combine all three in two new projects: using iMovie to make a video about my Indoor Tomato Plant project! (Just a wee bit excited!) Enjoy…

And an after-market addition that I couldn’t resist sharing now:

My Renaissance

Casting their nets wider, the Renaissance thinkers concluded that the ancients had given worthwhile responses to many of the same issues as Christians and that they should not be dismissed simply because they were non-Christian.*

For a course I’m taking called Comparative Literature – From Homer to Picasso: Western Culture Across the Ages, I’m currently reading about the period in history known as the Renaissance. My textbook is dry reading, but when I apply my brain, with the help of some note-taking, music, coffee, and candles, I do usually learn something.

It just occurred to me, while reading a section titled “Thought and Philosophy” of the Early Renaissance, that I am in the Renaissance period of my life.

As most of my readers know, I was raised in a conservative Christian home, which later became less conservative, but never quite liberal, and definitely not secular. As foundational as it is to have solid moral values, I feel that I missed out on the chance to understand the moral code that I was expected to follow, or its importance. I was ignorant of the alternative, other than a sort of sense of fear of what was other than our lifestyle.

“The world” was generally condemned as inherently and uniformly evil, because it wouldn’t fit inside the doors of the church. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the ignorant like I was, there were many dark, seeping cracks in the would-be fortress walls, letting in all varieties of secret sin and evil, that were in reality the uglier for their secret nature.

I couldn’t help believing that there must be a better way of establishing and reinforcing a moral code than with fear and secrecy. So much was this opinion reinforced through almost every interaction with the institution called church that I had to leave it! And so began my personal renaissance.

Renaissance: rebirth, revival

None of this is new to those who have followed this site for a few years, but I guess when I came across the passage I quoted above, I realized that this thing I’m doing with my life is not a new concept, but rather an ancient one. I’m finding that people have questioned philosophy and religion and humanity since the beginning of time, and I believe that it is only through doubting and asking and searching that truth can hit home.

Also, I wonder if there can ever be a universal belief system, or if we all must go through our own periods of renaissance and learn to love and respect and accept each other despite our differences. Certainly I was not taught that in the church, though “love your neighbour” was a much-repeated motto.

I am finding that the world is teaching me some valuable lessons that I didn’t have the capacity to learn while in the Christian bubble of my former life, though I am eternally grateful for the moral foundation it gave me. Now to continue sifting through all of the fragments of beliefs and ideas to see which are necessary and which aren’t. For me, that is.

And I continue to cast my nets wider!

*Matthews, Roy T., and F. Dewitt Platt. The Western Humanities. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Mystery Man: Definitely Maybe?

A Transparent Life caught up with Sarah today, and begged and pleaded with her to pretty please give our readers an update about the impressive Mystery Man she told us about five weeks ago. Here’s how our chat went:

ATL: Wow, Sarah, we hardly see you these days! Life must be keeping you busy!

Sarah: Busy enough that we had to do this interview at 12:30 AM, so, yeah!

ATL: Thanks for taking the time!

Sarah: You know me–for a good story, anytime!

ATL: So. We know that there are lots of things happening in your life; between starting university this fall while supporting yourself at the same time; not to mention performing with your very talented band, Fourth Avenue; life is packed. But there’s one particular scoop we’re all hoping for: what’s going on with the mystery guy you went out with last month? Is there anything going on, I guess I should ask, first of all?

Sarah: (laughs) Yes, yes, there IS something going on!

ATL: Oooh, that’s exciting! So you’ve gone out again since then, I assume.

Sarah: Hmm. Yes. Definitely yes. (smiles)

ATL: (laughs) Such certainty! So you’ve gone out one more time? More than once?

Sarah: More than once. In fact, a definite several times, ATL.

ATL: Not once, not twice, but several, eh?

Sarah: It’s true: there are witnesses.

ATL: I’m not going to ask where you’ve gone with this guy, but have you done some fun stuff?

Sarah: If movies and dinner and stargazing and Cirque du Soleil count, then yeah, it’s been fun stuff!

ATL: Wow! Very fun!

Sarah: I know, right? We have no lack of ideas of fun things to do.

ATL: So it’s “we” then, is it?

Sarah: Very clever, ATL. Is your boss reading this? You should get a raise! But, your journalistic prowess won’t work on me. Not today, anyway.

ATL: Thanks for the professional nod, Sarah, but apparently you’ve underestimated me if you think A Transparent Life is gonna let you get off with kissing up and dodging the question! I’ve got my readers to think about, after all, and they are nothing short of nosy, even sometimes downright clamorous for story details. I can’t call this a scoop if there’s nothing juicy about it, now, can I?

Sarah: (laughs) I will agree that the more juicy the story, the better, but I’m honestly not quite ready to hop into the cider press for the public just yet.

ATL: That’s it, then? That’s all you’ve got?

Sarah: Okay, fine, I’ll give you something. One little tidbit.

ATL: Bated breath, Sarah. Bated breath!

Sarah: Here it is, the tidbit: things are going really well!

ATL: Break it down for us. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being very unlikely to continue to go well, and 10 being highly likely to continue to go well, where does your “really well” fall?

Sarah: Man, you don’t give an inch, do you? On that scale, I’d say my “really well” would appear at…. Hmm. Nope, I just can’t do it. But I will say that I’m really happy with the way things are going, and that I don’t see any reason why I’d be unhappy.

ATL: How about his name? Will you make me beg for that, too?

Sarah: All in due time, ATL, all in due time. I told him I was doing this interview, though, and he said that there was a detail I left off of the original post, which isn’t technically true because I didn’t know this about him until I got to meet her a few days later, but he has a sweet blue 1969 Chevrolet Corvair (that’s a car, ladies), that he fixed up and made shine.

ATL: Um…. alrighty then! Not exactly the juice we were wishing for, but cool! We’ll take it! If–! If you promise me another interview when you feel like making cider. (laughs) Are you up for it?

Sarah: Definitely yes, ATL. With certainty.

Things You Should Refuse to Inherit

  • A vacuum cleaner. Unless, perhaps, it’s a Dyson. We don’t know their lasting power yet.
  • Linens. Towels and sheets were never meant to make the journey from parents to children to grandchildren! Feel free to use them for your pets or to wipe off a wet bike seat or when you colour your hair.
  • A toaster. Unless they it was brand-new soon before you acquired it, in my experience it’s just kind of weird knowing some else’s bread was cooked there.
  • Freezer contents. Again, unless you’re positive those venison steaks are from this season, resist the urge to take them home!
  • Beauty products. I don’t care if it IS an almost-new stick of Speed Stick – that’s just GROSS!
  • Audiovisual technology. That VCR? It can stay with the previous generation, it’s okay.
  • Plastic containers. As in Tupperware and Rubbermaid, etc. Plastic just isn’t what we once thought it was, and gets right nasty in its old age!
  • Anything with a Dollarama sticker on the bottom of it! Haha!
  • Half-filled crossword puzzles.
  • MDF furniture that already has something broken (guilty!)

Add your own in the comments region…

In Memory: Mark Andrew Koopmans

(I wrote this to read at Mark’s memorial. I didn’t make it through without crying. I doubt many people did.)


On Being Single, Living Alone, and Having Hardly any Single Friends

1. Your back gets patchily tanned and/or burned.

2. There is a distinct lack of motivation to wash the dishes.

3. Nudity can happen frequently at home.

4. Solitude aplenty. Solitude in abundance. Solitude to the extreme!

5. 10 AM seems bright and early.

6. Going alone to the beach is unavoidable.

7. Clothes, magazines, shopping bags, wine bottles, bags of chips, iPod cables, newspapers, mail, and water bottles on the floor in every room is just normal.

8. No one reminds you when you’re road-raging about that tailgater that you just committed the same offense on the way home yesterday.

9. You can drink water, wine, OJ, and coffee every day for a month without running out of clean glasses (at least, I can).

10. Never mind the old adage that you should take off one piece of jewellery before you leave the house; in my case, I have some I can’t put on before I meet up with other people.

11. The things you have in common with your girlfriends (now married with children) grow less and less. And less (something just happened as I wrote this that really drove the point home).

12. Stigmas about Old Maidendom get closer to home, whether in your eyes or others’.

13. Wanting to go out means you either a) scrape together the nerve to go by yourself (not likely); b) wait until that one single friend you have is available on a Saturday night; or c) play the anti-social card. Again.

14. Items of clothing with buttons up the back are, sadly, not for you.

15. You’re the first person people think of when someone asks them for a pet-sitter or house-sitter.

16. Without a man, you really have no idea how to care for your car and just hope nothing happens.

17. No one helps you dig your way out of your driveway in winter.

18. You can only have Housewarming parties so many times. Besides that, what can a single girl register for to get stuff like engaged and expecting girls do?

19. Fashion means more to you.

20. The baby behaviour, baby stuff, baby growth, baby names, and baby care references get old when you’re the only one without a baby.

21. Master of the fake smile you are.

22. You fear the cat-lady reference yet admit to being a candle-lady.

23. Eating in is a novelty.

24. Cooking for one isn’t. You begin to long for NYC, where everything can be delivered. Or, perhaps, to hire someone just to have someone else to cook for.

25. Plant-and-candle lady?

26. Things stay where you put them. Ordinarily.

27. You flip-flop between wanting to nest and wishing you’d never stopped to roost.

28. No one cares what time you come in at, and no one cares what time you come in at.

29. Only you face the consequences for too much shopping.

30. There’s no one to blame for anything else, either.

Rivers of Receptacles

I just washed 58 glasses, plus 3 shot glasses, plus one that I broke, and I still have 12 in the cupboard!

Soon, soon, I will have a party here. Meanwhile, it’s obviously imperative that I find some sort of cabinet to put this excess of glassware in until needed!