Friday, April 29, 2011

The Importance of Being Earnest...

I started re-reading A Witch Alone last night, and... I'm way past it. I've been a pagan, alternating between practicing and non-practicing, since I was 13. While this book might have been really helpful for me about five years ago, I'm beyond it at this point. It feels really remedial reading it, and I've developed my personal philosophies around paganism beyond what Marian Green is teaching in this book. I already have a pretty deep and thorough understanding of what it means to be pagan, for me, and to be honest, I'm finding her a little fluffy. So, I'm going to try using another set of books I have to get back into the practice - "Green Witchcraft" by Moura. I have all three, and from what I recall, they are a little more up my alley. I guess the Marian Green book is up for grabs. I am going to see if any of my friends want it.

I've rebooted my SparkPeople account. I need to get my butt in gear, quite literally. I even did the fitness routine today. My arms are sore. I have pretty much no upper body strength, so that is something I'd like to build up. Pairing some strength training with yoga will be useful, I think.

I got a good start on the day! Got out of bed around nine-ish, got breakfast and some tasks done (all paid up and registered for the anthropology conference, for instance), and I still have two and a half hours before I have to be at work. Nice!

Wooden Bird

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Moving Day

One of my roommates moved out today, to head back home to Vancouver. I'm going to miss him! He's a really nice guy, and I enjoyed living with him. My boyfriend and I stayed the night at our friend's place in order to give him and hsi girlfriend the place to themselves for their last night together. She'll be staying here to work and finish school, and he'll be back at Christmas.

In related news, the same roommate bought a hat I knit last week! I knit it up one morning, and it was a lot of fun to make. I held some contrasting colours I had and wanted to use up double, and knit until one or the other ran out and then added another colour to keep it doubled. It went from a red/orange, to a red/green, to a green/yellow. Pretty intense! I knit it flat because I didn't have DPNs big enough for what I wanted. I learned how to make a tassle and added a green tassle to the top. When I was done, I showed it to my roommate, and mentioned I was going to put it up on Etsy to sell, and he said he liked it a lot and wanted to buy it instead, so there you go! Cash in hand, I fulfilled one of my 2011 goals (to sell something I made), and I was able to help pay for groceries this week! Woooo. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture before he left for the airport.

In other news, it looks like I'll be making it to this years Canadian Anthropology Association Conference, in New Brunswick. I asked for the time off work, and I'm hoping they don't mess with me on this. I told them it was school related, so hopefully they'll respect that. I'll be going along with my boyfriend and a bunch of his colleagues from the graduate programme. I'm excited - I think it be a good experience, and I'm hoping to take in some presentations and learn lots and maybe schmooze with some potential grad advisors. I graduate next year, and I need to start thinking about grad schools.

I took out a couple of books from the library as well - some "light" summer reading, to prep me up for my honours research next year. One is an introductory reader on economic anthropology, and one is a reader on moral economies. I also found one on fair trade coffee that should prove to be interesting. I'm not sure how deeply I'll read the two more textbook-like ones, but I figure even if I only do a little but of prep work, that's better than not doing any prep work. I don't have any delusions of actually getting any research done this summer, but giving myself a heads up on the theories I'm going to be using or coming up against in my research would be handy, I think.

I've also been working on getting my desk area better organized. I threw out a bunch of stuff I just don't need, and I'm working out a better organization system. I need to be more organized and less messy. It's not productive for anybody who has to work in the space. It already feels less claustrophobic, and all I've done is, like I said, throw out a bunch of crap.

My goal currently is to mionimize, organize, and spiritualize. I want to get back into a regular spiritual practice. I've let it slip to the wayside, and it's not good for my well-being. I've kept my little Kwan Yin up, but I never pay attention to her. I don't meditate anymore, and I barely pay attention to the sabbats. Beltaine is coming up, and I want to at least take a little me time in the evening to recognize it and what it represents, and to reconnect with Kwan Yin. I have this book that I bought years ago, called A Witch Alone, by Marian Green, and I think it would be beneficial for me to work through it again. It's basically a guided practice to get you on a neo-pagan path, and I could use the structure of it. Unfortunately, I just don't have the space for an altar but I think I might put together something of a portable one that I can stow away and then take out for meditation and other such things.

Relatedly, I've also started doing yoga with my boyfriend, and I was trying out Tai Chi the other day, as well.

So, I've got a lot on the docket, I guess, but I don't think it's really all that much, as long as I approach each day with a positive attitude, stop spending so much time watching TV, and get myself on a more normal sleep schedule.

Life! It's happening!

Wooden Bird

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oi my aching toesies

I've been working pretty steadily lately, which is great for my bank account, but not so much for my feet. I don't have great shoes for a job that entails standing in one spot for six or eight hours, but they're my only black pair, and that's the uniform. I keep saying that when I have the money to spend, I'll get a more comfortable pair of runners or something, but if I am going to be realistic, I simply cannot afford to spend that money any time soon.

However, tomorrow is Good Friday, and so my store is closed and I get to rest these aching toesies. Woo!

To those who celebrate it, have a happy Easter, and to those that don't, enjoy the long weekend. To those who have to work part or all of it, I'm sorry. :-( I have to work Saturday, unfortunately.

Wooden Bird

Friday, April 8, 2011

Why I'm Not a Feminist

The professor of my gender class asked us if we consider ourselves to be feminist or not. This was my response:

For me, I'm of the mind that the words "feminism" and "feminist" are implicitly exclusive, the same way "he" as a universal pronoun is. I support many, if not most, feminist causes, and a lot of my ideals and opinions could probably be called "feminist", but I really don't feel comfortable with that label.

I think this article has a lot of good points, although some I don't agree with, completely. (For instance, I do think that class, race, gender, disability, religion, national origins, environmental degradation, etc., are becoming feminist issues, but probably due to people like this person in particular. I do, however, agree that it can be a movement that uses people for its advantage.)

It's less about the movement and more about the label, for me. I've never been a strong linguistic determinist, but I do think the way we talk about things has some effect on how we think about them. And I think we're at a point academically and socially where we can start talking about human equality as human equality, and stop draping it in the clothing of a decades old movement. We needed the feminist movement, I will never deny that. Without it, our world would obviously be very different. But we need something new, now. We need an equality movement that's called just that. Because there are people who aren't women who deserve it, and there are women who feel used by feminism who need it. And because "feminine" means so many different things that I don't think it's appropriate to use terminology so vague when discussing issues as important as human rights.

By calling it feminism, it leaves the mission up for interpretation. Anyone who has a dissenting idea about what the "femi-" prefix implies can argue that it's something different, and that some people don't need or deserve the help of the movement.

"Human Rights" on the other hand, I think is a lot less open to debate. It's a lot harder - in the contemporary west, at any rate - that a person is not a human, and therefor do not deserve the benefits of a rights movement. And so, it's inherently more inclusive. Within a greater "Human Rights" movement, you can have your camps of "Women's Rights" and "Children's Rights" and "Transgender Rights" and "Men's Rights" but they become facets of the same goal - equality for human beings - rather than movement pitted against movement, syncing up when the goals jive, but otherwise vying for the same resources. By talking about Human Rights instead of Feminism, I think it creates a greater solidarity than you can get otherwise.

So, that's why I still don't consider myself a feminist.

Monday, April 4, 2011

More yarn!

I listed the new yarn on Etsy! It looks great, and I got some really good photographs of it.

My boyfriend came up with the name, "Black Cherry", and I think it suits it great!

I've started spinning a merino/seacell blend that is so goddamn smooth and it's turning out soooo fine. I think I might keep the yarn from that one, and turn it into a lace cowl or something.

Wooden Bird

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spinning Milestones!

I am so proud of myself! I just finished plying the bunch of purple fibre that my roommates gave me for Christmas. This was with the orange stuff they gave me that I turned into Creamsicle. Well, I did much better with this purple stuff!

190 yards! Holy cow! No wonder the plying felt like it took forever! I'll post pictures and list it on Etsy as soon as the sun comes out and I can get a good shot.


Wooden Bird