Friday, October 31, 2008


have embraced the hippie/yuppie reclaiming canning, gardening and craft movement. the wool is hand spun by a feminist collective in uruguay, and my needles are bamboo.

knitting is so soothing, though, and embodies a number of nice metaphors; knitting through mistakes, joining separate things into a coherent whole. i've taken to knitting through tutorials, and counting the stitches is meditative, allowing me to participate in discussion calmly instead of snapping at the um . . . difficult people in my theory class . . . yes. i also enjoy the feeling that i'm participating in a tradition of the women in my extended family. that would include you, grot and jt.

the green bit is wool from eleanor, and is what i knitted first. you can see where i ran out of wool and started knitting back in the other direction, unpulling the original as i went. it was about process, not product! the orange, blue, brown, purple one if the scarf i'm working on now. see the pattern i made up! i'm so in love with the wool. it feels beautiful.

i'm going to a stitch and bitch tomorrow with eleanor and winifred. winifred hates doing crafts, but says she is good at bitching. *snorts*

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008


it's raining.

i'm learning to knit.

jt sent me a postcard.

nimmersatt brings joy to my dark mornings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

things fall in fall

less gardening updates, also, as less exciting things are happening as the weather cools down. the speckled roman tomatoes, however, have ripened over the last couple of weeks, slowly, slowly, which is fun.

these ones have a habit of dropping off the vine while still green, or splitting, so i have a fine collection of fruits ripening on the windowsill:

from left to right is speckled romans, yellow pears, paul robeson (the only one i got!) and a punnet of chiapas wild.

the plants are dying, even as the last fruit ripens.

the cucumber plant is also dying, while still fattening one last cuke, but it doesn't look picturesque.

i have begun some winter planting. from left to right is onions, swiss chard, and carrots, with a backdrop of the old lettuce crop, now completely gone wild.

i have three different kinds of garlic cloves, ready to pop in pots. luckily i am a container gardener, as all my plants are ready and easy to move to my NEW APARTMENT. which move will happen, uh, late next week. . .

Monday, October 06, 2008

my phd is . . . boring???

realised i haven't posted much about my phd since having that whinge about chomsky several weeks ago (how's it going, nimmersatt?). this is possibly because, since i handed in that stupid scholarship application, my phd isn't taking up much time, or much brain space. but, where i am:

i'm taking the one hard core theory class, which is a requirement of my degree. this class is frustrating. one of the reasons is that everyone in it comes from very different backgrounds, so we have little shared vocabulary or assumed knowledge. we spend a lot of time wavering from topic to topic and talking at cross purposes. the other problem is that the prof, though a very nice man and very well intentioned, isn't a strong leader, and we really need someone to pull us back on topic and make us define our terms.

last week i was presenting, so i executed a bloodless coup and took over for half an hour. it was very satisfactory. i made people brainstorm on the blackboard and kept making them talk about the article at hand, not whatever sidetrack they thought was interesting. i realised i much prefer being in front of a class than in it. i miss teaching. afterwards i was worried i was too bossy, but the people i asked said it was assertive, not bossy. a lot of my classmates find the class frustrating as well.

i have some reading for that, but the nature of the discussion means it's not necessary to read thoroughly. we also have to do lots of little reflections and presentations which take up prep time but don't achieve much (busy work!). the prof has given us a very generously defined final assessment, though, and i have an exciting idea for it, so things will look up.

my other class is a children's literature one through the library school. it's fun cos it's kidlit, and, oh, the fabulous books we see!, and it's interesting to see the world through the eyes of a librarian, but it's not theoretical at all. i mentioned doing a postcolonial reading of the secret garden and got confused looks. the class is just approaching the topic of children's literature a very different way than i do, and i don't find it intellectually engaging. there's almost no reading for this one. but, again, the final assessment should be challenging and fun, and i have an interesting presentation coming up with a lovely classmate.

and that's it. i wish i had taken on a third course. i'm trying to get more involved at uni, cos i seem to have lots of spare time. i have contacted the queer and women's departments in the student union - will keep you up to date with how it goes.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

biking is fun

yesterday i rode out to deer lake park. it was very beautiful.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

a mediation on leadership in two parts, followed by a question

tonight i went to a friend's place and watched first the american vice-president debate, then the tail end of the canadian president debate. it was fascinating. i mean first, it was fascinating that eight 20 and 30-somethings would voluntarily hang out and watch such a thing, especially for a country that only two of us come from (one american-canadian dual citizen, one american applying frantically for canadian PR), but it was mostly fascinating looking at the rhetoric the americans were using. the massive emphasis on being middle class, and their intended audience and voting public being middle class, the ability of the opponents to agree - *phew* - on the fact that marriage should only be for one man and one woman (and palin's amazing comment that "some of my best friends are homophobic"), the complaints about foreigners not having america's best interests at heart and the mind-boggling arrogance and insularity of their patriotism. anyways. distracted.

the canadian debate had all five (six?) candidates sitting round a table talking to each other, mostly, mediated by a reporter, answering questions the viewing public had pre-recorded for them. they talked about how good medicare is and what a wise decision it was to stay out of iraq (i think). apparently they had a similar debate a few nights ago, but all in french, and harper's french is not too bad now.

i don't know, it doesn't do to glorify canadian politics, and lord knows there's bad stuff going on here, but compared to america it's such a haven.


last weekend i played a game called "werewolves and villagers", which was sweet fun. kind of complicated to explain - there's an explanation here. i got lynched a couple of times, once at miriam's direction (rude!). anyway, part of the game involved choosing a mayor, and they never lived more than a round or two after rising to power. lynched or slaughtered by werewolf. it was very interesting.

so i was wondering how old k-rudd is doing. has he lived up to expectations? any slip-ups? not living up to election promises? tell aunty kant all, she can't get The Age here.