Archive for February, 2006

Happy? February 26, 2006

Happy things for today:

  1. I found skates – they’re bright blue and they’re comfortable. Not to shabby considering it’s February, winter’s almost over here, and I had to go to more than one store to find them.
  2. Skating was excellent. I took my kids, my s.o. brought his, and other friends brough their three. We went to an outdoor rink in the downtown which was relatively empty and all of us, kids and grownups, had a great time. It’s the first time in 11 years that every child can stand up on their own, which means I got to skate too!
  3. skates

  4. We followed up the great afternoon with a fabulous meal of hot soy cocoa, homemade Vietnamese rice noodle rolls (with the wonderful Mimi Gardens hoisin sauce), coconut curry, mashed yams, and steamed broccoli (for the kids who don’t like their food saucy or spicy).
  5. Everyone ate.
  6. Hooray for cell phones. My car broke down on the way home – it looks like there’s a hole in the coolant tank, a hose, and/or the rad is shot, but thanks to the handy dandy cellphone in my pocket I was able to call that very same s.o.’s house which I’d just left and within 15 minutes we were pouring in a jug of coolant and he was following me home so I could get the kids out of the -8 °C night and in to bed. We made it home safely and I don’t have to drive anywhere today. I have some time to sort out if I’m going to get the rad (and transmission which went last week) fixed or if I should just look at replacing it. Everything’s going to be fine and it feels great.

When I Need Help Getting Happy

When I need help getting back to feeling good about what I’m doing, I like to read’s FAQ page In clear language, they summarize the reasons why we’re doing what we do as feminists:

We would like to live in a world where women weren’t subject to male violence; where work of equal value was paid at an equal rate; where women had real options in respect of work-life balance; where reproductive healthcare didn’t have to be fought and refought for; where women were represented in public office and at senior levels in insitutions; and where economics, jurisprudence, and public policy took cognisance of the realities of women’s lives.

They identify the backlash that comes when people don’t like our actions (this takes the forms of the actual frequently asked questions). The page is like a quick overview and reminder of what I’ve studied in feminist philosophy and epistomology:

So much of claimed rationality is in fact androcentrism masquerading as value-free objective analysis. The idea that an emotional response is inappropriate should in and of itself be interrogated.

Sometimes this is enough to get me back on track when I start to get run down.

Thank you Emma and Emmy. And like I said in the comments to your Buffy piece, welcome to WordPress and great choice of theme.

Time to be Happy

Get ready – here goes:

  1. The owner of the vacant house next door picked up the garbage in the backyard. This will hopefully help deal with the rat issue around the neighbourhood.
  2. Reading week officially begins now! I have plenty to keep me busy but there will definitely be sleep time and rest time.
  3. I had a great evening with my kids tonight.
  4. I have a great s.o. who helped me a lot this morning. It’s great to have real life help when you need it.
  5. Tomorrow I’m planning to buy myself ice skates and take my kids skating. My daughter (age 11) grew into my skates this year which were always a bit tight anyway. We’re going to go skating in the afternoon. Everyone is excited but it’s hard to tell who is the most excited, me or them.

3 days running: More Happy, February 23, 2006

If you look around you can usually find something to be positive about. If you want to be happy, you can be. Here’s my list for today:

  1. There were birds singing outside my window this morning.
  2. I have chocolate chip cookies waiting for me at home.
  3. Only 3 more papers to write and then it’s Spring Break!
  4. It’s a skirt day. Mine is long and flowy, kind of gauzy.
  5. My daughter’s aikido test is tonight and she is so excited!

More Happy: February 22, 2006

It just goes on and on! More reasons to be happy:

  1. I have a night off with my kids tonight.
  2. I get to go grocery shopping this afternoon.
  3. Latin dancing was awesome (and I got to skip out early with my partner for yummy eats). Chachacha, rumba, samba… aaaahhhhh. I’m a total dance junky.
  4. I got this really cool bag from Moutain Equipment Coop in the mail today.
  5. I gave away 6 big boxes of fabric on freecycle. I used to sew costumes for a living (egad! and design make all mine and my kids’ clothes too!) but those days are past and the fabric is clutter. It feels great to have the space back.

5 Things to be Happy About: Feb 21, 2006

Here are 5 reasons why I’m happy today:

  1. In my corner of the world there is sunshine. It was wonderful that walking home from campus today I got to take off hat and mittens.
  2. My daffodils are poking their heads up through the winter’s mulch. (See #1)
  3. I have a Latin dancing lesson tonight.
  4. I finished my midterms. One was last night and two were today.
  5. Next week is reading week which means no exams, no assignments, no school!


I have slept most of this weekend. I am in the midst of midterms and struggles with life, work, love and have no energy for any of it. I’m ready to quit it all and crawl in my hole (yet again) until I’m stronger.

But of course, I don’t get that choice. The exams require my presence, the jobs must be done, and you can’t not deal with life just because it’s hard. It’s just not fair.

This week, for the first time since I started this degree, I considered not handing in a paper. I figured one mark a day is the usual penalty and a quiet weekend to work on it would make it a much better paper than the draft I had so far…but then I checked the syllabus: “papers handed in after the due date will not be accepted.”. Of course I started to cry and then worked until 3:30 a.m. at which time I fell asleep in the chair for a few hours. I woke up at 5 to finish it and then at 9 a.m. handed in probably the worst paper of my career. The paper wasn’t difficult which is why it makes it so much harder to take. It came down to not having had sufficient time to work on it. Sufficient days, yes, if I didn’t have other responsibilities, but not with the life I currently lead. (Hence the previous post about having to Cut Cut Cut from my list.)

Did I mention the uti? Read more »

Ballet Teaching

Why do I teach ballet? I’ve been trying to sort this out in hopes that it will help me make the decision whether or not to continue. My life is stretched far and wide and this seems to be the piece that doesn’t really fit in with the others, at first glance at least. If I’m actually, really, and truly going to cut back on what I do in order to have more time for the people and things that I love, something has to go.

So why do I continue to teach ballet? It turns out there are lots of reasons .

  • One is that I love dance.
  • As long as I am responsible for teaching these classes I know that I will dance every week. If I wasn’t teaching it’s not certain that I would have this. It’s true that teaching isn’t the same as dancing, but something is better than nothing – isn’t it? On the other hand, if I wasn’t teaching, maybe I’d have time for more dancing.

  • Another is that I’m a good at it.
  • I’m an enthusiastic and creative teacher. Once you reach the point in teaching where you’re not struggling with lesson plans and can actually participate in the class, it’s really a neat feeling. I can see where my students are struggling and where they excel and use that in the class to help them progress. I’m good at the technical aspects of ballet – the science, physics, mechanics of the movements and that helps me explain things to the students. We connect.

  • I love these kids and these classes.
  • For some of these kids, I’m the only teacher they’ve ever had. They started with me when they were preschoolers and I’ve watched them become dancers. Watching them grow up, and watching their families grow and change as well is a very special part of being an extra-curricular teacher. They come to class because they want to – and I’m not involved in their daily grind of school, homework, etc. Dance class is where they relax (while working hard of course) and I get to share in that. These classes are ones that I have more or less developed and created and it’s nice to find the pieces that work and keep building on those.

  • My body isn’t perfect.
  • People have this crazy idea that all ballerinas are stick skinny. It’s a myth – or an unhealthy semi-reality. Read more »

So you wanna be valentines…

It’s like there are really 2 different versions of Valentine’s Day: the one where grown-ups or grown-up wanna-be’s exchange gifts, followed by dinner, a movie, and a bounce. It’s not that unlike the other holidays here in Can-America. Of course, all the Valentiney ‘stuff’ is for heteros – I didn’t see any cards this year for same sex couples. There were plenty of husband/wife and girlfriend/boyfriend cards, but none for girlfriends or boyfriends to exchange. Harumph.

Entry for the Feminist Valentine Blog Awards

This version of the holiday is also the one where women and men have preset roles and obligations (think dominant/submissive, flowers, chocolate, lace, sex), and even some self-declared feminists get goose-pimply and deck out in pink and red for this day of celebrating Loooove. This holiday is the one where a year full of shoddy treatment and neglect is forgiven by a bouquet of flowers and some chocolate – and sex. If we pretend the love game on V-day, the relationship can carry on for another year. When I was married, we ignored V-Day as much as every other day of the year. We weren’t fooling anyone.

The other version of the holiday is the twisted game the kids play. Read more »

Please let this be true: The FemINist INitiative of Canada

It’s cold. And snowing. Sitting in Harper’s Canada, I’ve just been given something to hope for. INtegrity – INclusiveness – INnovation – INvolvement – who could ask for more?

It started in May 2005 and the time has come to go national. A new political party is taking shape: The FemINist INitiative of Canada and there’s nothing yet on Snopes saying it’s a hoax.

Please let this be true. Read more »

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