What I’ve been doing

The move to Hamilton has been somewhat uninspiring. Stretching, but uninspiring. The biggest thing going on here right now is the squirrel living in my attic, Geoffrey. I’m pretty sure, as of today, Geoffrey the squirrel is dead. Maybe the neighbourhood kids will start throwing rocks at the house again. *Crosses fingers*

To make up for lost time, here’s what I’ve been up to for the last little while.

  1. I’ve been getting really good at numbered lists.
  2. I went to Texas on a business trip where I discovered why I would never want to live there, much less return to visit. At the risk of sounding stereotypical, EVERYTHING THEY SAY ABOUT TEXAS IS TRUE. Don’t believe me? (A) The guy sitting next to me on the plane was reading a Guns and Ammo magazine and was surprised to find out Canada has its own currency. (B) Every man I met at the conference had shot a deer in his late childhood (only one man admitted to crying) and still supports their old high school football team. (C) While “southern gentlemen” do exist, it doesn’t take long to figure it is totally condescending—whether intentional or not. (D) An oil and gas professional thanked God in his award acceptance speech and was loudly applauded (not a big deal, per se, but highly unusual for a business conference). (E) Dinner conversation included discussions about how ridiculous Liberals are and how Texas can and will become its own Republic if Obama keeps up his shenanigans (can you believe he actually approves of universal healthcare?). (E) Someone actually said “don’t mess with Texas” in a discussion.
  3. Interestingly, while I was down there, I was reading The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti, a book about America’s obsession with young women’s virginity (i.e. abstinence-only education, purity balls). I was very cognisant of what this book implied about my leanings and so I removed the dust jacket, to make people think I was reading Shakespeare. Anyway, the contents of that book have been somewhat consuming, and though I didn’t agree with all of it, I have spent a lot of the past few months thinking about the relevance of feminism in developed countries. I have also been thinking a lot about how backwards it is for North American Christians to expect everyone else to behave as though they are Christian, whether or not it represents someone’s actual ethics. It was an appropriate book to read in Texas, where the goal is to legislate everything in favour of the fundamentalists’ ability to continue existing in a society that is most comfortable for them—which seems to negate many of Jesus’ basic teachings.
  4. This leads me to a renewed interest in my own spiritual journey. I’ve been going to church pretty regularly in effort to bring me back to my roots. So far, it has been personally rewarding and quite challenging. I feel like a bit of a hippy, actually, because this particular church finds its roots in Mennonite culture, so there’s a lot of emphasis on community, passivism, love, simplicity etc. All good things.

There you have it. You’re all caught up!

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3 thoughts on “What I’ve been doing

  1. oh texas! will you never cease to marvel.
    i read the purity myth a while ago as part of the less-than-academic research for my thesis (which happens to be about the abstinence movement in the US), and had a similar reaction to you!

    glad to hear that you’ve found a space in which to grow spiritually.

  2. I find that if you want to get Americans to shut up about how little they know about the rest of the world, ask them about how that Vietnam War worked out for them. They usually go pretty silent. Hopefully other than those moments of stereotype actuality, you enjoyed your stay well enough to come to California one day! 🙂 But Jen, that section on Texas really made me laugh out loud and weep inside. You’re a great writer! 🙂

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