Thursday, July 31, 2008

The psychology major strikes again

Back with an off-hand thought, because there isn't much to do at work and I didn't start a new book when I finished one last night. I stumbled across the idea of gender schematics/aschematics a couple of years ago and it pleased me very much. Essentially, gender schematics are people who have internalized traditional ideas of male/female behavior and gender roles: they act like "typical" men/women and assume other people are the same way. They also don't like it when people act contrary to their expectations (though nobody really likes that).

Gender aschematics, on the other hand, do not have highly internalized ideas of male/female roles, and basically don't put gender high on their list when considering or judging other people. I'm fairly sure that gender schematics are much more common than aschematics. I wonder if the reason that I, and several people whom I like and who think like me, are unconcerned about gay marriage and about homosexuals in general is that we're aschematic? Which would mean that the people who are very concerned about it are schematic and being so means that seeing men and women in non-stereotypical gender roles and behaviors pinches their worldview and gives them a headache.

I still think this is their problem, not mine, or homosexuals', or shouldn’t be. But I could understand it better if I saw it as a psychological problem rather than conscious or unconscious spite.

I've been in a bad mood, so this was helpful.

I just read the first sentence of this column by Orson Scott Card on legalizing gay marriage and burst out laughing. Couldn't help it. I also enjoy the definition of marriage as a "permanent or semipermanent bond."

I think his main argument, despite the amusing first sentence, is that gay marriage shouldn't be allowed because it will confuse children, leading to more gay marriages and the eventual extinction of mankind. Evidently he doesn't believe that our mainly-heterosexual-preferences are mostly biologically inborn. Which makes me wonder how we got here to start with, and why it didn't all come tumbling down back before we had laws to force us into our evidently artificial heterosexual relationships. He promises to address the science of homosexuality in a later column, so maybe he'll discuss it there, but I don't think I'll look for that. (What was it Voltaire said? "Once, a philosopher. Twice, a pervert.")

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Food and fiber

Blech. I have a stomachache, maybe from dinner, maybe from heat, maybe from both. Our friends came down today to see the zoo with their son, and so we walked around for three hours in the heat and humidity without enough to eat (at least on Eric's and my part). Upon arriving home, we flopped down in the air conditioning for a while and drank lemonade. Then we had...let's see. Carrots and hummus, homemade pickles, Indiana melon, onion-dill bread (except for possibly switching to AP flour instead of bread flour, I think I've hit on the recipe we want!), grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, and burgers (veggie for me). We'd thought about serving ice cream after but we were so stuffed we didn't even consider it. It was an excellent repast and a good, if tiring day, but I seem to be paying for it now.

Before the zoo, Carol and I went to the local yarn shop, which is closing and selling everything for 50% off (except books, which are 40% off). She got a plethora of sock yarn; I got a little baby yarn, some fun buttons, and enough yarn to make a baby sweater for my friend who's newly pregnant. I'm saving the big purchasing for the Michigan Fiber Festival, which she and I are going to in August. (There was a contest at work to write the department's new mission statement, with a $100 prize, and I've received intimations I may have won it. If so, that's going to be my fun money, since Eric doesn't get his first paycheck until September and my extras are going to be going mainly to my brother for his medical bills.)

I'm also going to be demonstrating as a fiber artist and selling handmade works at Canal Days at the mill in September, but that's not until after the fiber festival. I'm considering asking Michelle if she wants to make things to sell, or even come along and help demonstrate (because that would maximize her chances of selling things--who wouldn't buy handmade yarn or bracelets or felted pins from a cute blond ten-year-old?). I feel kind of mercenary for this, but it'll be fun. And I'm also planning to put up a board with different kinds of fiber on it for kids (and adults) to see and touch, so I'm not being totally selfish here.

Tomorrow I've got Shoelace to work on and a nonfiction query to send out, plus working on the Summer Sunrise quilt back. And sleeping late. Definitely sleeping late.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A little late, aren't we?

Dammit. I was thinking about PV for no reason today, and suddenly came up with an idea that would make the parts that always seemed a little awkward to me go away and make the whole thing more seamless (if shorter). Of course it requires substantial rewriting. I said I was done with it! I don't want to do this! I'm going to have to go over it, of course, and I'll probably end up making the changes. Dammit. Why didn't this come up two years ago?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

These boots were made for sitting down

I am finally finished with that walking challenge of Bev's. It was good for me, but wearing the pedometer was, well, wearing on me. But I'm done, thanks to a last-minute pilates session and a half-hour of working in the garden.

It's been a good long weekend; I lazed around on Friday, demonstrated ice cream and spinning at the mill ("Maybe later," an old lady said, clearly trying to avoid a sales talk, when I asked if she wanted to taste the ice cream; then, later, "How much is it?" and then when I told her it was free, "Can I give you a tip?"), and cooked today. No-cheese pesto, rosemary-artichoke hummus, pita bread dough, pickles, no-egg ice cream, and of course brunch and dinner. My feet were aching and I felt I ought to be able to count it as a step equivalent, but there was no "cooking" entry at the AOM website, so I had to skip it. Thus the pilates.

I've been working on the freelancing bit, putting some marketing material together and discussing a website and logo with Eric--which was the fun part--and thinking up article ideas and places to query, which was not. Sadly, this as everything requires some actual work.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The fish are being fed.

I'm back from Seattle. Seattle was beautiful. Not too hot, not muggy, clear days, Mom's roses in bloom and strawberries ripe. The trip was partly a visiting-family trip and partly a show-Eric-that-Washington-isn't-always-gray-and-raining trip, and went well on both fronts. We went to Leavenworth (a little Bavarian tourist town in the Cascades) and Pike Place Market, and rode the ferry across the Sound to Bremerton, which is a sleepy little military town Eric says might not be bad for moving to, and spent a day with my aunts and cousins (and one uncle-in-law). We brought a bunch of apartment and real estate guides back with us. Later I'll get Bev to send us some for northern Oregon. Now that Eric's got a job, and I have a strong possibility of having regular telecommuting work, there's every chance that we'll be able to move out there next summer as planned.

In the meantime, I’m working on strengthening that possibility of mine. I've been reading about freelancing, about copywriting and articles and marketing and so on and so forth. I'm very hesitant to talk about it--either because I feel I don't know enough or because I feel sure to fail, I'm not certain which. But I'm working on it. Ideally, I'll work on the freelancing I've got, and getting more, in the evenings, and do my work as efficiently as possible during the day so that I can get to my fiction at lunch and during down times. We'll see how that goes. Now that Dad's quilt is done (and he loved it--especially since, in his words, it represents about twenty years of his life) I need to finish our summer quilt, and then I'm putting the sewing machine away until I need to make curtains in the fall. --Well, that and a baby blanket for a friend of mine, but again, not until fall.

I talked to Eric about the freelancing last night; business and names and so on. And I mentioned the idea that my current client might offer me a full-time job in a year or so, and said, "But I don't think I would want to do that. It's nice work, but it's not ultimately what I want to do. I'm twenty-eight years old, and it's time I started working on a career I love, not just a job to keep me employed." I really do feel that way. I don't regret the things I've done so far, but it's time to start working on something that makes me happy rather than something that makes me secure. (Maslow's hierarchy, dontchaknow.) We have a book on starting a small business. It's a very comprehensive book that we bought when we were talking about someday opening The Book Club, and I enjoyed reading it because using any of the information in it was in no way a part of our actual plan. It's different reading this book now. Not bad, but different.

In the meantime, we're going to a Jonathan Coulton concert tonight. This should be pretty awesome. Also awesome: it's almost the weekend already.