Monthly Archives: January 2012

Latin, Lefebvre, Labour, Le Chat

It’s been a bit chaotic around here lately! I’ve been settling in and decorating my home, preparing for my new classes (which start on Monday, yikes!), and getting to know an old friend who’s come out to visit. Things have not all been to my liking lately, i.e., I’ve had to adjust to a few set-backs and disappointments, but such is life — and mine is a good one. I will find a way through the practical exigencies and get there smiling. Arridens, de profundis ego stare et ambula. (Ah, high school Latin… how I hated it at the time… *lol*)

This evening I am wrestling with an application of Lefebvre’s spatial analytic to my project in the West Bank. Specifically, I am wondering if I can position his thoughts on the production of difference in social space such that one may postulate a revolutionary political project inherent in the precise ordering of Haredi cities. Does that construction reflect merely the production of their own abstract space, i.e., does their mark on the natural environment in the W.B. reflect merely their own needs? Or is it intended to reshape Jewish life in that space in a way that has wider implications for Israeli Jewry?

I have hitherto worked mainly on the notion of integrating the Haredi project into the wider Occupation dynamic, by showing the ways in which Haredi chauvinism can converge with religious-Zionist nationalism. My view of Haredi space has thus been focussed on its relation to the physical and cultural space of the W.B., i.e., their impact on the environment and how similar it is (in both its physical manifestation and its ideological purpose) to the political projects of the other settlers. But it strikes me that I may be missing an interesting angle to this. Israeli sociologists have been appreciating the ways in which the Haredim are engaged in a ‘culture war’ in Israel, challenging the secular population in subtle (and sometimes decidedly unsubtle) ways. What if their construction of social space in the W.B. reflects this wider political project (a re-Judaising of the ‘wayward’ majority), by laying out an ideal environment for Jewish life and working assiduously to maintain the purity of this vision? Anyway, random food for thought. I am probably saying something foolish and/or obvious, but we’ll see. *lol*

I have two physical projects coming up which will be interwoven with my friend’s visit and my work schedule. I am going to build a small wind-break on the north side of the a-frame next to my patio. This will not remove the chill wind by any means, but it will cut a little of it out and allow me to remove the file cabinets that I have on my patio right now for that purpose. This should be pretty quick and easy if my current idea (a couple sheets of fibreglass strapped to the existing chain link) works. The other is a cat-door on the other side of the patio for Ms Grey. She’s tamed to the point of normal house-cat behaviour and really enjoys being inside. I have no intention of taking her from her outside territory, but I would like her to have the option of coming in out of the cold whenever she likes. But it will have to be some sort of locking door that the other cats can’t use, so I’ll have to investigate the various magnetic/RFID collar models. The construction itself is a project for an afternoon, so we’ll have to hope I feel comfy spending a day on it before the end of winter! It’s got to be cold out there for her — when she comes in she is generally loath to go back out!

Speaking of cats… Miss Kitty hurt herself walking on the back lot last Friday and we finally took her to the vet today. She cut on the pads of front-right paw on something, but there didn’t seem to be anything in there. And it has seemed to be improving at first, but the last couple days she’s been keeping it off the ground entirely and just hopping, so we were concerned that it was hurt more seriously than it looked. Anyway, the vet couldn’t find anything and it wasn’t broken, so they prescribed antibiotics and pain killers; the poor dear will be on bed-rest for a little while.

Okay, back to work for me. It’s a nice breezy night on the patio and there is reading to be done…

Moving Furniture, Putting Up Shelves, Laughing At Myself

Thus far this morning I’ve finished moving the furniture around in the back bedroom, set up the shelves in the kitchen and added the first items, finished the furniture move in the living room save for the new teevee stand, and put the last of the ionic air filters into place. I also have a little music player in the kitchen now, and will be working on the patio stereo later. I have a bunch of frames to hang newly-printed photos, and a frame for my Red Vic poster from way-back-when. Also on the schedule: trying to finish the kitchen properly, including scrubbing the refer and stove, hanging the whiteboard, and putting away the last of the junk sitting in the centre of the floor. But for now it’s off to the shower, then to town for a couple errands. Andrew’s coming up soon to get Lucky so I’m gonna lose my doggie today. Ah…. 🙁

Absolutely none of this is of interest to 99.999% of you out there, so why am I typing it? Just because. That’s all; just because. *grin* Back in the day little personal updates like this were pretty common on my site, and if I don’t have time to say anything substantive, maybe doing it again would at least help solidify a habit of writing here. I seem only able to be consistent when the rest of my life is upside down, as when I’m overseas. Now that things are settling down, I need new ways to refocus myself on writing. One brilliant idea handed to me by a girlfriend recently is to keep a dissertation journal, scribbling down my ideas as I have them. I may do that here or in an unpublished part of the site; who knows. But I like the idea of getting myself to writing down the crazy notions as I have them. And if I’m to be writing down one type of crazy stuff… why not the above? 😉