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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pine Pollen Day #5 and Adventures in Repair, Herbal Remedies, and Other Radical Praxis

It's day #5 of taking a pine pollen supplement daily.  I did notice an increase in sex drive, although who knows if it's the pollen or just some residual sex drive left over from my period.  Normally the menstruation-enhanced sex drive ends when my period does, though, so if that's the case it's a little weird.  Whatever the case, my sex drive did increase, and not in the scary way it did when I was on testosterone.

I've been working a lot to fine-tune my personal praxis, meaning the practical ways we manifest our philosophies, in other words, how do you "do" whatever your political or social beliefs are.  How do you "do" anti-capitalism, or anti-consumerism, or communism, or anarchism, or feminism, or queer liberation, or whatever else your philosophy may be?  That is praxis.  In this essay I'm going to talk mostly about my anti-capitalist and anti-consumerist praxis, namely trying to avoid the medical industrial complex (unless medically necessary, of course; I'm not David Avocado Fucking Wolfe) and consumerist throwaway culture.

My increase in motivation for making natural medicines has continued, at least for now.  I've been tincturing basically everything available to me that can be tinctured and am just starting to run out of space.  Most recently I started tincturing some motherwort, chamomile, and peppermint.  I may tincture some broadleaf plantain if I can find a good reason to (I did start some plantain oil as I associate plantain for medicinal uses with topical use).  I did find a company in Australia selling broadleaf plantain tincture for a seriously exorbitant amount.  Yikes.  I also started a large amount of fire cider, something I am making almost entirely because some asshole company decided to trademark the super generic term "fire cider" and heckle people who use that term for their own products.  And while I roll my eyes at the assertion that small businesses are better than large ones, trademarking general knowledge is bullshit.

Patched a huge hole right in the seat of my pants.
I'm in a nice repair spurt.  For the past couple months I've gone to great lengths to repair things that I normally would throw away and replace, often (when appropriate) in a way that owns that I have repaired them.  For instance, in the picture of the pants I patched up to the right, I used bright red thread so it is very obvious these pants were torn and repaired.  It's similar to the concept of kintsugi in which pottery is repaired in gold to emphasize where it was broken, but the red actually was inspired by my family's age-old tradition of using red yarn to knot their quilts no matter what the color of the quilt was.  Most of the other repairs I've done aren't this obvious, just because doing so was out of my skillset or not practical.  For instance, I did glue together one of my wolf dishes recently, and while kintsugi is super cool, I don't have the materials or skills to do something like that.

These pants, by the way, were super cheap and a great example of the type of thing I'm fighting against.  Clothing and pretty much everything else is literally made to break and wear down easily in order to encourage people to keep replacing them; this strategy makes sense in a world where "a good economy" is one in which people are spending more and more money all the time.  So I'm going to especially try repairing clothes a lot, and I'm also going to try getting most of my clothes second hand (this is actually very psychologically hard for me as I went through some bouts of poverty where I rarely got new things, which makes shopping particularly addictive for me).

My next little repair project will probably be the bucket I take camping, which has some holes in it.  My partner tried patching it when we were camping but it didn't quite work (it was a lost cause; we didn't have good enough materials).  I also have a pair of flip flops in which the thong came loose.  These are a pain to repair, but I'm going to try anyway.

My "new" bike, with night lights on.
Finally, I've been working on getting my bike fixed and ready for my purposes.I replaced the back tire after finding there were no holes in the innertubes, and I did some repairs on the chain as well.  Does cutting the locks off count as a "repair?"  My uncle left two locks on the damn thing that don't have keys.

Since this bike is going to be used for errand running, I want to get a basket for it of some sort.  They have some that have lift-off shopping baskets which might be perfect or they might be a shitty idea.  One of my best friends, though, fixed up his own bike by putting kitty litter buckets flanking the back wheel, so we'll see.

I noted last night when I was taking a casual ride that the front wheel kind of moves funny and makes noise.  I'm hoping it just needs a tire replacement, but I may need to replace the rim as well.  Either way it should be pretty easy, considering I did replace the tire on the back wheel successfully, and that's the hard wheel.

Admittedly I did go against the whole repair-and-buy-second-hand thing by getting a helmet, but come on, I'm not going to try DIYing a fucking helmet.  Plus it is built to accommodate ponytails and has a lot of space for radical and quirky stickers.

Speaking of radical quirky stuff, I'm considering doing booklet drops in Little Free Libraries and other such things.  I tend to get a lot of radical queer literature to donate to my alma mater's LGBT center library  (this has documentedly influenced people and come to think of it I have a copy of "Queering Anarchism" for them I keep forgetting to bring) but I want my scope to be wider... but in the case of Little Free Libraries, there's a not insignificant chance that people will find radical or queer-friendly literature and just throw it out, so I need options that are inexpensive.  I have a couple ideas, but as I don't really commit to one political ideology I want to make sure there isn't anything utterly awful in them before I distribute (they're things I've read but when I read something without intent to distribute I'm not taking too many notes).  I also want to donate any queer Pagan books I can find to the LGBT center, since like most places it's overpopulated with queer Christian books without much representation for other faiths.  Yuck.

Anyway, it's getting late so I should probably go to bed so I can do more excellent praxis tomorrow.  Tongue-out emoji.

Happy trails,
-- Jackson