Saturday July 23 , 2016

Dead Or Divorced

It bothers me, a niece of Jagtar Gill speaking for her family regarding the first degree guilty verdict for Jagtar’s husband and his girlfriend, claiming that Jagtar’s happy in heaven now.

Well, no, she isn’t. She’s just dead, her life ended by her husband and his girlfriend. Because for some people, even here in Canada where we have no fault divorce, murder is preferable to it.

It’s all on record now. Jagtar Gill was murdered because her husband and his girlfriend wanted to be together and, for whatever reason, but I’m going to guess religious and/or cultural (and what’s the difference when religion defines the culture, anyway), divorce was not an option.

So murder.

The risk of 25 years in prison for first degree murder was preferable to this couple (who truly seem to have deserved each other, so there’s that) to the patriarchal approbrium that would follow divorce.

It’s bad enough that Jagtar Gill was made to live her short life in an arranged marriage to a man who would rather murder another human being than be divorced from one, but to slap a “she’s happy in heaven now” bow on it, no.

No.

That’s just not fair, not to Jagtar Gill, not to any woman trapped in her terrible and terrifying situation.

Down with patriarchy everywhere for the good of everyone.

 

 

 

Death to the Patriarchy Before It Kills Again

There was a murder here in Ottawa, a couple of years ago now, of a woman named Jagtar Gill. Her killers, a man and a woman, were convicted the other day of first degree murder, as anybody with even a passing familiarity with the case  wanted them to be.

Oh, the man was her husband, the woman her husband’s girlfriend. As was mentioned several times in the media, both were OC Transpo drivers.

Everybody and her uncle Singh knew the two were having an affair, apparently.

Ottawa is a small town disguised as a medium sized city.

The female half of the murderous duo is quite the looker, the male half schlubby at best.

Jagtar Gill never stood a chance. She was sent here from elsewhere to live out her life in an arranged marriage to a man who would eventually kill her (or rather, have her killed, because apparently his girlfriend did the work of actually killing her, that’s how schlubby he is) so we can only imagine how difficult and stressful her life was.

And how sad and alone she must have felt.

We lived across the street from an Italian arranged marriage in Belleville. He was an idiot, his family having tricked her into marrying him so that he’d be her problem and not theirs. They had three children, the third a boy. He celebrated the birth of his son in the street.

Okay, I can’t blog about that right now. It’s too upsetting. Nothing terrible happened, don’t worry, it was just hard to live across the street from the unfairness of it all.

I was probably experiencing a depression of sorts, already. Certainly I was lonely.

Oh, did I tell you? She didn’t speak any English. Just enough to tell me when I finally got it together to go across the street and say hello that maybe we could get together in the summer.

It was December. She had the heat way up in her house. The smell of paint was nauseating.

Okay, stop me right now.

After the verdict, her family, led by a couple of patriarchs, celebrated outside the courtroom with a ceremonial chant, but it was a niece who spoke on their behalf to the media, expressing her belief that Jagtar Gill is happy now, in heaven.

If only.

Alas, there is no heaven, dear girl.

But there is, in Canada, no fault divorce available to anyone who no longer wishes to be married, which, in Canada, is roughly half of us.

Sure, it’s still wrenching and horrible, because, as luck usually has it, only one of the two in the relationship wants out, and kids and money are hard to divide fairly.

Also, they’re bargaining chips for the one of the two who doesn’t want out.

I highly recommend rolling over on kids and money if you’re the one who wants out.

But be warned, if you’re the female half of the couple, it means a lot of sucking up of social stigma, because patriarchy is a hard nut to crack.

It can be done, though. I did it. And I’m totally obsessed with what other people think of me. Also insanely competitive.

Hey, there you go, haters, new material.

It’s so enraging to read about the lives and deaths of women in other countries because of patriarchal belief systems that don’t recognize women as people, isn’t it. Even more enraging when it happens here, though, where we even have a statue dedicated to the Person’s Case.

It’s on Parliament Hill, too, where Pierre Elliot Trudeau decreed that we shalt have no fault divorce.

Imagine, Jagtar Gill was placed in an arranged marriage by her family and then murdered right here in the capital city of Canada because of it.

I don’t understand the complaint from some Canadians, particularly men, about people coming here from countries where girls and women can be murdered by the men in in their lives with impunity. After all, they can’t claim to care about girls and women from elsewhere, and then turn around and deny them entry to Canada, can they. And yet that’s what they do. They even claim to be of a superior politics to those of us who want to let more of these girls and women into what should be a safe haven for them, Canada.

We’ve come a long way, baby, but not far enough from that waspy reserve that condemns so many girls and women to sad and lonely lives behind closed doors.

What happened to Jagtar Gill is on a lot of people, I think, and we need to figure out how to help women like her before they end up just as dead here as they would be in the old country where the patriarchy thrives.

 

 

 

 

Good Eggs R Us, Too

So I did a bit of gardening yesterday and, honestly, I still have no idea what people like about it. I mean, I want our little patch of dirt to look nice, but already I wish it was fall so I could press delete and start all over next spring.

It never ends, the work. And our little patch of dirt is teeny tiny, too.

Alliteration is always a chuckle, isn’t it.

“Toto, too?”

“Toto, too.”

I was sad when Dorothy left colourful Oz for black and white Kansas because I didn’t get it. I was too young. I was bleak with disappointment when I realized in subsequent viewings that Dorothy had just been knocked unconscious by the window, and had dreamed Oz.

Oh, sorry eh.

Spoiler alert!

I was a very materialistic child and didn’t appreciate that you and your dog being in the way of idiot farmhands and cranky grandparents on a shabby farm was a much better life than leading an expedition into the unknown with three awesome amazing friends and your dog.

Anyway, I lifted and hauled and planted and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc, and then I had to smoke a bit of my friend’s medicinal marijuana to relieve a new and different lower back pain than the one I usually just live and let live with.

It’s not bad, my usual lower back pain. It’s not even back pain, it’s a mild ache after I walk too far (which I often do) or stand too long (ditto) or do too much physical labour (ditto dee do).

I routinely do too much physical labour. If I wasn’t such an idiotic workhorse, I wouldn’t have any lower back pain at all, I’m pretty sure.

But apparently, marijuana is good for inflammation, which I did not know. I thought everybody was just making shit up about marijuana, claiming that it was medicinal because they wanted to get high, not that there’s anything wrong with getting high, although it won’t do much for our GDP.

Criminal that it isn’t yet for legal sale, for all of us, I mean. Because it did the trick for my back with the bonus that it didn’t make me as high as a kite, which I don’t like.

It’s back today, though.

That’s something I’ve discovered about myself post AA. I don’t actually like being high, I just want my body to relax and my mind to focus so that I can sit with my Beau and watch an entire season of television in one go on Netflix.

I am not good with tension and/or suspense but for some reason I can watch Bloodline, a bit of a Ewings/Kennedys mash-up set in the Florida keys.

I still don’t drink, and have no desire to, but after three years of absolute abstinence, I’ve decided to just say yes to marijuana.

Like, a month or so ago now.

But we were talking about AA, my medicinal marijuana friend and I, and she mentioned a male relative of hers who found a group that’s both agnostic and accepting of marijuana use. But I told her that wasn’t enough for me now because I don’t like the language or the steps, either.

I can’t read the literature because it just isn’t up to my standards and I can’t do the steps because I just don’t feel like it.

Look. Everybody. I’m sorry. Now get lives.

I do miss the people, though, and it’s been hard not being a part of the group, because they’re fun and interesting and down to earth and into being better people, unlike me, I guess.

Then she said something very interesting.

“AA’s for men. It gives them something to do while they don’t drink.”

Adding, “Muslim men who don’t drink bang their heads on the ground five times a day for something to do.”

She was talking about facing in the direction of Mecca and bowing down to the ground to pray, which I’ve seen Muslim men do on occasion even here in old stock Ottawa.

My friend used to give a nod to political correctness, although she’d always laugh if it was funny, regardless.

We go back to the NDP caucus at Queen’s Park, when saying girl instead of woman could get you the death penalty, but now she tells it like she sees it.

We have to watch a video she gave us so if I start denying climate change, you’ll know why.

Heck, she even voted Liberal in the last federal election. I didn’t, but I can’t say I wasn’t relieved when they won. Today I even tweeted an answer to our Prime Minister’s request for input into his youth strategy as Minister thereof.

Tell them: “Unless your parents have $$$, downsize expectations, because there’s no way to make $ now.” #pmyouthcouncil

But that’s not what this entry’s about because this entry is about a new hashtag I started (unless there was already one, I don’t really know how Twitter works, except that it’s a cesspool of sexism and racism) after I got back from Farm Boy.

It’s #ProblemSolversAtLarge and I started it because there was a young mother at the cash and she didn’t have enough money to pay for all her groceries. It was quite busy but before people could even react to the delay, the woman behind her gave the cashier $20 to cover the bill.

And she only got back a bit of change, too.

Anyway, the young mother was very appreciative and the woman who’d helped her out just waved it off like nothing and then paid for her own groceries with a debit card. I’m guessing because she’d just used the last of her cash.

It reminded me that not all of the problems of the world are too big to solve and that having someone do that for me, or being able to do that for someone else, is the world I live in, too.

 

 

 

Martyred By Muslim Male Misogyny

The Independent had a headline yesterday(?) referring to murdered Feminist freedom fighter, Qandeel Baloch, as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian.

I corrected it for them on Twitter, but as of this writing, no one has got back to me with a thank you.

Today in the Daily Beast there’s an impassioned plea, by a Muslim man, to recognize, no, Qandeel Baloch was not Kim Kardashian, she was brave beyond measure, and had zero fucks to give.

It’s possible he has mixed up Kim Kardashian with Rihanna, but whatever, that’s not the point, either, no offence to Kim Kardashian.

Or Rihanna, who is beyond offending anyway, and good for her. Minus Chris Brown, of course.

Here’s his column: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/18/murdered-pakistani-icon-qandeel-baloch-had-zero-f-s-left-to-give.html

 

Keep It Down, I Can’t Hear the News

I haven’t been as connected in with the news as I usually am, or used to be, maybe, and wasn’t even aware of the tragedy in Nice until it had almost cycled through, incredibly.

But that’s how it is these days. Something bad happens somewhere (in the west) and there’s massive coverage of it <blam!> and then the commentariat takes over and it’s not about what happened anymore.

We’re into “The Argument”.

Anyway, by the time I clued in to the mass murder in Nice, Obama was already making his speech about terrorism, as per the protocol, our assumed leader of the free world adding his two cents to the narrative “West Strong”.

That would be a good name for a band, wouldn’t it. “West Strong”.

Okay, no it wouldn’t.

But words should matter and if “terrorism” is going to be the word that our politicians use whenever a murderous rampage is perpetrated by a citizen with an Arabic name, regardless of motive, then I guess ISIS, whoever they are, will continue to take the credit given to them and score another win for their side.

Whatever side that is, given that ISIS seems to kill a lot more people where it is in the middle east than where it isn’t, actually, in the west.

Oh but it is in the west, Conservatives will say now, because “tada!” ISIS inspired another psychotic man with an Arabic name to go on a murder rampage.

Ah, ISIS, whatever would the other side of the War on Terror do without you.

No wait, whatever would our side of the War on Terror do without you.

And so the War on Terror continues unabated since George W. Bush launched it in response to the Saudi nationals who hijacked American planes out of American airports and flew them into American buildings, killing over 3000 people from all parts of the world, but mostly America.

(Aside: If Toronto is the center of the universe, why do we call ourselves the West?)

Because it does, it does continue unabated. And yet people go on, including politicians running to be president of America, about how we need to declare a War on Terror or a War on Islam or a War on Muslims.

So the people across the street from where I live whose kids are currently playing outside? Why? The dad kept me company on the bus on the ride home from many a closing shift at the store. I like him. He’s friendly and nice. And his kids are cute as buttons.

And, of course, other people, people on my side, I guess, point out the absurdity of that, and say no, we’re not at war with Muslims, we’re at war with peace.

Look! Look over there! It’s Saudi Arabia! Can’t you see it? It’s right there!

Now where’s the stability in the Middle East it’s maintaining? Can you see it? No! Because it’s not there!

So that’s my side of the argument, and I sort of think of it as backed up by Obama, because of what he says, except that, no, he’s actually Commander-in-Chief of the War on Terror, which continues, unabated, and which is a war that kills more Arab Muslims than any other ethnic or religious group in the middle east.

So there’s really no political leader of note on my side. They’re all on the side of my Conservative friend. Because we are, in fact, engaged in a War on Muslims.

We are. And yet the president of America pretends we aren’t and won’t be, and a man running to replace him pretends we aren’t and will be!

But that’s not what this entry is about because this entry is about how news items are so quickly swallowed up now by commentary that isn’t about what happened, it’s about the arguers of “The Argument”.

Anyway, I really don’t agree with my Conservative friend about anything in life, in spite of how he’ll sometimes say I do (while driving me to get wood for roman blinds AND driving me  me to an early grave – so two birds) but we do agree that technology, the internet, all this vox populi, is more of a problem than it isn’t.

It’s not just sucking all the time, energy and money out of our economies, it’s drowning out the news.

So, I’m back to where I was a while ago and pondering my own part in it all. It’s an addiction to instant gratification, I know that, ego, the belief that I comment therefore I matter.

It’s ridiculous.

Anyway, feel free to comment, but keep it personal or take it elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

Do Conservative Lives Matter, Though?

So I didn’t really go into it but seriously, the best part about being at my friend’s cottage last cold, rainy weekend was that there weren’t any mosquitoes. I react like a crazy person to mosquito bites now. It’s why I don’t like camping.

Also, there’s no comfortable place to sit when you’re camping and my friend’s cottage has a big long sunroom that’s open on three sides to the elements, except when I say open I mean windowed and screened. So you can sit in comfy cushioned chairs as people were meant to do and look out at nature without being in it, eaten alive by mosquitoes. Also, it was nice and toasty and when we came back from our competitive swim meet in the lake (I totally won the gold) we sat eating chocolate covered almonds and reading and just being cozy looking out at poor cold, rainy nature.

Oh, a turkey waddled by at one point, too, but I find turkey kind of dry so I let it be.

That, dear reader, is my favourite thing to do now, sit in my friend’s cottage’s sunroom, although I often sit on my couch here at home and watch the drug dealing activity across the street. It’s okay, I got to know one of the young men who took the bus at the same time I did when I was working the closing shift at the store.

He’s got hustle, that one. I like that he can’t be put to death for his entrepreneurial hustle here, as he would be in the old country.

But yeah, mosquitoes. So I did a little work outside Monday and Tuesday and I got a couple of bites, one on my forearm which is now swollen so that it’s noticeably bigger than the other forearm, and one on my leg that has caused my ankle to swell, so if you’re having a ball don’t invite me. I’m unsightly at the moment.

Unsightly, but at least I don’t have to worry about having a baby infected with the Zika virus.

I just have to worry about my daughters having a baby infected with the Zika virus.

But I guess some mothers in the world have to worry about their sons going outside and getting shot by police because they have brown skin so I shouldn’t complain. And, you know, that was a thing back in the 80s in Toronto because I remember asking a couple of my co-workers about it. And they said, yes, they were terrified every time their sons went out the door that they would end up getting shot by police.

That was Toronto in the 80s for them. Sure, it was over-the-top, but mothers are like that. I’m already worried about one of my daughters having a baby infected with the Zika virus and they don’t even have boyfriends, as far as I know.

They don’t tell me everything.

I. Would. Be. Crazy. With. Worry. If. My. Son. Was. Black.

That, I know for sure because I recall holding my breath on behalf of my co-worker moms. I have a son. And I lived through a couple of young men a generation before he came along. I know how they are. It’s years before they’re rational responsive human beings, and that’s with a girlfriend directing them to do this, do that, okay do this now, no do that instead, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Damn it, girlfriends – where are you now?!

Anyway, I think like a mother because I am one, but when I was at my friend’s cottage I was offline and my cellphone out of range and even though I don’t think I hover, I do, because I was freaked out that I couldn’t be reached. And yet, it’s been years since I had a car and I always told my kids if it was a problem that required one, call their dad, and if it was an emergency, call 911.

There are people living in our society, and certainly south of the border, who don’t give that advice, and I can’t imagine what that must be like for them, to be living in the same world I am, but with a whole ‘nother level of fear.

I’m so ashamed and let down and disappointed by the obliviously and stupidly racist reaction to Black Lives Matter (too, the too is implied, you racist fuckwit morons of all lives matter and white lives matter and oh please just shut up shut up shut up!) and I know you are, too, but even that feels like white privilege now, the luxury of being able to shake my head sadly at other white people.

But it occurred to me this morning, wouldn’t it be a bold experiment to disarm the police, here, at least, and allow them to do the job of serving and protecting the public – all of it – in a way that doesn’t escalate violence, as is the case now?

I have no idea what would work in the United States, but man, is it ever proving to be a different country from our own, eh?

Praise be to Gord, but not good enough, not by a long shot.

 

 

 

Are You There, Government? It’s Me, Citizen

Why are Rogers/Bell allowed to leave all their crap behind, still attached to your/previous owner’s home, even after any and all contracts with either/both corporations has been terminated?

Why?

It’s garbage, junk, litter, trash. And you and I would be fined for leaving it lying around on other people’s property, so why do corporate monopolies get to use our our communities, our private AND public space, as dumping grounds for their waste products?

C’mon. Make them deal with their own crap, please.

 

Cottage Reads

So I went to a friend’s cottage and even though it was cold and rainy we went swimming all three days we were there. And not just a quick dip, either. We swam, dammit.

Probably my favourite thing to do in summer is to dive off a dock into a fresh water lake and swim out far enough that everybody gets worried.

I used to know that I could swim almost any distance and not get tired and drown, but I don’t know that anymore so I don’t do it. I don’t have to, I just have to swim out far enough that everybody gets worried.

Then I swim back and do the breaststroke diagonal to shore and back and forth like that until everybody else is well out of the water.

I’m ridiculously competitive that way.

But I had the awesome experience of getting out of the water, freezing my ass off in the cold air, and then diving back into the water, which felt like a warm bath after the cold air.

Very cool.

I also relearned how to play euchre, which was great and I love euchre now. People were being really fun about it, too, and taking risks. I love it when people do that in euchre because I seem to recall very strategic careful games when I was growing up.

How is it possible that my three other siblings and I played euchre when my sister is three years younger than I am and I’m three years younger than my brother who’s two years younger than my other sister?

Oh, I remember now. My brother and I were one team, my two sisters the other.

My older sister didn’t like any of us. She wanted to be an only orphan. I had a really hard time accepting that because I wanted a storybook family.

So up at the cottage, where I hadn’t wanted to go because I’ve developed a weird thing about leaving home, I was able to get a bit of perspective on my situation, and I found it wanting. That’s partly because I’ve developed a weird thing about leaving home, but it’s also because I spend too much time online.

I need a daily schedule, that’s what I need.

It was funny because I was more of an adult at the cottage than I am otherwise, too, because I pitched in, did stuff, even brought a double layered banana cake with buttercream frosting and local strawberries soaked in just TWO TABLESPOONS of sugar on the side.

I brought other food, too, and we had way too much but it was four middle-aged women so, yeah. Next time I’ll just say I’m bringing this that and the other but only bring a double layered banana cake with buttercream frosting. Forget the local strawberries because there were enough local strawberries brought to the cottage to feed the whole lake.

Good things about a cold and rainy weekend at the cottage? Lots of reading time, the swimming is the same as it is when it’s warm except you don’t have to worry about sunburn, and the sleeping is great at night.

Oh! I almost forgot – and not so many mosquitos!

The quiet was unreal and I worried about being able to adapt back to the noise where I live, which is very close to the street with constant human activity going on, but my fans did the white noise trick as per usual.

Real fans, I mean, not cyber fans.

So I learned that I’m the same away as I am at home, that I don’t disappear because I’m in a different location. It’s weird, I know, but that’s how it is. I have to make myself go places and then when I’m there I have to make myself go home again.

Where I am is who I am?

Anyway, I scored a couple of books from one friend at the cottage, and one of them is Caitlyn Moran’s “How To Be a Woman”. It’s really fun, I’ve just zipped through it, although Gloria Steinem’s my Feminist.

I think Germaine Greer is certifiable.

I also read an interview of Lucy DeCoutere by Sarah Boesveld in Chatelaine, which I’ll post here. I admire Lucy a lot, and felt particularly vindicated for my dislike of Marie Henein when I noticed her firm’s threat at the end of the article.

http://www.chatelaine.com/news/exclusive-lucy-decoutere-on-the-ghomeshi-disaster/

 

 

No Really, Happy Canada Day, Kids

So I found myself alone last evening and at about 9:00 daring myself to stop being such an old lady and take a free bus trip downtown to mingle with the throng on Parliament Hill.

My goal was to watch the fireworks with all those Canadians who make the effort every year to be in the capital city on Canada Day.

It was absolute shit weather here after days of warm sunshine, torrential downpours and cooler temperatures, but I decided I wouldn’t melt and then freeze again (as can happen in January) and didn’t even bring an umbrella.

We don’t actually have a functioning umbrella anyway so my decision was sound. I wore my hoodie, though, so people wouldn’t take me for an easy mark. It’s the coolest hoodie I’ve ever seen, too. Slim fitting, bum covering, grim reaper hood, black, zip up, pockets in just the right place for the hands at the ends of my looooooooooooooong arms.

My daughters covet it, that’s how cool a hoodie it is. And no, I’m not giving it to them. I give them lots of clothes but I’m hanging on to my hoodie.

My daughter asked yesterday, “How come whenever I need something like dress shoes you have a pair in your closet to give me?”

And I answered, “No, how come when I visit your 92 year old grandmother and she finds out I don’t have a light spring coat in teal she tells me to look in her closet and there it is, a light spring coat in teal for the taking. At least, I think it was for the taking. I took it, anyway.”

At first it was okay, waiting at the bus stop, but then a very inebriated patriot showed up to tell me over and over how much he loves Canada. He was Christian, from Lebanon, had his own business.

“Why am I telling you all this? Sorry, lady. I’ll leave you alone now.”

But then:

“Don’t let Muslims come to your country. They don’t have our values. Oh. You’re not Muslim are you? No. No, you’re not.”

About ten minutes into more of the same I was on the leave side of the debate as to whether it was worth it to remain waiting for the bus or not, but then a sober couple who looked to be newly arrived from somewhere in the Far East, dressed to the nines, as we say, showed up and he wandered off down the road.

She crinkled her nose at me.

“Too much drunk”.

“Yes, way too much. He told me he’s been drinking since yesterday.”

“Beer?”

“Probably. He asked if I had a boyfriend.”

“Ew! No! He’s too drunk! You sit with us!”

“It’s okay. He wasn’t scary, just drunk.”

Then the bus came and it was standing room only although I still scored a seat somehow beside a guy who looked like he just got out of maximum security for the day. He was great. Just stared out the window whittling a phantom stick while the idiot girl and her moronic boyfriend opposite shelled peanuts onto the floor of the bus.

“You’re littering.”

“It’s okay. They clean the bus anyway.”

But they stopped so I felt like I’d done my duty.

At each stop increasingly inebriated would people get on and twice I had to tell people they were getting off at the wrong stop and way too early if they wanted to see the fireworks. And there were all sorts of effed up plans being aborted as calls came in to cell phones about packed bars and pubs. Lots of F-bombs dropping around me by young men who thought they could wing Canada Day in Ottawa, I guess.

But there were nice young people on the bus, too (oh my Gord, old lady sounding much, Sooey?) properly dressed for the evening (jesus…) and the usual Canada Day all-in types in maple leaf raincoats and hats and glasses, the Canuck crowd, as it were.

There were lots of people with kids, too, in strollers even, all of them appearing to be recent arrivals, and I regretted our inebriated locals, but they didn’t seem to mind. And I am kind of a prissy pants teetotaler nowadays. Perhaps you’ve noticed.

It was partly why I was on the bus going downtown to see the fireworks, actually. I wanted to do the thing sober that I never had any problem doing inebriated because it’s necessary to be brave in this world, to take risks, to go outside, to not fear other people and possible rejection, to just boldly go forth and stake your claim on Earth.

This was a speech I had to deliver last spring. It worked, too, thank Gord. I just threw everything I had into it and enough of it stuck, I guess, that we had action, finally.

Hurray!

Anyway, downtown was an absolute shitshow, crazy with patriots, a lot of them on cell phones trying to hook up with other stranded patriots in the crowd, and it felt really cool to be there unencumbered by logistics involving others. I scanned the crowd for my second daughter, who had made it to Ottawa again for Canada Day, but then the fireworks started and stood there with everybody watching them while various groups of people sang O Canada and so on and so forth and more of the same etc.

It was hard, at first, but then I got honest with myself about what a duty it can feel like, slotting visits to a parent into your life when there is so much else you’d rather be doing, and I decided not to make it a thing, either for her or for me. She’ll be back for a real visit, anyway, later this month, but even then I’ll probably only see her for a dinner or two.

She has texted me, after all, that my cooking is the best.

And if I’m really really honest with myself, I’m very suited to that sort of relationship, here if you need me but otherwise, go live your life, don’t worry about me standing alone in a crowd of inebriated patriots watching the fireworks, content in knowing you are somewhere in it doing the same.

But I can’t end there. So after an unbelievable shitshow getting home, walking most of it, too, because bus after bus was packed with returning home revelers, I texted both girls (son was working) to let them know that their mother is no stay-at-home slacker on Canada Day, because I knew they would text back kudos, which they did.

“Good for you!” they both dutifully texted back, not a hint of guilt perceptible between the lines.

But I also included this happening in my text, which they lol’ed, when somewhere around the university of Ottawa, a car full of young men offered me a ride to the party.

It was close to 11:00 p.m. by then, although I didn’t have a watch (or cell phone, because I was out and about unencumbered by reminders of time), but it was dark enough for them to have no idea.

“Okay, heads up, though, I’m 57!” I shouted back at them.

They sped away before I could add “Independent mother of three adults!”

I didn’t include that part in my text, either, because – c’mon – would it kill kids these days to feel a little guilt?

 

 

 

Happy Canada Day, Eh

So I’m still feeling pretty blah. I’ve got a lower back ache and pain across the top of my chest and my ear is still plugged from the plane so I’m all effed up physically and orientation wise. I’m not a huge fan of painkillers because I’m such a purist but if we had legal pot I’d go to the pot store and pick out a variety that would  relax the ol’ bod while not dulling the ol’ noggin’ too much.

This legalizing marijuana thing is such a bust, isn’t it, all these law and order buzzkills now in charge of an increasingly convoluted process they no doubt hope will result in its derailment. And I knew (total lie) that Positivity Pollyanna couldn’t be trusted to just do it already. They’re even doling out contracts to re-study this and that when the Senate – the Senate, ffs – did a comprehensive report on the merits of legalizing marijuana several years ago now.

It’s sitting on the damn shelf in Library & Archives Canada. Please, if you’re reading this, somebody in the government, go get it and slip it under… let’s see… oh! Charlie Angus’s door!

But speaking of people who appear to enjoy a beer or several (I can say that because I’m a prissy pants teetotaler now) I honestly don’t know what the AA protocol is on pot as medicine, but I do feel compromised by my keeping the door open to smoking it once again, probably sooner rather than later. And there was that pot cookie a few weeks ago.

Also, I’m not really keeping the door open to pot as medicine so much as I’m keeping the door open to pot for recreational use. Not to upset any younger readers too much but it’s probably the best sex aid ever invented for those of us in our declining estrogen years.

Sorry, eh, but I feel it’s my duty to add a little health and well being info to my blog every once in a while.

Oh my Gord, I just realized the truth of my own words. Cripes, I need pot, dammit.

Was it really a few weeks ago I ate a pot cookie and broke my stone cold sober streak? My Gord time travels quickly nowadays. Has Britain Brexited already?

But of course it’s not going to Brexit at all, is it. Not really, anyway. Still, it’s pretty disconcerting to find out post-vote that the overgrown frat boys in charge of England never expected to win the referendum they called, and are now freaking out about it.

Talk about playing politics with people’s lives. And we thought our previous Conservative government was bad for it.

Just this morning I read all about how one Michael Gove stabbed reluctant leaver Boris Johnson, not so much in the back as in the front, surprising even reputedly master strategist, Lynton Crosby, with an announcement that he’d be running to replace David Cameron, which was essentially a move that shoved Boris Johnson out of the race.

Cue 1001 Shakespearean references.

But I don’t really care, do you? I did, a lot, and then my caring evaporated overnight, just like that trillion dollars from our global economy did, and I realized it didn’t matter (to me) one way or the other if England (and, I guess, Wales) decided to do this or that. Whatever. Although I think politicians might want to expand their definition of “working people” beyond manual labourers, or whoever the hell they’re referring to when they claim to be doing it all for “working people” and not just for the hell of it.

Seems to me a lot of people who think of themselves as working, because they are, felt royally screwed by Brexit, but that’s their problem now, isn’t it.

Boris Johnson and his lot don’t need to work. They have lots of money already.

The thing of it is, and I can only speak for myself but I suspect I speak for a lot of other people when I say this, I spent a lot of yesterday reading about Brexit (also lower back ache, pain across upper chest, blocked ears, vegan recipes, knitting, aging parents, yoga, ground covers for sandy soil, container gardening, paint decor/colour combinations, summer reading recommendations, lyme disease, making roman blinds, etc) – for free.

And that’s not including all the time spent on Twitter communicating about Brexit, amongst other topics, none of which involved making or spending money, so for free, too.

Correction, I came across a shout out for a social editor at Vice. And when I read what was involved I realized I do for free every day (more or less) a lot of what Vice is offering to pay an employee to do (I assume, although one can never be too sure in these days of unpaid internships, etc).

And no, I didn’t apply because I mostly find Vice to be a lot of self important oh-look-at-us-aren’t-we-edgy razzle dazzle and I can never remember whatever it was I just read because it’s almost always just clickbait. Or maybe I’m too old lady for Vice.

The job involves clickbaiting up headlines, though, so, yeah.

Oh, maybe. We’ll see.

Nope. Just thought about it again. Ugh. No no no.

So, in other words, I had a very fulfilling day without contributing to our economy. I also worked on my book and did a couple of inside and outside chores, so still not making or spending any money. And even if I had spent 7.5 hours working for money I’d still be spending my leisure time doing pretty much what I did yesterday, except less, because that’s how I live now.

And it strikes me that there are a lot of us who live that way now, including three young adults of my acquaintance, the millennials, as they’re known, who while away their time consuming information and communicating with each other pretty much for free. Two of the three work for money in the service sector while one will be teaching English abroad, so none of them are the sort of “working people” politicians seem to be referring to when they refer to “working people” but who knows.

Anyway, happy Canada Day. It’s my favourite holiday now because I live in Ottawa and it really does have a special vibe here.

I imagine this year, in spite of the forecast of thunder storms this evening, will really be like old times, too, the Negativity Nellies defeated by the Positivity Pollyannas, and all is as it should be in the New World colony.

After all, a glance across the pond at the mother ship and, jesus, it could be a lot worse, eh?