Friday April 18 , 2014

Sewn Enough

This morning on my Facebook page there was a Harry Potter poster of Ron, Harry, Hermione with a caption suggesting that if you looked at Harry Potter from a different angle it could change your life.

So I clicked, not that I want to change my life, but because I thought maybe the revelation would be that Harry Potter was actually the story of Hermione. My plan was to then blog about how much more interesting that would make Harry Potter.

To me, anyway.

Full disclosure: Although I read the first three books aloud to my kids, and part of the fourth, that’s all I know of Harry Potterdom. Also, I wasn’t really paying attention while I read and sometimes I’d use the wrong voice and do Snape with a lisp instead of Dumbledore.

Just kidding! Geez Louise. I didn’t even know Dumbledore was gay at the time of reading on account of she hadn’t written book seven and the anal sex scene yet.

Anyway – SPOILER ALERT!! – the different perspective turned out to be that the greater sacrifice would have been Harry not killing Voldemort so that he would have to live forever, never seeing his loved ones again in the afterlife, and oh my wouldn’t that be terrible.

Well yes, because death is what gives life meaning.

(I may have missed something so if the above doesn’t make sense, fuck off eh because Harry Potter isn’t the point of this entry, anyway. This entry doesn’t have a point, so there.)

I think I’m going to wean myself off FB. It really is the worst time-sucker, and what with time being life, well, that makes FB a life-sucker, don’t it.

Seriously. I don’t do anything now except click on links and then blog about whatever I just read. And it’s so depressing – climate change, species extinction, Conservative politicians, pet mockery.

Although my life is different now that I’ve got the idea to become a scene-stealing character actor, which I got from clicking on that link, didn’t I.

I’m exactly eight issues behind in my Frank Magazine reading and they’re only on issue nine. Cripes, it’s like everything’s a job except my job now, the one I do when I’m away from the internet, my job hawking ladieswear. Ware?

I don’t know what I’m going to do for summer footwear. Dress sandals only, toenail polish required. I dunno. Maybe it’s time to look for something more appropriate.

Menswear?

Or do sales associates (gotta love the title) in menswear have to wear toenail polish, too, now – except clear because the private equity firms that own the stores don’t want the sales associates to look like drag queens.

It really is tricky trying to figure out how much to compromise. Today I sold ten times my weight worth of clothes and made $50.

Sometimes when I’m sitting with Bernie, our hound/lab/beagle/rottweiler (don’t worry, he has the least aggressive friendliest most playful rottweiler part ever), looking out the window, I feel a surge of stuff from my heart that I  transfer to Bernie by pressing into his side so that he can metabolize it into a radiant beam of calm that he then transfers back to me.

Really, I should just spend my day sitting on the couch with Bernie staring out the window. I’d be a much more productive person, I know I would.

Pay me a guaranteed annual income, you rat bastards!

I’m making a couple of skirts for work but the whole exercise is ridiculous because I could just go to the Sally Ann and buy nicer skirts for a couple of bucks like the one I wore to work today. I’m totally stressed out about it. I’ve got the front half done and the back half is slung over a chair, still pinned to the pattern. I can see it out of the corner of my eye while I type this. There’s no point in finishing it, either, because I’ll know it was homemade and therefore tres uglement.

Also, today my boss said, “Sooey, I hear you’re making a skirt to wear to work? So, um, is it like the skirt you’re wearing now? Because I like that skirt. It looks really good on you.”

“Well, it’s a little less poofy than this skirt, sort of smooth at the top, but with a little flirty flair.”

(I talk like the catalogue in hopes of sounding like I’m hip to the now in middle-aged ladieswear.)

“Poofy? That skirt isn’t poofy. What’s flirty flair?”

“Don’t worry, it’s a simple pattern. I’ve made it before, too. I made it to wear to my wedding, actually.”

“Your wedding?! <processing pause> So… do you have a sewing machine then?”

It was only later when I was recounting the conversation to my Beau (isn’t he lucky? he gets to hear all my stories and then read them on my blog, too!) I realized she was asking about my skirt because she was worried it was going to be hand sewn, or perhaps, taped together like those Kleenex dresses we made for our Barbies when we were kids.

Seriously, show your little girls how to make Barbie dresses out of Kleenex. And no, I can’t remember how now. Improvise. It’s Kleenex, ferchrissakes.

I have a leftover prejudice against homemade clothes thanks to Home Ec in grade nine when I made overalls out of brushed flowered denim that my mom thought would look really smart to wear on stage when I won the award for the highest mark in English, which I shared with my childhood friend who read Atlas Shrugged when she was ten.

She wore a mini dress and high heels and looked like Natalie Wood from Sex and the Single Girl after she takes off her glasses and lets her hair down.

Total lie. She was blond and didn’t wear glasses but she was a 36C by then so thanks for ruining my life, mom.

It’s terrible to admit this but I realized the other day that almost all of my stress is self-generated because what I really want to do with all my spare time is read and write and watch the odd documentary on TVO and The National on CBC, but I have all this stuff that I think I need to do something with and even if I didn’t I’d buy more and think I had to do something with that stuff.

I know, I know, Bourgeoise crisis much, Sooey?

Meanwhile, the island of Tuvalu is going to be submerged soon because the oceans are warming, so imagine how it makes me feel that I’m stressed out by having too much stuff, while the good citizens of Tuvalu are destined to be, well, either refugees or fish food.

So climate change refugees is what the Tuvalulalarians will be because even we aren’t that bad, right? I mean, we’ll do something to help the Tuvalulalarians before they become fish food, surely. After all, we’ve only ever benefited from the burning of fossil fuels. It hardly seems fair to…

… Omigawd. We’re not going to do anything to help the Tuvalulalarians, are we.

I hadn’t really thought about the inevitability of climate change until last night when I watched a documentary about it on TVO, which more than alluded to our moral obligation to help the Tuvalulalarians, on account of the fact that the people least responsible for climate change will be most affected by it. I mean, we kind of deserve to have our country submerged by a warming ocean, the Tuvalulalarians sure as hell don’t.

But like Pope John II said, there’s no such thing as hell, it’s all figurative, only idiots take that shit literally.

I paraphrase, of course.

Louisiana just made the Bible the state book and upheld the law declaring homosexuality illegal.

Okay. Good. Blogging all this has helped put my stuff problem in perspective. It’s simple isn’t it. I shall call the people who come and take stuff away to resell back to people like me except that, this time, I won’t buy it back. Instead, I’ll finish the little bit of sewing that I have left to do and wear my homemade creations (Butterick, actually) to work.

After all, the worst that can happen is they stop giving me hours (retail is very passive aggressive when it comes to firing sales associates), my feet will recover while Bernie beams calming rays my way, and then I start looking for work as a scene stealing character actor.

 

Drinks on the Elephant in the Room!

Spoiler Alert for Frank Magazine print subscribers (Psst: Get online, ya Luddites!)

Frank Magazine (Ottawa edition – Halifax edition is for wrapping yer cawd!) contributes a typically subtle bit to the blathery boohooing over the death of Jim Flaherty by our political/media betters with a rundown of quotes by all those colleagues whose remembrances of Jim past involve having a drink, going for a drink, meeting for a drink, enjoying a drink.

Jim with a drink and glint in his eye. Otherwise, he was known by underlings as S.A.M. (small angry man).

Because he needed a drink.

Now go and subscribe. It’s all the news you’ll ever want and then some. Write a letter and complain about the then some. I guarantee you it’ll be published with a headline mocking its contents that will delight your friends and rellies when you buy them gift subscriptions, too.

Anyway, it struck me long before I saw the bit (which I saw online this morning – subscribe – it’s funny!) that Jim Flaherty looked and acted a lot like an alcoholic.

(I know, I know, judgmental much, Sooey? Well, here at Sooey Says, it’s always Judge Mental presiding – now go and subscribe to Frank Magazine if you want satirical genius!)

And, of course, it’s been alluded to for years that the good minister enjoyed a drink too far. Except that only other people who also enjoy a drink too far would really notice. Even the people doing the alluding wouldn’t notice. Normal people don’t.

(By the way, one Flaherty colleague quoted in the bit is Deepak Chopra, who refers to enjoying an “irish scotch” with the good minister, which really just goes to show how non-discriminating Jim Flaherty was in his drinking buddies.)

The thing is, I’m also an alcoholic, so been there, done that. I enjoyed drinks with a lot of people over the years. And if I’d been an MP I would have enjoyed drinks with a lot more because the opportunity is always there, isn’t it, and free of charge, too.

I’d be the Lindsay Lohan of Parliament – minus the talent – but also not driving myself around town.

I was born with a horseshoe up my ass so I can say that.

Speaking of which (bad behaviour), a couple of years ago I was at a function and my friend that I’ve mentioned before, who was a Liberal MP, was there, too, and we were catching up when I noticed Jack Layton in the crowd.

“Hey, do you now Jack Layton? Introduce me to Jack Layton. I’ve never met him except for that one time at the Bamboo Club.”

Alas, Bob Rae was there, too, and my loyalties were torn. I don’t think they cared for each other even back when they were both NDP. Parachute Club was playing, as I recall. They were always playing at the Bamboo. Anyway, Jack Layton was sort of a one-man-party while Bob Rae was sort of a one-man-non-party, but maybe it was because we were working for him – it was a caucus get together or sorts – and social events with the boss are really just meetings that you have to pay to attend, aren’t they.

We were the third party at the time, David Peterson of the Liberal Party was the Premier. We used to crash a lot of Liberal receptions back in the day. Really, David Peterson spared no expense when it came to receptions. The Liberals always left behind enough for an army, too.

Excellent catered fare. Kudos to you, sir.

Anyway, my friend (who’s just a shade older than me and who is really my mom’s friend, that’s how diversified he is – also he worked for David Peterson while I worked for Bob Rae) introduced me, and Jack Layton’s eyes glazed over at middle-aged me, but then perked up when he quipped to my friend that he should be in the NDP, not the Liberal Party, and I remembered how it is with politicians, so I grabbed my partner’s arm and said, “This is my partner! He used to write for Frank Magazine!” because I can’t help myself sometimes.

Seriously. Sometimes I have the judgment of Stephen Harper. So bad. So very very very bad.

Because, of course, this gave Jack Layton the opportunity he’d been waiting for to launch into a speech about how he started the White Ribbon campaign and had to cancel his subscription to Frank Magazine (sure, pal, as if) over the Deflower Caroline Mulroney contest and blah blah blah.

Omigawd he was humourless. I only wish I’d known about the visits to the temporary foreign workers at the massage parlour back in the day – or rather, remembered, since I did know about the visits to the temporary foreign workers at the massage parlour back in the day. Grr. Woulda coulda shoulda. And now he’s dead and I can’t. Opportunities missed much, Sooey?

And by the way, the Deflower Caroline Mulroney contest, while it coulda shoulda been funnier (as in, go big or go home) did not invite Canadians to rape Caroline Mulroney, as the humourless among us would have you believe. It mocked her parents, one Brian and one Mila, for pimping her out as they were doing on such an epic in-our-wholesome-Canadian-faces scale that it would have been a satirical sin to NOT have a Deflower Caroline Mulroney contest. Of course, Brian brought the real funny when he threatened to “get a gun and go down there” and blah blah blah. Still, the whole thing was a little on the poxy dick side for my Feminist funny bone, which is very small and dry, so I’m glad Caroline Mulroney finally came through for her parents by landing a Lapham and fulfilling their American dream.

If I’d been a cabinet minister, I’d also have had a driver, and could enjoy lots of free drinks. In fact, lest we forget, that’s why cabinet ministers have drivers, to cut down on the drinking and driving, thanks to Rene Levesque, who actually ran over someone who had the misfortune of living on the street while Rene Levesque was running up an infinite tab.

Anyway, I think the fact that Jim Flaherty was apparently an entirely different person to his colleagues, who only ever seem to have shared a drink with him, at which time the Irish glint in his eye would be restored, is telling. Whereas to those of us who didn’t have the pleasure, he just seemed cranky.

Because he needed a goddamned drink!

I mean, ferchrissake, don’t take my word for it, you co-dependent enablers of Parliament Hill – get your heads out of your asses and tell a staffer to hook you up with a subscription to the satirical press.

And read your fond remembrances of drinks with Jim Flaherty for yourselves.

 

Tom Flanagan, Sliver-Tongued Fox

My goodness politicians have become self-aggrandizing of late, eh? Whoever said we didn’t think they were human, anyway?

What we didn’t know was that they’re all actors, just playing the role of the careless books cooking friend to the rich and enemy to the poor, or perhaps, outraged advocate for the poor and homeless, defender of civil rights.

Well, alright then. One hand clapping.

You’ve probably noticed, I can whine a bit, be a little blamey, but I don’t really believe that anyone other than me is responsible for the choices I’ve made in my life. And for the most part I’m pretty pleased with where I’m at, how I’m living, although I really do need to get budgeting on groceries.

The problem is, it’s hard for me to not add chocolate covered popped quinoa to my homemade granola now. It’s actually dark chocolate covered popped quinoa, organic, and I don’t want to tell you the price because then you’ll try to sell me swamp land in Florida and I already own swamp land in Ottawa.

Just kidding, we’re sitting pretty, high and dry because we don’t live along the Rideau River. Actually, if we go outside and crane our necks we can even see the Peace Tower. It almost feels like we’re looking down on it.

Although that may just be our superior attitude, not altitude.

But that’s not what this entry is about because this entry is about the resurrection of Tom Flanagan, including a plug for the sliver-tongued fox the other day by Jonathan Kay of National Post fame.

Now, long before Tom Flanagan started opining about this and that, but mostly about how Feminists are to blame for everything wrong in the world today, I blogged the opinion that, as disturbing as pedophilia is, it must be very lonely and socially isolating to actually be a pedophile.

And, of course, I was referring to a pedophile who doesn’t act on his desires and who wishes he wasn’t the way he is. Or who doesn’t act on his desires and is okay with the way he is but also understands that it’s not very likely he’ll meet anybody else who is.

I mean, it’s hard to imagine a lower life form than pedophile.

Rob Anders?

Okay, that was mean to pedophiles.

Also, from what little I’ve read on the topic, there isn’t much that can be done to help a person overcome a desire to have sex with children so that he wants to have sex with adults instead.

And how does a pedophile even seek help for his condition/disorder/curse.

Pedophiles Anonymous?

“Hi, my name is… uh… I’d rather not say… and I’m a… uh… I can’t tell you or you’re pretty much legally obligated to turn me it to the authorities.”

(Don’t go looking for the blog entry I referred to earlier, by the way, because I may just think I blogged all this already and, in fact, never did.)

You’d think it would be the other way around, but my former father-in-law, who was a prison guard, used to say that the adult inmates of the detention center he worked at were always really nervous around young offenders because young offenders are such psychotic little bastards. I get that, actually, there are stages of human development that I think a lot of bleeding hearts sympathetic to young offenders don’t remember very well, not that I think young offenders should be tried as adults or anything Conservative crazy like that.

But back to the column.

(You may need time to figure out how the preceding paragraph is relevant to this entry, but it is, I just don’t quite know how, either, so let’s just move on, shall we? Good. We’re good here, I think.)

In it, Tom Flanagan, by way of JK, lists militant feminists as #1 on his Blame List for the personal and professional shunning he was subject to after his glib remarks pertaining to hide ‘n’ seekers of child pornography (as in, no harm in juss lookin’ – right?) to a hostile audience went viral because a member thereof put them up on the internet.

I mean, wtf? Thanks to Feminists (edited to blah blah blah). We don’t all have access to a pulpit, as does Tom Flanagan, but when you add the internet to an increasingly egalitarian society (thanks to Feminism), well, I can do this, can’t I.

But that’s the thing, isn’t it. Tom Flanagan did and does have access to a pulpit and he either misspoke when he claimed that viewers of child pornography do no harm, and should climb down and retract – because of course looking at pictures of children being sexually violated causes harm – or, well, maybe he should stay away from the pulpit until he’s clear on the whole words/meaning thing.

It wouldn’t all be nearly so egregious if both Tom Flanagan and Jonathan Kay didn’t support a political party that, after cheating its way into power, brought in legislation to allow authorities to arrest citizens without charge. But they do. They support the firing of whistle-blowers, the targeting of political dissidents, the harassment of the unemployed/the poor/the homeless – all by government, no less.

Come to think of it, Tom Flanagan, at least Rob Anders has the good grace to blame brain damage for his behaviour – and not everybody else.

 

 

Jim We Hardly Knew Ye – No Really – Who the Hell Were You?

So while we discreetly overlook the awkward circumstances surrounding the death of Jim Flaherty this past week, which, yes, is sad, however expected by anyone paying attention, which apparently none of his colleagues were, I think the reaction by politicians/media may help explain why voter turnout is so low these days.

Because from where I’m sitting, it appears that the real two solitudes are them, politicians play acting (as it turns out), and we the people, their paying audience (many of whom have given up on following the plot and/or are too distracted trying to make ends meet to realize that a central character has left the show).

Really, all this bi-partisan sorrow at the passing of Jim Flaherty, Saint Jimbo of Parliament Hill, has me wondering how it was that I thought I was at least a bit player in the game when, clearly, I’ve only ever been a paying member of the audience.

I’m just saying, either politics matters, or it doesn’t. And Jim Flaherty was the second-in-command of two of the most polarizing governments in the history of Canada, governments I would describe as enemies of the poor and friends of the rich, governments led by men whose policies are directly responsible for the deaths of people whose lives they’re supposed to protect.

Or am I missing a crucial piece of information here, like, say, Jim Flaherty was secretly donating his salary to food banks across Canada to make up for cutting welfare rates across the province of Ontario back in the day.

No wonder the next government never undoes the damage done by the previous one. Politicians are really one big family behind the scenes. It’s all just theatre, Question Period, political panels, scrums.

Having a state funeral for Jack Layton was a nice, if unnecessary, gesture, but only because Jack Layton wasn’t a governing politician. He didn’t use his power to beat up on poor people while being driven about in a limousine they paid for so he could relax in comfort while he cooked the books.

Still, it was over-the-top and not really in keeping with the theme of his life, which was that we should care more about each other than we do, but who knows now, maybe behind the scenes he was tossing banana peels around the mall on seniors walk day.

But I don’t care that he had a state funeral and I don’t care that Jim Flaherty will have one, either. Let them bask in the reflected glory of it all.

I just don’t think it’s appropriate that a governing politician, maybe even anyone, should be given a state funeral in the egalitarian society that is Canada in 2014. We all work hard for our money. All a state funeral for a politician does is accentuate the divide between public them and private us.

It’s unseemly, this grand gesture, when politicians enjoy lives of privilege the people who pay for them can only dream of through their purchase of lottery tickets.

And gawd only knows what we’ll have to pay for when the Queen finally shuffles off this mortal coil.

We’re all equal in death, so why are politicians getting away with pretending we aren’t all equal in life?

 

Eulogize This, O Ye Politicians Near and Far

If I only knew you as a politician who spent his career “playing politics with people’s lives” (Olivia Chow), and never experienced the hale fellow well met that your fellow politicians knew, then please understand – my mourning at your passing will be… restrained.

Nothing personal, eh? But if you politicians are going to be actors just following orders, feathering your retirement nests while the people you’re supposed to represent suffocate under the burden of poverty, well, farewell then.

And yes, I thought the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over the death of Jack Layton was a bit much, too. It’s all a bit much, politicians, governing or otherwise, your inside boys club revealed as a world apart from the rest of us.

May Stephen Harper live a long and healthy life because I don’t think I can take the eulogizing should his wee hard heart be suddenly crushed by what appears to be his monstrous ego.

 

From Harrisite to Harperite

My first thought on hearing that Jim Flaherty died was: “Oh no, political eulogizing.”

My second thought was: “So who called 911?”

If you can’t say anything nice – ask a question?

 

Jaclyn Dawe – Missing 424 Days – Last Seen at 51 Benway in Etobicoke

A Facebook friend PM’ed me this morning with a link to this comment, so I’m sure the NSA and CSEC are on the case now. Anyway, I guess I’m being a nag, but I’m so tired of these overgrown galoots in power having all the attention when a whole woman has gone missing and may possibly have been murdered:

Jimmi T is offline UT Member/Join Date Feb 2011/Posts 448

Quote Originally Posted by TOBorn View Post
Okay – I looked. This woman is still missing. Nothing adds up and no person in a position of authority has definitively stasted she is no longer a person of interest in a missing person case nowhere have I found this woman has been located. Earlier I asked what the hell is going on here now, I’m finding, in my head, that the words are getting less civilized. How has the press ignored this so entirely? Is this one of those situations where the owner is being held in protective custody for her own safety? What has become of her abandoned vehicle and where, in God’s earth, have her concerned friends/co-workers gone. Are they of the opinion that she is okay because she has a Facebook page, with no friends (that makes Howard Hughes look like a flighty socialite). If so, they certainly don’t care for her, or communicate with her as ‘normal’ people do on social media. This is all just all too ‘Twightlight Zone’ for my suburban housewife lifestyle. Someone out there must know, not only if there is a connection with this travesty of law known as Brazen II, but what has happened to this very much blood & guts young lady who seems to have entirely vanished from our city , the internet (except for a possible fake Facebook page), our consciousness, our lives and possibly life itsel!

Someone found her Facebook profile stating she’s in Asia, which backs up what I was told. I also asked TPS about her. They say they can’t talk about her. I asked can they at least verify that she’s no longer missing. Then they reply that they just cancelled her missing person’s report. I didn’t see anything to verify that though. The owner of the house where that girl left her car in front of, Ken Boot, was apparently a client of Lisi’s and he also rented his garage out to him.

Last edited by Jimmi T; Today at 07:34.

 

Who’s Afraid of the CFIB

Somebody told me once that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is just a couple of lobbyists, that its title is bigger than it is.

I don’t really know if that’s true or not, but true to this blog I’ll put it out there anyway.

I didn’t feel anger when CBC’s Go Public revealed that McDonalds is staffed by temporary foreign workers, in some cases supposedly making more per hour (not buyin’ that convenient whopper) than the one or two actual Canadians who work there, too – I felt like boycotting McDonalds.

Except that I already boycott McDonalds.

And I’m pretty sure the workers at the Tim Hortons I was in yesterday right here in downtown Ottawa are temporary foreign hires under orders, in fact, to be extra super friendly, but, I already more or less boycott Tim Hortons, too.

Still, I promise to never set foot in one again. It was disturbing, all the good mornings and smiles. I felt disoriented. Like I wasn’t in Canada anymore because I’d been transported to North Korea, a reception for Kim Jong-Un.

Do we know that North Korea has nuclear weapons? Or is that just a rumor perpetrated by the powers that be, an excuse to do nothing, as a reminder that the powers that be could always be worse?

We already don’t make anything here, just like they don’t make anything in Saudi Arabia, but now we import foreign labour, too, just like Saudi Arabia.

I doubt there’s a more dissolute people on the planet than Saudi Arabians, but maybe Canadians will be able to give them a run for their money soon.

Ethical oil – do you fucking believe it? The environment destroying psychopaths are now writing the kindergarten to grade 12 curriculum for Alberta’s public school children. And taxpayers, never mind citizens, aren’t rioting in the floodplains.

You know, if we really need temporary foreign workers to staff our fast food industry, then why isn’t the “Fast Food Workers” category of immigration being fast-tracked by Alberta Conservative and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney?

He actually issued a fatwah against the Roma and got away with it. Canada. 2014. No Roma Allowed.

I keep reading about how wily these Alberta Conservative characters are, and what a master political strategist Stephen Harper is, and yet I’m trying to imagine a more politically stupid move than allowing the very emblem of “my first job” and/or “worst comes to worst I can always get a job at McDonalds” to be revealed as a hotbed of temporary foreign employment.

Please, please, please pay attention voters. This is all happening while Stephen Harper’s security detail has ballooned to grabillions of dollars.

Who the hell is he hiding from if not the people he’s been put in place to screw over before he goes to his great reward at Tarsands Inc?!

So I wasn’t angry, exactly, that is until one of the two(?) wankers incorporated as the CFIB claimed that lots of Canadian employers defend the practice because imported labour has a better work ethic than, I guess, immigrants do, or at the bottom of the work ethic scale, fifth generation first job or last resort job seeking Canadians.

This asshole, these assholes(?), are talking about me, you, our children, their children, educated and experienced Canadian citizens whose families have paid taxes in this country for generations upon generations.

I don’t believe we should have to be grateful for a way to make money, a way to survive, not in Canada in 2014, do you? I don’t believe immigrants to this country should have to be grateful for a way to make money here, either.

So I don’t know why Canadian businesses would pay for public representation by a lobbyist so stupid that I now want to boycott every member of the CFIB, but there you go, they’re stupid enough not to realize that they live in the same economy they’re destroying, and they’re stupid enough not to realize that if we’re all un-or-under-employed, eventually we won’t be able to afford us.

Don’t get me wrong. I welcome the day we don’t have any more discretionary income and the spending stops and the profits stop and Rob Ford’s gravy train derails completely and he has all day to get stoned and drunk.

So yeah, I guess Rob Ford’s life won’t change much.

Really, the Conservative Party is stupid to rig our electoral process in its favor by eliminating vouching. Temporary foreign workers could easily be conscripted to cast a ballot for the local Conservative dirtbag, I’m sure. Or be trucked from riding to riding by Pierre Poutine to cast ballots for lots of local Conservative dirtbags.

They’re not stupid. I imagine it takes a fair bit of werewithall to get around the system and find their way here. So they know they have no real rights, that they’re more or less paid prisoners of whoever made it possible.

I’m not angry at them. I’m angry at us.

A while ago my Conservative friend and I were at Canadian Tire. As usual, we had trouble getting help from the regular old Canadian staff, even though probably the best employee in all of Canada works at the one we were in, a guy who knows virtually everything there is to know about Canadian Tire products, and my Conservative friend was being extra Conservative about it, going on about how in the states (where his Democrat girlfriend lives) people hop to serve a customer.

I could feel the hackles rising. He forgets that I work in retail, I guess, but eventually it was all moot because we got really good service, so good in fact (except for the egregious up-sell that we all do now, although I hereby vow to no longer engage in the practice) that I mentioned it at the cash.

“Oh, you should go to the website and mention him, then, because it helps if we get recognition for good service.”

But I didn’t because I just won’t play that game. It’s everywhere, though, too, so I’m not sure I can make a dent in it by not playing. Where I work I fell for a gush of enthusiasm by the store manager about how the private equity firm that owns it (she’s still pretending that it’s still owned by Ma & Pa America) want input, new ideas, ways to make it all bigger and better – from staff.

In other words they’re so stupid they would send her in to work claiming they want advice from the minimum wage part-time staff they’re constantly nickel and diming.

So I suggested giving the part-time staff more hours to prevent turnover, you know, since the store’s reputation is based almost entirely on customer service, now that the quality is the same as it is everywhere.

Chinese political prisoners just don’t sew like they used to, I guess.

I didn’t say that last part, but even so, she stared at me like I’d farted or something.

And no, I never fart at work so stop nodding your head. But if you think university girls don’t fart at work you’re as deluded as she is.

I should have known better because that’s when she remembered that she’d learned at the last team meeting that management doesn’t have to give staff a fifteen minute paid break during a four hour shift as she’d erroneously thought, a development she termed as a positive.

I kid you not. I mean, I often wasn’t taking it anyway, but when I did I’d realize how nice it was to rest my feet, eat an apple, stare at the microwave clock – for ten minutes (I never took fifteen). And she was actually spinning it as a positive that we would no longer be allowed to take it.

Really, it is to laugh, isn’t it. Certainly there’s no point in taking us seriously.

 

Sorry Kids, We Lied, It Doesn’t Get Better

But you get better at it, so there, don’t say Aunt Sooey never threw you a bone.

I read about this guy recently who’s decided to stop guarding his personal privacy and live like an open book.

Bank book, though, too? I mean, I’m sure India has all my information at its fingertips but do I want my boss to have it?

She’d just pressure me even more to shop at the store I work in but can’t afford because even with a 50% discount our merchandise is over-priced. I can find better quality much cheaper at the thrift shop.

He doesn’t just believe there’s no harm in having anyone and everyone know his business, he believes there’s good in it. He has a blog, but I can’t remember his name, so now I have no idea how to find his blog, either.

Sorry, eh.

I thought of him when I was reading about Rob Ford’s latest public escapades, or Ford Follies, I guess, because I think it’s interesting that it’s been a couple of years now that we’ve been witnessing a politician behave exactly how a politician isn’t supposed to behave, in public, anyways, and yet – so what?

And even though we don’t know all the details on record, we really do, actually, know exactly what all the redacted and not yet released information is and will be and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Although I guess we don’t know whether he was involved in the disappearance of a woman, Jaclyn Dawe, whose car was left abandoned in front of one of the residences he frequented (frequents?) to smoke crack with the gang.

I suspect very strongly, of course, that he was, and that’s why the Lady Macbeth tailspin he’s in now, but I could be wrong.

Meanwhile, Edward Snowden has confirmed for us what we already knew, that we’re being spied on by various and sundry, our emails and text messages and phones calls intercepted and dissected, our governments pretending they can’t do much about it because “they want the eggs”. And yet – so what?

We often have suspicious looking characters sitting outside our house in unmarked cars with listening devices in their ears. But I think they might just be Liberals. There’s a restaurant nearby that they often gather at to fundraise. Or they could be cops. There’s a fair bit of drug activity in our ‘hood. Multi-generational, too. Moms selling oxycontin, daughters selling sex, un-spayed and un-neutered pitbulls hooking up in the parking lot across the street.

It’s sort of like if The Wire was on Sesame Street. Or maybe more like Cracked on Coronation Street.

I thought it was funny how the actor on Cracked always looked like he was listening to the wind to help him figure out who perpetrated the crazy crime this week.

Full disclosure: I only watched it once and in that episode it was the woman who played Gordie Howe’s wife/manager in his life story that I didn’t watch because I was done with hockey after the Canada/Russia hockey series in 1972.

I had an incident towards the end of my shift on Saturday that in earlier days, much earlier days, would probably have seen me changing my name and moving to a cave in Utah (where I believe The Man Who Quit Money still lives) and in closer days would have seen me wanting to do that but carrying on as if my upper torso insides hadn’t dropped to flop around like caught cod in my lower torso.

The shift started out full of manic promise, the manager, who I suspect may have one of those personality disorders I’ve been reading about in Psychology Today, bi-polar/manic depression, although probably not borderline personality disorder, high-strung as usual but in an expansive way.

Sometimes she winds from the outside in. Saturday she was winding from the inside out.

I occasionally pick up Psychology Today with Fine Cooking, which is always worth it but PT is really not very good, is it. It looks like it will be good, but then it isn’t. The articles are too simplistic and the recovery ads make PT seem more like a cult guide than a magazine to help one diagnose all the nutcases in one’s life.

Anyway, the shift started full of manic promise, as I just said, with her jabbering on at me about branding and networking and other bizzbuzzery.

Really, it’s a stage of grief, isn’t it, denial not just of economic reality (people are a dime a dozen, decent paying jobs like solid gold bricks) but that we’re hopelessly doomed, now that our great white arctic ice reflector shield is melting, leaving our oceans to absorb all that solar power our movers and shakers neglected to harness for us.

She’s too smart not to know that shopping is how women take their minds off the inevitability of a cooked planet, while their men stay home to watch televised sports.

I read that in an article recently, that bit about women shopping and men watching sports to take our minds off climate change.

Who can blame us? Who’s not us to do the blaming?

Although Linda McQuaig is making the essential point these days that the movers and shakers are absolutely to blame for the mess that we’re in because they made it.

She’s right, of course, yet – so what?

She complimented me on how awesome I am with customers, so friendly and helpful, but experience has taught me that her compliments aren’t really compliments so much as an ongoing inference that I’m not fully committing to the store. It’s not just that she wishes I would buy clothes from it, even though she knows that I’m working to buy groceries and pay down Ontario Hydro’s debt – because I’ve told her as much – several times – but now the ante’s been upped to include outreach resulting in bring-in.

You know, bring in my own customer base because, well, surely I know women who have lots of discretionary income to spend on clothes.

Now, it’s not as bad as it sounds because it doesn’t actually make any difference what I do. It only makes a difference what I say. No one is getting more than fifteen hours per week, other than a couple of grandmothered in oldtimers who are such unbelievable sharks that the store would be crazy – is crazy – not to give them as many hours as they want.

They only get a minimum of 20-25, which is what I was promised when I was hired. I think all stores do that now, promise hirees 20-25 hours, but 15 is the most we get, and that’s a good week. 12 is more likely. 10 in this season.

But they’re older, d’une certaine age, as they say in Quebec, and don’t necessarily want much more than they have so it’s all good – for them.

I’ve worked with them, trying to make my sales goal, which I did yesterday, but they’re like ninjas how they snap up customers and make mega sales.

As soon as I make my goal I go limp, too, and start tidying and cleaning and just generally staying out of their way while they do their thing. Really, it’s beyond stupid that I’m expected to compete for sales with actual salespeople. If I was managing me I’d put me in charge of making fun of the whole exercise.

Customers really enjoy a laugh at the retailer’s expense. They know nothing is worth anything anymore and nobody’s making a living at it. But shopping is still fun for a lot of people. I always tell them they’re making the economy go ’round so good for them. Women like that line a lot because we’re aware that we don’t need whatever it is we’re buying, and that the men in our lives are aware of it, too, and would roll their eyes at us when we return home with our senseless purchases, if they could tear their eyes away from the television long enough to do it.

Full disclosure – my Beau has about as much interest in televised sports as I do. Less, in fact, since I’ll sometimes watch a bit of the Olympics. I’m talking about other people. You know, stereotypes, because – why not?

Seriously, how can men care which team wins what when the planet is slowly cooking? Shouldn’t they all be out doing something about it? Saving us, the women and children – the unborn, even – from looming disaster?

So there I was on Saturday, rushing hither and yon, making the store 1000 times more than it pays me, holding my own with the sharks and also doing a lot more by way of tidying and cleaning, when all of a sudden the manager, in front of a customer, asks if she can see me off the floor for a minute.

“Uh oh”, said the customer, looking uneasy.

I felt bad for her and wanted to say, “Don’t worry about it. She’s as crazy as a bag of hammers.” But instead I said, “Don’t worry about it. The other manager already told me they don’t fire people, they just don’t give them any more hours.”

Passive aggressive much, retail industry?

And after I’d given the customer over to the young manager, the one I like and who’s fun to work with, as are all the young women, university girls, I call them, I went back to the office.

“Sooey, did you forget to wear deodorant today?”

“Ooh. Yikes. No. But it is from The Body Shop.”

“Okay, because you smell, It’s really bad. I thought it was a customer but then I realized it was you. Just be glad I’m telling you because customers can be really rude. They’ll just scream at you that you stink and I didn’t want that to happen so I called you off the floor. Do you have deodorant with you, in your locker, I mean? A change of clothes maybe, too?”

So I gave my right armpit a discreet sniff and, well, there was a mild less than ladylike aroma coming from it, but, it definitely wasn’t a stink. I mean, I can stink, for sure, I can stink like ten men. But this wasn’t that. This was just a sort of mildly damp eau de wet cotton/wool blend type of whiff.

Also, if a customer screamed at me that I stink I’m pretty sure I’d just give her to one of the sharks. I probably wouldn’t even have to, they’d just swoop in and take her over, knowing that she probably feels entitled to scream at sales people because she’s such a big spender.

Although big spenders are all probably wearing deodorant from The Body Shop, aren’t they.

Is it really deodorant if it doesn’t do anything to stop you from emanating an odour if you sweat?

Fair enough, though, headed off at the pass. The thing is, at top of mind wasn’t the stink problem so much as how to get around it so that I could finish off my shift and get paid for five hours, instead of just four and a half.

Okay, just read that back and realized we’re talking about $5.00, which is how the movers and shakers want it, and there go I, aiding and abetting. But public transit to and from work is over $5.00 and I just can’t stand the thought of not making every dollar I’m entitled to just for showing up. And it’s not like I haven’t been sent home early because nobody’s buying, either, so I didn’t want that to happen on a Saturday when they were.

Anyway, as luck would have it, one of the university girls showed up early for her shift (they all travel with luggage-sized purses full of toiletries) and I was able to re-deodorize.

Seriously, Body Shop, stick to fruity smelling body lotions – one of which makes the same manager want to vomit, as she kind of shrieked at one of the university girls who showed up to work having recently moisturized with mango butter. That happened just before the time my shoes didn’t pass muster (is that the expression? pass muster? because I want to say pass mustard now). We laughed about it, later, but the other manager, not the young one, the older one, was appalled.

She wasn’t appalled about my shoes not passing mustard, though. She likes me, but I can tell she thinks I’m a miss-hire. Even if I am (I am) it’s been worth it just to witness her deal with difficult (even deranged) customers. Really, she should be sent over to Syria to sort out the conflict there and then on to the Central Republic of Africa and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Also, I had an extra sweater that I wear under my coat because it’s still not warm enough this April (yes, climate change deniers, we had a long and stormy winter here in Ottawa – but our giant sun reflector ice shield is still gone and it’s not coming back and the oceans are warming and that’s it and that’s all) so I was able to put it on over my, luckily, sleeveless blouse, and go back out on the floor to finish my shift and make that fucking $5.00.

But now it’s Monday and I have the blahs (I’m increasingly wondering if thwap is right and I am depressed – but then again, Barbara Ehrenreich would probably say to that, “so what?”) and I’m wondering what an unladylike gal like me is doing hocking ladieswear – NOT that what I’m hocking even matters, of course, since it’s all just stuff, the story of which has already been written.

So the least I can do, I suppose, while I live and breathe, is be honest, sweat the small stuff on the internet, maybe even re-work this experience into a chapter of a book, complete with fleshed out characters based on real people who would have more dimensions than they do here. (The same manager who told me I smell also hired me even though I have no experience because she knows a good miss-hire when she sees one.)

Also, now that I’ve reached the “so what?” stage, I could probably use the distraction.

 

Death of a Drug Salesman

Seriously, Rob Ford had better survive the substance abuse tailspin he appears to be in because I don’t think I’ll survive the Conservative eulogies that will either splatter the airwaves – or worse, won’t – should he succeed in killing himself.