Monday November 30 , 2015

Tweet Sooth

Today is my last day on Twitter so catch me while you can.

I just tweeted about happening upon a former deputy minister who presided over massive layoffs at Environment Canada in 2012 tweeting snark about the climate change conference in Paris.

The more things change yadda yadda blah blah.

Very Important People are on my mind today.

Oh. Okay. They’re gone from it now.


Speaking of which, there was an interesting column in the Globe on Saturday by Marsha Lederman about vox populi.

I found myself squirming a little bit as I read.

Okay, a lot.

Mea culpa.

Anyway, it’s all too much and it certainly doesn’t bring out the best in me, so there’s not much for it but to get back to writing “My Book! My Book!” etc.

My plan for December is every day office hours. Wish me luck.

Oh yeah, and a plot, I still need a plot!



So Long, Mr. Pitt – *P.S.

Aw well I just heard Mr. Strong died last night.

I worked for him for a few years here in Ottawa.

He was an elderly man even then.

At no point did we get along or particularly like each other, and we had a couple of knock ‘em down, drag ‘em out fights, but he was very good about paying people properly and not expecting much in return.

When I’m asked what it was like working for him, I answer that it was like being the Elaine to his Mr. Pitt.

Most people are amused by that, they even nod as if they’d guessed as much, although the odd person is just confused because they’ve never seen Seinfeld.

I didn’t buy him socks, but I did transcribe a lot of dictation, arrange a lot of travel, and talk to a number of Very Important People on the telephone who I doubt ever got to talk to Mr. Strong themselves because he was almost always in Beijing.

Better secretaries there.

Or he was out and about with his cellphone in his briefcase which meant that he couldn’t hear it when it rang with urgent calls from Very Important People. And since he didn’t know how to check his messages, he felt a little at loose ends in Ottawa, like nobody was ever around or up for much.

I’d often hear his cellphone ringing in his briefcase but I never once alerted him to it.

I wasn’t a very good secretary.

Anyway, I’ve dined out on so many stories of me and Mr. Strong, including a very stressful beauty makeover insisted upon by his wife (I ended up with short burgundy hair, but also a very expensive suit that I believe I gave to my younger sister), but the one that comes to mind tonight involved Mr. Strong and (I believe it was) Ed Schreyer trying to meet up in Winnipeg.

They both had cellphones but of course neither one of them knew how to check for messages, so they took turns calling me to complain about how the other one wasn’t answering his phone, and that every time he called he’d get the answering machine but then no call back.

I seem to recall that the agreed upon venue for meeting up had been the Legislative Building, but in Winnipeg, so I was trying to navigate them towards each other without having a clue.

I didn’t try very hard.

In any case, somehow they managed to bump into each other, never thinking to call me back to let me know, of course. It’s not that I didn’t matter, I just wasn’t relevant anymore.

Oh well. When I didn’t hear anything I assumed they’d either hooked up or their cellphones had exploded from unanswered messages from each other, and they’d been taken to hospital with minor head and hand wounds.

I went back to my career as a super star on the internet.

Anyway, whatever else has been said, and will be said, he was always very good about making sure The Help got paid well, and first, because he knew it mattered.

And that’s no small thing to The Help.

R.I.P. Mr. Strong.

*(Please, Very Important People, if it’s all that you do in your latter years, do what Mr. Strong did and pay The Help well, and first. It matters more than any of the rest of it.)


TA – Tweeters Anonymous

Gosh, there sure are a lot of people who like to argue and have the last word on Twitter, eh?

Anyway, I’ve got until the end of this week to tweet and then I must take my leave.

Just a heads up that Twitter is even more addictive than Facebook.

I had no idea until I clicked on that little house icon and suddenly there it was, a world of tweets to peruse at my leisure.

Except that there are new tweets being produced ALL THE TIME and if you’re even a little bit obsessive compulsive, there goes your day, maybe even your night.

It’s horrible. I can’t stand it. I hate Twitter.

Also, there’s no point to it for me because I’m really only interested in what the pros (paid journalists) are tweeting anyway and they’re only interested in one-upping each other so fuck them.

Fuck them right in their pointy little ears.

So unless I’m given a contract by the end of this week to make tweets for minimum wage, forfuckinggetit – I’ll be deactivating my Twitter account, too.

Alas, I’m too good for Twitter but also not good enough.

Anyway, none of that matters now because I’m stoked all over again about “My Book! My Book!” etc, which will resume production on Saturday.

As of right now I’m thinking of having it begin at the end: “I’m sorry, we’re closed.”

I’ll keep you posted.



On Foot

Here’s a funny story for you about me and technology.

So I deleted everything and everyone from my Facebook account (except for my friend who died a couple of years ago because she was un-deletable) and immediately migrated over to Twitter.

(And if I was a conspiracy theorist I’d think the Facebook thing that happened with my friending a friend of a friend, then noticing a “Mohammed Ezzat” was also my new friend (when I went to his Facebook page it was all in Arabic) and deleting “him”, then being told by Facebook that if I didn’t provide them/it with documents proving I’m Sooey Says I’d be locked out of my account in 7 days, was creepily coincidental but I’m not so I don’t.

Just kidding. I totally am a conspiracy theorist. A conspiracy nut, really.)

Anyway, I never did understand what all the hoopla was about Twitter because, as it turns out, the entire time I was on Twitter I wasn’t actually on Twitter, I was just on my home page, from which I would occasionally migrate to read what David Akin or Rosemary Barton or somesuch were tweeting about this or that news event.

No offence to either of them but it seemed a tad tedious, the each to his/her own silo.

Then my Beau showed me something on his screen and I said, “Where is that from?” And he said, “I’m on Twitter.”

Well his Twitter didn’t look anything like my Twitter so I said, “How come your Twitter doesn’t look like my Twitter? Why do you have all those different tweeters on your Twitter but mine is only one tweeter at a time?”

No seriously, are you still reading this? You’ve deleted me from your bookmarks, haven’t you.

Anyway, if you’re still here, then he showed me the “Home” icon and that’s how I became instantly addicted to Twitter.

I can’t imagine how many people I’ve offended by only ever shouting one-liners out into cyber space, which is Neil MacDonald’s complaint about Twitter and to which I thought, “Well, duh…”

Until I clicked on the “Home” icon and started reading everybody else’s tweets and replying and retweeting and liking.

I’ve already blocked two “men”, one for saying I didn’t know what I was talking about  – so fucking what, asshole – and another for hash-tagging a tweet with something about blaming victims of terrorism.

He’s an LPC hack so fuck him anyway. Blocked.

Okay, so yeah, now to get off Twitter and stick to just blogging so that I can finish “My Book! My Book!” etc.

Oh, by the way, the reason this entry is called “On Foot” is because last night I went to a friend’s place for dinner, a friend I made from the internet, and as I was walking from her place to catch my bus home, I came across a young man who seemed less responsive to his surroundings than he needed to be.

We were quite out of the way of the regular street traffic and I tried talking to him, shouting at him, and at one point he made a growling sort of noise but he clearly couldn’t stand up. I wasn’t sure what to do because even though I had a phone in my bag I thought I hadn’t brought it with me (I often don’t) and so walked to the corner in hopes of someone happening by who did.

(I tried flagging two passing police cars but they both ignored me.)

Luckily, a young man did happen by and I corralled him into the situation. Of course he had a phone, too, and being a competent sort, called a number, asked for paramedics, and then we waited. Or rather, he waited, I went to the corner again to flag in the paramedics.

When they arrived, he did all the talking, including an odd diagnosis of “either autistic or on really bad drugs” and so I stood, waiting, until the one paramedic, the female of the duo, said, “Thanks, you can go now. We’ll take over from here.”

And oh my Gord isn’t that a great feeling when people show up who are paid to know what to do and take over from those of us who really don’t know what to do at all.

So when I got home I resolved to take first aid training and what not in the new year so that I’m better prepared for such situations. I plan on doing some volunteering as well as having my sights set on a new job that may involve the odd incident. Even in the store I’m working in now we had a couple of medical emergencies and although I was the first responder it was only to get them help and in both cases – thank Gord! – mall security was happening by at just the right moment.

Inexcusable, really, every parent should have first aid training but somehow I managed to slip through the cracks.

Do NOT let me stay on Twitter beyond 2015. I’m counting on you.



Coming Soon to an Internet Near You! Sooey Bares All!

There’s a book by Sheila Heti called “How Should A Person Be?” that I read a while back. I had a bit of trouble following the story line, but I enjoyed the writing nonetheless.

It’s the title that has stayed with me, though. That and her sleeping with her face beside the subject of her obsession’s penis. It was a metaphor, I guess, maybe a perfect one for a time in a certain kind of woman’s life.

I can say that because I’m that certain kind of woman.

It was hard to quit my job because I like the people and didn’t want to let them down.

It was hard to quit Facebook because I like the people and didn’t want to let them down.

I was going to save the following for my book but I’ve decided against doing that in favour of blogging it here.

I need to accommodate the writing for millions with the writing for free.

A couple of days ago I was coming home on the bus, sitting sort of in the middle, on the seats that face out into the aisle. They’re a little higher and I like sitting a little higher.

Anyway, I was reading my book “A Mood Apart” which is about mania and depression, mostly, and busily diagnosing everyone as I do these days, when I became aware of a man, kind of a scruffy guy, 40-ish?, talking to a young woman, a university student, about her hair.

And his hair, which was in a pony tail.

He was very familiar with her, in a quietly insistent way, but within about a nano-second, as soon as my radar was up and I was aware of this little slice of life playing out in front of me, I knew he was a stranger to her.

A predator.

At one point he touched her midriff (she was wearing a wool pea-coat) to show her where his hair would be if it wasn’t in a ponytail.

He was doing all the talking, she was doing all the responding, keeping it polite, nice, but not encouraging further conversation.

It didn’t matter. He was fixated, in a sexually creepy way.

It was mid-afternoon.

It went on like this, at one point he made sly reference to the women sitting witnessing the exchange, me and two other much younger women, as being not like them, with their long hair.

Co-opting her on his side, against the women he wasn’t interested in, who weren’t approving of him.

He wouldn’t know I’ve been her and can see through him to the pimps on the street.

Then he asked her where she was getting off and she said the next stop was hers and he said oh that’s my stop too.

I wanted to yell at her, then – not him – her.

Stop being so stupid!

If there are anticipatory expressions that a rapist makes, he was making them. Twitching around the mouth, eyes shifting back and forth from the back of her head to the tops of ours, the three of us now all watching, but still not intervening.

How should a person be?

I have no idea why I didn’t say something, I honestly don’t. She was an adult, I guess, and should be allowed to take care of herself? I was afraid to be the object of his what – disappointment?

Surely it wasn’t because I wanted her to learn the hard lesson that her socialization was all wrong, that it’s a terrible trick we play on girls, teaching them that it’s better to be liked by anyone and everyone than to go through life having to make all the first moves.

Be nice. Lucky you, so pretty.

And so she got off the bus, with him following close behind, and I’m still hoping that she wasn’t so stupid as to lead him to where she lived, and that she did what I can still remember doing so many times back when I lived in Toronto, and circling around, ducking in and out, losing more men than I found.

Mostly because I didn’t want to have to let them down. I mean, surely they weren’t all rapists. But I knew I was a mark, from the first time I visited Toronto and made accidental eye contact with a man coming the other way on Yonge Street who then turned on his heel immediately and tried to talk me into coming to his apartment for a drink.

I was… twelve? And I looked… twelve?

It took me several blocks, but I finally managed to get myself out of that bit of awkwardness. I mean, there was never any way I was going to go to his apartment, but it took me a long time to convey that message to him because, well, I didn’t want to let him down.

Fortunately I was for enough years more repulsed by any male interested in me sexually than I was afraid to let them down.


I looked at the woman beside me, sporting a black panther ‘fro, and the woman beside her, with a ring in her nose, and they both made expressions of disgust re the scene they’d just witnessed. The woman beside me rolled her eyes, what a creep, she didn’t seem to have a clue what a creep he was.

But I knew better.

She did, she did know what a creep he was, she just didn’t want to let him down. It was more important to her to be seen as nice, than to be seen as, well, the young woman sporting the black panther ‘fro or the young woman with a ring in her nose.

You know what I mean, the “don’t even think about it”, young woman.

Of course, my blog is really about me, isn’t it, so back to me and what a revelation it was, after all these years, to get it, to finally get it, who’s got it going on and who’s just going along because she’s afraid of being seen as not nice, not pretty.

Even by a creepy predator in a ponytail.

Last night, as I was deleting before deactivating, there was a friend I couldn’t delete. And I couldn’t figure out why or even who. Then I stumbled across who and it was my good friend who died, almost two years ago now, and she’s stuck there, in cyber space, and I smiled because she was kind of a techno-luddite and never managed to post her photo. She’s just the default photo outline.

She used to say, Sooey, pretty is a dime a dozen, Nice is a city in France.

It was so important to me to have a good looking photo of myself on Facebook, then Twitter. I’ve replaced it now with the mono-browed little green pill you see here, although I’ve de-activated Facebook and may soon leave Twitter, too.

Good grief, eh?

My upcoming project, it may relate to “My Book! My Book!” is a full frontal nude photograph of myself, at 56, although maybe I’ll be 57 by the time it comes to fruition, that I want to post to the internet. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since the first girl killed herself over the bullying that ensued after she or someone else posted nude photos of her to the internet.

It just seems like something I can do now that might help, that by shouting, hey, over here, look at me, I’m causing a distraction by being nude online at 56 (or 57), someone else might get the clue she needs that pretty is a dime a dozen and Nice is a city in France.


Why Did We Dump Raw Sewage in the River?

Because we need the clean drinking water.

Last night my Beau woke me up from a dream. I was crying out for help. There were people behind me being pushed off a cliff and people in front of me arguing among themselves. I wanted to be a hero and save the people being pushed off the cliff but I was afraid of being pushed off myself.

Anyway, I don’t know what it was about.

Just kidding.

Also, rest assured that in real life, I’m less fearful than that, and I’m pretty sure you can count on me to not just do the right thing, but as JT says, be seen doing the right thing. I think it might be menopause. I don’t feel like I have to save myself to be somebody anymore, I can just be anybody.

It’s unbelievably liberating but also makes it more likely that I’ll do the right thing.

I haven’t been tested, though, so who knows.

Facebook wants to know my real name. Why? Who cares? How does it matter at all who I am in cyber space. Or real life, for that matter.

But back to my dream. I had watched The National before bed and a panel was on to discuss what will probably happen in the wake of the attacks by terrorists on Parisians out enjoying a Friday night on the town.

Interesting that what started all this for us, if not for the millions of dead and stateless in the Middle East, was an attack by terrorists on Americans in their workplace.

Although I guess Charlie Hebdo attack was an attack on Parisians in their workplace, too.

Ok, never mind. Conspiracy theory that terrorists attack Americans at work but Parisians at play over.

Anyway, the panel discussion was almost over and all of a sudden Ray Boisvert, lobbyist for Hill Knowlton, who can be seen to be making sense even when he’s not, which is why he’s a public relations thingy, I guess, made a wild pitch for Canada to drop more bombs than ever on Iraq.

It was so inappropriate that Peter Moosebridge, I mean, Mansbridge felt compelled to tell him to knock it off – by suggesting he save it for next time when they’d be discussing whether or not to drop more bombs than ever on Iraq.

Terrorists sure do bring out the crazy in lobbyists, eh?

Oh, and politicians.

Come on down, Brad Wall.

On second thought, don’t. Stay in Saskatchewan where you can see the terrorists coming for miles. And miles. And miles. And, oh, wait, that’s just an abandoned grain elevator.

Never mind.

I’ve been reading a lot of different articles, varying points of view, with regard to how Daesh came to be, who Daesh is, why we’re involved, what we’re doing, not doing.

Spoiler alert: The CIA did it.

It’s hard to believe there’s anyone left who thinks we should be adding to the chaos of Iraq and Syria with more bombs but there but for the grace go they.

Harder still to believe that so many Canadians are reluctant to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada, let alone only 25,000.

Never put me in charge of a Ministry of Deportation or say goodbye to an entire swath of old stock Canadians.

Out with the old and in with the new, I say. We can do better than this, surely.

My plan now is to leave Facebook and not return. There’s a commitment to it that you don’t realize until it’s time for bed and all you’ve done all day is read free news articles.

And here’s me wanting to grow up one day and become a real live writer.

Make a million $$$.

Montreal’s recent dumping of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence so that it can make long needed repairs to its sewage treatment infrastructure serves as a perfect metaphor for our times, I think.

Maybe I’ll even leave Twitter. I can’t imagine the people I’ve insulted over my time on Twitter. I only ever shout one-liners out into cyber space. I never read the one-liners other Tweeters are shouting out into cyber space.

Stupid selfish Twitter.

I have a blog, email. You’d think that would be enough social media for one human being.

I’m stopping arguing with people I don’t agree with because I think it just adds to the noise. It’s become so noisy, cyber space, and I should never have thought that someone as impressionable as me could manage my limited wherewithal in it.

Yesterday I met with my guy at the bank. After I’d ascertained that it doesn’t matter to him, commission-wise, what I do, I vetoed investing in anything for the moment. He’d had an idea that I might want to invest in this ten company option the bank offers that includes Enbridge and Shaw. I’m ashamed to admit that I was going to do it because he’s fun to deal with but then my universe righted itself and I said no. Ugh. No can do.

Although I guess I’m a customer of Enbridge, so, glass house, stones, etc.

I know, eh – compromised much, Sooey?


I need the clean drinking water.


“Mohammed Ezzat”

A “Mohammed Ezzat” mysteriously became a Facebook friend the other day, unbeknownst to me.

“He” even has an Arabic Facebook page.

Anyway, I only noticed because yesterday, Facebook suddenly demanded I provide documents proving I’m Sooey Says.


Guess the jig’s up on Facebook, not that Sooey Says isn’t a perfectly crommulent name, but having just quit an $11/hr p/t retail job I’m not about to be bullied by a dated social media site.

But it spooked me and so I deleted a few things. I don’t have much on my Facebook page, anyway, but since I’ll obviously be leaving it now I don’t want to leave anything behind.


Looks like the internet might get smaller for some of us, moving forward, as they say at government meetings. Interesting times, interesting times.

Not sure whether to leave a ghost site or ask for de-activation after I’ve deleted everything and unfriended everyone. Thoughts?


Two Things, Really

1) How is it not just shameful and cowardly for Canadians to want to deny or even slow down refuge for Syrians in crisis right now, frantically fleeing war and terror.

2) What culture and way of life would our new government be protecting by giving in to such shameful and cowardly demands, emanating at ever louder frequency from certain quarters.


A Ruthless, Merciless Eye for a Ruthless, Merciless Eye

I didn’t realize we can hide comments on Facebook, unfollow without defriending, during times of unleashed vox populi.

Now I know what others have been doing to me. Well good for you. I don’t blame you a bit.

It’s funny, but I didn’t realize until now that almost all of my anxiety is self-generated, that when I look around me as I post, the dog is staring at me from the couch, hoping I’ll make eye contact (which means a game of chase) and my Beau is across from me writing.

My son is upstairs still sleeping, although that’s about to change soon thanks to our provincial government.

Young men when they fall from grace fall hard. It’s sexist, I know, but we need to invest in them more than we do. It will pay off in spades for us all down the road. Young women don’t really need our help so much as they need us to stay out of their way.

I suggest we start by a judicial review of all judges appointed by the recent Conservative government.

I read something this morning that I agree with, though, that the response to the murders in Paris will just be more of the same, that is to say, madness, and so will lead to more of the same again.

Cripes, the state response to the terrorist attack may as well precede it now, it’s all so predictable, isn’t it.

You’d think it would be a tricky business responding more ruthlessly, mercilessly, to Islamic terrorism (yes, “Islamic”), while continuing to do business with the primary funders of it, but it doesn’t seem to be the case for our leaders, who are just more of the same empire building reactionaries who got us into this royally mad mess, aren’t they.

Anyway, if you ask me, and nobody ever does so rest assured, the CIA doesn’t get blamed often enough for, well, all of this ruthless, merciless backlash, which is what the dead and injured innocents of Paris just suffered.



Talk the Talk

Well that was awful, is awful, will continue to be awful.

The store manager had the news texted to her at work last night by her military husband who ended it with, “And the Liberals think we’re safe.”

She then made what I thought at the time was a bizarre leap over to the Syrian refugee crisis.

“And Germany thinks they can take in all those Syrians! They can’t! Look at what just happened in Paris! They’re terrorists!”

I didn’t even have time to react before she was gone again in a flurry of communication with the old ball and chain about the events unfolding in Paris.

I refolded a sweater.

It was just three of us working, the third a young Muslim woman in high heels and a short skirt who recently escaped a bad marriage (she told me) and lives with her boyfriend.

“He’s Christian!” she reassured me.

Her parents don’t know about her living arrangements, she said, so I reassured her that they probably do, but like most parents they don’t want to have to deal with… anything.

It had never occurred to her that they might know, that they just don’t want to have to acknowledge it, but as soon as I suggested the possibility I could tell that she knew they did.

There had been not so subtle hints from them that they did.

She even laughed.

Later still she came to me, “You don’t think she thinks I’m one of them, do you?! Those terrorists aren’t Muslims! We’re peaceful! I won’t even kill a mosquito! Tell me she doesn’t think I’m-”

“No, she doesn’t. At all. But if it will put your mind at ease, ask her. Right now while I’m standing here beside you, because my shift is over soon. Ah, here she is now.”

She doesn’t know I’m leaving altogether in a couple of weeks, the new hire.

So she did. She asked her. Right then and there. And she said back, shocked, as I knew she’d be once it was brought to her attention by a woman she’d just hired that her fulminations about Muslim terrorists were making her uncomfortable, “No! Of course not!”

“I love Christmas! My boyfriend is Christian! Honest! My parents are traditional but they’re peaceful! Honest! I just told Sooey I won’t even kill a mosquito! Our religion is peaceful! Those aren’t real Muslims! They’re psychos!”

While the store manager looked at me in alarmed panic.

She’s ignorant, but she’s not stupid.

I just looked back at her as blankly as I could and didn’t say, “See?”

A friend on Facebook posted last night that if anyone were so stupid as to link the Paris murders to Syrian refugees fleeing an even worse level of violence than what has just happened in Paris they’d be immediately unfriended.

Like me, he’s had enough. I don’t know what took me so long but it was a real lightbulb moment to realize that I don’t have to argue anymore.

Ignoring really is the best policy.

And I just say to my Conservative friend now, “I’m not talking about that today. Next topic.” And so on. It works well enough. I’ll leave it to his girlfriend to talk sense to him if she feels so inclined.

There’s something about this new government, the people in it, that takes a load off.

They’re good people, more or less. And I feel like I can relax my guard now.

I left a favourite haunt not long after the election, and no, I won’t return to it after a hiatus as I have so many times before.

I’ve had enough of sexist and racist commentary to last me for the rest of my life, thanks, whether governing politician, professional pundit, or vox populi.

The store was lousy with it during the election, customers, a couple of co-workers, two out of three managers.

All white, all from here.

People who really could use a shitload of therapy, in my opinion.

The other day a man was in the store lecturing my young co-worker from Ghana and I about how Mexicans will be invading Canada next. I told him he sounded like Donald Trump. He accused me of being a Communist.

I walked away, knowing I’m quitting, then walked back and said, “It’s funny you should spot that because I am a Communist.”

He left the store triumphant.

He was there with his sister. A couple of old oddball siblings. She had just been lecturing my co-worker from Portugal about the terrors of immigration.

Oh, they had accents, by the way. And not Newfoundland accents, either.

It’s ignorant speak. I’ve taken on the store manager, carefully, because it’s real life, not the internet, but last night I didn’t bother taking her on. I know she knows better, she knows she knows better, and now her new hire knows she knows better.

Good enough, as my new motto goes.