Sunday September 21 , 2014

Category: Sooey Says

Brakes, What Are They Good For Anyway

I’m currently being spammed by a bot and just deleting my spam folder wholesale so if you’re a newcomer wanting to comment hold off for a day or two until it moves on please.

These bots are a curious thing. There’s no point to them, as far as I can tell, and yet, there go they, pretending to offer deals on this and that, praising my web blog for its timely information on this important topic, providing links guaranteed based on bot testimonials to increase traffic to my site.

My Conservative friend, who set up this website, is having serious car woes and is also preoccupied with his American ladyfriend and not much use to me anymore save for a rare drive to Costco and/or Canadian Tire for a few items. It’s all good, though, because by the time we actually get to Costco or Canadian Tire, I’ve forgotten all about whatever it is I thought I needed or improvised with stuff I already have or decided it’s not worth the time, effort and cost of making or installing whatever it is I thought would do the trick.

I have issues with money and can always justify not using it to calm my issues with everything else in life.

I’ll be very relieved when it’s all over, so remember that when you’re sobbing big globby tears all over your keyboard at the news of my passing, if such a day should ever come.

I’m agnostic on death.

I’m not agnostic on Richard Dawkins, though, so don’t tell him I said that, please. He’s had quite enough with people like me. But really, I think he should go to Russia and manage Pussy Riot, where challenging the notion that an all powerful being communicates through men in elaborate costumes can land a girl band in prison.

Pussy Riot needs you, Richard Dawkins!

Invade Estonia!

You’ll be relieved to know that at Costco I picked up a big bag of frozen fruit for my osteoporosis prevention smoothies – Smmmosteos – which I make with filtered 3% milk.

I have no idea what it means to filter milk, but I’m a sucker sometimes for certain words used in association with other certain words.

Also, a big box of chicken nuggets made with white meat (because chicken nuggets made with dark meat didn’t fly with the consuming public, I guess) that I’ll eat between two slices of white bread with lots of mayonnaise. I may invest in some lettuce to go with my chicken nugget sandwiches, lettuce that I’ll wash in a bowl with some cold tap water and a bit of vinegar.

One of the women on those camping with lesbians trips I can’t afford to do right now was in the army and she shared the vinegar tip with me.

No, it’s not that I can’t afford it, I just don’t like camping and no longer wish to pay for the privilege of doing it with lesbians, no matter how skilled they are at wilderness cooking.

That’s me being bad and breaking all my random foodie rules (eating chicken nugget standwiches), which are based partly on my favourite political quote, Anna Lappe’s “every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for what kind of world you want” and partly on Scottish Presbyterianism Gone Wild. And I’ve never tried it, but I will one day, a friend from the old days at the caucus, an Irish lass who was a dead ringer for Marianne Faithful, who, in my opinion, ranks as one of the most beautiful women in the world, used to put potato chips between two slices of white bread with lots of mayonnaise after a night out at the pub.

It would have to be Miss Vicky’s for me to enjoy it, though. Lays in a pinch.

We had a lot of fun together, my Irish friend and I, although never over “chip sandwiches”. She was always careful to keep me separate from whoever her boyfriend was at the time, after one of her ex-husbands called her up to ask after my health.

She told him I had just recently acquired herpes (not true – I have a horseshoe up my ass!) and to steer clear.

It wasn’t even that she was a jealous type (although she was) she just didn’t want to be bothered. She was an incredible slattern, as I recall, and terrible with money. She also walked away from a fortune inherited by her ne’erdowell ex that would eventually go to her daughter, an only grandchild. I guess she’d be in her late 30s now.

Crap, too old for my son, who could use a fortune to marry.

My son? Hell, too old for Peter MacKay!

Also, she was a vegetarian, which in the 80s didn’t include fish and/or eggs, or she’d have died of malnutrition.

Here’s a funny story about her. She managed to find herself, after a couple of unsatisfactory digs (and being related to the Queen, as all assorted British immigrants to Canada inevitably are) an apartment in a house in one of those perpetually up-and-coming black holes of downtown Toronto that for some inexplicable reason met with her standards of what’s what. Except that the carpet, she decided, need redoing and so it was that she called in a consultant from Sears to have a look.

It was the only time I was ever in a residence of hers, such was her determination to keep me well away from her boyfriends, who weren’t my type anyway, since I had my now ex the entire time I knew her, and I wish I’d had a video camera to record the reaction of the consultant from Sears as she surveyed the dingy abode the anemic looking renter in thrift shop raggery was planning to have re-carpeted.

Finally, after about half an hour of swatches and gibby gabbing about light through greasy front north facing windows and no light at all from east or west, I suggested we get down to the nitty gritty of quotes.

And so the consultant from Sears quoted the price for the lovely dune shade of sisal, assuming living-room and stairs only, and my friend looked at me, and then back at the consultant from Sears, and so I added, “She means per square foot, P.”

Because, of course, she had no idea, did she. And so the maniacal laughter and even the consultant from Sears joined in after a while and P. swore her to secrecy, and me, too, although I told everybody as soon as we got back to the office because it was just so funny and so P. that she thought she could afford wall-to-wall carpeting from Sears when she couldn’t even afford its footwear.

But that reminds me, too, of another Irish friend from the old days at the caucus. She’s now a spokesperson for gay and lesbian rights and whatnot and she and P. and I were talking one day, or rather, they were talking about Dublin, and I asked, “What was it like, though, growing up with all that violence?”

“What violence?”

“Well, you know, the IRA, Northern Ireland right next door. All that violence.”

“Oh well, that’s Belfast. We lived in Dublin. The troubles in Belfast are as far away from Dublin as they are from Toronto.”

And, you know, P. might think that of anything anywhere but H. was/is very well-informed politically and so that always stuck with me because she was being very honest about how unaffected she was by the violence in Belfast growing up in Dublin.

But apparently, after the Berlin Wall came down, it was a difficult adjustment for West Germans because East Germans, their kin, were as politically different from them as, apparently, half the Scots of Scotland are from the Scots of Great Britain, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

There isn’t strength in numbers, though, is there, or 1% of the people of the world wouldn’t essentially own it, would they.

But be cheered, my Conservative friend let it slip that he is now one of them, or, at least, his company is, the 1%, and he’s no closer to having his serious car woes solved than I would be if I owned a car with faulty brakes because, you know, life in Canada reached its peak in the 70s (under PET, but that’s me interjecting) when we had all that we needed, which is sex, drugs, and rock & roll (that’s him, so I interjected again with how much I like having a house, but he interjected back that you could have a house in the 70s, too, or, at least, your parents could) and that nothing that has happened since, particularly to do with technology, has improved our lives in the slightest.

That’s the field that got him to the 1%, by the way, technology, although to be fair, his father was probably pretty close to the 1% back in the 70s, if we’d thought to have such a thing in the good old days instead of just a spreading middle-class country of immigrants voting for peace, order and good government.

 

Hey, Let’s Bomb Cancer!

Oh wait, we are, ISIL is cancer, isn’t it.

That’s what Obama calls ISIL, anyway. Cancer. And he’s going to perform bombing surgery on it.

I lurve “Boring Obama” below. Every time I look at it I laugh. Whoever took the photo should get the Nobel Peace Prize.

I know what you’re thinking, rightwing lunatics, “Yabbut, you’d say anybody but Stephen Harper should get the Nobel Peace Prize, Sooey”.

It’s true. Tabatha Southey, who I’ll read later today, after the man of the house buys the Saturday Globe (funny, isn’t it, what gender decides), apparently has a piece in today lamenting that Stephen Harper gets to be the Prime Minister at the same time when a ship from that damned Franklin expedition is discovered.

I can’t be happy about anything that might give credit to Stephen Harper. He could solve climate change and I’d be shaking my head that he only did it for himself.

Ooh. Could somebody convince Stephen Harper that if he solved climate change he’d only be doing it for himself, please?!

Omigawd, way to solve climate change much, Sooey?

By the way, it took me several looks before I even noticed the woman in the photo, who is camouflaged as the flag. My sister-in-law, after I emailed “Boring Obama” to her and my brother (and my kids, my mom, my ex, etc) suggested, “Maybe it’s the artwork”.

Check out the artwork. So boring. I didn’t notice it, either. Heck it took me a few seconds to notice the kid trying to smother himself in the couch, Obama is so boring.

I may commission my daughter, who’s a fabulously talented artist, to copy the artwork for me to put above the couch. Or maybe I’ll blow up “Boring Obama” and put it above the couch and the copied artwork on the wall opposite.

I actually tweeted about blowing up “Boring Obama” on 9/11, if you can believe it. I know, eh? Lucky to be here on 9/13, that’s for sure.

Okay, it was accidental on purpose.

When the kids were little I bought high-quality postcards for them to do artwork on and send to their grandmother, who also paints. Anyway, I just tossed it off to them as a little make work project to keep them busy, something I had to be careful about in future because, o.mi.god. My oldest, having been given an assignment, perused her library reference book about birds, and painstakingly reproduced a photograph of an eagle.

Using Crayola water paint pencils.

It looks like a Bateman.

I kept it as a reminder that children aren’t ours, they’re other people, more like children everywhere than adults anywhere, and they have a different appreciation of time, space, energy, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

It’s important to pay attention sometimes.

I experience that in my retail job, too, working with the university girls. It’s a privilege, really, to revisit vicariously that time in my own life. We do grow old, though, even in this sibling society of ours that Conservatives so much want to deny, and while it may not always be mental/emotional, it sure as hell is physical.

I have to limber up in the mornings now or I creak.

Speaking of “Boring Obama”, some smart-alec (aleck?) put together a slide show, currently making the rounds of Facebook, of the past four presidents all announcing to Americans that it was time to bomb Iraq.

George Bush Sr, Clinton, George Bush Jr, and Obama.

Isn’t it weird that that nattering nabob of negativity, Dick Cheney, won’t shut up and go away but George Bush Jr. has gracefully retired to paint portraits of men in suits?

It would be nice if young men (and women, although I’m with Gloria Steinem, not just on the misanthropy of war, but on the misogyny female soldiers are expected to ignore from men here while they wage war on men there) just stopped signing up and politicians had to run for re-election on re-instating the draft.

Or didn’t, and just re-instated it, because we’ve become that powerless in our own democracies, and everybody was forced to wake up and smell the coffee.

I’m feeling bullied by men on the internet into pretending to care that Rob Ford may or may not have a life threatening illness that has caused him to drop out of the race for mayor and down into a race for councilor, while his other brother, Doug, scrambles to file registration papers on time so he can take his place in the mayor’s chair.

Eff off, eh? (I’m trying to cut down on swearing.) No, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Rob Ford. He’s just another dangerous man in a world run by dangerous men.

Head’s up, by the way, when the rumour was that he had a blockage in his colon, lots of possibilities came to mind as to who it might be.

Yup. Joe Warmington, come on down, you win!

(I have no idea who Joe Warmington is, so don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.)

I figure if the men of power and politics really cared about Rob Ford themselves, who was acting an awful lot like Lady MacBeth, if you ask me, which no one ever does, they’d ask him if he knows what happened to Jaclyn Dawe, missing since February 9, 2013 (when rumours of the crack smoking video first surfaced), her car abandoned outside 51 Benway (where the crack smoking took place).

I can’t be the only woman who wonders if Rob Ford knows anything about what happened to Jaclyn Dawe. Or maybe Stephen Harper knows. He seems to know a lot about missing Aboriginal girls and women, enough not to feel the need for a national inquiry into their whereabouts, anyway.

Oh what I’d give to be a fly on the rod of one of their fishing trips together, although I suspect it’s just another fabricated relationship.

“Owen doesn’t have any friends!”

For sure we won’t find ourselves basking beside the men of power and politics in the reflected glory of another politician’s passing. Or not. Whatever. Even Jesus didn’t care about EVERYBODY. Remember the vendors in the temple?

Grr. I hate it when politicos pretend they’re better than Jesus.

Anyway, go look at “Boring Obama”. It’s funny. Even ISIL thinks so.

And ISIL doesn’t have cancer, it is cancer.

 

Boring Obama

 

Knocked Up/Knocked Out – A Woman in the News

I tell my kids, it’s not the other person, it’s the relationship, and all sorts of factors that are beyond your control can have an effect on the relationship.

To drive it home, I tell them that if I was looking, and met their dad today, I might rope him off from the herd and live happily ever after.

Although, I might just leave him to somebody else and instead get a groovy bachelorette somewhere hip and happening and live out my days as a party of one.

There’s always the internet for company. In fact, that’s sometimes the problem, isn’t it.

A friend in university who used to steal all our boyfriends away from us because she was a 5’2″ blond gymnast who liked sex once told me she stayed away from dildos because she was worried they might be better than the real thing.

So yes, I told two friends, and they told two friends, and she ended up getting 64 dildos for her birthday.

As I blogged a while back, I read an Anne Tyler novel, one of many that I’ve read over the years, and in this one the wife/mother walks away, literally, from her life in one town to start a new one down the highway.

Spoiler Alert!

The ending is disappointing and satisfying at once, in that she ends up back home, everyone a year further along in life. I was attracted to her spartan new life (and liked her more for it), but I could feel myself growing suspicious when she became Mary Poppins to a divorced father and son and extended family, all of whom seemed to be at an earlier stage of development than the family she had left behind.

Anne Tyler always errs on the side of the side of the original marriage. But the older I get, the less frustrated it makes me that she does.

I was on the dog walk (a commenter asked for a good dog story, to compensate for my bad dawg story of two days ago, so unfair, really) with my Beau today and as usual I chatted the entire time and as usual he didn’t scream, “Shut up! Just shut up, you crazy stupid yakking bitch! Can’t you see I’m t’inkin’!” Not that my ex did, either, but I didn’t chat to him as much because by the time we had a dog, we had three kids, too, and I walked the dog by myself and he played video games in the basement.

Yeah, yeah, the kids hung out together doing whatever. Get off our backs.

(And actually, my ex did delight in yelling, “Shut yer trap, I’m t’inkin’!”, but it was all in good fun. We’d just be sitting there and I’d start, “So”, and he’d yell, “Shut yer trap, I’m t’inkin’!” He also delighted in yelling, “Godabed!” whenever one of the kids would approach him to fix a toy or somesuch. It was a riff on that AA commercial featuring the drunk dad sitting in his armchair and the kid asking him to fix his broken truck and the drunk dad fumbles around for a bit and then yells “Godabed!” We laughed ourselves silly over it. All of us. It was hilarious. Every. Single. Effin’. Time.)

“So -”

“Shut yer trap! I’m t’inkin’!”

“Dad? Can you -”

“Godabed!”

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

But he has a better relationship with a different woman and I have a better relationship with a different man and even if I didn’t I’d rather have a groovy bachelorette on my own now than another romantic relationship.

I read an angry rant today posted on my FB page by a young woman about how racist and sexist and victim-blaming we’re all being with regard to the girlfriend, now wife, of the football player who knocked her out cold. She’s angry that we’re watching video replays of the elevator assault, and wants us to stop.

But while I agree it’s invasive, I don’t think there’s much to be done about it. And while we should empathize more than we do “victims’ rights” is just a manipulative and cynical component of the larger agenda by Conservative politicians to roll back civil liberties and meddle/muscle in our system of justice.

We should all enjoy the same rights, no need for special ones.

But when I saw her lying there in her short skirt it brought back an unseen image of my daughter in the early days of grade ten passed out drunk in the washroom at a high school dance.

I got a call from the vice-principal, could I please come and pick up my daughter, she’s passed out drunk in the girls’ washroom.

“Omigawd! Is she okay?”

“She’s fine. The police are with her.”

“The police?! Omigawd!”

“No, no, the police were already here, they were here anyway, she’s fine, we just need you to come and pick her up.”

But I couldn’t pick her up because I didn’t (and still don’t) have a car, but, of course, she told the vice-principal to call me because she didn’t want to involve her dad. Alas, he had the car and so had to be called.

And after he picked her up, he dropped her off, at my place, refusing even to help me get her out of the car and up to my apartment.

Okay. Now I’m mad all over again. That, was not cool, not cool at all.

But before the uncool drop-off and while I was still on the phone to the vice-principal, she advised me that my daughter would be suspended for two days.

“Okay. I guess. But look, isn’t that just stigmatizing her further? I mean, I don’t want her to be that girl who showed up drunk at the school dance.”

At which point the vice-principal didn’t laugh, exactly, but I’m pretty sure I heard her eyes roll.

“No, no, you don’t understand. This happens all the time. It happens during school hours. There’s no stigma. It’s not about stigma. The suspension is to provide a break between the event and the behaviour we want from students when they’re on school property.”

“Oh. Okay. Well, you’ll have to call her dad because he has the car.”

Discipline isn’t my thing, worry is my thing, and it was hard to get rid of the image of my daughter lying on the washroom floor in her cute little dress, barf in her hair, etc etc etc. So while she barfed all night into a bucket (so she wouldn’t have to get up and make it to the bathroom, of which we only had the one) her younger brother got a teaching moment and her older sister got the mom-needed info that there was nothing more to the event than a mixture of household booze obtained at a friend’s place.

Did I tell you we all lived in a one bedroom apartment together every weekend for seven years?

That’s several years ago now and I don’t know if anyone took photos of her in that state but later in her life when someone took photos of her in another state (and state) and then tried to blackmail her into marrying him, and she finally decided to tell me the truth about her mysterious comings and goings, I advised her, “Well, I guess you’d better marry him, then.”

“Mom!”

“Well, I don’t see that you have any choice.”

Because, of course, I did. And so did she. And then to make her feel better I said, “By the way, don’t tell anybody but I made a sex tape and posted it on the internet and now it’s gone totally viral. Okay. You can tell everybody. Too late. I already did.”

So the girlfriend, now wife, of the football player who knocked her out cold is upset that, thanks to the media, a video of the event is there for anybody with internet access to watch (and they played it on The National last night, with a warning by Peter Mansbridge that it is “hard to watch”, even though it isn’t).

The whole media circus is having a negative effect on their new life together as man and wife, she says, and the young woman author of the piece I read this morning concurs.

(It seems these days like all days the woman in the news is always just the girlfriend or wife or pregnant, and the man is always SOMEBODY, and the baby is going to be SOMEBODY, most likely our future King, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.)

I suppose it does take away from the honeymoon, a video on the nightly news of your new husband knocking you out cold back when you were just his girlfriend. Also, he’s not a football player anymore, just some putz in anger management counseling to avoid jail time.

And yeah, Rihanna, to whom a poster of inspirational quotes making the rounds of Facebook is dedicated, a sample of which includes, “I ain’t got no fucks to give”, well, sure, she can go on from being punched in the face by Chris Brown to joining him in holy matrimony, too, her choice, no one’s got a gun to her head, unless and until he does, but whatever.

And yet, maybe we’ve come a long way, baby, when a young woman can publish an angry rant in support of another young woman’s wish that we all unwatch a video of her being knocked out cold by her now husband so that they can enjoy their newly married lives together in peace and harmony.

While other women send tweets to #WhyIStayed, using the internet to send messages of support, encouragement, and understanding to themselves, each other, and the rest of us.

Breathe in, breathe out, and repeat after me: Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to empathize.

 

 

 

 

Where Have All The Jihadis Gone…

The title’s a riff on Marlene Dietrich’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”, which I learned in grade two, along with “Red Rubber Ball” and “Winchester Cathedral”.

Our teacher, Miss R, was a drug addict/alcoholic who was into music and creepy stories, like “I Am Joe’s Spine” from Reader’s Digest, and “The Search for the Girl with the Blue (Green?) Eyes”, which was a book about reincarnation.

Several years later she took to calling our house, slurred remembrances of things past that I’m pretty sure had nothing to do with me, but by then my older sister and brother were gone and there was a possibility the call might be for me so I always answered the phone when it rang.

It never was, except for the times when it was Miss R. Finally, I told my mom about it and the next time Miss R called my mom told her to lay off the booze. I’m not sure if she was more weirded out that Miss R had been calling our house or that I had been taking her calls, but that was the end of that.

It’s funny, I don’t think of my mother as being very involved in my life growing up, in a protective sense I mean, but I’m still here, so I guess she was, somewhat, at least.

Still, it was an awfully subtle kind of caring.

I’m more of an internet addict than my kids are, and communicate on it without reservation, as if I’m writing a letter to my friend E. that I will then have delivered to her home by post, so that she can read it a week hence from its writing, and not posting it online for anyone anywhere with internet access to read anytime.

But it’s all outward bound, my addiction, offloading into cyber space. I want to be read, yes, that’s why I write, and I welcome commentary, but I put it out there and leave it.

And it’s true, I am my biggest fan.

But that’s not what this entry is about, because this entry is about a somewhat revealing non-fact mentioned, almost in passing, on The National the other night. It had to do with all the young men headed over to Syria to fight with ISIL, the non-fact being how a majority of Canadians supposedly feel about it.

I call it a non-fact because it was just a random bit of possible information gleaned from a poll, so meaningless, really, but it also more or less reflected how I realized I feel, particularly after seeing, on The National, night after night, a clip of young men ripping up their passports, throwing them into the fire, and threatening, “We’re coming for you, Canada”.

Oh really? How? You just burned your passports.

Y”eedjits.

Later, on another episode of The National, when I hear that they’ve been killed while fighting with ISIL (or more likely, not fighting with ISIL, but that’s not the point here) I think of the clip, since played over and over and over on The National, of them ripping up their passports, throwing them into the fire, and threatening, “We’re coming for you, Canada”.

As if they weren’t Canadian, no doubt having learned how to start a passport burning fire at YMCA camp.

Like me, the poll claims, more Canadians don’t care about young jihadis going over to Syria to fight for ISIL, than do – as long as they don’t come back.

Which, well, without passports…

The National doesn’t mention how Canadians feel about our young jihadis dying over in Syria, but I can tell you, having seen the clip, many times, of them ripping up their passports, throwing them into the fire, and threatening, “We’re coming for you, Canada”, well, c’est la vie, eh?

And yet, when I first saw the clip it struck me as a transparent attempt to manipulate me into feeling anger towards Muslims, and I couldn’t believe that other Canadians wouldn’t feel that way, too.

I mean, what do we really know about who/where/why or even when?

But after seeing it again and again and again, I became annoyed. If the Canadians polled were people like me, people who’d seen that clip a dozen or so times, no wonder they’re hoping for one-way trips.

Ungrateful little shits.

But, you know, imagine if Canadians saw a clip of Stephen Harper telling American Republicans over and over night after night on The National: “Canada is a northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. If you’re like all Americans, you know almost nothing about countries other than your own. Which makes you more knowledgeable about at least one country more than most Canadians.”

We’d be just as happy if he didn’t return home from selling us out abroad to multinational corporate psychopaths on what by now must be frequent flyer points, wouldn’t we.

Okay. Happier.

Okay. Be honest. It wouldn’t even take hearing him describe us as lazy and stupid.