Saturday July 02 , 2016

Experienced Cupcaker

So that was harder than I thought it would be, the end of my contract and subsequent leave-taking today. It was hectic, too, because there was a cupcake contest and I’m so bejeezly competitive that I just had to enter it, even though I had a million and one things to fix in the government before I left it behind.

Just kidding. I fixed everything last week. Your cheques are in the mail.

But for the contest I made chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting and they were rich and powerful but probably a little too much so to win. Still, I might. About a half hour before the contest I had the brilliant idea to slice the tops off the cupcakes and frost the bottom and then frost the top.

You know, like a double layer cake except a cupcake.

(I brought the frosting in a separate container from the cupcakes because I’m smarter than the time I brought already frosted cupcakes to work. On the bus.)

But as my student non-co-worker and I were setting up my section of the table, it was hard not to notice the all-out decorations of some of my competitors. (I did a hilarious write-up of my cupcakes that included the recipe but I forgot what pigs people are at these things and how they just grab and pay and don’t bother reading hilarious write-ups.)

I sucked up pretty cravenly to the judges and left a sign with a sad face on it saying it was my last day, but now I realize that was extra stupid, not extra smart, because the winner is announced Monday and why would they choose someone who won’t even be there?

Grr. Also, scoring was divided into three components – taste, style, and I’m not sure what the other third was, and my cupcakes looked like something Susannah Moodie might have brought to a church potluck, while other cupcakes looked like they were made for a themed Beverly Hills birthday party, the theme being Exotic Cupcakes.

Cripes, I was venturing out of my culinary box with maple sugar sprinkled atop the buttercream frosting (made with salted butter, icing sugar and vanilla – the salted butter being a perfect contrast to the sweet icing sugar) because I’m a firm believer in not junking up food with fads.

Anyway, I bought back six of the dozen because I could tell that a lot of my phony baloney competitors had used mixes and mine were made from scratch, and also people are moronic when it comes to junked up cupcakes.

Seriously, though, it’s a cupcake contest. Who the hell would use a mix for the cupcakes?

Well, everybody, that’s who. Some slatterns even used frosting out of a can.

?!

Fortunately, another non-co-worker has discerning taste and she bought and ate one of my cupcakes. She’d just come back from a Weight Watchers meeting, too, which struck me a bit like going from an AA meeting to a bar – for a tray of shooters – but whatever, you’re your own cupcake control board, lady. When I checked in on her in her cubicle she was kind of splayed in her chair looking like she might go into a cupcake coma.

“They’re a little dense. I think I’d better just sit here and stare for a while. Water. I need water. Get me water.”

And so I did and when I came back she was right where I’d left her.

“I didn’t taste them myself. Are they good, though?”

“I can’t talk right now, not about the cupcakes. Come back in an hour.”

Anyway, I brought them home again, on the bus, and I can’t even begin to tell you how insane public transit is in Ottawa right now, what with Bank Street closed off for Glow Fest, and put them in the fridge.

At about 7:30, my blond companion and I each ate one. And as good as they are I have to admit they’re a little on the rich side and I kind of feel now like I ate an entire cake about 40 minutes ago, so I probably won’t win the contest.

I dunno. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to add them to my resume, either.

 

Paid Work/Cyber Life Balance

Moving right along…

I had my going away lunch yesterday, Japanese food, and seriously – who knew?

Well, Japanese people,  I guess, but it was so good. If I had lots of money I’d hire a chef to cook me Japanese food every day for lunch until I shuffle off this real mortal coil, and not the cyber one, as my favourite haters will notice I haven’t done.

“We can’t quit you, Sooey!”

As you would know if you read my blog carefully, like they do, and don’t just skim it looking for gardening tool references like CSIS probably does, I’m sort of a half-arsed vegetarian (also teetotaler because alcohol is dead to me now, just not necessary pot, although I haven’t had any beyond the cookie I told you about earlier) so I ordered the vegetarian bento box.

Oh, did I say half-arsed vegetarian? I meant omnivore extraordinaire.

I like to sample vegetarianism from the professionals.

Anyway, it was kind of a weird lunch because nobody at it was actually on my team, my team and I having fallen into an awkward situation whereby I ended up not really working with them until so late in my contract that they were kind of huffy about it.

I did point out to the manager that I’m just a half-priced temp from an agency and I don’t really care what the hell I do as long as I get paid, but she was all like, oh never mind, I’m sure you’re happy working for the team that isn’t paying you, by all means, carry on, don’t let the team that is get in your way.

So I did but then I’d check back with her, okay, so I’m doing this now with them, is that alright or do you need me to do something for you, or…

Oh you go right ahead and do that for them, we’re swamped but don’t let that bother you, we’ll just keep paying for your contract while they don’t.

Okay, as long as you’re sure.

Oh I’m sure alright.

It’s not that my team doesn’t like me, either, because they do, but by the time my goodbye lunch rolled around it just seemed silly to do a social thing when we hadn’t really done a work thing so the two other teams I’ve been working with sent me off.

I love a free lunch because I like to have my cake and eat it too. My not manager, who made a little speech and complained on my behalf to my team that wasn’t there that I hadn’t been used to my full advantage, paid for it. Another non-team member invited me to her farm later, although I think it’s to harvest her haul, and two non-team members implored me to join Facebook again so I could 1) see her play, and 2) take her yoga class.

The student said she didn’t know what she would have done without me, although it’s more the other way around because she was so helpful with all the technological fuckery necessary to know in an office these days.

People: Excel is for math. Word is for text. Please create accordingly.

But as someone who doesn’t do anything much I have to ask of people who do, doesn’t anybody just go to work and home again and call that a big day anymore?

All this to say that it might be Twitter that has to go for me and Facebook that has to make a return because Facebook is useful for keeping in touch with people I actually know and Twitter really is shouting one liners out into cyber space (thanks Neil McDonald).

And, of course, blogging, which is my hobby, stays. Sorry, eh, but I realized the other day that, yup, this is my hobby. The key is to stay away from stuff that REAL pundits are writing about because that only adds to the binary noise that is anything political on the internet.

The joke’s on the internet anyway because my Conservative friend and I can create that binary noise in his car on an errand to Canadian Tire, which, by the way, sold the ammo to the joyriding teenager who shot and killed Nicholas Battersby (for fun) while he walked down an Ottawa street.

Oh dear. Now I’ve gone and mentioned the guns. Never mind. Carry on. Two more days of paid work. I’ll miss it but I’m like The Littlest Hobo now and it’s time for traveling on.

And there’s always Facebook for keeping in touch.

 

 

The End of Religion – *Updated

Oh boy. I can tell you from the unpublished comments to “Tomato/Tomato” that the ethnicity and religion of the latest mass murderer in the United States most definitely does matter.

In fact, it’s everything.

Arab.

Muslim.

But it’s not the shooter my unpublished commenters are angry at, it’s me. It’s you. It’s Obama. And they aren’t shy about expressing it, either. In fact, they’re quite threatening.

I’m a traitor to my tribe, don’t you know.

They have their man in Donald Trump and they are bitter and angry and full to the brim of hate for people who aren’t white like them.

Even more so for anyone who is and gets in their way.

This is their 2016.

White.

Christian.

I know I’ve said this before, but this really is my last blog post that will have anything to do with politics (which is all religion is now). It may even be time to shuffle off this cyber coil. We’ll see. Take care out there today.

And remember, love is better than hate and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

*Or maybe never mind all that about last political blog posts and being such a fucking scaredy beeyatch. Check this out, haters: http://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/toxic-masculinity-the-stanford-rapist-and-the-orlando-shooter-are-two-sides-of-the-same-bent-coin/

Cripes, my cycles are getting shorter every minute. What was that? Five minutes I was gone?

So remember, never take yourself seriously. Or me. Off to work. Third last day. Lunch out with the gang.

 

Tomato/Tomato

Why does the name of the religion cited by a psychotic homophobe as the reason for his murderous rampage even matter?

And how would deporting and banning people associated with the name of the religion stop these sorts of mass murders in the United States?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to ban at least some of the automatic weapons used to perpetrate them, make a loud point of calling out any and all misogyny and homophobia, and offer refuge here in our part of the world to LGBTQ people from anywhere and everywhere else in the world where they may not be welcome at all?

After all, misogyny and homophobia kill even more people elsewhere in the world than they do here in our part of it. Here, at least, people have a chance at living life as we are without our governments murdering us for not being a certain and very specific type of heterosexual male.

Although I guess we take our chances with the odd psychotic young citizen who may have an arsenal of weaponry to use against whoever he feels threatened by.

Just figure out how it can be done and then do it. Maybe tie in saving people’s lives with our trade deals. Weapons for the people they’ll be used against. I don’t know. Something. Anything.

But if you still support Donald Trump consider yourself off my Christmas list.

 

Tommy! Tommy! Tommy!

Jeremy Moss @JeremyAllenMoss tweeted this earlier today:

I literally never want to hear again that LGBT people in the bathroom are a threat to public safety.

I think it just about says everything about the tragic absurdity of the times we are living through right now so I retweeted as much.

The father of the shooter, who is in Afghanistan running for election, is in shock over the mass murder perpetrated by his son, adding the necessary-because-Islamophobia disclaimer “it has nothing to do with religion”.

Except that it does, doesn’t it. Just not Islam specifically, in spite of what Conservative Christians are out in full force on social media, mainstream media, and the legislatures of the world arguing, day in and day out, except when they’re arguing about the threat posed to your/my/their public safety by LGBT people.

Although not really in full force today because the targeted victims of the lone wolf shooter turned terrorist (also responsible law-abiding gun owner turned mass murderer) were patrons of an LGBT nightclub.

Talk about being caught between a rock of fear and a hard place of hate, eh, Conservative Christians?

Not like when Anders Breivik murdered 70 young socialists in Norway. A no brainer, that one was.

Also, I noticed a tweet by at least one pundit at a Postmedia newspaper announcing that as a gun owner he figured he may as well sign out of social media for the day because people are so unreasonable about the whole gun owning thing these days, too.

As Tommy Sexton said when he was dying of AIDS, “What else is there to do but laugh?”

Because we always end up back there no matter the tragedy, don’t we.

 

It’s A Living, Part X

So I’m out another hundred dollars, the Twitteratti at it again, suing each other over defamation because their reputations are all that and more, don’t you know. I coughed up for the cause. Of what I don’t know. Seems to me last time I coughed up for the other side of the cause, but whatever.

Oh, you didn’t know hear about the latest? Well, congratulations on time well spent elsewhere, then, I’m sure. But I’m not saying shit about shit here because once they start flinging it at each other look out.

I’m just on Twitter to shout one liners out into cyber space, killing time until time kills me.

Offs, that’s the most pathetic thing I’ve ever read anyone blog. What the hell am I doing on Twitter? Andrew Coyne never replies back or retweets me, although Jann Arden (Jann or Jan?) liked a tweet of mine once. Of course, so did Jason Kenney, as I blogged about earlier.

That made me kind of like him, I’m embarrassed to admit. But I’m mad at Jann/Jan Arden for being mean about women who get in Justin Trudeau’s way.

Speaking of witch, Nikki Ashton (Nikki or Niki?) followed me on Twitter a while back. Of course, she’s about as popular as herpes right now, isn’t she. Her and Ruth Ellen Brosseau will probably think twice before they get in the way of Justin Trudeau and his post-violence amassing popularity among Canadians of all parties, I bet.

Seriously, if I was either one of them I’d just quit. I would stand up in the House and say, “I’m out of order? You’re out of order! We’re all out of order!” And then I’d go home and do nothing ever again. Fuck Canadians.

A country pie of smashed assholes, that’s what we are.

Young people are okay. I like young people. I find their lack of ambition and initiative inspiring. It’s terrible of me, I know, but that low grade depression they all seem to have is infectious to me.

I’m so relentlessly upbeat and glass half full it’s beyond stupid, I think, whenever I’m around a young person. They are unfailingly realistic, I find. The opposite of the deluded egomaniacs who populate Twitter, where I am wasting the best years of my life.

Because these really are the best years of my life, I’m that optimistic. Sunny Ways Justin Trudeau has nothing on me. And really, he’s only twelve years younger so fuck him. A colleague/friend told me that she can do that yoga move he does (Sophie, too) and it’s really not good for anything or anyone.

I can balance my knees on my elbows still and it’s an awesome party trick but, hey! – I should go into politics!

I know, I know, blog something you haven’t blogged already a million times, please, Sooey.

I’ll miss my student colleague from work the most when my contract ends next week. She’s an only child of two teachers and so grounded in reality that it pains me and I don’t pain easily.

Total lie. I’ve been told in every workplace I’ve ever watched a clock in that I’m too empathetic by far and need to accept that people make choices, too, that everybody’s life isn’t the fault of somebody else.

Oh really? Well you haven’t met my mother.

Just kidding. I’m a mother, too. I should know better than to mother blame.

Last night I stayed up until midnight because I had to watch a YouTube on how to make a roman blind before I could go to sleep. And I get up at 6:00 a.m. too.

Tell me I have to keep my work schedule so that I will have finished “My Book! My Book!” by fall.

Okay, okay, get off my back, man – I will. Geez Louise. Work work work. Can’t I ever catch a break? I made like a thousand roman blinds back in the day but now every time I make them I forget a step or two and end up longing for the crabby hand of death to just slap me dead already, leave the windows bare for CSIS.

Speaking of which, people are actively working behind the scenes to figure out how they can keep me at my job, which is beyond flattering as you can imagine, but I’m even more deluded than the egomaniacs mentioned earlier because I think I can live without money, and want the summer to finish “My Book! My Book!”

So don’t bother suing me, deluded egomaniacs, my money is all in my head and there’s no way to get it out.

But if you’re on Twitter, like a run-of-the-mill commoner, not a deluded egomaniac, try to imagine for a moment, like I sometimes do, the real life court time that would be freed up if our libel laws were just tossed out altogether and these deluded egomaniacs who sue each other for defamation just sucked it up.

Like, oh, say, women seem to do without much fuss or fanfare, our reputations pretty much neither here nor there, one or the other, I guess.

Of course, judges don’t seem to care much for women these days so we might just as well suck it up, I suppose.

In the meantime, Judge Mental presiding here at Sooey Says, “I’m out of order? You’re out of order! We’re all out of order!”

As you were.

In Ottawa, that would be living somewhere around a giant sinkhole that has taken over our commercial epicentre. It’s an awesome metaphor. Really, we may never see the like again.

Just kidding. It’s actually more than likely that we will.

Who knew?

Well, engineers, that’s who.

Now THEY should sue. Imagine enduring all those hazing rituals to become a Canadian engineer so that you can advise on public works projects and then when you finally graduate no one pays any attention to you anyway.

 

Dear Young Women

Your mothers and grandmothers went to university with the dads and granddads of the Brock Turners of your world.

The Dan Turners as it were.

And they graduated and went on to become doctors, lawyers, politicians, dentists, engineers, professors and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Believe me when I say that we are in a brave new era of justice, even if you have to deliver it yourself outside the courtroom, as opposed to a judge inside it.

 

Sinky the Sinkhole

If you’ve been watching the news but you’re not from Ottawa you may not realize that the giant sinkhole that appeared on Rideau Street the other day between the Rideau Centre and The Bay is actually quite an improvement on what was there before. And for years, too. Years and years and years.

Yay, Sinky!

So don’t feel sorry for us Ottawans. And as far as our commute to work and back home again goes, mine was actually better after Sinky came to town than it was before, so as far as I’m concerned, Sinky should stay as is.

Hey, maybe the NCC could designate it a heritage site and then no one would be allowed to do anything about it! Just like that giant caving in building on the corner of Bank & Somerset!

What you probably didn’t know, though, is that before Sinky dropped in, Ottawans were learning about a giant playground called “The Sinking Ship” that is planned for Mooney’s Bay, a local park. It’s to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, and it’s going to be the biggest children’s playground in the country because that’s why tourists come to Ottawa, and we only just found out about it after a few mature trees were cut down to make way.

Yup. Just like Sinky it arrived without any public consultation at all.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s 2016.

On the up side, public transit is so bad – and so expensive – in Ottawa nowadays that it’s almost a relief to get laid off, which happens for me at the end of next week.

Yay?

 

 

Drop Out

Now I think Ruth Ellen Brosseau might just as well have screamed “RAPE!” given the shit kicking she took on social media for not quietly sucking up getting elbowed in the breast by Justin Trudeau while he behaved like a bouncer breaking up a barroom brawl that was actually just other MPs engaging in a procedural tactic to delay a vote on a bad piece of legislation that its original drafters don’t even support.

Whew. One sentence paragraph. Remind me not to do that in “My Book! My Book!” (etc).

Oh wait, he apologized. Okay, never mind. Moving right along.

Gawd, Sooey. He A.P.O.L.O.G.I.Z.E.D.

I remember having to tell my kids, “Okay, that’s enough apologizing. No more apologizing.” They were getting off on it. I could tell.

“Saaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”

Ugh. I hate Twitter now. Everybody’s such an asshole on Twitter. Even me, if you can believe it.

Neil McDonald was so right.

MacDonald? I’ve googled his name a thousand times and I’ll never remember if it’s Mc or Mac.

Aw, now he knows it was just me googling him all those times. Oh well. I read him at work because that’s what I’m paid to do.

Just kidding.

So it’s been almost three years of sobriety, as they say, and I remain relieved that I figured it out, that alcohol isn’t for me, that I’m one of those people for whom the quest to be like you maybe, the sort of person who can go for a drink and not be trying so hard to keep it to that one drink that you end up having two or three or four, and then end up agonizing all night long about how crappy you’re going to feel the next morning, and oh no, what have I done gone and said now, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Which is pretty much how I am sober, except that I jump out of bed at the crack of dawn feeling great, at least, before the day takes its inevitable psychological toll and I feel that Lament for a Nation George (?) Whatsit wasn’t referring to at all.

I should know what that book was all about because I did an essay on it in university but I can’t remember now. The French thing? If so, whoa, you called it, George.

The Beast is still raging out in Alberta, isn’t it. And no, I don’t mean Ezra Levant, I mean the fire. And then the flooding in Paris, that’s depressing, isn’t it.

Ottawa is having a drought.

So now we await the flood.

But right now I’m remembering Gwyn Dyer at daughter #1′s graduation instructing the class that climate change is their great challenge. Of course, he didn’t know yet about Donald Trump.

Okay, is it McDonald or MacDonald, Gwyn or Gwynn, because I’ve also googled Gwyn(n?) Dyer (Dwyer?) a thousand times, too.

Donald Trump is such an asshole, isn’t he, like a giant cyber troll come to real life. DNFTT(rump).

Really, I had a lot of fun getting to alcoholics anonymous, adventures, the details of which will suddenly reappear at random nowadays and I’m like “oh shit”, until I check myself. Live and learn. Nobody died. We’re not all born saints like those people who join Doctors Without Borders to work in war zones tending to the wounded.

At least with terrorism we can all agree that it unfairly targets people who have no real power over how the world is run.

As I’ve said before, the expression “allergy of the body, obsession of the mind” describes the alcohol problem for me pretty much exactly. Later, after the fun, I would have panic attacks and be in agony because I’m someone who shouldn’t drink at all instead of someone who drinks too much.

At work I drink boiled water instead of tea or coffee. That’s how spartan I am.

So all’s well that ends well and I’m very grateful for the insight, as well as the realization that I enjoy not drinking now, life is better, socializing more interesting, not less, although I do a lot less of it, so I guess I’m choosier. And I’ve had a lot of support along the way and met a number of very good people who understand what it’s like to waste all their energy trying to do this thing, like normal people do, instead of just quitting, which is what normal people would do if they woke up in the night with panic attacks and guilt and shame and not feeling good in the morning at all.

There’s a certain coming to terms with not being normal that kicks in after a while and it makes all the difference, that moment when the little voice pipes up “ah, it’s me, I’m my problem”.

So not just alcohol, me. I am a walking, talking problem for myself.

But here I am now, a follower of the science of substance abuse. And I’ve recited the creed of alcoholics anonymous for three years now, following along with the program.

Okay. Deep breath. This is harder than I thought it would be. Certainly harder for me that it is for you, I think.

It’s this – I just can’t go along with it anymore. Words matter and for a while it was okay that I didn’t believe what I was reciting, but gradually, over the past few months, that started to change, and I felt compromised.

I believe in free will, I believe we grant ourselves grace, I believe in trying to change the things we cannot accept, wise or not. And I believe we’re none of us innocent, all of us guilty, and apologies are a dime or dozen, just try to do better today and the next day.

I’m just not a Believer.

Also, I ate a pot cookie last week, not by accident, and although I wasn’t keen on the effects – it kicked in a while after I ate it and was way too strong – I look forward to being able to try different types of pot until I find one that I enjoy more than others. And I will smoke it, occasionally, and as much as I value the people I’ve met in the program, the program is no longer for me.

And none of the above is to say that it may not be for you because it works, it truly does. It worked for me.

So there you have it, my confessional. Because as I’ve said many time before, why blog if I want to keep my life details private.

 

 

So Back To Me

So my job ends fairly soon and I was talking with a coworker whose job ends a little later than soon and at first she was being all boo hoo for me and then she realized I’m cool with it and we moved on to “My Book! My Book!” because I’m like this in real life, too.

Anyway, she was giving me advice on how I should go about getting it done, but like a hipster, so I should head to a Starbucks every day and use their free wifi. But I said I already have wifi at home, and wifi’s actually a problem when it comes to writing a book, and our conversation swerved a bit to me telling her about the guy who tried to see how long he could live in the Edmonton Mall before they caught on and kicked him out. And then the guy who tried to see what he could get away with in Chapters before they kicked him out, which they did when he started playing golf.

That was a lifetime ago now, the Chapters thing. The Edmonton Mall thing was just half a lifetime ago. I don’t know. Time is weird for me now because I’m letting go of being a mother.

Enough already. I’ll just sit here in the dark and live on memories of when everybody loved me more than they did anyone else and vice versa.

Oh, never mind. Somebody just walked in and turned on the light.

So she says, “Hey, don’t just write a book. Anybody can write a book.” (Ouch, baby.) “Do it as performance art. Go to a Starbucks-”

“Bridgehead”, I interrupt.

“Ooh yeah – way more hipster. Go to a Bridgehead and sit inside with a quill and ink-”

“Inside with a manual typewriter! Clickety clack clickety clack clickety clack. Ting!”

“Outside! Outside on the patio with a manual typewriter so people can walk by and see you writing your book. And be wearing a scarf and a beret and a striped shirt so you look French. Maybe a licorice pipe!”

She’s anglophone, too. We can get pretty hilarious about the French, you know, who are stealing all our jobs by being bilingual.

Assholés.

Kidding. Not. Although I am very relieved that my contract is coming to an end soon because I’m so bored that if it didn’t end I’d have to rip off my own head just for something to do. Also, I don’t think I should be editing French documents, but whatever, nobody reads them anyway, I guess.

It happens, the nothing to do thing. The job is there but all the permanent staff have become used to doing their jobs without anybody doing yours. And it’s just temporary anyway and for a little while you’re busy with what the previous temp has mercifully left behind, plus a bit of spillover as permanent staff give you all the stuff nobody cares about but that has to be ticked off as done. Soon enough, though, you’re casting around for work and then if you’re like me you lose what little initiative you may have had going in and just wait it out, posed chameleon like in a working position until your last day.

I lack initiative, it’s true. It’s not that I’m lazy, either, it’s just that work always ends up seeming pointless to me in how it just leads to more of it in increasing degrees of pointlessness.

That’s why I’m such a keener for a guaranteed annual income.

Then I said, “Or maybe inside with an electric typewriter and a bunch of extension cords snaking around Bridgehead and a fax machine so I could fax copies of copy directly to different random publishers while I write!”

“And they have to piece your book together!”

“It takes a village to raise an author!”

Anyway, so that’s my news, I’ll be back at it in a short while, writing about my experience in retail, my deadline now moved up to the end of summer.

Everything’s good here. How about you? Everything good where you are?

And yes, I’m deliberately talking over all those political conventions going on everywhere because, really, enough already about them, eh?