Thursday February 11 , 2016

Higher Powers

How does it happen, this routine change from not working to working, that leaves one feeling like it’s been ever thus.

I think today I’ll call up some old co-workers and let them know I’m back baby.

Jesus fucking shit christ hell I’m back.

So I went to a public memorial for my old timey days boss (not really but certainly an unsettled time, unlike now, which is eat sleep work commute, not in that order) and all the swells were there. They were all old when I worked for him so even older now.

Their money insulates them well.

Except Justin, he’s youthful. (JRS, remains spritely, too. I know, name and initials drop much, Sooey!) I just caught a glimpse of him, though, because I arrived late on account of I’m paid by the hour and didn’t want to give up $15.75 to listen to a bunch of speeches by people richer than god.

He’s probably worth it, Justin is, if you’re into positivity, (the computer underlines that word, by the way, because it’s not really a word, I guess) his speaking fees were quite high once upon a time, but I’m not into positivity.

I like Barbara Ehrenreich.

Oh my god and if I never hear an old man give a speech again it’ll be too soon.

I had to endure only one, but he was closer to middle-age, and Aboriginal, so, you know, suck it up, whities.

My friend and I (the deceased’s daughter) yukked it up like a couple of eight-year-old boys, though, all the while. We were really quite bad, now I stop and think about it. But the timing was terrible. I arrived for the canapes and then, noooooooooooo, the ceremonial drum came out and, aw crap, here we go.

She’s the reason I amassed a minor fortune back in the day working for the NDP Caucus at Queen’s Park, so I defer to her tomfoolery.

I was disappointed not to see my old boss, Bob Rae, at the memorial. He’s why I went. If you seem him Sooey Says “hey”.

I know, I know, enough with the name dropping, Sooey! You’re good enuff!

But yeah, while I was working at the NDP, with the best contract ever on account of the union blackmailed the members into giving it to us, I was living with my friend in the same building as Kiefer Sutherland and just paying heat and hydro.

Also behaving badly but having a lot of fun whilst trying to bust up my ex’s relationships (easy) so that I could have him back and resume feeling conflicted.

Do I want him or do I just not want any other woman to have him. Hm. Better get married and confirm what I know, which is that I’m being a total dog in the manger asshole bitch cunt.

Oh well.

I’ve kind of had it with religion, which non-affiliated people refer to as spirituality now. I ignore it in AA because I really really really like the people I’ve met, but I find the Big Book hard to take. The steps, too. The whole program, really.

Very hairshirty stuff.

Also culty, very culty.

But I’m a people person so I’m still down with it and meeting up with other people who don’t drink because we’re alcoholics which is good for what ails me – alcoholism.

I’m totally lame otherwise, though. Don’t tell. This shit’s anonymous.

But seriously, it has occurred to me that AA actually works to help more people than it doesn’t because there’s no profit motive and no cross talking (responding to what someone else says) during meetings.

Don’t tell the others but I pretend my ears are my Higher Power.

 

 

Jump In, the Shit Pile’s Fine

I haven’t followed it, I haven’t read the good judge’s decision, but I did read Dr. Dawg’s blog entry about it. Then I mentioned it to my blonder half and we got into a bit of a debate about it yesterday afternoon.

We’ve never had a fight, my blonder half and I, just the odd bit of debate.

I’m referring to the Gregory Alan Elliott case (of course!) in which he was found not guilty of criminal harassment (of two women) by Justice Brent Knazan.

Now, my brother’s a judge, and I’ve had a conversation or two with him about the law, although I probably had more conversations with him about the law when he was a criminal defence lawyer.

Those guys and dolls (criminal defence lawyers) really have to believe very strongly that every citizen charged with a crime is entitled to a vigorous defence. And for them the impact of their client’s criminal behaviour on society (because they’re ALL guilty), actual harm caused, matters in a way that less involved citizens just reading about a case may not appreciate.

I remember him telling me about a very sad case he had up North. His client, who was homeless, addicted, and had mental health issues, was charged, essentially, with taking a shit in the yard of an elementary school, which he happened to be passing through when nature urgently called.

Other relevant details, it should be noted, were that it was a large yard with green space and a tree behind which he was doing his business – when – a trio of eight-year-old boys happened upon the scene to witness, open-mouthed, this (scarring?) (awesome?) spectacle.

Alas, the court fairly clutched its pearls when this fact was brought to light (going with scarring) and the verdict – guilty – was more or less decided right then and there, no ifs ands or buts.

So my brother’s counter assurance to the scandalized court that, having two boys himself (also two girls), witnessing a grown man defecating in a schoolyard was probably the highlight of their young lives (going with awesome), only served to add a disapproving scowl to the court’s countenance.

The tree, the urgency of the situation, the fact that his client was homeless, suffered from addiction and mental health problems, yadda yadda blah blah, nothing was enough to counter the weight of that trio of eight-year-old witnesses on the scales of justice, and his client was sentenced to a year in jail.

Cripes, from the sounds of it, my brother’s lucky he didn’t end up in jail himself, questioning the witness impact statements however many times removed.

That’s quite a while ago now, a couple of decades anyway, and I’m sure it would be quite different nowadays.

As in, they’d probably both be sentenced to life in prison, client and lawyer.

So back to the Elliott case.

I don’t disagree with the verdict. And of course my blonder half, who is passionate about freedom of speech, doesn’t disagree with it, either. That’s not what we were debating. What we were debating is essentially what we’re often debating, which is what I see as a failure by the gender that still wields almost all of the actual power in our society, to appreciate the freedom gap that exists between their gender and mine in terms of our shared use of public space.

Men (and many women) still scoff at Gwen Jacobs winning the legal right for women to be topless in public (in Ontario), as if arresting and fining or jailing women for something men are free to do is a better reflection of justice.

So don’t get them started on whether or not female citizens should have the legal right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. And that’s in a society that weights he said heavier than she said at virtually every stage in cases of sexual assault.

As an aside, it’s our patriarchal courts that continue to decide child custody cases on the basis that mothers, female, are nurturers and fathers, male, are providers, too, but try telling that to the angry beyond listening men’s rights nutters.

But none of that is what this entry is about because this entry is about the internet being not unlike a rabbit hole to a lot of us. We log on and fall down it and everything that happens therein is as real as real can be. Except that it isn’t, it isn’t real at all. And it isn’t fair of us to expect Normal People (and some of my best friends are Norms) to have to deal with the fallout of our made up games on social media as if it is.

Certainly it isn’t fair to the rest of society for us to be taking up real life court time with it, and one can only hope that the law school curriculum adapts accordingly by never getting up to speed on the goings on down the rabbit hole.

The important consideration almost 99.9 of the time here, down the rabbit hole, is choice, it’s a choice whether or not to engage – not just with others on social media – but on social media at all. Because yes, there are people on social media whose sole purpose seems to be to take a shit in it, so to speak. And not discreetly behind a tree, even, because there are no trees. And they don’t just take a shit and sneak off. They take a shit and then pick it up and start throwing it around. And sometimes, if you’re down the rabbit hole with them, you get some of their shit on you. And some other times, instead of leaving them to it, lesson learned, shit stinks, especially someone else’s, you respond by doing your own bit of business and adding it to the pile.

Enh. Sometimes.

But no, seriously, don’t.

Shit doesn’t have to happen down the rabbit hole.

In any case, whatever, my point is, it isn’t fair to the rest of society that we down the rabbit hole then demand that a judge venture down to wade through the piles and figure out whose shit is whose.

It just isn’t.

So yes, life isn’t fair and if you don’t want to get any shit on you, I’m afraid it’s up to you to take a sniff before getting too close to the rabbit hole, and if it smells like shit, just back the fuck up and log off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reformatting for Dollars

Oh hey, so I’m working, it’s okay, I’ve adapted. I even had my worst nightmare assigned to me, technical stuff with a deadline.

But I said, “Wow, this is pretty much my worst nightmare, technical stuff with a deadline.”

And my boss, I think, although I’m not sure, said, “Yeah. We do a lot of that.”

I almost said, “Well, holy mother of fucking shit god, then, I quit.” But I was actually kind of passed the point already where I could do that without it being really awkward and inconvenient for everybody. Probably even me.

So I came home and badmouthed the guy who’d punted the assignment to me and then wasn’t there to help me with it, instead.

Then I had to take it all back because later last week he showed up and he’s super nice and encouraging, although not terribly helpful.

Classic. The guy’s beat me at my own game and it’s only week one over.

When I met my high flying friend who likes her lucrative career – she’s a working girl type – for coffee I told her, “I don’t like working. I like being at home not working.”

And she said, “At least you’re honest.”

So I felt better, in spite of the “at least”.

But it’s all different now because like I said at the top, I’ve adapted.

I do think it’s funny that I’d only just adapted to not having a job at all, and was relaxing into not working as if money would fall like snowflakes from the sky and I could shovel up what I needed for groceries in the mornings, and then, splat, a job lands in my lap and everybody’s making it seem like it would be the rudest thing imaginable not to go with the new flow and show up to a workplace and do it.

It’s all in the routine, isn’t it. You’d think I’d know that by now, “the routine will save you”.

Also, money. Money will save you. And, if I’m honest (and this is a blog so why wouldn’t I be) I like mastering technical stuff. I’m not crazy about having a deadline, but the problem solving I like. It reminds me of when I was working in the store and I’d find an outfit for a customer who actually needed one and she’d be all happy and I’d be ringing it up and it would be less than she thought it was going to be because she wasn’t aware of a markdown and then I’d be, “Plus another 10% for opening an account and another 10% because it’s your birthday month!”

Why did I think I couldn’t work at a job for money and write a book, again? I can’t remember. I mean, I was writing a book when I worked at the store and that job was a helluva lot harder than the job I have now and paid a lot less money, too.

So I’ve dropped in on the gang three times already. Gave the heads up to the manager that she’s on my resume so don’t fuck me over, bitch.

She probably won’t because she doesn’t want me back at the store.

Anyway, this new workplace isn’t anything like the old workplace, co-workers are just co-workers, we’re all beavering away in our separate spaces, and I realized that my co-workers at the store were friends, that it was the intimacy that sparked the idea of writing a book about my experience there.

And so it shifts again, the process, as I find myself situated “once removed” from where I was even just a week and a half ago.

There’s no excuse to not keep on writing, though, so I’ll stop pretending there is and get back at it.

 

 

 

Mistress of All

So last night we were watching Master of None, created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, and starring Aziz Ansari as an actor of limited success. It’s good. The second episode has a couple of laugh out loud scenes that juxtapose the early years of Dev’s father (Aziz’s character is Dev) and his Asian friend Brian’s father (actor Kevin Yu plays Brian, who is based on co-creator Alan Yang) with Dev and Brian now and how they take their fathers’ sacrifices for granted.

The stark contrast between their fathers’ childhoods and their own is hilarious, especially when it butts up against their fathers needing help from them with various and sundry (really just wanting their sons to spend time with them) and how casually they’re rebuffed by Dev and Brian, who’d rather not be bothered.

Mothers aren’t even secondary to the episode but it is about fathers so maybe there’s a mothers episode coming.

Anyway the real focus of the show is Aziz, a brown man, going about his life in an America where white is the dominant and default setting for everyone and everything. So it’s lots to do with how that makes the life of the brown American man a lot different than it is for the white American man when all else is more or less equal.

And it’s good, it really is, I think, except last night in the “Indians on TV” episode, Dev is commiserating with another Indian actor friend, about how they’re never the main attraction in tv shows or movies, and he says, “we never get to fuck the girls!”

So yeah, it kind of hung there, in my air, at least – “we never get to fuck the girls!” Like, the white girls? Black girls? Brown girls? Old girls? Young girls? Girls who fuck for free? Girls who fuck for money? The girls who until very very very recently were either the girlfriend, the wife, or the prostitute? Those girls?

Because right, nothing says racism’s been conquered like brown actors finally getting equal screen time with white actors “to fuck the girls”.

Of course, moderate influences have suggested to me that it may have been intentional irony, which, if so, carry on, Master of None.

 

It’s Every Woman for Herself Saturday

Okay so I’m working at a perfectly crommulent job and of course I’m going to be a whiny bitch about it, partly because it’s difficult and tedious and doesn’t pay what it should, but mostly because I feel like a voluntary prisoner doing it.

The people are nice, it’s not (deliberately, anyway) oppressive, it’s an opportunity to get my skills up, although it turns out I’m not as wildly out-of-date as I had imagined, and although it doesn’t pay what it should, it’s fine.

I know people who work at agencies and they partake in the largesse and that’s good, too. The more of us who make a decent amount of money the better.

And, you know, it’s not that I’m lazy because I’m always working when I’m at home. Writing, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, dog walking, home maintenance/repair/improvement, sewing, and I really like getting up early to get at it all.

I also appreciate the time away from social media. It’s something I never even think about when I’m at work. I’m like that on vacation, too, especially when I visit my mother in the Sault. I consider it a vacation from communication.

But that’s not what this entry is about because this entry is about a CBC program I watched last night about a man who recently murdered three women he had been involved with and violent towards and so there were charges and restraining orders and even some jail time.

At no time was he made to take any responsibility for his violent behaviour. He continues to this day to blame everybody else for it instead.

It was very frustrating viewing.

Anyway, last night I woke my partner up with a yell. I was having a dream, you know, one of those dreams where you’re in danger and your fight or flight response is paralyzed, and I guess it was real enough that I shouted out for someone to help me, you know, because I couldn’t help myself.

The thing is, I was only aware that I could at least shout out for help as I was coming out of the dream and into consciousness.

So much of life is that frog in the pot thing, isn’t it. We can’t see what’s going to happen until it’s inevitable.

I know people who put themselves first (haha, besides men) who can be in a situation, not like it, and be out of it. Boom. Poof. And if they’re concerned about how the changes they decide to make will affect others, well, they leave it to those others to react however they choose to react. And they move on to live how they want.

I have a good friend who takes no prisoners. She’s a vicarious thrill for me.

The thing is, it can be observed, but it can’t be taught or I’d have learned it. And I pretty much grew up with a mother who took no prisoners and who continues to be bewildered and frustrated by my seeming inability to do what I want, that absurd caring about what other people think and feel and how they’ll react, including her.

Anyway, I’ve been critical of the power women because the last thing I thought we needed are more high achievers on the corporate ladder. But I’m taking it all back because people copy other people and women need to learn what most men are born knowing, and that is that you put yourself first and do what you want and take responsibility for your own behaviour and none for the behaviour of others and don’t give a shit what anybody thinks.

Female people are taught all our lives that if we shout out loud enough for help, other people, people on the job, wearing uniforms, will come running to offer it. And that’s just not what happens.

And we’re no closer in knowing what to do about violent men who won’t take responsibility for their behaviour than we ever were.

So it’s not victim blaming, I hope, to suggest that female people need to be taught how it is, as opposed to how we pretend it is, or we wish it was, or think it should be, and that the only way to go through life is as a free person. There are no consequences for living your life however you want, that’s all made up by people who benefit from others keeping their heads down and noses to the grindstone and thinking all they have to do is call.

The man who murdered those three women had made prisoners of them long before he murdered them. And all levels of our justice system knew about their situations. And when they shouted for help, no one came running to offer it, even though we have entire tiers of people in uniform paid to do just that.

Nope. It’s every woman for herself. So pass it on, sister.

 

 

 

Gay Old Time – The 80s

Okay, this is probably the meanest thing I’ll do all day.

 

Lower Back Message

I am so conflicted about this going back to work thing which I am just doing for the money.

And I already broke one resolution by not going outside today except to do a backyard poop check.

For the dog!

Ugh.

Why am I not happy about a temporary assignment dropping into my lap?!

 

After Shock

You know, I get it, that no government of Canada would cancel the deal to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, but I find the excuse Dion has offered up, “we have to keep our word” particularly egregious.

I think I’m finally done with politics.

Funny that it would be the government after the last one to do it.

 

Change Is Just Around the Corner

Goodness gracious and suddenly I’m in demand. It’s all good but I’ll most likely be on hiatus for a couple of months. Book deadline is being moved further away to make room for a bit of work and then money, work and then money, work and then money.

You know the drill.

Don’t tell Jesus but I’m kind of a shameless money grubber.

I’ll try to keep up as best I can with “My Book! My Book!” etc etc because I’ve got a good rhythm going now, but blogging will probably have to give a bit.

By the way, speaking of my book, I realized the other day that they never replaced the co-manager after she retired. I open with her and it’s a funny scene that pretty much sets the right tone.

That’s because we’re all in this life together and each of us responsible for our own actions and there’s no point in pretending we’re any of us made to do anything.

Wish me luck. I’ve got flutterbies in my stomach because I’m nervous.

Or maybe it’s just gas.

 

Wrongity Wrong Wrong Wrong

So I’ve been working on detachment lately and it’s an especially hard row for me to hoe, on account of I’m part barnacle, but I’ve noticed a pleasant side effect to my efforts, which is that I’m feeling less need to defend or denounce the behaviour of others, particularly politicians.

I’ve even managed to avoid going down a rabbit hole or two on social media!

It’s amazing, too, the over-the-top comparisons we partisans can come up with: Seamus O’Regan to Rob Ford, Oregon freemen to Islamic terrorists, Donald Trump to Hitler.

The thing is, we really can compare Saudi Arabia to Daesh.

And governing politicians don’t need an old excuse to cancel a contract brokered by the previous government to supply the Saudi regime with weapons, which is what armoured vehicles are, because they were given a brand new one on New Year’s Day.

So this isjust the same old same old Canadian way and it’s as wrong as wrong can be, as wrong as it ever was, wrong.