Friday August 01 , 2014

But Why?

Is anybody else wondering why Hamas would randomly murder three Israeli teenagers only to deny it?


A Little Living

I forgot how seized with Canada Day Ottawa can get and found myself walking to the Hill after a downtown get together in late afternoon yesterday. I’m not patriotic but Ottawa is the place to be on July 1st. It’s about the crowd, and instead of heading away from it as I’d planned, I waded into it.

There was a bag check to get to the lawn and once there I decided to try and navigate from one side to the other. I made it as far as the center walkway and then decided to say hi to the eternal flame, before making another trek through the revelers. When I got to the bus stop, an older Asian lady with a cane was jibber jabbering about the relocated stop, due to roadblocks, but cheered up when I reminded her the ride would be free.

Public transit should be free every day. I mean, really, it’s so pleasant, riding for a bit, getting off and walking, riding a bit more.

I had planned to head back downtown for the fireworks and to hear some of the music, I even changed into a tee shirt and pants with pockets so I wouldn’t need a purse (which I wouldn’t need anyway since public transit was free) but then decided it was enough to have had the idea, which made me feel young and free.

Then my son and I watched the fireworks from upstairs and I was glad not to be downtown in the crowd. I could sense it, and that was enough. I was tired from work.

I like the idea of my job and the social aspect of it but lately my lower back has been getting sore. It’s possible I’m bored because the shoes I’m wearing now are better than the shoes I was wearing before and my back didn’t use to get sore. It’s not my co-workers, they’re fun, or even our customers, it’s the pressure to increase sales without anything else changing that has become tedious.

I allowed myself to have a bit of fun by using my very good discount to purchase a couple of dresses, something I had vowed not to do because I’m working to pay for groceries, not upscale ladieswear, but it was probably a good idea. But when the store manager was ringing them through I said, out loud, “I figure I should take advantage of the discount while I’m here.”

And she stopped mid-transaction and stared at me in alarm, “What do you mean while you’re here? Are you looking for something else?”

And I said, “No, I’m not, actually. I don’t know why I said that. I just meant I should try to enjoy myself more, play dress-up, have a bit of fun.”

Of course, that just made her more upset, because she thought I was having fun, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc. Finally I said, “I’m just really tired – I think it’s the weather. And no, I’m not looking. I like it here.”

Once, though, I reassured a boss that I loved working in a job I actually hated so much that I could feel it taking years off my life.

This job, on the other hand, seems to be giving me triceps. I’ve got serious pipes from hauling clothes around. It’s funny because the university girls will apologize when I’m working out front and they’re passing off dressing room try-ons for me to put back on the racks, but it’s my favourite part of the job.

I’m feeling my muscles right now.

They’re all really impressed that I roped a younger man off from the herd, too. Not just the university girls, but my older co-workers, the managers. The store manager told me she brags about me to anyone who will listen, how I went after what I wanted and started over and then started over again after getting laid off, and how I’m so good at sales even though I’ve never worked retail before.

We’re experiencing changes at the store and even though I haven’t been there very long I can tell it’s the beginning of the end, which is fine. Or I could be wrong and maybe it’s me. One thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t feel like I’m too good for the job or the people I work with or for and yet it pays so much less than public service jobs where I’ve absolutely felt that way.

It’s not an AA-related thing, either, because I haven’t actually done any of the steps and I’m no better a person now than I was before except that I’m less anxious, so maybe. Okay. I feel better.

On Monday, a couple of friends from my group showed up with a Canada Day flag and a disembodied head dressed up with maple leafs and whatnot. I have commitment issues and I realized after they left that they were just letting me know that they don’t, so relax, nobody’s going anywhere.

Sometimes I get nervous about blogging, that it reveals too much, but then I remember that I’m anonymous. Also, that’s the whole point, really, to reveal too much.

Right now I’m reading a collection of short stories by daughters about fathers. A woman mentioned recently to me about her father dying when she was three and the effect this had on her life. It hadn’t occurred to me until she talked about her feeling of abandonment that I feel this, too. I said to her, shocked, “My father died when I was four!”

You’d think I’d just heard the news. We were laughing about our dead fathers. Really, it was quite funny.

Anyway, I think I’ve probably lived more in these past few months than I have in the past few years, and while I recognize that I’m hardly starting from scratch, it’s interesting how little it matters how little money I make these days.




Coming Soon – Canada Day

Just finished reading “The Wars” by Timothy Findley. It’s hard to believe that anyone who read it would ever think war is a good idea.

Someone should give it to Stephen Harper before he commits Canadians to another one.

Say, I wonder how his hockey book is doing, sales-wise. Do you think he really wrote it, or do you think Roy MacGregor did. Imagine, all that travel and yet he finds the time to play the piano and sing on stage at the NAC, act in a cameo on CBC’s “Murdoch Mysteries”, and write a whole book, albeit about hockey.

Speaking of which, CBC has a list of 100 books by Canadian authors, including “The Wars” that asks how many we’ve read that make us “proud to be Canadian”.

I mean, good grief, eh? Yeah, CBC, that was my takeaway from “The Wars” – proud to be Canadian.

“Dead Girls”, which is about the lives of the women murdered by Robert Picton & Company (lots of powerful men attended parties at Piggy Palace where powerless women ended up being slaughtered and fed to pigs) isn’t on the list.

Patriotism is tedious, if you ask me, which no one ever does.

My friend tracks men’s rights groups and posts links to them on my Facebook page. And of course there are always a handful of women hangers on being quoted as questioning who’s really responsible for male violence against women.

Still, I was shocked to learn that Barbara Kay, who is a pundit for the National Post, recently spoke at the International Conference on Men’s Issues, which was held in Detroit (a city that brings to mind packs of wild dogs partying in abandoned suburban swimming pools now), essentially depicting most accusations of rape by young women as buyer’s remorse.

Other speakers included a woman who thinks 13 should be the age of consent because it’s hard for men to tell how old a girl/woman is these days, a man who claims women throw acid in men’s faces in India, too, and various and sundry advocates of restrained and unrestrained violence against women to teach us what’s what about who’s who.

Really, if speech wasn’t so free I’d be speechless. I’m just not clear on what rights these men want other than the right to not be held responsible for their behaviour, which they claim is currently a right only enjoyed by women. And, of course, minorities.

The Globe and Mail editorial board (yes, I know – David Thomson, heir) thinks Rob Ford, now that he’s back and wearing a new belt, having shed a few pounds up at the fat farm, should have to answer a few questions, even though he’s refusing to meet with reporters.

No. Seriously. Stop the inanity, Globe and Mail editorial board.

There’s only one question reporters should be asking Rob Ford at this point: What happened to Jaclyn Dawe?

That’s all for this day in Canadian history. Tomorrow, Canada Day, I’m going to blog about my friend, Mr. Pretty.



The ‘W’ Word

It can be frustrating, arguing on the internet. There’s that oft cited poster of the child with Down’s crossing the finish line in the Special Olympics. You know the one I mean. You can win, but you’re still the “r” word.

Not wanting to use the “r” word is a bit of a challenge when describing certain situations involving people who don’t have Down’s, isn’t it. I grew up not using it, but sometimes I use it now.

“That’s got to be the most ‘r’ word thing ever.”

Sometimes, too, joking with my partner, I’ll reference something or someone as “so gay” (a royal wedding) or “such a fag” (anyone British), the emphasis being on “so” and “such”, and usually prefaced with “Omigawd, he/she/it is”.

But it would disappoint my children to hear me use such expressions. They’re very politically correct and decent, excellent citizens trying to make the best of an ‘r’ word world.

“Who made this big ‘r’ word mess?!” I shake my fist at an indifferent sky.

Also, they may all be gay. Both their dad and I have had gay people assume we were gay, even when they knew us as a couple. They thought we were hiding, or maybe just hadn’t thought to try it out.

Uh no, actually, I’m an anorexic alcoholic and he’s an obsessive compulsive list-maker who can’t eat enough cheese. But thanks for asking. If we were gay we’d be happily dancing half-naked atop a wedding cake float slowly parading down Yonge Street, not attending weekly support groups to help us deal with our socially unacceptable behaviour.

I did camping trips with lesbians through that group I’ve blogged about before and heard both “so gay” and “such a fag” during the course of conversation, but it’s different when people within a culture apply politically incorrect words or expressions to themselves or others within the culture, even though it’s more personal.

More political, too, with emphasis on “gay” and “fag”. Bitchier. No, beeyatchier.

It’s the subjective notion that there’s a right type of person at all that is the problem, isn’t it.

What’s right about not having Down’s? People with Down’s are sweet, gentle, and trusting souls who keep lots of snacks in their knapsacks so they can munch their way through them on the bus.

Gerry Dee does a stand-up bit about his cousin, an overly-medaled Special Olympian (more than Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps combined, apparently), that’s shockingly funny because it depicts someone with Down’s behaving to someone without Down’s (“Wheh yo meddo, Gewwy!”) the way, say, Kevin O’Leary behaves towards Chris Hedges, Leo Gerrard, Amanda Lang, etc.

In other words, people who don’t have Down’s think that these sweet, gentle and trusting people who do have Down’s should have the worst of our culture, competitive sport, thrust upon theirs, because competing against each other makes us all better people.

Who makes these decisions?

Is it really Peter MacKay’s fault for not hearing the sexism that comes out of his mouth whenever he opens it? After all, he lives in a culture that sets the standard of political correctness as more women doing the sort of work we associate with men, not more men doing the sort of work we associate with women. Meanwhile, I don’t know if you go on the internet or not, but I do, and every other day there’s a CEO profile that reads like a “how to” guide for becoming a psychopath.

Do we really need more female CEOs? Do we even need more female lawyers? I used to watch television, and as I recall, female lawyers are the worst for trying to get serial rapist murderers off, because they’re not like normal women, with intuition, they’re like, “Just the facts, ma’am”.

Judges, well, I just don’t know. How clogged do we want the system to get? And since men commit most of the violent crime in society, aren’t other men better equipped to judge them?

A while ago I worked in a program at our Public Health Agency of Canada that had to do with Aboriginal children. I was researching the role of Elders in First Nations and Inuit culture because we were trying to figure out how to incorporate them (or not) into our meetings with regional staff and NGOs (that stands for non-government organizations, by the way). And while I was researching what it is Elders actually do, and whether it would be even remotely appropriate to have them attend our meetings, let alone do opening and closing prayers at them, I came across an article about a sentencing circle and a young Aboriginal man guilty of rape.

My initial reaction was impotent rage (there was no mention of the victim anywhere in the article, which was more like a transcript of a sentencing circle) but that used to be my reaction to a lot of perceived injustice, and by the end of the read I had come around to, “Enh, who am I to judge?” Certainly our version of their sentencing circle – the hanging judge or the let ‘im go judge decides – isn’t working in the interests of women to prevent rape (and murder) from happening at all.

Remember “Mr. Mom” with Michael Keaton? A while back my partner and I were at the school yard on a PD day with our dog, and a young middle-aged dad showed up with his daughter and dog and our dogs played while she wandered over to a play structure, fenced in but kind of out of our line of vision. And after a minute or two I realized that I was watching her while he and my partner chatted about his band.

Omigawd, men and their bands, eh? No, just buy a sports car or have an affair with a woman half your age, please. Enough. You suck. No one cares. Bands are over even for boys. Girls have broken through and they will try harder and harder and get better and better and then “boom!” there’s no more money in it anyway.

So there we were and try as I might I couldn’t not babysit his child while he discussed his “r” word band with my partner. And then she’d had enough of exploring the play structure without actually using it (you need other kids to make play structures even remotely fun to play on, and there are almost never any other kids outside because moms go to play groups, not playgrounds) and returned to her dad.

And it occurred to me that more stay-at-home dads might lead to an increase in playground injuries, wandering into traffic accidents, psycho killer kidnappings, but it would seriously cut down on helicopter parenting, for which stay-at-home moms are almost entirely to blame, although we say credit.

But that’s not what this entry is about, because this entry is about the current argument taking place on the internet and in the nation’s newspapers about the men of government’s latest bill that draws water, so to speak, from our trusted patriarchal pool, and then splashes it on everyone with the expectation that it will solve a problem that for some people is actually a solution, but never mind.

Because it gets even more ‘r’ word from there, with parasitic opportunists like Tom Flanagan weighing in on the side of our brand spankin’ new libertarian feminist sex worker lobby (who knew?) against pursed-lipped Conservative finger-waggers and middle-aged and older RadFems (formerly known as feminists) who are being blamed in advance for an increase in violent crimes by men (johns) against women (prostitutes).

Oops, I mean, the ‘p’ word, sex worker being the term of choice by the ‘p’ word lobby.

I self-identify right now as a man-hating prude, though, so it was with some relief that I turned to my oldest child, a daughter, over lunch yesterday (we went out for vegetarian fare, to a little Vietnamese place nearby, because nobody does vegetarian fare like people not of our culture – really, with the increase in vegetarianism among native-born Canadians I’m not sure why women from countries where delicious meals are produced out of thin air aren’t on the immigration fast-track to Canada) and tested out my theory, which I put to her thusly:

“I’m from a generation that thinks it witnessed a lot of change for the better, but sometimes I don’t know that we didn’t just dig in deeper, so I’m going back to intuition here to suggest that the debate around this new ‘p’ word bill (<long interruption explaining new ‘p’ word bill and ‘r’ word punditry about it>) is an extension of male entitlement vs female obligation dressed up as female entitlement vs male obligation on one side, while the other side is Maude Flanders asking, ‘Won’t somebody please think of the poor young drug-addicted and/or trafficked women living on the streets and/or imprisoned in concrete jungles?!’, and really, most everyone involved is suffering from a patriarchal hangover and probably should just step back and leave it to you.”

“That’s a good point, mom. You should blog about it.”

So here’s my advice, justice staff moms and dads, read between the lines of your Mother’s and Father’s Day greetings from the good Minister, quit your jobs, and go home to raise the next generation.

Because the world of paid work is the ‘r’ word, and if there’s one regret I do not have, it’s having been a homemaker.



The Telltale Stink of Motherless Leaders

Not clear on the hue and cry over Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s Mother’s Day vs Father’s Day emails to his staff (except for the part about sending Mother’s Day and Father’s Day emails to his staff).

All he said was that if it wasn’t for women our male leaders would still be in their poopy diapers.


The Economy: If We Just Ignore It, Maybe It Will Go Away

At my book club last night we did something a little different and invited a guest speaker, husband of one of our members, to talk about investing and economics.

He writes about both for a living.

So naturally I made it awkward for him, as I proceeded to send him back to his finished basement better informed as to how I live now.

I know, I know, all about you much, Sooey?

(Speaking of witch, I think a finished basement is just an expensive illusion, as families end up living in their finished basements, while cats sit atop the backs of the chesterfields in the still dust beams of the abandoned living rooms of the nation, staring out Triple-E windows, and willing squirrels on the other side of domestic life to come closer, closer.)

But he has a pulpit and I’m a shameless, although extremely competitive, starfucker.

Also, I know I can’t be alone in having dropped from the financially secure middle class into what’s really the financially insecure working class, although nobody calls people like me that, including people like me.

We’re all middle class now, and why not. There’s no law that says we have to trade up and shop until we drop and saddle ourselves and our kids with post-secondary education debts, is there. Not that we’d consider living any other way, which is really what makes us all middle class, if you stop and think about it, which no one ever does – OR WE WOULDN’T BE IN THIS BIG STUPID MESS!

Poll away but people misrepresent their situations and opinions and not even necessarily deliberately, although we do that, too. Sometimes, even with all our complaining, we don’t actually realize how screwed we really are. I guess it was growing up with Conservative pundits and politicians decrying the cradle to grave socialism of our welfare state that had me believing I actually lived in one.

Thank you, Conservative Party of Canada, for disabusing me of that fantasy.

Or are we screwed? It’s hard to say, really. I’m in quite a different economic situation than I was a couple of years ago, and yet I’m less anxious about money and more content about everything else in my life. I almost said happy there for a second but really, you’d have to be either an idiot or a psychopath to be happy in a world run by idiots and psychopaths.

Next on my list of must reads is “Bright-sided” by Barbara Ehrenreich.

So I blibbed and blabbed and he mostly endured with the help of a couple of scotches, but a couple of factoids resonated with him, I think. Or, at least, he put on a good show of interest if they didn’t, which is pretty decent of him, since it’s not like he was making his usual speaker’s fee, surely more than zero.

I kept it personal, Sooey Sooey Sooey, and told him about clearing $12/hr in 1982 with a government agency “Go-Temp” as a word processor, and then a private agency, TOSI, where I ended up clearing $14/$16/hr, depending, in 1983.

(True, there was a fleeting period in the 80s when an ability to intuit the workings of new fangled computing machines combined with a grade nine typing course to make temp agencies a girl’s best friend and supporter of her boyfriend, who could maybe do code, but couldn’t pass a typing test to save his bacon.)

Finally, almost 50, I had a job I felt reflected my education and experience. The Canadian dream, a modest return on investment. Sooey bucket list check.

Also, back in the day, my ex had a student loan repayment of a few thousand dollars at 15% interest, that caused us no little bit of stress and distress.

Call me a crazy old lady but I think we need a historical reality check re the panic about young adult university graduates working at Starbucks and living with a parent and negotiating student loan payback schedules.

And of course they’re not buying houses. I didn’t consider buying a house until I was in my 30s and that was after a decade of work (half of it on contract through an agency, the other half unionized) and living on my own (with my ex) in a series of rental accommodations that caused me varying degrees of stress and distress due to assholes and their stereos.

And we couldn’t live with our parents back in the day because “my house, my rules”. Also, they said no, goodbye, don’t come home when the streetlights come on anymore.

Our kids can, though, because we’re… egalitarian? Accommodating? Nice?

A customer even lamented to me the other day, “At least you see your kids all the time. Mine moved away and I never see them anymore except for visits. I miss them. I miss them living with me all the time.”

I doubt my mother ever had a moment when she missed any one of us living with her, although maybe she did. Even so she would have perished the thought instantly as an aberration of the natural order and settled in with a scotch on the rocks and the Sault Star to recover herself.

Then I told him about now, and how counter-productive the retail business model seems to be, and asked how free trade can be good for us when we’re all making the same lowest amount legally possible for businesses to pay us regardless of what we’re selling to each other. But he countered with the fact that the retail business never made any sense to him before, either, and that it used to be pointlessly unyielding to competitive reality. (I paraphrase and probably incorrectly although looking back, I don’t really disagree with him.)

The big difference between then and now to him is the amount of debt graduates are saddled with, vs their ability to pay it off and within what time frame, and the stress they feel as a result. Also, the difficulty of finding “good” jobs so that they can start making plans to get married, have children, buy houses, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Also, he’s very annoyed with what he sees as universities entrenched in another time and place that are failing to equip students with what they need to succeed in the marketplace. (Bear in mind his field of expertise is Economics, which is based on the theory of supply and demand. Critical thinking skills just get in the way of digging it up here and sending it over there, I guess.)

But then the bombshell. I had mentioned that buying a house (and I couldn’t get a mortgage now, of course) is good because we build equity, it’s a forced savings plan, and nest egg (although we don’t intend to sell ours, so not really). He definitely disagreed with that canard and suggested that if he did the math he’d probably be annoyed because he figures he’s put as much into his house as the equity he’s built up, and that given the situation facing our kids, his house is an unreliable nest egg because there will be too many sellers and not enough buyers.

What’s changed, is that it’s all changed, in other words, and our kids won’t be, and, in fact, already aren’t, going through those rites of passage we claim as the Canadian dream. And he’s right, because I’m witnessing it, and you’re witnessing it. Unemployment can go down, and yet, employment still isn’t going up.

The fact is, I couldn’t get a house now because my employment isn’t secure enough. And I don’t know how many young people you know with secure employment, but I don’t think I know any. Even the young people I knew in the public service were, like me, on terms that are subject to renewal (or not) every six months or so.

So they live with a parent or rent apartments together and go out and eat, dance, travel (young people travel as much if not more than my mother, the teacher, did) and whittle away at student debts that I tell my kids are their mortgages.

“Think of it as a mortgage. You’re living an educated life. It’s all good. And you don’t want a house anyway because for you it won’t be a sound investment. Besides, you have two parents who will each own one we’ll have no one to sell it to, anyway.”

His advice? Sell now and/or downsize if your house, the one you bought when you had kids, is your nest egg. Don’t retire. And if you have a few thousand dollars to sock away for ten years or so, get a balanced mutual fund.

Sooey’s advice? Stay put or move, buy, rent, it won’t matter either way or any way. Retire or don’t, it doesn’t matter, either. And if you have a few thousand dollars to sock away for ten years or so, pretend you already did that already and spend it all now on a trip or give it away or burn it. Whatever. Just stop feeding the beast, the insanity, the illusion otherwise known as the economy.



Okay, I’ve done a 180 and now want prostitution legalized, not just decriminalized, as is the want of the prostitution lobby.

That’s right. I want government run brothels.

And I want the government to contract out their call center to a company called “Rogered”. And I want “Rogered” to out-source the contract to India.

That’s all for now, although I may return with a list of menu options.


Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Johns?!

I came up with the idea for an empowerment poster for johns while engaged in a discussion about prostitution over at Dr. Dawg’s, where I like to post comments (do you think he gets more traffic than I do?), because I noticed no one ever admits to being one, a john, I mean.

Won’t somebody please think of the johns?

Or admit to being one, at least?

“I Choose To Buy Sex From Another Human Being. No One Is Forcing Me To Do It. Why Isn’t It My Legal Right?”


“Don’t Hate Me Because I’m a john.”


“My Name Is Tyler/Cody/Edgar and I Am a john.”


“What’s the Big Deal? Fuck Off!”

I’ve read column after blog after comment by various and sundry sex worker-by-choice (and, of course, nothing by a sex-worker-not-by-choice, who has less in common with a sex-worker-by-choice than I do, and who would probably be better off with the legalization of drugs, since the legalization of prostitution will have little effect on a life made difficult by a lack of money and availability of inexpensive drugs for legal sale) but no one ever prefaces a column or blog or comment with “As a john”.

I mean, we seem to be arguing about legalizing (or decriminalizing) the sex trade so that girls and women will be safe from johns, without johns ever interrupting to say, “Hey – we’re not all rapist murderers!”

But I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not prostitution should be legalized or decriminalized, and I had decided on decriminalized because I’m not sure that legalizing it wouldn’t put the government in the position of being a pimp, and I wouldn’t wish that bureaucratic nightmare on any of us.

Now I’m torn, though because I came across a site in my travels called “AskMen” that offered up a protocol for visiting a strip club that offers lap dances. And I remembered how strippers were the most adamantly opposed to lap dancing being legalized because they knew it would essentially turn them into prostitutes.

And no one is more clear that “I am NOT a prostitute” than a stripper.

The “AskMen” site is mostly offensive because it thinks it isn’t. Cutesy advice like, “Just don’t let these very specific etiquette rules spill over into the rest of your life: The clerk at the 7-Eleven will not appreciate an extra $5 bill tucked into her cleavage — take it from someone who knows.”

Meanwhile, a woman would be kicked out of a strip club for wanting a lap dance from another woman, wouldn’t she.

Strip clubs are discriminatory in the worst way, in my opinion, and if anything should be illegal it’s discrimination based on gender. Not to mention, sexual orientation.

Oh wait, it is.

Now, I don’t really care about Happy Hookers. I mean, fuck you and your $400/hr, lying on your back job, fuck you in the ear. Whatever. Legal. Not legal. Criminalized. Decriminalized. I don’t care. I just. Don’t. Care.

But I do care about the addicted young women I see downtown who look and act like they would do pretty much anything for drug money. And I can’t speak for all the other radical prudes, but I’m pretty sure they’re not arguing against decriminalization and legalization because they want to make the lives of addicted young women even less safe.

And since the legalization of drugs would make them a lot safer than the legalization or decriminalization of prostitution will, fuck you prostitution lobby, fuck you in the ear.

Really, and who are men to know anything about the effect of legalization or decriminalization of prostitution on women, anyway? We grow up being viewed as sex objects. We’re tired of it. Enough already.

Speak up for the johns.

Or go fuck yourselves, go fuck yourselves in the ear.



A Question Or Two for Andrew Coyne Re Free Trade

If free trade is so good for us, as alleged by you and almost everyone else who’s anyone these days, why is it that the government of Ontario recently had to step in and raise the legal minimum wage paid to us by our corporate retailers?

Why are so many educated and experienced middle-aged Canadians working in retail, part-time, and for minimum wage (which in Ontario is now $11/hr, at least, so thank you once again, Premier Wynne)?

Where have all the ash trees gone?

Why are oranges from Florida suddenly $6.99 (for ten small sour oranges)?

How come it doesn’t matter if we work in a store that sells high end ladies wear or cheap plastic beads, we still only make minimum wage and get part-time hours?

I await your answers.

Sooey Says, Shopgirl


Not a Pony, A Solid Gold Roof!

But I am glad to have been laid off from my brief time in the public service. I was only there for three years but it felt like longer. And it was stupid that I was never able to do it part-time, which still would have been double what I make now, by way of job sharing or somesuch.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I made good money for those three years, although the people around me all made more, and I needed the benefits, especially the ability to schedule appointments for this and that.

Interestingly, I never schedule appointments now that I work in retail. I could, because I’m only part-time, but I don’t. I go to work, sell clothes, then come home and do this and that.

I like being at home doing nothing much. Now that I don’t drink I’m way choosier about outings of all variety.

I got old, man.

I am literally small and dry now.

You’ll be gratified to hear that I was re-elected president of our housing association at our annual general meeting the other night. It was gratifying for me, too, but I could never be a real politician. The electorate eventually blends into one gigantic whiny ingrate and the temptation to spray them with water as they lurch toward one with yet another complaint about visitor parking is overwhelming.

I can’t afford to get sued.

No wait, if I can’t afford to get sued, I guess I can afford to get sued.

Bring it on, muthafuckas!

I was tempted to say as much in my little campaign speech, about the whiny lurching thing, because having been on the committee I trust the process now and thought I didn’t care to win, but at the last minute I did.

I smelled a fee-raiser among my competition.

You know the type.


“Why don’t we just raise fees so we can replace our old asbestos roof shingles with solid gold bars?”

Yes, francophone, too. I know, I know, racist much Sooey?

Admit it. Our Liberal francophone brothers and sisters never saw a problem throwing money at it wouldn’t solve.

Not that they aren’t right, because throwing money at a problem almost always solves it, but it’s important for the rest of us to hold the line on all that joie de vivre with a little work hard then die and who do you think you are and money doesn’t grow on trees and blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda no we’re not raising fees because we’re cheap sons of bitches, you cheese eating surrender monkeys.

Omigawd. Just think if Americans were more like the French how much better off we’d all be.

Really, I’m such a conservative in practice it’s beyond hypocritical that I’m such a socialist in theory.

Still, Liberals really do drive me nuts, even though I just voted for one.

It’s important to go against type every now and again, though, isn’t it.

Also, re running again to be president, I’m super competitive still and haven’t become a better person at all, as I thought I had for some reason.

So yes, back to me. As I keep blogging, I enjoy being an ordinary hardworking family taxpayer because I make so little money in my new private sector world that, ironically, my chronic anxiety about whether or not I’ll have enough money to last through old age is gone.

Poof! And it’s so freeing I can’t tell you the difference it has made to my state of being. Food tastes better, colours are brighter, and I sleep like a baby (a good baby, too, not one of those bad babies that turns its mother into a red-eyed zombie who will lactate at the sound of a chain saw even ten years later).

And that’s because I realize now that I won’t have enough, that I was never going to have enough. But lots of people won’t. Not to live the way we do even now, later, we won’t have enough.

But when I go to our annual general meeting and meet my sister and brother homeowners again face-to-face I am reminded that we’re all in this together and that there’s no reason to be afraid because, really, to be fair, people may be whiny complainers, but they’re also quite reasonable.

Some are even kind and good and you can rely on them to be there. For all of us.

And so there was elected to our committee a passionate defender of the rights of homeowners who run into financial difficulty such that they may not be able to pay their fees, to not be summarily executed, which wasn’t our policy anyway, but you never know, so good, I’m glad.

Because I’m an adapter and adapters can be more casual about change than is fair to others. Up, down, over, around. We adapt.

If we have a blog we just complain before, during and after, but really, we thrive on change because adapting to it is our forte.

So society needs passionate defenders of the rights of people for whom change is more challenging, almost always for reasons related to health, to balance us back to what’s kind and good and reliably so.

And not everybody has a blog, either.

Anyway, I’m not a REAL political analyst, but that’s, I think, what went missing with the NDP in this latest provincial election. The passionate defender of all those people who haven’t already adapted to our great fall, because we’ve had one and the Conservative Party of Canada has burnt the ladder, was A.W.O.L.

There are a lot of people in my circumstances who are overwhelmed by change, and a lot of people who never even got on the ladder, people no one seems to be concerned about who are surviving on less societal support than ever, but who are aging, too.

And in the place of the NDP was a re-worked slogan from the infamous Commonsense Revolution, led by the unlikely Mike Harris, golf bum, and a not so subtle hint from a leader that if she could pull herself up by her bootstraps, so could you, whoever you are and whatever your circumstances may be, that left those of us who know better thinking she should know better, too.

And really, solid gold bar roofs would never have to be replaced. And no matter how far Conservative government pulled our social safety net out from under our feet, our roofs, at least, would keep us warm and dry while simultaneously increasing our net worth.