Friday April 25 , 2014

From Harrisite to Harperite

My first thought on hearing that Jim Flaherty died was: “Oh no, political eulogizing.”

My second thought was: “So who called 911?”

If you can’t say anything nice – ask a question?


Jaclyn Dawe – Missing 424 Days – Last Seen at 51 Benway in Etobicoke

A Facebook friend PM’ed me this morning with a link to this comment, so I’m sure the NSA and CSEC are on the case now. Anyway, I guess I’m being a nag, but I’m so tired of these overgrown galoots in power having all the attention when a whole woman has gone missing and may possibly have been murdered:

Jimmi T is offline UT Member/Join Date Feb 2011/Posts 448

Quote Originally Posted by TOBorn View Post
Okay – I looked. This woman is still missing. Nothing adds up and no person in a position of authority has definitively stasted she is no longer a person of interest in a missing person case nowhere have I found this woman has been located. Earlier I asked what the hell is going on here now, I’m finding, in my head, that the words are getting less civilized. How has the press ignored this so entirely? Is this one of those situations where the owner is being held in protective custody for her own safety? What has become of her abandoned vehicle and where, in God’s earth, have her concerned friends/co-workers gone. Are they of the opinion that she is okay because she has a Facebook page, with no friends (that makes Howard Hughes look like a flighty socialite). If so, they certainly don’t care for her, or communicate with her as ‘normal’ people do on social media. This is all just all too ‘Twightlight Zone’ for my suburban housewife lifestyle. Someone out there must know, not only if there is a connection with this travesty of law known as Brazen II, but what has happened to this very much blood & guts young lady who seems to have entirely vanished from our city , the internet (except for a possible fake Facebook page), our consciousness, our lives and possibly life itsel!

Someone found her Facebook profile stating she’s in Asia, which backs up what I was told. I also asked TPS about her. They say they can’t talk about her. I asked can they at least verify that she’s no longer missing. Then they reply that they just cancelled her missing person’s report. I didn’t see anything to verify that though. The owner of the house where that girl left her car in front of, Ken Boot, was apparently a client of Lisi’s and he also rented his garage out to him.

Last edited by Jimmi T; Today at 07:34.


Who’s Afraid of the CFIB

Somebody told me once that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is just a couple of lobbyists, that its title is bigger than it is.

I don’t really know if that’s true or not, but true to this blog I’ll put it out there anyway.

I didn’t feel anger when CBC’s Go Public revealed that McDonalds is staffed by temporary foreign workers, in some cases supposedly making more per hour (not buyin’ that convenient whopper) than the one or two actual Canadians who work there, too – I felt like boycotting McDonalds.

Except that I already boycott McDonalds.

And I’m pretty sure the workers at the Tim Hortons I was in yesterday right here in downtown Ottawa are temporary foreign hires under orders, in fact, to be extra super friendly, but, I already more or less boycott Tim Hortons, too.

Still, I promise to never set foot in one again. It was disturbing, all the good mornings and smiles. I felt disoriented. Like I wasn’t in Canada anymore because I’d been transported to North Korea, a reception for Kim Jong-Un.

Do we know that North Korea has nuclear weapons? Or is that just a rumor perpetrated by the powers that be, an excuse to do nothing, as a reminder that the powers that be could always be worse?

We already don’t make anything here, just like they don’t make anything in Saudi Arabia, but now we import foreign labour, too, just like Saudi Arabia.

I doubt there’s a more dissolute people on the planet than Saudi Arabians, but maybe Canadians will be able to give them a run for their money soon.

Ethical oil – do you fucking believe it? The environment destroying psychopaths are now writing the kindergarten to grade 12 curriculum for Alberta’s public school children. And taxpayers, never mind citizens, aren’t rioting in the floodplains.

You know, if we really need temporary foreign workers to staff our fast food industry, then why isn’t the “Fast Food Workers” category of immigration being fast-tracked by Alberta Conservative and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney?

He actually issued a fatwah against the Roma and got away with it. Canada. 2014. No Roma Allowed.

I keep reading about how wily these Alberta Conservative characters are, and what a master political strategist Stephen Harper is, and yet I’m trying to imagine a more politically stupid move than allowing the very emblem of “my first job” and/or “worst comes to worst I can always get a job at McDonalds” to be revealed as a hotbed of temporary foreign employment.

Please, please, please pay attention voters. This is all happening while Stephen Harper’s security detail has ballooned to grabillions of dollars.

Who the hell is he hiding from if not the people he’s been put in place to screw over before he goes to his great reward at Tarsands Inc?!

So I wasn’t angry, exactly, that is until one of the two(?) wankers incorporated as the CFIB claimed that lots of Canadian employers defend the practice because imported labour has a better work ethic than, I guess, immigrants do, or at the bottom of the work ethic scale, fifth generation first job or last resort job seeking Canadians.

This asshole, these assholes(?), are talking about me, you, our children, their children, educated and experienced Canadian citizens whose families have paid taxes in this country for generations upon generations.

I don’t believe we should have to be grateful for a way to make money, a way to survive, not in Canada in 2014, do you? I don’t believe immigrants to this country should have to be grateful for a way to make money here, either.

So I don’t know why Canadian businesses would pay for public representation by a lobbyist so stupid that I now want to boycott every member of the CFIB, but there you go, they’re stupid enough not to realize that they live in the same economy they’re destroying, and they’re stupid enough not to realize that if we’re all un-or-under-employed, eventually we won’t be able to afford us.

Don’t get me wrong. I welcome the day we don’t have any more discretionary income and the spending stops and the profits stop and Rob Ford’s gravy train derails completely and he has all day to get stoned and drunk.

So yeah, I guess Rob Ford’s life won’t change much.

Really, the Conservative Party is stupid to rig our electoral process in its favor by eliminating vouching. Temporary foreign workers could easily be conscripted to cast a ballot for the local Conservative dirtbag, I’m sure. Or be trucked from riding to riding by Pierre Poutine to cast ballots for lots of local Conservative dirtbags.

They’re not stupid. I imagine it takes a fair bit of werewithall to get around the system and find their way here. So they know they have no real rights, that they’re more or less paid prisoners of whoever made it possible.

I’m not angry at them. I’m angry at us.

A while ago my Conservative friend and I were at Canadian Tire. As usual, we had trouble getting help from the regular old Canadian staff, even though probably the best employee in all of Canada works at the one we were in, a guy who knows virtually everything there is to know about Canadian Tire products, and my Conservative friend was being extra Conservative about it, going on about how in the states (where his Democrat girlfriend lives) people hop to serve a customer.

I could feel the hackles rising. He forgets that I work in retail, I guess, but eventually it was all moot because we got really good service, so good in fact (except for the egregious up-sell that we all do now, although I hereby vow to no longer engage in the practice) that I mentioned it at the cash.

“Oh, you should go to the website and mention him, then, because it helps if we get recognition for good service.”

But I didn’t because I just won’t play that game. It’s everywhere, though, too, so I’m not sure I can make a dent in it by not playing. Where I work I fell for a gush of enthusiasm by the store manager about how the private equity firm that owns it (she’s still pretending that it’s still owned by Ma & Pa America) want input, new ideas, ways to make it all bigger and better – from staff.

In other words they’re so stupid they would send her in to work claiming they want advice from the minimum wage part-time staff they’re constantly nickel and diming.

So I suggested giving the part-time staff more hours to prevent turnover, you know, since the store’s reputation is based almost entirely on customer service, now that the quality is the same as it is everywhere.

Chinese political prisoners just don’t sew like they used to, I guess.

I didn’t say that last part, but even so, she stared at me like I’d farted or something.

And no, I never fart at work so stop nodding your head. But if you think university girls don’t fart at work you’re as deluded as she is.

I should have known better because that’s when she remembered that she’d learned at the last team meeting that management doesn’t have to give staff a fifteen minute paid break during a four hour shift as she’d erroneously thought, a development she termed as a positive.

I kid you not. I mean, I often wasn’t taking it anyway, but when I did I’d realize how nice it was to rest my feet, eat an apple, stare at the microwave clock – for ten minutes (I never took fifteen). And she was actually spinning it as a positive that we would no longer be allowed to take it.

Really, it is to laugh, isn’t it. Certainly there’s no point in taking us seriously.


Sorry Kids, We Lied, It Doesn’t Get Better

But you get better at it, so there, don’t say Aunt Sooey never threw you a bone.

I read about this guy recently who’s decided to stop guarding his personal privacy and live like an open book.

Bank book, though, too? I mean, I’m sure India has all my information at its fingertips but do I want my boss to have it?

She’d just pressure me even more to shop at the store I work in but can’t afford because even with a 50% discount our merchandise is over-priced. I can find better quality much cheaper at the thrift shop.

He doesn’t just believe there’s no harm in having anyone and everyone know his business, he believes there’s good in it. He has a blog, but I can’t remember his name, so now I have no idea how to find his blog, either.

Sorry, eh.

I thought of him when I was reading about Rob Ford’s latest public escapades, or Ford Follies, I guess, because I think it’s interesting that it’s been a couple of years now that we’ve been witnessing a politician behave exactly how a politician isn’t supposed to behave, in public, anyways, and yet – so what?

And even though we don’t know all the details on record, we really do, actually, know exactly what all the redacted and not yet released information is and will be and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Although I guess we don’t know whether he was involved in the disappearance of a woman, Jaclyn Dawe, whose car was left abandoned in front of one of the residences he frequented (frequents?) to smoke crack with the gang.

I suspect very strongly, of course, that he was, and that’s why the Lady Macbeth tailspin he’s in now, but I could be wrong.

Meanwhile, Edward Snowden has confirmed for us what we already knew, that we’re being spied on by various and sundry, our emails and text messages and phones calls intercepted and dissected, our governments pretending they can’t do much about it because “they want the eggs”. And yet – so what?

We often have suspicious looking characters sitting outside our house in unmarked cars with listening devices in their ears. But I think they might just be Liberals. There’s a restaurant nearby that they often gather at to fundraise. Or they could be cops. There’s a fair bit of drug activity in our ‘hood. Multi-generational, too. Moms selling oxycontin, daughters selling sex, un-spayed and un-neutered pitbulls hooking up in the parking lot across the street.

It’s sort of like if The Wire was on Sesame Street. Or maybe more like Cracked on Coronation Street.

I thought it was funny how the actor on Cracked always looked like he was listening to the wind to help him figure out who perpetrated the crazy crime this week.

Full disclosure: I only watched it once and in that episode it was the woman who played Gordie Howe’s wife/manager in his life story that I didn’t watch because I was done with hockey after the Canada/Russia hockey series in 1972.

I had an incident towards the end of my shift on Saturday that in earlier days, much earlier days, would probably have seen me changing my name and moving to a cave in Utah (where I believe The Man Who Quit Money still lives) and in closer days would have seen me wanting to do that but carrying on as if my upper torso insides hadn’t dropped to flop around like caught cod in my lower torso.

The shift started out full of manic promise, the manager, who I suspect may have one of those personality disorders I’ve been reading about in Psychology Today, bi-polar/manic depression, although probably not borderline personality disorder, high-strung as usual but in an expansive way.

Sometimes she winds from the outside in. Saturday she was winding from the inside out.

I occasionally pick up Psychology Today with Fine Cooking, which is always worth it but PT is really not very good, is it. It looks like it will be good, but then it isn’t. The articles are too simplistic and the recovery ads make PT seem more like a cult guide than a magazine to help one diagnose all the nutcases in one’s life.

Anyway, the shift started full of manic promise, as I just said, with her jabbering on at me about branding and networking and other bizzbuzzery.

Really, it’s a stage of grief, isn’t it, denial not just of economic reality (people are a dime a dozen, decent paying jobs like solid gold bricks) but that we’re hopelessly doomed, now that our great white arctic ice reflector shield is melting, leaving our oceans to absorb all that solar power our movers and shakers neglected to harness for us.

She’s too smart not to know that shopping is how women take their minds off the inevitability of a cooked planet, while their men stay home to watch televised sports.

I read that in an article recently, that bit about women shopping and men watching sports to take our minds off climate change.

Who can blame us? Who’s not us to do the blaming?

Although Linda McQuaig is making the essential point these days that the movers and shakers are absolutely to blame for the mess that we’re in because they made it.

She’s right, of course, yet – so what?

She complimented me on how awesome I am with customers, so friendly and helpful, but experience has taught me that her compliments aren’t really compliments so much as an ongoing inference that I’m not fully committing to the store. It’s not just that she wishes I would buy clothes from it, even though she knows that I’m working to buy groceries and pay down Ontario Hydro’s debt – because I’ve told her as much – several times – but now the ante’s been upped to include outreach resulting in bring-in.

You know, bring in my own customer base because, well, surely I know women who have lots of discretionary income to spend on clothes.

Now, it’s not as bad as it sounds because it doesn’t actually make any difference what I do. It only makes a difference what I say. No one is getting more than fifteen hours per week, other than a couple of grandmothered in oldtimers who are such unbelievable sharks that the store would be crazy – is crazy – not to give them as many hours as they want.

They only get a minimum of 20-25, which is what I was promised when I was hired. I think all stores do that now, promise hirees 20-25 hours, but 15 is the most we get, and that’s a good week. 12 is more likely. 10 in this season.

But they’re older, d’une certaine age, as they say in Quebec, and don’t necessarily want much more than they have so it’s all good – for them.

I’ve worked with them, trying to make my sales goal, which I did yesterday, but they’re like ninjas how they snap up customers and make mega sales.

As soon as I make my goal I go limp, too, and start tidying and cleaning and just generally staying out of their way while they do their thing. Really, it’s beyond stupid that I’m expected to compete for sales with actual salespeople. If I was managing me I’d put me in charge of making fun of the whole exercise.

Customers really enjoy a laugh at the retailer’s expense. They know nothing is worth anything anymore and nobody’s making a living at it. But shopping is still fun for a lot of people. I always tell them they’re making the economy go ’round so good for them. Women like that line a lot because we’re aware that we don’t need whatever it is we’re buying, and that the men in our lives are aware of it, too, and would roll their eyes at us when we return home with our senseless purchases, if they could tear their eyes away from the television long enough to do it.

Full disclosure – my Beau has about as much interest in televised sports as I do. Less, in fact, since I’ll sometimes watch a bit of the Olympics. I’m talking about other people. You know, stereotypes, because – why not?

Seriously, how can men care which team wins what when the planet is slowly cooking? Shouldn’t they all be out doing something about it? Saving us, the women and children – the unborn, even – from looming disaster?

So there I was on Saturday, rushing hither and yon, making the store 1000 times more than it pays me, holding my own with the sharks and also doing a lot more by way of tidying and cleaning, when all of a sudden the manager, in front of a customer, asks if she can see me off the floor for a minute.

“Uh oh”, said the customer, looking uneasy.

I felt bad for her and wanted to say, “Don’t worry about it. She’s as crazy as a bag of hammers.” But instead I said, “Don’t worry about it. The other manager already told me they don’t fire people, they just don’t give them any more hours.”

Passive aggressive much, retail industry?

And after I’d given the customer over to the young manager, the one I like and who’s fun to work with, as are all the young women, university girls, I call them, I went back to the office.

“Sooey, did you forget to wear deodorant today?”

“Ooh. Yikes. No. But it is from The Body Shop.”

“Okay, because you smell, It’s really bad. I thought it was a customer but then I realized it was you. Just be glad I’m telling you because customers can be really rude. They’ll just scream at you that you stink and I didn’t want that to happen so I called you off the floor. Do you have deodorant with you, in your locker, I mean? A change of clothes maybe, too?”

So I gave my right armpit a discreet sniff and, well, there was a mild less than ladylike aroma coming from it, but, it definitely wasn’t a stink. I mean, I can stink, for sure, I can stink like ten men. But this wasn’t that. This was just a sort of mildly damp eau de wet cotton/wool blend type of whiff.

Also, if a customer screamed at me that I stink I’m pretty sure I’d just give her to one of the sharks. I probably wouldn’t even have to, they’d just swoop in and take her over, knowing that she probably feels entitled to scream at sales people because she’s such a big spender.

Although big spenders are all probably wearing deodorant from The Body Shop, aren’t they.

Is it really deodorant if it doesn’t do anything to stop you from emanating an odour if you sweat?

Fair enough, though, headed off at the pass. The thing is, at top of mind wasn’t the stink problem so much as how to get around it so that I could finish off my shift and get paid for five hours, instead of just four and a half.

Okay, just read that back and realized we’re talking about $5.00, which is how the movers and shakers want it, and there go I, aiding and abetting. But public transit to and from work is over $5.00 and I just can’t stand the thought of not making every dollar I’m entitled to just for showing up. And it’s not like I haven’t been sent home early because nobody’s buying, either, so I didn’t want that to happen on a Saturday when they were.

Anyway, as luck would have it, one of the university girls showed up early for her shift (they all travel with luggage-sized purses full of toiletries) and I was able to re-deodorize.

Seriously, Body Shop, stick to fruity smelling body lotions – one of which makes the same manager want to vomit, as she kind of shrieked at one of the university girls who showed up to work having recently moisturized with mango butter. That happened just before the time my shoes didn’t pass muster (is that the expression? pass muster? because I want to say pass mustard now). We laughed about it, later, but the other manager, not the young one, the older one, was appalled.

She wasn’t appalled about my shoes not passing mustard, though. She likes me, but I can tell she thinks I’m a miss-hire. Even if I am (I am) it’s been worth it just to witness her deal with difficult (even deranged) customers. Really, she should be sent over to Syria to sort out the conflict there and then on to the Central Republic of Africa and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Also, I had an extra sweater that I wear under my coat because it’s still not warm enough this April (yes, climate change deniers, we had a long and stormy winter here in Ottawa – but our giant sun reflector ice shield is still gone and it’s not coming back and the oceans are warming and that’s it and that’s all) so I was able to put it on over my, luckily, sleeveless blouse, and go back out on the floor to finish my shift and make that fucking $5.00.

But now it’s Monday and I have the blahs (I’m increasingly wondering if thwap is right and I am depressed – but then again, Barbara Ehrenreich would probably say to that, “so what?”) and I’m wondering what an unladylike gal like me is doing hocking ladieswear – NOT that what I’m hocking even matters, of course, since it’s all just stuff, the story of which has already been written.

So the least I can do, I suppose, while I live and breathe, is be honest, sweat the small stuff on the internet, maybe even re-work this experience into a chapter of a book, complete with fleshed out characters based on real people who would have more dimensions than they do here. (The same manager who told me I smell also hired me even though I have no experience because she knows a good miss-hire when she sees one.)

Also, now that I’ve reached the “so what?” stage, I could probably use the distraction.


Death of a Drug Salesman

Seriously, Rob Ford had better survive the substance abuse tailspin he appears to be in because I don’t think I’ll survive the Conservative eulogies that will either splatter the airwaves – or worse, won’t – should he succeed in killing himself.


Good Con/Bad Con

So a Conservative senator is getting a bit of press these days arguing with a former auditor general about the merits of the Conservative Party’s Fair Elections Act.

I don’t know but it seems to me that all we really need to know about the Fair Elections Act is that it was drafted by the same Conservative Party that allowed inappropriate access to its database so that persons still unknown (except by the Conservative Party) could commit the electoral fraud that resulted in a Conservative Party majority government in 2011.

And, you know, I’m tired of the Segals of the Conservative Party playing good Conservative when it suits them but otherwise going along with the bad Conservatives who have essentially made a mockery of our Parliamentary democracy, which they’ve done easily and handily and mostly thanks to all the good Conservatives who aided and abetted them from behind the scenes.

I mean, it’s not like we don’t know that the Conservative Party can easily track who has accessed its database to commit electoral fraud because Dmitri Soudas did it and BOOM – banished from the Garden of Stephen.

(And suddenly another Conservative lady is outed as an unconscionable diva. Funny how the Conservative Party attracts the crazy ladies, eh? Too bad Stephen Harper’s dad doesn’t have their backs like he’s got Rob Anders’.)

We know for a fact that the Conservative Party has all the who/when/where details with regard to the illegal access of its database to commit the electoral fraud in 2011 that three years later brings us  the Fair Elections Act by Pierre Poilievre, the former squeeze of Stephen Harper’s 2011 campaign manager, Jenni Byrne.

Nothing that the government has done from the point of its election in 2011 is legitimate, because the Conservative Party broke our electoral laws in order to get a majority. I know that. You know that. So Hugh Segal knows that, too.

But my working theory now is that the Conservative Party wanted us to know all that – before it got co-opted by the very government it claimed to loathe and despise – because the fact that we really and truly can’t trust our own government anymore feeds directly into the ideology of Stephen Harper et al, the bad Conservatives who made this big mess – deliberately and without looking back.

Aided and abetted all the way by good Conservatives following orders.


Dmitri We Hardly Knew Ye…

Just read a piece pointing out that the Conservative Party gave up Dmitri Soudas for inappropriate use of CIMS but it still hasn’t given up whoever was behind the electoral fraud of 2011.



I bet that’s what Justin Trudeau said when he heard that the OPP are backing off the case Toronto Chief Blair called them in to help investigate because, just like Doug Ford kept telling everybody, Rob Ford is the REAL victim here.

That’s right, according to the OPP, two things cannot be true at once, and the gangsters Rob Ford was hanging out with the night he was videotaped by them smoking crack were the extorters, not Rob Ford. Rob Ford was the extortee.

Just you never mind if the other way around is also true because two things cannot be true at once.Ford Nation is right, you pinko socialist pansy cyclists.

Now get out there and re-elect Rob Ford. You owe him, dammit!

Ford More Years! Ford More Years! Ford More Years!



Why are budgets secret anyway? I was pleased to learn that the provincial government plans to retire our payment of Ontario Hydro’s debt. Including that payment on our monthly hydro bill discourages individual conservation, because no matter what we do, it’s nothing compared to that debt repayment.

By the way, if you worked at Ontario Hydro in the ’80s – fuck you, brownshirt.

I’m excited for spring to come because we need to get a tiny crack in our foundation repaired and eaves troughs put up to stop the water that comes off the roof in one corner from dribbling into our basement. It heads to the drain, though, so that’s good, at least, right?

I don’t believe in finished basements but I do believe in dry basements so once we get a guy in to chisel out and plug in, I can relax and enjoy life again. Until then, I’m afraid I’ll have to complain a lot about unrelated matters because I’m obsessive compulsive that way.

Well, I say guy but I suppose a lesbian could do it, too.

Speaking of which, thanks for finally picking up my point about Stephen Harper and travel, Peter Mansbridge, you non-credit-giving-point-stealer.

(In case you’re new here, that was me who pointed out what a fibber Tom Flanagan was about Stephen Harper’s likes and dislikes, not that there were any likes. Tom claimed that Stephen doesn’t care about money and doesn’t like to travel, but if you were looking closely, as I was, you’d notice that his eyes were crossed when he said it, because, of course, Stephen Harper likes money: expensive suits + personal stylist = likes money; and likes travel: more trips than any other prime minister ever on behalf of Tarsands Inc – which is also all about money. Anyway, Peter Mansbridge finally said as much last night to that Tuesday night panel that really has no reason to be, but whatever.)

I shouldn’t mislead people about our lives here where I live. We’re okay. You can stop sending money now. My partner is eking a living out of his brain and back when times were better we threatened the red bank that if it didn’t give us a mortgage we’d go to the green bank, so we have a house.

It’s all good. I get off on frugality, too, so it’s even better, if I really stop and think about it, which I just did. My thing is I don’t like working for money because it’s just time away from doing what I like to do, which is this.

Also, sitting on the couch with the dog and looking out the window. I like doing that. A lot. Seriously. When the kids were little they’d come to me where I was sitting looking out the window and occasionally, very occasionally because they were very self-sufficient, complain about being bored.

“Bored? Really? Okay, well, why not take my place sitting here looking out the window while I go make myself another cup of coffee.”

Then I’d go sit somewhere else and look out the window. You’ll be pleased to hear that I didn’t drink in those days, either. Sober as a judge from age 28 to age 40, I was, so you can put down the phone to Children’s Aid.

Or did we threaten the blue bank and then go to the orange bank? The other shade of blue bank? I can’t remember. Our real estate agent did the threatening, actually. I suspect she also got the bidding war going, but so it goes. It was worth a little more than they were asking, and she made it all a fun experience except for her office being out in the middle of nowhere as far as car-less we were concerned.

Sell your car. Just do it. You’ll be amazed at how much younger you’ll feel.

I don’t usually give free advice, either, so you’re lucky.

Ooh, just realized how well that turned out. We almost bought a house that would have caused us a lot of distress, after we stopped and thought about it, which was after we bought the house we’re in now.

There. Something to be grateful for.

But grateful to whom? That’s the thing. And whenever someone says, “oh just be grateful you have a job”, which no one says to me anymore because I’m not a term in the government, I’m a part-time minimum wage retail worker, I ask that person, “grateful to whom”?

If Stephen Harper announced that he was bringing in a guaranteed annual income, even if it was just $10,000/year, I’d vote for him.

Okay, no I wouldn’t, but you get my point, Peter Mansbridge. Now do something about it, please. A guaranteed annual income would solve so many problems it’s a no-brainer is what it is.

In AA whenever anyone interprets the slogan, “live and let live”, they apply it to others. So the other week I applied it to myself and I believe I felt my shoulders loosen a bit.

Don’t worry, just because I’m in AA doesn’t mean I’ll become a sanctimonious twat, although you’ll have to excuse me if I fake it sometimes. AA for all the good it does is also a cult, no doubt about it, but that’s okay. It’s free therapy, too.

I’ve decided how I’m going to write my book so that it actually gets written. I’m going to write anecdotes and send them to my mother – who knows how to do email, yes she does – so she can do a read through and then delete them.

But after she does that, she’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

That’s still a maybe, but I figure she’s the sort of task master (also, like me, she basks in reflected glory) who could actually get the thing going.

We all need something we do, and like my super successful friend in social media puts it, or means it, work (for money) should be what we do because we want to do it.

I believe Leah McLaren put it that way in a column once, too, which did actually make an impression on me, having the job that I want as she does.

Too funny, my mother bugs us for emailed photos of events, which we imagine her printing up to put on the wall, but when they arrive she just looks at them for a second, and deletes them. She likes an empty inbox.

And she likes her own paintings on the wall. Birds. She paints birds. Lots and lots of birds. Also, we used to be better looking then we are now. She hasn’t said that directly to us, but I noticed we’re less in evidence in her apartment these days. Like I said about reflected glory.

My friend B. believes that I married my ex so that my children would be smart and she married her ex so that her children would be good looking. But children inherit their intelligence from their mothers and both her children and mine are smart and good looking.

My first story that I’m going to send to my mother is called “Genius”. It stars my ex, fictionalized, of course, but includes the moment when I realized genius is all in the eye of the beholder.

It’s funny, partly because it’s so unfairly one-dimensional. Don’t tell him, though. He’s very sensitive – teenaged girl sensitive – so just leave him alone to his make belief world in which he stars as Alvin Fernald, please.

It really was me, wasn’t it. And timing. Timing is everything. I mean, I could live happily ever after with anyone now that I realize it’s simply not possible for anyone else to be a bigger fan of me than me.

My Beau makes a big show of being my #2 fan, though, so kudos to him. And my boss praised me not too long ago for snagging a bit of arm candy so kudos to him again.

So ironic, time. That will be the end of irony, when it’s the end of time. Hard to believe that once upon a time Graydon Carter actually thought 9/11 brought about the end of irony as opposed to the beginning of a lot of conspiracy theories.

Is it really a conspiracy theory, though, if it’s plausible?

Still, funny how conspiracy theorists overlook incompetence as the most likely cause of pretty much everything.

That and kooks who deliberately fly planes into buildings.

See what I mean about time being ironic?

I just slogged through “Turtle Diary” by Russell Hoban for our book club. I do recommend it if you’re looking for an off-beat slog, as it had lots of little gems in it.

What does it say about me that I like depressed characters? Thwap suggested I’m depressed, once upon a time. I’m really not, but I’m thankful that Barbara Ehrenreich is. And Chris Hedges.

Once you’ve read one sermon by Chris Hedges, though, do you really need to read another?

On the way back to Ottawa we listened to music in the car and “Get Back” by the Beatles came on and I decided to get back to where I once belonged. I’m not sure how I’ll do it but there was that brief time, 43 years ago when I had insight.

Oh wow, 43, the age at which I stopped daydreaming.

I was talking to a childhood friend at my mom’s birthday party on the weekend. He was commenting on my partner, how much he likes him, and I told him about the daydreaming thing.

Oh wait, I never blogged about that, did I. Okay, well, long story short, for the first 43 years of my life I lived on daydreams. Then I met my Beau. Now I don’t daydream anymore.

That, coincidentally, is more or less when I started blogging, too, although by blogging I mean burst into cyber space to become a fucking superstar.

I think Justin Trudeau should put fucking in all his speeches now. Drive Sun Media nuts when Peter Mansbridge starts doing it, too. “Next up is the fucking At Issue panel and then Rex Murphy will be going on about fucking something or other.”

C’mon, do it. It’ll be fucking funny. And what is there left to do but laugh?




“Happy Fucking 90th Birthday!”

Lots of April Fool’s jokes circulating the internet today I finally noticed.

Really, it’s become increasingly harder to tell what’s an actual news item and what’s an April Fool’s joke, hasn’t it?

And wasn’t it just April Fool’s Day last year? Cripes. Turn around, turn around…

I’m getting lots of 90th birthday greetings on Facebook today. That’s right, I used my mother’s birthdate when I signed up.

Bite me, suckers. You’re not my real friends anyway. You’re just Facebook friends. Real friends give me money on my mother’s birthday.

Even my mother gives me money on her birthday. It’s a tradition, a family tradition on account of she owes me, dammit.

Just tell her Hitler would have made a better mother and maybe your mother will start ponying up on her birthday, too. Try it. Seriously. Your mother will just gamble your inheritance or pay it all in rent to Chartwell anyway.

You’re worth it.

My shift was canceled yesterday because it was in the afternoon. The managers of the store I work in have to go by a new system now that pits wage costs against predicted sales, erring on the side of fewer hours per employee (who already don’t get enough hours).

For a store whose reputation relies on customer service and the quality of its merchandise, the private equity firm that owns it sure is playing fast and loose with the staff that’s supposed to provide the customer service.

The quality is long gone according to the old-timers who come in just to shoot the shit about how everything sucks now.

Heads up, wrinklies, when you walk into a store nowadays, chances are you’ve been counted as a customer and the management of that store has to justify why there were X number of customers but only Y number of sales.

Then they cut more staff hours.

Seriously, fuck off, browsers. You walk into a store you’d sure as hell better buy something or no kidding – we’ll cut you.

Just kidding. We don’t give a shit what you do. The other day I even told a customer NOT to buy something, even though I would have made my goal if she had.

There is no point, none, in taking paid work seriously because if it’s really worth doing, you’d do it for free.

If I depended on this job to feed myself, I’d be on a strict diet of tea and toast. Luckily, I still have some savings left over from when I lived with my friend between break-ups and worked for Bob Rae (et cetera) the leader of the Ontario NDP.

Thank you once again OPSEU Local 593. You are the reason why I can afford to shelter and feed myself in Harper Canada.

It was so disappointing to see Andrea Horvath (Horwath?) and the NDP walk out of the Ontario legislature yesterday instead of Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau and their respective parties walk out of the House of Commons.

If there’s an enemy in the Ontario legislature it sure as hell isn’t Kathleen Wynne.

It was time some time ago for the federal Opposition to walk out but it’s definitely time now. There is no point, none, in showing up to play ball while the Conservative Party plays Ruination.

We had a 90th birthday bash for my mother in the Sault over the weekend. Really, a person is too old at 90 to appreciate such a grand gesture. It was much better when I showed up as a surprise at her 85th birthday bash (total lie, she was expecting me, and when I got there I realized it was also her birthday – surprise!).

Oh, and she got the birthday greeting I ordered from Justin Trudeau’s office, too, so thank you, lowly drone who got it done.

“Happy 90th fucking birthday, Sooey’s Mom!”

Well put, JT. Old ladies love an F bomb.

I scored an excellent dinner out at Cesira’s on her 85th. But really, Fresca’s is good, too. In fact, there isn’t an Italian restaurant in the Sault that isn’t better than anything you’ll find anywhere, although I’m not really very well traveled. I’m always amazed, too, how often they’re full. It’s a real eat-out town, I guess. I dunno, maybe Italian mamas have slacked off over the years and the food’s only good enough for the big bambinos who still live with them if it’s cooked by professionals.

A childhood friend and neighbour works at Cesira’s so if you go there for dinner tell him Sooey sent you. He won’t know what you’re talking about because he doesn’t even have a computer, he’s so keepin’ it real.

But I came to one of my increasingly back-to-back late bloomer realizations over the weekend – my mother’s now a mother in name only, which makes me a daughter in name only, too.

And no, I don’t mean that the way it reads if you read it to mean something bad or sad. It just is. And don’t try to tell me it isn’t, that a son’s a son ’til he takes him a wife, a daughter’s a daughter the rest of her life, because I no longer live by rhyming verse.

I don’t just know it to be true, I feel it to be true. My mother is very old and reasonably tired and pretty much past caring, especially or specifically, about the people she grew such a long time ago now that enough already.

She slipped me a cheque, though, so we’re good.

The real surprise guest, the one she was most happy to see, was a fellow she worked with on many campaigns to elect Liberals from the Sault, himself a former MP ready to take another run at the job. His mother was there, too, and he joked right in front of our hard of hearing mothers about how it was they could sit together and chat.

He’s very funny and did a gesture with his arms crossing past each other about how the conversation must have gone, which I guess he forgot they could see, although not very well.

His mother looked a bit irked.

Sons get away with that with mothers, though, don’t they. And really, they shouldn’t be trusted because they’ll do the convenient thing in the end, they absolutely will. It’s as if old mothers forget all the lessons their young mothers taught them about men.

My brother made a little speech to kick off the celebration that would have really irked my mother if she’d heard it. It was pretty funny, though, I have to admit. Pretty accurate as to how her 90th birthday party snowballed into a bit of a command performance, too, if you ask me, which I guess he did, but still.

I wonder if Stephen Harper’s mother says about climate change, “Oh well, I’m glad I won’t be around to see it”. My mother says that, as if it isn’t happening right outside her window. Here it is April and the snowbanks in the Sault are so high and the roads so narrow and pot-holed that even old people don’t like to go out in their cars and drive slowly somewhere close by for no reason because they really don’t need anything they don’t already have or can’t have delivered.

We stayed with my mother’s friend who is someone else’s mother but I’m going to pretend now that she’s mine. She even suggested I go into real estate because she’s concerned about my financial future. She’s so concerned, in fact, that she may not even vote Conservative in the next federal election.

Who knows, maybe Stephen Harper’s mother won’t, either.

Of course by then he’ll have figured it out, that even old people are turning on him, and slipped mandatory euthanasia at age 75 into an omnibus bill that the Opposition will show up in the House to debate before it is passed into law.