Monday, May 31, 2010


May is ending and thanks to global warming, it's felt like July for awhile. When I was a kid my mom regaled me with tales of jumping off the garage roof into great drifts of snow. I'd look around at about one foot of snow and think, huh. What's the deal?

I'm going to regale my children about how it used to snow on Halloween and how we all used to have to wear snowsuits under our costumes like chumps. I remember this one kid from California was in the neighbourhood one year and was planning to wear just a T-shirt and we all chuckled at him. We knew better. It was just too damn cold.

Now? Well hell, I had bare legs this past Halloween. And it's been like that for a few years now. And March, which used to have snow storms was like May used to be. And May? It's been air conditioner weather. My dentist had to call and cancel my appointment until June because the building doesn't turn on the A/C until then and they've been roasting in dental hell. And in my last place, the heat blasted into my face until June 15th. It was so ass. The bi-laws haven't even caught up to the climate changes.

It's all kind of creepy. I wonder, though, if there has ever been an era of time where people didn't feel as though their world as they knew it was falling apart? Probably not. But then I think this is the first time that rather than social or political change, it's been the global environmental changes that have people worried.

And yet people are still buying Hummers, having tons of children, not recycling, leaving the lights on, running the washing machine for three shirts. Even water is becoming a commodity and we here aren't feeling the effects because we can turn on the tap. Companies like Coke are situated in developing countries and sucking up the water to make a soft drink while surrounding communities go thirsty, as though water didn't rightfully belong to us all.

I wish our government in power now gave a flying shit about the environment. Everything else be damned if we create too much damage in the name of creating wealth that won't matter if Newfoundland and PEI wind up under the sea. But I guess Alberta would be okay and after all, the evangelist PM we've got probably thinks Jesus will be here any day now to whisk him away to Heaven, so why not consume all he can now?


But I suppose there's always hope for the future.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Smart Asses on the web

Okay, so I've discovered a few new blogs (actually, mostly yesterday) which have me smiling.

Yahoo Answers:
Seriously, this is just great. Everyone's read these, right? People ask random questions according to categories and then the community answers? These are the best of the worst questions and answers. I spent an unhealthy portion of last evening on this site shaking my head in shock and awe, periodically giggling with mirth.

The Message Board: Okay, so the premise of this one is this woman's been lurking on a wedding website for a year and has now decided to act out the dialogue in a one-woman show. It's seven different flavours of awesome that taste like God. Well, maybe not seven flavours. At least five. But it's great. It's great satire.

Why Is That Facebook a Page?: Sharp acerbic commentary following posts of the most ridiculous fan pages on Facebook. I've seen most of these on either Lamebook or my newsfeed, but the blogger's *snap* *snap* wit makes it for me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Love ain't free

I wrote about taking care of a geriatric cat when Jerry got sick. But this is a little different because Smokey's not dying, he's just really effing old. So, he had five teeth pulled. Five. Five cavities causing pain. Can you imagine that? Animals are so stoic. I'm vocal and irritable when I have a mild headache or if it's too hot. Smokey is such a trooper. Though it explains all the late night caterwauling.

So out they went to the tune of $1400. Oh yes. So now I have a line of credit. I never needed one before. Now I do, for a cat. I really didn't have a choice. I could have let him suffer or I could have had him put down or I could take care of the problem and let him live a continuing quality life. But still. Ouch.

Anyone ever seen a cat with chipmunk cheeks? 'Cause that's what Smokey's got on one side. It'd be adorable if it wasn't so pathetic and sad looking.

So I still give him his two insulin shots a day, plus now I have to give him wet food (so no more relying on the automatic feeder), two doses of codeine cream a day, and two antibiotics a day. Good grief. Love, man. I love that damn cat.

He's been sleeping a lot, recuperating and generally making himself scarce. I think because he feels weak and doesn't want us seeing him like that. Some animals tend to get weird about showing weakness. Unfortunately, this means a mouse that has been mainly living downstairs has grown large enough cajones to make himself at home up here. Our little sentry is compromised and this damn mouse took advantage of it.

In other May news, our place has central air, but the downstairs neighbour's apartment is cool and they don't need it. Up here it's like the inside of a hot air balloon. We have ceiling fans going, plus two more in whatever room we're in. It's still not enough. I'd buy a portable air conditioner if I wasn't paying off Smokey's vet bill.

Being a grownup sucks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost and found.

So okay, the Lost finale. I love that show, and it had me riveted from the day I started watching it. A few seasons didn't grab me like the first two did, but overall, I've never seen a show quite like it. My friend McPal and a couple others on my friendlist, and no doubt many more of the watching public had issues with the end. But not me.

I was emotionally satisfied by the ending. Enough answers were given that I could live with it. Why were they on the island? How come they were all so connected with each other? That was answered.

Less important things were left hanging. Like, where did Jacob's mother come from? What was the man in black's name? Who built the statue? What made Walt special? Why wasn't Michael's character in the finale, or Mr. Ecko's?

Would knowing where Jacob's mom came from make the show better? I mean, hell. Everyone washes up on shore via boat or plane or some other accident. That's probably how. And that's probably where her predecessors came from, too.

Does the man's name matter? Being a mystery is kind of fun. I loved the movie Once and I have no idea what their names where, or what the woman said in her native language, and that didn't ruin the movie for me. Actually, it enhanced the experience because you're left to think about it after it's over.

One could speculate that the statue was built from the various civilizations that have lived and died on that island from the beginning. With all the magical properties surrounding the place, it could be a representation of a religion. Who knows?

Michael likely wasn't there because he betrayed them all and essentially left the group. Walt's story lies somewhere else in the world. Mr. Ecko's stay on the island was brief and he didn't make connections with everyone else.

The story was about the island, yes, but mostly the characters. Who were they? How did they grow? What did they mean to one another? And watching them all remember made my heart ache. I teared up. And you realized, okay, so we don't get to know the rest of their stories. But we do know they get to be together in the end.

And is that so bad? So ***SPOILER*** Jack sacrifices himself, and Hugo is the new Jacob and Ben is like his new Richard, which gives Ben the role he's always wanted. Hugo can send Desmond back, and James, Kate, Miles, Richard, the pilot, and Claire fly away, and finish out their lives in ways we don't get to know about. Now that the last of them has passed away, they meet up again in the hereafter. And we learn that as they died in real life (Juliet, for example), they get a flash of being together again in the afterlife.

The final images of Jack back where he started, watching the plane fly away as the dog watches over him were iconic.

It wasn't an They're All Dead plotline, or even an ending, really. It's more like an epilogue we get to watch while we're still taking in the story. The end is that Jack and Desmond saved the island (And thus everyone everywhere) and Hugo took over where so many before him had come before, and would come after. We'll never know all the island's secrets, and it'll keep people talking. But we got to know the characters.

This was a case of the journey outweighing the destination. The only thing I'm bummed about is that it's over.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Brown Thumb

It's the May two-four, the late Queen Victoria's birthday, who's ultimate legacy here in Canada is a number of fairly important thing, but mostly a day off and an excuse to buy fireworks you don't know how to operate properly. What's a young Canadian couple to do? Well, like the name suggests, you can pick up a two-four (That's a case of beer for those of you not in the know) like the 19+ year old crowd do and go camping. You could do like the 30+ year old crowd with children do and scout the community for activities. Or you could do what the 40+ year old homeowners do and start your gardening.

Know what big plans the Dude and I have? We're going to plant tomatoes and peppers on our deck. It's hard not to feel fuddy-duddy old, but we hate camping, don't drink beer, don't have a cottage, don't have children and frankly, we enjoy fresh vegetation in our stirfry and I heart toasted tomato sammiches. Though if there were a cottage at our disposal, hot damn, would I be there. Maybe next year.

Thing about this pot-o'-veg-on-the-deck venture is that I have a bit of a brown thumb. I like the idea of gardening far more than actual gardening itself. I've never had a flare for it.

I begged my mother to let me plant carrots and pumpkins in the backyard when I was wee. The carrots never were harvested. I don't know what happened, but I couldn't really get them dug out. They seemed stuck in the earth and then I thought something had gone terribly wrong. Like maybe they grew attached to some pipes or something. Hey, I was 8 and had an overactive imagination and no upper body strength. So they stayed there and perished at some point.

The pumpkin flourished. And then the vine took over the yard. We had a small lot and my mother enjoyed flowers and this pumpkin vine was making itself too cozy near all her hard work and closing off a walkway. So she had me rip it out before any pumpkins could bloom. Which is really too bad because it's the only thing I've ever managed to make grow, and I still wound up killing it, and on purpose.

My mom often had me help her plant her flowers each year. And I would and I'd water the gardens every day. I felt I was being very helpful one day when I saw some strange looking greenery growing alongside the house in a place I'd never seen anything grow before, and took the liberty of plucking them from the ground. My mom's afternoon work was destroyed.

She had a real green thumb, often pruning other gardens when she saw it was needed. We'd be on our way into the grocery store and she'd stop and start pulling off the dead leaves and buds from Value-Mart's carnations. I didn't inherit this gift. Oh, I inherited a joy of picking at stuff, but not limited to things that ought to be picked, and rather aimed anything that can be picked and perhaps should be left alone.

But today we're going to give it a go. The Dude is out collecting the soil, pots and supports and such while I stay to shower and get ready for the day. Then we'll go select our seedlings, who don't realize it yet, but their lives will now hang in the balance of luck, a poor record of gardening and my good intentions.

And maybe we'll also grab some brunch. Happy May two-four!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lady of the Flies

The Dude and I can be very disorganized and lazy people. Such as getting groceries. We're out and we've been out for awhile. So we order in, and I eat candy for lunch. It's getting a little out of hand. I feel like I'm too old to be like this, and yet here we are.

I recently read an article about being a nerd in high school. It raised an interesting theory on why intelligence gets you so far in real life but not in high school. Basically, it's because high school is not real life, but a prison for teenagers to keep them occupied while grownups do their thing.

In one way I disagreed because I was wondering where getting an education played into all of this. But then I remembered the education I received in school and how little I retained and then I reconsidered the article's point. The only thing I'm using in my life now is my English classes. Mostly the grammar, and looking at today's kids, I guess I was pretty lucky to get any grammatical instruction.

Most of my real education has been from either college, my job or what I seek out myself in various areas of interest. And so many highly successful people have real world experience and did not need a formal education.

So why the constructs of high school, when it means so little? I mean, even once I was in college I looked back and was able to see how meaningless it all had been. In college I was essentially training for a career. In high school I was merely trying to get good grades and remember enough for tests so that I could go to college. It was a means to an end, and that was it.

I had my friends and then I had my real work, which was not school related. I drew. I would draw for hours a day, every day. I rarely did my homework, unless it had to be handed in to be graded. Unless I was getting marked on it, it took too much time away from what was more important to me. And even though I never became a paid artist of any kind, I look back on those years as well spent.

What does a teenager do when they don't have real work of their own to focus on? I think we've all witnessed the answer. They either vie for popularity, try to perfect their school performance, or say fuck it and experiment with drugs or some other such rebellion. All of these things lead to some level of misery. If not the cattiness of the popular crowd, then the shunning or harassment from them on the other end.

I wouldn't be a teenager again for anything. I'm a nerdy person. That didn't go over well in high school. It's doing lovely things for me now, but when I was 16, not so much. The article suggested that people who were popular cared less about being intelligent than well liked. I saw some truth to that. People skills are like anything else that requires a lot of time and effort to get good at. My best friend in high school could have been really popular if she wanted to, but she never bothered. Actually, she both dove into her school work and said fuck it at the same time. Either way, I think she shunned popularity before it started shunning her.

Me? Well, I was in the popular crowd in grades 6-8. Frankly, I'm not so sure how that even happened, considering how oddly I behaved. Then once high school started in grade 9, things went down hill. Being a little weird was a liability.

I got to thinking a bit about this when recently a young man tried to stop me while I was crossing the street. He pointed out to me that I walked funny with my toes out and that it would cause me problems. Well, seeing as I was made fun of for that very thing in school, I was well aware of that fact. And his comments would have been enough to greatly upset me back in the day. Now, with the world wide open and full of things that really matter, and people whose opinions I give a damn about?

Chilly response, cold shoulder and no eye contact.

The things I wish I'd known 10 years ago. But if nothing else, teenage prison builds character, or something like that. And it's not like surviving Lord Of The Flies, though I think that's really what the teachers are there for.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Up In The Air

I wrote this in the air yesterday. Only now am I rested enough to get online and post it.

I'm writing this from aboard the plane. I'm on my way home. But I'm only on the first flight to Chicago. It's a long way yet. I haven't eaten. The clock says it's 7:30 pm. That hardly seems possible. The whole weekend hardly seems possible.

I met my friends. And I loved them all as well as I did on the boards. And those who weren't from the boards or knew what the boards even were couldn't understand how we all managed to come together in real life. It's was an exercise in patience trying to make them understand and even so it was met with little success. It's just another thing we share: No one in our lives really gets it.

As for chronicling the wedding, I don't even know where to start. Even starting at the beginning seems impossible. There's too much to cover. But I'll try, and I'll do it in point form. And I'll use the screen handles instead of their real names for the sake of privacy.

* When I arrived at the airport, I met up with Lyn and folkimp. Folkimp drove us to our hotel and we drank wine and got to know each other better. We then met up with Anon and JT (the bride and groom) and the wedding party and went out drinking. Lyn and I woke up in hell the next morning and forced our asses out of bed to get hamburgers.

* Folk got into a car accident en route to our hotel the day of the wedding. She was taken to the ER with a concussion. She missed the wedding and we missed her. It was a total bummer that she couldn't make it. It was the worst text message to receive, the first chunk being along the lines of, "Hey, got into a car accident…" But she's alright.

* Jillraye (from the boards) came to our hotel with champagne and picked us up. It was my first time meeting her and she was just like I thought she would be.

* At the wedding we sat at the back and giggled and gossiped. Anon came down the aisle looking like a renaissance queen. The pastor started the service, a very old school biblical reading about a wife's servitude to her husband. The three of us in the back started laughing because we thought he was kidding. Turns out he wasn't and we felt sheepish.

* After the wedding we met up with pinstripe (from the boards) and her boyfriend, who was lovely, and incidentally wearing a pinstripe suit. We all sat at the same table and my camera died, after an afternoon of taking lacklustre pictures. I pretty much need a new camera. I also met OCDB (from the boards) and his wife.

* I caught the bouquet. It's actually the third or fourth bouquet I've caught in my life. I'm not sure what that means. I was actually well at the back behind everyone, figuring it wouldn't come my way there. Then it did. So I pranced over and claimed it. Then of course everyone wanted to know when the Dude and I were getting married, and for my information, they wanted to come for board reunion II a la Canada.

* At the back of the venue, mike_a (from the boards) got into a wrestling match with another guest. The cops showed up and… watched. Mike lost. I'd never seen a wrestling match at a wedding before, and it certainly did enhance the evening.

* JT held an after party at his place and we stayed till 2:00 a.m. A guest kept asking me to sing O Canada in French. I did once, and was then treated to a loud but highly enthusiastic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. The cops showed up there too to ask that we either have less fun outside or more fun inside. A gentleman friend of Jill's showed up, one she had mentioned on the boards, who was good enough to drive us back to the hotel.

Lyn's dad dropped me off at the airport today. It was ridiculously easy compared to Friday and I had excess time to kill.

I've had good times at weddings before, but this was really special to me. Everyone was fun, my long-time friends were there, the whole weekend felt like quality time. And the cake was delicious.

I feel like I've tumbled around in a cement mixer. All the drinking, the sporadic eating, the time changes and delayed sleep have kicked my arse. But I'd do it all again. I'd do it all again feeling as tired and rundown as I do now. The only thing I'm sad about it that it's over, and it's hard to say if such a gathering of us all will ever happen again, or moreover on such a large scale. I hope so.

And the captain is telling us our flight is coming to a close shortly. The first leg of my trip home is nearly complete. I can't wait to see the Dude. I think the only thing that would have made it better would have been to introduce him to them all.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I'm in California and I'm hung over. And the wedding is today. My trusty board friend and I overdid it a little last night, and because we're not 22 years old anymore, we feel like we've been hit by trucks. She's napping, I'm drinking Gatorade.

Man, hangovers used to be funny, or at least a source of pride that you went out and partied last night, wooo! You know? Now they just make you feel like a jackass. The wedding's at 6:00; it's 1:30. Less than five hours to pull our asses in gear.

But let me talk about the airport, because it was a really special experience for me.

I arrived at 3:15, with my flight leaving at 5:50. I get to the kiosk to plug in my information so I can avoid the devastatingly long line to check in. I pull out the two sheets of paper I had printed out with all my information, only... it had none of my information. I, in my wisdom, had put my complete faith in technology and had grabbed the pages from the printer without bother to check them, where I would have noticed that the only thing that came out was the fine print, and nothing of importance.

So I took the long route, entering my name, my credit card, my passport, my destination, and eventually the kiosk asked me a question that stumped me. But not before revealing to me that my boarding pass had me listed with an error in my name. Basically, rather than Jendra Dammit Berri, it said Jendradammit Berri. Don't people get barred from entering planes with that sort of thing wrong?

So without my flight number, booking reference or, you know, anything, I meekly got in the bitterly long line and fretted. And when it came my turn I could only apologize for being such a nuisance while a woman asked me question after question that I couldn't answer, or answer in full. But I got my pass, and Jendradammit was ready for customs.

I was wrong to feel a little soul-crushed by the first line. The customs line was very exciting, in a holy-shit-I'm-going-to-have-to-set-up-camp-and-live-here-because-the-line-is-so-long kind of way. Plus the guy in front of me started singing indiscernible songs, which always adds a sense of facepalm to any undesirable situation.

But eventually the line did end and we were all then ushered into a second long line. Then after customs, security, which is always fun. You get to take off your shoes and partially undress and then scramble afterwards so you don't stall anyone else.

I arrived at my gate. And then after 20 minutes an announcement was made that my flight was leaving on the other end of the terminal at a different gate.

By the time I landed at 8:00 Pacific time (11:00 in my head), I was a tad wired. I'd consumed only caffeinated drinks and a slice of banana bread. I met up with my board friends and we drank wine. Then we went out with the bride and groom and drank shots.

Hence the hangover. We've been having fun. We've been slowly dying. There's more to come. Frig, the wedding hasn't even happened yet.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My favourite

The week is whirling by in a sea of crappy weather and no groceries. I wonder if the Dude and I will ever grow up enough not to let the house run out of food. This just keeps happening. We have to go together, to have enough arms to carry all the food home. So that's probably why we keep screwing it up.

Anyone ever take their cat to the dentist? Smokey's going on Monday. Well, he's going to the vet's for a dental consultation because I think he's experiencing tooth pain. But I like to call it the dentist.

I think about when the time comes when I will have no cats. Smokey is 17. Frankly, I wish he'd live forever. But if I get another couple years out of his diabetic geriatric fluffy ass, I know I'll be lucky. I can't imagine life without him.

Will I get more cats? Emotionally I would want to because I do so love kitties, but somehow it feels like so much responsibility. This coming from someone who's been caring for aging cats on her own for years, and from someone who wants children. And isn't that plain silly considering how old I am? But it's true. Or maybe it's the undesirable feeling of starting over.

I have the cat of my dreams right now. He's affectionate, sweet, doesn't bite or scratch people, is friendly and likes to cuddle. I don't want another cat. He reminds me of being a kid. He's the last little link to my childhood. I don't know if I enjoy the responsibility of cat ownership so much as I only deal with it so I can keep him. Or is that why anyone cares for a pet? Or begins caregiving relationships in general?

Or maybe I'm just convinced no other kitten will compare with Smokey or will generate as much love.

Right now he's sprawled across my lap. Every day after work we have these cuddle appointments. He's very insistent on them. Yesterday I was working late at my desk and he approached me and meowed and tried to climb onto my lap while I was working. As far as he was concerned, I was done and it was time for Smokey.

One of my favourite things to say is Smokey is my favourite. My favourite what? Just my favourite <3

Sunday, May 9, 2010

11 Mother's Days

It's Mother's Day. It's a nice concept, meant to give people an outlet to celebrate their mothers, or the mothers of their children, people who generally are unappreciated throughout the year, or who you gave a lot of grief to growing up, and who are utterly indispensable.

The Dude is on the phone with his mother, catching up, wishing her a happy Mother's Day and getting her French onion soup recipe. He's making it for me tonight. I'm no one's mother. I also have no mothers, not even a grandmother. This day all at once means nothing to me, hurts me, and makes me dread and look forward to the future. Someday I'll be a mother, which I want very much, and I'll be without my own mother's guidance and support. It'll be bittersweet.

My mom liked Mother's Day. She was a single mother with an ex-husband who was trying and spotty with support payments. The Kraft Dinner and beans and wieners I ate as a staple in childhood was more of necessity than preference. She did her best on a tight budget. We didn't eat out often, but when we did it was a treat. We were always told not to expect much on Christmas, but I never recalled feeling disappointed. We didn't generally vacation, but trips to the beach and a cottage some years were adventures.

Once when my brother and I were young, my mom picked us up from our after-school daycare and we drove past our house. We were confused and bugged our mother to explain herself. All she said was that the car was making the decisions and we'd just have to wait and see where the car would take us. Turned out the car drove us to Pizza Hut. Then afterward, the car wanted us to go to the movies. My mom was cute like that.

My cats, Smokey and Jerry, were a surprise that I came home to one day. And she liked to fuss over their wellbeing. Mostly, if we fought in the house, she'd tell us to stop because we were upsetting the kitties. When we tore the wallpaper from my bedroom walls and the kittens romped in the scraps, she'd laugh that kitties think everything is there for them. She'd often wonder out loud if the cats were happy, and be concerned that they weren't.

She was shy about sex and talking about it. When we watched PG-13 type movies together, she'd want to fast-forward the mild sex scenes, even though I was 12. When I reached my menarche, she was happy, but in the end could only advise me to stay away from boys for awhile. When I required a bra, perhaps she was waiting for me to ask for one, but I had absorbed her embarrassment over the subject. In the end, I think it was her sister who prompted her to buy me one. I was put on the pill when I was just under 16 for medical reasons. This prompted our one and only sex talk, which she delivered on the way home from the doctor, and it went something like this:

"You know the pill doesn't protect you from STDs."
"Yeah, I know. I'm waiting till marriage anyway"
(This was a convenient stance for me to take at the time, being generally nervous about the topic as a whole and figured putting it off was a relief)
"Okay, but you might change your mind. You need to use a condom."
She cleared her throat and that was that. And she wound up being right.

My mom liked to tackle other important topics with me, like feminism, domestic abuse, eating disorders and body image, and empathy. Her strong messages on those issues still resonate with me today. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind.

When she got cancer, at first I was terrified. Then I reasoned there was no way my mother could die. You never think it could happen to you. I couldn't imagine a world in which she didn't exist. I couldn't see how my life could move forward if she was gone. So I didn't think about it. I wouldn't think about it.

Things started to matter more. Talking to her about my day, for example. My inclination was to be secretive. But I didn't want to chance missing out on conversations while I could still have them. One hug stands out in my mind. We were in the kitchen and she was standing there, bald from chemo, and I asked for a hug. She was happy to oblige and we stood there holding each other for a long time. And I love that memory. She was so easy to make happy.

Our last real conversation was in her bed. She had this habit of reading in her room, under the covers, and like a typical teenager, that was the only time I wanted her attention, when it was focused on herself. And I think she liked that. It became a ritual. A few months before she died, it was the summer, I was 16 and she told me how she felt about me as a person. I don't remember the conversation. But I do remember how she ended it. "I know that no matter what happens to me, you'll be okay."

And that stuck with me. When I feel lonely for my mother, or if I feel like I need her, that's all I have left. But it's something. I have her faith in me.

I miss her. Until you've been unmothered, you have no idea just what a hole it leaves inside of you. But it's left me with some unexpected gifts. With each passing year, I've inherited more and more of her traits. I have complete autonomy, and in the absence of needing a parent's approval, I default to being my mother's daughter. I think I'm more like her than I ever would have been if she'd lived. I channel her a lot. The strangest things have become funny. I take myself less seriously. I take morbid pleasure out of being embarrassed, a quality of hers that made me cringe when I was a child. I'm gullible, like she was.

But I'm stronger, too, because I've had to be strong. Necessity is the mother of invention. My mom, in her good parenting, me strong enough to sustain losing her. That's the irony of losing a good mother. You can withstand losing such a valuable person because they were so valuable.

My mom, on a dark day, once morbidly said, "I'm worth more dead than alive." In a response that only one her children would have replied, I said, "No mom, you have sentimental value."

Happy Mother's Day to you, Mom, wherever you are.

Friday, May 7, 2010

When the Right isn't right.

I hate Stephen Harper. I really, really do. I cannot understand how anyone would vote for his party, with him at the helm. People think "Conservative Party" and then vote without looking at this man's record in politics or the current state of the Conservatives. These are not the Tories of old. This is the Reform Party. Harper was part of Reform, a far-right fundamentalist Christian group.

They were fringe. They were a (scary) joke in this country because we value things like the CBC, Canada Post, healthcare and women's right to choose. Why would any sane Canadian want a party like Reform to run things? Answer: As a majority group, we don't.

Ah, but then there was the merge of the right in Canada, the name Reform was lost and essentially became the Alliance. Remember the Alliance, anyone? Run by Stockwell Day, the dude who doesn't believe in evolution and the one who wanted a referendum for everything? Then led by Stephen Harper?

Moving forward, There were then the PCs and the Alliance, the Alliance being the joke of conservative politics in Canada. They won 66 seats in their one federal election and then afterward there was the final merge with the Tories. Now who are they run by? A former Reform AND Alliance leader, Stephen Harper. Fantastic.

The new merge of PC and Alliance (Reform) headed by Harper won 124 seats, despite the fact they were now being run by a leader whose former party (which encapsulated all his ideologies*) had only won 66.

(*Please note the Reform party ideology opposed homosexual marriage, abortion, public healthcare, and was intolerant to French Canada and bilingualism.)

Shall we take a look at what this man stands for, as evidenced by his record in office?

1. He campaigned AGAINST healthcare. Oh yes. Click on the link. Read all about it.

2. His party is introducing new legislation on jail that will cost an estimated $11.5 billion over five years. Our healthcare needs attention, and he's relying on unproven legislation to reduce crime, even though it's been on the decline anyway for years. Link. Fiscally conservative my ass.

3. He's anti-choice. His party is not funding abortions to women who receive foreign aid. The G8 maternal and child health initiate for developing countries has a Christian moralist agenda, rather than a reasoned look at impoverished women's needs. His government wasn't even going to fund contraception initially. We have abortion laws in place here, but where he can he's helping to detract women in need from their right to choose.

4. He's flouted the laws of parliament. He's dissolved parliament to avoid A. a vote of non-confidence, and then again to avoid the will of the house in answering for Afghan detainee torture.

5. Draconian copyright laws, infringing on consumers (Basically you and me).

I challenge anyone who votes for this party to take a long look at themselves and their lives and values, and then ask themselves honestly if this man and his party speak for you. Are you comfortable with a man who does not play by the rules of our democracy? Who shows intolerance and a partiality to his own personal religious beliefs over unbiased data?

I've voted Liberal. I've also voted NDP and Green. I alter my votes according to who I think speaks for me, who I think is a sound choice based on their platforms and personal history. I think that is the intellectual duty of everyone who votes.

Every week it seems I read more and more angering political news that keeps me up at night. This has just got to stop. The only way it will is if people see past their comfort zone of voting conservative just because they always have and really look at the party as it is today. It's effed up. Get informed!

PS I'm seeing Iron Man 2 tonight. That'll make me happy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Graphics of Awesome

A few good graphics and cartoons via STFU Conservatives and STFU Believers.

Awesomeness. Because if you don't swim, you won't drown!
Never mind that everyone swims...

Aw, look at the little stick child with no daddies while that other kid has two!
Which kid would anyone rather be?

A perfect response to whether creationism ought to be taught in schools.
Where do you stop, once you've settled on teaching myth?
Myth of course being any unproven story involving magical happenings
occurring before recorded history. Like King Arthur or Zeus.

Lastly, a delightful blip of logic from a guy with a cheeky expression on his face.
Heh, Jesus Christ's real name could have been, oh, I don't know, Joshua Goldstein.

That's about all from me today. Enjoy the cartoons!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Three Weddings and a...

Turns out the upcoming May 15-16 weekend is busier than the May 24. Wild. That is the weekend I'm going to a wedding in California. It's also the weekend of The Clothing Show, my road hockey team's charity tournament, Mayfest (Which I was hoping to sort out something with my job to distribute surveys to the deaf), and who knows what else will pop up. Even a coworker of mine wanted that weekend off, but two of us in our job description already got to it first.

Crazy. But out of all those things, the wedding it is, and I'm happy with my choice. 12 days until I leave.

I've not been to too many weddings in previous years. I went to a very good friend's wedding in 2004 and was her maid of honour. I went to a cousin's wedding in 2007. In 2008, I went to the Dude's stepbrother's wedding, and a friend of mine who finally was able to marry her fiance after living in Saudi Arabia without him for pretty much forever. I missed attending as a guest to one wedding in 2005 because I had appendicitis, and another wedding I was actually banned from attending in 2007.

(The last one was Buddy B's brother. Back in the day, I told the guy he need to shave his '80s moustache, cut his '80s haircut and quit wearing muscle shirts. He begrudgingly took all this advice and started getting female attention. He then got a nipple ring and I think a tattoo. Anyhoo, he's never cared much for me, despite the good advice. So when Buddy B was dateless for the shindig and I was going to go, it was kiboshed. Sometimes it strikes me as odd that I've actually been barred from attending a wedding.)

Anyway, this year will hold three of them, two of which will require extensive travel, and two of which are family deals. Some people hate weddings. Personally, I really enjoy them. You eat, you dance, you drink, there's cake and two people in love are now married. What's not to like?

The speeches. Actually, speeches can be a real buzz kill. But then it also depends on the speech. I once watched a man make AA amends to his son during a speech. Another time I watched a bridesmaid spill the beans that the couple had sleepovers prior to marriage in front of the very religious grandparents. I mean, you never know what's going to happen.

You'd think at my age I'd have more friends getting engaged and married, but I don't. I have two friends hitched. All the others are in relationships, yes, but engaged? Not so much. And I like that. Oh, I'd be happy for any of my friends getting married. But I like the lack of urgency the people I care about are approaching this milestone with. No one seems in a hurry. But I suppose were we all to hit our 30s, some of us may change our tunes. That happens.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Green with envy

April was a good month. My income tax refund came in and I got an extra pay cheque to play with, one of those delightful things that happens twice a year when you're paid every two weeks. I put some in savings, paid of my credit card, got some new books, and then I bought dresses.
May is back to business. And it's a cold drop back into reality when there are adorable dresses to be had. I was thinking how few shoes I own. I don't care about shoes so much. I like one or two versatile pairs that will go with anything and are easy to slip on. Dresses are what makes my credit card itch. And here are a few lovely girls in green and teal that are singing their siren songs to me:

Luckily for me, this gem is out of stock,
so it's safe from my dress gluttony.

This is one of the most beautiful and flirty dresses I've seen in awhile.
Look at the sash!

This would be the most practical dress of the three,
casual enough for everyday.

The second is my favourite and my first thought was, Oooh! I'm going to a wedding in a couple weeks! But then... it's mostly white and there's kind of a faux pas rule in place about doing that. And considering weddings are the only formal events I attend, this dress would be mostly just to have, rather than to wear. And $130 is a lot to pay for something that will hang out in your closet and make you feel wistful.

Ah, l'amour, l'amour.

I've also started wearing little necklace clocks. They're more fun than watches, which always give me a rash anyway. One is a little owl whose wings open up to a timepiece. The Dude has been calling me Flavor Flav.