Mommishness outbreak

Keith came over last night, in a rather unhappy state.  His unhappiness made me cry – I cry at the most ludicrous things these days, but I’m not inclined to feel shame about it – and I stuck to the issue, which was his state, not mine.

We reviewed his life situation for stressors. My very flat recital of them at one point made Keith laugh, which he hadn’t done since he arrived, and concluded with, “And if I know you, not a day goes by when you don’t think, “Is today the day I’m going to lose it?” And then he laughed loud and long and said, “Got it in one.”

His feelings are real and justified against his situation.  They are not to be mocked or bulldozed over.  I listened more than I talked. I provided advice, but after 10 minutes of mom time, one beer and the first hour of The Right Stuff he was much more regulated when he left.

I told him that he should think about going back to school.  He said, “I could teach.”

I was amazed.  He actually could, he explained it. I told him to apply ASAP. And to think about school in January.  He said, “There’s no money,” and I said, “Commit to a course of action and the means will appear.” Of course that means elders conferring regarding the means, but hey.  If people hadn’t helped me out financially for no good reason at certain points during my life I wouldn’t be in the pleasant position of getting to worry about my kids.

When he was born a friend paid for a full astrological natal chart.  The results: He is an old soul.  He’ll either be a great teacher or a petty criminal, specifically a drug dealer.

Since this was the first time anybody in the woowoo divination game had said anything negative in my experience, it kinda stuck with me. I mean who predicts that your kid will be a drug dealer? Given Keith’s abstemious and cautious nature, it’s probably one of the funniest arrows ventured at the future I’ve ever heard of.

Pride

Paul’s presentation to the Restorative Justice conference in Parksville yesterday went off without a hitch.  I had advised him to run short rather than long on his presentation.  The other two panel presenters work professionally as criminologists, one on the Island and the other in Lower Mainland, and their presentations were much more academically oriented, so Paul’s stark and brief words elicited a lot of questions.  This allowed Paul to shine, as he speaks with assurance and smoothness when he’s not reading off a tiny glass screen.  To ease the times he had to consult his notes on the tablet the version I sent him had a simply monstrous type face, and he was grateful for that.

I don’t know much about anything, but I know that middle aged men want a damn big serif font.

Paul picked me up at 7:30 am (I’d  been up since 2:30, sigh), I drove us to the Horseshoe Bay Ferry, we broke fast on the ferry, we got into Nanaimo and drove right to Parksville in the glorious sunshine, got oriented and parked at the hotel, went for an amazing walk along the spectacular boardwalk fronting the hotel, found (and walked) the painted and decorated labyrinth on the concrete end of the boardwalk (which I had researched more than ten years ago but forgotten about – I put together a list of all the labyrinths in BC as part of a service yonks ago), came back and had a wonderful lunch in a quiet restaurant overlooking the water, listened to the end of their Annual General Meeting, and then Paul made his presentation.  He tried to call me up and I just laughed and said I was there to take notes.  As expected lots of people approached Paul afterward for further comments, but we’d built that into the schedule.

Then we drove to his Cousin Ruth’s place where she and Garry fed us the fresh wild caught spring salmon of wisdom, the taters of sustenance, the homebrewed beer of amber glory, the carrots of nom, the salad of little bits of things from the garden including nasturtium and borage flowers, the last corn of the season and unsweetened gluten free pie with whipped cream which I didn’t eat because at the point all I could think about was “the tragic and explosive death of Mr. Creosote”.  This meal was served to us on less than two hours’ notice, so there’s that to add to the pile of amazeballs it truly was. The garden tour yielded a bag of heritage apples and a pocketful of fresh basil.

Then a quick and easy 20 minute drive back to the ferry, where our reservation awaited and we had an uneventful trip home and I was in bed by 10 although I was too buzzed to sleep right away.

It truly was a glorious day, and I’m glad I was there.  I am so proud of Paul I could burst.  And doesn’t he have the nicest relatives??

Guru Purnima

Today is a day to celebrate spiritual and academic teachers:

Jeff, because he’s both.

My fOlks of course.

Doug Bain and John Hamilton, two of my high school teachers who are most responsible for shaping how I think and why I bother to.

Sue Sparlin.

Patricia!  So pithy, so witty, so wise.  If you ever decide to write a book of life advice, I will be ripping pages out of the typewriter as they come and killing myself laughin’, I’m sure.

Mike and Jarmo.

Dorothy Dunnett.

I won’t say all the Unitarian ministers I’ve ever had dealings with, but most of them.

And the Grey Hymnal, a haven from the stupidity of the world.

All the black, trans*, differently othered and First Nations activists who have kicked my ass and pointed my thoughts in a different direction.  Without their clear voices, without their clear vision, I’m just another temporarily-abled settler colonial gender essentialist living the good life on unceded land.

 

Happy birthday Jeff.

Victims of Violence Symposium, notes and comments

I took extensive notes.

Christine Lowe opened things up by saying that in healthy communities we acknowledge the harm that comes to victims of violence, and that victimes need to be helped with their physical, spiritual and emotional well being. Strong relationships make social justice possible.

She made a joke about the podium.  When they were finalizing planning they realized they had no podium, and they had no money to buy or rent one.  So they called the police.  The Victoria PD supplied the podium.

This donation by the police meant that we were looking at their logo the entire time, but it also meant that it was a place where cops and SJWs could work together, and that made me happy.

There was a territorial acknowledgement, and Elder May made a blessing that set the tone for the day.  A little rambling, heart-piercingly beautiful, compassionate.  When she sang I started weeping.  The contrast of her speaking voice and her singing voice was so acute it made me sit up. Her song was wordless and filled with yearning for justice and peace.

Then the Deputy Minister for Justiceland Wanamaker got up and gave a canned f*cking empty speech with about as much inflection and heart as one gets from a Grade 7 kid giving her first address.  As a libertarian-inflected feminist, I was enraged to the point I nearly booed when she tried to make political hay out of taking 5 million dollars from civil forfeiture – forgot we had that in Canada, right? right? and earmarking it for prevention of violence against women.  Really don’t like that.  I could go on at great length about why I was pissed, but instead I stink eyed her until she left.  She may be a king hell accomplished career bureaucrat, and we should be thankful that somebody of her dignity spoke to us, but I came away wanting to coach her on public speaking and liberty both.  Please don’t think that the 8 Domestic Violence Units which have been set up across BC with the money are bad things. I don’t.  One thing I will credit her with is saying ‘all genders’; this is phrasing I wish more politicians would adopt, since it doesn’t other trans* and intersex people, or people who are distinctly possessing identifiable bits but are not gender normative, and it includes two-spirited.

Frank Elsner. Chief of Police in Victoria since January 2014.  Man, I wish, you have NO IDEA HOW I WISH, that brO could have been in the auditorium when he spoke.  He worked the room, greeting and speaking with many, many people. Fine, a cop can have good social skills, in fact let’s hope she does. As he was introduced, it was obvious that he is highly intelligent and has multiple degrees from real universities.  He’s been chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which means he’s been exposed to best (and worst) practices across the planet, and let’s face it the last decade has seen some impressive advances in community policing.

He said, “Why talk about community health in terms of policing?” Essentially good policing is part of what makes a healthy community.  As a cop he was appalled to arrest three generations of criminals.  The boys weren’t born bad; intervention and options are required to turn lives around.

He mandated a different approach to street prostitution.  Instead of throwing them in the jug, a group of women were streamed toward social workers.  Picture their astonishment when the first problem most of them had was that they had no picture ID. Childcare, job training and housing were also issues.  Address them, and women can get off the street.  He made it sound simple, but the key is collaboration among a large group of people across half a dozen Ministries and social agencies.  When you get seven women out of the life, you are reducing human suffering in them, their children and their grandchildren, is the point.

Then he said the thing that would have made brO happiest.  He said the police must be accountable to the people they serve for everything they do, even when it hurts the police institutionally and personally.  The reactive model of policing is no longer tenable; police have to earn and show respect in the community they serve.

He also mentioned that cops need to be better educated and trained (yay, maybe that one dingus will finally learn how to give evidence in traffic court) and that their own mental health MUST be factored into the equation; police need like all people to be treated with respect for the sad duties they take on, on behalf of all of us, and that if we just keep expecting cops to suck it up they will snap.  So he wants to look after the well being of the people in his department and not just expect them to stand tall and be stoic.

My applause at the end of his talk was very genuinely enthusiastic, as was Paul’s.

Then Dr. Martin Broken Leg got up.

1. Dude’s funny.

2. Dude’s a survivor.

3. Dude’s hella smart.

With effortless humour, fluency, clarity and logic, he walked us through what it’s like to live in Aboriginal culture, both sides of the border (he is Lakota, adopted into the Raven clan on Haida Gwaii and man you shoulda seen his button decorated black vest with the most beeeyootiful appliquéd silver raven on the back, I admired it in person.)

One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids went to residential schools until 94 when the last one closed.  Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids have gone into care since the mid fifties.

Christ wept.

The ACE studies (Adverse Childhood Experiences) can provide some light.

If a child is exposed to addictions, abuse, domestic violence, incarceration and neglect, you will get social impairment, health risks, disease, disability and early death.

There are other sources of trauma to FN kids. Federal laws, provincial policies, residential schools, the institutions of the churches, poverty, sub standard housing, poor nutrition and lack of healthy practices, lower opportunities for education and employment.

Oppression comes in many forms.  Social microaggressions, the way people look at you and talk to you and make assumptions about you. Systems don’t make place for you and your cultural folkways. The professional people who are supposed to help you don’t necessarily respect you and don’t expect you to improve; and then of course there’s internalized racism and the numbness that comes when you realize that you’re worthless; you don’t need to see 1200 missing women on tv to realize that there’s not a lot of respect for FN women, let alone men.

He recommended Rupert Ross’s Criminal Conduct and Colonialization and Dr. Paulette Regan’s Unsettling the Settler Within.

Traumatized people show it.  They show it by abusing their children, committing suicide, legal trouble and incarceration, early death, violence and addictions.

If you’re working with traumatized people the question to ask is not What’s Wrong with You!? it’s What Happened to You?

In 2012 the Gladue decision brought into sentencing the ability of the judge to inquire as to childhood trauma before jail time.

Subsequently a 19 year old aboriginal man was arrested for assaulting (I remember this story) a Coast Mountain bus driver. At sentencing it was learned that he had been in 28 foster homes between 4 and 18. He didn’t get jail time, he got counselling, and the howls from white people who said BUT HE ISN’T BEING PUNISHED were very loud. And pointless.  Jail wouldn’t help.

 

FN people need to:

See your own and your inherited pain (he called it the dark shadow that lies across every aspect of aboriginal life.)

Know and express your own suffering.

Self-critique and move toward self-improvement (away from victimhood toward self-actualization)

Reclaim aboriginal spirtuality, community and culture ESPECIALLY LANGUAGE (my comment because it is a road map back to the way the land spoke to your ancestors.)

Non-aboriginal people need to work on:

Self-reflection, to lose their white innocence (I had no idea FN children were experimented on, I had no idea that three percent of the residential school kids never came home, I had no idea that the Indian Act didn’t let FN women vote until the 1960s.)

Accept the historical violence, from the Beothuk to Akwesasne.

Admit the full equality of Aboriginal people and ways.  That’s the tough one.  We’ve been acculturated to believe that European ways are superior, and it ain’t necessarily so.

Remember that the 1948 UN definition of genocide COVERS THE SITUATION OF THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS.

Broken Leg then talked about the four stages of forgiveness, as outlined in Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving, which he wrote with his daughter Mpho.

  1. Let us tell the truth. Speak the truth, unvarnished, the facts.  Tell trusted people, accepting that the past will not be changed.
  2. Name the hurt.  Accept all feelings as valid and connect those feelings to the facts.  Use Kubler-Ross’s grief work. Be vulnerable and be willing to be hurt, because you will be.
  3. Grant forgiveness by choosing to forgive.  Grow by forgiveness.  Move to the place of being a survivor hero, not a victim.
  4. Change your story.  Tell a new story to heal.  Renew or release the relationship that has marked you. Ask for what you need.  Look at your role, not to blame yourself, but with calmness.

Reconciliation continues.

 

Young people, to be resilient, must be valued enough by their culture to be taught 

Belonging

Mastery

Independence

Generosity

See also.

______

Then I went to a breakout session on suicide prevention in young people “This do in memory of me” for Kaitlin Schmidt, whose plaque we put up in the Gazebo of Remembrance on Thursday night.

Almost 4000 people kill themselves in Canada every year. A lot of them are young people. Accidents involving brain injury, suicide and cancer are one two three for cause of death in folks under 25.

It’s okay to ask somebody if they are thinking of harming themselves or killing themselves, but there is a big but.

You have to say that you have seen a change in behaviour first.  This marks you as somebody observant and caring.  If they are suicidal but deny it you have marked yourself as a safe person to talk to later. (I find it unlikely that I will ever be that blue again but I know EXACTLY who among my friends I can go to, and that in itself is wonderful.) If they aren’t suicidal they can explain why they’ve been wearing nothing but sweat pants for two weeks and are giving away all their stuff.

Since kids have smart phones, there’s been a lot of work on apps that help kids manage their moods.  Links below.

I found it very interesting that the presenter, Renata Hindle, said that in two hundred 80 minute presentations in BC to Grade 8 and Grade 10 kids, precisely one class wouldn’t go with the guided meditation, and that dozens of kids have told her they wished they knew about it earlier.  Funnily enough, we teach meditation at a number of points in the UU religious education curriculum.  Cause we be all about raising resilient kids yo.

Booster Buddy

Kelty

____________

Then there was a very challenging talk on male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Men process sexual trauma differently than women.

Gender role conditioning to not seek help, to suck it up, to be tough and stoic, mean that help is not sought and the trauma plays out in all aspects of the survivor’s life.

They don’t have the social permission of women to ask for help, to admit to needing it.

When they do seek help, there is a deluge of stuffed-down emotions which occurs at the commencement of the counselling.

Societal and internalized homophobia (offenders normally being men) can cloud the survivor’s ability to see their own victimization.  Womanizing is often a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.

Often, they can fear that they will prey on children (this was brilliantly depicted, as an aside, as part of Bunchy’s story in Showtime’s Ray Donovan.)

Something that never occurred to me was that as boys arrive at puberty, they have the ability to be physically aroused by damned near anything.  This is used by perps to show to the boy that he ‘must have enjoyed it.’ ew ew ew.

5 – 6% of boys who’ve been molested go on to offend.

BUT 95% of offenders were abused.

Those are horrible statistics. And we’re doing a shitty job as a culture of helping men who’ve been sexually abused as children. I am going to investigate the group helping men here in town.

As an aside, she said that male survivors are very likely to espouse conspiracy theories, because their essential feeling of safety has been destroyed.  They have seen the shadowy forces of evil and want everybody to be as frightened as they once were.

This made me realize that someone close to me is probably a survivor.  I have had to come to a personal adjustment of my thinking patterns.

Sobriety is virtually impossible for survivors who haven’t had counselling for the trauma.

Survivors get in fights, they are medicated heavily, many have difficulty keeping sober and binge or drink steadily, they dress in a fashion that tells people ‘KEEP THE **** AWAY FROM ME”, they don’t come to family events and cause scenes or sit in the corner and drink, and they are job avoidant or can’t keep a job due to ongoing issues with disrespect and authority.

THEN.

I didn’t take notes.

Reena Virk’s parents made a presentation about what it was like, and how the reconciliation with one of their daughter’s killers went.

I cried a lot.

Then they started talking about the Bible, which was less moving, and Paul and I anthem sprinted to the ferry, where we made the 5 o’clock.  There was a circular rainbow in Active Pass, and I saw a fur seal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round up

Now that is a very nice use of the gif format.

I haven’t seen Alexander yet.  Katie called yesterday and she’ll call me when she’s ready to receive visitors at home.

This infographic on prayer made me alternately very uncomfortable and amused.  As an atheist, I can’t separate prayer from ‘wishing so hard that you’re practically grunting so that an imaginary being of its infinite kindness rearranges causality and the laws of physics for your personal benefit’.  As a church lady, I have to say I understand the benefit of GROUP prayer, which is a form of prosocial entrainment.  Personal prayer, the petitioning kind unencumbered by meditation or humility, is just plain gross.

Somebody on Reddit said that Gilbert Gottfried and Fran Drescher “should have children. The marines could use them to clear public areas.”

Stop motion parkour fight. I laughed out loud watching this.

The pet relationship is very important to humans and now of course we have the science to prove it.

Dealing with bullies changes with the technology. Professors deal with bad reviews.

Am I jealous because the last time I was catcalled I was 36?  No, it’s one of the best damned things about getting older.

Gosh, if only dealing with conspiracy nuts was this easy. Cause it really isn’t.

May you find what you seek

In some cultures, that’s considered a curse.  Anyway, to the point; I am looking up stuff on Afghanistan and Persia (now Iran) because I am following information about Rumi.  Accidentally I land on the wikipedia page of the anti-Rumi, which contains a bunch of 14th Century dirty jokes.  They are at the bottom of the page, you’ve been warned, etc.  One of the jokes is so disgusting it could cheerfully be used by people who hate Muslims as propaganda.

We are watching Ken Burn’s Jazz, and it is uniformly excellent.  I wish I could have watched it with John, too.

Off to the library today.  I have a couple of other errands to run.

My request to have assistance in developing anti-racism curriculum is in the newsletter for church.

I can only wonder what my uncle, who got a PhD in Fluorine Chemistry, would make of this website mocking PhD subjects.

another, another no show, and Peter O’Toole’s dead.

I am feeling rather wretched about that, but it is what it is.  Two other simply lovely things (okay, interesting and fun things) happened today.

The first was the Christmas pageant, which was stupendous (I Augustus Caesar will tax you because I want all the money / we will now take the morning offering) and hilarious (the Christ Child was BLACK suck it haters!) and exceedingly participatory.

The second was me and Keith and Katie and Rob going to the shooting range and blowing holes in shit until we all felt better.  It was expensive and noisy and worth every penny.  Watching Katie fire a gun for the first time was AWESOMES, since one awesome isn’t enough.  And thank you pOp for subsidizing it!  I have pictures, which I will share privately.

I tried firing the 9mm but my shoulder said many many rude swearz so I stuck with firing about 3 mags worth of .22.  I was not unhappy with my accuracy.  My accuracy with the .38 sucked, so I have to assume that heavier firearms aren’t going to cut it until my arm is a lot stronger.  I call that motivation.

Peter O’Toole died in London today.

Jeff and I are both crabby, but I still cooked him pork stroganoff for dinner, and he still liked it, so we aren’t being crabby with each other.

 

 

De Colores

After Rev Deb’s mighty sermon on racism yesterday, I thought of a possible curriculum.   THIS IS TOTALLY IMAGINARY AT PRESENT and I haven’t heard back from anybody because Holy shizzsnacks it’s five in the ayem.  So if you have comments, it’s about the imaginaryness of it first of all.

 

Skin in the Game of Life is a ten session recovery program for Beacon UUs addressing racism.  The goal is to help each participant understand where they are on the continuum of racism and to move themselves closer towards Unitarian Universalist principles of social justice.

 

1.  How dare you call me a racist!

What is privilege?

What is intersectionality?

Having the conversation about racism – in ourselves, in others, in our culture.  Current understanding of inclusive language and why what you say and how you say it is so important.

 

2. Family stories

Sharing stories about racism, tolerance and aha! moments.

Understanding families as racism incubators.

Examining racial makeup of UU congregations.

What we didn’t learn in school.

 

3.  Otherness

Race is “policed” by, among other things:

Education, Law, Language, Affiliation, Occupation, Religion

 

4. “I pity the poor immigrant”.

The Canadian immigrant experience, focussing on the East Indian and Chinese migrant experience in Vancouver.  The Poll Tax.  The Komagata Maru.

 

5. The Settlers and Turtle Island

Colonialism and the ongoing resistance of First Nations.

 

6. Science and Race

An overview of the latest research. Facts, questions, controversies.

 

7. Highway of Tears

The Highway of Tears and the collisions of race, politics, media, law enforcement and gender.

 

8. The Laws of the Land

Current laws and important court cases.

 

9. Good people keeping quiet.

How social conventions stressing harmony and lack of overt conflict sap the strength of anti racism actions, and contribute to the growth of overtly racist actions.  Finding allies in the struggle against racism.

 

10. Now what?

Continuous improvement as a model for recovering from racism.

Racism, like all human bias, requires a cognitively pragmatic, emotionally stable and physically active approach for eradication to be contemplated and achieved.  The bias must be defined, its eradication valued and honoured, and its eradication must be supported by personal and collective will, and participation in activities which will challenge, inform and invigorate anti racism in UU life.

 

 

Reading List:

 

The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King

CUC resolutions addressing racism, diversity, First Nations

Learning to Be White, Thandeka

http://cuc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/CUC-ACM-2013-Keynote-Radical-Inclusion-Mark-Morrison-Reed.pdf

Charter of Rights http://lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html#h-45

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lou-james/racist-native-canada_b_3795232.html

http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.ca/

http://apihtawikosisan.com/

http://www.anti-racism.ca/node/1

http://www.hopesite.ca/remember/history/racism_canada_1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komagata_Maru_incident

http://www.idlenomore.ca/manifesto

(link removed for safety)

http://intercontinentalcry.org/

Bertrand Russell’s Liberal Decalogue

  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Katie is here

Baking up a storm of maple bacon muffins, some of which will accompany to her foodsafe 2 class today.

Keith is going to the grands this weekend, and he will have biscotti in tow if the gods are kind.

Today I am ENDURING THE HORRAH of completing my first tax documents for the church. I will be glad when this term is over, despite all I have learned.

It is astonishingly windy – the recycling bin keeps leaping up and trying to make a run for it down the porch stairs.  The cats really don’t like it the noise.

Jeff says Margot had some kind of fit the other day.  Her eyes were open but she was impossible to rouse.  Then she perked up and was completely normal or as normalz as that crazy little fur machine ever gets.  Obviously I am mildly concerned but when cats are eating and drinking as per normal it’s hard to stay that way.

mOm, you will be amused to hear that Katie just came up behind me and said “can you read that in the dark?” and turned the lamp on.

Long and amusing phone call with Chipper yesterday.  She’s in much better spirits – her wordplay and sense of proportion have been somewhat restored – and she has been the biggest booster of the plan for the cafe.

I suppose I should pick up the phone and apologize to Carrie for our unfortunate text exchange, but I am still a little mad about it and if I am still resentful an apology will just make things worse.

Saw Mambo Kings the other day. I enjoyed the musical numbers and costume design a lot, and Antonio Banderas is a wriggling sack of puppies cute.

Lots of people asked me for the lyrics to my Beacon bday tune, so I am happy about that.

Receipting for tax time for donors at the church is done…. I will also be stuffing envelopes today.

And laundry.  I thought I was all caught up but the laundry basket is telling me different.

 

roundup

Mohenjo Daro one of the (in my view) current wonders of the world, is dying, disappearing, thanks in part to the poverty and incompetence of the government in charge of it.

A great collection of reaction gifs, some not safe for work.

If you want to find out what an ultra-thin and flexible BRDF [bidirectional reflectance distribution function] is, follow this link.   safe for work

This is no way to greet the dawning future, except that it is true.  safe for work.

I spoke to Lois, Kaitlin’s mother, last night (thank you Keith for arranging that).  She is doing about as well as can be expected. I don’t have much more to say.  I mostly listened.  I am very thankful that she has the support of so many family members and friends right now.

 

Various thoughts.

Anarchism is now a thoughtcrime in England.  Have to wonder when that will happen here too.  The shellacking of free speech continues throughout the naughtily monikered ‘free world’.  I can just HEAR John on the subject.

I came back from Katie’s place last night after I took her shopping and took Government Rd, because that tunnel of trees reminds me of coming back from Jericho on a warm summer night on the back of John’s scooter.  Christ, I miss him.  I keep waiting for it to go away, but grief mocks timetables and stalwart resolutions with a cascade of neurotransmitters.

One of my longest term friends and noted poet Lucile Barker recently came up with these two gems: “Intermiliating…an experience that is simultaneously humiliating and interesting.
Entermiliating…when it happens to someone else.”

I’ve been worrying and fussing over Pride day, off and on the last little while, but I finally put all my errant thoughts together after posting this to facebook :

After participating in half a dozen Pride parades in Vancouver, I’m starting to feel very conflicted about it.  It’s not that I think that there isn’t more to be done to encourage love and understanding for the genderqueer, non-normative folks among us and inside us, or that we can’t do more to support young people coming out, it’s that I’m starting to feel less celebratory.

I’m having a hard time with how awkward the massive influx of sponsorship cash makes me feel when Ugandan gays are getting killed.  I’m dying a little inside about how transgendered people get treated as they get lumped in with the gay spectrum, and dumped on by “women born women” (I’m still recovering from that disgusting tshirt that was on sale at the michfest) while fending off queries as to whether they have a website nudge nudge wink wink….  I’m not saying that queer bashing in Vancouver is dead or that hosanna sexism stepped out for a beer, or that white and other interlocking  privileges have quit working their evil magic on everything. We all know that’s bs.  The millennium came and went and things have improved in quanta and fractions and lumpy little increments.  I see more freedom on the horizon, and I don’t want it sponsored by a fucking brewer, thanks.  I want to be part of a human movement powered by human love, human dreams, human actions, not a pasted on smile that gets cleaned up by the sanitation department later that day.

Of course we need to celebrate victories and agitate for better and fewer laws.  But I’m not feeling celebratory.  I am mourning for the person I used to be, believing that Pride was a sign of how advanced we are.  I’ve watched the banks and breweries opt in, and that’s the point at which I want to opt out.  It felt transgressive, asskickingly, gloriously transgressive and liberating, to participate in years past.  Now it feels like a chore, so that I, a nominally straight woman and Unitarian, can have some street cred.

This weekend I’ll try to unpack a little more of my invisible knapsack; I’ll try to engage straight people I know in that discussion; I’ll find a queer charity in town to support.  But I’m not going to Pride.  It feels like someone else’s party now, and I don’t want be the jerk that crashes it for the cachet of saying I was there.

And so since my irritation right now is directed towards oppression of transgender people, I’ve been wracking my brains for a charitable organization I can give money to that will express my values.  And all of a sudden it occurred to me that the answer has been staring me in the face.

Purpose.

Which school in the lower mainland supports TG kids the most?  Purpose!  How do I know?  Because I was at a graduation and heard it from the mouth of a TG kid (FTM) that he never would have made it without Purpose.  And because, without education, a TG kid can’t escape the employment ghetto and build himself a life of meaningful independence.  Because I know from my kids that they can be out and proud at school and their teachers, support staff and principal will raise hell if they are bullied or maltreated.  So I will support education, transgender rights and young people with one donation, and now I can feel like my Pride weekend has actually meant something.  I feel better!

We celebrated Jeff’s bday with takeout Schnitzel and the final episode of Season One from Breaking Bad.  What a hell of a show.

Sundry and various

Call centers in Indian jails, this should work out well.

One Life to Live and All My Children will be cancelled. And replaced by a celebrity cooking show.  Hey women and shift workers!  Stay home and get fat, it’s not like you do any good to our advertisers otherwise.

Why would narrowed neck circulation have anything to do with MS?  But apparently it does.

Get your hands off that peen, or, what eXACTly are you testing for?  BC cancels controversial test of young offenders which involves handling young men’s junk.

If you’re a cop and get involved with drugs… you can collect two paychecks!  Mind you you’re not reporting the second one, but o well.  Woot!

Teachers in BC get a say over class size and composition. This is very good news for BC kids and parents, not to mention the teachers.  If you’ve ever taught a kindergarten class which is 1/3 ESL and has two special needs kids and is 30 students (not making this up, I have a friend who was in this spot) you’ll know what I mean.  Just getting them to line up for the can is a challenge!

I don’t get it. Can somebody explain to me why this is funny?

I’m impressed!  Ba-dum kish!

Katie’s only been here two nights and already I am fidgetty.  9 pm last night she leaves, says she’ll be back late, doesn’t show, doesn’t text.  Is she in a ditch? Did she crash at Kashka’s? Is she where she probably is?  And why’n fuck do I care? (Apart from how, every time she doesn’t come home, I have to rehearse what I’ll say to the cops if they come to my door?)

I blearily and wearily looked out my back door this morning, and thought, “Spring and Vancouver… no longer BFFs?”  There’s like half an inch of hoarfrost on things.  I knew at the end of March we’d get more snow because I could smell it.  Sounds stupid, but it’s true.  Now I can’t smell the end of it.  Snow tires will remain on car until further notice.

The move at work is getting closer.  Sure would like to know when we’re getting training on the new phone system and how it interacts with the call center software, but I’ve been assured there will be training.

Our CEO is leaving, and our new CEO is younger and French.  Rumour has it he’s moving to Vancouver.  I’ve met him the once, and apart from observing that he has a George Hamilton grade tan and a sense of humour, I have no comment.

The cats have been extremely rangy.  Margot in particular has been up in Eddie’s grill.  Eddie came for a nice long hug last night.

I played Buzz for about half an hour last night.  He’s going to be my bed time snack.  He’s so quiet when unplugged, but he sounds great.  I was thinking of dragging the amp into my bedroom, and just said screw it and brought Buzz in.

I can hear Margot laboriously licking herself on the basement stairs.