I remember the first Gulf War. I remember trudging around in a slow, slushy circle in front of the U.S. Consulate. We were all chanting, "hell no, we won't go, we won't die for Texaco". Even though we were Canadian and weren't likely to go. But anyhow, I was doing my part for peace. Then some dude with a megaphone started yelling, "Help defend Iraq from American imperialism! Fight American imperialism!!!!" I remember thinking, "Huh?"
Yes, not much thought at all. However, I did realize that this was no longer my type of peace march. In fact, it no longer seemed to be a peace march. It had become some sort of anti-American rally, which wasn't my goal. Besides, my feet were soaking wet and freezing. I left and have never been back to another anti-war rally.
I will join a pro-choice or pro-HIV rights march whatever the circumstances. Those are my two causes. I can argue with people who don't agree with them, but at the end of the day, my view is not going to be swayed. For example, I don't give a flying fig when life technically starts. I'm pro-woman. If a woman wants an abortion, for whatever reason, to me it's a valid reason. Still, you can tell me you think it's murder and I'll respect your view. For other causes, I pick and choose. I don't feel that I can fight everything. I can be convinced one way or another. I also believe in recognizing my own flaws and prejudices.
This is my unnecessarily long intro to what was a very tedious and disappointing group of protesters that I had today.
I was walking home when I passed a very small (about seven) group of protesters outside the Israeli Consulate demanding Palestinian rights. I will readily admit to the unpopular view that I am generally pro-Israel. That doesn't mean that I'm anti-Palestinian and I'm certainly not anti-Muslim, but it does mean that I like the fact that Israel exists. I like the moderate Jews in Israel. I like Israel's secular side. On the other hand, I can't stand the settlers. That should be stopped. Immediately. And settlements that were recently built in disputed territory should be torn down. To me, the uber religious Jews in Israel cause most of the internal problems and yet refuse to serve in the army. Morons.
Anyhow, normally I pass these protests without a second glance. Today, in my effort to be a better person (inspired by my friend D.) I felt that I should properly learn more about the Palestinian cause, from their perspective. So when one woman at the end was urging me to take her list of readings, I paused. I asked her if the readings were balanced, and if they were reputable sites. Again, in fairness to me, I would ask the same if this had been a protest in favour of Israel - I'm not going to take some extreme pamphlet that advocates further settlements. Just as last night I was in no mood to end up with a bunch of sites calling for the destruction of Israel.
Her response? "What do you mean?"
I explained what I meant. I explained that I don't like to hear the word apartheid all the time. I mean, and please enlighten me if I'm wrong - seriously, I don't mind- but under apartheid in South Africa blacks had no rights and 'coloureds' had limited rights compared to the white people. For Palestinians living in Israel, they have the right to vote, etc. The people who are limited and suffer tremendously are Palestinians in the occupied territory. Or am I wrong? I may be. Like I said, I admit to not being up on the topic as much as I should be. She was very annoyed at my question and didn't address it, but instead started to mention that Palestinians were suffering.
Again, to be clear, I wasn't disputing that. That's why I was willing to take the pamphlet. I had been asking about the quality of the web sites. She was completely ignoring that question. The I asked about why neighbouring Arab states weren't doing anything to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian refugees.
Her response? "Why should they?"
What? Seriously? What the fuck sort of answer is that? Why is she protesting in Canada then? Anyhow, I then lost it. I said, "Well what about the apartheid in our own freaking country against the aboriginal people?"
She said, "Oh, so you don't care about our aboriginal people either?"
Then she told me that I was condemning her sister who lived in Palestine, and her future grandchildren. Again, what the fuck???? And let me be clear, this was an aging home-grown middle-class Canadian woman. Her sister must have married someone and moved to Palestine. Well hello, not my fault if your family chooses to move to a war zone. Most people in war zones are trying to get out. I don't know why middle-class white westerners always think they can move to some area of high conflict and live in peace or merit more right to do so - but that's a rant for another day.
Anyhow, by this point, I was so annoyed I looked at her and calmly said, "you know what? I really don't care. [and that part's true: I care about the Palestinian people but not this particular idiot's family] You aren't selling your cause at all. Keep your pamphlet." And handed it back to her.
On a positive note, I will do my own research and find a more balanced group where Palestinians and Israelis are trying to work together (and those groups do exist) and fund them. This woman left me so disgusted that I will take an active interest in Palestinian rights - but not in her way. But I'm through with wasting my time on any protester who can't defend their cause in an intelligent way. In general I am so tired of the inability of either side in a debate to have any sort of intelligent conversation. I managed to have a great talk with my father today about Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (who I LOATHE) because we were able to find common ground and debate merits of various politicians. That's what I like. After all, isn't it all about accepting our differences and finding common ground?
Update: Here we go!
I like this group: Interfaith Peace Builders
And here's one from the Buddhist Peace Fellowship where women are working for peace.
ah. I feel much better now.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
but not GONE yet.
As in my boobs. They are melting and I couldn't be happier. Tonight I ran down the stairs and was perfectly comfortable. Even though I was wearing a loose t-shirt and no bra. I can't think the last time I've been comfortable without a bra on. It has already been noted by someone that I don't look as sexy with smaller breasts, but I don't care. I feel sexy. I'm so happy to be heading on my way to a B cup.
[They have shrunk with the rest of me. I would be a little concerned if they were the only part to be suddenly shrinking].
Oh - and Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S.
I'm grateful that that holiday was in October here. Now I can focus on New Year's (and endure Christmas!).
Posted by Snooze at 9:08 PM
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
- This week some weight crept back on, but today it was gone again. I celebrated by having a grilled cheese sandwich. Which is probably why the weight has a tendency to creep up... However, I will say this, since January when I finally decided to lose weight, I have succeeded in getting my appetite way, way down. And I make better food choices. My 'one salad a week' new year's resolution worked! My smaller eating habits are a way of life (and by 'smaller' all I mean is that I'm no longer overeating. My portions now are probably what they should have been all along)
- I had a pile of trousers that needed to be hemmed. I brought them to the dry cleaner at the end of the street. This man is awesome. I have been without a seamstress/tailor for a while. I think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship. So next Saturday I should have six pairs of work pants and about 3 casual pairs that will be clean and fit properly. Next up is to bring in all my coats for cleaning and sew on the buttons. Although I am capable of sewing on a button, I never do a good job and they invariably fall off.
- I spent over $300 on alcohol today. Stocking up for the holidays and buying gifts. I am reconsidering my aversion to beer in the home as buying nothing but prosecco, scotch, and champagne adds up quickly. I haven't even begun to stock up on wine and liquor. I think I need gin, although I seem to have two bottles of vodka in the freezer and I have several bottles of rum.
- My goal is to have all my Christmas cards to the UK written and mailed by next Friday. I think I can do it
- I have lined up a date for next week. This is so amazing. What it means is that whether or not it goes well, I am over my wanting to die/endless sobbing phase of the past summer, and really, the past five years of being chemically imbalanced are on their way out.
Forty is coming up awfully quickly and although I still want to take enough sleeping pills that I spend the day in blissful unconcious mode, I am in shape, social, and organized. At least more than I've been in a long time.
Posted by Snooze at 1:53 PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I have been so exhausted recently. Tonight I came home from work, had dinner and a few glasses of wine, and then settled into a nice, hot bath. My timid cat, Tasha, hopped up on the edge of the tub and started drinking the bath water - as she often likes to do. Then she was just perched next to me. It was very peaceful. The shower curtain was almost fully drawn and only the bathroom night light was on. Tasha and I were just enjoying one another's company.
And then the peace was shattered.
With a loud rustle the curtains imploded and Tasha was knocked into the water. She leapt out before I even fully came to my senses. I moved so suddenly in fright that my lower back, which has been out of sorts for months, was wrenched with sudden pain.
The insane Fur Snake had been jealous and had decided to push Tasha into the water. Tasha had run into the other room, climbed to the top of her scratching post and was licking her tail trying to get most of the water away. Meanwhile, Fur was languidly stretched out on the bath mat with this look like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.
All cats are somewhat evil, but this one thrives on it.
Posted by Snooze at 8:14 PM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here are the Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
No one tagged me but I got this from Eros Den
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
These are habits that I would describe as part of my hidden weirdness. As way of explanation, the only drinks in my house are water (via the tap), coffee (from a french press), and liquor. Occasionally there is wine. Oh, and my chocolate rice milk. I'm addicted to that with chocolate protein powder. I also have an assortment of tea bags.
1. I don't drink pop. In fact, I don't use the word 'pop'. I don't say soda either. To me it is MIX. Once in a while in a restaurant I will order a diet Coke, but apart from that, I keep cans of cola, tonic water, and ginger ale for one reason only: to keep my rum, gin, and rye company.
2. I never have milk in the house. Again, I don't drink it. Never have. Once in a while I'll have it on hand if I'm going through some sort of baking phase, but otherwise, I have to remember to go out and get a small carton if I'm having people over. Not that I would ever allow someone to drink a glass of milk in my home, but I forget that people take it in their tea/coffee.
3. Same thing for juice. I don't like having cartons of juice in the fridge or god forbid, a juice pitcher. It takes up too much space. I'd rather take a multivitamin or eat berries in my yogurt. I'm okay though with health food store juices such as cranberry. However, I would throw out cranberry cocktail if that entered my home. I would break up with a guy who drank Sunny D.
4. Most of my long-term boyfriends have not drunk any of the above. I don't know if I could seriously date a pop or milk drinker. For some weird reason it bothers me to watch adults drink these items. My friend's husband had a Coke first thing in the morning and I was horrified. I realize this is my issue. I've also never had to witness a friend ordering milk in a restaurant. Thank goodness because it turns my stomach to watch people drink milk.
5. If I have an issue with people drinking pop, milk, and juice at home, it is ten fold for beer. To me, one does not drink beer at home (unless it's a party). If you have space for a beer fridge hidden out of sight (preferably in a garage or cellar) and somewhere discrete to store the empties (again, a garage comes to mind), then I suppose it's okay. However, I associate beer with going to a pub for a pint, or having a Corona in the backyard. Not coming home and cracking open a cold one. I think this is because my parents never, ever had beer in their house except for guests at parties. I suppose too that when my parents were young and living in Scotland, bottled beer probably wasn't common. You always went to the pub for what was on tap. I mean, it's not like I have a problem with drinking beer. I'm all for that. But my parents were the cocktail type. And that's what I agree with. You have a hidden liquor cabinet. Booze is not on display. I don't want to see a case in a living area. I don't want to see beer bottles when I open a fridge, and I certainly don't want to see empties lying around. *shudders*
6. Although I'm addicted to coffee I don't own a coffee maker. I don't like filtered coffee and I only like really high powered espresso machines. Besides, I like the social aspect of having to go out for a coffee. I have my french press and that does me fine. It makes a wicked good cup of coffee.
Posted by Snooze at 8:11 PM
Friday, November 14, 2008
“Adult Questions - Don’t Be a Pussy” meme. I’m not going to tag anyone on this, but feel free to steal it and provide your own answers.
1. Is there anyone on your blogroll you would have sex with?
This would make more sense if it read, "Is there anyone else on your blogroll you would have sex with? And of course. many.
2. Sex in the morning, afternoon or night?
Morning. But on a week-end, anytime. Recently - as it's been so long that I can't even remember what sex involves - 'while stopped at a red light' would be fine. And I'm a pedestrian.
3. Have you ever had to pull over on the side of the road to puke?
Yes. Well, I don't drink and drive so it was more that my cab driver had to pull over.
4. Have you ever taken your clothes off for money?
5. Shower or bath while having sex?
6. Do you want someone aggressive or passive in bed?
Passive brings to mind someone who isn't into it. So in that way, I want a guy to be aggressive even if I'm pegging him.
7. Do you love someone on your blogroll?
Of course! I love all in some way.
8. Love or Money?
Love. But a bit of both is nice.
9. Credit cards or cash?
10. Have you ever wanted a best friend?
I've had several and my bestest friend is like a sister.
11. Camping or a 5 star hotel?
Both completely different.
12. Where is the weirdest place you have had sex?
I'm pretty dull for locations
13. Would you shave your entire body (including your head)?
14. Have you ever been to a strip club?
15. Ever been to a bar?
16. Ever been kicked out of a bar or a club?
17. Ever been so drunk someone else had to carry you?
18. Had sex in a movie theater?
19. Had sex in a bathroom?
Not a public one.
20. Have you ever had sex at work?
No. Holds no appeal for me.
21. Ever been to an adult store?
I'm a regular.
22. Bought something from an adult store?
23. Have you been caught having sex ?
Nope. Again, no appeal in that for me.
24. Does anyone have naughty pics of you?
Yes. Hopefully they are destroyed.
25. Ever had sex with someone and called them by the wrong name?
Yes. I called an ex by a previous ex's name, or at least I started to. The name I was about to call him was Jon (pronounced 'Yone'). I had only said the yo- when I realized my mistake. I knew that the guy would have freaked so I covered by saying, "yo... yo, yo, YO BABY! You are so hot!!!!" He bought it and didn't seem upset by the fact that I sounded illiterate.
Posted by Snooze at 6:41 PM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I have the day off for Remembrance Day. I am going to go to the ceremony. I think it's right that banks and government shut for the day to honour the soldiers who died for our country, and the least I can do is attend the service. I hope it doesn't rain as the ceremony is outside, but even if it does, it's not like the soldiers got the day off for rain.
It was such a beautiful ceremony. The skies were grey, but it didn't rain. The Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, made an incredibly powerful speech. He read an account from a soldier, who had since been killed in combat, about serving in Afghanistan. I was bawling my eyes out. He also spoke about duty, and I found it inspirational. Other people who spoke included Ontario's Lieutenant Governor, a high-ranking military official, and a veteran from World War II. Each so eloquent and each gave such a good viewpoint on what this day means.
I was also so humbled and proud to see the people in uniform: police, military, fire, and EMS services. All serving our country in some way. I was also amazed at the diversity and at the number of women serving. We can always all argue about the nature of war, but at the end of the day I respect those who are serving the country.
The closing of the ceremony was the playing of O Canada. People stood in respect and there was a singer. I sang my heart out torturing everyone near me with my off-key warbling. Most people didn't sing. I don't really get that. Maybe they thought we should all just listen to the singer, but I think it's beautiful to hear everyone sing the anthem. After that we were invited to go up to the Peoples' Wreath (after the podium had departed) and incorporate the poppies we were wearing into the wreath. It was very beautiful.
My feet were numb, my back was killing me, and I was so cold that it was over a half an hour before I could properly move my fingers again, but I'm so glad that I attended.
I know we get knocked all the time, but I'm very proud to be a civil servant. I do consider that one way of serving the country. But this ceremony made me reflect on how I can better serve my country and what causes I believe in. I need to get back involved in the fight for full rights for people living with HIV and for the rights of the LGBT community. I'm not making any time commitments or working to help anyone beyond friends and family right now and I realized that listening to the sacrifices of my countrymen and women. I can do more. I just need to figure out how.
Posted by Snooze at 9:11 AM
Saturday, November 08, 2008
With love and support to my family members and to my many friends who are from the LGBT community, despite the passing of Proposition 8 in California, let's look to an inspirational speech from the President of Spain when that country extended marriage and adoption rights to same sex couples. This text was read at the marriage of two of my dear friends. Hopefully the US will get there soon.
[When the Spanish parliament took its historic vote legalizing both gay marriage and adoption of children by gay couples, Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero -- who put the full prestige of his office and party behind passage of the gay human rights legislation -- made one of the most remarkable speeches in favor of full equality for those with same-sex hearts ever delivered by a head of government anywhere. Here are excerpts from Zapatero's speech -- Doug Ireland]
"We are not legislating, honorable members, for people far away and not known by us. We are enlarging the opportunity for happiness to our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and, our families: at the same time we are making a more decent society, because a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members.
"In the poem 'The Family,' our [gay] poet Luis Cernuda was sorry because, 'How does man live in denial in vain/by giving rules that prohibit and condemn?' Today, the Spanish society answers to a group of people who, during many years have, been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose dignity has been offended, their identity denied, and their liberty oppressed. Today the Spanish society grants them the respect they deserve, recognizes their rights, restores their dignity, affirms their identity, and restores their liberty.
"It is true that they are only a minority, but their triumph is everyone's triumph. It is also the triumph of those who oppose this law, even though they do not know this yet: because it is the triumph of Liberty. Their victory makes all of us (even those who oppose the law) better people, it makes our society better. Honorable members, There is no damage to marriage or to the concept of family in allowing two people of the same sex to get married. To the contrary, what happens is this class of Spanish citizens get the potential to organize their lives with the rights and privileges of marriage and family. There is no danger to the institution of marriage, but precisely the opposite: this law enhances and respects marriage.
"Today, conscious that some people and institutions are in a profound disagreement with this change in our civil law, I wish to express that, like other reforms to the marriage code that preceded this one, this law will generate no evil, that its only consequence will be the avoiding of senseless suffering of decent human beings. A society that avoids senseless suffering of decent human beings is a better society.
"With the approval of this Bill, our country takes another step in the path of liberty and tolerance that was begun by the democratic change of government. Our children will look at us incredulously if we tell them that many years ago, our mothers had less rights than our fathers, or if we tell them that people had to stay married against their will even though they were unable to share their lives. Today we can offer them a beautiful lesson: every right gained, each access to liberty has been the result of the struggle and sacrifice of many people that deserve our recognition and praise.
"Today we demonstrate with this Bill that societies can better themselves and can cross barriers and create tolerance by putting a stop to the unhappiness and humiliation of some of our citizens. Today, for many of our countrymen, comes the day predicted by Kavafis [the great Greek gay poet] one century ago: 'Later 'twas said of the most perfect society/someone else, made like me/certainly will come out and act freely.'"
[Thanks to valiant gay journalist Rex Wockner for providing this translation.]
Posted by Snooze at 10:29 AM
Thursday, November 06, 2008
As part of my job, I provide research and administrative support to a group of health care experts. I've been tasked with formatting a survey for them. Part of our survey was to ask about following up with trying to contact people. The question asked when did the person stop trying to contact a client. The answers were standard 'after 2 phone calls', 'after 3 working days', etc. About a week ago I was bored with formatting and was thinking about The Terminator. As such I added a box which stated: NEVER. We will not stop until you are dead.
Obviously it was a joke. Obviously I planned to delete. And equally obviously, I, ha-ha-ha, saved the survey and completely forgot about my homage to the Terminator.
And even more ha-ha-ha, today I sent the survey for review out to three key members of the working group, and my boss.
Immediately after hitting "send" I was reviewing the survey again and noted that the Terminator choice was still in the list. Oh dear lord - it was too late to recall the email. I screamed.
Luckily one of the individuals responded almost right away with a note that I had forgotten to label two of the check boxes. I immediately resent an email with a 'thanks SO MUCH for pointing out that error. Please use this amended version and please delete the earlier version.'
I still half expected to get an email from my boss at some point though saying, "You're terminated, fucker"
Posted by Snooze at 8:21 PM
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I was falling back into lazy eating habits so I'm doing the 7 day brown rice diet. This is not a lose-weight or live-in-denial plan [besides, I've already lost the weight!] - it's just a way of ensuring you get back to healthier eating habits for a bit. You are supposed to eat brown rice at every meal, and you can have organic meat or tofu, and as many veggies or fruits as you want. No caffeine, no alcohol, and no sugar. No salt either, so you can't add tamari to the rice.
I of course completely ignore the no caffeine rule and if I have the urge to drink, I stick to the purity of vodka-sodas. It's working though - I'm more conscious of what I'm eating and certainly have eaten more apples and pears this week than I've had in a while. It's not that I was eating crap before, but I was beginning to have way too much bread and pasta.
There. After the amazing election of last night, I figured I needed to be absolutely mindless and tell all of you about my eating plans. That and the fact that I bought jeans today which are four inches smaller than my jeans from two years ago.
Posted by Snooze at 8:52 PM
Monday, November 03, 2008
I am down right now. Down over the death of someone I knew and dated but not long enough to be 'officially' mourning. He played a pivotal role in my life. Specifically he played a pivotal role in my sexual development and as I read tributes to him on the web [because in his own life he was very successful in his career], I realize that I didn't know him in any real sense. He just gave me one of the best dates of my life that led to me experimenting and trying so much more. I don't feel a loss for me - I am only very sad that he died way, way too young. It amazes me how sometimes the briefest encounters can affect us so deeply.
I am still struggling with becoming an active participant in my life. It will probably all be okay and a process, but basically I went through such a profound and deep depression this summer that now that I'm finally coming out of the other side I don't know where to go or what to do. I'm doing all the right things - connecting to people, engaging in work which I love, eating well, and beginning to exercise - but I seem to get very easily distracted from moving forward.
What is giving me unprecedented joy and happiness right now is watching the British series from the 80s "yes Minister". Oh my god. Anyone who has ever worked for the government needs to watch this. Screw the West Wing - this is wit at its finest.
And a great group of people who I saw tonight. They brought me joy. Again, sometimes love and kindness come from the most unexpected places.
Posted by Snooze at 9:56 PM
Saturday, November 01, 2008
As in the wonderful term I learned from Laverne: Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.
Only tomorrow I am having people over. For brunch no less. I thought that brunch was no big deal until I realized that my place was a gross disaster and these are people I know from skiing / snowboarding. In other words, people I like, but apart from one with whom I am good friends, they are people who I don't hang out with. With good friends I don't care if my place is a bit messy, but here I feel embarrassed. Hence I am cleaning and sorting. But it's coming together. I think if I'm in bed by midnight and up at 7am, that the place will look and smell pleasant (it's pumpkin muffin time!) by eleven when everyone arrives.
UPDATE: thank heavens for daylight savings time. The extra hour allowed me to have a clean house and food prepared by the time people arrived. It went well, but I am exhausted now. And I'm stuck with sausages which I will have to find a carnivorous friend to feed to.
Posted by Snooze at 10:53 PM