Please watch this video. If, for some reason, you are offended by Julia Gillard’s statements, please cease reading my blog now and do not come back. I have grown tired of men of power making decisions of what I can or cannot do based on the fact that I have a vagina and uterus and lack a penis. I am tired of those same men insisting that they are more capable than I of making decisions. I’m tired of those same men thinking that I, as a woman, am incapable of making more global decisions about issues that affect me and other women. I’m tired of being a second class citizen. I’m tired of being held to a standard that is not of my making. I’m tired of having power that I did not earn simply because of the colour of my skin and the ancestry I have no control over. I’m tired of seeing others having less power for the same reason. I’m tired of being told that life’s playing field is flat, when I know it is not, that there are people who will always have to struggle (and frequently fail) to get on the field at all. This all assumes the players already on the field let them step over the sidelines.
But I digress. I need people to see this woman and know that there are many others who are equally eloquent who are kept out of the circles of power because they were born with a vagina. I need people to see this because there are many others who are equally eloquent who are kept out of circles of power because they were born with brown skin, or who love don’t love a person of the opposite sex, or who are transgender, or who are in a wheelchair….etc., etc., etc.
I’m getting on my high horse and doing some pontificating today. This is about religion/beliefs/spiritualities and the perceptions of some of the majority of people in my country and the USA.
Tonight in a blog I (now used to) read a poem given to her when she stayed at Embassy Suites Hotel. She lauded the hotel for the poem, but most particularly for leaving in the word “God” instead of being politically correct and leaving it out.
Yeah. That pisses me off, you see. She considers it politically correct to be sensitive to the minority of her country, even continent. She considers it to be more correct, even a relief, that a corporate entity would promote the idea of a superiority of Christianity over any other form of religion, spirituality or atheism.
Then I read another blog written from the perspective of a woman who is an atheist but who sends her children to a Christian preschool. She does this because of the superior academic curriculum. She does have some discomfort in the fact that her kids are being inundated with Christian beliefs, but also acknowledges that her kids have the right to know and decide for themselves what they choose, or choose not, to believe in as they grow up.
Speaking from my own point of view, if I were given that poem I would hand it back to the person who gave it to me. I have no interest in being choked on the religion of someone else. I certainly wouldn’t expect anyone else to tolerate that from me. It’s just another surreptitious way of making things Christian normative.
This isn’t a small thing either. In science, medicine, psychology, sociology, males have been considered the “norm”. How men acted, thought and ailed were all considered the norm. It’s still the case. Take HIV as an example. Men tend to get pneumonia as the first ailment that can be indicative of HIV infection. Women don’t but for a long time women were misdiagnosed because what they get are chronic yeast infections. The same goes for heart disease…women tend to have different symptoms of a heart attack from men. But despite this there is still a pervasive thought pattern in those sciences that says that men are the norm.
Move on to sexuality and sexual identity. You are presumed heterosexual unless you either prove or state otherwise. In some places, being or saying that you aren’t heterosexual is a death sentence. The saddest part of this is that the supposed “Christians” are more than enthusiastic about killing anyone who is different. The right wing Christian groups are very active in Africa in promoting anti-gay legislation.
I’m angry and sad about this. I’m angry because I know that I outside of my small family, small group of friends and small group of internet readers, I wouldn’t be accepted. In real life I’m very careful about who I tell that I’m a lesbian, even a celibate lesbian. I don’t advertise that I’m a sort of pagan Goddess worshipping, shifting to atheist because I feel no need to have the bible shoved at me lest I go to hell.
I can’t be me without having to justify myself and that pisses me off.
There’s been both nothing to write and so much change in the past while since my last posting. After being moved to the cardiac ward above ground, Bran has improved dramatically. His spirits lifted with the ability to go for a walk. He now has a little bag that holds a monitor which transmits his heart information over air waves. He goes for short walks, generally 2-3 troops around the ward. This has helped his blood sugar control, his blood pressure, not to mention his morale.
He hasn’t had the second stent put in yet. They planned it for today and had him fasting in the morning, but something (probably an emergency procedure) pushed him off the schedule. We’re hoping for tomorrow. He was feeling somewhat low tonight so I texted him offering him a sugar free cake with a file baked in it. At any rate, hopefully tomorrow will be the magic stent insertion. That would mean if all went well, he’d be coming home on Saturday.
They’re still trying to poison Bran. Night before last, for supper, they gave him (a diabetic) sweet and sour chicken on white rice. Yeah. The nurse hunted down a meal that Bran could eat without sending him into a diabetic coma. He got cream of wheat again as well. What is wrong with these people?! They’re supposed to know what the fuck they’re doing and yet they make such frequent mistakes I have to wonder who’s running the show. A friend of ours is in another hospital in town. She has a severe wheat allergy. She got cream of wheat too. I guess it’s their way of cleaning out patients. Kill them.
I have a bit of a full day tomorrow. I have to pick up a package from the post depot. Then I have to get a script filled and request the pharmacist fill one of Bran’s. Then it’s off to the university to have the department head sign my withdrawal letter. Then off to visit Bran…unless he’s downstairs having the stent put in. If he is then I might just go home, leaving Boy there, and get more sleep.
I’ve not mentioned Boy much in all this. He’s been exceptional. Not that it’s unusual for him to be so, but even more than the usual exceptional-ness. He’s gone to visit his Dad on his own, is cooking for himself because I’m not home to do so, and is generally helping out a whole lot which reduces my stress levels considerably. He’s been the joy of joys of my life. He’s also helped me hold myself together. It distresses him to see me distressed and he does his level best to ease things for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better son.
Today I went to training at the CSC training centre. It was presented by two police officers (one from Saskatoon, one from RCMP in Regina) and one CSC analyst. It was all about organized crime and street gangs in Saskatchewan. It was an extremely interesting presentation by three very intelligent and savvy men. Saskatchewan has it’s share of the well known gangs like Hell’s Angels, but vastly outnumbering them in membership is the Aboriginal gangs like Native Syndicate, Indian Posse, former Crips now Cash Boyz, and Terror Squad. Some of the gang members, some rather high ranking members, have come through the centre for urinalysis or as part of their reporting requirements. We’ve never had trouble with them, but the potential issues are rather scary. We never house known and active gang members at the house…thank goodness, but we don’t have control over who comes on for extra reporting requirements.
Anyway, after that it was my regular shift. Thank goodness everyone was in a good mood. One guy is going to find out the hard way next time I’m on evenings that doing his laundry in the evening means getting it done before 11, not ignoring it and then “remembering” that it needs to be dried for the next day. It’s all about responsibility. He’s always trying to get away with short cuts and special exemptions. Tonight I was just too tired to care. I won’t be so forgiving next time.
In a few weeks I’ll be going to a “Creating Choices” thing at Wanaskewin. This one will be focusing on women prisoners somehow. If you google Creating Choices you’ll encounter a document created by CSC (Correctional Services of Canada) in response to the scathing Arbour Commission Report (that you can also google) about “certain incidents” at Prison for Women at Kingston Penitentiary (aka P4W). Of course, being a large bureaucracy they’re very adept at making it look like they’re making progress in terms of positive change without actually doing anything. Canada went from having a central prison for women to having 5 prisons for women as well as healing lodges (low security prisons for Aboriginal female prisoners that should be focusing on Aboriginal traditions and healing). The healing lodges are all on reserves.
Anyway, I hope it’s as interesting as today’s stuff was.
I’ve decided, after talking it over with Bran, and much thought and consideration (redundancy can be fun too), to withdraw from the graduate studies program. After Dad died it became somewhat pointless and now with Bran becoming sick it’s just one more pressure on me to try and deal with.
I was going to take a year off to consider my options, but the requirements to get that year off are far too intrusive on my privacy to even consider. As someone who’s been on welfare and had that department’s nose in my life, I have no wish to have another bureaucrat decide things for me. So I’m going to print up the withdrawal letter tonight, get the department head to sign it and turn it into the grad studies people and be done with it. Maybe I’ll regret it and try again at a later date, but somehow I doubt I’ll want to.
Now I’m home after 16 hours of work. I’m trying to wind down but it’s not working very well. I guess I’m over stimulated or something. I’d love to have a cup of coffee right now but that would screw with my sleep and it’s stupid enough right now.
Thursday. It was an entire week all packed into one day. And that was after Wednesday. OY!
Wednesday I had to call NDO on another person. It was one of those foggy ones where the boundaries between what the PO wanted and what the parole board set out were somewhat contradictory. I let the NDO decide what to do. The next day I heard that warrants were issued for him.
That’s a record for me – having to call three people in to the DO in one week. I haven’t had to do that for months. I think the last person I called in was (I had to really stop and think) over a year ago. Then I get three in a week.
Then Thursday. An experimental contract with opening two mental health beds failed in one fell swoop. We were going to house people for short term when they were being forced to move from one mental health group home to another because of conflict or the home became unsafe.
We’re experienced with working with people with mental health issues. In fact, that’s one of our selling points for people coming out of prison. We offer closer supervision and support as well as working closely with the mental health social worker. However we were lied to with this one. The degree of mental illness, the neediness of the person involved, and I believe the very reasons this person was moving out of the group home were glossed over or lied about.
I spent most of Thursday night’s shift running interference between this new person and the residents. Most of the residents were patient and tolerant. A couple, however, were severely tried by her. In one case a baseless accusation was made that could have had extremely dire consequences for one of the residents. I know it was baseless because I had the two in my sight the entire time before the accusation was made.
It’s unfortunate that the person who was trying to place her lied. You can’t do that when it comes to mixing different populations such as that. It jeopardized the safety of the house. That’s not an exaggeration either. Because of the actions of that person I had to have my attention nearly fully on one person. There are 23 other people that I have to make sure are safe and not up to something. The degree of mental illness, this person’s fantasy/delusions, inability to not insult people (called one visitor a slut, called other staff names, and general all round rudeness), and at times inability to distinguish between reality and what goes on inside her head placed her at risk, and also placed residents at risk for a false accusation.
I ended the shift with a nasty headache that didn’t go away fully until I was nearly done Friday’s shift.
I was supposed to change the bedding in the cages last night but didn’t have any bedding. So I emailed their owner and told him to get more bedding. I’m thinking of handing responsibility of the animals back to the owner. He ‘s working in Saskatoon now and there’s no reason he can’t come and make sure they have food and that their bedding is changed. To be honest I’m feeling like I’m being used.
He was supposed to be selling the animals and I was taking care of them until they were sold. Then I was taking care of them because he was out of town. Now I’m taking care of them without the benefits of owning them and he’s getting my work for his animals.
I have to figure out a way of telling him this without ending our friendship. I mean, I still like him. It’s my fault that I allowed this to go on for so long. I doubt he’ll feel like he was taking advantage of me. I just don’t want to take care of animals that aren’t mine, especially since he’s not at school out of town and making no effort to sell them, as he said he was doing when he left to go to school last fall.
Sometimes it’s easier to not make friends.
I didn’t sleep last night. My brain was too active with the events of this week. It wouldn’t let me settle in and relax. I was awake until just past 9 am. Because of that now my day is upside down and I have to fix that before Monday as I’m on days. To quote Roxie in Dead Like Me “Why do you do that to yourself?”
I get to go to Edmonton later this month to the AGM of the organization our half-way house belongs to. I’m quite looking forward to it. I learned a lot at the one that was held here last year. This means I get paid for going out of town. My accommodations and food are all paid for. All I have to pay for are incidentals and entertainment.
Then it’s a concentrated wild time of getting month end completed, a week of work and then I’m going to be on holiday for 2 whole weeks. We’re not likely going anywhere, or far if we do go anywhere, but the whole idea of not having to get up for work, being able to do what I want without a schedule, pleases me enormously. It’s been nearly 10 years. I think I’m due.
My beading supplies were shipped on May 21st. It will take 6-8 weeks for it to get to me (surface shipping is cheap, but slow) and it should be here sometime in my holidays. I’m quite looking forward to getting them. Everything I ordered is nickel free. That’s a great selling point as so many people who react to jewelry are reacting to the nickel in the alloy.
I think that’s about it for now. It’s been a hard week. I was glad to see the end of it last night.
I tweeted a whole lot yesterday. I was counting down the hours of a 12 hour shift. I was freaking tired. Because Friday was spent mostly in bed (as testifies by the lol of the last entry) I got too much sleep to settle in on Friday night. That meant I got only about 2 hours sleep before having to be up and awake for Saturday’s shift.
Then I get home on Saturday at about 8:30 pm (2030 for those on the 24 hour clock) and I’m in bed by 9. I knew going to bed that early was a risk, but I was so very tired. I slept until about 1:15. Yeah, awake in the early morning having had a lovely nap meant that I wasn’t going to be able to settle back in for more sleep. I did eventually but it was about 1/2 hour near to 7 am or so.
This meant that Sunday’s shift was a nightmare of trying to stay awake for the 12 hours of my shift, be aware of what’s going on during the day while there’s nothing (and I mean nothing) going on. By the time 8 pm came around I was nigh on dropping on my feet. I went to bed immediately upon getting home, about 8:10 pm. I knew I was taking a chance, afterall, just the night before I ended up being wide awake after only a few hours of sleep. I was willing to accept that if it meant I’d not feel like I was. I did wake up around 1, but after going to the bathroom I went back to bed and fell asleep again. I woke up again at 7 am and decided that I was hungry and needed to eat.
So I got up and ate some of the leftover food I didn’t eat on the weekend. I read comics, I caught up on blogs I didn’t read last night and then at about 10 am or so I went back to bed. Bran woke me about an hour ago. Yay! I don’t feel tired anymore!
I got to have Dutchess make a kitty loaf on my chest as I petted her. Then she decided that the chest hair was softer on Bran and she went over to him. But she didn’t just walk over. She made sure that her delicate feet didn’t touch the lava that is the bed. She stepped across using my arm as a bridge. She was back shortly after because Bran was a bit too enthusiastic in his petting of her. She settled down on my chest with her tail toward my face, swiping across my nose. She is so thoroughly a kitty sometimes.
Work was dead quiet this weekend. We’re low on numbers so when a few go out the place is empty. Though I didn’t have a time when the Centre was bereft of people (one didn’t go out at all during the day), when they were in their rooms nothing was going on. On both days I did room and building checks more frequently just to keep awake.
That’s what a working weekend is like for me. Work, sleep. There’s nothing exciting about it. I should be thankful. Really, I should be. My first weekend shift working alone, a graveyard shift, there was a stabbing in the alley behind the building. A young woman was stabbed by either her boyfriend or pimp. One of the guys ran down from the deck and carried her into the building. It was an exciting time all around which involved basic first aid (the knife broke and the blade was embedded in her thigh and she had a small stab wound in her shin), and keeping the gents calm and out of the way. I also had to convince the gents who were on the deck and saw things to get over their dislike of cops to talk to them. I’m still quite proud of all the people there at the time.
Why? Well, in prison something like this could have set off a whole lot of overreaction. That didn’t happen. Sure there was much excitement and animation, but it was not out of control. For the most part they stayed out of the way and the guys who needed to talk to the cops were actually helpful. You could tell they didn’t like it though. An interesting side effect was that I got a two man escort to the trash bin out back (where the stabbing took place) when I took out the bloody trash. They were wanting to protect me. Yeah, a man who murdered his roommate and another who raped his ex-girlfriend were convinced that they needed to keep me safe on the quick trip to the bin. I felt ok about it. Afterall, they were sober when they were with me. They weren’t when they committed their crimes.
It’s like I’ve always said, sober, most of the people at work are really nice and good people. Put them on some mind altering substance and it’s a whole different story. It’s the same for everyone. Who is the same person sober as they are when they’re drunk or stoned? Who hasn’t become hypersensitive when they’ve got a few beer in them? Yeah. Exactly. The difference between the people who reside at work and those who don’t is a very small one. Always keep that in mind when you think about most people who are in prison.
Ok, I’m off my soap box. I’m going to see what there is for me to nosh on. I’m hungry again (7 hours after my last nosh known as breakfast).
So yeah, I should be thankful for the quiet weekend at work.
I had a close one today. First off, I lost my blog bookmarks. I have them all unorganizedly organized. At least I did. Then I got to work and realized I didn’t have them at all!!!!!! Even worse, my browser synchronized my x-marks (Foxmarks for those who use Firefox now renamed) to not having my blogs either. I checked Explorer and it lost them too!!!!
Luckily for me, I downloaded and installed Opera (another free web browser) and got it up and running and it picked up most of my bookmarks from wherever bookmarks are stored. I lost a few…Rhonda, if you’re willing, could you let me know where your blog is again please? Thanks.
I just spent an hour and a half getting my blogs back.
So now I’ve stopped all automatic synchronizations of x-marks. I’ll remember to make sure that all my folders are where they should be and then allow it to do that.
That’s the first time I’ve totally lost a whole file of files of bookmarks. Yes, I read a lot of blogs. But there are a whole lot of interesting people out there to read. I hate missing out on the news.
Joe.My.God reports a Twitter revolution against Amazon for actions they are taking against the LGBT community. You need to read his entry to get a better gist than I can give you here. The point is that Amazon is now backing down, but for me and my account, it’s too late. The fact that the people at Amazon felt it was ok to remove books by LGBT writers from the hot sellers list and blanket all with the “adult material” label despite the content of the books.
They’re now saying it was a “glitch” and that wasn’t their intent. Sorry. A glitch is when it’s random. It wasn’t random, this was targeting LGBT authors and attempting to muzzle them by removing them from general readership review.
I cancelled my account tonight. I wasn’t a huge profit for them, but one less customer is one less customer. That they even thought an activity like this was appropriate lost them my business.
It makes absolutely no sense at all that the program needed to view and manipulate Statistics Canada data is not available commonly on fucking computers on campus. Can you believe it? Or even better, that the data isn’t available for SPSS, the most commonly used social science spreadsheet/data manipulation program.
I have to go to the data services in the library after 1 pm (I tried at 11 and there was no one there…there should always be someone in that office during school hours) and get them to convert the data into a format that SPSS can read. Then I have to come back on Sunday afternoon and work then.
I hate being inconvenienced like this. Especially when there’s no valid reason for this to be occurring other than bureaucracy and territoriality.
I have a hard time remembering that I’m dealing with adults at work. Each person at the residence agrees to not verbally or physically abuse others, they also agree to not intimidate others…but this isn’t about that agreement. This is about one of the other agreements, the agreement to do chores. The thing is, everyone has chores to do. The janitor can’t clean everything there, afterall, there are 3 floors, 33 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, offices the lounge and the kitchen and dining areas and there’s only one of her. This means that the chores of cleaning bathrooms, cooks assistant, washing dishes, and the like have to be done by the people living there. Afterall, don’t we all do our own house cleaning? They’re no different except that they live in a sort of communal way. It also means that cleaning is all the more important because of transferable things like plantar warts, athletes foot and other neat little greebies that like to live in damp places.
Residents do all they can to get out of doing their chores if at all possible. Some chores are very noticeable if they aren’t done, like taking the garbage out, doing lunch and supper dishes and washing the front entrance. However, jobs like cleaning the bathrooms or the smoke room are less noticeable and they avoid them or short cut the cleaning. When they don’t do their chores they face consequences, curfew cuts. They know that. They know that when they sign the paper that says they agree to that.
Now we have one resident who hasn’t done her chore for several days. Her chore is to clean a bathroom that she and two other women share. That means that keeping it clean is all the more important because it is a shared bathroom. Now she’s facing a week of curfew cuts to 5:30 (two hours for each day she didn’t do her core and a day of lowered curfew for each day the chore wasn’t done – 5 days at 5:30). Now she’s whining all over the place looking for sympathy from the other residents who are more than happy to give it to her. Of course, the director is the bad guy for making her follow the rules she agreed to or find another CRF (community residential facility) to live at. The only other one is in Regina.
That’s been why my eye muscles have been getting a workout tonight and why they’re the fittest muscles in my entire body. These are adults. Full grown people who are supposed to know what they’re doing and face up to the consequences of their acts. I mean, these are people who have served at least a year in prison as a direct consequence of what they did. Now they fuss at a curfew cut consequence. Oy!
I’m waiting for Court TV to start America’s Dumbest Criminals. Time/Life has an infomercial on selling classic country and western singers and songs. My heavens! The hair is amazing. I swear there is more hair piled up on top of heads in the old shots of women to supply many stylists years of income combing out. It was amazing. And yet, I know that there are still women who tease their hair up in the style of the 1950s (my aunt is one of them) keeping Final Net hair spray in business.
I’m now done work until Friday night at 8 pm. I’m on graveyards this weekend.
That’s about it for tonight. I’m going to go off and read other people’s lives. Other people’s lives are a whole lot more interesting than mine at the moment.
I’ve been trying for the past 3/4 hour to write something about the Westboro idiots entering Canada. Hopefully they’ll pull the protest because it is guaranteed that their members will be arrested the instant they draw out any of their protest signs. Since they were nice enough to announce their intentions well beforehand the police will be there to ensure the peace is maintained between the nuts and the over 700 people who have promised to be a human wall to buffer the grieving family.
One thing that is chapping my butt at the moment is that any of those people managed to make it across the border at all. This means that CSIS is yet again proving the jokes about it. Customs agents at the border should have had photographs of very single member (and suspected member) to prevent any of them entering the country in the first place. You can bet that the FBI would have made something similar available to American border patrols of any nutty Canadian groups.