I’ve added a new read…go visit her and say hi.
An Apron Away From a Straitjacket. Really, go there now.
Archive for September, 2008
I’ve added a new read…go visit her and say hi.
An Apron Away From a Straitjacket. Really, go there now.
I missed a meeting at the university today. I was supposed to meet with other students who are doing a “get a degree in sociology because it’s cool” seminar for students in Grade 12 graduating in spring 2009. I slept through it. I’m still recovering from the weekend. Thus far today I’ve had 3 sessions of sleep. One from 11 pm last night to 10:30 this morning. Then from about noonish to about 3:30 or so. Then after supper, about 8 pm to 11. I’m still feeling not very recovered.
Bran got a package today. Since he doesn’t get packages often (I’m the one with the credit card therefore things tend to get shipped to me) we were somewhat confused. He hadn’t bought anything and I hadn’t had anything sent as a gift. It was sent via Purolator so after supper (sort of) we headed out to pick it up. It turns out he won a book from the company who made his blood sugar monitor. It’s about foods that are good for him, and such like. It should have some uses.
I also got a package in the mail. I thought it was the comic book I’d ordered from Jenny Breeden (The Devil’s Panties which has little to do with either panties or devils) however the envelope came from Edmonton. I opened it and it was a book called The Thatcher Years about the era of a Saskatchewan Premier named Thatcher. I’d have neither reason nor interest to order such a book. The bill inserted inside showed that they’d sent it to me in error. Someone must have typed the wrong number into the computer to print the shipping label. I promptly went off to make sure that it wasn’t charged to my card and Bran taped the envelope up. I wrote a “return to sender” message on it and it’ll go in the mail soon.
I guess my homework will have to wait until tomorrow. I was going to study today but I’ve been so very tired catching up on my sleep. I’m just not as young as I used to be. I don’t adapt as well as when I was younger. Come to think of it, I never was able to shift my hours that quickly. It hasn’t improved with age.
I wonder why WordPress insisted on me upgrading to the new version. I mean, there’s nothing that I’ve seen that’s different from the older version. Then again, I’m not one to head into the details of any program. Thanks to Sherry, I have little in the way of problem with spam because she put some kind of netting program that captures them (I think it’s called “Captcha” – what a coincidence, yes?)
It’s being the typical fall here. The morning and evening temperatures dip down to freezing and the day temperatures are in the 20s. This means that sweaters or coats, mittens and toques are needed (depending on the person) in the morning but by the time afternoon comes around shirt sleeves are all that’s needed. That means the pants and long sleeved shirts are too warm and room in a backpack has to be found for the jacket and other outerwear to carry home.
I keep having school dreams. This past one was me taking over the job of a friend who wanted to go to another job for the summer. I was working with a crew on emptying trash cans around school (which was the university but looked a whole lot like the technical school I went to when I’d gotten out of high school). The weird thing was that we pulled a prank on some guys who were parked on the street just outside the school. They had knocked something down (I can’t remember what) and we got them tied up and stuff (along with having them drape their willies outside of their pants). Then we made them come into the school and had the entire undergrad population, along with the students’ union. Then the next day I found out that I was fired (I assume for the prank) but none of the other people were.
Another part of a dream was dealing with someone’s addiction. I had to find all the drugs that were in and around our house. There were drugs stashed in a small box on a lamp post in front of the house and some other places in the house. This dream is far more ethereal and I’m not able to remember much more than that. I do remember a sense of worry that I’d not find all the drugs.
I’m watching Oasis HD. It’s a show about what a crew of shuttle astronauts on the Endeavor got to see. It’s amazing. I get to see coasts, oceans, land outcrops into the ocean, clouds, and the colours are incredible. The Blue Nile river… a twisting string surrounded by brown land. Wow! Now there’s a shot of the moon, a small brown rock over the blue of the earth, and a shot of Mount Fuji included in the shot by a Japanese astronaut for his country. Just…wow!
I turn 48 this month. I’m pretty sure I don’t really like that concept. That means that I’m going to be 50 in a couple of years. While I know that time marches on for everyone, reaching the 1/2 century mark is a landing I’d rather be younger than.
Tonight I bit the bullet and upgraded to the current version of WordPress. It’s both easier and harder than I thought it would be. The harder is because I was worried I’d not figure things out and that always makes things harder. The easier was because Sherry had confidence in me that I’d be able to follow the ABC directions that WordPress gives for upgrading and not screw up too badly. I’m happy to say that things appear to have worked out just tickety-boo.
I’ve only had a few hours sleep in the past 24 (all of them after 4 pm today) so I’m somewhat on the foggy side.
Bran and I are going to get some apples and some supper for me from Hao’s Garden.
I wonder if RSS contacts and the blog readers that people use are indicated as hits on my stats counter.
Currently, in the Aboriginal Women and Canadian Law class, we’re discussing the definition of “Indian”. In Canada, as in the USA, the definition is problematic because the definition is essentially a legal one. Whether or not one is Indian determines whether or not a person is entitled to benefits under the various treaties. It determines whether a person has land entitlement and, for a while, it determined whether one was entitled to live on a reserve or not.
The identity is also ensnared in the long history of colonialism, racism, governmental legislation designed to make “Indians” nonexistent. The goal of the government was to remove “status” (which meant that people with status could receive the benefits of their treaties such as free education, medical care and so on) from all people who were once called Indian. They did that through various means in the Indian Act by enfranchising (unregistering) people arbitrarily, and through other methods such as: if an Indian voted, joined the military, got a university education, a woman married a non-Indian man (that doesn’t mean it was necessarily a white man, he could be Metis, non-registered or white), if they lived in the city too long, and so on. At one time it was illegal for an Indian to hire a lawyer in an attempt to defend their rights to treaty specified lands or other issues. In fact, one man, a noted Canadian poet was a bureaucrat who worked tirelessly to destroy the Indians of Canada.
Life on the reserve wasn’t any great shakes. Indian Agents (representatives of the Minister) had enormous power over the people on the reserve. Indians had to get written permission to leave the reserve. Food and clothing were withheld from families if they created trouble. Sometimes the Indian Agent would demand sexual favours in exchange for those necessary supplies. Indians couldn’t own businesses and at one time they were not allowed to farm either. It was not uncommon for the government to enfranchise entire reserves to steal their land for settlers or commercial interests.
There are some in Canada who are proud that we never slaughtered people like the US government did during the time of the Indian Wars, but make no mistake, the take over of Aboriginal lands, settlement of the west and the treaty settlements were fraught with violence. The difference was it was by threat of sending in the troops. The Aboriginal people of the past were not stupid and not without their own methods of hearing what was happening out of their territories. Chiefs were told that if they didn’t sign the treaties the government would starve their tribes. This became all the more viable a threat when the buffalo disappeared from the prairies. They were also worried that the government would start the Canadian version of the Indian wars north of the border.
Further cultural genocide occurred when the government enacted the laws creating the residential schools. Children were taken by force from their families to schools run by various religious organizations. There the children were separated by sex and age. Brothers and sisters lost contact with each other. They were punished severely for speaking their own language and certainly were not able to practise their rituals such as the Potlatch in BC (in fact, cultural rituals were made illegal by legislation in the Indian Act – wearing traditional clothes was punished – in fact, it was only with written permission that men were able to even dance). Parents lost their roles and their children became strangers to them.
That doesn’t go into how the colonialist definitions have been naturalized into the lives and politics of Aboriginal people today. C31 (the bill that became the new Indian Act) was the government’s attempt to allow women and men to regain their registration because of the sexist legislation that violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Over 100,000 regained their registration, but over 100,000 were turned down by the government for registration. Some bands welcomed members into their reserves. Other bands have closed down and refuse to accept new members. The Indian Act allows bands to determine who will and who won’t be a member. Sadly nepotism and sexism influences that very determination.
Aboriginal people define themselves by the parameters imposed on them through the over three centuries of colonization. What determines who is, and who isn’t an Indian is still determined by those in Indian and Northern Affairs (interesting that Indians were linked to industry and mining – the agenda was rather overt there).
Anyway, I should end this rather long and meandering entry and go to bed. It’s 2 am and I have to be up for class at 7 (so I can shower). I haven’t done any of the readings for my first class, but I have most of what I want to cover in my short seminar done…I think.
Boy was watching Myth Busters tonight. Yeah, that’s right. So out he comes from his bedroom to ask me a question. He wants something. What does he want, you ask? Well you should. He wants a steak. He wants some kevlar wrapping. He wants some C4 explosive. He wants to tenderize a steak just like they did on the show. I laughed. I laughed heartily and responded, “I don’t think so Tim.” (Kudos to anyone who remembers where that answer was stolen from because Boy’s name isn’t Tim.) It looks like he’s just going to have to use the old fashioned way of whacking a steak with a tenderizing hammer. He was disappointed.
Today was stats class. I spent a fair amount of time explaining some of the more subtle terms of English to one of my fellow students. He’s from Egypt. He learnt very formal English so he doesn’t understand local idiom and such. He was also having trouble figuring out that the 2 graphs we were looking at were using the same data set but were different ways of summarizing and displaying the data. It was fun.
After that it was to a meeting with my adviser. She’s going to be right handy. You see, although the UofS is signing a “letter of understanding” with Corrections, that doesn’t mean that getting in to see prisoners is gong to be in any way, shape, or form. That’s assuming I get my stuff past the Ethics Committee. Anyway, my adviser knows several women who had served prison terms longer than 10 years. Oh, that’s 10 years as a stretch, not a year here, a year there and so on. Crimes that get sentences like that are pretty significant and usually involve multiple crimes or murder. Yay! for activist, pain-in-Corrections’s-tush advisers!
After that I went to the Pride Centre and sat for a little bit with people there. I phoned Bran and he came to pick me up and we went to pick up Boy at school. Boy didn’t drive because I wanted to go on a tour drive south of town amongst the acreages. There were a couple of nice properties for sale. Of course that also means they come with a significant price tag (probably over $500,000) but they were very nice and nicely placed near the river valley and far enough away from the city that the land wouldn’t be expropriated by the city for at least 50 years or so.
Then it was out to Costco for some things we needed. So we picked up a passel of vegetables, a box of my sweet-salty granola bars and some garbage bags. Oh, we also got some Costco bags because we’d forgotten to bring some in with us. Those bags they sell can hold a shit pile of stuff and they have two types of handles. One for carrying with your hands, the other set to put over your shoulder.
Somehow that reminded me of something. Perhaps it was the concept of a container that did it. I have a locker now. I have a place to put my coat and other winter wear as well as books that I’d rather not carry around on my back on Mondays. There are also three drawers of different sizes for me to use. I love it! I have a key to get into the sociology grad student’s room, a key for my locker (in which I put my USB fan) and there are carols (I think that’s how they’re spelled) so spread out books and do research out of the library and its ambient noise.
That’s been my day. I had veggies and dip and those Baby Bel cheeses for a late supper and I’m watching murder and mayhem. I’m working the weekend night shifts so I’ll have time to do some reading both for my presentation seminar on Monday afternoon and Stolen Life: the journey of a Cree woman by Ryd Wiebe and Yvonne Johnson. That one is going to be a triggering and difficult read, but I need it as part of my research.
There. That really has been my day.
…but I forgot what it was.
It’s not been a big day. I phoned Student Loans to find out what I must be missing because they hadn’t sent me any of the usual forms for the school to fill out. I learnt the consent forms needed to be sent in and that was it. So I printed out the signature pages, Bran and I signed our respective forms and we all headed out to the Co-Op to get them faxed off. By the early next week I should get the forms from Regina and by sometime the week after that get money.
Boy drove. He’s still a bit too much of a newby for me to be alone with him. I’m not sure I want to be along with them at all. It’s hard to do crosswords while Boy is driving and therefore stay out of the process of instruction.
I got an email stating that they got the money for Bran’s coverage under my insurance plan. That’s a good thing. It’s official.
I should be reading stuff ready for my meeting tomorrow with my supervisor.
That’s pretty much it for today.
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.