Thursday, 4 December 2008
PM Harper is waiting for a response from GG Jean about his request to suspend Parliament in order to develop a plan that would prevent the NDP-Liberal Coalition. There has not been a coalition government in Canada in living memory, if ever (I'm too pregnant to be researching Canadian History, I will trust my memory and leave it at that).
Even though we have not seen a coalition government most people who are familiar with the concept and the rules of a Parliamentary Democracy were aware that it was always a possibility with a minority government. Canadians are not going to want to return to the polls this soon and for the most part we don't trust Harper to spend what is needed to keep Canada in business during this Global Economic Crisis. I think that a coalition is the best possible alternative.
I'm amazed at the people up in arms about how this is violation the central tenants of democracy. I'm fairly certain that the MAJORITY of Canadians did not vote for Harper as PM. If a large number of Conservatives crossed the floor and became Liberals would the Conservatives still have a mandate to govern? We elect MPs to represent us and our geographical location. We do not elect parties or the PM. If the MPs think that they are acting in the interest of their constituents they will support the party that will best represent those interests. I think of this as members of the NDP temporarily crossing the floor to become Liberals for a set amount of time (18 months) in order to do what is best for Canadians.
I fully support a coalition government especially if it can maintain the support of the Bloc. If the Conservatives had acted in a manner that maintained the support of Parliament and Canadians they would not be in a no-confidence situation. They could have done the right thing and tried to form their own coalition of sorts instead of acting unilaterally against the interests of Canadians.
Check out this great article from Neil MacDonald: "Dear neighbour, about what's going on in Canada: Neil Macdonald explains the Canadian crisis to Americans"
Thursday, 27 November 2008
I'm drifting between being excited and anxious about the imminent arrival of v2.0 and being absolutely scared shitless. The baby's room is almost ready and I catch myself looking at it and thinking about what it's going to be like to have a real, live baby in there.
I'm not sleeping well as I wake up every 2 or 3 hours to use pee or just to find a more comfortable position to sleep in. I'm coming down with a bit of a cold so that's not helping the no sleep.
I'm done work around the 19th and I am hoping to head straight home. Christmas is going to be spent with my family. We don't really know what Husband's family is up to this year as SIL is stuck in the States with Niece and her husband due to immigration stuff. MIL and FIL still don't know if they are going to stay home, go visit SIL in Oromocto or visit SIL in Eastport (the one stuck in the States).
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
From The Transhuman Comedy
So the world (or at least North America) is abuzz with excitement about the change that we saw and the progress that has been made. It's an exciting time to be alive, and it's a time of great uncertainty and anticipation.
What does an Obama White House mean for Canada?
Obviously he is interested in re-negotiating NAFTA and he wants to shut down Guantanamo. The former, while being an interesting bit of possible policy change is probably far down the line.
Guantanamo is more urgent, and hopefully Omar Khadr will be released before his trial date. Obama's inauguration is on January 20th and Khadr's trial is scheduled for January 26th.
The big issue I am curious about is Obama's plans for Iraq and Afghanistan. What kind of effect will an increased US presence in Afghanistan mean for Canadian troops stationed over there?
Thursday, 30 October 2008
The return address made me even more excited. It was from my crazy, amazing, wonderful, crazy, awesome friend who is currently living, and working in Africa! The return address was her Canadian address so I figure that her parents, who recently visited her in Africa, had brought back some goodies with instructions to mail them.
YAY!!!! Here are my presents!
I got a dress-thing (one of those dresses African women wear, very simple and comfortable), a bib for Squishy, a pillow cover and some soap!
The best part is that these things were purchased from a group that helps women find strength and independence through training them to make and sell textiles.
Now I have to think of something to send back to her...
Monday, 27 October 2008
My belly is getting huge. It's getting hard to put on socks. We have so many things to go though and lots still to buy. I have most of the big things except for a change table, but I need the little things I never would have thought about like a thermometer or diaper cream. It's a little daunting.
I'm hearing a frequent refrain of "oh, don't worry! It all comes naturally." I am tempted to call bullshit on this statement. If it "all came naturally" then there would be no need for child and social services. There would be no bad parents and we would have perfect children everywhere.
I have been referred to the diabetes clinic because my sugar is a little high. I'm not overly concerned, as I have been eating a lot of junk food lately and I always knew I was at risk for gestational diabetes. This is just a precautionary measure.
I will hopefully update again shortly!
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
I'm nervous because I haven't signed the papers yet. Everything was pending my approval by their HR department. I can't see why my back-check wouldn't work out, but I'm still nervous.
I'm feeling very off today. I am antsy, but a little lethargic and down. I am very tired, and I don't want to work today. The only thing I'm really doing is tying up a few loose ends but I need to get this stuff done.
The baby keeps kicking me. Mom says it's revenge for all the kicking I did while she was pregnant. I think I need a hug...
Saturday, 20 September 2008
I would love to see his folks but the traveling is getting harder on me. If they want to come visit us they are more than welcome! We have the space and the dishes even if it would be a little cramped with my parents here too. I love having the family together! Soon enough his family will be coming this way frequently for MIL's craft shows, so it's not like we won't get to see them until Christmas. I haven't seen my aunt and uncle since our wedding, and they live less than an hour away.
Things still aren't great at work. I'm trying to grin and bear it but it's still not fun. I have a hard time selling a product I'm not really sure I believe in. I am keeping an eye out for other opportunities but with the Squishy on the way I'm not sure if it's worth it.
It occurs to me that this "blog" is halfway between a journal and an op-ed column. I know friends and family occasionally visit to see what I'm up to and what I'm thinking so I suppose I am fulfilling the expected purpose. I like getting my thoughts out, and if strangers and friends like reading these thoughts all the better!
Billy May and his "Zorbeez" kind of freak me out...
Friday, 12 September 2008
This story caught my eye today. I find it interesting not for the news, since it was obvious that the Conservative Party would have to replace Luke after her criminal convictions came to light, but for the tone, the phrasing and the way the reporter has written the manner of speech of the Prime Minster. Go on, take a look and see if you can spot it.
No? It's this paragraph in particular that caught my eye: "I think the real issue, you wanna talk about quality of candidates — Mr. [Stephane] Dion should address the tone of his campaign and should address the quality not just of his candidate but even of his members of Parliament here."
Although it is becoming more common for writers to write more "casually" I think that the above paragraph demonstrates more of the reporters political views than preference for a casual style. Aren't reporters supposed to objectively recount the facts and let the readers come to their own conclusions?
Is this slip indicative of an overall lack of respect for Prime Minister Harper, or is it just one writer?
Friday, 5 September 2008
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce Squishy! I had my ultrasound yesterday. Everything is going well, there's a heart, lungs, diaphragm, bladder, kidneys, femurs, eyes, spine and all the other important parts. Squishy moved around a lot while we were trying to see him or her, very athletic and active for a little squishy thing but that means that we didn't to see any nice profiles. This picture was taken before Husband and I were shown the screen. I think it's a good first picture of Squishy.
Friday, 29 August 2008
Sen. John McCain has announced that his running mate in the upcoming election will be Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Although I am thrilled that the glass ceiling is cracking, I am very much off-put by her anti-choice stance and dismal record on the environment. I admire anyone with strong convictions but she is not the kind of woman I want one breath away from the presidency.
I am a little curious how she can reconcile her apparent drive to return women to their traditional roles (see her stance on health care benefits, gay-rights, and equal pay as well as choice) with her job. Even as governor she would have been working a job that would have cause conflict with her tradition-based beliefs, as vice president she would be in a position that required even more time away from her family. Can she balance her family role with her political career? Is she blazing the trail for women who want to participate in politics and raise a family? Is she a hypocrite?
Sunday, 24 August 2008
As soon as I got in town my car was spotted by a friend, so I had coffee with him and met his new grilfriend on Friday night. I was out till about midnight. Surprisingly, I really liked her. She was sweet, seemed quite intelligent and very friendly. I can understand what he sees in her and it makes me happy to see him with someone who does not seem like a raving lunatic like the last few girls he introduced me to.
Yesterday I got my start bright and early because I didn't actually know what the schedule was for the wedding. I called the bride's brother to get the details and still got a little lost, but luckily the only thing I missed was helping decorate for the reception. The bride's brother, one of my closest friends, tracked us down (Us= me and my "date" another old friend) and we went to Timmy's for a snack. We made it to the church on time. The ceremony was short and sweet, just like it should be and the reception was a blast. I managed to stay to about 11 which was later than I had thought I would be able to make it. I tried to dance, but the music was a litle too loud and I was a little too tired.
They are having a breakfast/brunch thing this morning, but I don't think I will be going. I figure that's a family thing and I'm not really that interested in getting dressed right now.
My gift was a blanket that I hade been making for months. As soon as I found out that they were engaged I started planning this gift. I tried to make it as close to their wedding colour as I could imagine and I think I did ok. The colours I used were a little greener than the wedding colour, but it's close. I forgot to take a picture of the finnished product but I do have pictures of the squares somewhere.
I'm heading back to Truro some time today, but I'm in no huge rush. I might wander around town a bit first.
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Recently a group home for people with disabilities in Aylesford NS has shut its doors due to lack of funding. Fourteen residents must be relocated by the end of this week. Many of these residents have been living in that house for a long time. That was more than a "Group Home" it was HOME. Any changes can cause people with disabilities stress. They can take a long time to adjust to new situations and consistency is key to a smooth and happy life.
The main reason for the closure is money, as it usually is in such cases. According to another story at CBC "They say the government has not increased operational payments in 15 years and reduces per diem payments if clients leave."
FIFTEEN YEARS since the Department of Community Services has increased operational costs. The cost of living in that time has gone up almost 50%. The Department of Community Services is due to increase funding in the fall, but that will be far to late to help these 14 people.
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
As I am getting fatter, as the Squishy gets bigger I am getting lazier. I write less here than I have in ages, I have who knows how many craft projects on hold, and since Husband has gone on his vacation I have been avoiding cooking and dishes like the plague. I am slacking at work.
I am trying to convince myself that I need to get up, get out of the apartment and do stuff but I have no motivation. Am I using my pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy? Am I suffering from some type of prenatal depression? Does this have to do with the job I'm not thrilled about?
There are many days where I wonder how much trouble we'd be in if I got fired and just stayed on EI until Squishy is born. I wonder if it would be possible to find work as a freelance online content developer or if I could go back to school, and either get a degree in Marketing or do my Masters in Philosophy or Women's Studies.
Ahhh, life is being crazy, but I suppose that's the nature of growing up and starting a family.
Friday, 8 August 2008
Grrr... so I have been having moods swings, and they are not helped by the fact that I am quite convinced that Husband has no understanding of or sympathy for what I am presently experiencing.
Not only am I overly emotional, I am stressed and I'm lacking a proper support structure. It feels like I have so few people to talk to that I am alone.
I am excited about Squishy. I can't wait to be a mother and I can't wait to see Husband as a father, but there are days when I just want the world to go away for a little while.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
I'm not sure it's that I'm boring, I was always on the laid-back side but I realized that I no longer have the option of partying like I did once upon a time. True, I rarely pursued that option, but still it was an option.
Monday, 28 July 2008
I'm just not used to these effing mood swings. This morning I hated my job and wanted nothing more than to quit and go back to working in a restaurant. Now I'm doing ok. I think I'd rather have my old job, but I'm getting by.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
The new job is going well but I'm still not sure sales is for me. I like dealing with people, I like getting out and getting to know my town but I don't like selling things. I've started noticing that now that I have to pay attention to the paper that local journalism leaves something to be desired. Most of the stories that come from our newsroom are not hard-hitting investigations. They are mostly soft, local interest stories about neighbors helping people around the world, or minor grievances. I keep me criticism to myself but it's there. Most of the national news and the international news is written by the wire services. I know that's how it's done in most of the smaller towns, even some cities use wire services.
Thursday, 26 June 2008
Friday, 20 June 2008
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
I had an appointment in Halifax yesterday right after my interview. Unfortunately the person I was supposed to meet was called away for an unexpected emergency and I was left out of the loop when the calls were going out. It was a bit of a pain but those things happen. I have to call and reschedule today.
I've been neglecting my crafts and my reading lately. I will have to try to get something productive done today.
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Husband got his copy of Lego Indiana Jones today. I foresee an unproductive evening. We've been playing Lego Star Wars to practice. I can't wait :)
Friday, 30 May 2008
Day time TV still sucks, unemployment is still boring and I need something to while I look for a job. I finished another sweater, and I might finish a blanket soon.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
That being said I am still, nonetheless, jobless. I face a conundrum. Do I find regular joe-job that most likely will not make use of my skills or do I go on unemployment and search for a career?
I will be thinking about that for a little while. I will keep everyone updated.
Monday, 26 May 2008
I recently completed 2 (that's right, 2!) sweaters! I am very proud of myself.
Both patterns are from Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet; The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller.
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
When you pay in to EI do you expect to see any of it back unless you make a claim? Should we be refunded individually when there is a huge ($55 million since 1996) surplus? I was on EI for a grand total of 1 and a half months. It was great but I knew it wasn't going to last, nor did I want it to last. I didn't expect to receive any benefits beyond what I had paid in to the system to that point. The EI contributions I had made and continue to make are mine, the government is merely holding it for me. I do not expect my EI contributions to go towards debt reduction, because my income taxes are supposed to be paying that.
If the government insists on holding on to the EI surplus the money must be spent on EI and employment related ventures, even better it could be used to lower Student Debt because I will bet that many students are going to pay in to EI for a good, long time. An EVEN BETTER idea is to use some of that surplus for pay equity. Women still make much less than men while working jobs of equal value, take the surplus and use it to compensate women who are being unfairly discriminated against. Why should Sanitation workers make more than child care workers? There are many better ways to spend that surplus if the government doesn't want to give it back but they have no right to spend it on themselves.
Monday, 5 May 2008
Friday, 2 May 2008
Found this on a Flickr Set. There are some crazy pictures coming out of Fredericton and Oromocto. I almost wish I was there to see it, and I'm glad everyone I know is doing well and no major damage has happened.
To those who aren't familiar, the downtown core of Fredericton, NB is on the flood plain of the St. John River. It floods every year to varying degrees but occasionally there is a major flood. This year the water reached well above flood level and closed down most of downtown Fredericton. The above picture shows the water about 3 meters above where it should be.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
I've discovered a site that generates codes for colour palettes. It allows you to enter the URL of an image and it will give you the hex values for the main colours.
The current colour palette is based on this picture:
I may be experimenting over the next little while, so forgive the inconsistency.
Sunday, 13 April 2008
C was posting on LJ so I felt the need to post here. Husband keeps grabbing Doodle's boobies, I'm a little freaked out. Now he grabbed mine. Doodles seems to be locked in the bathroom. We are trying to order pizza, I'm not sure how that's going to work out.
Saturday, 12 April 2008
This is the Strawberry Shortcake I remember.
This is Strawberry Shortcake as she appears now.
I'm so confused. Saturday morning shows are back to the touchy-feely girly shit of the 80s. Most of the main characters are female and they always "learn" stuff. At least in the 80s we had Transformers to balance out the girly crap. Sometimes I want to see giant robots kick the crap out of each other. Right now the Saturday morning line-up feels like a combination of the TGIF line up and the Saturday morning line up of the early to mid 90s. I'm half expecting to see Boy Meets World on next.
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Husband, Doodles and I went GeoCashing today. We went looking for three and found two. We went to the beautiful park in town. There were a lot of people out today since it was the first nice weekend we've had in a while. Here are some pictures!
We climbed up Jacob's Ladder, walked to the waterfalls, and got very tired. We finally made it to the reservoir.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
The ALGC shut the show down the show using a law that allows complaints about "Entertainment that has the potential to be considered bizarre, grotesque or offensive" to be referred for approval to the commission. In this case the bar was informed of the commission's decision to ban the show at 4:30pm the night of the show, which had been well advertised and was sold out.
According to the press release I linked to above this show has been performed across Canada "to thousands of satisfied viewers" with little complaint. Most people who are interested in a show like this are going to be forewarned that it is not for the squeamish. Since the show was booked to perform at a bar I would assume that everyone who planned to be in attendance was an adult, capable of determining if something was too "bizarre, grotesque or offensive" on their own.
We don't need to state to censor events that are clearly meant for certain audiences. I highly doubt that anyone who bought tickets to this show would have been offended by the content, they may have been a little squicked-out but that's part of the reason for going to these shows. People who are easily offended have the option of not purchasing tickets for shows they might find offensive.
The state has not right to be the morality police. Our rights are not violated by events that we have the option of not attending. If the show were performed in a very public place, such as on the steps of the legislature, then the government has a duty to intervene. In this case consenting adults who were undoubtedly aware of the potential for the grotesque hard the right to see this show and the government had no right to shut this show down.
Sunday, 23 March 2008
I haven't posted about my crafts in a while. I'm still trying to learning how to knit. This is a bandana kind of thing I'm working on. It's to practice increasing stitches. I think I'm doing quite well. I'm going to try to knit Husband a hat soon. It'll be orange and black.
This is part of a blanket I'm making for a wedding gift for some friends who are getting married in August. I need 12 big granny squares, 2 are going to be solid turquoise and the rest are the blue-green variegated colour.
I'm going to try some more amigurumi, I'd like to have a bear or an elephant.
Friday, 14 March 2008
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The above is completely copied from the text of spam emails I had in my inbox this morning. I reorganized the phrases to compose this lovely little poem. I didn't include the German Spam. I hate spam.
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
It's about becoming a "Surrendered Wife". I shuddered and threw up a little bit when I read the title. Apparently this is a rather large movement encouraging women to resume traditional gender roles to foster a more loving and romantic marriage. The general idea is that a woman should completely relinquish control of household decisions amd finances as well as being a door mat and accepting her husband as the leader in the home. According to the author women who wish to follow this (shudder) "philosophy" (I'm not loving this wisdom, can you tell?) should stop criticising their husbands, accept gifts graciously and embrace their vulnerability.
Some of those points are valid. Criticising your husband for the way he leads his life is harmful, unless it has a negative impact on you and your children, such as with drug abuse or alcoholism. He deserves to be respected as an adult capable of making his own decisions. If you don't respect him chances are he won't respect you.
Accepting gifts graciously is just common courtesy. Embracing your vulnerability is not necessarily a bad thing, but taking things too personally is.
But there is a difference between sharing responsibility and allowing your husband to make all the decisions. I've only been married 6 1/2 months and we have no children so I haven't faced the 10+ years of a disfunctional marriage but after more than 5 years with my husband I know that he does not like to be in control of everything, so we share.
Women do need to be willing to share and compromise but we should not be willing to discount our opinions and feelings. Without a few disagreements, how can you have that oh-so-good make-up sex? I did not agree to give myself up when I married him. I am allowed to disagree with him respectfully. I am allowed to manage our house respectfully and I am allowed to expect that my husband will participate in our life while we maintain seperate identities. Every wife is allowed to do that, and should not have to become subserviant to her husband unless they both get off on that kind of thing. I will not "surrender" to his every whim, nor should any other woman.
I think my big problem with this is that I am so possessive of my self and my identity. Being an individual gives me more power than being someone's wife and as much as I love my husband and love being his wife I am my self first and foremost. I'm not "his wife, Mary" I am "Mary, his wife".
Thursday, 21 February 2008
The strength of their beliefs does not stop them from being wrong. There are absolute truths out there, and one of them is that it is always wrong to interfere with what an adult voluntarily does to his or her own body. I would like to point out that PedgeHog is validly pissed off that these people are trying to interfere with the bodies of women. They need to understand that they cannot control other bodies, and that they are wrong to try. Their god gave us free will and reign over our bodies, who are they to interfere with god's work?
It's almost impossible to respect the beliefs of other people when the very center of your being screams "THAT'S JUST FUCKING WRONG!" but we have to, at least on the surface. The most we can really do is respect feelings. We can respect that people feel strongly about something, but we do not have to respect the thing they feel strongly about. I think that The PedgeHog is doing very well working through such problems. She is out there, doing what she knows is right. She is expressing her disgust with the protesters by showing up every week, and not stooping to their level.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Everyone has their theories, but the police have made it very clear that this was an isolated incident.
This story has made me realize how much of a small town Nova Scotia is. The gossip and the hearsay are present here, even though I'm 175 kms away from the town. It seems like every incident of violence outside of Halifax has some effect on most communities in NS. We all have family or friends who live in other small communities in the province so people in this town are affected by what happens elsewhere.
I find it strange. I never thought of Home as a big city but now that I'm living in a small town I realize how isolated you are when you live in a city of any size. I was never connected to anything outside my little bubble. Towns seem to have some strange solidarity that is absent in cities. It could be a Nova Scotia thing. I've never lived in another province so my ability to compare is limited.
I've heard that if you ever want to get lost, move to the biggest city you can. This makes me think that you don't need a big city to lose yourself in, any size will do. I feel that there's more of a connection between my town and Bridgewater than there was between the different neighbourhoods at Home.
It's a strange feeling. I liked my bubble at home, and now I'm living somewhere where my neighbour might know my second cousins that I've never met, since most of my family came from NS. I could be related to my landlord for all I know.
Friday, 15 February 2008
Though that's not entirely true. I've been crocheting and trying to knit a little. A friend has demanded a pair socks next time I visit. I'm making a blanket for another friendwho's getting married this summer. I'm just making giant granny-squares that I'll stitch together. I'm also working on a sweater and another hat.
My Kitty is interfering with my typing.
I'm thinking that I should go to Fredericton again next weekend for another visit, by I'm not sure.
I'v got nothing interesting to say.
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Yes, there are many women in my generation who don't know the first thing about feminism, who start pro-feminist statements with the dreaded "I'm not feminist, but..." however there are many of us (myself included, in case you were wondering) that consider ourselves feminist. If you'd asked me at 16 (the age of the author's daughter) who Gloria Steinem was, I'd have had the same reaction as her daughter (Who?). Ask me that question now, and I still wouldn't be able to give you a great answer.
Ask me if I think it's wrong that women doing the same job earn an average of 70% of what a man earns, I'll tell you it's wrong. Ask any of my friends, I expect the same answer. Ask a high school student, probably the same answer again. Ask me if I think there are too few women in politics, or running companies, I would say yes. Ask me a question about the issues facing women in our world, and I'll be able to answer, as would most young women.
I've been a feminist since I was 12, before I even knew what a feminist was. When I was in Grade 6 we had a small basketball court beside the school where we would play at lunch. The girls were more than welcome to join a game of 4-square, but when it was time to play "Horse" we were booted off the court by the boys. I got pissed off. I hated playing Horse, I hated basketball, but I hated the fact that the boys wouldn't let me play more. I was determined to play, so I'd stand on the court, and try to get the ball. When they wouldn't pass it to me, I started to argue with them. When I managed to get the ball, I'd toss it to one of the other girls who wanted to play. Finally it got the the point where I'd had enough. The boys weren't listening to me, so I went above them, to our teacher. I demanded that the boys let us play to, because it simply wasn't fair. They included me in games after school, but the other girls didn't play, because they weren't part of their group. I was when there weren't other girls around and it wasn't fair to those girls.
The brief negotiations began, our teacher acting as moderator and we reached a deal. If the boys didn't want to share, they had to split the time, the girls got the court 2 days a week, the boys 2 (Wednesdays were half-days, and we didn't have a lunch-time recess). I negotiated with 3 boys, there were girls with me, but I always did most of the talking at school anyway. I was never popular with boys the way the other girls were, so they felt more comfortable with me. I was an equal, for the most part, while the other girls were there to be impressed. They were willing to talk to me, so we talked and worked it out.
I wasn't stylish then, and I'm fairly certain that a lot of what I think and say isn't stylish now, but that has never bothered me. Change doesn't happen when people are comfortable, and even though many of my peers aren't comfortable with feminism, they do know what it is, and that they have a lot riding on it. We're still here, and we'll keep fighting. Being un-stylish has never stopped us before.
Monday, 28 January 2008
Check out The PedgeHog's blog "Anti-Choice is Anti-Awesome" because she can put my ass to shame when discussing why women in Canada deserve, and still need to fight for, the right to an abortion. And she tells great stories.
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Damn you and your law-learning...
I agree that post-partum depression is a very real problem for some women. My initial reaction was "discrimination!" (The exclaimation point was even included) but after some thought I realized that there are cases where women do need to recover from the physical damage birth can cause, and that women who have recently given birth are at risk for mental illness. I am not arguing that they do not deserve additional time to recover, but I would argue that as a mental illness, post-partum depression be included under disability, not mat. leave. Pregnancy is not the only biological cause of mental illness.
Another reason post-partum depression should be included under disability instead of mat. leave is that it would increase awareness of the problem, and maybe even remove some of the stigma attached to post-partum depression. Although there is increasing awareness of post-partum depression, there are still too many stories of women going untreated. Women are too often thought of as "weak" or "bad mothers" when they are suffering a serious mental illness, and since, as you point out, the recovery time has been included with mat. leave there is no reason to raise awareness that it is not just "baby blues" and that it is a problem.
I would also argue that if post-partum depression is the main reason that you believe that women who have just given birth are entitled to mat. leave, why aren't fathers and husbands entitled to take that 15 weeks off as well? Wouldn't it be better for a woman's recovery from post-partum depression to have her mate with her, to help her through the dark times, work with her to get better, and look after the child? Or, if she's suffering a difficult pregnancy, that he be entitled to take time off before the birth, as pregnant women are, to care for her, and ensure that she, and his child are both ready for their new lives?
Mat. leave is not just discriminatory to adoptive mothers, I feel that fathers are being ignored here as well, and that this comes directly from what I thought was my main point, the medicalization of pregnancy. Women's bodies suffer the most from pregnancy, but that does not mean that they always need so much medical attention. Fathers and adoptive parents have a huge role in the child's life, they deserve their chance to become care takers in the same way pregnant women do. The birth of a child is not just about the medical treatment that women "need" before, during and after birth, it should be about parents getting a chance to bond with their child, and learning about their new lives. \Since pregnancy has become something that requires hospitalization, and turns women's bodies into objects instead of subjects we live under the idea that pregnancy is always a traumatic experience. I am not arguing that this never happens, I am aware that often birth and post-partum depression are traumatic experiences and need additional medical attention. I simply feel that since we have been taught for so long that women are not capable of looking after themsleves during pregnancy, things such as mat. leave are re-enforcing the idea.
Saturday, 26 January 2008
Parental leave and maternity leave are accessable in Canada through Employment Insurance (EI). 15 to 17 weeks are available to a woman who has or will give birth up to 8 weeks before the expected due date (maternity leave), while up to 35 weeks is available to the mother, father, or both, either biological or adoptive (parental leave).
The case in BC found that since a woman adopting a child does not go through the physical and psychological challenges facing a pregnant women, the adoptive mother does not need the additional 15 weeks of maternity leave to recover and bond with the child.
I have never given birth, I have never adopted, I don't think I've even been around a newborn for more than 3 hours since I was a child. I do not know what it is like to carry a child so anything I say has no basis in experience. I just felt the need to point out something that I thinks needs to be added to the converation about maternity leave.
My first reaction to this story was a feeling that people were being discriminated against. A parent is a parent is a parent. Giving birth and adopting a child are the same life-long commitment, and while pregnancy takes a toll on a woman's mind and body for 9 months, adoption can take much longer. We've all heard the stories about the long and painful process adoption can be, maybe not as often as we hear stories about difficult pregnancies but that is because more people have biological children. I know that my mother was in labor with me for around 48 hours, I was 2 weeks early, and decided I was ready to get out the day she started her mat. leave. I'm sure in the story of an adopted child the wait between deciding it's time for a baby, and holding a child in their arms is much greater than 8 and a half months.
Back to the point. When I started reading reactions to the story on the CBC website I noticed that many people were arguing that women who give birth were entitled to the additional time off because they needed to recover from the traumatic experience of giving birth. Women needed to rest, allow their bodies to return to a "normal" state. They needed time to get their hormones back to "normal".
I started to search the comments for a reaction to this. I was wondering why these people were treating pregnancy like an illness, and if anyone would point out the thought that was running through my head. I could not find the response I was looking for, so here it is. Pregnancy is not an illness. Pregnancy is not abnormal. The way we treat pregnancy in this society is what is abnormal.
I am not saying that women do not need time to bond with a child after birth or adoption, and I am not saying that pregnancy is easy. It does take a toll on the mind and body, but we were built to recover from it. We've been doing this for millions of years! It's only in the last century that pregnancy has come under the realm of medicine. The comments from some of the other readers were making all pregnancies sound like traumatic, unnatural experiences from which women are unable to recover without extensive time away from other responsibilities.
The medicalization of women's bodies is a huge drain on our healthcare system. There are cases where women need the attention of doctors before, during, and after birth, but in most cases the hospitalization of a woman in labour is overkill. Our bodies spend 9 months preparing for birth, and most women do not require hospitalization. We need help, but a trained midwife is often all we need.
That said, I feel that maternity leave and parental leave should be accessable to everyone who is about to become a parent. I agree that there should be limits in certain circumstances, and that adopting a teenager is vastly different from adopting a baby, or giving birth and this should be taken into consideration, but how often do people adopt teens?
It doesn't help that I have a huge problem with hospitals in general, that I associate hospitals with death (which is another story... I have a problem with the fact that we use hospitals and hospices to hide death behind closed doors). I personally do not want to bring a child into this world in a place that I associate with death. Unless I am in a situation where my life, or my child's life is at risk (agian with the death thing...) I do not want to give birth in a hospital.
One last time, pregnancy in not an illness in and of itself. There is no need to treat it as such.
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
January 28th is the 20th anniversary of the R. v. Morgenthaler decision in Canada. I am going to see if I can come up with something good. I may or may not have stories to tell. It depends on if I work up the courage to ask certain people I know for their stories. I may just write my part of their stories.
I think it is important to say what I want to say on the matter, but that would take a long time, and I want to have a birthday bubble bath.
Saturday, 19 January 2008
The people upstairs are another story. Right now, I know that they are listening to one of the weekly countdowns, as they do every Saturday morning. I can clearly hear the lyrics to the songs, the voice of the DJ and occasionally the person listening to the radio singing along. They've been growing in volume. When we first moved in, it was the occasional song on a Friday or Saturday night. Not a problem, it's a weekend, they're enjoying themselves, I'm not in any desperate need for peace and quiet. We're usually out anyway, and they would turn the volume down around 11pm, which is reasonable.
Over the last few weeks the music has been constant. I get up at 7am, and I can hear it. I shower and I can still hear it. I go to work, and I can hear it in the halls. I'd come home for lunch, hey! Toxic by Britney Spears! I feel like I'm back in Res at university. Husband had even stared doing what my roommate there did, they both take a broom and bang it against the ceiling.
It seems that his complaint was the final straw. According to our landlord the "person" who lives upstairs had been shuffled around repeatedly due to noise complaints. I place person in quotations because although our landlord has only one person on the lease, there are numerous people staying there. There is a stream of people in and out of that apartment. According to our landlord they have not paid a full months rent ever. I know how much they owe him, but that's none of my business.
When we first heard that they were being evicted, I felt responsible. It was our complaint that was the deciding factor, but that was before I knew how irresponsible they are. I no longer feel badly about the eviction.
I think part of the reason I felt responsible is that we never went to the people who live there to ask them to stop. Is it my responsibility to go to the person making the noise? We came into this building knowing that there had been previous noise complaints about this "person" so we were prepared for some disturbance. We're not living in a convent, some noise is expected and reasonable. We're not always quiet, and I know that I would prefer to hear a complaint from the neighbour, not the landlord.
However, since there were previous complaints, I assumed that they were aware that a certain level of noise was acceptable, and excessive noise was not. I do not feel that it is my duty to enforce our landlords previous warnings. I am not a babysitter, and they need to accept the responsibility that comes along with living in a building with other people.
Anyway, they'll be gone in 2 weeks. I only hope that the people who move in won't be as loud, but also that they won't be sensitive to the noise that sometimes comes from our apartment.
Monday, 14 January 2008
To whom it may concern:
I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult.
* I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of a 5 year old again.
* I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four star restaurant.
* I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples in a pond with rocks.
* I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.
* I want to lie under a big oak tree and watch the ants march up its trunk.
* I want to run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer's day.
* I want to think a quarter is worth more than a dollar bill cause it's prettier and weighs more.
* I want to go fishing and care more about catching the minnows along the shore than the big bass in the lake.
* I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes. When I didn't know what I know now. When all I knew was to be happy because I was blissfully unaware of all the things that should make me worried.
* I want to think the world is fair.
* I want to think that everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible.
* I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.
* I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and the loss of loved ones.
* I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, dreams, the imagination, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, a kiss that makes a boo-boo go away, making angels in the snow and that my dad and Superman are the strongest people in the world.
So......here's my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit cards and the bills too, my 401K statements, my stocks & bonds, my collections, my insurance premiums, my job, my house and the payments too, my e-mail address pager,cell phone, computer, and watch. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this with me further, you'll have to catch me first, cause,
You're Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!
by Lewis Carroll
After stumbling down the wrong turn in life, you've had your mind
opened to a number of strange and curious things. As life grows curiouser and curiouser,
you have to ask yourself what's real and what's the picture of illusion. Little is coming
to your aid in discerning fantasy from fact, but the line between them is so blurry that
it's starting not to matter. Be careful around rabbit holes and those who smile to much,
and just avoid hat shops altogether.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Friday, 11 January 2008
My uncle (it feels weird calling him that) Ryan LeBlanc has been nominated for an East Coast Music Award! He's an amazing instrumentalist, using a wide variety of instruments from a guitar to his chair. Check out Ryan LeBlanc's music and bio. He is a solo performer, so remember that when you listen to him. He is making all those sounds at once.
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
"Dr. Peter Nickerson, director of Transplant Manitoba, which procures organs in that province, said transplant programs must now by law interview family members of the donor as part of the screening process.
"We'll be asking about things like travel, history of infectious disease, whether they've [donors] been in jail — that puts you at increased risk," Nickerson said. "Have they been an IV drug abuser in the past? Have they had tattoos? There's a whole list of questions we go through."
They are also asked about the donor's sexual orientation. The donor will be excluded if the donor is a man who had sex with another man in the previous five years.
Health Canada had contracted the Canadian Standards Association in 2003 to come up with standardized guidelines to ensure the safety of the organ donation system."
I understand Health Canada's desire to protect patients from diseases that can be transmitted through organs, but this is a little over-zealous. Not only are they ruling out an entire group of people, they are ruling out a lot of others based on some stereotypical notions about risky behavior. There is more relevant information to determine that a donor is at risk for disease. Sexual orientation is not necessarily an indicator that the donor is at risk, engaging in risky behaviour is an indication that a donor would be at risk.
Thursday, 3 January 2008
There's a long story involving a normally 3 hour drive, my blinkers not working properly (a fuse keeps blowing), a flat tire, a nail and some of the patch stuff in the flat tire, a blown tire and a dead battery. Throw in a trunk with a jack, a spare but no wrench and you have a 2 hour wait on the side of the highway between NB and NS followed by going 60km/h on a 110 km/h highway for almost 3 hours with my 4-ways on. It took 8 hours to make the trip from my parents' house to my apartment. Luckily I had some company whose mother had insisted that she take some of her blankets home, so at least we didn't freeze.
Not one person stopped. Not one person. We even started waving at cars and trucks trying to get their attention. Nothing. We were stuck, with our bags hauled out of the trunk so we could get to the spare, the hood was open to try to boost the battery with one of those power packs from Canadian Tire and not one person stopped. A few people were nice enough to wave back, with their Tim Horton's coffee in hand. We had a few choice words for them that only the wind heard.
Luckily we were between storms so we didn't get snowed in. We beat the storm that was forecast by only a few hours. My husband replaced the blown fuse, but for some reason it blew again just as we turned off the ramp to get home.
And the best part? On New Years Eve, my husband managed to shatter the glass in his rear window while scraping the ice off it.
Things are starting to get back to normal. It seems like we'll be in for a few changes at work, and I'll be very busy for the next few days. I'll try to post something more cheerful soon.