Resolving Timeline Issues

Archive for November 2008

A lot of people wonder why I hate our public transit system so much. Aside from the no elected representation and bad service out here, I submit the following:

I have to go to a baby shower today (the baby’s already here so its really more of an opportunity to coo and ogle him). Its at a house I’ve never been to before so I looked up directions on Google. For shits and giggles I looked up both car and transit directions.

The distance is about 15 km (about 10 miles, give or take).

If I drive, which I will, it will take me about 16 minutes, according to google.

If I were to take public transit, which I will not for reasons you’ll see, it would take me 3 buses plus a 10 minute walk, for a grand total of 1.75-2 hours.

2 hours to go 15 km. I can walk it in about 3 hours.

Canadians, what would you do, pray tell, if I asked if you wanted to vote for your national government, again?

Because there’s a damn good chance we’ll be heading for a January election. Minister Flaherty released a fall fiscal update, and Nation, its not good (but you knew that). One of the issues involves a fiscal matter which is automatically a confidence vote: scrapping public subsidies for political parties; this would financially cripple every party (except the Tories, of course):

“The onus now is really on Prime Minister Harper to consider his options, to consider his situation,” said Liberal House leader Ralph Goodale. “He’s put a so-called plan before Canadians this afternoon. It’s not a plan to bolster the economy. It is a plan to hide a deficit. It’s not acceptable and he should reconsider his position.”

But the opposition is particularly vexed at the one tiny spending cut Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Thursday: A proposal to eliminate a taxpayer subsidy paid to each political party. Parties can receive a subsidy of $1.95 per year for each vote they receive in a general election.

Though the Conservatives receive the biggest subsidy – about $10 million a year – because they won the most votes, that subsidy only accounts for about one-third of the party’s annual revenue. For the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois, the subsidy amounts to about two-thirds of their annual revenues. The subsidy makes up about half of the NDP and Green party’s annual revenue.

I’m not going to discuss it here, but suffice it to say this is dangerous ground.

There’s going to be a confidence vote on Monday. By Monday afternoon we may have no government, or if the opposition parties can suck it up, a coalition government. Or, worst-case scenario, the second-place Liberals will be given a chance to govern.

Jean Chretien is being called in to broker a deal to get rid of Stephane Dion before the May leadership convention. In order to get rid of him before then he has to resign or pass away. Really.

Jack Layton cancelled plans to come here to talk to the other oppositon parties about forming a coalition.

The longest a coalition government will last is about a month. Tops.

So, Canadians, are you ready to choose again in January?


Dad (on phone): So you guys will need nursery stuff – send a list of what you want.
Me: Oh. Okay.
Dad: well? Haven’t you been looking?
Me: Well the crib I want is at costco, but its pretty pricey.
Dad: What else do you need?
Me: (thinking: didn’t this man raise a child? me?) Well, we’ll need a stroller and carseat.
Dad: Oh you don’t need the carseat until later!
Me: [crickets]
Dad: Hellooooo?
Me: If we don’t have a carseat, how do we get the baby home from the hospital?
Dad: You hold it!
Me: (thinking he wouldn’t get a Britney reference) Well. Um. Now all children have to be in a carseat if they’re in the car. When they get too big for a carseat, they have to go in a booster seat until they’re 8.
Dad: Damn government, interfering with this stuff. When we brought you home from the hospital, we just put 4-inch foam in the back of the station wagon, on the bottom and so it went up against the back rest, you know? and then we just laid you down back there. So that if we had to stop suddenly and you slid forward, you wouldn’t hurt your head, because of the foam, you know?
Me: [crickets]
Mom: (in background) You can’t do that anymore.
Me: You know, I bet that’s why they changed the law. Someone saw you taking me home like that, called child protective services, and they changed the law. Its all about me.
Dad: It could shed some light on what happened to you though.

How I ever made it into adulthood astounds me.

This post is still being written. Because its been a week since the earth opened and swallowed me up. At least that’s what it felt like.

I’ve been working late nights, assigned other duties at work, working a contract (which thankfully a friend took over for me for a couple of weeks or I might have died), and have I mentioned I’m pregnant and not entirely enjoying it?

As for that last post where I said I don’t like being pregnant, I was talking to some coworkers about it and it hit me, “Hey, maybe I haven’t had time to enjoy it!”

And then the week from hell hit with an extra thing the universe decided to throw my way (and no, I’m not talking about it here) which resulted in me being extra cranky and tired so I took today off.

I finished an assignment then I went shopping, because really? I deserve it after this week. And my pants don’t fit so well any more – the belly bands are just not cutting it anymore.

I went to the mall and wandered aroud The Bay a bit. Couldn’t for the life of me, find the maternity wear. Its entirely possible they don’t have maternity wear. I looked in the plus size section and what is it with clothing designers who think plus sized women would want to wear massive flowered things? So I went out to the mall proper and hit Motherhood.

Now anyone who has been shopping with me knows I hate talking to salespeople with the fire of a thousand suns. Most of the time, they try to sell me something I don’t want.

But I walked into Motherhood and was promptly overwhelmed. I mean, promptly. They had all these pants with the extra belly band on the top and various tops and bras and underwear and then my brain exploded all over the store because I have no idea how to size these things.

Not really. But a little salesgirl came up to me and said, “Hi! Have you been shopping here before? No, well welcome!” And I nearly ran out. The salesgirl looked at me and said, “What do you need?” and I nearly burst into tears.

“I am in desperate need of some pants, please,” I said.

Within about half a second she’d piled three pairs of pants into a changeroom and shooed me inside. Then she brought me a tank, three more pairs of pants (in a different style) and two pairs of jeans and two tops. “The pillow on the wall adds 3 months,” she said. “And my name’s Johanna, so if you need anything just call.”

I ended up with two pairs of pants, a pair of jeans, two tops, a tank and 7 pairs of underwear. And $250 gone from my bank account.

And those jeans? Are The Most Comfortable Jeans ever.

I now realize my vile mood has been caused, in part, by being uncomfortable in my clothes for the last couple of weeks.

The rule has always been, “Wear clothes that fit.” The rule hasn’t changed.

Maybe now I can start enjoying this.

When we moved into our townhouse, I got it in my head that I would paint the master bedroom. The walls are 12′ by 15′ by 8′ so its a fairly large space. Darren told me to go and get some primer and start with that.

So I went to Home Depot, bought three cans of primer, some brushes, dropclothes, spackle, spackle spreader thing and went to town on the master bedroom. It took two coats of primer to cover up the marks in the walls (they’d never been finished properly). And then I stopped because I didn’t really like painting.

That was in October 2006. The master bedroom walls are still primer’d.

(Yes, I am in the process of contacting painters to come in. It will be painted, as will the rest of top level and the main level)

One of the questions I get asked a lot lately is, “So, how are you feeling?”

You’ll note that this is a bit different than “how are you?”

The people that ask this are generally well-meaning and generally interested in my (and the poptart’s) well-being. And for that, I am grateful.

And I usually respond with, “Oh pretty good.” And change the subject. Because physically, yeah, I feel pretty good. I am the pregnant woman that other pregnant women love to hate. I’ve had no morning sickness and nothing worse than a couple of weeks of extreme tiredness and some sore boobs, which, while they have dissipated, aren’t completely gone.

Over the last few days, I had a revelation.

Darren and I were sitting on the sofa the other night, and I was feeling somewhat sorry for myself for no particular reason other than its been a hellish couple of weeks at work, and I am tired. And it hits me: I don’t like being pregnant.

I don’t like being tired all the time. I don’t like feeling like I never get enough sleep. I don’t like feeling like I’m going to burst into tears one second and laugh hysterically the next.

Me: I don’t really like being pregnant.
Darren: Its not like putting primer on the walls.

On Wednesday, I had a doctor’s appointment* and got a sample package thing from the maternity clinic. It was from Huggies. In the package were various coupons, a sample of an eensy weensy diaper, some diaper wipes for sensitive skin (also from Huggies) and a sample of some parenting magazine.

About the diaper:

1. Its teeny tiny. I didn’t know they made diapers that tiny. And THIN. Christ, if this is how they’re making diapers now they’ve come a LOOOOONG way from when I used to baby sit.

2. Its got pictures of Winnie the Pooh on the outside.

Odd, I thought the poo was supposed to go INSIDE the diaper.

*And yes, everything is fine. My blood pressure was 115/65. Truth be told, its been a rough couple of weeks at work and as he was strapping the cuff on my arm, I actually thought, “If my blood pressure is through the roof, he’ll write me a note and I can get out of work! Yes!”

Instead, I got a lecture about how I should sit up and stand up slowly and avoid hot baths, hotubs and showers.

Fetal heartrate was 161 beats per minute, which according to some old wives’ tale, means its a gurl.***

Big ultrasound is December 28. Yes, we’re going to find out the sex.

**I wonder what kind of search terms I’m going to get with that one?

***Oh and here’s proof that you can get funding for any sort of study. Yes, its from the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Their conclusion? The Drano method of predicting the sex of babies is not accurate.

  • In: Political
  • Comments Off on Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November

Important! Tonight is Guy Fawkes’ Night!

Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night, Cracker Night, Fireworks Night) is an annual celebration on the evening of the 5th of November. It celebrates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of the 5th of November 1605 in which a number of Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, England.

Oh, wait a minute. There was something else…

Oh, this little thing: Yes you DID.

I kid. This is huge.

I have been lucky enough to witness some huge historical events in my life: the fall of the Soviet Union, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the birth of the European Union. And now, the election of the first black president-elect of the United States.

Thank, you, America, for voting for change yesterday. Thank you for creating a world where the first thing my child will know is that hope does triumph over fear, and that with a little hope, “Yes we can.”

  • In: Political
  • Comments Off on Hoping the World Wakes up From History

Today, one way or another, history will be made. Either the US will have its first black (mixed, technically) President, or its first female Vice-President. I sincerely hope that its the former.

Normally, on a major election, I put up some sort of post about how I don’t care who you vote for, so long as you vote. And by and large, I feel that way. Just show me you don’t take democracy for granted.

But this time I care; I care more about the American election than our very own Canadian election a few weeks ago. So much more so, that I’m writing this post in advance so that it’ll be up in time for November 4. That night, I won’t be available, since I’ll be participating in another type of the democratic process…albeit in a fairly small way.

And why do I care? Because when you sleep with the elephant, everything the elephant does affects you, even if it just rolls over. What happens first south of the 49th will usually makes its way north of the 49th (except for the whole health care thing).

Let’s break this down into a few pertinent points:

1. Anyone with a uterus, or anyone who loves anyone with a uterus, should not vote for McCain/Palin.

For starters you can read this. And this. These women are far more eloquent than I am on this.

Outlawing abortions is but the start of a slippery slope. I will be damned if anyone tells me (besides my doctor) what I can and cannot do with my body. And Governor Palin is open to overturning Roe v. Wade: the case that finally allowed women to make choices over their own bodies.

Yes, that’s right. Roe v. Wade isn’t about abortion. Its about CHOICE. Are you willing to gamble your ability to choose what’s best for your own body to vote for a woman?

This scares me so badly, I said to Darren at one point that, “If McCain and Palin win, we should consider moving to Europe.”

2. Given the choice between hope and fear, what would you pick?

Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it. There has been 8 years of fear and despair. What about a little hope? What about feeling good about yourselves for a change.

I have this theory that basically since the fall of the USSR, the US has been searching for a new identity. When your enemy is defeated, the one that defined your country for a half a century, you lose your identity. The last 8 years hasn’t done anything to solidify that identity – in fact, the US is now a country divided (just look at the last two elections that come down for 50 % republican/50% democrat).

3.The World Hopes you Choose Wisely

If the world could vote in the US election, this is what it would look like:

Respondents, who would vote for McCain, if they had a vote:

Canada: 14 per cent
France: 5 per cent
Switzerland: 7 per cent
Poland: 26 per cent
Japan: 13 per cent
Mexico: 13 per cent
U.K.: 15 per cent
Belgium: 8 per cent

Respondents, who would vote for Obama, if they had a vote:

Canada: 70 per cent
France: 68 per cent
Switzerland: 83 per cent
Poland: 43 per cent
Japan: 61 per cent
Mexico: 46 per cent
U.K.: 64 per cent
Belgium: 62 per cent

Yes, I know its a national election and the opinions of other countries shouldn’t count. But when the feeling is this strong, and your country has so much influence, it should pay to listen.

So vote. Wisely. Because although I’d love to have all of you Americans as houseguests, you’re not going to enjoy the renovations due to the poptart that’ll be starting.

So vote. Wisely. From a Canuck to my neighbours south of 49th, choose hope: start feeling good about yourselves again. Get some of that hope and pride back.

November 2008


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