Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Come On, Canada.. we're dropping the ball on that 'human rights' thing.

Okay, so first there was that story a while back about how all those same-sex marriages that people rushed to Canada to get weren't actually valid if they weren't recognized in the place where the couples actually lived.  That was some kind of fuck-up indeed.  I'm not sure what the point of travelling somewhere to get married is if it's not going to be recognized elsewhere.

Free tourism, I guess?

Now, it seems that there is a regulation on the books that essentially bars pre-op transgender folks from boarding airplanes for travel.  (I just want to mention that I'm not totally comfortable with the term 'pre-op' as it implies that all transgender folks WILL eventually opt for SRS - not all do.)

From blogger Chris Milloy's website:
The offending section of the regulations reads:
5.2 (1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if …
(c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents;
Milloy points out that the rule, which came about last July is not actually a piece of legislation, but a regulation put forth by the Ministry of Transportation, and as such didn't have to be subject to a lot of pesky votes and such.  No, they pretty much just said so and that was that.

Really, guys?  We have a reputation to uphold, here.  We're supposed to be the bastion of human rights in North America and we're kind of failing miserably.

Unlike the constant attacks in the U.S. on pretty much anyone who's not at the top of the kyriarchy, which have been well publicized and put right out there for our amusement and/or horror, these kind of things seem to be happening pretty quietly, with an air of 'Oh, well that's not what we meant.'

It's been said before, and Imma say it again:  INTENT.  IT AIN'T MAGIC

So even if a law is not 'meant' to be discriminatory, if it causes issues for a commonly marginalized group, then it's discriminatory.

It strikes me funny that, in the wake of the election of a Conservative Majority these governmental microaggressions seem to be popping up more frequently, but always in such a way as to allow for plausible denial and magical intent.  My inner conspiracy theorist, who makes an appearance every so often, would probably think that no, suddenly backsliding on gay marriage would be a bad political move.. but what if the law was just written poorly?  It'd reflect poorly on the government to just say 'Hey.. we aren't gonna let transgendered folks fly' but if we wrote the regulation in the name of safety?  Who doesn't like safety?

Tricky, tricky, tricky.

But then again, you'd have to be kind of a jackass, or have not had ANY exposure whatsoever to gender issues to see how such a regulation would fuck with people who don't necessarily gender-identify with what's in their pants.  In which case, makes this some pretty fucking blatant discrimination.

*Privilege disclaimer:  My experience with transgender issues is pretty limited, so if I've made use of some iffy terms or concepts here, please feel free to call me out in the comments.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Please don't let me become one of those bloggers..

You know the ones.. The ones that do quick one-off posts to apologize for not posting? I hate that, and yet here I am... Doing a quick post so I can not feel so bad for not posting anything of substance here beyond the cute shit my nephew says.

I do have my introductory post up at Different Paths, Same Destination as well as another post coming up in a couple days. So it's not like I haven't written anything. Just not here, although I have started a few posts that I may finish enough others will have probably beaten the subjects to death.

So many ideas, so little time. Work and hanging out with the kids takes up a lot, plus an extra amount of company, while definitely enjoyable, has left little time to do much more than think of things to write, things to make, things to paint. My love of sleep doesn't help.

Maybe February will move at a slower pace. Wouldn't that be nice?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Conversations with my (sister's) kid: names and sounds.

My youngest nephew is three. I watched him tonight.

Playing with a see-and-say type toy:

Me: ..and what's that?
E: mmm. Sheep!
Me: and what sound does a sheep make?
E: umm. Sheep sounds?

Later I register that he is addressing me by name:

E: Auntie, look!
Me: awwwh, you called me auntie!
E: (looking puzzled) yes. Yes I did. (pause) you name is auntie, right?
Me: yeah buddy.
E: (looking mildly relieved) 'Kay.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Final MFP Monday. Well, probably.

I haven't done an MFP Monday post in a while so I thought I'd let y'all know that since the beginning of the new year things have been going well.  I'm down about 8.5 lbs as of today and I've been sticking pretty well to my daily totals and getting a lot of walking and dancing and kick-boxing in.  I went to a friend's place this weekend and we had a great time.  I indulged a bit, but on the whole stayed fairly on track.  Even though I was dead-ass tired and so was she, Tess came over last night to play Just Dance for our Sunday night workout.  That's some dedication right there.

However, this will probably be my last update here as far as the weight-loss efforts go.  Those who want to know how I'm faring can come check out a new group blog I'm writing with a number of awesome ladies called Different Paths, Same Destination.  We just launched today and B has her introductory post up now, so I advise you to go check it out.  I'm really excited to see how this goes.  We'll basically be posting our progress, thoughts, trials, tribulations as we work towards our individual goals.

So it's likely that all my weight-loss stuff will be going on over there, and this will blog will continue to be its usual mishmash of fangirlishness, airing of grievances, social commentary, day-to-day life and random weird shit my kids say.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

....and we're back.

So as some of you who ventured over to my little bit of the universe may have noticed yesterday, I did eventually manage to get my site blacked out.  Once I got to work, it took me all of five minutes.  Additionally, I've managed to get back to my original template without tearing a hole in the time-space continuum, so that's cool.

I'd say the blackout yesterday was fairly successful, and it was heartening as the day went on to see how many sites were, if not participating, at least drawing attention to the issue and and saying "Hey, this is bullshit."

The fight is not over yet.  There's still the vote to be had on January 24th, so I urge you, if you are in the U.S. to write your congressman.  You can follow the link I've put in the top right-hand corner, and that will stay there until the vote.  If you're outside of the U.S. then be sure to familiarize yourself with any similar legislation that may be in the works.

NOW Toronto has a link with some of the legislation in the works for Canada.  Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Solidarity despite my lack of technical prowess.

I don't pretend to know a whole lot about SOPA and its equivalent bills but I understand enough to know that it sounds like a whole lot of bullshit. It threatens bloggers, and without revealing too much professional information, could pose a very real threat to my current place of employment.

Tomorrow a huge slice of the Internet, including reddit and Wikipedia, is Blacking out in protest of this and similar bills. I wanted to join in but I've run into numerous roadblocks so I'm just going to say that this is bullshit, and I'm with y'all in spirit but my computer is broken and there are things on the iPad I haven't figured out yet and I'm going to blame Steve jobs because dude isn't around to defend himself anyway.

So, rest of the Internet, stay strong, and I'm sorry I suck at computers.

P.s. I tried to insert a picture of a simple black box into this post to show my support and I couldn't even do THAT. I fucking fail.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter is finally upon us. Whoopitty-doo.

It's a bitter inevitability, these January days. Even December, this year so uncharacteristic in its mildness could not hold them off forever. Waking to the morning when the clear blue skies And sunshine cleverly disguise the mercury's sudden decent.

Wind creeps through the cracks where the door has warped and no longer meets its jamb. Roaring from the bowels of this humble dwelling, the ancient furnace breathes up from the floor and wrestles with the draft, struggling to overpower, but still the chill remains.

Wrapped in blankets I bury my head and breathe deeply, exhaling warm damp mist into my frozen hands. Pulling the blanket ever closer, cocooning myself, wishing I could return in spring when the cracking ice screams from across the bay and the snow banks retreat, dropping a sediment of salt and dirt onto muddy front yards.

Hot coffee and thick stews and ratty woolen sweaters are my weapons against the biting cold and the long stretches of night, while I grasp each precious minute of sunlight and count the days.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Son, Margaret Cho will F*** You Up But Good.

So, I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of Margaret Cho. No particular reason, her humor just never grabbed me. Shit happens. But Margaret Cho won about 867,482 cool points with me after I read her blog post Being Mad on Twitter, written after some negative backlash to some pictures she posted on Twitter of the new ink she had recieved.

First of all, I admire anyone with the guts to proudly post their ass on twitter. Second, I highly recommend checking out her post, as it is a very raw and powerful read.

Someone on the Jezebel article pointed out that out of all the positive feedback on her tats that she chose to focus on the two negative comments, and oh isn't that sad. Yeah, it is, but it's not uncommon. It is so easy to write off positive comments as 'just being polite' or 'sucking up' or 'you have to say that' but the negative chews at us and makes us doubt ourselves and feel less than. It becomes magnified in our psyche.

That is why such blatant negativity is so very toxic. Sometimes there is a time and a place for constructive criticism but sometimes there is no time and no place that doesn't make you an asshole for not keeping your damn comments to yourself.

Having once been a young girl who saw herself as fat and awkward and gawky, and being a woman who still struggles not to still see herself that way, I have to agree with Cho when she says "...no young girl should be told she is ugly. If she is, you kill her spirit..." I cannot fathom any scenario where telling some they are ugly or fat (and don't give me concern-trolling about health worries) accomplishes anything beyond kicking a chair out from someone and taking power in their suffering. There is nothing constructive to be had in binding someone, often an impressionable young girl who lives in a society that tells her hat her only worth is in her beauty, to your own personal definition of worth and stomping on them and telling them they are unworthy. It's a bullshit move.

Palpable in Cho's post is her righteous anger, and I fucking laud her for it. Even though fans may criticize her for going off on the naysayers, I say screw that. There is always such talk of forgiveness, and women especially are expected to be forgiving when others trample on our sense of worth. Even though I'm usually one to brush shit off, there is something to be said for anger, for anger can keep us from being complacent. Learning to love yourself is a tough road, even if you've been more or less supported your whole life. I had a loving family but still felt that the rest of the world was telling me I wasn't good enough.

I love the way Margaret describes her Learning to love herself as a kind of ongoing battle, defending her 'borders' and fuck anyone who doesn't appreciate or respect what she has worked for. She defends her sense of worth like a mama bear defending her cubs, and will rain down a storm of shit and hellfire on those whose aim is to degrade and belittle. And if people judge her harshly for not taking the high road, well so be it. She does not apologize for being angry at the hurt others have dealt. Nor should she.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Things I Love Today: #changethetweets (also.. 500th Post! or not)

So I guess today CBCRadio2 has been hosting a contest for tickets to see Kathleen Edwards. The idea is to tweet the song that has changed your life with the hashtag #changethetweets (which is apparently a take-off of Edwards' album 'Change The Sheets').

Myself, I had a hard time really coming up with a 'life-changer' but in light of my recent Mountain Goats obsession I decided to tweet 'This Year', with its refrain of "I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me", as my go-to song when I am sad, frustrated and in need of some strength.

Some of the tweets people have been posting are quite moving.  Here are a few of my favorites:

The contest is picking up a little steam, so my chances of having unexpected plans to go to Toronto this weekend are probably slim, but I've enjoyed reading the Tweets.

What are some songs that have had an impact on your life?

P.S. according to Blogger, this is my 500th post.  Except that it's not, because I copied a bunch of posts from my old MySpace blog over here so the actual number is either a lot less (if you want to count posts since I joined Blogger) or a lot more (if you want to count all the posts I've written in the time I've been blogging.. which dates back to sometime in 2005 over three different platforms).

So, uh.. happy unbirthday to me?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

If you don't have anything nice to say, STFU and go order your coffee.

People amaze me with their ignorance sometimes.

As you may be able to tell from my display picture, my hair is currently a shade of pinkish red not usually found in nature. Originally part of a Halloween costume, I decided I liked this look and would keep it for a while.

Needless to say, reviews have been mixed, and I totally accept that.

The other day however, my friend Tess and I were sitting in the timmie's downstairs from work and a woman i know, who shall remain nameless, came in and lined up. I said hi, and the following conversation ensued:

Her: what did you do to your hair? (I've kind of gotten used to this line of questioning)
Me: I stuck my finger in a socket
Her: that wouldn't turn your hair... Well, what do you call that color?
Me: I call it "I used to be red but I have showered many times since then"
Her: ugh.. You need to dye it back.
Me: I dunno. I like it.
Her: (in what i'm guessing was an attempt at humor) yeah but what you want doesn't matter, other people still have to look at it
Me: yeah I'm not particularly concerned with other people.. Haha. Like I said, I like it.
Her: really, though, it doesn't look good.

At this point I shrug and go back to my conversation with Tess.

When I posted about the incident on Facebook I got a whole lot of support and compliments, which was awesome and sweet, but missed the point, which was "who the hell asked?"
Like I said, i'm totally cognizant that this particular aesthetic choice is not to be everybody's cup of tea. I've recieved my fair share of backhanded compliments ("well, you're still very pretty") from people who don't get that I did this on purpose. I would think, though, that unless it has been solicited, so-called constructive criticism should be kept to oneself.

I mean, how many times should someone have to say "well, I like it" before they take the hint and drop it. My own dumbfoundedness at the gall and my generally sweet nature prevented me from getting really nasty, which maybe I should have. Hell, even my grandma only got to make so many comments before I finally said "listen lady, if you don't let it go, then next time I see you, it's going to be Green.". And I LOVE my grandma.

If I ask someone's opinion, then I expect an honest response. Otherwise, don't rain on my fuckin' parade.

It's pretty basic Kindergarten 101 stuff: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Conversations with my kid: music theory 101...

Or "My kid knows her genres about as well as I do, which isn't saying much"

Riding in the car, listening to music.

T: is this the drummer singing?
Me: no, it's the guitarist
R: the drummer is the most important part of the band
Me: yup, I've heard that, because they keep the time
R: unless it's like smooooth jazz. (yes, she did add extra oooo's to smooth)
T: no, they have drums...
R: no, jazz has like harmonicas and violins