Sunday, 28 February 2010


The whole country is euphoric. And probably drunk. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, 27 February 2010


The hound has been shorn. It's strange, like Sampson, he seems to have lost some of his bite with his hair. He looks so skinny, although it's nice to be able to see his face properly.
The dog-grooming woman looked harassed, she looked shell-shocked. And Whisky went berserk when I collected him from the torture.

Last week, on the Drive, I bought two stickers for my friends. One said,
'I'm sorry I didn't come to church, I was practising witchcraft and becoming a lesbian.'
The other,
'God is coming, and she is pissed!'

Last week, there was a notifiable disease on one of the Olympic security ships. Leprosy.

The body of Star Trek's Walter Koenig's (Chekhov) son, Andrew, has been found in Stanley Park. He committed suicide. I find it horrible to contemplate the dark place a person has to be in to take their own life, and the equally dark place their loved ones enter after the act.
God be with you all.

If you live in Great Britain, and wish to protest the Pope's (costly) visit to the country this September, join this group.

Tomorrow morning I shall be up almost before I go to sleep. Laurence to work, Sleepy to the station to go to Seattle.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Fridge Rights

Sleepy and I were discussing fridge rights. She said that a friend of ours, when he bought a house, said, 'This is our new address, and Sleepy Mansions has fridge rights.'
I liked that idea, a sort of top level of friendship, like in Seinfeld, where everyone would just come round and open Jerry's fridge - although I got the impression that was more a liberty than an invitation.

I think fridge rights are difficult for British people. Maybe English people. In the first place, we have tiny fridges in comparison to North American ones, thus there is less in there that hasn't been planned into some forthcoming meal. And then there is our natural reserve, and coupled with strict etiquette, you'd be lucky if you could get an Englander to go to the fridge for milk.
This is why I like the whole idea of the bestowing of fridge rights on certain friends.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A Rose by any Other Name....

'I ain't protestin' nothing'. I know it's a terrible photo, but it had to be taken. The world and her wife have been out protesting something, anything.

We, as promised by the Flintstones, have been having a gay old time. Monday we did the Drive, today, Davie and Pride House. I had eggs Benny on both and both times, the servers used inclusive language, although the women of the Drive fared better, since ALL the servers were using inclusive language, whereas a male server dealing with the table next to us in the restaurant on Davie, did not.

We also saw the Olympic crucible, or whatever it's called, it's pretty cool for a hot thing.

Words matter. Feministing reports the results of a study that shows that 70% of U.S. Americans support the idea when asked if they think gay and lesbian people should be allowed to serve in the military, but only 65% do when asked if they think homosexuals should be allowed to.

The word 'Feminist' is similarly loaded. Twisty at I Blame the Patriarchy, tells us about a move by Apple to ban certain misogynistic applications for their i-phone. They (Apple) will not however simply say, 'We got rid of them because it was the right thing to do,' au contraire, they blame the feminists who complained, giving rise to a vitriolic outpouring against same.
Now this is one of the reasons why feminism is often referred to as 'Gender Equality'. The people of Springfield are too dim to work out for themselves that Feminists are actually asking for gender equality, no, because they react without ever listening they think that either women want to replace the Patriarchy with a Matriarchy, or that women want to actually become men.
So in order to make it more comprehensible to them, we have a back-up name.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Trouble with Sarah

Sarah Palin. Why don't we like her? After all, she IS a woman.
Yep. Kind of.
Well, no she is.
Gloaria Steinem (I think) said that you are either a Feminist or a Masochist, but the truth is there are other reasons why women don't support gender equality, and one of those reasons is an 'I'm alright Jill' attitude. 'I've made it so why can't everyone else?'
Then there is the,
'Well, we have equality now,' p-o-v.

One of the things I have noticed from reading early feminists, is that feminism always goes hand-in-hand with social justice, so that the fight is never JUST for gender equality, but also for equality of opportunity for all.
And one of the things I notice about the 'I'm alright Jills,' is that they are also not interested in social justice.

Last week I read the following two things, and I wish I could find them again to reference, but right now I can't.
One in six women in the USA will experience gender based violence.
Only a very few men are rapists, but the fact that there are some means that all women are at risk, and especially as it's a victim blaming crime.

I realise that neither Canada nor Britain will have the same statistics as the USA, but I'd be surprised if they were hugely disparate and one in six is a significant and scary number.

In many cultures, the birth of a girl child is greeted with less enthusiasm than the birth of a boy child. Can we honestly say it is never the case in ours? See, it's a chicken and an egg situation.
This is where we start.

Ground zero = men are more valued than women. Maleness is more valued than femaleness. When a child is born, this is compounded by the FACT that the woman has carried the child in her body for nine months, suffered all kinds of physical discomforts and then given birth in unbelievable pain. So, people surrounding the happy couple have to make the man feel valued. He already is, but then because he hasn't done very much, he has to be bigged up even more. And many people think that every man wants a son, it isn't true of course, but it's a pervading myth. So when a son is born, he gains more kudos in the patriarchy.

And then, to ensure that our boy children never have to be maligned by being called 'she', we colour code them. And we know from research that if you tell people that a baby is one gender or the other, irrespective of what actual gender it is, they will treat it differently and interpret the baby's own sounds and actions differently.
Gender equality in the home is a powerful model, but every child is also subjected to influences from outside and the outside brought inside in the form of TV.

Simone de Beauvoir, writing at a time when the societal norm was for a man to work outside of the home and for the woman to work within it, noted that children therefore see that the man receives money for his work, is praised by and interacts with all kinds of different people and is active. He is the person who acts. The woman is largely responsive. She cleans the house, doing the same work over and over, she prepares meals, that are eaten and then prepared again. She receives no money and little praise. So the child, beginning to find its gender identity, sees that the man is more worthy and more outgoing, more active in one sense, whereas the woman is more passive, working constantly without achievement.

And all around both boys and girls is language that they don't even notice, but which emphasises that male is the default gender, female some kind of deviance from the norm, whereas in fact, in nature, the opposite is true.

SO what does a little Sarah do?
She can become more pseudo-feminine, redressing her invisibility by using what she is encouraged to use, her looks and 'feminine wiles'(the female eunuch).
She can become more male in dress and behaviour, so that boys see her as 'one of the lads'.
She can build her little empire, looking and dressing in a pseudo-feminine way, whilst contributing to the invisibility of other women by behaving in a masculine way and criticising other girls and women for not playing the game.
Because part of finding your male gender identity is reinforcing the desirability and worthiness of maleness.

And think about that. If you are even passably pretty, you can pretend it doesn't matter whilst playing it up.
Patriarchy-men like a woman who knows how to play up to them. Play her looks. They give a little of what they have to a woman who knows how to play the game. One who appears to know her place. They also like a woman who criticises other women, the ones who don't buy into the patriarchy.

And they give a little more, because after all, isn't it best to be able to turn around and say,
'See, you DO have it all because here's this wonderful woman, family person, career woman, we are not against you, if only you'd get off your backsides, you could all be as successful as her. It's YOUR OWN FAULT, don't blame us!'
Whilst they, and she undermine the choices and freedoms available to other women.

They want to take away reproductive choice from individual women and simply not allow them to have abortions.
They do nothing to address the issues of violence against women, inclusive language, pay inequality, childcare, work imbalance, the lack of women's voices on TV and radio.

Watch TV with a critical eye for a while. How many ads have male voiceovers? Documentaries? How many 'experts' are women? How many women do you SEE in ads, and what are they doing? In boardrooms, are there equal numbers of men and women, if we see a team of doctors, are the numbers equal according to gender? Or do only the ads about health and beauty show women?
In fiction, even where there are women in authority, the 'hero' or the one whose name or title is the title of the series, is more often a man. There is sometimes a woman who is the active one, the thinker, but then all the 'ordinary' characters are male, one strong woman has to be balanced by everyone else being male.

Think about the voices we hear.
In Canada is the French (seen by many as the second language instead of what it truly is, one of two official ones) a woman's voice and the English male? Is the male voice deep and authoritative? Is the woman's voice setting out the problem whilst the male voice is resolving it, telling us what to do?

The trouble with Sarah is that she is a woman.
And we all know that if a man does something, he is judged as an individual, but if a woman does the same thing, all women are judged by her performance.
And Sarah, simply won't do.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Visit

In case anyone is wondering - the eagle has landed. And was allowed to disembark without an armed escort, reclaim her luggage and was out into the Arrivals hall in less than half an hour.

I felt as though I was the only person who was collecting an actual friend, everyone else seemed to be squinting at someone with a board and going, 'Jennifer?' I'm not sure everyone was called Jennifer but you get my drift.

Outside, in the bit behind a screen of trees, sort of the place where people go to smoke when they get off the 'plane and before they go into the car park, was a bunch of people circling with placards. We watched for the length of time it took Sleepy to smoke a cigarette, but we couldn't work out what they were protesting about. Whatever it was - they wanted it now.

Sleepy is now happily willing ice dancers to fall over. And it's working.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Pancake Day

Delia comes up trumps again.

I do love me some pancakes. Not the ones they make in International House of Pancakes though. Them is too thick. Read into that what you will.

The Canadian media have been upset by the British media. Well, not really, they've been upset by the sodding Daily Nasty. I really don't think many in Britain think of that as the British Press, it's more....a little bit of England that will be forever prejudiced and right wing, and we like to keep an eye on them so that we know if they're about to get out of control.
Unfortunately the Graun and the Thunderer have joined in too.
Vancouver's mayor, a man, Gregor Robertson, slammed them all right back with his wickedly sharp wit.
'The 2010 games are the best ever organised,' so there you have it.

I love that the Church of England is simply ignoring the squealing of the Anglo-Catholics and steam-rollering on with plans to promote women as Bishops. It couldn't offend a more pointless bunch of people.

Monday, 15 February 2010


It's the year of the tiger, metal tiger, and I don't think this is particualrly propitious for us roosters, a time of struggle and ...well, a bit like when Saturn is in your sun sign. You know the kind of far as I understand it that is.

Ikealand need a different colour scheme. I don't understand why they big up the yellow and not the blue, for the most part, Ikealandians are of a colouring themselves that isn't flattered by bright yellow.

The Premier of Québec and the Minister for Heritage are not happy with the amount/tone of French at the opening ceremony. Or...something about the French.
It's funny, French here is like the woman. It's treated as though it's the second language, even though lip service is paid to its equality with English. Signs were put up without French and had to be taken down and altered, like building a venue without a women's toilet and then having it pointed out. And then to show that really, we don't think like that, we have the French spoken before the English. A woman speaks the French and a man speaks the English. When we are forced to speak French, we do it badly, so it's like, we import a proper, card-carrying woman to do the woman bit, but most of the time we get a man to pretend to be a woman, and not even one who believes in what he's doing.
We have to include a I mean a French person in the singing. Now the French French are not noted for their musical prowess. The Québecois on the other hand, really have it going on. So.....hmmm...well, let's get someone who sings like the French French. Yea, let's not spend too much time finding someone outstanding from the wealth of talent in Québec, no, let's just find someone we've heard of, he'll do. Box ticked.
BUT.....when a French person wins a gold medal, then they're Canadian.Pats on the back all round.
'Nother box ticked.

Saturday, 13 February 2010


The face they wouldn't show.

Waiting for dogs to arrive and alcohol. Hmmm...waiting for alcohol and dogs to arrive. I'm expecting exuberance from our own poochie.

I have replayed the section of the opening ceremony with kd lang four times. Every time it sends shivers down my spine, especially that last intense 'Hallelujah' where her voice seems to chase the lights of birds away from the podium.
Reports have it that the NBC coverage didn't show her face at all. BUT...they didn't hang back from showing the full and uncut death of the Georgian athlete.

Our own TV coverage left a lot to be desired however. Oh the camera angles were good, but the commentator was embarrassing. He not only sounded like the Reverend Lovejoy from the Simpsons, but he wouldn't stop talking, and he what he said was largely just waffle. If you have a silly voice, best to keep it short I say.

And the Canadian National Anthem is a fecking national disgrace. Even the most dyed-in-the-wool retarded conservative can't justify the line, 'of all thy sons command,' how difficult would it be to simply replace it with, 'all of us command,'? or just sing the French at that point.
It's not even as though it's in some way sacrosanct. Kevin remembers that when he was at school, the words changed about three times.

I was amazed at the spectacle of the ceremony, it couldn't have been more Canadian. This place, right here, is one huge crucible of creativity and all was reflected in that staging.

So the dogs came and went. Whisky barked furiously at the intrusion. I was given about seven different points of view about what to do about this, including getting some kind of so-called dog experts in to deal with what? The one time he has other dogs in his house he barks. What actually worked, and worked consistently, was what I did intuitively, it seemed to me he was spooked, so when I sat on the floor with him and calmed him - he quietened down.

Friday, 12 February 2010


Oh.My.God. Holy smoke. Did you SEE that? I mean wow!
And K.D.Lang.Un-fecking-believable, I mean, I really cannot find words to describe that.
And a really, really sterling effort at inclusivity, which was about 75% successful. Amazing.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


The Olympic Torch arrives in Richmond today. On the News at breakfast time we saw them fart-arsing around with it at the border crossing at Peace Arch. On the City of Richmond's website, they give its itinerary, and a list of things you may not take onto the 'Celebration Site', animals, alcohol, weapons and things that could be used as weapons. Examples they give of things that could be used as weapons are guns, knives, brollies and signs attached to poles. I had no idea that a gun wasn't primarily a weapon. And why aren't Zimmer frames in that list? I mean a senior with a walker can do a fair amount of harm. it's evening and Alex and Seth are going to go down to see if they can see it as it arrives. There have been helicopters and fighter planes overhead all day long.

Yesterday evening, we drove into Vancouver and went past a church with a sign outside that read 'Welcome Visitors, Come and meet our God!' I dunno, it sort of made me think they were expecting visitors from another planet.
Maybe they were.

The atmosphere here is incredible. Even I am aware of it.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Vile Bodies

I wonder if this is what it feels like for people of other faiths as Christmas approaches. There is this feeling of excitement, that something really BIG is about to happen, but yet the something big that's about to happen is fully outside of my sphere of interest.

Anyhoo, back to the matter in hand.
It seems that if you are a woman with an idea for a business, you have the same level of motivation as a man and possibly a higher level of expertise, but you will be unlikely to get any Venture Capital to start up your business - because you are a woman.

There's some kind of weird, creepy Christian group in the States, who hold a National Prayer Breakfast. Hillary Clinton and Obambi went along, supported by out-and-proud gay Bishop Gene Robinson, and they took to task supporters of the Ugandan Bill to sentence gay people to death. (Or just life imprisonment for less serious gay people).
Secretary of State Clinton made it clear that should the bill pass into law, there would be consequences.

Johnny Depp, beloved icon of many, has angered many by supporting rapist Roman Polanski. There is a great article here about his treachery, and the comments are equally insightful, unlike Comment-is-free on the Graun's website, where, whenever an article appears supporting women and homosexuals, the trolls come out in full force.

Also via Feministing, I came to an article that expands a question I asked in a previous post, do men read women writers? Well, it seems that in general they don't. But eighty per cent of fiction readers are women, yet men are more likely, as writers, to receive the glittering prizes. The woman writing this piece concludes that yet again, women are simply not noticed.

Argh...I read somewhere this week that one in six American women will suffer rape or sexual violence at some point in her life, but now I can't find where I read it. That figure seems astounding considering how many imbeciles think that women have now achieved total equality.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Tail Chasing

Gaagh, what a frustrating, tail-chasing kind of week. Running to stand still and in some cases, go backwards.

There simply HAS to be some kind of force that makes things go like this sometimes, the same kinds of things seem to all go wrong at the same time.

TV. Kevin had installed a new Hard Drive, but it has been stop, start, stop start, he deals with the problem and then it behaves for a while, lulls you into a false sense of security and then wham, it happens again, and of course, when he has gone to lie down because he hasn't been feeling too clever this week.

Telephone. Waiting for three or four different phone calls. Phone rings. It's Ipsos-Reid, a firm that does surveys, not now, I'm waiting for calls. Phone rings again. Laurence, phoning because I phoned him, except I didn't, his sister has my cell phone, because I'M WAITING FOR A CALL FROM HER, but instead of phoning the cell phone, he calls the landline. Still waiting for calls, Ipsos-Reid again, I do their surveys when it's an honest survey, because otherwise I can't complain that I didn't get asked when they come out with some completely rubbish result, but not now, I'm waiting for someone else to phone.

Post. Everyone is waiting for something. Normally, no-one expects anything from the post, but this week, Alex has been promised a letter, I'm waiting for a book, Laurence is...well, he IS always waiting for something, but all that's delivered is junk and stuff that tells you that something you thought was long since sorted, isn't.

E-mail. Why does it take twelve hours to deliver an e-mail when you are waiting for that information? And then the internet sites I normally use are all like, 'are you SURE you've typed in the right address?'

And there's been this odd feeling all week that things are going on behind my back. I know I have a tenuous hold on what's going in in the field of sports, but everywhere I go there are winter sports on the big screen TVs. I met my friend for lunch. The TV in the diner that normally shows silent pop stars, now shows silent hockey. It has started, clearly. When I take Whisky for his tea-time walks at twilight, two houses who don't seem to close their curtains have big TVs on the wall opposite the window, so, more hockey. And then it clicks, duh, hockey just carries on, the Canucks don't stop for the Olympics.

But then, in the midst of the annoyance and frustration of the week, a friend from way back made contact. And Kevin has a back up system for recording TV, so I saw what I wanted to see. And everyone I expected to call, called, and I did the survey and there wasn't a meeting I'd missed as a result of the late e-mail, and...well, pretty much everything except the book and the letter.
Maybe I'll check the post.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Mount Olympus

Couple of posers.

When the French had the Franc as their currency, the first word on it was 'Egalité'. It's kind of the way the French brand themselves, their bywords for what it means to be French (to them, not us),'Equality, Fellowship, Freedom'. So, if you are the kind of dickhead who is lucky enough to have a woman prepared to share any kind of planetary space with you, and then you force her to wear coverings that indicate her inferiority vis-à-vis yourself, don't be surprised when France, the champion of equality, doesn't want to number you among the ranks of their citizens.

Not all is going according to plan on Mount Olympics.
Snow is being loaded onto lorries in Manning Park, and driven two hours to Mount Cyprus.
The David Suzuki foundation has awarded a Bronze medal to VANOC for environmental responsibility.
A cruise ship that was supposed to dock in Vancouver and accommodate over two thousand people is now not going to, leaving hotels scrambling to find space for those who have booked, 13 of whom are disabled kids with the 'Make a Wish Foundation'. (All now alternatively accommodated). Others seem to include pissed off British people.
The downtown Eastside still hasn't been cleaned up and an influx of foreign journos has drawn attention to it. It's as though, somewhere, someone had said, 'if we pretend it's not there, they won't be able to see it,' like a child deciding it is invisible.
But...the police have been out and about today and have made 14 arrests and laid 125 charges. Good work lasses and lads. Except.....Transport Canada at YVR have been complaining that you haven't been turning up for your security shifts there.

When you're giving birth and suffering labour pains, you can't believe a human body can go through so much pain. The only thing that keeps you sane, because the drugs sure as hell don't do much, is the thought that your own mother went through it and survived.
It's like, maybe we're just not grown up enough to host the Olympics, perhaps we just aren't quite ready to take the training wheels off.
Except, China did it.

Monday, 1 February 2010


Aquarius, ack, messes with your head. Can't wait until the sun moves out of random Aquarius and into reliable Pisces, which by coincidence, it does this year on the 18th of February.

Light drizzle. What kind of weather is that? Neither good, sweeping rain, nor soft, fluffy snow, nor is it mysterious fog, just light drizzle. Another shade of grey I suppose. Bloody Water Carrier.

I received an e-mail from a Facebook group that apparently I'm part of, 'BORIS : NOT IN MY NAME'. I can't for the life of me remember having joined this group, and yet it sounds like a good one to join. Sadly, I've missed the Ken Livingstone hosted event, well of course I would since the whole thing is about poking my nose into the politics of a city I don't live in and never have.

Yesterday, we were treated to Obambi's full budgetary speech on our morning news. Not that it wasn't interesting, it's just that it wasn't...well, ours.

The Olympic torch will be here this time next week - if anyone's bothered, which of course we are because it'll hold up traffic.

I was a little concerned to see from the BBC headlines yesterday, that the British government wants to halve smokers. I mean, I have friends and rellies who are smokers, and this just seems harsh.

In an unprecedented turn of events, there's a scandal in a German Catholic school, involving children being abused by priests. What?!?! Never. I mean for pity's sake, someone'll be suggesting next that it's celibacy and patriarchal attitudes that turn people...well, mainly men really, into paedophiles, not homosexuality at all! Who knew?

Apparently, there is more to tattoos than meets the eye, even when they don't meet the eye.