SEP Field

Let’s all think back to the first time we read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and learned about the ubiquitous SEP Field. That’s what…pardon? You don’t remember what that means? Oh. Okay, well, for those of you who “don’t remember” [stern glare] either the Hitchhiker’s Guide or the SEP Field, here’s a refresher from the Hitchhiker’s Guide wiki:

Somebody Else’s Problem field, or SEP, is a cheap, easy, and staggeringly useful way of safely protecting something from unwanted eyes. It can run almost indefinitely on a torch (flashlight)/9 volt battery, and is able to do so because it utilises a person’s natural tendency to ignore things they don’t easily accept, like, for example, aliens at a cricket match. Any object around which an S.E.P. is applied will cease to be noticed, because any problems one may have understanding it (and therefore accepting its existence) become Somebody Else’s. An object becomes not so much invisible as unnoticed.

A perfect example of this would be a ship covered in an SEP field at a cricket match. A starship taking the appearance of a large pink elephant is ideal, because you can see it, but because it is so inconceivable, your mind can’t accept it. Therefore it can’t exist, thus ignoring it comes naturally.

A S.E.P. can work in much the same way in dangerous or uninhabitable environments. Any problem which may present itself to a person inside an S.E.P. (such as not being able to breathe, due to a lack of atmosphere) will become Somebody Else’s.

An S.E.P. can be seen if caught by surprise, or out of the corner of one’s eye.

Image from
Image from

Okay, now that we’re all on the same page [stern glare], in the recent Munk leaders’ debate, Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper went toe-to-toe over the Conservative government’s Bill C-24, which would change the Citizenship Act to empower the government to revoke the Canadian citizenship of a dual citizen if s/he is convicted of treason, espionage, or the nebulous “terrorism”. It provides the federal government the right to strip Canadian citizenship from anyone who is *eligible* for citizenship from another country. This is huge.

This doesn’t make any changes to the government’s ability to deny or revoke citizenship from someone who has obtained Canadian citizenship fraudulently. What it DOES do is put anyone eligible for dual citizenship (even if they were born in Canada) at risk. My parents and aunts and uncles would be at risk because one of their grandparents were born in the US, which makes them eligible for US citizenship. You can lose your Canadian citizenship if you commit a criminal offence in another country, whether or not that country has a corrupt political regime. (So, f’rinstance, if you are convicted of a crime in Saudi Arabia, you can lose your Canadian citizenship if you are a dual citizen or if you are eligible for dual citizenship.)

I’m not an expert, by any means, on citizenship rules or legislation.

Here’s the thing though. There’s outrage going around about how Trudeau said he would not revoke the Canadian citizenship of a terrorist. OUTRAGE. People are clutching their pearls and are pointing their shaky fingers and saying, “see!? SEE? That kid is going to roont the country! He’s soft! HE LOVES TERRORISTS!”

Leaving the logical fallacies and syllogisms aside, and pretending that we’re all thinking, reasonable people, let’s look at this. Trudeau is saying that once someone has legitimately received Canadian citizenship, they will always be a Canadian. ACCEPTING that if someone obtained their citizenship fraudulently (ie. if they lied on their application and only wanted to become a Canadian citizen to blow up, I dunno, Canada Post), their citizenship will be revoked. That means this: if you lie or are duplicitous or fraudulent in any way on your citizenship application, your citizenship is void. That counts for the vast numbers of people who emigrate to Canada for the sole purpose of having Canadian babies and raising them up to blow up Canada Post.

This is important. What Trudeau is saying is that Canadian citizenship is VALUABLE. That it means something. That it’s not just something that can be taken away like a driver’s permit. Hell, under Bill C-24, it’s easier to revoke someone’s citizenship than it is to revoke someone’s driver’s permit, even if they’re a repeat drunk driving offender. There is something *very* wrong with that. Trudeau is saying that IF Canadians engage in “terrorism” (and I have HUGE problems with the way “terrorism” is defined in this bill, and by the current political leader) or treason or espionage (this clause is ludicrous because Canadians engage in espionage all the time. Every first-world country does. It is, if you believe their government’s treatises, how they ensure the ‘safety’ of their citizens – by gathering ‘intelligence’ on the lies other first-world countries’ governments tell. That’s not even a conspiracy theory. I wish it were, but it isn’t), they ought to be tried AS CANADIANS and imprisoned, if found guilty, AS CANADIANS.

Trudeau is saying we oughtn’t allow Canadians to become Somebody Else’s Problem. Think about it. Dude X has dual Canadian-American citizenship. Dude X is convicted of terrorism because he’s part of a plot to blow up Canada Post. So we revoke his Canadian citizenship and send him home to the US. What does this solve? He may or may not be tried and/or imprisoned in his country of dual citizenship. He may or may not be punished. He may or may not make his way BACK to Canada because he really, really hates Canada Post.

In what way does it make sense to say “you are no longer a Canadian citizen, so we’re not going to keep tabs on you anymore. Buh-bye”?

I get that this whole thing is probably precipitated by the Omar Khadir debacle. Bill C-24 was the WRONG response to that whole ridiculous mess. Harper attempting to make Trudeau look like an ass over saying as much is sad at best. Trudeau only looks like an ass if you think that what he’s saying is that we should  let go free the people who are convicted of treason or “terrorism”. That’s not what he’s saying. That’s never been what he’s saying; quite the opposite. He’s simply saying that Canadian citizens have rights, and that there oughtn’t be fewer rights for Canadian citizens who also hold citizenship elsewhere. He’s saying that people who fraudulently obtain Canadian citizenship were ALWAYS in the position of having their citizenship revoked. He’s saying that ANYBODY can become a “terrorist”, regardless of their citizenship, and that in the event a Canadian is convicted of “terrorism”, we shouldn’t just throw them out into the Great Big World and let them become Somebody Else’s Problem.

We have such an irrational fear of “radicalization”. Going back to straw man arguments, name me one person – ONE PERSON – you know *personally* who has become “radicalized”. Just one. Include the KKK, the neo-Nazis, skinheads, the Canadian Heritage Front, ISIS, Jihadists, and the frigging Moonies or Scientologists if you’d like. Name ONE. Not your neighbour’s sister’s dog’s second litter’s puppy’s fourth owner’s best friends’ brother-in-law’s fourth cousin twice removed. Someone you know personally. Or – hell – name me one person IN YOUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS who has become “radicalized”.

I can name *one*. Out of HUNDREDS of people. And they ‘got better’. Their dalliance in pseudo-militia hate organizations has had a lasting effect on their family (they have had to change their names and live unlisted from all directories because the hate group this person was involved with still tries to get them involved). This person got involved with a hate group because of rhetoric like “[this group of people] is threatening our lives and our families’ security”.

This is why Harper’s insistence that dual citizens or people eligible for dual citizenship should have their citizenship revoked at the whim of the Minister (not a Judge – there doesn’t even need to be a hearing!) is wrong. It didn’t sit well when the bill was enacted in June, and I’m relieved to know the bill will be challenged in court. It’s why I think the finger-pointing and “clearly he’s an idiot”ing of Trudeau is laughable. Clearly the people saying this don’t have a fulsome understanding of the Bill nor of what Trudeau has been saying.

I didn’t even get in to how the amendments to the Citizenship Act contained in Bill C-24 basically remove due process and grant the Minister and his/her delegates to make these decisions without a hearing. Here is an excellent response from the Canadian Bar Association on Bill C-24. Trudeau isn’t “soft on terrorists”. He’s hard on the idea that it’s okay for some Canadians to have different *rights* than other Canadians.


Presumption of innocence?

Photo by Patrick Moore, from
Photo by Patrick Moore, from

This is something I want to approach very delicately. It’s about allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. I don’t want to get into a huge discussion about rape culture and the way in which sexual assault is downplayed. This is more about actual legal issues.

I believe the Canadian and American legal systems operate on a premise of presumption of innocence. That is to say that the onus is on the prosecution in any criminal case to *prove* that the person accused of a crime is actually guilty. The presumption of innocence originated in France, and it’s the idea that most people are not criminals. It is a right all people in Canada and the US (and most countries that base their laws on English and French  common law. Interestingly, Islamic law has something similar, which holds that suspect evidence must be thrown out) have and it forms part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I say all of this because the right to presumption of innocence is not new. It’s been around for a very long time.

What I’ve seen happening lately with many crimes, but most especially with sexually-based offences, is that the moment someone is *accused* of criminal acts, not found guilty of them, but accused of them, it seems that their guilt is simply assumed. In some cases, there may be clauses in employment contracts that outline what happens if an employee is even accused of criminal activity. I don’t know. For example, if you work in a highly public arena, maybe even the act of being accused of a crime forfeits your contract. I don’t know. I would find it very strange for an employer to use a contract that essentially causes you to lose your job if you’re accused of criminal wrongdoing. But, maybe that’s a thing.

Some employers may suspend an employee accused of criminal acts – I see this with police forces, sports teams, teachers, etc.. Sometimes the accused is suspended with pay, other times they are suspended without pay until the outcome of their trial. But that’s not the same as losing your job because someone accused you of a crime.

I am not saying anything about whether people who report sexual assault and rape are lying. I will not get in to that argument. This is not about whether we should believe people who charge someone with sexual assault. I am not going to even entertain the argument that some people claim they have been sexually assaulted or raped because they’re trying to get something or prove something or get out of something or punish someone.

What I am talking about here is simply this question: does presumption of innocence not apply in cases in which sexually-based criminal charges are laid?

There have been some high-profile cases in which people have been accused of sexual assault and/or rape, and in some of those cases, the people accused of those crimes have been vilified, they’ve lost their jobs, and/or they’ve been assaulted or harassed or stalked or bullied and I’m not sure that’s right. In order for our justice system to work, it must apply equally to everyone. If we are going to fix what’s wrong with this system, trying to work around it isn’t going to help.

Look, it’s a fact that people who report sexual assault and rape must have their claims taken seriously. We cannot, and must not dismiss a claim simply because “I know that person; they would never…” or “it’s not even possible for that to happen” or any other excuse. Yet. Yet we similarly cannot assume that because someone has been accused of sexual assault or rape they are automatically guilty.

There has to be a middle ground. There has to be a place where we can take the claims seriously AND provide the accused with all the protections and rights to which they are entitled under law. Note I’m not saying much about believing someone or not believing someone. There’s a reason for this, and it’s uncomfortable to talk about. The law isn’t about belief. It’s about proof. So from a LEGAL standpoint, it really doesn’t matter if you believe someone is incapable of rape or if you believe someone’s claim of sexual assault. What matters is what can be proved in court.

This is why it’s so vitally important that we take allegations of rape and sexual assault seriously, every time. Every. Single. Time. This is step one. Step two is two ensure that the accused are provided with all of their rights, including the presumption of innocence. Step three is to ensure the facts from both sides are presented in court. The benefit of our legal system is that most of the time, innocent people do not end up in prison (especially if they’re not poor and not Indigenous, Hispanic, or of African descent). The downside of our legal system is that sometimes, guilty people go free and sometimes innocent people are found guilty.

So this is where my question about the presumption of innocence in sexually-based criminal cases sits: do we allow for the presumption of innocence in rape and sexual assault cases, and do we do enough?

What would you do if your kid was raped and had to face their attacker every day at work? 

I don’t know. I cannot put myself in that position. I can put myself in the position of having to continue to live in the same building as someone who attempted to rape me. I know what it’s like to have to sit at the same table as someone who’s sexually assaulted you. No, I never did report those crimes. Why? Because nobody would have believed me? No, more like because it was so common that I knew I was expected to just live with it, get over it, and not let myself be put in that situation again. Yes, that was the advice I received. It was all shitty stuff to go through and I absolutely wouldn’t want my kids or your kids or anyone’s kids to go through that again. This isn’t about pretending rape doesn’t happen. This isn’t about pretending we don’t live in a culture that downplays sexual assault. This isn’t about, in other words, denying the existence of rape culture.

This is about ensuring that people accused of crime, even sexually-based crime, are not having their rights denied them. Specifically, their right to the presumption of innocence.

Also, the presumption of innocence is something that is very specific to the court system. It doesn’t mean *you* have to believe someone is innocent. It means the courts and their agents MUST presume they are innocent until otherwise proven. *I* can choose to presume their innocence until the outcome of the trial; I’m not saying you have to.


We can work it out

I know you feel like you’re being persecuted. I know you feel like the danger of “special interest groups” is that they will take something away from you. Hey, I’m a little confused myself at how to rebuild a relationship that’s been hindered by a few hundred years of deeply ingrained, systematic racism. I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how to “fix” genocide. Frankly, I don’t think you can. But I do think it’s important to rebuild. And yes, to make reparations.

You’re a person of non-Indigenous descent. Your ancestors, like mine, came to this country to build a better life. To escape persecution or genocide in their native country. Our ancestors were *extremely* fortunate that they could get out. That there was a “new country” to flee to. Maybe this is the beginning of your advantage as a Canadian. Maybe it goes further back than that, maybe your family had an even greater advantage. Maybe your family had money, or influence, or prestige, or all three.

We were taught – or at least I was taught – that European settlers came to North America, taught the Indigenous peoples how to agriculture, and saved them from having to live a life of uncivilized tribalism. This was complete bunk, of course.  The “history” we learned was written, most probably, by people who’d learned it form the official records provided by government agents. Not from the people who lived it.

The reason we are so distinctly uncomfortable or downright antagonistic when it comes to First Nations people is because we have an sense that something is wrong. Some of us have a knee-jerk reaction that starts out with “I’m not racist” (generally if you feel the need to say that, then the next words out of your mouth are pretty much always racist). Or “how can we preach equality when one group of people gets special treatment” (a sentiment that demonstrates how little we understand what needs to be done to ensure we actually are *starting from* an equal position). There is a fear that giving up our fear of, or our sense that Indigenous peoples are some kind of “other” will somehow reduce what *we* are.

That’s also a load of bunk. Letting go of historical, outdated, and damaging understanding of who Canada’s Indigenous people are, and listening instead to Indigenous people, learning about Indigenous cultures, religious practice, and politics and governance is probably a good place to start. But before we can do that, we have to acknowledge that we have a problem. We have to be willing to admit that we don’t know enough about the problems we have (at the very least), that we are products of an education that was based in ignorance and systematic racism. We have to be willing to say “I think I’m wrong about this”. We have to be willing to change our minds. We have to be willing to be uncomfortable while we learn how to go forward with a new relationship.

Canada is an incredibly young country, comparatively, to those of us whose ancestors immigrated here. But it’s not new country to the First Peoples. We feel entitled to the place our families have lived for four, five generations (or more, in Eastern Canada). Our ancestors bought land here or were given land here based on agreements the Crown signed with the First Peoples. But we grew up without proper knowledge of what those Treaties really are. We still don’t, most of us, know what those Treaties say.

Where am I going with all of this? I want to help. I want to rebuild this relationship. I want to change an historically biased, systematically racist Canada into the country I think it can be. And I don’t know how to do that. I read legislation and news articles and personal journals and blogs. I want to learn. I listen. I’m okay with being uncomfortable, because that usually means I’m learning something.

I don’t know how to do this, but it’s probably the most important thing we, as people, will do.


A strange thing happens in Canadian election campaigns. Some media outlet offers up a “moderator” for a “debate” between candidates. Usually, this isn’t a debate. Usually, it’s a bunch of white dudes arguing with each other and talking over one another with someone else standing off to the side wondering where it all went wrong and whether they’d have been better off taking engineering like their moms suggested. Sometimes, the network airing these things actually finds a moderator who really knows how to do their job, who keeps the candidates in line, who keeps them to their time, and who stops them from talking over one another. In theory, the point of these debates is to allow the candidates the opportunity to present their platforms and plans and to try to convince Canadians to vote for them.

In practice, the debates are an hour of useless prattle that comes from the speaking points the political spin doctors have provided for each candidate. It’s not real debate. There’s no actual topic (sometimes they have broad areas of ‘debate’ like “the economy”. How in the hell can you have an actual debate about something as nebulous as “the economy”? You can have a formal discussion, but there is an actual format that a debate ought to take – participants should present their arguments, then have the opportunity to rebut each other’s arguments). There’s some back-and-forth that happens (watching actual debate is pretty exciting, especially when the participants are well-versed in the format and procedure and when the moderator keeps the participants on point).

Anyway, I think it’s safe to say that Canadian political debates aren’t debates so much as they are a public form in which candidates can repeat the taking points they’ve been spouting since before the writ was dropped to call an election. Nobody says anything new. Everybody just repeats what they’ve been saying in the media for the past [insert inane number of weeks since the election was called] weeks. Last night’s debates were no different.

Highlights: Stephen Harper talking about “Old Stock Canadians”; both candidates calling Justin Trudeau “Justin”, as if they’re all on a first-name basis with their babysitter.

Lowlights: Everything else.

Yet this morning, I see people talking about how Thomas Mulcair “won” the debate. People, Thomas Mulcair didn’t win squat. Even IF the debate were being scored, he STILL wouldn’t have won. Don’t get ahead of yourselves here. Just because the man invoked the name of Roy Romanow and made a reference to Tommy Douglas’ parable story “Mouseland” doesn’t mean the man won a debate. Just because he stuck to his speaking points doesn’t mean he won a debate. Know who else didn’t win that debate? Justin Trudeau. The number of times I heard those two talking over one another (while the moderator did nothing) and repeating, ad nauseum, their parties’ platforms and plans outpaced the number of times I heard the biffy door open and close at the Craven Country Jamboree.

If *anyone* won that debate (which nobody did), it’d be Stephen Harper. He was composed, aloof, and on point. Sure, you might not like what he was saying, but he did well in the debate format.

Ultimately, the debate means nothing. We’re all acting like this is some precursor to electoral results. People are up in arms because Elizabeth May wasn’t invited to the damned thing. They’re also impressed with her replies to questions, posted on Twitter. How far down the rabbit hole have we gone? Elizabeth May is a party leader, sure. The Green Party of Canada has (I’m told) three seats in Parliament. The Bloc Quebecois (not a national party) has  two seats in Parliament, and their leader (Gilles Duceppe) wasn’t invited either. The debate was enough of a debacle with the three main party leaders (any of whom could conceivably become Prime Minister on October 19 – both Duceppe and May would have a long, long, LONG way to go before they could even be considered to be in the running). Who the hell would want there to be MORE chaos in a national televised waste of time and money?

Elizabeth May did not “win” the debate. She posted replies to the moderator’s questions on Twitter. Hell. *I* could have “won” the debate too, if that were the way to win. What will I do to stimulate the Canadian economy? Well, to be honest, I don’t have a frigging clue. There are so many factors that go in to a national economy, there are no pat answers to that. I’d probably do my best to increase employment among young Canadians, Indigenous people, and women. Why? Because those are the people who are traditionally underemployed. How? I don’t fucking know. I’m a writer, not an economist. I’d probably hire three or four economists from different schools of thought to make recommendations to me based on sound research.

As much as I would love for Thomas Mulcair or Justin Trudeau to be the clear “winner” of the debate, if for no other reason than that it would mean Stephen Harper was the clear “loser”, that simply didn’t happen. No matter how much we wish that it were true, it isn’t true. I’d like to see these debates scrapped entirely until such a time as they can be proper debates, moderated properly, in a public forum. Debates should be held locally, with local candidates, until such a time as we actually vote for our leaders (we don’t. We vote for our local representatives because they’re the ones who work in Parliament on our behalf. The PM is just the leader of the PARTY that receives the most seats).

And get these things off of television and put them back on radio. Nobody needs to see those ties.

sweet little lies

Something I’ve learned  is that there is absolutely nothing that makes someone angrier than when they get caught in a lie.

This is my observation on what is currently happening in the Canadian election.

Itsy Bitsy

I got a call from the doctor’s office today. They wanted to know if I was available to come in for breast reduction surgery tomorrow.

I was all, “uh. Like. The day after today?”

And they were all, “yis”.

And I was all, “I, um. I don’t think so, no.”

And they were all, “mkay, we ilso hif an opening nixt Widnisdiy…”

Back when I was still a GG. Oh, how I miss the days of GG.

And I was all, “do you have anything available after October? I have to figure out what’s going on with my kids and my work and sports and all the other things I’m committed to for the next two months. Initially we talked about this happening in July or August.”

And they were all, “immmm lit mi siiiiiiii” (I don’t know why all of the receptionists I ever speak to sound like the only vowel they know is “i”).

So I stared at my calendar, freaking out because even though my boobs are more or less unmanageable (I can’t do yoga properly; I can’t run or do jumpy-things; I can’t lie flat on my stomach; I can’t find clothes that fit; I can’t fucking see my feet) they’re MY boobs, damnit, and I grew them myself and maybe if I just worked harder and spent two hours a day at the gym instead of one and if I went on a liquid diet I could lose the weight and surely to Christ some of that would be breast tissue, even though for the past ten years I have been trying to lose weight and even if my weight goes down 10 pounds and I lose a few inches around my waist I’m still so far down in the alphabet with my brassiere size I’m in the jumble of letters everyone mashes together and do you realize how much a brassiere costs when you’re in the emminennos? I’m in the emminennos, and it costs me about $200 for a brassiere that fits properly.

Except that time I found a brassiere on sale on the internet for $20. I couldn’t believe it. That’ll never happen again. I buy about one brassiere a year, and hope I don’t bust out of my stays (which happens about every other year) or pop a strap or catch a clasp until the next time I can afford new containment garments. Let’s don’t even get in to the shirts and dresses I can’t wear. My ribcage is about 36″ around. My bust is over 50. They’re impressive, sure, but really, how much do I NEED?

And yeah, I’m in constant pain. My neck, my shoulders, my back. My hips are off-kilter now because I make so many adjustments in my posture to deal with Helios and Luna. I’ve been living in pain for ….well. Since I was a B cup at age 12. LOGICALLY I know that this is a Good Thing. But emotionally, I’m looking at the calendar and all I can think of is penicillin-resistant infections and norwalk virus and necrotising fasciitis and nipple necrosis (yeah, that’s a thing; don’t Google it) and why the hell do all of these things start with ‘n’? It’s like the universe is trying to force me into the emminennos and I’m resisting, kicking and screaming because nobody wants to be there. Nobody.

So I’m staring at my calendar and the receptionist gives me a date in mid-November and I mark it on my calendar and ask how to get ahold of them if something comes up and I have to reschedule and she does that little tongue-click thing that means “oh, you’re so DUMB” and she says “yeah so there is no rescheduling; if you can’t make this surgery, you’re off the wait list, and I can’t book it any further in advance”. I’m thinking I’ve been on the waiting list since April, but you can’t book a surgery more than eight weeks in advance? How exactly, the fuck does that work? But the words that come out of my mouth are more like:

“I see. So I’d have to go back for an assessment and get on a NEW waiting list?”

She said, “mmmmyiiiss”.

I was about to confirm the date when she comes out with “and jist so you know, when we have that appointment you have to confirm that you’re ready, willing, and able to go through with the surgery so that you don’t just go and try to reschedule it again. Ready, willing, and able.”

You know that little thing that happens when someone pisses you off? It’s like there’s a little metallic ‘ting’ that goes off in your inner ear and your head cocks to the side and you’re all, “bitch, please”. I did NOT immediately say “bitch, please”, but what I DID say, very politely, was “Oh, sister, I *am* ready, willing, and able to have this surgery. I was ready, willing, and able to have this surgery in June, July, and August, which is what I told your office in March. It’s not that I’m not ready, willing, and able, it’s that I have two children whose schedules I have to work out with my husband, considering the recovery time and the things I won’t be able to do, and my work schedule, and who’s going to be able to stay with me, as you said I would require a stayer-wither for a day or so. Chances are good that’ll be my husband, but he works, so we have to match our schedules up. It’s not a question of ready, willing, and able. It’s a question of making this time work.”

And she was all, “so we have some openings in October” (I’d already told her October wouldn’t work).

And in my head, all I can think of is “we WORK. We both WORK. We don’t have the luxury of paying higher taxes because we earn more than $140,000 a year; I don’t have the luxury of being able to raise my kids at home every day, and it’s not like His Nibs can just call up his boss and say “hey boss, my wife just had a titectomy and I’m in mourning and she’s all laid up with, like, disgusting gauze all over her seeping paps, so I’m just not going to come in for a couple days, you fly?”.

…although now I kind of want him to do that…

So I closed my eyes and said, “I think I’m going to go with the November date”.

She said something about confirming the surgery and calling CSIS and labelling me a terrorist if I didn’t make the appointment and which hospital and when I’d be fasting and speaking of fast. This is all happening really fast and I’m freaking out. Never mind that the receptionist who’s booking it has the empathy of a piece of deli meat. I mean, the least she could have done was acknowledge that a) I’m trying to schedule a major surgical procedure into my life (which I was expecting to schedule in July or August); b) I’m a little freaked out when you call me up and say ‘hey, can you come in tomorrow so we can lop off your dirty pillows?’; c) NIPPLE NECROSIS. Actually, the least she could have done would have been to say please OR thank you but that’s just asking too damned much.

The bottom line here is that my reduction surgery is scheduled. And I’m doing a little bit of hand-wringing all up in here. I know at LEAST a half-dozen women who’ve had this procedure done, and they’re all brilliant and just fine and amazing and they came through it with both nipples intact (near as I can tell; I’ve only seen one set of those nipples), but none of them has kids, and it’s not like their experiences are INVALID, but what I’m really worried about is getting all the stuff done I need to get done and maybe I’m just making excuses because I’m wigging out. That’s probably what I’m doing. I’m sure juggling your school or career while wrapped up and not able to lift your arms is as challenging as trying to get your kids to their sports and lessons. Even if one of your kids *will* have his driver’s permit by then.

So there it is. Here they are. Soon to be smaller. (I don’t know how much smaller – one of the reasons I’m a little nervous is because the doctor hasn’t even talked to me about that and apparently won’t until the day I go in. I was hoping we could talk about size and shape. And as my friend Malcolm pointed out, it would be really cool to have tentacles for boobs, so maybe we could make that happen. I’ll remember to bring this up while they’re prepping me for surgery. A drawing might help…)

I got better

I’m struggling here.

On the one hand, it’s HILARIOUS that a political candidate was caught ON TAPE in his non-politics job urinating in a coffee cup while on the job in someone’s house (maybe the loo was occupado. Maybe he had a Condition. Maybe he was just really into his job and didn’t want to muck up his vibe). That’s not something you should have to BOW OUT OF AN ELECTION FOR. What, because you peed in a cup while on a job (it’s not like he put the cup back in the cupboard, did he?) you can’t hold public office? Who among us has never peed in a cup before? Maybe not at someone else’s house, I guess, while you’re fixing their plumbing.

Another candidate is being dragged under the bus because he makes weird crank calls that border on sexual harassment. Or rather, because he made them. On his YouTube channel. Another candidate bowed out of the election because she said some shitty things on Twitter. So on that hand, I think things are getting a little bit ridiculous. Since the early 90s, we’ve been living our lives online. We’ve been saying things that someone, somewhere can probably call up out of a cache from a deep, dark Internet Pit of Despair.

Sure, we have to be held accountable for the horrible things we do (and we ALL do horrible things). But unless you’ve done something *criminal* (and in some cases in SPITE of your having done something criminal), where does all of this silliness get us? I would much rather vote for someone who said, “yeah, I said those things. I did that. I had a wee in a cup and that was really shitty, but it won’t affect my ability to govern responsibly. I’ll just use my own cups from now on” than for someone who says “I have never done anything potentially embarrassing, ill-advised, or risky. I have always done exactly what I’m told to do, no thing more, and nothing less”. I would rather vote for someone who’s done stupid things and who’s said stupid things because one would hope at least they’ve learned something.

But then there’s the other hand.

I have a HUGE problem forgiving my Conservative Party of Canada MP for the horrid things he said in a drunken video from 1991 that he most likely assumed would never see the light of day. Back in 1991 when gay bashings happened on a regular basis outside of Saskatchewan nightclubs (I’m hoping that’s changed, although it breaks my heart that OUTSaskatoon has a section on their website about gay bashing and that this shit still happens), when you could get away with being “bi” in Saskatchewan as long as you were a woman and in a city and willing to put up with every guy on the face of the planet saying “can I watch, hurr hurr hurr”. Back in 1991 when AIDS was still, at least around here, considered to be a “gay junkie disease”.

Maybe I have this dilemma because MP Tom Lukiwski’s “apology” for his comments never really sat well with me. He apologized for what he said, apologized to his family and his kids, and said he would spend the rest of his career trying to make up for those comments. Yet he has never, to my knowledge, done anything to actually make up for those comments. If I were to be charitable (and let it never be said that I’m not charitable), perhaps I would think that he donates large sums of money to PRIDE events and organizations (but, to my knowledge, has never attended a PRIDE event). Maybe he does things in his private life like, I dunno, say “that’s mean” whenever someone else makes a homophobic remark. But the man has been sued for libel and has published flyers which are outright lies, so I’m not real inclined to be super charitable here.

Do I think Tom Lukiwski should bow out of the election? Hell no. Do I think he should have lost his job over that tape? I don’t know. The party at the Legislative Building from which that tape was taken was seventeen years old when it was found. Lukiwski’s predecessor (who was denied the possibility of running in the election that saw Lukiwski elected), Larry Spencer, is on record as wanting to outlaw homosexuality, and following those comments was removed as “family issues critic” by then Canadian Alliance Party leader Stephen Harper, so we know that there’s a line that can be crossed. Lukiwski didn’t cross it with his drunken party tape, but Spencer did (to be fair, Spencer went on a long tear about how the gay rights movement is a conspiracy dating back to the 60s and was convinced that Trudeau’s legalization of homosexuality in the 60s was going to lead to legalized polygamy and paedophelia, so clearly Larry Spencer was a complete crackpot who was a liability to the party).

And it’s not like Lukiwski is a total waste of carbon. He introduced a motion into the House of Commons 10 years ago to rework equalization formulas so that Saskatchewan wasn’t being hosed because non-renewable resources are still included in the formula. In fact, the Conservative Party of Canada campaigned, in Saskatchewan, on removing non-renewable resources from the equalization formulae so that we’d have more than a billion dollars in revenue that we could keep instead of sending it to Central Canada. AND he owned up to not having kept that election promise. So it’s not like the guy has a black and calcified soul completely.

My point here though is that I don’t know why I don’t have any problems with some stupid crap a teenager said on Twitter, but I can’t bring myself to move past my own MP’s drunken ramblings at a party. #Glob forbid someone should post some of the stupid stuff *I* have done at parties. Like the time I drank a whole can of cigarette ashes. Or the time I got into a fight with David’s garage (I lost). Or the time I attempted to wrestle with a guy who’d been, apparently, his high school’s wrestling team leader (I lost). Or the time I couldn’t leave the armchair to help a guy who turned green and toppled to the ground. Or the time we had Topless Night.

I guess. I guess what I’m saying is, don’t bow out of the race. If you’re your party’s candidate for your riding, be honest up front about the dumbass things you’ve done. If you feel strongly about them, back yourself up. Trust me, voters are going to cast their ballots based on your party’s platform, not on whether or not you peed in a cup. Hell, MAKE THAT A THING ON YOUR CAMPAIGN. Every picture of you should feature a coffee cup, buddy. That’s what we call charisma. Evidence of this theory is the fact that my MP was re-elected after that hideous video was released.