Thursday, April 15, 2004

How to lose my vote

Granted, my junior high school history classes were taught in French, but I don't remember anything about this. What an arse.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Fairweather Protests
I pass by an abortion clinic every morning on my way to work. I know this because of the placard-bearers that stand outside, keeping an appropriate and no doubt court-ordered distance from the front door. They are never there when it rains.

To me, this seems like a very convenient way of trying to enact change. "I will evangelize and demonstrate, but only from April to October, and only when it's sunny outside." Oh puh-leeze. How can anybody respect that kind of namby-pamby commitment?

This is an issue that upsets many people (abortion, not weather). I am staunchly pro-choice. I believe that a woman should be able to do what she wants with her body, in most circumstances. I do not believe that a woman should exclude her partner from any decision-making process, however. I consult with Mr. Crabby about whether or not to make curry for dinner, and I would consult with him if I felt I would like to have an abortion. He might well say "yuck, no thanks" to a curry dinner, but I doubt he would forbid me to have an abortion.

Religion does not factor into this decision for me. Nor does the legal issue of "do fetuses have rights." Yet for the protestors and activists, it's always about God and babies. Both of these subjects bore me.

Mr. Crabby and I just finished reading the Left Behind series of novels. We read them for interest, not because we are right wing Christians. We were raised in religious households, and know more than the average Catholic about the traditions and history of our religion. However, we are no longer participating in our religion. These novels were super saturated with fire and brimstone, and we both thumbed over hundreds of pages of nonstop yadda yadda straight from the bible. No wonder the subject of God bores me. The books were badly written.

That said, I do believe in God and Jesus, in a passive Judeo-Christian, "thou shalt not kill" way. Sometimes, I pray the rosary, and find it very comforting. I am not religious, but I believe in religion and in the mysticism of religious traditions. And I hold true to those beliefs whether it's raining or not.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Two Things for Tuesday
I very recently saw The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you haven't seen it yet, it's very creative. I highly recommend it. Once you get past Kate Winslett's blue hair, you won't look back.

I bought myself a new toy yesterday. It's a plush SpongeBob SquarePants to keep at my desk. I'm the only person in this office who has toys, hence my popularity with my colleagues.

What amuses you these days?

Monday, April 12, 2004

What Would YOU Do?
Last year I promised myself that I would never say "I've had a bad day" ever again, because this one time, (not at band camp, although I have been to band camp), I once had a really bad day. That was the day I lost my job (downsized) - a job that I had grown to love. So, no day at work would ever be "bad" again, as long as I was working, could pay the bills, and keep the wine rack and kitty dishes full. I have my priorities, you see.

I slip sometimes, under stress, and have been heard grouching about my "bad, er I mean challenging" day. Last Wednesday was one of those days. It ended on a good note, though, as my colleagues and I shared a good guffaw as I rushed down the hall at 5:00 p.m. "Hey, Crabby's really leaving at five o'clock," someone called out. "I think she came in at 7:30 this morning," another colleague responded. Laughter all around. I was so happy to be out of there, in the daylight, on my way to meet a friend for martinis.

To re-cap: challenging day, bad mood turned good, going out for drinks with a friend. Still with me?

I walked by city hall on my way to meet up with my friend. About halfway through the square, I saw an adult man whack a smaller female across the head. Immediately, I thought "teenagers fooling around, what idiots." Another yard closer, though, and I saw that this was no game. She was younger than 15, and although it's hard to tell these days, I'm certain of it that. He stepped over to where she'd fallen to the pavement, yanked her arm up and dragged her another ten feet on her back. Her shirt pulled up when he dragged her, so that her bare skin was being scraped across the ground.

It's barely after 5:00 in the middle of the downtown core. Nobody, even people who were passing right in front of them stopped to help. Dozens and dozens of people passed within a few feet of where she lay crying on the ground.

I pointed to a man walking beside me. "Could you please wait for me? I want to know that someone else is watching."
"Uh, yeah, OK," he said.

I walked up to the girl and asked her if she was OK, and if she wanted me to get any help for her. She looked up at me with such hatred that I recoiled. Now, with a few days' distance, I understand that her response was generated by fear, by anger, and by embarrassment. She wanted nothing to do with me.

"Leave her alone, she's fine," an adult woman called to me from several feet away. Her mother? Maybe. I was dizzy with the idea that another woman/human being/parent could sit by and let that happen to a child.

"F*@* off you b*%@. This is none of your f'ing business," shouted the man. He started walking towards me. My recruit was still a few yards away, looking even less comfortable than when I'd asked him to wait for me. Nice to know he was there, but I was suddenly unsure that he had my back.

So I walked away.

I do not have a cell phone, and there are no public phones in front of city hall. Yes, looking back, I should have asked somebody who did have a cell phone to call the police before I charged over to her. That's what Mr. Crabby told me: get help, then go help. What would you have done?

The martinis (it took two) were delicious.