Bellyache with the Sister

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'll Call You ...

Article in today's Star about banning cell phones in Toronto Schools:



I don’t get the debate on banning cell phones during class time in schools. I mean, we weren’t allowed to use calculators during math class in high school (yes, I am totally aging myself here!) or listen to our Walkman either, so why all of a sudden all the agony of whether to ban them or not? Who do kids need to call during class? Are parents really keeping tabs on their kids that frequently?

One kid whined that if they ban phones are cameras next since you can take a picture with a camera too (apparently today’s teens are smarter than they look!). I think we’re missing the point here. Cell phones today can take photos, video, text message, surf the net and play music, not just make calls. Digital cameras so far as I have seen can pretty much just take pictures and video. No Web access on mine, anyway! And parents are worried that they now won’t be able to remind their kids about dental appointments and such.

So I have to ask myself how is it that when I was a teen I somehow managed to remember to tell my folks what time my band practice was, if I was going to a friend’s house after school, make it to my dance class and dental appointments without my mommy calling me six times during the day to remind me?

Don’t get me wrong – I love my cell and never leave home without it, but in the same way I find people who Blackberry during meetings rude and distracting, cell phones during class time should be a no-no too.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

How can we afford not to?

What the hell? Why can’t we raise the minimum wage in this province to $10 an hour? Greg Sorbara and an assortment of political yahoos seem convinced that by allowing people to earn a real living and actually afford to eat, put a roof over their heads and get medical care that tens of thousands of jobs will be lost. It’s an absolute travesty that one of the most expensive provinces to live in has one of the lowest rates for minimum wage.

Why? Because all the big business cheapos who pay their workers next to nothing with no benefits or job security are afraid that their multi-million dollar annual bonuses will dwindle? They’ll have to forgo the second Porsche for their spoilt brat of a kid? That third vacation property on the French Riviera will have to wait another year? Unbelievable!

Let’s look at this logically. Right now by keeping mass amounts of working people dirt poor, they can’t afford to eat. If they can’t afford food, then obviously little luxuries like clothing, school supplies for their kids and medications – never mind trips to the dentist or optometrist – are right out of the question. And if they can’t afford that then they certainly aren’t doing much except simply existing.

So what would the tragedy be? So let’s say we give everyone in the province enough money for a home, food, clothing and medical expenses. Let’s just really fantasize and say we go so far as ensuring everyone in the province even has a few hundred extra bucks a month after the necessities of life are paid for. Know what they’re gonna do?

Exactly what the rest of us do – go shopping.

That’s right, you read correctly, they’ll go out and spend it on MP3 players, designer shoes, new refrigerators and take-out food. They’ll go to the movies, buy a car, get a cell phone and get cable TV.

And pay taxes. Not just higher income taxes because they’ll have higher salaries, but property taxes since they might just be able to afford a home, sales taxes, gas taxes and whatever other hidden gems the provincial and federal governments have for generating revenue.

In other words, by paying people enough money to not only live on but have an actual life on, the very companies and governments that are whining they can’t afford to do this will wind up making more money in the long run.

And you know what? That actually makes good business sense.

No wonder there’s such a backlash …

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rather than address the real issue ...

Mayor Miller is all concerned and is presenting to city counsel that media only mention intersections where crimes take place rather than mentioning Scarborough ‘cause he says the media is giving the neighbourhood a bad rap.

That’s right. It’s all the media’s fault there’s so much crime there. If they’d just lay off then it would go away. There’s a crime prevention policy for ya. Easier to blame journalists than look at perhaps why there’s so much crime in one neighbourhood. I’m totally sure if they just say the intersection and not say the “S” word, then it’s not really as bad as it seems?

Guess it’s a slow week at City Hall …

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy 2007!

Yeah, not posting so much these days but thought I'd check in a type a quick entry.

Had a great Christmas - The Good Father and I both had the full week off and we did a lot of eating, drinking and loafing about. I got some great CDs, DVDs and an awesome amout of books (hurray!) among our mutual gifty bits under our own little tree. And the cats had an absolute field day leaping about all the scraps of wrapping paper.

Christmas Day we ventured to the 'Shwa to dine and dither with the Good Father's clan. And as a bonus feature, our dear friend L joined us (small word story - she used to be my older sister-in-law's roommate in collage and they were like night and day - L is a party girl who's a ton of fun and a confirmed Pagan, unlike my bible-thumping sister-in-law. Somehow they stayed friends and she knows the family better than I do since she's known them longer). We had fun and my niece loved the baby goth purse I got her (black canvas bag with a skull and cross bones - but the eyes were heart-shaped and the skull sported a little bow - too cute!).

New Year's we spent the weekend at the Crabby Cottage and spent several more days loafing, eating and drinking, and now I resemble a large calibrase roll. Thank the gods I'm back into rehearsals starting tomorrow!

And now I have benefits!!! I know that's awfully adult, but I can't tell you how thriled I am to be able to purchase drugs and medical services again on someone else's tab!

Anyway, off to finish downloading my new CDs to my MP3 player. I'll try to post more than once every month or so, but we'll have to see how busy life gets. I mean, I spend all day at work on a computer, and with eight hours of dance a week, often the last thing I want to do in my limited free time is to sit again at a computer, ya know? But I promise, if anything exciting happens, I'll make a very serious effort to post.

All the best to everyone for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May 2007 be the best year for all!

Blessed Be!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Contradictory Quote of the Day

From today's Toronto Star. An article about the new Left Behind computer game in which players are religious zealots who have to convert or kill non-believers in the name of Christ. When interviewed, the creator of the game had this to say in response to criticism that the game promotes religious intollerance:

"The reality is that our game perpetuates prayer and worship and that there is no killing in the name of God," said Troy Lyndon, the CEO of Left Behind Games Inc. who describes himself as a "follower of Christ."

"There is killing, of course. It is a video game," he said. "But the basis of the game is spiritual welfare."


'Kay so let's get this straight - there's killing in the game of those who don't believe in Christ, but no killing in the name of God, though Christ is supposed to be the son of God and, ergo, kind of a God-figure, yes? And according to the article, after a zealot kills a non-believer, they have to pray to re-boost their soul points. I guess because one of the 10 Commandments is "thou shall not kill?" Unless the New Testiment has an adendum to that that reads "... unless thine prey is a heathen whost darest to not follow in the laws of Christ?"

But what do I know? I'm just a lowly little Jew ... and as we know from reading said book series (okay, I read the first one because I just had to see how tacky it was) there's a "special place" for God's chosen folk (that'd be the Jews if you believe the whole "chosen people" deal. Personally I believe that if there is a God then her chosen will simply be the nice people who are kind to everyone regardless of race, religion or sexual preference 'cause my God is a cool chick!).

Friday, December 08, 2006

Farewell to my Beautiful Girl

On Monday December 4th, The Good Father and I said farewell to our eldest cat, Tasha. She’d had a rough time between late October and early December, battling two very aggressive but different forms of cancer. She was 14 years old.

She had developed a lump on her stomach that turned out to be a malignant tumour, and since it hadn’t spread we had it removed. When the lab report on the surrounding tissue came out clean we thought we’d beaten it and she’d be good for a few more years.

Then a week ago I went to pet her face and she was really sore on the right side of her face. Back to the vet we went and found another lump in her mouth. They had to put her under to really get a good look at it (she’d had tooth problems before so we were hoping that was all it was) but it turned out to be another tumour. The biopsy revealed that it was a new and even more aggressive cancer than the first that had literally taken hold in a matter of weeks and was moving through her skeleton. The vet said that even if we were inclined to have it removed and try to treat it, we wouldn’t be buying her even months, more like days. She couldn’t eat and it was too painful for her even to yawn properly.

So after a weekend of feasting on bacon and Swiss Chalet chicken, we decided that the only humane thing to do was to let her go. It wasn’t an easy decision – though both of us had lost pets in the past, this was the first time either of us had been the ones to make the call. Before it had always been the parents. While she went quite peacefully and the staff at our local vet clinic were beyond compassionate and sensitive to our loss, we are still reeling from loosing her. Our other two girls are slowly realizing their big sister isn’t coming home to them and they’re both somewhat out of sorts, wandering around looking for her, chatting to us constantly and our youngest has taken to lying in her favourite spot on our bed and looking mournful. I wish there was a way to explain it to them but alas, there’s just no way to explain something like this to a calico and a tabby.

Farewell my beautiful girl. You had a pretty good life for a kitten who started out her life in a dumpster at York University, whose first litter box was a cut down 2-4 case lined with a garbage bag at the Calumet College dorm and who survived three moves, two little sisters and several unhappy trips in a car going to and from the vet. May your own personal heaven be filled with catnip, fields full of scurrying mice and paper balls. We will always love you Tasha and will always remember you as our first furry kid.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And he seemed like such a nice guy …

So now Michael Richards (better known to most as Kramer from Seinfeld) has apologized for being a blatant racist and total prick to people in the audience during a live stand-up comedy performance for heckling him, saying he wasn’t funny.

Maybe they were on to something. Personally I found his character on Seinfeld annoying and too over the top. Granted I found most of that show to be in poor taste, so really it’s just par for the course.

Regardless, I know people who do stand-up and being able to handle hecklers is part of the job. The trick, I’m told, is to get the audience laughing at the hecklers instead, not using racial slurs to make yourself look like an asshole.

Apparently, Mr. Richards missed this part of the training.

I find his apology self-serving and false. For him to so innocently proclaim he’s not a racist and has no idea where the comments came from leads me to believe one of two things:

Either he is in fact a racist and most of the time has a publicist nearby will a roll of duct tape to keep his mouth shut;

Or an alien pod will soon be found in his apartment with his lifeless corpse, proving that it wasn’t him, just an evil alien double trying to harm his reputation and bring life on Earth one step closer to complete annihilation by stupidity and intolerance.

Personally I’m leaning towards the first option. Maybe he should go hang out with Mr. Gibson, and they can trade racist, sexist and anti-Semitic barbs. Who knows, maybe then the KKK will hire him to do their next function! It could be a whole new career opportunity for both of them! Live together, Richards and Gibson Present: 101 Ways to Offend the World!

Hey, it could happen …