not a pretty girl

a new person with each new experience

Friday, June 06, 2003

yesterday I say this person with their head inside the Oasis clothing donation box in my neighbourhood. they were going clothes shopping and missing the pesky middle step of having to pay for it. If it had been a salvation army box I would have been giving this person props, 'cuz we don't want to give those asshole any money . . . if it was a good will box, I woudl have thought yeah theres a way to get it even cheeper then my the pound. And if this person looked homeless I would have thought good for you, you need those clothes more than the peopel who can afford to buy them. But this box was for Oasis, a drug rehab organization. I'm sure there clinets could use the clothes. And the person inside the box, although I don't know there situation at all, looked like a trendy west end kid, whos poverty has lead to a keen fasion sense . . .or whos fasion sence has lead to the used cothing look. Anyways I wanted to be feel good about the situation but I guess I only feel good about scams and stealing when they are taken from people with money who won't miss it, for people who need it more. Its the robbin hood in me

ok off to remove my wisdom teeth now . ..

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

silly mistakes

I have been doing mad cover letter and resume sending in the past few weeks. I have a system down that I thought was fool proof but apparently not. What I do is print out all the ads that I find, then when I send in a resume to them I write the date on the paper. Well I printed out a few the other day, and sent out resumes. This one particular job I was really excited about. When I was looking for the contact name I looked down quickly say the name and wrote "Dear Bill Shaw". And sent everything off . . . well later that day I realized that Bill shaw was the name for the previouse job, instead of being at the begging of the ad it was at the end of the ad before it. . I felt so stupid. Just to rub it in they sent me an email that said . . .

My name is not Bill.
Better luck in the future.
Janelle Connell
Community Facilitator

. . .I laughed it off and sent them an opps email in reply . . . so they won't hire me but at least they know that I have a sence of humour :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I just came back from training for the CHAP program, the part time job that I got last week. I really enjoyed the training, they really focus on equity, intergration, inclusion and dignity. I felt I learned allot and was able to bring much to the group dynamics. On interested section was called "Intoduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder", I was able to clarify a few myths about autism that I was confused about. In this section we learned about Aspergers Disorder, which is under the umbrella of the Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD. Someone close to be was diagnosed with this just this past year. I didn't know much about it and felt slightly uneasy aksing them since they didn't tell me directly. Today finding about about the thoery and symptoms of this disoder made my interactions with this person make more sense.

As I was leaving one of the women at the training came up to me and started chatting, she was very touchy and up close, but extreamly friendly so I decided to keep talking to her adn not to run away from fear of invasion of persoanl space. But it might have been the best idea, a few mins into the converstaion she grabed my arm and said "HAVE YOU FOUND JESUS?" thats when I really wanted to start running, but I responded calmly and said "i was raised catholic, but I moved away from it . . .I dont' believe in organized religons, " and something about embracign spirtiuality being positive. Well she did not give up she kept talking about the good man jesus and how I shoudl embrace him into my work. (while she was talking all I coudl think was shit, its a long bus ride to the subway) she went on and on about reading the bible and letting jesus find me . . . Luckly she had to go the other direction, I wished her luck in her journey with jesus and slipped away.

I wonder what about me made her come on over, there were 18 people there and she went out of her way to talk to me. Did I look the furthest away from god and she thoguht she needed to save me. Or did I seem to most approachable? I'm not sure what it was. I'm just happy that she lived east and I live west 'cuz it couldnt' have been respectful for too much longer.

Off to work, with out a white man and his stories to lead my life for me . . . .

Monday, June 02, 2003

I had the most wonderful night last night
the highlights included:
-the kensginton bike week event
-blocked the street from cars
-they had one of those paper mashe dragon with colourful material behind it, similar to the ones you see at chinese new years.. evan, regan and I were given the dragon and danced with it to the drum beats
-we listened to beautiful somba music
-we danced in the streets with sparklers
-regan was given a free bike, a girl won it, but already had a bike
overall a wonderful night

Sunday, June 01, 2003

identity politics

today identiy politics and reclaiming of language came up several times. First of all I was at kims house curdled up on her coach after a rainy adventure at the taste of south asia reading an ariticle on fashionable bigotry. It was talking about the backlash from political correctness, and how young artsy scensters are using racial slurs in a "trendy" mannor. Educated intelligent 20 somethings are using words like nigger spic, faggot etc. in an apparently ironic way. As I read this article I could picture a few people who fit this discription perfectly. It really frustrates me to hear privildged white kids saying these things but thinking because they understnad where these words came from they are not beign bigotes. Well this lead to a discussion on reclaiming language, R was saying that she is uncomfortable with women who reclaim the word bitch and slut, because these words are still used in oppressive ways and she feels that women who use them are self deprecating. She felt similar with the word queer. I talked about the empowerment and strenght one can get from reclaiming these words. I went into my whole queer as an anti-indenity to be more inclusive . . . . acknowledging how it has become an idenity therefore has its own set of problems of exclusion and it is no longer as counter-culture. There was discussion around the reclaiming of nigger which I will let kim then you herself so I don't get her ideas wrong here. Basically the discussion came down to a few points. First of all, recaliming words such as bitch, slut, queer coudl be done if one put thought into what it was ment and what it means for them. And although these words are still used as insults, one can reclaim them, but for one to understand how it was powerful and not self depregrating, there would have to be diolgue. The second point was that in our society there is not enough thought or diolgue which might result in a misunderstanding of the theory of reclaiming language. Thirdly, it would seem that those who are doing the reclaiming would have to participate in much diolgue and expalining what these words ment to them, and althought this is important, it can be tiering. As many of us know to be the token of a minority have to contiuously be expalining a race, gender , sexuality etc. issue to your circle or group gets tiring and you wish that these people coudl just pick up a book, think a little bit, learn somehtings on there own and not depend on the outspoken minority to do all the work for them. Bascially it came down to the simple idea that we should respect how people identify themselves, and refer to people as they want to be referred to. Yes this does take energy and thought but if we are still going to have catigories we have to respect each otheres identies. So person X wants to be called black, person y wants to be called a person of colour, person z wants to be called an African Canadian. So be it.

Well this continued when I got home, when sal showed me a chat converstiaon he had with this girl he is in loose contact with. She was telling him about going to a resturant that has asain transvestites who worked there. When in fact they were drag queens. Well she is a psy student and according to her the dsm calls them tranvestites and therefore so will she. She could not see how that word was not approprate and offensive in this context. She did not understand how the dsm has been used to pathologize queer people in the past and still does, and she may be perpetuating this pathology with her terminoology. And she said that she doesn't care how these people perfer to be identified as because in her science world they have a term for this and she wants to kept it consisitant blah blah blah . . .

Basically from the article, my conversation with R and kim, and this chat with sal and psy girl, it comes down to people seem to think that they are intelligent enought to know what is and isn't appropriate with out taking into consideration how indivuals and groups experience this language. The idea of fashionalbe bigotry really upsets me the most, because it is coming from people who hypothiticlaly shoudl know better. And it is this knowledge that they have that they think they have the freedome to abuse language. I have talked to people who fit into this catigory. There responce is we know each others politics, and we know that we arn't bigots. We understand how racism, sexism, homophobia etc works. And because we allready know this we can joke around it is ok. They get upset when "ignoramt" people use thise words of hate, but they are allowed to use them themselves. This includes things like a queer person calling a situation gay to that same person using nother degroitory words that they cannot claim any affliation with.

Basically if we have going to make change towards hate we have to ensure that we are really careful with our language . . . there is going to have to be much diolgue, way beyond the therotical discourse of accedemia. hate can never be trendy.