Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Maybe Spring is in the Dumpster...

This morning it was cold. WHERE IS SPRING??? It's making me very anxious.

We had a couple of STU students come down to film the protesters - they were doing a project on the bubble zone. They also interviewed me. I was hoping someone else might want to do the interview - one of the other escorts - but no one did. There wasn't much to it, since I don't know much about the bubble zone and not much is happening with it right now.

Mr. Mumbles was in top form today, mumbling about as always. Today also saw the triumphant return of the commemorative "aborted babies" sign with the cross made out of fake flowers. It is an excellent creation, let me tell you. Some church ladies had a hell of a time putting that together. Oh well, you always have to keep women busy, otherwise they might think, or something.

Half my escorts didn't show up, so I had to stay for the second shift. Luckily the last patient came early so I didn't have to stay out for long, because I was dying of cold. And EO didn't even have any mittens on! I'm not really sure how her hands didn't fall off. Seriously, what is wrong with this place?

I've been thinking a lot about dumpster diving lately, specifically dumpster-diving anti-choicers. This recent train of thought has been prompted by this entry over at JJ's blog. I just can't figure out why people feel it's necessary to go through an abortion clinic's dumpster to make an argument against abortion. Either you will find nothing incriminating (the most likely outcome, since MEDICAL WASTE DOES NOT GO IN THE DUMPSTER), or you will find (surprise!) aborted fetuses ("dead babies", in their lingo - not the fetuses', the protesters'). So what does that prove? ZOMG, they're doing ABORTIONS at the ABORTION CLINIC!! Who knew??!! At most, it's grounds to complain that the clinic is not disposing of its medical waste properly, but even filing such a report would involve the police finding out that you were going through their garbage, which surely can't be legal.

It just sucks because we have to have a lock on our dumpster, even though we most certainly do not dispose of any medical waste OR medical records in there. Just another one of those things to make you shake your head and wonder what on earth is wrong with the world.

Oh and just FYI, I will be internetless from Thursday to Monday as I will be in glorious NYC. So if you try to post a comment and it doesn't come up for a while, it just means I haven't had a chance to look at it. But I will take care of any and all comments when I get back.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Eventful Morning

So I've been catching some flak for not having updated the blog for a little while. I know, gentle readers, that you wait breathlessly for the next update, and I'm sorry. I have been away. And I remain insanely distracted (I am talking distracted to an unhealthy degree, like I've been having dreams about it) by the quest for tickets to Leonard Cohen. INSANE. So I haven't blogged.

I'm back on track now though, believe it or not. (Believe it!). Today I was outside with the others, escorting, and of course it was extremely cold. I have lost all feeling in my toes. Well, not really. Having suffered a mild case of hypothermia while in Montreal a couple weeks ago, I feel much better equipped (although not any happier) to face the cold.

We had a special guest today, a reporter from the CBC who is doing a piece on the escorts for Maritime Noon (I will let you know as soon as I find out when it's going to air). So that was fun, getting to chat to her, and see her attempt to tear herself away from an interview with Earpiece Charlie (!). It should be a really interesting piece, all told.

Lots of protesters out today, including at least one new guy - a young fellow with a cross on the ass of his jeans. STYLE. Jesus appreciates it. One of the highlights of the morning was the guy in the snow removal vehicle yelling at the protesters to get out of his way. However, this was followed by about eight different city vehicles going back and forth over the same patch of Brunswick Street, not actually removing any snow that I could see, but making lots of noise. Your tax dollars at work.

Some of the clinic staff have been getting a bit upset lately about Earpiece Charlie and a couple of the other (male) protesters who stare in through the clinic windows at staff and patients. The concern is that this constitutes harrassment. Well this week a couple letters were written and (hand) delivered to the offending parties. I was asked to take the first one to the quiet guy with the grey hair (he's so generic looking I don't even have a nickname for him). I went up to him and tried to hand him the envelope, and we had the following conversation:

Me: Excuse me. This is for you.

Him: Is it a love letter?

Me: No.

Him: I don't think I should accept any hate mail.

Me: It isn't.

Him: What is it?

Me: It isn't from me. It's from inside.

Him: I don't think I should take it.

Me: Just take the letter.

At this point I sort of thrust it into his hands and walked away. He called after me: "Jesus loves you!", and then let SF and SS know that Jesus loves them, as well.

The letters were read (apparently) but the protesters continued to stand still and stare through the windows. Finally, the law on our side - SL called the cops. A police officer came and chatted with the protesters, basically letting them know that they were allowed to be there but they had to keep moving. A tiny victory for us.

Also, some awesome news: our doctor, SR, asked me if I want to go with her to the NAF conference in April! Of course I said yes. I'm super stoked - it's such a good opportunity to learn more about a field that I might very possibly be involved in for a while, and also to network (which I hate doing, but it's a necessary evil). I am very excited that she would think of me.

It's kind of funny...I'm very passionate about the issue of abortion rights and access, and I love this job, but I was sort of thinking of it as something I would do for a couple years while I wait for my partner to finish law school. But now all these things keep happening - the essay contest, the recognition the blog is getting, media interviews, and now this conference. It's as if the universe is telling me this is something I might actually do...with my life. A career in repro rights advocacy. Possibly. Not necessarily here in NB (lord forbid, actually - sorry gang, I hate the climate), but wherever I eventually end up. So I guess it's something to think about. I always sort of envisioned myself with a career that involved helping people in need, which I automatically assumed meant working in international development. But there are a lot of women in need in this country and in the states, who are lacking access to good health care - sexual, reproductive and otherwise. So maybe it's a start.

Anyway...enough of my personal musings. Things are looking up, even though Spring is nowhere to be seen. The only thing that would make my week better would be getting those Leonard Cohen tickets. Please please please please please.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ups and Downs (but mostly downs)

Hi. I didn't blog this week because I wasn't at the clinic. I was in Montreal, enjoying the vocal stylings of a talented young up-and-comer...Bruce...something. Spring...steen? Charming fellow. Going places, you mark my words. ;)

Seriously though, the concert rocked my socks. MY SOCKS. I know it must look, from reading this blog since the start of the year, that I go all over the place, all the time. The truth is I don't know what's going on, it's like I've squashed all the trips I would normally take in a year, into a two month period. It's probably not a great idea, work-wise; and I don't have any money left, I'll tell you that. Plus I'm taking two more trips this month. After that - no more, I promise.

I don't have much else to say, obviously. I don't want to talk about the stupid fetus bill because it makes me depressed. I'm not the hyper-patriotic type, but it is pretty maddening to see your country slowly follow America down the toilet.

Meanwhile, life goes on. I think winter is getting to everyone a little - am I right? The sidewalks are crap. It's depressing. I think even our charming next door neighbours are blue - I saw one of our favourite protesters hobbling around on crutches the other day...maybe she fell on the ice? Bah. Weather.

Anyway, I'm going to stop before I stab myself in the face. Here's hoping Spring comes soon, and with it a bubble zone, a decision on standing, an Order of Canada for Henry, and heck, a magical unicorn with a pan of delicious brownies.