Friday, September 25, 2009

Praying to End the Nonsense

So, as some of you may know, this Wednesday marked the beginning of the annual "40 Days for Life", which involves ant-choice protesters standing outside their local clinic for 40 days straight in an effort to end abortion through the power of prayer. (Can you see my eye-roll through the internet?).

I was expecting Tuesday's clinic to be a little more intense than usual, but I didn't find it to be too bad. The main difference was that there were already protesters out when I arrived; usually when I get there they are just getting started, so there might be one hard-core old person but never a gaggle. On Tuesday as I was locking up my bike I was greeted with the sight of three women walking shoulder to shoulder towards me; they stood in front of me and prayed out loud the whole time I locked my bike and got my purse out of the pannier. One of them said "good morning" to me, but I don't say good morning to people I don't like. I would make a bad Christian, probably.

A passerby stopped to have some words with the protesters, which hasn't happened in a while and is always welcome. It's good to know when the public is on our side, and it says something about how enraged they must be to stop and "chat" with strangers.

The actual 40 days thing is kind of interesting in a pathetic sort of way. It is an American concept that has been spreading into Canada only in recent years. Our protesters are standing across the street - there is usually between two and seven of them out there at a time. They hold signs that say "Pray to end abortion" and that kind of nonsense. I'm sort of baffled as to what the point of it all is, but apart from that it's nowhere near as obtrusive as their Tuesday morning exploits, so it doesn't bother me. They're not bugging any patients, they're not harrassing the staff, they're just out there in the rain looking kind of sad. That's their right, I guess.

There are, of course, other clinics where it's much more harmful (especially clinics that perform abortions all week instead of just one day). If you're interested in clinic defence where you live, PLEASE contact the clinic first and ask them what they need. Most clinics would much rather have patient escorts than counter-protesters.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to Reality

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm really effing lazy.

I have had a pretty big couple of weeks, and I've been really slow getting back into the swing of my regular routine. And since I suck at blogging regularly anyway, obviously you all lose.

So. I was at a wedding a couple weekends ago. I try not to go to weddings, mainly because I hate them (yes I am a horrible person), but this was a friend of mine from university. I was in a pretty cool program and graduated with a very small, very close class. We have since spread ourselves out across the country, so any chance to see my buds and celebrate with them is one I try to grab hold of.

Anyway, two of my former classmates who I got to see were pregnant. One of them, who was nine months along and just about ready to pop, is married and very excited; she has a medical condition where if she gets pregnant after 30, there's a very good chance it could have a drastic (negative) affect on her health. So she is keen to get her family started. The other is only two months along - not showing yet - and while she is also happily married and planning on keeping the baby, her pregnancy was totally unexpected. She just had a baby a year ago (also unplanned). I know that both children will be raised in a loving home and will probably be pretty awesome kids, it's pretty interesting to see how my friend and her husband are handling it. It's kind of awkward, teetering between joyous excitement and oh-god-how-can-we-afford-this. Watching the politics of what I think about/deal with every day play out in the lives of close friends is...interesting, if nothing else. The personal really is political.

I was also kind of ticked because about a month before she must have conceived, I sent them a package of crap for their wedding anniversary and the first baby's birthday, and there were a bunch of condoms in it (I put condoms in every package I send to everyone). Come on guys, I SENT you the condoms! (Seriously, I love you guys).

Anyway....the NEXT weekend, I went to the Omega Institute in upstate New York for a conference: Women + Power: Connecting Across the Generations. It was AWESOME. I met Helen Thomas!! I feel like that's all I need to write about it, but I guess I should also say that I went to a blogging workshop given by the editors of Feministing. It was really helpful and I actually learned a lot, despite the fact that I was overwhelmed about being in the same room as my blogging heroes. I also had a lot of cool conversations throughout the weekend with some pretty bad-ass ladies. Most of them, when they found out I am Canadian, wanted to talk about health care reform. Which is fine by me! Sometimes I forget how different Americans are. It was excellent to explore the comparisons.

Besides Helen Thomas (I met her!!), the coolest lady at the conference was Sakena Yacoobi. Google her. New hero of life.

So, the other thing I need my blog readers to know is that my partner, who is a third year law student, just got word that he has an articling position next summer just outside of Toronto. Which is VERY EXCITING because it means I get to live in Toronto, which means I won't be living in New Brunswick! Woop woop! Obviously not working at the clinic is going to make a difference to the blog, and I'm starting to think about what direction I want to go with it. Exciting changes ahead.

I know this entry was all personal, no clinic, and I apologize. I promise that starting this week, I will be back on track with all your favourite protesters and their crazy shenanigans. After all, this week marks the beginning of 40 Days for Life, which is sure to be fabulous. Mwahahahaha!

To keep it unnecessarily personal...just wanted to say it's been a year since my buddy Brad passed away. Rest in peace, friend.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Poetry Postponed

Tuesday's clinic was busy. The protesters weren't too bad, although Pink Hat did get a hold of a couple on their way in, before the escorts could get there. They still came in, but they were a little upset and Pink Hat was more smug than usual. But if you didn't save the baby, didn't you lose?

I don't know if I can adequately put into words the jumble of my life right now. I am going to Ontario for a friend's wedding this weekend (well, I'm leaving today), and going to NY state for a conference next weekend, so my mind isn't entirely on clinic stuff right now. My partner is in the middle of figuring out what happens after law school, so it's tense.

I was going to do a rather poetic post about bathrobes, the bathrobes people wear and the ones we have, and what people wear in general, and what comfort means to different people. But I can't. I'm too scattered. I will try to write one before next clinic, I promise.

Looks like you prefer Glare-y Mary as a nickname over Lady in Red. I will blog accordingly in future. :)