Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with the Old, etc.

It is that time of year when I look fondly back at the days when I was a student, and December actually meant a chance to breathe. Of course, the only thing I miss about being a student is having breaks, so it's probably best that I'm not. A student that is.

The point is, while most of my friends have some time off thanks either to a break in the school year or a lack of employment, I am feeling a little overwhelmed by my own schedule. Thank goodness I don't celebrate Christmas, or that would be another big stresser. (I know, how many anti-choicers who read this blog are surprised that I don't do Christmas? I am such an evil stereotype).

The last couple weeks at the clinic have been kind of bad, in terms of protesters - it's a time of year when a lot of our volunteer escorts go home for the holidays so we are short, and the protesters were quite aggressive. Thank goodness for the yellow vests.

The Mad Chatter is the worst. She has been talking away to the escorts, without a care in the world that they won't engage with her. Her favourite topic seems to be education, and how getting an education leads to being an evil pro-abort. At least she's out there keeping the volunteers entertained; it helps to have a distraction from the cold weather. TP came to volunteer last week, and of course he plays by his own rules; he followed the Mad Chatter around, asking her inane questions and keeping her occupied. As he was coming in to get his vest one of the protesters told him he had to go to confession, every week. TP's reply: "Every week? Lady, you must be doing a lot of sinning!".

So we have fun, even despite the cold. There was no clinic this week, so the volunteers got a breather. I have a new escort starting on Tuesday. The circle of life, and so on.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year. My resolution is to try to blog every week, in a timely manner. Let's see if I can do it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Reading Material

This Tuesday's clinic was once again very cold, but we were all heartened to see the continued success of the bright yellow vests. People really know what to look for, which is excellent.

Nothing much to report on in terms of protester activity, but plenty to say about protester fashion. Two of the ladies wore pink berets, which makes it very hard to know what to call them (confession: a lot of the time I can't actually tell the protesters apart, so when I say Glare-y Mary did this or Pink Hat did that, they may very well be one and the same). One of the pink-hatted ladies, however, had on some excellent cold-weather pants: bright orange! They looked to be splash pants, actually, but I have to believe they were warmer. Quite fetching, regardless - perhaps she is trying to compete with the escorts in terms of visibility?

Over the pants, the same lady was wearing a long fur coat. I read somewhere the other day that fur is making a comeback; apparently it has become somewhat passé to be offended by it. So I guess Pink Hat is just keeping with the style. Although the scotch-tape repairs to a tear in the shoulder could use some work.

I stopped reading the 40 Days for Life blog quite some time ago, after the updates stopped at Day 34. However, the ever-vigilant KM has pointed out to me that there are, in fact, more updates - including our little exercise in absurdism (see Day 35). KM's favourite part of the new content is the stuff about pigeons on day 35 which I agree is pretty fantastic. However, I think my favourite is on the penultimate day, when Critical Mass rode by, shouting out pro-choice chants (which I very much enjoyed from my office window). Peter Ryan says: "Isn’t it amazing how much energy some people can waste on foolishness?"

The irony, it burns!!

I also greatly enjoyed the rant about young people on Day 31. Only young people who participate in prayer vigils are not foolish, is what I got from it.

What I find the most fascinating is Peter Ryan's characterizations: of young people, of the escorts, but specficially of our clinic manager. The way he describes her, it makes me think of some comic book villain, lurking and glaring from the shadows. It makes me wonder a lot about what my blog must look like from an outsider's view.

Anyway, I know I shouldn't be giving them all this attention, but there are some things I just can't stand to keep to myself. :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New and Cold

So I know you're all dying to hear how things went with the new vests. In a word: fantastic! They are so much more visible than the blue pinneys, and the volunteers tell me that patients seem a lot more confident coming up to them. It's easier to tell that they are associated with the clinic and not the protesters.

The other interesting effect was the protesters shying away - they kept their distance more than usual this week. Most likely this is just temporary, but it is a good thing for the time being.

The real cold started to hit this week. The escorts came inside frequently to warm up, and a few took toe warmers to put on before their shift next week. Winter break is always tough because people go home for the holidays, so we have fewer volunteers covering the shifts, and it's really rough to stand out in the cold for an hour. Hopefully we can make it work.

Don't forget to attend the Montreal massacre memorial service tonight at the Student Union Building (UNB), in the Blue Room. It starts at 7pm.

Also, Feminists for Choice is looking for pro-choice activists' stories to compile into an e-book. Check it out!