here I am

25 Apr

Well, here I am.  Yup.

Yesterday, I headed over to one of the new Work BC employment centres or whatever they are now called.  You have to go to the one closest to you, which for me is about a 25 minute walk/10 minute bike ride/5 second helicopter ride.  I got a new case manager.  Had I not had a case manager in the past, that would apparently have proved much more difficult to get one. 

She was better than the last one, so that is good although really, not saying much (government, etc.) She only works two days a week and has another job to supplement her income.  Case managers tell me these things when I ask.  When I mention I’d written an in-depth article on the whole thing, she clammed up a bit but also wrote her name on a piece of paper (no business cards yet, the gov’t is behind on these things apparently) and told me to make sure I spelled it right when I wrote about her.  Ha, I said, no, I’m done with that.  (Still haven’t gotten the cheque in the mail for that article, go figure).  Anyway, I found out that I have to re-apply for the targeted wage subsidy, something I wasn’t told.  The fellow in charge of it seemed a mixture of bored and confused and said nothing would be up and running for at least a month.  Oh, I said.

The office itself is nice – nice computers in the resource room and not a soul there to use them except a little boy (really).  The resource centre employee also looked bored.  “It gets busier,” my case manager assured me and then showed me the water cooler of which she seemed quite proud. “I’d like to be your case manager,” she informed me.  “Should we speak once a month?”

I signed up for a 2 day career exploration  course spread out over 3 days next week.  I did this mainly so that I can be around other people because as we all know the isolation and boredom is doing my head in.  The course takes place right in the office.  Before the cuts, such a course would have been 3 weeks and taught by specialists in the field.  Now, it’s a crap shoot really and I know that.  I’m pleased that it is a much shorter course, however.  And obviously if I get a job interview or subbing or some such, that would take precedence.

I will also be observing an ELSA class (unpaid, sigh) next week at that 2 zone bus ride location but that should hopefully  lead to a few (paid) sub gigs there.  So wow, next week is just jam packed. 

I said to G.  (not the Glenda but another G. person) last week that maybe I just should have put in the money and stayed at the corporation.  She looked at me with an expression that said, “no, really, really?”  And then she said, “No, REALLY?”  She’s right, I wouldn’t have survived all the beaten down stress that followed.  It seems to be settling down a bit but, eeek.  And again, when you have to fire that many people to keep something going – yikes.  I think in addition to all of the stress I would have felt like I was working because other people got fired. Yuck.  I’m obviously still processing this almost 8 months later.

 I still believe that there is something else out there for me but it is just taking awhile to show up.  Sigh.

In other news, it seems that a gay woman in Ohio has been removed as den leader (I think that is the title) of her son’s Boy Scout troop because she is gay.  The Boy Scouts have issued a statement basically saying that because she is gay, the boys would have to learn all about, well, gayness, and that the Boy Scouts is not the place for that.  This is in the U.S. of course, I believe in Canada the Boy Scouts considers gay people to be human.   So this mother of four children, had to tell her 7 year old son that she could no longer be involved in scouting with him.  Parents of some of the other boys are outraged and their children are shocked and confused.  Ironically, this will result in having ‘those kinds of conversations’ that the Boy Scouts of America wanted to avoid.  Here’s the petition – along with some more information.    Seems that as treasurer of her pack, she had found some inconsistencies in the finances, reported them and a week later was removed because she was gay. 

Okay, I can’t imagine being gay and reading about this kind of stuff all of the time.  My head would explode (well, more).  I’m not gay, but I write and read about the issues a lot because, mainly, I find them so shocking and disturbing and I wish unbelievable.  In another story (remember I have LOTS OF TIME TO SURF THE NET) it seems that four women were travelling through Texas and stopped into the only bar in a tiny town of 500 that served alcohol.  They were playing pool and such when they were told to leave.  Once outside, three of them were beaten by men who told them basically if they wanted to look like a man, they should be able to fight like one.  Okay, I ask naively, what is the reason for all the beating up?  Canada is generally more enlightened and certainly Vancouver is.  But having said that, a man named Aaron Webster was beaten to death in Stanley Park about 10 years ago and other gay bashings still go on.  What is it that makes some men (and the physical beatings are almost exclusively done by men)  get all “I’m gonna punch your face in”?  Can’t they just, I don”t know, spit on the floor or something instead?  Or break a toilet? (not sure why that came to mind).  Can’t they just do all their hating in their own homes, by themselves with say a punching bag?  I mean, I’ll confess, I may not understand it all either – the whole Chaz Bono thing is a bit odd to me but I don’t actually want to beat him up.  Let me think.  If I see Chaz Bono walking down the street in Vancouver, will I want to beat him up?  Will I want to take a bat and hit him in the head with it until his head is flat and he is lying on the ground?  Do I have a desire to do this? No.  But I do have a desire to tell him that his mother is so interesting and could chll a bit on the plastic surgery.  Anyway, stream of bored consciousness.  I’m not saying I am so much more enlightened than the beater uppers – was it not I who stared at the elder hand holding women the other evening?  Indeed it was.  I wonder if they had gone into that bar in Texas if those men would have punched them too. 

But just LET THAT WOMAN BE A BOY SCOUT LEADER.  I have a friend in (rural-ish) Virginia who I’ve sadly lost contact with (mainly because I’ve lost her e-mail address).  I met her about 11 years ago when I wanted to do an article on the actress Thea Gill and she was able to get me in touch with her.  A few years later, I did a great trip to NYC, Washington DC and then Richmond, Virginia, where I had (have) a friend.  She also lived out there with her then partner and their two children and I stayed with them in their little country town for a few days.  She played guitar in the church band, something I found interesting because I figured that a small rural town church would not go for the likes of her.  But she took me to a rehearsal and all seemed happy.  I was still fascinated that I was wrong. Well, turns out I wasn”t wrong.  A couple of years later the band leader kicked her out, basically saying that ‘her kind’ were not welcome to be in the band.  I don’t remember a lot of the details but I remember that she was very hurt and humiliated.  The thing is, in every other way she was as ‘conservative’ as those other people in that church band.  She was just raising her children and loving her country type thing. 

okay, back to me.

Wow, it is May basically and high ESL season but I’m not hearing from the schools that I expected to hear from.  I’m not even sure that I am still guaranteed the 3 weeks in August at UBC.  All very up in the air which, coupled with the isolation is not so great.  As such, I’ve contacted a small theatre in Vancouver that I used to volunteer for during the day way back in 1995 to see if they might need some help just to get me out of the house and back into the land of the living. 

Oh, wee wee fan base, remember back so many months ago when I thought I’d actually be able to switch careers?  Oh, the salad days of vague optimism.  

It’s raining and the roofers, who I thought were finished, are now back right outside my bedroom window.


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