Third Time’s a Charm: A Blog About My Apparent New Dedication to Maiming Myself

I like to think I’m not a terribly grand braggart, but amongst my other prized attributes (including extreme propensity for dying my hair and a perfectly colour-organized closet), I can’t help but boast about how I’ve never spent a night in the hospital.

proof of the propensity

Proof of the propensity

Similarly, up until this week, I couldn’t remember the last time I was on antibiotics or was sick from non-self-induced reasons.  People used to say “you know, you really shouldn’t brag about that, karma will probably get you”.  Well, I didn’t believe in karma.  I believed in my kick-ass immune system.

WHAT A MORON.

Since I moved out of my sea shanty downtown apartment into my ballin’ new house in mid-town I have been somewhat badly injured not once but three times.  That’s once every other week.  How infuriating.

The first time I pulled (strained?) a muscle in the left side of my chest.  Sounds bad ass right?  Wrong.  I had been brushing my teeth in the bathroom when I realized I forgot something (what did I forget?  I have no idea – guess it wasn’t THAT important, now was it Stockley?) in my bedroom.  I was wearing socks and took the corner from the bathroom into my bedroom when I wiped out.  Feet flew out from under me, I landed hard on my knees while apparently doing some obviously really graceful side lunge or similar to break my fall and when I did that i managed to pull the muscle.  I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t lift my arm as high as my shoulders, all I could do was be this crying 27 year old on the floor.  I even had to miss the next day at work!

When people asked why I had been out, I first channeled my inner Jenna Marbles and tried to concoct a wild, unbelievable, sympathy-provoking or awe-inspiring reason for pulling (or whatever) a muscle in my chest.  Robbers?  Super heroes?  Rescuing a kitten from a tree for an elderly stranger?

I tried to learn from the best...i failed.

I tried to learn from the best…i failed.

In the end I went with “oh, I just had a little slip and fall”, a statement dripping in bravado, because everyone knows that “slip and fall” is just code for “I’m too embarrassed to explain what actually happened”.  In my case, “I took a hard corner with far too much vigour”.

After that incident I said to myself – well, Stockley, that really is what you get for bragging about how infallible you’ve been for all these years.  But one month later…

foot

Lookin’ good!

I was throwing around the softball on a beautiful summer day.  Ah, what a glorious moment!  Sun was shining, it was actually hot and I just friggin love playing catch.  I was playing with a guy who is big and strong and threw the ball over my reach.  In typical Stockley-fashion, I took off running after that ball and tripped over some unlevel ground and fell real hard on my ankle.  Oh, what a sin, you might be thinking.  Well, quit it!  I was wearing Birkenstocks like a moron who THINKS SHE’S INFALLIBLE.  Quite frankly, I deserved that sprained ankle.

Because it was awful and we were in the middle of the park, I experienced a personal nightmare come to real life when I had to be piggy-backed across the park.  In the words of one GJ, I am “annoyingly independent”, so being carried in front of a park full of people was enough to make me just wish i had been at the office that day instead of playing outside.  I later had to be carried – old school husband-carries-wife-across-the-threshold style – into my house.  Good sweet Jesus just end it all now, would you?

That was two weeks ago today and you know what?   The ankle is still a bit swollen.  Good grief I’m not the girl I once was.

Finally, we get to last Saturday.  In even more typical Stockley fashion, no series of events or performance of any kind would be complete without some grand closing act.

Owing to my great love of softball and being outdoors and despite my still-slightly-sprained ankle, last Saturday I just had to play in the Cox & Palmer annual charity softball tournament.  As per its name, this is a tournament hosted by and for the law firms here in Town.  It has historically been amazingly fun with McInnes Cooper having an outstanding track record of never having won a single game.  How could I miss out on this?

Me and the MC gang in between games!

Me and the MC gang in between games!

So, off I went.  It may have been that tensions were a bit high in the third match against a team to remain unnamed.  In a great effort to be really awesome and show ’em who was boss (namely, one Nick Leamon who hit a series of inside-the-park home runs and is now the object of no less than four different lawyers’ affections), I may have took a bit of a slide round or about first base.  I’m not willing to admit I slid into base because that’s not allowed in softball.  I am similarly not willing to admit I tripped.  So…let’s just accept at face value that I took a bit of a slide.

That was fine and dandy and I carried on playing.  Who knows exactly when and who knows exactly why, but in a later game I once again was running to round or about first base and I, again, took a bit of a slide.  Again, I admit neither intentional nor accidental sliding.  In any event, following that slide my leg was looking truly like that of a real hero.  I was going to sit out at this point when someone told me enough people had bailed on that final game that I had to play in order to have players.  So I did.  Selfless, I know.  Stupid, this I also know.

After the tournament (of which MC finally had a great victory over StuMac!) I went home and tended to that hurt leg of mine – Polysporin, bandages, elevation, rest, ice, compression – you name it, I did it.  But to no avail, that leg simply would not heal.  In fact, it did the opposite.  It got worse, and worse, and worse.  On Sunday it was bad, but I took the opportunity to rest, relax and take in the World Cup finals!

Go go fight fight!

Go go fight fight!

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Admitted to ER due to softball injury: because I rule obv,

Finally, it had gotten to the point where I was in pretty bad pain just sitting down.  Accompanying this discomfort was a nice red hue colouring most of my leg.  I started to think – this just can’t be right.  So, off I went to the ER.  I told the triage nurse – ya know, i think it’s probably nothing.  You wouldn’t know this about me, but I actually have a really impressive immune system so I’m afraid I just can’t actually be that badly injured.

In response to this, the triage nurse and the ER doctor told me right where to go: on an IV antibiotic for the rest of the week.  From Monday night to Thursday morning I went to the ER twice a day to have an IV to fight whatever horrible thing had happened to my leg.

On Thursday evening the McInnes Cooper associates and students were going zip lining in Petty Harbour at North Atlantic Zip, which is the longest zip lining course in Canada and which I was not about to miss.  I asked every single nurse and doctor at the ER “can I pleeeeease go zip lining”, to various answers.  I finally met this one nurse who seemed to be really impressed by my sliding at softball and who was also into sports – he was on my side right away.  I chose to hold fast to his word and thus to my dream (because you know what happens if dreams die…) and off I went to beautiful Petty Harbour to do a summer adventure I had been dying to do.

MC associates and students zip lining with quaint Petty Harbour in the background.

MC associates and students zip lining with quaint Petty Harbour in the background.

I feared I would likely injure something else – I had no great guesses of what it might be as zip lining seems pretty injury-proof, but with the luck I had going I figured it had to be something.

Surprisingly, I walked away unscathed but after having the most amazing time.  If you ever have the time, money and inclination to give it a shot, NAZ is an amazing experience!

It’s now been a week since the softball injury.  The IV is now done.  The ankle is just barely swollen.  I can’t even really recall the “slip and fall” accident anymore.  Jen, my concert pianist friend, reminded me that “these things happen in threes!”, so I’m very hopeful that from this point onwards I’ll be just fine.  I better be, because between going home to Twillingate for the annual Fish, Fun and Folk Festival and then to Ireland with my favourite gal pals from childhood a week later, there are simply too many things to do for my karma from my past health-bragging to make another appearance.

Anne Taylor accompanied by IV arm and injured leg.  Her reps haven't been beating down the door for this picture just yet

Anne Taylor accompanied by IV arm and injured leg. Her reps haven’t been beating down the door for this picture just yet

Prostitution and Politics: A Week in Review

Have you all been following the insanity that is Bill C-36 this week?  BECAUSE lemme tell ya, if you’re interested in reality tv and drama up in drama’s grill – this right here is the stuff of your dreams.

As a nerd cross Charter/human rights enthusiast, the Bedford (prostitution) Supreme Court case last year was fascinating to me.  What I didn’t know at the time, though, was that would what be that much more fascinating was how people (read: certain members in the House) would respond to the ruling.  It really depends on how you see courts of law, and maybe the Supreme Court in particular.

If you’re my boy, Peter MacKay, you might just view it as “a situation that was created by the Supreme Court of Canada when it struck down certain provisions in the Criminal Code in Bedford” (Source). I love that!  “A situation that was created” – dripping with just a touch of irritation.

B'ys we seriously got a situation

B’ys we seriously got a situation

I don’t mean to beat up on Pete, which probably seems like it’s a bit of a pastime of mine , but his extreme ability to firmly insert foot into mouth is becoming more and more outstanding.  In the words of the actual Situation, Peter, “You’re the worst argument person ever.”

the actual situation

The actual Situation

Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, has a series of objectives.  These include protecting children, trafficked people, vulnerable people (read: prostitutes) from the intrinsic harms of prostitution and reducing the demand for prostitution.  In furthering these objectives, buying sex is now illegal and punishable on summary conviction.  So is advertising for the sale of sex.  The goal is to protect the above-mentioned people, so when a prostitute receives legal tender for the deed, that’s not illegal.  Nor is using that money for the benefit of her spouse or her children.  However, Johns, pimps, buyers – these are the people who stand to be charged under the new legislation.

Of particular disdain amongst opponents of the Bill is the new provision which provides that a person will be found guilty for offering or procuring in the presence of persons under the age of 18 – whether prostitute or not. It seems likely that the ultimate hope for the Bill is the eradication of prostitution.

Sunny Freeman of the Huffington Post writes Industry insiders say the law will be ineffective in preventing exploitation and instead serve to drive the industry further underground and sex workers further into danger. For those reasons, many believe the ban on advertising will not pass constitutional muster. 

Interestingly, though, not all sex workers can get on board with this idea.  Natasha Falle, a former prostitute of 12 years and now professor at Humber College, was the witness from Sex Trafficking Survivors United during the committee meetings on the Bill this week.  Ms. Falle believes the goal should be to eradicate and end prostitution as a form of sexual abuse.

I watched Ms. Falle give this response to a question posed by the conservative  member from Mississauga South. I have to admit, I have been borderline obsessively watching the videos of the committee.  We’ve all heard about the idiot…I  mean…poorly-spoken Mr. Goguen who essentially asked a former rape-victim-prostitute if her gang rape was an expression of her Charter rights and ought to be protected.  While not all of the discussions are so jaw-droppingly shocking, they have all been so candid and amazing and I have been watching them with the fury of many policy-obsessed nerds combined.

(As a sidenote, from some very funny commentary on Goguen and his symptoms of the apparent rampant foot-in-mouth illness going around Parliament, click here.)

What I found potentially most  interesting during Ms. Falle’s testimony  (which you can watch some of here) was the response of her colleague to her left, Ms. McDonald, who profusely both rolls her eyes and shakes her head as Ms. Falle opines that eradication is the right and just path that we should be on.

The beginning of the eye roll - how all mature prostitutes debate

The beginning of the eye roll – how all mature prostitutes debate

LUCKILY for Ms. McDonald the conservative member noticed: “Ms. McDonald I can see you shaking your head…”  She then asked Ms. McDonald whether her end goal, as a general goal of harm prevention, is to help girls get out one day.

Ms McDonald works for Maggie’s: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, where the mission statement is “Maggie’s advocates that we should all have the right to choose or reject sex work, just as we have the right to choose or reject any other kind of work.” She advises the committee that, when she works in pursuit of harm prevention, girls come to her considering their options.  She testified that the girls who come to her can both learn how to write a resume and a cover letter, and, additionally, aren’t gonna be told that they’re “bad”.

At this point, the Conservative member had to battle back a small, typically-Candian-poli polite uproar after a discussion about summary convictions which don’t lead to jail time or a criminal record.

Ya gotta admit – when Ms. Falle tells her story of drug induced schizophrenia, born of a coke addiction, born of being assaulted by an escort service driver (after ten years of selling sex without ever touching hard drugs) that the intrinsic harm in prostitution does in fact seem much greater than Ms. McDonald’s worry about summary convictions or combination crimes (involving drugs) that lead to jail time.

Other issues with the Bill include the anti-advertising provisions.  Those provisions are seemingly so broad and, owing in part to a failure to define “sex” or “sexual activity” or “the nasty” or other acronyms for “IT”, that many business owners stand to lose lots of revenue at an already-bad time for the print publishing industry.

I suppose that’s a fair comment.  Small businesses don’t need a further impediment to running a successful operation.  But, then, one somehow thinks – this isn’t in regards to all advertising.  If your adult advertisement seems to selling sex don’t publish it.  I find it difficult to be persuaded by the argument that this part of the Bill will negatively impact massage parlours and strip clubs where the lines might get blurred when reading their advertisements.

And what of other laws that limit what people in business can do? Is this ban on sex-for-sale advertisements somehow harming your business more than the new anti-spam legislation?

Have you ever seen that commercial about the YellowPages at the cupcake store?  And this person walks in but she says “I’m not really here because I couldn’t find your listing online”?  And the commercial is about getting an online YellowPages listing and changing with the times, rolling with the punches and all that? Is it crass of me if I say that the perpetrator of this sad argument needs to grow a pair?

Business isn’t easy!  Laws and society and how business works change all the time.  If this anti-sex-advertisement is really the reason why your business just might fail…well, I hate to be too persuaded by either Harper, the Man, or some strange belief that this Bill has merit…but you’re lying to yourself!

So, the short and the long of it is that this week has literally gone off the rails.  My personal take on the Bill is that there is a much good in there.  I’ve read about the likelihood of possible Charter violations in the Bill’s current form, and it could be so.  I’m swayed, however, by a Bill that sees a problem and, for once, thinks both of how to attack it in and of itself, and, additionally, endeavours to nip the thing in its bud.  The combination of greater potential liability on clients, and a legal situation that, one hopes, will remove prostitution from the reasonable prospects of the children that would usually become prostitutes (owing to systemic problems including social-economic status), seems so logical to me.

In conclusion, the score board this week in Prostitution and Politics reads:

Ms. Falle – 1; Ms. McDonald – 0.

Mr. Goguen – 0: The Rest of Good People – .

And, last but certainly not least:

Peter MacKay – 0; The Situation – 1.

Brand New Morning (No, Really Though)

I have this friend who is sickeningly, overwhelmingly positive.  Honestly, you can’t even really complain to him because he’ll twist it into something positive and if you’re just not ready to be positive yet, this can border on being a thorn in your side.  Worse is that later you feel guilty for feeling annoyed.  It’s a vicious cycle, really.

One of the worst (…and also best) things this friend has said to me so far was in reply to my pseudo-brag about snoozing for an hour almost every morning.  He told me that starting your day off by procrastinating is a great start to an unproductive, procrastination-filled day.  Inspired by a combination of wanting to prove him wrong, being impressed with his logic, and being overly-competitive with myself  (as per my waspy upbringing), I decided to change it up.

Before you all start thinking I’m crazy, let me just say things are actually great since I began my new routine of getting up at 6:15.

Hello mr sun!!

Hello mr sun!!

At 6:15 I don’t want to get up, I want to sleep – and sleep and sleep and sleep.  But I mind-over-matter that sucker of a thought and get my lazy bones outta bed and march directly into the kitchen and boil water for a cup of tea.

TEA – that’s the next change.  I gave up coffee.  (SIDEBAR: This has nothing to do with my friend who thinks I’m a bit crazy for this one.)  Coffee is the delicious drink of the angels, I know, but throughout history I have felt better when on a tea kick.  My body feels so much better, I don’t have a weird crash forcing me to drink a million more cups, and my energy just lasts so much longer.  Who know – maybe it’s just the placebo effect, but I swear – one cup of tea.  That’s all it takes.

You say 6:30, I say blog o'clock

You say 6:30, I say blog o’clock

Tea is also way hotter than coffee and takes so long to steep and that is great news, because I am busy having a really long, leisurely breakfast while I read the news and catch up on what’s going on in the world and start plotting out some of my next blog topics.

Basically, I just get started on a whole bunch of things I enjoy before I even start getting ready for my job.

My friend made this great point that my new schedule essentially enables me to make my day include work, as opposed to being about work.  I’m not getting up to go to work, I’m getting up to read the news and drink fantastic tea.

The final addition I’ve made to my mornings is walking to work.  I used to live sort of far away and not along a pretty route to get to the office.  Now, however, I have about a 25 minute walk through gorgeous forested roads with unique people and houses and sights to be seen.  The walks have inspired me to start taking more photos (much like my sister Cecily, who is always taking amazing photos).  In the setting I’m in, I don’t even need to hunt out interesting subjects.

Fourth of July in style - this guy was reppin' the US, the UK, and the Republic of Newfoundland.

Fourth of July in style – this guy was reppin’ the US, the UK, and the Republic of Newfoundland.

Roses, heart fence, graffiti (intersection at Empire Ave and Kings Bridge Road)

Roses, heart fence, graffiti (intersection at Empire Ave and Kings Bridge Road)

Perhaps this fad will fade and I’ll be back to my old, procrastination-before-bacon ways in short form.  Hopefully not though, because living such a colourful and productive few hours before I hit the Power button on my laptop has transformed my mornings from revolving around work to revolving around living.

Now: to heal this mangled ankle before the end of the week so I can get back on my favourite, dusty trail.

J. Crew slacks, Ann Taylor flats, sprained ankle and bandaging courtesy of one Brent Warren

J. Crew slacks, Ann Taylor flats, sprained ankle and bandaging courtesy of one Brent Warren

 

 

A New (Re)Introduction

Hi!

If you’ve come all this way and you’re here I want to say thanks.  Thanks for clicking on the link that brought you here.

Additionally, if you’ve come all this way it’s probably because you previously have read my other blog, Little Raves.  And if you were doing that, I want to say thanks again.

Oh hello!

Oh hello!

I genuinely love writing.  Little Raves has given me a great little spot for writing in the last few years, and I talked about many things: amazing love stories; sarcastic analysis of society; policy critique and political commentary.  Little Raves somehow was limiting though – it was harder to be part of something.  Fewer people use Blogspot and I found it difficult to actually get involved in a conversation and a community.

You’ll also see on the side that I have categories.  I’ll be organizing all these thoughts that go through my brain so that you can pick and choose as it strikes your fancy.

I’m also going to be writing about my own Day-to-Day from time to time.  This is new and a wee bit scary.  I read other people’s interesting daily life blogs or vlogs as the case may be, and I always think wow what fascinating people!  Then I chicken out every time I consider it.  But onwards and upwards.  Perhaps there will be some substance, some merit, some humour, some something to it.

On that note, I wish you all could enjoy the morning walk I get each day…but that’s another blog for another time.

Forest avenue heaven street, they call it.

Forest avenue heaven street, they call it.

I hope you’ll keep coming back here and perhaps even start giving me some much-needed feedback/input/suggestions about my blogging.  I’ve got lots in mind for the coming months – from more on Peter MacKay, to more stories of sweet love, to more annoyance about stupid social norms – so don’t leave me now.  I’m not a different girl, this is just my (re)introduction.