Screaming Children

On the way home from work today, I saw the weirdest billboard. It was one of those changing ones, and it was alternating between an ad that said (approximately), on a plain black background, “Child Sexual Abuse: Learn to Recognize the Signs” and another one with a huge photo of a screaming child’s face that said “Time to Find a New Apartment” (ie your neighbour’s kid is screaming).



Skytrain cops and bus drivers… no lack of material for cartoonists

Skytrain cops–are they the saddest thing in Vancouver or the grossest? This morning two of them were strutting around the platform at Main and Terminal, going up to people who looked poor and asking for their tickets. Thanks for saving the taxpayers $5, boys. Does it feel good to watch people shuffle away, staring at a ticket for a fine they can’t pay?

The other day a young South Asian woman told me that she was stopped by a cop as she was getting off a train. He demanded to see her baguette and broke off a piece. Wow. I’m so dumb I never thought of looking in bread for a weapon! Young South Asian woman with baguette. Hmmm. Racism? Boredom? Stupidity? All of the above?


And why is it that some bus drivers have no problem giving people a ride and
others act like the person is tearing money out of their own pockets? What
kind of world do we live in when a tottering skinny old man with holes in
his clothes can’t get a ride worth $2.25?

One afternoon these two women got on the bus and pretended to look for their tickets until we got to the next stop where they got off. As they walked away the driver called, “Users of the system!” God, what is wrong with these guys?

Some drivers go out of their way to talk politely with people who are high
or crazy or old or smelly. It sets the tone for the whole bus and the whole
day for everyone on the bus. It makes you proud to be human.

One day a driver kicked this guy off the bus because his transfer was too
old. The guy was wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase and could not
believe that anyone would deny him anything. That is the only time I loved
seeing someone kicked off.


Why I Love the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and a plug for continued access for people with disabilities…

Here are six reasons…

1. I see all the lesbians I have ever known.
2. I start thinking everyone is a lesbian, that’s how many there are!
3. I have a rare reprieve from feeling fat or clumsy. Because there are people with all kinds of bodies–old, young, fat, skinny, hairy, disabled–showing skin and dancing and laughing.
4. In one day I saw: three gay leather guys laughing hysterically together, one in a wheelchair with no top on and pierced nipples; a two-year-old dancing in a sparkly purple cape; a woman with a beard; many dyke moms; a guy in a wheelchair with a tracheotomy smoking a giant doobie by the port-a-potties; a 12-year-old girl that I danced at the festival with when she was a baby; and some average looking folks who were just going with the flow.
5. THE MUSIC: this year Sarah Jane Morris blew me away! And Martyn Joseph made me cry because he sang about injustice in this way that my mom would have loved and she is dead and the world is crazy.
6. The incredible attention to access for people with disabilities. They are everywhere! And you realize that they could always be at events if people made the effort to be accessible! I push my girlfriend around the festival in her wheelchair and I AM NOT THE ONLY PERSON with a disabled partner! And she can watch music and not have to arrange for a special place to sit or get me to stand in line for hours and save seats because the festival has built a place for her to sit!!

Now, this year there were not as many people in the disabled access area as usual. Is this because the Folk Fest has raised the price of discounted community tickets (given to community groups to distribute)? I HOPE NOT. I plan to write to them. I hope you do too, if this is important to you. (Go to the fest’s FAQ page and scroll down to see list of things they offer for people with disabilities.)


Grammar Tip #12: A Girl Like I

Easing back into grammar tips now that the thesis is well done…

“A girl like I never gets to meet really interesting men. One’s brain gets to be starved.”

I’ve just been watching Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Could she be more excellent? So dumb and smart at the same time! And HOT. Like when she’s dancing with Piggy and they show her in that clingy dress from the back with her tiny waist and…

Oops–I’m heading in the wrong direction. What I wanted to write about was how Marilyn uses “I” instead of “me” to sound smarter. If most people heard the quotation above, they would know it was wrong–which is why it works so well in the film. But if Marilyn had said “girls like Dorothy and I,” many people, at least nowadays, wouldn’t even notice the error. This is why it works well to check your sentence with the other person taken out to figure out whether it should be I or me.

E.g. Come visit Georgie and I whenever you want.

Would you say “Come visit I whenever you want”? No. So say, “Come visit Georgie and me whenever you want.” That is the correct way.

See also Grammar Tip #2. I had to post this continuation of Tip #2 because I hadn’t been able to find any actual lines that Lorelei said when I posted the original tip.

Second Graphire: The Man I Talk To Sometimes

This guy panhandles sometimes outside Waterfront Skytrain. When I take my dog to work I take the Skytrain instead of my usual bus, so I pass by him during evening rush hour. It’s not like I give everyone money who asks for it, but I can never get over how many people in expensive suits with five dollar coffees walk right by without even eye contact. I try to give him money every time I see him and chat a while. My dog seems to like him. He often is friendlier to homeless people than most other people.


First Try with Graphire

Oh dear, this cute little tablet is way harder than it looks… This is my first try, without looking at the instruction manual or figuring out little buttons. Did a first grader draw this??