Friday, July 24, 2009

BlogHer blogging

So I made it here and I'm talking to people and introducing myself and being very gulping and scared but trying to talk to people.


I will try to write some longer posts, but I think this will be a bits and pieces kinda weekend. I've been hanging out with Cecily and Sarah and Alexa and Mel and SweetSaltyKate (and too many to name!) and I'm hanging out with Emma right now and I've met a zillion other people, and I'm glad I came.

I have to admit, I'm in hyperoverdrive and REALLY WAY TOO INTENSE for some people right now. I'm already an intense person, but damn these convention weekends make me more so, and if I am too intense for you----TELL ME. It's good, cause like, I really don't want to be the woman walking down the runway of life with my skirt tucked in the back of my pantyhose, you know? Emotional skirts or literal skirts.

To my new readers by the way, although I introduced myself with my real name, I am extremely conscious of my anonymity and do NOT want to be identified online as anything other than Aurelia, ok? If you want to know, feel free to read archives or ask or whatever, but the short and sweet version is that my family history is bad and I don't want to be found by that family. EVER. It's safety peeps. Also, I blog about some pretty personal stuff and in real life there are some pretty damn judgey people out there when it comes to some of my blog subjects.

So here I am.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Canadians at BlogHer09 - cellphone issues

*Updated below, with pathetic update from Rogers*

I have a more personal post coming, but this one is strictly techie.....

I mentioned this on a BlogHer post about wifi access in the hotel, but honestly, I'm not sure anyone read it or believed me! Please please please, if you are from Canada and taking a cellphone with you and expecting to use ANY DATA at all internationally, that's email, web, twitter, facebook mobile or chat, please call your cellphone provider and ask what to do about this.

I know for sure it is still an issue with Rogers, and they deal with almost half of cells and all iPhones in Canada, and most 3G blackberries in Canada.

"Canadians with web-enabled phones or blackberries/iphones have a slight problem. Our cell companies do not offer international data plans or unlimited data plans, because----they're idiots is the short answer, and the long answer I can explain at BlogHer if my head doesn't explode just thinking about it. We have plans for in country data, or international text and phone, but not this.

So whenever we go out of the country at all and use our phones for anything, we get slammed for charges. Rogers Wireless, my provider, charges me 25 cents per kilobyte.

Yes, you read that right. PER KILOBYTE.

I either have to turn my phone completely off, or only turn it on in areas that have Wifi. I can't plug it in like a laptop.

So can all the Canadians please, pretty please be given rooms on the wireless side of the hotel?

My wireless bill is already going to be in the hundreds. I'd like to avoid it being in the thousands.

I am trying to get the word out, but if you could pass this on to any Canadians coming, most have no idea they should call their cell companies and ask what to do. Some can turn off data, others can't."

We can't use our phones as modems or else all hell breaks loose with our bills as well.

We have very very shitty cellphone companies ok?

For me, I'm going to be keeping my phone on, but changing my settings to block all html emails and no surfing, tweeting or facebooking unless I am inside the wifi area and have a guaranteed signal.

I will also being doing a lot of texting to cell phone numbers. That I can do reasonably!

Then again, I can afford it if the bill gets a little high, I know some of you can't!


*Updated to Add*

I've called Rogers and in a very amusing turn of events, they have something called a "US data plan" that I could use---but only if I sign up for a monthly plan, and umm, I'm only going for 4 days. More bizarre---based on my current pattern of data usage, my bill for 4 days is going to be in excess of $500.00. That's if I can use wifi a lot. If I can't---it will be much higher. And I get a great deal already due to my phone being hitched on my husband's corporate account.

On the website, they give some very out to lunch examples, of say, sending and receiving 514 emails for each MB. Slight problem. They assume that each email is text only and is 1-2 KB. I never get emails that size, and many with html are much much larger, some 620kb. I get dozens of those every day. They also assume that each webpage loads as only 100 kb per click. Websites like my blog, with simple html and no graphics etc, are last time I clicked, 106 kb. BlogHer loaded on mine as over 250K, and Facebook loads as close to 1 MB. That's for every click.

So if you are looking for me, I'll be the one hugging the wifi transmitter....cause in Canada, our health care rocks, but our cellphone companies suck ass.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

don't even know what to write

Molars and family chaos have enveloped my life, which is why I haven't been blogging. <== super duper excuse #1 aka kinda a face-saving lie.

Ok, I'm struggling with some things folks.

There really is a lot going on. Julius is getting molars and my BIL's divorce has become a hellacious nightmare; in fact the part where the soon-to-ex freaked out on me for helping him pack his clothes was oh so awesome. Even better has been the fact that I still haven't resolved my medication issues because my cardiologist needed to have another meeting at his other office where the files are, and blah blah blah delay delay delay. The ADHD specialist's office called and said that I cannot have an appointment because he only does initial diagnoses and expects that my GP should prescribe and update my meds. The specialist's office is also not surprised that the GP refuses to help because almost all GPs refuse to prescribe meds, due to prejudice, which is why he now runs regular CMEs to teach all about ADHD meds and the seriousness of both the condition and the treatment. It was too hard trying to teach Doctors one at a time. Even now, they are just not getting it, and seem to prefer media depictions to actual medical evidence. Best part: they will not call the GP's office to explain this, I'm supposed to tell her she is uneducated. Greeeeaaat. I won't do it.

I am making headway on house repairs, but barely, my husband seems to spend lots and lots of time getting pissed off about it all, but really, we're just in a state of suspended animation right now. Because he is too nervous to spend money in this economy, we can't renovate or even plan the renovation, because if you merely talk about something out loud, that means you have 100% committed to it, and have no choice but to spend all that money, don't you know? We can't buy a new house, or sell this one, because again, he is so utterly freaked about money. Joke is, we can afford a new place or a reno, no problem. I would just have to tranq him like a horse to make it through.

Kaz's school is still a nightmare, they refuse to return phone calls or be helpful in any manner. They will not follow through on any of their commitments to us, and have pretty much abandoned Kaz. I finally told my husband to deal with them. I can't bear arguing with people who make no frigging sense.

So I'm in limbo, trying to slog through tasks, trying to make headway, help out where I can, but still and all, in limbo.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure where I fit in the blogosphere anymore. For years I have straddled the infertility/pregnancy/loss area along with the mommyblogging area and the political area and the adoptee area and the mental health and medical areas. I sort of pulled it off and I sort of didn't.

Political bloggers in Canada, as I've mentioned before, tend to use the aggregators to get their audience and don't write about personal stuff very much, with occasional exceptions. I'm done having babies and done with pregnancy, and sooner or later will be done with breastfeeding. My infertility continues because I still have medical problems related to that, like osteoporosis and endo, and ovarian failure, but it's not such a huge immediate thing. And Mommyblogging? Social networking? I've always blogged about parenting and my kids and husband, but I really don't care about clickrates or ads, and although I have strong opinions about raising kids, I also know that most of the ones on these blogs turn out just fine, because most of the women blogging are normal nice people with normal nice kids. And arguing about things that can be on a continuum can be a bit crazy making.

Mostly because, on every blog around, every little post, every little comment gets blown up into a huge thing. We always seem to assume that if someone is doing something differently than us, it must be BAD. But unless we are talking about bizarre extremes that could harm or kill someone, (and they are a whole different subject) then really who cares precisely how we get through the mushy middle?

Different does NOT equal Bad. It might even be good! Except on the internet, which has created a whole new level of hideous conformity.

Like, I can't stand the way some potential and completed adoptive parents assume that all birth mothers and adoptees are trying to wreck things for them--yet never once notice the horribly unethical lawyers and agencies who screw over their clients for money. CAS here in Ontario is one of the most poorly run disasters in government history, yet when I talk about it, I'm the bitter adoptee. Well, the Ombudsman of Ontario isn't adopted or bitter. He just doesn't like to see billions of dollars wasted while kids are beaten and starved. But no pointing it out for me!! Which fucking drives me apeshit. Honestly, anyone who is human should be outraged at the things that happen to kids in the system, in any country.

But that's not the most difficult part. It's the self-esteem thing. Try as I might, I cannot bear to read anymore bloggers, especially women, mostly all women, blame themselves when any issue on earth is discussed. Get pregnant, don't get pregnant, stay pregnant, don't stay pregnant, c-section or vaginal birth, breastfeeding or formula, baby does X, baby doesn't do X; husband, sitter, teacher, MIL, boss, co-worker, BFF, government, politician, does X, or doesn't do X, (yes, there are political/business examples too) the one thing that I can always always always guarantee is that regardless of the advice given by anyone in the comments or by email, women will always blame themselves.


It's never the doctors fault, or the clinic's fault, or the government's fault, or the daycare's fault, or really anyone on earth's fault, except the women in question.

It makes me WEEP to read it.

The worst part? When you point out that their midwife, Doc, nurse, Boss, husband, whomever has totally let them down and they really do deserve better; they get angry at the commenter! Literally, how dare we not join in the blame game and beat up the poster! And if the institution or person were ever actually proven to be at fault, then the woman blames herself for--- working at the job, picking the doc, not knowing about new study x, or new and improved product y. Meanwhile, how on earth could we ever fix everything or know everything about everything? OCD me doesn't, even Dr.Google doesn't. We do the best we can with the situation we've got and we depend on the experts we hire to give us the right advice. Trouble is, internally, we don't hold them accountable for their fuck-ups, instead we blame ourselves. Like if we were nicer or better or thinner or prettier or not so screwed up none of this would have happened.

Do you think men blame themselves like this? Not fucking likely. They blame us.

Before anyone says it, I know that I have done this in the past to myself. No one can beat me up like me, and I am trying to change. But how can I change if I keep reading the words of people who keep doing this to themselves? I need to have a safe space for myself. I keep trying to find a part of the blogosphere that is a safe space, but really, the past two weeks, I learned that pretty much doesn't exist.

Take Micheal Jackson for instance. He was a pedophile, plain and simple. He may have been abused himself, but lots of us were, and we don't abuse others. He made a choice, and he made the wrong choice. And now that he is dead, his kids are better off because Daddy can't hurt them anymore. And no, I don't want to debate it, I have heard from every goddamn corner of the blogosphere that the whole world loved him, even though he was a child molester and mean old bitchez like me are supposed to ignore that "terrible trouble" and just focus on Good Shiny Happy Things. His daughter gets up at his funeral and parrots her lines just like a good little abuse survivor does and you have all taken this as proof that he wasn't an evil bad man.

Well if you want to see similar lines spoken, show up at the domestic violence court in downtown Toronto any weekday. Every damn day, women get up and beg and plead for their husbands to get off with no record and no jail even though he beat them and the kids half to death and please please please Mr.Judge, he's the best husband ever, they swear. And after he promises to get "counselling", he gets out of jail, and they go home together, and then he beats her up, again. And she defends him again. Until he kills her.

Same thing for Family Court and children. Kids never ever want to say a bad thing about a parent, even a parent who has almost killed them. After a long time has passed and they finally feel safe enough, maybe.

So, gimme a break, those kids have to live with Momma Jackson and that hideous family now, and if there was ever a more dangerous place to admit that her daddy was an abuser, well, I can't think of one. Abuse survivors do what we have too to stay alive. Someday, she and her brothers will come forward if they ever find a safe place, and when they do, I swear on a stack of bibles that this website and if it's gone, me in its place, will be the one place the one person on the planet where no one, ever ever doubts them.

You know why? Because through all this anger and awful nastiness directed at bitchez like me, one thing has become clear; there has to be a space where someone absolutely believes in you and me and all the other innocent average everyday people who have no choice but to trust figures of authority.

It's the only reason I can think up to keep blogging. I know there are more. But I still won't fit in very well as long as people keep angrily defending the institutions and authority figures that screw them over.

You are all good people.

You are doing your best.

You are not to blame.

You had no way of knowing.

Please let me help.

Please love yourself.

You deserve better.

Maybe I should just leave comments like ((Hugs)) or "Damn that Stephen Harper", or "You go girl!" instead?

So, I'm struggling.

I'm supposed to go to BlogHer in less than two weeks, but I may just really hang out in the bar and drunkenly tweet. Especially when the ballroom karaoke machine starts up and one of his damn songs starts up.