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August 3rd, 2008
01:03 am

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Voice Call
I recently got a new cell phone and tonight I  tested it out without my roommate's prior knowledge by adding her  to the call list for voice-calling.  

I just didn't expect to say "Ulyn" and have her answer me before the phone even rang on her end.   :P 

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July 2nd, 2008
06:59 pm

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Canada gives Law-Breaker its Highest Honour
 He was a criminal.  Not even licensed as a medical practitioner, he practiced an illegal procedure without a medical license and blatantly did so on national television. 

 

… And yesterday it was announced that for his deeds he would receive The Order of Canada:  Canada's highest honour, reserved for Canadians who have demonstrated a "lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation."

 

Canadians of all creeds and walks of life don't wish him to receive this award.   Three hundred thousand responded to a Globe and Mail survey earlier in the year and a whopping 92% of respondents opposed his receipt of the Order.

 

The man is Henry Morgentaler, and far from being a national hero, he has left Canada in a state of what has often been called 'legislative limbo'.    Because of him Canada is the only civilized country in the world with absolutely NO regulations on abortion whatsoever.   Any woman or girl of any age, for any or no reason, and at any point in her pregnancy – including second and third trimesters – can obtain an abortion, in most cases tax-funded. 

 

Canadians may quietly accept, but are certainly not proud of nor eager to bestow honour upon the man responsible for the occurrence of at least 1000 second and third trimester abortions annually (stats Canada, 12% of gestational reports).  These occur beyond the point of fetal pain and awareness and, thanks to our lack of law, can and do occur without medical reason. 

 

The Order of Canada is to be awarded to individuals who have "enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country."   Oh, Henry has made a difference all right: over 2 million of my peers are missing from society!   But as to having enriched the lives of others, one need only google 'regret abortion' or to ask the thousands of women who grieve and suffer daily over their abortion - women like one of his former clients Vicky Green ( See  video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd7EPz-2fX4  ) - how much their lives were enriched. 

 

He may be deemed a hero of  "choice" but this award attempts to slap a national seal of approval on an act over which there is still much debate.   That the choice would be made on Canada day and ushered quietly into approval over a long weekend, despite the majority voice of Canadians disfavouring this move only adds to the insult.  

 
Women deserve better than abortion.  Canada deserves better.    Below are a few contacts, should you wish to make your voice known on this matter.   Let us bestow our honour on those who have selflessly given, not upon those who have financially gained at the expense of vulnerable women and their children.  


(See National Post editorial:   http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/06/29/douglas-farrow-quot-henry-morgentaler-s-canada-is-not-my-canada-quot.aspx )


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Action Steps:
1. Contact the Prime Minister's office and ask Prime Minister Harper to denounce this decision publically.
http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/ProfileMP.aspx?Key=78553&Language=E

2. Contact the Governor General of Canada and tell her your feelings regarding this. http://gg.ca/contactus/index_e.asp#1

3. Contact the Chief Justice Beverly and ask her to re-call the decision do to the fact that it was NOT unanimous and that it does not reflect the views of all Canadians (as it should).
http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/aboutcourt/judges/mclachlin/index_e.asp

4. VERY EFFECTIVE: Write a letter to your local, or national, papers about this ASAP.

5. Contact your MP and urge him/her to encourage the Prime Minister to denounce this.
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC

6. Get the word out in your networks about this ASAP.

Get more information from 4 MY Canada at
http://www.4mycanada.ca/Emails/20080628.html

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June 25th, 2008
04:04 am

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Philadelphia, Waterloo... and a gift box of poo.

This entry is dedicated to those of you who've been in recent days/weeks harassing me to update y'all and let you know that Kristine hasn't disappeared into a big dark hole.   Here's a rapid summary of where I've been. 

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HOME ON THE (suburban) RANGE -

On the home front I've been playing unofficial nanny to the friend who gave birth to her forth child 2 months ago.  I had the privilege of being her co birth-doula, and when she suffered birth complications requiring extended hospital stay, I took over the mom role until she got back on her feet.  I'm still there now, helping out wherever I can.  The woman is a single mom of four.  At best she needs time off just to sleep!  

I've also been babysitting for other single-mom friends.   I take them to the beach, to the park, to places I'd have liked to have brought my own children if I'd been blessed with them.   Sometimes the kids accidentally call me 'Mom'.  Nothing makes me happier than that.  :)

Oh it's not always lovely.  A week ago while I was preparing a bottle for the baby, the toddler comes downstairs and presents me with a box of his poo.  He'd smeared it all over himself too.  After I lay baby down and  wash up said toddler, I discover that he had smeared his poo all over his mother's bedroom: the TV screen, the doll-house, the bed spread, carpet - you name it.  No sooner have I finished feeding baby and cleaning the poo when I witness same toddler shove a handful of sand into the other child's mouth and face.   Off to bath number two we all go.  Day continued ad nauseum.  :P

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I COULD'VE DANCED ALL NIGHT... (oh wait!  I did!)

On the dancing-traveling front (being in reception of Employment Insurance while having little to no rent to pay does afford some benefits) I've gotten to do the following:

1. FRANKIE MANNING WORKSHOP:  (Toronto, April)  Frankie Manning is the father of lindy-hop.  Currently aged 94 he and his friends birthed my beloved dance way back in the 30's and the early days of Jazz.  Frankie used to dance to the LIVE music of Duke Ellington, Ella Fizgerald, Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Count  Basie,Cab Calloway...   You can see him dance in the 30's movie "Hellzapoppin" (see Youtube clips) - and I got to dance with him!  :D

2. BOSTON EXCHANGE: (Aka BIX)
I took a 13 hour bus-ride to Boston to enjoy a fabulous weekend with American dancers I'd met at the Montreal Blues exchange a few months earlier.   Highlights of the weekend included my friend Telyn and I dancing on the ever-swaying subway - with other passengers trying to act like they couldn't see us - and a PACKED house-party of at least 150 dancers in an average-sized house, 50 crammed into a living/dining room to blues dance at any given time.  

3. PHILADELPHIA: 
I hitched a ride to Philly with some of my friends who'd been at the Boston exchange.  While my host went to work I spent the week touring the city of brotherly love. 
I saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, walked the cobblestone 1700's streets where the early immigrants first lived (some are still part of the main road and make the coolest hum as tires roll over them - the cobblestones, that is, not the immigrants) and even went up 500 feet into the air to get pictures of the city while standing underneath a giant metal man's butt (William Penn statue at City Hall).
I also saw the grave-site of Benjamin Franklin, mailed a post-card from the very first post office in the united states (which I stumbled upon most accidentally), did the Thinker pose with a replica of Rodin's statue, discovered a local restaurant whose wine cellar was once a part of the underground slave tunnel, and last but not least, did the "Rocky" run and pose (no not horror Rocky) up the stairs of the Philly art museum. 
I was even accosted by the producers of a children's television program being created for the children's hospital. A puppet made by the Hensons, makers of the Muppets asked me a question about what I loved about summer and they filmed me talking to a Puppet about how much I love the warm weather. Boy did they pick the right person for that role!   I think I was a natural and was even rewarded with a kiss from Miles the Puppet.  :)

My time in Philadelphia would've included their exchange but I sadly had to boot back to Ottawa for my little brother's wedding.   The 11 hour train ride through the Adirondacks was SO BEAUTIFUL and included a free historical tour - all for just $66.   The 2 hour final leg from Montreal to Ottawa cost nearly as much as that.  American travel is so much cheaper than it is in Canada oddly enough. 


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GET HIM TO THE CHURCH ON TIME

My brother's wedding.was a wonderful time had by all.  I was in the wedding party (my first ever!) on  the groom's side, which mean I got to wear a dress in the groomsmen colours rather than that of the bridesmaids.  Burgundy verse a green colour on an olive-toned girl?  Bring on the burgundy!   My friend Ulyn (see mother of four) did my hair in little mini-rosettes - and this while her four ran around getting in various attention-needing shenanigans.  That women deserves a super-mom medal! 

The day ended with a square dance - not quite swing but a step in the right direction.  I had such a great time all day that I forgot to have more than a mere few moments of regrets that my luck at finding my own mate was is lousy as it has been.  In fact, to honour the old French-Canadian tradition in which the unmarried older sibling (traditionally the brother, but my family believes in equal-opportunity humiliation I guess) has to dance in their socks at the younger sibling's wedding, I went all out and decked myself out in socks from head to toe to do a little Charleston number.   "Only you, Kristine" was my mother's reply.  "Only you"  :P  

They were off to Alaska right around the time we got our nasty heat wave.

(Feel free to go to http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=126645&l=003d1&id=774185533 to see pictures of the big day and my moment of glory.  There aren't many because I was too busy being in the action than capturing it 

And to those of you who've seen me in the past couple years: notice anything different about my smile?)

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MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH...

I had to do an emergency move this past Thursday when the friends who'd been graciously storing my stuff announced the night before that their house would be sprayed from top to bottom for bed-bugs they'd found in one of the bedrooms.   It wound up costing over $200 for the moving vehicle by the time one factors in gas, per-km fee, and two days' rental (driver was too tired to drive it back).   Didn't help that my moving hands needed to be trucked from one end of town to the other in order to make it to work - and expected to get a ride on my 50 cents per km ticket.  Would've been cheaper to hire them a bloody taxi.   

But that's over and done with for now.   I'm not thrilled with myself that I still have enough stuff to warrant a storage locker.   A new rendition of 'purge to the death' is about to be undergone.  I already GAVE AWAY my water bed to one of the girls who helped me move.   Candle-making and craft supplies along with most of my extensive collection of books, will be the next to go, I'm afraid.

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WATERLOO!  (Couldn't escape if I wanted too!  Woh woh woh...)

Finally we arrive at my weekend in 
4. WATERLOO:   I'd had my heart set on the Mezz Jelly blues dance workshop weekend for sometime now.  Logic would've dictated that after loosing $250+ to an unexpected move that one should be financially responsible and forgo any fun splurges.   But I was too frustrated that it had even happened - so I ignored the warning bells in my pathetic bank account and the inner reminder that my EI is on the verge of expiring and hopped in the Waterloo-bound car anyway.  

No regrets!  Between a terrific barn dance on Sunday, great late-night parties, and great music all weekend long, I am very glad I took the time to soothe my soul with a little musical soul!   

I'm even spending a few more dollars now, visiting friends and family in Hamilton (my counsin's kids were in a dance recital last night - so good!)  and in Peterborough (I head there tomorrow to visit a girl I knew from church whose children are due in part to my informing her that the birth control pill is abortifacient.  Her oldest was conceived just post a little post-revelation so I've always felt a slight maternal connection to him.  Tee hee.)


And that about brings us up to date.  No doubt some details slipped through the cracks.  I'll get back to y'all if I should rediscover them. 

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April 18th, 2008
11:16 pm

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My First Birth Experience
As most of you know, I trained as a doula a year ago, and my good friend Ulyn granted me the opportunity to be present at the birth of her forth child, as a co-doula (her original doula would be there just because they have a long-standing relationship).  

A routine ultrasound on the 11th day post due wound up leading us to the hospital.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200 - the ultrasound doctor did not like something that she saw, so away we went for an induction - which suited my tired-of-being-pregnant friend just fine!

Delivery happened very rapidly once the Pitocin drip was begun. At 12:30pm the midwife checked her and said her cervix was still high and un-dilated and wondered out loud if maybe they'd gotten the due dates wrong. 

Ten minutes later, my friend was bent across the bed screaming "She's coming!  The baby's coming" - and only two minutes after that, a very surprised midwife was holding a baby.    My co-doula, who'd been present at her her other births, smiled nonchalantly and shrugged  "And that's the way Ulyn gives birth"   Talk about rapid transition - there was nothing textbook about  this birth!

Unfortunately things got ugly from there and my friend's previously uncooperative cervix then refused to close.   She hemorrhaged for over 2 hours, passing out frequently while a team of frantic nurses and doctors tried to massage the uterus and stop the bleeding.  Not fun for her worried friends who were still standing by watching our friend bleed pools of blood!   Just when we thought things had settled, around 6:30 the bleeding began again.
She needed a blood transfusion of four bags of blood to pull through... scary.   Thankfully  she avoided the next option which would've been surgery.

I've been staying at her place, being mom to her autistic nine year old for the week while she recovered in hospital.   A few other friends have come to relieve me for the evening, so I'm finally catching up on email and hoping to upload a few pictures before heading back (I know, I know - I missed swing dancing - but email and Facebook deprivation can really hurt an internet junkie, you know)

Anyhow, that's the story of my first birth experience.   I'm truly honoured to have been able to experience that and to see the little scrunched up face emerging from my friend's body.   No words can express... and yes, I cried.

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April 8th, 2008
07:25 pm

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God Has a Sense of Humour

I don't drink coffee, so I never get to play Tim Horton's famous "Roll Up The Rim to Win" Contest.   That's why after a harrowing day at the dentist (to tune of another extraction, four more fillings, and another near $1000 out of pocket), I was SO PSYCHED to find an unrolled Timmie's cup, abandoned in the dentist waiting room.

I thought "Wouldn't it be incredible if after all this agony and pain (not to mention financial loss) this abandoned cup was something I could sell to recuperate some of my losses? A boat?  A car?  A plasma TV?...  Could God be waiting to hugely bless me here in this office of bad news and personal anguish? 

I prayed "Dear God, please: Let this be a winning cup!" 

I should've been more specific.  I rolled a free coffee.  

:P   :D

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April 1st, 2008
07:07 pm

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Spring has Finally Sprung

I think.

It snowed again yesterday morning and I've been duped into thinking spring had arrived a few times already. 

But snow is melting and pouring off the roops and down drainpipes - a beautiful sound!  Love spring!  

I'm acting as co-doula for my friend Ulyn's birth.  She started contractions Friday but nothing has really progressed.  Now I'm bored and wondering when the action's going to start for real.  I have potential plans to go to Montreal later on this week.  I don't want to leave and risk missing the birth but I don't want to miss the conference if the baby won't show until next week.

It's her fourth child so we all thought it'd  come sooner.  She's due on the 3rd... we'll see.

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March 28th, 2008
04:31 pm

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Day of the Playdate

A nine-year old boy crawled into bed with me yesterday morning.  "Kristine, I just wet my bed, can I sleep in yours?"  

If I'd been cold-hearted or the least bit concerned for my own bedding (or remotely coherent of thought at that early hour) I might've found reason to shrug him off, but I simply rolled over and made room.    

When my bedmate pushed me over and crawled under the sheets again this morning, I sighed at the apparently new routine.   Only it wasn't so routine.  This time around it was not bedwetting that had caused him to seek the comfort of my bed but rather, as I would later learn to my dismay, an episode of stomach flu.  Great.  Just what I need to catch.    On the bright side, he's not my kid and I wasn't the one who had to clean up the unfortunate mess left behind in the bathroom.  :P


I've been playing low-key this week, in between my house/job hunting and my writing assignment for Christian Week.   Yesterday I borrowed the toddlers of two of my single-mom friends so they could each run errands and/or take a much needed nap.   I brought the two to see the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie (I loved it!) followed by a a romp on the Bob the Builder cars in the adjoining mall and yet another romp in one of my charges' playroom.    What fun we had!    The last time I had that much fun was back in February when I spent the day taking the 2.5 year-old girl to the Winterlude ice slides.    

I didn't get paid for the job.  I didn't need to.  It was a win-win situation for all of us, since I got the joy of having children for a day, while my friends got a day off from the role of Momhood.   Too bad I have to resort to borrowing other people's kids to be able to live a snippet of my parenthood dreams.    :P

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February 25th, 2008
06:27 am

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Overheard in a shopping mall...
An elderly lady walked into the store I was browsing.   The store is going out of business and they were having a big closeout sale.

"Sir," she asked the middle eastern man at the cash.  "Is everything in this store 50% off?" 

The man nodded.

"Well then" she replied with a large wave of her arm, "take off 50% of your clothes and then I'll believe you!"  


The man almost needed help getting his chin off the counter.  

Meanwhile I can't help but roll into a fit of laughter and congratulate the woman on her wit.   I told her I was adopting her as a grandma and she said "Oh that would be wonderful!  My husband and I never had any children so we have no grandchildren." 

:)

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February 1st, 2008
05:55 pm

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Calling all Americans with Television - WATCH MY MOVIE :D
Girl's Best Friend, staring Janeane Garofalo is airing tomorrow night on the Lifetime Network at 9pm.    If you're American you probably get it, if you're Canadian with Satellite TV or Rogers Digital you likely get it too.       I DON'T  GET IT HERE SO ANYONE WHO CAN TAPE IT FOR ME WILL HAVE MY UNDYING LOVE!!!


As you may recall I was a background actress for that movie, with two separate scenes

In the first scene I'm in  there's a band playing in a bar and everyone's popping.  The song ends and she meets the leader at the bar  for quick talk and takes off with him.    (I think the line was something about 'knowing someone's name before I sleep with them')  I was wearing a kaki skirt and a black top, hair in a ponytail.  I do a walk by while they're talking at the bar)

The second scene was on a New York City street.  She's walking the dog with a guy, another dog walker and as they walk down the sidewalk I intercept and walk around them.  I was wearing a pink and tan tank top, sunglasses and black pants.  My hair was down.   

Not sure which order they'll play in.

http://www.mylifetime.com/on-tv/movies/girls-best-friend

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January 28th, 2008
03:53 am

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Hearing the Voice of Women who Chose Abortion
On January 28th, while many women celebrate 20 years of no abortion laws in Canada, thousands of other women will cry.

They are the women who mourn their abortions, the women who chose abortion because they had ‘no other choice.’  They are the teens whose parents pressured them, the women whose partner threatened to abandon them, the students desperate to finish school, and the women whose finances couldn’t feed another mouth.   They are the women who love children, who cried on the abortion table, who still cry.

On January 24th I stood in front of the Supreme Court of Canada where a make-shift memorial service had been set up to commemorate the day 20 years ago that Canada struck down its existing abortion laws while recommending that parliament enact better ones (something that still has not been done).   Abortion in Canada became legal through all nine months, no medical reason required, and paid for by our tax dollars.    With a tiny white casket setting the tone for the event, five women gave tearful testimony to the emotional, physical, and spiritual pain of their abortions.   Inside the casket, dozens of fetal models represented the 100,000 Canadian children who lose their lives annually to abortion.


While for some women January 28th, 1988 symbolizes progress, and their abortion decisions are a celebrated act of liberation and freedom, these women are in the minority.    A ‘google’ search for the words “regret abortion” reveals over 300,000 results – and very few include the words “don’t” or “not”.   All over the world, thousands of women are speaking out against their decision and calling out for a feminism that fights to improve circumstances and gives real choices to women, rather than giving them a pathetic band-aid that wounds them and leaves the same pressures in place for future women. 

The early feminists opposed abortion as an anti-woman tragedy.   Susan B Anthony’s colleague Mattie Brinkerhoff wrote in the September 2nd 1869 edition of The Revolution “When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society - so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged."

Amidst the cheers for this week’s “great milestone for women” may we listen closely to the tears of thousands of abortion patients who are not celebrating, and to the silence of their daughters who never lived to utter a cry.

Kristine Kruszelnicki

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