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Some day, I want to be a silly old aunt

This is a Prayer to Ama-no-Uzeme, Baubo, and Silly Old Aunts. This is a Prayer for Resistance.


This is a prayer to Ama-no-Uzeme.  This is a prayer for Resistance.

This is a prayer to her sister, Baubo.  This is a prayer for Resistance.

This is a prayer for the old women who dance naked to make us laugh.  This is a prayer for Resistance.

This is a prayer for jokes about drinking, jokes about chin hair, jokes about gas.  Old women make up the Resistance.

This is a prayer for laughing at yourself, taking no one too seriously, being self-aware. Old women make up the Resistance.

This is a prayer for the tricksters, a prayer to old broads, a chant about tennis shoes and walkers.  Old women make up the Resistance.

When the Moon is full, I call to them.

I bring wine to make them bawdy.  I bring mirrors to hang upon trees.  I bring a long history of getting over yourself.

I bring breasts that droop, Shelia Na Gig t-shirts, and gin (old women always drink gin).

“Come, Ancient Tricksters,” I say.  “Come dance and make our laughter turn into freedom.”

They come as they have always come.  Laughing among themselves at some old secret.  Carrying casseroles, wearing shawls, with purses that hold Cherries in the Snow lipsticks, worn down, half-full, years old.

They come as they have always come.  Singing old songs only they remember.  Tickling babies and pinching cheeks, exclaiming in awe over the miracle of children growing taller.

They come as they have always come.  In sweaters, even in June.  A box of rugelach, divinity in a metal tin, a cardboard box that looks like the car in a circus train, filled with animal crackers.  Soup.

“Grandma!” I cry.  “Aunt Ester!”  “Great Goddesses of mirth!  We can’t laugh when our democracy is failing.  We can’t be happy when injustice has won.  We want to hide.”

“Old Ones,” I cry.  “You who drool and wheeze! Forget Vaudeville, forget stand-up, forget old knock-knock jokes!  All is in ruins and we are bereft.  No jokes can save us; we want to retreat from this fight!”

They poke us in the ribs, Ama-no-Uzeme, Baubo, and Shelia Na Gig.  They pinch our cheeks and tickle us under our chins.   They tell us to eat, get some rest, go for a walk.

They whip off their jogging suits.  Drop their house dresses.  Stomp on their own dignity.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid to look silly?” they challenge us.  “The only way I can teach you how to fight is to slip this lesson in between your pride and your fear,” they tell us.  “How would you do this if it were the last thing you would do?” they insist upon asking.  “Strip away all your pretense.  Do the one thing that needs to be done.  Never be afraid again.”


This is a prayer to foolish old women.  Old women make up the Resistance.  This is a prayer to  Ama-no-Uzeme, Baubo, and Silly Old Aunts.  This is a prayer for Resistance.

Picture found here.

Happy World Refugee Day

There are now more refugees than at any time since WWII. I'm not sure whether that includes all the internally displaced people. Amid all that, I want to follow up on a conversation I had with spikesgirl58 last night about weird names. It struck me that my radio station is fairly representative of my Canada, full of immigrants and refugees who are proud of their heritage. We have a Wabkeshig (Algonkian, so not an immigrant as he is First Nations), Omar (Middle Eastern but I don't remember the country), Ali (Pakistani, I think), Piya (Indian), Ify (Nigerian, I think), and the best last name ever: VanOuldenbaerneveld (Dutch). Then there is Judy (Trinh - Vietnamese). She came as a four-year-old refugee after escaping Vietnam during the boat people crisis in 1979 and is now an independent journalist who often reports for CBC. She settled into a smaller city in Alberta, one of four refugee families there. The Vietnamese boat people crisis was a big deal in Canada, and was the first time to my knowledge that Canada used a model of community sponsorships to bring in thousands of people with no ties to Canada, or education/business prospects, to increase their chances of success. I remember the pride in my Grandmother's small town when they collectively sponsored a Vietnamese family who lived there for many years.

It was only later that I discovered the history of the Vietnamese in Ottawa. Our mayor at the time, Marion Dewar, who led the push to sponsor refugees; the federal government yielded to the pressure and opened up the doors, allowing 4,000 Vietnamese to settle here. This commemorative statue was erected in Chinatown, where many of them originally settled, in 1995.

Judy Trinh wrote an essay about her experiences that was the inspiration for a Heritage Minute. You can read more about it, and watch the clip, here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/trinh-family-boat-people-inspires-heritage-minute-1.4167835.

Since then, the sponsorship model was used far less, and I think it is reflected in who succeeds. Our Somali and Ethiopian communities, for example, have had taken much longer to thrive. The Syrian refugees sponsored by communities have five times the support of government-sponsored by refugees, tend to learn English or French much more readily, and are finding work. One of my friends spends hours every day tracking down furniture, bicycles, and even clothing for some 150 government-sponsored families who are really struggling, so that they can afford to continue in language lessons or job certification courses, and find decent work.

The Friday Five

Are you ready for the Summer?

1. Have you ever been to summer camp?

2. If so, was it fun or did you hate it?

3. If not, did you ever wish you had?

4. What movie says "Summer Time" to you?

5. Did movies like "Friday the 13th" put you off summer camp?

1. I did a lot of camping with Brownies and Girl Guides, but not summer camp as in "a week or a month away, living in bunkhouses". I also dis quite a bit with my parents.
2. I loved camping. Still do, though I don't go very often any more.
3. n/a
4. Meatballs, of course. I couldn't even read the title of this Friday Five without singing that song in my head.
5. Never saw it.

Copy and paste to your own journal, then reply to this post with a link to your answers. If your journal is private or friends-only, you can post your full answers in the comments below.

If you'd like to suggest questions for a future Friday Five, then do so on DW or LJ. Old sets that were used have been deleted, so please feel free to suggest some more!

**Remember that we rely on you, our members, to help keep the community going. Also, please remember to play nice. We are all here to answer the questions and have fun each week. We repost the questions exactly as the original posters submitted them and request that all questions be checked for spelling and grammatical errors before they're submitted. Comments re: the spelling and grammatical nature of the questions are not necessary. Honestly, any hostile, rude, petty, or unnecessary comments need not be posted, either.**
Ice cream and a glass of wine makes a perfect dinner in the right circumstances. Will report more on my busy long weekend once it's over.
This time they are dancing with the Speaker and an MP from Halifax. For US comparison, this is approximately the equivalent of a dance party in the chambers of Paul Ryan, with their local representative joining in.



The Friday Five

These questions were written by ahunter3.

1) What was the first recipe or food you learned how to cook?

2) What recipe or food did you cook most recently?

3) What recipe or food do you cook most often?

4) What is your favorite recipe?

5) What is the recipe you make that impresses other people the most?

1) I have no idea, now. Judging from the cookbook my Brownie pack put together, it might have been rice pudding. Funny thing though, I hated rice pudding even then. I do remember learning how to bake bread, pies and cookies when I was about 8 or 9.

2) I made fiddleheads sautéed in garlic for supper last night.

3) Probably stir fry these days, though I tend to cook different things almost every week. A few years ago I made lasagne weekly (it's all my son would take for lunch for at least 6 years). Bread has been a constant for several decades. My sourdough starter is close to 30 years old.

4) I don't have a strong favourite recipe. Maybe spaghetti and meat sauce? It's my favourite food but I change the recipe depending on what's available.

5) I have a cranberry cheesecake that wowed people once, and I make a heck of a peach pie.
In honor of high school graduations, tell us about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!

Class of 1980
1. Did you know your spouse? Yes, but we hadn't lived in the same community since 4th grade.
2. Did you car pool? No, I usually rode the bus.
3. What kind of car did you have? I shared and Austin Mini and an Austin Morris with my mom (we needed both to ensure one would be running).
4. It's FRIDAY night where are you going? Either to work at the Astra Theatre (I worked at the snack bar) or to a gasthaus (probably George's).
5. What kind of job did you have? Popcorn maker at the local movie theatre.
6. Were you a party animal? Within limits.
7. Were you considered a jock? Not a super jock, but I was fairly active. I did track, hiked, and sometimes rode my bike to school. I also participated in all the sports day activities.
8. Were you in choir/band? Yes. I think I was in three bands in my last year of high school (concert band playing oboe/percussion/tuba, intermediate band because they needed a tuba player, and jazz band playing piano).
9. Were you a nerd? In the library sense, but not in the computer sense. We didn't have those. I was president of student council and editor of the year book, so definitely in the nerdy joiner category.
10. Did you get suspended? Never.
11. Can you sing the fight/school song? We didn't have one.
12. Where did you eat? Outside on the steps, in the yearbook room or at the sports field, sometimes at the curling club or the Salvation Army snack bar, occasionally in the library, never at the school cafeteria.
13. Where was high school? Lahr Germany
14. What was your school mascot? We didn't have one, though we did have House mascots. I was a Southern Tiger.
15. If you could go back and do it over? Sure. It was fun.
16. Do you still talk to the person you went to prom with? No. We lost contact right after high school. I hear he lives here in town, but I have never bothered looking him up.
17.Are you planning on going to the next reunion? Nope. I had hoped to go, but I'm going to Newfoundland instead.
18.Are you still in contact with people from high school? Yes, mostly through Facebook.
19.Did you skip school? Yes - mostly calculus class.
20.Do you know where your high school sweetheart is? Didn't have one.
21.What was your favorite subject? Music.
22.Do you still have your High School ring? Yes.
23.Do you still have your year-books? I do.

Copy and paste...Let's read your story.


None of the stories are cut-and-dried happy or sad.

This community, which has been divided by a highway for 50 years, is on the verge of a vote that may finally allow them to have an access way built. Because of the complications of the Indian Act, the vote requires a "double majority", which isn't guaranteed, but there is at last a commitment to build the project if there is sufficient community support.


A homeless man donated $10,000 of his residential school settlement to a shelter program that is struggling financially, to help ensure that people are safe. It is unclear whether this was his entire settlement, but clearly as a homeless person it is money he could use himself. I have spoken about the residential school legacy before, and how it has damaged indigenous communities and left many struggling with homelessness and addiction. His generosity is enough to make me cry.


This man was one of the first high-profile cases of people who fled the USA in the wake of Trump's election. Despite his grievous injuries due to frostbite, he seems to be doing well in Winnipeg. Sadly, things didn't work out equally well for a fellow Ghanaian, who froze to death in late May in the same area. She was on her way to see her newborn granddaughter in Toronto; because she had family in Canada, she may have been eligible for an exception to the safe-third-country agreement that would have otherwise sent her back to the USA, where she was living on an expired visa.


This indigenous, homeless woman was later killed in an accidental shooting, and never lived to see her original attacker sent to jail (he was convicted).


The Friday Five on Monday

That's Entertainment!

1.If you could, would you be a movie star or a rock star?

2.Have you ever been in the media (TV, Radio, Papers)?

3.Do you know anyone who's been on a reality TV show?

4.Have you ever met anyone famous?

5.Who would play you in a movie?

1) Neither - I am a live theatre kind of person. I have loved to be a dancer, or a classical musician, or an actor, but my ambitions have always been smaller than "star". I would have been happy as part of the corps de ballet, or in an orchestra, or as part of a local theatre company.

2) I have never worked in them, beyond a couple of stints at university. I had wanted to be a journalist until I got sidetracked by international politics and development issues.

3) No.

4) Yes. In my work I have met lots of political figures. Two of the best non-political meetings were Jean Belliveau (a Montreal Canadiens Hockey Hall of Famer and a real gentleman who was once considered for the job of Canada's Governor General) and Superman (Christopher Reeves). Jean Belliveau came to Germany for a series of speeches and events when I was in high school, and as student council president I had the privilege of being his host when he came to our school. I met Christopher Reeve at the UN, at an event to celebrate the banning of driftnet fishing. My colleague Alexandra and I had a very nice grown-up conversation with him about the importance of protecting fish stocks and dolphins, and then we went off behind a potted palm and swooned.

5. Today I would like to think it would be Lucy Davis, who played Etta Candy in Wonder Woman. She is a smart, funny suffragette who clearly was in charge, despite her official role as secretary.
This must be Canada's most popular dance group at the moment. They first came to national prominence dancing at Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia last year. Since then they have done a number of other fun videos. Here they are kicking off the Canada 150 celebrations.