Monday, June 27, 2005


We Have Good News and We Have News That Sucks Donkeydick

The good news is that I have seamed and finished almost all of the Dulaan stuff. A little finishing later today and it'll be off on its journey. Looks like The Spinning Queen may be interested in trying to get the guild involved in the Dulaan Project for next year, which will make for a big contribution -- that'll be fun.

Other good news is that you may remember my rant about being denied a paid day off of Family Leave back in February, when my employer, who runs the daycare that my child was in, declared a professional development day for the daycare. By doing this they deprived me of care for my child (while still charging me full rates). My employer also required me to show up for work that day. As my husband had just gotten a new job, he couldn't take a day off for fear of being fired, so I had to stay home with Eleanor. Under our collective agreement (we're union) parents are allowed four days or 28 hours a year off, with pay, for the "care, health or education of an immediate family member". I therefore applied for a day of family responsibility leave, thinking that it would be a good idea if a parent stayed home with a four year old child, rather than giving her a sixpack and the remote for the teevee and wandering off to work for the day.

They denied me this leave, saying that I could certainly stay home with my child on that day, but that it didn't fall under the guidelines, and that for PD days, parents just had to suck it up and take a vacation day, and that the clause referred only to emergency situations.

I grieved it to the union, stating that as it was my employer who in the first place had denied me access to childcare that they should take some responsibility for this, and that in the second place the clause could hardly be referring only to emergencies, as the word "education" was in there, and I could not think of one circumstance of "emergency education" I had ever encountered (apart from a few administrators who had a need of some emergency education in the form of abrupt slappage upside their little pointy haids.)

I have received notice that my grievance was successful and that my leave for that day was approved on a "without prejucdice" basis. I'm not sure what that means ... apart from the fact that I'll receive that day's pay in my account some time in the near future.

I sort of feel like running through the streets singing "Solidarity Forever" and wearing a Lech Walesa T-Shirt but it's almost three in the morning, so I'll just sit here sucking on a beer and be happy that I'm getting the cash back.

On the Sucking Donkeydicks newsfront, it would seem that my mother in law has just been diagnosed with MS.

My MIL is an amazing woman.

When I first met her, I showed up after driving through a blizzard, to invade her home. This woman who her son had never met but about whom he was stupid, and who was going to show up and Break His Heart And Never Call, like the last lady. So I showed up, got snowed in, stayed six days and we got stuck on each other. Him and me, not her and me. She still thought I was going to dump her little boy and leave him all messy.

The second time I met her, it was about two weeks later and it was two in the morning When I Actually Came Back To See Her Little Boy and she was scrubbing the grout in the bathroom with a toothbrush when I arrived, telling me what a horrible housekeeper she was. The only thing that really bothered me about this was that was using my own toothbrush. Let's just say we had issues for the first couple of years of our acquaintance. (Edit: please note I just realized I used this line already last year some time. I am old and have little material. Please forgive me.)

She is about what, fifteen years older than me. My husband is younger than me (yes, he's my toyboy) and she started having babies young. She is a little slip of a thing, like maybe a size four on a "fat" day, and she produced three great big strapping lads. My husband is 6'2" and um ... not svelte. He's a former US Marine and has come close to nudging the 300-lb mark on the scales more than once. His next youngest brother, while shorter, was very involved in wrestling in high school and is not a little man, either. Third boy is also in service and not tiny but he's nothing like her first two Moosebabies.

I have no idea how she had those three boys and lived.

I have no idea how she raised them alone on minimum wage jobs and kept on feeding them.

I have no idea how they all grew up so smart, and to be essentially decent men.

She has a lot to be proud of.

She's getting married again (some women never learn) on August 6. So we're going to Seattle to hear The Harlot on her bookbookbook tour and then going to Tacoma for a wedding. Eleanor will be the flower girl and she's very concerned about knowing her role. She keeps saying "ok, so I get a basket of flowers and I give one to everyone, right? Oh yes, and I get a really good dress." She has her priorities very clear.

OK, so back to the donkeydick stuff. I guess she's just been diagnosed. I don't know a lot more than that. I do know it's not a death sentence, and there is a lot of shit they can do.

But still.

I'm concerned.

Anyone out there who's interested in praying, please do so. I would deeply appreciate it.

I think the Karma Man may get another $10 this week, just in case.

that sucks indeed! i'm sorry to hear about this - I will send lots of good energy your way!
I will pray for your mom. I have a few aquaintances with MS and they are doing fine. Hang in there. Congrats on the successful grievance. I love hearing those types of stories as they are few and far between these daze.


I know a bit about MS. She is much older than the norm. Most women are hit in their 30s/40s. Childbearing can reduce/delay onset but it hits back harder.

She has probably been having episodes all along and is only now getting diagnosed. Has she lost use of a muscle group like an arm, a hand, one eye, a leg for a little bit. Maybe a few minutes - may a couple of days. If not, this may start to happen.

For some people, the episodes affect certain spots. My friend is affected in her eyes and legs. She had a couple of hand/arm issues but it is mostly the eyes and legs. She has been striken for several days at a time. When she gets mobility back, there is a noticeable weakness. Every time it happens it comes back weaker.

The doctor's recommend working out and staying in shape. However she should always exercise with a buddy in case she drops a weight on her foot. But then shouldn't we all ????

There is a new shot which she might be able to take. It has helped my friend.

The important thing is to remember that it will come and go and that she will need to listen to her body. She will be able to identify warning signs and tell others. However sometimes she won't know because it will happen while she is asleep. This is scary because no one wants to wake up and find themselves without the control of a leg or an arm or an eye. She should have someone's number on speed dial by her bed just in case.

We all love you. Write me if you want to talk.
I'm so sorry. I can only imagine, judging from the screams of sibling terror coming from my family room, that raising three Moosebabies has equipped her nicely for dealing with, well, shit. I mean this in the nicest way. Well done on the grievance--way to stick it to the man, punk rock mama!
Don't know about the MS - but without prejudice just means that the union can't point back to this decision for future grievances. (Or, translated - we messed up but we're not fessing up)
She sounds like an incredible woman. I will send good thoughts her way.

Congrats on the grievance - it is good to hear of a victory on this front, they are few and far between.
You GO Norma Rae!

On the ML thing. I have 2 very good friends with MS. They are both doing well and living very full lives. I'll chant...I'm Buddhist!
When I see the Karma Man I'll slip him a little something too.

And I'll be thinking of you guys.
prayers, I can do. If you will email me your MIL's name, I'll put her in my favorite prayer line.
Yeah for you!
Good thoughts flowing that way.
You get to see the Harlot, lucky you.
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