Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pit-bulls and skincare.

It’s been a big couple of weeks.

I’ve been following the never-ending shootings of black males by police in the U.S. - getting at much information as I can from the activists I follow on “Black Twitter.” It’s been horrifying. Sometimes there are small uplifting moments, like I can’t believe how young some of the activists are, and how much smarter and more astute they are than I was at that age. It also seems like there’s no ignoring this now, that people are coming around. But then someone re-tweets something so racist and hateful and it sticks with me. I’m just trying to read as much as I can and figure out what role I can play as a white person to engage in the change.

I then see super transphobic news items about bathroom policies, but then I see two queer kids kissing on the sidewalk downtown, and I realise how things have changed. So it’s ups and downs.

I guess I have to stop reading the internet comments. It’s the worst representations of humanity. And though it’s easy to find on twitter and in comment sections, it does also exist around me and I gotta stay vigilant.

More locally, Toronto’s Black Lives Matter got so much shit for interrupting Toronto Pride in order to address police presence and brutality, and how LGBTQ people of colour don’t necessarily feel safe at Toronto Pride. They actually started getting hate mail from that action.

Sunday I started volunteering at a local animal shelter. I had applied over a year ago to walk dogs and they called me a few weeks ago. I didn’t expect it to be so exhausting, but it was. It was 3 hours of walking dogs, dotted with a handful of encounters with giant dogs I needed to wrangle. It was disproportionately pit bulls, one of which is the most muscular dog I’ve ever seen in real life. It looked like it was on ‘roids. Like, he could bench.


This guy looks like that dog monster demon from the original Ghostbusters.


NAILED IT.

Look at this fucking guy! When he was in his enclosure and jumping to get out for his walk, he jumped higher than me! I'm 5'7! 

Locally, there have been a lot of Quebec towns and municipalities that have been banning pit bulls, so the shelter reflected that. It's pretty sad. 

For the record I don't think the pit bull ban is the solution. Tougher laws are. Biting laws. Aggressive dog laws. Breeding laws. Animal cruelty (puppy farm) laws. 

Having said that my brother brought up a good point to me that I haven't been able to shake. I was saying how german shepherds bite more people per year than pit bulls do, and he said that statistic is correct, but pit bulls kill more people anyway. That's been the issue here, since a woman died in her own backyard when a neighbour's pit bull came into her yard and mauled her. My brother said something along the lines of, "look, if you want a family dog, get a family dog. But in the same way you don't need an AK47 to protect your family, you don't need a pit bull as a family pet."

I don't 100% agree with him, but pit bulls are so insanely strong it seems tantamount to having a large predator as a pet. I don't think they should be banned - but it's a complicated issue. 

I actually think breeding some dogs should be curbed though. Namely dogs that have trouble breathing, dogs with painful back problems and teeny tiny dogs that shake and look miserable. Don't breed disability and pain into your pets on purpose. It seems cruel. 

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Oddly enough, it’s been busy at work. That means I’ve been working full-days again (yay) and haven’t had any of my hours cut. I’m taking advantage of this and trying to work as long as I can, while I can, since the workflow here is so wonky.

I filled up my credit card with birthday purchases and a dive into Sephora’s skincare section so I need to buckle down and pay that shit off.

One step forward, two steps back.

All of this is to say I’m still around, and I think of writing often, but things have been busy lately.

My mother will be travelling for a few weeks, which will give me the chance to be alone and to do what I want. I’ll be able to write and work creatively from home, so that’ll be nice. It changes things for me.

I’m still thinking a lot about work, and about working. About the type of work I’m best suited for, and what I want.

Finally volunteering my time had me questioning what it is I want to spend my time doing, and what my priorities really are.

It can be so difficult to be present in my life, and I’m trying.

Time seems to be flying by, and I want to make sure I think things through when it comes to committing to how I spend my time.

I mentioned my spending a bunch of money at Sephora on skincare products. Lately I’ve been trying to take better care of my skin, and I’ve been investing in quality products, cleansers, toners, moisturisers, oils. It’s seemingly insignificant, but it’s a return to the nights of my youth when I’d take the time to pamper myself before bed, and feel like I was taking care of myself. I figure it’s a first step in re-familiarising myself with the language of self-care. It feels that way.

Then I have a bad day and everything feels dumpy. I’m broke. I’m fat. I’m bad at life.

Other days I giggle endlessly and get to see a baby rabbit hiding under the canopy outside by window.

Mental-health awareness would have me believe depression is the culprit of my ups and downs. Sometimes I think the real insanity is the good days.

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