All posts by Dorothy

Corrie Street 19 Mar 2017

Backup Baby

Michelle throws up in the bistro kitchen sink. Leanne watches, horrified. Steve has just told all that he’s baby Oliver’s dad.Backup baby: michelle sick in sink

He and Michelle were having a ‘just the two of us’ meal at the Bistro. The Platts converged to celebrate the new addition to their family. Chaos, as always with them, ensued. Steve wound up holding the baby. He’s mine, he said.

Everyone thought Steve had lost his marbles. But he explained. The look on Leanne’s face, then on Nick’s, confirmed his story.

Hence, Michelle’s rush to the closest sink. And Leanne right behind her. “A spare,” Michelle spat at her. All this time, he’s had a backup baby.

But despite how truly horrible this is for Michelle, it really is hard to feel sympathy for her for long. Later on she tells at Steve, “I always knew you were an idiot but you were my idiot.” Oh, Michelle, please, just quit with that one. There are so many more insults, more appropriate here.

Corrie Street 12 Mar 2017

Grooming

I learned a new word this week, thanks to Bluenose Corrie. Grooming, as in child grooming. It means “befriending and nathan checks to see if bethany is asleepestablishing an emotional connection with a child… to lower the child’s inhibitions for child sexual abuse,” according to Wikipedia. It is what Nathan is doing to Bethany.

On Tuesday, his creepy mentoring of her paid off. Bethany unwittingly got very drunk at a bar she went to with Nathan’s assistant Mel. Then, when she was staggering around outside the bar, Nathan curb-crawled his way to her. Oh dearie-dearie, let’s get bethany awakes and calls to nathanyou safe, you can’t go home in this state, what would your mother say.

So back to his. He tucked her up on the couch under a duvet to sleep it off. Ever the gentleman. Of course, she couldn’t sleep and so she did what he knew she’d do. He’s professed to be her boyfriend after all. Into his bedroom she went. Didn’t want to sleep alone, she said.

He sneaked out of bed after she was asleep and made a phone call. To whomever he is doing this for. She’s coming along nicely, he said, nathan on phone saying grooming of bethany is going wellall according to plan. But can’t rush it, must take our time.

You hear about this sort of thing, of course, on the news. But this story is really bringing it home. You can see how easy it is, playing on a girl’s naivety and vanity. It’s Bethany’s dream come true – an attractive older man who sees her as an adult – a very sexy and intelligent adult.

She is willingly walking into the trap. When she realizes it is one, it may be too late. Devastated by the betrayal and her own gullibility. And that would be on top of whatever other physical or nathan gets back in bed with bethanypsychological methods of subordination that Nathan, Mel and the handler have available to use. This isn’t their first rodeo. Nathan’s lines has sucked in other young girls.

I just want Sarah to twig to what’s going on. Rana, after seeing the state of Bethany on the street, is uneasy. She told Sarah some of it, but left out the part that the man she saw with Bethany is much, much older. So Sarah has some clues, but not enough yet to connect the dots. And with Sarah, you pretty much have to draw the whole map out before she sees it.

bethany falls back asleepAlso, with Sarah, it seems entirely possible that, if she did meet Nathan, she might fall for him herself. Her track record with men so far seems to be on track with her mother’s. Even her grandmother’s. Ha! They could craft an intergenerational story of Platt women smitten by a professional child procurer. In addition to jail time, that might be a good punishment for him.

Un-American Affairs

Marya Mannes on out of my time book coverFrom More in Anger (1958), a collection of essays by American social critic and satirist Marya Mannes. From 1904 to 1990, her life spanned most of the 20th century.

A fictional life-story of a man who, Mannes says, “drew strength” from the “poisoned climate of McCarthy”. Just change a few words and, maybe, ‘plus ça change…’?

The Brotherhood of Hate: Three Portraits (Pt. II)

If you should come across Charlie Mattson and his family barbecuing in the back yard of their Darien home, you would think they came straight off the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. There is the jolly father-chef in his apron, the pretty – but not too pretty – wife in slacks, the twelve-year-old boy with the T shirt and the crew cut, and the teen-age girl in heavy white socks and loafers, blue-jeaned, sweatered and pony-tailed. They appear to be having a genuinely good time.

There is no reason, really, why they shouldn’t. Charlie has a good job in a factory sub-contracted to a defense plant, his family is healthy, and he is a pillar of his American Legion Post, the Presbyterian church, the Kiwanis and the weekly poker group. One reason for this is his good nature, another is his repertory of jokes, mainly for male consumption. Charlie rolls ’em in the aisles.

Yet Charlie is one of those men who was, whether he admits it or not, happiest in the war. He got overseas late in the game, but not too late to taste the liberation of Paris and the advance into Germany, and he can never forget the excitement and fulfilment of either. Nor can he forget the German girl he shacked up with after the surrender, in the months of occupation that followed. Ruins, starvation and all, he found the Germans very much to his liking, and he joined a number of other Americans in wondering why the hell they had fought the Krauts instead of the Frogs. Fundamentally, the Germans had the right ideas, and one of those was plumbing.

The nearest he could come to those war days now were bull sessions at the Post, where the men would reminisce about the war and the women they had. But the years after the war were a letdown to men like Charlie. They were conscious of a great lack: there was no place to go, nothing to do, no direction, really. They were disgusted with the untidiness and frustration of civilian life, and they began to blame it on all sorts of things, beginning with socialism (the bastard Truman and his goddam Fair Deal) and ending with Jews, foreigners, do-gooders, pinkos and longhairs.

It was small wonder then that when the Junior Senator from Wisconsin began raising his voice in 1952, Charlie began to listen. Here, at last, was a call to action, a new kind of war for good Americans to wage. McCarthy gave men like Charlie a motive and a function: to rid this country of the traitors in its midst, to hunt down the enemy, to restore America to its rightful owners and guardians. The bugle had sounded and Charlie Mattson joined the colors.

But things have died down a bit since, partly because most of the reds had been smoked out, and partly because there was nobody left in the government who had the guts to keep up the fight against subversion. For there was no doubt in Charlie’s mind that his country was in constant danger of penetration, that the wrong people were getting back into power, and that the only reason the Russians were ahead of us was that they stole our secrets.

But what can you do when people are dumb? Make money and mind your own business and tell your children what the score is. If folks can’t realize, for instance, that this whole integration business is one more communist plot and that the Supreme Court is playing right into their hands, it’s their funeral. [pp 84-86]

More in Anger cover Keystone Books J B Lippincott 1958Charlie Mattson would be the father or grandfather of one type of Trump voter: the white man from the Rust Belt. The man who remembers, and wants back, those good factory jobs. Donald Trump says he’ll restore the jobs, restore “Made in the USA”, restore America. Many want to believe that. And some want the “call to action” that he appears to promise. No matter what it costs in the long run. No matter what it costs others, and us all.

 

Corrie Street 5 Mar 2017

Bangers and Mash

Hmm, what wine goes best with bangers and mash? A question for Ken to ask himself. A much better question than those he was asking at dinner with Daniel and Sinead on Thursday.ken gives pop quiz over bangers and mash

It must take the prize for most hideous dinner party ever. Sinead thought inviting Ken for dinner would put things back on a good footing for father, son and girlfriend. Oh, dear sweet Lord!

Last week, I talked about Daniel seeming to channel the young Ken Barlow. This dinner party channelled over half a century of dining table class warfare in the Barlow household. From Ken’s father sinead looks bored at ken's questionsgetting in his face about his la-di-da attitudes to Deirdre rolling her eyes at what she saw as his pretensions. Now, Ken giving a pop quiz on American history to Daniel over dinner? Why, Ken, why?

I think I agree with Ken, that Sinead is going to drag Daniel down. Although I like her and at first liked the idea of them together, she is overplaying the “I dunno all that fancy stuff, I’m just a faktry girl” schtick. Daniel may enjoy seeing the literary lineage of the beauty of the simple maid and simple life brought to life in her. He may also just be horny. Whatever, her eye-rolling, “dunno” responses and neediness will wear thin soon.

Meanwhile, finding that out will likely mess up his graduate studies daniel answers jfk question correctlyplan. His new emotional life with Sinead has already cost him a chance to get to know a prof outside the academic setting. It’s also made Ken doubt him, at a time when Ken is getting royally ticked off with the flaws of his recently returned children. He already knows well the flaws of the other ones.

Tracy and Peter also well know Ken’s flaws, and to some extent accept them. The new sons are discovering them for themselves. One that must have been driven home with a sledgehammer for Daniel is his father’s sometimes totally inappropriate pedantism.sinead gets up from table

If ever there was a time to not discuss American history, English literature or anything that resembled schoolwork, it was this first dinner with Daniel and Sinead in their home. Although Ken shouldn’t have needed a clue to know that, the bangers and mash should have given him one. Even Deirdre wouldn’t have made that kind of “this is me” statement. She would have gussied it up in honour of her guest with her speciality, stuffed marrow.

Pineapple Pizza

The other night, my husband said he was going to make pizza. What pizza on plate photo d stewartkind, he asked. Pineapple and ham, I said without hesitation. They’re small, he said, so anything else? Pepperoni and pineapple. That’s what Sam Panopolous likes.

We had a can of pineapple rings and ham slices. No pepperoni but nice salami. And black olives. Jim said one of the best pizzas he ever had was a Hawaiian with black olives.

Hawaiian pizza

  • Store-bought pizza crusts (these are 9″ flatbreads)
  • then pizza sauce from a can,
  • shredded mozzarella, and
  • toppings – pineapple chunks, ham pieces (or sliced salami or pepperoni), sliced black olives
  • bake about 20 minutes at 375°Fpineapple pizzas photo d stewart

Thank you, Mr. Panopolous, they were delicious.

Sam Panopolous is the inventor of the Hawaiian pizza. Since 1982 he has lived in London, Ontario where he owned the Family Circle Restaurant on Wellington Street. Its website says it’s family-owned, his family, I assume.

satellite restaurant chatham ont tripadvisor.caBefore that, he ran the Satellite restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. There, in 1962, he came up with the idea of pineapple chunks on pizza. He liked it and, while not an immediate hit with his customers, he kept ham and pineapple pizza on offer. Eventually it took off and now is a standard item in pizza places.

Mr. Panopolous told CBC’s As It Happens that he is retired now and doesn’t even make pizza for himself. He likes Dr. Oetker’s frozen pizzas. A great testimony for them, and I agree with him.

Pineapple Tweets

Hawaiian pizza and Mr. Panopolous were in the news last week. It started with a furor over a tweet by a political leader. For once, not Donald Trump. Rather the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.

President Jóhannesson put it out there for the world that he did not like pineapple on pizza. That if he had the power, he would ban pineapple on pizza. But he doesn’t have the power. And that’s a good thing. “I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don’t like. I would not want to live in such a country. For pizzas, I recommend seafood.”

Seafood on pizza? Ok, that’s weird. I thought his tweet was perhaps allegorical. A small reminder to, oh maybe Donald Trump, that personal opinion shouldn’t be the basis for policy making. But evidently it came from a classroom Q & A about pizza preferences. Sometimes a topping is just a topping. But I still think it’s a good allegory.

While googling, I came across a Guardian article from March 2015. The Pizzeria Boccalino in Lausanne, Switzerland politicized their pizzas by naming them after world leaders and celebrities. The Barack Obama included pineapple. What would be on a Donald J. Trump pizza, I wonder.

Corrie Street 26 Feb. 2017

Channelling

Rosie itemizes suitcase contents - channelling herselfWednesday, channelling by characters of other characters, even other shows. Daniel and Rosie in particular; good and (channel Rosie eye roll here) kinda weird.

When Rosie first returned, I wasn’t sure she was “the real Rosie”, i.e. Helen Flanagan. She seemed like a very similar looking actress who had diligently watched Helen Flanagan’s tapes, perfecting and surpassing Rosie’s signature moves. It was a Rosie caricature, which takes some doing.

Another character popped into my mind too: Alexis from CBC’s Schitt’s Creek. Rosie was funny, in the way that Annie Murphy as Alexis is. You watch, enjoy, and are very glad that your time with this person is limited.

Realizing this actually was Helen Flanagan, and aware that her character has been living in Miami with the Beautiful People, I could believe. Rosie would soak up the fluff like a sponge. And she already had the vacuity and self-absorption. So what would you expect her to be like when she returns home? Exactly as she is.

rosie shrieks at narcsHowever, add to it that she is an unwitting international drug mule just makes it seem more like another world than that of Weatherfield, or of Coronation Street. Rosie and all of the Webster-Windass storylines are channelling American soaps. Too many big, nasty, evil plots, too many crises. Too many people yelling, too many secrets and plot-points hinging on misunderstandings.

On a side note from earlier in this story, Anna going off on Kevin websters and anna watch as narc carries off suitcasebecause he took money from Sally for half of Sophie’s medical costs made no sense to me whatsoever. Other than to set up conflict between them. Shouldn’t Sally share the costs for her children? Why wasn’t Anna saying long ago, ‘what about Sally? Why isn’t she helping out with this?’

After seeing Rosie’s parallel universe Wednesday, Daniel took me back in time. Channelling the young Ken Barlow, he looked through sinead reads heaney poemhis literature prism at his back street world. Ken then, Daniel now, trying to explain the view to someone who sees spud-digging as digging spuds. Who sees sewing buttonholes as making a fastener for clothes, not as the life-force of creation.

I’ve only seen some early episodes of Coronation Street on video, so don’t know Ken from then. But I felt I was seeing him when Daniel sinead smiles at daniel as he explains poemshowed the poem to Sinead and talked about it. It is “Digging” by Seamus Heaney. And it is everything Daniel said about it. Daniel would have a more intellectually fruitful discussion about its meaning with his father, but it seems to have served its purpose with Sinead.

Blue Blue Merle

Wyndlair Cherokee Vindication aka Vinnie Westminster 2012 Best CollieWhile watching the 2012 Westminster dog show, this dog was the one I wanted. What a beauty! Then a Collie-knowledgeable friend commented that he should never have won Best of Breed because of his merle-to-merle breeding. Huh?

I started googling. 2012 Best of Breed Collie GCH Wyndlair Cherokee Vindication, Vinnie for short, is son of Wyndlair Avalanche, aka Aiden, top breeding collie in the US. Aiden was the only pup born from a deliberate merle to merle breeding, and he is deaf and almost if not fully blind. Because of that, Aiden has never been shown. But being AKC registered, his pups from a registered female can be registered, shown and bred.

The patterns of white and colour called merle are produced by a congenital glitch that might be accompanied by blindness, or partial vision, and deafness. It’s like white blue-eyed cats being deaf. Lots of dogs, including non-merle looking ones, carry the gene for merle coats, so it may or may not come out in their pups. Mixed with non-merle genetic material, the chances of getting the physical problems of the merle gene are not significantly great.

Breeders take a dog’s full lineage into account in choosing parental pairs in order to minimize congenital problems. That’s why pedigree papers go back so many generations. You do not deliberately breed a pair likely to pass on major physical problems. Well, to produce Vinnie’s dad, his kennel did.

Double Merle Collie

Wyndlair Avalanche aka AidenIt seems I’m not the only one starstruck by a dog like Vinnie. The demand for merles has increased, but getting them is luck of the draw. It goes against all good breeding practices to breed two merles together in hopes of increasing the odds of getting a greater proportion of merle puppies. Wyndlair Avalanche, Aiden, is the product of such a breeding choice. The only pup of the litter, Aiden is vision- and hearing-impaired, but he has a magnificent merle coat.

ad for all merle litterMaybe from him would come the jackpot – an all merle litter, as was advertised  by another kennel about pups sired by Aiden.

This is breeding to supply market demand. That is what puppy mills do.  A movie makes every kid want a Dalmatian? Let’s get the assembly line moving and fill that demand! Labradoodles become the new fad? Crank ‘em out! The exotic look of merle Collies becomes the new must-have? A reputable breeder takes chances with the physical soundness of their pups and the future of the breed? Apparently so. Aiden’s pups sell like hotcakes.

With his son Vinnie winning Best of Breed at Westminster, dad and son’s stud fees just went way up. Vinnie produces beautiful puppies, I’m sure, and with him Wyndlair Cherokee Vindication, Vinnie, Westminster Best of Breed Collie 2012not being a double merle, they might be physically sound. But they carry in their genetic structure the ticking timebomb of deafness, blindness and other congenital problems. That will affect the health and wellbeing of Collies for many years to come.

I had been hoping Vinnie would win the Herding Group so that he could vie for Best in Show. I am very glad now that he didn’t. Sorry, Vinnie.

darlene austin and magic sept 2010 st thomas fire musterFrom my St. Thomas Dog Blog Feb. 23, 2012, reposted with fond memories of Darlene Austin, my “Collie-knowledgeable friend”, and her beautiful Magic.

The 2017 Westminster Dog Show was held Feb 13th and 14th. Congratulations to  Rumor, the German Shepherd, and all the dogs.

(see comments below)

Corrie Street 19 Feb 2017

Sally’s Check-up

Sally impressed me so much with her grace and maturity. That’s not a statement you say very often!

sally at rovers after health check-upThursday she went to her doctor for a breast cancer check-up. She got the all clear, she is still cancer free. She was visibly relieved. So, I think, were we all.

She’d earlier had a bit of a snipe-fest with Jenny at the factory when she wanted to ensure she had the okay for the time off she needed. Jenny is throwing her weight around as the boss’ girlfriend, and that weight has increased by one carat. She is now wearing an engagement ring from Johnny.

sally asks kevin about financesLater, after her check-up, she goes to the Rovers to chill a bit and relish her good news. She meets up with Kevin. And she does what I and others have been wondering about. She tells him she will pay half the cost of Sophie’s hospital bill in the USA. Kevin thanks her, says he’s chuffed for her, and leaves.

Jenny passes him on her way in, to Sally’s table. Sally groans, expecting more of the same nonsense from Jenny. But no, Jenny apologizes for her behaviour earlier and asks – sincerely – after sally tells jenny it is big and little thingsSally’s health. Sally is gracious to her. She doesn’t play lady of the manor or mouthy factory girl, just tells her how the check up went and how relieved she is. Sally also tells her what her fear feels like, and how hard it is having breast cancer, then the treatment and the aftermath. She tells her about a young woman she saw in the waiting room, trying to cope with her illness and with her worries for her children.

It’s the big worries but also the little things that get you, Sally says. jenny gets ideaSomething as simple as trying to find a good mastectomy bra, for example. And the lightbulb goes off in Jenny’s head. Back to the factory she goes. And the beginning of a very good storyline, I think, and a new product line, I hope, for Underworld.

Terms of Union

“What fair and equitable basis may exist for federal union of Newfoundland and Canada?” Seventy years ago, Newfoundland decided to ask Ottawa that question.

Joseph_Smallwood_signing_Newfoundland_into_Confederation-11-Dec-1948 - Terms of UnionTwo years later, they’d sorted it out to their satisfaction. The Terms of Union stipulated what would change and what would remain the same for Newfoundland industry, resources and people.

Spelled out in the Terms of Union was the continuation of Newfoundland’s denominational school system and the right to sell margarine. The status of the Mi’kmaq of the island and the Innu and Inuit of Labrador? Not a mention.

The Constitution Act (1867) in Section 91(24) says that the federal government has jurisdiction over “Indians, and lands reserved for the Indians”. In this instance, “Indians” includes Inuit. So you’d think that the Canadian government would assume responsibility for the indigenous peoples of the new province whether or not there was explicit mention in the Terms of Union. But it didn’t happen, creating a Canadian anomaly. A province without officially recognized indigenous populations.

It isn’t that no one thought about it during negotiations. Here’s what happened, from my Putting It Back Together (1983:116).

“Subsequent to Union”

During the two weeks following September 29, 1947, the section which dealt with the Indian Act was removed, reintroduced, and then pencilled out in three different versions of the National Convention subcommittee report. No decision was made by the time of Confederation, and it was agreed to establish an Interdepartmental Committee on Newfoundland Indians and Eskimos which could “more appropriately” discuss the matter “subsequent to Union.” This committee sought an opinion “as to the precise legal extent of the federal government’s responsibility insofar as Indians and Eskimos residing in Newfoundland and Labrador are concerned” from the federal Department of Justice. In the reply of April 14, 1951, the Justice Department said, “It is the responsibility of the federal government to formulate and carry out all policies that are directed at dealing with Indian or Indian problems [sic].”

[Public Archives of Canada: Claxton Papers, Min. of Justice, Min. of Mines and Resources, 1949-1951]

So why didn’t Ottawa assume its responsibility? Joseph Smallwood Canada-welcomes-Newfoundland first day cover postcardsaid in a 1982 radio interview that he intended the Indian Act to apply. But he did not want people to lose the vote and other rights of citizenship that went with that. However, the federal government reformed the Indian Act soon after, giving status Indians most of the rights of other citizens.

The Canadian government was actively pursuing assimilation of indigenous peoples in policies and practices. So perhaps it served the purposes of both nations. Newfoundland did not lose control over people and lands to Canada. And Canada did not have to add to its responsibility toward indigenous peoples. It didn’t exactly work out as planned, as the next 70 years showed.

Corrie Street 12 Feb. 2017

How you doing?

How you doing – Fiz’s concerned face, asking this of Steve at the bar. Steve Alya and Fiz at the barYou know this isn’t going to go well.

It’s Friday, and it’s been a long week of sadness and anger. It’s the day after the baby’s funeral. Steve is working a shift at the Rovers. The factory girls are having a birthday party for Izzy at the bar. Fun, fun, fun – until Fiz noticed Steve.

How you doing Fiz asks SteveYou could see it in her eyes – the mental gears shifting. No more time for fun. It’s time for ‘oh, poor you, I want to make you feel better’. When you see that look, it’s time to run as fast as you can. Too bad Steve didn’t.

Fiz gave her condolences, and stopped speaking. Whew, maybe Izzy and Sinead with sad faces and condolencesthat’s it. But even that made everyone else put on a serious face and acknowledge Steve’s loss (something he was likely trying to put out of his mind for just a bit of time).

Fiz says Michelle is still youngAnd of course Fiz’s roll was just starting. Every bromide not fit for a sympathy card popped into her mind, it seems, culminating with “Michelle’s still young…” Those words, unfortunate at the best of times in this situation, came out of Fiz’s mouth just as Michelle walked out of the back room and into hearing distance.

Steve lost it. Earlier in the week, Michelle had lost it big time so Michelle tells Steve to forget the remarkperhaps she hasn’t had a chance to build up her reserves for another explosion. She dealt with Fiz’s insensitivity surprisingly well. I was grateful, I couldn’t have taken another Michelle outburst.

Steve hasn’t been able to let out his frustration and hurt and rage. So Steve yells at FizFiz’s words pushed all his buttons and she got the brunt of it. She didn’t really deserve it. Insensitive as her words were, and inappropriate as her extended expression of sympathy was in the first place at a lunchtime birthday bash at a bar, she meant well.

So everyone feels uncomfortable and embarrassed. Her friends have to comfort Fiz. And Steve will feel bad about taking it all out on her Fiz says she has the sense of a rocking horsewhen she was just trying to be nice. Steve and Michelle have had their noses rubbed in their loss at a moment when both thought they could try to feel normal for a little bit. Oh Fiz, please, next time just buy a card or flowers! Or just say sorry for your loss. Then zip it.