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doulas are awesome August 29, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 3:46 pm

so some doula on facebook just asked me to cover for her tonight. she seems to know me. she has a momma showing signs of labour but shes working overnight tonight. so she asked me to be on call for her overnight.

i do not recognize her name. i looked her up on facebook and looked for photos. i do not recognize her face. i do not know this doula. but oh well. it doesn’t matter – sure i’ll back you up. no problem. what a great community.


reason for leave August 27, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 3:25 pm

Reason for leave

I have two daughters, age 3 and 4. I did not take a parental leave when either was born. After my first daughter was born, my work did not suffer. After the second, it did. I should have taken parental leave then. My work has continued to suffer and my advisor suggested I take a personal leave a year ago. I did not, but I should have. My advisor and I both agree that this leave is the right choice. As much as I try to find time for teaching and research and family obligations, something always seems to come up.

On top of that, my wife suffered greatly from post-partum depression and has ongoing mental health issues. She is receiving treatment and is doing much better now, so things are looking hopeful on that front. But having me home more to help is a big part of why she is doing better and I would hate to see her relapse.

For these reasons, I have not and am not able to find time to do my research on top of the work I must do to pay for my family. I am taking a leave to focus on my family and make some money, and I hope to return when the situation stabilizes.


Jim McGarva

Aug 2014


he left this open on a word doc. going to send it to the school with some paperwork. checking out – getting a real job now. he is relieved to be sending this in.

i cried when i got the middle paragraph about me. then i texted my psychiatrist and told her – thank you, thank you, thank you. i am okay today. its been a long time without an issue and i’m starting to see it clearly and be proud of myself. i am relieved also.


they are coming out of the woodwork August 26, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 10:35 pm

sometimes i’m a bit suspicious about how the universe works.

so i spent some time being stressed-the-fuck-out over the summer, becasue I had no idea where life was going – as in, were we moving to nova scotia? would jim be able to find work? would I have to quit this doula gig and find some soul-destroying full time job that sent me back on SSRIs again?

in my doula world, sondra had a baby and we both kind of ‘checked out’ of doula work for a while. it went quiet. i didn’t write anything. the best we did was post shit to the facebook page once in a while. and not even quality shit either.

then jim got some jobs. in fact he got a lot of jobs. humber wants him, ryerseon is interested, seneca… then after school tutoring in private high schools. his schedule is filling up. looks like i wont be teaching much this year with green acres, lunchtime and after shool programs. my work time is being cut down because Jim gets paid more than me so he should work, not me. plus, its not worth it yet to pay for childcare. i could make $25 for teaching a class and then pay childcare $25 for watching my kids so i could go teach that class. not cool. but we are very happy that his schedule is filling up.

AND SO IS MINE, thank you very much. got a momma due on sept 22, then got an email recently from a mom who is due in Jan. then got booked on the spot last night by another mama for Oct 11. then got an email today from a mama due oct 16th. hmm – those two are pretty close together, but I’m going to run with it anyway. i asked other doulas and they all said yes, do it. it’ll be fine, just have a good backup. the other day someone posted ‘lets set the intention for one thing we want right now” on a doula FB page. it was cute. i dont believe in any of that fluff, but i chimed in, “i want clients”. AND NOW THEY ARE COMING OUT OF THE WOODWORK. you could say anytihng you wanted about this – you could say its becasue i ‘set the intention’, or even ‘i cut off my dreads’ or whatever you wanted. sometimes its hard to not believe that its not just coincidence.

but we have a good website. its modern (its bright orange, for christsake,) and its not called something like “red tent mother moon goddess gaia doula cervices” which just about everyone is called. i don’t have a vagina as my logo. (seriously….. i know we all love vaginas but some clients get freaked out if they see one as your logo) and i have put a lot of work into networking with other doulas. one of my clients i got as a referral from another doula in mississauga who i dont particuarly jive with but she has taken a real liking to me, so she gives me her overflow clients.

i went to a fantastic workshop. the other doula workshops i have been to, especially the ones with drum circles and salt bowls where we do art to reach our inner red tent mother moon earth goddesses and steal deities from Hinduism without knowing anything about them first and theres tarot cards available….. sheesh. okay i never want to do a workshop like that again. tell me, please, how the fact that i painted a silk scarf is going to help my mama when she goes in for an emergency c-section. so i found a better workshop. i can tell becasue theres no drums. theres no painting birth art. it is on the ground, firmly based in reality, led by a woman named Beth who has supposed moms in prison, moms who are giving up their babes for adoption, moms who were on the street, transgendered parents, gay parents, 14-year old moms who have to give their babies up, moms who have had six previous children apprehended from them, and women who are delivering stillborns. its not two days long – its an intensive, ‘i am expected to actually work for it’ training, where we are closely mentored. im my first training my trainer disappeared after and never answered any of my questions. and was a bit of a bitch.

i am certified, but the organization i trained with i’m really not loving right now. and the room was full with a great group of women, some of us are doulas and some are wanting to start. one of them i have buddied up with already – i want her to be my new best friend and join us because she seems to click well with us.



I started a fight on the internet and it was interesting August 7, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 6:04 pm

well I didn’t start it, I had said something that someone took a gloriously proud offense too (as is the case with the internet…)and she started throwing accusations around. i had said that all these new fad diets are like specialized eating disorders for the privileged.. she said “i’m sorry, but ethics is a fad?’ i said, Seriously, I’m the last person you need to “be sorry” at about ethics. Did I say ethics? I am an ethical eater. But I’m not a raw, paleo, or ‘gluten-free-yet-not-celiac’ eater. she told me “but have some consideration for other sentient beings including your fellow humans.

This is hilarious. You know absolutely nothing about me.

The fact you would even label veganism a diet and talk about your ethical *eating* really shows you don’t know what veganism is. It’s not a diet. I know enough to not be a fan of people casually labelling whole classes of people as having mental illness. How do you think you know that about me? I suppose if you’re religious it’s a fad religion. And you must be crazy and have some deep-seated self-hatred.

I did not say the word veganism. At all. Anywhere. I did not connect veganism to mental illness. Only the guy in the comic that i commented on said vegan. I don’t know anything about you. And now you’re throwing around terms like self-hatred and crazy and you seem to think I have a fad religion. I didn’t do anything to you, I didn’t even put veganism in my comment, you’re the one all ruffled up over there over words you put in my mouth

me and Jim were laughing. why does this happen on the internet? why does she think she can assume that i have a religion and a deep-seated self-hatred and that she can decide that how i eat isn’t ethical? how can she get offended over something i didn’t even say? its midnight. shes trolling facebook at midnight, getting all proudly indignant and trying her hardest to put me down. you don’t even know me. i didn’t say what you’re trying to convince yourself i said.

so i did some thinking and i talked to Jim and mulled over these things in my head. i was supposed ot be going to bed but i was all fired up but this idea that i needed to work out that she had got me thinking about. a few things came up, and heres what i thought about:

1) are fad diets rich peoples eating disorders.
yes. absolutely yes.
after thinking this over, the answer is more clear than it was before. i had made the comparison that they were eating disorders before but i didn’t think about WHY. then i thought about it. first of all, having choice of food is a privilege. having the option to waste food and choose what you want to eat is a privilege. fad diets don’t exist is places where people don’t have this choice.

second, fad diets are about fear. people get scared of a food, and they decide to stop eating it. generally these are people who do not have positive relationships with their bodies, and they are afraid to actually just feed their bodies. food comes attached with different levels of guilt, and you need to be punished if you eat the wrong thing – like cake. how many times have you seen someone really want a piece of cake but not take it because of fear of the cake? STOP BEING AFRAID OF YOUR FOOD. kristy had a phase where she stopped eating white things. white bread and white rice, okay fine. you can do better than that i guess, but cauliflower? potatoes? really? are you going to skip white eggplants, onions, leeks? what the fuck? then the next week is a new thing.

I am not afraid of junk food. i choose not to eat or drink it, and i try to stop my kids from eating it, but I am not afraid of it. i just know that i can do better than junk food and that junk food doesn’t feel right in my body and it doesn’t serve my body in any positive way. but I’m allowed to eat it if i want. making a choice is not the same as being afraid. you stopped eating wheat because of something you read on the internet? fear. deciding that you cant eat food unless a caveman could have eaten it? it’s still a search for the ultimate, perfect diet, and its from fear. in fact, are you being ethical to yourself at that point? is it ethical to live in guilt becasue you had some cake?  living like that, ruled by your new diet choice and trying to ignore the fact that you just want a small piece of cake but you’ll have to feel really bad about it later, that shit is in your head. that is disordered eating.

2) veganism isn’t a “diet”
Uhh it totally is. Yeah its also a lifestyle, but how you chose to eat is, by definition, a diet.

3) veganism is ethical.

now this is a can of worms. the point of veganism as a lifestyle is to be as ethical as possible. but i have a hunch that a lot of vegans know LITERALLY NOTHING about their choices and how farming and food production works in the real world. lets break it down. if the idea is, and im going to dumb it down quite a bit for the sake of argument, that harming animals and animal abuse is wrong. great, i’m all for that. i eat animals but i would prefer that they weren’t harmed orabused along the way. animals should be treated respectfully and allowed to do their own animal-ly things. chickens scratch and peck and roost and should be given an environment and a life where they can do that. but then i eat them. i believe that here are ways to raise animals that are humane and respectful and also to butcher them in ways that are humane and respectful. (PS – boiling a lobster alive is pretty darn cruel and I’m not for that at all) but vegans would prefer that we don’t eat the animals at all.

okay so now we re in trouble. we have whole farms full of animals that we can no longer eat. chickens can live for something close to 12 years but they only lay for the first handful of those years. so now we have all these senior chickens running around, we need to feed them, we need space for them, we need homes for them. you know whats going to happen, right? its like how we have too many homeless dogs and cats and waaay to many kittens and puppies in the world right now. imagine if there were shelters for chickens? (there are already, in a way) homeless old cows that nobody wanted. by the way, unless its not totally clear, animals who live in shelters suffer. we would be overrun with livestock since we stopped eating it, and not have anywhere to put it. you can’t claim thats ethical.

so then, as with dogs and cats, the ethical thing to do would be population control. so if we stopped eating these animals like PETA would like us to do, then they wouldn’t exist anymore. we would stop breeding them for food. we would stop breeding them at all. how many heritage breeds still exist and are coming back from the brink of extinction simply because we have chosen to start to eat them again? and if you stopped eating them, we would lose thousands of species. vegans, please tell me how that is ethical. I know you are all against animal cruelty, but are you against animal existence? are you pro-extinction?

4) we should eat soy and quinoa because thats more ethical than animal abuse.

yes. that soy thing. of course eating soy is better than eating meat because nobody had to die.

DO YOU KNOW HOW A FARM WORKS? image a wide expanse of soy thats all set to go to the freezer isle of the grocery store. I’m not even going to talk about ethical treatment of farm workers, or paying farmers a living wage or anything, i’m going to talk about how to harvest the soy. with a huge fucking machine that whirrs along decapitating any small animal that couldn’t get away fast enough. rabbits, mice, snakes, ground-dwelling birds, moles, the barn cat…. the machine makes a hell of a lot of pollution. so did the pesticides, when you sprayed them. and when you sprayed the pesticides, you killed a whole lot of insects, many of them beneficial. (but this is okay because we know vegans are against honeybees) and i bet all those insects died slowly from the inside. you killed the birds who ate those insects. you killed the fish and the frogs and the wading birds who eat the fish and frogs when your chemcials ran into the waterways. and since a huge amount of soy is now farmed in south America, you have to rip up giant patches of rainforest to plant it. soy kills orangutans. vegans, are you against orangutans?

now lets talk aobtu quinoa. all of the above applies, especially the orangutans. you know what else quinoa is responsible for? starvation. whole communities in bolivia and peru can no longer eat their own cereal crop, which used ot be a staple in their diet until the privileged world had a quinoa-based fad diet. now the price of quinona has skyrocketed so high that the people who used to eat it as a staple can no longer afford it. junk food is cheaper than quinoa. chicken is cheaper than quinoa, and chicken is not cheap. I believe the exact same thing happened with rice in the east. And something about another cereal crop in Africa. vegans, are you against south Americans so much that you want to steal all their food? tell me thats ethical. go on. i dare you.

since we are on the topic of orangutans, vegans, can you tell me if you eat peanut butter? is there palm oil in your peanut butter? well then you are against orangutans and rainforests.

5) it takes x number of acres to feed y number of people on corn, but z numbers of acres to feed the same number of people on cows because the cows need to eat all that corn first.
there is a huge flaw in this argument, and I have heard it with any number of acres or people. sometimes its 7 acres for 30 people. sometimes its 12 people. sometimes the cows only feed 4 people. i dont know if anyone actually has done the math. but anyway, here’s the flaw – cows don’t eat corn.

cows eat grass. the is the whole point of a cow. that is largely why we domesticated them. they eat grass, which we cannot eat, and they turn it into something we can eat: milk and meat. the cow converts grass which is inedible into something that is quite edible and palatable. and if you are against cows then you can do exactly the same thing with sheep. and you can also do it with goats, but they prefer their food to not be on the floor so much, so you may have to give them bushes and stuff as well. but you cant do it with chickens (at least, not ethically speaking,) because chickens are not vegetarians and should not be made to be vegetarians. chickens eat worms. chickens eat bugs. chickens will eat other chickens. eat frogs. i have seen a chickens eat lobster shells.

we could solve this little x to feed y but z to fed y problem if we just went back to feeding cows what they were meant to eat. the cows will thank you, I promise. now thats starting to sound a bit more ethical.

6) we shouldn’t keep bees for honey

why do we keep bees? for honey and almond crops. and other crops, but largely almonds actually. so, vegans, i know that some of you are against bees because it exploits them or whatever, and i’m kinda with you on this we should stop overworking bees and spraying them with pesticides and we should really, really put some serious effort into solving and controlling CCD. theres an option out there that isn’t honeybees, and thats mason bees. they are better pollinators than honeybees and hardier. but we don’t get honey from them. and part of the reason we keep bees is for honey. farmers who truck their bees all over california all year long do get some extra income out of at the end of the year with honey. they should not be driving hives all over the country, but tht is a different problem. but i think the reality is that if we stopped keeping bees for honey, there would not be honeybees all together. there probably arent enough wild populations of htem to keep the species going on any large scale. this is a case of vegans being against animal existence again.


finally, number 7.
7) what is a fad religion?

I don’t even know.