A Trace of my Former Self; Lassitude and Exorbitant Defined; Getting Something Back From Canadian Income Taxes; A Perspective From Albertaviews on Election Fever; Reality Testing Needed by Followers of UCP; An Amusing Conversation with My New Socks About Concierges; Photos of New Sock and Before and After Bulletin Board

That phrase came to mind, it describes my total lassitude. This is Day 2 of being a trace of my former self. Lassitude is more descriptive: a state of physical or mental weariness; lack of energy. There are many synonyms all describing the me of today:  listlessness, weariness, languor, sluggishness, enervation, tiredness, exhaustion, fatigue, sleepiness, drowsiness, torpor, torpidity, ennui, lifelessness, sloth, apathy. I am known for my vigor and energy. No more. 

Logic would find the answer – the after effects of Ramadan. The first day (Eid) is celebratory, congratulatory, festive, but the storehouse of energy gets depleted, there is nothing left. Slept 20 out of 24 hours yesterday. Today probably 19. Thankfully bed rest possible – no husbands no kids, no grandkids, no girlfriends demanding my time and attention. 

Facing a busy week – hand therapy, nail appointment, hair appointment, postponed EID celebration, Canadian taxes to be filed, possibly necessitating robbing a bank to pay the exorbitant  amount. There are other words to describe the $$$$ I have to come up with: 

excessively high, extremely high, excessive, sky-high, prohibitive, outrageous, unreasonable, preposterous, inordinate, immoderate, inflated, monstrous, unwarranted, unconscionable, huge, enormous, disproportionate; punitive, ruinous; expensive, extravagant, criminal, steep, stiff, over the top, costing an arm and a leg, daylight robbery, a rip-off. I admit that listing these words made me feel better – my Canadian taxes are daylight robbery, cost an arm and a leg, are monstrous, ruinous. Please take into account that I had to file (and pay) US income taxes too because me retirement income comes to me via the United States. 

This terrible state of affairs is made somewhat palpable by this consoling fact: I get something for my Canadian taxes – fantastic health care is primary. It is also consoling to know that there is a ‘safety net’ for those less fortunate. Child care, good schools and universities, great snow removal equipment, a ministry well funded to combat Islamaphobia. The list can go on and on. Not only that, Alberta does not have a sales tax, a ‘hidden’ tax that burdens the poor. California levies state taxes on its residents – Alberta has no provincial income tax. I am (almost) feeling fortunate and blessed. 

I subscribe to Canadian publications these days. The Albertaviews provides “new perspectives for engaged citizens.” A cheerful but rather sardonic article appeared in the April 2023 edition. Written by Fred Stenson, it examines Election Fever: Symptoms, but no cure. Stenson speaks of the daily barrage of bad news quoting this: 

Are you a man or a mouse? Are you going to continue to take abuse from the federal government bullies? You should be enraged to pay for your carbon use. You should refuse to accept carbon rebates as if they are gifts. Carbon is our lifeblood, our right. Oh, and the federal income tax That is another atrocity.” 

Stenson laughs and gives a needed reality check. “That is a lot to hear before you have had your first coffee. Before the run-up to this campaign, I thought I lived in a reasonably peaceful nation. Attractive too! International polls regularly find that Canada is one of the most desired and envied countries in the world. Polls of lifestyle, security – same thing. Canada is at or near the top, Debt to GDP? One of the best ratios in the industrialized world. But my email and my Fritter (the collective term for Facebook-Twitter say its all untrue.” 

The article is most amusing, in a way. But many people are deluded my the silly election promises made by the UCP in this provincial election. The UCP ‘champions’ the rights of the non vaccinated, criticizing the Canadian response to Covid.  Again, Stenson introduces some fact based reality testing. “But weren’t the Canadian approaches to Covid the same ones used all over the world? Didn’t Canada’s approach result in one of the lowest Covid death rates? Didn’t that heighten Canada’s stature yet again?” 

My diminished energy, and hence creativity is limiting the length of this blog. Some rather amusing photos to follow. The Muttart Conservatory gift store is a treasure trove of goodies, including socks with amusing messages. I simply had to buy a pair 

The Socks:  My filter needs to be replaced! 

Me: What a perfect pair you are! It reminds me of a riddle that Triple C made up. What is the difference between a coffee pot and Ms. McBride 

The Socks: What’s he difference?

Me: The coffee pot has a filter. 

The Socks; That is funny. 

Me: And true. I say the first thing that comes to mind, it makes me very funny but rather surprising. 

The Socks: Who was Triple C.?

Me: He was a Concierge at the Trump International Hotel in Vancouver. It stood for Conscientious Clysdate Concierge. He never read my blogs – I would read them to him. He said, Why read them when I am in the movie?

The Socks: What did you say to that? 

Me: I told him he was not handsome enough to play himself in the movie. 

The Socks; You won that one. 

Me: I did. I thought he was my friend. But he was duplicitous. He betrayed me.

The Socks: That is too bad. 

Me:It was too bad for him. He betrayed himself, did not tell the truth about his life. He was utterly dependent on the higher ups of the Trump corporate structure. No one wants that. 

The Socks: I can understand that. 

Me: You are such smart socks. I shall wear you with pride. 

The Socks; Thank you. I am going to a nice happy home. 

Me: You are! 

The conversation with my socks cleared the cob webs. Clear the cob webs is an idiom, to remove a feeling of confusion, vagueness, or lack of clarity about something (from one’s mind, 

At the time, prior to my reversion to the Islamic Faith, I felt so betrayed, so hurt, wounded and angry. Allah (SWT) has taught me that mere mortal men (and women) cannot be trusted. They are only temporary – one’s relationship with Allah (SWT) is the only one that is permanent and worth cultivating. It has enabled me to look back and laugh at the good times Triple CCC and I had (and never trust a concierge again). Oops! Laughingly admit, somewhat ruefully. admit I did – A certain concierge at the Riyadh Hilton Hotel in Saudi Arabia. He did betray me, but it did not hurt a bit and do wonder if he still has his job. Will find that out when I return to properly complete my Umrah and pick up my summer clothes and winter coat left behind. They still are there. There are many find people working at that hotel and it will be a delight to see them again. The Quran also teaches that good always prevails over evil. I repeatedly find that to be absolutely true.  

There shall be a photo of the socks and two photos, a before and after shot of one of my bulletin boards. I accidentally ordered four from IKEA,  Each serves a different purpose. This one in the hallway contained memorabilia from the Middle East. They are carefully stored. The up-to-date one is crowded with Canadian stuff – brochures from my elected members of parliament, post cards of Alberta purchased at the Alberta Legislative Gift Store etc. etc. 

I am home again. I love being home, I could not think of a better place to be at this time.