Photo Hunt: Symbolic

This evening, I was watching “The Tudors’ and it occurred to me what I would use for one of my contributions to Photo Hunt, this week’s theme being “Symbolic”.

As you may know, the main contributions to History by Henry VIII was the dissolution of the Catholic Church in England, the establishment of the Church of England, and the siring of one of the greatest monarchs in history, Queen Elizabeth I. All this came about when he sought an annulment from his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. Henry had plenty of “reasons” for seeking the dissolution of his marriage to Catherine (no male legitimate children via Catherine) and an “excuse” (his marriage to Catherine constituted an sin because he, in violation of biblical, law, married the wife of his brother — from the oft-quoted book of Leviticus)… but basically it was all caused because he was thinking with “the little head instead of the big head). Whatever his reasoning, between 1525 and 1533, pursued an annulment  of his marriage from Pope Clement VII, playing various personages both domestic and international against each other. He finally got a dissolution of his marriage from Thomas Cranmer and married Anne Boleyn… and later had her tried for “High treason” (based on accusations of adultery and incest) and executed. Henry continues “thinking with the little head” pretty much until his death in 1547.

The most famous marriage dissolution in history.

So… what does this all have to do with me and this week’s Photo Hunt challenge?

Here’s the story.

Back in 2000, after almost 10 years together I decided that I no longer wished to be married to my husband. We were legally divorced two years later and we both started getting on with things.

Meanwhile, my ex decided to marry again. Not a problem with me… more or less (for reasons I won’t go into). A few months after I found out he was engaged, I was…. somewhat taken aback by receiving a phonecall from the Catholic Church Marriage Tribunal in town informing me that my ex had applied for an annulment for our marriage from the Catholic Church. I was taken aback for a couple of reasons… firstly because I had no idea he was doing so (certainly hadn’t bothered mentioning it to me) and, secondly, because neither of us had ever had anything to do with the Catholic Church! I am Unitarian and he was a different denomination. We were married in the Unitarian Church.

You can imagine my surprise. In fact, I think I could accurately be described as “royally pissed”. Probably more “royally pissed” than Catherine Aragon was. She at least was Catholic.

I was torn between simply laughing in his and the Catholic Church’s collective faces and defending my honour. As it happened, I went to my lawyer to see if I could sue either him or the Church (No) and finally decided to put up at least an indignant frontal assault. It was, of course, all for naught because the Catholic Church still thinks it owns everyone else on the planet and ruled in my husband’s favour.

A few months later, I got this lovely flammable (seriously… that’s what the cover letter said…) certificate attesting to the fact that, as far as the Catholic Church was concerned my marriage was null and never happened and “permitting” me to marry, “provided that the prerequisites of the Canonical and Civil Laws have been duly fulfilled”. Gee. Thanks!

I shredded it….

It was symbolic of the inanities of a church that, while being a fine institution for those who chose to be members of it, thinks that it can just walk all over people who aren’t.

My one consolation is that the person who demanded the annulment is Catholic and believes in sins, knows that, one day she’s going to have to face her maker who isn’t fooled by a piece of paper.

Photo Hunt: One

For quite some time, I have been lamenting the fact that I have 1) far too many USB plugs to actually plug into  my computer and 2) have to fight to plug and unplug all those plug into the back of my computer. At one point, I bought a small USB hub which has 4 outlets. It has the most annoying bulky plug which not only takes up another USB port, but it also blocks another port when it is plugged in, As well, if I plug in my two external drives, they compete and won’t run at the same time.  Since every new piece if hardware has yet another USB plug and I officially ran out of outlets today, I knew I needed another USB hub. I searched all over the Staples store and finally found two different hubs. One had 4 ports and the other 7. I bought the 7 outlet hub.

Imagine my delight at finding that, not only does it have enough ports, but it also has an extra long USB cord! That means I don’t have to remove everything from my desk in order to turn the tower around to plug anything new in. It sits at the front of my desk and I just have to reach over and plug it in! Since it also has two outlets on the top, it means I can also plug in the old 4-slot hub into it without blocking another port and runs another 4 USB connections from IT! There is still a wild tangle of cords on my desk, but at least it means that I now have the capacity to plug in 10 devices from the ONE slot in the back — 13 in total from the ONE computer!

Skypey stuff

Just had a terrific video conversation with my brother via Skype. I love ya, Sandy!

Hmmmm and Owwww!

I got a call to go down to the public clinic that I used to go to, in order to pick up the X-rays that had been taken of my hands a few years ago after the infamous “elk attack” I experienced (I thought I had posted about this attack here and was going to post a link. It appears I didn’t!). Both hands had been broken and a finger nearly torn off, amongst other more minor injuries.

While waiting in the line at reception to ask for them, I noticed a sign on the counter which announced that my favourite doctor at this clinic, the one who had, in fact, seen me after the elk attack, “in accordance with requirements by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada” had “voluntarily relinquished the right to prescribe” opiates, barbiturates, and other “scheduled drugs”. I had noticed a note on the front door stating that he was on holidays.

This was a real surprise. He was always very professional and concerned about my blood pressure and my weight (with good reason). I liked him very much. Since I had transferred to a different clinic and now have my own doctor, I hadn’t seen him in a few years — since he took my stitches from the attack out, I think.

I guess wish I knew the whole story. Such a shame.

The “Elk Attack”

Back a few years ago (Sept. 27, 2008, apparently), Mom and I went for a drive up on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. On a sudden whim, I decided to surprise Mom with a trip through the “safari park” near Montebello. Neither of us had been through one before. This one has Canadian animals like Elk and deer. We stopped in at the park store and bought carrots to give to the animals and went on our way into the park.

Never having been in one of these places, I didn’t know that (although they didn’t tell you not to) it isn’t a good idea to roll your windows down all the way. Since none of the animals are the sort that would be likely to rip our throats out or disembowel us if we opened the windows, We figured it was safe to do so. Safe but not necessarily a good idea. As we drove into the first paddock, we were surrounded by Elk, females and young ones. They immediately started sticking their entire heads into the car and grabbing the carrots out of our hands. While I was busy fending off the two with their heads in my window, Mon was busy with another. Meanwhile, a 4th stuck its head in and grabbed the second carrot bag that was on the floor of the car on the passenger side. When it did so, it pulled Mom’s purse out, too.

After tossing both about some in order to get carrots and being unsuccessful, it walked away.  I had wound up both windows and when it was apparent to the Elk that the kitchen was closed, the all wandered away. Now… I KNOW that you don’t get out of your car in these places. I KNOW you don’t dick around with wild animals thinking they are “cute”. Knowing this and actually heeding this are two different things. With the herd off a good 100 yards, I decided that I could safely get out, run around the car, grab the carrots and my Mom’s purse and get in the car without any problems.

So that’s what I did. I got around the car, picked up the bag and purse and turned to go back around the front of the car… and found myself face-to-face with a very large female Elk. I think back on it and, quite apart from not getting out of the car in the first place, there were several options which could I have chosen and avoided what happened next. Mrs. Elk and I stood looking at each other for a few seconds and then she reared up on her hind legs (looming about 7 feet above me when she did so) and started battering me with her hooves. The first few blows connected with my head and to save my face, I put my hands up to cover it. Then my hands took some blows. I manages to turn my back on her, whereupon she got my back and ribs and as I lay on the ground, she pawed my legs severely. As Elks, like deer, have two sharp hooves, she left bruises and scraped all over my back, thighs, and calves. I thought she was going to kill me. If she had been a he, she probably would have. She finally walked away, probably partly because I was now lying flat on my face and partially because I was bellowing for help.

It could have been worse. My mother then in her early 80s was trying to get out of the car to help me. Luckily, she got confused and couldn’t figure out how to get out of the car… Thank GOD!

I was able to get back into the driver’s seat but then realized that I couldn’t drive, partially because I felt like I was going to pass out and partly because my hands were so damaged. I got out again, managed to hustle my mother into the driver’s seat and me back into the passenger seat and we went back to the park entrance where they called an ambulance for me.

I was COVERED in blood which looked worse than the damage that the blood came from, a tiny contusion on my forehead that needed one stitch and a little glue. My legs and back and ribs were badly bruised and scraped and hurt like Hell but were not broken. The worst injuries were to my hands. My left middle finger was broken between the first and second knuckle.

The right ring finger was broken in the middle of the palm area. and my right pinkie finger was nearly torn off and required 15 stitches in a 1 inch area from the first knuckle in the palm to the back of my hand.

I was certainly the talk of the Emergency room at the only hospital in the district, even more than the drunken man who had been shot by his equally drunken wife with a .22 who had been brought in just after me. I earned the title of Madame Wapiti from the orderly on duty (Wapiti being the Native word for Elk).

I was lucky though. I could have been killed. I went home the same night and, despite having a splint on one hand and a half-cast on the other and having to work by typing with two fingers and moving the mouse with one hand and clicking the buttons with the other (my work requires me to work on the computer all day) I consider myself to be very lucky. I couldn’t take time off because I had no paid time off left after using it in the Spring when I fell on the front stoop and injured my back.

I was too embarrassed to tell anyone but a few VERY close friends and even my family and work were told I was accidentally knocked down a flight of stairs while holding a glass bottle. I finally came clean with them in the New Year, nearly 6 months later.

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