Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Regarding Michael Vick

Dr Phil said today, (paraphrase) that children pick their heroes by who we put in front of them.

His show was about the football player, Michael Vick, who is back in the public eye after serving his sentence and is now... hired? I think, to play professional football again.

I know very little of this situation and don't really care if HE gets his job back or not. He's got to prove to the people who pay his salary that he's able and capable (and in his case publicly acceptable) to do that job. Public outcry will likely make it so he can't do that easily and that's between him and his bosses, sadly. Sadly, because it's about dogs and we have people who do shit to kids and other humans every day who will never be as hated or vilified for their actions and who will affect the lives of others to horrible and terrifying points and no one will ever give a shit, because they aren't animals being mistreated. Go PETA *shitheads*


In general... heroes are not who we put in front of our children. They are the people who exemplify the values, moral conscience and personal choices that we have taught our children are valuable. We don't just control who they look at, but how they look at them. Or, at least, as parents, we should be doing that.

Heroes are not just people who get it right spot on, first shot out of the gate. Heroes are also people who face adversity, who make changes in their lives and how they live them. People who bear their scars and refuse to hide them or in truth, apologize for them. They just get on with becoming better or more than they were.

I have far more respect for someone who has trod on the wrong side, realized it and made it over to the right side than I do for someone who has never screwed up. Being good when that's all you know is easy. Being good when you've experienced the thrill and enticement of being bad... choosing to BE Good when you know what being bad is about, that's hard. That's a hero.

People who go up the stairs when the building is burning, are heroes. Anyone who puts their own personal comfort or safety at risk to help another is a hero. We make much of people who do that and so we should but they aren't the only kind of hero out there.

People who walk past the drugdealer on the corner that they used to stop at every day ...they are heroes. They win in their own life and by example show others that that type of victory is possible.

This isn't a racial issue. yet we're going to have people claim that were he white, we wouldn't be having this argument. On this I call bullshit. It's about the dogs, not the color of his skin. And please, I'm all about animals. I enjoy them and have pets and treat them as part of the family but when all is said and done, they are animals not humans.

It's about his ability to play foot ball. He's a human being. We as society make sports figures, celebrities into 'heroes' but they aren't really. There was a basketball player that suggested to the press some time ago that he was just that, a basketball player and not responsible for how children chose to view him. And you know what? He's not. HE is not responsible for what my child thinks or values. I AM.

I'd like to keep it that way.

Vick's ability to 'fix' himself is sadly, being debated in the public eye. I doubt he'll ever be able to walk out onto a field without someone booing him. But.... why is that person there? To watch football? Or to comment on this guy's personal life? From what I hear this guy was a pretty spectacular football player. Worth a 130 million dollar contract (again from what I hear) ... that's a ridiculous amount of money but you know what, if someone is willing to pay him that much money then why shouldn't he take it?

Do his bad personal choices make him a bad football player? I don't recall ever seeing a dog involved in a real NFL game, do you? We have a hockey player on our NHL team who did something royally rotten.. Yet.. we hired him. Because of the current players out there, he fit the coach's and the team owner's requirements for a player on their team.

Will he ever be accepted by the fans? Who knows? The team owners et al, must think it's possible because when all is said and done they are running a business to make money not give sad saps a second chance.

See, there you go, it's about business and money. It's not about values, but we can hoot and holler and cry out in anguish about the plight and look like heroes ourselves. Go figure.

Vick has his own journey. I don't know anything about him but the little bits here and there. Am I outraged that he fought dogs for money? Sure I am. Would it stop me seeing him play football ... well since I don't much care for NFL (GO CFL) I rather doubt it would matter one way or the other.

Maybe some of these people who are upset by the suggestion that he can return to his job and make money doing what he was doing before ought to examine their own value systems. Aren't they putting something a little bit ahead of their own outrage? Righteous though it may well be.

See, I never understood why they stripped OJ of his football awards. Especially considering that despite his being convicted in the court of public opinion (and rest assured I'm not defending him for one second, just point this out) he wasn't found guilty in a criminal court, and found 'responsible' in a civil action (you know. the one about money... how do you value a human life in terms of dollars anyway?)

His football career and ever other action in the public eye (IE his roles in bad movies etc) have nothing to do with those deaths. Is he a cretinous person, well based on the press I've seen of him, I'd answer yes, like most would. In terms of whether that matters to his ability to play football, I don't think so.

Nor do I think that Michael Vick's stupid and illegal acts preclude him from the ability to play at a level worth 130 million (excepting the idea that since he's been off the field for this amount of time). IF people want to pay him, and other people want to pay to watch him, then chances are he's going to play.

I don't believe there's a law that has any control over someone's working at a job in society once they have met the conditions of their punishment and subsequent parole. The time for this debate would have better been when he was being sentenced. Then the people who think he shouldn't be allowed to play now would have had a valid say (though since football doesn't include dogs... I still doubt that this type of restriction would have been allowed legally).

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Not everything is a cause, people.


This happens too often for my liking.

I must have some innate genius for picking blogs to follow at a certain point in their evolution. I'll find a blog, usually by a quick scanning of someone's blogroll and sample it for a time or two or twenty before adding it to my list of regulars. There's a difference between my regular reads and the blogs listed on my blogroll and I also don't use RSS feed although I have done in the past. I like going to each blog's page and seeing the post 'in the wild' as it were.

Now and again I find a blog that strikes my funny bone or sets me thinking and I'll start poking through their archives. When I find myself starting at the beginning then I know I'm hooked. I can't give a better recommendation to a blog than "Start at the beginning and READ" when I suggest them to friends. Those are the ones that make it to my blogroll. I've read as many posts I could find of those bloggers and while I may not have enjoyed or raved about every single one the highest regard I can give them is to add them to my blogroll.

So typically, some evening when all my mail lists are read and there's nothing I want to put the laptop down and watch on TV, I'll start click-surfing through my old favourites and taking a walk through their blogroll. Most of the time it's the title of the blog that hits me and more than a few times I've forgotten I've gone there before and done a characteristic "Feh" when I find that I don't care for the blog anymore this time, than I did the first time that seductive title has called me on over.

Personal blogs are a little vignette into a person's mind or thoughts for me and feeds into my life long love of (auto)biographies. A lot of people say they'd write a blog, but what would they write about, their boring life? Just that, folks. I'm not the only person who lives (a little or a lot) vicariously through the blogs of others. I really don't even care if they are real happenings in the person's lives or those they wish had happened, or worry that they will, I just want to read the mundanity. If you are blessed with the reasoning power and vocabulary to take a rather awkward or horrid situation, lay it out with all the attending emotions and make me laugh out loud, smile or perhaps even wipe away a tear at the end of it.... then I'm there, daily for my voyeuristic peek into your life.

And many of these blogs go on for years, doing just that. The author gets their feelings/thoughts/opinions out on a semi regular basis and their readers get to try on emotions, situations and results vicariously... a symbiotic relationship if ever I tried to describe one.

Sometimes the opinions get heated responses and the comment section gets all interesting (though often it fades to a general noise with each new one taking a shot at a previous one rather than continuing what could well have been an insightful discussion and a general agreement to disagree while still being able to express one's views) (yeah I wish too much for lots of things, I know... annie optimist)

Opinions are great, being involved in something is wonderful and being enthusiastic and encouraging others to join up on your bandwagon is perfectly acceptable. Especially on your own bandwidth.

That's not what I'm grousing about here.

Just wanted to get that out there. Lots of the blogs I read have a donate here button for either the author's tip jar, or to donate through to whatever worthwhile cause they've chosen and I respect that in a huge way. It's their little corner of the internet and they can promote whatever they like. I've got the option of going there and either donating, not donating, ignoring their causes etc. I'm not there for that anyways... I'm there to read those scintillating vignettes that hooked me in the first place.

I'm the first person to admit that I'm shitty at keeping up my blog. I should write a lot more and stop badgering my friends trying to drag them into discussions where I can indulge in my favourite position of 'devil's advocate'. I also realize that life changes and things that were taking up huge portions of someone's reasoning power, to the point where they felt they must write it out or they'd explode become less imperative as those things change; that's not the problem I'm talking about.

It's the feeling that someone has hoodwinked me that I'm objecting too. Although, rationally (see title) I'm sure that people aren't actively doing this in a conscious or calculating manner; I have to wonder a little at times.

Do they really write all those great posts to get me so hooked on reading them that they can slip in their cause du jour without me noticing?

I'm reading along, happily chuckling to myself or wiping away that tear I mentioned and blam!

The topic has suddenly changed. I don't mean veered off into an opinionated rant I mean we are now soapboxing for a particular cause. Now and again that cause is the author themselves.

Now see earlier, where I mentioned that causes were great and the business of the person whose blog it was? And how I could ignore said cause or back it, or even take up an opposing viewpoint as my own cause? I'm still good with that. Just want to be clear on that.

When a blog has been chugging along sharing stories about daily commuting and the topic shifts to traffic laws, that's pretty natural and expected. Particularly if the blogger was involved in an accident or witnessed one or one that will result in a change of law has happened and opinions get shared about the ramifications of said new law. When someone leading the single life become a partner in a relationship, the topics are going to shift. Cool, got that. It's tough to write about the night on the town with the girls when really you made a casserole, curled up bare-naked on the couch with the new squeeze and coo'd like a pair of pigeons all night.

The writing style shouldn't change though.

It shouldn't become forced as though someone is feeling obligated to do a public service announcement. That is what makes me stop reading a blog.

That "Miss America Syndrome" where everyone thinks they can only be considered worthwhile, contributing members of society if they want 'world peace' or 'to end world hunger' or 'save the world by inflicting your views, ways and mores on a country no where near you'. I've got my fifteen minutes of fame and I don't want to waste it on me. Uh.. that's why I was coming to your blog in the first place. Because YOU are interesting. Not your ability to raise x dollars a week to feed the homeless. YOU.

For all the self centered people I encounter on a regular basis, many of whom have no idea of what goes on beyond their own little 'whirl around in a circle with your arms outstretched' worlds I can't figure how I always find bloggers who instead of keeping on doing what made them successful readable bloggers in the first place have to shift over to 'cause seekers'.


Another one bit the dust today.

I don't walk away after someone expresses an opinion I don't like. Nor even after someone peppers their blog with linkies here and linkies there to this or that agency to support their opinion or cause.

I do though after repeated postings that make it clear that they aren't going back to writing what I want to read about.

So.... read any good blogs lately?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Commenting elsewhere got away on me...

This post and in particular some of the comments got me going...

I found once I got into the discussion I couldn't stop and started posting such as the following in response to various comments.

Uh... we do see those jokes about men all around us. And if you are going to 'cry' about how you are inundated by the reverse then maybe you ought to accept that despite their not saying as MUCH as women do (and please keep in mind that women stayed silent about their role in the world for a very long time before the dam broke and they started to speak up and out against the injustice) they are just as harmed by such stereotyping as women are. In fact, they are under the onus of "men don't bitch, men don't cry and men don't care about feelings etc" so anything they might say or do is immediately written off as just a 'man thing'. Hmmm... just as derisive a statement as the 'little woman' in my view of the world.

There are a myriad of commercials, ad campaigns, television programs, books and radio programs where there is an all knowing woman nodding her head in silent amusement and superiority at the inability of the 'man' not being able to complete the easiest of tasks. Laugh at them when they try to change the baby and don't get the diaper on straight. Send Dr. Phil out to get the groceries and have Robin (HIS WIFE AND LIFE PARTNER) mock him for getting the apples not in a bag (as he rightly pointed out, they were in a bag, just not the nice little extra produce bag). Big Bang Theory, a (IMO) very funny sitcom has the obligatory 'superior' woman, who doesn't have the book smarts of the boys next door but certainly provides the clever 'street smart superiority' of "I am woman, hear me roar." Not to mention keeping the equality of representation issue at bay... we have a strong female role on the show, look at us... we do see? There she is right there, adding to the hyperbole of the guys being so smart they are dumb. Even Lucy at her ditziest got her way in the end and Desi was her long suffering protector but since she won was she the dumb one after all?

Power is a balance. You can't give power to someone without taking it away from someone else. Since women have (historically) been downtrodden, put upon, treated as less than chattel and seen as not even smart enough to vote; it's now okay to take that sense of empowerment and use it to do the same to men? Sorry I don't think so, at least not in my world. So when does the pendulum stop? When does the swing go back the other way and MEN take the world back, get their empowerment back? Get their self esteem and their innate abilities to be just as good as woman? Puleasse... Stop using your 'so called' superiority and 'equality' (women and men aren't equal and I for one, appreciate that fact)

I LIKE being a woman. That doesn't mean I have to be better than a man. Sometimes, in somethings, I don't even have to be even as good as a man, so long as I still like being a woman.

(taking this rant to my own blog, sorry for grabbing on it AAG but thank you for giving me a reason to actually get uptight enough to write again :)


To continue... Some of the posters pointed out that in their opinion (cause that's all we really got here, folks, is opinions after all) jokes such as this were just one more 'nail in the coffin' and every time someone laughed at one such or didn't speak out against they were giving their approval, silent or otherwise.

I disagree.

I think every time we overreact to something like this we put a nail in a whole other 'coffin'. I think it serves only to reinforce the stereotype. Actually, a case can be made for Paul being the butt of this whole thing much more than Heather. She got her 'dues' and if it happens to be put forth in the guise of sex as a service so freaking what? She did alright out of the whole thing, didn't she? She got the nice place to live, she got the money to spend on her personal hobby horses. If she did or didn't love him isn't really the issue, is it? So long as she was 'compensated' for her time, then all is right and well with the world. Frankly I think it was probably worth it to Paul (and no he's not my favorite beatle either but I can't say that I'd want him shot for it *eyerolls*) to pay that to rid of her from his life.

Divorce settlements are as ridiculous as every other thing done to 'result in a fair and equitable treatment of women'. You want equal babe? Try paying the settlement instead of receiving it. Try convincing a judge (predisposed to being a 'fair and reasonable person seen to represent the public opinion at hand and uphold the current laws of the land') that you did your level best to support your partner in what has now become a failed marriage. That while you may have brought home the larger share of the finances due to an agreement between yourself and your partner that now that the marriage CONTRACT is over, you shouldn't have to continue doing so, most likely at the expense of having a reasonable ability to live your own self. Try that on for size. Try paying to see your kids (been there done that and still pissed at it, since the ex did his very best to alienate me and present me as a 'bad mom' and had his whole act bought by a female judge...yay Sisterhood, way to stick it to your own), try having every time you fight against the 'pay for this or else I'll take you to court' be a losing battle. Then you can suck it up and claim equality.

Getting divorced isn't about sticking it to the other person, but what do women do? They cry, they ply their feminine wiles and claim weakness and inability to support themselves. Shouldn't they want to stand on their own feet? Not accept a free ride till they get married again and start living off someone else's labours? (before you get all twisted, OBVIOUSLY I'm taking about divorces such as Paul and Heather and not one where the woman is left raising x kids on her own with any source of income whatsoever, that's different and if you don't know it, you ought to)

Every time WE as women, demand our fair treatment, our fair share, our DUE we set ourselves back. Being equal means accepting the ups with the downs, not getting the downs smoothed over because we are women and history has treated us badly. So what? suck it up. Get a grip. Stop wanting it both ways. Stop being like Oprah who when told by an audience member that he didn't see a black woman before him but a successful business person whose opinion he respected, remarked to the effect of but you have to see that I'm black and a woman or else you aren't acknowledging me. It doesn't work that way... not if you want fair and equal treatment for all. Making an employer accept a female employee because 'it's fair' doesn't make it fair. Not unless she was the only applicant for the job that met all the criteria to the highest level of requirement. THEN it's fair and only then. Taking our shot along with everyone else, and with no regard what so ever given to our gender (or for that matter race or any other 'special' aspect of ourselves we go around demanding be acknowledged) and having the person best suited to the position chosen. That will be fair. That will also, the way the world is going, likely be a very long cold day in hell; but I hope I'm wrong and people will stop asking for special treatment as their fair treatment and get on with things.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Or, I suppose, proof that nothing ever really goes away on the 'net. The other night I had to wait up till a rather late hour to be an alarm clock for hubby.

I'd exhausted all my regular reads and played enough mindless games to satisfy that urge for quite some time. I was puttering around the house trying to stay awake so I started poking around my hard drive(s) trying to see if I could find 'any' of my past posts on other blogs I've had. Some of them were quite innocuous but there are a few I truly wish I had copies of.

Then I recalled The Way Back Machine. This awesome and somewhat frightening :) archive has been around for a long time.

You type in the url of the site you can no longer find and voila.. there is it, archived for ever more. Or at least the foreseeable future.

I didn't find all the posts I wanted to. This 'machine' takes snapshots of the pages but I did find some. I was much more interested in putting my opinions and ideas out there 'way back when' so over the next little while I'm going to post the old posts here to see if that gets my gotta say it motor running again.

It was a touch startling to find that I'm still annoyed by things I was in 2004 ;) but ... hope you enjoy regardless.

I hate colds...
Sunday 05.23.04 [10:18 pm]

There now I feel better. Well, really I don't but I'm not gonna whine about my summer cold.

I figured I'd moan about Dr. Laura. Gaaah, I hate it when that woman is right . Now to be honest, she's often *right*... it's her way of delivering the message I have issues with. (for the people that expect some sense to my posts (gives you a look), she was right about the message to not hide from our children what is going on in the's better that they know the truth... and you can agree or disagree as you see fit, I know what I think.)

Now, on to my moaning about her... does she have to be such a *EH*... what's an appropriate word?

Oh, wait, I know... bitch about the advice she's giving?

Sure, she's heard the same question asked ad nauseum... but let's consider for a moment. This is a (to hear it told, I haven't checked out her credentials nor do I have any wish to) respected Dr. She's got enough of a following from her books and other things to have a radio show, that a whole heck of a lot of people listen to and try to live their lives by, via the advice she sends out each time she's in front of the mike. So okay, it's a custom or ritual or what have you to thank her for taking your call...

(to be brutally truthful, she didn't, the lady who mans the phones (and no PC crap ok, you all know what I mean by that) took your call, and thought a few things, i.e. your voice is ok for radio, you have a topical or interesting question that will likely segue nicely into a canned message by the DR. and so into the que you go.)

So anyway... The Dr. answers and you thank her for taking your call usually adding in how you've listened for a while, respect her opinion and generally kiss her ass, wasting, I might add, valuable

air time, but ok, you wanna, so you do... she acknowledges it, sometimes with an edge already to her voice, 'cause she already knows what your question is or what it is in regards to at the very least. Sure she's got the foreknowledge of whatever notes/signals, how ever she's getting the message about your call...but you don't know that, so off you start, giving all the details that you feel are pertinent. After all, this is your big chance to ask THE DOCTOR, the person you listen to, daily maybe, whose opinion you respect, even revere, how to fix YOUR life. And she cuts you off. She basically tells you off for not hearing the answer in the last 10 or 20 or *how many calls have I had on this subject, she asks her staff*. No matter to her, that your life is yours, and thereby different to anyone else's so of course you believe your circumstances are pertinent to the situation. No matter that you might well be on the brink of a breakthrough, if only you can talk to the DR. and hear her address YOUR problems. Nope, you get cut off, told off for being too wishywashy or selfish, or oh my gosh, too ambitious in your life to even be ALLOWED to have children. She tears you apart, telling the entire world what's wrong with you, in 10 words or less (or so some of her some time listeners might wish) and then expects you to go out and *do the right thing*.

Sure, I mean why not... go ahead and talk to your children like someone you respected enough to phone, sit on hold for how ever long to wait to talk to, someone who just took about 35 seconds to tear you apart. That'll help you be an effective parent and fix your life, as well as your troubled teen's life too. Oh and while you're at it, be damned sure to be a doormat to your children and teach them that they are the ONLY force in this world important... forget that you are too... forget that as a real live human being you are entitled to feelings and respect and oh.. my ... gosh... love.

I wonder if it ever even occurs to her that she's a rolemodel to these people. A role model often sending a not so great message... one where it's okay to be impatient and condescending to folks because YOU ARE RIGHT. These people actually hang on her every word and might think that's the way to deal with others. And who knows, it might even be the way to deal with the S*O*B who's messing up their lives. But, she can tell from a 20 second conversation? I uh, don't think so... I don't like radio pscychology at the best of times, there's far too many ways to mess with someone's head given that medium... my point is, these people think it's then ok to go out and speak to others the way they've just been spoken to. Oh, I'm sure that some people give the phone a look and go *what the hell was that?* and reevaluate why they'd ask such a condescendingly rude person their opinion anyways...and those are likely the calls that get *cut short*. Listen to her show, you'll know what I mean. ;). Some calls just end. Rather abruptly.

Like this rant *GRIN*.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

G'head, make it again, we'll wait.

On saturday past, the kids, hubby and I trundled off to the city. Anticipation was at hand; we were about to see the new Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Hubby had no idea what to expect as he hasn't read the book; DD#3 and I have both read them all, over and over. DD#4 is currently reading Philosopher's Stone but has listened to the first 6 books on tape. The unabridged versions, so knows the story pretty nearly as well as DD#3 and I do. This is usually the case. Hubby prefers to see the movie first, then listen to the books on tape. Us, not so much.

Movie nights are big in our family. Over the past 20 years hubby and I have seen a lot of them. We always sit through the credits because we're both big on it's not just the actors or directors that make the film. It's the writers, the AD, the cinematographer, the craft services, the continuity department, the cgi department and even the guy who drives the honey wagon that make the film worthwhile. It's a labour you gotta love, cause it's long tedious work, no matter how excited you get about doing it; so to honor those folks we sit through the credits. It's our little thing.

The HP movies (among other 'series' we enjoy) are an occasion for us, we do it up :) you see. Go out for dinner at a favourite restaurant, anticipate...oh there's that word again... get excited. We look forward to these times. We see a lot of movies as a family, but most often it's on dvd or ppv. Going to the theatre for one is saved for the big family faves, like Harry Potter and well Ice Age for another.

Anyway, we're anticipating, you all got that right? We're excited. We know the story. We're not really expecting any plot twists but we like to see how what we imagine when we read (or listen) to the stories comes out on film. So we nod to each other (that's dd#3 and I) when the movie begins. The nods quickly change to confused expressions. Hers starts to frown, mine to shrug, not much I can do to change the movie. See, that's already been done.

So Mr Yates and Ms Rowling, I would just like to know.. WTF?

When did Dumbledore become the slightest bit concerned about Harry's love life? When did Harry's life revolve around anything muggle? And when the hell did he go from slightly uncomfortable around girls to mr schmooze?

Oh and the whole 'ink in the water effect' ... little over used don't you think? I mean for starters, that whole three columns of black illwill disguised as ... hmm... ink in water but morphing a little? That was cheesy when the bad guys did that zoom around threesome deal in one of the Superman movies back when.

On what page in the book does The Burrow burn down? Cause I've read my copy cover to cover at least 5 times and I can' find that scene anywhere. And for that matter, how did the time leap happen so that Tonks and Remus are dating already? I'm surprised you didn't have her already preggers.

Why does Luna find Harry in the train, not Tonks, oh wait I know, cause she's off snogging Remus? *bleah*

Course, you can make it alright by turning the camera angles all wonky. First time I've felt vertigo watching a movie, btw. Yates? You wanna make *art films* please go do so without messing with an already awesome story and established and easily recognized backstory. Turning it on it's side and whipping the camera around won't make it anymore interesting to me.

Ms. Rowling??? Please... please tell me what you were thinking? IS THIS why there's to be two Deathly Hallows movies? To put right the utter ridiculousness of the mangled plot in this one? Did you have to negotiate and insist on certain things to get that done? I want to believe that's the reason.... I really do.

Oh there were bright spots, Lavender was a hoot, even though the actress might have been discouraged from that whole predatory crouch deal she had going on. The twins in their suits, the joke shop and I can even understand leaving out the poster though it would have been funny :). Seemed like the movie would get going off on a tangent, then suddenly it was *really important* to hit a plot point so it would veer back to the book almost word for word, then off it would go on some cockeyed vertiginous journey again. Why mess with it? Why make it damn near unrecognizable?

I'm not a director, I've not gone to school to learn this and my movie experience is about thatmuch. But speaking as a consumer of movies for a lot more years than I care to admit to here, what the freaking hell?

I understand about leaving things out that flesh out the book for lack of time or real importance to the movement of the film or plot. You can't dress every desk the way it's written in the book. Nor can you hit every little byplay between the characters, that's why we read the books, I get that, we enjoy that part but it's tedious to put on film and one scene well done is enough to establish the dislike between the characters, or the friendship or attraction. So yes, you have to edit... I get that...But making stuff up? Don't get that at all.

You wanted to show the horror of Voldemort and how he was impacting the muggle world too, how about a newspaper shot.... one page muggle news, the page turns, the other side is the wizard world report. And lose the idiotic black smoke of death crap. You want sinister? How about a cloaked man sweeping up a family and then showing the abandoned half eaten meal still warm on the table? Too mundane? Too done? It's a movie based on a successful series FOR CHILDREN. Trust me they haven't seen it before and even if they did, as a director you should be able to tell a story without the fuss and bull of inky deathsmoke.

Yes, that stuff really bugged me.

This was the conversation as for the first time in 20 years I watched my hubby walk out on the credits of a film. I think had it just been he and I, we'd have left before the movie ended to be honest....another first.

DD#3, "We don't have to buy it, do we?"
Hubby grunts.
DD#3 "But then we won't have the set, okay we can buy but we never have to watch it again, right?"
DD#2 "Right!"

These kids will watch the first 5 movies over a weekend and the very next weekend will ask to do it again.

So... please, MAKE IT AGAIN... please? We'll wait, we promise....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'll take that answer :)

Your result for The Classic Dames Test...

Katharine Hepburn

You scored 10% grit, 38% wit, 48% flair, and 14% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.

Take The Classic Dames Test
at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blank canvas

Evening after evening my mind wanders a little as I drive home from picking up the girls. For the record, I'm not a careless driver and have avoided a number of near misses with others more so over the years. But with those years comes some autopilot ability and hence I tend to do a lot of plot planning and character designing while driving. Because in the immortal words of the procrastinator; "One day when I have time I will write a novel."

I've mentioned before how if I could hook up to my brain with a word processor that this blog would be full of wonderment and insightful musings that would lead you all down such paths of self discovery it would be amazing.

Sadly (you in the back, I hear you laughing) that wondrous connection between consciousness and the written word is yet in our future. So you're stuck with what lingers after I get home, argue with the kids about whether or not it's the week they switch chores and how if they weren't done the week before it wouldn't really be fair to switch them, so quit trying to get out of it by not doingittillit'snotyourturn... ahem.

So this is what you're left with.

A blank screen, well, technically a blank composition area on blogger backend. Still and all, there's something compelling about a blank page, a canvas for one's words if you will. Shall I paint a picture of my day? How about one of a cherished memory? Oh, I know, I'll trace for you an emotion. Sketch the lines of it perfectly with words. Shade it with synonyms and just the right touch of hyperbole. Add in a touch of humor to lighten and a smidge of sarcasm for realism. Yes, that's it, that's perfect. I'll just dab this little bit of sadness in the corner and voila, a masterpiece for the ages.

So, okay, a master painter with words I am not. At least, not yet. Will I ever stir someone's heart to an emotion long forgotten? It's possible, it just might be. But I won't get there without practice and tossing aside my fears and getting around to that some day when.

'Cause honey? I got time. No time like the present. I got ideas, out the whaaazoo. That's part of the problem, how do I wed myself to one set of the characters in my head. Their stories are always evolving and sometimes when I set them aside for a time and then come back to them I find they kept on doing so and I no longer recognize them.

Is that the chance all writers take? That the story they set out to tell is not the one told at the end of it all? Is that okay? For me? For them? Does it matter? Isn't it just about getting the words down, the story out, finding out the ending, how the heroine (or hero for the sake of being totally PC) survived or didn't; what sacrifices (s)he might have had to make to get there...

Maybe I'd be better as an essayist, after all. The stories amuse me, but would they amuse others? The odd few I've let read my story words tell me they want more of them. I've been swatted with pages of my manuscript and admonished with remarks to the effect of get writing already and it gladdens my heart.

But what if, when all is said and done, no one wants to read my words after all? What then?

So much better to sit here with the lovely anticipation of a blank canvas and the imaginations of every wonderful story I know I could write if I'd just put pen to page, pencil to paper, cursor to screen.

And there you have it, the procrastination of a wanna be writer. Terror and anticipation, fear and ego, excitement and procrastination at its very finest.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Interesting :)

A friend sent me the following email:

Subject: Answer me first, then forward

If you saw ME in the back of a police car, what would you think I'd been arrested for?

Reply to me alone, then forward to your friends

Well the idea tickled me, so I sent this off to online friends and family and friends who have access.

Here are the responses I received:

"Hmmmm.....I have no idea. Assault with a dangerous knitting needle?" - this from a recent gamer friend.

"Mouthing off the policeman." - from a younger buddy who knows me through a club of sorts who has become a family friend

"That your car had broken down and the police just were giving you a ride to the nearest station." - aww :) this is from my best friend.

"Slapping the shit out of somebody for terminal stupidity." - another online friend to whom I've ranted about said terminal stupidity :).

"Er... no idea." - well that's reassuring ;).

"For streaking. LOL." - a coworker. (A smart ass one at that :P)

"Defending your kids." - another coworker. She's on the money there, and I'd say the same thing about her.

These are the only ones I've received so far. I'll add more if they come in.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Makes a mother proud... Take 2

A little bit better than a couple of weeks ago, my 12 yo came home from school really excited about a fundraiser at her school. I wrote about it last entry.

Some details I got wrong. There are 281 students in the school, not the 360 or so I thought. This all started with one girl asking the school if she could raise $250 if she could have her head shaved in assembly to heighten awareness.

The idea caught on and the 'offer' was made to the students. 25 kids signed up. Some teachers offered to participate if certain milestones were reached.

The Canadian school record was $16,500. Smoked by that in the first 4 days. Some kids reached their goal of $250 very early on and asked if they could allocate some of their funds towards other kids getting their heads shaved and so the number of participants grew. On Wednesdays the hat was passed at school and kids anted up $600 in loose change. Two and one half more heads could be shaved by the way they were keeping score.

New milestones were set in place by the faculty and an awareness of something big began to permeate the school. The principal said he'd do it if $27,500 was raised. Two people had acquired a part time job counting funds, recording amounts and lists for donation receipts. The excitement among those with children at the school grew even more.

On Monday the 30th, the grade 7 band were off on a field trip and upon arriving back at the school, they went to check the totals and found the 'thermometer' gone. the speculation that they had passed $30,000 was rife. By now over 40 students were slated to be buzzed.

Today at the assembly the results were announced:
281 students donated. That is, every single student in the school made a donation.
There were over 1000 other individual and corporate donations. That's in addition to the 281 individual donations by the students.
10 staff, 42 students and 5 family/friends were set to shave their heads. That's 57 in total.
13 hairstylists/barbers signed up to donate their time to shave heads. Pony tails were collected to send off for wigs.
Prizes for the students were donated by the Calgary Stampeders, The Calgary Hitmen, The Calgary Flames, Shakers Leisure Center, The Town of High River.

And... oh yeah the total.

$51,578. 81

That's over 3 times the Canadian record for a school donation for leukemia AND.... is also the largest ever donation for leukemia research in North America by a school EVER.

DD#3? More concerned with the kotc of a friend in a pic than the fact that she has a shaved head and participated in something so monumental it could change the world for many people.

There were some incredible heroes there today. Every single one of those kids accomplished something fantastic and amazing, but a select few of them stood out for me as I've known them outside of the school and away from being DD#3's classmates and friends. They are all members of the Foothills Youth Foundation and I've watched them stand around in the hot sun and cold rain to make sure every single child who wanted their face painted, got done. I've seen them show up early, and leave late to make sure that events have run smoothly. I've been witness to the way they present themselves, proud, strong and creative. Unwilling to take no for an answer no matter how many times they've heard it. I've watched them grieve the passing of a beloved founder of the foundation and I've watched them walk for hours at RelayforLife in her honour. I've watched them participate in the 30 hour famine cheerfully and happily. They're onto something at an age where it can only become a habit and what better habit could a child acquire than putting forth effort on the behalf of others?

I"m not just proud of my daughter. I'm proud of every single one of these kids that I know, and even those I don't.

They reminded me today, and I believe they also reminded a lot of other people, that from a little acorn a mighty oak tree may grow. They know what they did. They are proud of it, but they are also not ready to relax on their laurels here.

I can't wait to see what these guys do next.

I'm sure I'll be proud.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Makes a mother proud..

In general, I'm very proud of my kids. All five of them are unique, capable in their abilities and generally pretty smart kids/adults.

Sometimes they go a bit beyond that, each in their own way.

That's where DD#3 is at just at this moment. Well often :) but as I said, particularly so.

Last summer she got her ponytail cut off and donated it to a place where they make wigs for cancer patients and others who have lost their hair due to illness, or treatment. Pretty proud moment.

She's walked with a team in the Relay for Life fundraiser in the past, and wants to again this year.

Now...she's one of 37 students in her combination junior/senior high school, who are raising a minimum of $250 each for the privilege of having their heads shaved in front of the whole school on April 1, 2009. There are ~360 students in this school. 25% of the teachers (all male) are also having their heads shaved if the kids reach certain goals. Many of them are already accomplished.

This is not a call for donations, however if anyone does want to, please feel free to make a donation to your local charity/fundraiser of choice.

I'm just damned proud of her and wanted to tell as many folks as I can.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My cat is really an evil scientist....

At least that's the theory I came up with driving to work this morning. In my sleep deprived state. I think he's experimenting on me to see how long I can actually go without sleep. Or rather, what happens if I keep getting woken out of sound sleep.

Last night DH was driving home from Saskatchewan and called me a time or two through the night for one thing or another. Thud thought this was delightful and sat upon my chest through each phone call, patting his paw at my lips as though to tell me to shush. Gee, do you think I was disturbing his sleep with my chatting?

After each phone call, I curled up and he flopped on the bed beside me. Waiting just that precise amount of time to when I was a breath or two away from blissful sleep he'd get to his paws and MEOW in my face, tickling his whiskers against my nose and cheek.


"well, *purr*, since you're awake anyways, *nudge*, wouldn't you like to pet me?" *cold nose under my hand, body arching to make me pet over him, *repeat as needed...

Flop. Curling on his side, paws patting at my hand as I actively pet him, if only to shush his loud meowing.

His prrrs would grow louder, my hand would slow and he and I would both fall asleep.


Repeat as required apparently.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Not sure if I'm ready for this...

Yesterday, after a day running errands and the kids being relatively (no blood) well behaved and working (no bruises) on getting along I decided a reward (accentuate the positive) was in order.

We decided (I pulled into a parking spot 3 spaces from the door to the theatre) that a movie was in order and expected a joyous chorus of happy when I announced that I was taking them to see Inkheart. Well I got half of the expected response.

Hmmm... turns out that dd#3 aka the 12yo had other plans. SHE wanted to see this movie Twilight . Ahem ... we have read the Inkheart books together. Discussed them, eagerly awaiting the transition to film. Lamented the delays, watched the trailers with dismay as it didn't look like it was going to make the leap well... and what? YOU don't want to see this movie with ME?

Wait a minute here. She wanted to go to the Twilight movie instead of Inkheart. What the hell?

"You guys," that's me and the 7 yo... "You guys can go see Inkheart and I'l go to Twilight alone." Gulp. A dozen thoughts ran through my head, most of them beginning with the word "NO". We're at a fairly large mall on a Saturday evening. In the city. She's 12. Albeit a pretty mature and sensible 12. One who has proven she has a level head and one I've always allowed certain decisions. So it wasn't really that big of a stretch for her to go to a movie on her own. In fact, she has done so before.

THAT wasn't the point.

The point was, I wanted her to go to Inkheart with me. I wanted the whispers and hand squeezes that we've shared through so many film adaptations of books we'd both read. I was losing my reading buddy, my genre pal. Gack.

My older girls read but neither of them are into the books that I like. #3 is...or was.. or well fine she still is. She just wanted to see Twilight more than Inkheart.

So, I went to inkheart with the 7 yo and the 12 yo went off to Twilight (the best movie ever) on her own. The 7 yo and I enjoyed the movie, but since she didn't know the story it didn't involve the anticipation for particular scenes that I'd anticipated. It did include some whispers and the shared smiles that I had been though.

The movies let out within 7 minutes of each other so that whole worry about the big bad city part was negligible.

She didn't tell me about the movie she saw, we didn't tell her about the movie we watched either. We had the last tape of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to listen to on the drive home.

At least somethings are still normal.