Friday, August 21, 2015


Grief isn't something one gets through, like a stretch of muddy trail on a hike.  It's more the hike itself.  It's a journey that has highs and lows and long stretches of normal.

In 2006 a rescue dog came to live with us.  Her name ended up being Girl as nothing else caught her attention.  She was old and weary and we felt the least we could do was give her a safe home for the few remaining months it looked like she had.

A part of her story is here. Another part, which wasn't mine to tell appeared on my son's facebook feed today. With his permission, here it is: One - eyed teacher If I were still in Stavely, If you were still alive, Now is when I'd close my eyes, Curl my fingers into fur, Fur which once came matted, The last time I felt - Genuinely, totally close - Like my brother and I Were actually siblings - Not strangers held together By tense, distant relationship. I can still remember him, Determined to clip away The neglected fur, Your patience rewarded, With suitable collar, Proof that, "In the morning" Never came. You feared thunder, One - eyed educator, Maybe a truck - We never did know. But I knew without a doubt, You came for more Than just a lesson. You reminded me; You are loved, You are cared for, You never cared, What I admitted, Secrets and fears Too dark for diaries. When we walked, The abandoned streets, Dark corners & Wide, open prairies... I bared my soul to you, While you merely looked on. You at one point, Soothed tears brought on, By hateful, cruel words - Spit by peers whom Really were old enough, To not only know better, But be better. I still remember how grieved, Bereaved and lost - How late night walks returned, To the fearful - "Will I make it home?" Lover holding me tight, Sobbing - tears shamelessly spent For you. In a school which I swore would Never have a drop of salt Borne from my eyes, A hatred of which i had fostered So deep that it's a wonder, I ever made friends there at all. In the city now, I have no fears of that. Perhaps its the boisterous Anonymity from being alone, Or the fact that Somewhere I know, Over the rainbow bridge, You wait for me - Watching on, Reminding me of Your compassion - For strangers & babes alike. Now I wonder if your seizures Were part of why I have made Choices which i still question. And i wonder, whether you agree Or if part of you would bare teeth And scold me like a kitten too rough. Though I know, That with your fears With your cold paws, And warm heart That you understand. You gifted me with much, Your lessons and love - Were all part of what I needed Then and now. ---Niko Wilson 2015

Humour. Or the Lack Thereof.

I'm a grouch.  I don't like stupid humour or the punk'd / pranks type and get no amusement in mean spirited 'shots'.  It's one thing to poke fun at someone gently and in a manner that may heighten awareness of a gesture or speech pattern or word usage.

Think Rich Little of way back when time.

Think Tim Conway (for that matter the entire Carol Burnett ensemble right down to the cute guy who left after a couple of seasons). AKA as Lyle Waggoner, thank you Google.

I loved SNL back in the day -- not saying that the humour there isn't to my tastes these days but I can't recall the last time I turned on the current show.  I'm more of a Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Dan Ackroyd, Martin Short fan than I am of the current players.

Even then, when it got mean spirited, I tuned out.

Loved Robin Williams on Happy Days and Mork and Mindy; but wasn't too fond of his attack type of stand up that he did back then; nor the foul language. It was done for shock factor and was very effective in its time.  Now, I cringe watching his standup routines.  They just aren't funny to me anymore. (yes, I know he's passed on, but he's a valid example as is Richard Pryor.)

Same with Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller.  I used to just cringe at both of those guys being in a movie I was going to watch.  But then I saw Spanglish with AS and I found myself finding the pathos in his humour.  50 First Dates is fun and thoughtful and softer than his usual schtick.   Grown Ups 1 and 2 are too. Add Blended and Just Go with It to that list. 

He still gets out of control in some movies but it sure seems like he's grown up himself.  Blended ends with one of his style of singalong songs and it's quite delightful.  He and Drew Barrymore have that 'connection' that Gable and Lombard had (yes, way back in the day). There's an honesty and trueness that they bring across the screen.  I have no idea if they have an off screen friendship or not but I suspect they do.  

Sure Benny Hill was obviously a misogynist (or so it would appear) but his brand of humour was rampant in his day and I bet a lot of people still smile and picture a manic run of semi naked women and goofy man in their minds when they hear his theme song.  

British humour doesn't translate for some people. I love it.  There's a cleverness and effort to it and while it does contain a fair amount of physicality and staging it still has the appeal of making one think to get the joke.

My all time favourites are still the Carol Burnett gang and Red Skeleton.  It was shocking to me, at the age I was when Blazing Saddles came out, to hear Harvey Korman using such language and fondling a statue *yikes*.  But Mel Brooks is right up there for me, as well.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Make Bullying Unacceptable Behaviour EVERYWHERE

Bullying does not stop after you leave school.

This is why we need to stop it at every level be it fellow student to student, teacher to student, adult to child and yes, child to adult as well as peer to peer coworkers etc etc etc  

Oh Bosses, let's not forget bosses or managers or lead hands.
In fact anyone who sees themselves in authority over someone has probably been guilty of bullying.  

But that doesn't mean that just because you've done it that you should condone it.  

This is a long while ago, but when a DUI wasn't as serious an offence as it is now, many people were let down with light sentences because judges and lawyers had been there done that.  

Look how unacceptable DUI is now!

Come on, reformed bullies, let's get with the program and make bullying as unacceptable and distasteful as we possibly can. Don't share the photos, don't Like them on Facebook or pass them along on Instagram etc.

Find out the whole story if you want to comment and keep your comments to the situation, not how someone looks, acts, dresses, presents as, or the amount of $ you think they have in their bank account.

Be accountable for the things you say and do; if only to yourself.