Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reverse Objectification Tuesday: Oscar Edition.

This will be a short one, as I have ten minutes before the work whistle blows.

I didn't watch the Oscars, as per usual, since a) they generally tend to be pretty long and fairly boring and B) my intense loathing of modern day cineplexes generally guarantees that I have not seen any of the films nominated. True to form, this year I have seen a grand total of ONE of the winning films.

And I was very excited for its win for best song.


Because MUPPETS.

And because Bret McKenzie is about as adorable as a bowl of kittens wrapped in newborn babies and sprinkled with more kittens.

Whew.. 8:59. Just under the line.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some kind of witty title about teeth.

Two consistent themes that appear in my dreams are stairs and the feeling that my teeth are crumbling and falling out. The staircase dreams aren't bad, but these dreams that my teeth are falling out drive me up a frackin' wall.

I had another one this morning. In this one I still had the caps and spacer that I had gotten during the dental surgery I had when I was about four. Not only were my teeth shattered, the wires in the spacer were all bent.

I check out some dream interpretation sites to see what they had to say:

From Dreaminterpretationguide.com:
If you lose your teeth, you will have burdens which will crush your pride and demolish your affairs. If they appear decayed and snaggled, your business or health will suffer from intense strains. To dream of spitting out teeth, portends personal sickness, or sickness in your immediate family.

And from Dreammoods.com:

To dream that you have rotten or decaying teeth forewarns that your health and/or business is in jeopardy. You may have uttered some false or foul words and those words are coming back to haunt you.

So our lesson for today? Fuck online dream interpreters. I'm gonna go brush my teeth now.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

You know Canada Has No Interest in its Celebrity Culture when...

.. one of our cultural icons DIES and it takes five freakin' years for anyone to even notice.

Or, more accurately, we're too interested in U.S. celebrity culture to notice when one of our own dies.

In the past I have expressed my annoyance with the disproportionate amount of grief that people express in the wake of celebrity deaths, as once again was demonstrated over the last week after news of Whitney Houston's death broke.  So in light of that, I feel more than a little hypocritical to say that I felt PROFOUNDLY FUCKING SAD when I found out that Neil Hope, who had played Derek "Wheels" Wheeler on Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High had not only died, but died FIVE YEARS AGO without anyone really noticing or giving a shit.

You said it, Ed the Sock.
I do have to add that I find it funny that I found all this out from a sentient, chain-smoking sock.  So that says something... about.. something.  I guess.  Score one for patent absurdity.

Anyway, maybe it's the affinity I have for those original Degrassi series' after they got me through weeks of being hospitalized in my late teens (along with Guiding Light, as well as reruns of Law and Order and Northern Exposure) or perhaps it's that it sounds like Hope in spite of his name had a pretty shitty upbringing not unlike his on screen counterpart but this made me sad in a way that usually doesn't happen with me.

Maybe it's because after Degrassi ended, Neil Hope seemed to kind of fade into obscurity, popping up once for a brief cameo on the pilot for Degrassi: The Next Generation.  It's entirely possible  that the family purposely hid his death from the media, and if that is the case more power to them.  That would at least be a less wholly depressing thought than the idea that this guy died in a fire and it took five years for anyone to really notice or give a shit.

According to the story in the Globe and Mail, creator Linda Schuyler and executive producer Stephen Stohn had kept quiet out of respect to Hope's family.  Odd that the Globe cites natural causes, whereas the National Post says he died in a fire.

Apparently, the news was finally made public due to a Facebook group dedicated to bring 'the real' Neil Hope to Facebook.  I guess the family confirmed so as to not waste everyone's time.

In the spirit of blaming all that is wrong with the world on Mark Zuckerberg I say "Good job, Zuck.  Way to make things AWKWARD."

Here's a clip from the movie/series finale School's Out, where Wheels gets drunk and kills a kid and maims Lucy in a car wreck.  Trigger warning.

UPDATE: So most of the other news outlets are reporting that Hope died of natural causes (Wow.. out of context, that phrase is like.. really depressing). Our lesson here is that the National Post kind of sucks.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines Cards I wish I had thought of getting the kids more than 24 hours in advance

I'm pretty vocal about the fact that in general, I think valentine's day can suck it. Yeah, even when I'm not alone for the occasion I still tend to hate it out of loyalty to my single self. But in an attempt to not expose the kiddies to too much jaded cynicism, I do still let them participate In the yearly thing of handing out cheap little cards to their classmates, cards rendered utterly meaningless by the fact that they are obligated to include EVERY kid in their classes, Even those ones I'm sure my children would happily punch in the face.

The side effect of my general desire to pretend this day doesn't really exist results in me forgetting these things until the last bloody second. Which means I miss out on the possibility of having my kids branded as the coolest (okay, fine, weirdest) kids in their classes by handing out cards like this. Holy shit you guys:

Happy Valentines Day from the Golden Girls!

As much as I am incredibly sick of hearing about Betty White (Yes, she's old and she's funny.  So are both my grandmothers.. so why aren't people making a big deal about them?) these are all kinds of awesome.

Next, from the 'My Nostalgic Inner Child is Geeking The Frick Out' files:

Sailor Moon Themed Valentines Cards!

Last, I always end up coming back to the incomparable Brandon Bird and his Law & Order SVU Valentines cards which according to his site are currently sold out.  Boo-urns.

Meh, I guess they're happy enough with iCarly. Yes, Tess, I ended up getting them after all.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Your vocabulary lesson for the day.

The English language is a complex tapestry of varying rules of grammar, spelling and uses. Individual words can hold multitudes of meanings and evolve over generations. Sometimes those meanings can evolve into ones that are hurtful and silencing. We have control over this and we can keep words from being hurtful by not using them in damaging contexts.

Words mean things.

I can't believe we're still having this conversation but here goes:

When you say something is gay when you really mean stupid, you are equating gay with stupid. It paints gayness as a negative trait, and it's not. Full stop. When you use this, you are insulting and marginalizing an entire group of people. Same with retarded. Hell, even same with lame.

Using the word stupid all the time gets boring, I know. And these can be difficult linguistic habits to break (believe me.. I've stuck my foot in my mouth on more than one occasion... Right Danno?

So for your convenience, here is a handy list of words that can be used in place of stupid that DON'T serve to marginalized entire groups of people for no good reason.


Lacking common sense
fucked up beyond comprehension

Of course, some of these are better suited to some contexts more than others. This isn't even a comprehensive list. Your Thesaurus has all these and more. I hear they even have em online now.

Yeah. You're welcome.

My readers are helpful. See also:


Feel free to add suggestions in the comments.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Affirmative Consent and Erring on the Side of Caution.

I was introduced to a new term the other day - Hate-Reading.  You know, that thing when you continually read the same web site or subscribe to the same media outlet even though the thoughts and opinions expressed are generally full of fail and make your teeth itch?

One of my recent hate-reads has been Slate.com's resident advice giver, Dear Prudie. The other is The Stir by CafeMom (with the exception of Jenny Lawson and Becky Harks - they're pretty awesome) but that's a blog rant from another day.

Anyway, dear Prudie usually has few gems up her sleeve, such as the post linked above where she basically plays into the idea that someone who drinks heavily can't really be raped, they're probably just ashamed. Yup, we're still not over this. Twenty-first century, even. Yeah, Prudie is kind of an asshole but that's not really what I'm talking about here.

It brought up an interesting discussion on feministe regarding good consent when drugs and alchohol are involved. Somehow in these discussions there is always someone who wants a clear line in the sand showing exactly when someone is too drunk to consent, like legally. It's friggin' sketchy, like people want to know "exactly To what extent can I take advantage of a situation before I am legally culpable?"

Dude (or Dudette, because you know, it happens) if you have to ask, you probably have or will cross that line.

Where's the problem of erring on the side of caution and if you're not in a position where you're entirely sure you have genuine consent, then politely back off.

Remember that movie, the one where Michael Cera played Michael Cera playing every role he's ever had and sang "These Eyes" and Jonah Hill was fat and loud and the cops blew up the car and the drunk chick tried to blow Michael Cera but he said no because she was pathetically drunk?

You can learn a lesson from that movie. A lesson besides the one that says cops are generally bored and really do want to be your friend, because they're afraid of becoming irrelevant and old. Shocking, I know.

Worst thing that happens when you say to a drunk person that you're not comfortable having sex with thm when they're drunk is that you don't have sex that night. Not the end of the world.

Okay, one guy argued that someone could take great offense at you refusing to have sex with them, and assume you are an agency-denying, patriarchal slut-shamer, to which I say that consent works both ways. The non- or less-drunk party also has the right to say no, regardless of the other person's hurt feelings. So in that situation I say that the worst thing that will result from saying no is that you don't get to have sex with an asshole that night.

Before I close off I just want to mention that "erring on the side of caution" doesn't have to mean that once that bottle of wine has been cracked that all bets regarding sexy times are off, no matter who you are. Mileage is going to vary depending on the consenting adults involved: their trust levels, previous dialogue, and hell, alcohol tolerance comes into play as well. Just remember, affirmative consent is the presence of "Yes", not the absence of "No". And if that yes is more like a Yesshhhh, unless you Trust each other well enough or your date just happens to have a lisp, take that yessssshhhhh with a grain of salt, because it's a damn site better to be called an asshole than a date-rapist.

Monday, February 6, 2012


So many things to write about, so little time.

Today is Gord Downie's birthday.

I've been sickish this weekend, but well taken care of. Feeling special and appreciative.

I took the opportunity to watch 6.5 out of the 8 Harry Potter movies.

My guitar tuner is missing. As such I'm coming to the conclusion that I have a shitty ear for these things. I hope it turns up soon.

Yesterday was duff mckagan's birthday. I kind of miss when he was all baby-faced, in the pre-velvet revolver days.

My little one made me breakfast saturday. Cheerios and peanut butter toast and an apology for not knowing how to use the coffee maker.

Today is Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee. 60 years in the same position with no room for advancement. Still has a good shot at breaking queen Vicky's record though.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lies I have told, or intend to tell, to keep the Tooth Fairy alive.

I am, quite possibly, the worst Tooth Fairy ever.

Really, I am. I should really just give up the charade and tell the kids the God's-honest-truth and end the madness once and for all, for everyone's sake.

But where is the fun in that when I can just keep coming up with more and more elaborate lies and stories to keep the fantasy alive.

"Mom? Why didn't the tooth fairy come last night?"

(truth? I forgot.) "well honey, you didn't actually lose your tooth until it was almost bedtime. She was probably all booked up for tonight."

Next night: "mom, the tooth fairy still didn't come."

(crap, no spare change) "well, you know, the worlds population is growing exponentially, which means a lot of kids losing a lot of teeth, everyday. She clearly can't do it in one night. Fairies are small. It takes them a longer time to cover a greater distance. It's not like she's Santa Claus. She doesn't even have the religious exemptions Santa gets."

That weekend they are at their dad's so clearly TF isn't going to show while they're away. So by the time they come back, it's been a week and no TF.

Okay, here's the part of the story that not only makes me look like the worst tooth fairy ever, but possibly the worst mother ever as well.

I gaslit my own child in the name of tooth fairy face-saving.

Day five or six. I have once again forgotten to stick some change under the pillow. So I stick three bucks in my pocket and hang around the girls' room, grumbling dramatically about the disastrous state it's in. While i'm in there, very stealthily, like a ninja, grab the tooth and call out "hey Tierney! Did you check to see if the tooth fairy finally came?"

"No!" comes the call and I slip then money under the pillow before she makes it to the door in time to hear "...but Reagan did." Tee finds the money ("Wow! Three dollars? Last time I only got two!" "yeah, that's probably accrued interest.") and admonishes Reagan for not seeing that the tooth fairy was there after all.

Rees insists that "well, the tooth is still there!" which, no, it's not. It's in my pocket. She can't undstand it. It's actually fairly upsetting to her, especially as Tierney is insisting that she must be imagining things.

Finally: "Uh, guys... The tooth fairy is magic you know. You don't think she could have snuck in when neither of you were looking?"

Oh, total inconsistency for the win.

So I made my child question her own reality in order to avoid outing an imaginary tooth-peddling floosy. Go ahead and judge me.

My friend has kids of a similar age and has confessed to also being a terrible tooth fairy. I figure this is great, as it gives me plausible deniability (my catchphrase of the week) and a case to paint the Tooth Fairy as some sort of incompetent schmuck who generally just isn't very good at her job. We came with a few other scenarios that we can bullshit our way through:

Scenario: the last tooth garnered three dollars, this one only got a buck seventy five.
Truth: I bought an extra coffee this afternoon.
Explanation: the price of teeth is based loosely on the price of gold and the daily interest rates.

Scenario: how come {name redacted} gets more/less than us?
Truth: I'm cheap/overcompensating for not spending enough time with them and/or being a shitty tooth fairy
Explanation: property taxes.

I could keep this shit going until they are thirty-five, at least.


My second post is up at Different Paths, Same Destination. Go, read, love.

Can We Maybe Teach Our Kids Not to Be Entitled Assholes?

I'm becoming more and more disillusioned with parents.

Twice in the last month, I have attended public speaking events for things involving my kids and have been frustrated beyond belief. I've just about given up on the possibility that the coming generation will ever have any ability to sit down and shut up for more than five minutes at a time, because they sure as shit don't have any parental guidance on the subject of acting respectfully in a public forum.

In both events, I had to strain myself over the sound of phones buzzing and beeping (even after attendees were asked to turn their phones off), people talking and chit-chatting and allowing their kids, little and not-so-little alike, to run around and make noise. This is winter in Ontario.. do you have any idea how much noise snow-boots on a hardwood floor make in an auditorium? A shit-ton of noise.

Here I am, trying to set a decent example for my own kids, quietly admonishing them for wiggling, kicking and whatnot but I feel like I shouldn't even bother trying to get my kids to behave when other ADULTS don't even have the manners to pay attention to what is going on.

I get that kids have a hard time sitting for a long period of time. So my hats off to those who recognize this and remove their kids when they start getting bored and fidgety. Thank you. A fidgety kid is distracting enough, but a fidgety kid whose parent is constantly going "Shhhh!!" or indulging their need for conversation, or even just ignoring the kid when someone is giving a presentation or even just is beyond infuriating. So my hat is off to the parents who understand that sometimes it's just time to leave.

But, lately it seems that the kids are only a small part of the problem. Adults seem to have a hard time grasping that there are times when it's inappropriate to be carrying on a conversation or talking on your phone or getting and walking around a half-dozen times when there is someone addressing you as part of an audience. It's rude to the speaker and it's rude to the people who are there for the performance or information session or whatever reason there is to assemble. It reeks of entitlement and tends to teach the kiddos that no matter the situation, your immediate gratification is top priority to the detriment of those around you.

As someone with a bit of hearing loss, it's especially aggravating because I have trouble dealing with excessive ambient noise.

I think kids should be allowed in public spaces. I don't want to see them shuffled away, but we as parents need to teach and more importantly MODEL appropriate behaviour in public.