Monthly Archives: January 2012

Rubberneckers

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I often drive on the 401. It’s on the way to lots of places I want to be. Frustratingly, I often wind up on the 401 at rush hour. I have spent a lot of time sitting outside the Oakville Ford plant. Many, many tedious hours of stop and go traffic have I seen.

COME ON PEOPLE. If there’s an accident on the OTHER SIDE of a divided highway, where we can’t possibly hurt anyone, and fire, police and ambulance are already there – why are we slowing down?

I have two theories. My first theory is that we are by nature good Samaritans. We want to assist in a crisis. We are good people who want to help. We feel a moral obligation to assist. I want to believe that. Really, truly I do.

My second theory is that we are all just a bunch of ghoulish rubberneckers hoping to see some gore, thriving off the misfortunes of others in hopes of some sensationalism.

If we can help, we should. If you’re the first one at the scene, you can call for help. You can give first aid, if you know how, or even just comfort a victim until help arrives. When we were on family road trips, my dad often stopped to assist at accident scenes, because he was an ambulance driver part time and had extensive first aid training.

He was USEFUL. He was not in the way, or causing harm. He knew what to do, and how to do it safely.

I guess what I’m saying is, that it is a wonderful thing to assist in a crisis. It is both our moral and legal obligation. But when the professionals are on the scene, the best way to do the most good is to stay out of their way.

Wedding Advisor – Ask Emily Freakin’ Post

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I was reading a column in the Globe about a grad student who was feeling a little awkward because they felt they would be embarrassed if their gift didn’t meet the bride’s expectations. While still a student, most of his/her friends had been in the workforce for several years, and were making considerably more money. Apparently the bride informed them that the dinner cost $150- $200 a PLATE (Good grief, what the heck were they eating?) and that it was “customary” for a wedding gift to cover that cost, and then some.

Enough, bridezillas! You people watch too much freakin’ TV. I remember several years ago a much younger colleague was appalled because a couple she knew invited her to their wedding, which was to be potlock, BYOB, and to take place at their home. Her response? “If you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t get married.”

But they INVITED her. Which means they love her.

That kind of makes me feel sick. Since when has the union of two loving people become such a dog and pony show? Young people are going into enormous debt to have a “better-than-yours” wedding.

Now, I haven’t been to a huge number of weddings in my life. Most of my friends just aren’t the marrying kind, and I come from quite a small family. The most memorable took place outdoors, on a farm. Good homemade food, music, family, friends and dancing. It was humble; it was lovely.

Wedding registries also mystify me. It seems to me extremely gauche to instruct people what to purchase for you. Seems to me that if you know someone well enough to invite them to your wedding, you should trust that they know your taste well enough to present you with a thoughtful gift that suits both your tastes and their budget.

If you want to get married, get married. If you want to spend a pile of money on a huge extravaganza, go for it. But if you don’t have that money, should you then not marry? I don’t think so. I think that you can have whatever kind of wedding suits you and your partner, and that if people really love you, they’ll bring cabbage rolls and drink keg beer and wish you all happiness, and bless your union with their presence.

If you’re inviting your guests based on the heft of their wallets rather than on the depth of your love for them, then you have some serious issues indeed.

I was married, once, back in the day. I made my own dress. It cost $90. I got beautiful flowers from the Korean greengrocer on the corner in Parkdale. We were married by a minister who knew me, and my family, in High Park. We had a beautiful dinner, which my parents kindly footed the bill for, and a cash bar. It was a wonderful day, and I can’t see that spending more money would have made it any more wonderful.

Yeah, I know, I got divorced years ago. But would a $50,000 wedding have prevented that?

Godfearing Lady

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*heavy sigh*

The nice people at match.com say that I’m too restrictive in my matching criteria. I don’t think I’m bizarrely fussy, either, but why should I waste my time on someone who’s not right for me? I probably wouldn’t make them happy, either. So, they rarely offer me any matches, instead showing me pages of people they think I “might be interested in”.

Really? REALLY? What the hell makes them think that?

I’ve dabbled around on a few dating sites. I have yet to make any connections that interest me. There was one very early on, who had just started a relationship. (which I understand is going well, so, cheers, dude!). Since then, I’ve got some really weird e-mails. “Hey, pretty lady”. I don’t think I need to reiterate my stand on being called a lady. Also, one who seemed otherwise not so bad (apart from being a little on the not-so-tall side for my tastes), who blew it for me when he told me he was looking for someone “Godfearing”. Any tiny spark of interest I may have had went right out the window. I could have overlooked the height issue (pun intended), but that freaked me out.

I think God and I have an excellent relationship. It’s just not fear-based. I’m grateful, and try to be decent to people. Sometimes shit happens. Not God’s fault, shit just happens. Deal with it. God’s not up there in the sky with the Junior Science Workshop throwing together experiments. Things happen, God is in how we deal with them. To me, God=Karma. What goes around comes around, eventually. Sometimes it takes a long time, that’s all. If you are the kind of person who cares, others will in turn care back.

It’s just a great big hippy-dippy love fest, no? Just play nice, and generally the other kids will play nice too. There will always be the odd bird who doesn’t, but mostly people are okay. Those odd birds are often the product of other odd birds who in turn treated them badly. Don’t blame God. Maybe it’s a test.

I just find the idea of being afraid of God kind of weird. Why should I be? Doesn’t God love us unconditionally and forgive us? If God is omniscient, surely to Him (or Her, I use “Him ” loosely here as a pronoun of convenience, “It” seems disrespectful) He knows that we fuck up. In the interest of self-preservation, we sometimes make selfish choices that maybe aren’t so great for the rest of humanity.

I prefer to think of myself a “Godadmiring”, or maybe “Godthanking”. But Godfearing, I ain’t. God’s been pretty good to me so far.

Hey Lady!

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I was walking to the parking garage after work, with two female colleagues. We were engaged in a conversation. A woman yells at us, “Hey, ladies, spare some change?” One colleague said “No, sorry” and we kept walking.

She yelled after us “I guess you’re not fuckin’ ladies, then, are ya?”

Nor are you, my dear, nor are you.

I don’t really identify with the term “lady”. I feel like I would be required to cut the crusts off sandwiches for the bridge club, keep my bajingo springtime fresh, and wear gloves in public. Or maybe I should have a tall pointy hat with a diaphanous veil.

A woman, I am. Female adult human. Yup, that’s me. I’m a broad, a chick (but only to fellow chicks) and sometimes a dame, if I’m wearing a short skirt and smoking a cigar. Not a girl, I’m too old. Nor am I a “gal”, because well, it’s just kind of weird and archaic.

What defines a “lady”, anyway? I’m not terribly ladylike. I have a job. I cross my legs at the knee. I don’t have a husband. I swear. I wear hiking boots. I drink beer, from the bottle, in mixed company. I don’t require the protection of a knight. I am neither fainthearted nor delicate. I am not the spouse of a Lord. I know what I like in the sack, and it’s not “wham, bam, thank you lady”.

I try to be polite, and considerate. I do like going out for lunch. I occasionally wear a dress, because I like dresses. So, I guess I’m kind of a lady? Nah, who am I kidding. I think it’s an outdated expression, and I don’t really want to be one. I would never be so rude as to call someone out for referring to me as one, but it’s not for me.

So I guess I’m not a fuckin’ lady, am I?

Look Up – Look Way Up

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If I ever hit the Big One and come into a whole pile of money, I want to build my own house, my Giant House. Not giant in size, but giant in scale.

Here’s my must-haves for my dream home:

I don’t want to live in a huge city, but I’d like to be close enough to one to be able to access restaurants, shopping and cultural events. Neither am I a country girl. Town life suits me fine.

If money is no object, I want someone to cut the grass, tend the gardens and plow the snow. Yes, snow. Because I fully intend to continue to live in Canada, regardless of my fabulous fortune. I don’t think there’s too many better places to be in the world than right here.

I’ve never wanted a huge house. Too much to clean! Of course, I’d have someone to do that for me, right? But still. Two bedrooms and a den are plenty for me.

Lots of windows, lots of light, high ceilings, open concept. A sauna and a hottub, with a nice deck. Bookshelves built-in everywhere, with a rolling ladder for fun. Big floppy couches. A fireplace. A real fireplace, for real wood. A big wraparound porch, to protect in the winter and shade in the summer. Climbing vines.

Finally, I’m upscaling everything. All countertops will be 3 – 4 inches higher than standard. I’m tired of dealing with things that are meant for the average-sized woman, bending over a sink with a sore back. My house will be BIGGIFIED throughout. Taller toilet, like in the handicapped stalls in public washrooms. I love those toilets. Longer tub. Higher counters.

Dale, Rick, y’all come visit whenever you want. All you miniature peeps are welcome too. We’ll have little stepstools all ready for you.

And I’ll call Rusty.

Tired

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Life’s too short.

I’m tired. I’m tired of hate, pure and simple. I’m tired of people hating on other people just because they are who they are. I’m tired of homophobes. I’m tired of racists. I’m tired of misogynists. I’m tired of jokes. I’m tired of hate speech.

I’m tired. I’m tired of speaking my mind, of trying to stand up and be a voice in the wilderness. I’m tired of divorcing myself from people who spout negativity. I’m tired of putting my principles first.

I’m not here to educate or enlighten anyone. That’s your own responsibility. Nor do I purport to be particularly educated or enlightened. I don’t know what God likes, or what God doesn’t like, or who She likes, or who He hates. How do you know? Direct line?

Do I need to quote Jack Layton’s deathbed advice again? Y’all know what I’m talking about. We need to turn this rig around, people.

It has to stop. It has to stop one person at a time. First, it has to stop with me.

Sometimes that makes me a somewhat unpopular penguin, with a reputation of a being a bit of a loudmouth bleeding heart.

Fine. I’ll take that.

Namaste.

Liver Talk

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Like most days when I work in Lindsay, today was a very long day. Attitude reigned supreme. Busy as heck. People wandering around lost, asking me questions for which I don’t have answers. Old dudes just wanting to drop in and chitchat because they’re bored.

I wanted something really good for supper, that wouldn’t blow my nutritional plan out of the water. Something different, exciting.

I had to go for groceries on the way home, and there they were – chicken livers! Elliot is working tonight, so I was on my own for dinner. Often I’ll just have toast, or cereal, because it’s a treat to get a night off from making dinner. Usually it’s the first question I get when I walk through the door at night – “what’s for dinner, Mo?”. Sometimes, Mo doesn’t Know. But tonight – liver!

You can “blech” if you want to, but I love liver. I think liver skips a generation. I rarely remember eating it as a kid, I think my dad didn’t like it, and the few times we did have it, it was terribly overcooked (sorry Mum!). As it is my Mum’s birthday today (she would have been 75), it’s fun to remember some of her cooking disasters.

If you don’t HAVE to eat it as a kid, I don’t think you develop an aversion to it. I didn’t, anyway. As a courtesy, I never made it for my own kids. I just don’t think it’s a kid-friendly food. It looks funny. It smells weird. I also rarely had rice as a child, oddly enough, although I ate a truckload in university to make up for it.

But man, oh man. Just trim those bad boys up and dry fry them, very lightly, just until they’re done through, no more, with some chopped onions. Add a teaspoon of olive oil, some salt, lemon juice and some chopped garlic. Heaven.

That’s what I had for supper. And some Greek yogurt and raspberries for dessert.