ihaveanopinionidliketoshare

thoughts on life, parenting, news, and crazy shit

Month: November, 2014

The Best Thing I Ever Put In My Mouth

uniter.ca

uniter.ca

I know I spend a lot of time bitching about things that are stupid, but today I’m changing it up.

Yesterday, Husband and I dropped the kids off at Grandmas house and went out to do some Christmas shopping and a lunch date.   Ordinarily, the shopping part would have fueled an irritated rant about rude assholes in the stores and commercialism etc etc,   but yesterday was different.

We decided to forgo the dumb crowded malls and giant chain stores, and instead shopped at this mom ‘n pop shop called Toad Hall Toys tucked into the city’s historic exchange district.  And you know what?  The toys were cooler, the service was better, and the atmosphere was great.  It actually got me in the Christmas spirit and the older couple who owned and ran it were delightful.  I happily handed over my dollars to them and was glad I had supported a local business that has been around for 35 years.  Glad that they have survived the mass commercialization of this world where we pay our employees next to nothing and expect everything from them.

Next we went to this little restaurant called the Peasant Cookery.  Now, I’m no foodie Bitches, but I didn’t get this extra padding on my ass by not eating delicious food.  I am seriously committed to finding things that excite my sense of taste and putting them immediately into my mouth.

And let me tell you.  I have been to France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and many places in North America.  And in all that culinary experimentation, I have never EVER eaten any thing as delicious as the mushroom sauce that came on top of my steak sandwich.

It wasn’t just a good meal.  It was one of those meals where you could taste every single fucking flavour in everything you ate because the chef planned it that way.  He made me feel like eating food like that every day and becoming a bed giant was a reasonable route to go in life.  I didn’t want to just eat that sauce forever, I wanted to jump in the pot and make love to it all day long.

And that is what eating out should be about.  Making me think about the meal for so long after that I can’t wait to go back.  That I can’t entertain the thought of eating out anywhere else until I have tried everything on the menu, because I am certain that I will not be let down.

So you know what?  I have decided to make a commitment to spend less of my dollars in these fucking chain stores and restaurants where I leave barely satisfied.  I want to be treated like a guest in someones home.  I want the server to be a grown up.  I want to know that the people who are serving have a vested interest in taking care of me because they have vested their interests and passions into owning their own businesses.

I want to be inspired.  And yesterday I was. Twice.

 

 

Things That Are Annoying Me

wegret.com

wegret.com

I’ve been having a hard time sleeping, Bitches.  Insomnia is one of those things that trouble me from time to time.  I go through a few months where being able to relax at bedtime and drift off seems to be an unattainable goal, and then all of a sudden it goes away.  I have a glass of wine at the end of the day and sleep peacefully until one of the children wake me up.  Or one of the dogs.  Or the phone.  Or the urge to pee.

Fuck it.  Being well rested is a thing that I have given up on.  I’ll survive on coffee, love, and pure adrenaline.

Right.

The truth is that my brain never, ever shuts off.  Likely there are some things on my mind, and more likely  than that, things are annoying me.

1. I fucking hate having to repeat myself.  In any setting.  Whether you are my child, pleasantly ignoring my instructions or some patron at my bartop who makes me repeat what kind of soups we have 5 times.  You.Are. Annoying. Me.

2. You, Sir.  With the dog in your lap as you drive in this God Forsaken crap of a city.  There is one snowflake on the road and that doesn’t warrant going 30km under the speed limit.  Try living in Buffalo, motherfucker.

3. Pacing dogs and the clickety-clack of their nails against the hardwood.  Did you know that it is impossible to cut a pug’s nails short enough that they can walk silently on wood floors.  I smell an amputation.  Either her legs or my ears.

4. Liars.  Not only do you annoy me, but I hate you.  Grow a set, tell the truth and take responsibility for your douchey actions.

5.  Not being independantly wealthy.  I don’t care if this is unreasonable.  It’s my fucking list, and I want to be rich.

6. People who think that the word “no” is the start of some kind of negotiation.  It’s not.  It means, take a fucking hike.

7.  Assholes. Telemarketers.

8. Assholes.

9.  Other parents.  The ones who pretend like they never get mad, never fuck up, and generally have ALL the answers to all the things.  You annoy me because you are also number 4.

10. Hearing my name 10,000 times an hour.  When I worked in biotech, I used to do crossword puzzles to get people to stop talking to me.  I got tired of hearing my name all day long.  On the phone.  From across the room.  On the paging system.  Stop talking to me, I need a motherfucking time out.

11. Treehouse.  More specifically, Caillou. I want to watch Dr.Phil, but the children lose their shit when the tv doesn’t suit their needs.

Sigh.  I need a vacation.

What annoys you, Bitches?

 

I Remember

Lest_we_forget

I remember exactly where I was when the Twin Towers fell.

I was driving on the highway to work, and turned on the news to hear that no flights were leaving airports.  That air travel in North America had all been shut down.  I was confused.  And then the announcement happened that the Twin Towers in New York had fallen.

I pulled over.  In utter shock and disbelief.  In confusion.  With a pounding heart, I remember dialing Husband’s Grandma to ask her what in the hell was going on.

That was the day that everything changed for my generation and my children’s generation.

You see, in our parents and grandparents time, their friends and husbands and sons and daughters had already fought for our freedom.  In World War I. In World War II.  In all the wars that were fought to ensure we live free and safe.

And in that moment, I remember thinking how we had taken all of that for granted.  I remembered that families made sacrifices, men sacrificed their lives, and children never got to know their fathers so that you and I had the opportunity to live without fear.  In peace.  In freedom.  We forgot to be thankful.

But in that moment, I remembered.  And I hoped that there was someone who would protect us again.

I used to think that Remembrance Day was for a bunch of veterans that died a long time ago.  I used to think it wasn’t relevant to me, but now I am so ashamed that I didn’t get it.   It is as relevant today as it ever was.  The world is a shitty place sometimes, and there are a lot of soldiers out there trying to make it less shitty.  There are a lot of soldiers not just dying in the warzones so that this country remains standing and free. There are soldiers dying on home soil, as we saw in the Ottawa shootings.  And there are even more who suffer long past since they are home from the things they had to see and do while in active duty.

So today, I’ll remember to be thankful to live where I am.  To have someone who loves their country so fucking much they would be willing to die for it.  For me.

For you.

Remember.

10 Things Childless People Can Do To Help Them “Get It”

Top10-mum-meme-who-needs-vacation

I hate to be that mom.  You know, the one who who is busier than she wants or needs to be but can never seem to find anywhere to cut back.  The one who always says no to extra things and social activities.  The one who complains that those around her who don’t have kids just don’t get it.

But you know what, Bitches?  They don’t get it.  Try as hard as they might, intentions as pure as can be, they just don’t.  They can’t.

I’ve come to accept that this year I’ve bitten off quite a mouthful.  And that I am that mom right now.  And it super sucks some days.

I think that people without kids simply do not understand how much attention a child  needs.  Let me see if I can help to paint the picture for all you childless people out there.  The ones wondering why life is sooooo complicated for people who have tiny humans living with them.

1. Every time you make a phone call, have a third person talk in your ear the entire time. See if you can keep your end going and have any idea at all of what the conversation is about.

2.  Also try to have a regular phone conversation in the monkey house at the zoo.  With all the screeching, wrestling and antics, you’ll be sure to stay on topic.

3. Think about all the things you have to do to maintain your home.  Dishes, laundry, floor cleaning etc. Now try to do it while balancing a medicine ball on one hip and a leg iron on.  While listening to a repeating CD of the most annoying sound you can think of.

4.  Just for fun, do all your laundry twice.  And as soon as you think you’ve caught up on it, puke all over something.  Just so you can wash it again.

5. Pack your bag for an outing or appointment.  Get ready, do your hair, put on a full snowsuit, hat, mitts, the whole nine yards.  Step outside, and immediately shit your pants.  See if you can still make it on time.

6.  Don’t eat real food all day, and plan to have a late dinner.  Go upstairs, rock yourself in a rocking chair for a couple hours until you feel like you could sneak out of a room past a sleeping dog.  Pray he doesn’t wale up every time you try to leave.  Finally go downstairs and drink a bottle of wine to try to block out the noise of a dog howling at full tilt in an upstairs bedroom.

7. For every errand you have to run, pack and unpack your car at each stop.

8.  For every errand you run, stop at the bathroom in each place.

9. Every time you make yourself something to eat, give it to your dog or the person sitting next to you.  Then make it again. Repeat.  Give up and eat the table scraps.

10. Think of the hardest day you’ve had at work, and imagine that being a break from something else. Think of it as the place you escape to, rather than from.  Because that’s how exhausting and draining it can be to be a parent.

So the next time you wonder WHY it’s so hard to find time to go out with your friend that is now a parent, try this list and see if you still have the energy on a regular day.

And remember that somewhere in there you still have to make room for all the happy things and quality family time that doesn’t just involve taking care of everybody’s shit around you.  The choice to become a parent is an all encompassing, all or nothing deal.  It doesn’t leave room for much else when the humans you’ve made are still tiny.  And yet somehow, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It just means that my priorities are surviving 1-10, and making it to school age.  When I can maybe have a couple hours a day where I don’t here someone screaming “MOMMY!”

Done, With Jian Ghomeshi

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

It’s kinda a hot week here in Canada.  Not hot as in temperature, because it’s November.  Hot as in there’s a lot of shit going.

At least in terms of news items that interest me.  No shortage of topics to form an opinion on here.

Last week, a CBC radio host named Jian Ghomeshi was fired from the CBC amid allegations of inappropriate conduct.  The host claims he was fired due to the controversial but “consensual” bedroom behavior that includes some pretty kinky stuff.

The women claimed that it was not consensual and that he assaulted them.

Now, at first, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of the allegations.  I didn’t outright support Ghomeshi, but I wasn’t sure of the validity of the claims for a few reasons:

1.  Whenever something like this happens to a person in the spotlight, you have to at least consider an ulterior motive by the accuser. Because people are assholes at lot of the time, and will do anything for money and a few minutes in the limelight.

2.  The timing seemed a little strange that all of a sudden 10 years later 3 anonymous complaints came forward via one particular journalist.  Anytime something is exposed in the media, it raises my eyebrow.

3. The behavior that is alleged seemed outrageous.  Ridiculous, bold, and a bit psychopathic actually.

4.  There had been no criminal complaints filed, and until there was a legal investigation, my opinion stayed at “let’s wait and see”.

Now, a week or so later, there have been at least 8 women who have come forward.  A university has indicated that they recommended their inters not apply at the CBC due to inappropriate sexual behavior by Ghomeshi.  Charges have been filed.

It would seem that Jian Ghomeshi is actually an asshole.  An abusive, scary, lying jerk who victimized women and tried to victimize them a second time by using his position as a public figure to intimidate them.

Here’s the thing I don’t get:

BDSM is actually a thing that people enjoy.  It’s probably a thing that people enjoy privately, in a safe place with a safe partner.  It’s kinda taboo, so I can imagine that it’s not a thing most people would put up on their EHarmony profile initially.  But you can obviously find a willing and consenting partner.

And you know what?  To each their own.

So if there are people out there to engage in this type of behavior with, why would someone be so fucking stupid as to punch a chick in the face on the first date?  Why would he try to force himself on a girl on a park bench?  Why would he all but force oral sex on a woman he’d been out with a couple of times?  Especially when you are in the public eye and constantly at risk for exposure?

Was that part of the thrill, Jian?  You’re not actually into rough sex, but you just like to beat the shit out of women?  Does it make you feel powerful?  Does it satisfy some deep inadequacy in your heart?

Or are you just a nut job?

Considering less than 1% of sexual assaults get reported, the odds were in his favour of getting away with it.

Less than 1%.

Girls.  That’s bullshit.  Take your power back.  Whether your assailant is a friend, a family member, a stranger, your boss, or a public figure.  Take.Your.Power.Back.

If someone wrongs you, make it right.  Be brave.   If you stand up for yourself, the truth will give you power and  others will stand with you.

As for Jian……

Your charisma only goes so far.  I think you’re done, dude.

 

 

You’re Missing The Point, Mark O’Connor

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

So there’s this violinist/teacher/fiddler called Mark O’Connor.  He is a very successful musician and performer and has his own series of method books for students.

The problem, in my opinion, is that he seems to feel threatened by any one else who has found success.  As if the validity of other methods and teachers or musicians somehow threaten him.

It’s insecurity at its best.

Let me tell you a secret about musicians.  We’re terrified of failure.  We’re terrified at someone not approving of us.  We’re terrified that we might actually be frauds deep down.  We struggle with stage fright and feeling like we belong to our musical communities and pray our colleagues accept us, faults and all.

What I find surprising is that a man who has found success and fame and all that still feels all of these things in his heart.  But I guess at the end of the day he is still human.  And still has his own demons.

So why do I care about this man?  How do I feel to know these things about him?

Mr. O’Connor has chosen to attack Dr. Suzuki, the founder of the Suzuki method of music instruction.  The founder of a pedagogical philosophy that at its best creates amazing musicians who go on to perform and teach all over the world, and at its worst creates wonderful little human beings whose families belong to a community.  At it’s worst, it teaches children to work hard and be good at something  because of their own merit, and not to measure their success against the failures of others.  At its worst, it teaches children to play with others and learn from them, and in turn teach them.  At its worst, it teaches children to focus and develop manual dexterity and good memories from a very young age.  And at it’s worst, teaches children to be respectful and loving and kind.

I don’t know his background, but I would think that Mr. O’Connor didn’t have the privilege of studying in a Suzuki program.  He didn’t have the luxury of a teacher who while teaching him excellent technique, also taught him to be kind and respectful.  He didn’t learn to play alongside others without being in silent competition with them.

Because if he had, he would understand that his attack on Dr. Suzuki and his method doesn’t hold any water.  Because nobody cares if he went to this university or that universtiy.  Nobody who truly embraces the pedagogy cares what the details of his education and performance history are.  Because it doesn’t matter.

The reason that this pedagogical method is so successful is because we as music educators have formed a community around the ideas of this one kind, nurturing and genius man.  It works because we share our ideas and help each other to become better at what we do.  It works because when we see a colleague or a student struggling, we come together and help them.  It works because we love our students, and we love what we do.  And alongside all of that, it works because we train constantly not only in technical growth, but in the how of teaching.

And even if Dr. Suzuki was self taught, which he was NOT, I wouldn’t care.  All it takes to change the world is an idea that can grow and the courage to try it. And he had one and he did.

So in the end, I’m not entirely sure what the motivation behind Mr. O’Connor’s attack on the Suzuki method is.  We as Suzuki teachers are certainly not a threat to him and his millions.  And we are certainly not going anywhere.  I can only conclude that either he is simply an unfortunately malicious individual who grudges anyone elses success or is completely ignorant of the objectives of the Suzuki teachers out there.  We are not just trying to make amazing musicians, we are trying to make amazing human beings.

Dr. Suzuki used to say, “Beautiful tone, beautiful heart.”

How’s your tone, Mark O’Connor?

 

 

AfterOtis

Written by Natalie Louise Oldham.

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