Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

For everyone I've ever loved and everyone I ever will.

Merry Christmas, my love.

This year I have been gifted everything I could ever want. And for that I am so grateful.

My family, my babies, my life, all here all together, there is no grater bliss.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Movie Review

Dear Bob,

This is why I don't blog anymore, enjoy.

I just watched a movie, there were rats, covered in peanutbutter and bombs, I shit you not, some how Angelina Jolie was involved, and a guy with two guns (one on each hand) and then inexplicably Morgan Freeman showed up.

I'm pretty sure I was drunk. Or maybe I just fell asleep half way through.

But still, rat bombs, are you out of your fucking mind?

Hollywood, OMG WTF?!

Mostly house-wife who spent all day baking death-by chocolate birthday cake.

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving.

In case this wasn't sketchy enough here's a video shot by my eldest spawn taken this afternoon, her 8th birthday.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ok, lets try this again.

So I've been gone again for far too long again, but I'm going to give this a try again, and here's my goal, I'm going to write a new post every day for the next 30 days. And I'm going consider it my little island of self time.

So since I've been gone I've had a baby, cool right? And better yet, I've moved in with Mr. Tall Dark and Brooding and moved my collection of adorable minions with me, into this rather lovely little house in a decent neighborhood. Go me, I'm moving up in the world. Of course, it beats cutting limes in the bar, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss those days. Working in strip bar while pregnant though, I've gotta say was quite the experience in and of it's self. And now here I am on Maternity Leave until June, JUNE. I may actually go stark raving mad in the next 11 months before the government of Canada decides it will no longer pay me out for the privilege of raising my own young.

So I'd like to introduce you to my littlest minion, whom we will call the Baby Octopus, because I was convinced, CONVINCED I tell you that she must have a dozen limbs because she kicked so darn much in the womb, turns out she was just trying to bust her way out. And here she is with my eldest daughter The Bear, photobombing the picture.

So because this blog is kind of an abstract concept in my own mind I think I'm just going to lay it all out here. My life is unfocussed and much as I've tried to find one avenue of interest or focus or discussion I can't seem to do that with any degree of success. I am a mother, a woman, a sometimes this and that, and not being able to narrow that focus is a huge point of contention in my life. So instead of trying to pick a topic and stick to it I think I'm going to go with everything and see where that gets me. At least I will keep writing that way and not just get caught up on "but what do I write about there's so much, how much do I want to share, how naked do I want to be?" I talk a lot about emotional nudity in my other writing, my catch phrase being "here I am emotionally naked and vulnerable on the internet for all to see" and I worry about how that comes across to other people and what effect my nudity and vulnerability will have in my personal life, and yet that very vulnerability is what makes me who I am.

So here we go, an attempt to keep going to pick every direction and not narrow it down to one topic. 

And that will be me, stark raving naked on the internet again.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I've been defeated by bread

Here have some non-sense from a sleep deprived pseudo-vegetarian with a kid with food allergies foraging for food in the snow:

So this morning I have both kids home sick from school, though I suspect they will both be going back tomorrow for the sake of my sanity largely but also because they are legitimately being little pains in my rear end today which is a surefire sign that they are on the mend.

So I decide in my infinite wisdom that we need to eat, and because my fridge is garbage I don't actually have any food in the house, they eat at my mothers or we eat out quite a bit right now because of this. So what I have in the house is a loaf of bread that I bought ohhhhh 12 days ago, not really great on it's own right?

So I'm doing mental inventory of "what I want" and "where do I have to go to get it", while lying in bed this morning and decide that the local organic foods market which is mostly a glorified vitamin shop that also sells organic foods and a lot of vegan options is a great idea. It's only a $7 cab ride each way, it has what I want (smoked tofu and vegenaise) and I'll be able to pick up some basic foods stuffs for the kids. But because it's an organic market everything is unnecessarily over priced right? Well anyway, I convince the two still slightly under-the-weather minions that if they'd like to eat today we're going to have to go out foraging for food and I shove aside my maternal guilt and lack of better support system (you'd think I could have thought of someone to come sit with them for 45 minutes while I went to pick up food, but sadly it wasn't going to happen any time before dinner hour and you can't NOT feed kids all day, they get kinda bitchy, not to mention that whole "neglect" thing annnnyway) so out we go by taxi in the snow to the health food store.

Now this is the part where I put aside my principles of "I will not buy milk/bread/cereal/produce at the organic market because goddamnit I AM NOT PAYING $4 FOR A FREAKING TOMATO!!!" and decide that if I want to avoid making small sick children walk three city blocks in the snow and wind and -14C temperatures to the normal reasonably priced grocery store that I will have to buy my essentials there and pay extra just this once. So I carefully budget getting my smoked tofu and a jar of vegenaise (which is vegan mayo, which I justify buying both because it's cholesterol free so good for my heart condition and dairy free which means everyone in my house hold can actually eat it) and yes even lettuce and tomato at over twice the price of safeway, and then tell the kids they can pick out some food.

Baby-spawn who's been sicker than sick this week immediately wants milk and cereal, so I cringe as I pick up the organic soy milk that at safeway is $3 less, and we go on the hunt for cereal. Well as it turns out much like you can't buy normal mayo at the health food store you also can't buy normal bread or cereal, they have spelt bread, rice bread, gluten free bread, oat and millet bread, honey and brown rice bread, but there was no such thing as just a loaf of good old fashion rye bread and I had almost a whole loaf at home so I wasn't about to pay $5 for bread I knew I wasn't in the mood for. We moved on to the cereals and realized there weren't any cheerios or rice-krispies style cereals priced under $8 for what looked to me to be about 4 servings.

And this is the part where I am extremely grateful that while we do have a dairy allergy in the household we do not have a gluten intolerance or wheat allergy. Thank you allergy gods for sparing me the torture of $12 gluten free cereals.

So with her big giant pleading eyes I relented and picked up an $8 350gram box of "Natures Path Organic Oaty-Bites" and we headed out into the snow to wait for a cab home. 

Well we got home and the kids both wanted cereal of course and I tried not to cringe as I poured out two thirds of the box into their bowls knowing there was a high probability they wouldn't even like the stuff and then coated it in a nice layer of organic soy milk and gave each of them a spoon. And surprisingly they each ate about 3/4 of a bowl full which for sick kids and new cereal is pretty good odds, they were quite happy and even if the groceries cost more than eating out it was nice to think we'd had a normal family meal at home for a change and I started forming a plan to bring whatever was left of the groceries tomorrow to my mothers where they will last for more than 2-3 days (damn you broken fridge you are the bane of my existence) and I set to work making my wonderful glorious sandwich. I open the bread that's been on the counter, and... oh no, no, please don't be moldy.


I look over at the kids, who are curled up on their blankets, watching a movie cozy and content and contemplate making them put on parkas and snow pants, hats mitts and boots and dragging them to the end of the street to the corner store for bread...

And then I make myself a cup of organic earl grey tea with organic soy milk and organic honey and pour myself a bowl of "natures path organic oaty-bites" and douse them with organic soy milk and sigh defeated by a $2 loaf of two week old bread.

We will meet again bread, and when we do, I shall have my sandwich!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

No one likes wax beans, generic KD and apple "beverage" aka my take on charity

 Last night I posted this to my personal blog, and because it received a good dozen comments and it was suggested I share it more publicly I am also posting it here. Please feel free to pass this one on to anyone you think would benefit from hearing my story of charity at Christmas time.

I'm going to get off on what I hope is a slightly intelligent, rather passionate rant and I'm hoping that those of you who think of yourself as progressive open minded adults will take something from this little rant.

We are approaching the holiday season, which for some is the good old American Thanks Giving, followed by Christmas, and others celebrate Hanukkah, Solstice or more traditionally these days what I like to call "Giftmas" which is some hybrid of the traditional Christmas and the over-commercialization that has come from a very spoiled upper middle class perspective.

Guy's we are SPOILED.

Now I'm not going to get off on a tangent about helping the needy or the less fortunate because gosh darn does Christmas ever suck when you're eating spam out of a can with a plastic knife on Christmas Eve sharing a king can of cheap beer with the misses. Everyone who has ever been poor can tell you it sucks to be poor, and I am in general of the opinion that helping people in need is not something anyone deserves a pat on the back for.

Unless you are giving up your life and all of your wealth for a philanthropic cause a la Mother Theresa you aren't getting a cookie from me for giving the homeless guy some change.

And while I bring that up, let me elaborate on why I routinely give the homeless people in my neighborhood in the realm of $8-$20 when they ask me for spare change (I usually carry between 20-60 in change on my person so when I'm asked I reach in for a handful of coins, and because I am Canadian and we have our $1 and $2 coins this can often amount to a decent sum of money) the reason I stand by firmly for this, is while it's all good to donate your time and your money to a shelter or soup kitchen, what very few people in a position of privilege fail to understand is that those places fill up, they run out of food and they run out of space. Men are put lower on the list than women and children, and even if you are a man with a child, you aren't prioritized (in most places) ahead of women. Shelters are not a perfect solution. Neither are soup kitchens. A lot of these places refuse to serve people with addictions, and some even refuse to serve people who don't believe in the religion that is being preached at that mission.

And on a lighter note I am happy to give the guy pan handling outside of the liquor store my change, because even if he uses it to buy booze not a sandwich, his life has got to suck more than mine, after all I have somewhere warm to sleep, and a bottle of wine in my pantry and I don't need to rely on the sympathy of strangers to enjoy a beer. The way I look at it, the guy outside the liquor-mart has more reasons to want a drink than I do, by a long shot.

So this is my basic view on giving, I think it's something you should do in any capacity you can, be it spare change, donations to charity, time spent volunteering or canned goods for charity whenever and however you can.

It's just good old human kindness, if you can afford a cup of coffee you can afford to help out from time to time.

But that said, you need to consider how you help people. Of course there is going to be some self satisfaction from giving to someone who needs it. But you need to also consider what you are giving.

Everyone has been to some event or benefit where they were asked to bring in a can of food for the food bank. and what do people usually donate, a random can from their pantry, often something they're unlikely to eat, canned ham, spam, wax beans, white rice, generic mac n cheese.

Let me derail this into a story about my own experiences receiving charity.

Once upon a time there was a 22 year old recently separated mother of two children ages 13 months and 3 years respectively. I had left my husband 6 months prior and was having trouble getting on my feet. My girls and I shared a very small one bedroom apartment, we had a very tight budget, I had no skills and an ex who didn't pay support, and really I had no idea how I was going to take care of us. So because I needed all of the support I could get I had joined a church a few months before I moved out on my own and had grown quite close to some of the people I attended "small group" (bible study group held Friday night) with. There was this lovely woman whom for the sake of this story I will call "E" who had 3 sons ranging from ages 13 to 5 and all of them were going to a very prestigious private Christian school. Their father was a former minister who now taught at a school and "E" herself was a teacher as well. They were a lovely family and did so much to make me feel welcome and supported and included in the church.

I was volunteering in the nursery at the church one Sunday about 6 weeks before Christmas when a woman comes into to the nursery dressed in her Sunday best with her toddler and drops her off, she chats a few minutes with the other women and then notices the hampers in the back room full of canned goods and she asks quite incredulously "what are those for?" and one of the other women in the room replies they're food hampers for the less fortunate for Christmas. And this woman is completely shocked, she replied "well surely NO ONE at THIS church would be that poor! I mean we don't live in poverty in this country, that only happens in Ethiopia and other places like that" this dialogue continued for awhile and I tried to hide my combined embarrassment and annoyance with her lack of tact and understanding, I had known plenty of people growing up who'd needed the assistance of a food bank and knew first hand how hard it was to make ends meet, if it hadn't been for credit cards I'd have been lined up at the food bank every week myself at that point (and eventually, they took away my credit cards and I was but that didn't come until later). Eventually the woman left and I tried to shake off the discomfort her remarks had caused me and put it out of my mind.

About a week before Christmas my dear friend "E" from church called me up and asked if she could stop by for coffee later in the day. Now to say I wasn't exactly at my best with my Charlie Brown falling down Christmas-tree and tiny apartment that had been thoroughly destroyed by two toddlers would have been an understatement, but because I adored "E" and wanted her to like me and somehow approve of me I of course invited her over for coffee, and spent 8 consecutive HOURS cleaning my house so that it would be up to her (and more over my perception of her) standards. So at around 8 at night I get a knock on the door and open it to find, much to my surprise that "E" and her three boys have arm fulls of boxes of things for myself and the girls. There is an entire box of wrapped gifts for the girls, and a few things wrapped for me, and three large boxes of canned goods and food bank food. "E" and her boys put the things on my kitchen table and beam proudly she turns to me and says "we were so happy to be able to deliver the Christmas hamper to you and the girls, we felt it was so very much in the spirit of the Church, Merry Christmas Ani!" and they beamed with the satisfaction of having done their good deed for the day, and with that she quickly ushered her boys out of my apartment, without so much as having take off her coat and went home to her perfect clean house in the suburbs with her perfect family for their perfect Christmas, complete with the lesson of helping the less fortunate.

Now, I was completely stunned, I mean I knew I wasn't doing well financially but I certainly wasn't destitute and I'd never thought of myself as "in need of charity assistance" and I most certainly hadn't signed up to receive a Christmas hamper. In fact I'd always been a very proud person and determined to "make it on my own" I really felt that the "surprise gifts" would have been put to better use donated to someone else. But there I was, in the middle of my first Christmas as a single mom, with two very little girls, surrounded by boxes of Generic mac and Cheese, Apple Beverage (not juice, apple beverage, which is 90% water with some high fructose corn syrup and apple flavour) about a dozen tins of wax beans, a box of half mouldy christmas oranges, two loaves of mouldy bread and about a dozen cans of spam.

I cried. In fact I wept. For the most part it was food I couldn't imagine feeding to my children or eating myself, and a good percentage of it was expired (and for the perishables, was spoiled) and in general it was not quality food.

Now I am familiar with the phrasing "beggars can't be choosers" and you know that's true and maybe my lack of gratitude was due to the fact that I hadn't asked to receive a Christmas hamper from the Church, and that I was in a difficult place to begin with emotionally that year, I didn't want to feel like someone's "feel good" project or that I was in need of saving, I wanted to be successful, or at least to feel like the people that I thought cared about me had faith in my ability to get through and survive and come out on top.

But my very long end point to this little story is that it's important to be mindful when you give, yes this is a season for giving, and that should extend beyond "what can I buy my loved ones" into "how can I help or make a difference" and whether I believe you should do that year round ( and I do) isn't so much the point. I suppose my overly convoluted point here is that in the spirit of giving you also need to be mindful of the gift.

So do me a favour, and next time you attend a function where people ask for a donation for charity don't reach for the minute rice or the wax beans that you know you're not going to eat, don't find the unlabeled can at the back of the cupboard, reach for your favourite tin of soup, or a jug of real juice or some healthy pasta, or the really yummy tomato sauce that you picked up three jars of on sale last week and consider how much MORE receiving that kind of generosity will mean to someone who does need the help, who can't always afford the real Kraft Dinner and who might want to feel that instead of getting a hand out from someone who wants to feel good about themselves, they are receiving a gift in the spirit of kindness and compassion.

And such is my two cents on helping those in need.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sporticus and the story of the great avenger!

So I sprained my ankle walking in flats this morning, (shows how rarely I walk in flats) so while I'm waiting for the swelling to come down so I can ya know, do stuff with my day (like find my ankle brace and then get groceries and um, clean stuff) I'm going to tell you a story...

With PICTURES... and MATH!!!


I told you there was math!!

So this morning I found out that Mr. Tall Dark and Brooding (Aka Wonder-Boyfriend) doesn't know what a spork is. Clearly this must be remedied. This came up when I suggested murdering someone by spork, but I'm getting ahead of myself, I'll get to the homicide portion of this post, but first some back story so it might make some sense.

So Mr. TDB's driving me home this morning  and we're talking about plans for the day and who we'd like to murder and how (this was pre-coffee conversation at it's finest) and just generally being goofy and trying to manage stress with humor which we're both good at, and I mention that my plans for the day may or may not involve chasing Mr. Ex-Boyfriend (who'd spent the previous night harassing me via phone) down and "sporking" him to death. At which point I get the raised eyebrows and "what's a spork" from Mr. TDB. So I tell him he's sorrowfully culturally deprived if he doesn't know what a spork is.
Wikipedia article on sporks which says "A spork or a foon is a hybrid form of cutlery taking the form of a spoon-like shallow scoop with three or four fork tines."

Behold the awesomeness that is spork technology at it's finest.

So now you all know what a spork is as well :)

But If I were to stab or bludgeon someone to death with a spork (which would require homicidal tendencies and psychosis I'm not even remotely capable of) it couldn't be just any spork. It would have to be a magical pixie, rainbow-tastic, glitter covered enchanted spork of awesome! Like one of these:

only better!

It would have to be the almighty spork of the infamous Ani-Uncensored, that rights all wrongs in the universe with it's seemingly benign looking metallic pixie glitter covered gaudy sporkiness. It would be the ONE TRUE SPORK OF LOVE AND JUSTICE.

And it would be awesome!!

So as the end of this story goes, I am not going to spork anyone to death (today) but I am likely not opposed to getting out the glitter glue and some sporks and creating spork wind chimes, or perhaps, some strange form of installation art, or writing a story about an imaginary character named "Sporkticus" (the magical spork of love and justice) complete with crappy illustrations by yours truly in an attempt to get my mind off of the raving lunatic that is my "ex-boyfriend".

How about you guys, any plans for the day? Bonus points if they involve creative uses for cutlery!

So life got away on me again

But because I've locked down my LiveJournal for the last 6 months or so and I'm busier than ever I've decided now is a great time to dust off the good old Blogger. So my plan is to copy/import some of my more user friendly and on topic posts over the last 8 months from good old LiveJournal and post them here and continue to update this thing liek I had originally planned on doing seeing as my writing skills aren't being put to terribly good use right now as I'm in between other gigs and desperately seeking some sort of brain stimulation less my feeble little mind atrophy further.

So without any further delay a summary update of what's been up with me lately:

  • I've been working. More than ever before! And they've given me more work, I'm now behind the bar serving drinks as opposed to on the floor, I've got to say internets, not being in ass grabbing range is rather a nice perk of this new gig, but as good old uncle Ben always said with great power comes great... tips? Oh no wait, it was that pesky responsibility thing wasn't it?
  • Both my darling daughters are back in the institution (and no I don't mean the nervous hospital) and bringing home all kinds of fun plagues just like the littler germ factories they are.
  • I've taken up a striking and wonderful romance with a man twice my age, how risque of me no?
  • And I am forever dishing out the sarcasm and brainspew over at LiveJournal where all of my deep dark throught get spewed violently at the internet in the pseudo-privacy provided by a filter called "friends only" if you're not a LiveJournal user (come on man I was blogging there before blogging was cool!) then you're more than welcome to sick around here and see what kind of mental vomit gets slopped along to this lovely little site.
And that's about it for me right now folks. Like I said, I'm headed for a major dump of cross posting glory and I'm promising to be better at my house keeping around here as I really do like the idea of blogging more publicly and Blogger is definitely the right medium for that. After all, my dear friends over at LJ once told me Blogging is the death of journalism.