Bathrooms: A privilege or a right? (Blogmas 18)

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219vjoThe bathroom. We all go. Its main purpose should be for #1 and #2, although many other activities may happen in a bathroom. (I’m thinking preening, washing up, and the like- get your mind out of the gutter; although yes, sometimes sex in bathrooms happens.) Arguably, the bathroom is the most important space in any home or public area. Because when you gotta go, you gotta go! Know what I’m sayin’, dawg? Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the fuss over the use of public bathrooms and a rant has been brewing.

219v59In the US, there are states actually passing legislation around who can use public bathrooms. Although it seems odd, let’s not forget that at one point, the US had segregated bathrooms in some states for Black and White people. Now the debate has turn to transgender people and which bathrooms they are allowed to use. Some states are requiring people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their sex. There’s actually been cases where transgender people using the bathroom have been stopped and told they aren’t allowed in the bathroom, or harassed. Maybe this is because I am Canadian, but I can’t even IMAGINE how someone has the audacity to go up to someone and say, “Excuse me, I notice that you used the men’s room, but you aren’t really a man. You are a woman, so you have to use the women’s bathroom.” First of all, how do you know that the “woman” isn’t just a really feminine looking man? How do you know?  How are they even going to enforce such laws? Are they going to hire the genital police to guard the doors to public bathrooms? “Pull down your pants, we need to be sure that your parts match the stick-person sign.” “Hey, the sign lady has a dress on, and you’re wearing pants, so you go to the men’s room.”

219vc3Furthermore, why do we even need to assign bathrooms by gender and/or sex? Especially in those one-room bathrooms. Men and women use the same bathrooms in our homes, so why do public washrooms have to be genderized? When I go to the gas station, and I’m on the road a lot, I’m going to whichever bathroom is open. I have used the “Men’s” room too many times to count. Why would I wait in a line behind a bunch of ladies (many of whom are going to spend at least 5 minutes in there grooming after doing their business) when I can skip across the hall into the empty men’s room? I wouldn’t and I don’t. Yes, I usually have to put the toilet seat down, but that’s just a minor inconvenience and I always use toilet paper to protect my hand from man germs. And, yes, I’ve surprised many men waiting to use the “Men’s” room when a somewhat attractive blonde chick comes busting out the door instead of the man they were expecting to see, but I don’t care. When you gotta go, you gotta go!

219vplIn Canada, there has also been controversy for people with illnesses such as Crohn’s, colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), incontinence and the like who are often denied access to so called “public bathrooms.” In Saskatchewan in 2016, an elderly man using a walker who was on the verge of peeing in his pants asked to use the bathroom at a gas station and was denied access by employees. In fact, the ability for people with disabilities to access “public” bathrooms is so limited that Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has a campaign called, “Go here”  which recruits private businesses to keep their bathrooms, uh, well, open for business. In addition, people can download an app on their smart-phone to find businesses where they can do their business and a card to show that says, “I am a Crohns, Colitis, IB sufferer and I need to go to the washroom.” Can you imagine? As if it’s not bad enough to have an illness that causes frequent bouts of explosive diarrhea, but in order to use a so-called “public” bathroom, you have to show a stranger a card that basically tells them that you are about to have explosive diarrhea!

219vfbAgain, I do a lot of road trips, and I’m lucky to say that businesses have never harassed me about using their bathroom. I always just duck into a gas station, fast food joint, or a Best Buy in order to relieve myself. But there have been some places of note where finding a bathroom was a problem. These are generally the tourist attraction towns, like St. Andrews, New Brunswick, the Halifax waterfront in Nova Scotia and Freeport, Maine. I understand that the businesses in these high traffic areas don’t want the general public freeloading in their toilets, but at the same time, when you gotta go, you gotta go! My favorite line is when I go into a particular place, for example, a tourist bureau in small-town Maine, it may have been called Freeport or something like that, and when I ask to use their “restroom” (as Americans seem to call it, although to equate what goes on in there with “resting” seems a little odd to me) the response is, “We don’t have a restroom.” I call bullshit on that! My next question is naturally, “then where do you go to the bathroom?” And generally the response is that the bathroom is for employees only. As someone who worked a stint in a tourist industry where we had access using a key to a small port-a-potty that was for employees only, if someone ever came in with the pee dance or that strained/worried look of, “I have a poker,” I always gave them the key. It’s called empathy. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

Transgender people and people with disabilities and I would argue many seniors as well (anyone with toileting challenges, really) are facing discrimination regarding the right to use the bathroom. And it should be a right, but it is a right that we seem to be treating like a privilege. It’s about time we acknowledged the most basic human quality we all have in common: we all use the bathroom. Everybody pees. Everybody poops. There’s no denying it; so how about we stop denying people the ability to get their business done and to get it done with dignity. No laws are needed here; just basic human compassion and empathy.

OH

 

I’m Following You! [Blogmas 13]

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not stalkingI’ve been following you. I’ve been following you for a while, but you may not have noticed me. It’s not like I’ve been purposely tagging behind you like an undercover police officer or a creepy stalker. I’ve been following you on Twitter.

Twitter, where all of a sudden you can have interactions with your BFFs Mindy Khaling and Melissa McCarthy. Okay, they are my BFFs, maybe not yours. Of course, they have no idea that we have a relationship. My bestie, Mindy has 11 million followers and “Missy” (as only I can call Melissa McCarthy because of how tight we are, you know) has 939 000 followers, but Mindy follows a mere 811 people and “Missy” follows a measly 121 people. Fuck you, Mindy Khaling and Melissa McCarthy! I thought we were friends forever, but it turns out, I’m just a pathetic celebrity stalker.

Of course, these are famous actresses/writers who used their talents and, in one case, their untalented cousin to achieve success before the up-rise of blogging. Any of us [me] who have tried sending off manuscripts without a social media presence realize quickly that no publisher will touch you unless you have already established a following on social media. That would be why our other BFF, Jenny Lawson, better known as The Bloggess, has 477 000 Twitter followers but follows a whopping 42 000 people. It is still less than the number who follows her, I know, but the ratio is still much higher than with Mindy and Melissa. I’m no mathematician (trust me, I’m not) but I’m pretty certain about the math. I’m about 20% certain. (That’s a lot, right?)

followingOriginally when I started blogging, I said to my friend Sam, the Blog Broad, that I didn’t need social media because “if your writing is good enough, people will connect with it and follow it.” Um… I couldn’t have been more wrong unless I was Fox News. And now here I am, a Twitter Newbie. I joined, “tweeted” and still no real following formed. I said to Sam, “It’s not working.” And Sam said, “that’s because you have to follow people in order for them to follow you.” And so I did. I just started going on people’s followers lists and clicking follow on all of the names there- I thought to myself, I’ll just do that everyday. I’ll have soooo many followers in no time. Then someone will notice my brilliance and I’ll be able to spend my time being paid for creative pursuits. Now, I don’t know if anyone else has done what I did to try to build followers, but if you do try it, a pop-up from Twitter will appear. Now, I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something like, “Because you’re a insane, creepy, stalker person, we are suspending your ability to follow people for 48 hours,” or something to that effect. SOOoooo… I stopped doing that.

J Lo_InPixio
“Ass Ass” was just a big bare J Lo ass. Maybe it was J Lo’s ass?

Instead, I just started following people at random but just not as many. And then I learned another important lesson. You should actually read up on the people you’re following and take a look at what they’ve been tweeting before you start following them. It was when my Twitter feed showed a picture of a big ass. Now I know my profile picture on WordPress is of an ass too, but my ass is a donkey. This pic was of an ass ass. It was just a big, huge, J-Lo-esque ass. And in the self-description box, it said, “I’m kind of an ass.” I thought, hmmmm, that’s kind of funny; they must be being ironic like me and my donkey ass, but doing it with an ass ass. So I didn’t unfollow the person with the ass pic right away. I didn’t unfollow until I realized what all the person’s tweets were about, and I don’t want to be crass, so I’m going to use the technical terms. “Ass Ass,” as I’ll call her, used dirty words, but the words in her tweets featured semen, anal intercourse, breasts, and meeting places. So basically, I think I may have started following a ho. She’s either a ho or a slut. And that’s okay, I don’t judge. (Well, I try not to.) But I just didn’t want to be propositioned like that. I’m somewhat happily married. (Hey, don’t judge, no one is “happily” married- no one is happy ALL THE FUCKING TIME!) Of course, my hubby, C, probably would have wanted us to find Ass Ass and say what’s up. But I’m not into that. And so I unfollowed Ass Ass and I started just following people who posted things I thought were funny or thoughtful or who tweeted pics and videos of cute animals, and of course, those sites that retweet posts by bloggers.

When I really think about it, randomly following people on Twitter is like randomly following the car in front of you to find out where they’re going. It’s not likely to be anywhere you’re interested in going, so why would you do that? (Although my friends and I did do that once in high school just for fun. But we were in high school. We did a lot more stupid stuff than just that.) I totally connected when I came across this tweet on my twitter feed: “It’s amazing the amount of people who follow just to get a follow back, then if I don’t follow back they unfollow me. I won’t follow people for the sake of it, but follow people I genuinely want to connect with.” dASHing through the snow  ❄️ @FTLOBOOKS (Click on link to see her blog.)20171211_174331.jpg

I found out the hard way that you should only follow people who seem to be people you could connect with. At the same time, sometimes you have to go on that “first date”: follow the person and see what kinds of things they post before you figure out that they weren’t the one for you. It’s okay to unfollow. Maybe they weren’t, “the One.” But if you don’t first follow, you’ll never know. lurking memeFor those fellow bloggers out there, who have me as a Twitter follower, don’t worry. I’m not going to be dumping anyone on purpose, unless you start tweeting weird, perverted, sexual tweets that make me feel uncomfortable. And if you do unfollow me because I’m not what you expected, please do so, by all means. We’re all on this same journey to become leaders, not followers, anyway. Well, aren’t we?

#following you

@Ocean.Hayward

All pictures are my own unless the source information is listed below. Yes, even the ones of Mindy and Missy. I told you we are BFFs on Twitter. [In my best Napoleon Dynamite voice] “GAWD!”

Fatal Attraction Meme. Pinterest. <https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/47428602298479681/?lp=true> December 11, 2017.

“I’m following you” mem. Image Flip. <https://imgflip.com/meme/Zombie-Overly-Attached-Girlfriend?sort=latest&page=3> December 11, 2017.

“I’m not stalking you” Meme. Quick Meme. <http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3tpn3t> December 11, 2017.

Jennifer Lopez pic. IGN. <http://www.ign.com//threads/j-los-ass-is-overrated.454203957/> December 11, 2017.

Office Space Meme. Pinterest. <https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/47428602298479681/?lp=true> December 11, 2017.

 

 

Merry Fucking Christmas [Parental Advisory- Language that may be offensive to some.]- Blogmas 12

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Okay, so my Blogmas post today is a rant.

I’ve been posting my Blogmas entries to a lot of different blogger sites that do retweeting. You see, I’m hoping maybe, just maybe, I could make a go with this writing thing. Seeing as how I’m very soon to be without a paycheque, I need to find another source of income. (Just a heads up, this post is going to be all over the place!) You see I’ve been on sick leave from my regular job of teaching because “I’m fucked up in the head,” right. Funny side story- when I wrote “I’m fucked up in the head” right, I was thinking of the lyric to the Limp Bizkit song, “Nookie” and for years I’ve been singing along to that song with “I’m fucked up in the head, right” but in looking up the lyric to give credit where it’s due, I discovered the lyric is actually, “fucked up in the head, not.” Huh.

Well, there’s no “not” in being fucked up for me- I have Conversion Disorder, Somatic Symptom Disorder and ADHD. And now, to top it all off, my paid sick leave is about to run out and because teachers get paid for the 195 days in the school year (September to June) and they start our pay year as of August 1, I have been overpaid.

merry
Image from Amazon. They are not paying me to feature this product, but hey, Amazon, feel free!

Which means when my paid days run out, I have to pay back $1000. I get it, I owe it. I’m not saying I don’t, but it’s stressful knowing I have to come up with that money somehow when I’m about to go on Long-term disability benefits and that’s ONLY if I’m approved! So yeah, Merry Fucking Christmas! Thank you, brain chemicals, neurotransmitters and brain wiring stuff! (I warned you, this would be a rant.)

 

Okay, so back to Blogmas and how I’ve been retweeting my blogs and all of that. So as I’m going onto these Blogging Twitter Groups, I’m also reading blogs that have been posted. And I am getting so sick of Blogmas!!! Blech-mas more like. (Maybe I’m just bitter because I’m about to have Broke-mas.) Every post is pretty similar. “Great gift ideas under $20” and a list of products that can be bought online, for example. I can’t help but wonder, did these bloggers even try out these products? If I have to look at one more Blogmas about make-up, hair, decorations and gifts and where to buy them, I’m going to stab someone in the throat, anyone, whoever is closest (probably my husband or his grandfather!)* My goodness! I don’t mean to be grinchy (that’s right, I turned Grinch into an adjective) but I’m starting to get sick of Blogmas!

blogmas_InPixio
See sources at the end of this post for the blog site this photo came from. The Blogger, Laura, had a very cool idea of writing a comment on other people’s blogs for Blogmas.

The blogs I enjoy the most are the ones that come from an authentic place. The writers are “keeping it real.” Now that said, and I imagine a lot of these bloggers who are writing about all these wonderful products, are probably getting paid by companies. I’m not going to lie: I would do it to if it meant money in my pocket. Shout out: “Hey Companies, pick me! I will write wonderful things about your crappy products because I am about to be poor!” Well, poorer. Not that I’m poor poor, I’m just terrible at managing money.

Anyway, my next few Blogmases are going to be a lot less Christmas-y because I don’t want to stab anyone.** And I think I’ll even skip the retweeting on those Blog Retweet sites so I don’t have to see them. I just need a Blogmas break for a few days. Thanks for reading my rant and sorry if I offended anyone.

20171209_052818.jpg
All I can scratch together is two Canadian nickels. [photo is my own]
P.S. Can you spare a dime?

*I won’t really stab anyone in the throat. I have conversion disorder, remember, so instead I’ll keep my anger and negative emotions in, and then have facial twitches, contortions and seizure-like shaking.

**Again, I must reiterate: I’m not really going to stab anyone. I’ll just twitch, contort, and shake like Linda Blair in The Exorcist (original 1973 version) minus the head spin.

Sources:

Laura. Blogmas, Well, Sort of Pic. “Blogmas 2016.” Constantly Curious. <\http://constantlycurious.co.uk/2016/12/blogmas-2016/> December 9, 2017.

Merry Fucking Christmas Bauble. Amazon. <https://www.amazon.co.uk/Santa-Balls-Fucking-Christmas-Bauble/dp/B00G450LBI> December 9, 2017.

“CUWTA” (Catch Up With The Acronyms)- 11 different ways to say LOL- Merry Blogmas 11

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Has anyone noticed how often we use LOL (Laughing Out Loud) and LMAO (Laughing My Ass Off) and even LMFAO (Laughing My Fucking Ass Off)? People write it so much that it’s lost its meaning. How many times do you write LOL, LMAO, and/or LMFAO and you actually are laughing out loud or laughing your ass off, or laughing your fucking ass off? I would reckon not very often. I think it’s quite evident when someone had to come up with the acronym ALOL (Actually Laughing Out Loud). The Internet is allowing us to become either a bunch of fake people, lying to each other about how hard we’re laughing or a bunch of lazy people with limited diction. I’ve been thinking about how we have started overusing the LOL family of text abbreviations and thinking that there has to be a better way. LOL has become our go-to reply for a variety of responses in text-versations. So for Blogmas 11, I give you the 11 situations where LOL responses are used and more accurate text abbreviations to start using. I have found all of my text abbreviations thanks to Netlingo. If ever you’re stumped, feel free to use this handy little dictionary for help. And now it’s time to widen our texting vocabulary!

whatever_InPixio

  • What you read makes you slightly uncomfortable and you’re not quite sure how to respond. For lack of a more clear and accurate response, you resort to the old standby “lol.” Instead you could use “IRNCOT” (I’d Rather Not Comment on That) or “URSAI” (You Are Such An Idiot) or “WE” (Whatever)

 

 

  • You simply want to acknowledge that you agree with what you read, but again, the ol’ LOL is sent as the reply. Why not reply with: “ITA” (I Totally Agree) or “HTNOTH” (Hit The Nail On The Head)Nail

 

  • You connect with what you read because you’ve been in a similar situation or felt the same way. Often, it’s just responded to with “lol” as in “haha, been there” but to be more specific why not use: “IKWYM” (I Know What You Mean) or “ICWYM” (I See What You Mean) or “IKR” (I Know, Right).omg-i-know-right-diylol-com-16084744
  • You don’t know what else to say, so you fall back on the LOL like an awkward laugh. tenorBut what you could reply with is: “404” (I Haven’t A Clue) or “OUSU” (Oh You Shut Up) or RUNTS (Are You Nuts?) or “WABOC” (What A Bunch of Crap) or my own invention: “IDKW2S” (I Don’t Know What To Say)

 

 

  • You enjoy what you read, but have no visible reaction. If you were on Social Media, you would simply hit the “like” button. Since you’re phone texting, you type in those three handy letters: L-O-L. What you could use instead is “XLNT” (Excellent) or “WD” (Well done)

excellent

  • What you read is mildly amusing. and gives you an ever so slight smile but you just reply with LOL because it’s easier. Why not just use “G” (Grin) or “G1” (Good One)i-am-mildly-amused-skeptical-hippo-19401997
  • What you read is amusing, gives you a shit-eating grin. Well guess what, there is an actual text abbreviation for the exact situation: “BSEG” (Big Shit Eating Grin). You could also use “BS” (Big Smile but could be mistaken for Bull Shit) or “BAG” (Big Ass Grin).

chuckle-snort

  • What you read is very amusing, makes you chuckle but it still isn’t rolling on the floor funny or even worthy of a belly laugh. Instead of LOL, try using “COL” (Chuckle Out Loud) or, depending on the situation, “CSG” (Chuckle, Snicker, Grin).

laughing out loud_InPixio

  • When what you read is funny and actually makes you laugh out loud that would be about the only time you should be using LOL. To vary it up, you could also use “BL” (Belly Laughing). Funny story, found all the memes and gifs through Google Image search. Found this meme on another post about the over use of LOL… I guess I’m not as original as I originally thought, LOL! Oops, I mean, G. Read that post here (it’s really good btw): “Navigating The Term ‘LOL’: C’mon, you’re not really laughing”  by Alex Liev.

 

  • When what you read is hilarious and makes literally laugh out loud, so much so that your whole body is in it, but you are still able to stand, it would be acceptable to use LMAO in this occasion. Another choice for you is “BL” (Bursting With Laughter)laughing-my-ass-off
  • When what you read is fucking hilarious and again, you are in fact laughing out loud, you may, by all means, use LMFAO. But there are some other more interesting options to choose from. Why not: “BMGWL” (Busting My Gut With Laughter); “BRL” (Belly Roll Laughs); “CSL” (Can’t Stop Laughing); “FOMCL” (Falling Off My Chair Laughing); “FOFL” (Falling on Floor Laughing): or my personal favorite, “DNPMPL” (Damn Near Pissed My Pants Laughing)pissing laughing

 

 

 

Here’s hoping that in 2018, our texting vocabulary will become more varied and specific to reflect what we really mean. In any case, if you’re not LOLing, don’t text LOL!

LOL!

I leave you with one of my favorite clips from the Canadian Sketch Comedy series 22 Minutes about the dangers of text abbreviations. 7 years old, and still relevant!

TFR! (Thanks For Reading!)

O.H.

Sources:

Austin Powers Meme. Make A Meme. <https://makeameme.org/meme/chuckle-snort> December 8, 2017.

Donkey Laughing Ass Off Meme. Meme Generator. <https://memegenerator.net/instance/62604812/donkey-lolol-laughing-my-ass-off> December 8, 2017.

Jason Bateman gif. Tenor. <https://tenor.com/search/awkward-laugh-gifs> December 8, 2017/

Lee, Albert. “Hit the Nail on the Head.” Albert’s Tips. <http://albert.tips/hit-the-nail-on-the-head/> December 8, 2017.

Mildly Amused Hippo Meme. Me.Me. <https://me.me/i/i-am-mildly-amused-none-13291277> December 8, 2017.

Net Acronyms. Netlingo. <https://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php> December 8, 2017.

OMG, I Know, Right Meme. Me.Me. <https://me.me/i/omg-i-know-right-diylol-com-11156318> December 8, 2017.

Stanley Laughing Gif. Good Reads. <https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23016369-troubles-and-treats> December 8, 2017.

Steve Carrell Meme. From Liev, Alex. “Navigating The Term ‘LOL’: C’mon, you’re not really laughing.” Odyssey Online. <https://www.theodysseyonline.com/navigating-the-term-lol> December 8, 2017.

Wayne’s World “Excellent” Gif. Inmgur. <https://imgur.com/gallery/iigLQ0Thttps://imgur.com/gallery/iigLQ0T> December 8, 2017.

Whatever Cat Meme. Quick Meme. <http://www.quickmeme.com/Whatever> December 8, 2017.

 

 

 

 

You! TAG! You’re IT! (A Christmas Tag) Blogmas #3

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New to blogging, me, and just discovered the “Christmas Tag.” Someone posts questions and answers them, then you write a blog with the questions and link. At least that’s my understanding based on my googling. So I’m tagging onto Love, Geeky Girl. Found her while seeking out Blogmas posts on Twitter and was attracted to her name because I also am a “Geeky Girl.” Intrigued, I checked out her blog and found her “Christmas Tag.”

1. What is your favorite Christmas Tradition? The Christmas pickle. My mom hangs a pickle ornament on the tree and we all scour the tree trying to find it. Whoever finds it first gets a special gift from “The Pickle.” The gift is usually just a box of chocolates or cheap stuffed animal, but the two things I love about it are the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of winning (if I find it first.)

2. Where do you spend Christmas? My parent’s house.

3. What is your favorite Christmas Song? 

4. Do you decorate before or after Thanksgiving? I live in Canada. Our Thanksgiving is the first Monday in October, so definitely AFTER.

5. Tinsel or garland? Neither, but if I have to choose, garland. It’s not as messy.

6. Who are you most excited to see this Christmas season?

But also my niece who turns 2 in April, because she’s more aware now so I think it’s going to be a fun Christmas.

7. Do you own an ugly Christmas sweater? I have several Christmas tops.

What do you think? Are they ugly?

8. What is one Christmas food you cannot live without? Turkey stuffing.

9. Peppermint or gingerbread? Gingerbread, unless the peppermint is combined with chocolate. Then it’s peppermint all the way.

10. Have you ever tried fruit cake? Yes, it is disgusting. Blech!

20171105_181536.jpg
SHOW ME THE MONEY!

11. What is one thing you asked for this Christmas? I haven’t asked for anything. But cold-hard cash would be nice.

12. If you could be any Christmas movie character, who would you be? Olive the Other Reindeer. A powerful female character, a real bitch (really she’s a bitch- watch the movie), who saves Christmas above all odds!

Have yourself an awkward little Christmas! (Blogmas #1)

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Today I found out about a merry little blogging tradition known as “Blogmas.” So everyday up to Christmas you do a Christmas-y post, like how to make Christmas crap crafts, decorations, recipes and the like. I love Christmas! But, unfortunately, I’m not one of those “lifestyle” type bloggers, I’m not super-artistic, and I don’t really entertain or throw parties much. In fact, at most parties I have one of two strategies that I use to get through them.

  1. Get really drunk, lose all inhibitions and make a fool of myself.
  2. Stand in a corner and watch everyone else enjoying themselves. Try to make entertaining comments to those who try to socialize with me, end up saying something socially inappropriate, not purposely but because I’m just so awkward.

And both strategies end with what I recently learned is called an “Irish exit” by most other people. An “Irish Exit,” I learned, is sneaking out of a party without saying goodbye to anyone or thanking the host. Yep, you just bail. And no one misses you because there’s usually enough people there for you not to be missed. It sucks though when it’s a smaller party because then you can’t easily sneak out. I had always known the sneaking out move as the “Clairmont Shuffle” (coined by my hubby) because it’s how my dad gets out of parties. I learned from the best. Things is, generally if you try to leave a party, people try to convince you to stay. I’m not sure why. I personally know I add very little interest to parties and it’s more likely that I will spill red wine on your white carpet, furniture, outfit, or my own outfit. (Santa, please bring me a bib.) Or I may puke on your stuff if I get drunk enough. I’ve also been known to get head-wounds when I’m drinking because I fall a lot. So blood from my head is a real possibility if you invite me over for a party. Consider yourself warned.

I’m thinking the term “Irish exit” is probably a racial slur, or at the very least, a language-group slur, and this is a perfect example of one of the awkward things that may come out of my mouth without thinking of the implications. Or other times I over-think what I want to say and end up with verbal diarrhea trying to explain my way out of a hole. Ex. “I know I called you a stuck-up bitch but I didn’t mean to call you a bitch, what I meant is you’re so cute like a dog. And when I said stuck-up, I was talking about how you always stick up for people. I’m really sorry you think I called you a stuck-up bitch, but I meant it in absolutely the nicest way possible.” Anyway, my point is the only “lifestyle” advice I can give you is “how to be very awkward at holiday parties.”

So I racked my brain. What other fun Christmas-y thing could I write about? So here it is, my confession. I love really old Christmas decorations. The tackier, the better. If you come by to see my decorative work, what you’ll find is a lot of old decorations, most of which I uncovered in the “Lost and Never-Found Basement” (please refer to Hoarders: The Secrets that Hide Beneath and TRASH OR TREASURE in the Lost and Never-Found Basement- Enter my contest today!)

So here are some of the wonderful old decorations I found in the Lost and Never-Found Basement!

bulbs
All of the ornaments in the Lost and Never Found basement are old, old glass bulbs, many of which are likely antiques. They are gorgeous. Not like the plastic crap you get today. Or they are homemade crafts. These are the kind of ornaments I like.
tree
This tree says “Christmas” to me, not one of those fancy “theme” trees or color coated trees. That’s Christmas from a store. With its mix of homemade ornaments and handed down bulbs, this tree says Christmas from the heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa
Old Santa Ornament. Can’t figure out if he’s a Salvation Army Santa (he has the bell) or the real Santa because he has a sack and not a black bucket.

 

Snow man
This homemade Snowman is Da Bomb! He’s made out of a big glass jar with one of those round candle holders for the head. Painted with some sort of foamy snow like stuff, and a string of battery operated lights are stuffed in the bottom part of the jars. So you can lift up the head, and turn the lights on. Or I suppose you could make it into a cookie jar. Either way, I think it’s such a cute little Snowman.

 

houses
“The Little Houses!” I was so excited when I found these. My family had a set of these as well. They say 70s all over them! Growing up, my brother and I would fight over who got to put the houses up. In the end, my mom gave the houses to me when I moved out, because she thinks they’re too old and tacky to put up in her house. But I will always love, love, love the Little Houses! Christmas, to me, is about tradition.
porcelain tree
This is some sort of glass or porcelain green tree and although it looks like it has miniature lights, it is actually lit up by putting a very phallic light bulb up through the tree’s bottom. I remember always seeing other people with this tree. I always wanted one! And low and behold, a Christmas wish finally granted, in the bowels of the Lost and Found Basement.

 

On being White. And I mean White. Pasty White.

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There’s white and then there’s WHITE and I mean White. Pasty white. I am pasty white. I have blonde hair, blue eyes and am very, very fair. I am so fair-skinned, in fact, that I endured a myriad of names such as Casper, Ghost, Albino, Mummy and Liquid Paper to name a few. In fact, I remember kids in school holding paper up to my skin and claiming that I was whiter than the paper. Other things I have been compared to: Elmer’s glue, flour, sugar, snow, clouds, marshmallow fluff, cotton balls, polar bears, baby seals, piano keys (the white ones), Kleenex, Ivory soap, toilet paper, porcelain and the list goes on. When Die Hard came out, I was compared to that really white guy who John McClane (Bruce Willis) calls an Albino at one point. I was also compared to the children in the film Children of the Corn (Christopher Reeve version.) One of my friends said she hoped I would marry and have children with a similarly pale skinned, blonde guy so she could call our children “corn niblets.”

karl die hard
“Karl” from Die Hard. True fact: I look just like him when I wake up without make-up.

One time I remember being at a Diversity workshop and a colleague asked, “Well, how can you say Black people are discriminated against when white people are always tanning to try to get dark skin?” (I know, right? And they say there are no stupid questions. White people, ugh.) The presenter pointed out that there is a huge difference between having dark skin all the time, and having the option to have dark skin. Well, I have never had the option. I have never had a tan. When I go out in the sun, I burn. I burn so badly I turn red, red, red. My summer nickname was “Lobster.”

QT
This lotion gives you Donald Trump orange skin. If you go to the site where I found this pic, you can buy this for $199.00. (NOT WORTH IT!)

I have tried all of the tricks to get a tan. In high school, I used this product called “QT.” It was made by Coppertone and stood for “Quick Tan.” It had to be applied evenly or streaks would appear and it had to be washed off your hands immediately or your hands would change color. For some reason, when I used it, my skin would emit this rancid smell even though the lotion itself didn’t smell bad. And in the end, I never got a tan. Instead, I turned Donald Trump orange. I bet Trump bought up all the QT and still uses it, because his skin looks identical to a QT “tan.”

I tried tanning beds, being told that I would get a tan in them because they are not the same as the sun, you don’t stay in for very long, and it targets the pigments in the skin that create tanned skin. Well, apparently I do not have any pigments in my skin that create a tanned look because I turned pink. I have tried those newer self-tanning lotions, but the problem is that if I put those on, I can’t also use my sunscreen. That may not make so much sense; you may be thinking, “Why don’t you just put it on later after the tanning lotion sets in?” The thing is I burn so easily and quickly that during the summer months I have to apply 60 SPF sunscreen as soon as I get out of the shower. 60 SPF sunscreen is hard to get, and it is generally quite expensive, so I buy the Coppertone for Kids Spray-on stuff. That way, I can get those hard to reach places on my back. If I miss even one spot, I’ll get a really bad burn that could be just one tiny line or blot. The first time I bought the Coppertone Kids Spray, my mother was with me and she said, “You can’t buy that. You’re not a kid.” And I replied, “Why can’t I? I’m buying it.” I firmly believe that the packaging should be changed from “Coppertone for Kids” to “Coppertone for Kids and Extremely Pale, Ghostly, Casper-like People.”

Another problem I run into being such a fair and blonde person is the fact that my eyebrows and eyelashes are also blonde. When I was in elementary school, I remember drawing pictures with my friend and he put eyebrows and eyelashes on his picture of a person. I asked him, “Why did you put those lines around their eyes?” I wasn’t even aware that people even had eyebrows and eyelashes.  In the 1980s and 1990s, the look was always blonde with dark, black eyebrows and, of course, eyelashes. I never saw any blondes in the media who looked like me. I always thought I was ugly. Many of the other kids even said as much. When I became old enough to wear make-up, it was a wonderful thing because of mascara and eyebrow liner. Without these two magical make-up products, I look like I have no eyebrows or eyelashes. The biggest problem with using make-up to create eyebrows and eyelashes is when it’s time to go swimming. In my younger years, I avoided swimming altogether as much as I could, and if I absolutely had to go, I wouldn’t put my head under the water. It’s sad, because I loved swimming and I was a very good swimmer.

I don’t mean to complain about being a White person. I know there is privilege that comes along with being White and I know there are some things I will never have to worry about. The cops are not likely to pull over Casper the Friendly Ghost unless they have a legitimate reason, like Casper is speeding or has expired license plates. Casper will never have to worry about being followed around Walmart because employees think he’s going to steal, especially in the paper aisle because he blends right in. Casper will never have to question did I or didn’t I get the job because I’m pasty. But, and this cannot be disputed, Casper will never have a tan.

Photo Sources:

Casper. Mad Cartoon Network Wiki. <maditsmadfunny.wikia.com/wiki.com/wiki/File:Casper_the_Friendly_Ghost.jpg> December 1, 2017.

Jennie Garth. Pinterest. <https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/799037158860161748/December 1, 2017.

Karl from Die Hard. Internet, Movies, Firearms Data Base. <http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Die_Hard> December 1, 2017.

Madonna. Metro. <http://metro.co.uk/2015/02/25/madonna-to-appear-at-the-brits-18-things-every-80s-girl-learnt-from-the-material-girl-5053907/> December 1, 2017

QT. kookykitsch.com. <https://kookykitsch.com/index.php/beauty-cosmetics/vintage-coppertone-qt-quick-tanning-sun-tan-lotion-spf-2-1992-paba-free-kitschy-detail>December 1, 2017. 

Americans: Join the Beaver Nation

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Since I’ve recently joined the Twitter-sphere, I’ve been reading a lot of tweets. A lot. The vast majority are tweets by Donald Trump or complaining about Donald Trump. You may be wondering why I’m following Donald Trump as a person who also complains and dislikes him. Well, I’m happy to solve that mystery for you. You see, when I started my Twitter account it automatically sets up a list of suggestions of people to follow. There was at least one hundred of them. I started scrolling through the list, and then I just said, F this, and clicked on the option to follow them all. Donald Trump just happened to be on that list. When his first tweet popped up, I thought about unfollowing him, but then I thought about all of the stupid shit he says. So I just kept following him as a form of sick, self-inflicted, torture/entertainment for myself. It’s kind of like how some people like to watch horror movies or read Stephen King novels. You know you’re going to be scared out of your wits but it’s also going to be a wild ride. The only sad part about Trump’s presidency is that unlike a movie or a book which lasts for a few hours or the duration of your reading pace, this ride is going to last 4-8 years. Hopefully, only 4. But the damage will reverberate for many years after his term(s).

As a Canadian, I’m sitting in my comfy, warm apartment in the North, watching the car wreck that is the Donald Trump presidency and reading the tweets by Americans who are now living in a massive Trump hotel being managed by incompetency, much like his Trump Tower in Toronto:

November 2012: “Glass falls from Trump Tower during construction

March 2012: “The swanky new Trump Tower is already falling apart

October 2015: “Cracked window on Trump tower closes nearby streets

November 2015: “Trending: Trump Hotel and Tower No. 1 ranking overlooks falling glass

March 2015: “Pane of glass fell from Trump Tower due to mechanical failure

September 2016: “Falling glass shut down Bay St. for second day in a row

May 2017: “Glass falls from Trump Tower after swing stage crashes into window

There are many more news articles about the crappy Trump Tower in Toronto and its shattering windows, but I don’t want to use up my entire post on copying and pasting links to articles. The Toronto Trump tower was built in 2009 and has been a shit show ever since. And now Trump is trying to sell it and have his name removed from the Tower. I’ve come to the conclusion based on this and his other ventures: Trump University, Trump Steak Knives, Trump Magazine, to name a few, that everything Trump puts his name on is poop.

US flag
Trump is making America poopy.

I know there are many open-minded, highly educated, skilled, and anti-Trump Americans who are unhappy in Trump’s America. So I want to invite all of you to the second-greatest country on Earth (arguably). We’re literally on top of you. Look up, way up and you’ll see us. Canada. 10 provinces, 3 territories. Much easier to remember than 50 states. Bring your education and skills to the true North, strong and free. Help make Canada the greatest country on Earth. Come to Canada and become American-Canadians.

Now, I know what you may be thinking. That’s going to be tough. I can’t just up and leave my home country and make a new start in Canada. Plus it’s cold up there. Well, not so much. We’re just across the border from New England, large cities such as Detroit and Buffalo. Our climates are pretty similar to the Northern United States. In fact, today (November 26) in my small Maritime town, the temperature is 33 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s above the freezing mark. In Boston, it’s 37 F today. It’s not much of a difference. You will have to get used to Celsius, but that’s what phone apps are for.

Also, your money is worth so much more here. You can sell your expensive home in the USA and buy a waterfront property. Where in America can you buy a home like the one pictured here? This house overlooks a river and costs only $479,900.00 Canadian which using today’s exchange rate equates to $374,521.02 US. I challenge you to find a house as nice as the one in the inset below with a view of the water in the United States. (If you’re interested in seeing more of this beautiful waterfront home, please check out Kijiji.

house
This house has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a beautiful view of the Saint John River

There are tons of beautiful, cheap houses in Canada as long as you’re not moving to Greater Toronto or Vancouver. Other than that, prices are reasonable. You can live the high life here! So I say to all you Americans who hate Trump, sell your homes, liquidate your assets into cash, use your passport to get into Canada and make like the Draft Dodgers during the Vietnam War. Cross the border and just stay. Really, you’ll blend in. There’s not much difference between Americans and Canadians other than the fact that Canadians have the Queen of England as our head of State* and that we’re really, really polite. And if you sneak in, you don’t even have to pledge allegiance to the Queen. Take all your money, sneak on up, buy a home and stay awhile. In Canada, we welcome all walks of life! Even Americans!**

Queen_Elizabeth_II_March_2015
The Queen is too busy doing stuff in England to come over to Canada just to sign bills into law.

*The monarch of England is officially Canada’s Head of State, but it’s a ceremonial role only. All she does is sign bills into law. But the Queen of England is pretty busy doing Queen-type stuff in England, like signing their bills, waving, and chilling in her palace(s) so she has a representative called the “Governor-General” in Canada who signs the bills for her. The prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is only the prime minister because he is the leader of the party with the majority of seats in Parliament (like your House of Representatives.) He is not elected directly by the people and if his party, the Liberals, collectively decided he was a douche-bag, they’d just choose another person as their leader, and she would be the prime minister. But don’t worry, Americans, you don’t really need to know this. Most Canadians don’t know this either.

**Don’t be offended here. I’m just joking around. I’m sorry. Really, really sorry.***

***Yes, Canadians actually do apologize a lot. If you move here, you’ll have to get used to that. Sorry.

All images have been borrowed from Wikipedia.org. Thanks Wiki!

It’s Christmas Time in Saint John, NB; A Time for Parades & ADHD

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With Remembrance Day & Veteran’s Day, or whatever day in November you call it in your respective countries (if you even have such a day?) over, the Christmas season is now upon us (for those of us who partake.) Of course, the stores were bringing out the Christmas doodads even before Halloween was upon us. So even if Christmas is not a holiday you celebrate in my neck of the woods, your participation is forced upon you. Here, all of the stores will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. In Canada, we celebrate Boxing Day, which growing up, I always thought was a day set aside for literally boxing up the presents received at Christmas and boxing up all the decorations. What I later learned is that it is actually a tradition brought over to Canada by British colonists and that it was a day off for servants of the wealthy Brits since the servants had to work on Christmas. (So basically all the wealthy Brits were Scrooges; the movie versions of A Christmas Carol got it all wrong.) In any case, with the advent of Christmas, most communities in Canada have a parade to officially kick off the season.

Growing up, I had never been to a Christmas parade. I told my husband that, and he was shocked. We watched them on TV, but we never actually attended. For two reasons, I believe: one was my father and the other was my mother. My dad would never take us because he’d have to find parking and it would be crowded. We rarely went to any parades or fireworks or any other thing of that sort because of my dad and parking and crowds. Also, probably because he’d be too far away from the Home Bowl. And if we were so lucky to attend an event that involved parking and crowds, we never got to stay for the whole event, because my father would rush us out early to “beat the crowd.” He also hates traffic. My mother, who usually would be into going to such events, was never arsed to go to the Christmas parade, I think, because she hate, hate, hates the cold. And in Canada, if you haven’t heard, it can get pretty cold.

Last night, I attended the third Christmas parade I have ever attended in my life. The first one, I went to with my mom a few years ago in the small town my husband and I moved to (it was a mild evening) and the second one, I went to last year with my husband in the same small town. Small town parades are just that: SMALL. But I’d never been to one, so I was pretty stoked about both of them. I was excited last night to attend the 65th annual Saint John Santa Claus Parade. Saint John, New Brunswick is a small city, but it is, after all a city.

On the way to the parade, I decided to check my phone for messages. You see I was texting with the Blog Broad, and earlier in the day, I had offered to take her dog, Lucy, for a walk. Here is how our conversation went yesterday afternoon before the parade.

Me:  You up for me stopping by and dognapping Lucy? I think I’ll take her for a walk on the Harbour trail. 1:53 pm

Blog Broad: Sure 🙂 2:00 pm

Blog Broad: When are you coming by? Probably gotta lay down in a bit. 2:24 pm

Blog Broad: I really gotta lay down… feeling poopy. 2:54 pm

Blog Broad: Sorry Buddy… just miserable. I’ll msg you when I get up..:) 3:17 pm

Me: I’m sorry. I got impatient and put up outside lights. 4:32 pm

The Christmas parade or Santa Claus parade, or whatever you want to call it, started at 6:00 pm on the other side of town. C (my husband) and I took down the camping chairs and were viewing the parade at its ending point. I insisted we go early to get good seats. I wanted to be there at 6:00 pm but C said we should wait until 7:00 pm. We compromised and set up our chairs around 6:40 pm. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. I did what I always do when there is nothing to stimulate my mind. I checked my phone. The Blog Broad had sent me another message…it was a screen shot of the first two lines of our original conversation and the times. I offered to dog sit at 1:53 pm. She replied, “Sure” at 2:00 pm. Her comment was: “This is how I know for a fact you have ADHD. 7 mins lol you got bored in 7 minutes lmfao” with an emoji smiley guy laughing his fucking ass off.

So…I’m laughing at myself, because she’s right. Who gets impatient waiting for a response in 7 minutes??? ME! That’s who. Then the parade starts.

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The first float was for the Food Bank and C and I felt horrible, because we didn’t know they’d be collecting donations of food. (Especially since we have plenty- do food banks take expired food?)

Around 6:50 pm, the first float finally came. At long last. Those 10 minutes of waiting felt like an eternity.  And then… nothing.

At 7:11 pm, I said to C, “If another float doesn’t come down here by 7:15 pm, let’s just leave.” I waited for what felt like eons. Looked at my phone for the time. Still 7:11 pm. Ugh!

Finally, at 7:15, the rest of the parade catches up. We stayed for about 8 floats in total and left super early. Not because it wasn’t good, or even that I was bored. Rather, we left because I wanted to: it was crowded; I didn’t want us to be stuck in traffic; but mostly, we left because I was totally fucking FROZEN!!!

Here are some pictures and videos of what I did see of the parade:

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Another collector truck for the Food Bank.
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Snow man in a truck. Buy a Chev. (I wouldn’t, but that’s just me.)

I know it’s a bit early, but the Christmas decorations have been for sale since August, so maybe it’s late… to all of my readers & followers, I wish you a Happy Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Milad un Nabi, and a Merry Christmas. Let’s just say HAPPY HOLIDAYS! That way if I missed you, then everyone is covered.

Peace!

OH

 


TRASH OR TREASURE in the Lost and Never-Found Basement- Enter my contest today!

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I decided that from now on, whenever I do laundry, I will focus in on a few of the items I have discovered in the Lost and Never-Found Basement and take photos of them. If you want more information on the Lost and Never-Found Basement, please refer to my original post: Hoarders: The Secrets that Hide Beneath

Please enjoy my finds and enter my contest. Simply comment on this post; share with me what items you would trash or treasure; and explain why they are trash or treasure. I will decide on my favorite post based on which response gives me the greatest belly laugh. The lucky winner will win a fabulous box of rubber bands, pictured above. Use them to tie up your hair; to roll up posters; to keep various items, like pens and pencils,  together; to keep your chips from going stale; or simply use them as entertainment. Imagine the fun you can have aiming these elastic bands across the room at your spouse, child, grammy, or [insert a person who annoys you here] and getting them right in the face! The Trash or Treasure Contest is sponsored by the show Hoarders. Enter today!

Fine print: Contest rules may vary according to my mood. No affiliation with the makers of elastic bands. Entries with more than 3 spelling, punctuation and/or grammatical errors will be disqualified (Yes, I AM an English teacher.) Warning: elastic bands may have been made in China or some other place known for using cancerous chemicals; also, the elastic bands may contain traces of dust, mold, spiders, bugs and other critters known for hanging out in dank, dark, moist and cool areas. Some of the rubber bands may be broken or too old to be stretchy anymore. Contest closes whenever I feel like it. More details to follow on the close date.

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YUMMY! Custard, anyone? There’s no expiry date on it, so it must still be good, right?
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Awww…the old days of electric typewriters. Did anyone else take Typing in High School? Typing, the class, I mean. I purposely capitalized it because it was the course title. I must say, it was the most useful class I ever took, even though it wasn’t “university preparatory,” it served me well for writing university essays and for the writing I’m doing at this very moment.
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Old carpet. You know, because when you tear up old carpet and put in new carpet, you should always keep that old carpet. I mean, you just NEVER know when you might need to use that old carpet again.
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On Vinyl… in fact, there are tons of record albums down there.

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You never know when you’ll need an elastic. I’m glad someone had the foresight to put them all together in a box. It’s too bad they will never be found if they’re ever needed, but some lucky OhWordsBlog reader is going to win this WHOLE box of rubber bands! It could be YOU! Remember to comment on this post with your trash or treasure pick and all this could be YOURS!