Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Other F Word

Eric and I watched a documentary the other night called "The Other F Word", and it's about old punkers we grew up listening to who are now Fathers (spoiler alert, that's the other F word).  It was genuinely endearing and I would highly recommend a watching.  But in an interview with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers he made a comment (which also made him cry, d'aw) that kind of blew my mind (it doesn't take much, seriously).  He said (and I'm ad libbing as I'm doing it from memory), 'There's a saying that parents often yell at/to their children along the lines of "I gave you life...blah, blah, blah".  But I feel quite the opposite.  My kids gave me life.  Without them I am nothing.'  Whoa.  Who knew Flea was such a softy? 

Seriously though, I'm notorious for preaching to people the importance of picking your battles, thus treating your kids the way you, yourself, want and expect to be treated.  I think it's easier to tear a child down than to build them up.  And as humans we tend to resort to the easiest route.  I'm doing my damnedest to try to build my kids up.  Sometimes at the chagrin of other adults around me, but whatever, they're my kids and I need to be able to sleep at night knowing I've treated them well.  Don't get me wrong if they need a proper tearing down, I'll be the first one leading the troops in to do just that.  I just think sometimes parents take their kids for granted and that makes me sad.  So it was super nice to hear Flea sum up his feelings the way he did.  I feel the same.  My kids are my everything even if they don't always believe it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Favourite Word

The word F*CK.  It's a pretty harsh word but a total reality in today's day and age.  I've read many excerps on where the word originated or came from, but frankly I don't really give a f*ck (ha, see what I did there?).  It's astonishing to me how one word is so mainstream yet we are so careful not to say it around people we don't really know.  They probably say it as much as I do, so why not embrace it together.  We should make a conscious decision to tear those taboo walls down and use it as a way to unite people.

I don't understand why people are so insulted by it.  It's not derogatory or racist or insulting.  It doesn't make me want to cry or feel poorly about myself.  It's a strong word, it helps to accentuate what I'm saying or feeling be it positive or negative.  It's really such a great word.  Stop being uptight.  If you don't use it, try it on for size one day, especially when you are angry or mad or you've just hurt yourself.  It really does make you feel better.  Embrace it.  Allow the word to unite you with others of similar mind set.  God won't deny you entry into heaven if you use it, I promise.  And it will help you enjoy the little things in life while you're here. 

Just a thought....(but if this does insult you, don't one takes my thoughts too seriously anyway.) 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Twisted Memories

It was 1993.  Ya, I'm pretty sure it was early September and we were rich with OSAP money in our pockets.  The bills were hot and holes were being burned in our pockets.  Two weeks into school (maybe) and we had already skipped out on the day to venture downtown Toronto to Queen St. to participate in an episode of Breakfast Television and partake in some shopping and body modification. 

Three new roommates - One girl, two guys.  Two best friends, two strangers and two friends (all sorts of combinations).  Sounds like the plot line for a movie or something like that, it was just missing a love triangle.  An hour and half long bus ride to the centre of Toronto with tickets to the filming of a tv show in our hands. 

We spent the morning at Much Music and even got to participate actively in the show.  I got to compete in a bacon throwing contest (no recollection if I won or not but I did win passes to see a Kevin Bacon/Meryl Steep movie - I never went and still haven't seen the movie.  If I remember though it was the one where they go white water rafting or something.).  Andrew (or me asking Andrew's questions, I can't remember) got to ask a question of the relationship experts.   And I feel like there was one other thing that we were on camera for...maybe my birthday (Dave?  Some insight if you're reading this.).  I'd go back and watch the tape but it burned in a house fire I had in 2000.   

Following the taping we ventured out for some retail therapy and spent way too much of our school money on shit we didn't really need.  I bought a dress that was way too overpriced and not worth the 200+ dollars I spent on it.  Dave probably bought porn.  And Andrew bought a really expensive Twisted Sister vinyl record for 90 some odd dollars.  Ridiculous.  While I know we bought more crap, what I remember the most about that day is that we had fun and we laughed (mostly at Dave's expense - whistling and ogling over some long haired girl across the street who happened to be a dude will do that).

The other day I received a lovely surprise -  Andrew's mom and twin sister show up at my work bearing gifts.  Two types of gifts in fact.  One type was a gift from them simply because when they saw it they immediately thought of me (those are probably my favourite types of gifts... but not this time.  This time they brought me something else I shall covet even more.) They got me a tin wall hanging with Marilyn Monroe on it and a purse/bag with Marilyn on it (I think I'll store my make up in it).  The other gift was something of Andrew's for me to keep.  I was hesitant to go through the bag because I wasn't sure what kind of emotions would surface but it's almost like when I walk through the doors of my work, I'm able to pull my emotions together for the most part.  Andrew's mom keeps telling me to come by her place and we'll go through his things but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it.  Inside that bag though, sat a brightly coloured vinyl record with a larger than life image of Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister on it.  And immediately my thoughts went back to that day in September in 1993. 

I'm honoured that she has entrusted me with it. I know it's silly and it's only a stinking record, but it was his and he bought it when we were together so it's more than just a record to me.  I'm going to display it in my house even though there is nothing here that compliments Dee Snyder/Twisted Sister.  I love it and I'm so glad to have it. 

Isn't it so hideous and glorious all mixed up into one?!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Random Morning Thoughts

I had a dream.  I know that's a pretty standard statement right?  I don't even remember what the dream was about.  But I do remember laying in bed with my eyes closed fighting against time, pretending and trying to fool myself into thinking if I don't open my eyes I won't have to get up and start my day, just yet anyway.  And during that illusion of granduer I had a random (or maybe not so random as I can't remember the context of the dream) thought about babies and what they must feel like or rather think when they cry for the very first time. 

I mean, everything is muffled in the womb so aside from the harsh brightness of the florescent lights in their face when they are born, what must they think when they hear their own cries for the first time?  Is it scary to them?  Cause it's pretty loud in our own heads when we speak out loud and we're used to those sounds.  Does it hurt them?  I mean loud noises hurt my head from time to time.  Is it startling to them and thus causes them to keep crying making it worse on themselves? 

And then I thought about the defeaning sound of silence and how great it would be to be locked in a sound proof room (but only for a little while because if I was stuck in there for too long, I'd probably go crazy).  Do you think you'd actually be able to hear the blood flow through your circulatory system particularly in your head and ears?  What does silence really sound like?? 

I should probably start taking recreational drugs if these are the thoughts I have sober.  I think I'd be easily entertained. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Day at the Range

I've honestly never had much of an opinion on guns and all the negative social stigmas of them or the positive attributes either.  I never grew up around them nor was I close to anyone who was a staunch believer of either argument regarding the right to bare arms.  I don't have one in my house and I doubt I ever will (I guess that's an invitation to anyone to safely break into my home), but I don't really believe that guns are the root of all evil (kind of like Pit Bulls and their bad owners argument if you will).  I allowed my children to play with toy guns (much to my mother's chagrin) and I even play Call of Duty with them.  I'll admit, I thoroughly enjoy shooting Nazi Zombies in the head (I'm quite good at the head shots, I tell ya!).  All that being said it never crossed my mind that I might enjoy shooting a real gun.  I might really like the heavy weight of the cool metal in my hand (as opposed to the curved plastic of a PS3 controller) and the power of the recoil as I put pressure on the trigger...

But, about a year ago my sister in law, Anita tweaked my curiosity when she spent an open evening at the gun range shooting at targets.  Now that the possibility and idea had been presented to me, in a round about way, I was intrigued.  So, I looked quite seriously into doing it with Eric and my boys, but there were two strikes against me;  no one under 14 was permitted to shoot a gun and Eric got switched to afternoons and then midnights.  I was in the process of trying to sort out how to take Gage and not Roan when Eric's shifts went all wonky so the problem was somewhat solved.  We wouldn't be going. 

Fast forward to the end of November this past year and me opening my email to find a Groupon sitting there that finally caught my eye.  A $100 lesson/gun shooting package for 40 bucks at Silverdale Gun Club!  I immediately sought out more information and found out that Roan would be allowed to shoot the guns provided an adult was with him.  So I bought 4 packages for Christmas gifts and immediately booked it so we wouldn't be waiting too long to get out to the range.

The day arrived following a blustery, cold week and both Eric and Gage woke up with flu-like symptoms.  Grrrr-ate!  So bitchy Holly kicked into high gear and forced those two Donald-downers into winter clothes, then the van and drugged them each enough to put a goddamn smile on their faces for a few hours.  I was hoping the guns in hand would help them forget their woe's.

I've never held a real gun in my hand let alone a loaded gun that I was going to actually fire.  I'm going to admit, it was pretty empowering.  Included in the package was 200 rounds of ammunition each and the opportunity to shoot a couple 22 caliber Smith &Wessons, a 9mm Glock and a rifle.  Thankfully with the sun out, the day didn't seem so cold.  I had a blast (pun kind of intended, and so did all three of the boys!).

I know there's a lot of controversy around guns and exposing them to kids and what not, but that's not what this post is about.  The idea behind this day was about doing something we've never done before as a family unit and most importantly, something the boys would WANT to do.  The instructor was awesome.  He was personable, extremely knowledged and strict when it came to gun safety and both boys followed his instructions to a tee.  We all had a really good time together and we created memories with each other, so please save the lectures about guns and kids.  We really enjoyed ourselves and took lots of video and pictures.  All of the staff we encountered that day were really friendly and helpful and they let the boys keeps some shells and our targets at the end of the day. 

Roan was intimidated by the Glock 9 mm because of it's strong 'recoil' but I think it was a fan favourite for the rest of us.  Roan loved shooting the rifle with the scope.  I think if we had allowed him he would have only shot that particular gun over and over.  At the end of the day, Roan had completely decimated the bulls eye of his target from the sniper rifle.  There wasn't a piece of paper left in it.  The rest of us laid a beating on the centre circle of our own targets as well. 

This was definitely something all four of us would like to do again and it was well worth braving the cold day and looking past stomach and head aches for a couple of hours.  Despite the bitter temperatures the memories leave a warm spot in my heart.  I know it's silly as they were guns, but the smiles on all our faces were priceless and my kids will always remember doing something they think is cool, like shooting guns, with us (innocently). 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Does this T-shirt Art Make Me Look Fat?

I crafted again!  I know right?  Like whoa.  Crafting Holly has been hibernating for a while, too caught up in the busyness of life as of late.  But this past weekend I felt like I needed to get something accomplished as I was feeling like I was wasting away my time off with absolutely nothing productive.  So I forced myself to make a craft with components I already had on hand.

Side note:  On a daily basis I struggle to find room in Eric's dresser drawers to put his clean clothes away because he has a kajillion t-shirts.  No lie.  He doesn't wear half of them but god forbid he be forced to throw them out or donate them to charity.  I found success a month or so ago and he was able to pull out FOUR shirts.  Yeah, my eyes are rolling.  Huge impact there.  The only reason he was able to come up with four shirts to part with was because I promised to make a craft out of them so he could still see them, touch them, look at them, and love them in all of their nostalgia. 

So t-shirt craft commenced this weekend.  I made wall art out of his t-shirts.  I used a couple of embroidery hoops for two of them.  And some Dollar Store art canvases (only because I was not inclined to build my own wooden frames) for the other two.  I think it should be considered pretty self explanatory on how I got to the end product so I'll save the step by step instructions.  Consider this easy enough to be a first crafting attempt if you should choose to venture down this road.  But keep in mind you will need a staple gun.  Those are all the components necessary to find success in this project.  I promise. 

So he seemed to like the end result.  I will admit I was a tad nervous slicing up his beloved torso-wear because until it's done, there is always the off chance that I might have just ruined the shirts.  But I don't know why I second guess myself.  Now we just need to find a suitable wall to hang them on.  I suppose the shed just won't do. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Virtual Valentines

If you're a fan of Arrested Development you'll love these cards I stumbled across on Marisa Seguin's blog that she designed for Valentines Day.  So for the week leading up to Valentine's Day I posted one on Eric's Facebook page daily.  Here are quick snaps of the cards I posted leading up to the actual day holding back one in particular I planned to post on the actual VD. 

So not to be outdone Eric created his own virtual card for me using a couple stock photos he found online and a lovely poem he penned himself.   He's quite talented I will say.  And based on his blog post it turned out to be more difficult than he had imagined. 

So after swooning over those charming words of love I followed up with the final card:

His response, internet world?  "No fucking way."  So we shall continue to live on in sin.  I'm a lucky girl - dodged a bullet there!! 

Happy Valentines Day everyone (for what it's worth).  Love yourself first and then those around you. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Me and Margie T.

"We have to be able to grow up.  Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be."  - Lauren Hutton

When I was 15 years old, I had the luck of meeting an amazing human being, and 23 years later I am still honoured to call her my friend.  A best friend.  She's not amazing to the masses - she's not famous or anything deemed by society to be awesome, but to those who know her, she's pretty rad.  I have so many memories that include her through the years, both good and bad.  But even during the not so great memories, she was a shining pillar in the darkness. 

She has shared in my triumphs, both loudly and stoically cheering me on.  She has tolerated my absences and whether she agreed or not she accepted my excuses.  She has cried with me during devastating losses and sometimes she just silently held me while I cried.   She has laughed hysterically with me, often at other people's expenses but sometimes even at our own.  She's stood up for me when other's have brought me down.   She knows me inside and out even if we don't spend nearly enough time together.  She still gets me after all these years.   We have done just about everything with each other at some point in time.  And I am eternally grateful that I have been able to share two centuries decades (Oops, thanks Tanya) of my life with her. 

So the very best wishes to my girl Margie on her birthday.  I know we'll share and experience so much more in our lives together and I'm so grateful to be able to call you my friend.  I hope only the best things come your way and I look forward to the days when we are both old, grey and wrinkled. 

Love you to the moon and back!  Someday when the pages of my life end, I know that you will be one of the greatest chapters.