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Crumpling The Cable Bill

Month by month, the major leading cable companies increase their prices, promo and additional fees. I would say majority of people with a cable setup have a bundle with internet or phone service, or both. However, with landlines phasing out, and a larger variety of home internet providers and options – many are choosing to cut their cable services. This is with no surprise, but as more people leave these businesses, they seem to be putting their rates up for the customers that are staying, and how is that fair? If you have a quality cable provider, you can do things at your leisure like pause Hockey Night in Canada, without having to worry about missing any game play. You can record the latest episode of Seeking Sister Wife and watch it before bed. You can access digital or satellite music stations, and unique children’s and fitness apps. These are all excellent features of cable, and there’s more, but it has become a turn off to many as the cable costs continue to rise. If you are one of those people on the fence of deciding whether or not to cancel your service, it would be good to explore the alternative options you have.

There are numerous ways to illegally stream movies, and your favourite television programming, and these sometimes work very well, but only for a short time. Illegal streaming is great as a solution when you have no other source, however sometimes streams can be spotty, or freeze, or may not even contain the entire program. These are the risks you take with illegal downloads and streaming, as quality may not always be there.

First thing you’ll want to invest in is an HD antenna or two – these can be found from your local Wal-mart, electronics store or Amazon. They range from a modest $25 to hundreds, but honestly they all seem to work the same, with the same goal in mind: to access your local channels, with a clear, digital picture. That said, I wouldn’t spent a fortune on one of these things if I were you. You will only be able to get 2-6 channels probably but keep in mind it is better than nothing and view this as your “essentials” solution. “Essentials” meaning you’ll be able to access the local news, programming and weather – and this is especially good for someone that prefers to keep up to date with current events.

Next, if you have a tablet, or laptop – figure out how you can tap into the convenience of various network’s on-demand and online streaming. CTV and ABC are two networks that offer this, and I’m sure many others do as well. So this means, give it a day or two and you can view the latest episode of This is Us online!

The next thing is… Netflix. Many people hate on Netflix, and I wish they wouldn’t! To be honest, Netflix is clear and concise to use, offers a variety of languages and impaired hearing programming, and has become compatible with just about any smart device. While I will agree there is a huge difference between U.K, Canadian and American Netflix, I certainly don’t believe this is a reason to bash Netflix. Netflix offers both TV series and movies, for young children, youth and adults. Netflix also has its own original programming, you can browse through these movies and series, claimed as Netflix Originals. Netflix originals have been edgy, attractive and entertaining ever since their beginning of time, and the Netflix original Birdbox not only starred the stunning Sandra Bullock, but also became a viral social media conversation, and went on to win 2 awards, and numerous nominations. Stay tuned for my piece on Netflix recommendations, coming soon!

Lastly, maybe it would be a good time to go back in time, or get a little old-fashioned. Do your children even know what a VCR is? Perhaps, find one and introduce them to it; a great place to find VCR and VHS tapes is your local thrift shop. Utilize the box sets of TV shows you have, perhaps you are one of those people that have all the DVD sets of Little House on the Prairie, or The Waltons sitting around, well dig them out, and get watching them. If you are canceling your cable services, there is no reason why you can’t utilize all those dusty VHS and DVD tapes you have sitting around. You never know, it could be more fun than you imagine or bring back fond memories!

If you are having problems justifying or validating your decision to cut your cable, look at your savings if you were to do it. Let’s say you save even a hundred dollars – a hundred dollars could be a husband and wife’s date night, or a hundred dollars could be stashed away, and quickly add up for your dream vacation. You never know, eh?

A Corrie Discussion

It’s clear there are numerous topics within the media and news we can chat about, and while that is intriguing, let’s not. For all my Corrie fans out there, let’s talk about some of the latest happenings of (the non-U.K airings of) our favourite street!

Roy and Carla Drama

We all know that Roy Cropper and Carla have a very close, special relationship, especially thereafter the passing of his late wife, Hayley. That said, when Carla discovered Roy was technically the cause of the fire through the CCTV, it would only be natural she try to protect him. How do you feel about Carla’s decision to withhold the information from Roy? And are you shocked Peter came around to believing this scenario? Roy was sleep walking at the time when he went to go rest by the boat, and unaware of his surroundings. As he went to go leave, he knocked over the lantern that those unruly teenagers did not ensure was out. They left, and the lantern still had a bit of life, and Simon Barlow remained inside the lower deck of the boat. When Roy got up to wander back home, he knocked it over, thus creating a spark and flame, and leading to the boat being encased in fire, with Simon in it. Simon was unaware and listening to music via ear buds, and Roy was unaware as he was sleep walking and has no recollection of this. Peter Barlow, the owner of this boat and father of Simon, has been seeing Abby, after she is now out of prison, both she and Sally are no longer locked up. Ironically, the boat was a gift from his ex, Carla, that of whom is still hung up on him. Many were leaning towards blaming Carla for the fire due to her evident jealously as Abby and Peter were getting along well. They were well until their recent disagreements and rows, when Peter has insinuated/stated Abby meant nothing to him. Then shortly after, the fire happened, and Abby was blamed, many assuming she was behind it.

What if this or that happened?

Do we think Carla’s decision to erase the CCTV was done out of a stress response like she says? Or, do we think it was to pin the fire as an arson, with Abby to blame? Or did she do it solely to protect Roy? While I understand the motive to protect Roy, I do think it was a bit pig-headed to delete the only true evidence, as there were no by-standers and witnesses. Peter Barlow asked her if she would have done the same, had Simon not survived. What do we think? I’d like to think the whole situation would have been handled differently had Simon Barlow died. However, it may have not been, and she may have gone to further extremes to protect Roy, since she cares so much about him. If the fire had been worse, and destroyed Underworld, how do you think this would have played out? Underworld is in immediate need of a new roof, however the factory itself was not destroyed by the fire, neither was The Cabin – and I had a moment where I thought these both might be destroyed. 

Roy’s Guilt

Roy’s recent loss of his mother, and having to handle her affairs and sort her personal belongings has taken a toll on him, as it would anyone. This has prevented him from sleeping well, and it may have possibly induced sleep walking, in addition to the insomnia. I think the guilt that Roy feels, and feels the need to tell others and be reprehended for his actions – I think it stems from embarrassment. I do believe deep down he is concerned about his sleeping troubles even though he won’t seek help. Do you think Roy should seek help? If so, should Toyah be the one to assist him? I’m slightly concerned that Roy may be loosing his marbles! Anyone else think so? His forgetfulness and confusion may not all be from a lack of rest and sleep, it may be something much greater. 

There’s something about Mary!

We all know that Mary Cole from the flower shop is a rather eccentric lady! Some of you probably could not put up with Mary on a daily basis, it sure would test me, but I think I could! She’s very sweet and full of personality and missing her grandson at the moment; helping out with Ruby has been a way to not only distract her, but also serve a purpose with her maternal skills. She has been cleaning the home of Tyrone and Ruby, and preparing them delicious meals, picking up Ruby from school – carrying out all these duties that she once enjoyed doing so for George. Was it wrong of Tyrone to jump to conclusions that Mary was attracted to him, and that’s why she was doing all these things? It is no surprise that Tyrone’s mind would go there, like many men – Tyrone seems to think this of many people, and has acted on it many times, sleeping with many. Don’t get me wrong, Tyrone is a nice, hard working, fine-looking chap – but his words to Mary were:

“I like you…but just as a friend”

Perhaps Tyrone is a bit too full of himself, thinking every other woman would be fancying him. Mary’s words to him were:

“You arrogant ape! I was merely carrying out my great duties of home and childcare.”

Well, I think Mary said it best.

Bethany Platt Comforting Amy

I don’t have too much to say about this except: Does anyone else find it odd that Bethany Platt would be offering to go to the abortion clinic or comfort Amy Barlow at this time? Does anyone not remember many moons ago when Sarah-Lou was in Amy’s position? She didn’t abort Bethany, and since her and Bethany have certainly had their ups and downs, but Bethany is here, and remains a part of the Platt family. On a side note, what do we all think of Steve and Tracy’s parenting skills? Amy has really become one of those teenagers that can pull one over on her parents, and manipulate them in almost any direction. It’s a shame, because in real life, there are many teens that are puppet masters on the daily. 

Well, that’s all for now, continue watching Corrie, and please continue to follow my posts, thanks for reading, and give your strong Corrie opinions in the comment section!

As a Woman

As a woman

I try to encourage, support

and learn from

other women

Women of power, prestige

Women of colour, success

Women with attitude, gusto

and guts

to stick it to a world that has

oppressed women, made us lesser than

a species so different than our own

 

As a woman

I try to enlighten myself

build and share confidence

with other women

so they too can pass it on

to women that work

women of trades

women with any sort of formal education

women who mother with all their might

and stay up all night

doing all this

in proof that

a woman can.

 

As a woman

I teach young girls

on a daily basis

that they are undeniably amazing

and they can

play sports

musical instruments

run track

and whatever their

beating hearts desire

for they are girls

becoming

exceptional

young women

of our very own world

 

As a woman,

I take time for myself

I remind myself of

the remarkable

creation of God

that I am

I smile at what I do

and all I have achieved

I am proud to be

a woman

a sister

godmother

and daughter

that believes in myself

and all I know

and I lean on

other remarkable women

for what I don’t know

For their delight

may be mine

and mine theirs

as a woman

Reasons More People Should Believe In Multi-Generational Living

In certain cultures and countries – multi-generational living is a regular practice – compared to North American culture where most families prefer to stand divided. While there are certainly ups and downs to shared living – there are many perks that come along with it. There are blessings in disguise that many are unaware of.

MULTI-GENERATIONAL LIVING BROADENS YOUR PERSPECTIVE

There is a common misconception that if one ventures out and lives on their own, it will make them independent, stronger or teach them things they can’t learn elsewhere. This is what society teaches – that you’re better off on your own. This however, is not always true. Multi-generational living teaches that even through quarrels, we are stronger together. It teaches tolerance and how to have a sense of unity among people who have different opinions, beliefs, habits and practices. And, most importantly, it does teach independence. It teaches the healthy balance of being around people and not, and stirs up a sense of independence that is complimented by a greater support system. Within this support system, there may be an aunt, sister, cousin or grandparent that one feels most comfortable with, and can confide with. Whether it be pregnancy, loss of pregnancy, common interests or illness – there are things in life that will draw certain individuals of this support system together. This is good for mental health, and broadens one’s perspective on relationships, family roles and support systems. 

MULTI-GENERATIONAL LIVING IS A BENEFICIAL LONG-TERM INVESTMENT

If yourself, your family and in-laws decide multi-generational living is right for you – decide together, invest together and do it right with a happy heart and for the right reasons. Consider down-sizing, establish private & common areas, pool money together, have a vision in mind and work hard to keep that vision alive. Consider sustainable options, and designate who will pay what. The initial work and funds to find, build or customize a home may be quite steep – but if you all pool in money together and ‘get handy’, many hands does mean less work. In the end, you will save in many ways and perhaps be able to do other things such as travel more or dine out more often. If more people would consider the concept of this, there would less distant families, impoverishment, and homelessness. Now, I never said its a cure to impoverishment or homelessness, but rather a good preventative measure for those that have family to reach out to. The problem is most wouldn’t.  That mind set needs to change. If a person is dealing day to day with an unexpected pregnancy, illness or job loss or trying to get clean, it should be a societal norm that they can reach out to their aunt, sister or brother (for example). This is because the multi-generational home should be a safe place and melting pot of family, consisting of in-laws, siblings, nephews, etc. It should be a safe place for family that is not limited to parents, grandparents and children.

MULTI-GENERATIONAL LIVING TEACHES THE VALUES OF SHARING AND COMPROMISE

The values of sharing and compromise are very important to the life style of multi-generational living. For example, if you, your siblings and families are investing in a home with four connecting units – you’ll have to negotiate, share and compromise in many areas. Who gets what unit? Should the person with no children get a smaller unit than the rest? Who will your great granny live with? These are just some questions you might have to address in this situation. Other scenarios might have more unique compromises, such as shared washrooms. Who shares with whom? A common living space and kitchen might be something your families want. One person might say they like the idea of a common living space, but they don’t want any pets in it. So, see this would be a compromise: you can have pets, just don’t bring them in the common areas. You might say the same for ‘couple time’, keep the common areas PG/kid friendly and ‘private affairs’ in your private quarters. With all these compromises, there comes a great sense of sharing, that is passed down as an excellent influence on children in the dwelling. It may sound odd to dine at a table of 14 on days that are not holidays. It may seem odd to have a living room three times the size as most, and to share it with so many other people. But these things fall into place and become your own kind of norm. And soon enough, you’ll be looking forward to Friday night movies in the common area, snuggled up with your kids and completely at ease – knowing you’ve done the right thing for them, yourself and every other person in that house.

MULTI-GENERATIONAL LIVING ALLOWS EACH GENERATION TO TEACH EACH-OTHER AND ADD DIVERSITY 

In multi-generational homes, it is common to often have three generations, and if you’re lucky enough, 4 or 5 generations. The way to look at it is, the more generations, the better. This is because with each generation comes life experience, influence and great volumes of diversity. If you are truly blessed to be in the midst of a four generation home with a variety of family members – recognize that this is an ongoing positive influence and teaching opportunity. While you may have veterans, retired doctors or family that came to the country with just a pack on their back, these are valuable attributes but understand the eldest generation in your home is not the only one that can breathe and speak knowledge. Don’t be ignorant with assumption that the oldest generations are the wisest, while the youngest have much to learn. There is an equal need for transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next, whether it be from the eldest to the youngest, or the opposite. The younger generation need to be taught compassion for the older generation and understand they have been shaped and molded as a result of the country and era in which they lived. The older generation need to swallow their pride and show more patience for the generation growing up in a time when technology is growing faster then they are, and hard work is not as ‘hard’ as it use to be. If someone in the household worked her life as nurse through the 1940’s-60’s, it would have been an extremely different experience than someone entering the nursing field now. Not only has the medical technology advanced, the scope of responsibilities have as well. This is not necessarily a good thing or bad thing – but it is an opportunity for a grandmother to discuss with her granddaughter their nursing professions. They can compare procedures and the shifts in roles, and if they truly want to, they can allow it to be a time of seeing into their field – at a different time (period). The opportunity for this insight is one of the many diverse benefits of multiple generations under one roof.

©Leah Finlay, October, 2017 – All rights to Leah Finlay, the blog of thinking out loud, permission required for copying.

How I believe in Woman Liberation

There is nothing better than witnessing women who are working together – and standing by each other for a common purpose. Women today (in 2017) should be liberated in business, marriage, motherhood, medicine and all quarters of our life.  Women should be the fuel for a fire of liberation in all these areas, and cross paths to eliminate division amongst us.

We, as blonde haired, green eyed, nurses, surgeons, teachers and grandmothers need to be building each other up to succeed for all women as a whole. See, as women, we are some of the most wonderous, intelligent and mysterious creatures – that of whom need to build each other up to exemplify and shine our full potential. Many women that have made history have gone un-noticed, climbed hurdles to get where they are, and they’ve had to fight for equality – equality for education, treatment, marital rights, compensation, career progression, etc. These are the exact things that for hundreds of years, we’ve had a backbone of women fighting, attempting to fix a system that places women as weaker, incapable, and poor leaders. This is a working progress, we are still at it. But why do we appreciate the history of women’s rights, and the attempt to be a part of positive change if we can’t appreciate one another? 

Why do women do this? Or say they believe in each other if they hate each other? Why are women jealous and judgemental of each other? Why are women hurting each other in a world that was built up to be better for us?! There is no correct explanation. A woman should not judge another if she wants to stay home with her kids, or chooses not to have children, has a mental illness, is a new Canadian citizen or poorer than her. She should not judge a woman that stays with her cheating husband, gets an abortion, works above her or chooses a different path of faith than her. So, tell me why is it women are so quick to judge her friend based on the pacifier and bottles she gives to her baby. Tell me why she is so quick to trash talk after meeting a couple lesbians or fat girls. Why does she rage with jealousy when meeting her doctor and lawyer friends? Why do they talk down to her? Why do they often exclude her because she has a scarf covering her hair? And why is another woman angry with the woman promoted above her? Why do women do this to eachother?

It doesn’t take a lot to tell another woman how fabulous she is, how beautiful she is or how much you admire her for her strength, perseverance, and success. If we truly want the success of women’s rights and accomplishments heard, continuing to move forward for women world wide – it starts here, and it starts with where you are and the women around you. Divided, we are the female species. United, we are empowered women of the world.

 

©Leah Finlay, October, 2017 – All rights to Leah Finlay, the blog of thinking out loud, permission required for copying.

 

On My Christmas Shelf

You may ask, What is a ‘Christmas Shelf?’ It a basic shelf decked out with lights and Christmas decor. It is filled with Christmas bliss, from music to movies, to pictures – it just screams Christmas.

Upon my own Christmas shelf, I have movies, books and CDs that I like to pay extra close attention to this time of the year. There is a Mickey Mouse figurine ringing Christmas bells, and a giant Christmas penguin. I will share some of the specific films and features I think everyone could benefit from this holiday season! Here on my shelf is:

The Polar Express – Hop aboard a magical ride to the North Pole!

Why I love it:

I find the Polar Express to be a magical whirlwind of a movie – and extremely creepy at the same time! Haha, maybe that’s why I like it. Nonetheless, the animation is tremendous, the hot chocolate song and dance is a great feature. The awkward movements of certain characters make it all the more interesting, and Tom Thanks gives amazing voice and gusto into the conductor character. The newspaper front page is a real newspaper from the 1960’s – I like the fact they’ve aimed to make this movie as real and life-like as much as possible, with added magic!

Chicken Soup for The Soul (Any Christmas Edition) – Features poems, stories and heartwarming tales revolving around Christmas.

Why I love it:

These books give a spark of Christmas cheer at the turn of every page, while bringing the reader tears of joy, feeling of hope, sadness and relief. Stories of illness and faith, poems of Santa’s reindeer, and tales of families reuniting for the holidays – this truly is a reader to warm anyone’s heart for the season. Another great thing is the fact you can chuck it down, and pick it up, and do that again and again – since it’s composed of short stories.

Celtic Thunder Christmas Album – Featuring traditional Christmas songs with a Celtic touch

Why I love it:

Listening to Celtic, Scottish and Irish music makes me think of home- and there is nothing more beautiful sounding. The Christmas mix of this music gets me even more emotional, I dream to see a Celtic Thunder Christmas performance someday. Be sure to give them a listen, and for an enhanced experience, watch some of their live videos via YouTube.

Gremlins – The classic film that made every child desire a Furby!

Why I love it:

This is a Christmas movie I watch multiple times throughout the holiday season. I’ve watched in both English and French numerous times – it is excellent in both languages. I love it for Gizmo is too darn cute! I love the story, and the eccentric inventor father, and how the ‘evil’ gremlins come about! And I love that in the midst of all of that, they’ve managed to tie in Christmas quite beautifully. From the mother decorating ginger bread men, to the talk of depression around the holidays, to the town decorations – there is no doubt it’s Christmastime in this movie!

The Book of Holiday Awesome – A spin off of the original ‘The Book of Awesome’

Why I love it:

This Holiday book is written in the same witty, simple style as the original ‘The Book of Awesome’. I own ‘The Book of Awesome’ as well, and have read it and laughed a great deal – and I am proud to be a reader and supporter of these books, that began from the 1000 awesome things blog. If you are unaware of how the blog began, take a moment to research and find out please. These books are awesome because they show a glimmer of positivity at the turn of each page, in the worse of times. When I sit back and think about how difficult it is for someone to deal with mental illness, and the courage it must have taken to write one positive thing each day – it does me good. So the holiday edition is all this and more, but with a holiday twist!

New Year’s Eve – It’s not often we watch holiday movies that focus more on New Year’s Eve than Christmas!

Why I love it:

This collaboration of a musical, comical and an overall stellar cast is fantastic – it includes, Jessica Biel, Leah Michele, Bon Jovi, Halle Berry, Hillary Swank, and many more! I love this movie because it shows so many deep and personal stories, and then it shows how they are all interconnected. One thing I also love about this movie is the relationship and connection between Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer. They are two people that were destined to stumble upon each other to bring holiday cheer to each other. The journey of these two characters from the time they meet to their dancing scene at the end is beautiful. This is just an example of one phenomenonal connection within this movie, there are endless ones.

There are so many tales, tracks and traditional films for the holidays – dig out the ones you most enjoy, and make your very own Christmas shelf!

 

Merry Christmas to You All! And All The Best for 2017!

 

The 8 weeks of Christmas

I love Christmas, it’s always been a favorite time of year for me …and though some Christmases have been hard or of loss, it’s remained a time of the year I look forward to. And currently speaking, I am full of Christmas spirit! So many things in our world are changing, either to become corrupt or away from tradition – so if Christmas is one last thing I can keep, I am going to do it. And by that I mean, I enjoy little rituals and traditions that happen each year, along with keeping the true meaning of Christmas through it all. And that true reason is Jesus – he IS the reason for the season and whole reason we have Christmas in the first place! Sometimes people need to be reminded of this around Christmas time, to take a moment and pause in what Christmas actually means, and slow down in the rush.

I am guilty of it, but I try not to get caught up in the rush and stress of things – to me, the holidays mean so much more than that! I have seen countless number of people post their tower of gifts they bought for their kids, and I just shake my head. It would be nice if one or two gifts from mom and dad, and two gifts from Santa were enough for today’s children. Today’s children should be taught more than the gift giving and receiving aspect of Christmas. So as I ring in the season, I’ll share with you some ways I find Christmas spirit, and keep it all season long.

While observing Remembrance Day, I begin my holiday season once the first of November arrives. I respect the decision of those who wait until after Remembrance Day, but I personally side with the fact one has nothing to do with the other – and I can remember and respect our Veterans and troops while decorating , or attending a craft show, etc. That being said, this gives a good full 8 weeks of Christmas – and the chance for one and all to be merry all through November and December! And here are some ways we can do this:

1. Attend a Christmas craft show – what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to parade around a Christmas village full of holiday crafts and sweets, surrounded by those who share your merry feeling!

2. Dig out those tunes- I have a little box of Christmas CDs, ranging from highland Christmas music to country – take out your Christmas tunes, and turn them on … and that’ll put you in the spirit!

3. Put on that first Christmas movie – I love this one! Pick one, anyone! And throw on your very first Christmas movie of the season, how exciting! There are so many good ones to choose from, and many available via streaming or on demand – Please keep an eye out for my post regarding Christmas films.

4. Pay it forward – As you find yourself in Christmas cheer – spread that to a stranger by a kind act, after all this is really what Christmas is about. Paying for a stranger’s coffee, or gas bill helps that individual see a glimmer of hope in these cold, hard days. A lot of people struggle through the Winter, or are laid off work – you can never be sure of people’s situations. This is why we shouldn’t judge but love…so pay some Christmas love forward in your neighborhood and city.

5. Visit a thrift store – Walk into your local thrift store and bam! – you will see Christmas threw up in there. It can get a lot of fun looking through it all, all the tacky knick knacks, and perhaps you’ll find another snowman or Santa for your collection. Also, take note this will be the best place to find an ugly Christmas sweater or Vest.

6. Support a local play – Often in late November thru January – there will be numerous holiday plays and live theatres one can attend. While going to the city theatre is a treat, and casts professionals – bear in mind it costs more, and there are other, equally as enjoyable plays. Check out holiday productions of your local schools, churches, dance academies and universities. Attending these plays spreads lots of holiday cheer, and supports local artists/talents – and I love supporting local, where I can! One of the best Christmas productions I saw was of ‘The Nutcracker’ and it was held at a local university!

7. Read, and read some more – There is no better time of the year to cozy up with a blanket and hot chocolate, and read that holiday tale you’ve been dying to dive into. Along with classics like ‘The Christmas Carol’ and ‘The Greatest Gift’ (‘Its a Wonderful Life’), there are modern Christmas stories worth a read, and excellent Harlequin Holiday novels also trending. At this time of the year, it’s also important and should become a practice to read ‘The Christmas Story’. Whether you want to read it directly from the bible, read a story book, or children’s bible version – it is an impacting story that began Christmas, so what better story to share with your kids!

8. Appreciate the outdoors – Let’s face it, most people don’t care for the cold and Winter, other than an odd few, like myself. But it’s not going away – so stare it right in the face! Most importantly, dress warm and in layers, when you think you have enough layers, you don’t! You need to be layered, puffy and Michelin warm. Go for a family walk in late December, to check out the lights – this is super fun and mesmerizing, Christmas lights are so beautiful! Or better yet, go for a walk with a group and carol door to door! This brightens others’ spirit as much as your own. Attend your community tree lighting, and warm up with hot chocolate, watch your local holiday parade. Have Winter bonfires with winter gear on, blankets and hot cider, and a gathering of friends. I know Winter is not a friend to many, but look her right in the face and enjoy it!

So here you have it ya’ll – My 8 lovely tips for the 8 weeks of Christmas. This is a beautiful time of the year, and it only comes once a year….so make it the very best. Be kind to others, find the meaning, expect less and give more and take time for yourself.

What is wrong with the world!!??

Whatever happened to the days that food was real food? And our children could play safely on the streets? Whatever happened to the days where mankind was grateful to live off the land, and executed the meaning of hard work? Whatever happened to the days where families prayed together, ate together and worked together?

I’m looking at the world 16 years post-millennium and….I am disturbed. We are only four years away from 2020, 2 decades after the millennium – and I am concerned about the events to come between now and then.

Both the Holy Bible and Holy Qur’an make statements suggesting when the world has become in a poor state, you should see this, this and this. Both refer to children disowning and disrespecting their elders and parents, along with not being able to identify man from woman. Both also discuss about man’s poor choice in leaders, and how this will lead to our end of time. Theorists would say all of this could escalate up to a world war three, others would argue that we the people  ARE the war. It probably would be hard to debate against this theory – given current events.

Donald Trump, also known as bigot, perverted asshole, is gaining a lot of attention through his presidential campaign. The reactions are both good and bad. Reason being is, though he may be arrogant and unpleasant – he holds power, acts fearless and knows how to be the center of attention, as an accredited business man. With these qualities, he has resources to reach out to a wide variety of people, to get them on his side. I recently went on a date with a business man, who explained to me he looks up to Donald Trump and stated he has a lot of good business motives. I was very disturbed by this. Especially since he is a young, Middle Eastern man, trying to establish a business and deal with aged, ill parents – and he’s going to applaud Donald Trump???

Along with that tidbit right there, I can first and foremost say that Donald Trump has had nothing nice to say about the Middle East. Put it this way: Bell Canada began a campaign to lower the stigma behind mental illness, Donald Trump is campaigning to heighten the stereotypes of the Middle East! He wants everyone to believe that every Middle Easterner can’t be trusted, they are unstable, they are terrorists, and don’t belong in our society.

I have quite a few Middle Eastern acquaintances, and I’ve gone to school with quite a few Middle Easterners. Some have never been to the Middle East, they are as much Canadian as me or the next person! Others have chosen Canada as their home, and they bring with them a warm kindness and the absolute diversity that Canada is known for. Donald Trump has such a hardened heart and is so sure about his shit, that he is trying to manipulate intelligent, young women like myself into hating marginalized groups of people.

He stood at a podium and publicly mocked a news reporter with a disability – that’s disgraceful. Years ago, there were desperate, self-contained institutions for the disabled. Life can be challenging for individuals that are disabled, but I can’t imagine the greater challenge and depression that came from being shoved in a room, not tested to one’s full ability. If someone was mentally challenged and/or had an intellectual disability, they were boxed out from society – there was the ‘norm’ and then the ‘freaks’…everyone that did not fit into the ‘norm’. Our society has tremendously progressed, allowing every child and every human to thrive, as much as they can as an individual. I am part of a team prospering valuable education everyday for children who have intellectual and physically disabilities, and mental illnesses. Observing the progress of a particular student of mine, I’ve seen incredible progress in reading comprehension – and I am so proud! Everyone has a God-given potential, at their own pace and own level, and that’s the beauty of it. People who are supporting Donald Trump are supporting an act to revert back to small-minded ways. I have no knowing of this – but I am pretty damn sure that Donald Trump is a man that supports these individuals being locked away, or isolated.

Donald Trump is all about making a scene, attracting attention – but never saying anything useful. He says the same spiral of bullshit over and over again at each stand at the podium. Among his belittling and disgust for any sense of diversity in our world – where has he mentioned anything beneficial? People really should be asking: Will Donald Trump establish valuable healthcare, for all incomes and classes? What respect does Donald Trump have for women? Will he work hard to improve a country that pays less than what the things within it cost? Will he address gang violence? Will he provide resources to all schools equally? Will he make tourism a priority, and allow quiet states and towns to prosper?

There are so many questions, eh? So many questions that this asshole is brushing over. One real question to ask is: Who does Donald Trump model???

Let’s look at Hitler, or King Herod. These are individuals who gained their status of power and increase of wealth through racism and the impression of another race.This is what is to come, if Donald Trump gets in the white house.

Donald Trump has a lot of black, white and diverse mix of supporters – which really blows my mind. They must not realize the storm that is about to come due to their poor choice in action. Instead of saying he’s going to ‘Make America Great Again’, it should be known he’s going to ‘Make America a War-Zone’.

And instead of ‘London Has Fallen’, it’ll be America has fallen – because let’s face it, America has fallen into the sweaty, fat hands of a poor leader. Let’s hope and pray it’s not so, and be mighty prepared if it is.

Originally Printed: March.13th, 2016

Oh God, Sometimes I really can’t stand people!

You know those moments ….while you’re working at the McDonald’s or local motel, and you look tired and a guest, client or customer notices…and thanks you for your hard work. Deep down, you don’t want this person to think you are a broke ass individual working for not much more than minimum wage, because you are so much more than that! I mean they look at you and see a lobby girl all in black, overworked and tired – but she rocks at her job. They look at you and see a fast food clerk, sweating and trying not to lean but remain standing straight as your feet kill you…and you greet them with nothing but a smile. You rock at your dead end job, you shine within it, and treat others well…that is what they see.

Have you ever humanized yourself to them? … that’s what I am getting at here. You want them to realize, hello, I’m so much more than a short, chubby girl in a sweaty uniform here to serve you. I’m so much more than the lady I am while flipping hamburgers.

Have you ever thought of saying to them:

‘I have a master’s degree, I’m probably smarter than you and your three children, though I sit on sixty thousand dollars of debt.’

‘I am a single mom of two, they are my life, and I do everything I can for them and my sick mother that lives with me. They are my world and my light.’

‘I come from a family of wealth, but I choose to work….while attending school.’

‘I work twice as many hours and twice as hard as rich assholes like you, and at the end of the day I am still serving you.’

‘My husband is in prison, so I work three jobs. I am sorry you feel the need to pat me on the back and shrug your shoulders like you’re better than me – because I am a woman of color, because I am a female and a service worker – I feel sorry for people like you.’

‘Thanks for all your life stories. My life story is told by the cracks and scars of my hands…take your coffee and leave.’

We clearly can’t/won’t state these things, as it would ruin our image. Because despite the scenarios of daily lives listed above, we still remain the hot waitress, the cute, flirty girl that makes your coffee, the good looking bus driver that takes you to work each day. However, all this and more makes many reasons why one should appreciate the customer service and front-line service they receive each day. People who work in these service industries truly make the world go around, and they don’t want to deal with rude or belittling assholes – but they do! They also don’t want to be treated like they have gold up their ass, for what they do – because at the end of the day, that too, is condescending. Just appreciate, would you?

If you are one of these people, I am sure you can relate, and know how important you are to the everyday occurrences in your community. And for everyone else, show respect and remember to say thank you, maybe actually say hi to your grocery clerk rather than stare down at your phone the whole time they bag your food. You expect they’ll bag your food whether or not you say hi to them, or that it’s only proper they greet you first. At the end of the day, they kind of expect the same courtesy – that just maybe you’ll stop screening Porktober Festival and tweeting the latest minion picture. It would only seem human to switch off your phone and greet the kind, young man bagging your groceries, for example.

As service workers, sure we may not be able to reveal ourselves ‘naked’ to the public, but we sure can do the most important thing by being ourselves, and continuing to go the extra mile – knowing how much of a difference we make in daily lives. And as public, while we may wonder about the deep details and lives of many of these individuals we often encounter, they will remain blind to us, outside of uniform… But we must remember there is another side to them, an outside, impacting life. We must remember this in order to humanize them away from just the girl that makes your extra sweet soy late each day. Then, it’s nothing to smile at them, like you would a friend, thank them, as you would your parents, pray for them, as you would your children. Then, you’ve done well.

 

Originally Printed: October, 5th, 2015