Well, it’s happened

The teen years are upon us for the boy midget. He is sleepy, moody, lazy. And then he is happy, energetic and agreeable.

Tonight he was/is the former. I would love to not be subjected to sibling squabbles. One main source of disagreement is the family desktop computer. This afternoon I reached my limit of listening to and being put in the middle of arguing about whose turn it was, how long, what applications are being used, and interference by one while it is being used by the other. Hooooooooly crap I’m so tired, after all of the other shit I deal with as a mother, to listen to petty first-world problems. Crappity crap crap crap. My temporary solution is to give myself a break from this by banning computer use for 1 week.

Let’s keep in mind boy still has an Xbox 360 and they each have an iTouch.

Teen midget boy doesn’t agree with this strategy and he especially hates that I don’t care about his disagreement. I would love to have a civil conversation about how to disagree effectively but I can barely get started before boy feels persecuted, defensive, and then hyperventilates. Srsly?!

Also he is just now learning and understanding that our household is not a democracy. Up until now I have let him believe he has a say, to a certain extent. The truth is I’ve been manipulating him for years, along with his sister. A combination of distracting, diverting, and redirecting has helped them use logical deduction to reach conclusions that fit nicely with my goals. At this point he seems to willfully ignore my valid points and would rather scream about the injustice of it all.

I’m inclined to let him be grumpy tonight especially since I can’t get through to him right now. My efforts are for naught. He gets upset and that makes me upset. Or I can remain calm. However, the calmer I seem, the more upset he gets. I cannot win at the moment.


I’m not a doctor

…and I don’t play one on tv either. But even I can see that my mother is not receiving adequate medical care.

For at least a year or maybe even 2, my mom has had multiple UTIs, many yeast infections, diarrhea, green urine, and abdominal pain. All of these events have been treated with a LOT of antibiotics to no avail.

My mother is in nearly constant discomfort and is diligent about going to the doctor to seek help. In my opinion, her doctor (and pharmacist) is letting her down. From what I can gather from my mom, he is dismissive, quick to prescribe pills, and isn’t at all curious about why she has had so many infections over such a long period of time. Now my mother would never describe him this way. I’m drawing my own conclusions based on the care she’s receiving. I’m not sure what the pharmacist is thinking either, doling out these pills without wondering about the underlying cause.

My mom is of the generation that treats doctors like Gods. Certainly this doctor has helped my mom (and the rest of my immediate family) a lot over the years and has been a good family doctor. But not any more. My mom needs a new medical professional to take a look at her health history and current state, one who wants to figure out what is wrong with her.

I found myself explaining to my kids this weekend that when you reach your 40s or 50s, you’ll find your parents need you more than you need them, and as a result you help them with what were previously unremarkable problems. My mom helps her mother and manages her medical care and finances, and has for years. I am just starting to help out my mom with her medical problems and I expect that to continue. Otherwise I’m not sure she will get the proper care! I know doctors don’t know everything but I think they  should care about learning and figuring out problems.

A quick trip to wikipedia has convinced me that my mom likely has antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing her problems, and possibly C. Difficile, the big daddy of them all. My mom is taking antibiotics more often than not, and that is not normal or acceptable. She is otherwise a healthy, average woman, and these pills are not a good long-term strategy to helping her feel better. I think she is in for a radical change to her diet and medications.

Meanwhile I’m tracking down a new doctor for her. I found a great website to help, and after 2 phone calls I found a doctor accepting new patients. I’m hopeful this will work out; especially since this doctor is a woman and young, one who is likely inquisitive and just plain interested in improving the well-being of her patients. Let’s hope, anyhow.



Are you winning?

That question was posed to me while I was riding the subway after finishing a long day at work. I happened to be playing solitaire on my iphone (as usual during my afternoon commute home), one game after another without a break in between. 

My answer to this person was “This keeps me from…” My voice trailed off because I realized she doesn’t know me, and so wouldn’t understand I was joking about solitaire keeping me from committing homicide. I answered a second time with “It keeps me calm.”

It’s a good question though, isn’t it?

Everybody’s got it hard


Lots of people have shit to deal with every day. Probably everyone does.

This photo is of my own hand, holding onto the ceiling of a subway car since there are no poles within my reach. I ride the subway home from work most days, where I am jostled by grumpy strangers all trying to get home too. On these rides I usually play solitaire on my phone and that activity keeps me calm. Otherwise I try to read a book or do some crochet, but crochet requires that I snag myself a seat, and I’d say about 50% of the time that’s impossible. I’m probably not aggressive enough to get a seat 100% of the time.

I used to be

I used to be an activist for environmental protection and the rights of animals. I used to be quite interested in world news especially the war in Iraq. That was during my time at university.

I continued these interests after graduation but with less involvement. Eventually the everyday, stress is the wrong word, activities? took up most of my time. Plus, I was tired. Tired of people, namely the men in my life, demanding conformity. I was encouraged to stop trying to ‘stir the pot’ in conversation, stop trying to be ‘different’ and most of all to take on their interests. Stupidly, I mostly complied. Then I got married, which diminished that fire inside of me a little more. Then I had a child, and that fire was extinguished.

I became conventional. I was obsessed with raising the perfect offspring. I gave up all of my own interests in favour of supporting my husband and being consumed by childrearing. I took on the lion’s share of the childrearing, in my opinion, leaving no time for my own continued development. Curling? I was a curling nut before I had a child. I learned the sport when I was 11 years old and played all through high school and university and beyond. I went to tournaments and played regular games twice a week or more. I would take my equipment to the ice some evenings just to get some practise time in. A couple of years ago, after carting my shoes and broom from move to move, I finally donated them to a high school. I had to face the fact that I wouldn’t be able to commit 2 weeknights every week to a sport I had once loved.

Last night I worked late and so Husband took over kid duties. He picked up girl midget from gymnastics, made dinner, and then took boy midget to Scouts. I usually do all of this because Husband gets home from work after 7:30 pm each night.  I can rely on him to do all of this just as well as I would.

In the last 2 years or so, I have picked up some new interests. I started a serious crochet hobby and opened an Etsy store (AlliNeedisYarn). I have 2 dogs that need to be walked each day. I move our living room and bedroom furniture around a LOT. I’m a budget decorator, always looking for cheap ways to improve our home. I often come up with projects to do and currently I’m planning an extensive vegetable garden for summer. Our living room shelving/furniture needs improvement so I’m going to focus on that this year too.

In the last 9 months or so I have experienced a real rebirth. I no longer self-medicate with wine, carbs, and fat. I no longer worry about keeping out of the fray of public opinion. I have become more myself in the past year than I have been since university when I was in my early twenties. I suppose this comes with the territory when you have children who no longer need you 24×7, or even 10×7. I think we’re down to 3×7 now, leaving me with time to fill. And fill it I shall.

I never thought I could be married and a mother without compromising myself. To me, being married meant stifling my interests, strong opinions, and even talent. It’s interesting to note that my serious boyfriends and first husband didn’t think this way, and they likely didn’t fully understand how much I was bending for them. Children don’t give a crap how much you are bending; they want what they want. Immediately. That doesn’t matter though, you don’t have to give over your entire self. Building them up doesn’t mean you can’t frolick in the sun. Ugh, the guilt we mothers (and probably fathers too but I really don’t know) endure for pursuing our own interests. Seriously? Why do we women do this shit to ourselves? That’s rhetorical because I know the answer is long, complicated, and steeped in gender roles imposed from day one onward.

One thing I have done with my own children is to teach them, from a young age, that I have feelings, likes and dislikes, dreams, desires, and I need just as much love as they do. So there’s that. Now I just need to remind myself.


Yeah, I’m jonesing pretty bad for manipulating words and phrases. WYSIWYG, Information Chunking, Information Mapping, Front Matter, Overviews, Procedures, Processes, Indices, Table of Tables, Revision History, etc. etc. etc. 

Maybe I will stumble upon an internal posting no one else wants, one that requires loads of documentation be produced on a regular basis. 


“The Internet killed community”…REALLY???

The Internet, in my opinion, has enhanced community by leaps and bounds!

Culture Monk

the internet killed community

By Kenneth Justice

~ I was meeting with the owner of a coffee shop recently talking with him about coffee house culture, “The Internet really has killed community” he said, “When I opened up my first coffee shop ten years ago it was an entirely different feel. People would come in here all the time simply to hang out and meet people. It was like we offered an alternative to the bar scene for people that don’t want to get drunk. But now, well just look around, every person in here is glued to their damn computer and so disconnected from each other” he said

At times I feel like my articles sound like a broken record; community, connection, conversation; too often I write about the same themes and I wonder if I’m putting myself in jeopardy of losing readership. However, because every weekend I jet…

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