Now Read This:

I am interrupting this week’s instalment of #MyFridayFive to bring you the following important message.

EDIT

First, cooler heads prevail.

If you can afford to do so, it would be a welcome gesture of solidarity to donate the equivalent of the cost of a subscription to the New York Review of Books to a sexual assault support program in your community, Planned Parenthood, or #MeToo. It serves no purpose to torpedo the entire ship when the captain makes a questionable call.

I stand by my statement that Jian Ghomeshi’s attempt at trying to make us appreciate his victimhood, when he did everything he possibly could to avoid taking responsibility for being an asshole and rapist; is a slap in the face on several levels.

That said, we can, and must, do better than an editorial decision to give a louse like Ghomeshi any kind of platform.

The subscription rate card from the NYRB web site is posted for guidance.

nyrbsubrates

What Has Happened To Hallowe’en?

When I was a kid, Hallowe’en was the holiday of holidays. Yes, Christmas was important,  but short of sporting an ugly sweater, opportunities to dress up in costume were few, unless you had parents who put you in cheap felt elf outfits for posed portrait photographs.

My three children are a young adult and two teenagers now, but with the addition of my granddaughter to our family in 2016, and two Hallowe’ens since, I will continue to lace up my sensible walking shoes and go door to door bearing an old pillowcase as a back-up candy sack.

What hasn’t gone unnoticed is the number of children who still do old-school trick or treating. Private parties and “Trunk or Treat” events are the new get your spook on. In the community groups on Facebook I belong to, 20 or 25 costumed kids constituted a successful evening of mini-candies distribution. We’re even making exceptions for properly outfitted teenagers. Put in the effort, and ye shall be rewarded. Full-size chocolate bars will never wane in popularity, and people giving them away are not shy about telling you where to find them (street names only, though, thanks).

As the parent of a disabled child, I also see the good intentions behind the Blue Bucket meme that was going around Facebook. My son has difficulty making himself understood at the best of times, and he likes to wear a full face mask with his Dracula/Harry Potter mash-up outfit. Alas, cherished allies, he chose a ratty, plastic Chapters/Indigo bag instead.

Look, there are a few things about Hallowe’ens of yore that I can do without, slutty nurse versions of Alice in Wonderland and Rockets candy among them. At the risk of sounding like a moon-eyed nostalgia tribe-leader, though, how do we put the harmless, outdoor fun back into October 31?

#MyFridayFive, Issue 1.3

My Friday Five

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by – Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

And in my case, even those that are self-imposed.

But I’m here now, and look! It’s actually Friday!

So. What’s been going on?

*

Not a headline, but something I need to get off my chest.

I struggle with chronic pain.

Sometimes I walk with a cane. This past Monday was no different. I took my fifteen year old twins to the Canada Science and Technology Museum because it was the last day of The Art of the Brick exhibit, and I had yet to see it.

A selection of photos I took are posted to my Instagram, which you can find here: Whovian On A Budget. It was during my first attempt to snap a photo with my phone, keep from dropping my cane, and wrangle my son, who has ADHD and developmental delay; that someone older than me and in discernibly better physical condition suggested that I was in the way and better move, so that she could take a picture of the same sculpture that caught my eye. As we moved through the gallery space, reactions from others to our presence did not improve.

This is goddamn 2018. Do I really have to apologize for being disabled, and for daring to take my son out in public? Yes, I am fat. Maybe it is the cause of my leg and hip trouble; I don’t know, and here’s the thing: you are not one of my doctors. I don’t want to hide at home. Why should I? It’s going to take every remaining ounce of resilience and class I have not to take my cane and shove the tip up the ass of the next person who thinks I’m needlessly taking up space.

Here’s a suggestion for Nathan Sawaya, the magician behind The Art of the Brick: would you be willing to construct a sculpture of a mother and child, or a father and child, to properly acknowledge people who look like me and my son, who enjoy the escapism of a museum and a day out? I believe it’s needed.

*

Now, for the headlines:

1) Actor Burt Reynolds Dead At 82 (Various sources)

Reynolds never shied away from poking fun at his foibles and career missteps. I really liked his Emmy-award comedy series “Evening Shade,” which also starred Marilu Henner. Edited to add: Then, as I traipsed through the Twitters, I was reminded he was a lousy husband who beat both of his wives, and not much better as a father. I have no time for that.

2) Inquest Confirms Cranberries Singer Dolores O’Riordan Died From Drowning (Various sources)

A damned shame. Dolores O’Riordan was a brilliant singer and songwriter. It was not her time to go. May you continue to rest in power, Dolores.

3) Girl Hospitalized After Getting Ears Pierced at Claire’s: Doctors Dug Earring Out with ‘Scalpel’

This isn’t the first horror story of an ear piercing gone wrong at a Claire’s store. Claire’s and other inexpensive jewelry stores can’t even guarantee that their products are genuinely hypoallergenic.

The safest place you can go for this sort of thing? A really good tattoo shop. Mark my words.

4) Jet hand dryers ‘aerosolise’ E. coli and other harmful bugs, scientists warn

This, unfortunately, isn’t new news. Nor is it fake. I’m pretty sure this was proven during the “Down and Dirty/Earthquake Survival” episode of MythBusters in the spring of 2013. Paper towels for dry hands!

5) Colin Kaepernick’s Nike Campaign (Various sources)

Dear Nike: Just keep on doing it.

action air balance beach

Photo by Rafael on Pexels.com

#MyFridayFive, Issue 1.2

My Friday Five

1) I should just call this post the Sh*tty Families Edition, because the Markles are running their mouths yet again. I cannot fathom being related to such horrible people.

Go away, Thomas Markle. Put some respectful distance between you and your daughter, and maybe in twenty or thirty years’ time she will send you photos of your grandchildren.

2) Then we have the half-siblings from hell, Samantha and Thomas Jr:

#MyFridayFive, Issue 1.1

My Friday Five

 

1. Kim accused of being ‘desperate for attention’

In other news, water is wet.

Okay, that was a low shot. The gist of the article is that Mrs. West of Calabasas, California, stripped down to her undies for a late-night “baking sesh” and posted it all online, presumably to distract her followers from her homophobia.

I’m not sure which is more disturbing, that the word “sesh” has made it into the English language, or that Kim K. is baking a cake when she could get UberEats or DoorDash to deliver one ready-made. Duncan Hines never struck me as the name of a man that would cross her ladyship’s threshold.

Next!

2. The Wiggles couple reveal their divorce

Emma Watkins, aka Yellow Wiggle, and Lachlan Gillespie, aka Purple Wiggle, confirmed their divorce today after two years of marriage.

To be honest, I haven’t paid much attention to The Wiggles at all in recent years because I have teenagers at home, but their various members over time have always struck me as ridiculously happy people both on-screen and off (and yes, I am aware that Anthony Field, aka Blue Wiggle, has battled mental illness). I was sad when Greg, Murray, and Jeff retired.

“We have embraced this as a very positive change in our relationship. Our incredible friendship has been strengthened throughout this time and what we have discovered is that, more than ever, first and foremost we love and adore performing as Emma and Lachy in The Wiggles and having the privilege of celebrating this happiness with extraordinary families around the world.”

The announcement of their split comes just weeks after Emma revealed to an Australian women’s magazine that she has acute endometriosis. Having had tissue removal surgery myself, in 2011, I wish her nothing but the best going forward health-wise; and peace to both her and Lachy as they finalize the end of their private relationship.

3. Most Canadians Say Irregular Border Crossings Are A ’Crisis,’ Poll Suggests

If there’s anything that sticks in my craw, it’s a misleading headline.

What it should read, is “Most Poll Respondents Say ….” Look, I’m a taxpaying, vote-casting Canadian. I wasn’t contacted by Angus Reid. Neither was anyone else I know.

And the real crisis here is that in 2018, there are still thousands upon thousands of people who are living out the stuff of nightmares on a daily basis, who are seeking a better life in the Western world for themselves and their families. God forbid “friendly Canada” should be so welcoming.

4. Lovato agrees to enter rehab

As a mother, and the mother of a teenager who grew up watching Miley, Demi, and Selena on the Disney Channel; I am relieved to see that Demi Lovato is getting help. Recovery is a continuous, life-long process, and is difficult for the strongest of us. I can’t judge her for “slipping.” Add me to the list of grateful folks that she had friends with her who called 911.

5. Why are people rubbing toothpaste on their breasts?

Short answer: just don’t. Please.

There is no credible medical reason to do it.

Says dermatologist Mona Gohara, M.D.:

“Along with the fact that toothpaste can be an extreme skin irritant, there is also no medical evidence that toothpaste or vaseline or any topical cream can increase collagen or elastin,” she says. “Otherwise, trust me-after baby number two, I would have been wearing Crest all day long.”

*

And that’s a wrap for this week’s #MyFridayFive! Leave your comments here or on my Twitter, @girlgonewired.

My Date With Tim Horton’s Poutine

My teenage daughter and her friends wrote their final, final exam of Grade 10 this morning.

Pick us up and take us to Tim Hortons, she wheedled and pleaded.

As it happened, she went to school without her bus pass – having conned her grandparents into driving her there – so once I received the ping that the exam was done and dusted, off I went, having retrieved her wallet.

I dropped them off at the requested Tim’s location, plugged my phone in to charge in the cigarette lighter, and ordered the unthinkable at the drive-thru window: poutine. Ingredients? Seasoned potato wedges, which are sold as a side for sandwiches, in their native form; Québec cheese curds; and gravy from an unidentified source, so let’s just say an industrial size vat.

I’m going to posit that the most expensive ingredient in this confection is the Québec curds. Years ago, when I was young and also quite skilled at bamboozling my grandparents, Pop and Grandma would buy Québec cheese in insane quantities to bring back to South Jersey and portion out to all of their friends, and it was pricey then. Take that, Trump and your stupid comments about the North American dairy trade. Americans know what they like with their saltines and oyster crackers at 3:00 snack time.

So I ate, and my daughter texted me.

you can come in if you want

i have a charger in my bag

I’m ok. It’s breezy out here, I replied, in between bites of melty curds.

are you sure

Yep. I was.

The next thing I knew, she and one of her friends were back at the car to grab something out of a backpack. Satisfied that I wasn’t carjacked, I suppose, and my daughter shocked that I was eating lukewarm potato wedges covered in curds and gravy; they disappeared and moments later my kid was back with another friend, bearing a box of leftover donut holes.

Here. This is for you. We wanted to make sure you were eating properly.

In a way, the snarky little darlings had a point. You don’t go to a coffee shop to buy poutine, Québec cheese or no Québec cheese. You get a double double in a paper cup and a box of donut holes. Or if you’re a certain age and your doctor has started recommending more fiber in your diet, you order the raisin bran muffin warmed up with a pat of butter on the side.

To the chip truck owners of Western Québec, I see you and I hear you and I will make it up to you soon. I promise.

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