#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?

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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.

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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 1.1

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.”

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

These (Not Very) Happy Golden Years

I went stateside on Saturday. Purpose of the trip? the Customs guard asked my father, who was driving. Shopping, the weary man replied, gesturing at my mother in the front passenger seat.

These trips don’t happen often, but when they do, they’re generally bittersweet.

We live an hour away from a border crossing. The agents there are pretty chill, despite the job they’re tasked to do. One was wearing his sassy pants the day my daughter and I were on a road trip by ourselves. Purpose of the trip? he asked. Shopping in St. Lawrence County, I said. Why? he replied, and I am still stumped for the right words to describe the expression on his face, a combination of not-quite disdain, leaning more towards amusement.

My earliest childhood memories begin in 1976. I was four-going-on-five, and Little Egg Harbor Township Elementary’s Lisa Simpson, had there been an animated Simpsons family to watch on television back then. We stayed with my grandparents in their home for the school year, and then we moved back to Canada, to our unsold home in east-end Ottawa.

Most summers, Christmases, Easters, and March Breaks were spent in South Jersey. We also spoke to our grandparents on the telephone for at least an hour once a week in those pre-Internet, pre-smartphone times, and as a result we never lost touch with what, for me, was home.

A drive south on Route 37 in Northern New York is a sociologist’s report come to fruition. Prosperity and poverty co-exist, on awkward display, at literally every other house or piece of unworked land. And in my heart I know it’s no different anywhere else we might go on the East Coast. (I’ve never been west of Pennsylvania, so I can’t speak to what’s happening out there personally.)

These are the times that try men’s souls, quoth the Founding Father Thomas Paine. We’re a long way removed from the days of publishing pamphlets to get our messages across, but if this blog o’ mine is going to have any purpose, I will have my say on politics and policy on both sides of the border.

It has always astounded me that people who live in such abject poverty saw in 45 (I refuse to address him by his name) their saviour. It may well be, to paraphrase a post on my Twitter feed this morning, that when they listen to him, they hear their own beliefs and biases writ large; but a year and a quarter in with his administration, and from a socio-economic point of view, I’m pretty sure tax cuts for the rich weren’t what the majority of the electorate was after.

Now, more than ever, job losses are a typed announcement taped to the doors and windows of failed businesses. My parents and I spoke at some length with our waitress at a soon-to-be shuttered Friendly’s ice cream shop in DeWitt, NY as we ate our lunch and paced ourselves through dessert sundaes for which lesser trips were taken. She already has two other jobs, but she needs all three to support herself and her family. We’re usually 20% tippers, but she got that and a couple dollars just before we left.

I’m seeing a shift from capitalism to corporatism, and I don’t like it. Am I guilty of encouraging this shift, some might say, by shopping online? Yes, but I don’t do it all the time. We as a Western society are stuck in a chasm born of so-called opportunity, convenience, and ease of use, and I’m at a loss as to how we get out of it.

This is what I do know. John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas was onto something when he composed the lyric “all the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey.” He was singing about the bleakness of winter, but a month into spring in 2018, in a country I dream sometimes about moving back to, it is a vastness that only an open eye can see.