Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’ve Moved!

Hello Minions,

Just a quick word to let y’all know that I’ve moved over to My Mumdane Life. If you have enjoyed Shan’s Shenanigans I hope you’ll come on over!

stay in bed.-3

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Not my Canada

More often than not I put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) to air my grievances in a humorous manner. I do this to remind myself that my problems are small and the best way to let them go is to laugh at them. After all, I have a roof over my head, food on my plate, my health, my sanity (for the most part), great friends and family, a beautiful child with another on the way and so much more. The problems that I have can’t take any of this away from me, and so at the end of the day I can consider myself among the lucky ones on this earth.

Today I can’t laugh. Yesterday many individuals in Québec City likely woke up feeling as I do: Grateful for life, love, happiness, community etc. By nightfall much of this had been stripped away from them, as their family members and friends were gunned down during evening prayer just because they were Muslim. These families are experiencing an unimaginable loss. I can’t even type this without tears spilling from my eyes. A community targeted for what? This was without a doubt an act of terrorism. This is not my Canada.

All Canadians are immigrants. Well, all Canadians are immigrants except the First Nations from whom we expropriated the lands upon which our cities sit, but that’s another story. This country’s immigration policy is the reason that I am here today. On my mother’s side I am a first generation Canadian, as were and are my paternal grandparents. I can’t know exactly why my family left Europe when they did, but I can only assume they were in search of a better life here in Canada.

My father’s family emigrated from Poland during the early 1920s. We are Jewish. As a child I was always acutely aware that I was ‘different’ from my Christian friends, but I was never singled out or targeted for that difference. I distinctly remember thinking that I was proud to live in a time and a country where race and religion didn’t matter. I remember being annoyed at my grandparents’ discomfort that my best friends were German. It wasn’t until I was 13 and did a class project on Anne Frank that I understood why they were uncomfortable, though they never told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t socialize with Germans.

My grandparents’ immediate families were the only ones who made it out of Poland before the Nazis invaded. They were living in Canada with the full knowledge that their loved ones were back in the old country, living in conditions that we Canadians can’t really even fathom. They rarely spoke about it, but I do remember my Papa telling me that he was responsible for fetching the mail for his mother from the post office during WWII. He was a teenager at the time. His mother would correspond with her sister in Poland quite frequently, and he diligently brought home her sister’s letters until one day there were no more. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like for him. To know why the letters had stopped. To have to tell his mother yet again that there was no news. To know that it meant death and loss. To know that his empty hands were breaking his mother’s heart.

My family lost their loved ones during a war that persecuted innocent people simply because they were Jewish. How is this any different from walking into a mosque and shooting up a room full of people simply because they are Muslim? Our differences are what make this world beautiful. I have travelled around this world and back again and marvelled at these differences. What are people so afraid of? I share a lot more in common with my welcoming, generous Muslim neighbours than I do with a white skinned bigot. I am an invisible minority and I admit that sometimes I hide within that identity. You can’t deduce my religion or cultural background from looking at me. My skin is so white it’s almost translucent. My native tongue is English. My son is baptised into his father’s family’s faith. Yet had I been born in a different time in a different land I would have shared the same fate as my Jewish brothers and sisters, as would my children. Hate doesn’t care who you are, only what it can label you.

Many Muslims don’t have the luxury of being ‘invisible’, nor should they want to be. If you can’t tell the difference between someone spouting the hateful ideology of a radical offshoot of Islam and a Muslim family fleeing their war torn homeland where they have lost everything to that same radical offshoot, then you are the one with the problem. I will never condone hateful words or actions, no matter the colour of the skin or religious beliefs of the owner of those words and actions.

Despite the discourse of hatred and fear that has permeated present day politics and infiltrated many aspects of life in the western world as of late, I am pleased to see that there is push back. My greatest fear today is not ISIS or Al Qaeda or the average Muslim Canadian. My greatest fear is complacency. At least here, despite many other failings, we have a government that speaks out against this hatred even if we have citizens who would idealize what is happening south of the border and live out that hatred here. The sad truth is that those citizens are no different than the ones they truly fear and hate. The more you hate, the more they hate and so on and so on. It’s the worst kind of positive feedback loop or vicious circle. Although it is scary to learn that the number of people contributing to this dangerous discourse is far greater than I ever believed it could be, I am grateful for the many more voices I hear speaking out against it.

To the community of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec, I am truly sorry for your losses. This hateful Canada is not my Canada, nor is it the Canada of the vast majority of Canadians. We stand with you today and I hope we will prevail, God willing/b’ezrat HaShem/insha’Allah.

jack-layton

Love is Surviving his Noxious Gas (and 6 Other Things I Realized While Watching The Bachelorette)

ImageOkay, so this season of The Bachelorette is over, and everyone is so happy for Des after she managed to take one day to get over being dumped by the supposed love of her life in order to get engaged to her second choice. In case you live under a rock and/or have a serious aversion to social media (if so, I’m glad my blog is an exception, thank you) and have never heard of ABC’s smash hit The Bachelorette, it’s basically a show where one woman spends 10 weeks sifting through a group of 25 men to find her one true love. It’s totally realistic.

I’m kind of embarrassed that I got sucked in this year. I’ve never watched it before. I was trying to reconnect with my girly side. It’s been a long time since I got to hang out with some girlfriends and watch a chick flick or Sex and the City. I’m a stay at home mom and rarely have a reason to dress nice or wear makeup. I have a son and am engaged to a real guy’s guy. I’ve begun to grow hairs on my chest and have developed a penchant for peeing outdoors. Ok, just kidding on the last two counts… although I did have to pee outdoors a few weeks ago when J’s stellar navigational skills got us lost in the middle of nowhere. I did not enjoy it. I especially didn’t enjoy that he laughed his ass off the whole time and I could barely go I was so embarrassed. What a jackass… I mean… so glad he could find humour in my humiliation, that sweet, sexy, ever-loving fiancé of mine… errrrr, right.

And on that note, the amount of times that Des talked about ‘real love’ on the show, and then proceeded to swoon over presents, poetry and romantic walks on the beach made my ears bleed. Apparently true love Bachelorette-style equates with Nicholas Sparks-style romance. Um, Des? Don’t you know Mr. Sparks’ romances rarely end in happily ever after? Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 11.43.12 AM

So, I decided to make a 7 point list of what love really is in order to help out future stars of The Bachelorette. You’re welcome, o seekers of true love. You’re welcome.

Love is…

1. … being able to tell little white lies and feel no guilt because you know you’re doing it to protect the one you love. And no, I am not advocating dishonesty. I’m talking about insignificant lies that protect no deep dark secret. Nope. Just the kind of tiny lie that is meant to cover your passive aggressive ass and protect the illusion that you are nothing less than perfect. Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 11.50.31 AM

Example scenario: Your boyfriend/husband/partner always manages to throw his/her dirty laundry on the floor next to the hamper rather than in it. After asking politely several times, your passive aggressive tendencies take over and you find yourself tearing a beloved t-shirt into tiny pieces with your scissors/teeth/claws. Little white lie: “Oh Honey, no! I would never tear your favourite t-shirt to shreds. The dog/cat/baby dragon must have got it, that little rascal.”

2… never having to say you’re sorry. JUST KIDDING! Love is a big fat slice of humble pie and if you don’t learn to admit when you’re wrong and learn to use that word with sincerity, your love is probably going to drown in a big boiling vat of resentment. Ironically, the movie that line comes from ends in much the same fashion as a Nicholas Sparks novel.

Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 12.22.09 PM

3. … being able to put up with someone’s crazy quirks. Example scenario: Your husband turns to you in bed with that loving look on his face (you know, that look that normally tells you you’re gonna get some), leans towards you, reaches out and tucks your hair behind your ear, his lingering fingertips soft on your cheek, looks deep into your eyes while reaching for something off the night table behind you and says, “Honey, will you please pluck each individual back hair out with these tweezers I bought today?” Even though your brain is probably sincerely questioning your taste in men, you do as he asks, cuz hey, you love him and he loves to be hairless. C’est la vie.

4… being able to refrain from committing murder. Let’s face it. Part of the reason divorce is rampant is because we have this fairytale idea of love. We’re told it’s always there. We’re told we should want to always be with that person. That we should always miss that person when we are apart. Pft. It’s impossible to feel lovey dovey all of the time. The person you love is the person you spend the most time with. You see the best of them, but it also means you see the worst of them. If you can survive those worst moments you can survive anything. That’s love. If you commit homicide, that is not love. Therefore, not committing homicide = true love. (Don’t bother pointing out the fallacy here. I’m well aware.)

Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 12.12.20 PM

5… realizing that if the knife actually did slip/the pillow lingered a little too long/the vial of arsenic did accidentally get knocked over into his stew, you would miss him terribly. Yes, the love of your life will probably drive you cuckoo bananas, but you’d rather risk your sanity than live without him.

Image

6…  being able to survive his noxious gas. This is especially important to the stars of The Bachelorette. Men are smelly smelly creatures, but they can hide it well in the early weeks/months of a relationship. Ladies, 10 weeks is not long enough. Once you’ve survived your first Dutch Oven (intentional or inadvertent) and you still want to let that guy/disgusting creature/swamp thing touch you in your happy place, you’ll know you’re playing for keeps. Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 12.03.42 PM

7… when, despite his protests and threats to retreat to the basement man cave, that man will give in to your request to curl up in bed with you and watch The Bachelorette. Watching The Bachelorette is probably way down there on that list of things your man would like to do. He might even rather stab himself in the eye with a fork, cuz hey, he’s got two eyes. He could be using his one remaining good eye to watch Duck Dynasty or Cops or ANYTHING ELSE. So yeah, watching The Bachelorette with you? Now THAT is love.

The Other Other White Meat

Yup. I’m still alive and well. The alive part is for sure, the well part is debatable. For one, I have a horrible head cold that I caught from my offspring. While I am incredibly grateful that his immune system seems kick ass and he usually only gets a wee bit stuffy, I am not grateful for my own immune system that treats the common cold like it’s THE END OF THE FRIGGEN WORLD!!!!…!

I haven’t been able to write pretty much for the same reason that I look like a sheep dog (bangs in desperate need of trimming), most of the time can’t be bothered to get out of my sweats and drink almost the same amount of caffeine that I consumed when I was a Starbucks employee but this time it’s not freed and soon I might have to sell my kid in order to keep up the habit… but then I wouldn’t have a kid and I wouldn’t need all that caffeine. It’s a tough decision.

First Baby H was going through a “Muahahahah Mom. I’m NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN” phase. That sucked and certainly kicked the caffeine consumption up a notch, but I would take the no sleep thing over this “Muahahahaha Mom. You must hold me AT ALL TIMES or else I will SCREAM BLOODY MURDER, or at least scream until your ears bleed” phase. It’s hard to type with a kid in your arms. It’s also hard to do basic things like brush your teeth, hair, go to the bathroom etc. So, it’s either have a baby attached to my person at all times, or listen to a constant whine/scream-fest.

To those people who think the Reasons My Son Is Crying blog is cruel, I say get a grip. You either:

a. Have no children, in which case I hate you a little bit

or

b. Have perfect children that never cry, in which case you are basically the worst kind of person, and oh yeah, I hate you a lot

(I’m sorry, did that sound bitter?)

If I weren’t able to laugh at the situation I’d go stark raving mad. My kid is an absolute delight as long as he’s being held/played with. When he has to do anything on his own (and by this I mean sit and play while I clean the kitchen, not feed himself or pay the bills) he’s miserable. And his sad face is just as cute as his happy one, so you better bet I’m gonna take a picture.

Without further ado, I give you some reasons Baby H has been crying:

Kitchen Cry

We told him about the other other white meat

We told him about the rising cost of university education

We told him about the rising cost of university education

He wanted to be picked up

He wanted to be picked up

I picked him up

I picked him up

I put him in this baby cage

I put him in this baby cage

He was having too much fun

He was having too much fun

I wrote this blog post

I wrote this blog post

Dear peoples that read my blog, today I can be read over at Canadica. Please visit my words there and perhaps leave a comment so that I don’t feel so inferior. Hint: I already feel inferior because there is some serious talent going on over there and composing that piece was intimidating! Thanks Lovelies!

Welcome to Canadica!

It’s easy to poke fun at America. When you’re the biggest and the best it’s kind of a given that you have a target on your back. Most Americans I know acknowledge that is part and parcel of being American. I know a thing or two about being the biggest and the best. I’m from Canada, the large country depicted below:

Not only am I from Canada, I’m from Ontario, the America of Canada (The good parts of America. The rest of America is covered by Alberta). As you can see above, Ontario is the centre of the whole freaking universe. Ontario is to Canada as America is to the world. We’re the economic powerhouse, simply the best. And not only am I from Ontario, I’m from Ontario’s largest city, Toronto. Here is the country according to a Torontonian:

All this is meant to introduce the fact that it’s okay…

View original post 1,197 more words

Greetings from my Kitchen Dance Party (I suck at cleaning)

I have never been tidy. Most of my parent/child battles were over picking up after myself. It was typical to go for weeks without seeing my bedroom floor. Who needs carpet when you can make your own carpet out of My Little Ponies and a million discarded outfits? Pre-pregnancy my idea of a kitchen dance party was getting drunk in my best friend’s kitchen/living/dining/office room thing (hey, at least she owns a condo, ok?) and shouting the lyrics of Firework to each other across the room (which basically means in each others faces… have you seen what an affordable middle class condo in Toronto looks like these days? It’s ridiculous. I’ve been watching old episodes of Property Virgins and its ridiculous how far 300K went even just 10 years ago).

Drunk Ponies

S: “Do you ever feel”

R:”LIKE A PLASTIC BAG!”

Lately I have felt like a plastic bag… full of groceries, for everyone but me. Seriously. If I’m not looking after the kid I’m making dinner or cleaning something, and lets face it, time for that is scarce with a baby. I spend most of my day making funny faces and sounds in order to keep my spawn entertained (ok, it’s entertaining for me too). Right now he’s napping and I have so much housework to do. How the hell did I end up a stay at home mom? Sometimes I want to be like Jenna Marbles and just sit in front of my webcam, hold my Master’s Degree in my arms, and cry.

Except it should say "Before I clean my kitchen"

Except it should say “Before I clean my kitchen”

Who am I? Seriously. I SUCK at taking care of a house. It’s pathetic. If I had been the CEO of RIM (or Blackberry, as it is now called) I would have saved that sinking ship long before Wednesday’s announcement of the Blackberry 10 (jury’s still out, Blackberry). I could have built a Titanic that was structurally sound. I can move any kind of mountain… unless its made of laundry. In that case I’d be more inclined to lie on top of it and read a good book. Yeah…

So that's how the Blackberry 10 finally happened

So that’s how the Blackberry 10 finally happened

Hard to believe that I’ve been a stay at home mom for 3 months now. Yup. That’s right. Baby H is three months old today! That means he’s officially an infant and no longer a newborn (*sniff*). He’s getting so big! It’s like he changes before my eyes every day.

HBug

So, how can I make this new gig mine and stop this house from being condemned? Recreate the kitchen drunk dance party! Cuz baby I’m a firework! Or I could just set off some fireworks inside and get the house condemned so that I can move into a one bedroom condo. Crazy you say? I say there is much less to clean in a one bedroom shoebox than a three story three bedroom house!

Instead I listened to Firework on repeat because for some reason it reminds me that I’m still me (even if I’m alone and sober… and despite the fact that Katy Perry’s tits have never been kicked out of a Walmart) and baked cupcakes.

I let my colours burst all over these cupcakes, baby!

I let my colours burst all over these cupcakes, baby!

I might suck at cleaning, but I’m original, cannot be replaced. Also, I do own the night like… Canada Day Night… yeah.

P.S. For the record, I’m doing a pretty freaking good job for someone who might have failed home economics had it been offered at my school.

P.P.S. I was kidding about the whole drunk party thing. I haven’t been drunk since… last February. You do the math.

P.P.P.S. Cupcake?

Internet Celebrity

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Peeps, I’m so happy, I think I just jizzed in my pants. Except that that’s physically impossible. Also, I’m not wearing pants. Ok, that’s a lie. I am wearing pants, but it would be funnier if I weren’t. I’m just that excited! I also have a secret crush on Andy Samberg and like to throw Lonely Island quotes around because it makes me feel closer to him. We totally made out once.

See? We totally made out.

See? We totally made out.

It’s not the best picture because it was snapped by the paparazzi from quite the distance. We like to keep private because fame can be so tiring.

What was my point again? Oh right. My Internet celebrity. First I was Freshly Pressed. Then nothing happened for a long time. But, my friends, today I noticed that someone linked to my blog through Pinterest. That’s right. Someone thought something I created was worth pinning! That something was my pregnancy announcement.

Valentine's Day 2012

Any day now someone is going to offer me money for my creativity. I just know it. Ok, I don’t know it at all and I’m starting to despair because I NEED A JOB! One that I can do from home, preferably. Being an Internet celebrity seems like the obvious solution to all of my problems.

Today Pinterest, tomorrow the world!

Wouldn’t it be awesome if life worked that way? Or at least if I could be deluded enough to believe that it did?

And the finalization of this post has been interrupted by yet another dirty diaper, so this is all you get.