Good morning #Edmonton! #Halloween is fast approaching. Are you ready? Come read my blog. http://www.stluked.wordpress.com
I’m not a person who’s comfortable with kids. Pregnancy freaks me out (think “Alien”) and I often wonder why it’s illegal to leash and muzzle kids.
I have a friend who has a 4 year old daughter that is, by turns, wonderful, pretty, terrorizing, amazing, petulant, emotional, awe-inspiring and odd. I try to be the good “aunt” even though I’m just a family friend. Usually this means spoiling her rotten until she starts being cranky and demanding and then I hand her back to dad. I love her, just not that much. Dad usually sighs with resignation, knowing that I’m never going to stop spoiling her.
However, Dad and I talk A LOT about what is and isn’t acceptable. There are simply some limits to what he’s willing to allow her to do and I follow Dad’s lead. He’s the one that donated his genetics to this little person, so; ultimately, she’s his responsibility.
It’s at this point that I have to say there’s nothing inherently wrong with children. They have far too much energy and imagination for my liking; a combination which, in my own experience, does not end well. However, there’s nothing wrong with them. It’s the parents I have problems with.
It’s true, kids freak me out. My friend’s four-year old aside, I have no idea what to do with them other than open a factory and have them sew sneakers. Apparently that idea is not politically correct, as fun as it may sound. I’ve been told that you’re supposed to play with them and teach them. The games I know are not suitable for children and may get me jail time with a spot on “Dateline” if I try. Equally, the things I try to teach them may sound good to me, make parents cranky.
I don’t know what it is; maybe the minute you extend your genetic material beyond your body it saps all your common sense but parents are fundamentally dumb to me. Not all of them, just most. For example, I read a story on Yahoo about a 5’10”, 220 lb former football player who was beaten up by a 50lb 6 year old. This doesn’t surprise me. Adults can’t beat up children. I imagine this child, who has a history of escalating violence, probably got in a few well-placed kicks and did some real damage. Meanwhile, this man probably did his best to defend himself without actually touching the child. After all, if the man, a gym teacher, had smacked the boy across the bottom or held him down, the parents would be screaming murder.
So, a 6 year old takes out a grown man’s knee and the parents are saying, “not my boy.” I have heard this refrain far too often from parents. Their child is a good boy or girl and would never do that… Really? Okay, then who is that in the playground pushing the other kids into the dirt? Not your kid? Looks like your kid. Oh. I see, he’s only playing. Then why is that little girl crying?
The parents who often cry this “not my child” refrain have a backup battle cry that goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If you are a parent, you made the choice to fling your genetic material into the world, not me. Raise your own children. This villager is busy doing adult things.
Here’s the problem with the village scenario; these parents want me and the other villagers to raise their Johnny or Suzy. However, let said villagers discipline Johnny or Suzy and we lose our jobs, our reputations or even our freedoms. Try giving your neighbour’s out of control brat a smack on the rear and see how fast Child Protective Services shows up on your doorstep.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not in favour of abusing or hitting. However, discipline can be something as simple as saying “no” or sitting the child down for a time out away from the other kids for a few minutes. However, let one of us villagers try that and let me know how it works out for you.
Parents, stop burying your head in the sand and admit that maybe your kid is a brat who is out of control the moment you leave the room. Further, if you want other people to be responsible for your child when you’re not around, then give them the ability to stop them when they get out of control. Teachers are so helpless now that they get fired if they give a student a zero when they don’t do the work, such as the case for Edmonton, Alberta teacher, Lynden Dorval. Daycare providers aren’t even allowed to do a time out without parents screaming abuse. I have children in my neighbourhood who regularly use a large construction machine as a jungle gym. Yet, when I tell them to stop, the parents complain to the site managers about me. Forget that there is a park not two blocks away and the machine is dangerous. That’s their little precious (said in my best Gollum voice).
I’ll make a deal with all the parents out there. You take responsibility for your child and I won’t try to parent your child. This means;
- You actually spend time with them. Time does not include sitting them in front of a computer game or video and expecting them to be entertained. This means talking, listening, playing, reading, helping and taking time out to be with them in a meaningful way.
- If I tell you that your child is doing something wrong, take me seriously. I am not complaining for the sake of complaining and I get no pleasure in getting your child in trouble.
- Teach your child respect. This means respect for themselves, others and property. I don’t expect them to bow when they meet me (though that’d be fun), but I don’t want them spitting on me, either. Just the same respect you’d show any stranger on the street.
- Let your child know that self-reliance is a good thing. If the park is two blocks away, there’s no reason they can’t go there for a couple of hours. If you worry about them, give them a cell phone and teach them how to dial you and 911. Give them some freedom so they understand how to stand on their own feet in the future. The rest of us villagers have to work with them when they’re adults and can’t make a decision for themselves because they never got to stand on their own growing up. I currently work with a 20 year old who is nearly impossible to train. She simply can’t think for herself.
- Take responsibility for the things you teach your child. If you smoke and drink all day long and wait for your welfare check to come in, don’t blame me when your child begins smoking and drinking. The little buggers are wonderful mirrors of those they love the most.
- Understand that your child does not live in a bubble and they are going to get exposed to ideas and beliefs different from your own. Do not expect your child to never see a boob or hear about the Islamic religion. They will be exposed to other religions, sex and sexuality, racism, feminism and a lot of other ideas. Deal with it.
So the next time someone comes to you and says your child is doing or saying something, take a moment to believe them. You may love your child and think they are the next world genius. We don’t. If you’re not going to listen to those people who you entrust your child’s care to, then raise them yourselves. This villager is tired of being helpless and having to take your child’s abuse.
Do crazy people know they’re crazy?
The answer is; yes. We do.
I’ve been asked this questions many times and the answer is always the same. Those of us who have been diagnosed or, in my case, misdiagnosed with a mental illness know that the things we say or do are not the kinds of things that normal people say or do. People Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) know that flicking the light on and off a dozen times is unique to them. However, there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop the crazy. It’s an itch that absolutely has to be scratched or the world will come to a screeching halt and everything will go flying into space and explode.
I recently explained it to a friend this way; there are two halves to my brain. One half is a mature, well-developed, intelligent, logical, thinking person. This half makes good decisions and interacts with people well. This half is well-liked and is a good conversationalist. The other half is a temperamental three-year old. This half throws temper tantrums, holds its breath, kicks, screams, shows up at my bedside at 3am with a butcher knife and laughs demoniacally. This half demands attention, is extremely insecure and highly unbalanced. Usually I’m able to beat this half into submission and lock it in a closet. However, the little brat has a key and gets out when I’m least expecting it. It’s then I find boiled bunnies and such. This half scares the hell out of me sometimes, but so long as I can toss it in the closet and ignore it, I’m fine.
My friends all understand this part of me and help me get the little bastard back in its place. It’s a little like living with Damien sometimes. This is my life and I’m learning to live it. I know this part will make its appearance during times of stress so I try to keep my stress to a minimum.
It’s because I understand my own brain so well and how it works that crazy people don’t really bother me. They’re content to play in that section of their head that best interacts with the world. Sometimes you can get some really interesting ideas from crazy people like sitting on a park bench and singing, off-key, at the top of your lungs. It’s a lot of fun and if you do it in the summer, people will give you money.
No. Crazy people don’t really bother me. Normal people, on the other hand, freak me out.
Technically, my sister is a normal people. She scares me. She lives in one of those architecturally controlled neighbourhoods where every third house is the same one. It’s a boxy little neighbourhood with boxy little houses and boxy little people driving boxy little cars leading boxy little lives. How on earth do people live there and not get the urge to spray paint graffiti on the neighbour’s cat? The only saving grace to this place is a small pond where ducks and other birds make their nests in spring and winter. Of course, mosquitoes love the place, too, but the ducks are really cute. Needless to say, the three or four hours a week I’m forced to spend in this area on the pretense of family dinner are enough to scare the crap out of me.
Another thing that bothers me that normal people do is displaying pregnant bellies. Apparently there are men out there who are sexually attracted to pregnant women. Why? Leave them alone. That’s how they got like that in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that other women are willing to have babies. If it were dependant on people like me, the human race would die out. Quickly. I’m one of the few women (I know a couple of others) who look at pregnant women and think “Alien”. Sorry, but the thought of something alive inside me just gives me the heebie jeebies. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask that you cover that thing up. I’m not asking for burqas, here but please don’t don the string bikinis. Okay, if you’re pregnant and want to wear a burqa, I’m good with that.
Oh and let’s talk about normal women and their ideas on relationships. If you remember the book “The Rules” and the messed up advice it gave you’ll understand what I’m talking about. I figure I have to be crazy because I just don’t have the time or energy to invest in the games that many normal women play.
I went with my friend to see the movie “Ted” and had a great time but it made me angry. The lead female character, Lori Collins (Mila Kunis) decides that John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) needs to grow up and get rid of Ted. Wait a minute. In the movie she’s been in this relationship with this man for four years!! She knew about Ted the minute she met him. She’s been around the bear for four freaking years!! Now, all of a sudden, she wants him to get rid of that part of his life that helps define who he is? I was angry.
According to my friend, it’s normal for their women to want them to “grow up”. Okay. I get that. Adults take responsibility and move forward in their lives. That’s fine. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a fundamental relationship in this man’s life that has helped to define him as a person. My friend says that women do this all the time. They fall in love with a guy, the bad boy for example, and then try to change him. Why? Then, when they change the guy to what they want, they get bored and dump them or, worse yet, marry them. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m not in a committed relationship now.
Normal people engage in all kinds of dramas and bullshit that really doesn’t need to happen. Office politics is a wonderful example of this. People butting their noses into other people’s business where it doesn’t belong. How about those play groups where parents bring their kids to socialize them to other humans (I think that’s the purpose of them)? I’ve heard of this parent or that parent talking crap about others in the group and creating drama. It goes on all the time. Here’s some advice from the Krazy Korner; STOP IT. If it doesn’t concern you, if it isn’t harmful or detrimental, then just shut up.
I’ve come to the conclusion that normal people are weird. Crazy I get. The elves have invited you to their tea party and that’s why you’re dancing down the main street downtown. Heck, I’ll even join in and dance with you for a bit. We can ignore all the normal people who laugh at us and drink elven tea and dance.
Writing sets me free.
I wrote my first story at the age of six. No, I don’t still have it. My sister read it and made fun of it so, in a flurry of tears, I threw it away. I still have the same reaction with some editors, but I no longer throw things away.
Still, I was only six years old when I tried to create my own world. It was a simple story, a whole three pages long. Written in my childish printing, it talked about a princess with a special horse-friend who helped her escape the castle. Okay, so the story had some holes. What castle? Why did she need to escape? I don’t know. Didn’t know then. Still, I remember that feeling I had while I was writing it. I was just learning my letters, so I took great care to print carefully. I sat and wrote that story all afternoon. When it was done, I put it on my bed so I could show it to my dad later. I never did show it to him.
I remember the feeling I had when I read it after it was finished. There was a feeling in my tummy. Not butterflies, not exactly. Dragonflies. I wasn’t nervous. How could my own story make me nervous? I’m still stumped when writers are nervous about showing their work. Either it’s good or it isn’t. If it isn’t, you go back and make it good.
Those dragonflies in my tummy, though, flitted around with a purpose. I was excited. Even as I read it I wondered what adventures the princess and the horse would have. Sometimes I still do. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but there was something about seeing my words on the paper. Something…
This was my first contact with magick.
Magick, unlike magic, is real. It’s all around and it’s a part of everyone and everything. I was six when I first saw it for what it was.
I suppose that’s why I cried when my sister made fun of it. How could she not see the magick of it? Then I got scared. Maybe my dad wouldn’t see the magick, either. I tore it up and threw it away. I remember that incident and it still brings tears to my eyes.
Since then, I’ve learned a few things. My parents understood the magick of the story better than most editors I’ve met in my life. My mother had a grade 8 education and my father had only a grade 6. My father read the newspaper from front to back every day and my family always watched the news, followed by “MASH”. My mother had a talent for weaving a story for an audience and kept me and my friends entranced for hours. My father loved old movies, John Wayne being his favorite, and always took time to explain the parts I didn’t understand. If I have a love of storytelling now, it’s because of them. On my father’s side I get my Metis and Scots heritage, both rich in the art of telling a story. From my mother’s side I get the Irish and English. Let’s face it, the Irish love a good story, a good drink and a good fuck. Not necessarily in that order.
School was always a problem for me. I loved to read and loved to learn. Still do. I simply didn’t see the point of having someone natter information at me. I never took notes and rarely paid attention. Yet, when I got to go out searching for leaves in October for an art project or go to the blackboard to do some math, I came alive. I didn’t care if I got it wrong. This was getting my hands dirty and I learned. Otherwise I was the student the teacher complained wasn’t working to potential or didn’t play well with others. Truth is, I didn’t work to their potential and I still don’t play well with others. I don’t see a problem with that.
In junior high, I found a teacher who loved the story as much as I did. I can still remember sitting in his class, on the edge of my seat waiting to see what Ivan the Terrible would do next or how the Mayans built their wonderous calendar. He was a rare teacher. His name was Mr. Keroustache. He told us his story and it was horrible and beautiful.
Mr. Keroustache grew up in the Ukraine at the time of Lenin. Lenin wasn’t such a nice guy and Mr. Keroustache’s family died on their farm. Except his sister who died later. He left the farm at a very young age and went to Moscow. I’m unsure if he lived in an orphanage or something, but he did live in Moscow. In Moscow, he later achieved a doctorate in Russian History and was a top gymnast in Russia. At one time he won a gold medal. I’m unsure if he won his country’s competition or if he went to the Olympics. However, Mr. Keroustache and his friends were unhappy with their home. They wanted more. In the middle of winter, they took off across country to defect to Europe. At one point they had to run across a field, him and his two friends. There were watchtowers with gunners in them. One of his friends was shot and Mr. Keroustache never stopped running. He never found out what happened to his friend.
Eventually he came to Canada to teach children what he knew. We had such a treasure and never learned its true value.
Now I’m all grown up and suffer from bouts of anxiety, shyness, am plagued with diabetes and obesity. Within the story I leave all that behind. I take all the treasures I’ve found along the way and build a world I can escape to for a while. Some of those treasures are sharp and cut and others heal and nurture me. That goes into the magick.
The true magick lies in the story’s ability to take me to a place where I’m free. Then the magick grows and becomes something else when someone else reads the story and is transported to the same place and they see different things. The story touches and connects all those who read it.
To those skeptics who say magick doesn’t exist, I say bah. Go read.
Hello everyone. Sorry about the delay in posts, but something is brewing, I promise. I need to just take a little while to wait for it to finish cooking. Promise it’s delicious and when it’s finished, I’ll share with all of you.
When I was about six or seven, I had such a crush on Donny Osmond. Every Sunday night I’d sit in front of the television and watch the “Donny and Marie Show” and swoon over my favorite star in purple socks. Oh how desperately I wanted purple socks. I never got them, though. Every time he crooned “Puppy Love” I knew I’d marry him. Not even my father, an avid sports fan, could turn the channel during this time. Donny Osmand took precedence over everything. Even hockey.
Then he got married and that ended my love affair. My true love would never do that to me.
When I was about 10 or so, Shaun Cassidy made an appearance. THIS was my true love. Every Sunday night I watched “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries”. I even joined the “Shaun Cassidy Fan Club”. To this day I still have stock photos that club sent me of Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson. I treasure them as a vital part of growing up. Shaun Cassidy is still a very handsome man to this day.
As a young girl, those crushes taught me something very important about myself. They taught me that it’s okay to have these feelings and what I wanted in a partner. I looked to these two idols as opposed to Leif Garrett or Scott Baio because of how they were portrayed in the media. Donny Osmond and Shaun Cassidy were the good boys. They were seen as having good morals and ideals. That was very attractive to me. I also thought they were the most talented singers around, but that’s another story.
The point is, we’ve all had our Shaun Cassidys and Donny Osmands. New Kids on the Block, David Cassidy, Backstreet Boys, and so many more have played the role in our childhoods as heartthrobs. Justin Bieber is just the latest and I don’t deny him that. Like other heartthrobs, he’ll eventually fade into a beloved memory of someone’s first crush.
So I don’t play the “bash Bieber” game. It’s pointless to try to destroy a precious part of someone’s childhood and it’s unfair. I see it all across the Internet, Bieber bashing. Honestly, sometimes I think those who dislike him follow his career more closely than those who like him. It makes no sense to me.
However, when I came across a headline about Bieber proclaiming he was “Inuit or Indian or something,” I became outraged.
I am Metis. My heritage can be traced back to a time when a Cree woman married one of my ancestors. Since that time, my ancestors have happily married Metis women (all my Metis heritage comes from the men in my family line marrying Metis women) and passed down a very rich heritage to me. Being Metis means more than an interview opportunity to promote myself as vaguely belonging to a particular culture.
The blatant racist undertones of his remarks disgusted me. He is 18 years old. He knows better.
I’d love to take the time to explain to Mr. Bieber that the Inuit people are a completely different culture than the First Nations people. They have their own languages and traditions separate from the First Nations. The Metis people are a culture in their own right with their own traditions and heritage. Take the time to understand that, Mr. Bieber, before you go spouting off nonsense that just makes you look like an idiot.
Whether we like it or not, Bieber represents Canada. When he spouts off this nonsense, it makes it seem like Canadian youth are uneducated, racist idiots. I am surprised more people weren’t outraged by this off the cuff comment. I’m not even going to address the fact that he is dismissive towards three distinct cultures within Canadian society.
He then states that the only reason this is important to him is because he gets free gas has got to be the most telling remark of all. He cares nothing for the culture he’s not even sure he’s a part of. He gets free gas. Really? Apparently Bieber isn’t making enough money where he can afford his own gas. He has to tap into a culture that he cares nothing about to get gas.
Grow up, Mr. Bieber. You are representing Canada here and doing a very poor job. You owe an apology to Canadians.