And the Rest of #Canada150 Weekend…

I always come back to work feeling content after a good weekend well spent. I do. I feel like I deserve a pat on the back or something. Because that’s the kind of ego I have!

Granted, some weekends are very “nothing” weekends. Ones where we are just lazy. And that’s okay – I think we need those types of weekends every now and then. Then there are weekends where we are booked with social events. These are the weekends I try to avoid – It’s one thing to spend an evening with friends or family but it’s another weekend where every single minute of our day is spent socializing.

And, no surprise, these types of weekends happen not by choice. We’re about to approach just that type of weekend when we visit my husband’s family in Thunder Bay. My MIL has this weird obsession of making sure the entire city has a chance to visit with us when we arrive – something no one in the immediate family cares for. But she INSISTS. Which is why I always stop at the liquor store and stock up for such weekends.

I’m almost positive there are rumors going around that my poor husband is married to an alcoholic. Fine by me… just give me my red wine!

So due to this impending weekend of doom approaching fast, we’re making sure this weekend is going to be one of those nothing-weekends. Today, yeah, I did play around with the idea of a hike but I have too much to do with laundry and stuff at home as it is. So I’m going to just throw in the towel and stay home. I will, however, enjoy our patio just to say I ‘got out of the house’ – how about that? Does that count?

And I’ll have a martini whilst I’m enjoying our patio.

Last weekend which was the #Canada150 long weekend, we had one of those very fulfilling weekend where we saw no one but did a lot as a family. Chaeli and I did participate in the July 1st festivities, but we also made sure to spend the rest of the weekend doing things we love to do (and take advantage of good weather)!

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Crawford Lake Hike – 1 hr 45 min

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Our first raspberries of the season

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Late afternoon stroll by the lake

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Hobbes the Dog was a happy pup!

Why “13 Reasons Why Not” isn’t THAT Bad

I was skeptical at first. Really skeptical. And not because of all the controversial talk about how the series glamorizes teen suicide. I wasn’t worried about that – mainly because after doing my own reading on the internet, most articles who claimed professional psychiatrist stated this show could spur real life copy-cats, no where did they even give any reference of credibility of such professionals or case studies. Once again, alternate facts looms over us again.

And of the few supposed copy-cats that surfaced on the news after the series aired, there was no direct cause-and-effect relationship tied to show and real suicide victim. And the fact is – leaving a suicide note is not a new thing. Of course, with modern-day technology, letters are, I suppose, old school. Video and/or audio recording is probably more realistic these days.

The show, 13 Reasons Why, was not a great show and had mediocre acting (though I will say the main actor, Dylan Minnette, who’s character, Clay – who we watch as he unravels the mysteries from each tape – was my favorite). It captivated my attention enough to get me to watch all 13 episodes. Yet, 1/3rd into the show, I really was just wanting to get to the end so I could find out what lead to her suicide (the tapes gradually explained how they were all connected – but there appeared to be this looming doom which broke her soul at the very end).

Why I continued to watch the show was basically because of this:

While the suicide was a main focal point of the show, the issues that surrounded it was what people should be talking about: drugs, alcohol abuse, bullying and rape.

Especially the last two – bullying and rape (or assault of any kind).

So while the masses are upset with the show, fearing teens will be easily swayed to end their lives in a dramatic, revenge-like “trend”, I ask this… Would our teens feel a need to even consider suicide if they did not have to go to an institution day in and day out, facing such risks? When they go home, with social media being such a huge part of their lives, can they even escape it when they are not at school?

What are we as parents, the community and the school doing to prevent this warped, criminal behavior from happening? I say this because before this show even existed, this sad reality has happened before. The one I can’t get out my mind was the teen girl who was gang-raped by four of her classmates. The rapists took photos during the act and the photos went viral. Shortly after, she was bullied. Like 13 Reasons Why, she was called a slut and her reputation from good, sweet girl, flipped 180. Just like that. This poor teen suicide victim not only endured a horrible and criminal act, but then went through significantly, cruel bullying.

So for all the parents out there, outraged by this show, I ask this – what are WE doing to try and prevent this from happening in real life? If the issues on the show were not a real concern in our society, would there even BE such a show? Did we shape our culture/society to basically, give birth to the plot line of 13 Reasons Why?

I’m a bit dumbfounded why everyone seems to be pointing fingers at the show, stating it is too dangerous for teens to watch and lacks any accountability of the message. Yet what about the discussions this show has cultivated? Are we going to continue and point fingers at a fictional show (or novel which it was based off of) and ignore the fact that we have the power to make a change in society? What about the good that has come from all this controversy? What about the teens who created a project called “13 Reasons Why Not?”

People are also upset about this fictional teen leaving tapes – as if she was being selfish.

She was in pain. People who commit suicide are not thinking logically. They are not behaving normally. To blame the victim (for victimizing others in the aftermath) is a moot point. However, let me ask this – what if those tapes stop these people from making the same mistake to others? What if it is enough to bring charges down on the rapist(s)? What if it saves another life?

Honestly, before I watched the show I did not have a strong opinion of all the controversy surrounding the topic of 13 Reasons Why because it sounded like a pretty bad show. I don’t mean bad in that the subject was a horrible subject. I mean… it just sounded like a really bad show!

And, while it was not as bad as I imagined it to be, yeah, it was still bad.

I am not too swayed with this fear of teens glamorizing suicide. If they were in a suicidal state to begin with, the problem was there way before even watching this TV series.

The topics, however, were important to me. As a parent of a teen who has started discussing this show with friends (even though she has not seen it yet – she told me she is not interested at this point), I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to know what exactly happens so when she has questions or want to talk about it, I am hopefully, more ready than not.

Perhaps this show sort of sucked – but the topics are very real. We must stop the ignorance and get to the root of this problem. Increasing teen suicide rates are NOT due to this show. And we need to do something about it.

Confessions No. 13 – Hockey

Oh… I am going to admit something so very, very taboo.

I hate hockey.

There, I said it. Yes, I, a Canadian, who does a lot of Canadian stuff like camping, hiking and apologizes a lot even if I’m not in the wrong, does NOT like hockey. Which, as a Canadian stereotype, is very un-Canadian-like and is something I would never admit at any sports bar or pub for fear of being chased out, hunted down and stripped of my Canadian citizenship.

This is not something new. Growing up, I actually thought I was just weird. That maybe I’ll grow out of it. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn to love it. Years passed by and I still can’t stand the sport.

I think this realization really was brought out when I was down in Phoenix for my first business trip with the new parent company. They took us to a really high-end bowling ally. Until then, I didn’t think “high-end” and “bowling ally” could be used in conjunction with each other. But this place was NICE! Too bad I can’t bowl.

Anyway, they made sure the TVs were on the hockey game. It was the play-offs. Toronto Maple Leafs were not in it – Montreal Canadians were, though. And as most of us were from Toronto, they said, “Hey, you guys must all be happy to see a Canadian team in the playoffs!”

Now, the Americans from my company, are not big into hockey, either. Even though the NHL is pretty huge, from what I gather, in the states. But they have more options in sports than we do – especially when they are much more supportive of their college sports. I wish we were more into our college sports teams. Seriously – they put our school spirit to shame!

Anyway, I did know one thing I was really proud of… what is worse as a Canadian to admit not liking hockey, is no where near as bad if I were to support my rival team. I know that being a Torontorian, if I’m going to cheer for a team, it had better be The Leafs. And NOT the Canadians. Unless I want to be chased, hunted down, stripped of my Canadian citizenship AND skinned alive.

I then admitted to them, the Americans, that I am not really into hockey. I felt, at least, it was safe to say this to them. They really didn’t care, right?

They looked at me dumbfounded. They said, “Well, you’re an anomaly!”

Am I? Am I really an anomaly JUST because I do not like hockey? Honestly, it wasn’t until the Americans pointed this out, that I really felt like I was out of place. I mean all my friends like hockey. ALL of them. My husband’s family, too. Not so much my family but they are excused since they immigrated over to Canada.

There must be other Canadian-born people out there who do not like hockey. Seriously!

Maybe I should form some type of support group or something.

[On the side note, while on a whole I’m not a very big sports fan overall – I mean, I’d rather go to the museum or art gallery than watch most sports – I am an Olympics fan and will watch both men and women’s hockey during the winter games. I also have a list of other sports I would much rather watch over hockey and they are, in the following order: baseball (I’m actually quite dedicated to The Jays), curling (yes, I like curling, okay? and that can be argued as being very Canadian), soccer and basketball. I’ll even watch lacrosse and rugby before hockey. Oh – and this sport called Hurling. Yes, I’ll even watch hurling over hockey!)]

Spoken from a Past Abusive Relationship Escapee

I mentioned in a previous rant – the one where I just loathed not just Monday mornings, but the anticipation of Monday mornings being somewhat far worse – the numerous co-workers I have to deal with. And the stories I can tell. And yes, I realize that the title of the linked post is about zombies because that’s where the post was heading, but there was, still, a point there somewhere of the ‘werk jerks’ I sometimes I have to deal with.

This subject, however, is one close to my heart. Because in my late adolescent years lasting to my early 20’s, I was in an abusive relationship. I’ve brought this up before when describing the psychological win an abuser has over their victims. I won’t go into it further in this post except just to emphasize it’s not about the victim being weak in staying in a relationship. The victim has been weakened over time through extremely strong mind-control which is a skill an abuser has.

So at work, I have heard more than once, sadly, more than many, many times, of which each time I say something and each time I get a dirty look, where people question WHY the victim stays in their abusive relationship. Accusations and questions come flying out: Don’t they love their children to leave their husband? Why doesn’t she just run away? It’s not like we’re in a third-world country that has no support/shelters… what is her excuse for staying?

When I try to combat each of these accusations, I am met with an angry and frustrated, “Yes, I know. That’s why I started with saying ‘I know it’s easier said than done…'”

It’s easier said than done, BUT…

I’m not racist, BUT…

Not trying to sound sexist, BUT…

When will people learn that just because they use mere words to say they aren’t something doesn’t mean that what they are about to say is negated and excused… and clears them of all notions of being a fucking asshole.

I am probably not in the minority of working with dicks like this. I am aware of this being all-to common in the workplace. And everywhere else. It never makes me give up, though. I will always try to educate whomever will listen to reason (if possible). with a steady and patient voice, I always try to give them information (founded, scientific information, whenever possible) to just try and make them think.

Still, I admit, I get so tired of hearing these words. The worse are the women who say, “If I were in that position, I would grab my kids and walk away right away!”

I have heard this many times myself. So naive and immature – I wonder if these people realize they are basically saying, I am better and stronger than SHE is. Look at me! I show no empathy to the weak because they should be strong! Like me!

It is tiring. I need to try and distance myself from these conversations. Which is why I am such a loner at work. Thank God.

Being Chased by Evolved Zombies

Most Mondays are pretty torturous for me. Monday mornings being the worst part of the day.

As most will agree, it starts Sunday afternoon. By 4pm, I’m starting to do that mental countdown to the inevitable. You see, 4pm marks that time for me… That time where I know there are only a couple of hours before Sunday dinner and having to clean up and prepare everything for the start of our weekly grind… That time where I know the weekend is pretty much coming to an end.

The saving grace for Sunday nights is me looking forward to my AMC shows which includes The Walking Dead, Into the Badlands (currently overlapping with the end of the season for The Walking Dead), and Fear the Walking Dead (which will take place of both first two shows in the summer). I thank AMC for continuing my TV show addictions. Because there’s also Better Call Saul (starting soon) and Preacher (sometimes this summer). All year long violence at its best! High Five!

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Rick Grimes and a bunch of zombie from The Walking Dead

Of course, these shows also give me weird dreams. Last night I dreamt I was running around with Rick Grimes – we were swinging through the forest top trying to escape these evolved zombies whom were pissed off at us for killing a zombie friend of theirs named, Joe. They were grunting, “Joe! Jooooeeeee!!! AAUUUUGGRRHH!” as they gained speed to catch up to us.

I then wake up in the morning, partially relieved it was just a dream, but also partially upset to NOT be in the dream anymore because: a) my life is nowhere near that exciting and adventurous and I’m worried I am running out of time to be adventurous; and b) I was with RICK GRIMES FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD! I love him. In that alternate reality, I would like to have his baby. Though maybe not in a zombie-apocalypse because babies cry and make a lot of noise. Noise attracts zombies like fire to a moth. Scratch that off my want-list.

The real painful part, though, is getting to work. As I walk into the office, I am dreading the ‘good mornings’. I am dreading the same faces I see every single day here. And I dread having any conversation I have to have with most of the people I work with.

Why? They are weird. I mean, I’m weird, too. But these people are both weird and not afraid to share it. And frankly, I don’t want to have them share their weirdness with me. I really don’t! You don’t see me sharing my weirdness with them, after all. That’s why I keep a blog. So I can anonymously share my weirdness to the unfortunate souls whom stumble upon my little space on the internet and are brave enough to venture through my posts. At least they can choose to participate with my weirdness at their own convenience.

I have examples. I have so many examples of why these people are weird. But it’s Monday morning and I’m too tired for examples. Maybe another time…