The hues of September…

Yesterday was steaming hot, the sort of day where you feel like you walked face first into an athlete’s sweaty gym sock, a huge, all encompassing one. I eyed the outdoor pool wistfully, its quietness a reminder that it’s been closed for another year.

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A boat at the Peterborough lift locks

Today is a different day entirely. Today brings to mind brilliant fall leaves, the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg, crisp autumn apples, and crisp new schedules. While I happily celebrate New Year’s Eve at the end of December, September seems to me like another New Year. I’m sure all sorts of Jewish people agree with me on this 🙂

Colin’s home sick today with a nasty cold but he was back at school yesterday, getting his schedule and starting his math class. Something he’s quite excited about. And Kait will soon be entering the wonderful world of trying to get a baby on some sort of schedule. Meanwhile the baby’s belly will be calling the shots. It’s amazing how insistent something the size of a shooter marble can be.

All my programs start again next week. Yoga on Monday evening, Social Recreation on Tuesday afternoon, and Wellness on Thursday. There’ll be some anxiety while I get back into the routine. There’s some anxiety right now even thinking of it. But I know I’ll get used to it soon and I’m already looking forward to the walks to and/or from groups.

Last year Colin signed me up for a site which offers Google Play credits in exchange for completing surveys. The one thing he didn’t take into consideration is how rarely I actually play games. So the credits have been accumulating since then, reaching a grand total of $44. That was when I discovered the Play store has the newest Doctor Who series. So I bought it and splurged and got the high definition version. Now I’ve got something else to stick in my schedule. I can’t wait to find out how the new doctor’s going to manage falling to a planet from an exploding Tardis.

Spoilers dear

I can’t wait for apple pie and new activities and family time and Thanksgiving and fresh new baby snuggles and apple picking and homemade vegan butter tarts.

Welcome autumn. I didn’t think I had but I missed you.

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Two different types of people…

There are two different types of people in this world; those who plan for holidays early and those who say “Why are you buying presents so soon?”… right up until they change their mantra to, “OMG I can’t believe the holiday came so quickly! I barely have enough time to shop!”

I’m firmly in the first category.

Christmas presents

A few of the presents I’ve bought already

At this point I have several presents for Colin, a present for Kait, a present for the little sproglet, presents for both my nieces and one of my nephews, my Mom’s gift, and I know what I’m getting for Kait’s boyfriend. Phew! And almost every single person I mention this to is shocked because it’s so early. Why would I buy presents this soon? Like gifts have an expiration date.

Then there’s the people in my group who give me a knowing nod and smile, one that says, “You’re not alone. I have bags in the closet too.” I like talking to these people. They know the thrill of finding the perfect gift at an amazing price then tucking it away for four months.

My absolute favourite stores to shop at are Dollarama and Marshalls. Dollarama gets some amazing stuff, like that word art picture above, which was originally from Hallmark for $19.95. I love wandering the aisles in search of treasures and am thrilled to pieces when I find one. Marshalls is my favourite place for birthday cards and unique gifts. I already have the sproglet’s 2nd birthday card from there and he hasn’t even been born yet. But it was so cute!

So the earth will continue to spin and I’ll continue to buy presents months in advance. And people will continue to criticize because it’s “too soon”. And I will sit in my swing chair in December, sipping a mug of hot chocolate and thinking about all the people struggling their way through the crowds in search of the perfect gifts, and will decide that my way is a pretty good choice.

When school isn’t safe…

Update: There is now a GoFundMe for Maddie and her family to move to Houston. Please click here for it!

TW: extreme transphobic comments against a child

Twelve years old, that boundary year, the line between childhood and teen. Still young enough to play on the playground but old enough to start worrying that the slide and swings are a bit uncool. The age where they’re cool in groups but going home to play Minecraft, Barbies, and lego. An age of innocence. And an age where grown adults think nothing of using the slurs of “it”, “half baked maggot”, “thing”, and “the transgender” if you’re not cisgender and/or straight. The adults also refer to a gay teacher as “the queer teacher” and want to get rid of them both, the teacher and twelve year old transgender girl Maddie.

These so called adults have children of their own and not an ounce of empathy between them. They cheerfully choose which children of theirs who will kick “his” ass in the bathroom with the ultimate plan of running her and her father out of town.

 

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Not even half an ounce of empathy

The child in question usually uses the staff washroom, which isn’t a surprise considering the attitude of the locals, but couldn’t find it in the new school and used the girls’ room once. That was enough to get these junior high wannabe adults blathering and egging each other on.

People act like bullying is a childhood issue and forget the kids are learning it from somewhere. This is simply more blatant than usual. How do you think they’d treat a trans adult who dared to move into their town of 492 people?

Sometimes bucolic just means inbred.

If I were her parents, I’d be moving as quickly as I could. The townsfolk would think they won but they’re like the apocryphal chess playing pigeon. Strutting around shitting everywhere, acting like they won. Meanwhile the family would be in better surroundings with better people. They could hardly find worse, no matter what the townspeople think.

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What Seth doesn’t realize is that, overall, 70% are supportive of trans people, wanting the government to do more to help them. Half the population of the States believes they should use the washroom of their gender and 61% in Canada. Seth’s an outlier, a dinosaur in wait of a meteor strike.

I’d love to have a happy ending to this post, everyone loves a happy ending, but the reality is a child is stuck in a town where she is seen as vermin to be destroyed and not a child to be supported. A child who’s in hiding, along with her siblings, for their own protection. All I can suggest is to support the people you know and the people around you. If you see someone who’s trans, simply smile like you would to anyone else. Stand up for her (or him) if she’s being hassled. Be there.

If that’s not enough, you can buy “you can pee next to me” pins. I know there’s a similarly phrased one and I’ve totally lost the phrase. If you know it, feel free to remind me. There are groups like Transgender & Allies Circle of Trust where people offer, in part, support and empathy to newly out trans people. You can attend your local PFLAG meetings and find out what’s happening with the LGBTQ community in your area. They openly accept allies. And you can stand up to people like Seth and Eddie and Kevin. People who think nothing of attacking and harrassing a 12 year old.

The best birthday present ever…

My Mom called and asked if we could have lunch together, one day after my birthday, at the local Indian restaurant we like. I agreed and we all got together for a scrumptious lunch. Then my Mom handed me a fat envelope, which I looked at in surprise. It was too fat to be money and envelopes don’t tend to hold much else. It turned out to be a one night/two day stay at Ste. Anne’s Spa for myself, my Mom, and my two sisters. A girls’ getaway.

My anxiety immediately kicked in. I’d been assured there were vegan options. But what if my breakfast option was oatmeal and bananas, neither of which I liked. I stewed about that one night until I finally fell asleep then woke up and checked their menu online. They don’t even serve oatmeal. I don’t think bananas were on the list either.

I stood outside on the morning we left and stared at the torrential rain. This was so not what I’d hoped for (but was definitely what I worried about).

pouring rain on the way to the spa

Jen might as well have been driving through a waterfall

But luck was with us and the rain stopped shortly after we arrived at the spa. We got dressed in our white robes and bathing suits then puttered around the spa and outside.

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The back view of the spa

It was amazing! We sat in the eucalyptus steam room until we couldn’t stand it anymore then went outside to the hot tub. They actually had three tubs, a hot tub, an absolutely freezing plunge tub, and a bigger cooling tub. Everyone else cooled off in the plunge tub while I enjoyed the cooling tub. And I loved the massage chairs, especially the foot massage!

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My sisters are adjusting the massage settings, not playing on their phones

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Me in the massage chair

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The hot tub in a quiet moment

Soon it was 4pm and we could collect the keys for our cottage. We were staying in the Farmhouse cottage, just a short walk away from the spa. Like everything else, it was absolutely gorgeous.

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The Farmhouse. My room was directly above the front porch

My room had the cutest triangle door…

My room's triangle door

… and sloped ceilings. It had two steps down and I was a bit worried I’d forget about them in the middle of the night but I didn’t. It was so cozy!

my room

I think the hardest part of the meals was the food was all so good, we ended up stuffing ourselves until we were as round and plump as butterball turkeys.

my ratatouille dinner

My vegan ratatouille

I could go on for ages, it was just a wonderful trip, and we did so much in such a short amount of time. I haven’t mentioned our free facials or the spa treatments or the pool or the dalmation spotted great dane.

Great dane in the garden

Look at that wittle face. He’s a 9 year old puppy

We all kept saying, over and over, that there was way more to do than could be fit into two days and that we have to go back. It won’t be soon but maybe sometime in the next couple of years we’ll be walking through the gardens again.

Me, Jen, and Mom

Me, my sister Jen, and my Mom walking to the spa from our cottage

Sweet dreams…

I used to have extremely vivid and memorable dreams, the kind that would make my kids laugh happily when I told them then they’d pronounce me as weird. Like it’s my fault my mind comes up with such things as flying platypuses. Then I went on several psychiatric medications and it all changed. I now wake up from a richly vivid dream then it quickly disappears, like cotton candy in water. One second I have the whole dream, as detailed as a fine tapestry, then I only have somethi- and, oops, it’s all gone.

A couple of days ago I had two nights in a row with very short and memorable dreams. The first dream involved me going to Dollarama. All of you non-Canadians don’t know what you’re missing. Dollarama is the dollar store and I love going there for decorations like pictures, wall stickers, and word art. This dream found me, as usual, in the decor aisle where I found something, a picture of some sort, that was glittery, sparkly, and immediately loved.

The next time Colin and I went to Dollarama, we walked the aisles like usual and finally made it to the decor aisle. There something caught my eye on the bottom shelf where it would be easily overlooked. It was gold, sparkly, and the only one like it. I already know where I’m going to put it when I eventually move. It’ll be perfect in the dining room with my favourite photos of the kids.

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Some of the stars have gemstones and the sequins are loose

The next dream found me outside and sitting on a bench, I don’t know where, maybe Lakeview Park. A bubbly, vivacious woman approached me and complimented my hair. Then she asked me out. I, of course, accepted.

I don’t believe in fortune telling or prophetic dreams but I think I’ll be spending a bit more time loitering around park benches than I usually do.

Colin’s second blog post (by Colin)…

So to start off with, I’m going to start off with the political thing I mentioned briefly in my last post, fining people for not using someone’s preferred pronouns or gender. Personally I don’t see how it would help. Because is someone going to sit there and say, “Oh I totally know what you mean by that, how I should use your preferred gender.” Or are they going to ban you from the establishment for something you did in the past, find just some reason to ban you, and not learn their lesson. And just be more upset with the LGBT community. If I thought it was going to help, I’d be all for it, but fining people? Like, think about speeding, right? People get fines for speeding, but isn’t it a regular thing? A fine really doesn’t do anything. And drinking and driving. We’re told endlessly not to drink and drive but there are still people who do that.

ColinBut let’s move on to the thing everyone probably has on their mind. How Obama completely wronged the gay community by legalizing gay marriage. Now it sounds weird right? You legalize gay marriage and you harm the community but, from what I’ve seen, that’s exactly what he did. When he legalized gay marriage, he put no protections under the law. So if everyone thinks back, you can probably remember right after they legalized gay marriage, you saw a massive thing where people were kicked out of their building, fired from their job, right after coming back from getting married, which is just fun. Now to me, it seems like it’s going to be more difficult to put the protections in the law now because, unlike the gender wage gap, which has been stopped, in most places, thirty years ago, it’s not a thing where you legalize gay marriage and it’s fine. You need to put specific protections in the law because, with the wage gap, you just had to say you have to pay men and women equally. But with gay marriage, Obama took the lazy way out. You have it where gay marriage is legal but not protected. So you can get fired still for being gay and kicked out of your apartment for being gay but you can get married. To me, that doesn’t seem equal. But Canada did make it illegal to kick someone out of a building for being gay but, to be honest, I don’t know about the last part because Canadians are so nice they probably weren’t firing people in the first place or kicking people out and they were probably just marrying them anyway <joke>.

The future and why free speech is very important. If we don’t have free speech and that kind of includes a bit of hate speech (that obviously doesn’t include death threats or threats of assault) you could have a situation which is entirely possible right now, where, if you say a word, your phone would pick it up and the police would be at your door in fifteen minutes to arrest you. Personally, that doesn’t sound fun, I don’t know about anyone else. And also, talking bad about people like the government, people in government, celebrities. I remember Anita Sarkeesian went to the UN and I’m surprised that no one in the news picked it up. She said bullying and stuff like that were people disagreeing with her on the internet. Disagreement is not bullying. But think about the future. If it is classified as bullying, what could happen next? You disagree with someone in government, you’re bullying them, you go to jail for like 20 years. But even, like, activists. You disagree with them, you could get the same prison time I bet.

Speaking of activism. Has anyone noticed the left is getting away with stuff they shouldn’t. Obviously in like the UK, Scotland, Canada, the US… places like that. Obviously not the place they’re getting fucking shot. But like antifa, they’re getting away with stuff like beating people up. I remember when the bike lock happened, the police said “we can’t track them, they have a mask on”. And then 4chan had to step in for the police and investigated it. And they brought enough evidence to get the guy arrested. Which, just a side note, don’t get on 4chan’s bad side. They found a flag that was inside someone’s house, which only had one window in an unknown location on a wall. It was on a white wall, with nothing around it, inside someone’s house. And they found it in a day. This is a thing that happened. They found it in a day or two. One more thing about 4chan, the news needs to stop falling for them. The OK sign is apparently “white power” and milk is apparently “white supremacists” but, you know, the news has a lot of investigative journalists to do things <sarcasm>.

And now good news. If anyone’s used Google Pay you can probably figure this one out. Soon your phone will do literally everything except gaming. You will have to play Steam games on the computer. So your phone will slide into a thing on your computer and will have everything on your phone be accessible on your desktop soon. But you’d still have all the functionalities of a desktop too, it will be a virtual interface but about gaming thing, try playing Fall Out 4 on the iPhone10 or the newest Samsung or any other phone from this year. Even the phone that was a dedicated gaming phone won’t play Fall Out 4. The desktop will aways be faster but the phone processors will be really good but most people will have a phone and a display for at home. But, in the future, you need your ID, grab your phone. You need your bus pass, grab your phone. We’re already paying with stuff on the phone so if you need your credit card, grab your phone, if you need your Visa, grab your phone. You need basically anything, you need your airplane ticket, grab your phone. You need to start your car, well grab your phone, that’s your key. But, in the future, your phone will be everything, which at first glance seems like, well this is horrible. If you lose your phone, all you need to do is grab your old phone, don’t trade it in because if you trade it in, you won’t have it anymore. And this is advice for if you’re going to get a new phone. Even though they say they’re going to give you a better phone if you trade your old one in, don’t. Unless if you think you can afford $100 to repair the screen. Maybe even $500 depending on the phone. Just get the best phone you can without trading in your old phone.

So to make a long story short. Free speech is important. No one learns anything by a fine. And the future will be you with a phone and, if you play gaming on a computer now, you’ll have a computer.