Thursday, September 29, 2011

It all started with this tweet:

And so I decided to humiliate myself and write my own version of Rizzo's classic "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" from the hit Grease.

Yah, so... yah. I got nothin. Enjoy.

Every little thing...

I had a wee bit of a meltdown yesterday. 

If you follow me on Twitter you may have heard that a mouse decided to move in last week... went something like this:

Anyhooters, I have had a seriously tense week wondering if that mouse was going to nibble on my toes while I worked  so mornings have kind of sucked for me. Add to that a cold that had me on my deathbed for a few days, PMS, the FIERCE awards, PLUS kids who want to be fed and talked to, and I have been one tense chiquita. 

My mother phoning me yesterday was the proverbial straw.

Planning the FIERCE awards is no easy feat and I'm not complaining because the universe knows I do this to myself but sometimes between looking for sponsors, finding the right venue, planning the event, designing the certificates and promo posters, writing the press release, updating the website, keeping up on Twitter & Facebook, sending out tickets, keeping it all organized, and wondering if it really makes a difference to anyone whether or not these awards are even held... the universe sends me a sign.

I don't listen to the radio much but was driving home from securing one of our first sponsors the FIERCE Awards (Yay to Miss Boss for presenting the VIP Reception!!) and I was stressing about the cash crunch for these awards when I absent-mindedly hit the radio button and my eyes popped open as soon as I heard the steel drums.

This is what I heard:
Sayin' this is my message to you... Singin' don't worry... 'cause every little thing's gonna be all right.
The sign was in a form of Bob Marley's hit song, Everything's Gonna Be All Right.

I smiled and knew that something I had tweeted earlier in the day had set me on the right path:

And on that note, I have a FIERCE awards gala to put together! 

UPDATE: Definition of irony: About an hour after I wrote this post I realized my house had been broken into and my jewelry was stolen. Sigh. 

I still trust the universe and know it really will be all right.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My kryptonite

I'm pretty tough. Not much gets me down and keeps me there. But even when I am down for the count, I always manage to come back better than ever.

But even Superman had his kryptonite and so do I.

There is one person that never fails to paralyze my spirit, cause me ridiculous amounts of tension, triggers me to the point of wanting to either punch someone or curl up in my blankets and shut everyone out.

My mother.

I don't have a relationship with her. I haven't had one in a long time and even when I did have a "relationship" with her, it was toxic. Our relationship isn't strained because she was "the meddling mom" or even "the strict mom" or not even "the fussy mom." We have no relationship for so many reasons that a blog won't cover.  

I get that I am who I am today because of the shit I went through growing up and if I were in the mood to be all Zen right now, I would tell you that I should be thankful for lessons I learned from my mother. I mean, after all , I learned to NOT choose abusive relationships thanks to her. I learned that moms should ALWAYS choose their kids over a man especially when that so-called "man" is beating and sexually abusing your kids. I learned that it's not OK to leave your kids in a car while you're drinking in a bar until 3 am. I learned that using Welfare as a crutch and  playing the victim role your entire life will get you NO WHERE.

Yeh, I'm pretty fuckin' grateful.

I don't want my kids around her when I can't even maintain any level of composure when she's around. This woman triggers me like no one else ever has and, yes, I've done all the "let it go, forgive" crap and for the most part I'm usually OK with it.

But then she phones me. And my blood pressure skyrockets. And my shoulders tense. And my fists clench. And the rage comes washing over me and I feel like I'm drowning in it.

Deeeeeep breath.

I am the mom I am today because of the mom she never was. I am the woman I am today because of the woman SHE was. I made a lot of choices based on what I saw growing up and even though I tried my best to save her, I never could.

You can only take on that kind of baggage for so long before it becomes an anchor and you are either going down with that ship or you break the ties completely and save yourself. Clearly, I chose the latter.

But ever once in a while, only when she wants or needs something, she will call. It's not often, like once a year, maybe twice but I never know it's her until I pick up the phone because she is never in the same place for very long.

She wasn't always like the person she became. In fact, some of my early memories are of her laughing, her dazzling smile, her charismatic personality, her easy way of making other people feel comfortable. When I think about those times, it breaks my heart because she could have had such a better life but she made so many bad choices. She continues to make them and it just is what it is.

I go from rage to sadness when I hear from her because there are so many times I wish I had a mom who was there for me. I wish she had the strength to walk away the first time she was beaten. Or even the second time. I wish she was the mom I remembered not the woman I know now.

She can't be saved because you can only save someone who wants to be saved. I guess I just have to keep learning from her mistakes and be the best mom to my kids that I can.

What's your kryptonite?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The other woman

I admit it, there's someone else. 

She came into my life not long ago, enticing me with her quick & easy ways... she sure knew what I wanted, needed, even.

She was fast and cheap; hot and ready; she had me at hello.

She knew I didn't have much time but she was there when I needed her the most. Big Daddy didn't even know about her until he caught us together but he wasn't surprised; I think he suspected all along. He didn't seem to mind, though, he just smiled at us and asked if he could help. Of course I said no, I mean, it wasn't going to take me long to finish so there was no point in including him.

Her name is Jane and she is my dirty little secret. 

But I like to share because, well, sharing is caring and Jane should be shared. 

I've always been skeptical of frozen, fast foods but have always loved the convenience, especially when supper hasn't been planned ahead or I'm not feeling like creating cuisine from scratch but when Janes Family Foods offered to send me this gift basket of their latest products, I thought, "What the hell? I like easy!"

I never expected to LOVE these FlatJacks (approx. $6 at Wal-Mart) in fact I had no idea what the hell a FlatJack was. I figured it was some sort of toaster pancake but was pleasantly surprised to find they are chicken snacks you pop in your toaster. No fuss, no muss, no stress, no mess.

Being the creative type I am totally not  I decided to make Oz and Lola a quickie supper with them, and since Lola is somewhat of a picky eater and I'm certain a vegetarian (except for her weird obsession with bacon), I usually end up making two versions of supper: one plain, one with flavour.

For Oz, I made a double FlatJack sandwich with cheese and lettuce on a bun with ketchup. He polished if off in record time and asked for a second sandwich! 

For the fusspot, I toasted the FlatJack, cut it up and served the bun on the side. I added the ketchup in hopes she would use it (what kid, other than Lola, doesn't love ketchup?!) but she refused to even acknowledge the chicken that had been touched by the ketchup. Her vegetarian tendencies aside, she not only ATE the FlatJacks but she declared her LOVE for the FlatJacks.

I admit it, I tried one and was not only impressed by the flavour of these little snacks but loved that they weren't crap. You moms know what I'm talking about here, there are certain brands of frozen foods that are made from crap and you hate feeding them to your family but sometimes do as an alternative to cooking ... yeh I didn't feel guilty about serving this. Not one little bit.

I'm also a fan of Jane's seafood products as they are MSC approved which means they only use sustainable fish and seafood.

So now you know about Jane. I have no shame or remorse for my love affair with her and I certainly plan on using her again and again. Hell maybe even next time I'll let Big Daddy not only watch but join in!

Oh and as an added bonus, Jane's is giving away a gift basket with a Black & Decker toaster and gift certificates to try out their fantastic products. Post a comment and I will have Oz & Lola draw a random winner. 

PS: For your info...

Monday, September 19, 2011

All for one and one for all, bitches!

There is nothing more empowering than women who celebrate each other's successes, and last night's show of support from the women in the Best Actress in a Comedy series at the 2011 Primetime Emmys was one of the show's most touching, poignant moments I've ever seen on any awards ceremony let alone any other medium. 

I not often moved by TV moments (although I'm not gonna lie, I cried when Beverly Hills 90210 went off the air) so when I first saw Amy Poehler walk up onto the stage when Rob Lowe announced her as the first nominee, I kinda thought mayyyybe... she was either tipsy (ok, drunk) or confused OR she was going to pull a Kanye West and interrupt presenters Rob and Sofia Vergara, but instead they just looked oddly at her. And when they announced Melissa McCarthy's name and SHE went up on stage, I was seriously confused, wondering what the hell they were doing. 
But as I watched all the women go up on stage as their names were called, I couldn't help feeling some sort of pride for women everywhere because, even though it was clearly staged, it proved that women could be in a competing category but still support and celebrate their successes without it being a pretentious "How nice for her" clap. 
They were genuinely excited for each other, truly proud to be in the category together and heartfelt hugs were given to Melissa when she was crowned the "Queen of Comedy" for the event. I teared up, I was in awe of these women, and I was inspired by their grace, authentic joy for each other and the moment where the women were so grateful to celebrate and BE celebrated for their accomplishments.
Girls, we can all take a page from these funny bitches' notebook:

  • Celebrate the successes of other women, don't knock down their accomplishments.
  • Be genuinely happy when you see another woman soar, don't be snarky and spiteful with your comments. 
  • Use your powers for good, not evil. If you can't be happy for another woman's success, keep your negative energy to yourself
  • If you find yourself competing with another business woman, find a way to work with her instead of against her

It is the same thing I hope to see more often and, more specifically, hope to bring with the FIERCE networking group and the 2011 FIERCE Women of the Year awards.

Because those actresses, they embody the idea of FIERCE: 
Females Inspiring Each other in a REAL Community of Empowerment

Care to inspire and be inspired? Click here for details!

Jump to the 30 sec mark to see the presentation.  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

With all his faults...

Now, I don't usually get all mushy in public (or private for that matter) but I woke up this morning feeling ridiculously grateful for my life. I attribute a lot of my personal growth to one person: my husband. 

The first night we met

When I met Ron, aka Big Daddy, I was 24 years old, arrogant, broken in so many ways that I didn't even know how badly my spirit was battered, and fiercely independent. There were so many mornings when I would wake up and he would tell me that I had cried in my sleep or mumbled awful things about my past, things I never remembered let alone remembered saying. 

I often wondered if I had always been like that, battling demons in my sleep all those years. When I was awake, I guarded myself with this bullet-proof exterior; no one would hurt me the way I had been hurt and no one would get close enough to me again. My best friend, Teresa, who had known me since high school, always called me "Dally" from The Outsiders because I lived by his saying,
"You get tough like me and you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothing can touch you."

I really lived that way for a long time. Even years into my relationship/marriage with Ron, I expected him to give up on me and leave. I look back at it now and honestly wonder how/why the hell he stayed. I know why I was the way I was; losing my grandma when I was 19 and the death of a boyfriend I was in love with when I was 21, made me push people away before they could leave me. I wonder if I had someone to help me through all of that, if I would have been less jaded and more trusting but I guess it is what it is. 

Vegas, baby!

Anyway, for years, I pushed people away and refused to let anyone get close to me. I'm still very guarded with who I let into my life but not nearly as much as I was when I was in my 20s. My circle of friends, real friends, is small and mostly consist of people who have seen me at my worst and are still around. 

Ron and I have been together for 12 years, married for 11, and he tells me every day that he loves me, even if I have been the most awful person in the world to him. A lot of times when he says, "I love you" I don't reply, "I love you, too," I ask why. It's kind of become a joke now and he sighs and says, "Yes." I whine a little bit and say, "But WHY!?" to which he rolls his eyes and says, "Because you're relentless."

He really loves me which still boggles my mind. It's not that I think I don't deserve to be loved but he has seen me at my absolute worst and is still here, not out of obligation but because he truly loves me, faults and all. 

Stettler Steam train, look at how sexy he is!

Our wedding song was It Had To Be You and I used to sing to him, "With all your faults, I love you still," when in reality, I saw him as faultless but knew that I was riddled with many. I've since been able to see that he is not perfect but his flaws are limited to the following: 

He double-checks EVERYTHING. It's annoying. I could tell him the sky is blue and he would have to look for himself to see. 

He thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Sadly, he is. He is extremely methodic, rational and intelligent. He is argumentative, stubborn, and somewhat smug. It's annoying. 

He rarely gets emotional about anything. Overly happy, overly sad, overly angry, overly ANYTHING. I am a Scorpio. I feel everything intensely: love, hate, anger, passion, joy. Everything. He does not. It's annoying.

He hates anything that resembles manual labour and hates to be "told" to do anything. It's really annoying. 

I guess I can look past his flaws and be happy I have such great guy. 

Back in Vegas, baby! I love his scruff!!

Because he double-checks everything, I don't have to. I trust that he will take care of the little things I neglect or miss.

Because he is so smart, we have some fiery conversations which results in an extremely volcanic relationship. He challenges me to be better than I think I am. 

Because he rarely gets overly emotional about anything, I am able to. He is a calming force in my life, he never overreacts, and has patience to spare. It takes a lot for me to piss him off (thank coffee!) and he just smiles when I get goofy with excitement over the dorkiest things.

Because he hates manual labour or being told to do anything... yeh, that's still annoying :D 

But I love him, still.

Because when I look into my future, I am happy to see us together, still annoying the hell out of each other and still looking at him with my big, blue eyes, asking him why he loves me.

And if I haven't said it before, I'm a lucky girl to have such a wonderful guy. 

I swear he gets sexier with age!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Impure thoughts... gotta love 'em!

It never fails to amaze me how uptight some people are when it comes to sex.

Sex. It's what makes the world go 'round. You do it. You have had it. Chances are, it's how you got to be a MOM.

Everybody does it.

Now unless it involves rape, bestiality, kids, incest or anything of the sort WHY must it be something you should feel ashamed of?

Sex feels good. 
When you do it right, it feels GREAT!

I recently came across an event for married couples to "fix" the sexual impurities in your relationship. Ugh, it's a good thing my eyes can't roll back into my head because I was thoroughly annoyed by this "be ashamed" mentality.

You should never think about another man or woman!  
Kink or taboo is deviant and you are sick for even thinking about it! 
Fantasy is wrong!  
Sex is the physical expression of love and only meant to be enjoyed between a man and a woman!  
Good girls don't enjoy sex! 
You're a  MOM now, you should act like one! MOMs do not have sex! 
Porn is the devil's work! It destroys marriages which are the purist form of love on this earth!

Ugh, OK, I can't even write anymore stereotypical bullshit about sex because it makes me want to smack someone with a dildo.

I had a lightbulb moment when I was tweeting my frustration about these stereotypes and boxed mentality.

Most "coaches" who teach this type of thinking are sexually repressed. If they weren't they wouldn't be so concerned with making you feel ashamed about "impure" thoughts or exploring your sexuality.

I get that some women are only comfortable in the missionary position with the lights off and the doors closed but that is unhealthy too.  

Embrace your sexuality: Allowing yourself to be free of your inhibitions is empowering! If you're ashamed of your body, for every flaw you think you have, find two positive attributes about yourself and focus on them. 

Enable yourself: You are an adult who is allowed to enjoy the physical pleasures of sex. Don't buy into the "Good girls aren't suppose to like dirty sex" mentality. Sex does not equal love and love does not equal sex.

Communicate your desires to your partner: Sharing is caring and if you can't trust your partner with your deepest, darkest desires then who can you trust? Try things together, explore, be open to enjoying new things. Not everything may be your cuppa Kama Sutra but you never know unless you try. 

It's like food... you may look at it and think, "Oh hell no, I'm not putting that in my mouth," but once you open your mind and try it, you may discover you like it. And if you don't, that's OK too.

Sex isn't dirty: It's fantastic! Quiet those voices in your head that tell you watching porn is disgusting and wrong, or talking dirty is inappropriate, or using sex toys is only something sluts do. Read some erotica, masturbate before you get to the actual act of having sex (yes, I said masturbate, did you know that an orgasm a day extends your life span?), or fantasize about having your way with George Clooney or Angelina Jolie. Do what YOU need to do in order to keep taking your sex life to the next level. 

Vanilla sex = B-O-R-I-N-G:

Whatever you do, take steps to breaking free of the guilt/shame/what-if-someone-thinks-I'm-a-freak mentality. Breathe deeply and let the orgasms flow!

Enabling you as always...

Friday, September 9, 2011

September 11: Ten Years Later

9/11 is one of those moments in your life that you tuck away into your memories but when the "anniversary" comes up, your recollection of the event is as fresh as the day it happened.

I wasn't in New York when it happened.

I didn't lose anyone in the terrorist attacks that brought down the Twin Towers in New York or the plane crash into the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, or United Flight 93 that crashed into a field near Shanksville, PA.

I wasn't directly affected by 9/11 but 10 years ago when I woke up and watched live coverage of the attacks and then watched in disbelief as the second plane crashed into the South Tower, my life was affected.

I refuse to put up a pic of the Twin Towers falling. I choose to remember the NY Skyline this way.

I was 26 years old and four months pregnant with Oz and I remember sobbing in the bathroom, apologizing to my unborn son for bringing him into such an awful world. I couldn't believe what was happening in the US and I felt awful for everyone who WAS affected by the attacks.

When I woke up Big Daddy and told him what was happening, he looked at me like I had said the moon had fallen out of the sky. He was sure I was misunderstanding what was happening on the news because there was no way it could be real.

Keep reading to see why I love these guys

We watched what we could, glued to the TV while getting ready for work and when I eventually left, I searched every Edmonton radio station I could for updates on what was happening and the ONLY station I found that had continual coverage was K97.

Now if you're not an Edmontonian you probably don't realize the reputation K97 has... they're known for their inappropriate remarks, vulgar comments, objectification of women and edgy marketing campaigns. They're kind of the guy-version of MOM except they are radio and really popular :D

Listening to the somber voices of the usually goofy Terry Evans, Bill Cowan & Steve Zimmerman discuss the events and the impact of what was happening in the US, boggled my mind. I remember wondering why NO OTHER STATION felt it necessary to provide ongoing details of the attacks but these guys, these highly inappropriate DJs whom I had always rolled my eyes at, were serious and kept me informed.

I literally (and I mean just-now-as-I'm-writing-this-post-and-got-to-this-paragraph literally) was discussing my recollection of 9/11 with Terry via Twitter when he told me what was going on in the studio that day.

"I remember being so confused when the 2nd plane hit...that was Steve's 40th birthday. We had strippers outside studio door ready.

"There was whipped cream and cherries and all kinds of shit ready to go.

"Sudden left turn. Strippers went home."

See, it didn't matter what was happening in your life at that moment or if your personality  wasn't warm and fuzzy. If you had an ounce of humanity or selflessness, 9/11 brought it out for the world to see. 

You didn't have to be in New York to be affected by 9/11. It was like a tsunami effect; the tragic events in the States were felt by all of humanity, and the outpouring of compassion and empathy was reassuring that the entire world hadn't gone to shit.

For that one event, that one tragedy that will forever be ingrained in the memories of those who were alive to witness it, changed so many things for so many people. 

However, life goes on; people have to move forward but that doesn't mean we forget what happened that day or where we were when it happened or how it affected us and to what degree.

Sept. 11 is and always will be one of those days that will mark a black day in the history of the world, one that no one can ignore or should ever forget.

I know I never will.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be haters

I've always had issues with societies idea of beauty and weight, even when I was at my most fit (right before I got pregnant with Lola, and let me tell you I was bangin' hot, sexy fit!) up until now when I've gone through a few of the worst years of my life and am at my heaviest (soooo not me but I am getting back to healthy although I will NEVER give up my wine or coffee).

Lately I've been watching the comments on twitter made about starlet Demi Levato, who I really know nothing about other than she's young, recently went to rehab for an eating disorder that she battled since childhood, depression (she was diagnosed as bipolar) and cutting (she was photographed a couple of years ago with scars on her wrists, something she hid from her parents). 

In April, Demi gave a full interview on 20/20, opening up about her life and the struggles she faced as a child star, being called fat and how it led to the eating disorder. 

Last weekend at the Much Music VMA's, Demi was photographed on the red carped with her friend Selena Gomez. 

And then the twitter backlash started.

Tweets from all over calling her fat. 

In a classy move stemming from an obviously new mindset, Demi's only comment to the public was:  

No one is perfect and we all have our moments but overall we need to really make some serious changes with the way people think and it starts within our own homes.

Body shapes aren't a one-size-fits-all.