More Grody Googlers

It’s that time of the month again. Not that time, the other time. When I check out Google Analytics to learn some fascinating things about the people visiting this here website. Like how many of you dropped by (about 2,000 over the past four weeks), your average age (about 30), the counties you’re living in (Top 4: Canada, US, UK, and…Indonesia?) and how very TWISTED AND PERVERTED AND GROSS YOU ARE. You make me look like Mother freakin’ Theresa. Although…the content of my blog is what’s directing you sickos here, so let’s just forget about it.

Here are some of the search terms that brought the world’s weirdest wankers to this blog. Remember, I am simply cutting and pasting here. So don’t be sending me scripture or soap to cleanse my filthy soul. YOU did this. I hope to god most of you never found what you were looking for:

mom cock

big balls

a new crack whore 2014

ass granny panty

aunt vicky in the kitchen anal sex pics

bengali breast nipple and vagina video

big butt moms

black stallion bedroom tonic

cutie eating shit

girls, ever felt your dad’s testicles after he passed out?

dirty old pussy amelia ohio

grannies in loincloth

i jerked off to jem and the holograms

i saw my mother shitting

hamster mother best friend

not breastfeeding but sometimes milk comes out when my husband sucks during romance

sexy granny in satin fullback

shirley temple sailor suit

slutty tonka trucks

weird fuckers at the grocery store

naked grannies sitting on recliner

Red Hairing

In Corsica, if you pass a redhead in the street you’re supposed to spit and turn around. For good luck or to ward off evil, I’m not sure.

When it comes to being a ginger, I’m not sure about anything. And no wonder—the world has been screwing with us for centuries. The Germanic peoples called us witches and burned us at the stake. Queen Elizabeth’s fiery mane made red hair all the rage. The Nazis prevented us from mating and making more freckled freaks. Rita Hayworth made the world want to finger our ringlets.

Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth

So, like, do you love us or do you hate us? Is red symbolic of evil and hatred, or love and passion? Make up your goddamn mind, world. We’ve not only inherited a recessive gene; we’ve also been handed down hundreds of years of mind games.

We may not be buried alive anymore, but we’re still the oddballs. Less than one percent of the human population is red-haired. When we get older, of course, we realize being unique is great. But when we’re young, we just want to be like everybody else, and unfortunately being ginger is a giant flashing disco light on your melon.

Last week after bath time, I dried Max’s ginger jewfro and he looked in the mirror. “Noooooo! I want it to be flat! And not bright!”

“Why would you want that?” I thought of all the folks paying big bucks for dye jobs and products that “volumize.”

“I don’t want the kids at daycare to laugh at me.”

They get a kick out of his hair sometimes, which is often askew. They’re not being mean. They’re being kids. Hair is a funny thing. My husband’s back hair, for example.

But I get it. I’ve had people talking about my red hair for 35 years. I’ve heard it all: Coppertop, Rusty, Raggedy-Ann, Little Orphan Annie, and everyone’s favourite—Carrot-top. People tell me my hair is beautiful now. Feisty, fiery-haired gals like Joan from Mad Men and Merida from Brave even have blondes wishing for the ginge tinge. But when I was a little girl, I wasn’t sure if my hair was good or bad. Was it a compliment to be likened to a singing orphan or a root vegetable? And why must they always talk about it? What was the big hairy deal? So I think I understand what Max wants: Less talk about hair. More talk about saving the galaxy from the evil Sith Lord.

I can’t stop people from talking about his hair. And I don’t want to, really. Being unique comes with good and bad, and we must all learn to deal. Not every comment is cruel. When someone politely says Max’s hair looks like carrots, he should thank them—carrots are noble and delicious. I could flatten his hair to deter not-so-nice remarks, maybe bleach his tips a little, conform to the superficial world that… WHAT THE EFFIN’ EFF? Hell no, mofo.

Listen, Max. Life is not a walk in the park. It’s a scavenger hunt. When some hater says something mean about your hair, scratch them off your list. You just found another one of the world’s stupid people. Fist bump, my little ginja ninja.

This article appeared in the April edition of The Overcast, Newfoundland’s arts and culture newspaper. Check it out online at theovercast.ca

I cannot live in this world.

Relax. This is not my suicide note.

I turned 36 yesterday. Things were supposed to be different by now. I was supposed to have a couple kids, instead of one kid making friends with mannequins at the mall.

mannequin brotherOur house was supposed to be bigger. Our debt was supposed to be smaller. I should have seen Europe by now. Italy, at least. I should know how to cook more than four things. I should have read more books. I mean, I know I wrote a book. That was something. But I can’t shake this feeling that there is so much more to do, and not a lot of time to do it.

Sometimes I wish I lived in a vacuum, be one of those people whose thoughts rarely venture beyond what’s for supper, what shirt goes with these pants, and what time The Bachelor comes on. I don’t know, maybe if I stopped looking around I’d see less shit. But that doesn’t mean the shit wouldn’t be there. It’s everywhere. Shit on top of shit, with a side order of shiitake mushrooms drizzled in shit sauce. Missing airliners in the ocean. Sweet doggies left out in the cold. Slut-shaming. Gay-hating. Cancer, cancer, cancer. Rape, rape, rape. North Korean men forced to have Kim Jong-un’s haircut. Women having to “lean in”, and, of course, stay lean. And for some shit icing on the shit cake, Ben Affleck is going to play Batman. What the eff, man. Everywhere I look, I see a hundred million things that make me want to shake my fist at the moon and yell WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK. I mean seriously, Universe, it’s 2014. Are you kidding me right now? I cannot live in this world.

But see, I can live in this world. Because my Max is here. And he’s awesome. And he’s going to help change some of the shit, even if it’s just a little bit, long after my saggy old ass goes tits-up.

I mean, look at that face. So full of possibility…

funny face maxand promise…

crazy faceand pita. And not at all like a serial killer from a horror movie.

pita face maxLook out, world. Because…THIS GUY.

photo

 

The Case for Granny Panties

Oh, the weird fashion trends throughout history, from foot binding and colonial wigs to torpedo bras and sagging trousers. But there’s one trend that has wedged itself so firmly into our mainstream culture, nobody stops to think how weird it really is.

I’m talking about the thong. A descendant of the loincloth, it’s been a leader in fabric conservation and ass revelation for thousands of years. But it soared to new, butt-flossing heights in the 1990s along with Baywatch ratings (and boners for Pamela Anderson’s bright-orange thong swimsuit). By the end of the nineties, the thong was a top-selling undergarment and even had its own Grammy-nominated anthem with profound lyrics like “Dat dress so scandalous…see ya shakin’ that thang like who’s da ish…she had dumps like a truck truck truck.”

I don’t wear thongs, for the same reason I don’t wear a hand mixer between my whoopie cakes. But I know why many women do: to hide unsightly panty lines. I mean, god forbid anyone know you’re wearing underwear under there. DISGUSTING. You must give the illusion of being completely naked beneath those pants at all times. Unless you’re a teenager flashing a “whale tail” – a g-string peeking out of low-rise jeans, popular in the mid 2000s – which is less hiding the panty line and more of a 3D billboard on your backside: HEY LOOK EVERYONE I’M WEARING A THONG TH THONG THONG THONG.

Some women say thongs are more comfortable than regular underwear, that it’s the fuller style that actually ride up the bunghole, necessitating the frequent “pants-up-me-ass pluck-down.” So, what, skip all the maintenance and get undies that are already halfway to your colon?

Admit it, hooker. Thongs are not about comfort. They’re about selling your ass to the world. Just like high heel shoes and lower back tattoos and those jeans that give you yeast infections but HOT DAMN LOOK AT THAT SWEET ASS. Once again, we women sacrifice comfort in the name of beauty, and booty.

Besides, it’s a couple inches of fabric. Why bother? Why not go commando and get that authentic naked-under-there look you so crave? Because you need something to create a barrier between your slacks and your ooze station. But your thong ain’t protecting nobody except stockholders at Victoria’s Secret. Do you even realize how close together your love tunnel and your chocolate channel are? Try two inches or less. That thin strip of fabric is a germ highway paving the way for poopy particles to get to your panty hamster. And that’s not very sexy.

I get the appeal of concealed panty lines, but there’s got to be a better way that leaves my asshole out of it. Personally, I’m a fan of the seamless panty. It’s a granny panty to hard-core thongers, I suppose. To them, I may as well be wearing my mother’s satin fullbacks. But I don’t hear any visitors complaining up in here. The seamless panty hides panty lines pretty well, and it’s still a comfortable, full panty. Because I have a full ass. I don’t do anything half-assed, thank you very much.

This article appeared in the March edition of The Overcast, Newfoundland’s arts and culture newspaper. www.theovercast.ca

Not So Good Housekeeping

My mother once found a shriveled-up carcass, about the size of a golf ball, in my fridge. After a few befuddled moments, we realized: It was a turnip.

I’m not the greatest housekeeper in the world. Or even in these pants. Thing is, I don’t give a rat’s ass about it. (Oh look, a rat!) I don’t want to be good at housework. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a clean, tidy home. I do. I just don’t want to be the one to make it that way. Not when there are so many other delightful things to do with my time like getting boinked in the bunghole. (No, I don’t love anal; I hate cleaning THAT MUCH.)

So I got myself a housekeeper. Now before you peg me for the Duchess of Douchenozzle, she only comes biweekly for a couple of hours. “Must be nice,” a friend of mine huffed. “Yes, it’s quite splendid actually,” I replied in an English accent, because that’s how snobs sound, obviously. “But not as nice as that bucket of chicken you’re holding in your hands with those new acrylic nails” which cost more than two visits from lovely, lemon-fresh Angela.

Sorry, June Cleaver, there’ll be no housework for this beaver. The percentage of breadwinning women has quadrupled in the last forty years. In 1976, women made up 8% of breadwinners among Canadian couples. In 2010, that number was over 31%. We bitches be making more paper, yo, and our fellas be making more PB&J sandwiches. There is finally some balance between the sexes in the working and parenting departments. When it comes to bringing home the bacon, frying said bacon, and stogging it into our youngsters’ gobs, it’s a fifty-fifty gig. High fives all around.

But somehow, the housework still largely falls to the penisless. You know it’s true. A New York Times article, “The Case for Filth,” said so too: “…in America, as well as in several other countries in the developed world, men’s time investment in housework has not significantly altered in nearly 30 years.” Some dudes just don’t care if the house is clean or dirty. Some think dishwater is absorbed directly through the skin, poisoning their manly virility. Others sigh heavily at the sight of unwashed dishes in the sink. Oh my apologies, my manly prince, shall I scrub the pots squeaky clean while polishing your knob?

Maybe it’s only fair that men expect us to clean the house. After all, haven’t we traditionally expected them to pump the gas, mow the lawn, shovel the snow, take out the trash, whack the weeds, and slay the spiders? Guilty as charged right here.

And I know it’s not just the dudes. Our mothers think housework is our job too, still subscribing to that old-school division of labour when women cared for the home, and men built muscles from actually working instead of gazing adoringly at their form in the mirror at the gym three days a week.

And, frankly, we gals think the chores are on us too. Or at least we did until we woke up and smelled the bullshit. Ever catch yourself apologizing for the state of the house? Unless you’re conducting some bizarre fungal experiment in your kitchen, there’s nothing to be sorry about. That guilt you feel when your baby grabs hold of a dust bunny during tummy time…. We can thank our mothers for that, and their mothers before them. It was a part of being a woman. Remember that rattle you had when you were a baby? Yeah, that was practice for your feather duster.

But hey, we modern families can work it out. Guys: do what you do best. Fix the toaster, saddle the horses, choke the chicken, whatever. We really appreciate it. And we’ll do what we’re good at: fill the toybox, pack the lunchbox, groom the love box, and practice our kegels to reverse the damage done to the ol’ bat cave when the bambinos came barreling out (which no amount of snow shoveled or grass cut can ever trump, by the way).

And together, we’ll fight the necessary evils of housekeeping. By just not fucking doing it. Oh it will get done…by a hired professional. It’ll save our time, our sanity, maybe even our marriage. If you think you can’t afford it, stop dropping coin on spray tans and decals for your ginormous pick-up truck. And psssssst: have a look under the cushions of your couch for loose change, dirtbag. We’ll have to maintain things between visits, of course. Like the laundry, unless you plan on growing spuds in your skivvies. But pay a pro to take care of the big stuff: the floors, the bathroom, the beds. (Scouring the fridge for fossilized rutabaga is prolly gonna cost extra.)

This article was previously published in The Overcast, Newfoundland’s arts and culture newspaper in which I write a monthly column called The Motherload.

Sometimes when Fred was flat out doing housework he felt like an elephant was sitting on his chest.
David Blackwell. / Foter / CC BY-ND

Why “Girly” is Worse Than the F Word

Reporting on the Golden Globes last month, NY film critic Kyle Smith said they should have called the whole thing “Girls.” There was just “too much estrogen,” he said. I mean, imagine: a major awards show, televised around the world, hosted by two…oh my dear god…WOMEN. EW! And who did they think they were being all loud and opinionated and…kill me now…FUNNY.

Hold onto your tiny little testicles, Kyle, because guess who’s hosting the Oscars? ELLEN. Yes, run for cover because all of Hollywood is being overtaken by VAGINAS.

Some men seem to have a hard time sharing the spotlight. They just want women to stick a sock in it. Or maybe something that rhymes with sock.

Like, seriously guys? After hundreds of years of running the world, can’t you just wiggle the fuck over a little bit and give us some room to, oh I don’t know, tell a few jokes? Do something other than cook and clean and look pretty and give birth to your noble sons?

If my son Max grows up with this misogynist attitude, I’m putting him up for adoption. I don’t care if he’s thirty, he’s going to live with the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Luckily, it appears my suggestive feminist parenting is working. I got a note last week from the mom of a little girl who goes to Max’s daycare. She told me her daughter, Amelia, is supah pumped about her blossoming friendship with mister Max. And I’m pretty stoked that Max’s buddy circle is not exclusive to Spanky and Alfalfa. Here’s how Sara’s conversation with Amelia went:

Amelia: Mom! Max spoke to me today!
Sara: Oh, he doesn’t normally speak to you?
Amelia: No, he just pretends like he doesn’t know me but I know he really does ‘cause he’s always been at my daycare.
Sara: Yes, you guys have been in the same class since you started going to daycare. Well that’s really nice that now you guys are talking. So what do you talk about?
Amelia: Oh he just said, “I had a fun Christmas.”

Max. What a stud muffin.

Sara said when she picks Amelia up from daycare, she often finds her playing with Legos or trucks with Max. If you’ve read my book, you know how happy this makes me. (Page 96.) See, I’m well aware of the tendency of parents to separate the girls from the boys, using words like “girly” and “boyish” to classify certain behaviours and activities and even toys. They don’t mean any harm. They’re probably not even aware of the harm it’s doing. Because it’s all we’ve ever known. When we grew up, and especially when our parents (who taught us everything) grew up, the big, strong men went off to work (or war) and the women baked pies in the kitchen and buns in their abdominal ovens.

And marketers have made it even worse, completely immersing us in the “boys over here, girls over there” bullshit. Toy giants separate the blue from the pink like the other side is cyanide, suggesting that venturing “over there” — a girl playing with a fire truck or a boy pushing a toy stroller – is just CRAZY CAKES. Surely it will alter their DNA and make the boys sprout breasts and the girls grow giant wieners. And OBVIOUSLY it will make all of them as queer as three-dollar bills. Basic science.

Until we start talking about how ridiculous all this is, it will stay the same ridiculous way. And it all starts with our kids AND WHAT WE TEACH THEM.

The gender stereotyping foolishness only perpetuates the natural tendency of our little towers of testosterone to form “no girls allowed” cliques, swinging their swords and lightsabres, leaving out the (supposedly) gentler subspecies. Sure, some boys are naturally more aggressive and gravitate to certain types of play. But there are many exceptions. Girls like sports. Boys play house. We need to encourage different types of play to show our kids that everything is available to everybody, and it’s all perfectly okay. And most importantly, just because we often like different things does not mean we get to treat anyone else with contempt. Just because girls are usually the ones playing dress-up instead of smash-up doesn’t mean they’re somehow weaker. Just because boys are usually the ones zooming around in the superhero capes does not make them the sex that’s super. They are all just kids, playing.

What you’re saying to your son when you say “that’s girly” is: Stop acting like a girl, because being a girl is bad. You’re also saying: You’re a boy, and boys are supposed to act a certain way. (That’s a whole other can of worms.)

Max came home last week and told me that one of the boys at daycare called another boy “girlish.” “That’s not a nice word, is it Mom?” he said.

This made me chuckle inside, of course. Clearly I’ve managed to put “girly” and “girlish” right up there with the F word. But I kept a straight face and replied: “Well Max. It’s not a nice thing to say because it makes it sound like being a girl is bad, which it certainly is not. Being a girl is awesome! Look at your mom, for example. Am I awesome?” Max nodded his head. We both smiled. “So really, when someone calls you girlish, it’s a compliment.”

BAM.

Then I had to explain what a compliment is.

It can get complicated. For now, all I’m teaching him is that girls are great, boys are great, we are all freaking great. It doesn’t mean we are all exactly the same. We’re all different, and that’s a wonderful thing. Nobody is better than anybody else. What I’m doing is setting the groundwork for him to think before he speaks. To think before he goes along with the crowd that invariably tends toward boy-girl blue-pink segregation. To make him realize that we are not “boys” or “girls” but people who are more alike than different. I am setting him up to be Patrick Stewart.

I don’t drill it into him. I’m a feminist (hopefully everyone is), but I’m not burning my bra in the back of his Tonka truck. I simply seize opportunities to continue the conversation. The day he said he wanted to be a fireman, I said great – and casually reminded him that even though people usually say “fireman”, girls can be firemen too. The truth, of course, is that only 3% of firemen are female. But at least my son won’t have an attitude that discourages that number to grow, if I can help it. Same thing goes for nurses. I’ve made sure he knows boys can be nurses too. I have to point this out, because 99% of the nurses he’s seen in books, on TV, and in real life have been female. If I don’t tell him these things, who will? How will he know being a nurse is an option if nobody tells him? And if little boys don’t know they can be nurses (and girls can be doctors!), how will we ever change the status quo? How will we ever make the world a better place for our grandchildren (especially our granddaughters)?

If I could trust that all the other parents and teachers and coaches out there were as mindful of our systemic sexism as I am, maybe I wouldn’t need to be so diligent. But alas…

Sara and I are going to keep tabs on our kids’ friendship. Apparently a couple days ago Max taught Amelia about lightsabres and told her “girls can have boy powers too.” He’s on the right track. I’m hoping one day Sara tells me she walked into daycare to see the two of them having a tea party, with Amelia dressed as a fireman and Max as a nurse. Now THAT would be progress. I’m working on it…

More Weird Shit I Saw at the Store

1. HOLY SWEET CHEESES, BATMAN

BIG CHEESE PLEASE

CHEDDAR IS BETTER AND ALSO BIGGER

Give your eyeballs about 30 seconds to realize what they’re seeing. Yes, it’s a cheese grater. But check out the regular-sized whisk at the base of it, which I strategically placed there for your comprehension. Now look back at the grater. And now you know. You’re looking at the Jupiter…the blue whale…the DIRK DIGGLER OF CHEESE GRATERS. For people who really, really, really love cheese, I guess. (I curd make so many cheesy puns right now but I digress.) Or maybe it was custom-made for the rodent crew of the Lyubov Orlova. Or for sickos looking to innovate their torture chambers with everyday instruments. Ugh, this cattle prod is such a snore, how about a nifty hand mixer in your butthole? Gawd, marching the enemy to the gallows is so 1892, how about I just flip the lid off your skull with this handy can opener? Now that I’ve maimed, whipped and disfigured you with these 18th century torture devices, I’m going to GRATE YOUR FACE LIKE IT’S MOZZARELLA, BITCH.

2. CAILLOU DOWN ON THE BAYOU. NO. JUST NO.

bathtub Caillou

NO AGAIN.

Oh Caillou. You whiny little baldy. Everywhere I look, you’re there. On Treehouse. On NTV News (Hi, David Cochrane.) And now you’re trying to whine your way into my bathtub with your snorkel and patch-eyed pussy? Naw-uh. The only bald dudes entering my bathtub are Patrick Stewart (“Make it so!”) and my husband in about four to six years.

3. IRONING BOREDZZZZ

blue iron

WHO WANTS TO PLAY “LET’S MAKE STUFF FLAT”? ME ME ME

Just an ordinary toy iron, right? The only thing weird about this toy is the fact that IT EXISTS. I know kids like to pretend they’re grownups and play house and all that, but do they seriously want to IRON? Do they really want to take a fake, plastic iron and run it back and forth over a pair of doll pants FOR FUN? Oh yeah baby, I’m gonna make these slacks so PRETEND FLAT. I’m gonna IMAGINE the wrinkles right out of these puppies. And right after that I’m going to watch some paint dry, followed by The English Patient. I mean, at least a toy blender makes some funny noises. A toy vacuum requires some sweet cha-cha-cha legwork. But this…This is the worst. I’m all for kids – boys as well as girls – emulating the mundane tasks of adulthood. The faster Max wants to take over the laundry the better. Here’s the fabric softener; just don’t drink it, k? At least the iron ain’t pink, I’ll give ‘em that. But it needs a little something extra, something clever. Have it belt out some Iron Maiden when you press the button, or maybe a little Under Pressure by Queen.

4. OH NO YOU DIDN’T

sexist cards

NOT SO BRILLIANT.

Oh yes you did and I’m going to smack your face. Are you shitting me? At first glance: super cute illustrations. Upon closer examination (or just basic level reading): super yucky gender stereotyping. Could they not use “brilliant” twice? Could they not mix it up for once, maybe call the boy beautiful and the girl brilliant? You bore me, card people. You put the dick in predictable. You put the asso in Picasso. My friend’s five-year-old daughter knows more than you twits. Alise, in the usual pink shirt, asked her mom: “What does my shirt say?” Her mom replied, “It says Princess.” “Next time,” Alise said, “I want a blue shirt that says Smart.” Well great Odin’s raven, there is hope for us yet. I’m voting for Alise in the next election.

5. CHAIRS TO CHILDHOOD OBESITY!

kid reclinerIMG_4418Is your lil’ gamer working his thumbs into a sweat on the X-Box controller? Aw poor widdle guy, he must be so pooped. Great news, kids! Now you can kick up your fat feet in your very own mini recliner! Comes with free case of Root Beer, a colossal sack of cheese doodles, and a big girl diaper so you don’t even need to get up to go to the bathroom. Just pretend you’re an old lady at a lucky slot machine. And remember, just because you’re relaxed doesn’t mean you’re lazy. You might be a lard ass in the living room, but you’re a sniper in the virtual world. Just look at the box it comes in for god’s sake. The people who make the little la-z-boy are so lazy themselves, they don’t even bother trying to deny the fact that the chair was invented to make your lazy kids even lazier. The kid in the main picture is reclining with an iPod! Oh but look, there’s a smaller inset shot of a kid reading a book. So it’s also a READING chair. Nice try. The kid’s probably reading the instruction manual for the iPod. All they’re missing is a picture of a kid with a pipe and a floor-ashtray.

6. FOX NEWS

foxy hatNo foxes were harmed in the taking of this photograph of me in an all-in-one fox “scat” (that’s a scarf and a hat in one, not fox poop). Although I did trip over the threshold exiting the store. (What does the fox say?)

 

My Dead Dad’s Big Balls

I remember Dad’s hands even better than his face. They were stiff and leathery. But they were not the hands of a working man; he could scarcely drive a nail. He made a nightstand for me once. It was so wobbly, my glass of orange juice was always leaning for Florida.

In his forties, he mowed the top off his index finger. Yes, mowed. As in, avec lawnmower. The grass finally had its revenge. Beyond the old Smith Corona, machinery was not his forte.

He fished with his stepfather as a boy, and did some rabbit snaring when I was a child, but most of the calluses on his hands were the marks of a Callaway pitching wedge. If there were lumps or bumps on those sausage fingers, they were from holding a pen, or picking his nose.

Dad was a teacher, a writer, a lay minister, a volunteer, a voracious reader. He cried at his nieces’ weddings. He loved his mother. He called his sisters every other night. He grew strawberries. He had a rock garden. He fed the birds. He wrote poetry. Not exactly the kind of person you associate with fighting, but that’s what Dad was to me. A fighter. He had gentle hands and gigantic balls.

He didn’t fight with his fists. (Thank goodness; that reattached index finger would have been his Achilles heel.) He didn’t use a weapon either, though he swung a sword around his classroom like Hamlet in a mismatched shirt and tie. As long as I can remember, he was always quietly fighting for or against something – with radio commentary, with articles, with letters. With words glorious words.

When I was still in elementary school, I remember having a letter sent home from the principal. Myself and a couple other girls had hid one of our friend’s sneakers in the garbage can. It never crossed our minds that the janitor would be taking out the trash that night. We all lied about the sneaker’s whereabouts, of course, trying to escape the principal’s wrath. (Seventh grade was not my finest hour.) Once the truth came out, the principal sent home an especially harsh letter. Dad felt it was unjust and wrote a letter in reply, defending my character and those of my friends. We made a stupid mistake, but we weren’t criminals. Dad would have made a good judge.

Dad was also the guy you went to if you were having trouble getting your EI fixed up. He’d make the phone calls and write the letters until hard-working Joe Blow got what he deserved. Dad would have made an excellent lawyer.

He was always advocating for rural Newfoundland. His obsession with CBC news was a major cause of my teenage angst. If Dad ever came close to beating me as a child, it was when I was singing Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go during the Fisheries Broadcast. He had to know everything that was going on in the province, especially if it affected the outports he held so dear. He had a fierce interest in politics and frequently called into CBC Radio. (Ted Blades remembers him well.) A few years back, just before Danny Williams was reelected, Dad made a brazen comment at a Liberal rally, calling Williams a “Fuhrer”.  Liberal candidate Gerry Reid took the heat, but it was Dad who uttered the words. It made headlines and inspired a skit on 22 Minutes starring Mark Critch as “der Fuhrer” Danny. Dad was not afraid to stand up to the big guy, or the rich guy. He was smart and sharp-tongued. He provoked. He would have made a great blogger.

Just before Williams became Premier, Dad was President of the (would-be) Windmill Bight Golf Course. He was THIS CLOSE to seeing it to fruition. But the ecology people and the new PC government shut ‘er down. The blueprints of fairways were soon pushing up daisies. Dad knew when to fight, and when to concede. He scarcely mentioned the golf course again. Instead, he put his energy into his short game on the links in Gander, where his name would one day be on the “In Memoriam” plaque and an annual tournament held in his memory. And lest we forget all the loonies spent on custard cones at Vonnie Lee’s in Gambo. Those things didn’t have a chance in a duel with Dad’s gob.

His last fight was with cancer. But he fought so cheerfully, it was hard to believe there was a battle going on at all. He golfed more that last summer than ever before. He even wrote a book. A BOOK. Pecking away at the computer for hours on end, the tubes of his chemo apparatus dangled into his lap. He fought off all negativity. He had an incurable optimism. Save those last three weeks of life, he was hopeful, productive and strong.

There is a poem by William Wordsworth that reminds me of Dad. The poetry scholars of the world would probably tell me I’m an idiot, that this poem is about actual soldiers, or hookers, or platypuses, or something. But there’s just something about it that sounds like him.

Who is the happy warrior? Who is he
What every man in arms should wish to be?
It is the generous spirit, who, when brought
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his childish thought.
Whose high endeavours are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright;
Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn.

Read the rest here if you wanna.

I have a little warrior in the house now. A Jedi knight, to be precise. He has an arsenal of weapons, which is why we can’t have nice things. I remind him that this is just make-believe, that in real life fighting is never the answer. Not with weapons and fists, at least. As Mr. Miyagi would say, “Max-san, fighting always last answer to problem.”

I do believe in fighting, but the kind my father practiced. Challenging authority and the status quo with questions, criticism, even satire. We need opposition – in government, in the workplace, maybe even in the home. It’s what keeps us talking and thinking, exploring and progressing. Without challenging each other, we are mindless droids marching along in the Imperial Army.

If you have two eyes, a heart and a brain, there will always be something to fight for, and against. Because the world can be a cruel place sometimes. How can we make it better if we don’t politely point out all the bullshit that history and politics and religion have plopped in our laps?

Eventually, we all lose the big game of life, I know. But while we’re here, we do what we can, and hope our kids pick up a thing or two to carry the torch in our absence. I don’t want to a raise a bull, but I also don’t want to raise a sheep.

Dad has been gone four years to the day. Time flies when you’re having fun? Fuck. It still hurts when I think about it, especially when this song comes on the radio. (Dad had a Byrds cassette tape when I was a kid.) When I listen to CBC news, I think about the comments he would have been compelled to share. When I drive past Windmill Bight, I think of the golf course that was almost there. And when I look at my Max, I think of all the things he’s missed, and will never see. But time has dulled the ache and allows me to remember him with a lighter heart now. Which is why I can title this post “My Dead Dad’s Big Balls” and not feel bad about it. (I guess I inherited his balls.)

It’s funny how the significance of a lost loved one shifts. Maybe the flaws fall away over time, your mind elevating them to someone impossibly perfect. Maybe it just takes time for you to realize their true worth, once the sorrow and anger subside to let you see things more clearly. Over the last four years, I’ve gone from missing a parent to being proud of a person. I’ve gone from mourning my father to being inspired by a pretty cool guy. A guy with true grit, and the guts to speak his mind. A lifelong fighter…who just happens to be my dad. So these days, when someone asks me what I remember most about him, I say his hands, his face, his laugh, his terrible penmanship, his golf swing, and HIS BIG GIGANTIC BALLS.

fogo island baby

Max proofed Poppy Jim’s book with his eyes closed. (April 2009)

dad book launch

Grabby McGrabberson at the launch of Fogo Island Boy. (October 2009)

coles signing

Max helping me sign books at Coles. There are about 15 copies out there with his autograph in blue crayon. 15 was his limit. Diva. (November 2013)

our books

Different subject matter. Different styles. Same balls.

 

Maybe we’re doing just fine.

Happy 2014. A little late, I know. But my period wasn’t late, so that’s good. As a self-declared leader in the war on traditional motherhood, I should probably say something profound to inspire you in this new year upon us. Maybe I should tell you to go burn your apron. Or maybe I should say “this is your year, mama”, “go big or go home”, “rock that vagina”, “work it, work it”, “you go girl”, etc. But truth is, you don’t have to do any of those things. You just need to keep on keepin’ it real, shawty. And maybe floss a little more.

What I mean is: instead of reinventing yourself, maybe it’s time to stop being so hard on yourself. Maybe it’s time to consider you might be doing just fine. Instead of making one grandiose resolution to change in some epic way (which is probably doomed to fail), maybe you could just pursue a handful of small things to nudge things along in a positive direction (and make succeeding way more likely). That’s my plan. I have an exciting year ahead, thanks to that there book I writ – literary events, a parenting column in Newfoundland’s new arts and culture paper, and some other things I can’t mention because then I’d have to kill you. But my plan for 2014 is not to be rich and famous with an apartment of rich mahogany and many leather-bound books. I just want to eat more kale, walk the dog more, and feel less stabby. And 40 or so other little things. You know, if I get around to it, whatever.

1.  Wash hair less.
2.  Stop biting nails.
3.  Continue to shun the thong.
4.  Be more spontaneous.
5.  Go fuck yourself. (Sorry I was being spontaneous.)
6.  Spend less time online and more time skipping through the enchanted woodlands.
7.  Ask more often: What would Yoda do?
8.  Back up photos and video before I lose everything and have to kill myself.
9.  Print Dad’s book of poems before he starts haunting my house.
10.  Delete failed selfies from phone so I won’t look like an idiot if I die suddenly.
11.  Drink more water and also booze.
12.  Reduce bitchiness by 20%
13.  Have more lightsaber fights.
14. Become a champion for gingers everywhere.

photo[2]

A snap of my ginger avec ginger snaps.

15.  Adopt something: kid, dog, highway, etc.
16.  Start composting.
17.  Slay this tentacled beast living under my desk at the office.

photo

SHUDDER

18.  Create something remotely resembling a budget. Establish cheese fund.
19.  Update spam plugin on website before I choke a bitch.
20.  Do more nice shit for people.
21.  Ignore the Internet trolls.
22.  Organize sock drawer. (Have less pity for orphaned socks. THEY ARE NOT PEOPLE.)
23.  Continue to not be a sheep.
24.  Continue to give zero fucks. Mostly.
25.  Make people laugh.
26.  Spend more time with funny people.
27.  Be more patient with ass-hats.
28.  Support the arts community.
29.  Support other women, even those not like me.
30.  Invent jeans that feel like sweatpants for skeety toddlers who refuse to wear jeans because “they’re cold and crispy”.
31.  Listen to more music.
32.  Gyrate more, with or without music.
33.  Read more books.
34.  Remember who matters most: Batman, Luke and Chewbacca.

May the candy be with you.

Mah heroes.

35.  Be diligent with sunblock.
36.  Use more expensive bubble bath. YOLO.
37.  Do more body combat so I can kick a dude’s face in if he tries to get on me unless he’s Benedict Cumberbatch.
38.  Continue hunt for world’s best macaroni and cheese.
39.  Get pregnant maybe?

photo[1]

Christmas Eve 2013 fortune cookie.

40.  Do more self-exams. Protect the girls.
41.  Look for Loch Ness Monster.
42.  Make killer ads.
43.  Start second book.
44.  Screw the naysayers.
45.  Stir the pot.
46.  Increase the peace.
47.  Open mind to all possibilities.

48.  LIVE LIKE I MEAN IT.

New Year’s Resolution: Stop Being a Crack Whore

I don’t actually smoke crack, or turn tricks to score it. I don’t do meth either, although for a while there, being a huge Breaking Bad fan, I did start to warm up to the idea of cooking it. And I have a total hard-on for crappy old winnebagos.

I’m not a junkie parent, but I totally acted like one this Christmas. I don’t mean literally. I didn’t cut coke with a Toys R Us gift card, or scream things like “Watch out for the goddamn bats!” I didn’t have itchy sores on my face, except for the cluster of chin-zits I developed with the usual holiday chocolate overdose. I certainly wasn’t wasting away to nothing; pretty sure my pants are restricting blood flow to my lady garden right now.

Let me explain.

Max would get up at 8 a.m. and walk into our bedroom to see two pale, groggy, drooling creatures flaked out in bed. Say hello to the Mother of Year and her hairy prince.

“Mommy, Daddy, can I go play the X-Box?”
“Go for it.”

One hour later…

“Mommy, Daddy, are you guys getting up?”
“Not yet, go play with your toys.”

One hour later…

“Mommy, Daddy, I’m hungry…”

Annnnnnnnnnd OH GOD I AM A HORRIBLE MOTHER I’LL GO PACK MY BAGS FOR PRISON NOW.

The Mommy Guilt. It’s a thing.

“I’ll be right there, buddy. Cheerios or French toast?”
“Cheerios.”
“Oh thank GAWD.”

I was off for ten days. On almost every one of those days, Max got up and played by himself for anywhere between one to three hours. Alone. While Mommy and Daddy — and even the dog — slept in, or at least lounged around in bed checking facebook and playing Candy Crush. I am a crack whore. I am a meth head mommy, without the meth. And Max is this kid right here, with a 30% cleaner face:

Photo stolen from the Interwebs. That's what tweakers do. They steal.

Photo stolen from the Interwebs. That’s what tweakers do. They steal.

I hate myself so hard. I had ten days to do all the things the usual crazy workweek doesn’t allow: Walk the dog, organize the house, spend quality time with my son who I ship off to daycare five days a week. But instead, I chose to be a gigantic, lazy asshole with all the makings of a fabulous smackhead.

Today, the first Saturday since returning to work, it was a familiar scene. Max got up around 8 a.m. and skipped out to the living room to play on the X-Box. And we douchenozzles lay in bed, trying to block out the sound of Lego Luke Skywalker decapitating stormtroopers. But then…BAM! Actually, it was the opposite of BAM! It was a lowercase bam, with no exclamation mark. Bam. Everything went quiet. No Jedi sound effects. No dull hum of the air exchanger. Only the sound of small, flat feet approaching our bedroom. “Mommy, the X-Box is not working.”

Holy sith-spawn! The power was gone.

With no X-Box, iPad or TV, Turbo Ginger had to kick it old school for the rest of the day. Puzzles. Books. Action figures. Even bubble wrap.

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This tweet was shown on CBC News Network today. Max’s official national television debut. (Yes, Mommy still had Twitter. Shut up.)

And, since Max can’t read, or assemble a 100-piece puzzle solo, or have a lightsaber fight with himself, Mommy had to be an active participant.

A sincere thank-you to the power company people. No really, thanks for the intervention. Now, if you could just restore our power so I can cook some french toast. And maybe a little crystal.

(I’m kidding. Put down the phone.)