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Toronto Strong – Take to Your Porch

tostrongI firmly believe that change starts at home. Grassroots caring is the most nasty guerrilla warfare of our time.

I woke up to a wall of ‘Toronto Strong’ on social media, but when I looked out my window, there was not a soul on the street. Not a neighbour to be found.

Laundry and dishes and meal planning suddenly took a backseat to the CBC News Network’s coverage of the mass murder that played out yesterday on a stretch of a nearby Toronto street.  Colleagues of mine watched people being mowed down on the sidewalk just outside of their office, and the rest of us watched as the scene replayed over and over on screens all afternoon.

Was it a terrorist? Was it an “involuntary celibate’ (misogynist)? How can we fortify our city against these attacks? These were the predominant questions posed by the media. But these questions merely poke at the symptoms asking for band-aid answers. They don’t come anywhere near getting at the cause of the misery that is murdering our world.

Stay Strong. That’s the overwhelming populace message choking the city today.

Let me offer another perspective; stay vulnerable. Allow your grief and fear and anger an outlet. Let your community of friends embrace you as you grieve and heal.

In a world that has become lost to the miracle of humanity, one that values material success over kindness, community, and the health of our spirit, staying strong may give a message of toughness that we just don’t need.

I concede that if it were my child or loved one callously killed, I would have a rage and hate with limitless depths. It would take a fountain of caring friends to help heal that massive dark hole in my life. We need one another, not just during times of tragedy, but every day.

Our communities have disappeared into subdivisions and condos with closed doors with invisible neighbours. We are too busy fighting a modern-day-material-survival-of-the-fittest to put the kettle on and hang out on our front porches. This is the root of the problem. We are insular and inward looking.

Reaching out and getting to know your neighbours is the first step to staying strong…as a community.


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Oh Bother

haveaballoonWinnie the Pooh – I don’t want to take up too much of your time with this, but it’s just too silly to let rest…yet.

The councillors in Tuszyn, Poland  have spent time debating Pooh’s lack of pants and therefore,  the obvious abomination it would be to have Winnie the Pooh be the town’s playground mascot. Tuszyn’s debate has placed the small town front and center on the world stage for their 15 minutes of fame.

My immediate reaction was, ” Seriously? We’re wasting time on our national news talking about Pooh Bear’s dungarees”? Too tired to be outraged, instead of tweeting about it, I laughed. Chuckled, smiled even.

News is such a joke anyway, why not report on Pooh’s pants? If you’re telling us about Pooh’s pants, what aren’t you telling us?

Having started upon the long and winding road of my career as a newspaper reporter, I have an insider’s appreciation of the passive aggressive as well as blatant gagging of the idealized journalistic objective reality of writing for money.

It is no secret that reading the Saturday paper at my favourite coffee shop constitutes an ideal weekend morning. What you may not understand is that I read the paper as a clue to what isn’t being reported, written about, recorded or otherwise documented in popular media.

So I thank you CBC for not being afraid to report on something seemingly insignificant.

From what are you trying so hard to steal our attention?





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Remembrance Day & Christmas; This is Where We Draw The Line

redpoppyI’m tired of all of this crap about putting up Christmas decorations being disrespectful of veterans.

Not donating to veteran’s charities, not advocating for better care of our veterans so we don’t need charities, not wearing a poppy, and not stopping on November 11th to remember the sacrifices that have been made by Canadian soldiers is disrespectful of veterans.

My parent’s generation will not know the devastation to their school chums like my generation does. In fact, as a child growing up in Canada, I was often told to go into the military for the free education, after all, so the logic went, we’ll never go to war.  Oh, how so much can change in a few years.

I, unlike my parents generation,  have classmates I’ve known since I was still shedding milk teeth who have come and gone from active and brutal combat in the Middle East. Those people who will forever remain kids in my mind,  will never be the same, and it’s heartbreaking.

I have worked in the country’s most culturally diverse region, with the highest population of new immigrants and have seen the way that a wave of newcomers from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries have begun to change our Canadian culture. Some of these things are positive, and some are not.

Let us not forget that the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country suffered a lifetime of war-ravaged memories so that we could celebrate Christmas, and every other holiday known to religious and spiritual people from around the world.

Whether you like it or not and whether you are Christian or not, North American law is based on ancient Judeo-Christian ethic, and that very foundation, combined with secularized politics has kept us living in peace. It’s worked so well, that Canada is seen as a haven to  many people from other countries.

That we do not have the problem of raping, murdering and torturing fellow citizens in our streets is a testament to everything that our veterans fought for. It is a testament to having an equal rule of law for everyone, and religious laws that must obey the law of the land.

So don’t start some privileged bitch and whine campaign about Christmas decorations being an evil against veterans. Put your money where your mouth is and do something to continue to make our country better; vote, volunteer, donate, take to the streets to demand political and social reform.

Take a look at how you live your life and what you take for granted on a daily basis. Men and women went to war so we have the freedom to celebrate, stroll through the  streets, admire the beautiful decorations, take time to visit and spend time with friends or not  (because we all have the freedom to choose, thanks to our veterans) without having to fear for our lives.

Don’t minimize the service efforts of our veterans by using faulty logic so you have something to feel important and indignant about. Get off your ass and do something for our country instead.

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Canada – The True North Strong & Free

Condolences to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s family.

We will not be terrorized or intimidated.

We will not stand down.



Beauty Tip of the Week – News that Makes You Go, “Hmm?”

"God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there's no turning back. "~Gloria Steinam~
“God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back. “
~Gloria Steinam~

It’s that time of the week my rosy-cheeked readers.

I hope that you haven’t let me down. You surely couldn’t have let the week pass without reading the news?

More importantly, I hope you questioned the who, what, where, when, why and how of it all.

Beautiful women aren’t beautiful because of the shape of their ever-fabulous silhouettes. 

Truly beautiful women are gorgeous because of their warm spirituality and cunning intellect.

Top Ten News Items that Make Me Wonder This Week;

1) Why nations ruled by secular-politics dont’ have the diplomatic savvy to call a spade a spade when dealing with religion-based non-secular politics. Thoughts on the situation in Egypt; Any nation ruled by a religious group including the name ‘Brotherhood’ should make every intelligent woman’s labia snarl in protest. Brotherhood? How about evolving to a higher spiritual level and advocating human rights?

2) Bookshelves have gone out of vogue with the popularity of e-readers. So has common sense and independent thought. Odd that the two styles have become gauche at the same time. Think about it.

3) A major national newspaper used ‘filler’ for the entire back page of the Arts section. Tisk, tisk, tisk, my poor, lost editor. An article about the obvious (that romance and lust has permeated  literature since cavemen scratched stick figures on rocks) is not exactly cutting edge information. Tell me more about new authors, new artists, new theatres, but don’t bore the hell out of me with this mind-numbing twitter.

4) “Palestinians Paint Canada as Too Extreme” If that’s not a case of the proverbial pot and kettle I dont’ know what is. Canada needs to be ever more ‘extreme’ when it comes to protecting the secular politics that has made it a haven for those fleeing from countries governed by religious-politics. Don’t confuse this comment with my thoughts on Israel and Canada being kinky political bedfellows. That’s a fifty-shades trilogy in itself.

5) Do the brains behind the smiles in the society column have a clue what is really happening in the world? Do they really have any idea what they write cheques in support of, and the consequences of those big-money decisions? The coy smile peeking out from behind heart shapes made by hands (aka in the style of 11-year-old girls demonstrating their love for boy bands), makes me think – no.

6) Does anyone really care about who is in the society column beside the people in it? Not unless you’re looking for fertile fundraising ground.

7) What on earth makes a ‘Diwali Spiced Snickerdoodle’ recipe remotely appropriate for a ‘Christmas Cookie’ column? ( I admit I will try the recipe, and likely love the it). It’s like making German Stolen the first recipe in an Eid baking column.

8) The current situation between the provincial government and the teachers. Let’s talk about personal leadership and equitable compensation.  Anyone who calls themselves a professional does not ‘punch the clock’. They take on leadership as a personal badge (for teachers it includes coaching, teaching and delivering report cards that actually give parents and kids an intelligent, thoughtful assessment). Democratic governments do not take away the right to strike. Both sides of this one need a kick in the pants. Wage freeze – yep – it’s happening to everyone, and should especially happen to the gravy eaters at the top.

9) Canada’s redneck stance on the Kyoto Protocol, which ties nicely into the double-digit temperatures we’re having and the high price of apples. Please email me if you can’t put this together. In other words. Canada needs to get  off the liar-liar bus and see that our global pants are smouldering, if not already on fire.

10) The mass of jewelry adds given the impending Christmas boom. Somebody get me some of that. I like sparkly things.