Exhausted

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Who knew looking at vehicles would be so draining?! 
Curently loving the Kia Sportage and the Nissan Juke and Rogue...

Get to the point

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lonely....I'm Mr. Lonely

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Decided to take part in my friend Barb's month end Photo A Day Challenge for February. Prepare yourself for the most random photos...

Dear Donald Trump Supporters and Surrogates...

Thursday, October 27, 2016
Hello Conservatives. Please don’t worry – this letter is not to slam, insult, denigrate, or belittle you. I fully support your right to vote and to vote for whomever you choose, even if we disagree. Voting is an important right and a responsibility. While I would prefer to see Hillary Clinton become president instead of Donald Trump (even though she’s not my ideal choice), if your side wins the election, I will fully accept the results. Full disclosure: I’m not American, I’m Canadian so I don’t have a say or a part in your election but if I did, I would still feel the same way.

However, I’m not writing to you to talk about the American electoral process or exercising your right to vote. I would like to address an issue that continues to pop up, although it seems not as frequently the closer to the election we get, despite all the other nonsense that’s been going on. I’d like to address the accusations of sexual assault against Donald Trump by a number of women. While not all Republicans/Conservatives feel this way, the media chooses to interview those of you who question why these women are coming forward NOW, some of them years after the events allegedly took place. On behalf of women everywhere who have experienced the unwanted groping and grabbing, the unsolicited vulgar comments, the rape and the abuse, let me tell you why.

We feel ashamed. We feel embarrassed. We feel, somehow someway, it is our fault. We know we are more likely to be dismissed than believed. We will be questioned, with less concern than that shown to the accused, about what we were wearing; about whether we had been drinking and if so, how much; about whether or not we led the other person(s) on; about our sexual history. We know that even if the person(s) is (are) arrested and it goes to trial, the likelihood they will be found guilty is slim. We know that if the odds have been defied and the person(s) have somehow been found guilty, the sentence they receive will be nothing compared to the shame, humiliation, and filth we feel for the rest of our lives for what has been done to us without our permission.

Yes, there will be a small percentage (no I don’t have actual numbers or data to back me up so please don’t ask) of women who MAY bring charges like those claimed against Donald Trump for time in the spotlight, the hope that they will get some sort of monetary settlement, etc. However, I assure you, as a woman who has experienced some of the things mentioned above, that number IS SMALL. I don’t know any woman who wants to endure on purpose the kind of humiliation, degradation and scrutiny laying these sorts of charges results in. No amount of money or “fame”, if that’s what you want to call it, will change how a woman feels about herself or what has happened to her. You can’t wash away the feeling of someone’s unwanted hands groping your body or the memory of being violated with cash.
How many of us remember being told the kid in elementary or junior high school who pulled your hair, called you names, etc did it because “they liked you”?  That's bullshit and we need to stop telling our children this. I knew a kid like that when I was in school - his name was Chad S. He would flip up my skirt or pull down my pants in front of everyone at recess. He didn’t do it to anyone else in our class. Just me. Did I think he liked me?  No. Instead I wracked my brain trying to figure out what I’d done to make him pick on me. By the time we’d graduated to Junior High School, he’d graduated to forcefully grabbing my breasts while we played Dungeons and Dragons at a mutual friend’s house. Repeatedly. Did I ever tell my parents? No. Did I stop hanging out with my other friends in those settings? No. Why? I felt ashamed. I felt embarrassed. I felt, somehow someway, it was my fault. All the other kids playing D&D were boys, perhaps this is just what boys do. I had developed breasts earlier than anyone else in our class. I should be hiding them better so he wouldn’t be tempted to grab them. I began a lifelong habit of hunching my shoulders to try to lessen how much they stood out compared to my flatter chested friends who didn’t seem to get this unwanted attention for having been born a girl.

Even before that, while staying with family friends while my parents were away, I had their oldest teenage son ask to see what was between my legs. He tried to convince me that it was ok. He told me I knew what he had because I had a brother but he didn’t have a sister so he didn’t know what girls had between their legs. To this day, I still don’t know how I got out of that situation but I remember avoiding him from that moment forward. Did I tell anyone? No. Why? I felt ashamed. I felt embarrassed. I felt, somehow someway, it was my fault.

When I went away to school, a drunk man followed me off the bus, across a crowded parking lot and into the entrance of a local mall, calling me by my name and grabbing me. I was wearing my beloved high school jacket which had my name on it. I never wore my jacket again. I felt it was my fault and I had done something to encourage his unwanted behaviour.
These are just a few examples from my childhood.  Experiences I am now finally able to share without being reduced to tears (although I came close while writing this). This doesn’t begin to cover the last 23 years of my life.  While I haven’t undertaken a scientific poll of my female (or male) acquaintances, family members or friends, I know that if I did most of them would have their own tales to tell. It’s not something we talk about, at least not openly and freely like we should. Why, you may ask yet again? For all the same reasons we don’t tell someone in the first place. We feel ashamed. We feel embarrassed. We feel, somehow someway, it was our fault.

You may not believe the dozen women who have come out publicly and claimed Donald Trump sexually assaulted them and that is your prerogative. I understand the particular timing of their coming forward might cause some of you to consider Democratic Party involvement. I get it – politics is a dirty game and both sides often don’t play fair. However, please don’t be so quick to judge them on why they are coming forward now. Think of your sister; your mother; your daughter; your friend; your coworker. While you might think they are strong enough to not let these things happen to them, or god forbid if it does happen, that they would come forward immediately. You would be wrong. It doesn’t matter how strong you are in any other aspect of your life – being groped, grabbed, raped, assaulted, pawed, kissed, or touched in any way without permission can destroy the strongest person you know, man or woman, and leave them a shell of the person you once knew. What you see on the outside often masks what's going on inside.

I wish you and your candidate luck in the upcoming election. At this point it could go either way. Here's hoping that whatever happens, your country can come together once its all over.


Sincerely,

Your (still healing) northern neighbour.

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore

Thursday, August 04, 2016
As some of you know, over a year or so ago, I finally paid off my dreaded student loans *thunderous applause*. It represented the last of my debts and I finally felt as though I’d thrown off the yoke of repayment which had hung around my neck since I graduated back in 1999. At times it had felt as though I would never shake that monthly payment. However, I stuck with it, began making extra payments when I could, sometimes of only a dollar or two, and watched gleefully as my balance gradually diminished. Freedom! Ok, so I still have my credit card but I don’t put that into the same category as loans and other large financial obligations.

My whole life I have longed to travel. I attribute part of this to growing up in military family. When you move across the country every 4-5 years, you get used to seeing new things and visiting new places. While we didn’t travel far and wide for vacations during my childhood, I was always curious about distant lands and different cultures. Unlike a couple of my high school friends, I didn’t do the classic Senior Trip to Europe. I didn’t take my first “real” vacation until after I’d graduated when my best buddy and I flew to California to see Disneyland. After that, it was onto university where spare money was almost nonexistent and the most exotic locale I visited was a friend’s couch to watch a foreign film. A few years after getting my degree, I put myself deeper into debt by financing my next vacation (18 years after my first) and took a solo trip to the UK.

I was always jealous of friends and coworkers who traveled every year – a week during the winter in Mexico or the Caribbean, two weeks in the summer for a cruise or off to Europe. It’s not their fault I haven’t had the opportunities to travel but I was still a bit bitter hearing about their fancy fruit drinks, exotic excursions, and seeing their sun-drenched snapshots.  If I continued to only take a break every 18 years, I’d be lucky if I managed two more trips before I kick the proverbial bucket. Inspired by my well-travelled friends, and my mother who seems to be able to manage at least one short trip every year, I’m changing my outlook on vacations. No longer will it be me sitting on my couch in my sloppy jam-jams watching day time television (although, yes occasionally I will still do that). I am actively looking at filling up my passport!

It’s now no secret that I’m heading off to Hawaii with Mommikins in the New Year. However, I’m already looking ahead to my next two vacations! Yeah, I’m going a little hog-wild crazy here. My thoughts are that I “might” be able to afford a short (week) vacation in January with Mom, and then take a week vacation by myself (or with a friend) in the fall. I’m not one of those people who want to vacation in summer. Its tooooo hot for me to want to vacation here in Canada and many of the places I want to go have similar or hotter climates. No thank you. Plus, everyone else takes their vacations in July and August so I’m looking at September. Heck, depending on the location, I’d even look at October (plus it could be slightly cheaper!).

It would be nice to be one of those people who have a passport filled with stamps from around the world. To have had unique adventures, learning about history where it happened, and experiencing the way the rest of the world lives their lives. I don’t need to live for a month with the Bushmen of the Kalahari or something equally exotic. What I do want is memories, images and stories of my own from the places I’ve always wanted to visit – and the ones I didn’t realize I wanted to visit until I ended up there.
I’m already thinking of where I’d like to go come next fall – and yes, I’m aware it’s a year away. This gal’s an advance planner, remember? Nothing decided yet; I don’t even know what continent I might end up on. I do know that it will be for about a week (give or take a day or two). Possibly with a friend who’s fairly well-travelled or maybe on my own, everything is kind of up in the air. I’m taking suggestions if you would like to offer one. Nowhere hot, please. I’m not looking for a “resort” type vacation this time around. Lots of history, interesting things to see, fun things to do, etc. And I’m not averse to doing a tour package depending on the location.


As I leave you, I’d like to leave you with a question – tell me about your favourite vacation spot, your first “big” vacation, or somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
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