You’re Getting Sleepy

Has anyone else found that as they get older, they have a harder time falling asleep?  I never really struggled with insomnia, but lately I’ve been finding I stay up later, have a harder time shutting off my brain, and tend to wake up in the middle of the night.  I’ve been a hardcore sleeper with the TV on for years, but that’s not always conducive if there’s someone else in the room who doesn’t like to sleep with the TV on.  So I’ve adjusted, and it’s AWESOME.

What’s the secret?  The Sleep With Me Podcast.  Seriously, it’s so weird, but it’s awesome.  It’s a podcast that puts you to sleep and I’m obsessed with it.  Now, every night, I look forward to the time when I get to put in my headphones, arrange my perfect pillow throne (it’s elaborate and requires five or six pillows) and drift off to sleep with Scooter.

How does it work?  Basically he tells bedtime stories in such a roundabout, meandering way that you drift off.  His goal is to make things interesting enough that you pay attention to him, instead of the thoughts swirling in your head (he calls them brain bots).  It’s seriously so relaxing.  He creates this incredibly reassuring atmosphere, saying he’s just going to keep you company until you fall asleep, or don’t fall asleep, there’s no pressure!  I’m obsessed and can’t sleep without it.  Dustin hates it and thinks it’s super weird.

Seriously – if you’re having a tough time sleeping, give it a shot.  I like to set the timer on my phone so the podcast stops after the current episode.  I’ve forgotten a few times and left it playing all night and I end up with some seriously weird dreams.

Another trick I like to help me fall asleep?  I like to map out in my mind places where I’ve spent a lot of time but haven’t been in years.  Like the summer camp where I went when I was a kid, or the arena where I grew up, even the campus at Western.  Doing a little walkthrough in my brain really helps to relax me.

Let me know if you have any other tips!  Or recommendations for wireless headphones – the cats keep chewing through mine!

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Not Again

It’s kind of a long way to go to get the payoff of this story, but I think it’s worth it.

Okay, so I’ve mentioned before that I dig these Lego Brickheadz figures.  They’re cute and cheap and fun to build.  It’s like making your own Funko.

LEGO-Brick-Headz-Series-1

At this point, the only one that I’m missing from the above picture is Captain America, and I was wondering when a second series might be coming out and what characters they might feature.  So I did what I do best – Google dat.

I wasn’t finding much information on what will be coming out, but I found a bunch of message boards where people were speculating on what might be next.  I took a scroll through to see what the nerds were saying.

 

 

Okay, so lots of people have guesses along those lines, but nothing that was really getting me excited so I kept scrolling.

Okay, a bit of a dissenting opinion with the Doctor Who stuff, but whatever.  Forums can get like this with people getting snarky instead of just scrolling on by.

Then I came across the following comment and thought it was hilarious.

Do you see that?  “We’re not doing this again.  We are not debating the popularity or lack thereof, in yet another unrelated thread, of Doctor Who.  Please do not continue to debate this across Eurobricks.  This is a Brickheadz wish thread.  You wished for Doctor Who, and that’s the fullest extent of that conversation allowed here.  Thanks.”

You guys – this argument comes up SO OFTEN that someone felt the need to address it with “We’re not doing this again”.  It’s as though Lego forums are just filled with people arguing that there should be Doctor Who EVERYTHING because it’s a “global phenomenon”.  Well, this Eurobricks thread has had enough of this debate!  It has no place here!  You can say you want it but that’s it!  This is serious business on this thread and your attempts to derail the wish list talk of Lego Brickheadz is NOT WELCOME HERE.

I honestly laughed about it for like 10 minutes – it just struck me as so funny that someone was so fed up with the idea.  Then it reminded me of Sideways, because that line always kills me.

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So no Merlot, and no arguing about the popularity of Doctor Who.

Halloween 2017

 

The weather has finally cooled down and I’ve got some Halloween decorations up and I’m ready for some spooky October fun!  I thought it would be helpful to make up a little list of some of the activities going on in the area – a lot of these events are already filling up and even sold out so the time to act is now!  I didn’t necessarily put them in chronological order because frankly that seemed too complicated.  I linked to all the events to try and make sure the times and dates are right.

Sparta Ghost Hunt

Sparta has ghosts, not just candles!  Sign up for your guided spirit tour!

Eldon House Ghost Hunt

Get the chance to tour the Middlesex County Courthouse and beautiful Eldon House while hearing about all the ghosts that may be residing there!  This event was sold out, but I believe they added additional dates on October 29th.

Storyspook Gardens

I haven’t been to this event in a couple of years, but the last time I took Vivian we had a blast!  The volunteers do an awesome job of putting on an event for kids that’s fun and not too spooky.  Plus it’s really cool to be in Storybook Gardens at night, even though I still maintain that it should be Spookybook Gardens and not Storyspook.

Reapers Realm

I *finally* went to Reapers Realm for the first time last year and it was SO.MUCH.FUN.  I can’t wait to go again this year.  If you’re going, it’s definitely worth it to buy your tickets online ahead of time and spring for the VIP pass.

Screampark

In a similar vein, Bingeman Park in Kitchener does Screampark on weekends in October.  I might not be able to fit in all these haunted houses, but this one looks pretty great!

Suspiria 

If you haven’t seen this Dario Argento masterpiece then you definitely need to hit up this event!  The movie is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see it in 4K!  This is a special event as part of London Comicon – I’ve already got my tickets!

London Comicon

I’m not entirely sure what horror-related treats are going to be at the London Comicon, but I’m anxious to find out!  Vivian and I are excited to meet the real Wednesday Addams, and I can’t wait to fangirl over William Shatner of Weird or What fame!

Kustermans

I’ve been to Kustermans during the day to get pumpkins this time of year, but this year I want to check out their haunted corn maze at night!  I’ve heard good things about it – and I love a good haunted house event!

Donnelly movie premiere

There are all kinds of screenings happening for this local history film – it’s looking like a lot of the events are already sold out so if you can find one with tickets still available, don’t wait!

Stranger Things Halloween Party

Like getting your dance on?  Check out this 80s themed Halloween dance party!

Pioneer Village

You can’t get away from the Donnelly family story around here – here’s another cool haunted and historical event!

Murder Mystery at Woodside

This one is past the Halloween season, but if you want to take a bit of a road trip out to Woodside, they are hosting a murder mystery dinner in early November.

Byron Scary House

I didn’t get a chance last year to head out to Byron for this backyard haunted house but I heard it’s really awesome.  I’m determined to make it there this year!

London Murder talk

Sadly this event about London murders is already sold out but I’ve been emailing hoping they add an additional date.

No Scrubs Halloween Dance Party

Like getting your dance on?  This one’s a 90s themed event!  These dance parties at Call the Office are super fun, even though I end up feeling old for dancing to music that I like in a non-ironic way.

The Hands of Orlac

Okay, so this one sounds really cool and might be what I want to do for my birthday.  The in-house composer for the London Symphony has created music to accompany the film The Hands of Orlac.  It will be performed by the symphony with the film playing on screen.  Sounds pretty rad to me.

If you’re wanting to venture further out of the London area, Toronto is doing a haunted house in Casaloma again this year, the AGO has an unbelievable exhibition on Guillermo de Toro, and the horror con Frightmare in the Falls is happening in Niagara Falls in November.  There’s also HorrorRama in Toronto in early November – you’ll find me there!  Another great idea around Halloween is to try out some escape rooms!

Staycation

There actually was a time when I thought staycations were a waste of time.  I don’t usually have the money for a big vacation, so for a long time I didn’t really take time off unless I needed it off for something.  Maybe a Friday off here and there, but not much beyond that.  When I did take a week off, it would be because my daycare was closed or something, so it didn’t end up being a real vacation.

Then last year, I took a real staycation.  I booked the first week in September off.  I like to take the first day of school off so I can take Vivian, and I think I was supposed to have a French court out of town that week, so taking the whole week off made sense.

IT WAS AWESOME.

I can’t believe I never put it together, but do you know what you do on a staycation?  YOU STAY AT YOUR HOUSE AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.  It’s the greatest, for real.

The first week in September makes it even better since Vivian is in school.  We get up, get ready, I walk her to school, then I have from 9:00 a.m. until 3:20 p.m. every day to do whatever I want.  I can get SO MUCH done around the house, or I can lay around and watch a whole season of something on Netflix.  It gives both Vivian and I a chance to ease into the school year and really makes things go a lot smoother.  Lunch packing doesn’t seem like such a chore, we can spend more time getting back into a school routine, and any errands for that first week are easily done – and you know those first few days of school usually entail running out to get something that you didn’t realize you needed.

It gives me a chance to get caught up on freelance work that got away from me over the summer, and it’s a good chance to do errands that are hard to do with Vivian around.  I can go through her toys and clothes, all that stuff.  I had aspirations to paint this kitchen this time, but that didn’t end up happening.

I’ve talked up this week so much that I think I’ve talked a few more people into scheduling a staycation the first week of school.  The weather is always nice too, so that definitely helps.  Fellow putterers and house mice, enjoy your staycations!

 

Some Thoughts

My brother got married on September 2nd.  It was a crazy, hectic, beautiful, amazing day.  This was my first sibling who took the plunge, and I was really surprised by how overwhelmed and affected I was by the whole weekend.  It ended up being this amazing, soul-cleansing weekend and since I can’t stop thinking about it, I figured I would write some of my jumbled thoughts about it.

  • I spent the day before the wedding helping my mom and aunt get ready for the rehearsal dinner.  What could have been a day of menial tasks ended up being a day spent with my mom, aunt, cousin, and my new sister-in-law’s family drinking, eating, chatting, and preparing food.  It was such a traditional day – all these women together preparing food for a huge group of people, sharing wine and coffee was just so special.
  • I got to spend time with my aunt and cousin who I haven’t seen in over 10 years.  I never get to see my mom with her siblings since they live out west, so just seeing my mom get to be a little sister was really special.  Connecting with my cousin while talking about our kids, talking to my aunt about career paths and books and finding similarities…I can’t wait to be able to go visit them myself.
  • Any time I’m in a room with my mom’s family and my dad’s family is bizarre and surreal but so fun.  I got to see my brother Matt talk to my cousins on my dad’s side, people who he doesn’t normally meet.
  • Seeing the way that people find their own rituals during something so traditional like this.  People who don’t normally smoke deciding, “Why not, let’s have a cigarette.”  Laughing and hugging, seeing generations come together, seeing Vivian with her great grandparents.
  • Seeing my brother, the groom, the giant crane operator who is so tough on the exterior and not prone to displays of emotion, beaming at his bride coming down the aisle.  He didn’t cry – good thing, because I would have lost it if he cried – but he rubbed her hands with his thumbs through the whole ceremony in this “As long as I keep doing this, I’ll get through it” kind of way.
  • During the ceremony, a red tailed hawk landed in a tree right near my brother and his bride – with a last name like Hawkins, you take that as a sign.
  • Even just cleaning up after the wedding the next day, enjoying time with my mom talking about the wedding and not worrying about cellphones.
  • The leftovers!  The whole time was like that week between Christmas and New Year’s when you just eat and drink and socialize no matter what time of day.
  • A few days after the wedding, before my aunt and cousin had to fly back out west, we went to the cemetery to look for my maternal grandfather’s headstone.  We found his, as well as my great-grandparents and other ancestors.  Making connections to the past in a way I rarely do.

I don’t know, maybe I’m getting more nostalgic in my old age or something.  In any event, it was a really special weekend and I just wanted to get some of these written down before I get all bitter and jaded again.

The Closet 2017

First – some background.  I used to do this post every year, but fell off the wagon last year.  Basically, it’s crazy time consuming to put together and I just didn’t get to it.  For anyone who is new to the blog – this is my entire wardrobe.  I started doing a blog post about it mostly to hold myself accountable and really take a close look at what clothes I have and what I actually wear and need.  I’ve been invited to a couple of clothes swap parties lately so it inspired me to do another post.  I feel like I have a fairly small wardrobe, but I’m sure there are people with smaller wardrobes and definitely people with larger ones.  That’s all okay!  I’m not a minimalist – I just overshare on the internet.

So, here’s what lurks in my closet.

5 pairs of jeans

I need new black jeggings – that pair second from the right are actually really dark blue, not black.  The pair on the far right are snugger than I’d care to admit – although when I look at this picture I think it might be because the waistband is much more narrow than the other pairs so maybe that’s my problem.  Let’s blame it on the jeans.

8 Skirts

Not a big pants person!  I’ve actually being waffling on getting rid of some of these skirts but I’m not quite ready to let them go yet.

4 pairs of shorts (3 summer, 1 winter)

I love me some winter shorts.  I hate summer shorts.  Two of those pairs I impulse bought before we went to Huntsville last month.  They were just on clearance for like $6 each.

4 pairs of yoga pants, 1 pair of jogging pants

Four pairs of yoga pants seems a little excessive to me, but one pair is leggings (gotta get them in those boots in the winter!) one pair are capris and two pairs are actual full-length pants.  Also these pictures are so terrible because Dustin was actually sleeping in the bed while I was doing this so I was trying not to make a huge production of it.

3 Vests

 I really love that long sleeveless blazer deal.  It’s from Banana Republic and I got it for like $20 at the factory store.  I can’t quite get the hang of wearing it though.  I don’t think I have the shoulders for it.

4 Blazers

I love a good blazer.

8 Cardigans

I really need to upgrade some of those cardigans.  Basically, I wear a cardigan every day in the cooler weather so black and grey are my go-to.

4 zip-up hoodies

Basically casual cardigans.

3 Pullover hoodies

Pro-tip – if hoodies make you feel claustrophobic like they do me, try cutting a slit at the neck of the hood to open it up a bit more – it makes a world of difference.

Box o’ Tights

You may have noticed that I have no work pants, so tights are a necessity for me.  I didn’t actually count them, because I was getting pretty lazy at this point, but I do know that I have two pairs of black tights with grey polka dots, one pair of burgundy polka dot tights, and probably five pairs of solid black tights.  They are all super cheap from Joe Fresh, I like to stock up when they’re on clearance.

The island of misfit tops.

These are the tanks that I don’t really consider actual clothes.  You’ve got random shirts that I’ve made for events, shirts that go under other shirts, and tank tops that are just whatever.

4 Belts

2 Long-sleeved shirts

Sleeves are for suckers.

21 Tank Tops

I love a tank top.  They’re so versatile!  You wear them all summer so you’re not stuck with the dreaded farmer’s tan, then in the fall and winter you just throw on a cardigan!  I prefer ones with interesting designs or from small, cool companies, but I have the basics down there too.

These are the basic scoop neck, rounded hem tanks that will go with virtually anything.

4 Button-down shirts

Need more plaid.

19 T-shirts

Clearly I’m not a fan of a plain t-shirt.  Oh, and if things look like crop tops it’s just because I folded it to fit in the picture better.

3 winter-ish jackets

My poor leather jacket needs a repair to a sleeve and the green jacket needs a good cleaning.

3 light jackets

The denim jacket and khaki jacket are crazy versatile – love them both.  The one on the right is a rain jacket with mysterious yellow stains on it, probably from mustard.

2 pairs of sandals

On the left are cheap ones for yard work and when I feel lazy, on the right are my everyday sandals.  I like them to be just fancy enough for work.

2 pairs of running shoes

Old ones for cutting the grass, new ones for “working out”.

1 pair of winter boots

They’re Sorels and I love them.

3 pairs of other boots

If they can go with dresses and jeans, they work for me.

5 pairs of casual running shoes.

Yes, I need 4 pairs of Converse.  And if you have fewer than two pairs of plaid shoes who are you even really?

2 pairs of heels

The black shoes are Seychelles and they were the most expensive pair of shoes I’ve ever bought (which still isn’t a lot) but they were worth every penny.

The dresses!  I live in dresses.  They’re socially-acceptable pajamas, basically.

5 maxi dresses

The one on the far right is really faded and I should probably get rid of it.  The one on the left is beautiful but I can’t wear a bra with it and it makes me feel really self-conscious.

17 dresses of other lengths

Nothing super fancy – and there’s actually a couple that aren’t fitting great right now (damn you, zippers!) but I love dresses.

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got!  Beyond pajamas (basically ratty old capri yoga pants and t-shirts) and unmentionables, which are remaining unmentionable.  Not a whole lot there anyway – just enough to get me through until I do laundry again!

ETA – somehow I missed my flats! 

3 Pairs of smelly old flats


 

A Night Out With Ashlie

It’s been awhile since I’ve done this.  Here’s a story of me having an embarrassing, event-filled evening just because I’m a magnet for trouble sometimes.

It was a lovely July Saturday.  The day started out with doing my duty and giving in to those radio ads about the blood shortage.  I went for a late morning appointment to donate blood, and managed to do so successfully as other people fainted around me.  I should have seen the foreshadowing.

I followed that up with lunch and a visit with Jenn.  Shirts were purchased, dumplings were eaten, antiques were browsed.  After that, I headed home for a quiet afternoon at home before heading back to London for an evening of fun.

Dinner was in my happy place – on a patio having a beer and some half priced apps.  The plan was to get to the concert venue around 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. so we were in no rush.  We walked to the London Music Hall, got our drinks and found a temporary spot while the opener was finishing up.

I, in my infinite wisdom, was standing just underneath the balcony section.  At one point I glanced up and saw people leaning against the rail with drinks in their hands and pondered how easily it would be to throw a drink on someone on the lower level.  Once again, I should have seen the foreshadowing.

Next thing I know, there’s a drink splashing up into my face.  One of those drinks from the balcony had fallen and went directly into my boobs.  It fell with such force that it splashed me and my friend next to me.  It was sticky, and I had probably half a Palm Bay now residing in my cleavage, but I was okay.  It was funny, you get drinks spilled on you at clubs, I’ll survive.

The headliners, the inimitable Redman and Method Man, were about to hit the stage so we pressed closer to our usual spot and met up with Jenn and her crew.  The show starts and it’s amazing – they are putting on such a high-energy show, I can’t even believe how lucky we are.  I’m bopping along, mildly annoyed at how often people are walking around and going to get drinks or go smoke or whatever.  But I deal, the girl behind me hates me and is constantly shoving me, but I’m not going to let that ruin my night.  It’s hot in there and the crush of people is making me sweat like crazy.  I get another drink spilled on my legs, completing my ensemble.

Then, as another couple shove by us, my poor little toes in their open-toed sandals get a rude visit from the heel of the woman pushing by me.  My toe explodes in pain and I reflexively shove the girl off my foot.  She glares at me, but keeps moving.

Now here I am, my anxiety-fueled brain saying “Your toe is broken, your toe is broken, your toe is broken.”  The thought of broken bones makes me feel faint on the best of days.  On a day when I’ve donated blood and then sweated profusely for 45 minutes to an hour?  It was enough to send me over the edge.

I feel faint at concerts and in bars fairly regularly.  Standing for too long + crowds of people + heat = lightheaded Ashlie.  Usually I can sneak off and having a little breather in the bathroom (seriously, who else enjoys the peace of a bathroom stall?) then can return with some ice water and finish out the night.  So, being the super smart, not at all stubborn person that I am, I tell Dustin that I’ll be right back and figure I’ll go for a breather.  I don’t even make it halfway to the bathroom before I’m on the floor.

I wake up wrapped around a barstool on the floor with hands lifting me up.  I’m instantly embarrassed, but I know I’m getting lifted up way too quickly.  They turn me around and point try to get me towards the side exit, but I’m on the floor again.

Round two – security gets me back on my feet and gets me outside.  I’m handed bottles of sweet, delicious ice cold water and sit outside on a milk crate.  The security from the club were all super helpful and assured me that I was only out for a second and just to take my time and relax.  I impress upon security that I’m not just some sloppy drunk, I donated blood earlier in the day and it probably wasn’t a great idea.  I’m supposed to be the designated driver, not the one on the floor.  Apparently I’m not looking great at this point since they’re not keen on my idea to go back in and just sit at the back bar until I regain my composure.

I text Dustin to let him know what happened, but that I’m okay.  He of course freaks out and comes to find me.  In the meantime, a drunk gentleman sits on the ground beside me and tells me I’m pretty, which is of little comfort.

After a couple of bottles of water, security clears me to go back in, especially now that I have Dustin with me.  We head back in for the end of the set, but I find myself a nice little corner to sit in.  I’m still having terrible cold sweats and my foot hurts almost as much as my ego.

As the show wraps up, we decide to meet our crew at a nearby bar so I can sit and have something to eat and drink and regain my composure so we can figure out if I’ll be able to drive home that night or not.

Poutine helped some, ginger ale helped more.  I managed to get my head off of the table and started to feel more like myself.  When the crew decided to head to another club for a funk night, I figured it would at least be good to go for a walk, get some fresh air, and spend a little more time deciding if I was okay to drive.

The night air felt cool and refreshing, and I was feeling okay about heading to another location.  That’s about when I tripped over my own feet or a curb or something and crashed into my friend Hank.  Yup, definitely broke a toe that time.

By the time we got to the fourth bar of the evening, I was feeling better.  Still not myself – but I was enjoying standing quietly and hanging out with my best friend, the wall.  Some more ice water and I was feeling well enough that I just wanted to get home.  The lights came on in the bar, we walked back to the car and gave our friends a ride home before heading back to Strathroy ourselves.

At about 3:00 a.m., I finally got to crawl into bed with my banged up knee, busted toes, sore wrist, and sticky skin.  Somehow it had still managed to be a great night.

You’d better believe I spent today relaxing on the couch though.

Idle Hands

I don’t do very well with sitting still.  I’m a multi-tasker.  If I’m watching TV I’m probably also scrolling on my phone during the show and reading a book on the commercials or something.  It just makes me feel better to keep my hands busy, like I’m not really wasting time by sitting around and rewatching Community for the fifth time.  Fidget toys are huge right now (and as much as you want to make fun of them, they are actually kind of cool to play with) and I guess that’s really what I’m doing, fidgeting.  In any event, I thought I would share my favourite ways to keep my hands busy in case you’re like me and need a project all the time!

Drawer o’ puzzles

  • Lately I’ve gotten pretty into building Lego, especially the Brickheadz figures.  They’re pretty cheap (Brickheads are around $12) and they look super cute.  I also really like the Nanoblocks sets.  Just gives me something easy to work on!
  • Metal Earth models are a little trickier and more frustrating, but it’s the same kind of deal as Lego.  I’ve only done one of these models and have another one waiting for me.
  • The ever-popular jigsaw puzzle works too!  That link is to the one I’m working on now.  Puzzles are a little harder if you have three cats checking out what you’re doing though.
  • I used to really enjoy knitting while I watch TV, but haven’t done much in the last few years.  It’s a good way to keep your hands busy, but I find I have to look at the pattern so much and keep such close tabs on my K1P1s that I can’t follow anything on TV.
  • Here’s the thing, if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m basically a child.  I can’t draw, but I do like to doodle.  There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting with a blank notebook and a pile of Sharpies and just doodling patterns and lines.
  • The colouring book thing is huge!  I have a couple, but colouring sometimes stresses me out more than relaxes me.
  • I have a pile of patches that need to be sewn onto things but I can never decide where to put them.  Sitting and working on simple handsewing can be so relaxing though, even if I’m just fixing Vivian’s beloved blanket for the hundredth time.
  • Dude, try and actual fidget toy before you knock them.  The spinners are surprisingly relaxing to play with, and I love a good fidget cube.
  • I recently ordered this book of logic puzzles and it seems pretty cool.  I love a good word puzzle, and this book comes with lots of charts to keep track of the information.  Lets me still feel smart while I’m watching something dumb.
  • Basically anything that is small and buildable is my jam lately.  I’ve done a bunch of these wooden dinosaurs and have this book of paper models waiting for me too.

Those are my favourites – my fingertips are actually killing me today from too much patch sewing last night.

 

 

Turning down the radio

I drive a lot.  Around 100 kilometers a day.  I commute to London for work, and am often driving somewhere on the weekends.  I don’t mind it, I like driving.  My routine used to be that I would listen to the radio in the morning for my news and weather and traffic, then listen to CDs in the afternoon for my drive home.  Lately though it’s been all podcasts all the time.  I love podcasts – I’ve written about them before.  They’re informative and entertaining and comforting.  There are, however, still some times when I listen to the radio.  On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, Dustin is with me for the drive to London.  Since it isn’t always fair for someone to jump in to the middle of a podcast, we listen to the radio.  Usually we chat anyway and barely listen, but at some point something about the morning show sends Dustin on a rant, but this morning it was my rant.

Here’s the set-up – they were talking about bribing kids to get them to do things.  I’m no stranger to the topic, I bribe Vivian constantly.  So the one morning show host starts talking about how her father has offered her $1000 for her to take in the family cat and she was considering it.  CONSIDERING taking $1000 to take care of her own cat.  I couldn’t believe it.  They were asking for people to weigh in on the issue, as radio shows do.  “text us and let us know if she should take the cat!”  I know it’s all in fun and they have time to fill, but I was pretty flabbergasted.  So I decided to send a text and said that it was the most unrelatable and spoiled thing I had ever heard.  If I were in the same situation my parents would probably say I could either take the cat or it would be put down.

The response I received from the radio station was “It’s a joke…lol.  Radio content!”

Is it?  Is that what they do?  Just make dumb things up to make you dislike the radio personalities and then encourage you to weigh in on it and then they tell you that none of it is real anyway?  I texted back “Sure it is” and received a “haha k ” back.

I dunno, maybe I’m taking it too seriously but it really soured me on listening to the radio.  No wonder it’s a dying medium if they’re so desperate for topics that they just wildly make things up.  Back to podcasts for me – at least you know when you’re listening to a fiction podcast.

In Defence of Distracted Parents

Every now and then I come across one of those viral posts.  You know the ones – “Parents, put down your phones and watch your kids in the park!  They want your undivided attention, these are the moments you can’t ever get back!”

I’m sorry, but no.

See, the other day I went to the park with Vivian.  We’re lucky and have a great park really close to our house, so we walk there often.  She didn’t want to ride her bike, so we walked there.  Or rather, she ran ahead and waited for me to catch up.  When we got to the park, she ran off to play while I parked myself on a nice bench and pulled out my book to read.  I don’t go to the park to watch my kid.  I go so she can run and get out some energy while I enjoy a little quiet time.  It’s good for her to learn how to play on her own.  It’s good for her to learn that things don’t always revolve around her.  It’s good for her to socialize with other kids.  It’s good for her to realize that I’m allowed to sit and read.  Do I look up if she says, “Mommy, watch this!”?  Of course I do.  Do I look up periodically to make sure she hasn’t disappeared – sure.  But for the most part, I’m of the mind that the park is for kids to play, not adults.

So I’m sure I look lazy sitting there ignoring my kid, checking my phone or reading a book.  Sure I look neglectful and distracted.  But I’m still there.  And I’m teaching her that adults deserve a break, just like she does when she wants to be left alone.  She doesn’t need me to follow her around and gaze adoringly while she goes down the slide.

Sometimes it’s okay to ignore your kids, just a little bit.