collectively sorry

I heard this opening essay on one of my favourite shows last week. I stopped in my tracks, standing stock still in the middle of the kitchen, coffee cup in hand. Breathing and listening. And, it's stayed with me. And I've discussed it with my own teens, trying to not sound absolutely completely freaked out. Breathing and listening again.

I don't know if this story has made it past the Canadian border, but in a way I hope it has. You can google her name and find the original video if you wish: I warn you, you may become nauseated. I did. Apparently her Mum has said that the video should remain available... that this is what her daughter would've wanted. 

I thought the second half of his essay hit it... bang on:

... the suggestion will reek of arrogance and denial
and it is that denial that may be our greatest battle in this moment

as if a previous generation’s difficulties
should form the prescription
for inaction and dismissal now,
as if we don’t have the evidence 
that this is a new kind of epidemic

  ~  quite the opposite  ~

shame on those amongst us 
who would misunderstand the way
in which the world has changed

yes we have suffered bullying in the past,
(many of us know that all too intimately)
but we did not live in a world of social media...

of Facebook taunts that can invite 
a pile-on of participants from around the world
that will live in infamy,
in online pages that are near impossible to extinguish,
that can follow a young teen to any computer screen,
no matter how far her family moves to stem the tide,
no matter how hard they try to hide

  ~  on the contrary  ~

we should not rest 
until all of us together -- as a national community --
take on the bullies who will try to tear us down

we should not rest 
until any and every teen understands that
it is okay to be 
different -- or the same --

immune from societal blame

we should not rest


how I stay amused*, happy appy style

Last week I was sitting inside at the pool and saw this stand of burning bushes just outside:

original, taken with iPad3

The sun was just setting behind the building so I wasn't sure if I had enough light but I knew that if I waited for better conditions during next week's swim practice there was a good chance the leaves would be down and I'd have missed a creative opportunity. I love colour, and the fall display this year on my part of the globe has been unsurpassed. So I hussled outside to capture some shots with my iPad3 and iPhone4.

original, taken with iPhone4

original, untouched, taken with iPhone4

Hipstamatic app taken on iPhone4
(John S. lens, no flash)

Percolator of Hipstamatic

I really like the Percolator app; ones of my favourites. I processed the above image using my iPad3, sitting on the couch beside my husband during the evening news. There's three dials on the app, and each of those has multiple choices. The combinations for end image are too numerous to keep track of... so I'm not entirely sure how the above image came to be. I just noodle around until I think 'ooo, purtee' and save. 

original, taken by iPad3
ShakeItPhoto app
The ShakeItPhoto mimics a Polaroid, and even goes through the whole click, whirr and develop in front of your eyes. You can shake your iPhone/iPad to speed it up, but you don't need to. (and: you're not supposed to shake it like a Polaroid either I've since learned... but that's another blogpost when I reveal that I've purchased a secondhand SX-70 Land camera and film from The Impossible Project)

Goes without saying that I really like my iPhone and iPad for photography. They both take fantastic photos, and the retina screen on the iPad3 is phenomenal. I still use both my Sony CyberShot and Pentax DSLR (my CyberShot is in my purse at all times)... but for ease of use, and the fact that I've always got my iPhone with me I love my iPhone. And my photo apps.   

photography icon in the upper left corner includes: Darkroom, Phototreats, Labelbox, Black's uploader app, Diptic, LEGO Photo, Percolator, Flickr, Actioncam, PhotoToaster

not included in screenshot: ShakeItPhoto, MarbleCam, ActionShot, SloPro, ProCam, Fisheye Pro, Bokehful, Squaready, Hueless, 

hunh, that's about 30 photo apps... just about what I thought I had...

Most of the time I just snap a pic, it saves to Camera Roll and then I can import it later into whichever app I feel like. However you can't do this with Hipstamatic, it requires you to take the photo within the app.

I've aquired many of my photo apps after seeing docpop's on instagram. Other photomuses: Daily Dose of Imagery, Blurb.

I suspect this blog post will be continued in further installments...

*(Alternate Blog Post Titles: How the Laundry Piles Up, Why My Dust Bunnies Have Formed a Union, How I Trained My Dog to Self-Walk, Sleep is for Wusses, Why No One Gifts Me Houseplants Anymore)


will suffer for ca$h. no, not really...

My 15 yr old son received an award today. Two awards to be precise, but the second one is the one that caused such hilarity for me. 

He made the honour roll last year (but the awards ceremony was today), and since he was in the first group up to the stage, and his name is near the beginning of the alphabet he was the fifth kid (of about 400... million) across the stage to receive this first award. I dutifully video recorded it since my husband couldn't be there, turned the camcorder off and sat there thinking now what? 

I seriously contemplated sneaking out. My kid's done, all I was doing was sitting and clapping. But, I was good... I thought about how the other parents would feel, me bothering them to excuse myself exiting the row. It was one hour out of my life; surely I could sit and enjoy the celebratory vibe in the auditorium.

An hour later, we're nearing the end as it's the last of the special awards  phew  and I'm mentally already out of the school when they announce my son's name again. For a split second I process it as "huh, they just called someone who has the same name..." before I realize that he's won another award! Surprise!

I scramble to get the camcorder turned on and barely manage to capture him receiving this unexpected extra award. For 'achieving academic success while handling challenges'. (?)

Afterwards, in the lobby:

"Wow! Congratulations... did you know you were getting that one?"
"Huh... what did you get it for?"
"I have no idea...!"

We both burst out laughing.

He has had some anxiety issues in the past, but they were very much under control last year. I leave the school grinning, mentally shaking my head. Definitely not a helicopter mom, I think.

When he gets home from school he tells me that another student told him that this award usually comes with money. He looks in the envelope that came with the plaque and sure enough there's a cheque for $200!

When I texted my sister the news she responded:

Suweeet! People who overcome challenges deserve cold, hard cash. 



forked path

(big enough to shelter an
entire village of faeries!)

autumn colours in Quebec

foot stool

working on the toboggan run
before the snow comes

sharp pain

sometimes I have memories
that I simply cannot reconcile:

sitting here at the pool
thinking about when I took
lessons at the Y,
younger than my daughter is now
having to fight for my life
in the corner of the pool,

Mom knitting by the side
just as I am now.

sometimes I feel nauseous
and other times - like now
I have this almost palpable
achy chest pain.

it is overwhelming...
and I can’t seem to match
the person she was then
to who she is now

most of the time
this sharp pain is kept
secure and hidden inside me
and then I have times - like now
when I find myself
with cheeks wet
by the side of the pool


remember what is important to you

[source: orientaloutpost.com]

remember what is important to you:
jot it down, record a voice memo, keep a memory of it somewhere somehow

remember what is important to you:
is it stuff? travels? feelings?

remember what is important to you:
perspective... it's all about perspective isn't it

remember what is important to you: not your husband, or your best friend,
or your community... what is important to you...