Monthly Archives: October 2011

Bullying

The issue of bullying has hit the news lately with the suicide of an Ottawa councillor’s gay son.  (Although the media has shifted its focus a bit to Toronto mayor Rob Ford screaming sexist remarks at 911 dispatchers. Speaking of bullies!) This suicide has caused quite the outrage across the country and understandably so, but it just makes me wonder when all this bullying bullshit is going to stop. Maybe it’s just ugly human nature to attack those who are/think differently or out of jealousy, but I’d like to think that at some point human beings will evolve past all this savage monkey-like behaviour. And I have to say that I’m getting pretty tired of the hypocrisy when it comes to GLBT issues.

GLBT students are supposed to be protected and by this day and age, orientation shouldn’t be remotely an issue anymore. But one look at certain school boards/political groups/ religious organizations and you know that FAR too many people are still embarrasingly ignorant and homophobic. Hell, even at a work holiday party once, this dumbass once complained to me about “All the gays on TV”!

Seriously?? What gays? The only ones I see are on home decorating channels and one token couple on American Family and one kid on Glee. (Or at least I think there’s only one on that show, I never watch it. I’m not a musical fan, well unless “Evil Dead” came to town again!;))

Further, some of the messages being circulated after this boy’s death fail in one crucial element: That a few of the politicians/media personalities giving these messages are gay, but they don’t reveal it in their speeches. Of course, this is a personal decision, but I think your words would carry more weight if you proudly stated your orientation and how you have overcame prejudice.

Anyways, in terms of bullying in general: There are probably three main strategies for dealing with it as a victim-Directness, humor and reporting. I was bullied from Grade five until high school. Sometimes mildly, sometimes more severely, but except for the rare occasion, I lacked the confidence and courage to stand up to my bullies. I also let it get to me instead of laughing them off, insecure people only have as much power as you give them and thrive on making people upset. And most importantly, I didn’t tell my teachers or parents and really should have, authority figures are in the position to help and provide discipline. It may have done nothing and might have made it worse, but at least I would’ve tried. But life is not like a movie script where the perfect words and actions are right in the script, it’s messy and sometimes you don’t always react appropriately and quickly. And as much as I’d like to subscribe to the whole “it gets better” idea, the fact is that many working people in the public and private sectors have experienced some form of bullying or harassment! It’s happened to me personally, despite my best efforts at being nice. The worst part is, they caught me off-guard or vulnerable and I was too shocked to politely and”professionally” tell them to go to hell. Sometimes bullies catch you at the worst time! It’s also hard to believe that some people never grow out of this appalling behaviour but I guess some people never grow up mentally. Little jerks turn into big jerks. I’m planning on taking one of those HR “How to deal with Difficult People” courses and encourage you to do the same, even if haven’t been bullied at work. But I’d like to think that my directness, humor and if possible avoidance and reporting strategies are still important methods though, even when dealing with adults who should know better.

Lastly, I have to state the importance of doing something if you see someone else get bullied. Don’t just stand there, slack jawed or laugh nervously. If you are witnessing harrassment with the intention of causing mental or physical harm, do SOMETHING! Someone’s suffering is not someone else’s entertainment. Young or old, bullying is bullying, the time for talking is over, it’s time to finally make serious changes and eliminate this behaviour before any more lives are lost.

Picture: http://thompsonandokanaganclassifiedads.com/advertise/?p=1132

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Haunted Agriculture!

Last night, Hubby and I went to Saunders Farm to sit on a “spooky” wagon ride and ran around a corn field full of teenagers in makeup. It was fun! I laughed so hard my gut started to ache. (Or it could have been from the hotdog, hot chocolate and caramel apple.)

This past Saturday, I was intending to go to the Ottawa Zombie Walk with Zhu but when the day came, I had to do some work around the house and Hubby took the car (The bus service sucks the big one after rush hour and on weekends in our area.), so I didn’t go. I regret not going though, because I would’ve liked to have seen her and it looked like the event was very successful.  So with this in mind, I was very determined to keep my Saunders date. After eating, we went on the wagon ride, which was decent. I tried to take photos, but taking pictures in the dark can be tough. Here’s the better ones:

After the wagon ride, we shot some corn out of a cannon:

I jokingly remarked to Hubby that it would be “scarier” for the wagon riders, if they passed through the firing range of the flying corn. (Scary or hilarious? Bit of column A, bit of column B. ;))

Next up, we went through Stalkers Field and it was great! Better than the wagon ride! I have to admit though, that I wasn’t very well “behaved”. I am such a shutterbug that, without thinking, thought I could take photos of the scary people in the field. Or at least that was the plan, but I ended up accidently blinding my companions with my camera flash instead. So they were blinded and then someone would jump out at them. I felt pretty embarrassed about it afterwards and apologized, but come caramel apple time, nobody seemed to mind too much.

As we were eating, an employee came by and asked us if we were going into the Haunted Barn. By this time, it was late and we had to get home, so I said that I was too “chicken”, which isn’t a total lie. I am easily spooked and that’s why I go to these things, because I enjoy being playfully scared. I kept eyeing the guy suspiciously, thinking he was going to try and scare me. But nope, his job appears to be to encourage people to get into the environment. However, there was another employee whose job it was to scare people wandering between attractions. He chased a few people around and would stare others down. The hyper teens really got a kick out of it!

Anyways, it was a good time and I recommend checking out Saunders!

Socializing and Zombies!

The weekend was decent: On Friday night, I went to a French group meetup. As the name suggests, it’s a mixed group of Francos, Anglos and immigrants who get together and speak in French. They usually get together for coffee, dinner or watch movies. It’s something incredibly valuable because you can take all the dry (and sometimes painful) language classes and tricky government exams you want, but unless you practice semi-regularly, all that training is pretty much
useless. And when it comes to practicing, I would rather do it in a casual, easygoing environment with food. Food is always good.

There’s similar groups in Mandarin, Italian, Spanish and a woman on Friday mentioned that she would like to start a German one. I’ll stick with French for now, but if my Mandarin ever gets to a decent level, I might crash that group too! 🙂

On Saturday, Hubby and I watched the 80s gem Repo Man. For a lark, I put it on my Cinemail list ages ago and received it in the mail recently. I guess there’s a lot of Emilio Estevez fans on Cinemail. LOL. Anyways, the movie is hilariously ridiculous, rent it if you’re looking for a purposefully cheesy laugh!

Check out that badass earring!

Sunday was one of our friend’s birthday and we celebrated at the Smoque Shack. If you ever visit this place, be prepared for a long wait for your entrées. But the staff was friendly and helpful and the food is good when it does finally arrive.
That night was also the first episode of the second season of the “Walking Dead”! Very exciting! At dinner, two friends of our friends showed up and when I mentioned how much I was looking forward to the season two
première, one of them asked me if I have read “World War Z” to which I hung my head in zombie lover shame and said no, I have not. (yet!)

I wonder if Thoughtsappear has read this book yet. Probably. But I am losing some of my horror geek cred by not having read it! (But if anyone is looking for December holiday or birthday gift ideas for me..;))

This same guy also pitched the idea of us getting together to play “Geist“.  Now I have another geek confession: The amount of times that I have played roleplaying boardgames is once. Sure, I’ve played a lot of videogame
roleplaying games, but boardgames, not so much! But I’m looking forward to it! Just don’t ask me to LARP. I can think of a million things that I would rather do than pretend to be a level 30 elf running around the woods in a homemade chainmail suit. That is probably something that I’m not embarassed to have never done! LOL*

*No offense to any LARP’ers out there. I mean whatever floats your boat or slays your dragon, in this case. It’s just not for me.

Emilio pic: http://www.savonsanomat.fi/viihde/tv-arviot/repo-man/95580

WWZ-http://zombie.wikia.com/wiki/World_War_Z

Updates..

What’s new with you guys?

I have to admit, I’ve been ignoring my little corner of the web here, but it’s mostly for a good reason. Or two good reasons: I was sick with a cold/flu for two weeks and hurt my neck and shoulders the week after that!

I’m a mess, what can I say? 😉

The evil cold/flu knocked me on my ass for a week solid, where the most productive thing I did was get to level 30 in Fallout: New Vegas and nap. Napping was big! It’s funny though, you always forget how much it sucks to be sick. Before I turned into a zombie germ factory, I thought it might be nice to get sick so I could get things done that I sometimes struggle with while working 9-5. But of course that’s a load of bull because all you have the ability to do is shuffle around and sleep.

After it went away, I was in the car with Hubby carpooling to work. He was driving, I was drawing. I look up and BAM! My neck and shoulders seized up! Ahhh!!! I had to hussle to the nearest pharmacy, load up on all the pills I could find and was pretty cranky by the end of the day! Anyways, after some rest and a wonderful massage therapy appointment, I feel better!

This weekend was Thanksgiving and it was good. Nice weather, pleasant trip to my parents and shopping in the nearby small town of Perth and on Sunday, a relaxing walk around Bruce Pitt. Today, Hubby and I had our own Thanksgiving with Tofurkey, potatoes and pumpkin pie. Hmmm! Here are some pics of the weekend: