how do you feel about children in adult-oriented places?

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dear anderson,

i thought i would send you a quick note after coming across the latest wordpress writing challenge. the topic is whether children should be allowed in adult oriented places. as you know, this is a topic i am quite passionate about. this is because i generally dislike being in the presence of children. i don’t want to appear as though i am a cranky old ogre who hates all kids, but at times that is totally who i am. i think people who have kids are more than welcome to that burden, but why should i be subjected to it as well?

i don’t want to seem unreasonable. i am fully aware of the fact that if parents didn’t brave the outside world they would probably lose their minds and their kids would be socially deprived oddballs. but, that fact does not automatically give parents and kids free reign on said outside world. there have to be limitations. i mean, i don’t get to go hang out in family bathrooms at the mall, so i think it’s only fair that i don’t need to associate with children when i’m out and about. there are choices that families can make, just as there are choices i can make as a childless misanthrope.

for example, when i travel i love going to adults only hotels. this way i know that the only people who are peeing in the pool are drunk dudes, rather than every baby in sight. mostly it’s the sounds of children playing that bother me. they have no concept of how loud they are. i know i only learned this myself at the age of approximately 27, but being startled by kids screaming “cannonball!” is the fastest way to ruin a vacation for me. so i think that by actively planning to avoid children everyone wins, i can swear loudly, be tipsy and relax and children can get excited about a pirate themed pool down the street. but, why do i have to be the one that has to plan?

when i make dinner reservations i think about when best to avoid families, when i go to the mall i do the same thing. but then i can’t help but think to myself, why am i planning my life around children? i don’t have them, nor do i want them but they still have a level of control on my happiness. and i think that’s where my anger and frustrations come from. i certainly don’t want parents to feel agoraphobic , but i don’t think it’s fair that i am more aware of their kids than they are themselves. i know when their kid is playing on their iphone and the sound is too loud, i know when their kid is peering under the door of a bathroom stall and i know when their kid is standing right in the middle of the sidewalk. i don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to expect the parents to be aware as well. i feel sympathy when a baby is crying on an airplane, and i rarely get mad when that happens. what i don’t like is a child standing on their seat looking back at me expecting me to smile and amuse them. i have my own stuff going on, that is not my responsibility. i have found the best way to discourage this particular behaviour is to glare at the child, for the most part they get the message. sometimes the little buggers are persistent though and think we’re playing some sort of face making game. at which point, i have been known to crack a smile. but that smile is always forced.

I do make an exception when it comes to children i know. Generally i like them, but still in relatively small doses. If we are related their chances of positive attention are greatly increased. In fact, i have a calendar of pictures of my cousin’s kids at my desk and i genuinely love opening a new month. I just don’t really like strangers or their children.

i know i’m kinda vehement on the subject and i try to put myself in a frazzled couple’s shoes when they just want a normal life. but, i just don’t think i need to be impacted. so yes, i do feel that there is a time and a place for children, but if they’re well behaved and not demented, screaming dirt balls, i probably won’t get too upset if i encounter them during a nice dinner out. and, if i can’t stand the thought of a child being in my vicinity, i will plan accordingly. And, if i’m seated at a restaurant by a family that leaves a messy disaster zone in their wake, i tip a little extra because they didn’t ask for the burden either.

until next time,
~k

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how could bob dylan ever disappoint me?

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dear anderson,

sorry it’s been so long. i know, i know, i say that every time. but i do mean it. i guess i feel that because i watch your show so much, i do feel like we’re still in touch. the highlight of the past couple weeks for me was when you and stephen colbert did a trivia contest. if that was a show i could watch every day, i would be so happy. consider it. i can’t be the only one.

anderson, i have a confession. you are not the only famous person in my life. you’re my best friend. justin timberlake is my sometimes husband. and bob dylan is my soul.

i love bob dylan. he is the number one artist on my ipod, most played, most versions of the same song, most songs over 5 minutes long. i can’t get enough of him. i’m not one of those people who hunts for bootlegs, but i see myself doing more of that in the future.

i always really liked bob dylan, but it wasn’t until university that the true love began. i took an english course as an elective called ‘bob dylan and the literature of the sixties’. i picked the class mostly because i could get credit for reading my favourite book, ‘on the road’. but the lasting impression was dyaln. every day we got to listen to a song and discuss the lyrics and the history and politics associated with it. it was like heaven. i never realized what a poet he was. i mean, i’d seen ‘dangerous minds’ with michelle pfiffer so i had an idea, but i never knew what a profound effect his music and words would have on my life.

so, last week bob dylan was in town. i bought tickets a few months ago – second row seats to see the man up close and as personal as he can be. he’s on tour with mark knopfler whom i’ve never seen live so i knew i had to go. when i hit ‘confirm’ on my ticket order i burst into tears. i was just so excited. over the next few months, the excitement ebbed and flowed. but as the day approached i started getting a bit overwhelmed. many people will say that dylan has lost his spark, and that at 71 seeing him live just isn’t worth it. but i will take what i can get. i wasn’t alive when he was the awesome troubadour singing about civil rights, i wasn’t even alive when he turned electric or went all religious. but it’s still him up on that stage and that’s enough for me.

this was the fourth time i was going to see him live, so you would think it would be old hat. but the last time, the show was less than stellar. the kids sitting next to me talked the whole time, the sound was lousy and bob barely moved. so the more i thought about it, the more worried i was that this would be a similar show. but i tried to remain hopeful. i did my usual routine of looking at recent set lists to determine if he would play my favourite song – he played it the first time i saw him a decade ago, and then never again. but i was convinced it was time to play it here again. i read reviews that were very mixed and my excitement started to fluctuate. i was getting worried the show would be a disappointment and that if this really was the end of his never-ending tour?

at work, the whole day leading up to the show i listened to mark knopfler’s new album. i wanted to get prepared for non- dire straits music, and distract myself for bob dylan hysteria. i think knopfler is amazing and actually really like his new stuff. secretly though, all i really wanted to hear him play was the songs from ‘the princess bride’ soundtrack. i love that whole thing, from the instrumental songs to the theme that i once lip synced to at my friend’s tenth birthday party. when preparing myself to see mark, i could be pragmatic. i knew he would be playing songs i didn’t know, but he is a guitar legend so who cares. but with bob i was working myself into a real tizzy.

i left work and decided i had time to sneak in a nap before meeting my stepdad for dinner before the show. i couldn’t find a parking spot near my house and i was getting hysterical, but i finally parked and fell asleep so i thought everything would be fine. i am so naive. the tizzy didn’t stop, but i tried to just get over it. it didn’t work. i was about halfway through my meal when my emotions of the better of me. i don’t know if i’ve told you yet, anderson, but my stomach and i have a really complicated relationship. not only can i not digest milk despite my deep love of cheese, my stomach does not like it when i’m emotional. so here i am, sitting at the restaurant getting more and more excited and then nervous that the show won’t be everything i hoped it would be. i told my stepdad i was feeling a bit ill, and then i cried. thank goodness we were in the corner, but still, sitting on top of that high bar stool i felt so silly. but, that wasn’t my first public cry and it sure won’t be the last. unfortunately, getting some tears out and talking about how things will be great no matter what didn’t help. i sauntered to the bathroom and threw up. i felt better and we headed to the show.

obviously, the show was amazing. possibly the best dylan show of all the ones i’ve been to. mark knopfler was so amazing, and his band was ridiculous! i think those 8 guys played about 60 different kinds of instruments. it was so much fun! and then there was bob. he seemed to be in a great mood and was jamming out on the piano, so what if he played a few wrong notes here and there – he’s bob dylan!! the songs were not how they are on the records, but i’m totally ok with that. this time, they were all still recognizable and distinct. and the best part of all! he played my favourite song. and yes, i totally cried again. like a lot. i may even be crying a bit right now just thinking about it. seriously, i just can’t contain my love for bob dylan.

i know i need to work on not letting my emotions get the best of me – happy or sad and i still throw up. this is not the best way to live. i hope that next time i get worked up and nervous, i remember this bob dylan concert and remind myself that i wasn’t even remotely disappointed despite all of my anxiety. but i do think i may stop going out for dinner when i’m emotional.

until next time,
~k

why i love to cry in my car

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dear anderson,

i hope you’re doing well.  i bet you’re excited about the new season of your show starting next week.  i know i am!!

i was just driving to my boyfriend’s house and i had an epiphany.  i cry in my car a lot.  admittedly, i am a crier.  i know it’s hard to believe with this hard candy shell of mine.  but i really need that to contain all the feelings i have.  but tonight i was just driving, no big deal, just listening to music.  then a song from a musical came on and that was it.  the floodgates were open.  i wept for a good 15 blocks.  and it was awesome.  sometimes we just need a good cry.  while i had already cried a few times today (watching endless wedding dress and home reno shows will do that to me) i guess i had a few more tears that wanted to flourish.

once that was done, i realized i really do cry in my car a lot.  and i started to wonder why.  i can think of many times when, after a hard day, i got to my car and just let everything out.  i can also think of times i cried nervously and had to call my sister, mom, step-dad or boyfriend to calm down.  seriously, so many times.  but there have also been times just like tonight where the tears just came out of nowhere. 

i think my car has become a safe haven for me, after having cried so many tears in it. it’s a bit like in ‘anchorman’ when ron burgundy says he is in a glass case of emotion.

i can cry and scream and emote like a crazy person. and the best part is that if someone sees me and thinks i’m insane, i just make a quick right turn and i can lose them and keep crying to my heart’s content!

so yeah, while i cry pretty much anywhere when i need to, today i realized my car is best place to cry. i can’t wait till the next time i need a good cry. maybe i’ll put a sad movie on my ipad and set up shop. if only open having wine in a vehicle wasn’t illegal or i could have the perfect set up! two out of three isn’t too bad though!

take care anderson,

~k

walking down someone else’s memory lane

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why i hate “fair enough”

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hey anderson!

are you ready to hear another pet peeve of mine? you know i am a really big fan of grammar and being articulate, and this is just another thing to add to my list of things that make me cringe.

i hate when people say “fair enough”.

seriously, wtf does that even mean? i really don’t know, but more and more people are saying it. here are a couple examples i’ve witnessed lately:

dude @ work: i’ve just finished reading the report

other dude @ work: fair enough

supermarket cashier: how’s your day going?

me: good so far, thanks!

cashier: fair enough

friend: what’s new?

me: not a whole lot, i’ve been really busy with work

friend: fair enough

now tell me, what was the purpose of saying fair enough in any of those situations?? they may as well have just said “i don’t care, anything you say will elicit the same response from me”. i may concede that in the last situation, the “fair enough” response was somewhat understandable. but way to kill the conversation!

i just don’t understand why expressions take over to such an extent. words lose their meaning when used in such a knee-jerk way. i know that i do the same thing, and we all have our go to expressions. but usually those are personal, like when asked how i am i often say “not too bad”, especially when asked at work. i like that response, and i stick to it because it is honest. i am rarely great or awesome, so why would i say that?? but when people speak to me, i don’t feel the need to offer a judgement on what they have said. and when you think about it, “fair enough” is a judgement statement. it means that you are giving me approval for what i did and said. thanks, but i don’t need that!

so please, don’t fall back on over used expressions. it’s the least you can do for the person you’re speaking with.

ttfn,
~k

some (frivolous) life goals

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dear anderson,

as you are probably aware, having goals in life is important. the search for achievements, success and happiness is a lifelong process. i think that sometimes the goals people have in life are lofty and, frankly, kind of boring. people in the developed world want a house with a white picket fence, a family that loves them, world peace, money to retire comfortably, the boring list goes on. i totally want that stuff too, and want it for others as well. but when i day dream i’m rarely thinking about my investments or what adjectives i should use to describe myself in my next interview. i dream of awesome things.

here is a list of some of these things.

1.) some day i want to stay in a hotel with my own private infinity pool.

i really like to browse hotel and travel websites.  i love to travel, and i love hotels.  and, i love nice hotels.  i haven’t stayed in many, but the nicest ones live on in my memory.  when i need an escape from stress or humdrum days, i think about sunshine, ocean breezes, fancy drinks and swimming.  i want one time in my life to be able to get out of bed, put on my bathing suit and hop into my own pool.  what a feeling of luxury that must be.  this feeling would also be accomplished if i owned a home with my own pool.  i also dream of this.

2.) be friends with a beluga whale.

really, this whole list could be about how i often imagine a world in which i have a pet tiger, bear and whale.  but not in a sketchy zoo kind of way.  in this imaginary world these creatures totally want to cuddle with me and let me sing to them.  i just really want to sit down to watch a movie and lean up against a big warm fuzzy animal.  and then, go for a swim in my infinity pool with my beluga.  i would just float and stare at his hilarious face for hours.

3.) i want to invent something.

when i picture this, it is maybe a little too similar to the plot of romy and michelle’s high school reunion than i might like, but i do love that movie so i’m not going to worry too much.  but yeah, those girls wanted to feel like they accomplished something so they pretend they invented post-it notes.  so, that idea is taken.  but i really do want to have a big idea.  i don’t need to become a millionaire, i just want to be able to take credit for something that is awesome.  i still think my fancy adult bib idea is  a really good one.  as is my bathtub spa.

4.) if didn’t have to work, i would love to be a ‘lady who lunches’

in my mind, these ladies are the epitome of class.  they are well read, well dressed and well connected.  i want to be able to wake up at a reasonable hour, get dressed in a nice suit and maybe a pill box hat and go out for lunch.  we would talk of michelangelo, politics and popular culture (because ladies who lunch are also well rounded).  after lunch i would go to museums, volunteer and explore the world.  the big thing with this dream life is that i also get to be a really big philanthropist.  i envision i would be someone like the grandmother from the gilmore girls – she was a bit more high strung than i would be, but she was always organizing things and i think that would be fun.  obviously i would raise money for really cool things like girl effect.

5.) i think i would make a really great addition to a board of directors.

it seems like a pretty cool gig. you get to meet a couple times a year and make decisions.  ideally i would be on the board of something really interesting like an orchestra or department store.  but i would be up for anything.

6.) once, just once, i would like to meet a genie and have some wishes granted.

a lot of people wish they could win the lottery, but that is boring.  i want 3 wishes.  i’ve seen enough movies and read enough fables to know that i would have to be really clever in how i word my wishes.  obviously i’m not going to give away my secrets, but i have some good wishes in mind.  it will depend quite a bit on what time in my life i meet the genie, as i can imagine if i were an 80 year old i may have very different wishes than i do today.  this is a great way to daydream, i highly recommend it.

7.) it would be a real treat for me to be able to walk into a shoe store and buy any pair of shoes i want.

i have wide feet.  like hobbit wide.  i have had salespeople stare up at me in horror after they measure my feet.  i have been told so many times that the shoes i like don’t come in my width.  for a very long time i was forced to wear hideous shoes while all my friends wore super cute and fun shoes.  when i was a teenager i discovered doc martens, and they suited my rebellious sensibility and actually fit.  that was awesome.  then came my love affair with birkenstocks.  i wear them all the time.  but now that i am an adult, i need to wear adult shoes.  there is nowhere in my city that i can find a wide range (get it?) of shoes that will fit me.  i have to make a special trip to a great store in vancouver to get new shoes.  the shoes i get are really cute and i finally feel somewhat trendy, but i want more.  i want to see shoes in a window and make them mine without a care in the world!!

8.) and last but not least, i want you, anderson cooper, to be my bff.

we would hang out, giggle and talk for hours.  i think we would have a lot of fun together.  you can teach me about the real housewives, and i will tell you all about real estate reality tv.  then, when things get real we can talk about politics and the world at large.  because we are so close, you will tell me what you really think and i will feel special.  when you film your talk show, i will often sit in the audience and you will refer to me, and the camera will pan to me and i will wave, bashfully of course, because i don’t want to flaunt what we have.

admittedly, some of my goals are frivolous.  but i really like being able to turn to these things and let my mind wander.  i feel better about my future when i do.

have a great day,

~k

you just had to upstage me, didn’t you?

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well anderson,

i had planned on writing you about my moderate successes in being inspired and productive this weekend, but when compared to what you accomplished, i really didn’t do anything. in case you have short-term memory loss, you declared yourself as gay in this awesome e-mail to a fellow journalist. you are so honest, and brave and cool. i’m so glad we’re going to bff. seriously, you are relentless in the pursuit of what is just and good in this world. you make me want to be a better me.

so, i know promised i would come up with a plan and then keep you posted on my adherence to said plan. that obviously didn’t happen. but i am not angry or disappointed. it is what it is, right? i really wanted to cook, and i did make some pierogies, but that was pretty simple. fry some onion, add peirogies, eat. but still, it was not take-out or delivery so i can still be proud-ish.

i tried to do a craft. i pulled out all of my paints and mixed up a few colours, but my heart just wasn’t in it. maybe because when i looked at my pile of painting supplies i started adding up how much money i’ve spent on yet another hobby. that 75 dollar set of various things to add to acrylic paints to make them act different has really come in handy…sarcasm.

i did, however sleep a whole bunch and read a book. a book written for teenagers, but i loved every page! i sat in the sun and got a hint of a tan, which always makes me happy. i also painted my nails which always makes me feel good.

so yes, anderson, i didn’t do much, especially when compared to you, but i did try. and what’s most important is that i don’t feel at all bad about myself. i did exactly what i wanted and i guess that, in itself, was an accomplishment. basically, we’re both awesome.

happy 4th of july,
~k

my nails have dried flowers on them. i thought it would look better. oh well.

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