Posted in Awesome Stuff

Big Yellow Taxi

Bloody hell Harry Styles did a cover of Canadian goddess Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ on the radio yesterday with Zoe Ball (in the UK), and it was FANTASTIC! He joyfully sang the shit out of this song – I LOVE it!!!! For your listening pleasure:

Perfect, eh? I know! So. Good. ♥️

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Whatta Man

I came across this tweet today:

Vile, eh? I know! What an ass! Imagine my surprise when I checked out his profile:

38,000+ followers???? What???? How?!?!!?! I do not understand someone who would write this shit, let alone those that would actively seek out the opinion of one as ridiculous as this. Jackass.

It’s no wonder that women struggle with self-esteem…look at the stuff that surrounds us. Since the Super Bowl last weekend, I’ve heard more than one man express such admiration for the bodies of Jennifer and Shakira (totally justified – those are fine looking women), but in the same breath they’re shitting on those of us who don’t look like that. I don’t get it. Why can’t all bodies be beautiful? Why is it that only that kind of body garners admiration? I do not get it. A woman I follow on Twitter expressed it best:

Perfect, right? Looking that way is their jobs, and they have resources to make that happen that I will NEVER have. They also don’t have to do the things that I do in a day (nor could they – just like my body will never move like Shakira moves hers without surgical intervention) it’s just hard to be held up to a ruler that is impossible to measure up to…I don’t hate on those women for looking the way that they do. My feelings are quite the opposite – I think they’re stunning, and they were clearly created on a good day of whatever higher being you believe in. But don’t hate on me because I don’t look like that, because I have tattoos (11 and counting), I’m a single mama, my arse is wider than theirs….the list is long. Love me because of those things…they’re what makes me awesome. ♥️

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

We watched the Oscars last night, and I enjoyed the show – it felt different this year, and I liked it. Moments like Eminem popping up to sing “Lose Yourself” delighted me (my daughter stared in amazement as I sang/rapped along – she is only 13, so she missed my Eminem glory days), the fashion was GORGEOUS (was it me or was last night one of the simply loveliest red carpets ever?!)…it was a good evening, as far as these evenings go. When it came time for Joaquin Phoenix to accept his Oscar for Best Male Actor for his role in “The Joker”, my ears perked up – Joaquin, love him or hate him, can always be counted on to say something that gets you thinking. Here’s the transcript of his speech:

[We have to] continue to use our voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively. I think at times we feel, or were made to feel, that we champion different causes, but for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity.

Another thing that impressed me about Joaquin: he wore the same Stella McCartney tux to every awards show this season, further proving his commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. LOVE that! ♥️

I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world, and many of us, what we’re guilty of is an egocentric worldview — the belief that we’re the center of the universe. We go into the natural world, and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then, we take her milk, that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal, and I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up.

But human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.

Now, I have been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with and ungrateful, but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance. And I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of community.

When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric. It said, ‘Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.'”

I really liked the beginning – he lost me a bit in the middle when I first heard it, but he ended strong. Reading it through a couple of times this morning helped me to appreciate where he was going and what he was trying to say (perhaps I wasn’t listening closely enough last night, or maybe his words were meant to be savored rather than slurped down). The last part really resonated with me (and not just because he used the word ‘scoundrel’, a most excellent word): we have all been scoundrels, and been shitty to those around us, we’ve all had moments that we aren’t proud of…but thank goodness we’ve been given second chances. We haven’t been written off as a waste of time or space. It wasn’t one and done – nor should it be. We should be willing to give others another opportunity to make the right choice, to say the right thing, to be their very best. Not all of us are going to get it right the first time….most of us don’t. Dori in “Finding Nemo” said it best: ‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”. It’s important to keep trying, to keep striving. To keep trying to find your purpose, your passion – and, just as vital, we must be willing to accept those around us, to value their efforts, and to encourage their attempts. Maybe I’m still obsessing about the Netflix documentary “Cheer”, but we as a society are in serious need of some mat talk. Let’s give it a try, shall we?

xxx

PS: Can we please take a moment together to pause and appreciate what Joaquin’s brother wrote: Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow. Sigh. Gorgeous. ♥️

Posted in Awesome Stuff

God Save the Queen

I lived in the UK for a couple of years, and it was one of the greatest times of my life…I learned SO much, and made friendships that are still close to this day – I LOVED living there. Oddly, I think I love it more in hindsight than I did in the moment because I realize what an extraordinary opportunity I had. I may have taken it a wee bit for granted while I was there, but…with age comes wisdom, eh? Anyway, I think of that time fondly – the job I had remains my very favorite school job that I’ve ever had (for realz – I taught Music, the kids were freaking AMAZING, the parents wonderful, my colleagues were awesome…it was just perfect), I loved my little shoe box apartment, my tiny cats, and my Renault Clio. I had great friends, I got to travel around and see tons of stuff – it was a good time in my life, because it forced me to really figure out who I was. Turns out I really like the person that I am – hurray! 😊 Anyway, I’ve been rather melancholy lately, longing for those days – probably because I’ve been listening to my favorite radio DJs from my time over there online in the car.

When I first moved across the pond, it became very clear to me quickly that although we all spoke English, there were some hugely significant differences in the ‘common language’ that we were speaking. There were TONS of holes in my popular culture knowledge in England, and how I filled those was listening to the radio – in the mornings, I would alternate between BBC Radio 1 (Sara Cox was the morning DJ at first, and then Chris Moyles took over) and Chiltern Radio (the local station – coincidentally, the morning show was hosted by a bloody Canadian living abroad – JUST LIKE ME!!!!!! Fun fact: I called in one day and talked to him – to reinforce every stereotype about Canadians that exists in the world, we were from the same general area, we knew loads of people in common, and it was a bloomin’ miracle that we had never met growing up at home – the world is so small, eh?)). After work, I drove home with Chris Moyles every day (and then Sara when they swapped time slots). Between these people, I learned SO MUCH about British life, it’s hard to even explain….they introduced me to scads of music I hadn’t heard before (obviously), but I learned about TV shows, silly references, nationale jokes (ie: everyone teases everyone else in the country about shagging sheep), the news, traffic and weather…all sorts of stuff – SO good. Listening to the radio there did lots to alter the way I speak – and still do! For example, I had never heard the expression “big girl’s blouse” until I heard Chris say it one day, and I bet not a week goes by that I don’t call someone a big girl’s blouse! Still!! 

Anyway – I’ve found that I can listen to all of the BBC Radio stations through the app, as well as the Radio X station (where Chris is now), so I’ve been doing that lately (since I gave up my Sirius account due to their absolute rubbish customer service). While I miss Howard Stern more than I can tell you (he was the reason I had Sirius), I’m filling the gap with British radio. On yesterday’s Chris Moyles show, Chris and Dominic Byrne (newsman extraordinaire) piled a bunch of prizes (and themselves) into a brand new Mini Cooper and drove to a tiny village near York to deliver prizes – including the car – to a lucky listener. I couldn’t believe that they were getting to go to York – it’s GORGEOUS there!!! I only visited once, but I had such an epic night out that my recall of the details is a wee bit fuzzy, but I know that I’ve yet to match it in terms of fun…there was dancing in the street, singing a spirited duet with a pack of strangers that I met walking down the most gorgeous cobblestone street (we sang about how we were all best friends for life, of course), and even a bit of time spent sitting atop a bar regaling the locals with a series of jokes and humorous (to me, anyway) anecdotes from Canada – So. Much. Fun. Sigh…time to go back, methinks!

Anyway – if you’re looking to listen to something different in the morning, check out Radio X on their app, and give the Chris Moyles show a listen. If you want to hear something good on the BBC Radio app, there’s tons of great programming – you can’t go wrong. The overseas perspective on the news will be undoubtedly interesting (and enlightening), and I think you, too, may start using big girl’s blouse in a sentence! 😉 You can thank me later! 😊

xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Only the Best Will Do

I love people who do small things with great love – they are the ones who will (and do!) change our world. Check out this story of a young man who wanted to make a difference to his community – kids like him give me so much hope for the future:

Click on the image to visit the full story!

You may have heard of celebrities or multibillion-dollar companies donating money to cover students’ lunch debt. But Keoni Ching from Vancouver, Washington, is just your normal 8-year-old who wanted to help his schoolmates. 

With his handmade key chains that go for $5 each, Keoni raised $4,015 to erase the lunch debt of students from his school and six others. 
It all started because Keoni wanted to do something special for “Kindness Week” at his school, Benjamin Franklin Elementary. With his mother, April, and father, Barry, by his side, Keoni thought about projects that would truly reflect kindness. 
Keoni was ultimately inspired by San Francisco 49ers player Richard Sherman. The cornerback, who previously played for the Seattle Seahawks, donated more than $27,000 to cover students’ lunch debt. Keoni, for the record, is a Miami Dolphins fan, he said. 
Keoni said he decided to make key chains because, “I love key chains. They look good on my backpack.” 
Once word of Keoni’s key chains and his heartwarming cause got out, people from all over the country started sending in their requests for one of the custom key chains. 
“We have sent key chains to Alaska, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Arizona, all over the country,” April Ching told CNN. “There was one lady who said she wanted $100 worth of key chains so that she could just hand them out to people. … There were several people who bought one key chain and gave (Keoni) a hundred bucks. It was absolutely amazing how much support the community showed for his whole project.” 
With the help of not only his parents, but also his grandparents, Keoni made and sold more than 300 key chains. 
Keoni's key chains go for $5 each. He has sold over 300 key chains. Keoni’s key chains go for $5 each. He has sold over 300 key chains. 

Keoni delivered the $4,015 check to Franklin Elementary last week. Of that amount, $1,000 will go to the school to pay off the $500 lunch debt and for any future debt incurred. The rest will go to six other nearby schools, which will get $500 each to clear their own lunch debts. 
“Lunches here are about $2. But if you have two or three kids and for whatever reason, you’ve missed (paying for) a week of lunch or breakfasts, that adds up pretty quickly,” Franklin Elementary’s Principal Woody Howard said. “This type of a gift takes a little bit of pressure off of your family.” 
Keoni has raised over $4,000 to erase his school's lunch debt. Keoni has raised over $4,000 to erase his school’s lunch debt. 

School lunch debt is an increasing problem in the US. In the 2017-2018 school year, 75% of school districts reporting to the School Nutrition Association had unpaid student meal debt. The median amount of unpaid meal debt per district has risen by 70% since the 2012-2013 school year, according to SNA.
Stories of children being lunch shamed grabbed the nation’s attention last year. A boy from Ohio had his lunch taken away on his birthday because of an unpaid balance. A school in Rhode Island said it would serve only sun butter and jelly sandwiches to kids with lunch debt. 
The outrage surrounding these stories prompted many states to pass laws that ban the action of denying a hot meal to students with unpaid lunch balances. 
Keoni doesn’t know much about the politics of America’s lunch debt problem, but one thing he knows is this: 
Helping others is important because “it just makes the world a better place,” Keoni said.

Isn’t this beautiful? His parents ought to be SO proud – they’re raising a legend. LOVE this! Kindness really does matter – have a happy day, friends! ♥️

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Puppy Love

This is the kind of news I like to wake up to:

Click image to link to article!

This beautiful man chose to celebrate winning the Super Bowl by paying adoption fees for all of the adoptable dogs at the KC Pet Project animal shelter in Kansas City – AMAZING!!!!!! 🐶🐶🐶

More days need to start with news stories like this! ♥️

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Remember Me

This Google ad from yesterday’s Super Bowl tore me up….my heart was touched:

Click on the image to see the video

Thanks for the feels, Google. ♥️

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Happy Birthday To You

As a fellow GoldenDoodle owner, this story made my heart super-super-Happy! LOVE this!!! ♥️🐶 (Spoiler Alert: he took out a billboard to celebrate his pup’s first birthday – how badass is that??! 🌟 )

Be sure to watch the video that he posted of how they spent Dood’s Birthday day together – it’s FANTASTIC, and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face! 😊

Xxx