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There have been a number of stories in the news lately that make me question the state and direction of our society. From men shooting at ducklings while laughing like buffoons to teenagers chasing and beating a baby moose to the point where it had to be put down. From Dany Heatley’s cowardly refusal to speak to the media about his desire to be traded to Michael Vick’s 60 Minutes interview about the “remorse” he feels about his barbaric acts (and the million dollar contract he landed with the Philadelphia Eagles). Then there were those parents filming their seven-year-old while he drove a car. While their other kids were in it. And no one had seat belts on.

I’ve been quite disgusted.

And this is the straw that broke the metaphorical camel’s back.

What person in their right mind leaves a BABY in a CAR? In plus-40 degree heat and humidity? An UNLOCKED car at that?!?!

Certainly not anyone fit to be a parent, in my opinion. A parent is responsible for caring for and raising their child(ren). For protecting them from harm. For teaching them right from wrong. For showing them how to love, how to live, and how to grow up to be responsible citizens of our planet.

Perhaps we need to think about a breeding license for society…

UPDATE: The Ottawa Citizen now reports that the mother will be facing charges of abandonment and failing to provide the necessities of life. There is justice! Read about it here. Also interesting that CBC radio interviewed a police rep who said that in a situation like this, you are legally allowed to use “reasonable force” to get into a locked car with a distressed child inside. This includes breaking windows.

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I hate to write two anti-people posts in twenty-four hours, but I just can’t help myself after watching TWO people throw butts out of their car windows this morning on the way to work.

And open letter to the smokers of Ottawa (and elsewhere):

Dear Mr./Ms. Smoker,

I won’t pretend to understand your “habit”. I don’t. I’ll never understand why you fork over your hard-earned money to pad the pockets of über-rich corporate suits who don’t give a flip about you and your health for the privilege of sucking back dozens of chemicals that not only turn your fingers/teeth/skin yellow and make you smell funny NOW, but that will one day KILL YOU, robbing your spouse/kids/grandkids/friends of your love and future happy memories. But not before draining the health care system of potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat your various grisly smoking-related diseases that you brought on yourself.

That being said, it’s your choice. It is. Go ahead. Just please don’t do it in the doorway of a public building so that people who are choosing NOT to smoke have to walk through your stinky cloud of carcinogens if they want to go into the library, or the mall, or to work. Oh, and please don’t do it right before you get onto a bus, or into an elevator, or anywhere else that’s enclosed.

If you choose to smoke inside your car, that’s fine. As long as your kids aren’t inside, of course. Because that would be illegal and a form of child abuse. Would you force-feed Johnny a cup of arsenic on the way to school in the morning? Didn’t think so. But if you ARE going to smoke inside your car, please leave the windows rolled up. Because when I’m sitting behind you in traffic, I can smell it wafting in through my air vents. Gross.

And above all, please for the sake of the Earth do not throw your disgusting, used-up butts out of your window and onto the road/grass outside. The world is not your ashtray. There should be one inside your car strictly for that purpose. And what if you’ve got a car without an ashtray because you didn’t pay for that extra feature? Bring a tin can and deal with the filth you created yourself instead of passing it onto someone else.

Thanks and have a great, smoke-filled day!

My mind loves to point things out to me for the simple reason of making me feel OLD. Usually I can slough it off, but this one’s a doosy…

You know you’re old when you recognize the actors playing the parents in kids movies. Better yet, when you can remember them as kids.

Here’s the deal: you know when you were a kid and you would watch a family movie and your parents would know the geezers playing the parents in the film? As you grew up, you learned that this person had a career before the kids’ movie you saw them in, but for you they will always be the mom or dad in that movie. Like Charles Grodin in Beethoven, Sam Elliot in Prancer, John Ritter in Problem Child, etc.

I stumbled on the trailers for two upcoming movies: Where the Wild Things Are and The Lovely Bones. Granted, The Lovely Bones isn’t really a kids’ movie, but the narrator/main character is so the theory still stands. Who are the parents in these movies?

Catherine Keener.

Mark Ruffalo (as the mom’s boyfriend).

Rachel Weisz.

Mark Wahlberg. As in Marky Mark. As in Calvin Klein ads in Times Square and “Good Vibrations” on the radio.

There will be a whole generation of kids who’ll grow up to think of Mark Wahlberg as the dad from The Lovely Bones. *le sigh*

There’s something very reaffirming about connecting with nature. It’s almost like your soul recognizes its place in the grand scheme of things. On a deeper level, you can sense being a part of something magical and big. At least that’s what I feel…when the mosquitos aren’t out, of course.

I took these photos a few weeks ago at a quiet pond near my family cottage.

My grandfather transplanted some water lilies and has been quite pleased at how well they’ve taken to their new home.

More photos after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

So I heard about this book called The Technique of the Love Affair, first published in 1928 anonymously to protect the identity of its twenty-something author Doris Langley Moore. It’s both a parody of Plato’s Symposium (a dialogue in which ancient philosophers, including Socrates, discuss various topics) and a pragmatic guide to “conduct[ing] – with grace and restraint – successful love affairs”. I had to read it!

It’s actually quite entertaining and, sadly, something that I wish I’d read earlier (it might of saved me a lot of heartache as a love-sick teenager). Although some may argue that the main character, Cypria, treats love affairs (this term for her includes relationships that are strictly flirtatious and platonic as well as love and marriage) with a cold and calculating distance, she’s actually quite astute at pointing out some behavours typical of the male and female genders and how they can work in your favour or, in many cases, result in disaster. Think of it as He’s Just Not That Into You from the perspective of a flapper from the twenties, and yet somehow more empowering than the former could ever be. Yes, despite the encouragement of “traditional” female behaviours (acting dumb and flighty, liking and wanting pretty things, playing hard to get, etc), Cypria serves as a stronger role model for female ingenuity and strength than anything published today. Funny that.

I won’t reveal any of the tips and tricks to landing and keeping a man here, as my husband reads this blog and I don’t want him to suspect when he’s being “played”. But trust me – it’s worth the read!

Why I’m here

My name is Sonya. I live with my husband and our cat in the suburbs of Ottawa. I started this journal to document my thoughts and experiences and share them with friends, family and anyone else who happens to pass this way. My hope is that it will help to keep me focused on the simple things I value most in life and, above all, keep me writing.

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