The retailing giant Target has been gone from Canada for almost a year - the signs have been removed, the last returns long settled, and vast expanses of malls now sit empty and unused. But do we miss them?
When my son was 6 weeks old, I took a quick trip to the grocery store without him. The checkout clerk, noting my squishy midsection (in fairness, all my sections are squishy), asked me, “When is your baby due?” Instead of telling her he was currently out-of-utero and probably screaming himself blue in the face over my absence at this very moment, I did what anyone in my position would do: I threw six AERO bars onto the conveyer belt and replied “Oh, in a few months!”
Divorce and separation are delicate and tricky propositions, especially when there are children involved. Even when things go relatively smoothly and without rancor, it's never easy to divide households - and we're not just talking about toasters. People are people, as Depeche Mode told us, and people bring baggage and feelings and sometimes not-so-stellar behaviour to their dealings with one another. And the complexities don't end when kids are past the age of shared weekends and summer custody arrangements, either.
Is there anything better than TV? I mean good old fashioned boxy television sets, not that bullshit 6 inch screen on your iPad mini, or worse – your cracked laptop screen. Call me old school – a quasi-luddite, even – but I prefer my TV how I like my men: big, square shaped, and turned on.
Here’s some of the good (and not so good) stuff coming through the glass this week:
(Note: Get some rest – Wednesday is going to be a long night. Asterisks * indicate brand new shows, and as such, are likely doomed to failure.)
I love my body. It gets me from the couch to the fridge, and it built two reasonably well-mannered children. But, like anything we live in, it has its issues. Most homes could at some time or another use a fresh coat of paint, or broken light fixture replaced, and while that doesn’t mean you burn the whole thing down, it does mean you’re allowed to complain about the upkeep on this goddamn money pit. For me it’s my big boobs – they’re the "squeaky garden gate" of my body.
It's the cold truth of parenthood: kids are exhausting. But no matter how much we complain about how destructive our kids are (seriously - what are they doing to their lunchboxes? They come home looking like they were used in WWII combat exercises) or our complaining about the endless "eat you %^&* vegetables!" fight, the truth is, we do everything we can for them because we love them and we know they need us.
This Josh Duggar thing is becoming complicated. I need a flow chart to keep track of his apologies and broken laws and dick behaviour, but today in the “What the Fuck Did a Duggar Do Now?” files, I am concerned with his wife.
If you're married and you know it, clap your hands, because "The Impact Team" hackers have come through on their threats and leaked a veritable shit tonne of the Ashley Madison database info. It's there - all there: people's names, dates, addresses, personal sexual preferences, images, credit card and financial information, the whole shebang, pardon the pun.
Digital technology is now the primary and most popular means of conveying a message, whether across the room or across the world. Who mails a letter anymore? People with time who are not to be trusted, that's who. Even my 91 year-old Grandmother texts me her wine shopping lists now. While electronic communication is great - even helping forge and strengthen relationships - it does have drawbacks.
You’d think that technology or social media or violent video games or predators were the biggest threat to our children. It’s worse, folks. The biggest risk to our children’s well-being is much more insidious and it hides in the skin of a hungry and vicious wolf. It is “fun,” and fun will eat your children.
Preparation for most things is key - anyone who's taken four days to prepare a Thanksgiving meal only to have it devoured in 10 minutes will tell you that. No wait; that's my example for "preparation is bullshit." Still, it can't hurt to be prepared for things, and with some sweet retro-style TV action coming up by way of Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp in just a few days, you'll need to know a bit of the Wet Hot back story to fully appreciate the show.
As a heterosexual woman, naked men are my thing. While my personal tastes tend to run a little more Beer Belly Bill and less Magic Mike, I was on board when offered the chance to screen Magic Mike XXL in advance of the movie's premiere. It was pretty much what I expected, and the decision to order extra cheese for my nachos to suit the suspected cheesiness of the film was well-informed.
Infamous "cheater" website Ashley Madison has been hacked. The website, marketing itself to those searching for intimate hook-ups outside their primary relationship, offer the tag line "Life's too short; Have an affair." They have their share of haters and as a monogamous woman, I'd count myself in that camp. You think I'd be laughing my ass off then that a group calling themselves "The Impact Team" claims they've gained entry into Ashley Madison's underwear as it were.
Tons of kids are fussy eaters - I've been dining with them since I was a child myself. There have been more tears shed over dinner tables in this land than over the last episode of M*A*S*H and that was a serious heartbreaker.
Get your comfy “line standing shoes” polished and dust off that one man pup-tent! Pack a lunch and a soup can to pee in, because Charlie Brown the movie is coming to the big screen and there is gonna be a line-up for tickets the likes of which you won’t believe! This thing is will put the new Star Wars movie upcoming pre-sale to shame and I…I can’t do this.
The warm months bring the kids home from school and you know that as much fun as summer offers, it also bring its own unique stressors. Summertime routines are different and often more laid back than school-year routines which means they’re not necessarily easier on the stress-o-meter.
Moms don't like to squander resources, especially money, patience, and sunshine, so summertime savings is likely high on your list. Here are five easy ways to save money, time and stress in order to let you splurge a bit on some fun in the sun:
Most people who watch the reality show 19 Kids and Counting are fascinated by the Duggar Family, a Quiverfull family led up by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. The couple's 19 children round out the family photo – now only available in panoramic view - and "star" in a TLC show. We makes jokes about Michelle’s uterus crying for help, or Jim Bob’s sex life, or that their children are only permitted “side hugs” with approved suitors and only when marriage is imminent.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) - if you're not familiar - is a cruel bully of disease. It picks on children. It gets them from the time they're born and it doesn’t allow them to live their fullest or most vibrant lives. It robs families of carefree days. It makes breathing a struggle and it puts the light out early on too many lives. The average life expectancy for someone with CF is 50.9 years old, which is a goal to be celebrated.
The end of the school year is in sight, and let me tell you, I am stoked! Sleeping in will be a nice change from our regular early morning routine, and I don't want to see that red brick building for two whole months. Don't get me wrong – I love our school, as does my son. I love everything about it - the teachers, the admin staff, the curriculum, the location. But I am quite happy to bid adieu to the routine for 10 or 11 weeks. I especially look forward to no longer having to fill out 46 page liability waivers so my son can walk to the mailbox or open a juice box.