This Holiday Season Unite Against Asshats

Don't Let the Jerks Win

This Holiday Season Unite Against Asshats

Until this morning I had never heard of Elan Gale. So it's funny to me that a mere half hour after hearing about him he became my hero. God, I love the internet. Thanks to my friend Nadia from ChildMode, I was tipped off this morning about the "funniest thing she ever read" and forwarded this exchange.

The first tweet of the flight started like this:

The last tweet was this:

What happens in between in so funny that I had tears running down my face. So I beg of you please go read the entire exchange before continuing here.

While this is one of the funniest things I've read on the internet in a while, it's not what inspired me to throw Elan Gale up on a pedestal. It was what he wrote shortly after on his blog about the whole situation that made him my hero. In it he says:

"What I did today was just point out something we all know: Be nice. It’s Thanksgiving. Be nice.

Be nice everyday, but if you see a man or a woman working on a holiday you better respect that they would like to be with their family too.

So have some compassion and have some appreciation.

Most people do. Most people are great. And then there are a bunch of Diane’s in the world.

And it’s OUR job to tell every Diane to shut up.

It’s OUR duty to put the Diane’s of the world in their place.

We need to REMIND them about the way of things.

We outnumber them."

Yes! A thousand times yes Elan! Thank you for issuing the rallying call. I am right behind you.

Today being Black Friday and all, it's a good time to remind people that being an asshat this holiday season will get you no where.

We will no doubt hear countless stories today of arrests, tramplings, fights and other disgusting behaviour as people fight over the the two big screen televisions a store is offering as a door crasher. Shame on the retailers that encourage this type of behavoiur, but more so, shame on the people who act so disgusting because of consumerism run amok. Stop participating in this garbage, plain and simple.

The bigger issue though is how we treat those in the service industry this time of year. Did the person at the cash fumble your order? Maybe you should try having twenty people in line giving you the stink eye. Was the person serving you grumpy? You might be too if you were screwed out of tips by pissy patrons. Did you have to wait in a long line to make your purchase? Well congratulations, so did everybody else. Get over yourself please.

I wrote about this in 2011, after remembering that I spent many Christmases crying in the stock room because some customer felt the need to use me as their personal punching bag. I'm grateful that Elan reminded me again of my quest to protect those who serve, especially at this time of year.

No matter where you go this season, if someone is serving you, practice these simple phrases;  Please, I really appreciate that, You're amazing, Great job, I understand, Take your time, I'm in no rush, I apologize for the asshat behind/ahead of me you didn't deserve that, Thank You! Let's unite against the asshats this year and make the holidays a little merrier for everyone.



Win Two Nights at Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville

Passports with Purpose

Win Two Nights at Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville

I am ridiculously excited to be sharing this Passports with Purpose prize with my YummyMummyClub readers and travel enthusiasts from across North America, because it's in Toronto! *waves jazz hands*

Toronto, in case you don't know, is one of Canada's most happening cities, offering world-class shows, exceptional dining experiences, outstanding shopping and a plethora of history and culture. And they love visitors. So much so that over 21 million come and visit every year to see what all the fuss is about. The best part is the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville has generously donated two nights and breakfast for two guests through Passports with Purpose.

So, let's say you win this amazing little package? What could you do with that special someone over two nights in Toronto? Here are my top ten suggestions:

Visit the top of the CN Tower and canoodle with your honey at the fabulous 360 Restaurant.

Check out the eclectic and fun Kensington Market.

Throw on your little back dress and visit The Distillery District.

Go shopping in Toronto's swanky Yorkville, conveniently close to your hotel so you can drop off all those bags before heading out again.

Get your spahhhh on in the therapeutic waters at Toronto's Body Blitz spa.

Hold hands when the lights go down at Once, the romantic musical now playing in Toronto.

Eat in the private freight elevator at Bravi. Soooo romantic.

Visit Toronto's Harbourfront and dance the night away on the pier during the summer or keep each other toasty while skating in the winter.

Get naked. At Hanlan's Point Clothing Optional Beach at Toronto's Centre Island. This is not a recommended activity for winter.

Don't leave your room at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville. After all this is your weekend away with your significant other, you could always come back another weekend to see the sights. Hubba hubba.

So what do you need to do to get your hot little hands on this incredible prize? Easy. Head on over to the Passports with Purpose catalogue page and enter your donation of $10. For each donation of $10, you can put a raffle ticket on the prize you'd most like to win. Of course, after all this talk about how amazing Toronto is, this is the one you want, right?

And don't forget that each donation of $10 goes directly to buildOn this year to help build three schools and two adult literacy centers in Mali.

Prize Description: A weekend stay for two with breakfast at Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville. This includes 2 nights' accommodations for two plus tax. Subject to availability, some blackout dates do apply. Not redeemable for cash in full or part. Must present certificate upon check in. Certificate will be mailed to prize winner.


Canada 101: Here's What YOU Need to Know

Oh America, Help Us Help You

Canada 101: Here's What YOU Need to Know

Oh America, I love you. I really, really do. From a very early age I've loved you. After all, as your neighbour, I've watched your television shows, spent thousands of dollars cross-border shopping and spend time every year visiting and touring your wonderful country. I love your amazing little idiosyncrasies and how your accents can change within blocks of each other. I adore your generous spirit and go get 'em attitude. You are my friend. So, this post comes from the purest of places, sitting with you now, knee to knee, clasping your hands firmly in mine and looking you deep in the eye, I have to say, "Please, please, get your head out of your ass."

Today a video surfaced showing Harvard students being asked what the capital of Canada was and lo and behold the only person who knew was a Canadian.

Now before I saddled up and jumped up on my horse I did a small test in my very own home, quizzing my eleven and 9-year-old girls. First up. What is the capital of the United States? Both quickly and properly answered Washington D.C.  I then, because I didn't want to assume they knew, double checked they knew what the capital of Canada was. Thankfully (and mostly because we live here) they got it right. I moved on to some other countries and they knew England, France, Russia. I have some more work to do with them as they got a few wrong, but I'm pretty sure that by the time I'm shelling out the big bucks for a post-secondary education they'll know much of the world's geography. As they should.

News to only a few these days (I'm looking at you Harvard), we live in a global society, more intrinsically entwined than at any other time in history. Not knowing about the world is just bad taste. Not knowing about your neighbour to the north is like not knowing the name of the person you just slept with. Super tacky.

While this bit of news from Harvard is shameful, it's sadly, not that surprising. For years you've offered up Presidents and Presidential candidates who must receive the Canada 101 briefing when they decide to run for office. It's embarrassing America and I'm just going to say it, a little bit hurtful.

As a child I could draw a map of Canada and label it from one coast to the other. I could also do the same for the United States. That's right, I could name every one of your States and point them out on a map. I did this because I was little weird about geography obviously, but also because I always felt we were so tightly connected that I should know. To be fair, I've probably forgotten a state or two over the years, but I darn well know your capital.

I also remember learning American history in school and how it affected Canada and vice versa. I wonder if my peers in America remember the same from their school days? Something tells me probably not. It seems that Americans are quite insular when teaching history and geography and that just doesn't seem to be serving you well on the world stage my friends.

I visit you frequently America and I'm always a little disheartened by your lack of knowledge about us. So, I'm going to give you a little Canada 101 here so we can stop these embarrassing videos from leaking out of your country.

Hi, our name is Canada. We're your neighbour to the NORTH. We share the longest international border in the world. If you really want to be a super-smart border geek, watch this video.

We have a Prime Minister, not a President.

The capital of our country is Ottawa and it's one of the coolest places you'll ever visit. And when I say "coolest," I don't mean coldest, I mean amazing, gorgeous and historic. Please come visit us.

We have two official languages, English and French.

We have provinces not states.

Some of us in Canada pour our milk from bags, not jugs. Weird, but true.

You had Marion Berry, we have Rob Ford. Neither of us should be embarrassed. Mistakes happen.

I live in a house, not an igloo. I've never seen tundra in my life, although I hope to one day. This is true for most Canadians.

Maple syrup, is in fact, the nectar of the gods. Don't ever forget it.

It can get very, very cold here but most of us Canadians are huddled along that really long border of ours. In fact most of us live within 100 miles of the U.S. border so we enjoy much the same weather your northern states do.

Our gun laws are way better than yours. Period. 

Canada is the best country in the world. You should really get to know us. What? You're not the only ones who can be proud patriots you know.

Finally, if you see this man, Rick Mercer, coming your way. Run. He's going to call you out on your lack of knowledge and well, then we'll have another embarrassing video.