Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pink Does More Than You Think

Bullying is a really, really shitty thing.  I've experienced it and dealt with it.  Both in my adult life and my childhood life.  It's not illegal, even though it often leads to physical harm or death.  But then, cigarette smoking isn't illegal either, and what's the good of that?

My daughter is being bullied, and it's time to step in.  She got her first job last August, and bullying there escalated to the point very recently where she had to quit.  I know that feeling.  My last job at Vail's Dry Cleaning involved workplace bullying by management.  I have no problems calling them out by name because if I can warn anyone against working there, that's fine.  In Alexandra's case, a very fine woman is managing that store under circumstances that are hard to work around.  I have utmost respect for her, and don't envy the daunting challenges that face her in managing a spotty less than credible staff.

I will take action very soon though at Lex's school where there is something going on where she took sympathy for the family and friends of a student who committed suicide recently.  She went to his funeral during school time, and some kids ostracized her for it claiming she did it only to avoid school.  I know my kid.  She has a very soft heart, just like me, and I went through something very similar when I went to high school.  But, other kids didn't bully me for having feelings.  Perhaps growing up a girl in this day and age is tougher than it is for boys.  I see that girls are getting cattier and cattier as the years go by.

As for the suicide... I will make no bones about the fact that I resent the attention that is given to the boy's actions.  I can't in good conscience call him a 'victim'.  The victims are those who surrounded him and loved him.  His actions launched depressive behaviour in countless others who loved him, and God only knows the ramifications that will ensue as time moves forward through the years.  I realize the mental suffering people endure when they go through tough times, but for God's sake, I wish kids and especially parents would pay more attention to the things that happen around them and take them more seriously.  No blame can be issued to this young man's parents or anyone else.  But lessons can certainly be learned at foreshadowing future events that may instigate possible similar events.  This will dwell in the minds of the affected for years to come, if not forever.

With the federal election fast hurtling towards us, the unpredictability that often surrounds times like these makes for pretty good entertainment if you're at all engaged in the political process, which I so wish more people were.  Especially young folks.  Thank God for the Rick Mercers of the world who are at the ready to light a fire in the arses of some of the lazier minded young adults who typically think their votes don't matter.  The fact that we are able to vote at all should be enough, especially considering the state of the world we live in right now.  One need look no further than the middle east or African nations to see the rebellion going on, with those fed up with their lack of freedom, including their own rights to choose their own leaders.  If so many are literally willing to die for that freedom to vote, doesn't that make those who refuse to vote here in our own homeland look exceedingly complacent?  With our current minority Conservative government hauling in the reigns of democracy more and more with each passing month, it should be clear to anyone who wants to see that we are becoming exactly what those overseas are fighting against.  To not vote, no matter what your age, is an abuse of freedom and democracy.  In my view, a non-vote is a vote for communism, a scenario in which you have no choice whatsoever.  Those who are apathetic to voting retain my own apathy.  Even if there are no viable choices, at the very least submit a blank ballot of non-confidence, something I nearly did in the last provincial election.  I kind of wish I did now.

My wife has been hitting the gym with a fury in the last several weeks.  I caution anyone who might underestimate her to rethink their view of her.  She goes for up to three hours pretty much daily, around five days a week, and does relentless cardio training that primes her for condition that literally and figuratively kicks my ass.  She weight trains with me too, and has just as much or more power than even the strongest women that go to the gym.  Even including a lot of the guys.  Add to that the fact that she's a second degree taekwondo black belt and you have a machine that will mow you over if you get in her way, with a will and determination that can not be deterred.  We have a couple of friends who've joined us going there lately, one of whom I don't see much because of conflicting work schedules named Krystina, who works for Janice.  The other who's become a great friend of the family, Jessica, one of the sweetest souls you'll ever meet.  She claims we've helped her through some of her tough times, which to me is a very humbling gesture on her part, because she's helped us just by simply sticking around.  She's been a friend to our daughter when she needs friends the most.  Maybe more like a big sister.  Janice has been like a surrogate mom to her in helping her, providing a sounding board for topics in her life that she needed the most.  We're happy we can bring any happiness into her life, but she has certainly reciprocated just by showing growth and smiling more than she ever has since we first met her.

Work for me is going very well these days.  Since I've been hired on at SDM in Riverview, at least since the store actually opened, I can honestly... and I would say shockingly... say that I haven't had a bad day there over the months since I started in October.  I can say about this job that I don't really see me ever leaving, I like it that much.  I thought for a long time that my life's career would be in being on the road, since I like driving so much, but I've come to appreciate the interaction with the awesome people that I work with, all of whom are supportive and very much a team.  That can't be said for every SDM around.  There is one store in particular that I will not set foot in because of such a negative air about it and the way it treats a number of its workers.  Hint:  It's not my daughter's former workplace, or my own.

My own workouts at the gym have been fruitful in the department of weight management if nothing else.  I weigh 173lbs, the lowest in years, and I must say I have my share of leanness about me, without being boastful.  My aforementioned friend Jessica gave me a boost of confidence in conjunction with my wife, in that I'm able to look past a lot of meanness directed toward me by random idiots.  Just for example, at the gym, I worked out in my bike shorts (or, tight spandex) and a pink t-shirt, because Janice really likes that on me.  I passed by one of the machines I'd just worked on, and a lady brushed by me, looking at my shirt and shorts and then up at me, with a look of disgust on her face.  I just grinned at her.  In my mind, thinking, "I've got women like my wife and others like Jessica thinking I look just FINE, honey, and you will NEVER be as hot as either of them, so, FUCK YOU."  Pardon my expletive.  But that's the confidence that people like Janice and Jessica supply me.  I posted a pic of that very outfit, which I took right after that incident, on my facebook profile page.  Thank you, Jessica.  Thank you, Janice.  My pink shirt has a permanent place at the gym now to please you and piss off others.

That's going to be it for the time being until a Random Thoughts coming this way soon enough.  Until then, fire up those colortinis and watch the pictures fly through the air.

Have a good day.


  1. Well I am flattered that you said that about me Mike and I am glad that you have gotten your confidence back. It should never have left you in the first place. You are a stand up guy and do not ever forget it. I love you and dont you ever forget it either. I also think you look some friggin hot. Love You Janice

  2. I am sorry that Alexandra is going through this. She is very lucky to have you both for parents as you know that you will not tolerate it. I agree with you that I would step in as far as the school is concerned. I would also lodge a big complaint against the store that she had to quit work. Something major should be done about that.

    I actually work with the boys mom. We dont work in the same department but we did work together a few years back. She is a sweet lady and I feel so much pain for her and her family. A tragedy all around for everyone.


  3. I am glad that you talked about voting and how important it is. I agree with you when you say that no vote might as well be a vote for Communism. We are so very lucky to have a government that allows us to vote. While they may be corrupt like all of the other governments in the world, at least they let us have a say. There was a time in Africa, actually not all that long ago when the people there would have given anything just to vote. If they would have had a vote then they would have had some freedom, they would have had their families, they could have chosen love over freedom, but that was taken from them. This was in the early 1990's when Blood Diamonds were all the rage. The government tried to hold a vote so that the people could choose between digging for diamonds or freedom. The leader of the vote expected the people to vote using an imprint of their right hand. The day before the vote, the rebels went and started cutting off the right hands of anyone who was eligible to vote. While these places are really far away from us, they do exist. We have taken ourselves out of their situations when we should be doing something to show that we appreciate the freedom that we have been given. They would do anything for it, they gave their right hands for it. Even if you spoil your ballot, that is still a vote. 11% of the Canadian population spoils their ballot and that says something too. That shows that you are either not satisfied with anyone, or like everyone equally. Any vote, is a vote for freedom and democracy.

    Mike, to receive love, you must give love. I think we are on equal ground at this point. xo