How the Blog Broad Steals a Little Christmas

So my partner “C” has never seen the original 1966 How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  First, how one goes 35 years without ever having experienced this animated Holiday masterpiece is beyond me.  Secondly, how old AM I?  I’ve literally watched it every single year of my TV watching life.  When I was young, it got marked on the calendar when it would air so I wouldn’t miss it.  It just completes Christmas for me annually.  I still love cartoons, I make no apologies.  I think if I had kids no one would even question it but I can’t play the it’s for my kid card.

For your viewing pleasure:

Infact, earlier today while I was catching up on my favorite bloggers, I came across a post by one of favorites A Fractured Faith.  It’s a husband and wife team.  They’re great and a must follow.  Their 11 year old daughter, an aspiring blogger herself, shared her report on C.S Lewis and I was suddenly reminded me of how much I enjoyed the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a kid.  Whenever the 1979 animated version aired, I HAD to watch it.  I did a quick search on YouTube and there it was.  I watched it while doing laundry.

Other old Christmas cartoon favorites for me include A Garfield Christmas Special (which we plan on watching next); A Charlie Brown Christmas, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Frosty the Snowman and the 1964 stop motion animated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  

Even though I’m all B’ah Humbug this year, I still enjoy watching my old Christmas favorites, not just limited to cartoons.  My all time favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story, followed closely by National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  I watch these every year.

Be honest, you still like cartoons don’t you?

What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?


Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

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Shopping, CFS and Channeling Little Edie

Having a moment of being more awake than asleep, I thought I’d pop on to WordPress to write a little blurb since I’ve been absent more than I’d like as of late.  The last post I wrote was a week ago, Substitute Gifts & Crying 8 Year Olds .  Chronic Fatigue is a bitch and my wrist/hand is still giving me the gears.

I went shopping the other day with my good friend Ocean Hayward from OHWords trying to find winter apparel for a reasonable price.  Lord I hate shopping but Ocean is really good at finding deals and thanks to her patience and determination, I was able to find both boots AND a jacket for less than $100.  Now I won’t freeze my arse off when I take my dog out for her pees, and I won’t teeter on the ice, ultimately falling with my grippy new waterproof boots.

I fell on the ice last year and it was both painful and embarrassing.  You know you’re getting old when you fall in public.  When you’re young and fall, people will often laugh and snicker at your misfortune but no harm no foul.  As you age, falling makes people gasp and rush to your side “OMG, are you OK?!”  like I’m in danger of breaking a hip now, which of course I am but that’s neither here nor there.

So I am winter ready now.

On our excursion, we came across this great little Thrift store, I found a couple of coats that I would love to have just for the hell of it.  One was this long black suede coat that made me feel like Stevie Nicks, the other coat I coveted was this old fur that reminds me of Little Edie from Grey Gardens.  (I’m obsessed with that documentary and Little Edie) I had to try it on.

Channeling Little Edie

If I had $60 to blow on nothing, I would have bought it.  I really want to dress up as Little Edie for a Halloween.  The other black coat, I would have just wore, but it wasn’t quite warm enough to justify buying it.

The only drawback is that shopping for a couple of hours and walking around, trying on boots and such in 9 different stores completely wiped me out.  Within an hour of getting home, I was virtually immobile.  Muscle spasms and extreme fatigue has kept me couch and bed bound the last 2 days.  Why do I have to pay so harshly for every bit of activity I partake in?  It’s frustrating.

When the fatigue is pumped up, I can’t write as I can’t focus.  I avoid social media because I find it overwhelming.  It’s like walking into a room where hundreds of people are all talking at once.  I just want peace and quiet.

I have neglected my household chores the past 2 days so I have a pile of laundry to do, all I really want to do is crawl back in to bed and binge watch Doctor Who.

How do you handle Chronic Fatigue/Chronic Pain? 

Are you a Social Media “avoider” as well?

I always love reading your comments.  Subscribe to my mailing list and follow me on Twitter @LezGeek

Live Humbly, be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

Jessica, 44

My latest piece on the Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc Blog
Meet Jessica, suffering with abdominal pain until she found cannabis…

Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc.

Small Intestine TumorsThree years ago, Jessica started to not feel well.  She was experiencing a lot of abdominal pain and nausea.  A tumor had formed in her small intestine.  It took a while to diagnose and find as tumors rarely grow in the small intestine being that’s it’s predominantly cartilage and it requires Endoscopic ultrasounds and scopes to detect.  The symptoms it causes includes weight loss, bleeding if it becomes ulcerated, nausea and possible bowel obstruction.  It took four scopes and surgery and 8 months to locate the tumor and remove it.

During her ordeal, Jessica was finding herself full of anxiety and was subsequently diagnosed with depression and Fibromyalgia.  Anti depressants and Ativan were added to her already existing regimen of Morphine and Tramacet (an opioid analgesic combining acetaminophen and Tramadol) prescriptions.

One of the many negative side effects of opiates is stomach and bowel issues.  Jessica was finding herself in…

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Substitute Gifts and Crying 8 Year Olds

My parents (now divorced) were not wealthy by any means.  I grew up in a trailer on a plot of land owned by my father’s side of the family.  My father, an auto mechanic, earned a less than modest wage and my mother was a homemaker and stay at home Mom.  I know now that she suffered from anxiety and crippling depression, but back then I just remember her reading a lot of books.  Come Christmas time, the books would be set aside for holiday baking and decorating and the wrapping of the gifts.

I wasn’t much of a snooper because I enjoyed the surprise.  I’ve always been a lousy liar so trying to feign surprise or gratitude was beyond my kid skills.  Honesty is the best policy, an adage I still believe in.

Another reason acting surprised was a challenge was because my parents… well, my mother, I mean let’s be honest, my father NEVER shops for other people.  He gets everyone around him to shop for him so he never has to set foot in a store OR you just get some crumpled twenties in a card.  My mother was solely responsible for making my Christmas a success.  The only problems were that a) She had extreme anxiety and HATED shopping or going out in public in general and b) She only had the money my father gave her to buy my presents.

Crack whore BarbieI first learned my mother was a Substitute gifter when I asked for my first real Barbie at age 5.  All I had were those flimsy soft plastic dolls that kind of resembled Barbies but clearly weren’t.  They were like Barbie’s ugly cousin from the valley.  Remember those?  Somebody would squeeze a leg and that was it, the leg would stay that way like some kind of deflated sucked in, fucked up amputee.  I never had a Ken doll either.   My parents seemed to think that Ken would be anatomically correct and that was something I didn’t need to see.  a) I’m gay.  That would NOT have been a problem. b) Most people realize that Barbie and Ken dolls do not have genitalia.  They just have bumps and lines where genitalia should be.  I had a Tony Doll.  Tony’s whole body was made of that crappy collapsible plastic that the valley whore “Barbies” are made from.  My cousin used to squeeze his head until it flattened out and stayed that way.  Eventually, Tony came apart at the waist so Barbies would fight over who would date Torso Tony, complete with head, and who would date Legs Tony ultimately making him 2 separate entities.  Fuck Tony.

Then I wanted the Barbie camper.  Boy for a lesbian, you sure liked Barbies.  Yes.  Yes I did.  I made up Soap Opera like stories that sometimes played out for days just like in my mom’s Soaps.  One Barbie would be gay, another would kill herself over a lost child or ruined career.  Tony would come apart and love 2 women at the same time.  I was a little dramatic, and again, I watched my mother’s Soaps a little too frequently.

Barbie Camper 70s

When Christmas arrived that year I was beyond stoked!  Oh man I wanted that camper complete with tiny barbecue and little steaks and a picnic table and chairs and a shower inside..  It was SOOO COOOOL.  It was all I talked about for months.  Christmas day came, I opened the very last present with all my hopes tied in that bow I carefully (my mother reused the bows) removed and placed aside.  The box didn’t seem big enough though.  Maybe it has to be put together I wishfully thought to myself secretly praying.  Here it comes….  It was a horse.  The Barbie horse.  Not the cool Palomino with the jointed legs either.  Just like, a plastic horse statue of sorts .. I did not ask for this horse.  Why Mom?  That year, my cousin got the Barbie camper.  I cried in my bedroom when I got home from visiting her.

The next painful lesson I learned was when I asked for the Lego Space set.  I’ve always been in to space, astronomy, Star Trek and Lego so the Space Set looked like it was for me and the commercials were awesome!  I planted my seeds and eagerly awaited the 25th.

80s Lego Space Set

Unwrapping all my gifts, I saw no Lego set.  There was one more.  A huge heavy box.  Oh Snap!  This must be it.  Tearing back the paper… I saw…  horses.  More fucking horses!  It was a Loc Blocs Medieval Castle.  Jesus, they didn’t even get the time frame right!  Going back in to history when I wanted to go where no woman has gone before.  I couldn’t hide my disdain.  “But.. this isn’t Lego Space at all..”  My mother assured me that this had way more pieces and would be more fun.  “Look, it has a drawbridge“, she persisted.  I didn’t care about the drawbridge, the smug little faces on the Loc Blocs knights’ stupid faces.  I wanted to build a damn space ship.

I came home the first day back to school after Christmas vacation to find my Loc Blocs castle fully assembled, working drawbridge and all, and my parents tipsy.  To this day, I’m not crazy about horses.

Do you give your kids substitute gifts?  Don’t you love your kids?  Why would you do that to them?  Did you get substitutes as a kid?  #KidsRemember

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

Images

Barbie Camper  http://mumsgrapevine.com.au/2014/01/20-perfect-nostalgic-toys_80s-toys_90s-toys/

Crack whore Barbie-ish  https://www.pinterest.ca/terribunz/barbie-bashin/?lp=true

Lego Space  http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?8236-LEGO-Classic-Space-(1980s)-Does-anyone-remember-this-specific-LEGO-piece

How Do I Go .com?

? Pixabay
Help a Broad?
After blogging for 5 years and developing this site and The Blog Broad, I really want to go .com.  Limited resources have prevented me from doing so thus far but I’m hoping I can do that soon.  I am confused though.

A lot of my blogger pals are .coms so I thought I’d put out a few questions if anyone can answer these for me I’d really appreciate it.

Do I just “upgrade” my WordPress account?  And if I do so, is my writing MY property or is it owned by WordPress?  

I’ve heard that you should back up your site?  What does that even mean?  Back it up to where?  What?

Do all my posts automatically carry over to the upgraded site?  

I see things like Blue Host and I’ve tried to read and watch videos about it but.. I don’t understand why I need that?  Can anyone clarify this shit for me?

What’s the advantage of going to an outside host?  Is it just cost?

What’s the simplest way for me to get a .com AND access to new themes and fonts to make my site more visually appealing?

How much do YOU pay annually for your blog.com?  I’m Canadian so, include where you’re from so I can convert.  (It’s usually double plus a poutine)

I’ve watched several videos on changing hosts, using WordPress etc, but I need someone to break it down like I’m a novice because I have a 43 year old ME/CFS brain and a lot of these tutorials are hosted by seemingly scientists and wizards.  Any recommendations?

Can you recommend any other reading/viewing material that I might find helpful, useful or humorous?  (I could use a chuckle)

I want it to be a clear, simple transition and I want to do it right.  I want to be able to take advantage of the SEO plugin thingy as well.  That seems to be a buzzword going around.  Do you use that?  Does it cost extra? 

I thank you for your time, comments and suggestions

-Sam

Please subscribe to my mailing list and follow me on Twitter @LezGeek

Blogmas Not So Much

The Blog Broad BlogmasI started to write Blogmas posts but quite frankly, I’m just not feeling writing about Christmas.  See my first Blogmas post here.

It’s all so commercial.  Geared towards the consumer.  I haven’t been a proper consumer in years.  I haven’t been able to work in years.  I’m trying to do things from home.  It’s picking up but it’s slow going.   When you’re poor and chronically ill and in pain daily, your priorities change in life.  Where, at one time I fretted over things like the perfectly decorated Christmas Tree, or making sure I baked enough cookies.  Will I get all my Christmas shopping done in time?  Now I think things like, can I stay awake long enough to visit with people?  How many bed ridden days will this holiday bring?  Can I handle the stress of the travels?  Am I going to break down and cry in front of her family?  Am I going to annoy my partner because I’m so exhausted I’m going to need to rest when she wants to go out?  Please don’t let my dog poop in the house.  There’s a lot of stairs in that house and the house itself is huge.  My body is not used to that, so my legs and back often give out while I’m there.  It’s embarrassing.  ME/CFS is embarrassing.  The only other people who understand it, typically, are those with the disease.  To others, we’re just depressed or lazy or need to get out more or or or.

My partner and I also both lost our fathers.  Hers to cancer about 16 months ago; mine at his own choice by cutting me out 18 months ago.  The loss of her father still hangs heavily on everyone’s hearts.  He was a great man.  A kind, gentle and caring man; one of a kind.  My father, still alive, has always been kind of a jerk.  Selfish, immature and somewhat ignorant of the world.  He’s not a loving man.  Nevertheless, he’s my Dad.  I still love him and his absence hurts.  My mother’s absence hurts; we haven’t spoke in 5 years.  Family is actually incredibly important to me and it’s always bothered me that mine is so fractured.

Being chronically ill disables you.  Physically and mentally.  Unfortunately many of us fall into that grey area on paper where you don’t qualify for provincial or federal benefits.  Most people require legal representation to get those federal benefits.  If you can’t work, you rely on your “family”.  My family consists of my partner “C”, my dog Lucy, my partner’s family and my sisters from other misters.  These are my close gal pals that I confide in.  That confide in me.  They’ve helped me many times.  I trust these women.  In my life, I haven’t been able to rely on or really trust my own blood family, but I can trust these women.  They are my support.

I have other things on my mind right now besides Christmas.  I’m more concerned about getting by day by day.  My partner’s job could be gone any time because there’s no job security where she works.  I can’t go in to detail about what she does as it’s kind of a public job.  It’s stressful.  So, are we out spending money on presents?  No, we’re trying to keep up with bills and the ever increasing cost of eating healthfully which costs just as much as our rent I might add.

Do I want to write a holiday inspired post everyday?  No.  Not really?  I just don’t give a tiny rat’s ass right now.  I’m still battling a virus, my partner has it, my wrist is still healing/broken.  I won’t know unless I sit at the hospital emergency for hours and hours because let’s face it, it’s not really an emergency, I just don’t have a doctor and really need an X-ray.

B’ah.  Humbug.

I need a nap.

The Blog Broad tag line
Sam

Please subscribe to mailing list and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Lezgeek

Images by Canva

Tag Along: A Christmas Tag (Blogmas #2)

I tried to finish this last night but I’m still having issues with my wrist and hand.  Pretty sure I broke something or at least, fractured bone(s).  Typing can be painful and using a mouse, almost impossible but here goes.  Better late than never.

I’m tagging on to OHWords Christmas Tag.  Apparently, bloggers post questions and you answer them in your own blog and share the link.  I’m not the Christmas-y type so I’ll do my best.

 

1. What is your favorite Christmas Tradition?

I used to love filling my dining room table with Christmas goodies and snacks and having people drop by all day Christmas Eve.  We’d have egg nog, my tree would be gorgeous and the Christmas tunes would be blaring.  That was my old tradition.

Now, the tradition I look forward to is Christmas Day breakfast.  Surprise, Sam likes breakfast food.  After the presents are open and the mess cleaned up, we retreat to the kitchen to indulge in the annual breakfast.  Last year, my sister in law made this amazing French toast bake.  I hope she makes it again this year because quite frankly, I’ve been thinking about it ever since last Christmas

2. Where do you spend Christmas?

At my mother in law’s house in Pubnico, Nova Scotia.

3. What is your favorite Christmas Song? 

I have 2.

Silent Night by Stevie Nicks

Carol of the Bells by the Trans Siberian Orchestra- you know the one that’s mislabeled as Metallica everywhere.  I thought it was with Metallica up until today when I researched it.  Color me disappointed.

4. Do you decorate before or after Thanksgiving?

I’m Canadian.  Our Thanksgiving is in October.  I usually wait until the second week of December.  I’m not one of those fools that put holiday decorations and trees up in November.  It probably stems from growing up with my father, The Grinch and The Grinch’s wife.  We didn’t put up our tree until usually a week before Christmas.

5. Tinsel or garland?

Neither.  It’s not the 70s anymore and I don’t feel like pulling tinsel out of my dog’s arse.

6. Who are you most excited to see this Christmas season?

Probably the little nieces.  They’re so adorable.  Blonde hair, big blue eyes and full of spunk.

7. Do you own an ugly Christmas sweater?

Nope.  But if I did it would probably be Doctor Who.  I saw a Dalek Christmas sweater and I want it.

8. What is one Christmas food you cannot live without? 

Now, I’m all about the lobster dip.  And cashews.  I love cashews.

9. Peppermint or gingerbread?

Gingerbread.

10. Have you ever tried fruit cake?

Yes.  I love fruitcake.  Preferably dark.  I’m the only person I know that loves fruitcake.  It’s spectacular with tea.  If you receive a fruitcake this year and don’t want it, I’m considering opening a P.O box specifically for your fruitcake donations.

11. What is one thing you asked for this Christmas?

I don’t really ask for anything.  I could use some socks and underwear.  I need a new IPad.  All of my devices are 5 and 6 years old respectively.  it’s getting to be quite the hassle.

12. If you could be any Christmas movie character, who would you be?

I would be Clark Griswold and have a big old fashioned family Christmas complete with a bohemoth tree.  Unfortunately, I am more like the Dad from A Christmas Story.  “Frag-il-ay.  Must be Italian.”

A Christmas Story Dad
It’s a major award

 

Well, there you have it.  Feel free to tag along..

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

Images

The old man admiring his major award  http://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com/a-christmas-story-movie-facts/the-leg-lamp/

New Traditions and Eating Your Face Off (Blogmas #1)

So I see that people are well in to their Blogmas traditions of writing Christmas inspired posts each day leading up to Christmas.  

I’m not going to give you my favorite cookie recipes, because I don’t have any.  I’m not going to tell you the best places to go or shop because, I’m poor.  I don’t Christmas shop because I can’t Christmas shop.  This is the third year in a row I can’t shop.  I only earn a little bit of money each month from blogging and doing my neighbor’s laundry.  It doesn’t equate to much.

Why don’t you make something for Christmas?  Well, you see I am short materials to do any of the crafts I typically do.  I need yarn (and frankly I am not a gifted knitter), I need paints and canvases as I am out of all those.  I don’t have ink in my printer, so homemade cards are out, I don’t have any construction paper either so.. Crafts are out.

To be honest, I kind of hate Christmas now.  I have no contact with my family.  They don’t want to see me.  My illness has inconvenienced them where I owe them money for an old loan.  They don’t even believe I have an illness, I’m simply lazy.  I have a lot of resentment towards my family now.  I don’t care if see them anymore.  To lose control over your body at a fairly young age and NOT have any support, love or compassion from your parents is miserably lonely and I’m so angry at them all (my parents are divorced and remarried so I have 4) for never being there for me.  Ever.  Any time in my life I have needed help from my parents, they’ve ignored me.  Just like when I lived with my father growing up, he ignored me.  I felt invisible.  If I cried in my bedroom- he simply turned the volume up on the TV.  I took myself to the hospital and paid for my own medications and pads.  He wouldn’t even buy me pads.

My mother hasn’t spoken to me in years banning me from ever calling her house.  I guess I was a little too happy the last time I called, it seemed to offend them somehow.  Oh right, they’re negative assholes.  All of my parents are negative narcissistic Nellies.  

The new Christmas tradition with my partner includes us travelling via ferry to Nova Scotia and driving a couple of hours to her family home to spend Christmas with them.  Her mom always has a beautifully decorated tree that I sit and admire.  We get together Christmas morning and open gifts with the little nieces, a.k.a the cutest little girls in the world.  Watching their excitement as they tear open presents is pretty adorable.

Everyone down home makes fantastic foods and sweets.  My sister in law makes this to die for lobster dip that really is a gift in itself.   I can almost taste that velvety creamy delectable dip piled high on a salty ripple potato chip.  I also really look forward to my mother in law’s cooking, particularly her stuffing.  The brother in law is a lobsterman so there’s often fresh lobster which was always a tradition for my father as well.  Lobster for Christmas Eve.  I LOVE SEAFOOD.  I usually try to fill up on as much as I can we go back to Nova Scotia. 

Yeah, so I guess Christmas is about food to me now. 

And the Doctor Who Christmas episode of course.  That’s a tradition.

I love homemade cookies, shortbread, gingerbread, fruitcake, squares, pie, and cake.  I love hors d’oeuves and finger foods.  I love turkey dinner and more importantly, the Boxing Day Turkey sandwich.  This is a sandwich that combines leftover turkey, gravy, dressing, and cranberry sauce (homemade not canned) in to a sandwich that I literally think of ALL year long.  I begin anticipating it heavily as I help package up Christmas dinner and do the dishes.  You think I’m helping, but I’m really surveying what’s remaining for tomorrow’s sandwich rubbing my hands eagerly together like some kind of holiday sandwich fiend.  

So even though I don’t spend the holidays with my family, I am grateful for my partner’s family.  Who really are better people anyway.  I just wish I could buy presents for people.  The fun part of Christmas is giving people gifts.  Not getting but giving.  I usually get really stoked when I have found the perfect gift for someone, it just makes you feel good.

We don’t have a tree in our apartment although we would love one.  There isn’t much room for one and we really don’t have the money to buy a tree, the lights and ornaments and stuff so it doesn’t really feel like Christmas for us until a couple of days before when we arrive at her mother’s house.  It won’t feel like Christmas for a while yet.

The Blog Broad Blogmas
My beautiful fiancée, the Blog Broad & Lucy the dog

What are your traditions?  Are you participating in Blogmas this year?


Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

Jeremy, 35

My latest piece the Higher Living Blog~

Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc.

Anxiety and DepressionAnxiety Depressive Disorder

Jeremy found himself sitting in a cold bleak room in a mental health unit for 14 hours.  The room in itself was depressing.  There were missing chips of paint on the walls, no baseboards and the only thing in the room being a rusty old stretcher.  His stay in the hospital ended up lasting 3 days.  “3 of the longest days of my life.”  He says.

“I always knew I was different but I really noticed changes by age 28.”  Jeremy tells me.  It was about three years ago when he first went to the doctor because his boss noticed something wasn’t right with him.  Jeremy, a chef by trade, would go from happy and upbeat to severely depressed and withdrawn a couple of days later.

He was prescribed Effexor but finding the right dosage when beginning anti depressants is an adjustment period.  He tried different dosages…

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