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19 Jan

You And I Were Meant To Fly, And, Also Tweet (On Wheelchairs And Internets And Raising Our Voices, Oh My)

Once upon a time, in an Internet far, far away – which is to say, 6 months ago – I tweeted about Air Canada. I tweeted about them a few times, actually – I tweeted that they’d broken my nephew’s wheelchair, and I tweeted that they were working to replace it, and then I tweeted that they hadn’t, in fact, replaced it and had instead left Tanner stranded, immobile, while his mother and I scrambled frantically to reach someone at Air Canada on the telephone and did anyone out there have a number that didn’t start with 1-800 and end with ‘we’re sorry, ma’am, but you’ll have to call back on Monday’? – and it kind of started what is often colloquially referred to as a shit storm.

I’ve never written about that shit storm. I’ve never written about it because, frankly, by the time it was over I was sick of the whole thing. I was sick of the whole thing during the whole thing, actually: I was sick of what it did to Tanner and my sister; I was sick of how it took hold of us and shook us and demanded that we explain ourselves, dammit; I was sick of how it spilled TV cameras and reporters into the hall outside our room and how it pulled them along behind us on the sidewalk and in the park and on the subway and demanded that they ask, again and again, does this demonstrate the power of Twitter? Does this demonstrate the power that Twitter gives the little guy? I was sick of trying to explain, yes and no; it’s complicated; this is a triumph, and also not a triumph, and could you please leave that little guy alone? Because that little guy is scared and confused by all of the attention and this isn’t helping.

10 Jan

What Happens In Vegas

… actually doesn’t stay in Vegas when you’re a blogger.

(I need about sixteen naps before I recover my ability to write English in complete, grammatical sentences. Until then, I have nothing to say about Las Vegas and CES but this: SHINY. VERY SHINY.) (Which, as it happens, describes Ms. Alli’s sequined beanie in the photo above. It is always good to match your headgear to your surroundings.)


Catching up on my kindnesses and random generosities:

5 Jan

You Say You Want A Resolution

This past weekend I tried to explain New Year’s resolutions to Emilia.

“A resolution is something that you decide that you want to do in the upcoming year. You say it out loud or write it down, on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, so that everyone knows what your resolution is.”

“But you’re not supposed to tell other people your wishes.”

“It’s not a wish, really. It’s something that you want to do or have happen, and you make it happen for yourself.”

“So you don’t need stars or fairies?”

“No, you don’t need stars or fairies. You’re your own fairy.”

“Can you be someone else’s fairy?”

28 Dec

Of Frankicense And Myrrh And Coffee And Sprinkle Donuts

In our little town, there is a charming little main street filled with antique stores and specialty shops and charming little cafes – two of them – at which you can buy lattes and cappuccinos and pots of tea with cookies on the side and sit at little round tables and have quiet, gentle conversations while watching people bustle about on the street outside. And if you head east on this street, down a block or two, just past the wellness centre (now with yoga classes!) and the office of the local Minister of Parliament, and then a few paces further, you will find another place to buy coffee, although you wouldn’t call it a café. It’s not the kind of place where you can get a latte or tea in tea cups with cookies on the side; you order your coffee ‘extra-large regular’ and maybe you get a donut on the side.

15 Dec

I Am A Mother

It was sometime early on in one of the first sessions of TEDWomen last week that the question occurred to me: are we saying to each other here – in this go go women go celebration of everything that women can do – that women are the new men? And if that’s the case, is the corollary that men are the new women? Or that less-advantaged women are the new (and old) women? Whither women qua women, if women are trying to escape themselves?

13 Dec

If A Christmas Tree Falls On Your Kid, And You Don’t Film It, Did It Happen?

I’m not a professional photographer. Nor am I professional filmmaker or documentarian. But I do tell stories, and a lot of those stories are about my kids, and telling stories about my kids involves using photographs and video. So I am, if you will, a Semi-Amateur Multimedia Documentary Artist and Chronicler Of Family Narratives, and I do an acceptably decent job of it, if I do say so myself.

But it’s a job that has had a somewhat steep learning curve. Capturing the most narratively interesting moments of family life is only slightly less complicated than filming meerkats, not least because small children are less predictable than meerkats. Capturing the movements of children on film during the holidays is considerably more complicated than filming meerkats,  because during the holidays children tend to be jacked up on candy canes and Santa, and meerkats, to the best of my knowledge, don’t get all that excited about either of those things. But it’s not impossible, and well worth the effort, because although meerkats are awesome, they are not nearly as funny and adorable and documentary-worthy as your own children. You can make an awesome photo collage or montage or video that captures the awesomeness of your family during the holidays, and you should.

So, herewith, and humbly, some tips from me on how get adequately amazing footage of your family, whether on digital film or video or sketchpad, and use it to craft some remarkable holiday memories. (Or, Tips For Being An Awesome Documentary Filmmaker/Photographer/Auteur And Creating The Best Family Holiday Video/Photo Album/Virtual –Slideshow-For-Your-Mom-Blog EVER, Even If You Have No Idea What You’re Doing At All, Really. Or, Failing That, How To Get Just Enough On Film So That You Don’t Forget What Your Kids Look Like.) (Read all the way to the bottom! There is music! And PRIZES! And other feel-good things!)