Monthly Archives: February 2012

I’m sorry for being so boring.

Yay leap day!

Okay.  I’m done.

LOL

Seriously, that was the extent of my inspiration for my blog post tonight.

Generally speaking I really enjoy blogging daily, but some days kinda suck you dry…  so when it gets to be evening, and I’ve put the kid to bed, and the screen of my laptop burns brightly in the dark?  Well.  On those days there’s just not much left.

Sorry.

"I'm Sorry" crying pictureSo, yeah.  I’m sorry for being so boring tonight.  I can’t promise it won’t happen again, because I can say with certainty that it will…  but hopefully not for a long while.

Night all!

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Teaching about Sex and Gender in the Classroom

Shortly I’ll be presenting at a few high schools as well as at Breaking the Silence.  I’ll be talking about sex, gender, identity and the labels that can help or hinder us as we discover ourselves and how we fit on the spectrum.  I have a pretty good idea of what I’ll be covering, but I really would love to hear from you on the subject.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the gingerbread man diagrams that have been floating around the net for the last couple of years.  There have been several different incarnations of the drawing, and I’ll be creating my own for my presentations too.  Basically it just maps out the differences between sex, gender, expression, and orientation.  By having this type of illustration handy I hope to equip everyone who is there with the proper language – as that will go a long way to facilitate discussion.

What I’d like to know from anyone who’d be kind enough to reply is this:

If you were, or are, a high school student what would you like to know but might be afraid to ask in a classroom setting?  What would you want to know about sex?  about gender?  about gender expression?  about sexual orientation?  Is there something you wish you knew?  Is there something you do know that you wish others knew?  What would you want discussed that you might be to embarrassed to bring up with a room full of people watching?

I want to ensure that those who need the information, get it.  But if I don’t know what questions people have, I may miss something important.  This is basic information that schools haven’t often given students a chance to learn – information that people often have to discover on their own – feeling alone and insecure.  I want to arm youth with the power that comes with knowledge, and knowing that no matter where we fall on the spectrum, that we’re all totally normal with the potential to be awesome!

gingy from shrek

Little Dog Lost: a must-have book for every child’s library

I’ve already blogged about We Give Books and their amazing program that allows you to both read books online for free AND to donate a book to charity for every one you read.  So I won’t go into it any more than I just did.  But I do have to share about one of the books we read today, Little Dog Lost.

screen shot from the book Little Dog Lost by Monica Carnesi

Little Dog Lost is based on the true story of the heroic little dog known to the world as Baltic.  I don’t know how many of you would have followed his story on the news a couple years ago, but I know I did.  As mom to some amazing furkids I found it absolutely terrifying to know this poor little one was lost out on the ice flows of the Baltic sea.  Thankfully his story had a very happy ending, and it has now been immortalized in this beautiful book.

As we read, Lily-Ann was so moved by the words and images.  You could see her concern visible in her face and body language, and hear it in her voice as she asked questions and read along with me.  The story asks “Is it a seal?”  And just as the book declares, she too would say “No!”

This one is one of the few children’s picture books that I believe will become a classic.  Definitely a must have for every child’s personal library, and a must have for every school and daycare library.  Wonderfully written, and gorgeously illustrated!

Go check it out, and give a book to charity at the same time:  http://www.wegivebooks.org/books/little-dog-lost?auto_launch=1

back cover from Little Dog Lost

I broke the cardinal rule of blogging and you can too.

big, facebook thumbs up, like iconWhen I look at the blogs I enjoy, when I look at my friend’s blogs, when I look at blogs – period, they all seem to have one thing in common:  a theme.  Yet here I am.  I write about what hits me when it hits me.  I have trouble with rules.

Rules.  Yep.  Even in the blogosphere.  The biggest two being “Give Credit!” (and, okay, that’s not really a blog specific rule, but it’s worth repeating) and “Blog on Theme!”.  So clearly, no problem with the first one.  Whenever I use the work of another I make sure to give credit, and share links whenever possible.  But number two (the one that is pretty much the cardinal rule of all things blog)?  Good grief.  It seems like it should be so easy.

Garden Blog – http://www.katesgardenjournal.com/

Dog Blog – http://pawsitivelyinsanefordogs.blogspot.com/

Disney Travel Blog – http://www.returntodisney.com/

Heck…  even topics so narrow you’d never guess there’d be a blog Blog – http://www.fairyfiction.com/

And yep, that last one is a blog dedicated to fairy books for young readers.  Not just books, not just fairy books, not just juvenile fiction, but fairy books specifically aimed at kids and youth.  How’s that for a niche?

Goodness knows I’ve tried to blog on topic.  Had my own dog blog for a while at http://deardogma.wordpress.com/.  But I just can’t do it.  Stay on topic I mean.  I get bored after a while and need to write about other things.  Sure, I could set up multiple blogs, one for each area of interest…  but really?  I’m just not that dedicated.

Okay.  So, maybe dedication isn’t the problem.  I am on my third year of blogging almost daily.

It seems to fly in the face of every single “how to blog” blogger’s advice, but I just can’t help it.  Life is messy.  Life doesn’t fit in a neat little box.  I don’t fit into a neat little box – so why should my blog?

It works though.  I get to share, what I need to share, when I need to share it.  And I somehow still manage to keep a few of you coming back day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.  And my wee little blog just keeps on growing (which I am SOOO appreciative of).

My advice then?  If you want to blog, just go ahead and start writing.  Ignore the cardinal rule.  Write what you need to write, share what is important.  It may take a lot longer to establish readership with a relatively random flux of ideas – but if you are honest and forthright?  They’ll come.  And it’s so worth the effort.

 

Pink Revolution!

pink revolution - the evolution of the international day of pink

Pink Revolution - the Evolution of the International Day of Pink

How many of you are familiar with the Day of Pink in Canada?  It may have started small, but it is changing the landscape.  Soon there’ll be a sea of pink all around us as Saskatchewan organizations have banded together to bring you an entire week to think pink!

Not so long ago, a young man wore a pink shirt to his high school in Nova Scotia.  The homophobic bullies were out in force, and it did not go unnoticed.  A couple days later a swarm of students wearing pink shirts showed up at school – in support of equality and the belief that we all deserve the right to be free of fear, free from hate and bigotry.  Word spread, and soon people across Canada declared April 11th to be the Day of Pink – which is now being celebrated internationally.

This year, the Avenue Community Center in solidarity with several other organizations and businesses to bring us Pink Revolution!  An entire week of pink, a celebration of diversity.  The cities of Saskatoon, North Battleford, Swift Current, and Yorkton have all banded together in our cause and declared the week of March 30th – April 5th to be Saskatchewan’s Pink Revolution.

I’ll be out at some of the high schools, giving talks about gender, sex, and how we fit into the whole scheme of things.  About how labels can both help and hinder us as we find how we belong.  There will also be a multitude of other individuals out giving talks as well.

There are video and art contest in the works, as well as several anti-bullying events.  I have to admit though, I’m most excited about Saskatoon’s first Pink Prom.  That’s right!  We’re having our first LGBTT2QIA prom!  And rumor has it, that yours truly will be the official photographer.

Check out all the details at:

http://pink.avenuecommunitycentre.ca/index.html

I hope to see you out and about during our week of pink here in Saskatoon (and look forward to hearing all about events occurring around Saskatchewan).  There’s still plenty of time to get involved, so check out the website for volunteer opportunities.  We owe it to our youth!

Wordless Wursday?

Yeah, yeah…  I know it’s supposed to be “Wordless Wednesday”, but it’s Thursday…  and I’m tired.  So let’s say, just for this once, that Thursday is Wursday.  And this, my good readers, is Wordless Wursday.

Here’s a picture of my daughter as a cat:

A photograph of the Lily-Kitty or Litty.

My Online Portfolio: how would you like to browse my galleries?

I’ve begun the long process of updating my online portfolio.  Today I’ve already put in six hours – and I’m not quite half way through pulling images from the last years worth of shoots.  I shouldn’t have let it get so far behind, but what can I say?  I love shooting, I love editing…  but pulling photos for my portfolio?  Not my idea of enjoyable.  So I let it slide.  Which is why it’s now such a large undertaking.

I’ll admit it, when I first set up my photography website I didn’t go all out when putting together the portfolio pages.  Which is part of why I’m now in the conundrum I’m in.  Do I keep them as is?  Or is it time for a major revamp?  I’m seriously looking for thoughts here.

When you browse through my portfolio in the future, how would you like to see things arranged?  Do I keep things as they are (weddings, people, animals, and things)?  Would you like to see things sorted by the type of shoot each image represents (couples, individuals, families, animals, weddings, events, and other)?  Or is there some other way you’d prefer to browse?  How would it be easiest for you?

Please take a minute to let me know your thoughts – even in just a couple of words.  My online portfolio is there for YOU, so I want to ensure it’s set up in such a way that you find it as easy as possible to use.  And thanks in advance.  I really do appreciate your willingness to share.

Goodnight iPad (a modern bedtime tale) & We Give Books

Two things to share tonight.  🙂  One is the We Give Books website/program.  It’s simply too awesome NOT to share.  And the other is a book we stumbled across while there.

Goodnight iPad screenshot from We Give Books

"Goodnight iPad" screenshot from the We Give Books website

We Give Books is an incredible website where you can read new, classic, and popular Penguin Books titles to you children…  for free.  That’s right.  FREE.  We only discovered the site this afternoon and have already gone through seven titles that were brand new to us (the girl loves the Ladybug Girl books).

You can sign up for free (there’s that word again) using your FB or Twitter account, or the old fashioned way by filling out a form.  Then you choose a campaign to support…  which is where We Give Books gets even better – yep.  Better than free!  Can you imagine?  What happens next?  Just pick out a book and start reading.  When you get to the end, a button will show up that says “give a book”.  Click it.  Know what that means?  It means a book has just been donated to whichever campaign you chose to support.

Check it out!!!  Seriously!

We Give Books – www.wegivebooks.org

Now while you’re there, you have to look up “Goodnight iPad”.  It’s way too freakin’ awesome.  A parody on the classic bedtime story “Goodnight Moon” for those of us who are plugged in.  It really is fabulous, and, no joke, it had my husband and I laughing out loud as we attempted to read it to the kid.  😉

So, there you go!  Two fabulous discoveries!

Now get reading!

“Aggravated Homosexuality” may be punishable by death in Uganda.

amnesty international rainbow

 

I’m still out sick, officially, but this couldn’t wait:

The Ugandan Parliament is currently looking at a bill that would allow the death penalty for something called “aggravated homosexuality”.  Sexual Minority and Gender Variant people in Uganda already face a dangerous rode, as Uganda is one of the few nations where homosexuality is illegal.  Please take a minute to write to the Prime Minister, urging him to NOT pass this bill during their upcoming session.

Action must be taken immediately, with a deadline of April 2nd.  So please, please take a moment to write a brief email or to send (with guaranteed delivery prior to the second) a letter to the Hon. Amama Mbabzi.

Facing judicial punishment for simply BEING is a human rights travesty, but the idea that an individual could be put to death for love?  There are no words that are adequate.

 

Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi

Office of the Prime Minister

P.O. Box 341, Kampala, Uganda

E-mail: opm@imul.com

For more information on this bill, and other human rights issues, please visit Amnesty International at http://www.amnesty.org/ and http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR59/001/2012/en/fa2f38d6-dc7e-44cc-b295-5016f57154c5/afr590012012en.html

How I envy the resiliency of youth

I’ve been out sick the last couple of days.  I’m still sick today, but have a little less cold and flu medicine in my system – which gives me a spank more lucidity.  So figured I should make an attempt to post something through the haze in my head.

One thing I envy children is their resiliency, their ability to bounce back and to just keep going.  Lily-Ann is the one who passed this virus on to me, but did it knock her out?  Heck no.  She had the sniffles, but was determined to just keep on keepin’ on.  Her contagious period occurred while she was out of school on the weekend, and she wasn’t about to miss any of the fun.  She had a runny nose, but was otherwise unaffected.  Me, on the other hand…  I’m a wreck.

I was out cold all of yesterday, stuck in bed, loaded with a plethora of remedies (both home and store bought).  Drippy, sore, cranky, and exhausted.  And today I’m not much better – though trying to make due with a little less of the store bought remedies…  but as soon as I’m done this blog post it’s back under the covers for me.

There isn’t much I envy of children, but that ability to bounce back is truly a remarkable thing…  and it’s not just virus related.  They have an incredible capacity to fight back, to push until they see things righted.  If only we could harness that power – the good we could accomplish.

Ahhh well…  That’s enough musing from me.  My typing skills are getting worse the longer I’m attempting lucidity.  And I’m also beginning to drip on my keyboard – and that’s the kind of lovely image I strive to leave y’all with.

So TTFN.

Keep your friends close, and your netti pots closer.  😉

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