So twitter tends to think of #FF as Follow Friday... Im changing this up a little here today. I was driving along in my van praying it would make it home and thinking who I would call if it didnt. I had a list about a mile long of people I could call and I realized how stupid fucking grateful I was to have people in my life that love and care about me and that I get to love and care about back. Today I want to post about a small handful of people who make me a better person every day. with that I give you my #FF - #FortunateFriday

Melissa (@bourbonbaker) - We're both fairly sure we can change the world, we're also both fairly sure we have no idea what the hell we're doing but if we keep waking up and doing SOMETHING then we will succeed. Every time I think I have nothing left you remind me I don't need anything but my dream. The best part of The Worlds Poorest Philanthropists. I am thankful for you.

Jeff (@JeffPulver) - He who reminds me that dreams come true and that sometimes a hug can fix everything. Having such an amazing spirit in my corner makes my life not only easier but brighter. I am thankful for you.

My Mum - We fight like cats and dogs. There are days and times that I think if I never saw her again it would be ok, but she has never given up on me. She is the only person who has been there from day 1 and continues to be even though I don't always deserve it. I am thankful for you.

Jacki (@JackiYo) - Together we stand, Divided we fall. Your strength amazes me. You don't see in yourself what others see in you and it keeps you humble but you are wonderful. I am thankful for you.

Matt (@MattScobel) - Granted I usually show up with food in hand, but the fact that you take a few minutes from your busy day at work to say "hi and how are you?" reminds me I'm human sometimes and there are days that means more then you know. I am thankful for you.

Mark (@HardlyNormal) - You don't know me but I am your biggest fan. I think you are unbelievable and are changing the world one person at a time. Your passion astounds me and keeps me fighting everyday for a better world. My biggest goal in 2012 is to meet you, hug you and thank you personally for just being you. I am thankful for you.

Jim (@conceptcrucible)- I don't know how I got so lucky. You quickly became one of my best friends and now I get to curl up and fall asleep with someone who makes me feel safe, special and less neurotic about myself. I'm falling and I'm ok with it. I am thankful for you.

Marc (@MarcScott) - I know you hate this so i'll be brief. I am thankful for you.

April - 14 years and you have grown in front of my eyes into someone I am so proud to call my friend. I am thankful for you.

Sylvan (@Sylvanss) - I think your parents were onto something. You are my sunshine. Your believing in everything I do makes it worth doing. Our daughters will grow up in a better world because of people like you. I am thankful for you.

Taylor (@TJ) - I used to think that all "kids" were trouble. They didn't know what it was like to be selfless. You have proven me wrong over and over again. Just your face makes me smile and I am so happy you're home. I am thankful for you.

Craig (@BigDaddyKreativ), Bob (@AlphaStarr), Jason (@JasonDyk) and Gord (@GordTanner) - I couldn't ask for better "brothers". Every day I wake up knowing I am protected from the evils of the world by 4 of the most outstanding men to walk the planet. I am thankful for you.

Laurel (@Optimom) and Julie (@SoberJulie) - You both hold the keys to my soul. There are times I see myself spiralling into oblivion and knowing you both breathe the same air as I do gives me the strength to claw my way home. I am thankful for you.

Chris (@kitestring) and Krystal (@tiealittleribbon) - How can I describe the love I have for 2 people whose existence makes my world beautiful? I am thankful for you.

Kinga (@Cormiki) - Watching you and your children reminds me that my daughter is blessed to live in a world with people like you. She will grow up in the best world we have because you are in it. I am thankful for you.

This list is only a small handful of the people I want to acknowledge in my life. My version of #FF will happen again. It is so important that we take a minute and thank people for being in our lives. As humans with free will we get to choose who we want to be around, the people who choose to be around me are so important to me in so many ways. I wake up every morning because I know the world isn't a dark, scary place when you have such bright twinkling stars walking with you every step of the way. I am thankful for each and every one of you.


Sometimes I Pray

Christmas is hard for me. Really hard. Both of my grandparents passed away within roughly a week of Christmas, a friend passed away, I've been homeless, alone, sick, scared and tired. Don't get me wrong, I've also had wonderful Christmases that I cherish but it doesn't make the holidays less difficult.

Lately I've had some major issues with my back. Not to get into details but I've been in lots of pain and terrified. This is just adding to the pile of holiday season downers for me. I'm living on Percocet and and coffee trying to keep it together. It's not going great but it's not completely debilitating yet either so I'm trying to keep my head up.

My plan today had been to hit some black Friday sales for me. I don't buy myself much and I'm in desperate need of boots and jeans (since I just ripped the only ones that were decent, fuck). I also wanted to look into something just for my new phone. So I got out the flyers and started the sift. Then I realized something. With the sales - I could easily buy a bunch of toys for low income kids.

Being homeless at Christmas sucked, being poor at Christmas sucks. Not because it's about gifts, but because it loses some magic when you feel like you're letting down your kid. I feel like this a lot, not just at Christmas but Christmas is worse. Little people don't understand being poor. They understand that every store has something shiny they want to look at. They understand that Santa loves them and brings them presents. They understand that something special happens on December 25th that they can't explain.

Kids with nothing don't understand why Santa doesn't visit them. They wish harder and harder but it doesn't change anything.

On December 25th sometimes nothing happens.

So today I'm going to skip the boots and jeans, forgo my personal toy, and hit the Black Friday sales for some donation toys. It's the right thing for me to do. It's not right for everyone and I'm not saying you should run out and drop your grocery money on toys, but I am asking that if you can, grab an extra Barbie, extra book or extra Beyblade and remind a kid that wishes come true if you believe they will and someone believes in you.

People have been so generous with me personally. My baby has never known not having a Christmas because people have been so kind and giving. I pray sometimes that I will be able to be that person to other families who need help one day. Until then I do what I can, and try and keep paying my blessings in life forward. Will I wear running shoes in the snow for awhile? Yup, but it won't kill me. An extra 2 weeks in runners means a real Christmas gift for some little person and that is the best decision I can make.


5 Dollar Project Needs You

As you may or may not know, my other baby is my non-profit The 5 Dollar Project. We teamed up with Foodlove KW to bring 50 homeless teens a Christmas. We've hit some snags, some unexpected curves and some dips in the road. We need help. I hate begging and spamming and all that bullshit but this... THIS is whats important people. Supporting our fellow humans. Simply being kind. So here is the post that just went up at www.5dollarproject.org, please consider helping us.

I know I am behind on keeping you all updated on how things are going with 5 Dollar, and all the great things we've been up to. Well thats because we've been busy working hard to make things happen. Right now though, I'm personally asking for help.

As you know, we teamed up with FoodLove KW for #50teens4Christmas and we have been working our butts off. Unfortunately we've run into a few snags along the way and despite wishing, praying and 70 hour weeks, we can't overcome them alone. We need help.

First off, we need to get our information out there to people. We are tweeting and facebooking and emailing and talking ourselves blue but we need more. We need some media attention, we need some big corporations spreading the word within their companies, WE NEED YOU telling people how they can help by donating to #50teens4Christmas.

Secondly, we need money. As crass and abrupt as that may be to say, its truth. Due to some unforeseen sponsor drop outs, venue changes and exorbitant Christmas price mark ups we straight to the point need cash. Now were not asking you to just throw money at us for nothing. We have the amazing donation give-a-way set up with prizes that certainly hold their own. Concert tickets, electronics, gift certificates, toys, one of a kind memorabilia - thousands of dollars worth of prizes and all people need to do is donate... ANYTHING. Were poor, we know money is tight, seriously 5 bucks - 2 bucks - the quarters in the bottom of your purse, we will take it and we will enter you in the draw!

No Paypal? No problem! Cash, cheque, email money transfer - we will take it any way you want to give it to us. We will come to you!

We are personally putting our blood, sweat, tears, man hours and money in to this. We WILL be giving these teens a Christmas. But my god we need help.


So please, I am begging you. Help us help some kids that have nothing. You can Spread Smiles so easily this year. So easily. Tis the season. Donate HERE

or HERE >


Blackberry and Rogers - a tag team of fuck ups

Driving home from picking up my daughter last night the rain was ridiculous. I decided to avoid the 401 and take the back way home from my mums.  I do this pretty much anytime there's bad weather. I just find people on the 401 don't think in crappy weather.

Part way home I hit a pretty massive puddle. Puddle might be an understatement actually, it way more like a small lake. I started to hydroplane slightly and found my self stuck in a bit of a soft ditch made by the rain and muddy roadside. I was stuck.

Not a big deal. It sucked for sure to realise at 11:30pm I was going to be waiting for a tow truck to come yank me out but worse things have happened.

Luckily I had my trusty blackberry, I thought. I have an old blackberry curve, I won't get into how rogers stuck me with it but I've never liked the damn thing. It freezes, shuts down randomly and has constant functionality issues. Having taken it to rogers numerous times, I had basically accepted that this is how blackberrys ran and that I was SOL. I would be doing battery pulls multiple times a day until I could afford a new phone.

So I went to call for help and I had the spinning clock of death. Annoyed, I flipped the phone, pulled the battery and waited for it to reboot.

5 Minutes

Phone loads

Immediately freezes


Pull battery

Wait another 5 minutes

Phone loads

Frozen again

I did this 4 times before I realised I was screwed. Back country road, middle of the night, sleeping toddler, pouring rain, stuck car... NO PHONE!

Very few cars come down the road I was on at night, not to mention the safety factor of standing in the road flagging down cars in the dark and the rain.

I suppose I could have thrown the blackberry at them. Make the damn thing slightly useful.

So I see approaching lights jump out of the car only to end up being soaked by the splash the car made through the puddle. Brilliant. Now I'm cold, wet, stranded and trying ANOTHER battery pull on my useless phone.

Of course, it fails.

Now im contemplating the fact that I am going to have to bundle up my toddler and walk to the nearest house, and knock on their door in the middle of the night while looking like a drowned rat. This sounds both safe and practical to me. Dark road, rain, strange houses. Its the stuff true crime novels and front page news is made of.

Then a truck stops (also front page news worthy but at least I'm not dragging Monkey out in the rain). Two men hop out and offer their help pushing me out. I almost cried. I am so grateful to them for helping a stranger on a dark stormy night.

So now I'm mad. Rogers and blackberry tell me my phone is fine but the one time I need it for an emergency its fucking useless. This happens all the time with this phone. How can this be "fine"???

I will never trust a blackberry or rogers again. If we had gone off the road into ditch and been injured we would have been in trouble.

I love BBM but I'm swapping to anything but a blackberry and anyone but rogers as soon as I can. I recommend you do the same.


Depression: Truth In Words

I have severe depression. No I am not just over-dramatically sad sometimes. I am not an attention seeker. I have a diagnosed mental illness that will require medication for the rest of my life.

Telling me to "cheer up", "look at all you have" or "tomorrow will be better" isn't going to change anything. Using "tough love" and telling me to "pull it together" or "stop being dramatic" also isn't going to change anything. You can't talk me into being happy.

Depression is not an emotion.

Though depression manifests as a complex series of emotions, it is not. It is an illness.

When I am in the midst of a depressive episode I can not see the forest for the trees. I feel like I am being crushed from the inside out. My thoughts and emotions are irrational. I am full of self-doubt and loathing. The chemicals in my brain no longer function properly and often leave me a sad trembling ball of hatred.

Depression can take on so many physical characteristics. The worst of which for me is the feeling that I can not function within my body. I stop eating, sleep more then I am awake and get severe headaches and body pains.

Sadly another manifestation of my personal depression is that I self-harm. I am lucky enough to be able to control it now, I have managed to keep my thoughts rational enough to prevent causing myself harm. I often do this by venting. Instead of turning inward, I turn outward. Most people don't understand this at all. They see it as drama. They see it as attention seeking. They dont see it as a safe substitution to cutting, drinking, or pill popping.

Though my issues are very real, I take them to a place far beyond what they need to be, seeing situations through desperate eyes and a heavy heart. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, no silver lining, only blackness. During my down times I dont have many choices that I am capable of making. If my mind had it's way I'd shut the door, sit in the dark, listen to angst filled music and get drunk while cutting myself. THIS is where I am given my only choice.

Even in complete darkness we are given choices.

I choose not to cut.

I choose to take care of my child.

I choose to cry, vent and sleep my way through the pain.

I choose to survive.

It has taken me years to get to this point. Many people will never get to this point. The demons are often stronger then the will to survive. I have lost friends to all the demons. Alcohol, drugs, self-destruction and suicide.

Reading back this all sounds so hard, clinical, emotionless. Here's the boiled down version...

I didn't choose to have depression. I didn't choose to have social anxiety issues. I don't know why I have them, what causes them or if they will ever go away. What I do know is that I hurt. I hurt from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Anyone who doesn't believe we have a soul, is wrong. I know this because I feel mine, in the absolute depths of my despair, I can feel it. It's worse then heartache, worse then loneliness, worse then any other pain I have felt.

It. Fucking. Hurts.

No one is perfect. We all have issues and demons to battle. Mine are demons in my head. I quell them with medication and time. I dont judge your demons, don't judge mine.

To paraphrase, "There but for the grace of a higher power, go I."


This is Me

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” - Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

BlissDom Costume-CLBuchananPhotography.ca-124


Rebutting My Own Life

I don't usually rebut my own posts, but after some emails I have decided to clear up a few things about my life and the system.

- My daughter does not want or need for anything. She is never without food or clothing or a roof over her head. I would sell everything I owned and body parts to make sure this didn't change.

- I have been very busy and out a lot lately. My daughters new found attachment to me has more to do with being at daycare full time then me being out after shes already gone to bed. The few times I have been away multiple nights, she has been with family who love her and whom she loves.

- When I say "If I stay home I will die" this isn't me exaggerating to make a point. I have a severe anxiety disorder that if I allowed myself to stay home I wouldn't leave. My agoraphobia would kick back in and spiral me into a massive depressive episode that would no doubt end badly.

- The amount of money I spend going out in a a week is probably much much less then people think. I am lucky enough to have wonderful friends and a good nose for coupons.

- My monthly bills are 80% based on income. I have been blessed enough to have geared to income housing, different subsidies and discounts. This is wonderful however its also a curse. Currently I can scrape by on my $1000 a month income. If I were to get a job, the ones I would qualify for would be at minimum wage or just above. This would raise my income. A raise in my income would also mean a raise in my bills and cost of living. It would actually leave me worse off then I am now, and not with my Monkey as much as I am now, and I would be unhappy - All The Time.

- My #1 priority in my life is my Daughter. Beyond her physical needs, I am desperate to show her that the world is a wonderful place with amazing people. That dreams come true and good things happen to good people.

- I appreciate all the love and encouragement I get. The wishes and love and support. I also appreciate the realism. The contrary thoughts and opinions. They make me re-evaluate my thought patterns, often pushing me in new directions or past the point of where I thought I could go.

- I have a mental disorder. I have multiple mental disorders actually. I deal daily. I push through daily. I have some days that are god awful and I question everything I have done in my lif4e and wonder if the space I occupy could be better used by someone else. It happens. I will tweet, facebook, blog about it. This isnt going to change.

I am more then willing to answer any questions about my life. I don't live in the shadows. I applaud those willing to step up and put their thoughts out that might be against the grain of the popular opinion, I am one of those people. However if you're going to contact me anonymously and bash me, please be aware that next time I will post your email. I think the world should know your opinion. If you have the balls to be an asshole, please do so in public, I'd hate to be the only one to know of your unique "gift".


Falling Apart


I have spent so much time thinking the past week that I think I've made up for not having graduated high school. I wish this was a happy go lucky post about the joy I got from Blissdom, and that will come, I promise. This is just more important right now.

This is the post wear I'm going to put my soul on the line. The post where I'm not going to hide what I'm going through. The post where I will potentially alienate people. Fuck.

Let's start at the beginning. I am a fraud a huge fraud. I spend my days making people smile and helping people, I come home and cry. I come home and fall apart. I am horribly horribly depressed, fairly heavily medicated and the exact opposite of what most people see.

I give away money every day, I fund raise and fight for people who can't fight for themselves. I wake up every morning not knowing if my lights will turn on or if my phone is still working. It's so ridiculous, its laughable. Laughable if I wasn't so busy bawling my face off. I sit in my car every day when I get home and cry. I avoid going into my home as long as possible. my home is the reality of the sadness of my life.

So many people spend time telling me I have such a light and such potential and they see such great things for me. I have no idea how to get those great things. People are trying to help me but I don't comprehend shit. I don't get it. And everything takes so much time.

I broke down at Blissdom so many times. In the Social Media for Social Good panel I asked how I can live my dream, not sacrifice my happiness and still feed my family and cried. I curled up in my bed and questioned what I was thinking spending money on a conference when I should have been paying bills. I listened to panels talk, knowing many of these people believed in me and wanted the best for me but I honestly had no idea why.

No. Idea. Why.

I'm just a poor girl with a big fucking dream and nothing else. Nothing. Else.

I've done everything people say to do. I try hard, I work hard, I take opportunities, I ask for help and yet I'm not moving forward. I can't keep doing this. It's killing me. I'm falling apart. Losing my mind. Ready to give up completely.

I've gotten so behind that I don't know where to start. I try to function and fail. I only feel human when Im surrounded by people, yet ironically have severe social anxiety issues. People like to inject themselves into my life and make comments about my going out when I "claim" broke. I go out because if I stayed home I would die. My soul would die. I need to be inspired and feel the light of other people in order to even bother making myself get out of bed in the morning.

I need a miracle that isn't coming.

I would rather be happy and poor then have money and hate myself. Not following my dreams feels like slow suicide. Not being able to pay my bills feels like slow suicide. My whole life feels like slow suicide right now. A disease with no cure and no matter which path I take the end result is the same.


Brain Gone Mush

The past three weeks I have had probably close to 90298432 blog posts float through my head. Sadly none of them have made it here.

17 days.

It has been 17 days since my life was turned upside down and inside out.

17 days ago I was just a girl telling a story.

Today I am an organizer of a philanthropic kindness organization that is blowing up effectively making me the worlds poorest philanthropist.

I am a professional woman attending conferences, receiving job offers and requests to come speak at events.

I have people standing behind me, pushing me, supporting me, advising me.

Im working constantly, sleeping rarely and keeping up with my house work, never.

I am talking to designers, PR firms, web gurus, and friends.

I feel like i'm finally going to change the world.

Why do I feel like I am saving the world and can't save myself?

Why does everyone have such faith in me and what I'm doing and yet my personal life is not getting any better.

If in less then 3 weeks I can start changing the world and accomplish so much, then why am I still penny pinching for food and diapers? Why can't I keep up on my own home? Why do I feel like I'm not giving my daughter enough?

How the hell am I supposed to make this work?

I am so blessed and fucked at the same time. Its like that feeling when you're drinking that you know you're having a great time but you also know the next day is gonna hurt.


What Weighs More? Your Body or Heart?

I am 5'10, 310 lbs.

Why am I telling you this? Because I am happy with who I am. I am happy with how I look. I am not looking to change my outside appearance though it will probably happen. I want you to know, that you are perfect exactly the way you are. Thick thighs, stick arms, big booty, flat ass, boobs, belly, chin(s). Tall, short, fat, thin, funny ears, crooked nose... You. Are. Perfect.

Now on to my actual reason for posting...

I joined a gym.

Ok, I joined the Y. Mostly for the pool. But I joined.

Today was my first day in the actual gym. I had a fitness orientation with Carla and learned how to properly use the machines. I explained to Carla that I was just looking to increase my energy to keep up with my 3 year old. Really I need to quadruple my energy and do everything on rollerblades to keep up with her, but its a start right?

Little does anyone know, I used to run. Like for fun, not just away from my problems. Though I did that too. After some asthma complications and medication related weight gain, I just never got back into it. My trainer, Carla, recommended the treadmill since running had been something I liked doing. Obviously I wasn't going to get on and run for an hour, but a brisk walk for 10 minutes felt good.

None of the cartoonish things I envisioned happening happened. I didn't fly backwards off the end of the treadmill. The machine didnt malfunction throwing me into a arm flailing run of death. I wasn't surrounded by macho guys flexing talking about supplements and protein bars and calling each other "Dude" and "Broski". Though I was completely out done by a little old lady in a mint green track suit.

I also learned a few of the strength training machines. I wasn't squished under a giant weight, I didn't fall off the machine, and to my surprise I walked out of the gym still able to move.

Slow and sweaty... I mean steady, right?


Light Your Own Flame

The 140 glow was starting to wear off... Waking up I was starting to feel a bit crushed. Like the dreams and promises were fading and I had used up my 15 minutes. I was sad.

Then I decided to push through...

I started the 5 Dollar Project.

The past two days have been a whirlwind of cookies and gift cards and people. Im starting to feel that spark again.

6 hours our twitter account (@5dollarproject) has over 100 followers
Our website has had over 500 unique page views
We have been donated a second 100 dollars to keep the project going
20 people have joined the revolution on facebook
50 people got smile cookies
2 people now have gift cards


I really need to take this moment to thank Kevin Magee and Marc Scott. Kevin who was just being kind and had no idea what the money he spent buying back a prize I won would end up doing. And Marc who believes in me and the project enough to put both his money and his mouth where my heart is to help keep us going.

For 3 years I have lived off social assistance and the kindness of strangers and it is time for me to give back. I may not have a penny to my name. I may be running the project from a crappy laptop and a beat up van. But damn it I am going to run this project right into the hearts and minds of those who feel the world has lost it's ability to be kind.


Break In The Pattern

I'm sure by now everyone needs a little Jodi break. Ok so maybe I just need day to compose myself, either way.

When my friend @chickymara (on the Twitter) said she had a post that needed a home, I said I had a space that needed a post. Plus she said it was a post about lady things so you know I cant let this go. I mean, funny story about vaginas?! IM IN!

Plus the name of my blog IS My Accidental Life... and this, well, was an accident for sure.

Without further ado...

Peri-Menopause Ain’t Much Fun

Remember when you were a teenager and your greatest fear was wearing light coloured pants and then getting a surprise ‘visitor’ at school? Yes, I’m talking about menstruation: your period, the curse, ‘that time of the month’. But, then, as you got older, ‘Aunt Flo’s visits became more regular, and other worries like whether you had under boob in a bathing suit, muffin tops, or ass crack in your jeans took over. That’s until the peri-menopause takes you over.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Perimenopause, also called the menopausal transition, is the interval in which a woman's body makes a natural shift from more-or-less regular cycles of ovulation and menstruation toward permanent infertility, or menopause.

Women start perimenopause at different ages. In your 40s, or even as early as your 30s, your may start noticing the signs. Your periods may become irregular — longer, shorter, heavier or lighter, sometimes more and sometimes less than 28 days apart.

Note the bolded words. They are important.

About a month ago, I was picking up my son from his sleep away camp bus. So excited to see my boy, I forgot that it was most likely THE DAY for my ‘friend’ to visit, and having rushed out the door, I did not prepare properly with the appropriate emergency supplies. Plus I’d worn a LIGHT colored pair of baby blue linen shorts that were particularly expensive (from Bloomingdales).

(Usually I don’t keep tampons in my purse since they seem to come out of those slinky wrappers very easily and then I have loose applicators and cotton ‘inserts’ floating around in my purse. I have handed my kids a tampon instead of gum on too many occasions. I’ve learned my lesson.)
Anyways, while I was waiting for the buses to come, I started to feel quite ill –like hot, and sweaty, and all achy. I was being overcome by the heat of the day. It also felt like a vice was taking hold of my stomach, and was tightening by the minute. I thought I’d pass out. I pretended I was getting the flu, since I didn’t have tampons with me.

As an aside, I had gotten the days wrong for his camp return (since I’m so organized) and had actually booked a dental cleaning for the poor child the same day as his return. So, we were not going home. As soon as I picked him up, we were off to Subway, and then the dentist (who also happens to be my brother).

We were driving along, and he was chattering away, and I was sweating and wanting to double over in pain. Imagine you ate 100 cans of beans. That’s how my stomach felt.
We went into Subway, and I said to the kid, trying to hide my mounting desperate agony, ‘You wait here; mommy has to pee like a racehorse’. By now, I was shaking with nerves. I had no idea what I would find down there. Nobody had pointed at me screaming, ‘Call an ambulance, that lady’s butt is bleeding!!!’. Thus, I still had a measure of Hope that all was well down there. That Hope that was quickly dashed in that Subway bathroom. For, what I found in my baby blue linen shorts can only be termed as PERIOD-MAGEDDON. It was scary. It looked like my uterus had fallen out. All over my shorts, my thighs, my everywhere. Using every piece of toilet paper in that Subway bathroom I created a mommy diaper to rival no other, and rejoined my son to order lunch, a fake smile plastered on my face.

And then, sitting at the counter, I spied my saviour- a Shoppers Drug Mart. I said to my child (who is 12 so well old enough to sit at Subway for minutes on his own) ‘Mommy needs to go to the drugstore for a minute. I’ll be right back’. I waddled over to Shoppers, snagged a box of Tampax, and some triple strength Midol, and headed back to retrieve the kid.

Driving to my brother’s office, all was very quiet. I could feel the box of heaven sticks burning a hole in my handbag, when my son piped up, ‘Mommy, what did you have to buy at the drugstore?’ Not knowing what to say, I went with honesty. ‘Mommy got her period and needed to buy tampons.’ He turned purple and didn’t say another word. I’ve never seen anyone so happy to arrive at the dentist. Once there, I high tailed it to the bathroom…again. But I had a dilemma. What to do with the makeshift lady diaper and the unsaveable panties. Making an executive decision, I shoved the whole mess in the Shoppers bag, smushed it into my purse, and went Commando. While wearing baby blue linen shorts. It was brave. And slightly liberating.

What did I learn?
Tampons: Don’t leave home without them.
Period-Mageddon can happen at any age. Don’t get cocky.
Oxy Clean gets stains out of baby blue linen shorts. Get some

Want to read more from Mara? www.beniceorleavethanks.com


Where do we go now?

All day I've been on cloud 9. Cloud 109. Cloud 649 even (Just imagine! #EndCornyCanadianJoke)... I'm ready to save the world and make a difference and end the stigma behind social assistance and homelessness and mental illness and and and

I have no fucking idea how the hell I do it.

There's a long time between now and June and lets face it, opportunity isn't just gonna hang out in my kitchen with a beer and some kraft dinner waiting to hit NYC for 9 months. I need to buy diapers and put gas in my car and I've been told saying "Don't you know I trended higher then Bieber once!" is not a form of payment accepted at my local Walmart (Maybe in Stratford?)...

So what do I do?! Where do I take this? Come on universe! Don't tell me I was game VIP and then bench me the next game. I want to write and talk, share ideas and twirl (though the twirling is not work related).

I want to help save the world for Monkey and it sure ain't gonna happen behind the counter of a Tim Hortons.

So help me. I'm fucking terrified. I refuse to just let this go. I'm ready for the next phase of my life. I'm ready to be someone. I'm ready to be someone who gets up every morning and does something great! Something other then math to make sure I have enough diapers for the week. I want to be the one to hand out the pillows.

So who wants me?

Who can help me?

Who is coming along for the next chapter in the book of Jodi?

Why, Mr. Pulver, I hardly know you...

So, wow, yeah.

#140ConfOnt - You blew my mind.

I laughed, I cried, I fulfilled my dream of one day skipping out of a building with the Kitestring team.

I also will never be the same.

I had the privilege of speaking at the Ontario 140 conference in Kitchener yesterday. For 10 minutes. For 10 minutes they said - you own that stage. "You will be great!" "You will rock!" -- I was more worried about throwing up on some ones shoes.

For 10 minutes I told my story. Not the whole story, not even a fraction of my story, but I told the part that mattered in that moment. I'll be honest, I have NO idea what I said. Something about Oprah and pillows I'm told, makes sense, sounds like something I would do. What I said truly wasn't as important as what happened when I walked off that stage.

I fell in love.

I walked off the stage into a sea of open arms ready to hold me and tell me I was amazing and strong and brave. That I was funny and heart-warming. That I was ok. I managed to hold it together on stage, but off stage the release of this weight from my shoulders was followed by many many tears.

I went outside, I took deep breaths, I looked back at the hundreds of people who had just held my hand through something so hard and I fell in love with each and every single one of them. I fell in love with the human race again. My switch was flicked and I saw the world not as something I was going to be battling against forever, but as something I would be battling for.

I was ready to take on the world in that moment.

Walking back into the conference my phone was vibrating almost non-stop. I had to turn off the vibration because it was so distracting. My twitter timeline was blowing up. People at the conference, people at home, in offices, in parks were tweeting about me. I can only assume that this is the social media equivalent of a rockstar having their name chanted at a concert. I couldn't keep up, hell twitter couldn't keep up.

Then I saw it... "KarmicEvolution is top trending now in Canada."

In Canada.



I turned to Laurel Crossley and handed her my phone. Then... its a blur of tears and sobs and hugs. I sent that phone all over the damn conference. Shock, glee, amazement - 11 am I started dreaming and apparently wasn't waking up any time soon. To quote the Record "Immediately following her 10-minute talk she was trending higher than pop sensation Justin Bieber on Twitter".


Can we take a minute and just digest how HUGE that is?!

Justin Goddamn Fucking Bieber!

Wandering in a teary daze around the lobby of the conference, I was super thankful for Jeff Pulvers hug policy. The hugs and love and positivity were coming in fast and furious. People I look up to like Jeff Pulver and Alexandria Durrell and Craig and Wendy Silva were using words like "proud" and "rockstar" and I was in a fog of joy and disbelief.

Then I had another moment of realisation... Jeff Pulver - this icon of social media. A man with brilliance and inspiration to spare - cared. He wasn't just a figure head. He wasn't someone to be intimidated by. He was a guy who genuinely loved watching people succeed and be inspired. Money, fame, position meant nothing, he was one of us. We were all just people. In a room full of entrepreneurs, home makers, business people, dads, sisters, uncles, wives... we had more in common then we knew. Status meant nothing. We were there to just be, we had actually entered the state of now.

I also realised I wanted to work for Jeff Pulver and feel what he gets to feel every day. I actually may have wanted to BE Jeff Pulver but I was willing to settle for living vicariously through him.

Which leads me to McCabes. Most of McCabes was a blur too. The people, the food, the lights, the booze. The whole room was radiating light and for once I felt completely comfortable standing in this crowd. After all, we were just people.

Standing outside with Jacki Yovanoff and Chris Farias, two of my closest friends, someone must have dropped some magic dust. Jeff walks out with Stephanie Montreuil and I say something along the lines of "I think my new dream is to work for you Jeff". As my friends are pimping me as the perfect employee, it happened.



I can't even remember at this point what was said, how it was said, or if I stayed upright.

And now my big news.

I will be speaking at the 140 Conference in New York in June.


Little Ol' 10th grade educated, unemployed, solo mom me.


I think my name is Jodi, but honestly I also think I'm still asleep.

To see the record article click here.

To see the stream of the conference (I am at roughly minute 21) click here.

And please take the time to watch the other amazing speakers! Especially my friends Chris Farias and the Kitestring Crew, Craig Silva, Heather Hamilton, Laurel Crossley, Chris Eh Young, Alexandria Durrell, Taylor Jones, Dee Brun and of course Jeff Pulver.


I Never Knew...

Three years ago I didn't know I wanted to be a mom. I just knew there was a tiny perfect being in my arms and I couldn't let go. Over the last three years I've learned a lot and now I want to share that with all of you.

I've learned that it IS completely different with your own child. Poop, pee, puke, pre-chewed food all seems quite normal when it comes from your own kid.

I've learned showers are a luxury not to be taken for granted.

I've learned when buying socks, always buy in large packages that are all exactly the same.

I've learned the best friends a woman can have are her mother and her daughter.

I've learned that the past is the past and there is a lot of forgiveness available for those who ask.

I've learned that age is a number, it's your state of mind thats important.

I've learned that friends who are true don't fault you for mistakes but learn from them with you.

I've learned that sometimes you just have to laugh.

I've learned that sometimes you just have to cry.

I've learned that parents are expected to know the names of every dog, cat, squirrel and bird that exists on the planet.

I've learned there is a lot of dogs named Jim.

I've learned that people will not last forever, but their dreams never die.

I've learned the more people you trust with the skeletons in your closet, the faster they turn to dust.

I've learned kindness and beauty is everywhere if you look hard enough.

I've learned if your children are involved you can do anything.

I've learned that eventually you stop thinking about how actions impact yourself and start thinking about how actions impact your world.

I've learned you can live without food and shelter but without love you die.

I've learned dreams are the wish your heart makes, but truth is what makes you push for them.

I've learned I don't hate Disney Princesses - but I still hate Barney.

I've learned that sleep is not something I will ever get used to not having enough of.

I've learned I will never stop wishing my grandparents could be here watching my daughter grow with me.

I've learned that princesses can be tomboys and it is perfectly acceptable to wear your crown in the dirt.

I've learned that to really see your child you have to look through someone elses eyes.

I've learned that some days are just a write off. Accept it and move on.

I've learned I can live with nothing more happily then buried in stuff.

I've learned I don't know how to let go of some of the past and not panic over little things.

I've learned that where deep breathing fails, wine succeeds.

I've learned that if being yourself isn't enough then the standards are too high.

I've learned that Disney Junior is far superior to Treehouse TV.

I've learned it's ok to be happy.

I've learned that my world doesn't revolve around my child, rather we orbit together keeping each other from randomly flying off into space.

I've learned that those wacky wavy arm flailing tube men will always make me smile.

I've learned you are never alone if you have a twitter account.

I've learned so so many things, my list could go on forever but my brain is screaming for sleep. I think the most important thing I've learned though is that I never stop learning as long as I keep my head high and my heart open.


It Just Ain't Pretty

My twitter bio says "Fierce fighter" and I often get asked "What up with that yo?" (I may want to start teaching English but I digress). I usually just laugh and say "If you ever find out it will be too late.". Today was a possible example of my fierceness when my friends happen to be the subject.

Now I'm not getting into details, it's past, it's gone, it's water under the bridge but a good lesson in social media etiquette. A few people I am very close to were in a round about way accused of cheating in a contest. Now as high schoolish as this may sound, many of these friends have careers based strongly in or specifically surrounding their online presence. These are people with clients that need to find them trustworthy and ethical in all situations, INCLUDING an internet contest.

Lets just say I left none of my thoughts on the situation in my head.

Social media is an all encompassing playground with people from all points of life and what gets put on the internet can not be taken back and forgotten, the internet is forever. Now what you do to your own personal reputation is up to you. Hell I've been told on more then one occasion I may be too brash or forward or "not PR friendly" online. I choose to project myself on to the internet with no filters. Yes this does limit my opportunities every so often, but this is my choice.

Now if I was to project something on to another person in a negative light I had better be damn sure I know what I'm talking about and have good reason for doing so simply due to the fact that I am taking that persons reputation into my hands. That's the funny thing about the internet - you put two random words in a search engine and you never know what will show up. If I tweet about a company service failure that tweet can and will be found one day and will possibly impact the future use of that company.

It's cooties for grown ups. If Timmy tells the whole school yard Sally has cooties, Sally will inevitably hear about it the rest of the year. Thankfully kids have the summer to forget things and find someone new with cooties. Imagine if any time someone said "cooties" Timmy popped up out of nowhere to point fingers at Sally. THIS is what the internet is. A never ending pointing of fingers screaming "Sally has cooties!".

Next time you make an offhand, backhand, random comment about someone think about this...

Elephants and the internet - two things that never forget.


I am not a pimp

Those of you who know me know I'm not a product or service pimp. I have to be SERIOUSLY in love with something to tell people about it. When I do love something though, I am the worlds greatest promoter (ask Clippo or Mabels Labels lol).

All that being said... I'm totally about to do a completely unsolicited service gush!

A couple weeks ago I tweeted my desperate need for a haircut and my absolute refusal to go to a cheapy haircutting joint. My lovely friend Robin posted to her salon to see if they could help me out, and the twitter snowball began its roll. I was invited to come out to Salon Monzer in downtown Oakville to get a real haircut. I was stoked.

Until I got there...

We've all met me, I'm not classy. I try, but for real? I'm a beer and chips, pub going, jeans wearing mom. I love my make-up and girly things, I just like them to be special. I do decently with trendy, ok with appropriate, horribly with classy.

So walking up the stairs to Salon Monzer I suddenly realized I was completely out of my element. Cue social anxiety disorder. Breathe deep, breathe deep, focus on twitter, will self not to sweat myself stupid - because we all know what an attractive look the sweaty-hyperventilating look is. Despite my probable look of panic, I was warmly greeted, offered a beverage and offered a seat to wait for my stylist.

Which wasn't a long wait I must say. I blinked and TADA Mikey was over introducing himself and helping me into a silky robe...


Aww fuck a robe? For real?! As a big woman I bloody well HATE places that think its great to offer you a robe that they have bought in one size fits all, that really only fits size 10 and under and then you get squeezed into this robe and you refuse to breathe or move because if you rip it then you'll feel like an idiot and who needs that kind of embarrassment. Yeah, ok, so the robe thing stressed me out and the panic started to come back.


The lovely robe fit no problem. I was starting to relax.

Now I wont get into the bits and pieces of the haircut itself, it was the experience that matters (Though trust me, I friggen LOVE my hair). Through the whole discussion of what to do with my mop, Mikey was nothing but sweet and professional. I basically gave free reign and trusted him completely (smartest choice ever). Theres something about having your head in a sink that changes how you feel. You start to relax, you breathe better, tension washes down the sink. Easy banter with Mikey combined with great smells and the feeling of being a little bit pampered... I have to be honest, I finally felt like I was doing something just for me.

I can't say enough good things about Mikey (aka The Genius!). On top of being incredibly talented as a stylist, he was just an all around sweet guy. A good listener and a great story teller, you felt like you were talking with an old friend. I was comfortable, I was relaxed, I was entertained. Not to mention he is just cuter then frolicking puppies.

My whole head felt completely different. Lighter, tingly... I think my hair was actually in shock at how great it was being treated. Almost a week later and it still feels different to the touch, and is so easy to manage. Plus I have yet to find even one strand of hair that wasn't cut or styled properly. It takes work for me to get my hair to look bad, and since I don't have that kind of time it always looks fantastic.

Not only did I leave Salon Monzer with a fantastic new hair cut (That EVERYONE loved and commented on btw), I left feeling relaxed, refreshed and happy. I left knowing I would be back. In 28 years I havn't ever been this impressed with a stylist or a salon, EVER.

The only downside? I didn't bring cool enough clothes to wear with my new funky hair.

Salon Monzer is located at 128 Lakeshore Road East in Downtown Oakville.
Contact them at 905-842-7222

@SalonMonzer and @MiiKeyStyles on Twitter.


I'm Positively Positive

A lot of shitty things have happened over the past month. Hell just the last couple of days have involved earthquakes, tornadoes and the death of a wonderful Canadian. My personal life has had #facebookbreakup, a pretty serious depressive episode and anxiety attacks. Yeah, the last few weeks have been uber shitty. My life mantra has been getting a workout... Just keep swimming.

But the sun is out today, my kid is behaving and Im scheduled for a haircut and an evening with some of my favourite people. I think its time for some positive, happy things that have been overshadowed by the dark clouds.

1. Pillows and Banana Bread - There is nothing as awesome as friends who are nice for the sake of being nice. Melissa showed up at my door with fluffy new pillows for Monkey and I after I randomly tweeted about wishing we had new ones and Tammy offered up a loaf of banana bread (WITH FLAX) when Monkey may or may not have swallowed a penny. Still have no idea if she did swallow a penny though :S.

2. Tuesdays with Tacos - Bobby O'Briens dollar tacos. Does this even need explanation?!

3. Cheap Gas - Now that gas prices are SO high a few places have started having gas sale days. I got gas for 120.1!

4. Salvation Army Thrift Store deals - Went looking for fascinator pieces (which I didnt find sadly) but found out there was a buy 10 pieces of kids clothes for 10 bucks sale! Got sweatshirts for Monkey for daycare super cheap!

5. Old Music Favourites - Also while at the Sally Anne I found some old school CDs that I will totally be jamming out to today!

6. Public Displays of Remembrance - When it was reported the Jack Layton passed away this week Canadians of all political stripes were saddened and grief spread across the country. We came together to support each other and remember a remarkable Canadian taken too soon. His final words to his "friends" inspired us all and memorials of every type popped up all over the country.

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton

7. Helping Hands - After the tornado ripped through Goderich we were all in shock something like this could happen here. Shock didn't stop people from jumping to action though with donations and volunteers coming together quickly to help people start cleaning up and rebuilding their lives.

8. Twitter - Ok I love twitter all the time, its nothing new. Information and support flying in 24/7. Amazing people willing to put themselves out there 140 characters at a time. Including keeping those in stairwells hiding from tornadoes updated on the weather lol.

9. Misunderstandings - Seriously when one friend messages you to ask if they can unfollow the guy they thought broke up with you on facebook but its really a friend you adore who happens to have a s/o that isn't you, it might be the funniest thing that could ever happen. I'm still laughing. Hard.

10. Randomly Naked Children - When two three year olds get together with a water table someone is gonna get wet. Stripping them of wet clothes and letting them run around and be kids in just underwear reminds us of the freedom you have being a kid. Its a great feeling watching kids be free and innocent.

Ok... Now its your turn! Yes I'm serious! Lets find something positive and tell each other about it! I'm expecting some very happy comments lol.


I'm Still Here

The next few months are opening up opportunities for me to show myself how far I have come over the past 5 years. I've been homeless, I've lived in a strange city, I've been pregnant, I've had surgery, I've mentally fallen apart, I've physically fallen apart and yet... I'm still here.

Do you hear that?


I have taken everything the world has thrown at me and I. Am. Still. Here.

Yeah, Ive become a mom, I make life work despite poverty, I have a home, I have healed physical wounds. To me though, nothing compares to the fact that I am still here. All the nights i've laid wondering if I could take one more thing, if I was being selfish to include a beautiful little girl in my messed up life, if the sun really was going to come up in the morning and if I would see my breath in the crisp winter air one more time. All the days I used nap time to bawl my face off, took 2 minutes shelter in my room to scream silently into a pillow, the days I broke down unable to contain my anger and frustration.

I'm still here.

I have ripped hair from my head, scratched my arms raw, fallen to the floor and wept like a child. I have experienced death, deception, theft, and gaping open stab wounds to my back.

I'm still here.

The medication helps, but only if you want it to help. I've danced, I've sang, I've written and I have hugged my way out of the depths of a hell my own mind can't help but create for itself. My brain misfires and is fundamentally flawed, but dammit...

I'm still here.

Every breath.

Every tear.

Everything I have done wrong.

Everything I've managed to get right.

I've been pushed to the limits of what a human can tolerate, looked over the edge and said "Fuck you! This is my life and you can't have it!". I have slowly, and with many bumps along the way, taken back what is rightfully mine.

I'm Still Here.

I still don't have all the details, all the answers, all the finances for how I'm going to make any of this happen, but when I step up to tell my story at 140 conference and when I sit down to listen to others knowledge at Blissdom, I will be looking my demons in the eye and screaming -

"You took so much from me but I kept my lungs full of air. I kept my heart beating. I kept my soul full of love and light. I'M STILL HERE!"

I thought I told you...

A couple of weeks ago I told you about a contest from centrsource where your business could win 15,000 dollars. I also told you it ended July 31st.


They've extended the contest! Now you have until August 30th to take part in this awesome contest and get free advertising just for entering!

Not so much into entering contests for your business? How do you feel about voting? How do you feel about free iPad 2s? Well then get over there and start voting! Weekly prizes are being handed out and you're missing them!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Go HERE - enter or vote for a business - have a happy hump day!


I Know How I'm Going To Die

In a fire, sitting on my couch. Same for Monkey I'm going to assume.

"Why?" you ask... because I live in the Boy Who Cried Wolf building.

My building has monthly fire alarm testing, which I appreciate completely, however they've stopped informing us of it. We used to have notices posted about 2 days in advance telling us when the testing was going to take place. For almost 2 years they gave us advance notice and suddenly it's stopped.

First few times it happened I grabbed my keys and my kid and bolted out the door, down the stairs and out of the building. Usually in PJs no one should see and with my kid wrapped in a blanket (because I live in Canada and lets face it, it was cold until May). Only to arrive outside, alone, and have the alarm turn off. Out of breath and sweaty from the panicked dash down the stairs, I'd go back to my apartment swearing under my breath and out loud on twitter.

The last few times I've waited. Usually about 2 minutes into the screeching alarm I wander over to the door to see if theres smoke or heat or people on fire and about the same time the alarm usually turns off. So this time, as I'm sitting in my underwear and Monkey is buck naked potty training I start to think "Man if this was real we'd look pretty funny running outside" and then I was like "This would be the time it was real, wait, is it real? Am I sitting here casually ignoring the possible impending death of Monkey and I?". I grab my keys, a blankie to wrap around Monkey and Monkey and start for the door when... you guessed it.... alarm turns off.

These un-notified alarm testings are basically numbing me and the baby to the fire alarm and how and why it's so important to have. Monkey isn't learning fire safety at all, she's learning fire alarm annoyance. I want to use the alarms as practices for her, but I wont do it when she or I is half naked or if I'm cooking or doing something that by leaving it could actually cause a fire. I want to be prepared, I dont want her to be prepared (other then dressed) but I want to be prepared. Practising when it could cause issues is just as irresponsible as not practising IMO. Plus knowing when they're going to happen makes sure that if the alarm goes off at a not designated time, we know to actually leave the building, and not just sit and wait to find out if its a test.

Now I'm at a crossroads, do I write a letter to the landlord (a non-profit agency providing geared to income housing) stating my concerns and asking why the testing times are no longer posted? Or just start bolting from the building everytime the alarm goes off?


I don't need 15 grand...

So lately I've been seeing a LOT of cool contests out there. No crazy sign ups that need everything back to your great-uncles date of birth or needing credit cards or anything (FINALLY!). This might take the cake though.


Not that any of you need $15,000 right? Nope, not us, we're rolling in extra cash. Oh, you're not? Wanna be?

Centrsource is giving anyone, yes ANYONE, with a business (or a great business idea) a chance to win $15,000 PLUS free advertising. Plus runner up prizes and even prizes for voters. Money, advertising, iPads... this is the jackpot of contests!

Any business (or idea, registered or not) is welcome to participate! Etsy shop, cleaning business, restaurant, daycare, toy maker, butcher, baker even a candle stick maker can get in on this.

Oh, want some more incentive? How about a couple free months of advertising just for entering? Yeah, that's basically saving your business 100 bucks JUST because you entered to win $15,000. CRAZY!

So, you're going to want to run (or click) over to HERE before July 31st, 2011 and enter! (Open to Canadians minus Quebec)

Still reading eh? Not sure why... Shouldn't you be, oh, I don't know, ENTERING?!


The Battle Of Cotton Scented Doom

Somewhere in my house there is an angry,sticky, wheezing spider that smells cottony fresh.

So I`m sitting on my couch, minding my business, when I happen to glance up at my ceiling and see 3 massive spiders having some kind of spider meeting (Or maybe an orgy, I don`t know, I don`t speak spider). I play it cool, let them chill and having their little get together and then one of them decides to peace out and starts a decent towards the couch I am currently sitting on.

Since the damn thing is as big as a small dog I immediately started shouting ``Òh no you don`t`` and clapping at it in a deranged manner similar to someone trying to distract a toddler from a candy/balloon/toy/free puppy store. Suddenly he started to retreat and I realised it was not my voice or the clapping but the fact that I am now panic panting hard enough to send his web-line swinging. I barely have time to catch my breath when wise guy number two starts making his way down towards me.

Deciding that I will have none of that and being the truly modern and brave woman that I am, I immediately jump up from my seat, squeal my super high pitched battle cry and bolt for something in an aerosol can to battle the intruder with. Not wanting to have to touch the corpse, I also grabbed my vacuum hose section. Now armed with Glade air freshner and a vacuum, I approached the ring leader as it once again made its attempted decent.

That's when I struck!

While squealing (its a battle cry! Remember?!) I took aim and fired! Shooting a mist of fresh linen scented death at him. Finger still on the trigger I realised it wasnt working, so I kicked on the vacuum, ready to suck the little bastard into oblivion! To my horror I realised that the vacuum hose wasn't sucking anything in and I had inadvertently given him an escape into the protection of the nozzle!

Then it happened... 2 or maybe 3, probably closer to 35 creepy crawly legs came out of the hose not even half an inch from my hand. I threw the hose, kicked off the vacuum, and stepped back to try to make my own escape from the epic death match I was entangled in. I stepped back, right onto a dinky car. Since I wasn't paying attention to the other two conspirators I can only assume it was placed there by them while I was distracted with attacker number one.

Falling over on to more strategically placed toys, I frantically scrambled backwards to get away, having lost sight of my opponent. Knowing how fast a spider normally can move, it was only logical to assume an angry, freshly scented spider moves faster. Pulling myself to my feet I lunged for the bathroom to seek out another weapon, when I realised something was wrong. My lunge landing foot seemed unwilling to support my landing weight and once again I found myself on the floor at the mercy of my eight legged nemesis.

Hobbling I managed to retreat to the bathroom where I found the ultimate in anti-spider weaponry, hairspray. Slowly, carefully I returned to the location of our battle, re-armed and ready to finish what I started. He, however, was nowhere to be found. Obviously having taken the opportunity to leave and regroup in preparation for our inevitable future meeting. The epic battle never over until one of us lay dead. As a reminder to his cohorts of what too could happen to them, I liberally coated his last known location with hairspray.

I then returned to my seat. Where I am now, with hairspray at the ready, telling you, my loyal readers of my epic fight. I tell you this in hopes that should the battle continue and I not make it back, you will share my story with the world. Tell the people of my sacrifice and journey and hopefully it will prevent them from having to travel the same path I did.

A path that ends in victory for no one, but a super fresh smelling house for at least an hour.



Y'all may not know this but U2 is my dream concert band. I've never been to one of those giant, lights and smoke type concerts. In fact the biggest concert I've been to was probably Kelly Clarkson at Center In The Square in Kitchener. I knew all the words (still do!) and I got to hear her sing “Why” by Annie Lennox. It blew my mind. That being said I think if I ever got to go to one of those super big concerts for someone like U2, I would probably need to bring oxygen.

I'd also probably have had to have won the lottery. Concert tickets arn't cheap by any means. Especially U2! Have you looked online at people selling tickets?! Thousands of dollars... It's effing insane! That doesn't even include food or transportation or parking or a place to stay or a souvenir or anything. Chances are you're also sitting in the nose bleeds. Watching the concert on a screen because the stage is so far away you're not sure if you're watching Bono and the Edge or a kindergarten presentation of The Ants Go Marching.

So long story short I dream of seeing U2 in concert and have for YEARS! Closest I've gotten to it is seeing some random drunk guy serenading his date of the night at karaoke with With Or Without You or concert footage on TV. Until now...

Ok well not like officially until now but its more likely now lol. Get Tickets has a contest running on facebook for the July 11th, 2011 show in Toronto to see U2! Its floor seats, dinner and an overnight stay for 2, and they're giving away 2 of them!! So in hopes that I may convince you to bring me along if you win I'm telling you about it. More people I know entering is more people I know who might win and bring me along right?

SO... Run on over here http://apps.facebook.com/utwo-get-tickets/blog and enter. Theres no skill testing, friend sending (unless you want to) crap to fill out. Just like it and you're in!

Don't get me wrong I do plan on winning, however should there be a glitch in my plan I have no problem going with one of you lovely angels.


Tweetstock V - Part 2: Not Chris Farias

My last post went a little off track. I can't help it, when a man smells like candy, and spreads glitter and awesome I am easily led astray. Ok so a well timed ball of tinfoil being thrown can lead me astray, I'm easily distracted, not the point.

So, Tweetstock 5, what's up with that? Well, it's a group of people coming together to inspire more people to come together through the use of social media and, well, just being social in general. Getting out into your community and making things happen.

I got a PRIMO seat in the couch row. Tweetstock 4 may have been short seats but Tweetstock 5 made up for it with giant comfy leather couches in the front row, where I happened to be sitting. The only downfall of the venue? Being in the basement of a mall almost completely cut off my network connection leaving me...
UNABLE TO TWEET! I won't lie, if I hadn't been in a room full of 3-D tweeters this might have caused me some serious withdraw issues. So I took out my ipod and rapid blogged in tweet length thoughts into my notepad. This left me with an odd jumble of quotes and random thoughts like:

"Yes I did just admit to getting lost between tweetstock 4 and the tweetstock 4 after party"

"Youre not tweeting Kevins a douch right?"

"Oh just FYI... I met AND hugged @kitestring. He smells like chocolate and awesome!"

"Real humans joke about balls"

"What's the point of social media if you arnt social?"

And then the one that stuck with me, "Nobody really knows what they're doing".

Yeah that last one really did stick with me. From
Josh Bean, founder and executive director of the Brantford Arts Block with a laundry list of resume building awesomeness. Part I loved the most about Josh? He actually was just a guy with an idea. I loved that he wasn't one of those guys who "always knew it was going to work" or "everything went exactly as I thought it would all the time". He was just a guy, standing in a store front, asking the world to love music and the arts.

It pretty much came up and smacked me in the face. Nobody really knows what they're doing. Nobody. I was sitting in a room full of people who lived a life of trial and error, just like me. Just because I may not know what Im doing right now, each and every single person in that room at one point was me. Successful, just starting out, young, old, social, anti social, self employed, married, uneducated... None of that matters, none of it, because nobody really knows what they're doing. Weird thing to be inspired by I know, but I totally was. For the first time I looked around and saw the playing field as a flat even surface. For the first time I felt like an equal. A nice surprise to have a moment like that out of the blue.

I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the evening. Amanda Kinnard, Marc LaFerriere, David Yoon, Deb Lowther and the rest of the speakers brought intelligence, humour and humanity to a form of media that often can seem cold and disconnected.
Bringing the social media community into the streets of our cities and neighbourhoods. Making it tangible and useful for everyone. No longer just geeks and techies and computer nerds in basements, we are using social media to become innovators and propel us into a better, more connected future.

What I was looking forward to the most was hearing my friend, Jason Dykstra, speak. I know Jay as an easy-going, smart, beer lovin' Dad with a soft spot for plaid. I always knew he was a mediator, but I honestly just didn't see it. I didn't get that, you didn't need to be in conflict to understand conflict. Reality is, I'm pretty much walking conflict. I'm super easy to misinterpret and not everyone gets me (luckily I also have natural charm and smile and laugh easily at myself), but Jay has always come across as laid back and the last person to throw himself into the middle of a fight. What I didn't realise was that he wasn't just breaking up fights, he was solving puzzles. He was taking conflicts, breaking them down to their basic elements and reconstructing the pieces in a way that made them work. Rather then taking two puzzles and trying to shove them together into one picture, he takes the pieces and creates a new image. Yeah, I was blown away by Jason and seriously proud to have been the front row fan that yelled out " I LOVE YOU JASON!" before he even spoke.

Oh man, I feel like I've rambled again and I havn't even gotten to the rest of my tweeple who make my days fun and my nights entertaining. Yup... theres gonna have to be a part 3. I'm ok with it.