COVID-19 And My Loss Of Faith In Humanity

I really had no intentions of coming on here and ranting about the COVID-19 pandemic. I didn’t feel like I had enough to say to justify a blog post but as time passes, things continue to change, and more issues arise…I feel like I really need to air some grievances.

I keep seeing a lot of people sharing information from unreliable sources. It should be pretty obvious if a source is legitimate, credible, and reliable or not. But apparently not everyone has the ability to differentiate. If a post is just a screen shot of someone’s Facebook post that literally anyone could have typed up… it’s not a credible source. And there is so much danger in these posts spreading. The spread of information from unreliable sources results in the possibility of the spread of incorrect information, which in turn creates misinformed people. And misinformed people are dangerous. It can create unnecessary panic, it can create a false sense of security, and worst of all it can create people who don’t know how to properly protect themselves.

I remember when this pandemic first started and people were sharing a Facebook post that said drinking water can kill the virus. It was a Facebook post created with the Facebook feature that allows you to put a colorful background on your status update. Can you believe people actually shared that?

On the topic of wearing masks. A non-medical grade face mask may not keep you from becoming infected with the virus, but it can stop you from spreading the virus with your droplets if you are a carrier but aren’t showing symptoms. I’ll repeat that, because I know a lot of people who can’t seem to absorb this information:

You can spread the virus if you are not showing symptoms.

This is why social distancing is so important. Keeping that 6 foot distance from people outside of your household allows enough space to reduce the risk of you spreading the virus. Not just through a cough or sneeze but simply through speaking to someone.

There are a lot of people out there who think that masks are pointless, they aren’t going to help anyone etc. Those people seem to be some of the most outspoken, and also some of the most misinformed.

“Why are you wearing a mask when you’re in your car alone?” The answer is, when you touch your mask it becomes contaminated. So in order to be using a mask properly you have to leave it on until you’re at home and can remove it safely.

They question why the government is just now recommending that we wear masks. They are recommending that we wear masks when we are in situations where social distancing is more difficult. Which is more likely to happen now that more businesses are reopening.

If you feel the need to call people stupid, or scared sheep, because they wear a mask, because they are taking every possible precaution to protect themselves, their families, their community; you’re a dick. How are they hurting you by wearing a mask?

Don’t be a dick. People are dying.

Thousands of Canadians, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, have died in such a short period of time. If those people had died in any other way; an explosion, a shooting, murder, a plane crash…wouldn’t you care? Why is this any less tragic? Why should we just let our vulnerable population die? They are people who are loved and they deserve to survive this just as much as anyone else. And if you actually think it’s only the sick and the elderly dying of this, you’re wrong.

Don’t tell people they are stupid or paranoid because they are taking these simple precautions to stop themselves from spreading the virus. Even if you disagree with someone, even if you don’t care about getting sick, other people do and you still need to respect them. Respect their right to a 6 foot personal bubble. I know that if I found out I had given someone the virus and they died, I would feel fucking horrible. Wouldn’t you? Would you take this pandemic seriously if it were your love one who died?

Your actions affect other people. Just don’t be a dick. Why is that so hard?

I see people who don’t trust the government because they keep changing what advice they give us. This is a new virus and they are learning new things about it every day, so yeah their advice might change a little…but if you don’t mind I’m still going to take my medical advice from a doctor and not from some asshole on Facebook who can’t even formulate a thought using proper English.

I’m not taking precautions because I’m scared to get sick, I’m not scared to get sick because I’m taking the proper precautions.

Overall, this pandemic has really made me lose faith in humanity.

Don Cherry Steps Down From SportsNet

This is not typically something I would bother to write about. I am not a sports writer, nor a sports buff. But one of the hot topics in Canada right now is Don Cherry being forced to step down from his position on Coach’s Corner because of some xenophobic remarks about how he doesn’t see immigrants wearing poppies.

First off, he could have just generalized this. He absolutely didn’t have to go all, “you people come here…”. He could have just said “I am seeing less people wearing poppies”. That’s the issue, less people wearing poppies. Don’t bring immigration into this. We need to pay respect to ALL veterans, not just the white Canadians. Race has nothing to do with a lack of respect for veterans during Remembrance Day. He also could have just apologized. He could have just said, “I didn’t mean for it to come across as racist, I just want to see more people in our country support our veterans”, and his job would have been saved. But the fact that he REFUSED to stand down, shows intent to be racist/xenophobic. It’s almost 2020, we need to do better; and that includes apologizing when we put our foot in our mouth.

The lack of apology brings me to my next thought. I am seeing a lot of people compare this incident to Justin Trudeau’s “Black Face” Scandal. Now, I am not condoning Justin Trudeau’s actions. He did an awful thing. But this also happened 20 years ago, when people were far more ignorant to the problems behind black face. He has since owned up to his mistake and apologized for it. He has grown. We were absolutely outraged when this happen, don’t act like people weren’t. But there is a difference between a person who made a mistake 20 years ago, a person who will acknowledge their mistake, apologize for it, and strive to be better…and someone who is actively expressing racism in 2019 with no regrets.

I am also seeing a lot of people say things like, “what happened to freedom of speech/expression?”. Don Cherry is absolutely entitled to his opinion. But he works in media and was using his media platform to express these opinions. Which ties back to his employer. It’s one thing to express an opinion on your own private platform but when what you say reflects on your employer, and your opinions may be less than flattering, your employer is going to have a problem with that. As someone who works in media, I get that. If I used my employers platform to spread hate, they’d be pissed. You can say whatever you want when you’re a nobody.

Overall, I wouldn’t say that I am outraged one way or the other. I think that Don Cherry is an 85 year old man who said something ignorant. He could have apologized and we might have been able to move on. I personally think he should have been pulled off air years ago, I found him incredibly difficult to watch.

Let’s just do better, guys. Let’s think about how what we say and do sounds/looks to people of colour. Let’s just care about other people. And let’s wear a poppy to pay respect to veterans.

Update: since publishing this post, Don Cherry has admitted he wishes he had used different language in his statement, but he has stood by what he said and has still not issued an official apology.

I will share a few links to stories in case you don’t know what I’m talking about. I would also like to share a Facebook post from NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh.

When Friendships Become Toxic

Have you ever stopped being friends with someone and felt relief? Have you ever been absolutely exhausted trying to maintain a friendship? Have you ever felt obligated to maintain a friendship? These friendships, are toxic.

6 years ago when I moved to Alberta, I didn’t have any friends. The first friends I made were two girls I worked with. Out of the two, I connected with one more than the other, but she moved away after only a few months because her position was temporary. The other one and I maintained a friendship for 6 years, but recently went about what Gwyneth Paltrow calls a “conscious uncoupling”. See, in those 6 years of friendship, I’m not even sure I liked her very much. She was incredibly spoiled, entitled, condescending. She always talked like she was better than everyone. If you didn’t do things her way, you were doing it wrong; especially when it came to being a mother. But since she was my first friend here and one of my only friends in Alberta, I felt obligated to maintain this friendship. Things came to an end when her privilege and entitlement left her blind to her wrong doings and I couldn’t bite my tongue anymore. No anger, no bad blood; I felt relief. I had finally let go of a toxic friendship.

I no longer have the energy for hate.

You aren’t going to like every person you cross paths with in life; but when you let go of hatred, you will feel so much lighter. Don’t let someone else’s negative energy ruin your day.

At this point in my life, I have so few close friends, and I’m not interested in maintaining friendships that are tearing me down. As I get older, I don’t have the time or the energy for those toxic friendships. Are you worried to tell them they aren’t the maid of honor at your wedding because they’ll be mad? Toxic. Do they tell you who you can and can’t be friends with? Toxic. Do they cause you stress? Toxic. Do they make you feel bad about yourself? Toxic. Do they make you feel undervalued? Unwelcome? Toxic. Do they make you question their loyalty? Toxic. Do they create barriers than interfere with other relationships? Toxic.

This is how you Marie Kondo your friends list. Is it exhausting? Is it stressful? Is it built on obligation? Do they spark more frustration than joy? Thank them for their service and let go.

Just writing this, I feel so much lighter. I will no longer put energy into relationships with people who value me less than I value them.


Dear, Tarte Cosmetics – Rant

Hey everybody, today I want to rant a little bit. Over the years I have expressed a lot of love for the Tarte Cosmetics brand. Today, I want to express some strong feelings against them.

Shape Tape, Shape Tape Foundation, Amazonian Clay Foundation, their highlighters, their blushes, all amazing. I have had both successes and failures with their eye shadows; Tartelette palettes, big yes. If the eye shadow has that vanilla smell I know it’s a good one, but I’ve also bought eye shadow palettes from their holiday collections that are dry, pigmentless trash. The Sex Kitten liquid liners and their mascaras have all worked wonderfully me as well. The Color Splash lipstick in Salt Lyfe is my ride or die nude shade. So these are the products I will stand by. I will continue to purchase my foundation, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, concealer, lipsticks, blushes and highlighters from Tarte; they work for me.

I am so tired of their recent collections and all this “Fla-mingle” shit really triggered me. If you have seen what they released today, you know what I am talking about. They have become a complete joke with cheap looking packaging.

Earlier this week I sent Tarte Cosmetics an angry email after yet another brush fell apart on me. The head fell off one of my Make Believe In Yourself brushes, one of my Back To School set brushes lost all it’s bristols, and just recently the head fell off one of my Nicol Concilio brushes. I told them they should be embarrassed to take people’s money for this garbage.  I have expressed a lot of love for Tarte brushes in the past. They are always super soft, they always leave a beautiful finish and make application so easy; I will never buy another brush set from Tarte Cosmetics. They are GARBAGE. Individual brushes seem to be better, but you also pay more for them. They are mass manufacturing these brush sets and selling them, on average, for $8 a brush; they end up falling apart. I initially received an email back from customer service asking for my order numbers, I haven’t heard back and it’s been a couple days.

Do. Not. Waste. Your. Money. I never will again.

Kat Von D offers a wonderful selection of cruelty free brushes, purchase those instead.

During the Evening News They Start with “Good Evening” and Then Proceed To Tell You Why It Isn’t.

I’m a creative person, I love music, and I’m curious by nature; all these things led me to a career in the media. But more specifically, radio. I’m just a producer; I spend my days making commercials and imaging, with my one 6 hour voice tracked show once a week. But there are people in this building who chose to spend their lives scrolling through news stories about murders, terrorist attacks, wars, kidnappings, and car crashes. Not because they like reading those stories, that’s just our world today. It’s not pretty, but it’s what is happening.

In December 2010, there was a shooting in our area. Two innocent lives were taken. Two beloved women. A man was arrested for it, but his trial kept getting held over until this week; 5 and a half years later. Our news team was reporting on it.

The 911 call was released to the media, something that is usually done in situations like this. Our news team chose to share it; a decision that did not come lightly. As difficult as it may be for some people to understand, that’s the news. Our job is to share as much information with our listeners as we possibly can. This 911 call was posted on our website, available to anyone who is naturally curious, like ourselves. But some people didn’t like that.

An acquaintance of mine (I put that in italics because she’s hardly even that) made a post on her personal Facebook page about how disrespectful it was, how she was sickened by our decision to share this information.  How it made this difficult time all that much harder for her. But we did not force her to listen, we did not broadcast it live on air. If you heard it you made that decision on your own. So of course, when my team is being called disgusting and heartless, I stood up for them. I told them, it’s not pretty but it’s the news and it’s their job. And boy, did they hate that. We were accused of seeing this as “just a story”, that as media all we care about is ratings. We’re not even in a rated market.  I was ripped apart for having no compassion, no understanding. I can take it. I’m okay with being witch hunted, I already have the wardrobe.

The media is not evil. News reporters are not heartless sociopaths. They struggle every day to make tough calls about what to share and what not to share. We weren’t the only station to share that 911 call, and if we hadn’t every other station still would have. Other news outlets across our province described every detail of that crime scene. We shared a trimmed version of the call; other outlets shared the entire phone call, it’s transcript, and details about the victims’ positions at time of death. It’s sad, and it’d hard to listen to, but we didn’t force anyone to listen! We were talked about as if it were our fault that it was heard. We were talked about as if we had broadcasted it live on air for everyone to hear. They literally used the word ‘broadcasted’, clearly they don’t know what that word means.

We get complaints when we don’t share enough information, and then we get complaints when we share too much. And we only got complaints because this is the community that was hit. 9 times out of 10 these same people who are complaining would be tuning in to hear about someone else’s tragedy. Attacking the messenger doesn’t change anything. Direct your anger towards the man who took those innocent lives.

You don’t know the discussions that happen in a news room when trying to decide how to approach a difficult topic.  You don’t know what kind of things we have been through personally. You don’t know just how much we understand your pain. We’re a part of this community too. 

I made a lot of enemies by defending my co workers decision to share this 911 call. But I don’t regret it, because I stood up for friends. I stood up for people who have hearts, and whose hearts break for those victims and their loved ones just like everyone else’s.

The world is an ugly place, but if you want to hear news stories about happier things…
start being better people.


Two Suitcases and One Pair of Socks: A Hobbit’s Tale

June 11, 2012 I hoped on a plane to leave Ottawa on a whole new adventure all my own, with only two suitcases and one pair of socks to my name. The past year has been more than I could have ever dreamed, more than I could ever expected and at times, more than I could ever have handled on my own. Being here has changed me. There have been highs and there have been definite lows.

Just days after flying out my grandpa suddenly fell sick, and a couple weeks later he past away. Not being able to go home for that and be there to support my family was tough. If it weren’t for my grandpa, I don’t think my mom ever would have warmed up to the idea of letting me move half way across the country by myself. I owe what I have now to him, and what I’ll have in the years to come to him, and his help in my move to Peace River.

I haven’t seen my dad or sister in a year, or my mom or step dad since October. Which is rough cause you start to feel disconnected. And then there’s my friends, many of which I don’t really talk to all that often anymore. Makes me wonder what things will be like when I visit home in the summer. I miss my friends back home every day, but I have made many friends here who make it bearable. I still speak to my best friend, Anna, quite often. But I’ve also been lucky enough to find a home in Emily, someone who I can count on when I need to talk, even if I don’t like what she’ll say in return. I hope that once I move away I’ll still find the time to come back to Peace River to visit Emily and Curtis as their family grows. Then there the  friend I was forced into, my loud and obnoxious roommate, Mathew. Then we have our two Clark Kents (who I’m PRETTY sure don’t have actual super powers but you never know) Daniele and Logan. And every day my group of friends is growing, with bee keepers, electricians, welders and corrections officers.

I’ve dated a few people while being here. I have felt things, and seen things I’ve never thought possible. Both good, and bad. I came here with a goal. Work hard, establish a career and it’ll only go up from there. Nothing can ruin that.

Other than that, in the past year I have met extraordinary people and have been blessed with radio life. I’ve attended one Bud Country Fever (and actually enjoyed it). I lived through the 2012 Moth Invasion and am currently in the middle of Round 2 against those things. I was at Peacefest 2012 and am geared up and ready for this years show. I’ve been in a helicopter and I lived to tell the tale. I’ve survived a Northern Alberta winter and I’ve enjoyed every second.

This year has gone by so fast and on the other hand I feel like I’ve been here forever. I guess all I can really say is ‘Thank You’ to everyone who had a positive influence on my experience in the Peace.

I dream of the day that I can get closer to home. But I’ve come this far and my strength will carry me farther. In the pursuit of happiness.