Looking back at Gamergate


I was perusing Youtube the other day when I came across a Refinery29 interview with Anita Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian, for those who don’t know, started a feminist channel in 2009 criticizing videogame depictions of women and visible minorities. She, along with other women in the industry, complained of sexism and misogyny in games as well as unfair and discriminatory employment practices within many of these studios. What they got for their probably very legitimate concerns was a veritable clusterfuck of online harrassment, rape and death threats and doxxing.

I remember hearing about all of this back then, but wasn’t quite as aware of what exactly transpired. Hearing her talk about it years later now, though, all I could really think was “Seriously WTF?? All of that vitriol for having an opinion on the internet? And on videogames of all things?” (Honestly, this was probably also my reaction back in 2009)

Now I have a somewhat indirect long history with videogames and pretty much grew up with a revolving door of new platforms, starting with Atari and Super Nintendo in the 80s and 90s. We also had a Gameboy, but I don’t think it got as much attention. My brother was obsessed with videogames, playing for hours and practically screaming in frustration if his character died. When I moved out of my parents place to shack up with my partner, the systems changed from Xbox to the Wii to now with an XBox One.

However, it is worth mentioning how, in all that time, from the very basic 8-bit Atari games to the sublime RPGs of today, much games have diversified both in content, storyline and characters. Back in the day, characters tended to be pretty one-dimensional, but now you can select your hero’s gender, skin colour, age, weight, makeup and even tattoos. Hell, in some games, you don’t even play as a human being. Of course this is due to the hard work and talent of artists and developers, but I can’t help but think that maybe it’s also thanks to the opinions of Sarkeesian and other fans of the medium. They loved gaming, but felt like there wasn’t as much control over how they were being represented in these products. What started out as more of a “boys club”, has since bloomed into a medium for everyone.

This is obviously a good thing, but after learning about her experiences, and other womens, it just seems kind of mind boggling how much hatred they received. Guys would set up other channels for the express purpose of relentlessly attacking Sarkeesian, and it’s just really pathetic. For them, these games are sacred and how dare anyone criticize them, especially some feminist? It’s like they believed that any woman who complained about rescuing princesses or a female character’s lack of clothing had the power to take their entertainment away, like some kind of nagging parental figure. And after scrolling through the comments in this Refinery video, I see they still haven’t forgiven her these imagined transgressions as they lob baseless accusations and lack any basic understanding as to why online harrassment is awful and just how damn embarrassing the whole thing was.

At the end of the day, she was just posting her opinion, same as pretty much everyone else online these days (including yours truly). You don’t have to like it or agree and have the ability to click on the millions of other talking heads discussing pop culture. “There’s too much political correctness,” her detractors will argue, or “Progressiveness/Liberalism ruins everything”, but there are still lots of games where the protagonist is a straight, white man. The Witcher, for example, is one of my favourite games, and revolves around a hunky, practically albino guy as he slays monsters and bags babes. (Sarkeesian may or may not like it, but I find The Witcher really fun and love it’s lore, which is based on Polish fantasy novels) These gamers are now spoiled for choice in exactly how they want to spend their free-time, and honestly haven’t lost anything. The only person who did lose is Sarkeesian, who suffered and evidentally still suffers deeply pesonal attacks and threats simply for having a point of view. She wasn’t promoting hatred of certain groups or encouraging ignorance or misinformation, like plenty of other people online, just stating her thoughts on entertainment. The a-holes who relentlessly attacked her were never charged or felt any kind of actual repercussions, which is appalling. Games may have changed, but some of the people who play them, unfortunately haven’t, and it’s high time that the ones who harrass and threaten be rooted out of the community and face the real world consequences of their actions.


Credit: https://www.privacyend.com/anonymity/

Back in the “good ‘ol days” when I lived in Ottawa and hung out with the local blogging community, anonymity was a big deal. Most of the bloggers used fake names and tried to keep their online presence on the DL from family and coworkers. It’s kind of strange and surreal to think about it now though, because pretty much most of these people are probably now on Facebook, sharing their personal thoughts and experiences on there for everyone and advertisers to see. And I’m no better, as I have certainly overshared at times, probably more than most. Social media is a weird addiction, and while I try and use it to just share artwork and hopefully gain more customers or at least brighten peoples day, it’s a bit too easy to get too personal on there sometimes.

Why am I talking about it on here? Well, after hitting publish on my last blog post, I was feeling some renewed confidence and decided to state on Facebook that I started blogging again. This is hardly going to garner the same enthusiastic response as a pregnancy or engagement announcement or even a cute pet photo, but I’m still glad I did it. I’m still a “bit” shy about coming out of the blog closet, so I told my friends to contact me and I’ll PM them the link. So maybe those old blog habits die hard. It’s kind of silly considering that it’s pretty obvious who I am on here though. It has my real name along with some of my artwork, so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who I am. And I guess that’s kind of the point; I’m just kind of done with making up a pretend name and using some non-identifying picture that I found online. (Not that I’m judging others for doing that, I mean maybe they had some very good reasons for staying hidden, and just needed a place to vent. I get it)

So rather than overshare on Facebook, I’ll overshare on here, LOL. No, in all seriousness, that’s not the purpose of this blog. It’s honestly a place for me to talk about my personal experiences, but hopefully in a more well-thought out way than the one or two sentences often spouted on social media. As someone who is diagnosed with ADHD and has a neurodivergent family, it’s kind of empowering to have a place away from Zuckerberg Inc., to talk honestly about such issues. North American culture has finally progressed enough to where people can talk openly about their mental health struggles and it is such a wonderful thing that I would love to be apart of, particularly as someone who did not grow up with this priviledge in school, with friends or even in my own family sometimes. But I want to do it my own way, with more control over content and presentation than social media can provide. ADHD or other neurodivergent stuff isn’t the only topic I’ll discuss, but I do like to think of it as the main impetus for this domain’s existence.

Anyways, if you’re from my Facebook friend list, welcome and I hope you enjoy my writing. As I brush the dust off and clear out the cobwebs, please excuse any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Sometimes in my haste to publish, I forget to do a good job of editing beforehand. But I do hope you enjoy your stay and come back to read more. Everyone needs a place to express themselves, and blogging is a great way to do it!

Shake the Disease

Credit: https://www.apa.org/topics/anger/recognize

Sorry I couldn’t resist naming the somewhat dramatic title of this post after the 80s Depeche Mode song I listened to this morning. I think Dave Gahan is singing about having a temper or being moody, but DM tend to let people have their own interpretations of their songs. In any event, I choose to think that it is about dealing with emotions, particularly negative ones like anger or depression.

Yesterday was, frankly, a shit day. I have been suffering from a lung infection for the past two weeks, haven’t slept without cold medicine that whole time and it just felt like my household was caving in one me. My kid was screaming and whining, my dog was demanding food ASAP, my lungs are (still) on fire and I was feeling the rage bubbling up. Plus, that previous blog post brought me right back to that terrible and humiliating year of school, which made me consider deleting the post and this whole blog, despite my enjoyment of casual writing. So I hit the roof and screamed at my dog, who promptly scrambled out of the kitchen.*

Of course being sick and tired and dealing with sometimes stressful dependents wasn’t the only reason I lost my temper. We are also just at the beginning of getting treatment for my son’s autism after finally getting a diagnosis. Believe me when I tell you that it is a gut wrenching and emotionally trying experience, but I’ll save that story for another day. It’s just a heavy weight to carry around.

Luckily, my husband was there to fill in and has always got my back. He knew I was frazzled and told me to go lie down, which I did because I needed a break. After feeding our son and the dog, he came up to our bedroom and we talked about it. It really helped, and I do the same for him when he’s feeling angry, but I’m really tired of feeling so out of control sometimes. I like to think of myself as a fairly rational and logical person, but I am also FAR too sensitive and empathetic at times. I readily absorb any and all negativity and take it all personally and it completely distracts me from the work at hand. When things go wrong, I automatically assume people all think I’m an idiot and panic, angry and frustrated. This tendency probably stems from past negative experiences of bullying and exclusion. I never really learned how to cope effectively with stress or difficult people or situations, and would simply retreat into the bubble of my own imagination or hobbies. It is likely a very ADHD trait, and the main reason why I have struggled so much in terms of employment. My listening and concentration skills have dramatically improved over the past few years, but emotional regulation and stress management still remain challenging for me.

Knowing is half the battle, and I’m kind of grateful to have this kind of self awareness of my flaws and challenges. Many people go through life with negative thinking patterns or misguided beliefs, they blame society or the government or some other imagined nefarious outside force for their struggles. Given how unfair life can be, and how much some people suffer due to reasons beyond their control, it is certainly an understandable thing to do. But it’s also incredibly important to recognize how much power your attitude and outlook has on your reality. Getting angry and bitter is to be expected when shit hits the fan, but staying there will do nothing but waste any potential for improving your situation.

For a whole chunk of my adult life, I have met and spoken to a number of therapists or social workers. Some were helpful, some were absolute knobs who were very UN-helpful and made me feel worse, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that ultimately it is up to me to take control of my mental and physical health. No amount of crying or complaining to a therapist, my mother or my husband will change my toxic habits or thinking patterns. Before I got sick, I had plans to grab the sour grapes that I carry around-Past negative experiences, lack of career anxiety and insecurity, my son’s diagnosis, my age, etc-and smash them into some good freakin’ wine; I signed up for a gym membership, started creating a new diet plan, created some paintings and began to consider career options related to HR, like becoming a career counselor. But then I got sick and it all seemed to be put on pause. You might think ‘So what? Colds happen’ and you’d be right. But life hasn’t exactly been “normal” for the past two years of living in a pandemic. It has been a jarring merry-go-round of starts and stops, over and over. Frankly, it’s enough to drive anyone batty. On Saturday, I was prescribed antibiotics and an inhaler and did two at-home covid tests that were hopefully accurate as they showed up negative, but this sickness has forced me to spend a lot of time overthinking, as I was too tired to do anything else.

Given this rough period, I suppose, it’s no wonder I lost my shit in the kitchen yesterday. But the medication is slowly working and I do feel a bit better, even if I still cough regularly. I’m 41 and don’t have a career, my kid is neurodivergent (like me and my husband!), I struggle with regrets and wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life and if I’ll ever feel competent or genuinely happy again, and of course there is the ever present threat of covid.

Yesterday was a bad day, and more will come, as that’s life, but my reaction to them will hopefully change. We all carry heavy emotional burdens of things beyond our control, but we don’t need to let them control our reactions to more minor stresses or inconveniences. Having emotions can be a great thing, but they have dominated my life for too long. It’s time to learn how to put out fires calmly. It will be difficult and take work, and there will be bad days, but I know I can do it.

*And yes after getting angry with my dog, I immediately felt guilty afterwards and apologized, giving her lots of pats, which she appreciated. She really is a good girl and I should be more patient with her.*

Don’t Study Graphic Design (If You Want to be an Artist)

I had a job interview for an executive assistant role recently and about halfway through the phone conversation, the interviewer asked: “What is the biggest mistake of your life?” or something to that effect. My first thought was ‘Woah, that’s a pretty heavy question for an initial screening interview’. And yeah, it really isn’t a standard question that most interviewers ask for an office role. Very weird.

I rambled out some answer about “Wishing I had taken professional development or office admin courses sooner”, because honestly what the hell was I supposed to say: “Biggest mistake? Well, how much time have you got?” or “My adult life has been mostly spent struggling with undiagnosed ADHD”?

I mentioned graphic design and art school were mentioned as “positive learning experiences” and tried to relate their usefulness to the job posting. She said her daughter wants to be an “artist”, or more specifically a painter, and she mentioned that she was pushing her to study graphic design instead. Because designers make money and artists starve right?

That was my line of thinking about 10 years ago when I quit an unrewarding, but stable government job to pursue design. I knew nothing about Adobe programs, typography or formatting, and my first year was a serious wake up call, as I spent hours relentlessly trying to convince myself that this was ‘What I wanted to do’. But it wasn’t until my second year when I changed schools that I realized that I kinda hated graphic design and wished I had my old job back. The new teachers weren’t impressed by anything really, and sneered at most of the projects that not only myself, but many others turned in. One exception being the guy who was seated next to me, who had previously studied animation at Sheridan College and was treated like a kind of design messiah. People regularly came by and raved about how “great” he was, and when they saw me looking at them, muttered: “Uh oh you too.” ) I had nothing in common with the people there and the work I turned in was apparently garbage. I got called into “meetings” with the teachers who told me that if my work didn’t improve, I would need to leave. So yeah it sucked. Sucked big time. After finals, I cried in a stairwell and realized that it was time to make a change, so I decided to study Studio Art at the University of Guelph.

And so begun my adventure in art school, something I had always wanted to do, but studied psychology instead after graduating high school. U of G, for those who don’t know, focuses primarily on “conceptual” art, ie. the weird stuff that flies over most peoples heads. I made a giant cardboard Swiss Army knife (Ugh, I hated that damn project!) in Sculpture 1, filmed a video of myself dragging a horseshoe down the street in a multimedia class, painted mold on a wall and partook in numerous hallway discussions dissecting someone’s choice of colours, brush marks, etc. I’m a representational artist who loves classical and realist art, which was largely considered “outdated” at U of G. The concept was what was important, not so much what it looked like. I still don’t agree with this, but tried to wedge open the doors of my mind a bit and honestly had fun getting “weird.”

After receiving all the required credits and getting an “Honors Equivalency” in Studio Art, which doesn’t come with a grad ceremony or diploma since I already had a bachelors in the aforementioned psychology, I left U of G. Unfortunately, despite enjoying myself a lot more and making new friends, studio art doesn’t really lend itself to a practical career. Sure you could try and get your work into galleries, but unless your work gets collected by rich people, it is pretty much impossible to make a living off it. In fact, I’m not even convinced that those who are big stars in the art world make enough to live comfortably, as a lot of money gets taken up by auction houses, galleries and art traders. I think grants are the main option, but those can be hard to come by. Of course this wasn’t a surprise for me, but it is still a shame. After all that time and money spent, I realized that maybe I should’ve just gone to Sheridan like the “design messiah” I sat next to in my second year of graphic design. Illustration, specifically, probably would’ve been the best path for me when I was a starry eyed, hyper and clueless19-year-old. Illustrators aren’t exactly making bank either nowadays, but they’re probably doing marginally better than many of the conceptual artists fighting to get their work into galleries.

But back to the title of this post and the point of what I am trying to write: If you are an artist, don’t blindly go into graphic design thinking it will be a great way to earn money and express yourself at the same time, because it’s not. Design is about the “client” and tends to lend itself more to people who are talented in software and marketing more than artistic pursuits. You will spend hours obsessing over the minute differences in fonts and how to sell other peoples products. (Assuming of course you graduate from college first. There were plenty of other people in my classes who were pushed out of the program too!) I’m sure some artists excel in design and I envy them, but it’s really naive to think that design and traditional art are interchangeable. So if you want to go to art school to learn traditional painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, etc, go to art school, but just be prepared for some pretty out there stuff and the fact that you won’t make much money. Personally, I do wish that I had done things differently in my 20s and 30s in terms of education, but I was lucky at least to try design and art school and I think they have made me a better artist and hopefully employee again someday!

Baby Fever

Credit: https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/behaviour/understanding-behaviour/baby-behaviour-awareness

One thing I was not prepared for was the intensity of baby craziness post-partum. After surviving the first year, my reproductive instincts just kind of grew from a whisper to a booming roar! But this obnoxious pang seems to forget how much one kid drains you, mentally and physically, and as much as I hate to say it, the older you are, the faster you feel your limits. I was 37 going on 38 when I had my son, and am now 41. The sad and unfair reality is when you’re thinking about having a kid, age definitely matters and it matters sooner than you’d think! I was 36 when my husband and I started trying, but we were having no luck. After seeing my doctor, we were referred to a godawful fertility specialist, who looked half asleep most of the time. After a cycle of invasive and annoying tests, she rudely told me: “You’re 36, that’s too old”.
I pushed back with “Yeah, but celebrities have kids in their 40s.”
Her reply: “They probably use donated eggs or gestational carriers”.

After much research, I learned that while she was definitely wrong about women practically being barren by 36-years-old, fertility definitely declines with age and pretty much drops off a cliff after 45. But as luck would have it, after leaving that terrible doctor, I got pregnant. It took six more months, but we did it. Pregnancy was full of nausea and fatigue, but honestly it was really amazing. And once he was out, I felt empty, hollow. Labour, birth and the fourth trimester were a nightmare, but your body just kind of forgets all that after awhile, and it convinces your brain that junior needs a sibling. Broaching the subject with my mother results in a worried look and “I don’t think that’s a good idea”, or “You’ll resent them”, and with my mother-in-law repeating “One’s enough”, in a tone less like an opinion, and more like a command. Hell, even my freakin’ hairdresser said “You seem pretty busy already”. I have a few friends who are also older moms who say I should go for it, but they admittedly had one later in life after their first was already grown up. Not a newborn and toddler. And when I talk to people about it, deep down, I hear a voice that says it’s over. When I was pregnant, I had a fortune telling reading done with a crystal. (Yes, I know, fortune telling is bullshit, but just indulge me ok?) The crystal swung back and forth apparently indicating ‘boy’, but only once. When I go to childrens play centres, I’m the oldest mom there, and watch glumly and resentfully as people in their 20s and early 30s bring in babies and toddlers. So it looks like the universe is completely against me having a second, which is weird feeling like I no longer have any say in my uterus. Just going to keep shedding those eggs until menopause and that’s it, all that potential wasted. Every month that goes by thinking: ‘Other people were smarter, they started sooner’, and kicking myself again for my ridiculous life choices. Of course, we’re lucky that we even got one, because not everyone can say that, but it’s just hard feeling like such a big decision has already been made for you and there’s nothing you can do to change it.

But are people with more kids happier? I mean really? Perhaps some genuinely are, but juggling multiple children definitely looks more exhausting. When I’ve visited peoples houses who have more than one, the space is pretty much overtaken by kids stuff and their chaos. The moms stretched and pulled in multiple directions, while they joke about “needing wine” and complain about lack of sleep. Don’t get me wrong, our house is a mess too, but it’s source is singular and after dropping him off at daycare, my house transforms mostly back into a place that has adults living in it. (Well except for all the videogames, and stuff from my and my husband’s childhood, *cough cough*) It MUST also be said that waiting until my husband had a good job was a good idea, and that kind of financial stability is a big advantage that many of those who got pregnant pregnant sooner don’t enjoy. Six years sooner would’ve probably been ideal, but I’m not even sure if my partner was completely done with school, articling and paying his dues at that point anyways! Plus, I got the harebrained idea to quit my government job to go to study graphic design, followed by art school. I learned a lot, except how to regularly make money, but that’s a story for another day.

I guess the point in all of this is that my partner and I lived and had full experiences-both good and bad-and grew up before we had a child and maybe we were fortunte to have that opportunity. It IS harder in many ways to be an older parent, but perhaps I should be grateful that I enjoyed that freedom of self-exploration while I was young.

My Kid’s Crazy Stomach


When my son was a baby we had to feed him every two hours and when he ate, he ATE, panicked and ravenous, like we were starving him or something. He practically inhaled breast milk and formula, and when we weren’t feeding him, we were cleaning and sterilizing the breast pump equipment 24/7. It was brutal and my boobs were like two throbbing orbs that leaked all the time. I would’ve loved to breast feed him and burn the milking machine, but every time I tried, he would scream all day. So the dairy business was up and running until about six months.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, he still spat up alot and when he started eating solids, would also bring up his meals and chew on them. We tried Ranitidine (before it was recalled) and anti-gas medicine, and even hoped he would eventually grow out of it, but at 3, he’s still spitting up. I will put him to bed for a nap and, two hours later discover a Monty Python Meaning of Life-type barf explosion in his bedroom. We’ve tried cutting down his intake of food and water and eliminating or reducing suspected triggers, but nothing really works!

In November, I had a meeting with a pediatrician and two OTs about it, along with hopefully someday getting an autism diagnosis, but it’s been crickets ever since. To be fair, he did get some bloodwork done and will be meeting a gastroenterologist in April, but I really don’t know what the frick to do in the meantime. He is also super picky, which makes things even more difficult. My husband thinks he has something called “rumination syndrome”, and the doctor seemed to agree. What’s also difficult is that he is non-verbal, so I honestly have no idea how to teach him how to chew and swallow food properly. We are on an occupational therapy waitlist, but not sure when that will happen. Guess I should just be grateful for that gastro appointment in April eh?

Anyways, the point of this post is not to gross you out, but just to vent my frustration. Learning how to cope with my son’s autism has been difficult, but I’ve gotten some support from other parents and suggestions. However, rumination syndrome is not as common it seems, and I have no idea how to fix it.

Happy New Year!


It’s going to be another “pajama-themed” new year celebration, but honestly that’s ok. Even if there was no pandemic, going out on the busiest night of the year can be overrated. In years past, I remember mostly getting drunk and/or stoned, singing off-key and waiting a long, long time for a taxi cab. January 1 was then spent nursing a horrific hangover for the entire day. The only exceptions were the years-2004 and 2005. Those were some crazy, awesome New Years, mostly because those were the years I met my husband and we became serious. Yes, I’m a romantic sap, so sue me!

But when you get older and hopefully wiser, or at least more weary of hangovers, you realize that it’s better to just stay home. No need to squeeze into tights and a dress, no freezing your ass off, no fighting with a cab company that just hangs up on you when you’ve been waiting an hour. (True story) Plus, parties can be crazy awkward, especially ones where you don’t know anyone. I’ve been to a couple where I am literally an outlier, fake smile on my face, drink in hand while I desperately try and pierce one of the small enclosed groups that dot someone’s house or apartment. I’m very lucky though, I have a partner and family, so I don’t need to find someone-anyone-to kiss when the clock strikes midnight. At home or somewhere else, I’m good.

To anyone reading this, I hope you also have someone-partner, child, friend, family member-in which to ring in the new year and I wish you all the best for 2022!

They Say It’s Your Birthday!

Credit: https://www.amazon.ca/Getting-Too-Old-Birthday-Envelope/dp/B07SKCC7F6

Today I am 41. Officially over or under the hill, depending on who you ask. Most days, especially since having a kid, I feel practically ancient. All that crazy young ADHD energy that made me dance and go running in my youth, has been replaced by old ADD energy where I can’t be arsed to do anything but stare at my phone. But that’s ok, because you can’t dance or go on joint crushing runs forever, eventually you have to be content curling up in your house and watching it rain in December. (Still not used to that, global warming is weird)

My husband got my son ready this morning along with some coffee, and set off for work. I’m still in my pjs, still heating and reheating my one cup of joe. In other words, it’s basically like any other day. Can’t have any friends over and going to a restaurant is definitely out of the question. A few months ago, I hatched a birthday plan of putting my kid in daycare for the day so I could drive to Kingston and check out an archery range, but crazy high omicron numbers put the kibosh on that. Darn. However, people have been sending me really nice messages and of course posting on my Facebook wall, so I can’t complain too much! (I’ll save that for the middle of January when I’m losing my mind from boredom and winter blues, lol) Hubby got me a dash cam, because I mentioned it might be a good idea months ago. It’s funny he remembered. It was an idea I had after probably spending too much time on a Facebook Belleville community group. The topic of discord that day was a-hole drivers and I thought: ‘Hmm, maybe I should get a dashcam just in case’, and then promptly forgot about it. Well he can install it, because it’s my birthday and I’ll be lazy if I want to!

That’s about it for the day, but I will probably do some yoga or other exercise today. My “old energy” is sick of my phone and wants to get back in shape. No matter how old I get or how much covid rages outside, I still have a lot of life to live and plan on living it!

The Holidays Actually Went Well!

Christmas came and went in a whirlwind of overeating and overgifting, just like it always does, but since it is 2021, it’s a miracle it happened at all! It was just last year that a lockdown forced us to try and celebrate over Zoom. No one was happy, and the connection kept crashing, but it was the best we could do! Of course things are still bad, bla, bla, and I asked my family to get tested prior to visiting, but I’m grateful that it happened at all!

Another thing that I’m grateful for is the fact that there was no drama or fighting, which let’s be honest, tends to be more likely when a family gets together-In-laws, outlaws, siblings, partners-whatever! Pettiness or decades long grudges can resurface once people have overindulged, but I’m pretty lucky in that most people in my immediate circle get along most of the time. (Not all the time, I mean, we’re not robots!) There was some debating going on, and one minor misunderstanding, but I kept out of it, because I wanted to save my energy for cooking a 12 pound turkey for the second time in my life!

So now, we get to think about how to spend January, which can be difficult. It’s cold, you can’t see anyone because of covid numbers and the days can be short and grey. But I’m feeling renewed from the holidays and plan on grabbing it by the short hairs. Everyday counts, even in the dead of winter during a pandemic. Besides, I got all these great holiday leftovers to keep me happy!

Is Christmas Cancelled?

Credit: https://www.psychologicalhealthcare.com.au/blog/coping-at-christmas

This morning, I loaded my kid in the car and waited in line for both of us to get tested for COVID. Everything seemed to be ok, I was dreading having a stranger stick an extra long Q-Tip into the back of my nasal cavity, so I put on some relaxing video game music and remembered the good ‘ol days building Sim dream homes or slaying dragons. Then I heard a faint cry coming from the back seat, I turned around and watched my son regurgitate his entire breakfast all over himself! Over and over. Fuck. Like a complete idiot, I forgot to pack a change of clothes and only had Kleenex to steady the tide of spew. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work, but I was stuck and spent the next hour with the windows partly done to clear out the smell. Once I got home, I chatted with a friend who sent me the following message: “I think Christmas at my brother’s is fucked.”

It certainly seems to be going that way. Last year’s holidays were spent huddling around my husband’s laptop over Zoom. The overloaded system crashed a few times and frankly, it was a piss poor way to spend what used to be the biggest holiday of the year for gathering with friends and family.

Given how much the current variant Omicron is spreading, it’s looking very likely then that this Christmas 2021 will probably go down the same way. After hosing my kid off and giving him a bit of food, I messaged my visiting family asking them if they could also get tested before arriving. They haven’t replied yet. Maybe they’re too busy, I’m not sure. I do hope they consider at least registering online soon though; It took two days for me to get an appointment, and I’m not sure when our results will be available, and seeing how sick my son is right now, I’m frankly worried that it might be COVID or worse.

Our house is decorated, the tree and stockings are up, along with some outdoor lights and a wreath. Most of the presents have been purchased, and are all ready to be unwrapped. I was going to tackle the giant turkey, while my husband was going to make his traditional Tofurkey, and other people promised to help by bringing foods, snacks and desserts. Things are bad in the world right now and have been since last year, but I wanted Christmas to be a day where we try to remember how lucky we are to have each other in this pandemic. It’s hard to get that same feeling frankly over Zoom.