Saturday, November 16, 2002

More Proof That Most Baby Boomers are Shitty Parents

Apparently, some parents actually encouraged their children to skip school to see the new Harry Potter movie!
What's wrong?
Is the movie closing on the same day?
Your kid can't wait until the weekend?

Great values you're teaching your kid, Boomer.
Your child's entertainment is more important than their schooling.

That's the problem with what I've started calling "New Age Parenting".
Don't let your children experience any failures.
Fix everything for them.
If they do something terrible at school, run down there and yell your head off at his/her teachers and blame them or some other child in your child's class.
Make sure you do it in front of your child so that your child also feels that he/she doesn't need to take responsibility for his/her own actions, or listen to his teachers, or treat others with respect.

If they want to stay up until midnight, let them.
If they want to be on the Internet until all hours, let them and don't bother checking to see what they're up to (it's an invasion of their personal privacy).
Let them visit chat rooms with no monitoring by you and then blame the Internet Provider for not having better ways of "protecting" children.

Don't require them to earn anything.
Buy them every thing they want.
If they hurt themselves in a public place because you're not monitoring them, sue the venue.

Let them speak to people rudely and don't reprimand them for anything.
Let them do what ever they want in public and at others homes and never say anything to them that might affect their fragile self-esteem.

In my opinion, this all boils down to bad parenting

If you ask me, I think that the rise in childhood depression and the medicating of our children comes down to permissive parenting.
Children function better with stable and consistent limits.
Parents are allowing children to make too many adult decisions.
One of the things I remember about my childhood was that I didn't have to make day to day grownup decisions.
This was my mother's job to do.
She didn't ask my opinion on anything and I trusted her to make the right decision for me.
Ok, she didn't always make the right one but I was relieved of the burden of having to worry about adult problems before I was mature enough to understand the situation.
Boomers are confusing their children by allowing them to make adult decisions before they are developmentally able to understand what they are deciding.

That's part of the beauty of being a kid.
You can just live for a while without worrying about being an can actually look forward to it, instead of being one before you're ready.

Way to go, Boomers....

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Uja's Proverbs: Episode 3

"You whip the ox that pulls the wagon".

This particular proverb hits home for me.
Wherever I have worked in my life, it has always been the case.
Bosses and Teachers have always pushed me to my "potential".
The fact that they didn't push the lazy asses that I thought needed pushing pisses me off.

That's why now that I'm a Boss, I push the lazy asses because the motivated propel themselves.

That's why the Chihuahua hates me.
I like it like that

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Uja's Proverbs: Episode 2

"Life is a barrel full of shit and honey.
Sometimes you have to eat a lot of shit before you hit any honey."

This the phrase I hear from my Uncle whenever I even begin to complain about anything.

Uja's Proverbs: Episode 1

"Go ahead and cry.
You'll pee less."

This is the phrase I have written on my keychain.
This phrase was said to me at least a thousand times when I was a kid.
Don't look for sympathy from any of my older family members.
Most of them where children right after the Second World War in Eastern Europe and are hard pressed to feel sorry for our overindulged asses.

Red Lobster or Bust

Today is my Mother's birthday.
It's become somewhat of a tradition for my Uncle (Ma's brother) to take us to Red Lobster to celebrate.

It recently occurred to me that it's always just me, him and my mother.
The rest of the family is never there.
Then, again it occurred to me that it just seems right this way.
My mother, uncle and me are kind of a separate family on our own.

For the following reasons:
My mother brought my uncle to Canada.
My Uncle helped raise me when my father left us.
Whenever my mother needed help, if I got out of hand, he was there.
He cut his parenting teeth on me (and take it from me, he was tough).
I was surprised at how soft he became with his own daughters.
It was his car I had to look for in the neighbourhood if I was doing something that my mother had told me not to do
(Believe me, he drove around the neighbourhood a lot I couldn't get away with shit).

Yes, in a certain way, we are a separate little family.
A sidebar family, if you will.

I enjoy these dinners because they talk about things that I have never heard about before.
It's like a little trip back in time.
They talk about their childhoods.
The people they remember and have no one but each other here in this country to share those memories with.
It's kind of like what I had previously said about my friend Karla.
She's my witness.
They are a witness to each other's lives.

Sometimes, I think that your life changes so drastically over the years, that it's hard to imagine that you once had a completely different life. Maybe a simpler one, a happier one or just the fact that back then, you would never have imagined yourself where you are today.

Life sure is funny that way.

Well, I'm off shortly for my yearly trip down memory lane with them...
I'm sure there will be another episode of "My Mother Says" when I get back.

Hmmm, I should start "My Uncle's Proverbs" because he's a plethora of them.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Another Episode of:
My Mother Says...

My mother and I are talking and she is telling me that her friends' daughter is "loose".
We are talking about this and somehow we fall into the comparison between "sluts" and "whores"
My mother announces:
Mom: "Slats are vors den hoors"
Me: "Why?"
Mom: "Dey are bot bed an no good, bat at leazt da hoors, dey get da money. Ma anyvay, dey
all gonna hell, so hoo cares?
Vy yu alvays vanna takka about dis tings?


Sunday, October 06, 2002

Many years ago, I was working my way through college, bartending on weekends (much to my mother's chagrin).
One Saturday night after closing, I tripped over the brown bar that locks the beer fridges behind the bar. I was holding about 12 tulip glasses between my fingers in order to "rack" them over the bar.
When I fell forward, I put my hands forward in a natural reaction to break my fall.
It took over 3 hours in Emergency to stitch up my palms and I still have no feeling in the tip of my ring finger on my right hand.
I got home at approximately 4:30am, to find that the elevators in our apartment building weren't working. This may not sound like a big deal, but we lived on the twentieth floor.
I was nervous about walking up 20 flights of stairs by myself at 4:30am so,
I buzzed my mother on the intercom and told her that the elevators were not working and asked her to start walking down the west stairwell as I walked up and we'd meet somewhere in the middle.
Now, picture this:
I am wearing:

the obligatory black pants and white shirt and black tie of bartenders. Only my white shirt looks like a butcher's apron from the blood I splattered all over myself when I almost severed my hands.

Both of my hands are wrapped in gauze, so they resembled boxing gloves.

When I meet my mother (somewhere around the 15th floor), she takes one look at me, and says:

"Tanks Got it vazen't your face. You're not maarried yet."

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Ya Know?

I have just spent the past 1/2 hour reading random blogs from the scrolling choices on the left hand side of the Blogger main page.
I must say....
There's a hell of a lot of uninteresting stuff out there.
Well, uninteresting to me, anyway.
Here are some of the kinds of things I've read about.
Some woman (young girl's) countdown to her wedding day.
Now, I know that this is endless enjoyment for her, but as far as I'm concerned, she should be stationed next a patient in an operating room somewhere in place of the anaesthetist.
I'm just a party pooper I guess.
I have never had those "princess" wedding fantasies and I don't really understand the women that do.
Just me.
I know it's just me because most other women don't believe me when I tell them.
Our parents weren't even at our ceremony.

A woman who is documenting every breathing moment of her pregnancy.
I guess it's because I'm not pregnant.

The hundreds of teenagers who like totally are giving props and shout outs to their peeps and are documenting school interactions.
I'm old.
It's another language, and I wouldn't go back to high school if you gave me money to do it.
I totally agree with my homeySour Bob in his Open Letter to Blogdom.
So right.
Thanks again, Mark for finding this for us a while ago.
It's really worth "a read" (pretentious, yuppie urban phrase)

Friday, October 04, 2002

Let's Go Back in Time....Shall We?

circa 1970
Coming over the American border at Thousand Islands after a fishing trip with family members.
The following exchange transpired between my Uncle Velemir and a Customs Officer:

Customs Officer: "Did you purchase anything?"
Uncle Velemir: "No Perch, no Bass....No NOTHING!"

Saturday, September 28, 2002

My husband's reaction reminds me...

Today's experience reminds me of something.
Whenever I read the newspaper and I recognize a last name as one of my own nationality in connection with a crime, I'm ashamed.
I don't know this person.
They are not connected to me.
However, when you are an immigrant, even when you get your citizenship and belong to the country that you live in.
You still....well...kind of feel like a guest, in a way.
When someone of your nationality commits a crime, you feel just a smidge responsible for their bad conduct.
I guess it's the same thing that prompts my husband (sister-in-law, inlaws) to ask, "was he/she black?" when speaking about any crime committed in the city.
They all breathe a sigh of relief if you say "no".
I can see it in their faces.
I know I feel that way.
I know that my husband felt embarassment for that woman today.
That's why he kept repeating, "look at yourself" to her quietly.
He asked me when we left the store if I was, "ok".
It's the question I should have asked him.

I never....ok, I have.

My husband and I were out this morning running some errands together.
We stopped at an Asian Supermarket I frequent.
Hubby didn't want to go in, but I insisted.
We were waiting in line at one cash and lined up at cash next to ours were two middle aged West Indian women.
They seemed to be deciding whether they wanted to actually buy everything that they had in their basket and were quibbling about a box of mangoes. The cashier politely waited for a few moments and seeing that they were still in debate with one another, decided that they were not ready and waved my husband over.
We started unloading the basket when I heard one of the women tell my husband that he could have asked them if they were ready instead of "jumping" in front of them.
My husband replied that the cashier had called him over.
One of the women proceeded to give him a lecture on respecting "the black woman".
He listened to her for a bit as her voice got louder and louder telling him things like:
your mother was a black woman,
your grandmother was a black woman,
your great grandmother was a black woman, and so on.
She called him an idiot and a few other names.
Now, my husband is a very patient and respectful man.
The louder she got, the calmer he got.
It's the way he is.
She started shouting that just because he is with a white woman, it doesn't give him the right to disrespect black women.
She now had the attention of most of the patrons in the market.
The cashier looked at me and shook her head.
Then, my husband calmly said, "Look at yourself" and he kept repeating it quietly.
Well! That made her ballistic...she grabbed one side of her skirt and got louder...the only thing missing was a fish in the other hand to complete the picture.
She then turned on me; "my grandchildren are half-breeds, don't you let him disrespect you!" (whaaa?)
to which I replied, "he is disrespecting no one" and I took the bags and started to walk.
We were now the center of attention at the check out...the manager came over and put his hand on my husband's back and said something to him in broken English (my husband does not speak Mandarin) and my poor husband was just standing there watching this woman making an ass of herself in public.
I could see by his face that he just couldn't believe it.
We left the market with her yelling who knows what.
We just looked at each other in disbelief.
This was more drama than I have had in a very long time.
Was this outburst really about asking to step in front of someone that the cashier deemed "not ready to pay"?

Monday, September 16, 2002

I don't live up to the stereotypes of my culture.
However, I also know that intelligent society doesn't think in a vaccuum.
Unintelligent people do.
That said, I must add that this is a democracy and I do not have to agree with what is said, I only have to support another's right to say it.
As long as people are behaving in a civilized manner they are entitled to any opinion even if I think it's stupid.
Stereotypes are there because some people DO live up to them. Like it or don't like it, it's a fact.

There is a stereotype about my culture that the men are big drinkers. Guess what? In alot of cases, it's absolutely true. Another is that the men in my culture like to fight. You know what? Many have hot tempers and are very easily offended. They do fight alot. What am I going to say if someone brings up these stereotypes? That they're not true? Nonsense. They are.
There is such a thing as facing up to the truth, even if we don't like the portrayal or the mirror image of ourselves.
Let's just evolve and stop pretending that these things don't exist through semantics.
Political Correctness is just Western society's muzzle on freedom of thought and speech.
I'll say it again, I may not believe in what you're saying but I believe that you have a right to say it.

There's an old joke about TV in the old Soviet Union:
There are only two channels.
Channel One airs propaganda and Channel Two has a guy on telling you to turn back to Channel One.
That was my uncle's old joke...I still think it's funny...

Profiling is a hot topic too...
It's up to the majority to fight profiling and groups have fought it successfully.
People in authority profile in their minds right now. I'm not saying that it's right....but it's a fact.
All society can demand is that it isn't made legal. Hitler made it legal and look where it took people. Germans are still living down their stereotype and they have been making amends for the past 50 years. Now, they are one of the most diverse societies in Europe.
I'll tell you a little something,
I am married to an afro-latin american.
I am of Eastern European stock.
I never tell people I just meet that my husband is a person of colour.
Not because I don't want to, it's because it just never comes out in's not something that you can squeeze in without sounding kind of...well...stupid.
However, I have found this to be quite revealing of others.
Sometimes people work with me or know me for months sometimes years before they meet time.
When they do..the reactions are diverse. Sometimes the reaction is shock, sometimes no one skips a beat. My husband did it to someone just this morning. The man was obviously flabbergasted and looked like someone hit him in the head with a shovel.
Now, after someone has met my husband, the meeting tells me alot about that person.
Some people put their feet in their mouths and others are phoney about being liberal. We once invited one of my husband's collegues over for a bbq and I heard her husband on the phone telling someone on that he was at a black person's house and could they hear the Reggae music in the background. Is this the behaviour of an adult thinking person?
My point being that all you can do is educate people and hope that they learn from their experiences.
By my relationships with others who don't know my husband until much later...they are forced to form an opinion of me and then justify to themselves why they would feel any differently after they have met my husband.
All we can do is try to help people educate themselves to the differences in others and the whole idea that you never know who you are talking to....many people who have made off colour remarks about black people within my earshot have looked like shit when they see my husband.
Life is a learning experience every single day.
Just for the record...I'm not bleached blonde who gets braids done like black women do and I don't speak in ebonics like you see on Ricki Lake....I'm not the stereotype either :)
I'm a professional and that really throws shit to the wind for alot of people and I like it.

Similar to study groups that are given sugar pills in place of the medication that is being tested for the study. Often participants not in the control group claim to feel better even though they in reality have not been taking the medication themselves.
I think that the human race needs to have the feeling of being a "part" of something larger. We all have a need to belong and often feel validated when we are part of a group that has the same beliefs that we do.

In a way this also explains how normal people can become part of an angry mob and do things that they would never dream of doing alone.

It all comes down to influence and this is why I am trying to point out that it is the small individual experiences that mold our final opinions.
My family is a perfect example of this.
One of my uncles believed that most black people were like what he saw on cops(the tv show). His experience with black people was extremely limited.
He was angry when he found out about my husband before I married him but was evolved enough to meet him and his family.
My uncle's opinion changed.
Now, when someone says something negative about black people in his presence, he tells them off. Because his experience with my husband's people has changed his opinion. When he tells someone off about their attitude about blacks he is defending the people that knows and cares about.
However, I stray...yes, I do believe that it is through conditioning that we live up to those stereotypes and it is through conditioning that we hate. We are essentially like sheep in alot of different ways. Even those that strive to be "different", travel in cliques or groups that are composed of people similar to themselves behaving in similar ways.

Mentally ill people are the only people that are truly living within their own minds and not following the mores and ethics of the general population and attitudes towards the mentally ill are still negative even when the ill person is harmlessly ill...meaning that they are not violent people.
Mind you, if you are rich you are eccentric.
It's only when you are poor that you are considered crazy.