Thursday, August 9, 2012


I pride myself on being an open minded person. I have often said that I’m too open minded to be a purist about anything. That being said, I have many, many, many opinions and I usually stick to my guns when I form an opinion about something. Seems like a contradiction doesn’t it?

When Duran Duran’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger came out, I was in Grade Seven. My friends all went CRAZY for Duran Duran. Two of the girls I walked to school with listened to the album on their Walkmans on the way to school singing their heads off. They went to the concert and wore their concert t-shirts and talked about Nick and John and Simon and Roger and Andy like they knew them personally. They watched every music video on Friday Night Videos and bought every magazine with articles about Duran Duran and plastered their walls with posters.

Every time they would talk about Duran Duran I would roll my eyes. I thought they were so dumb. I wished they would get a life and talk about something else. I just didn’t see what the big deal was.

Every single person who knows me just exclaimed a collective “wha-?!”

I had never heard the music. I had never really paid attention to the photos. I never watched the videos. I was too busy being crazy about David Bowie and David Cassidy and Davy Jones to care. I thought they were just a bunch of pretty boys and that’s it. I can’t remember what caused me to make such a complete one eighty, but I’m pretty sure it was the music video for The Reflex. Either that, or puberty kicked in.

Nick was my first favourite, then I decided I loved John, to end up with a HUGE poster of Simon on my wall until I graduated from high school. I have seen them twice. I saved up all my money from my summer job at McDonald’s to see the Strange Behaviour tour when I was in Grade Eleven, and I saw the Big Thing tour even though I had mono. I absolutely love Duran Duran. I have every album in every format: vinyl, cassette, CD and iTune.

What I learned from this experience was to keep an open mind and to learn about things before forming an unmovable opinion about something. This is why I am a collector of information. My brain is an overflowing fount of useless information.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No Means No

I have always had a hard time with the word No. I hate to disappoint and therefore say yes to everything. This has been cause for much stress in my life and I have had to learn to not overestimate myself and know my limitations and say no every once and awhile. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to be able to accept your limitations and know that saying no is not the worst thing in the world.


I still say yes all the time. Ask my husband, he will tell you I am much too easy on my boys, never telling them no. “Mom, can I play the Wii even though my room looks like a bomb hit it?” Sure thing! “Mom, can I play outside until after dark even though I haven’t practiced my violin once this week?” Of course! “Mom, can I jump on the trampoline even though I haven’t done one thing you asked me to all week and totally disrespected you five minutes ago?” Can’t see why not! While it may seem that I am exaggerating for artistic purposes, I’m really not. Obviously we have some discipline issues in our home. I just get so sick of nagging them all day to do the things they need to do in order to have some fun and I want them out of my hair so that I can get my own chores done. You’re right, I know that I need to be less permissive with the boys, and most of the time I’m not, there are just days that I don’t have the energy to argue with them, my husband works nights so I don’t have any back-up, and the boys totally know how to play me.

I say yes all the time, so when I do say no, know that it is because I really, really, really mean no. I would much rather say yes all the time and it is extremely difficult for me to say no, so when I say no, I mean NO. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. You would think from the previous paragraph that I would be a total doormat and just let people walk all over me. That is not the case; I’m just a lot more flexible than most folks. Even rubber bands can only be stretched so far before they snap.

Meet the rubber band. (Hi, howareya?) I know when to say no and in order to prevent myself from snapping, I stick to my guns when saying no. There is usually no room for negotiation. It can be hard for people to understand when a person seems so flexible, easy, and permissive acts so stubborn.

I’m not as wishy washy as I appear. When you spend as much time in your head as I do, decisions are made long in advance, so when the limit is reached there is no more and the answer is no.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Playlists are the Mixed Tapes of the New Millenium

Although it seems strange for a music lover such as I am, but I never had a Walkman. I never even owned a pair of headphones until I got my iPod in 2006. What I DID have was a dual cassette player with a radio so that I could make mix tapes. I would tape off the radio mostly as I had no money to buy my own tapes, but once I started babysitting with regularity I could buy my own tapes and I would use them to make mix tapes as well.

Oh the mix tapes that I would make. They were an even split between dance music/party mixes and songs dedicated to my latest love/break-up. There’s a part in a book where my favourite character is throwing a party and she’s going through her CDs and she asks her brother what to play, “Educational or comforting favourites?” I love that line because that was always my dilemma; do I educate the masses and risk having everyone standing up against the wall staring uncomfortably at the floor, or do I have loads of familiar pop music that everyone will have a good time? I would choose the latter sprinkled in with some of the former.

I remember playing one of my very favourite B52’s songs at a dance and no one was familiar with it. The dance floor was cleared with the exception of me and my sister. We didn’t care, we just took up the whole dance floor and sang our heads off. Towards the end of the song some of our friends dared to join us. Suffice it to say, that song never got played again. Too bad, it’s an awesome song. (Dance this Mess Around – it’s awesome, you should check it out).

I never gave my mix tapes away. I mentioned my poverty – that was not a joke. My blank tapes were precious to me and I could not afford to just give the tapes away. I also never ever wanted to be that pathetic ex-girlfriend that would make a mix tape of love songs for the guy that dumped her in an attempt to win him back. I made my mix tapes to play at parties and dances and to soothe my lonely, broken heart.

I really did have some awesome mix tapes. I used the formula described in High Fidelity. The songs had to be in a certain order to set the mood I was going for. I don’t have many left, but I still do have some of my mix tapes kicking around somewhere. I need to find them and turn them into playlists.

I’ve been a little late to the party with the whole iTunes thing, but once I got my iPod and realized how un-scary digital music is, I was all on board. I love the playlist option on my iPod Touch. LOVE it. I don’t have a lot of free time to make playlists like I did when I was a kid alone in my bedroom, but the playlists I do have are so excellent. I have one for dancing, one for working out, one for the olden days, one with quiet music, etc.

My latest creation is my Summer playlist. I love my summer playlist. It sounds just like summer to me. My iPod Touch has this feature where you can edit the playlist while you’re listening to it which is just about the greatest thing ever because the only way to really know if a playlist is going to work is while you are listening to it.

Oh how I wish I had the time to sit alone in my bedroom with my tunes playing and the liner notes laying all around me on my bed with my notepad listing the songs and crossing them out and putting them in the right order…

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Yes, No, Maybe So

I am really good at making decisions. I have a really good relationship with my gut, and I see most things in black and white, so I have the ability to make snap decisions. I rarely regret the decisions I have made. I am not one of these people who need to take time to weigh the pros and cons and see things from every angle before they make a decision about something.

My definition of “gut” is when your head and your heart agree. When my head and my heart agree, my gut says yes, therefore that is my decision. If my head and heart disagree, the answer is no.

I am a really open minded person and I can see things from both sides. There have been times when I have made a decision about something but later learned more information and changed my opinion. I am not above changing my opinions about some things, however, there are things that I know to be absolutely true because I have looked at it from all angles and tossed it around and around in my head and still come to the same conclusion.

It can seem like I make rash decisions because I answer so quickly and am so determined to stick to what I say.

Here’s the deal:
  1. I am thinking all the time. I think about everything. When it comes time to make a decision about something, chances are that I’ve already thought about it and formed my opinion. Just because I haven’t discussed things with you doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about them. I’m a keep things in my head until I have them straight kind of girl.
  2. I know myself really well. (see #1) I know what’s good for me and what is not most of the time.
  3. I have had so many opportunities to make bad choices as a youth that I really know what’s bad for me. Since I know so well what’s bad for me, I also know what’s good.
This does not change the fact that I’m not perfect and don’t always make the best decisions. There are times when I need to mull things over and make pro/con lists and ponder, but these times are rare and often involve other people. I am also not too proud to admit when I made a bad choice and need to change my mind. I’m not too stubborn to be persuaded to see someone else’s point of view, but that doesn’t always change mine.

People who can’t make a decision or don’t stick to what they decided drive me crazy.