Friday’s Mixed Nuts

1 One statement that may be offensive or viewed as insensitive to others but here we go. The public rendering of grief over pop-culture figures dying of drug/alcohol/both abuse  — like Amy Winehouse or Whitney Houston — drives me bonkers. It drives me bonkers because every day people die of drug abuse, either from overdose or over-usage. They don’t die in glory, they don’t have every Hollywood figure tweeting their sorrow, they don’t have glossy pictures of their better days splashed all over newspapers, they don’t get public tributes at award shows declaring what a great loss we’ve all suffered. They die alone, ravaged, miserable. Often, their families and friends have given-up on them years ago. Their only circle of support is the circle that keeps them deep into addiction hell. Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston were the same miserable, ravaged, lonely people, just with publicists to smooth over the mess. They spent the GDP of a few small countries on dope, they messed-up their kids and loved-ones, they wasted their lives and talents and they get celebrated. Meanwhile in the Sudan…

2 Two court cases that should give you pause when a government official tells you not to worry over mandatory minimum sentences because prosecutors will use judgement in laying accusations: Smickle and Ian Thomson. Be afraid: prosecutors prosecute, that’s their job. Judges use judgement, that’s supposed to be their job… Unless you tie-up their hands with mandatory sentences.

3 Three years is too old to participate in programs at the Ottawa Public Library. Now, they do have a baby program for 0 to 18 months and a toddler program for up to 3 years. As a mother of 8 with a shiny new 3-year-old and infant twins, there is not a whole lot I can do outside the home. Can’t take them skating (I was informed by the helpful attendant that even infants in strollers needed to wear a helmet on the rink…. my babies are 4 months old!), can’t take them to the pool (there’s only so much life-saving you can perform with two babies in a sling) and now I can’t take them to story time because my 3 year-old is too old. Let me tell you something that may come as a shock to many modern parents: babies don’t care about books and stories. Babies care about you. You could read them the side of a box of Cheerios while sitting on the toilet and they would be just as enthralled, as long as you make eye contact. My 3 year-old on the other hand loves stories but doesn’t cares much about boxes of Cheerios once they are emptied on the floor. A day-time program for preschoolers would be welcome.

4 Four-ty is too old to start thinking about babies but we knew that already. What is worrying is the rising infertility rates among younger women. But, hey, who cares? There’s always new reproductive technologies, right? Wrong:

Canada’s pregnancy specialists have been sounding an alarm over the risks of deferred motherhood.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada – which has just issued new guidelines to doctors on “advanced reproductive age” and fertility – worries that women are placing too much blind faith in hightech fertility treatments to help them conceive once they’re ready to have a baby.

In an interview with CBC All in a Day, a doctor commenting on a new study of rising infertility rates noted that while the solution was for women to have their children younger, that wasn’t going to happen. His suggestion? Egg freezing and in-vitro fertilization once a woman is ready to reproduce. In other words, the solution to unreliable reproductive technologies is more reproductive technologies. Time to go watch Children of Men again!
5 Five pounds to my pre-twin-pregnancy weight! I’m not bragging: I had help from two run-ins with strep and a bout of stomach flu. But since I have a pedestrian interest in food and nutrition I thought I would mention that Weight Watchers is not a miracle diet. It requires discipline and determination and it works. Forget about fads, pills and devices and embrace the Eater’s Manifesto: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. And if you really want results, do what one of my formerly-obese-now-training-for-a-marathon friend did and register for a running clinic from the Running Room AND Weight Watchers. You will not regret it, I promise!