Tag Archives: Canada

Birthday Blog.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

Over the past thirty-seven years, I’ve gotten to know myself pretty well. I know what I like and am passionate about the things that I don’t.

In celebration of my day of birth, I’ve compiled a random list of thirty-seven things that I’ll never do. Although this sounds negative, it’s totally not.

It’s simply me, in list form.

NFred’s Totally Random “Never Do” List.

1. I will never like wine. I assumed that I would grow into a wine drinker as I aged, but it’s not going to happen. I hate the way wine feels in my mouth, all dry and sour. The closest I’ve ever come to being a wine drinker was that time I drank beer from a wine glass.

2. I will never be classy. I enjoy farting too much.

3. I will never stop swearing. The best people I know have mouths on them that would make old ladies faint. Swearers are honest, genuine people who don’t give a fuck if you’re offended by their vocabulary. No, I don’t swear in front of my kids or while helping customers at work, but an appropriately placed curse word can really help get a point across.


4. I will never like sushi. I’ve tried both vegetarian and fish sushi and all I have to say is SO MUCH MUSH IN MY MOUTH.

5. I will never wear high heels. I have nothing against high heeled shoes, but they just aren’t for me. Besides, sneakers look great with everything, especially formal wear.

6. I will never wear contact lenses. My glasses are such a part of me, they’re like an extra limb.

7. I will never wear high waisted jeans. That fad should have stayed in the seventies. There is nothing appealing to me about jeans that give the illusion of having a freakishly long vagina.


8. I will never understand Twitter. Like what’s the point? Isn’t sending a tweet essentially the same thing as talking to yourself?

9. I will never win a CBC writing contest. I know this as fact because my writing isn’t “tragically Canadian” enough.

10. I will never understand the ending of Lost. My husband has explained it to me countless times and it has to be more confusing than quantum physics.

11. I will never stop worrying. Just this morning I’ve worried about a rash on my cheek, shark attacks, the end of the world, bee stings and internet predators. I’ve always struggled with anxiety. It’s a good thing it doesn’t stop me from being awesome as fuck.

12. I will never stop loving my husband. He’s currently sitting in his underwear, passionately playing nerdy computer games with our kids. Swoon!

13. I will never like dogs. My opinion on this matter will only change when dogs start picking up their own poop.

not cute

14. I will never love my grey hair. I’m trying really hard to embrace my newly lightened locks. I don’t want to dye my hair, but I don’t want grey hair either. My youngest son loves my grey. He thinks I look like a mad scientist. I think I look old. Why is life so hard?!?!?!?

15. I will never like yoga. If I’m going to make an effort to workout, you better believe that there will be dance music, hip isolations and grapevines involved. Silent stretching really doesn’t turn my crank.

16. I will never stop loving chocolate. Chocolate is my jam, my joie de vivre, my soulmate.

17. I will never stop using the word awesome. It’s an awesome word that I use an awesome amount each and every day.


18. I will never enjoy baths. A bath is essentially making soup stock out of your own filth.

19. I will never sleep with the blankets tucked into the bed. Hello claustrophobia! Why not sleep in a coffin?

20. I will never stop loving Sallie Bee. She is the best. She sent me a llama postcard in the mail last week. If you like llamas, you should really get to know her. She’s also a great knitter, swearer and hug giver.

21. I will never enjoy wearing a bathing suit. They just aren’t comfortable. And they never cover my whole ass. Even as a child, my bum cheeks would always peek out of the bottom of my suit. My daughter has inherited this problem. The bum hang struggle is real.

22. I will never grow tired of camping. Sleeping in a tent, swimming in a lake, day drinking, roasting marshmallows in a camp fire and not bathing for days. What’s not to love?

23. I will never stop wanting more tattoos. If I were rich, I would have so many! My current list of inky desires include a winking strawberry, a cat saying meow and a shark fin.

24. I will never understand people who claim to have never watched The Simpsons. It’s been on TV for over a hundred years, how have you never seen an episode?


25. I will never come to terms with Jon Snow’s death. Why George R. R. Martin? WHY? Jon Snow was my boyfriend and you better not bring him back to life next season only to kill him again because my heart will explode. I’m so angry about the death of my boyfriend that if I knew where George R. R. Martin lived, I would shit in a paper bag, light it on fire and diabolically place it on his porch. Stomp on my flaming feces, George R. R. Martin, just like you stomped on my heart!!!

26. I will never get into Orange is the New Black. I’ve tried three times. I have way too many shows in my TV rotation to keep one around that’s only effect on me is an overwhelming feeling of “meh”.

27. I will never like Rush. I understand that they’re an iconic Canadian band, but what’s with all the rhyming in their songs?

28. I will never use the phrase “on fleek”.  It’s horrendous. It’s the verbal equivalent of a dry heave.

29. I will never have perfect eyebrows, and that’s okay. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I either over pluck or don’t pluck enough. I’m currently on an eyebrow grooming hiatus and it feels good.

on fleek brows

30. I will never stay at a job where the people suck. Honestly, I’m so lucky to work with such a kick ass group of people. They can make even the most tedious retail tasks enjoyable. And they often share snacks.

31. I will never insist that my oldest son cuts his hair. He’s had long hair since he was seven. Does he look like a girl? Yes. Does looking like a girl bother him? No. Does it bother me? Please. I have bigger things to worry about (read # 11 again). I’m proud that my son has the confidence to wear his hair long. He once told me that he doesn’t even know why people think calling a boy a girl is a bad thing because, in his own words, “girls and boys are the same”.

32. I will never add or subtract without using my fingers. Math is hard and stupid.

33. I will never understand why customers ask me if I speak French, in English, and when I say “oui” and continue in French, they switch back to English. So confusing. So awkward. How do I proceed? In French or English? Is my French really that bad?Je ne sais pas. Ca me donne mal a la tete.

34. I will never understand why my back neighbours never clean up their dog’s shit off of their deck.

35. I will never enjoy watching curling on TV. My husband loves him some curling. For some unknown reason, he finds the act of watching rocks sliding on ice and hitting other rocks enjoyable. I think I’d rather have a pap test, thanks.

36. I will never keep a house plant alive. I’m a plant murderer. The only plants currently in my home are of the artificial variety and they’re thriving.

37. I will never stop writing.


Thanks for reading my super long list.

In my old age, I hope to be true to myself, to stay weird and to make people laugh.

Until we meet again,


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Sex Ed with NFred.

When I think back about the Sex Education that I received in grade school, I vaguely remember giggling while labeling fallopian tubes and testicles and penises on endless photocopied sheets.

I remember in grade six, a nurse taught us instead of our teacher. One lesson was about Toxic Shock Syndrome and it horrified my eleven year old self to the point that it turned me off tampons for life.

As a nineties kid, if I had any questions about sex, it’s not like I could just hop on my computer and ask Google. Most of what I learned about sex was from deep conversations with my friends behind the portables at recess. This is probably why I thought that oral sex was the act of “talking about doing it” until grade eight.

In grade nine sex ed, I remember having to watch a video of a woman giving birth. Upon it’s completion I vowed to never have children. That same year, our female gym teacher showed us her used IUD, passed out expired condoms and revealed that she used spermicidal jelly as both contraception and hand cream.

There’s been a lot of talk about sex ed this week in the Canadian media as the province of Ontario has just updated their sex ed curriculum for the first time since 1998. Starting in September 2015, this new curriculum will be taught in all Ontario schools.

If you have a lot of time on your hands, feel free to peruse the new curriculum for grades 1-8 here;


Grades 9-12 can be found here;


If you would like a quicker overview of what will be taught grade by grade, The Toronto Star published a helpful article here;


After perusing the curriculum, reading several opinion pieces online, chatting with other parents and having a deep conversation with my best friend who happens to be a grade seven teacher, I have come to the conclusion that I totally support the new sex ed.

And here’s why…

1. Kids are stupid. In 1998 there was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. There was barely any internet. If you went to a party and did something stupid, like I did many times, the worst thing you’d have to deal with were some bad hangovers and being the target of relentless teasing by your friends.  There was no permanent photographic evidence that ended up on the world wide web for anyone and everyone to scrutinize. Part of the new sex ed curriculum is teaching kids as early as grade seven the dangers of “sexting”. I think this is an extremely important addition. In a perfect world, twelve year old kids wouldn’t have cell phones or tablets or Facebook pages. But this is not a perfect world. Kids have very easy access to very grown up things. I don’t want to be the kind of parent that insists that just because my child doesn’t have a cell phone that he doesn’t know what it means to “sext” someone. I don’t want to be the kind of parent that thinks that my child would never look up porn on the internet. Kids are as naturally curious as they are stupid. They really don’t understand that whatever they put online stays there forever, whether it be a nudie pic, a rude comment or an offensive joke. As parents, we need to have conversations at home about the impact of their online footprint. Having these conversations in the classroom will help arm our children with even more knowledge, and the more knowledge they have, the more prepared they’ll be to make wise online choices.

2. It’s not 1950. In the new sex ed curriculum, children in grade three will learn about same-sex relationships. What do I think about this? IT’S ABOUT FREAK’N TIME. I’ve read some pretty disgusting online comments by parents who are downright outraged that their precious little angels will be learning about homosexuality. What’s the big deal? Are these parents living in the 1950’s? Here’s the thing, the more we talk openly about the different kids of relationships, the more “normal” it will become to have two moms or two dads or two moms and three dads or one mom with six cats and a llama. Families come in all forms. One is not better than the other. This is something that our children need to be taught. Why? Because this is how homophobia ends.**** NFred drops imaginary microphone.

3. Let’s talk about sex, baby. When my oldest son was about five, he asked me constantly how a baby got inside a mom’s belly. He would ask me at the park, the grocery store, at family gatherings. My standard answer was, “a daddy puts a baby in a mommy’s tummy with love.” I knew he wasn’t buying the explanation of a magical love baby because he continued to ask. One night when he was getting ready for a bath, he asked me again. I took a deep breath and told him the whole penis in vagina truth. When I was done, he silently got in the bath, looked at me and said, “I always thought that a mom ate a baby and that’s how it got in her belly.” As a parent, my first sex chat with my child was pretty awkward. Over the years, it’s gotten much easier. I’ve ditched the magical love baby stories and have answered all of their questions in an honest and age appropriate manor. This is exactly what the new sex ed curriculum aims to do. The more safe spaces we provide for our children to talk about sex, the better equipped they’ll be to make the right choices in the real world. And if we show our kids that sex isn’t a taboo topic, the more likely it will be that they will grown into confident, body positive young adults. And who wouldn’t want that for their kid?


Thanks for reading Sex Ed with NFred. What are your opinions on the new curriculum? I’d love to hear them!


In closing, please enjoy this classic Salt N Pepa Jam. It’s been in my head all week!!!

Until we meet again,













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In The Hot Seat





I am not a huge fan of summer.

I strongly dislike being hot.

I sweat a lot. My perspiration production goes into overdrive when the temperature soars. 

For me, there is nothing worse than getting into a sweltering hot car that’s been sitting outside all day in the summer sun.

Picture it…

You’ve just spent a lovely morning being lazy inside your air conditioned home. You have no idea that it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement outside. You have to leave the house to run some errands. You get dressed and as soon as you open the front door of your house, you get sucker punched by a thick wall of heat. Each step to your car feels like you’re running inside of a sauna. You finally open your car door and realize that it’s even hotter in there then outside. You quickly close the door and fumble with your keys while trying to start the engine. As soon as your car is on, a hot blast of air pummels you in the face. You cringe as you frantically open all the windows. For the first couple of minutes, the air conditioner will blow nothing but nauseatingly hot air. It makes your eyes run and your armpits sweat. You reach for your seat belt and flinch as the metal clasp burns your fingers. When you’re halfway to your destination, the car is finally at a comfortable temperature. Sadly, you’ll have to go through this torturous heat routine every time you get in and out of your car for the rest of your day, if not your summer.

Now imagine that for some inexplicable reason, you are trapped inside of your car on one of the hottest days of the summer. 

No air conditioning.

No open windows.

Doors power locked.

Imagine that you’re strapped into your seat and unable to free yourself.

You have no cell phone to call for help. There is nobody around to come to your aid.

You just sit there, roasting.

Until it’s too late. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Sadly it’s been all over the news. Two small children have already died this summer in Canada due to being left unattended in hot vehicles

I don’t know all the circumstances that led these children to be left alone inside their cars. I’ve heard excuses like, “kids like to play around cars” or “accidents happen” or “it was an honest mistake”. These reasons are complete bull shit. The bottom line is that whom ever was in charge of the safety and well being of these children dropped the ball.

How does a parent, grandparent or caregiver simply “forget” that they have a child in their care?

I am not a perfect parent. Not by a long shot. I’ve bribed my kids, I’ve fed them things containing high fructose corn syrup and I’ve certainly zoned out and payed zero attention when they’ve talked on and on about Pokemon. But in all my parental fails, I have NEVER forgotten that my children were in my care. I’ve never gone somewhere and then on the way home realized that I’ve left one of my children behind.

I read an articles about how we as a society shouldn’t be blaming the parent’s for forgetting their children in their cars. The article insisted that even the most loving parents can forget about their tiny passengers because of stress or exhaustion or a change in routine. My feeling about this is simple…If you are so tired and stressed with life, why are you even driving a motor vehicle in the first place? If you are so consumed by your job or your social networks or jam packed schedule then maybe you should take a step back and reevaluate your priorities. 

In other words, SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.

Remember, never leave young children alone in a car, not even for a second. The consequences could be dire. If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911. Don’t let social etiquette sway you from doing the right thing. This same goes for pets. Cracking your window open a sliver won’t make any difference to your dog when it’s insanely hot outside. Leave your pets at home where they will be both comfortable and safe.

Some parents have invented drugs to cure illnesses, sent rocket ships to the moon and built the most amazing skyscrapers. Some make amazing lunches, volunteer in their communities and tell fabulous bed time stories. It boggles my mind that in this day and age, with all of the brilliant and genuinely wonderful parents in the world, tragedies like this are still happening.

Remember, your most important job as a parent is to keep your children safe. Make it your number one priority.

Stay safe,


















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I’ve been working ever so hard on the first chapter of my story. I was extremely confident that it would be ready to post by today.

Sadly, it is not.

I was just looking it over and have decided that it is absolute shit.


The plot rivals that of a terribly cheesy Disney Channel show. I think my main character was a sentence away from turning into a wizard or seeing the future or going to school on a cruise ship.

Obviously I need to rethink my whole story. But before I do that, I’ll write a little something about French people.


I love French people. I really do. I love them so much, that I married one.

French people are animated and passionate and they like to talk with their hands. The French people that I know like to break out into song, bake things with funny names like Nun’s Farts and they often cry at random things like cell phone commercials or old episodes of Saved By the Bell.

When I say French people, I am of course talking about French Canadians. I live in Ottawa, which is a super bilingual city. I work in retail and I pretty much speak french every day. I can honestly say that French is the only useful thing I ever took in high school. I don’t seem to use much algebra or chemistry or Canada Fitness Beep Tests in my day to day life.

My French isn’t awesome, but it’s not terrible. I can totally follow a conversation in French. I might get a little jumbled in my head when I’m trying to speak the language. I might not conjugate the verbs properly. I might mix up the words for “chin” and “jacket” and “sheep”. I might make up words in French to sound intelligent. Actually, I do that in English too. I like to refribulate words.

At work, I’ve had some great experiences with French customers. Most of them are kind and patient and appreciative when I’m serving them in my choppy, beat up French.

Some, however, are not.

Here are two examples…

1. I don’t understand when a customer comes up to me and asks me in French if I speak French and I say yes and then they ask me their question in French and I answer in French and then they answer me back in English??? It’s so confusing and terribly awkward. Do I keep talking in French? I feel like if they wanted to be served in French in the first place, then that’s what I’ll do. Or should I? Is my French offensively bad? Je ne pense pas, mais peut-etre???

2. I usually say “hi” or “hello” when customers enter my store. Most people say hi back or smile or nod in my general direction. Do you know what really gets my goat? When I make eye contact with a customer and say hello and they just stare blankly at me like I’m a moron. I’ve had this happen several times. So awkward. I usually follow up with a “how are you” and often get a reply. When I don’t, I have to pull out the big guns and hit them with a “bonjour” The power of that word will never cease to amaze me. More magical than Bibbity Bobbity Boo or Wingardium Leviosa or Hocus Pocus Alamagocus, a simple “bonjour” said to the right person can completely change their personality! I’ve seen it with my own eyes! Upon hearing it, their whole demeanor changes and they often become chatty, social or dare I say, PLEASANT. It must be really hard to live in a completely bilingual city like Ottawa and not know what “hi” means. How awful it must be to have people in stores, restaurants and even on the phone taunting you relentlessly with this strange and confusing syllable.

All this writing about French people has gotten me really hungry for a giant pile of poutine…

I shall resist my craving for some delicious fries, gravy and curds and instead go back to work on my terrible story.

Maybe my main character should be French? I could give her a great French name like Pierette or Guylaine or Maude???


And maybe from now on, I’ll end all my posts like this…



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