Lain's Log

Harsh Words Hit and Hurt my Daughter - then Me

July 24/16.


Remember me? Ha! Doubtful. - Been a long time.

Haven't written on the blog since 9/11 - 2014, - almost two years ago.
Thought I'd try my hand, - (or keyboard), once again.

This entry? - inspired by someone who said something exceedingly mean to me. - Enough to leave me in tears and want to chronicle what happened. - Maybe I can figure it out.

 Not every photo has to be happy, happy, happy, right? - (Here's my "go-to" sad/pensive pic).

But mostly, it's about people attacking and criticizing my daughter, Kate, for her first essay contribution to The Establishment online site - (published July 11).

Bit 'o history. - Lain's Log began as a tell-it-like-it-is medical blog about my breast cancer experience. Easy to conjure up material, after so many visits at Princess Margaret Hospital. My goal as a reporter, was, - no candy coating, - only the unvarnished truth, (for those also afflicted with breast cancer, who might want to know what it's actually like. - At least, for from one person's perspective).

I covered a gamut of issues and experiences.

Example. - Core needle biopsy. - Does it hurt to have a gun-like instrument held by a doctor, against your breast, and have him shoot it three times into your flesh, grabbing tissue samples and yanking them out to be tested?? - Thankfully, after begging for the pain-killing Lidocaine, (local anesthetic injected into the area to numb it), I needn't have worried about this scary-sounding procedure. Can honestly say, I felt NO pain whatsoever.

Or how about a particularly nasty nurse?

Or rude receptionist who treats patients like pond scum? - Look out!

There's a blogger writing about you"! She's got a notebook and poison pen, ready to reveal your appalling attitude toward the world! - Run for your life"!!

I didn't use names, but a description and time the person was working at their particular office, - the manner used to "greet" frightened women, combined with quotes from my own encounter. - Then I'd casually mention to the Dr, - "I blog about my experiences", passing him (or her), a post-it note with the LINK, urging, - "Check it out because you might just be IN it"!

NEXT time I saw the unpleasant greeter, - feeling horribly apprehensive about my procedure, - she welcomed me warmly, asked if I was comfortable and said the doctor would see me soon and be very gentle with the needles. - He'd read the blog! - I KNEW - he "GOT to her."
The POWER of words!

                             Carrie wheeling me out of hospital, - same day as the surgery.

(On the flip side, - I was ALWAYS complimentary of any staff member, nurse or doctor who was kind or helpful, - and there were MANY).

With the medical stories calming down, thank goodness, this writing platform morphed into a "Mom blog" for a while, - a title I despise! - HATE being called MOM, - (the way all the American TV show kids address their mothers). - "Awwwww MOM! - Sorry Biffy, but my stupid MOM won't let me out of jail till I finish my homework".

Just to be clear, - I am MUM. That's what we called OUR mother. - And for the record, I rarely reminded or forced my kids to do their homework. If they didn't complete it, - that was THEIR business and THEY could face the consequences.

(But of course, if they ASKED me, I'd be right there).


Look how they turned out! - Amazing, determined, intelligent, thoughtful, challenging, bright, beautiful, funny, talented, adventurous and on and on.

Now - switching gears to my daughter.

At 24, Kate completed her four-year journalism program at Ryerson, and long before graduating, was pitching, writing and making money through magazines, websites and ads from her own sex blog. When she painstakingly composed a courageous, heartfelt, honest and personal story called The Dangers of Dating Faux-Feminist Men for The Establishment,

compliments rolled in from those who understood, related and agreed with her opinions. - But just as suddenly, the "haters and trolls" came out of the woodwork, lashing out in anger, taunting, calling her names and hurling insults. 

The story definitely touched nerves and Kate found herself deluged with negative responses coming her way through every social medium. 

Many criticized her attitudes on feminism, while others attacked Kate herself, tossing vitriol, verbal stones for expressing her own raw opinions. Some of the offensive remarks became frightening, - even threatening. - Though shaken, and admitting to having a hard time time dealing with people so determined to destroy her, Kate took them all on, in her usual brave way, - boldly responding to many of the messages she received. 

Other followers, friends and fans counteracted, praising her work.

The story took on a life of its own. For several days, the candid article landed her #1 on the site's "Most Established" list.

Jessica Sutherland, head of social media at The Establishment, explained to me, "The anti-feminist crowd is very vocal, but I think Kate's piece resonated with more people than it rankled. - The positive shares are what LEADS the trolls to notice it in the first place"!

It's hard to fathom the idea, - so many men believe the word FEMINIST translates to man hater. - Couldn't be further from the truth. -

Ha! - In fact, I happen to know, there are countless men Kate adores! - Take THIS guy!
Benedict Cumberbatch.

So, my darlin' daughter, has fought her way through the firestorm and is already on to new, hot and exciting adventures & projects. She'll continue to speak her mind and there's so much more ahead for this brilliant young writer. Keep an eye out for her.

A force to be reckoned with!

As for ME? - The hurtful remarks are nothing compared to what Kate faced. - Just over a month ago, someone said something very mean to me. - (not about Kate, - but myself), and I can't seem to get past it.

As a Libra, (sign of the scales), - representing balance, harmony and peacekeeping, I've always despised fights, controversy, intense or heated arguments. - Try to back away from them whenever possible.
Strange, since I've so often found myself caught up in a swirling, virtual, volatile vortex of emotional turbulence. Sometimes inescapable.

The pain and symptoms of a tirade most often stays inside you, where others can't see them, or even realize you are confused, crushed or hurt.

After coming up against that kind of blast, you'd think it would be like water off a duck's back. - Nope.

At any rate, what this person told me was really only one sentence, startling, crass, mean-spirited, unexpected, painful and hurt me very much.

I don't have a clue whether it was said purposely to achieve this very goal, - (if so, - good for you,

But perhaps it was said without malice, with no idea it would stab me in the heart, leaving me in a state of sadness. - (Photo taken years ago at a train station, after seeing my grandfather in England, following what I thought would be my first and last visit with him). - Another "go-to" photo. - (There's no FAKING sadness).

Worse still, this comment came from a person I've always been good to, treated with kindness and generosity over years. For that reason, - the fact that I care, shows me I can forgive, but not forget, - yet.

I haven't spoken to this person since the comment was made, and likely won't ask about it until I figure out and understand it myself. Haven't even glanced at their Facebook page. Not once.

******July 29/16.
This upsetting issue (my own), - has now been resolved. I'm leaving the blog entry up, but any readers seeing it as of this date, should know, it's OK. Worked out by both of us.
Still hurts, but - I've come to an understanding - (50/50 brought upon by me), with this special person in my life. Thank you for helping to straighten things out.

The whole thing makes me want to take off for.....I don't know...someplace, -  maybe familiar, like --

- inch by inch......

Or how about going back to


(Hey Kate! - maybe we can return to the Sex Museum, steal this sign and flash all the "haters")!
Nah. I know you're nicer than that.

Or like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, - "There's no place like home. - There's no place like home."

 Perhaps - "I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with"!

So, - will leave you with Kate. -  If my own daughter can survive, overcome and be even stronger after facing verbal slings and arrows, - hell, I should be able to dodge ONE stinging sentence, - don't you think?

Bittersweet day, but lovely summer

September 11/14.

No entries for almost a month? Good grief. - Life moves too damn quickly. Tough to stay caught up with such a fast-paced world. - I USED to be able to do blog entries EVERY SINGLE DAY! Workin' on it!

Today marks two anniversaries. The first involved thousands. The other, just one man.

It's been 13 years since the horrifying terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 people. The memories of that devastating day can never be forgotten.

A ceremony was held this morning where family members of those lost in the tragedy were invited to read out names. A moment of silence was held at 8:46 a.m. when the first plane flew through the North Tower.

For my own family, this day is the birthday of our late and wonderful Uncle Ev Staples. He died in December 2010 at age 97, but always wished he could make it to 100. He would have been 101 today. I recall he and his wife, (my late, great Auntie Ray), were glued to the TV that day, watching non-stop 9/11 coverage - as was the rest of the world.

This fabulous colourful painting, by their artist friend Garth Haines hung in their bedroom for years. Uncle Ev was a painter, skater, sculptor, knitter and a million other things.

At age 97, or as a young man, he was always handsome, artistic and had an outrageous sense of humour. We all miss him so much. For my sister, Carrie and me, he was our "second Dad" -

(shared, of course, with his REAL son, - our adored cousin, Kevio). - Here's to you Uncle Ev, - where ever you may be. We love you.

Since I had some free time today, I decided to do something I've been dreading. My bedroom couch has been completely covered with clean, folded laundry for months. (it won't all fit in the closet)! So - managed to get at least SOME of it cleared off, wrapped up for donation or hung up and stuffed into tiny corners of the cupboard. (It may not LOOK that way, - right, I KNOW - ha! There's much more to do!) - but at least you can SIT on the couch now - (if you squish in tight)! - Oh ya! I remember that floral couch pattern now!

Let's see, what ELSE happened during August?

Bumped into blog mascots the Bolton Bros - Dana and Aubrey, (always working for spare cash),

my good friend, Joanne, visited from Los Angeles. (We met at the age of 14 waiting at the airport to see our teen idol, Bobby Sherman, - and got to meet him! - scream!!!! - Have remained best of pals ever since). I took her over to revisit the first house I ever owned - 128 DeGrassi Street at Dundas. The front yard was lush and green and the old deck, (built by my bro-in-law, Franc Mosbaugh more than a couple of decades ago) is still in very good shape! The photog for this pic was a garbage bin. Good job!

I swung by The Taste of the Danforth - not for food, but makeup! Couldn't BELIEVE it when I asked Kate to drive with me to my fave makeup store - Hiscott on Yonge Street around College, only to find it GONE! Nooooooo! - Then, Kate looked it up on her iPhone, discovering the store had moved! Where? - Danforth and Logan - just 7 blocks from our house. Ai yi yi. Talk about going out of our way for nothing! Then, when I GOT to the store, the product I wanted had been discontinued. Ai yi yi. - (What ELSE is new?) Ended up buying something similar to take its place - (concealer if you MUST know! - or as I CALL it - INDUSTRIAL strength bag cream)! -  Ben Nye among one or two other brands. They're OK, but sadly, don't work NEARLY as well as my long-time professional fave, RCMA CS-1.

Taste of the Danforth was fun,

but a little goes a long way,

when you live in the area,

and visit it every year, - noise, crowds, sweltering heat, pushing, shoving, - and THIS year, someone even tried to pick-pocket me, (but didn't GET anything)! Yikes! Did receive a pinch on the butt though from the would-be thief, - a woman, who high-tailed it out of the area as fast as possible!

Later that week, my son, Max and I had a rare Dim Sum lunch together at Pearl Court and brought some take-out food home for Sam and Kate. I ended up sick, since I don't eat that much anymore and think I overdid it on the sticky rice!

They sure take care of their veggies on Gerrard Street in Chinatown. (couldn't tell you what they all ARE)!
- Doh! I'm an idiot! - Just read the SIGNS!!

- but I thought their pyjamas were cute!

Speaking of which, let's talk lingerie, instead of P.J.s, -  OK?? - After my breast cancer surgery three years ago, I was SO happy for a second chance at life and the fact that, thankfully, I only needed a lumpectomy. I decided then and there to ditch my "granny items" and shop at vixenish Victoria's Secret, La-La-La Vie En Rose,

and luscious La Senza! I wanted sexier spicier stuff!

In way younger years, (pre-babies!) - I ADORED string bikinis,

especially this one! But surgery took a toll. I've lost 25 pounds since the above pics, so had to buy smaller sizes. Oprah and other female TV hosts have done many shows on how to measure correctly to get a good fit. (Would love to wear sizes like that string bikini again). But NO COMPLAINTS! I'm just SO happy and ever-grateful to still have breasts. Thousands of other women have not been as lucky. I wish EVERYONE could catch cancer in the early stages so they wouldn't have to face mastectomies or chemo.

Today, (with the couch clean-up), I felt badly to have to toss a bunch of bras - some I bought myself, others I received as gifts. These items kinda changed my life. They made me feel good - and sexy. But they'd seen their day - had holes and broken underwires, so out they went. Boo hoo. - (but as a fantasy fanatic, there's plenty more where THESE came from! Couldn't POSSIBLY part with them ALL)! Not a chance!

Forget the lingerie for a while now, take a walk, get out and smell the roses. - (or whatever flowers you happen upon)!

Or go visit Zaidy poolside at his condo. My kids, Max and Kate came with me to catch a few rays.

"Hey Zaidy! - Who's your favourite grandchild?" - (He has 8 of them, and that answer remains a secret)!!

Not long after the death of my comic hero Robin Williams, (on August 11th), all kinds of magazines started appearing on newsstands. Back in the Global TV days, I bought hundreds of mags. Now, I don't buy books anymore and rarely magazines, (though admit to a subscription to Entertainment Weekly and a penchant for Cosmo)! - But Robin? Different story. I loved him - his humour, film and TV performances, laughter, live concerts, impossibly fast delivery and his kindness. I HAD to have THESE publications.

This picture is my favourite. Bright blue eyes, but you can also see the sadness. Perfect shot. - I know I'll never be able to see Robin in a movie again, without remembering what happened. The devastation he must have felt to do what he did to himself at age 63. If only SOMEONE could have helped.

My daughter, Kate and I attended a special memorial screening of Good Will Hunting at the Carlton Cinema. The headline above? - Farewell Robin - We Ain't Never Had A Friend Like You. I'd never seen it, and found it SO emotional. Especially, "It's not your fault! It's not your fault!"

The theatre asked for a donation to CAMH in memory of Robin. We gave that and more.

Robin's wife, Susan Schneider and three children, Zachary, (31), Zelda, (25), and Cody, (22) are, (as anyone can imagine), in so much pain. Daughter Zelda, (who wasn't happy with some of the social media comments), stated,

"While I’ll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there’s minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions. It doesn’t help the pain, but at least it’s a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.

To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too…
(left to right, - Cody, Zachary, Zelda, Robin)
Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I’ve ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.”

Producer/writer Garry Marshall, who launched Robin's TV career

on Happy Days - (with Henry Winkler - "The Fonz")

and then Mork and Mindy (with Pam Dawber), is quoted as saying,

"He could make everyone laugh but himself."

Among the best tributes from his celebrity friends?

Part of David Letterman's tribute below.

"He was on our show, this show and the old show, a total of nearly 50 times. Two things would happen because Robin was on the program. One, I didn't have to do anything. All I had to do was sit here and watch the machine. Two, people would watch! If they knew Robin was on the show, the viewership would go up because they wanted to see Robin. Believe me, that wasn't just true of television, I believe that was true of the kind of guy he was. 

People were drawn to him because of this electricity. This, whatever it was, that he radiated, that propelled him and powered him."

"Well, what I will add here is, beyond being a very talented man, and a good friend, and a gentleman, I'm sorry, like everybody else, I had no idea that the man was in pain, that the man was suffering. What a guy, Robin Williams."


In an interview with journalist Richard Ouzounian in the Toronto Star, actor Richard Dreyfuss gave this poignant message, revealing things I, (and many others) didn't know. Dreyfuss has been bipolar all of his life, he told Ouzounian, - treating the condition with lithium since the 1970s. He went on to talk about Robin Williams and his suicide.

"Robin was dealing with a major case of manic depression all his life, whether or not he admitted it. Audiences never realized that the highs they found so hysterically funny would inevitably lead to lows that were equally frightening only they never got to see them. To have ridden that roller-coaster for so many years and to plummet from success to failure and find yourself with nothing left at the end must have been devastating. He was a sweet man and my friend, and he was only four years younger than me.

And then the last bit of news, that he had Parkinson's disease; I truly believe that was the end for him. There are just so many feathers you can put on the headdress before it becomes too heavy for anyone to wear."

Stepping away from Robin, almost RAN INTO my pal Matthew McMahon, (superintendent at the Danforth/Hampton Second Cup). He has a new Kymco motorized vehicle. The man has survived MANY jobs and is smart as a whip. He's known all over the neighbourhood and has plenty of advice, ideas and suggestions for everyone he meets on the street. Great guy. Thanks for everything Matt!

When I met him, I'd just said farewell to my leased Subaru Imprezza - great little car, - "Bye bye Babie"! -

and picked up my NEW 2-year leased Subaru red Forester. - "Hello"!! It's a stick shift - (rare these days), and had to be brought over to Canada from China by SHIP! - I've NEVER driven an automatic, (I know, ha ha!), - so now - have the standard I wanted!

Max's bandmates Jacob Switzer and Emmett Webb just after rehearsal in our basement,

then off in the new car.

What the hell, - ONE more car shot. Afterall, these guys are all going to be big stars one day, - right?
"Roadie Mum" now has enough room for the boys and their abundance of electric equipment! - (Emmett - thanks for taking the pic)!

Later in the week, had fun reuniting with MaryLenore Arsenault, P.R. star extraordinaire. Caught up with her for a drink on the Danforth. We had a lovely, fun, warm summer evening together. She used to set up interviews for me in the Global days, till she moved to New York, but she's been back in T.O. for quite a while. If you're looking for a public relations/event organizer, give her a call! (find her on LinkedIn).

Before the return to Ryerson - (3rd year), I took Kate to see master hair stylist Paul Taylor for colour, cut and styling. She looked pretty WITHOUT it, but wanted a more professional look.

Newly coloured and straightened - so lovely.

As for ME?? - LOL! - Yikes! I need MAJOR help!

After seeing me, Paul was a nervous wreck. A two-and-a-half-hour job on the way! He puts his heart and soul into his work.

Half-way there!

Afterwards? - Smoother, sleeker, highlights, lowlights, colour, cut, blow-dry - and VOILA!
Just wish I could do it MYSELF every day! (I keep practicing)! Have been since I was 13!
Oh well. Practice makes perfect. - (not). Thanks Paul. Just follow me around with scissors and

Next? - Max's turn! He wants rock star platinum! Gloves a'ready!! LOOK out!

An hour or so later, no more "brunette" - but blonde, blonde, blonde! Like mother, like son!!
(Blondes have more fun. - Or so I've been told).

As for our old friend, Emmett, - it's the end of a fabulous summer of rehearsing in our basement and he's ready for first year in music at Seneca. Peace out.

Awwwww. Don't go!! Adios! I'll miss your voice and guitar playing! - All the very best! You're welcome here ANYTIME Emmett!!

Right after Labour Day - Max headed off for Centennial, Kate to 3rd year Journalism at Ryerson. What a fantastic summer we had together! All the best to you BOTH, as you go in different directions - not just career-wise, but "street-wise". I saw you shake hands as one walked left and the other, right. Hope it's a great year ahead! Love you!

And what am I DOING while everyone is at school? Working freelance for VOX Talent, - Canada's largest non-union voice-over agency. Just finished recording a long training video and hoping for lots more voice work! Not to mention, pursuing freelance writing gigs as well. One in the works. Will see what happens!

Still SOME golden days of summer left. Fall doesn't officially start till September 23rd.
Happy Autumn everyone!

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