Wednesday, March 31, 2010

march recap…

and thus ends my month of blog posting. [insert big huge sigh here...]. I blog a lot but every day, for an entire month, is quite another level of blogging.

This month, amongst other things, I’ve learned new photo tricks - their usefulness remains to be seen.. but still, I learned them:

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Played tourist and enjoyed warm sunny winter days during what has been the mildest of winters since I moved to Montreal:
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Learned new crafts and enjoyed some vino and family time!

It’s been a busy month and next month promises to be even busier as we get ready to move…

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

sustainable food, cost, and teenage boys

For those of you who might not be aware of this, my little brother moved in with us almost 2 months ago. He’s 20 and a boy (yeah, I know I know I said brother but I’m going for dramatic effect). Anyways… he’s a 20 year old male and I don’t know how many of you out there have been confronted with the eating habits of men at that age. Oh sure, I’d been aware of the rumours about how much they can eat, but let me tell you, the reality is a rather big surprise.

Our grocery bill has tripled. Tripled. Between coffee, hot chocolate and cereal, the boy can go through 6 litres of milk a week.  Whereas once PauI and I could barely finish a 2 litre before it’s expiry date, now we can barely keep the stuff in stock. In case you can’t really grasp how much milk that is:



So if I keep buying my favourite organic milk, I’ll be spending $67 a month on milk alone. The unfortunate reality of having my brother join us, is that it’s forcing me financially to compromise on my food ethics. I cannot sustain the luxury of organic in the face of my 20 year old brother’s mad food consumption habits.

For example, my brother refuses to eat tofu so now I find my freezer full of meat for him (because Paul only ate meat when we had company, at work, when we went out, and at his parents’). And I have to admit that I hate it. I hate that my mostly vegetarian, organic home is being altered to accommodate my brother’s enormous, fussy, junk food eating habits.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my brother and he’s been very good about experimenting and cooking veggie foods for me on his meal nights, but his love of pizza pockets, bacon, and hot chocolate is slowly but surely killing my environmental ideals.

For all you parents out there who struggle with this issue, my hats go off to you . I’m am only beginning to realize how difficult it is to balance the ability instil good eating habits and maintain sustainable food ethics when it adversely affects your pocketbook!

Monday, March 29, 2010

candles and sacred space



When the earthquake hit in Haiti, I was struck by how people responded to the crisis and left me wondering about some of our prayer traditions, even in secular circles. Namely, why do we light candles in remembrance and prayer? Is it a leftover from pagan traditions or Catholicism? And if so many of us aren't either, then why do we do it in moments of collective sorrow? Because we do. When there is a school shooting, we light candles, for 9/11, we lit candles, for major earthquakes, we light candles. We hold midnight vigils, with lit candles. What is it about this act of lighting a candle that we are so attached to?

What does it do?

Is it about comfort? Because let's face it, the warm glow of a candle is soothing. Or is it that the flames that lead us into quiet contemplation? Staring in the fire is sure to bring the least introspective of us into a meditative trance like state. Is that why candles appeal to us in these moments? Because they light the dark and allow us to look at the darkness within, a quasi beacon of hope to guide the way?

Or is it more about the ritual? About creating a sacred space?

In yoga and nia we start with acts that focus our intention. With Om or the act of stepping in, both traditions ask us to define our focus and create a sacred space before progressing. And soon the act becomes a ritual in and of itself and the mere act brings about the mental state we hope to develop within the practice.

Perhaps our candle vigils are a combination of these two elements. Whatever the case may be, lighting a candle or focusing my intention in order to create that sacred space, even if only for a few moments, really is a beautiful tradition.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

book lovers never go to bed alone

A website dedicated to bookshelf photos…

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Drool….
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All photos from website linked above

Could it get any more orgasmic? Seriously? Could it?
The last picture = Marya’s idea of heavenly bliss.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

bringing the kitsch back


I totally think this is awesome. Seriously. Paul would probably never let me do this but come on, seriously, you just have to love it! It's soooo tacky it's fantastic! I love that you have this classy antique looking home (pseudo Elizabethian) and that it gets merged with 70s Jetson style flair. Yeah, I'm digging it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

crochet floral curtain tiebacks

As I mentioned before, I'm working on creating these floral tiebacks for my living room curtains when we move. In the picture you can see 2 different florals (the top right is the one based on the instructions). I modified the flower because I didn't feel like it was flower-y enough. Instead of skipping stitches, I chained and looped my way through all the stitches in order to get a many petaled look.


Here's a close up of the final flower (minus the strings that still need to be finished off).

So what do you think? Will my apple martini living room be overwhelmed by flower-y goodness or will it add just the right pop? I'll be sure to share the results when they're finished and up in the room!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I have an amazing partner who does equal, if not more, housework than I do. However, on a car ride to work the other day, the radio station hosts were talking about a recent report in the news that noted that men do 14hrs of housework a week (which is a significant improvement from past numbers). In this calculation, approx 6hrs of that housework included childcare.


While I commend many men for stepping up and helping out more around the house, somehow I can’t help but find those 14 hours laughable, especially when 6hrs count for child care. I’d be hard pressed to find a mother out there who claims to spend only 6hrs a week in childcare.

So I started googling… and it turns out that while the average man spends about 14hrs a week on housework, the average woman spends 28hrs a week on house/childcare. In fact, statistically a single woman will spend 12hrs a week, but after marrying and having children, her work load doubles, even triples. No wonder men live longer when they’re married!

So ladies, apparently the best thing you can do for yourself is to:

a. Luck out and find a lovely partner like mine who shares the workload equally

OR

b. Stay single, forgo children and marriage, and live a longer, less burdened life!

[Insert eye roll and sarcasm] And people complain that women make more of a fuss about the work they do….

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

decorating ideas i’m currently in love with

colour inspiration[5]
For the life of me I can’t find this image source again… but this is the inspiration that I’m working with for my office space.
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these rainbow pussy willows as an accent for somewhere in the house… yet to decide where


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these floral tiebacks for my curtains in the living room. i’ll share some of the work i’ve done so far as soon as i get some pictures ready.

only 1 more week of daily blogging…

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

green product review: weleda sea buckthorn creamy body wash

weleda seaBuckthorn

Ingredients from packaging: Ingredients (INCI): Water (Aqua), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Coco-Glucoside, Alcohol, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glycerin, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Fragrance (Parfum), Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Limonene, Linalool, Citral  from natural essential oils

Ingredients that Skin Deep lists as causing concern include:

Fragrance, citral, limonene, ethanol, lactic acid, linalool, carrageenan, glycerin, and sesame seed oil(the last 3 items being very low on the scale).


While Skin Deep lists this product as a 6 in the overall toxicity scale, I’m not entirely sure that I’ll give it up. None of the problem ingredients are on my list of serious offenders to watch for, and the overall quality of the product is excellent. I know that an unscented body wash would be healthier, but I can’t help myself, I like the perfumes… I like smelling pretty. Who knew that sea buckthorn would smell so pretty, but it does. It’s yummy and soft and my skin feels all smooth afterwards. And if you visit the Weleda site and check their ingredients list, they do a pretty solid job of identifying their sources (ex: ethanol comes from organic grain based alcohol, fragrance from organic essential oils).

So for now, even though Skin Deep is placing this product as high moderate on the toxicity scale, I’m going to continue to enjoy it because it doesn’t include any of the big offenders and the minor offenders that it does include all come from organic, biodynamic sources. I think the Weleda does a decent job at accounting for their claims at organic, natural, sustainable goods and that it’s safe to say they aren’t green-washing their goods.

Monday, March 22, 2010

inspiration: metta monday

buddha
~ Buddha

When I was doing yoga regularly, my yoga teacher would often talk about this concept of loving kindness (metta) that I found very intriguing and inspirational. I’m not going to do the idea it’s full justice here, but basically, in terms of yoga, she explained loving kindness this way:

Noticing in your yoga poses, the way you hold, feel, and react to the position. There are certain positions that we love and embrace, and others that fill us with tension, resistance and frustration. The trick is to approach each pose with the same level of openness and acceptance.  Moving outside of practice, the key is to transpose that same approach to the things we do in our everyday life. Observe the things we avoid, the things we crave, the things we love and embrace, and then to remember to accept our emotional responses and work to move beyond them, learning to approach all areas of our life with the same level of openness and acceptance.

Like I said, I’m probably doing the concept a grave injustice, but suffice to say, regular yoga practice and this concept of loving kindness first to self and then to others, was something that I started believing could really change the world. (Sure, sure, I know that makes me sound like an idealistic flake, but really, at heart, I am). I really do believe that yoga could change the world and bring out the best in people, regardless of faith, creed, race, gender, or age. I think the concept of loving kindness is incredibly powerful and really, at the end of the day, at the heart of many religions when you look past all the outer trappings.

Anyways, lately I’ve found myself thinking a lot about yoga, Buddhism and the concept of metta (loving kindness). Buddhism encourages metta meditation: the practice of loving yourself, your friends, your enemies, all, and the universe without attachment. When I was younger and first learning about Buddhism in college, I really thought that Buddhism had it wrong and that the idea of aspiring to non-attachment was completely unnatural. But now that I understand the world a bit more and grasp some complexities behind that philosophy in a much more profound way, I have to say that I find more sense in Buddhism than I do in any other path. And as I find myself moving more and more towards yogic and Buddhist philosophies in life,  it occurs to me that the world could really use a lot more metta in it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

haul videos

This is the strangest thing I've ever come across on the web. Seriously. It's not perverted, it's not gross... it's just strange: HAUL videos. What is a haul video you ask? It's a video where someone shows you what they bought. From groceries to cosmetics, apparently the world needs to know what you hauled home from the store:



For an interesting analysis of the social/gender implications of this phenomenon, check out this feministing article.

What intrigues me about this practice is why anyone would care. Seriously, why? I mean, why would a total stranger care about what I just purchased, much less what I purchased in terms of groceries. And why would I need to make a video of it instead of just showing some pics? I'm seriously stumped by this practice. I guess this just goes to show that I am getting older and I am no longer the target audience, nor am I au current with what the target audience wants and does (if I ever really was).

Don't people have better things to do with their time?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

debunking the virgin myth

Warning… this post is crass!

I’m so sick of our global fetishization of virginity. Get over it already! I don’t know why society continues to place such a premium on virginity and purity when really it only adds up to a lack of sexual experience.  I’m tired of the hypocritical double standard that turns women with sexual experience into sluts and men with sexual experience into rakes. I’m tired of hearing my female friends tell me about downplaying their sexual experience in order to appear more likeable to insecure men.

Once, a very long time ago, I was having this conversation with my cherry popping boyfriend and he told me that I’ll always remember my first. And he wasn’t wrong, I do remember my first. I’m not sure that it’s the memory that I’d want to be remembered by, but hey… if that’s what floats your boat! Personally I think the memory of my first sexual experience when I had an orgasm is a much better memory….

Yeah, sorry, that was pretty graphic wasn’t it? But what can I say, when I see shit like this:

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Ad brought to you by Benostan: Vaginal tightening gel for women above 40.

it just gets my back up and brings out my brash talking, feminist rant. I can’t stand the way people continue to buy into this sexual purity myth. I mean, what the hell is the difference between a well used vagina and a well used penis. Really? Why is there such a premium put on female tightness and innocence when the last thing I’d want in my bed is a partner who doesn’t know what they want, how to ask for it, and is unsure what to do with it all. I’m all for teaching a partner about your kinks and quirks, but teaching them everything. HELLS NO!

So a cream that panders to the recreation of said identity… well that just makes me livid. Ladies, your 40 year old twat, cunt, vagina [insert any other word you like here] has earned her keep. Embrace her, love her, and know that she doesn’t need any changing. Stop buying into this myth that being young and inexperienced is better and is what will make your partner happier. My 33 year old sexual self is far more liberal, confident, fun, and a damned helluva lot more skilled than my tight 23 old ass was! I can’t wait to see what 40 will bring.

Friday, March 19, 2010

growing up in the age of facebook

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Sometimes there are just some pictures you don’t want to share with the world. You know? [she writes after posting a rather graphic image that she doesn’t really want to share with the world!]

The other day I was spying on facebook (cause let’s face it, that’s totally what it is) and I came across a lovely picture of my baby brother smoking pot in my parents living room. Thinking that my parents will be less than thrilled with the proof of my brother’s errant ways, I had a moment of gratitude over the fact that none of those errant moments of mine are on public display on facebook.

Sometimes I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to grow up in this age of digital voyeurism and public life on display. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have those pictures… but my friends (or me) would actually have to scan the damn things before posting them online and well… let’s face it, not only are we too lazy but we’re old enough now to not really want those images on display!

I mean, it’s bad enough I’m going to have to live down the photos of my friends well intentioned penis fest hen night party for me before the wedding (thank god we stayed in) or a husband who likes to colour coordinate our outfits when we go to other people’s weddings, driving me to drink and behave in the most outlandish ways (cause it’s all his fault… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)…

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But then I think about what it must be like to grow up when your whole life is up for grabs in terms of public display. I mean, it’s bad enough being a teenager and never living down those awkward moments (there are WAY too many to get into here), but to have a photo documented history of it on the web… well yeah, I’m just glad that my adolescent was spent in the realm of 35mm film!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

cancelling prom because of same sex dates

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I can’t help but find it shocking that a high school went so far as to actually cancel prom because 2 girls decided to attend together. Whether they were openly a couple or not, the fact that 2 girls were such a threat to the hetero hegemony leaves me speechless.

In this day and age it never ceases to amaze me that this continues to exist. And as I was thinking about it, I realized, holy crap… I went to prom with another girl and it never even occurred to me at the time it would be an issue.

Me and my lovely prom date, who was one of my closest friends at the time.

Perhaps it was because we weren’t a lesbian couple (or at least not an openly lesbian couple… cause for all anyone knew, we could have been), but no one ever batted an eye over the fact that I was going to prom with another woman. In fact, I wasn’t alone in taking another girl to prom with me.

I guess the thing that continually gets me is this: I don’t expect everyone to share the same opinions and beliefs, and I don’t expect everyone to agree on what is right and wrong… but I do expect people to respect other’s rights to choose for themselves. Cause I mean really… we live in a global world full of different values and ideas, ways of living and standards of behaviour, and to insist that we all walk down the same narrow line is preposterous.

So if some girl wants to take her girlfriend to prom with her, let her. You don’t have to agree with it. Hell you don’t even have to like it. But you have to like the fact that you live in a country that allows her the choice to do so and respect that the same laws that give you the right to live your life the way you want, dictate her choices too. And living in North America, we are luckier than most because we have liberties that are unimaginable in other countries. So embrace them and let the damn girl take her girlfriend to prom already!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the evolution of knowledge and religious texts

Don't take this the wrong way, but sometimes I can't help but wonder at the fact that the world still believes in the same religions that were formed before we knew the earth was round or that bacteria existed, amongst other things.

It just strikes me as odd, when you look at it from a purely logical, academic point of view, that we adhere to religions that were recorded at a time when people still believed that a storm was a sign of god's wrath. Or laws guiding human behaviour and understanding of the nature of the world were codified but we had no understanding of how rain is formed.

I know that there are plenty of scientific minded devout individuals out there and I'm not pointing fingers at their faith. I'm just in awe at the fact that the words of the Torah, Koran, or Bible are still set in stone and not open for change or revision when our understanding of the world we live in has changed so very much since those words were written.

I'm just saying.... when I think about it, it just strikes me as odd that these sacred texts are cemented in time even though knowledge is fluid, and yet we do nothing to modify or update these texts to reflect the evolution of our world view/understanding. Sure the stories still have meaning and we can understand them allegorically and all that, but are they really all that accessible to the modern world any more?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BC vs QC forests (in the summer)

After looking at pictures of a BC forest, I was struck by how different my home forests are to QC forests and was originally inspired to show the differences between the two.

Ironically, when I looked at my pictures of the two I realized that aside from a lack of moss in QC forests, their differences were actually quite slim:

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QC

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My thoughts after seeing the picture that prompted this train of thought were that BC forests seem wilder, lusher, and more dense compared to the leafy nature of QC forests because of the evergreens and the moss. And I still stand by that assumption but my photos definitely don’t reflect that reality all that well.

Hmmm… maybe it just means I’m prone to taking pictures of the same thing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

ladies of the canyon

 

Taking a moment to say that I’m super proud of my old roomie. Just checked out their new site: www.ladiesofthecanyon.com and am in awe of how far they’ve come since 2 of the 4 of them started playing guitar in my old living room!

 

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Ladies, the site is lovely, you all look gorgeous and I can’t wait for the album to come out in April. Good luck!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

scrapbooking take…. old school family album scrapbooking

 

In between marking I’ve been working on a birthday project for my mother in law (crap, I have a mother in law… how weird is that!)

 

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This time I played with the old school version of scrapbooking. It was fun. The idea is to create a scrapbook photo album of various family events/moments, etc. What else do you get a woman who doesn’t really want anything…

 

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

80s revival

The other night my baby brother was watching Reality Bites (classic!) and I was noticing how bad 90s fashion could be (though some of it is still pretty solid! not much, but some).

So it made me wonder... if everything that comes around goes around... when will we see the revival (pun intended... if you catch it)?

AND THEN, I took that thought one step further into the land of home decor (cause I'll be moving soon): we have leg warmers and jelly shoes, but will the bad 80s home decor come back?

Curious, I explored and came up with these beauties:



Who wouldn't love Pac Man themed foot rests/poufs/settees, or whatever the hell you want to call them!?

Friday, March 12, 2010

shamefully eager

 

Eagerly Awaiting your Response

I wrote those words years ago as a closing to some letter I wrote for some school project in grade 5 or 6. I can’t even remember what it was about anymore… just that I was inviting someone to come to our class and she said no (that bitch! :P ). My teacher was so impressed with my mad writing skills that she then proceeded to draw attention to them by mortifyingly sharing said sign off with the class, thereby nipping any admission of eagerness in the bud forever more (have I ever mentioned my sheer and utterly irrational fear of being the center of attention for anything that I create myself?).

 

Anyways, with said attention I quickly learned a new life lesson: eagerness = shame. *

(Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit for the sake of my argument… learning this lesson was a gradual process, instilled over years and not a light bulb moment brought to you by my English teacher on the cusp of puberty… but indulge me and my desire for artistic liberty for a while).

 

So where was I? Oh yeah. Eagerness in our society is tantamount to shame and should therefore never be openly admitted to. EVER!

 

For some strange reason this particular memory resurfaced on my car ride home last night from Nia (hmmm… 2 left feet in dancing, shameful coordination, shame, shame as pre-teen = recollection mystery solved!). So yeah, thinking about this particular memory made me wonder why it is that we are so reticent to express eagerness as a culture, myself being particularly guilty of this offense. Don’t get me wrong, obviously it’s fine to express certain types of eagerness amongst certain groups. It’s fine to admit to being excited to see a friend you haven’t seen in a long time, or to travel, or about a new book, or…

 

But admitting that you’re eager in the dating world: EEEK! No one should be so gauche as to do that, hence the ridiculous 3 days phone rule. Why is it wrong? I mean, why do we play such dumb games with each other, thereby prolonging our angst, instead of just being upfront and honest? Obviously if you call too soon the other party will be uncomfortable by your eagerness (even turned off), but why? Who made up such dumb rules? [In the back of my head right now I am singing Ani Difranco’s lyrics:

 

How come I can pick my ears
but not my nose
who made up that rule anyway
how can you say that's the way it is
that's just the way it goes
why don't you decide for yourself
what you can do
and what you can say

Shit like this makes me glad that I am married. Seriously! I listen to my girlfriends as they continue the crazy world of dating and I am filled with happiness knowing that I can turn to Paul and just tell him what I feel, no games.

 

So while I was pondering said mystery (eagerness = shame) I started thinking (and for those of you who know me best, you’ll know that this is not always a good thing!) why are we so hesitant to share how we really feel? Or, in other words, why are we so scared to admit what we feel? When do we learn to be so worried about rejection? And why do some of us internalize these fears so much more than others?

 

Obviously I’m no psychologist and I don’t have all (or any) answers to my own questions. I only have some personal theories that relate to my own development and experiences. As I grew up in a family that doesn’t tend to express these emotions, learning to let go and trust others with my joys as well as my criticisms has been a journey that I have been walking over the past year. (I’m sure that I’ve blogged about this before but for the life of me I can’t find it in and amongst the hordes of posts I’ve written). But as I work on this challenge, I find myself becoming more and more aware of how we all stunt our own self-expression by containing our eagerness in ways that don’t challenge the norm. It can’t be healthy. So I’m not doing it anymore. I’m not playing the game.

 

When I get an email, I’m answering right away… none of this wait a day or 2 bullshit so that I don’t seem to keen

 

When I get a letter, well I’m going to write back right away regardless of whether or not it makes me seem too eager

 

And yeah, for everything else in between..

 

Because fuck it, I am eager. What’s the point if we’re not eager? Seriously? I want to live my life, not shy away from it. So when I feel it, I’m going to try to share it… because hiding in wait only dampens my enthusiasm and perpetuates the lame games we play with each other in order to figure out if the other person cares or not. So damn it: You’re going to know when I care and be damned with you if you don’t like it!

 

Jan 2009 011

 

Just call me fricken’ Eager Beaver over here!

 

 

* Please note, I am being facetious here and merely commenting on one aspect of the issue that struck my fancy last night. I am aware that eagerness doesn’t not directly equal shame, nor does shame reduce itself so innocently into such a simplistic answer!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

unhappy hipsters

 

 

makes me laugh. a lot.

 

if you haven’t read it yet, you should. why…. because they find the absurd in design and make it sublimely hilarious!

 

What? It’s a totally comfy reading nook.
(Photo: Hertha Hernaus; Dwell, February 2009)

What? It’s a totally comfy reading nook.

(Photo: Hertha Hernaus; Dwell, February 2009)

 

Image/Text(comment): Unhappy Hipsters

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

color quiz

Quizzy goodness!


You boast incredible willpower and are capable of overcoming obstacles that would normally leave others shaking in their boots. You have a penchant for colorful environments and often impress others with your energetic bursts of energy. Your interests in many areas of life often leave you scattered, but when you focus you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.


I like the colour and the peppers… and I guess I can’t really disagree. In fact, it’s surprisingly dead on!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

big love: the outing

biglove

For all that the show is controversial and however many ways that it pushes my buttons, I love Big Love, probably for those very reasons. The show simultaneously challenges and validates my preconceived conceptions of polygamy, forcing me to re-evaluate the pros and cons of the practice.

The feminist in me cringes over the patriarchal megalomania of the family power structure but that said, I find something oddly compelling (albeit frustrating) about the bond created between the wives. Spoiler Alert! At the end of this season’s finale, Barb announces that she doesn’t need Bill anymore and we see her walk away claiming that she wants a different life. But then she goes to see her wives and something changes. We expect a big reveal, but instead she watches Margene cut Nicky’s hair and remains silent. I was left feeling as if she’s ready to walk away from Bill, but not her wives. Barb’s struggle with polygamy is absolutely fascinating to me within this show. I both pity and rally for her. I hate her and love her for being so strong and so weak.

It’s rare that a show can tie me into so many intellectual and philosophical knots. I mean, this season has gone too far, really. But on the other hand… well I just can’t wait to see what open polygamy will mean for this family! Is it odd that part of me hates the idea of polygamy but that I am rooting for the Henricksons?

Monday, March 8, 2010

the joy of the scheduled post

Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed by how prolific some those blogland writers out there are. I mean, really... when do they find time? I have a cushy office job that's pretty quiet when there are no students and even I don't have time for that kind of writing.

I mean, really, where do these people get the energy?

Bet you're all smirking now aren't you... I write a lot... I know.

But here's the secret: Scheduled Posting! That's right. As I write this it is Friday, but you won't see it until Monday. There's no way that I could write a post every day this month without it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

tweeting an abortion????

It's been a while since I've talked about abortions... so in honour of the month of strange...

Angie Jackson on tweeting her abortion:

I’m live tweeting my abortion on Twitter — not for some publicity stunt or for attention or to justify this to myself, I am at peace with my decision. I’m doing this to demystify abortion. I’m doing this so that other women know, ‘Hey, it’s not nearly as terrifying as I had myself worked up thinking it was.’ It’s just not that bad. This is nothing compared to childbirth, compared to labor, or, for me and my risks, late stage pregnancy.

I find the idea of tweeting an abortion alternately intriguing and mundanely boring. There's nothing all that exciting about an abortion. I mean... we don't live tweet other medical procedures, do we? I get the idea of demystifying, but wonder if the publicity appeal of it doesn't sensationalize the issue to the point of making her objective redundant? I mean... did her live tweets really make it any easier for another woman who is contemplating this decision to make the call for herself?

Speaking of which... the Harper government isn't adding contraception and abortion funding into the its maternal health initiative. I have to admit that I'm experiencing mixed thougths on this issue. I mean... does contraception/abortion really improve maternal health? In some ways you can argue for both sides and I think that both cases can be understood as being equally valid. But on the other hand, for lower income moms who need access to cheap, effective contraception, not funding contraception and abortions may be ghettoizing these women into an enforced cycle of poverty and motherhood (not that motherhood is a bad thing... just that maybe some women would choose to not become mothers again if they had the ability to do so). I know you can make several counter-arguments... please spare me the debate... I already said I have mixed emotions on the issue, I'm just trying to figure out which points I think outweigh the others. There's something about Harper's governments decision that smacks of Bushian anti-funding of non-abstinence education funding and/or an elitist system of access to services that marginalizes lower socio-economic groups.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

poking fun at canadians

batchcanadasm
by K Beaton
Think this is funny… find more by comic here.

Ok, so I know that the Olympics are over and the media went on and on about how lovely and friendly and nice we Canadians are. But you know what? I’m really confused by this perception of Canadian niceness.

I mean, ok, we tend to take our politics laying down (that’s the polite version of my opinion… don’t ask). But the average Canadian citizen doesn’t really strike me as being any nicer than an American or any other country for that matter.

Hell, on my first trip to Europe at the wee age of 18 that I discovered the sheer helpfulness of the Dutch. Upon arriving in Amsterdam, we asked the woman working at a pizza stand where the tram was and she walked us to the tram and told the driver where we were going before leaving us. The driver then made sure we knew which stop to get off at, and gave us directions to the general area we were headed in. Then we actually met a Dutch woman who went out of her way to find out information for us after we asked her a question she couldn’t answer. (She actually left us, continued on her way, then asked someone else who knew and brought them to us to give us an answer… we were looking for our hostel). It was then that I felt the most pride in being part Dutch that I have ever felt in my life.

So why Canadians seem to have the stereotype of being so nice, much nicer and politer than other nations and peoples…. well, it just strikes me as odd and puzzles me to no end. But it does make for some funny jokes!

Friday, March 5, 2010

mentor worship

It all started with Madame Briarly, my kindergarten teacher. Ever since then I’ve always suffered from a strange sense of star struck awe when it comes to mentors/teachers who I look up to for whatever reason.

First comes a subtle crush. You know, that warming phase when you start to notice someone.

But then it gets worse and I start feeling tongue tied. Even though I’m 33 and I should totally know better… and I do… but still, every now and again my 5 year old self emerges and I find myself vying for attention, praise, and a few kind words from someone who has entered my life and brought something new into my world.

Granted… it happens a lot less now than it did when I was younger (though whose to say whether its maturity or opportunity).

If it’s an online crush/worshipping scenario then I find myself negotiating that hazy divide between voyeurism and education… wanting to learn more, keeping my enthusiasm in check, and yet obsessively compulsively following various avenues of information whilst trying to keep it all sane and non-stalkerish. So… you know, I’ll read your blog but I won’t comment cause I don’t want to seem psycho. :P

In person it means that I’ll be present, but painfully silent and shy. (I know, I know… me, shy? Impossible. But. Oh. So. Very. True). But I’ll hang off every word you say and remember the most inane conversations years later. Sad, but true.

And heaven help us both if you actually say something positive about something I’ve done: I literally melt into a puddle of oozing glee, like a dog lapping up water after a hard run on a long summer day.

Ok, so I’m probably exaggerating things a bit but then again….

I have to admit it, it’s strange but true… I develop secret (or not so secret) crushes on my mentors and sometimes they actually prevent me from interacting with said mentor in a normal way… you know, as in having intelligent conversations.

And what prompted said revelation?

Fall 2008 024Quote 

The simple compliment from my Nia teacher, telling me that she loves the above quote that is included in my email signature. Yeah. That’s right. I’m all gushy flattered like an 11 year school girl whose just discovered Teen Beat (I think I just totally dated myself there… do they still even make teen beat)?

But can I actually have a normal conversation with her? No. Why? Cause I’m lame and self-conscious and letting my infatuation with Nia cloud my stupid ability to converse like the mature, mostly confident adult that I actually am in my every day life. Plus, add to that the fact that this all happens in French and you can begin to see what a pickle I’ve created for myself.

Why oh why can’t I outgrow my school girl teacher crushes? Am I that much of a geek that they’ll never go away? I’m starting to suspect that this might be the case!

Oy Vey, people. Oy Vey!

(by the way, just for clarity’s sake, I’m not obsessed with my Nia teacher, I recognize she’s human and I was referring to her simply because her praise was the most recent incident of teacher crush I have experienced… and despite my inner angst, I think that I still manage to maintain a cool aloof front in the face of things… little did you know, my quiet standoffish ways have nothing to do with disinterest but actually hide my inner glee filled freak out!).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

ikea furniture name





It's official, there are now quizzes for everything.... even an Ikea furniture name generator

Say what?!?  Yes, that's right.... I said it: you can find out what piece of Ikea furniture you'd be if you were ever interested in such a thing...

So apparently I'm a desk or a table....

Yup, the world is full of quirky things. The question is, what is quirkier: the quiz or the fact that I took it AND blogged about it?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

my country, my country… what is wrong with you?

Offense 1:
So the Olympic furor has finally died down… yet Harper continues to ride the post Olympiad wave by announcing that he’s going to double the $11 million dollar budget to a whopping $22 million. This, in a time when arts, education, and health care are all being cut.

Ok, so you don’t care about the arts. Fine. But health and education… those are fundamentals issues for the nation and yet instead of investing there, the Conservative government has decided to give that money over to athletes because corporate sponsors might fail to fill in the funding gap.

No offense to any athletes out there…. but your mad skills do not justify such a decision. Yay for you and the Olympics. Kudos to all that you’ve accomplished. But if I had to choose between health or sports… I think my choice is obvious.

Offense 2:
Quebec and the niqab. (link to Mtl Gazette article) I have a lot to say on this issue but suffice to say that I don’t agree with the ruling that expels a college student from a French Second Language course because she refused to remove her niqab during class.

Sure, teaching a student with a niqab is difficult. But to argue that one needs to see a student’s mouth in order to teach language properly is BS. The student is aware of the limitations, the teacher can visually demonstrate the skill, and the student can practice at home or in private with the teacher or accept the limitations/consequences of not benefitting from this ADDITIONAL level of instruction. The key being that it is an additional level of instruction.

Besides, why can’t a student do an oral presentation in niqab? If anything, as long as her voice was clear, the niqab might actually allow students to listen to what the content is instead of being distracted by more visual stimulation related to facial expression. In fact, one could argue that the niqab might actually allow for a student to benefit because listeners read more into tone and inflection than facial cues.

Trust me, I’m not doing justice to my thoughts on this matter… I am planning a big long post on the issue after I sort through my opinions and the counter-arguments.

But suffice to say, for a country that only feels patriotic during events like the Olympics, I have to admit that the wake of the Vancouver 2010 hoopla has left me cold. I am vehemently opposed to our current political party and the various events that are unfolding around me at the moment.

white hair

This is the hair I have:



It's all mine. After years of dyeing it, there is no fakeness left. Them white streaks are a by-product of my gene pool, not some feat of miraculous hairstyling. But given that they're spreading, I find myself not so secretly in love with this rather unusual hairstyle:


I mean, why not? I could even add a dash of red underneath and go for broke (cause we all know that the amount of time in the salon that it'll take to achieve this look might just leave me broke)! Sure, the look will turn eyes, but really, it's only a matter of time before I get there, so why not just embrace it?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

water

 
honeymoon 008


Round about the caldron go;


In the poison'd entrails throw.—

Toad, that under cold stone,

Days and nights has thirty-one;

Swelter'd venom sleeping got,

Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

~Shakespeare, MacBeth

aka... learning to take new shots with my Canon EOS

love

 

feb 2010 006

Don’t you just hate it when your partner goes and does something nice for a special day and then you end up looking like the insensitive ass…. you know, after weeks of being told that 4 years together doesn’t count cause now that we’re married the clock has been reset? Yeah… gotta hate that!

 

But yay… stargazer lilies! So pretty and nummy smelling too.

Monday, March 1, 2010

the snow perv…

 

Spent the weekend in Tremblant and after always meaning to do so, I finally remembered to commemorate this particular moment:

 

feb2010tremblant 0017

 

What makes this particular item worth photographing? The fact that this is the view you get while sitting on the loo. Yup, nothing creepier or more unnerving than a snow pervert watching you pee! Gotta love a ski crow…

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