Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I Pity the Fool

Dudes...sorry for anyone who's been checking the site...I know I am waaaay late. It's been a crazy couple of days, as you can imagine!

Anyway, in my odd spare moments, I've been trying to come up with things to write about. All day today at work I was thinking "Gee, I hope I come up with something to write about!"- that is, I was working very very hard and was not distracted at all. And I stumbled across a way awesome article, but I'm saving that for later, because first: just as I was leaving the office today, CBC Newsnet was covering a story on the New Hampshire abortion law currently before the Supreme Court. The older news guy who reminds me of that guy who always plays mobsters and whose name I just looked up only to find out he died was explaining the story and the very last thing I heard as I turned off the TV was:

"So if a minor wants to have an abortion, at least one of their parents must be notified..."

NO NO NO! I object, morally and gramatically!

Let's deal with the latter issue first: this is one of my own grammar dilemmas. I was taught that "they" is, first and foremost, a plural pronoun. However, social shifts threw a monkey wrench into that when people started to realize that writing everything with man-specific pronouns (eg. "If someone wants to be a teacher, he should get his B. Ed" or "If someone wants a sandwich, he should make it his own goddamn self, asshole") was pretty effin' sexist. However, as one of my professors told me, the "he/she" thing is just UGLY. Seriously, it's not pretty. So using "they" instead of he or she or he/she or he and/or she became acceptable (also acceptable - as same prof said "Pick a pronoun and run with it"; all of my essays thus used "she". Take that, Taliban!).

However - and this is a BIG "however"- in this particular case, not-Joe-Vitrella-anchordude - seeing as the action in question cannot apply to men, ya really could have been both accurate and gramatically correct using a simple "she".

Also - grammar aside now - WTF? That is a scary, scary law. If a kid doesn't want to tell her parents about her abortion, MAYBE THERE'S A GOOD REASON. Sheeeesus. Heh! I like that. Shesus! Like Jesus, but with ovaries.

Heh heh heh...

Anyway! I'm not going to go about abortion right now, because I really really really want to share this super awesome article with you guys because A) it's super awesome b) it's about one of the coolest people E-VAH, Mr. T and c) it almost made me cry and if you get to the part where the little boy writes Mr. T not to be afraid of a little old cancer and don't tear up a little? then you are not human. Just so you know.

Here it is, in all its glory.

This story made me happy because I normally can't stand these "And then I found God/Allah/Buddha/a shiny nickel" because they seem so preachy and disengenious. But the part where Mr. T talks about how he doesn't wear his big gold chains because after seeing the face of desperate poverty was just like, hell yeah!

So, Mr. T, thanks for making me smile. Although now I do regret, just the teensiest bit, my decision to cancel cable.

PS. Thanks for the awesome comments- they make me laugh all throughout the day.
Payton - I would have guessed you were the leader too! But there goes my "Cafetorium is an Ontario word" theory.
Nathan - I am so proud of you. Take that, sucky TV. Although I bet Mr. T's show is awesome.
Courtney - No, that's always how I wear my hair! Haha, just kidding...I use mousse, not gel.
Erica - oh no - if you've been taking two years of dance lessons, I'd better get much much better before we swap - maybe I can practice with some of those 37-year-olds who live in their parents' basements
Mo: We'll be performing at the hotdog lobbyists' AGM
Megan: Why does that not surprise me? Let me guess: "bad carbs" = "all carbs".

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fair Weather Not-Friends

I remember when I used to love the first snow of the season. Or, as it’s called in Victoria, the only snow of the season. Oh, but wasn’t it magical? Those soft white flakes drifting to earth, blanketing everything as far as the eye could see, ready to be formed into snowmen or snow angels or snowballs or ice balls which are just like snowballs but with a chunk of ice at the middle so that you can finally test the old adage about the fun, the games, and the putting out of eyes.

And even when I moved out East (and yes, I’ve looked at a map, and yes, I know where I live isn’t technically East, and yes, I’m not going to change despite how ridiculous and inaccurate my statement, like how folks from PEI say “When’d you get home?” when they really mean “Hey, first-time visitor, when did you arrive in our fine province?”) snow still had that element of fantasy. The first snow of first year, a group of us went out in our totally-unsuitable-for-winter winter clothes and stood around gaping and then frolicked and giggled like children and threw handfuls of snow at each other and generally acted like doofuses who had never seen snow before; which, in all fairness, was actually true for my playmates as they happened to be from Mexico City. Also, in all fairness to me, I come by my dorkiness honestly.

So – we had our first snow last week and it was beautiful and magical and blah blah blah but today was the second snow of the season and I have already reached my saturation level for snow and the dumb things it makes people do in Ottawa which impact me personally, namely:

1) Drive like mentally-impaired chimps, almost doubling my commute time; OR
2) Get so scared of driving in the snow that they decide to take the bus, so I get to STAND during my twice-as-long-commute;
3) Use umbrellas when it snows – and I’m sure I’ve ranted about this before, but what is it with people who use freakin’ golf umbrellas ON THE SIDEWALK? ASSHOLES. And yes, you are going to have to go around me because I’m not going to WALK ON THE STREET because you’ve decided that you don’t want snow landing on or within a three-foot-radius of you. Also? ASSHOLES;
4) Crank up the heat to 28 degrees so that you nearly have a cardiac event by entering a building which is more than 50 degrees warmer than the outside;
6) Wear miniskirts and nylons after the temperature drops below freezing because looking good is more important than feeling good or even feeling anything – look, if you wanted to embody unrealistic female stereotypes, why not just stay home and darn somebody’s socks and talk about how you don’t always feel fresh, you know, down there? because just looking at you drops my body temperature by at least 10 degrees.
5) Say “Well at least it isn’t rain!” which…okay, freezing rain is worse than snow, so you got me there. Nevermind.

Aw…I know I’m being pretty negative and all (WHAT@#$!@$#??) but I guess it’s not all that bad. The lights are pretty, especially with snow, and the Canal will be open in a couple of months, and it’s fun seeing all the pretentious suits wearing dorky toques, and whatnot.

Plus – winter election? Ice balls? Need I say more?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


So, here I was, wracking my poor little mind, trying to think of a hott topic for today's post…the first snow (also in MTL, for darling Banana…welcome to winter!) of the season; the fact that DD and I are continuing our never-ending quest to fulfill the suburban yuppie dream by taking (don't laugh) ballroom dancing classes (fuckers…I told you not to laugh); the likelihood that this upcoming season will feature my two all-time super duper favourite sounds that I totally love and that in no way make me want to job flaming hot pokers into my eardrums, namely a)Christmas carols; and b)bloated partisan acting "talents" of various federal politicians.

But lo and behold – as I log-on to ramble my way coarsely and incoherently through another post (speaking of which – if you want to see something coarse and incoherent – check this movie out. Unless you are my Nana, in which case, I didn't see it, or even hear about it, or even know what you're talking about because I was busy been reading Psalms. Er, for 6 years) when I noticed a little something:

Happy 100th post! To me. Or you. To everybody!

This kind of took me by surprise, so I haven't really prepared anything. Of course, maybe it was my plan all along to go for broke on my 138th Post Blogtacular! Yeeeeeesssssss….that's it.
Anway...back to our regularly scheduled rant:

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE That's why we took lessons. In DD's old high school cafetorium. And yes, that's a real word, although god knows why they couldn't just call it a multi-purpose room like everyone else. Apparently it's an Ontario thing, like calling the game where you play a miniature version of golf "mini-putt" despite the fact that you're putting normal distances, and that it is the field of play itself that is miniature, so that it's like calling a shoot-out "mini-hockey". Anyway, we just had our last class the other night, and let me just say that while we still constantly look at our feet and I occasionally forget to not lead (what can I say? As anyone who took dance in middle school knows, there are always way more girls than boys, and so some of those girls have to be boys, but certain girls absolutely refuse to be boys because nice girls don't want to cross the lines of arbitrary gender roles, so then girls like me are like WTF? I'll be the fucking boy, bitch, and so now we find ourselves 10 years later subconsciously trying to lead, and see where boy/girl sex role crossover leads to? MADNESS!) and we also address each other in phony accents depending on which dance we're currently attempting ("Oh Viscount Charles David Winchester-Smythe, Marquess of Bumbleberry, theThird, you foxtrot divinely" "Quite") we are above and beyond the best of the class, if you are judging on things like being able to do the steps in time to the music.

Now, not to downplay my time as a pupil of a certain middle school dance teacher, but most of it has to do with the fact that DD, unlike the other guys in the class, has rhythm. And if you want to see pain, you should see the look on a woman's face who's trying to do the cha-cha (one-two-three, cha-cha, four-five-six) while her partner is stomping around, as if in time to his own irregular heartbeat (one...twothree...chacha!...fourfivesix...), and she's trying to patiently guide him without leading, because nice girls don't lead, but she's also trying to get him to hear the music "one-two-three-four" and he's staring at the floor and stomping around and it's like some In Living Color sketch with Jim Carrey about how white guys even suck at white guy dances.

Anyway - it's been pretty fun, and we're going to keep it up, but it's not like we're going to the Olympics anytime soon. Unless some sort of mysterious tragedy befalls the Uzbekistan team...MWAHAHAHAHA....ahem...


If the insipid, blatantly commercial and mind-numbingly uncreative holiday commercials don't get me, then the fine thespian skills of Peter "Keanu" MacKay explaining patient wait times will. Thank God we cancelled cable ("You're welcome" - God).


Yes...we cancelled cable. was my idea.
Yes...I was watching four hours of CSI every day.
Yes...we still have plenty of beer.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Just the Facts, Ma'am

So I’m doing some research (work-related, for real!) and I stumble across a little interesting tidbit. Here it is, presented in a charming multiple-choice question format:

Q) What rank does Canada hold in terms of women elected to its highest legislative body?

a) 43rd
b) 1st
c) 5th
d) 24th

Hint - it’s the one that makes you cringe. And, as a follow-up question:

Q) Which countries are currently outperforming Canada in this regard?

a) Sweden
b) Wales
c) Rwanda
d) All of the above

Hint – see the hint above.

Yup – at a measly 21%, Canada is currently behind Sweden’s 45% (no surprise), Wales’ 50% (You go, land of my ancestors before being brought to Ireland, likely through slavery, centuries ago!) and Rwanda’s 48.8% (“Rebuilding from a horrendous genocide and promoting equitable gender practices – Ask me how!”).

Now, it may not always be clear from my ranting, but I actually really like Canada quite a whole freakin’ lot, and I really think that of all the times and places to be a woman, this is pretty much number one on my list (with Denmark a close second, although if I was a little more skilled in learning foreign languages…well, that’s neither here nor there. Whatev. Canada rocks yeeeeeaaaah!!!)

But, for all our awesomeness, we still lag behind countries like Pakistan and Portugal which, no offence to their ancient and rich cultures, but “equality between the sexes” isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind when I think of those two countries (incidentally – the first things that do come to mind when I think of those two countries are “Grade school report with lots of cut-out National Geographic pictures” and “foreign over-fishing/blatant disregard of NAFO quotas” respectively. And the second thing for the latter is “What the hell? Herb Dhaliwal!”, which is only funny if you remember Brian Tobin, the Turbot Wars, and are one of three people).

So if we’re so awesome in so many ways, why not this one? I’ve wracked my brains for the last five minutes and can’t come up with anything, so I’ve decided to blame the States.

Seriously though – Canada is pretty heavily influenced by our neighbour to the south (ooh – burn, Alaska), where the third-wave feminist backlash is well underway (“Girls Gone Wild”, anyone? No, I’m not linking to it. The thought that it even exists is painful to me…like, a century and a half of the contemporary women’s movement, and now there’s girls running around with shirts that say “I SHOWED MY BREASTS TO A MISOGYNISTIC CAPITALIST WHO VIDEOTAPED ME AND COUNTLESS OTHERS, THEN GOT RICH WHEN HE PACKAGED AND SOLD THE FOOTAGE TO HORDES OF LEERING PERVERTS WHO NEED CONSTANT REINFORCEMENT OF THEIR INSECURE NOTION THAT WOMEN JUST WANT TO BE OBJECTIFIED, AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT WHICH, INCIDENTALLY, I’LL TOTALLY TAKE OFF IN EXCHANGE FOR SOMETHING SHINY”).

Anyway – the long and the short of it is that it doesn’t seem like we’ve come that long a way from the “nice women don’t want the vote days” and honestly? We XXers have no one to blame but ourselves. ‘Cause we’re 51% of this country, bitches – and if we haven’t gotten our way by now, we’d better wake up and smell the arithmetic because better policies are ours for the making.

So – if you or someone who love are/is a woman, then check out this site and check up on when the next elections are coming to a town near you.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Prevent cancer? God forbid!

So...I've been hemming and hawing all morning about what the subject of this weeks, well-written social commentary. It's been a couple of frustrating week. Auditors found that David Dingwall's expense were completely legitimate, and yet not one of the randos have apologized who wrote angry, ill-punctuated letters based entirely on a headline which they read and assumed was the gospel truth because in our country we don't have, like, a system which balances facts and evidence and arrives at an accurate conclusion; no, we have the Ottawa Sun "pork-barrelling" headlines and that is our judge and jury and if it's in print it must be true therefore let's all write reactionary shithead e-mails or make bitchface phone calls to anonymous staffers demanding to know the amount of Dingwall's severance, and then speak to said staffer like they are intellectually-challenged infant when said staffer tries to explain the actual situation to you, because you saw 10 seconds of a news story on cable 6 and therefore you are the expert and said staffer is an illiterate ass-monkey who isn't going to fool clever you, no sirree, and then when it turns out that said staffer was actually right, you're totally going to phone back and apologize, because you are an educated and informed and reasonable person, who may jump to conclusions but certainly accepts responsibility for your actions and can admit when you were totally, undeniably wrong, right? Right?

Still waiting for my apology. Bitchface.

Also - David Pallister? Now that it turns out you were just being a misleading shit-disturber, are you going to change your tune? Where's the catchy apology song? Here's a freebie from The Culture of Life:

Mother, didn't think that I was wrong,
Mother, didn't write a "sorry" song,
Mother, guess they're going to try to break my balls,
Oooh, mother, I should have stuck with being tall.

But honestly? As frutstrating as it is that politicians can say almost anything without fear of reprisal (did somebody say Parliamentary Privilege?), it's not the most frustrating thing of this past week.

No, the dubious distinction of the single most unreasonable, dim-witted and pessimism-about-the-fate-of-humanity-provoking thing this week is that a 100% effective vaccination for HPV-caused cervical cancer has been discovered (hooray!) but certain groups don't want it to be used, because then those little whores wouldn't get the punishment they deserve. Or something. Somehow, curing cancer is bad. Somehow, talking about abstinence is a "a better, healthier alternative than the vaccine". Uh huh. Like, this one time, I almost had polio, but then , like, my mom gave my immune system a good, long talking to, and that totally cleared all that up. Anyway, read about it here, and rant about it here.