Sunday, November 28, 2010

They Won't Call You Shirley, Anymore.

From TMZ:
Legendary funny man Leslie Nielsen died today of complications of pneumonia in a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, this according to his agent. He was 84.
Here's a better story from CBC News

We've lost a legend of comedy and a part of Canadian cinema's legacy.

I saw Naked Gun when I was around 8 and it was my first real foray into absurdist comedy.  Neilsen's deadpan delivery caught me, and kindled in me a love for the absurd.  From there I moved onto the films of Mel Brooks and Nielsen's own earlier work, Airplane.

In my opinion, he was under-rated as a dramatic actor, though.  One of my favorite roles was as Paul Gross' eccentric, 'shroom-growing, father in Men With Brooms.

As a country up until recently not particularly well known for our entertainers, Leslie Neilsen was someone I was proud to have represent our Nation in the entertainment industry.

Rest in Peace Mr. Nielsen.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Like a loan shark transaction gone awry

*originally posted August 4, 2008 at http://www.myspace.com/goddessralph/blog/421141121
I'm reposting this because I just found it, and I likes it.

In my dream I spilled cookies
On your mothers front porch
She thought I was stealing
I was passing the torch
Only trying to clean up
the mess that I left
You told me you loved me
then charged me with theft
"I thought love was a gift.
This seems more like a loan."
You said "Dear, love, I fear
is not something you own."


Copyright Andrea Lyn Cole 2008

This is me and here's my song...

So just some updates in general:

Wrangled me up a guest for my staff xmas party.  So that's fun, looking forward to it.

I'm quite excited about some changes in my workplace duties that have been taking place.  Normally to protect the innocent I try not to blog too much about work, and when I do, I like to keep it as vague and anonymous as possible,  but from past posts it can usually be assumed that I A) work for an internet company and B) I was in the Customer Service end of it.  Recent changes have my duties focusing less on customer service and more on web content and marketing via social networking, plus some SEOing which i find funny, because in some of my other duties, I've grown to have a vague contempt for SEO guys, mainly due to their tendency to play around with web-sites.  If I had the time and motivation to explain the one area of my job, my contempt would be easier to understand.  However in the name of again, keeping things rather anonymous, and reducing confusion I'll just say SEO guys make my life difficult so it's funny that in other aspects, I'm kind of becoming one, and leave it at that.


At any rate, the changes in my job description have been interesting in a good way, since I'm finding I'm actually excited about work, this past week, and feeling my potential to be a greater contributor overall.  Although for the most part I generally like my workplace and get along with my co-workers, customer service can be a soul-sucking exercise in frustration and futility that leaves me at the end of the day weeping for the state of humanity and the average's person's complete unwillingness and/or inability to click, scroll, read or otherwise do ANYTHING that would help them figure out things for themselves.  So some days I'm less than enthusiastic about making the 10 minute commute.  So to be excited and looking forward to new tasks and projects is a good thing, indeed.


Not started my Christmas shopping yet.  No big surprises there.

Spent some quality time with the guitar tonight, as there's a coffee house I plan on attending tomorrow night with the girls.  My parents have asked me to take some pictures for their magazine, [pimp]The Tay Township Report [/pimp], as my dad will be working and mom is entertaining.

This particular song has been eluding me for months, despite a relatively simple chord structure.  It's the odd syncopated rhythm that threw me off, and the face that as a relatively unknown performer, except perhaps among the alt-country crowds, NQ Arbuckle is kind of difficult to find tabs for online.

video
Yeah.. took me three tries to record this, and I still screwed up near the end.  Such is life. Just glad I have it down now.

A picture of Matt Good showed up in my Facebook feed, and I was struck again by the whole 'ugly-hot' phenomenon that guys, especially in the field of rock stars, are able to pull off.  There's a distinct subset of men that while nowhere near what could be called conventionally handsome, are able to make suck in my breathe and momentarily forget what I am doing.   Some less enlightened folks may chalk it up to money+power=sexy, but I think it's more attitude that plays into it, along with the whole creative mystique.  I don't see it as often in sports figures or politicians, but then again, I'm less inclined to pay attention to these types as I am musicians, artists, writers, etc.
Oh, Hai, Matt Good.  You want me come away with you?  mmkay.
I'm thinking I may start a theme day, something like 'Reverse Objectification Friday's' so I can just arbitrarily post pictures of dudes that provoke thoughts in my head of the type that would at best, make old lady's blush and at worse, make baby Jesus cry.

Because hell, who doesn't love a good theme day?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Twitter how I heart thee.

Man, I tell ya, putting aside giving life not once but twice, setting up a Twitter account may just have been the greatest thing I have done in this lifetime.  In the few short months I've had my account, I've won the following:

  • Tickets to see the Schomberg Fair and The Great Bloomers (read more about that adventure here)
  • Copy of the Jackass 3D soundtrack.  Not a huge fan of the movies, but it's a pretty interesting mix, soundtrack-wise.  Love Karen O's "If You're Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough"
  • Signed Grapes of Wrath vinyl along with a free T-Shirt (to add to my collection)
I'm excited about this last one, because I forgot even entering that contest, which was originally to see the Grapes of Wrath in Toronto.  The promo guy at Exclaim! magazine was sick apparently and never ended up giving away the tix, so this was my consolation prize.  I'm pretty darn consoled.

For interests sake, the Grapes of Wrath are a Canadian band that were quite popular in the late 80's/early 90's and are apparently touring again.  Anyone into Canadian Indie music at that time will probably remember this:



(on a side note, having rediscovered this tune, it's going into my open mic night repertoire)

But yeah... Free Stuff is Awesome.  That is all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WWWednesday - Two Steps Forward, One soul-killing step back.

Up 1.5 lbs this week.

I am frustrated.  Seriously.  I tracked up until Monday night, then lost track.  Thinking over what I actually ate between Monday and Today though, I don't think I was way too off.

Frankly, I'm frustrated as all hell with this "journey" right now.  I hate the fact that if I even go a little bit off, I seem to lose progress.

I'm sick to death of having to be aware of what I'm eating and why I'm eating.  It's a pain in the ass having to stop and ask myself  "Am I hungry, or just bored or just stressed out?"  I hate writing shit down.  I hate counting points.  I hate measuring stuff.  I hate nutrition labels.  Seriously, I fucking hate it. I hate having to be hyper-aware of every goddamned morsel that goes in my mouth. This kind of crap is how eating disorders get started.

I've been at this for almost four years now.  This last 20 is friggin' killing me.  I can't handle one more person telling me that muscle weighs more than fat.  Big effin' deal.  Muscle means I'm still plunking down 60 bucks a month to stay in this bloody program.  But I've tried following it on my own before, and I need that accountability.  If no one else is paying attention, then neither will I.  Sounds shallow, I know, but it's a support thing too.

The ladies at the meeting have even suggesting because I've been on this fucking desolate tundra of a plateau for so long now that I get a note from my doctor so I can set a goal weight outside of the 'normal' range for my height.  But you know what?  I set a goal (and a reasonable one) and I intend to stick to it.  To suddenly knock 15 or 20 lbs off my ultimate goal seems like a cop-out.   Basically, if I do that, I'm going to know that I didn't do what I set out to do, and I'll feel like a con.  *sigh*  And by knowing secretly that I did cop out, then I lose the motivation to maintain what progress I did make.  I'm so close.  At this point it's not even about the scale, or my ass, or a number.. It's that I set a goal, a reasonable one, even, and I'm going to fucking DO IT.  Not backing down.

I know, and am fully aware of all the benefits that I've gained from coming this far.  I'm med-free, I'm in the best shape I've been in years (if not ever).  I'm starting to feel really good about myself (although I see myself still as an overweight woman.. funny how body dysmorphia screws with you) and I know I'm making good choices.  I know I've come a long way.  And it's one thing when I know I've not been keeping to the plan as well as I can.. if I skip tracking for a week, or don't excercise then I know it's nobody's fault buy my own whne i don't make progress.  It's just fucking irritating as hell when I bust my ass, but then slip a bit and end up paying for it.

One of the things I liked about this program was the idea that yes, once in a while you can indulge yourself.. but it feels like when I do that, then I lose progress.  And I don't mean indulging by taking a day where I totally pig out.. I mean I might have a donut and a beer or something and then it shows up. THAT'S ANNOYING.  I don't even dip into the allowance points when I'm tracking because it seems to show up and impede my progress.

Those of you with naturally good eating habits, active lifestyles and good metabolism, be thankful for these things.. because feeling like you have to police yourself is such a pain in the ass. 

*anyone who might be overly concerned reading this, I'm just venting here just so you know*

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I really am a girl sometimes.

Generally I pride myself on being fearless as far as all the normal things that scare people go.  Creepy crawlies? Meh.  I squash my own spiders, thanks. 

Horror movies?  I laugh in the face of Jason, Freddy Krueger and whatever other crazed ax murderer or thing that goes bump in the night you can put on celluloid.

Mice?  Cute, aren't they?
Well, guess what....

NOT WHEN THEY HAVE FRICKIN' WINGS!!

Shortly after getting home tonight, the eldest child had let the big Tom outside.  She's not well known for being aware of her surroundings, which is how, we figure, it occured that a few minutes later she goes 'Oh!  there's a bird in the house!'

I go "What the.. (looking up) oh yeah, there IS a bird.. oh SHIT.. it's a BAT!!"

There's a bloody bat in my house.  FFFFUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!



The ladies don't quite know what to do, so I immediately usher them into their bedroom before they have a chance to panic.  I fling open the front door and try to telepathically direct this bat to the door.

Outside, it's where you want to be, bat.

Mind you, vocally translates as "EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! SHIT!! AHHHHHHHHHH"  as the little bugger flies drunken-like back and forth between the kitchen and the living room.

ZOOM flap flap flap

"AHHHHH!!!!  OH SHIT OH SHIT!!"  look at closed bedroom door "I'm OKAY!! MOMMY'S OKAY"  *swoop* "OH DEAR GOD, AUUUUGHHHH"  *ducks*

I realize the door is wide open and one of the kittens has made it's way to the front porch, so I make a dive a throw the cat into the bedroom with the children, and proceed to bat-duck and gather the other cats (other than the giant Tom, don't really care if he gets out).

So I'm in my living room, screaming and throwing kittens into a room, while this poor confused bugger flies back and forth with increasing panic, all the while trying to reassure the children between eardrum-piercing screams as they muffle giggles (Yes, GIGGLES.. frickin' sadistic little...)behind their bedroom door.

The little one, the more helpful of the two, suggests the butterfly net.  "Quick Where Is It??" I ask, frantic, as I try to keep an eye on the flying rodent.  In the mudroom, she tells me.  That's fantastic I think, considering I'm at the front door, on the opposite side of the house, and getting to the mud room requires me to cross directly into my little friend's flight path.

I scream some more.  "It's okaY!  i'm Fine!! AUUGHGHGHHGHGH  MOTHER OF GOD" *flapping of bat wings*

Some how I get a hold of the butterfly net, but keep in mind, I've never wielded a butterfly net against a living being before.  I'm surprised there was very little breakage.  So, I manage to get the bat into my net.  Unfortunately I got him in there when I grazed him with the rim of the net, knocking him to the ground senseless (my aim isn't great).

It's important to note that this whole time I am still screaming and yelling obscenities peppered with half-assed attempts to reassure the kids, who obviously needed no assurance as they continued to LAUGH at their poor mother, from the safety of their bedroom.  grr.

So having knocked the bat to the ground, I throw the net over it and scoop it up, rushing to the front door to free him.  The little bugger won't let go of the damn net!!  So I shake the ever loving hell out of that net until I see something haphazardly flutter off into the night.

I need a drink.  Apparently, I am not friend to ALL animals.  I'm kind of a jerk to some of them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

a wee ditty.

Songs I wish I wrote

My tongue is tied, I can only hum
My fingers stumble as I strum
Grip the pen but the words don't come
It's all been said before

Singing songs I wish I'd wrote myself
Singing songs I wish I'd wrote myself
These aren't my words but the voice is mine
Singing songs I wish I'd wrote myself

Feelings strangled inside of me
Dead fingers make no melody
You've said it all so perfectly
It's all been done before

Singing songs I wish I'd wrote myself
Singing songs I wish I'd wrote myself
These aren't my words but the tears are mine
Singing songs I wish I'd wrote myself

Singing Songs I wish I'd wrote myself
Singing Songs I wish I'd wrote myself
The pain is real but the tune ain't mine
Singing songs I wish I'd wrote myself.

copyright - Andrea Lyn Cole 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Two movie reviews, a rant and an awesome link.

Just finished watching the second of two movies that a friend of mine burned a couple of weeks ago.  It's difficult finding time to do something as simple as watching a movie anymore but I got through them.  My thoughts:

The Runaways (B- oh, and my grading system is pretty arbitrary in case you were wondering)

Not a bad film, but of course with me, you can't go wrong with rock biopics.  It's the first time I've seen Kristen Stewart in a movie and I haven't wanted to punch her in the face, so good on her for that one.  I found her very believable as Joan Jett.  Let's put it this way.. with Dakota Fanning, I was watching Dakota Fanning play Cherie Curie, whereas I just felt like I was watching Joan Jett with Kristen's performance.

I had a hard time getting around the meta-teensploitation ick factor.  They're basically documenting how the Runaways as a band were exploited for their jailbait sex appeal by having Stewart and Fanning make out.  Weird.

That being said, I still thought it was a decent film.

The Trotsky (B)


First of all, since i first saw Highway 61 I've maintained that Canadian cinema is horribly under-rated.  Secondly, I'm officially adding Jay Baruchel to my list of awkward weedy shy-boy crushes. 
It was probably inevitable.  I thought the School admin's were a little too caricaturistically evil, since in real life a lot of teachers and principals are also pawns of the larger system.  But that didn't take away from my enjoyment.

Did I mention Jay Baruchel was fantastically awkward?  he may out-awkward Michael Cera.


So yeah, both pretty good films.  I saw the best friggin' thing on Etsy today.  I work in an office building that shares a parking lot with the Parole office (who have claimed about 15 reserved spots), a couple of smaller businesses and a Tim Hortons.  We have about 10 reserved spots, which was great when we had about 10 employees but now it's closer to 20, and we have to battle for spots.  So it's exceptionally frustrating when I come to work in the morning to this:

Or even more infuriatingly, this:
 
Okay, seriously Blogger and/or Tuxpaint?  That's supposed to say Asshole in Pickup truck.  FFS, people.

Anyway, I digress.. I've been looking for a nice passive-aggressive way to deal with this particular brand of jackass, and I think I may have found it:

Fuzzy Cute Bunnies with a Dark Side


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, handy little cards you can stick on someone's windshield just to let them know what a huge douche canoe they are for not being able to take a couple extra seconds to make sure other people have a place to park.

This may be the greatest thing ever.  Do Want.

Putting off my housework

So, StephC at Seriously??... Reeeally?... Seriously? recently posted this fun little blog survey, so because my house is a mess and I'm always up for a reason to put stuff off and be surrounded by filth and entropy, I'm going to steal it from her and let y'all have a little more insight to yours truly.

1. Do you collect anything?  If so, what and how long have you been collecting?

I have a stupid number of concert and band T-Shirts.  I didn't really set out to collect them, I just have a hard time getting rid of them.  I generally pick one up everytime I see a new act.  Sometimes it's the headliner, sometimes the opener, sometimes whoever I thought put on the best show.  A few of them were purchased in retail stores, or given to me.  It's become a collection based on the fact that I absolutely HATE getting rid of them.  Once  upon a time I had a wicked cool Ramones t-shirt, but when I was at my heaviest I went through this "I'm never gonna fit any of this shit ever again, I might as well get rid of it" thing and gave away that shirt in the process.  Now I'd totally rock it again, and I don't have it.  I've never gotten over that.

this is but a cross-section of the full collection.  many are in the laundry at the moment.
The best shirt-procuring story can be found here

I started in grade 8, with a Pearl Jam shirt I got for christmas that had a caricature of the band.  The oldest in my possesion is the Nirvana shirt I got for my 14th birthday.  I've had it so long it's practically decomposing. Some shirts get recycled once they get to that point.  For example, my Alice In Chains Rooster shirt, ended up on the back of an army coat:



My newest one I got last night when I went to see A Primitive Evolution, a band fronted by a friend from high school.


2. What is one cleaning tip you swear by?

Two words.  Child Labour.  Seriously, once they're old enough to understand the words 'Grounded to Infinity' put your babies to work.  They contribute to the mess, they can sure as shit help clean it.

3.  Who would you call for Bail Money?

That's a tough one.  Most of the friends and loved ones who I feel would be willing to help me are probably in no position to do so.  I could probably start some kind of letter writing campaign for amnesty.. I have the sneaking suspicion that if I were ever arrested, I'd probably be some kind of political prisoner.   Unless I got arrested for something really stupid like aggravated assault with a fish.  At which point I might be too mortified to ask for bail money.

4. What is one thing you miss about being a kid?

Being able to wander around a store and look at stuff, while being totally oblivious to the fact that store workers were watching me like a hawk wondering if I was going to start stuffing my pockets.  It's not that store workers don't watch little kids, it's just that I was blissfully ignorant of the misanthropy of the retail sector, and oh hell, the population at large.

5. What are some of your guilty pleasures?

Taylor Swift.  I'm going to lose any elitist hipster cred i ever had, but I have an actual physiological reaction to Love Story.. My eyes get moist and my stomach flips with joy when she sings about the boy pulling out a ring and telling her to pick out a white dress.  Sweet jesus, I'm tearing up as I type this.

Guns N Roses.  Mainly because a lot of their lyrics are highly mysogynistic (especially off Appetite for Destruction - or the lyrics to One In A Million in it's entirety) I feel like I'm doing a disservice to my gender whenever I listen to them.  But holy shit, these guys were down, dirty, street urchin rock.  I've also said before that Appetite Era Axl could have shown modern-day gangsta rappers a thing or two, because Axl was a pimp when 50 cent was still at his momma's tit.  You know, before the dreads and the huge amounts of botox.  I'll also add that I won't acknowledge any post-slash GNR incarnation as Guns N Roses.. once you take away most of the band, all you have is Axl and the Randoms.   Velvet revolver had more GNR than GNR does now.

Street Meat aka Hot Dog Cart Hot Dogs.  No matter how many times people tell me what goes in hot dogs, or how animals are killed, I will continue my love affair with hot dogs, especially ones I can buy on the street.

6. how early do you start your holiday shopping?

Ugh.  Let's just say, not as early as I'd like, and leave it at that.  I'm cheap, broke, anti-materialistic and generally not a fan of the commercial end of the holiday season.  So I tend to put it off.  I always think I'm going to do more hand-made and creative stuff for people, but I run out of time.  Blargh. 

7. what is a family tradition that you would like to pass on to your significant other/children?

I know a family that was kind of well off, and every year they'd take a third of each kid's gift budget (as in, money that would have gone to gifts for that child) and ask the kid if they knew someone that was in need of help and more importantly that they felt deserved help or something special, a friend, an acquaintance and the kids would pick someone to give that portion to.  I always thought this was a great way to teach kids about giving to others who are in need, and if I ever find myself in a position where giving to my own children is no longer a struggle, then I'd certainly want to do this.

8. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Getting to where I am now from where I was ten years ago.  Surviving a divorce, and getting a university degree while raising two small children and dealing with various health problems and a broken marriage.  Learning to take better care of myself, both physically and emotionally, and becoming a much stronger person for it all.  Negotiating a custody situation that could have been utterly hellish and caused my kids a lot of problems into something workable and generally beneficial for all involved, especially the kids who are turning out to be two kind, intelligent and funny little girls.  The kids are alright.

9. What do you do to pamper yourself?

About once a year I get a full manicure-pedicure.  Usually I do this as my anti-valentines day tradition, because hell, I LOVE ME.  I was with someone this year for VD day so my yearly pedicure was put off until June when a friend came to visit.  On an average week I like to get a bottle of wine and some nice cheese and crackers and listen to the radio and paint.   Or I'll sneak over to my parents place and steal their tub for a long hot soak.  I don't have a tub.

If I had a tub, I too could be a happy as Ernie.


10.  if you were to start your own restaurant, what would it be called?

Have never really considered opening a restaurant, but I have a not-really-secret desire to open a bar.  Our area is sadly devoid of any night-life whatsoever, and I have a general disdain for run-of-the-mill club music while at the same time having a huge love of dancing.. just don't like to dance to the stuff most club Dj's seem to want me to dance to.  One of my friends and I always joke about "when we open our bar".. each time it's a little less jokingly.  If it were all up to me, my bar would be smallish, have a good dance floor, and a stage.  We'd have local talent play and other nights would be retro nights and indie music nights.   There'd be couches and pool tables.  We'd have top notch security to keep the teenagers and the fuckheads who want to fight and break shit out (because that's how bars get closed down.. underagers and fighting) Rock posters and artwork would abound. Oh and I'd totally steal the idea I saw in this punk bar in Hamilton where they had the washrooms wallpapered in comic book pages.  That shit was suh-weet.

I don't want to say what name we've thrown around in case I jinx it.  I just want to have an alternative to the one lame ass bar we have here, and the Legion.


So that's that.  As Steph put, if anyone feels the urge to do this, link me in the comments below.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

And yet we haven't found a way to censor stupid...

Holy arbitrary censorship Batman.

Two stories caught my attention today.  First was a blog post from Tom at Work That Matters regarding Facebook's double standard on so-called obscenity and vulgarity in photos.  The basic gist of the original note that Tom cites is a woman pointing out that you can search for 'Boob's' and find any number of skin-baring, objectionist, definitely sketchy boob shots ranging from plain cleavage shots to almost full-on nudity.

This isn't the problem though (well, it is, but that's a whole 'nother blog post.. not so much boobs, as the objectification of women blah blah.. again, a blog for another day).  The problem is that at the same time that anybody and their Grandma can find these images, the writer of the original note, a friend of a friend of Mr. Megginson's, points out a number of seemingly innocent pics of mothers breast-feeding their children that have been flagged and pulled from the site for being obscene.  Take a jump over to Tom's blog to see the images in question.  Most of them show a bare minimum of skin.

Whether it's the people flagging these pictures as obscene, or the moderators being picky-choosy about which images stay and which ones go, either way there is something very wrong here.   It seems ridiculous that non-eroticized pictures of mother's nursing their children are being targeted as obscene, whereas these other hyper-sexualized examples are hunky-dory?  What the hell, Zuck?

(yes.. anything Facebook related, and I put the blame straight on Mark Zuckerberg.  He's my favorite scapegoat)

Not surprisingly, the original note has been deleted, but Tom had the good foresight to screen capture it so folks can read it in all it's glory.  I've posted Tom's article to my own Facebook page and I am encouraging others to do so as well.

Me, I don't think boobs are inherently obscene.  It's all context, folks.  But if you're going to call boobage, bewbers, whathaveyou obscenity, at least be consistent about it.

**********************************************************

This story blew my medderfleurkin' mind:

A Brave New World controversy

A woman in Seattle Washington is trying to get Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" pulled from school curriculum because it's disparaging to Natives, and refers to Savage Natives, which offends and upsets her.

I'm upset and offended by this woman's obvious lack of reading comprehension, if she even read the book at all, or if just read the 'offending' passage and knee-jerked the rest.

In the complaint to her daughter's school, Sarah Sense-Wilson states:
"[the text has a] high volume of racially offensive derogatory language and misinformation on Native Americans. In addition to the inaccurate imagery, and stereotype views, the text lacks literary value which is relevant to today's contemporary multicultural society,"
*facepalm*

First off, I've read this book a number of times.  There's nothing in the text to indicate that the 'Savages' that the text refers to are supposed to represent Native Americans or First Nations people.  In Brave New World, the so-called civilised people are those born from test tubes in factories, pre-destined to certain lots in life to which they have been conditioned before birth.  The Savages are people who live on the outskirts of society and still live in families and are born of human mothers and bond and share.  They drink and fight and love and experience a gamut of emotions that the "Civilized" people find abhorrent and vulgar.

The book, along with being a dystopian vision of a world dependent on drugs, materialism and mindless eroticism (hmm.. sound familiar?) as a means of avoiding negative experiences and emotions, also criticizes the Eurocentric, colonial ideal of 'taming and civilizing the savage'.   Huxley painted John Savage as the tragic hero of the book, who looked at this 'Brave New World' he was brought to and saw through the fake happiness that the so-called civilized folks believed in.

Even if there was any evidence pointing towards the book targeting Native Americans, which I don't believe is the case at all - Savage is merely used as an illustration of the concept that the people of Huxley's future had of themselves as civilized as opposed to the uncivilized (who in reality, could be ANY North American or European of our or Huxley's generation).  As some commenters pointed out, the book is set in England, so there are no Natives there (although in fairness I always imagined the Savage land as Arizona)

Secondly, if there was any way to show that these Savages were supposed to represent Native Americans, anyone with any reading comprehension would be able to tell that they are supposed to represent Huxley's idea of the chaotic good of love and family and emotion, as opposed to civilizations increasingly sterile meaningless existence, which is hardly unflattering.

I think Jen at Blag Hag tweeted it best:
F*** stupid oversensitive people who have no reading comprehension and ruin everyone else's education as a result

Authors Note:  Sorry to anyone who read this last night (11-17-2010) and thought it made no sense.. somehow things got borked and a paragraph that was supposed down near the bottom ended up at the top of the post.  It should make more sense now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WWWednesday - Short but happy

Down Three freakin' pounds this week.  W00t.
Tracked my intake all week this week.  Every Single Day.  Double W00t.
Two weeks of PROGRESS in a row.  Triple W00t.
Broke the 60 lb mark (again).  well.. you know the drill by now.  W00t.

A friend that I usually run into on Wednesdays after the meeting (as it co-incides with lunchtime) commented that I looked good and asked when I was going to take up modelling.  Hahah.  Putting aside that this was plainly an attempt at flattery (not unappreciated!) and not a serious inquiry.. well, even if I was qualified, why would I spend all this time trying to build up my confidence to enter an industry that would likely destroy every last shred I possess.

Still, it was a nice thing to say.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Like Pearls and Stillettos

Today I tried on the dress I plan on wearing for my staff xmas party, date or no date.  Soon I found myself in heels, pearls and my boldest red lipstick, dancing around my house cleaning, vaccumming and putting away laundry, music blasting, rocking out like a crazed June Cleaver on speed.

Heck yes, I love Sundays.

Conversations with my kid: If you've got it...

After a vendor at the local market place offered my kids some cookies for free:

Me:  I hope you ladies said thank you for the cookies.
Girls:  We did.
Me:  Must be nice to get free stuff just for being cute.
T:  Yeah.  It is.

Friday, November 12, 2010

There's love in these arms.

... and on 'em, today.

Today is To Write Love on Her Arms day.  It's supposed to be a day to recognize the daily struggle of people who suffer from depression, addiction and self-harm.  And no, regardless of the title, it's not just about girls.

I've never dealt with clinical depression, myself, but I have had some pretty low points, so I feel for those who have to deal with these issues on  a day-to-day basis, and would like to share a quick story.

In the late winter of 2001 I was living in Barrie, alone with my ex-husband and expecting our first child.  We had no money, no jobs, no transportation, no phone and at times, no food.  We were cut off from our friends and family and frankly, life sucked.  I remember one day having to go to the food bank, which was a forty minute walk from our room we rented.  They loaded me up with bags of food.  I had no money for the bus, let alone a cab.  The Food Bank people took pity on me and put me in a cab home.

One day, I was walking up the long hill from downtown back to our shitty little boarding room that we had rented because it was supposed to save so much money, and I stopped at the bridge on Sunnydale Road and looked down and just stared at the cars whizzing by on the highway below.   I was so overwhelmed with my situation and I couldn't see an end in sight.  I watched the cars and wondered if I had the guts to climb up and fall down to the highway below.

I have terrible vertigo sometimes.

I thought about my baby, and if she really deserved to be brought into such a shitty, hopeless situation.  I thought about my ex, and my family.  I thought about the people in cars below, about the people who would have to live with the vision of my body crashing through their windshield.  But Goddamn, it was so fucking hard to keep going when things seemed like such a goddamned unending struggle.  Eventually, I turned and dragged my feet the rest of the way home. 

I don't ever drive down Sunnydale Road.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hello Me? it's Me.

I bloody love bandwagons.  So I'm jumpin' this one like I'm getting the hell outta Dodge.  One of the recent trending topics on Twitter (follow me, bitches) was 'tweet your 16 year old self'.

Here's some stuff I'd say to me if I could meet me back then.

1)  You're hot.  Much hotter than you think.. flaunt that shit, girlie.  And if you think you're fat (which I know for a fact you do, seeing as I AM you) just remember that if 165 lbs feels fat now, it's gonna feel feckin' awesome after being 232 lbs

2)  Take your OACs and get your ass to college.  Work your way through if you have to.

3) Go to the doctor.  Even if you think it's probably nothing.  It's not.

4) Don't be afraid to make new friends, especially if they reach out to you.   They're probably not 'just being nice/taking pity' on you and really do want to be your friend.

5) That plan you have of not getting married until well into your thirties?  Consider keeping that in mind, since choosing otherwise will end badly.  But if you don't, that's okay too.. You'll get two beautiful babies out of the deal.

6) Most of all, don't be afraid to take risks.

7) That skirt looks like a tablecloth, and should never be paired with a brown military type jacket.  Sorry.

I AM hot, and those pants ARE the fucking coolest.
8) Don't let anyone tell you those brown cords aren't the coolest fuckin' pants in the world.  They are.

Remembrance Day.. In Case You've Forgotten

First off, I'm going to say a few things that might annoy and/or alienate some friends and family.

I'm GLAD for the Red Vs. White Poppy debate.

I'm happy that someone has come up with an alternate symbol for Remembrance Day.  Why?

Because people are TALKING about Remembrance Day.  They're talking about it, about what these symbols stand for, about why we have this day.  They're actively discussing what the purpose of November 11th is, and not just going through the motions.  Tom Megginson of Work That Matters posted an excellent piece on the debate here.

Myself?  I continue to wear the red poppy, out of respect for my family members, especially my grandmother who did lose loved ones.  I've never had to experience this.  I continue to wear it, because all those things that the not-so-new White Poppy is supposed to represent, I have already come to associate with the red.

However, I do not agree with the Legion's stance on the white poppies.  Promoting peace is not disrespectful to soldiers.  WWI was supposed to be the war to end all wars, was it not?  Should we not be quibbling over something like the color of a symbol.. especially when to some, the two have almost the same meaning.  Many will argue that they fought for our freedom... so by default, we shouldn't practice it?

That's my take on it.  I continue to wear the red, but I would not deny anyone the right to wear the white.  The idea is to remember...

Here is a link to my post from last year, which still applies.


I am a Pacifist, this is why I remember

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WWWednesday - Avert your eyes boys, we're talking lady stuff.

Let that be a warning to you.. veiled references to icky lady stuff ahead.

So, down 1.5 lbs this week, so yay for that.  I feel like that's fair for the amount of effort I put in this week.  I managed to track up until Saturday morning before I kind of fell apart and stopped writing.  No, wait, friday night.  The post-bar snacky-time got to me.  The liquid points 'tweren't too bad.. one beer at the Legion, then later one beer at Bleachers.  In all though, I think I only went a little over this weekend.  So yay me.

I think part of my issue last week may have been horomonal... It sucks, near the end of my cycle (and I'm sure others can relate to this) I put on about 2-3 lbs regardless of my weight-loss efforts, which tend to be hampered by that general sense of lethargy/frustration/outandoutbitchyIDON'TWANNAness that comes with PMS.

And I get ravenously hungry.  All. The. Frickin' Time.  I'm not talking emotional/bored hungry.  Like, I mean I've just had breakfast, and while driving to work my stomach starts growling.. so I drink a bunch of water and have a banana or something mid-morning.  Then by Noon I'm STARVING all the while going "What the effin' eff?? I've eaten twice already!!"

By three o clock I'm irritable as all hell.. have a sensible snack, like some fruit, or a yogurt, all the while craving something battered, fried, greasy, with lots of cheese and.. oh hell.. chocolate and a giant Mocha-frappo-dappo-choco-cino to wash it down with.. and beer too.

Did I mention I work right above a Tim Hortons?  And that their Cherry Cheese Danishes are freaking amazing?  Yeah.  I'm almost glad they're not letting vets sell poppies, because it gives me one additional reason not to go down there and further sabotage myself.

But long story short, all this premenstrual BS (the guys who have been brave enough to read this far are cringing now... MENSESMENSESMENSES!!! PEEEERIODDDDD!!!  Here guys, here's a video to distract you.  You may just learn something..) leads up to a whole lot of frustration.  Two Steps forward, one step back, and so forth.

So here's a couple of small steps I made this week:
  • Bought whole wheat bread.
  • Did some pushups and curls at home, completely of my own volition
  • Added cucumbers and substituted wheat bread to my regular 6" Roast beef sub
Oh, here's something disturbing I found today while trying to calculate my points for said sub:  My Roast Beef Sub with lite Mayo and cheddar cheese works out to about 8 points on the weight watchers plan (by the way, here's a good link for people who are trying to follow the plan but may not have all the tools - it's got the points calculator, and a chart for tabulating what your point allowance should be based on your weight and height.  Mind you, it doesn't take into account your job, or gender or age.) Curious, I checked out my other favorite Subway sub, the Pizza sub.  11 freakin' points! Not even including the extra cheese i usually get, and the fancy bread (Italian herb and cheese).

That Roast Beef sammich is sounding a whole lot better.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And Now, the airing of grievances.

Random things are pissing me off today.

The Baby-Daddy.  No specific reason, just his existence in general bugs me sometimes.  I know that for all intents and purposes we get along well, and I don't have to put up with near the amount of crap other co-parents have to put up with regarding their exes, but ever so often, I'd just like to kick him.  Really Hard.

Twitter.  It wants me to follow my most recent ex's most recent ex (like, before me).  I don't know her, I doubt we have much in common (aside from most recent ex) and I don't particularly want to get to know her, because from what I've heard, she's kind of a waste of space.  The only reason I know who she is because I've seen pictures on Facebook.

Which brings me to...

Facebook.  It keeps wanting to show me pictures of most-recent-ex and his ex-girlfriend.  An irritating reminder that the only Pic I have of US together we both look deformed.

Ambiguity.  Read into that what you will.  But it bugs me.

My Stomach.  It's growling.  Incessantly.  I eat.  I make healthy choices, and it betrays me.  I'd fuckin' kill for something greasy or sugary right now.  Seriously, this is the type of shit I'm craving right now.

Yogurt.  Even Caramel flavored, it's still yogurt.  And NOT what I want right now.

Unadulterated Bullshit (Work Related) I hate when people tell me they sent an inquiry "A week ago" or "A couple" days ago, then I look it up and find out it had been sent at like, 10pm the night before.

Office Christmas Parties.  Because once again this year, I will have to scrounge for a date.  Yes.  I am sick to death of bringing man-friends, gay-boyfriends and other women as dates to these things.  But I'm too self-conscious to go by myself.  It's not the Prom, after all.  It makes me nostalgic for my convenience store days when I had two co-workers and there was no point to a Christmas party.

Blargh.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Getting it all out of my system part 1

Sometimes I get the urge to post random song lyrics that in some way apply to my life.  You may have seen this, before.  Sometimes I want to, but don't, because hell, it's kind of lame.  But I rarely get inspired enough to write my own shit (I can do poetry, would love to write songs but damned if I can come up with something I like enough to commit to memory).

A friend posted a note to facebook which I'm going to appropriate here.  20 random-ish songs from my library (and I say randomish because if I think it's lame, I'm gonna skip to the next one until I find one that has lyrics I really like - my blog, my rules) and my favorite lines from them.  Hell I may include a reason why they speak to me on any given level)

Truthfully, I'd like to blog about something other than WWWednesdays, so here you go.

1. Lame - Seven Mary Three


I'm so damn lame
The way I condescend without even knowing his name
He keeps it in a box, hangs it from his ear
Looks at everyone without the slightest fear
It's making me so ashamed.

The whole song reminds in it's entirety reminds me of high school.  There were those people who you may have wished to know better, but maybe they were nerdy or kind of weird, and at that age you're still too worried about what the alpha crowd might think.. I knew a few of these people and although I pretended a lot to not to care about what others thought of me, I was still kind of too chickenshit to get to know them, based on my own prejudices.  By the time I got over it, it was too late.

2. Underground - Kimya Dawson

I'm wearing size 13 basketball shoes 
and lavender fishnets
I'm freaked out and fucked up
And I'm standing alone in an alley with you
wanting to show you a cure for your hiccups

Again, I'm a sucker for adolescent imagery

3. Smoke It - The Dandy Warhols
I've been thinking about nothing
And doing nothing but thinking

I just like this word play.

4. Unsound - The Headstones
Bottom lip quivers, rage is so apparent
Don't know whether to kill or cry
Don't know whether to rebuild or to burn it
You don't know how just to say goodbye

Hugh Dillon is just the fuckin' coolest.

5. Blew it Again - Blue Rodeo
I played you all my favorite songs
Catch you when you fall
You look at me, saying 'That's not it at all'

Ahh, yes. Marital miscommunication. "What did I do wrong"

6. Is this where I come in - Spirit of the west
Is this where I come in?
For I am your saving grace
Healer of the herd, descending on your space
My wings caught in your door, and my halo in your face

7. Time to Pretend - MGMT
This is our decision 
To live fast and die young
We've got the vision
Now lets have some fun

I liked these lyrics enough to put them in that little "Write something here" spot on my Facebook page.

8. Symbolistic White Walls - Matthew Good Band
I have a psychic
She says I'm lonely 
She says my destiny is turning out all wrong

My first psychic reading was bad. Really bad. Her predictions were disturbing and thankfully innacurate.

9. Vanished - The Headstones
I vanished Friday and appeared on Sunday
Only to regain my strength and do it again.

I've had weekends like this.

10. These Few Presidents - Why?
Even though I haven't seen you in years
Yours is a funeral I'd fly to from anywhere.

This is such a weird, back-handed compliment, but it's set up in kind of a bittersweet fashion. Over the years there have been people I've lost touch with, or have parted ways due to disagreement, but who I would still be incredibly sad if I heard they had died. Other people I just worry about getting 'that call'.. you know?

Okie doke, I'm going to stop here for now, my guitar has been calling me, going through these tunes. I'm thinking of pulling the electric out, since it hasn't been played in well over a year, if not two. It's so much easier picking up the acoustic, but I'm in the mood to bust some eardrums. Plus I have a royal butt-ton of laundry to fold, and I have to pick the ladies up at some point today. And I was listening to the Pixies and got a fun idea for a painting. Oh, and dishes. Right. It's gonna be a busy one, methinks.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Flashing Gender Arrows.

My girls recently got their hair cut, like uber-short.  Pixie cuts, basically.  Not to brag, but my kids are pretty damn adorable, dare I say GORGEOUS, with very feminine facial features.

Today the receptionist at the dentist thought they were boys.  This is the first time this has happened since they got their hair cut.  I'm not terribly bothered by it, and as far as their feelings go, well, they were out of the room at the time the little faux pas was made, so no worries there.

It's easy to overlook the bright pink winter coat on the one child, and the pink pants on the other.

They have unique names that while predominantly used in the feminine, can be boys names as well.

But how.. HOW, I ask, do you miss the T-shirt that says in giant letters "I LOVE BEING A GIRL"

Really?

Reminds me of when T. was a baby and a nice couple oohed and ahhed and asked how hold 'He' was.

"Six Months," I said "but actually she's a girl."
"A girl?! But she's wearing blue!"
"uhm... a blue dress."


Just goes to show that people have specific things they look for as gender-markers, while ignoring other markers.  For some it's as basic as P vs VG (although most people don't have them on display, and I've learned it's considered rude to ask).

For others it may be hairstyle, whereas for others it may be clothing, or posture.

In other news, this may have been the best dentist visit in my children's history.  No cavities, no freakouts, no tears.  Good times.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A little clarification, slightly out of context.

It's happened in the past, both in conversation and in past blog posts such as this one, that I have played with the idea that one's sexual orientation may be fluid, rather than a static state.  That is to say, that I don't necessarily agree with the idea that one's orientation is decided at birth. 

Keep in mind, I know I'm speaking as a woman who identifies as straight, thus far (in keeping with where I am going with this), so I will try to keep my privilege in check and not make assumptions.

This is where people either respond with A) "That's ludicrous!  You can't choose whether to be gay or straight!" or B) "Aha! So you agree, it IS a choice!"

No.  That's not what I'm saying. If I say one's orientation can change, that doesn't mean I'm saying it's a choice.  It's based on the difference between the following two adjectives

Changing: Something that is capable of change.

Changeable:  Something that can be changed by force or manipulation.

So while I would agree that one's sexuality is unchangeable (that is to say, you cannot force change upon it - you can't 'cure' someone of being gay/straight, nor can someone say 'I've decided not to be gay/straight today') I would question the idea that it is a completely static birth-to-death state of being.

WWWednesday. Frustration and Halloween Candy.

Up 2 lbs this week.  Frustrated beyond belief.  Trying not to beat myself up over it.. but I know what the problem was.. I let the kids bring half their Halloween candy alone, and dammit, I just can't keep out of it.  So tomorrow it's going to their dad's whether they like it or not (not that the kids will complain, they're at his place this weekend anyway.)

I've got a short list of things I need to do to step up my game, some I've been attempting, such as tracking (which I lasted all of two and a half days last week.. ugh)

  •  Switch to whole wheat, in regards to bread and pasta. More filling, and since I generally find it kind of gross, there will be less desire to have toast and such for snacks.
  • Meal planning.. throwing something together at the last minute really throws me off.  Mondays and Wednesdays are tough for this since I never really know if I'm feeding the kids or if their father will feed them.
  • Work out at home, outside of kickboxing and my afternoon walks.  I'm going to start trying to take 20 minutes a night just to go through some curls, push-ups (because holy crap, I can DO those now!!), squats, Jumping jacks etc.
  • Fackin' TRACK.  Write that shit DOWN. 
  • Keep my damn hands busy.  Pick up my guitar, or paintbrushes, or whatever when I get bored-hungry.  Hell, I could even clean my house.  Now THERE'S an idea. 
I've been writing my stuff down today although it's been a wholly depressing experience.  I'm glad I have class tonight, as it will help alleviate the groggy bloaty feeling I'm having now.  I need to clean out my cupboards at home too.. when I get my next pay (or hell, even before) I'm going to try and do a mass cooking weekend so I can make a shit load of stuff that can be frozen and such for future meals, so I can avoid the pizza/takeout/Kraft Dinner trap.

I'm frustrated.  And I could easily eat a couple of bowls of cinnamon toast crunch right now, as it's possibly my favorite cereal ever.   I bought the family size box so I could order the free T-shirt.  Now we each get one.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Conversations like this make my brain hurt.

Ever have one of those days where you deal with so many stupid people that you start to wonder if you're the one that's incompetent?

I had one of those days.  I actually asked my co-worker if there was something off about my speech patterns, because nobody on the phone seemed to be able to grasp the relatively simple concepts I was trying to explain.

A woman called into the helpdesk and starts asking about getting repair service for a lab balance.  I try to help her navigate the site and she starts getting snippy

"Can you just give me the URL?"

"Certainly, ma'am. *starts spelling url*"
"Wait, what was that.. v...?"
"yes, V as in Victor, two"
"The number two?"
"Yes.  Now See, Aye, Tee, Eee, Gee, Oh, Are, Why..."
"Wait, wait, hold on.. Pee, Ay... Pee... tee..."
"No, ma'am.  See, Aye, Tee... 'Category'
"wait, what?  Pee?"
"No, ma'am.. C as in Cat."
"I'm sorry I don't understand."

I'm getting a little exasperated, so I try to help her navigate to this particular directory from the home-page.  She immediately interrupts.

"I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're talking about.. Pee, Aye.. Pee.."
"No, mam, it's Category.. C as in cat."

She's getting aggravated.

"I don't understand why you can't just give me a phone number.. you're the manufacturer.. " (I've already explained that we are NOT a manufacturer and that we don't deal with any equipment)

"Actually, we're not a manufacturer. As I mentioned, we're a listing service.. "
"Well, can't you just give me a number?  I mean, I don't understand what you're saying..."

No, you don't. 

"... Like, I get phonics but I don't understand.. we don't use C for cat.."

Are you effing serious?  You can't grasp that C is for cat?  And who is we?  You and your spouse?  The company you work for?  The state of Utah? 

I get the make out of her, and it's a very well known maker of lab balances.  In fact, if you google this company, the first 6 or 7 results link to the manufacturers website. 

Why, the effing eff would you NOT A) Ask for the manufacturer and not a repair company?  or B) Google the effing manufacturer?  Crap on a friggin' cracker people.

Speaking of crackers, the next guy is from Alabama, so I know this conversation is a write-off.  I am sure there are plenty of intelligent, if not freaking brilliant people in Alabama and other Southern States.. but holy hell.. people start speaking southern to me and I want to talk to them like they are five freaking years old.  The deeper south, the more i want to talk down to them.

It  reminds me of the clip before, from comedian Leo DuFour when he was on Comedy at Club 54. My family used to watch and tape this show constantly, and I'm excited that more of these clips are showing up on YouTube.

The Alabama College bit is at  0:48 .  (embedding disabled.  Figures)

For shits and giggles, here's part one.  Well worth the wait.

Anyway... that's the way my day was going.  To quote Mr. DuFour.. whatever you're riding, wear a helmet more often.

All Hallow's Rant - Follow-up.

For those who didn't read it, last week I posted a rant about my childrens' school's "Orange-and-black" day policy.

So last night after trick-or-treating, my older daughter informed me that she had a math homework assignment that involved her counting out her treats and creating graphs and such based on her candy haul.

hmm.. interesting.  I wonder what those poor kids who don't trick or treat are supposed to do?

Hypocrisy, indeed.