Thursday, January 27, 2011

Conversations with my kid: Be Specific

In the car:

T: Can you put on that song?
Me: Which one?
T: I don't know which one
Me: How does it go?  Sing a bit for me.
T: I can't. I don't know.
Me:  I can't put on a song if I don't know which one you mean.
T:  Harrumph.

Later, just now.  I'm putting on music.

T: Can you PLEASE put on that song?
Me:  I don't know what song.  You don't know the title, or the melody or any of the lyrics. 
T:  It's that one that you and me both like.. it's like 'hip-hop slash.. uhm (she's great with genres, just like her mother)... uhm. 
Me:  Go clean your room.

Okay, now THIS pisses me off...

Via Matthew Good's Facebook page

Oh Noes!! A Couple and their CHILD!!  AVERT YOUR EYES, SINNERS!!

Mr. Good's caption on the photo:
Harps grocery store in Arkansas put a "family shield" over the recent cover of US Weekly because, well, little kids might have to look at two gay men and their child. And you know what that leads to - dancing, drugs, and teen pregnancy. Oh, and being gay.
Are you friggin' kidding me, Harps of Arkansas? 

I wish our grocery store would put a Family Shield over Kim Kardawhoserface or the short broad with the big hair from Jersey Shore, because they sure as hell offend MY sensibilities and I don't want my young shoppers subjected to THAT.  However, I'm pretty okay with a picture of a couple with a baby.

Holy crap, people.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Navigating with Herbert and why I'll never get sick of saying Rainbow Butt Monkeys

So last night was the Finger Eleven show in Kitchener.  I'm running on about four hours sleep as, being badass that I am, got to bed at 3am and went to work the next day.  I don't even know how T (the friend that accompanied me) managed to function today, as she has to get up WAY earlier than I do.  After work I hit Wal-hell, which I have been doing way too much of lately, so I could buy socks, painkillers - wisdom teeth are a bitch and a half - and a bathing suit bottom for my upcoming trip to the Dominican.  I had lost a pair earlier in the summer in an incident that was a lot of fun at the time, but now I just wish I had those bottoms back.  They fit really well.

So we left for Kitchener around 6 with me assuring T that although the doors opened at 7 (it's a 2.5-3 hour drive to KW) they never start at seven, and besides, there are two opening bands that we can miss if we have to.  We left guided by a GPS system that spoke to us in the voice of Herbert, the perverted old man from Family Guy.

Herbert had some interesting ideas about travel, because a few times he had us travelling down some godforsaken twisty-turny backroads, and at one point we nearly hit two very young deer.. maybe not babies, but certainly preadolescent deer.  There were a few instances of 'Fuck you, Herbert' when he'd tell me to look up ahead three hundred meters, and go straight.  Really, Herbert?  Was that necessary?

So as it turns out, we had cut it a bit close as when we got there, the second opening band was on their third last song.  Between their set and F11's I laughed at some guy behind us trying to convince the chick he was with of how indie he was (like, look at this fucking hipster).. talking about how he doesn't like 'mainstream' music.  That mentality pisses me off to no end.  The 'OMGZZ THIS BAND MADE MONEY THEY SOOOO SOLD OUT AND NAO I DON'T LIKEEE THEM!!" mentality.  I listen to a lot of pretty obscure shit, but the thing is, when a band like the Burning Hell makes it big and can quit their call centre day-jobs, I'm still going to like them if they keep making kick-ass music.  Music fans are so fickle.. and stupid (keeping in mind that I'm fully aware that I'm one of them).  But that's a rant for another day. 

Oh, quick customer service tip.. even though $4.75 is a relatively good price for a mixed drink in a bar,  it's no excuse to be skimpy.  If you serve someone who discovers that their drink is leaking through a hole in the cheap plastic cup, and a good third of their drink is now on the bar please just pour them a new drink.  Don't just toss the remainder in a new cup and hand it back.  You can bet your arse that I took my tip back after that scene.

During the break, we travelled out to the vendors so I could add another shirt to the collection.  They also had CD's for sale, which I'm glad I didn't buy any since I had forgotten that along with the passes to the show, I also have a complete discography coming in the mail.  That would have been a waste.  Chatting with the cute T-shirt selling dude, I suggested that they should have been selling copies of Letters from Chutney, since I would have totally picked that one up.  This was the CD they put out while still performing under the name Rainbow Butt Monkeys.  I guess Finger Eleven was more sellable, and less snicker-inducing.  Still, Chutney was a pretty strong album. Cute T-shirt guy informed me that the idea had been brought up, but apparently the album is no longer in print and the label that it was released under isn't even in business anymore.

Add one to the pile.
F11 put on a pretty fantastic show.  I fell a little bit in lust with the guitarist, James Black.  He was ridiculously energetic and on his game the whole set.  Dude was covered in sweat by the end of the night.  I love bands that seem to be having a loads of fun when they're playing, not treating it like a job or an obligation.  It's a great, infectious attitude.  I think Scott Anderson may have been having some vocal issues because throughout the night he got a little quieter and was making "Holy shit that hurt" faces after some of the more difficult parts.

My Camera = Teh Suck
Although I like them, I can honestly say I've never thought of myself as a huge fan. So it came as a surprise just how many songs I recognized and thoroughly enjoyed. They played a few of the ones I knew I would know, like Above, One Thing, and Paralyzer (great choice for a second encore) but I had forgotten about other tunes like Drag You Down and Broken words. I had really hoped to hear Bones + Joints but I guess it's kind of slow for a pretty high energy show. I'm really looking forward to this discography showing up so I can revisit some of this stuff. (P.S. they do an awesome cover of Depeche Mode's Walking in My Shoes)

So after the last song we headed out to begin the long drive home. Now, going into the bar I had a distinct memory of getting out of the car, and asking T if she needed anything before I locked it. Returning to the car, the first thing I noticed was the interior light on. I wasn't worried because my battery usually lasts quite a while. THEN I noticed the doors unlocked. THEN I saw my KEYS sitting on the seat.

Nothing was touched. We were flabbergasted, first because I had done something so dumb as leaving the keys on the seat of the unlocked car and second because NOT A THING WAS TOUCHED. Hell, the fact that the car was still there at all was pretty impressive in and of itself. All my CD's, All T's CD's and even Herbert were still there.

I am one LUCKY Dumbass. Kudos, Kitchener, for not being populated by car-thieving douchebags. KUDOS TO YOU.

So this may be my last post for a bit, as I'll be MIA for the next week or so. Sunny tropics, here I come.

One last weird random thought I had during the concert.  All band members?  WEARING PANTS THAT FIT!.  Thank you, Finger Eleven, for wearing pants that fucking FIT.  I thank you, the world thanks you.

Yeah, ill fitting pants are a *thing* of mine, especially after the age of oh, say, 25.  No visible underpants, please.  No baggy-assed hood jeans and no emo-fucking-girl pants.  Thanks.  Grr.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The pain of age and impending cultural irrelevance.

I'm gettin' old.  I'm training a new guy at work on the system I work on and I had expressed excitement about the Finger Eleven show that I'm going to tomorrow night.

Blank stare.  No idea.  This is not the first time my cultural references have gone over the young lad's head.  Some of my references are pretty obscure but I thought this'd be an easy one.  No such luck.  So we had a laugh and I mentioned that it made me feel kind of old.

Not as old as this, however:

I mentioned feeling old when I saw this.  He didn't know who Nirvana was.  I was in shock.  I had to explain who they were and how Kurt Cobain's suicide was one of the uniting events in the adolescences of my particular age cohort.

No idea.

When you figure this all took place around '92/93 it doesn't seem like that long ago.  It's when you figure his death was EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO that I start to go "Oh.. fuuuuuu.  I'm OLD.  Like, older than Dirt (which, incidentally, also came out around the same time)."

Is it sick that part of me secretly hopes that this is not so much a case of my own impending irrelevance but maybe a situation where maybe my co-workers parent's kept him in a closet for the better part of the formative years?  Yeah, it's probably really sick.   Add another bouncer and a VIP lounge to my special place in Hell.

If you're reading this, I don't REALLY hope you were locked up for the better part of your life by your parents and if you were, I'm sorry, that's horrifying.

It's probably even more sick that this scenario puts me in mind of one of my favorite Kids in the Hall sketches:

In other news, I've been given another blog award, this time from Bruce at Just Another Day in Paradise.  It seems I'm amusing to some.  This gives me the warm fuzzies.

So the rules for this one are as follows:

  1. Link to the person who awarded you:  Done.
  2. Seven unknown facts about yourself: Done.
  3. Award to seven other people - I'll get back to ya.
So all these random facts get overwhelming but I'll see what I can do.. I'm gonna get back to y'all on the recipients, as it may take me a while to pick em all.
  • I'm descended from the Clan Campbell whose claim to infamy was the Glencoe Massacre of 1692.  Oh yeah.  We are bad-assed Scots.
  • I was reprimanded in high school on Tacky Tourist day for wearing a T-Shirt promoting Puerto Vallarta that read "Lick It, Suck It, Slam It."  Seems this was innapropriate for school.
  • The first two songs I learned on guitar were Knockin' on Heaven's Door and The Needle and the Damage Done
  • As a child I was assessed as gifted.  Smirking my parents asked the school "so what, she could be a brain surgeon or something?" the psychologist looked them dead in the eye and was like "Yeah, she could"
  • My left leg is about 1.5 centimetres bigger around than the right leg.
  • I used to swim competitively.  Couldn't win a race to save my life, but I competed.
  • I have a lisp that manifests itself in slushy sounding 'S's, although I am told it has become less noticeable in recent years.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Take that, Canadian winter - another half-assed post

I got my snow tires today, finally.  It meant spending a good two hours in the seventh circle of hell that is Wal-Mart, but holy crap it's done.  Just in time to drive two and a half hours to Kitchener on Tuesday night for the Finger Eleven concert.

I also auditioned today for a local production of The Vagina Monologues that's being put on for our local women's shelter.  I think I did pretty good, and it was fun trying out.  I got to say fuck, cunt and vagina a whole lot.  I think my chances of getting even a small part are pretty good.

I was listening to our local station's classic rock Saturday night and I'm reminded once again of the under-rated talent of the Animals and of the equally under-rated hotness of the young Eric Burdon.  In my very honest opinion he should have easily taken Mick Jagger in a battle of British Invasion hotness.  Jagger looks like a troll.

Burdon in foreground - Photo Credit
Holy crap. Loverboy. Classic rock night is AWESOME.

This video embodies every terrible 80's cliche imaginable, while having the added panache of being a CANADIAN 80s rock video. Can-rock in the 80's was a very special kind of terrible. Like Enid says in Ghost World "This is so bad it's gone beyond cool and back to bad again."

Anyhoo folks, this has been another half-assed weekend post, brought to you by myself and the Simple Dude in a Complex world.  Go give him some love.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Recognize, bitches, and pay that shite forward.

So I'm combining two things here.. first off, care of both Jess at not your typical joan of archetypal patterns as well as Vintage Witch/Little Scotia at I Just Got My Poetic License, Loan Me Your Pen! (via the facebook) I'm gonna play along with the Pay it Forward 2011 game.  So how it goes, my understanding of it, is that the first five people to comment will be sent a hand-made gift courtesy of yours truly.  I'm posting this here as well as on my Facebook , but I'm making the Facebook folks click through to here in order to claim their prize, since I'm a hard bitch like that. 

Ready?  annnnnnd Go! (take a look at the etsy link on the left to get an idea of the weirdness I like to create)

Secondly, I've received my first blog award.  I can stop crying myself to sleep in the fits of jealousy I'm prone too.  Sweet, Sweet Validation. 

Courtesy of Moody at Eccentric Light and Nonsense Shadows, I've been granted this lovely award here:
Rules state that I've gotta share five facts about myself, then pass it on to three others.
  1. At the tender age of 11 I went go-carting on my own for the first time.  Not understanding much about the laws of physics and aerodynamics, I promptly attempted a turn at full speed and launched myself into the air over the tire banks and onto the parallel track, falling roughly six feet through the air.  Total injuries: 1 small cut on my pinkie finger.
  2. At 18 I was hospitalized for a month with a double whammy of life-threatening health issues: a massive blood clot in my left leg, as well as a severe bout of colitis that had dropped my hemoglobin levels to about 55.  For perspective, normal is about 120, around 90 is considered 'safe' and heart failure sets in at 45.  Basically the doctors had to get rid of the clot, without counteracting the drugs that were attempting to get me to STOP bleeding. 
  3. In college I played the negligent mother of a gunman in a rock opera loosely based on the Columbine shooting that we presented for local high schools.  I still kind of wish we could have taken that show on the road. 
  4. I have the scariest basement in the world.  Cobwebs, weird dusty jars, dirt walls.. joists that still have bark on them.. scary.  Doesn't even have a real door, it's a trapdoor.
  5. I took up painting on the advise of a really bad psychic.  It was a really upsetting and disturbing reading and I was determined to take something positive from the experience.  Thankfully she was innacurate as she was pessimistic.
Okay, so passing it on...

Here's my picks:

Tyler at Tyler Has Nothing To Say.  I know it doesn't come close to being Saskatchewan's Sexiest Blogger, but it's something.

Sarah at Here & Now - she's usually got a lot of interesting things to say

Sean at SeansJeep even though he never brought any bacon today.

So go forth, and don't forget.. first five commenters.  Free stuff.  From Me!


In other news, feeling sorry for myself because the weather was too shitty to go to a party I wanted to go to tonight.  Feeling like a wimp, but my snow tires don't get put on until tomorrow and knowing me, I'd get into an accident tonight.  Blah.  Stupid Canadian Weather.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This day was nothing short of ass-kicking awesome.

Okay.. one or two things could have made it better.. aside from the obvious improvement that ending the day with some dirty-hot yet wholly monogamous monkey sex would have made, it could have been better if I was able to get my mom the gift I wanted to get for her birthday tomorrow.. I have a contingency, but well.. you can't win em all, I guess.

Otherwise, this days' been pretty flippin' fantastic.  First, I just felt ridiculously cute all day.  I looked hot, okay?  It's not everyday that I can honestly say I look at myself and go 'Damn, you're SMOKIN' HOT today!'.  Today was one of those days.

On my travels to try and track down my mom's birthday present, I picked up a movie I have been wanting to see for some time now, Slap Shot with Paul Newman, for the ridiculously low price of a lousy six bucks.  Suh-Weet!  My dad's been telling me about this one for years.  Despite not being much of a sports fan, aside from hockey which I still only watch sporadically, I love sports movies with a passion on level with the passion with which I hate talking-animal movies.  The whole sport-movie genre is essentially a genre of underdog stories, and if there is one thing I love, it's a good underdog.  

I got the call that Wal-Hell tracked down some winter tires that will fit my car and they should be here for Friday, which is just in time, since I have an impromptu road trip for Tuesday now...

I got an email that I won tickets to see Finger Eleven in Kitchener next week through CHARTAttack.  Oh, and a complete discography (oooha oooha!) After figuring out that I was NOT out of the country that day, I messaged a friend of mine and invited her, which turned out to be a more fantastic idea than I could have possibly imagined as a) she's never been to a concert and B) she was planning to see these guys in the spring so I was all like "WELL LET'S FUCKIN' GOOOOOO THEN!" which made said friend uber-happy, thus in turn making ME uber-happy because shit, man, who doesn't love a road trip and a concert? A FREE concert, no less?

Even better, when I asked the ex-hub and the new-wife about taking the girls overnight that night, they were all 'Oh, we were hoping to keep them one night next week.  Tuesday sounds good.'  How easy was THAT?

So yeah, next Tuesday I'm going to get off work, drive 2.5 hours to Kitchener, attend a concert, come home and work the next day.  Because I am THAT effin' Hardcore.

Lastly, I got included in a Johnny Cash themed Etsy Treasury.  See that one down in the bottom right hand corner?  Those are my Johnny Cash coasters.  You bet your arse they are.  I feel like I've arrived in the crafting world.

Oh and since I haven't mentioned it in a bit, in a little over a week I will be out of this cold damp Canadian winter and basking in the all-inclusive glow of the Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata with two of my other best friends.  That in and of itself kicks a whole lot of ass.

Now I'm sitting here facebooking and blogging, and my hair is purple and I am nice and sore from getting my ass kicked at kick-boxing tonight, sore in the good way as it was a hell of a workout.  Got to use my Comic Life program for the first time in the four-someodd years I've had this computer, and oh yeah.. sleep is good too.  night night, y'all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I've been blog critiqued

I recently had the honor of having my blog critiqued over at Rick's blog.  Richard is a pretty recent reader and it was an interesting experience getting an idea of the impression I've been giving out through this particular medium. 

I was concerned about this passage:
There's something going on. Things are not right. You are too bright a spark to be having these troubles. Call it an instinct, but my reading of your situation suggests that someone in your life is fucking with your head. Who is it? Is there someone you need to kill?
It concerns me, because I wonder if I really put across the idea that I'm mostly miserable?  I sure hope not.  In all honesty, putting aside the day-to-day foibles of fender benders and throat infections and the occasional irritating customer at work, my life is pretty decent.  Lovely, even.  But how to describe that?  How to describe it, when it can be so much more fun and releasing to get on a tangent about the little things that fuck up day to day?

In MacLennan's The Watch That Ends the Night, the narrator, George attempts to describe his wife whom he is deeply in love with, but finds himself at a loss and says that it is much easier for a man to describe his wife if he dislikes her.  I planned to quote this, but looking at my bookshelf I just remembered I lent it out to a friend.  Taking from MacLennan's idea, I find myself with much more to say when I am discontent.  When I am content, I have a tendency to just be, and not think or talk too much about it.  Maybe I just don't know how to express the positive or maybe I am fashioning myself as an adorable curmudgeon of sorts.  Who knows?  I guess it's not surprising when you look at the top five labels for this blog that they are as follows:
  • Life in General
  • Random Thoughts
  • Grievances
  • Music
  • Kids
There you have it.  I talk about life.. sometimes my head is all over the place, I bitch about stuff, I play music and I have awesome kids that are fun to talk about.

True, I do try and keep them protected on here, both out of an ingrained media-fed fear of predators, as well as respect for their privacy now and in the future (I generally try to respect the privacy of most my loved ones on here) for which reason there will be no pics posted, but I will say I'm damn lucky to have two intelligent, kind, beautiful and FUNNY kids to call my own. 

I will add that I wasn't quite sure what Rick had meant about my third sentence in this post being a gem, because when I went back and read it, all I really saw was a run-on sentence but sometimes we're all our own worst critic.


In other news, the hunt for snow-tires continues. The weather has warmed up a bit so the roads are clearing, and the automotive department at the local Wal-Hell has been on the hunt for tires in my size.  Normally I avoid the place like the plague, but fact is, tires there are going to cost me almost half of what I'd pay at any of the local independent tire places.  So yes, I'm selling a bit of my soul to the giant corporate devil, but I'll be able to drive my sellout ass around safely at least.

Took the girls out for a dinner and a movie night.  There were three options that may be suitable for kids playing.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which was what I was rooting for, The Green Hornet and Yogi Bear.  Now, I knew that the girls would want to see Yogi Bear but the latest show was at 4:30 and I don't pick them up until 5:30. DARRRRRNNNNNNNN.

Not that I have anything against Yogi and BooBoo per se, but I have a thing against the recent spate of animated shows made into live action films, considering nobody's been able to do it even remotely well since The Flintstones .  You know Jason Lee?  I loved Jason Lee, until saw Underdog.  Then I saw Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Jason Lee is dead to me now.

Tom Cavanaugh is apparently in Yogi Bear.  You remember Tom Cavanaugh?  TV's Ed?  The "Here I Am On Georgian Bay and I'm Reminded of Light Beer?" Blue Light guy?
Photo Credit
On a side note, I so wanted to find a picture from when he was the Blue Light guy.  I loved that commercial, ever so much.  On another side note, the link where I got this photo from is an obituary for another Tom Cavanaugh who played for the San Jose Sharks.  Another Tom Cavanaugh who is not this guy, but they used his picture anyway.  Good Job, Zaffnews.

Sweet Laird Tunderin' Jaysus!  I found one of the commercials.. Not the Georgian Bay one, which was the best one, but the Niagara Falls one. Which is close enough.

Okay, I digressed huge there.  Point being, I don't want to see Yogi Bear, because I don't want to lose respect for Tom Cavanagh like I have for Jason Lee.  So that was a near miss.  I rooted for Harry Potter, but the girls wanted to see the Green Hornet.  I'm not too disappointed.  It was funny, action packed and I have such a soft spot for Seth Rogen, even when he's playing a pompous ass.. which he invariably is.

It probably wasn't the most appropriate choice for a family film with the language and the violence, but it was enjoyable. The 3-D experience was pretty wild as well.  

Oy.. had many intentions of getting lunches done tonight, but it's late and I should be heading to bed.  G'night all.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Slip slidin' away or Winter Driving in Canada

I've spent a good portion of my day thinking about tires.  Talking about tires.  Getting quotes for tires.  All because I live in Canada, and our winters are a giant pain in the ass.

I hurt my Betty.  And for those who are under the impression that Betty is a code word for the lady bits, I will clarify that Betty is my car, with whom I am currently spending my third winter.  I hurt my Betty because I didn't take the time to remember that I live in Canada and our winters are a giant pain in the ass, especially where driving in snow is concerned.

Bessie and Lurch, my two previous vehicles had been outfitted with All-Seasons, so the issue of whether or not to get winter tires put on was never much of an issue.  For three years I did the 40 minute commute to school without incident.  However, my Betty came straight from the dealership equipped with plain old summer radials, and she has lumbered through the past couple winters with them, without incident beyond a good amount of fishtailing and a whole lot of gettingstuckage.

This year I said 'Not again.  I'm not going another winter with these damn radials on.'  But November became December, which became January and once again I found myself hemming and hawing, thinking 'Winter's halfway through.. what's the point now?'  A friend, much more automotivally inclined than myself, expressed concern not three days ago about putting it off, basically telling me I've just been lucky so far and it was a matter of time.

Did she ever call that one.

Yesterday it happened.  I hit someone.  Thankfully, that someone was in a car, but it was an eyeopener.  I was driving through downtown Barrie and came to a hill with a stoplight at the bottom.  Knowing my shitty tires, I started braking as early as I could, but halfway down the hill I could feel the ground sliding beneath me.  I tried to aim for the snowbank, but the car and the road had other plans for me, and I ended up rear ending the silver sedan that was waiting at the red light. 

I pulled off to the side of the road, threw the hazards on and fumbled with my seatbelt in an effort to get out of the car and see if she was okay.  The lady driving the car was shaken, and obviously none-too-pleased by the jolt.  On the verge of tears, I gave her my insurance information while apologizing profusely The damage, which was minimal thankfully.  I had hit her square in the bumper and nary a scratch could be seen, that we could tell.  My fender is slightly bent, (giving meaning to the words 'fender bender') but nothing that I need to rush right out and fix.

I got the call tonight that the full amount of the damage was a busted brake light.  She's decided not to go through insurance, has asked if I would pay the cost and time to get the brake light fixed.  I figured for her trouble, and considering how much much worse the whole thing could have ended up, this was a pretty negligible price to pay.

So today has been a day of quotes and questions and tomorrow I will go get the damn tires put on.  Because some close calls are too close for comfort.

I don't know if you think you're being cute or condenscending..

... but whatever it is, just stop.

Backstory:  my online dating profile includes the same picture I use here, the one with me and my guitar.  My Photobooth program flips pictures so they're mirror-images.  Things appear backwards.

I get this email this morning from some 'dude' (guitarplaya - age 38).
I don't mean to alarm you but you are holding your guitar upside down (in your pic). Its nothing to be terribly concerned about and easily rectified if you follow these simple steps.
1. grab the guitar neck with your left hand.
2. place the body of the guitar an your right thigh.
Now your ready to play properly.
My response:
Orrrrr.... I could take the Auto-flip function off my Photobooth program. (or I could be playing left-handed with strings reversed.. aha!)

But thanks for the tip.

Is it me or does this smack of 'Aww wook at the widdle gurl.  Her thinks her knows guitarz'.  Maybe it's early and I haven't had enough coffee, but I've been playing for seventeen years. Fuck off.

Photo Credit

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I have an ongoing love affair with Gord Downie

Well, in my head I do.  Hrm.

It's probably a little sad, all told.

It all started when I was about 13 years old watching MuchMusic, I happened across the video for At The Hundreth Meridian.  It was one of the lesser known singles off what was at the time The Tragically Hip's fourth and best-known album Fully Completely.

In my pubescent mind, I could not have imagined that I'd be so taken with a strange lanky man in a truck cap and a hawaiian shirt, or that I'd embark on a lifelong fascination with the music this man and his equally talented bandmates created.

The video was not so much an introduction as an awakening.  Sneaking into my sister's cassette collection, I was thrilled to not only find Fully Completely but the band's previous endeavour, Road Apples.  Upon listening I found I already had songs like Little Bones and Locked in the Trunk of a Car embedded in my subconcious.

One thing people may not know, but the band, consisting of Gord, Rob Baker, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois and Gord Sinclair, still tours with their original lineup, after almost 30 years.  In January of 2007, a good 14 years after my initial awakening to all things Hip, I was finally able to see the band live in concert, with original lineup intact.  But getting there wasn't easy.  I am always amazed at stories of them playing in half-filled clubs, where here in the Great White North, tickets tend to sell out within minutes of going on sale.

Then, as young bucks - Photo Credit

Once in 2000, when I was living with the ex-hub in our shit-tastic little room in hell .. erm .. Barrie, I came home from work, tired, pregnant, sore and just sick of life in general.  I was greeted at the door by the ex-hub grinning ear-to-ear.

"I have a surprise for you!" he exclaimed.  I groaned, as usually a surprise meant that he had bought something we didn't need and couldn't afford.   At this time MuchMusic was running call-in-and-win contests on the station.. one of the few luxuries we did have in the shit-hole was cable, which was included in the rent.

"I won tickets to see the Tragically Hip".

I blinked.  I blinked again.  Then all horomonal hell broke loose and I began sobbing and slapping him about the shoulders (I'm not proud of this, bY the way).

"THAT'S NOT FUNNY!! THAT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU JOKE ABOUT!!!  YOU DON'T JOKE ABOUT THE HIP!!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???!!!  WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT???!!!" Somehow he manages to calm me down and convince me that it was true, the tickets were on the way in the mail, the show was on the 23rd of December.  Merry Christmas indeed, right?

Sadly no.  As I have mentioned previously, the time in Barrie was a blackhole of suck and we had no money, no ride, and no one who would drive us to Toronto two days before Christmas.  We weren't even able to find someone who could use the tickets.  They went to waste.  I have the unused tickets to this day.

Have you ever seen a sadder sight?  I think not.

Fast forward to 2004ish.  I'm living with my sister, who at the time is the head bartender at the local bar/home away from home.  I've come home early after attending a street party where I was having a marginal time, but really not feeling it.  I've hemmed and hawed about going out to the bar, but decide to stay home instead.  The next morning, my sister asks where I was as she had tried to call me with important news, and that I should come to the bar.  Turns out the owners daughter had tickets for a Hip concert the following weekend that she had brought in with the idea that the bar could give them away as a spot-dance prize.  Knowing of my obsession, my sister talked to manager and told him about my lifelong desire to the see the Hip live, and they had come to an agreement that if I came in that night, they could see about me winning.  But she was unable to get a hold of me.

Why she didn't leave me a bloody voicemail message, I don't understand to this day... because I was even considering going that night anyway.  If I had know, I would have ran in a second.  *sigh*

Finally in 2007 I had both the money, vehicle and deft enough typing fingers that I was able to procure one single solitary ticket to a Barrie show.  Have you ever seen those clips of girls on the Ed Sullivan show with the girls screaming and crying in the audience?  That was pretty much me at my first Hip Show.  It took me a good two hours to come down after the performance.  I was by myself in the audience and I couldn't have given a shit.
Me at my first Hip concert.  Not really, but you get the idea.  Source

It.  Was.  Fabulous.

The show was fabulous.  The pictures, not so much.  But I got this one.

It sounds like a cliche, if you're Canadian and you say you LOVE the Tragically Hip, but somewhere between my burgeoning adolescence and my evolving musical tastes, something clicked and the spastic performance and lyrical content spoke to me.

It was a song of theirs that led me to my favorite book, Hugh MacLennan's The Watch That Ends The Night, after an interview revealed that the third verse from Courage was basically pulled from that book.  I read it, and have probably read it 20 odd times since.

Wheat Kings was the first dance at my wedding.  Yeah, I know. How innapropriate is that, right?  For those who do not know, Wheat kings is a song about David Milgaard, a man who spent 20 years in prison for a murder he was later cleared of.  How Romantic.  DJ didn't have the song we requested so it was a last minute choice of 'Hey, it's slow and we both like it!'

Photo Credit
There was poetry.  I wrote poetry for Gord Downie when I was a teenager.  I know.  No, I'm not posting it, but you can read some of my other bad adolescent poetry here.

There's actually a pretty cool site you can check out that has a bunch of theories and histories behind a lot of the songs, as Gord likes to sprinkle the lyrics with various historical and geographic references.  Kinda like Stompin' Tom that way.

A Museum After Dark

It's pretty cool, you can search by song, or by subject.  But yeah, check it out.  One of my goals in the future is a road trip where i can visit all the places mention in various songs.  Maybe not Copenhagen, that might be a bit of a stretch.  But let's see here..

  • Bobcaygeon, ON (check)
  • Central Park, New York City (home of Gus the Polar Bear From Central Park)
  • Mistaken Point, NFLD
  • Moonbeam, ON
  • Sault St. Marie, ON (check)
  • Springside Park, Napanee, ON
  • Reno, NV
  • New Orleans, LA
  • The Golden Rim Motor Inn, British Columbia
  • Montreal, QC (check)
There's probably more, but it's a start.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is, other than to showcase a severe and long-standing case of extreme fangirlishness.

Okay, so I won't show you the sad poetry, but here's some of my Hip-Inspired artwork.  Incidentally, these are the only two paintings I've ever sold.  Thanks Sharon!

Morning Moon

Gord Downie Portrait

Teenaged Angst has paid off well..

I've been looking through my high school poetry books.  I tell ya, a lot of this stuff is pretty fucking terrible, and probably shouldn't be consumed by anybody.  But I have found one or two little gems that weren't entirely groan worthy, in my humble un-biased opinion.


Truth, too much should
We choose to lie
Seize the day, too much should we ever die
Fire in your head, we let ourselves go
Denying real truth, Truths never show
In identity life exists
Life drives on
We concern ourselves 
Not only with death and birth
but love, hate, fire, earth and poison
Inspiration, driven to our souls
Inspired by life
But drive to philosophical 
ecstasy and metaphysical
by the film alone.

This one I kind of find interesting, just because the other day Ozmandias posted about our adult selves in relation to how 12-year-old selves would ourselves.  Not being the comic geek as a child that I sort of am now, I found the next poem an interesting bit of foreshadowing (I think this one was supposed to be lyrical, for a song, perhaps):

Comic Book Girl

Can you see me?  I'm in the back of the room.
I'm looking at you.  Yeah, you.
Can you hear me?
I'm singing an alternate reality to you.

I'm lost in an imaginary animated world
Visited by friends I made real as a little girl
Cartoon creations and perceptions are unfurled
I remain known to you as the Comic Book Girl

My fantasy becomes your reality
My dream is now your life
The truth is never pretty 
So I've built my life on lies

TV's fucked up images in my fractured psyche
Doesn't it sound like fun?
Immortality and a cartoon death
Don't you want to die one?

I'll drag you into my imaginary animated world
Into an acid-trip dementia you'll be hurled
As everything you believe in is unfurled
Under a spell cast by the Comic Book Girl

Hehehe, check this one out.. Oh the burgeoning adolescent sexual awakening!! Oh the grappling with the madonna/whore complex!!  LOLOLOL!


When did this pleasure come from pain?
When it's so hot outside 
All it does is rain
Steam and sweat and tears
And happiness throughout the years
All too much can make you go insane
Maybe I can have you here tonight
I never would put up a fight
Yes and No and Maybe Not
What if this is all we've got
Even when I know the timing's right.

I think I may have been too hard on that one.. I kind of like it.  Meh.  These are the good ones of the bunch, if you can believe it.  From roughly 1995-1998 copyright Andrea Lyn Cole
Roughly the age when I would have written this drivel.  Kind of wish I had pics from my vaguely-goth phase. They call em emo's now, I think.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One way for a band to tell if they've made it...

If I've incorporated one of their song titles or lyrics into the title of one of my Facebook photo albums.  That being said, based on this criteria, the list of artists that have achieved true superstardom is pretty darn eclectic.

They include:
  • The Schomberg Fair
  • AC/DC
  • Hawksley Workman
  • Billie Halliday
  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • The Tragically Hip
  • The Joel Plaskett Emergency
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Crosby Stills and Nash
  • The Mountain Goats
  • Counting Crows
  • Green Day
  • The Decemberists
  • Metric
  • Blue Rodeo
  • PJ Harvey

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Update from the sickbed

Day four of this godawful throat-infection whatever the hell I have.  Second day home from work.  For four days I've felt like I have a giant gob of something or other right in the back of my throat, but whenever I try to dislodge it through swallowing or coughing I'm wracked with pain.  My ears are starting to hurt as well, and I've taken to turning the closed captioning back on the myriad of movies I've been watching in order to pass the time.  I'm hungry as all hell but the only things I've been subsisting on are soup and toast and tea.

I called my doctor's office to see if they were still running a walk-in clinic.  It seems I had this wrong, it was an after hours clinic, appointment still necessary.  Now, first off, my doctor is awesome.  I credit the guy with saving my life on more than one occasion.  He's always been good about answering any questions I've had (or my mom's when I was in hospital), checks to see what my drug coverage is before prescribing me stuff (when necessary... I left my old doctor because I felt he was a pill pusher) and always asks about work/home/ general stress levels and such.

But oh my god, I hate my doctor's office.  Getting an appointment is a pain in the ass.  First, the line is always busy.  If I do manage to get through, I am inevitably put on hold.  This wouldn't be such a problem if it wasn't for the fact that one day I was in the waiting room when the phone rang and I watched as the receptionist put the caller on hold to finish the story she was telling to another assistant.  NOW whenever I get put on hold I sit and wonder if they're just standing there talking about their weekend.   As someone who answers phones as part of her own job, it's appalling.  I'm pretty sure if I were to put a customer on hold so I could finish telling someone about the party I went to on the weekend, I wouldn't have this job very long.

Then if you get through, it's usually a three week wait to get an appointment, which is useless, since I'm sick now.  This usually means going to emerg, or ploughing through and doing nothing.  To me the Emergency room is for emergencies.  You know, when you're having a heart attack or you've just chopped off an extremity or have been shot in the ass with a pellet gun or you're doubled over in pain from some mystery ailment.  Sore throat and general malaise is not an emergency. 

I accidentally let both my portable phones go dead.  Seems when I made banana bread last week and needed to free up an outlet for the mixer I unplugged the phone charger, not the charger for the powerdrill.  As a result I had to call from my cell.

Rec:  Doctors' Office, Can I get you to hold please?
Me: Uhm, no actually, I'm calling from a cell phone, I'd rather not hold.  I just have a quick question.
Rec: *exaggerated sigh* What is your question?

Seriously?  Pardon me for not wanting to pay by the minute for dead air.  Nope, don't even get the benefit of cheesy on hold music.  Just an intermittent 'beep beep' to let me know they haven't hung up on me outright.

Speaking of cheesy music, I feel I am failing as a mother.  Yesterday my nine-year-old asked me to mail a letter for her.  It was a fan letter.

To Ke$ha. 

T's new role model.  Oh lucky lucky me.  *sigh*
Yes.  My darling oldest daughter has decided that's she's going hero worship a watered-down Lady Gaga who likes to sing about brushing her teeth with Jack Daniels.  Her new ambition in life is to be a fashion designer so she can make clothes for this woman.

Bask in my pride, all. 

I think this is her way of rebelling early.  She plays Top 40 radio in her room, and next thing you know, she'll be wearing Aeropostale and watching reality TV.

I do kind of wish I had scanned the letter before I sent it, though.  I may be failing in exerting my cultural influence, but on the bright side, her penmanship has already surpassed my own.  So that's something. 

While we're on the subject of cheesy music, I've had Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" in my head all morning.  After a broken sleep of many small snippets of bizarre yet vivid dreams that are all but faded from my memory now. Something about a dock, and swimming, and Reegs as a baby, and Hamish Linklater being my cousin, only his name was Shaun.  Weirdness.

So me and my swollen-ass glands are headed back to the couch to rewatch a few more movies until it's time to go pick the kiddies up from their dad's. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Do two half-assed posts equal a whole ass?

Short one tonight.  Woke up this morning feeling rather ill.  Sore throat, headache, general malaise.  The girls had stayed the night at their grandmother's so I got up, begrudgingly put the living room back together after yesterday's elephant stampede, while whimpering every time I unconsciously swallowed, which when I have a sore throat, I tend to to every 30 seconds or so.  Upon hearing of my illness, Mom said the girls were no trouble and that they could stay at her place as long as I needed so I can rest.  So after getting the living room back together, taking a few glances at the girls' pristine bedroom to remind myself why it was all worth it, filling the sink with dishes that wouldn't get washed until a good couple hours later and listed two new items on my Etsy Store, I curled up on the couch and pretty much killed the rest of the day watching TV until Dad brought the girls home.

I think my Playstation 2 is on its way out.  I stopped buying actual DVD players some time ago, as the girls are pretty rough with them.  Being a gaming system generally designed for kids and teenagers, the PS2's a lot more durable than your average DVD player, so when my last DVD player hit the skids, I just used the PS2, but now I'm finding that it's having a hard time reading a lot of discs.  It's lasted me about three years though, which is pretty good for a second hand system, I think.

So that being said, I got through most of Season two of The New Adventures of Old Christine (PS2 couldn't read disc one after two episodes) and as a result have developed a dirty crush awkwardguy crush on Hamish Linklater who plays Christine's brother Matthew. 

Yes, I haven't done one in a while, so here's another Reverse Objectification post.  I know it's not thursday but I think these are just gonna be kind of random.. or loosely based on my ovulation cycle. 

Bed now.  Work tomorrow, possibly, unless things take a turn for the worse.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Awash in a sea of McDonalds toys, Lego and Barbie shoes.

A few facts about me:

I live in a pretty small house (2 bedroom, roughly 800 square feet)

My kids have way too much shit.

For this reason, today I faced the grand undertaking of A) cutting them loose of some of this shit B) cleaning behind, around and under the various dressers, shelves and other nooks and crannies that was home to all their shit and C) find a way to organize and store remaining shit, so that the children are able to keep the place in some semblance of order.

I need a drink.

Oh look, here's one right here.  Lucky me.
So I can safely say that the girls bedroom is now immaculate.  The rest of my house looks as though a herd of drunk elephants ran through it.  Blindfolded.  Carrying large shoulder bags while suffering from vertigo.

It ain't pretty, let's leave it at that.  But that's tomorrow's project, along with laundry and going through their clothes.  That's right, today was just toys, books and the like.  I haven't even touched their clothes.  I have a weeks worth of dirty laundry in the hamper, yet they still can't close their drawers.  That ain't good.

As it stands I have a nice little pile in the corner of stuff to get rid of, and roughly one bag of garbage.  Getting rid of the stuff may pose a problem though.  You see, I think I may have been black-listed by Freecycle for what I thought was a perfectly innocent post.

One of the ways I'm trying to free up some space in their room is to get rid of the giant metal single-over-double bunk beds they currently have, and get a set of twin bunks.  So I posted on our local freecycle group that I was looking for a set of twin bunk beds.  I included in my ad that I might be willing to trade for the set I have currently.

Well, an hour later I got a nice little verbal spanking from the moderators:
Freecycle...s' only purpose is to keep usable items from going to land fill sites.

One of the rules that you agreed to when you joined Freecycle was that "bartering" was not allowed. Everything must be free.

Because of your inappropriate posting your future postings will be moderated to insure [sic] that you abide by our rules.   

Here's my posting:
My girls currently have one of those metal framed Single-Over-Double bunk beds but it takes up way too much room. I'm looking for a set of twin bunk beds so we can open up some floor space in their room.I'd be willing to trade the bunk beds I current have. The bed and the mattresses are in good condition, the frame is red.
I dunno.  Maybe it was because I forgot to add the word "also" to the "willing to trade" part.  Either way, Bite Me Freecycle.  Oh, and an extra effyoo because that should be 'ensure' not 'insure'.  So, yeah, it looks as though my posts are going to be moderated to make sure I'm not offering sexual favours or drugs or something in exchange for bunk beds.  Or bunk beds for crack of sexual favours.

This is a giant pain when you have stuff to get rid of.  After my verbal spanking, I sent a short apology stating that I would be more careful.  Pretty congenial of me if I do say so myself.  So since then I've made roughly 8-10 posts both for things I am looking for (for all ye crafty endeavours) and stuff I'm offering (namely, my kids shit) and not a single thing has shown up in the group or the mailing list.

So thanks a lot, Freecycle.

this half-assed weekend post is brought to you by a simple dude

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Melancholy Wine Soaked Tenderness

Sitting on a friday night, having returned from coffee and friends under streetlamps in parking lots. Glass of chardonnay in hand, I am my own company tonight among other nights. The house is quiet, no gentle snoring from little lungs down the hallway. Pictures remain unpainted but the brushes are there waiting, and the smell of acrylics tempt me to creative endeavour. Longing for visitors, the hour is late. One with whom to share the wine, to reminice of days past and to speculate on those to come. To wrap around in the dim candlelight and speak no more, only to wake to the mid-morning sun, with sheets entangled and heads swimming in white wine and afterglow.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WWWednesday - or not.

So you may (because I like to pretend more people care what I write than probably do) have noticed a dearth of WWWednesday posts.  This is because I haven't actually been to weigh in since they changed the program and I'm really struggling with whether I want to go back or not.  I'm afraid of backsliding but I really have a bad taste in my mouth as far as the rampant corporatism goes.  Sigh.

I made banana bread tonight but I think I may have under cooked it.  It's a bit mushy.  I made a pretty cool comic-themed headband which will not be going on the Etsy store - no, this one will be for my own personal use.

jealous?  *nods knowingly* You're jealous.
Taking a cue from Saskatchewan's sexiest blogger, Tyler, I've had this song stuck in my head all day:

Apparently this is the song the Scott Pilgrim books and subsequently the film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World film was named after. I can't tell if she's saying "I've liked you for a thousand years" or "I've liked you for a dozen years".

A quick Google search tells me it's thousand. This is comforting. I hate to think I've been singing it wrong. all. day. long.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dating sites make me cry - or - the ironing is delicious.

Online dating sites can be a veritable cesspool of hypocrisy. I'm laughing at some of the stuff I'm finding. (all emphasis added is mine)

From ryanord, age 25:
We won't mesh if:
Your dumb
picky eater
From forever_mann, age 39:
And one last thingy. I'm gonna call the Cops on the next woman who tries to trick me with fake, old or really far away pics, that crap should be a criminal offence!
 ...says the guy with a single pic, head down, baseball cap covering face.

This made me weep for the state of the education system, and our future health care system.  From Treys_song, age 26 Profession - Medical Student:
U can call me a geek or watever..but hey do u not want ur doctor to not know his shit? exactly haha
Oh hell no.  I want my doctor to be able to fucking SPELL.

I kind of wish I didn't think it would be incredibly mean to post some pics, because some of them are hilarious.  Like the tattoo kid, who asks why girls don't like guys with a lot of tattoos?  It really needs the picture with it to get the full humour.

I'm going to add for some unknown reason it really irks me when people list tattoos and piercings as an interest.   It's not that I'm against body modification, I've got one facial piercing and one tattoo with another planned.  I just don't get how it's an interest.  To me it's like saying hair dye is an interest.  Or pants are an interest.  Like, when does it go from simple adornment to an actual interest?  When you start doing it yourself?  When you start researching artists and piercers throughout history?  I don't know.  Maybe someone can enlighten me.

At any rate, I don't quite have the balls to go so far as to post pics.  I feel like I'd be crossing a line.  Maybe if my GIMP program didn't take so long to boot up and do, well, anything I could block out people's eyes and stuff.  But I'll just stick to foot-in-mouth disease.

It's a little one-sided I know.  I used to have a guy-friend who would critique profiles for me, and I for him and man, we'd find some doozies.  We're still friends, we just don't critique for each other much anymore.

Does anyone else have some really bad dating site examples?  Add them to the comments and if I really like them, I'll add them to the post.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Yesterday's post was pretty heavy...

...and right now I'm tossing around thoughts for a post on mainstream porn and feminism in response to Kissie Catastrophe's post at Ethecofem - basically expanding on some thoughts I posted in the comments section.

So to break up the uber-serious monotony, here's a few random awesome things I've found kicking around the internet.  Some are new, some are things I've known of for some time.

  1. Brandon Bird.  I love this guy's artwork.  It's what I wish mine could be, a twisted parfait of surrealism and pop culture.  Since I don't personally celebrate the soul-sucking mindfuck that is Valentines day, part of me really wants to buy the complete set of Law and Order SVU Valentines Cards (sorry, you're going to need to scroll a bit) and have my kids distribute them amongst the other little hooligans in their class.  I'm pretty sure that might warrant a call from their teacher though.
  2. This Post from Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka.  I was in tears reading it, especially when I am reminded of how my now-10-year-old nephew, upon entering Junior Kindergarten and discovering the world of literacy, decided to label everything in his room.  In black Sharpie.  His bed.  His Sheets.  His pillow. Everything.  It also reminded me of how up until recently everything I owned seemed to be covered in a layer of stickers, courtesy of my little one (who also seems to have a tearing/ripping/otherwise destroying paper goods fetish.)
  3. Nirvana-Themed Ballet Flats.  I rarely drool over shoes (okay I sometimes do..  but I rarely trying to mentally justify 80+ bucks for shoes) but these are too freaking cute for words.  This woman's store also has some wicked cool Wonder Woman wedges. Sweet Jesus.
  4. This friggin van that was in the parking lot at work today:
    Is that not one freaking sweet flame job?  Do you think they paid for that?  Or do you think the guy got a stencil and did it himself (or herself, let's be fair).
In other news, the mirror I was given to recondition is coming along nicely, but I have to lament the lack of a decent craft and/or art supply store in the vicinity.   Michael's is a good 35 minutes away, and that pretty much leaves the Quest Art Gallery, which has limited selection, or Wal-Mart, which is.. well.. you all know my opinion on Wal-Mart.  Plus there's still a lot of stuff they don't have either.  So yeah, travelling for art supplies is crap.  But my mirror is going to look awesome.  Will post pics when done.  I wish I had thought to get a picture before i started this project.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

On 'Schrodinger's Rapist' and the Culture of Fear.

This is not going to be a fun-filled post, so if you're looking for something fun and fluffy today, well, there's some nice menu's that will direct you to some of my other posts.

I was talking to a friend of mine about the video I posted in my New Year's post about 'How to Be Alone'.  I'm sure many of you have seen this one, it was pretty popular this year.  Anyway, we were discussing the difficulties of being a male by yourself in public versus being female by yourself in public.. namely the difficulty of being perceived as the 'creepy would-be rapist' versus the difficulty of having to be on the lookout for the 'creepy would-be rapist'.

So it struck me funny that I would come across this article on Schrodinger's Rapist (aka'd as 'A Guy's Guide to Approaching Women without getting maced') via April's year end round-up at Ethecofem.  Well, I kind of found it through the year-end round up via April's critique of the original article, which I'll get to.  Anyway, it struck me funny, because it nicely explained my argument of the risk women run being in public alone.

Although I also recommend reading the article in full, I'll give you the gist of it.  Big Bang Theory fans will know this from season one, but anyway, the concept is based after the Schrodinger's Cat experiment.  Long story short, scientist puts cat in a box with a vial of poison that will break open at any given time.  While in the box, the cat can be considered both alive and dead, since we don't know which it is.  However once the box is open, it can only be one or the other.  Starling's article applies this to the perception of a stranger in a public place (or a party or anywhere really) as a way to explain to guys who, for the most part are probably well-intentioned and only interested in striking up conversation.  However, the article points out, we as women out alone in public do not know what your intentions are, and until they become clear, you can be considered Schrodingers Rapist - that is to say, you both are a potential non-rapist and a potential rapist. 

I'll point out here that the fallacy in this metaphor is that in Schrodingers original experiment, once the box is opened the cat is obviously alive or dead.  However, in this application, taking into consideration that most rape and assault is committed by someone close to the victim, our metaphorical box is only opened once the person in question has been exposed as a rapist.  As long as they haven't raped or assaulted anyone they're still metaphorically 'in the box'  which is pretty fucking depressing, for men and women alike.  No really, it is. 

Now, I don't believe that Starling's article was meant to imply that this is how all women think when they are out in public.  At least, I sure hope not, because I know I don't... well, all the time.   I think it's offered as more of an explanation as to why some women may not be comfortable or impressed with what may be a guy's totally innocent compliment or attempt at conversation.  And although you may be a nice guy with good intentions, we don't know that.   Simple as that.  As Starling states, some people's risk threshold are higher than others.. Me, I'm one of those girls with a low risk factor.  This is probably due to the fact that *knock wood* I haven't found myself violated after being in a high-risk situation.  Some women have experienced assault, and as such, they have a no-risk threshold. 

Now, one may counter this with 'Well, I don't know if a girl's had a traumatic past...' and I'd be inclined to agree, that no, it's not up to you to know if someone has had past trauma.  But it is up to you to read cues (as mentioned in Starling's article) and know when to back-off.  Because I agree, when you ignore the 'please leave me alone' cues and continue to press for attention, you cross that line from well-intentioned friendly dude to pain-in-the-ass-douchebag to potential threat.

The downside of this article, as April argues, is that it does tend to paint this picture that all men are potential rapists, when that is simply not the case.  Let's take into consideration the rather dire stat given that 1 in 60 men will have committed sexual assault in some form in their lifetime.  Pretty fucking depressing, isn't it?  If you have trouble wrapping your head around that statistic, keep in mind that this isn't limited to the stranger-in-a-dark-alley trope... this includes date rape, coercion, having sex with someone who has limited capacity to consent (so drugs, alchohol.. even 'Hey, my girlfriend is sleeping.. now's a good time') .. basically, any sexual activity without explicit consent.

Here's the good news:  That mean's that for every potential threat, there's roughly 59 well intentioned friendly dudes' out there.  Hooray for the good guys!! 

Here's more bad news:  Sometimes it's pretty fucking hard to tell the difference, until it's too late.  And if someone has been a victim of assault before, sure as shit, they're going to have their guard up in certain situations. 

Myself, as a girl who has walked home alone late at night many a time, walked through the brush with my headphones on, occasionally forgotten to lock my door at night, flirted with guys at bars, met people I had only talked to online and *gasp* even consumed alcohol in the presence of (only) the opposite sex, all without incident, well admittedly, my risk threshold is pretty high. But every so often my spidey sense gets a tingling and I know I've stepped into a potentially volatile situation.

I once chatted online for a period of time with a guy I had met on a dating site.  One day we were talking about meeting, and I mentioned that I would like to meet for coffee because I wasn't comfortable meeting someone for the first time in my own home.  Like, shit man, I have kids to think about.   This guy got his panties in a bunch which both pissed me off, and freaked me out.  It worried me, because it seemed like such a little thing to get so agitated over, and it pissed me off because it was like "Sorry man, your hurt feelings DO NOT trump my personal safety."  I made the decision then and there not to meet with the guy and it took a few more conversations consisting of how unfair I was being and how unreasonable and how I had led him on etc before I said enough I just stopped answering the phone.   Because in my mind, at that point, he became a threat to me, the threat having been communicated through a sheer lack of regard for my personal boundaries.

And this is where I think Starling is coming from... If you ignore the 'Please leave me alone' cues, you become 'that guy'.  The guy who thinks that his desire to interact trumps a stranger's desire to be left alone.  I will however, agree with April that its unrealistic to say never approach a woman unless she's for sure open to being approached.  Some of us would like to be approached.  I know I would, once in a while.  But if you approach a girl, and she's giving off the 'please go away' vibe, then take the hint.. or you become 'that guy'.  Because let's face it.. it's 'those guys' that fuck up dating and trying to meet people or trying at all to negotiate any type of friendly/professional/romantic relationship with the opposite sex.  They fuck it up for women, who have to be on their guard and they fuck it up for other men, because now women see well intentioned friendly dudes as potential threats.  Way to go, That Guy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

07-01-2010 4am.

We edged along the shallow lake
Bubbled softly in the wake
Nothing here is yours to take
Nothing here is yours to take

We stumbled down between the rocks
Further than we'd ever walked
We may never get close again
So we sat and breathed it in

To belong to a moment
Is better than to want it
People I've met and places I've been
I miss everything I've seen
I miss everything I've seen

All the weight that we've carried
Everyone that we've buried
People I've met and places I've been
I miss everything I've ever seen

Well we hoped that we could stay
We breathed in smoke and drank all day
Smoke ran out and the booze did too
So we left to find something new

Our spirits were high but our feet were sore
Built a fire and we drank some more
but Out with the flames and in with the dew
Woke up with both my arms around you

Oh I hope that we can make it through
Coast along together after our youth
If every dream comes back to you
I'll miss everything you used to do

Well I pray my dreams find me first
Not having you around me's so much worse.

"Fever Days" - Great Bloomers, from the album Speak of Trouble.