Tuesday, 10 December 2013

File under fuuuuck: I bought property a long time ago and now I have to pay for it!

So, I bought a condo. Ahem, a loft (but I pronounce it lauuuuft, in the way I bet Alexis Carrington would), a year and a half ago. Here's the thing about making major purchases roughly 547 days before you have to start paying for them: you never remember how much you paid, how much you owe, what those bloody maintenance fees are, and you're never prepared for what a kick in the balls it is when your debts catch up to you. I much prefer to rent. I just write one cheque per month that goes to some magical place inhabited by the elves and fairies who keep my apartment toasty warm and somewhat free of roaches. (There was a minor thing last year; it was my filthy neighbour's fault; I had him evicted.) Also, everyone was all, "oh, it'll be at least two years before it's ready," and "you'll be lucky if you ever move in," and "don't worry about the money." (That last one was courtesy of my parents who pronounce 'money' like normals would 'Ikea monkey' or 'Rob Ford.' I don't know where they thought I'd magically come up with this money since I haven't earned a steady paycheque in over six years. But, you know, semantics.)

The move-in date is really near. Like, really near. Like, I have to start getting boxes and stuff, and packing and stuff, and writing cheques neither my ass nor my bank account can cash. It's moderately scary. All I can say about Christmas this year is SHAMPOO SAMPLES FOR EVERYBODY! Hell, I'll see if the bank will accept high-end beauty products as payment. Bring back the barter system, I say.

I've got a new couch lined up, and I bought a fancy vacuum cleaner. But that's about it for furniture. So, if more than three of you come to visit, rest assured the hardwood (ok, it's laminate, but it's good laminate) you're sitting on is devoid of dog hair because DYSON.

Wish me luck, guys. I've never been good with this 'adulthood' thing, or that whole 'earning money' schtick. But please come visit. And when you do, bring leftovers. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Can we please stop talking about Sex and the City?

My distaste for the Sex and the City franchise has been well documented on this blog and others. I'm particularly resentful of the mixed messages it sends young and impressionable women — the all-consuming search for a man detracts from the strong/independent/successful woman archetype the show seemingly strove to depict. There's nothing wrong with seeking out love, obviously, but I doubt if women with such powerful careers and ambitions can really dedicate that much time to it. Also, I'd like to believe that women in general are much more multifaceted and spend at least some time focusing on current events, culture, physical activity and cerebral stimulation. I feel like brunch with this foursome would be so tedious when all they talk about is dick. You know I'd be the one to be all, "Did you guys hear about that crack-smoking mayor in Toronto? What a douchenozzle!" Also, no freelance writer makes enough dough to support that serious a designer accessory addiction. Trust me, I've had to learn that the hard way.

But I do think that maybe it's time to stop talking about it. I mean, the show ended in 2004, and although we've been assaulted with two fairly terrible, and in the case of the second one, culturally and intellectually offensive movies, in addition to a prequel television series (which I haven't seen but imagine is sufficiently painful to watch), I think it's time we all stepped away from any discussion surrounding SATC. Especially since it always goes back to the original television series, which is no longer relevant today. So why did ELLE run a story last week titled 7 Ways Sex and the City Has Lied to Women? Are we really still turning to this show for guidance?

I'll admit that I still fall prey to referencing it from time to time. Last year I wrote a story about poop (no, seriously) and I made a SATC reference — namely, how one character says that on her first trip away with a new boyfriend, she spent the weekend running down to the lobby toilets to take a dump, which let's be honest, we can pretty much all associate with — and my editor flagged it and asked me to make a more timely pop cultural reference. I realized then that it wasn't worth discussing anymore, and also that I probably needed to watch more TV and/or read People Magazine. (For the record, I replaced it with a reference to 30 Rock, which I think we can all agree is timeless and AWESOME.) But it also made me feel old to be talking about SATC the television show. It ended a long time ago and is off most peoples' radar. (As an aside, I also made a Rodney Dangerfield comment to my boyfriend the other day and he promptly pointed out that if I was going to continue to pass myself off as a 28-year-old, I'd have to stop quoting the likes of Rodney Dangerfield and M*A*S*H.)

As far as divisive topics go, I can see how SATC would inspire debate among a certain generation of women, though I doubt if it's one for the ages. While I recognize its appeal — it looked pretty, depicted an exciting city and indulged in raunch — I think it also belongs to a bygone era of a pre-recessionary America where conspicuous consumption was de rigueur with no didacticism in between. One could argue that Mad Men also belongs to a bygone era of affluence and a shamelessly celebrated distinction between the haves and the have-nots. But it also shines a light on the disparity among race, class and gender, how those disparities reached fever pitch and how they changed the face of the world forever. So, no, I don't believe that Sex and the City taught us anything or highlighted any events of great importance to turn-of-the-century America. And for that reason, among many others, I implore you to stop talking about it.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Today, I am resentful for

It's Thanksgiving Day Of Turkey And Pie Oh My God My Cousin From Atlanta Got Fat And If One More Person Asks Me If I Have A Boyfriend Yet I'm Going To Kill Myself in America. Happy Turkey Day, y'all! I gotta admit, I really wish it was Thanksgiving here too. I could totally go for some turkey right now. And stuffing, uuuggghhhhhhllllllll stuuuuuuffiiiiiiinnnnng. As my dear friends to the south (aka. Canada's pants) scurry home to their respective families to indulge in cholesterol-y deliciousness and the indigestion that comes with listening to their racist aunt's jokes, while insisting that they're grateful for "family" and "turkey" and "integration", I would like to join in the reindeer games by listing all that I'm resentful for today. Jump on the wagon ride of vitriol, won't you? We can pop antacids together!

Let's all hold hands, bow our heads to the magnificent ulcer that lies before us and spew all that we hate in this world of ours:

Kanye West: On canning his collaboration with Nike in favour of working with Adidas, he said: "The old me, without a daughter, would have taken the Nike deal because I just love Nikes so much. But the new me, with a daughter, takes the Adidas deal because I have royalties and I have to provide for my family." Really, Kanye? Really? It's going to take a collaboration with Adidas to ensure you can provide for your family? What's this kid going to get for her Sweet Sixteen? A private jet? According to Forbes, as of June 2013, Kanye's earnings have been estimated at $20 million, although other less reputable websites list his net worth around $100 million. Either way, FUCK OFF, KANYE. (see pic above)

Kim Kardashian: Kanye's equally repugnant fiance/blowup doll is reportedly worth in excess of $40 million. As far as I know, Kim Kardashian has no job, no profession, no education, no marketable skills, and no ability to distinguish between your and you're. Good job creating another winner, Universe.

Miley Cyrus: Child, what're you doing? Put that tongue away before you catch something that can't be cured with an aggressive course of antibiotics.

The Religious Right: Listen up, cuz bitches be makin' decisions about our own bodies; workin' tirelessly to ensure our daughters will have access to proper healthcare and education; speakin' our minds to ensure we land in positions of power; dressin' however we want because no one is allowed to take advantage of us or pass judgement on us merely based on what we look like; and fornicatin' however often and with however many people we damn well please. A-fuckin-men. Go away now.

Mayor Rob Ford: *cringe* *shudder* *shame* *barf* *no will left to live or vote ever again*

Played Out Misogynistic Tropes: I watch a lot of home renovation shows because I like seeing how a fresh coat of paint, some new furnishings and PICKING YOUR DAMN CLOTHES UP OFF THE FLOOR can make such a dramatic difference in a person's home. These shows are kind of my happy place. But if I see one more husband smile condescendingly at his wife as he agrees to shell out an extra $1500 for a new front door and follow it up with, "happy wife, happy life," I'm going to lose it. Because you know the subtext to that comment is, "if I don't concede on this, she's going to bust my balls for eternity." Thing is, in most couples I know, it's the husband who's a whiny, clingy baby who throws a temper tantrum when things don't go his way. (Christ, I need new friends.)

The Guy Who Lives Upstairs: Holy shit, dude. Are you aware that you live in an apartment building and are surrounded by other people who are trying to sleep/work/hear their own thoughts? Turn down your goddamn electrohousetribaldrumbass crap. Oh, and, while you're at it, get some taste in music.

I think that's it for today. For today. I don't know about you guys, but I feel *much* better. Let's eat!

(Happy Day, World)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Tell me less, tell me less, where did you get that dress?

Woke up at 7am, walked the dog and managed to get in a workout. Woot! 

Breakfast was surprisingly good considering I didn't have any fresh blueberries to add to my Spelt Flakes. 

Thank the coffee gawds for good espresso, amirite? 

Taking Floyd out for an early walk tonight as I have to put the finishing touches on dinner for Boyfriend & his son. On the menu: homemade minestrone and baked chicken. Yum! (Hopefully) 

Baby, it's *cold* outside! 

Having a good hair day — whut! — thanks to the new Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil conditioner I've been using. Sometimes it pays to have my job! 

Happy birthday to my BFF. You're my inspiration! 

What? You don't care to hear about the minutiae of my day? Are you sure about that? Because I'm pretty sure that everyone in your social media feed is filling you in on much more intimate details of their quotidian life. And yes, WHO FUCKING CARES?

Let me start with this, I know that the vast majority of people who use social media — be it Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, a blog (ahem) or whatever else makes you accessible to the cyber world at large — participate in it without actually contributing anything of value. And I'm not excluding myself from this group. I totally get that it's a platform for expressing a view, uneducated and inane though it may sometimes be, but is it too much to ask that if you don't have something of concrete value to say, at least make it entertaining? I mean, you obviously want my attention, so earn it. My favourite thing to do is read peoples' status updates on Facebook. And by favourite I mean most reviled pastime that ultimately serves to indicate how many self-involved, unfunny and borderline sociopathic people I know. (Oh no, I don't mean you.) Some examples:

The My Love Life Is Sooooooo Awesome friend

This is the girl who feels the need to share every time that her partner/spouse did something that was moderately considerate to prove that she is not involved with a narcissistic douchebag, okay? Look he bought me flowers. I have the best boyfriend ever! We're going out for dinner. My husband rocks! Three years ago today I met/married/got knocked up by the most wonderful man in the world. And he's so hawt! We're all super stoked for you guys and stuff (I mean, no, not really, but you know) but we can't help but think that you're overcompensating for something. Getting flowers from your boyfriend is great [subliminal message directed at Boyfriend, who never reads this blog. #fail] but it doesn't make him the best boyfriend ever. And if it does, then I have to wonder what kind of shit this guy gets away with when flowers are the benchmark for Best. Evar. Also, no one will be surprised when you guys break up. Because, obvious.

The I Am So Dedicated To My Healthy Lifestyle friend

Ugh, please, stop talking about all the grain-free, gluten-free, vegan shit you're eating before you run your daily 10K. Day four of gluten-free cleanse and I feel great! What's worse: running in the rain or not running in the rain and feeling guilty? Oooh, gotta run an extra three miles to burn off last night's wine. lol Set out for a 5K this morning and did 10 instead. Oops ;) We get it: you're dedicated to your body, it's a temple, you just want someone to celebrate it for being a wonderland. But we don't need to hear all about it. Seriously, we don't find it interesting. Like, in the least. I'd rather read a steady stream of updates from a colonoscopy than hear about how much mileage you've racked up this week. People do physically taxing things every day for a living — firefighters, construction workers, miners — you don't hear them bragging about it. You want to go for a run? Cool. Just step away from Facebook.

The You Must Be Apprised Of My Every Thought friend

This might be the most annoying person on Facebook. It's the feed of the least interesting man in the world. Man, it's getting dark early these days. Wow, it's cold out there. I think I'll put cream in my coffee today instead of milk. Oops, should've stuck with milk! Wearing red socks with blue shoes. Watching the Breaking Bad finale and OMG! And on and on and on. This person updates their status every few minutes and the stream of consciousness is so mind-numbingly boring and uninspired you almost want something bad to happen to them just to jazz up their updates/life. Here's a thought, friend: don't share every thought with me. If we were sitting across the table from one another right now, would you feel compelled to tell me, in the span of 78 seconds, that you're sleeping so much better now that you've changed duvet weights and the first snowfall reminded you of that time in university when you made out with that dude and you haven't had a migraine in over a week? Yes? Ok, we are no longer friends.

The My New Life As A Stay-at-Home Mom Is The Best Life friend

My heart really goes out to these women, even if they do annoy the shit out of me. Because I never believe that deep down inside they're happy with their decision. As far as I'm concerned, it's a classic case of the lady doth protest too much. I haven't been this sleep-deprived since my first time defending a case. But it's worth it for the cutest offender ever! You know you're a busy mom when you forget to eat lunch. Running after my kid is so much better than running after the morning bus. In other words, you can't shake the memories of your past life and you miss the shit out of it. You know what? That's okay! It doesn't make you a bad person. But all these inane updates about your newly boring life do. Enjoy your fucking kid and the luxury of not having to work, and shut up about it.

Me? I'm the friend who writes status updates about her dog (lame, I know) and about current events (so obnoxious) and who editorializes on politics (keep your bleeding heart liberal comments to yourself, right?). I also repost stories that I find interesting, which usually pertain to women's issues or how awesome dogs are. And from time to time, when I'm traveling, I'll update people on the things I'm doing, which are almost always awesome, because it's usually a press trip which means I'm traveling on someone else's dime doing things that would otherwise be waaaay out of my price range. So, yeah, I'm not saving lives with my status updates. But when needed, I try to make them poignant; more importantly, I almost always try to make them funny. Because what's social media for if not to lighten up someone's day with the brilliant missives that you come up with but have no one to share them with other than your dog and the four walls that enclose you both? And lemme tell you, Floyd doesn't have the most sophisticated sense of humour.

*This post was brought to you by PMS and hypocrisy.

Friday, 8 November 2013

MySpace spaces out

Apparently there were big layoffs at MySpace today. Apparently MySpace still exists?* I imagine that the office is made up of a bunch of guys in flared, whiskered jeans who rollerblade to work and lose their shit if their stylus goes missing. They really go for girls who wear super low-rise jeans and whose thongs can be seen peeking out of the top anytime they bend down to readjust the strap on their square-toed sandals. When they go to a bar, they order apple martinis and snack on Girlfriend's Booty. When together, MySpacers talk about music (duh), Napster (so sad), and really dig this new entertainment genre called Reality TV.

I think the last time MySpace was legitimately referenced in pop culture was in the 2009 movie He's Just Not That Into You. (And yes, I went to see it in the theatre. And yes, it sucked balls. And yes, shut up about my sometimes super-lame choice in films. Excuse me, "films.") Even then I thought the reference was incredibly outdated. Like, who still used MySpace to find dates? Why not just put an ad in the personals in the newspaper while you're at it? Better yet, go to a singles bar. Or put on lipstick and a tight top, go the supermarket, sidle up to a single man who is ideally stationed in front of the cantaloupes and wait for an opportunity to say something about how you never know if a melon is ripe until you squeeze it. (In case you couldn't place it, these references were all gleaned from episodes of Three's Company. A show that predated even MySpace, hence emphasizing how outdated the concept of MySpace as an online dating vehicle is.) (There's a lot of explaining going on in this blog post. It's possible that I'm not as effective at getting my wry commentary across as I think I am. Or that I completely underestimate your intelligence. Either way, this might be a big #fail.) (It won't be long before hashtagging anything becomes an indication of #olds, btw.)

But in all seriousness, I'm sorry for the people who lost their jobs today. That sucks. Though in fairness, you had to see it coming. Good luck finding other work. And maybe steer clear of social networking sites that weren't founded and lorded over by a guy named Zuckerberg. Cuz you know anything that dork creates is going to #liveforever.

*IDK, I just recently got rid of my television set that had a slot for a VHS tape in it. I'm not exactly what you'd call on the vanguard of technology, or life.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Please, no more mo'

It's a great time to be alive, wouldn't you say? Your [insert favourite sports team here] just won the [insert championship thingy here]. Your [insert gender] just agreed to [insert major life milestone]. Your [insert favourite living relative] just told you the best [insert positive conversational exchange]. Your [insert descriptive modifyer] boss just gave you [insert pleasant surprise]. And I think we can all agree that the end of Kate Middleton's brief affair with bangs is a major victory for humanity. 

But what I love most about these modern times is how we, as a society with morals, principles and eyes, have ceased to engage in certain aesthetically offensive practices. I mean, au revoir French manicure! Give the cold shoulder to frosted tips! Feathered hair beware! Shrug off shoulder pads! Check you later, houndstooth! (I actually really love houndstooth. Just got carried away there. Sorry.)

So why, GOD WHY, are men being encouraged to grow a mustache? I get that November has been rebranded as Movember and it's all about raising awareness for men's health issues, and that it's essentially the male response to the over pinkification of October. But why must we pander to these outdated, cliched tropes? I don't associate my womanhood with the colour pink any more than men attach their manhood to facial hair. For such important causes, it pains me to see marketing companies employ such hackneyed tactics. Besides, do you guys want to get laid this month? Cuz I know countless women who are repulsed by the sight of a mustache. Also, way to harsh my birthday month buzz, Movember.

I think what's even more unsettling about this mustache craze is that it has somehow permeated popular culture. Stores now carry mustache stencils and mustaches on a stick for the hipster's selfie mugging pleasure. Men have started to grow their mustaches in the off months of December through October, ambivalent to their horny-taking-away powers and wondering why they're suddenly reduced to going home alone at the end of a long night spent drinking organic microbrew while dissecting Pablo Neruda and making plans to hit up the American Apparel sale tomorrow. (On second thought, maybe it's not just the mustache that's keeping these guys from getting laid.) But I'll tell you what: that mustache isn't helping.

I'm all for health and cancer awareness, and I can see how breast cancer month may have overshadowed the severity of male-specific illnesses which led to this campaign. But I beg of you, please, no more mo's. Bejewel your Adam's apple. Grow a full beard. Shave your scrotum. Just don't subject us to this:

or this:

or this:

Cuz, fellas, you will never be as good as this:

And even he had his time.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

I'm not selfish; you're just an asshole

People love to throw around the word "selfish", especially as it relates to those who haven't followed in the socially-decreed normal footsteps of life as established by the Judeo Christian Conservative Guilt-tripping Mothers' Union (a coalition that I totally just made up, but you know totally exists. Like the Stonecutters). Do you rent? Selfish. Are you single? Selfish! Childless? SELFISH.

A recent Gallup poll study, published yesterday in the Guardian, stated that single people are hurting the US economy because they're not spending as much money as marrieds. See, your mother always told you that life would be better (read: you'd get to buy more stuff) if you just got married already. Of course, the reason married people spend more is because they live in a dual-income household and because, as the article points out, marriage trends indicate that the majority of people don't get married these days unless they're already financially stable, and let's not overlook the absurd amount of bank people make on their actual wedding day. But single people are so damn selfish, and cheap. Just go out there and find someone, anyone, make them marry you and contribute to the economy, dammit. I mean, aren't we all tired of these single people shrugging off their responsibilities to the well being of the state? 

Same goes for the childless assholes, amirite? I was at an event recently, surrounded by a few mothers who were talking about their early experiences with their children. All the usual points were trotted out: What a miracle! I was so tired! Did you scar? I wouldn't let my husband fuck me for almost a year! And then one of them, an Earth Mother type who proudly stated that she breastfed her son until he was almost five, played the oldest mommy card in the book: "The first time I held my child I thought, I've been so selfish all my life. Now I know what it means to be selfless." Because, obvs, all you (us) childless whores will forever and always be selfish.

I'm not sure what it is about birthing a child that automatically makes women feel like they've reached this state of nirvana-like selflessness. You didn't sacrifice yourself to the gods in an attempt to spare your marginalized people from massacre. You had unprotected sex with someone you love, or at least don't hate, and entered this experience (hopefully) willfully and fully aware of what it entailed. Pushing a baby out of your uterus doesn't make you Jesus, it makes you one of billions of women who do it all the fucking time. And yeah, dude, it's super hard and painful, and power to you for doing it. But it doesn't automatically make you selfless. If anything, it may make you even more selfish, since you are driven by a narcissistic desire to create life in your own image. Your entitled mini-mes will get to enjoy the spoils of middle-class fortune while you get to tell your friends that he gets his strong calves from you.

I don't have kids, and I very likely never will. But that doesn't make me selfish. I've comforted friends well into the wee hours, sat by my family in moments of stress and hardship, cared for my brother in the aftermath of an accident, encouraged and supported my boyfriend when things seemed bleak, and spent hours at the emergency vet clinic offering solace to my ailing dog. And I did it all because I wanted to and felt compelled to do so out of sheer, unadulterated love. I don't need to get married or give birth to know that I have the ability to put my own needs aside to help someone else. It's called being human. And to not infuse that kind of action into every aspect and every stage of your life, regardless of your marital or parental or financial status, well, that just makes you plain ol' selfish.