Category Archives: Uncategorized

We Can Pickle That!

Fred and Carrie say it best…

Advertisements

The Cleanest Radiator in Scarborough: One Woman’s Journey to Domestic Functionality

Image

Image courtesy of annetaintor.com

It first occurred to me while sitting on the toilet at my partner’s grandmother’s house. In front of her toilet was on old radiator, and around the bottom of the radiator, where the metal met the linoleum floor, was spotless. All of it. Even towards the back, near the wall, which to clean would have been at best dreadfully inconvenient and most likely fucking impossible. This immediately brought to mind images of my own bathroom at home, which by comparison was a biohazard. The garbage hadn’t been changed in two weeks, and it was full of empty toilet paper rolls that should have been the recycling anyway. The sink was coated in a fine but ever so visible layer of soap scum made even more appealing by the fact that the soap in question was of a patchouli-lavender-organic castor oil-variety and therefore left a scum of a disturbing brown colour, peppered with pieces of some desiccated flower petal. It was this stark contrast that caused me to realize that I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing, domestically speaking.

I know this isn’t my job. In fact I so know that this isn’t my job that Andrew often has to ask me if I wouldn’t mind doing a load of laundry since I haven’t done so in 3.75 months and have simply enjoyed the constant influx of clean underwear to my dresser drawer. This is not a matter of outdated obligation so much as it is a matter of being a godamned hypocrite.

Continue reading

Tagged

How to Avoid Writing a First Draft in 5 easy steps

1) You’ve never wanted to master the art of french cooking more than you do right now. So what if it’s been done, on that blog, in that terrible movie, you need to make some coq au vin and you need to do it now. How are you going to find a freshly slaughtered 5 year old coq? What do you think two hour google sessions are for?

2) You finally realize how rewarding pet ownership can be. A dog always needs to be walked. A cat always needs to glare at you accusingly before lying on your keyboard. It’s not your fault, it needs the affection or else it will pee all over your everything.

3) You need to get in shape. It’s been proven that people with a nice lean torso are more productive. Or at least that’s what Dr. Oz says. So spending a few hours on the internet researching the most spiritually aligned/quad blasting/ yoga/spinning/pilates/juice bar in your neighbourhood is a must. But before you do that you need to:

3b) Go shopping. Ayn Rand and Kim Kardashian alike know the value of quality athletic wear. And really the $150 yoga pants ARE way better than the $15 ones from Joe Fresh. And even if you just end up wearing them to sit on your couch and watch Say Yes to the Dress, you’ll still be plugged into the beleaguered subculture of moms with very expensive strollers and coach running shoes.

4) Go shopping some more. You look around your house and realize all the things you are suddenly desperately in need of. Your tea towel collection is looking a little sparse. Off to Kitchen Stuff Plus with you. You look in your closet and realize there’s a startling gap in your denim colour continuum. Washed out for that sexy California beach look you can never achieve because god you’re so pale and dark for dressing up with heels and a polyester bar top from Jacob to go to a horrible bar on College St. for forty minutes before you come home to a half a box of clementines and some quality Netflix time but where is the classic mid-tone blue for going to costco on a Saturday morning while trying to pretend that you haven’t completely turned into your mother? Remedy this immediately!

5) Sleep until ten. Every. Single. Day.

Topeka, Kansas Considers Decriminalizing Domestic Violence to Save Money, Becomes the Embodiment of the Banality of Evil

Well this is godamn ridiculous. The Topeka, Kansas city council is debating whether to DECRIMINALIZE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE in order to save money.

Feministing has already posted a great breakdown of the details here, but the short version is that the city is playing a giant game of chicken with the county over who will cover the cost of prosecuting these cases. And there’s not much at risk, only you know, women’s lives. Since September 8th, when they stopped filing domestic battery charges, the county has already released sixteen people who were arrested on domestic assault charges, and turned back a staggering 30 domestic violence cases.

And I get it, there’s a recession and no one has any money and Steve Jobs just died and people are scared that the entire world is completely screwed. But I can think of better ways to save money. How about changing your drug laws so you’re not incarcerating millions of people for petty non-violent crimes for years and years, at great expense to the government?

HOW ABOUT THAT?

File this under: things that make my brain explode.

“You… but dead.” (Dear Marie Claire, Go Fuck Yourself V2.0)

So not only does Marie Claire want you to follow some heinously misguided “nutrition” advice to achieve your ideal body, they have also kindly provided a handy tool to help you imagine what you might look like if you were say, emaciated from your healthful diet of lemon water and enzyme supplements.

Meet the Marie Claire “Virtual Weight Loss Tool.” Under the charming heading of “You… but better” this handy application modifies pictures you upload of yourself to simulate weight gain or loss. Haven’t you always wanted to know what you’d look like if you lost 40 pounds? Or gained 20? (Interesting that the program allows you mimic 40 pounds of weight loss, but only 20 of weight gain. Perhaps they think our tender self-esteems cannot handle a vision of ourselves 40 pounds heavier. God forbid, that’s like an entire starving adolescent in Guatemala!)

Developed by the social innovators asshats at ModiFace (“The world’s most advanced virtual makeover technology”), this is an example of evil at work in the world. If you go to the ModiFace website you can read that the software includes “over 100 virtual makeover options, including cosmetics, anti-aging, hair style and color, weight loss, dress simulation, and skin care effects.” So can we assume their services also include virtual skin lightening, eye-lid westernization, and hair de-kinking?

And to add insult to injury, the software isn’t even very good! Here’s what I would look like should I want to lose 40 pounds a and go into renal failure:

And here’s me a revolting 20 pounds heavier! Listen, if you’re going to go to all the trouble of developing software to body shame us, at least make it functional!

The “Virtual Weight Loss Tool” is just another example of Marie Claire being completely tone deaf when it comes to discussions of body image and health. Obviously the same could be said of any Lady Mag, but Marie Claire seems to be a particularly egregious offender.

So I think we should do something about it. Go onto the anorexia machine and doctor a photo of yourself looking either alluringly cadaverous, or revoltingly obese. If you’re feeling spunky, flip the bird as I have done. Or even better, eat a cheeseburger while taking the photo. Then send them into the Editor in Chief of Marie Claire, Joanna Coles at JoannaColes@hearst.com. Or twitpic it and tweet it to @marieclaire.

We don’t have to let this wash over us like everything else that tells us we are too fat, or not eating enough mulched Kale. Let’s take this opportunity to scream as loud as we can.

Tagged , , ,

Dear Marie Claire, go fuck yourself.

Photo courtesy of Marie Claire via Getty Images. But wait, don't bananas make you fat?

Marie Claire would really like you to starve yourself to death. Or at least that’s how it seems from this pile of unadulterated bullshit.

“What Nutritionists Really Eat!”

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Up first, Natalia Rose:

BREAKFAST 

  • Lemon tea with fresh, raw grated ginger, a squeeze of lemon, and Stevia to taste (a natural, calorie-free sweetener), 24 fl oz — 3 calories*
  • Mountain Valley Spring Water, 16 fl oz — 0 calories

LUNCH

  • Nothing

DINNER

  • One small watermelon — 230 calories
  • Two cantaloupes — 376 calories
  • Two bananas — 200 calories
  • Smoothie (pineapple, avocado, kale, alfalfa sprouts, coconut water, mint) — 366 calories

DESSERT

  • Box of Salud macaroons, 4.5 oz — 604 calories

TOTAL DAILY CALORIES: 1,779

THIS IS TOTALLY BONKERS. No breakfast (lemon tea and water do not count) and no lunch but it’s probably because she’s saving all her calories for dinner when she pigs out on various melons!  And then for dessert, in a completely confusing twist, an entire box of macaroons. This is a picture of disordered eating, and Marie Claire presents it without comment, as if these diets are something to strive for, something to attain. Natalia Rose’s attitude towards food is clearly fucked:

“Instead of being bogged down by your meal, you should be elevated by it. I don’t use food mindlessly as a social pastime or something to do when I’m bored. It’s spiritual, and truly part of a holistic lifestyle. I believe that we take our vitality predominantly from the air, sunlight, and clean water, so I don’t take anything but this ‘life force energy’ until the sun goes down, then I enjoy nutrient-rich foods — along with others that are less so but that I enjoy anyway! Of course there are fun things to eat. But most people eat to escape their lives. A lot of us don’t realize that we don’t need to do things the normal way.”

The “normal way”  being eating food to, you know, survive? She doesn’t use food as a “social pastime,” so that means she’d be the most insufferable person ever to spend time with, and since she only eats calories after the sun goes down I have to assume that she is, in fact, some kind of vampire.

The rest of the women (obviously they’re all women) are a variation on this same theme, with some edging closer to a healthy daily intake of food, you know, the stuff that keeps us alive. Most of them have nothing but lemon water for breakfast (is there something I don’t know about lemon water? will it give me magical powers?) and then an assortment of tiny servings of tiny food throughout the rest of the day. “no more than 15 baby carrots!” “kale smoothie!” “Rainbow Light EnzyMend digestive enzyme supplement.” Sounds delicious.

This is not the first time Marie Claire has shown us an ugly side. A few months ago columnist Maura Kelly drew fire for this outrageously offensive piece about how fat people gross her out. (She updated the piece and added an apology, but  frankly, that doesn’t mean shit to me.)

The worst part of course, is that these people are nutritionists. People pay them actual money to give them nutritional guidance. But from the sounds of it, they might just be paying them to take their food away.

“Listen ladies, I know this great little weight loss retreat. It’s a rural village in Rwanda where the only source of food is rotting cabbage. You’ll go down at least two dress sizes, guaranteed!”

To publish this not only without comment but as reliable information from “experts” on the matter is flat out dangerous. People talk a lot about “body image” and “media influence” and “dying from anorexia,” but we can’t let our guard down. We can’t becomes desensitized to this kind of bullshit because the threat it presents is real. We have to remain vigilant in calling this out when we see it.

After reading this all I wanted to do was eat a piece of pizza. And if you feel the same way, go ahead and do so, in moderation, along with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Tagged , , ,

Meanwhile, in other parts of the internet…

Here are a couple of things I’ve written this week…

A piece about the justice system and Mickey Mouse on the very awesome blog Ten Things I’ve Learned.

My thoughts on the recent news that Canada may deny funding to Planned Parenthood on my partner’s Canadian political blog The Reeves Report.

Tagged , ,

The Maddow Makeup Conundrum: America is Afraid of Lesbians

BIG CAVEAT: I am not talking about the way Rachel Maddow looks, my which I mean her actual face. I am talking about the way she is made to look on her popular MSNBC television program The Rachel Maddow Show. Because people talk too much about womens’ actual faces. So I just wanted to make that perfectly clear. 

I have a theory that America (or North America in general) is afraid of lesbians. I mean real lesbians. Not fake lesbians who make out with each other at Jack Astors for free Jagerbombs. America loves those lesbians. No people I’m talking actual human lesbians. (Now watch out because I’m about to go all Judith Butler on your ass.) More specifically lesbians who do not perform the traditional behaviours of femininity. These include but are not limited to the removal of most/all body hair, the wearing of makeup, the subjection of the self to inhumane torture devices (spanx/stilettos/starvation), vajazzling and the infuriating habit of pitching one’s voice approximately two octaves above its natural timbre.  This is how society wants women to be! And (feminism 101 here) if you do not adhere to this society punishes you! And in lots of original and creative ways too! This could range from charming young men on the streetcar calling you a dyke because of your failure to shave your legs recently enough for their liking, to the complete inability to buy pants because of  your woefully misshapen thighs.

(To those fellows on the streetcar: I would like to sincerely apologize for any distress the sight of my slightly hairy legs may have caused you. I hope it didn’t cause you to throw up your Taco Bell and Budweiser Light with Lime. And I certainly hope the thought of it was not the cause of any sexual dysfunction you experienced when trying to make sweet tender love to your fuck buddy that night. By way of reparation I would like to offer you each one punch in the face. Sincerely, Courtney) 

To illustrate my point, here is a picture of Rachel Maddow during a television appearance (not on her own show):

She is wearing some makeup, sure. When you go on TV they have to put some makeup on you or else you literally look like a dead person. Especially when it’s HD. Pore city!

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Who Okayed This? (Charlie Sheen edition)

This is not a picture of Charlie Sheen because I never want to see his face again. This is a picture of an adorable puppy.

Like this asshat needs any more words written about him, I know. A part of me hoped that this man was like that annoying person at the party. Just avoid eye contact and hopefully they’ll go away or at least pass out on top of the pile of coats in the bedroom. But the problem is, he’s not that person. He’s more like that person at the party who backs you into a corner in the kitchen and feels you up before puking on your new shirt. Or to be more precise, he’s like the ebola virus. He will make you shit blood.

There have been lots of great posts on El Asshat (as he will henceforth be called) like this one about him and his Asshat in training Chris Brown. So why wade into the fray? Because of this nonsense. That’s great everyone. Pay a hundred dollars to go watch an abusive addict desecrate the Massey Hall stage. Beyond the horrifying image conjured by the name of the tour – “My Violent Torpedo of Truth.” Really? Really? Why don’t you just call it “My Rapey Penis” – the fact that people are clamouring to attend makes me so stabby because:

1) This man is obviously mentally ill. So we’ve managed to monetize someone’s complete unravelling. And yes, he’s doing it to himself. All of it. But that kind of makes it worse since obviously this is not someone who is making anything close to a good decision. Even President Bartlet Martin Sheen AKA Dad called him “emotionally crippled.” And this coming from a guy who had a nervous breakdown on camera.

2) You’re paying money to go watch someone who has a prolonged history of violence towards women. And in going to see him or in saying that anything is winning or tiger blood or whateverthefuck you are essentially condoning his behaviour. Yes you, asshole hipster, who thinks this is all so hilarious. Or even if you don’t think it’s hilarious and every El Asshat tweet you write is ironic it DOESN’T MATTER because you’re still giving him space in the public realm and therefore making ME have to hear about him more. HE SHOT HIS GIRLFRIEND IN THE ARM. DO NOT GIVE HIM YOUR MONEY OR YOUR TIME. It’s really that simple people.

Upside: Two and a Half Men might be over forever. And that would definitely improve the overall quality of life in North America and abroad.

Look for the silver lining.

Tagged ,

Who Okayed This? (19 Kids and Counting edition)

Michelle Duggar preps the troops for Holy War.

I have spent the past five months that I haven’t been blogging developing theories on the popularity of this show.

1) People have realized that Kate Gosselin, TV’s other mother-of-many, is really mean and potentially insane. And she was on Dancing with the Stars. She was very quickly transformed from relatable-middle-class-overworked-mother to there’s-no-way-I-can-feel-bad-for-you-now-TV star. Now she’s no longer “one of us,” she’s “one of them” and she has people after her over child labour laws and she was at the Emmys and she gets her teeth whitened all the time. (This is obviously an example of celebrity culture’s love of building someone up so they can tear them down but that’s another post.) Michelle Duggar will never be at the Emmys. She doesn’t let her children watch TV or attend school with people other than their own siblings and the only way she would ever dance on television would be behind a modesty curtain or something. She will always be the slightly harried, somewhat pitiable mother-of-many.

Continue reading

Tagged ,