Wednesday, June 18, 2008

comments I love

There was an article yesterday about how the test for type II diabetes (as in the type associated with obesity and sedentary lifestyle...) misses 2 out of 3 kids screened. One of the comments on the story quoted part of the news article and then added one simple word:

If they had recieved proper test results and found their obese child to be at risk for pre-diabetes, the treatment would have been:
"increasing exercise, losing weight and changing dietary habits."


I'm still cracking up over that. But seriously, how did we go from not wanting kids to be overly focussed on their weight [a good thing] to reaching the point where childhood obesity and the associated health problems are at epidemic proportions? What the hell does promoting healthy eating and exercise have to do with lowering a child's self-esteem? Because believe me, if I had a kid who was so overweight that I felt the need to test them for type II diabetes, I would first be telling them to get outside, get some exercise, and to also exercise a bit of portion control.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I need my gay office back

Today convinced me that being in a regular office again has taken all pride in appearance from me. With my move, I do not have my clothes organized or cleaned. It is taking much creativity to get appropriately dressed for work. Especially because unlike my last job, jeans and casual clothes are frowned upon. Except of course for 'casual Friday' where we are expected not to arrive in complete office attire. I have almost no clean office appropriate casual clothes.

I had one pair of white cotton trousers to wear today and they were clean. Unfortunately they are hip huggers and a little too large on me. As such they kept sliding down making my cute little buddha belly appear to be a huge beer gut. The only top I had that was long enough to cover the belly bulge was one of those tunic style shirts which make every woman who wears one look pregnant. I was no exception. To make matters worse, it was in a faded leopard print. A friend had been getting rid of old clothes and had given me some to consider, and that was one that was headed straight for charity. And yet, due to my lack of clothing choices, I had to wear it. In public.

All day I felt like I should be in a Reitman's commercial. This is a cheap clothing store in Canada and their target market is middle aged women. The current commercial shows some rail thin model in completely impractical (and in my mind fun and wild) couture, and then some dowdy plain woman in uninspired hideous clothing. The two are compared trying to do daily activities and the dowdy schlep always succeeds at taking out the trash or whatever mundane activity we are supposed to relate to. Then the fashion announcers at the end always say, "Haute couture - zero" Whatever! I hate the commercials because I would much rather wear impractical fun clothing than some fugly dowdy ensemble. And practical does not have to be ugly. But believe me, for me today, practical did mean ugly.

Hence tomorrow is designated laundry day. Or shopping. Whatever it takes to ensure that I will never again have to spend 9 hours in a train wreck of an ensemble.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's your last day on earth...

... wouldn't it be kind of nice to sleep in, make yourself a nice cup of tea, and *then* hurl yourself in front of a subway train? Why on earth would you get up for rush hour and do so?

Is it a control thing? Is your last thought, "I'm going to die but in doing so I'm going to make these people late for work." I hate to disappoint you, but it's not that big a statement to make. By now we take subway delays in stride. Your suicide is up there with "the signals aren't working" or "somebody has pressed the security alarm".

Is it a last-minute decision? Were you watching the train pull in and suddenly thought, "Not. one. more. meeting." If so, I can kind of relate.

Do you get off on witnesses? I'm sure you have traumatized many. Others will just see you as a great story for their friends.

I always think it's someone's right to kill themselves. I've thought of it myself many times. But please - show some class. Be discreet and choose a less annoying method.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Let it pour

The other night I was at a party a few streets over from where I live. I was somewhat tired so I left around ten. No sooner did I leave than what was a light rain shower became some sort of torrential downpour. Of course this would be the night I decided to wear nothing under my dress (which thankfully was not white and had a light layer over a sheath so it wasn't obscene either). But it still wasn't looking appropriate the more soaked I became and as the main street near where I live is a little dodgy at night, I chose to run along a back alley to my house.

I wasn't in any danger, but I couldn't help but get paranoid. All those stupid Internet stories you hear and all the tv shows which show serial killers lurking in every doorway. At one point I was sheltered under some eaves trying to wait out the worst of the storm and was thinking, "If someone grabs me, no one is around to see a thing" Statistically I am far likely to be a victim of violence from a guy I'm dating, but you know, the mind spins. It turned out that the only creature lying in wait for me was Fur who had refused to come inside earlier and was meowing pitifully on the neighbour's porch. I had to scoop her up and carry her over a puddle in order to get to my entrance. God forbid her delicate paws got wet.

But the most amazing part of the rain ordeal was that when I finally got inside and squelched downstairs to the bathroom, peeled off the soaked dress and towel-dried my dripping hair, I noted that my eye shadow had stayed on perfectly. Hurrah for Smashbox! I looked like I was in a movie. I always stare at women in slasher flicks or rain/beach scenes where they are running around getting soaked or murdered yet still have perfect make-up (perhaps some mascara running). I used to think, "Oh give me a break. As if the make-up would last". But no more. I am a believer. Those slasher victims must have discovered Smashbox before me.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Typos in resumes

These are always held up as the worst thing you can do. Horrific grammar mistakes bother me, but there's no way I'm going to overlook a qualified candidate because they made a typing mistake. I remember one resume I received. I believe we had mentioned that the job involved giving presentations to staff. The cover letter assured me that the candidate was used to "resenting information". I laughed my ass off. What could be better for a library position? And then I interviewed the person.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

On women and politics

Over the week-end I was visiting one of my brothers. He and I started to discuss the US election and how the coverage of Hillary Clinton's bid was so over-done and boring. I know that political commentators have already gone over this but - for Christ's sake, it's not like women in other countries haven't been in power before. Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Benazir Bhutto, Angela Merkel - all women who have had or currently hold the position of head of state. Even in Canada we had Kim Campbell as prime minister. True, she was appointed rather than elected when the sitting prime minister Brian Mulroney resigned, but still, a woman held Canada's highest position, however briefly. She sat at the G8. She was there. And that was almost twenty years ago.

What also never seems to be covered is that although the right does not necessarily have a feminist platform, women get further in conservative parties. Margaret Thatcher came from nothing and rose to the top of the Conservative party in England. She did not ride the coat tails of her husband [and yes, obviously Hillary is strong and capable in her own right, but she also took every advantage of her husband's position]. In fact, what do we even know or care about Dennis Thatcher? I remember once listening to Judy Rebick, a ground-breaking Canadian feminist, who lamented just this fact about sexism in the left-wing.

So the left-wing can continue to analyse and naval gaze and all for now. As for women, they ARE making grounds. There are so many women in positions of power and it will continue. I don't know why people don't make more of Condoleeza Rice. Sure, maybe people abhor her politics, but talk about a woman who has progressed up the ranks. What we need to accept is that 'woman' does not equal 'feminist' which is more of a concern to me in current politics. To me it's no big deal that Hillary wasn't chosen. As far as I'm concerned whether or not it was Romney, McCain, Clinton, Obama, or Edwards [my personal pick], any of them was a better choice than Bush. I thank the goddess that Huckabee was not successful. And that's something we can all celebrate.

And now excuse me while I figure out whether I'm going to support the Liberal party or join the Conservatives in Canada to try and get rid of Bush-lite currently in power in Canada...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

They meant well

Has your friend recently gone through a break-up? Are you wondering what to say? Let me give you some guidance on friends who tried their best but kind of missed the mark.

1. Oh my god your boyfriend was so hot. I couldn't believe it. When you guys walked into the party I was in awe.

Why this didn't work: Okay, I am well aware of how hot he was. I have video proof and don't need to be reminded. Also, this over emphasis on his looks is making me feel like a troll. I always date good-looking men and more to the point, why wouldn't I? Can we tone down the surprise a bit? Especially after a break-up all I hear is, "How the hell did you land him?" I'm not ugly! I'm not! Really!!!!

2. You know, you should stop trying to have an open relationship.

Why this didn't work: I have had many, many failed monogamous relationships. So have my friends. Do I stand there when friends are having relationship problems or when the guy cheats and say, "well, maybe if you would loosen up and let him have other lovers..." No, of course I don't. Everyone has their own way of being. Open relationships are hard, but so is monogamy and we did not break up because of other lovers.

3. Don't worry, you'll be dating again in no time.

Why this didn't work: Can we wait with this one until I've washed the stains off the sheets?

4. Let me tell you: He's forgotten about you already.

Why this didn't work: I realize that my friend was trying to say that I should just focus on myself, but come on, no one needs to hear this three days after they've been dumped.

What statements did help were actually kind of nasty against my ex so I won't detail them here. But they made me laugh. And regardless, I love and appreciate all my friends who in their own way tried to offer comfort. Even if the statements weren't always appreciated.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I'm moved

And as always, I am promising myself to get better organized. The move was complete hell. I had so many offers to help but because I'm so disorganized, if people had come over originally, there was no way of organizing them to do anything. Except for my kitchen which two friends came over and packed up last week-end.

My old apartment was way, way too crowded. That was another factor in getting me moved. So much had to be cleared out before anything else could be packed. I took my new place a week early so it did help to clear out some of the clothes. And then my movers came on Friday. It turns out that my box spring which has been sitting in the hallway for two years is also too big for my new place, and is now gracing my new hallway. Time to sell that baby...

Anyhow, once my movers left, there was still depressingly a lot to move. That was completely unexpected or I would have called on friends to come over on Saturday. However, my parents were there and they moved the last of it for me. I also got a call from a friend of mine on Saturday - nothing to do with my move, but when I answered and told him I was moving, he got so excited in telling me that he had bought a new car two days earlier and wanted to try out the hatchback. Hence, he took over a load of items for me.

Moving the cats was a whole other ordeal. There was no way of moving them on Friday as I didn't have a car so I slept at my new place, and left them in my half empty old place. I figured that the easiest way of dealing with them on Saturday was to let them go outside and keep their normal routine. As my father and I drove loads over to the new place, I took a cat at a time. The first one I grabbed was Fur. One minute she was sitting in a garden watching us move, and the next I had her stuffed into her kitty carrier.

The harder one to move was Tasha. In the summer she sometimes stays out for days. There was no sign of her nearing the end of the day and I realized that if I didn't get her soon, she would be out all night. Luckily when I called and called for her, she came near. I wasn't ready to drive over at that point, so I shut her in the bathroom until my father and I had packed the car. Getting her in her carrier was not easy, but resorting to the 'wrap and toss' - wrapping her in a t-shirt so her front legs were immobilized and then shoving her head first into the carrier - worked fine.

The cats were completely freaked out in the new place. They both haunted me the first night there. Now they are settling in and have gone back to their own routines. Today I am off work so I will see if they can be coaxed to go outside in the new neighbourhood. So far Tasha went running past me to go outside, only to turn around in terror and come bounding back in. I suppose it's a whole new set of scents to get used to here.

And my parents were troopers. They did so much for me. I know they were frustrated with my lack of organization, but they came through anyhow. They took me out for dinner on Saturday (I now live just down the street from our favourite Indian restaurant in Toronto), and last night I took them out for dinner as a thank you for their help. I had wanted to take them to a Korean restaurant, but as the one I had been thinking of was closed, we ended up at a nearby tapas bar. It was absolutely delicious and so simple. They really did a great job with the tapas. Our waiter also recommended the perfect wine for me to try. Of course I can't remember the name, but it was just the type I like.

I do love my new apartment though. Once the pile of boxed starts to diminish it will be great.