Things Ladies Are Supposed to Care About

Muffin Top: little tufts of fat in the lower-waist area that stick out the top of low-rise pants.

Side Boob: when the side of your boob sticks out of a shirt of a certain cut and looks kind of like an extra roll of arm fat.

Double Boob: when your bra is sized so that it cuts you off mid-boob and it looks like you have four boobs.

Cankles: fat ankles.

Ninkles: knee wrinkles.

Hair (undesirable): armpits, legs, toes, ears, nose, upper lip, between the eyebrows, outside of the currently fashionable eyebrow shape, cheeks, bikini line.

Hair (desirable): head - must be soft and flowy.

Armpits: now need to be soft and pretty (thanks Dove).

Hands: show your age no matter how much plastic surgery you get elsewhere.

Body shapes (desirable): hourglass, very skinny.

Body shapes (undesirable): all of them.

Batwings: flappy skin on the bottom of your biceps.

Teeth: white, straight, now with a sexy gap in the middle.

What did I miss?

Observations from the Online-Date-O-Sphere II

Despite everything I just said about how online dating is a zero-rejection forum for asking people out, I would like to pose the following question to the ladies in the room:

When you send a dude a message and he just doesn't respond, do you ever want to track him down and find out how on earth he could turn down someone so attractive, witty, adorable, clever, funny, and awesome as yourself?  Doesn't he realize who you are?  You are the best!  He is a dude dating on the internet and he just had online-dating-gold jump up onto his laptop and he turned and looked the other way?  SERIOUSLY, MAN, WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?  Because I have looked at the profiles of other girls and they are all boring, single-minded, and kind of skanky.  Ohhhh... wait.  Seriously, is that it?  Boobies?  *sigh*

Observations from the Online-Date-O-Sphere

Online dating is pretty much the easiest, lowest-rejection form of dating there is.  You basically shop for a date, and the only difference is that sometimes the date you want to buy says no.  Okay, that metaphor took a kind of wrong turn, but what I'm trying to say is that worst case scenario, someone doesn't reply to your message or actually says no (very rare).

I realize that a person saying no or not responding is technically rejection, but it is rejection in the form of messages sent back and forth through a third-party dating site.  It's so low-commitment that they don't even have your real email address or phone number to reject you by, and unless you have a really overactive imagination, you aren't all that attached to the person anyways, right?  It's not like they looked you up and down and laughed in your face, or like you are now left standing next to them on this really awkward 30 minute bus ride, or like you've just ruined the only real friendship you've ever had by trying to kiss them.  It's via the internet.  This rejection doesn't even count.  Especially when there are so many factors involved, because we all know people are way pickier about details like religion, industry of work, education, favourite bands, hobbies, car ownership, etc., when it's all laid out for them online.  They don't really know you, you don't really know them.

All this to say, these sites have taken the least-put-yourself-out-there form of dating and made it even easier with all the other features: you can make someone your favourite, click that you want to meet them, give them a star rating, or whatever else that will end up as a little notification in their inbox that you're interested without you even having to take 2 minutes to think of an opening line for an email.  DON'T DO THOSE THINGS.  They are lame cop-outs.  You have now either put all the onus on the other person to make a move, showing your cowardice (not sexy) or are playing this thing like a numbers game (not sexy).  If you're interested, just send the person a freaking message already.

Which brings me to point number two: after sending a couple of messages back and forth, I am of the belief that you will not learn anything more of use until you meet up.  A couple of messages have probably established a few mutual interests and the fact that once you've found them out you're still intrigued by this individual.  This isn't a place for pen pals, no need to keep writing each other letters online, at this point you need to know if you have any chemistry and the ONLY way you can do that is by meeting in person.

Got it?  Send the person a message.  Ask to meet up as soon as you've established a few basics.  If they say no or don't respond at that point, move on.  SO EASY!

Remember: everyone who's on here is at least copping out a little bit.  We want to meet new people with a safe online buffer.  The buffer is there so that you can do the ask-out-on-a-date-thing without heart palpitations.  So just bloody well ask someone out on a date.

Thank you and good night.

On This Day in Canadian History...

1634: Huron Indians supply wild plums to the Jesuits. Yum!

1925: Edward S. Rogers Sr. invents the alternating-current tube, allowing plug-in batteryless radios. Handy!

1957: Rick Hansen is born and goes on to be awesome.

1961: John George Diefenbaker 1895-1979 opens the International Hockey Hall of Fame at the CNE; announces $5 million annual grant for amateur sports in Canada. "Yay hockey!" most Canadians would say.

1978: First Canada Jam Festival opens; with the Doobie Brothers, the Commodores, Kansas, Dave Mason, Atlanta Rhythm Section. "We also love music!" most Canadians would continue.

1981: Vancouver transit workers end 5-week strike. Fostering a society where workers can strike if necessary and then come to an agreement and get back to work so people can get to work - way to be, Vancouverites.

2011: The BC public votes in favour of a tax that is more expensive and will cost them and their children mbillions of dollars just to say "eff you" to their government. Nothing says "eff you" like screwing yourself over in the long term, right?

Dentists Lie

For the past year or so I have been super good about my dental care.  I mean, really super good.  I brush at least twice a day (of course, that's always been a no-brainer for me, and I am sad to learn that it is not the same for many guys), and I floss daily.  Actually daily.  It's at the point now that if I skip a day my mouth feels all gross when I go to bed, which, I feel, is a good place to be when it comes to dental hygiene.

I was kind of looking forward to my last dentist appointment as a result.  No more squirming around when they ask me about flossing, saying things like "I try to as much as I can" or "I used to floss every day..." - nope, I actually can confidently say that I floss every single day (almost) without fail.  Plus, what with my superior dental hygiene skills, the visit was sure to be a breeze, right?

Turns out, wrong.  It all started off well.  I sat down and the hygienist (who I am also sort of friends with because we're both young artist-types and she is good friends with a friend of mine, which results in a lot of attempts at conversation while she's got her hands in my mouth) commented that my teeth looked really great.  "Success!"  I thought.  |-"I have won at dentisting!"

Then she proceeded to poke, scrape, and otherwise torture my poor little gums for 45 minutes, occasionally commented again at how great my teeth were.

It was a confusing and demystifying experience.  No matter how many times she said my teeth looked great, with each stab I felt more and more sure they must be horrible, disgusting, worthless hunks of calcium.

Then at the end part of the visit when you chat with the actual dentist about the state of your teeth (where last time he saw me he warned me that gingivitis was nigh), he said that my teeth were in such great shape the only thing he could recommend was whitening.


Awesome Infographic

Got it from @KelseyHagglund, originally posted by  Sorry it's so small.

My favourites: Black Friday shopping, deer, and ants.  Those whily ants.

So now they just get to burn us whenever they want?

Is this not the creepiest thing you've ever seen?

Got it off Boing Boing, and um... really? Does anyone want this on their mantle?

Super Sadness

Today I logged into Facebook to see a million posts about one thing: Jack Layton has passed away from his cancer. I totally thought that guy would live forever, yelling and slamming is fist on the table of the official opposition, defending the rights of people who can't stand up for themselves. Turns out, cancer got the best of him. Before it did, however, he wrote this letter to Canadians. What a classy guy. (Read it in its original context on CBC here.

August 20, 2011

Toronto, Ontario

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

The Great Legacy of Stanford

When most people think of Stanford they probably think of... I don't know, a fancy school or whatever? Well, when I think of Stanford, the next words that pop into my head are often "prison experiment."

Did you take psych in your undergrad? Then you probably are nodding your head with me. Or groaning inwardly at being reminded of your useless psychology undergrad degree*.

For the uninitiated: the Stanford Prison Experiment happened 40 years ago yesterday (prompting this celebratory post!) and is one of the more controversial studies in psychology's history, from before the days when we had strict ethics committees to make sure we didn't eff people up for life. Basically, they assigned 24 healthy young dudes to roles as prisoners or prison guards randomly, and converted a basement somewhere on campus into a makeshift prison. They were to be there for a week, and the goal was to see what would happen to people in these assigned roles.

Well, they canceled the mothah, because these guys got right out of hand. Within a day the guards were abusing the prisoners and the prisoners were getting all terrified and acting like victims, and NOBODY STOPPED IT. Even Zimbardo, the guy running it, got lost in his role as the prison warden and let the study continue for days after things got bad.

I love this study for two reasons, one of which is incredibly horrible of me:

1. While it is one of the studies that prompted all the stringent ethics policies researchers must now meet, it shows what kind of fascinating things we could find out about human nature when we don't worry about ethics. Of course the ethics we have now are a good thing, but there is a lot we will never know because of their existence. It appeals to the evil scientist in me that just wants to put people in various boxes and see what happens.

2. It allows me to be really pretentious in arguments and say things like "oh, you THINK things like personality, values, and ethics make you a good person, but really you just need to become a prison guard for a couple of days and you'll turn into a monster. IT'S BEEN PROVEN BY SCIENCE."

So, happy 40th, Stanford Prison Experiment. You are awesome. In a really unethical way.

*Fun Fact: Doing a double major in theatre and psychology made my parents feel better about the fact that I was studying something (theatre) that would never give me gainful employment. Little did we all know, a psych undergrad degree is probably MORE useless than a theatre undergrad degree! Life!

How to Improve Your Life

In celebration of my current blah mood - working alone in an office while coworkers are on vacations and at conferences (yes, I do love conferences and am jealous of people who go to them) will do that too you - I am forcing some awesome into my life.

Tactic #1: This moody music they're playing on The Peak right now will NOT be okay. Instead I choose this:

Tactic #2: I don't need a tactic #2. That totally worked.

Life is good.

I should write a book about this. DANG!


I just looked at my last post and realized just how random it must seem to the outside observer. I apologize for suddenly jumping in your face and telling you that there is faecal matter all over your home, completely unprovoked. It was rude of me.

Also, turns out I spelled it wrong ("fecal" should be "faecal" according to my spellchecker) - I am beyond ashamed.

The top places to find germs in your home


That's right, folks. This is a germy world we live in. Guess what else? Some of those germs include fecal matter. Yep. There is literally fecal matter on everything in your home. Also: urine. You want to know why? Because I said so. And because it's there.

So how about we relax a little instead of freaking out and doing news stories about how many germs are on your shower curtain or bathroom sink or kitchen floor or whatever and realize that we have pretty freaking good life spans as it is, and that killing every germ in your house only makes you a) annoying and b) give birth to children with annoying allergies.

Things I learned from OkCupid's matchmaking questionnaire

Dudes who seem to be totally cool and not at all gross think it's totally legit to only brush their teeth once a day.

*sigh* Sometimes the internet really does provide too much information about a person, doesn't it?

Spam-bots get fresh

Maybe the spam-bots are sensing my ongoing singleton status (I mean, it's been something like 5 months already, so you know, the beacons of desperation are starting to fire, right?), because the spam comments are starting to get awfully... familiar with me. I just went through yet another round of deleting spam comments off the website I manage, and check out how the spam-bots are addressing me (emphasis added):

Spouse, this excellent website might be fabolous, i just now like it

Companion, this excellent website is actually fabolous, freezing enjoyed

How much of an significant write-up, preserve composing significant other

Lover, this great site is without a doubt fabolous, i just now fantastic

Sweetheart, this amazing site is fabolous, i simply enjoyed

Mate, this fabulous website is actually fabolous, i enjoy it

Partner, this amazing site is actually fabolous, freezing like it

How much of an intriguing post, preserve crafting special someone

Better half, this url is without a doubt fabolous, we fantastic

Looks like someone programmed their spam-bots to use every term the thesaurus links to "friend" or "partner". Well done, programmer.

If Life Were a Movie

Some key things that would change if my life were a movie*:

  • I would never have to go to the bathroom unless it was comedically inconvenient
  • I would never have to do anything more than run a brush through my hair to look perfect (again, unless being disheveled provided a dose of comedy gold)
  • My Mom would be either way too overbearing or ridiculously free-spirited
  • I would have a regular "girls hang out time" where we would always meet at the same bar or cafe and give each other love advice whilst being constantly hit on by men that we brush aside with sharp rejections
  • There would be way more montages which means I would get really good at a lot more things with much less effort
  • Whenever things would start to get really rough I would either learn a lesson and immediately see my life turn around or be rescued by a man with a grand romantic gesture
  • My friendships would involve a lot more epic fights and tearful reunions
  • I would always have some kind of alcohol in the house
  • Anyone who wronged me would get a swift comeuppance that would probably be kind of awesomely hilarious
*This list assumes a general Hollywood-type movie where I am the protagonist.  Although now that I think about it, maybe it's better to not be the protagonist.  Secondary characters get it way easier: give a little witty banter, stand up for your best-friend-the-protagonist in a stand-uppy kind of way, and wind up making out with another secondary character by the end of the movie (after your best-friend-the-protagonist has had their life sort out, of course).