Sunday, July 31, 2016

Animals on Tinder 7

It's time for another round of Animals on Tinder! Putting the words of Tinder profiles into the mouths of innocent animals.

What if animals said the things we post on Tinder?

Animals saying the things people write on Tinder

Tinder-Inspired art project

Tinder fails make their way to animal artwork

Tinder meets the animal kingdom in this art project


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Impossible Decisions

A Harry Potter display surely created by some enemy of J.K. Rowling,
trying to turn the characters into Tim Burton-style nightmare killers.
Can't you just imagine these eyeless faces slowly turning to look at you?
Sometimes in life, we are faced with an impossible decision.

Tomorrow, I get to pick up Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from the book store. I pre-ordered, like a sane adult, so that I won't have to waste with such foolishness as finding the book in store. (And I am certain it will be difficult to find it in the giant store display that is sure to be right at the front door.) Straight to the check out I'll go, and that is what I'll be doing with my life from that point forward.

The impossible decision, then, is this: the book comes out tomorrow. Yesterday, I decided I couldn't handle the book I was reading any more. This means that TODAY I need a book to read. I have no book to read. I mean, I have books to read, but I have nothing that I will finish in a day and therefore I will have to start a book and then chuck it thoughtlessly aside the second tomorrow rolls around and that just doesn't seem fair.

So what do I do? Go a whole day without a book to read??? Start reading a book that I don't care about so that I can stop the second the new book comes out???

OH MY GOODNESS I JUST THOUGHT OF THE PERFECT SOLUTION!

I will read another Harry Potter book! It's perfect! They are quick and easy and it doesn't matter if I don't finish it before I get to The Cursed Child and it's like a warm up for the new book! Why didn't I think of this earlier???

Blog posts: helping people work through their own problems while strangers wonder what they are doing with their lives since 2004.


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Singalong! Super Bass by Nicki Minaj

Who can keep up with Nicki Minaj? No one. But we can learn the words and try.


SUPER BASS
by Nicki Minaj

This one is for the boys with the boomin' system,
Top down, AC, with the coolin' system
When he come up in the club, he be blazin' up
Stacks on deck like he savin' up
And he ill, he real, he might got a deal
He pop bottles, and he got the right kind of build
He cold, he dope, he might sell coke
He always in the air, but he never fly coach
He a muthafuckin' trip, trip, sailor of the ship, ship

When he make it drip, drip kiss him on the lip, lip
That's the kind of dude I was lookin' fo'
And yes, you'll get slapped if you're lookin', ho
I said, "Excuse me, you're a hell of a guy
I mean my, my, my, my, you're like pelican fly
I mean, you're so shy, and I'm loving your tie
You're like slicker than the guy with the thing on his eye, oh!"
Yes, I did, yes, I did
Somebody please tell him who the eff I is
I am Nicki Minaj, I mack them dudes up
Back coupes up, and chuck the deuce up

Boy, you got my heart beat running away.
Beating like a drum and its coming your way.
Can't you hear that boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(He got that super bass!)
Boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(Yeah that's that super bass!)
Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Yeah. Base.
Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Yeah. Base.
Boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(He got that super bass!)
Boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(Yeah that's that super bass!)

This one is for the boys in the Polos
Entrepreneur niggas, and the moguls
He could ball with the crew, he could solo
But I think I like him better when he dolo
And I think I like him better with the fitted cap on
He ain't even gotta try to put the mack on
He just gotta give me that look
When he give me that look, then the panties comin' off, off, uh
Excuse me, you're a hell of a guy
You know, I really got a thing for American guys
I mean sigh sickenin' eyes
I can tell that you're in touch with your feminine side, uh!
Yes, I did, yes, I did
Somebody please tell him who the eff I is
I am Nicki Minaj, I mack them dudes up
Back coupes up, and chuck the deuce up

Boy, you got my heart beat running away.
Beating like a drum and its coming your way.
Can't you hear that boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(He got that super bass!)
Boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(Yeah that's that super bass!)
Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Yeah. Base.
Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Yeah. Base.
Boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(He got that super bass!)
Boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(Yeah that's that super bass!)

See, I need you in my life for me to stay
No, no, no, no, no, I know you'll stay
No, no, no, no, no, don't go away
Boy, you got my heartbeat runnin' away
Don't you hear that heartbeat comin' your way?
Oh, it be like, "Boom, badoom-boom, boom, badoom-boom, bass"
Can't you hear that boom, badoom-boom, boom, badoom-boom, bass?

Boy, you got my heart beat running away.
Beating like a drum and its coming your way.
Can't you hear that boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(He got that super bass!)
Boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(Yeah that's that super bass!)
Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Yeah. Base.
Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Boom. Base. Yeah. Base.
Boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(He got that super bass!)
Boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass.
(Yeah that's that super bass!)

Nicki Minaj rocks at life!


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Learning! Colours, altruism, achievements, poisons, and feelings

A woman can see billions more colours than the rest of us

Can you paint with all the colours of the wind?

A woman has been found who can see millions more colours than the rest of us, all because she has one measly extra cone in her eyes - most of us have three, those who are colourblind have two, and she has four.

Remember when we learned about colours as children? How confusing must this woman have been, trying to point out colours no one else could see? How long do you think it took her to figure out that the rest of us were just colour deficient? I hope she made up really cool names for the colours that are only hers, and that she uses them to make glorious imaginary utopias.

What's the deal with altruism?

Whether you think there is any true charity or not, research shows that people can be motivated to help others through empathy or a sense of reciprocity, but that different people react to these prompts differently. People who tend to be selfish are going to be motivated by empathy, whereas "prosocial" people will be more generous when given reciprocity prompts.

It's like you need to fill in the blanks for someone to get them to act altruistically - a selfish person might already have thought about what was in it for them (reciprocity), but if you fill in the empathy blank, then you've completed the picture and they'll act on it. Fascinating!

It really is all about the journey

Given how quickly our iPhones went from being incredible instruments of life-changing magic to shackles of bitter, slow-moving addiction, it's not surprising that the afterglow of great life achievements fades quickly as well. Turns out we are happiest when we feel we are making progress towards a goal, not when we have achieved them.

Don't poison your cat!

Among other things, lilies, onions, and chocolate, can be poisonous to your dear feline. Even string isn't save - as a friend of mine learned the hard way, a wayward ribbon left on a chair can wind up tangled inside your kitty's bowels causing all sorts of problems.

Read about more feline dangers at Lifehacker.

Men and their feelings

I have often joked with my lady friends that despite women being reputed for being "too emotional" to work, we often find ourselves tiptoeing around the feelings of our male bosses and coworkers. Now a recent set of studies shows that men's feelings are actually the reason why women aren't able to achieve equality in the workplace. Sorry, ladies, the demoralizing truth is that even men who are outwardly supportive of women in the workplace likely feel threatened by us and act out in different ways (interrupting, much?)

The best argument for early retirement

Looks like working full-time after the age of 40 is not so good for our brains! Sadly (or fortunately, depending on your bent) this is not an excuse to abandon work all together - working less than 25 hours is also not so hot. So let's all find a happy medium of productivity without overloading ourselves and stick with it!


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Club: Queen of the Tearling and Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

I recently finished reading two of the three Queen of the Tearling books (the third not being released yet - oh Erika Johansen, may the book flow out of you as if on the wings of Pegasus!). These were official reads for my book club, and oh how glad I am! As usual SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS, I am not holding back, guys! Also, I read the books back to back, so I don't really have a differentiation of what events happen in which book. Sorry if that bugs you.

Book Club: Erika Johansen's Queen of the Tearling 

The World

The world of Queen of the Tearling is fascinating! At the beginning it appears to be a sort of fantastical take on a pseudo-Elizabethan world: there are nobles, peasants, and royalty; everyone rides horses and uses fire for light and heat; medicine is super rudimentary; the church has incredible power; and society is largely agrarian. The fantastical elements come in the form of, you guessed it, magic.

Through repeated references to the technology and literature of the past (including a thrilling reference to the "seven Rowling volumes" that had me almost throw my Kobo in the air with excitement), you realize that this is actually a distant future where technology and medicine have been lost and society has regressed.

Eventually, we learn that this was actually meant to be a utopian society, free of religion and discrimination and social hierarchies, begun by a man named William Tear (hence the people being called Tearlings). An obviously failed experiment.

The Story

In Queen of the Tearling we meet the new Queen of the Tearling people. Her name is Kelsey, and she was raised in hiding so that her murderous uncle wouldn't kill her to steal the throne. Now she's come into a society that is totally corrupt, where people are sent as slaves to a neighbouring dictator ever month as a peace offering, and the church is a slimy bag of power.

The story time-travels a bit, and so is really partially the tale of a woman being thrown into extraordinary circumstances and partially the tale of the dystopian future of Western society as we know it.

What I love about this story is watching Kelsey struggle and do things that I think are mistakes. She is a really forceful character - very intelligent, with a powerful temper. Sometimes she is compassionate and nuanced, and at other times she is hasty and brutal. Yet, whatever she does, it is always what she believes to be the best thing for her kingdom.

My only real complaint was the back-and-forth nature of the story. It frequently travelled back to tell the story of a woman living in the past (what would be our dystopian, totalitarian future), and the jumps would frustratingly happen right in the middle of something exciting in Kelsey's timeline. I'm not sure that this mechanism was necessary, or the best way to reveal how the Kingdom of Tearling was founded, but on the other hand, both stories were incredibly compelling. I would love a whole separate book series telling the origin story.

Take Away

I ate these two books up. They are fairly easy reads, and incredibly engaging. The Queen of the Tearling and The Invasion of the Tearling both delivered a world and characters that I wanted to immerse myself in all day long.


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Me & Ryan Gosling at my high school prom

Remember back in the day when we all thought prom was the be-all-end-all of our lives? Turns out it was really just another dance, except we were all dressed really fancy, but that's okay! It was still a lot of fun. Luckily, Ryan was able to make it out to join us! He wore jeans, because he wasn't yet the truly dapper gentleman he is today, but it was still fun to party with him and my friends on the cusp of adulthood!

A totally real picture of Ryan Gosling with me and my friends at my high school prom.



The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Inspiration! Roundup: Cuban ballet, ally ideas, finding chairs, and more

Inspiration comes in many forms, from the Cuban Ballet to this gorgeous cabin on a reflective lake. I want to go to there!
This week's "I want to go to there": a cabin on a reflective lake.

Cuban Ballet

The Cuban Ballet is inspirational for SO MANY REASONS! First of all, the dance form has gone from an elite extravagance to a national sport where dancers are paid like the superstar athletes that they are, probably because the government subsidizes tickets so that everyone can access it.

Second, LOOK AT THESE PHOTOS by Omar Robles (article also shares more about the rock star status of ballerinas in Cuba).

A photo posted by Omar Z. Robles (@omarzrobles) on


One Way to Be an Ally

I sometimes struggle hard with how to be an ally in a meaningful way. Avoiding whitesplaining/white saviour syndrome would indicate that I should take cues from communities of colour, but then there is also the burden of them explaining/guiding everything that isn't fair. What's a reasonable middle ground???

Layla Tromble and Terri Kempton have found a wonderful and meaningful way they can step in by offering to do the work in holding other white people accountable online with White Nonsense Roundup.

I am inspired to see how they have embraced their role with initiative, lots of compassion, and zero fear.

Make Space

"It has never been our responsibility to dictate who can be at the table; our only responsibility is to add more chairs." -Bishop Yvette Flunder

(Thanks to my friend Angela for posting this quote on Facebook.)

Wonder Woman


You know what's really inspirational here, aside from the never-fading moment of glee I get from hearing a woman tell a man that he can't tell her what to do, that is? The actress playing Wonder Woman is Gal Gadot - a former combat trainer in the Israeli army. This is not cool because armies are cool or because of any political stance related to Israel, but because it is thrilling to know that they cast a strong, capable, ass-kicking woman in this role.

Unwanted Suitors

Finally, a suggestion on how to get rid of unwanted suitors...


That'll do it!


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!
SaveSave

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Awesome Award: Kesha and the Creepies

I'm starting a new feature called the Awesome Award, wherein I will give someone an award for something awesome. The inaugural Awesome Award will go to Kesha.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Name: Kesha

Occupation: Singer

Award Title: For Exhibiting Truly Awesome Ingenuity in Circumnavigating Her Legal Imprisonment and Flipping the World a Musical Bird

We were all horrified when we found out about Kesha's legal battles with Sony and her producer Dr. Luke (please note that I held back several slurs to preface his name, because I am unfamiliar with the legality of defamation). As I write this, she is legally not allowed to release any new music, and doesn't want anywhere near her producer or label. So what does she do? She forms a ROCK BAND that performs covers of her old songs as well as those of musicians she admires.

They are Kesha and the Creepies, and we must all love them.

A photo posted by Kesha (@iiswhoiis) on



The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

A new trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

There's another trailer out for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!


I'm going to be honest... my excitement about this movie is middling. Let's be clear: it's part of the Potterverse so OBVIOUSLY I'm going to see it and probably draw a lightning bolt on my forehead when I do, but this just doesn't have the same pull that Harry Potter did for me.

I also can't help but be a feminist killjoy on this one. If the trailer speaks the truth about this story, then the characters who the story centres on and who have the most agency are white dudes. I saw one person of colour (a woman all dressed fancy at some kind of ceremonial event?) and a handful of ladies who seem to serve the assist/decorate function in the story. (BIG SIGH.) C'mon J.K. Rowling! You can do better!

Of course, the line at the end still sums it all up, "I want to be a wizard."



The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Receptionist Delivers - Here's what you missed in this week's newsletter


I just sent out my first ever newsletter! Just this once, I'm going to let you get a peek at what you're missing if you haven't subscribed yet.

Click HERE to see the email - scroll to the bottom for the bonus content, including, you guessed it, a dance party set to Natalie Imbruglia's Torn.

What ridiculous piece of bonus content will I include next week? WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO KNOW??? (I hope you would, and if you do, just sign up for the newsletter here!)


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Cute! Roundup: It's paw-sitively adorable

I'm mixing it up! My regular feature (Cute, Inspiration, and Learning) posts will now be done round-up style, starting NOW with some cutie-mccuterness.

Of course, cuteness wouldn't be the same without my dear Gertie. Here is her paw. What is it about paws? Why are they so darned cute?

What is it with cat paws that makes them so darned cute? The perfect image for this roundup of cuteness

More cute things to get your week started:

Prescription for happiness or purrprrscription?

This happy duckling makes life good.

A snuggly cheese pillow??? YES PLEASE!

An entire subreddit of tiny animals being held on peoples' fingers!



The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Singalong! Lose Yourself by Eminem

For a simultaneously inspirational and heartbreaking rap that is incredibly satisfying to sing all the way through, turn only to Eminem's Lose Yourself.


LOSE YOURSELF
by Eminem

Look
If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?

Yo
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgettin'
What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out
He's chokin', how, everybody's jokin' now
The clocks run out, times up, over, blaow!
Snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked
He's so mad, but he won't give up that easy? No
He won't have it, he knows his whole back city's ropes
It don't matter, he's dope, he knows that, but he's broke
He's so stacked that he knows, when he goes back to his mobile home, that's when its
Back to the lab again yo, this whole rhapsody
He better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better

The souls escaping, through this hole that its gaping
This world is mine for the taking
Make me king, as we move toward a, new world order
A normal life is borin', but super stardom's close to post mortem
It only grows harder, only grows hotter
He blows us all over these hoes is all on him
Coast to coast shows, he's known as the globetrotter
Lonely roads, God only knows, he's grown farther from home, he's no father
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter
But hold your nose 'cause here goes the cold water
His hoes don't want him no mo, he's cold product
They moved on to the next schmo who flows, he nose dove and sold nada
So the soap opera is told and unfolds, I suppose it's old partna, but the beat goes on
Da da dumb da dumb da da

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better

No more games, I'm a change what you call rage
Tear this motherfuckin' roof off like two dogs caged
I was playin' in the beginnin', the mood all changed
I been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
But I kept rhymin' and stepwritin' the next cipher
Best believe somebody's payin' the pied piper
All the pain inside amplified by the
Fact that I can't get by with my nine to
Five and I can't provide the right type of
Life for my family 'cause man, these God damn food stamps don't buy diapers
And its no movie, there's no Mekhi Phifer
This is my life and these times are so hard
And it's getting even harder tryin' to feed and water my seed, plus
See dishonor caught up between bein' a father and a prima-donna
Baby mama drama screamin' on and too much
For me to want to say in one spot, another jam or not
Has gotten me to the point, I'm like a snail I've got
To formulate a plot fore I end up in jail or shot
Success is my only motherfuckin' option, failures not
Mom, I love you, but this trail has got to go, I cannot grow old in Salem's lot
So here I go is my shot
Feet fail me not 'cause maybe the only opportunity that I got

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better

You can do anything you set your mind to, man



The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Learning! One step closer to thought control

Source: Wikimedia Commons

As Marc in Empire Records says, "who knows where thoughts come from, they just appear."

Unless you get in an fMRI scanner at McGill, of course. Then, well, your thoughts will still appear from nowhere, but you'll really really believe that they implanted them in your brain.

It's a fun study: they had participants getting an fMRI machine and told them that they were either in a "mind reading" or "mind influencing" group. Using some basic stage magic, they tricked the participants into thinking that a number that they thought of had been written on a piece of paper beforehand.

People in the "mind influencing" group reported after the fact that they felt like they had less control over their own thoughts and even said that they felt the number being inserted into their brains.

Obviously, we aren't really incepting peoples' thoughts yet, but the placebo effect is pretty powerful. Maybe convincing people that they have been incepted is as impactful as actually incepting them.

Source: BPS Research Digest



The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Learning! What are your clothes made of?

Clothes are more than fashion and assembly factories - they are made out of cloth, and that comes from somewhere.

Since my friends and I read No Logo and watched Empire Records in high school, I have been all about consumer activism and damning The Man. Mainly this has taken the form of personal boycotts to various businesses, including but not limited to McDonald's, Walmart, The Gap, and the like.

Over the years my commitment to banning those specific businesses has waxed and waned, but I still avoid businesses that I know to be terrible. I don't shop at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters (the owner supports people like Rick Santorum) or American Apparel (skeeze and questionable employment practices), for example.

Still, it's dishearteningly impossible to really know your clothes are coming from a place that is both environmentally friendly and good to employees, even if the company is actually doing its best. We think a lot about the factories where the clothing is made, but what about what the clothing is made out of?

Man Repeller put together a pretty great breakdown of the environmental impacts of different fabrics. They don't address the factories at all, but this is still a valuable first step!

The basic rule from this post: Favour natural fibres as they are more renewable/sustainable, but avoid cotton (super environmentally expensive) and cashmere (the goats that supply it are eating too much and leading to desertification in Mongolia).

Of course, my favourite way to be more sustainable is to get as much second hand as possible. Thrift stores, consignment stores, and clothing swaps are the best! Why buy something new when you can get it used?


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Learning! The science of Ghostbusters

The real physics behind the Ghostbusters movie
A couple of excellently-attired fans at the
Ghostbuster opening in Vancouver.

Okay, so obviously the science of Ghostbusters is at least 5 or 6 years ahead of where we're at now (and then it'll totally be a realistic movie). But did you know that the filmmakers hired two MIT Physicists to make sure everything was as close to accurate as possible??? They did!

The equation Kristin Wiig is standing in front of at the beginning? Legit. The papers strewn on the desks of the researchers? Grant applications and actual research papers.

Super stoked about this.

Source: The Mary Sue


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Learning! A proportional pie chart of the world's most spoken languages

This is neat! An Imgur user posted this pie chart demonstrating the world's most spoken languages proportionally.

What languages are spoken the most around the world?
Image Source: Imgur.


Who here thought that English would be way bigger than it is? I did! It's so good to be wrong and remember that the English-speaking world is NOT the centre of the universe. (Of course, if you look at the charts below, English is spoken in the most countries, thanks to imperialism.)

Also good to keep in mind, should you want to learn a new language!


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How to write about a starlet

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Just in case you haven't hit your quotient of things that simultaneously make you laugh and rage-cry, try Mad Libs for a profile of a female celebrity, as written by a man.

It's easy, you just choose a young female celebrity and an older female celebrity, a male celebrity, and choose from a series of adjectives and comparisons. The adjectives include such humanizing terms as "pillowy", "bee-stung", "shoulder-baring", and, of course, "make up free", and then you get your choice of verbs, from "sashayed" to "ravaged."

Source: NY Mag


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

The Befores and the Afters


There are a few instances that divide your life into before and after. From then on, you look back on life as things that happened "before" this event and "after."

A friend of mine is about to have a baby, and I suddenly realized (despite having had many other friends give birth - yep, I'm a thinker) that the before and after of becoming a parent has to be one of the biggest, most definitive dividing line there can possibly be in life.

This got me thinking about the things that, at the time, felt like they had changed my life into before and after:

Getting my period. Sorry dudes, I know that lady reproductive systems bum you out, but you need to get right over that one. Before I got my period I felt like I was on the outside of a very important club. My friends who had their periods would talk about pads and tampons and how frequently they had to be changed dealing with leaks and all sorts of things that are, of course, a total pain once they are in your life, but before then they are an out-of-reach mystery.

Moving out of my parents' house. I was simply AGLOW as we moved my things into a 75 square foot dorm room. My parents kept commenting on how small it was, but to me, it was perfect. I was an independent grown up, at last!

My first "real" job. By real job, in this case, I mean a job in an office where I sat at a desk. I don't know why I thought this was some kind of pinnacle of working life, because I ultimately wanted to be a dancer/actress/model/photographer/choreographer/writer/interior designer/counsellor, and most of those jobs aren't about sitting in an office, either. Yet, when I went from jobs where I stand behind a counter to a job where I sat at a desk, my brain said, "yes, everything is different now."

My first... you know... Whatever. We all know what this is about. I don't need to elaborate on this any more than that, do I? It was pretty significant at the time.

My first time seeing a counsellor. I struggled with depression basically from high school through most of university. The first time I saw a counsellor was not the first time I felt "better", it was the first time I was actually honest with myself, and others, about what was going on inside me.

Getting my driver's licence. Okay, as much as driving has become so normal that this seems not such a big deal, I think that being able to drive actually did permanently change my life enough that this stands as a significant before and after. Especially since I grew up in the suburbs where everything was a 15-30 minute drive away down long, winding roads with buses that ran every hour.

Now I'm on the cusp of a new before and after! Right now I am living in the time BEFORE my boyfriend moves into my place, and next month I will be living in the AFTER. In terms of overall, life-changing events, this might not factor as a big-picture, permanent alteration. It will one day be completely eclipsed by either us staying together, getting married, and having babies, or by us breaking up.

But for now, I am anticipating a significant change in life that I am both super excited and kind of freaked out for.

So I thought it would be fun to explore the before, during, and after of this big change.

What it's like BEFORE he moves in:

Currently I am LOVING all the planning and organizing! I love to plan and I love to set up organizational systems. These two features of my personality are the only things that make me think maybe astrology is onto something, because I am a Virgo and that is supposed to be our primary trait.

My future roommate doesn't love planning quite as much as I do, but he also loves to have lists and systems and schedules in place. We have spreadsheets for budget and chores, which means that in theory we will just slide right into domestic bliss with no arguments about any of that. (I know, I know: HA!)

I am gleefully figuring out how to rearrange my furniture and space to make it our home instead of my home. This is the most excellent organizational challenge! We're getting rid of my couch and bringing his. The closet will be completely re-organized to accommodate both our things (I purged old clothes and will make him do the same!) There is now a chair and sitting area in the bedroom so that we can have a wall in between us if needed.

I am super excited to have him around all the time and to not have to do things like travel between our houses and bring clothes and feed my cat for two days and all that.

I am nervous because I get really upset whenever I feel like I'm falling into a gender stereotype and I just know I'm going to have to get on his case about cleaning in the kitchen a lot.

I am super excited for our relationship to grow and deepen and all that romantic malarky.

Let's be honest: I am nervous that things won't work out. I know that at this point in our relationship, there no other way to find out and we must move forward. It's still a question mark. And what we're doing is a very big thing. We are combining our lives! That's scary! What if we have to undo it all?

I'll be sharing some of the more practical elements of our move-in - how we organize everything, how we navigate the introvert/extrovert differences, etc. - and I'll share an "after" once we've settled in.


The Receptionist Delivers! Sign up for my email newsletter for a weekly digest and BONUS CONTENT!

Me & Ryan Gosling at the Ghostbusters opening!

I saw Ghostbusters at the Thursday preview with a group of friends (organized by the excellent Andrea and Lisa of Pop This!), and luckily Ryan was in town and able to join us. We all LOVED Ghostbusters, and Ry Ry loved it so much he couldn't help but dance while we were trying to take a post-show photo! I didn't mind, his enthusiasm was infectious.


(PS: Ghostbusters really is awesome, guys! A truly spectacular summer action comedy that even committed to getting the physics as close to real life as possible, while still battling ghosts.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Inspiration! La confidence des Oiseaux de Luc Petton

Now this is in-freaking-croyable! A bird ballet!


A bit of a different take on Swan Lake, no?

Now that's a good-looking wall!

LA street artist Plastic Jesus built a wall around Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, prompting everyone to wonder... why on EARTH does he have a star and how bummed is Kevin Spacey about his neighbour?

A wall was built around Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In case you're wondering, Plastic Jesus paid for the wall himself, although I think he should send Donald the invoice.

Inspiration! A manifesto of love, embraced

A while ago I saved this article called On Wine. A tragedy. In it, the author describes the tragedy of wine being seen as something that needs to be "figured out" and "gotten right."

Once people find out that you know something about wine, they suddenly become anxious around you. They don't want to bring a bottle of wine over to your house, lest it be bad. They taste the wine and then look at you to find out if it's good or not.

The same thing happens, the article points out, in the arts. I work in theatre, and I often find that my friends who aren't theatre people want to defer to me on whether a play was good or bad. People don't want to be seen enjoying something that they are not "supposed" to enjoy.

You know what? This IS a tragedy. If you love something, who the HECK cares if it is the "right" thing? Who cares if it's cool or smart or innovative or has too many tannins? You enjoy it, don't you?

I have spent too much time worrying about this. In high school, I pretended I didn't love the Spice Girls until my fellow punk rock friends admitted they liked the Spice Girls. In university, I pretended that Shakespeare plays captivated, rather than bored, me.

NO MORE!

Life doesn't really get good until you stop caring about all of that stuff and just embrace what you love. What benefit do you have from measuring your tastes against whatever subsection of society you would like to be a part of? None!

It's time for a call to action:

I get inspiration from embracing the ridiculous things I love. No more guilty pleasures! Just enjoy it!

In text form:

THE RECEPTIONIST'S MANIFESTO OF LOVE, EMBRACED!

The world, my friends, is divided!

Everywhere we turn, there is a wall, a fence, and a closed door!

We lament, certainly. We lament these divisions the keep us apart.

We lament, until the moment when we want to eat our cheap, waxy milk chocolate without hearing about the heart benefits of artisanal 75% dark chocolate.

We lament, until we want a moment to relax and watch an episode of The Bachelor without having to justify it as an "observation of human behaviour."

We lament, until we want to buy the $7 bottle of wine because we genuinely can't tell the difference between it and the $70 bottle.

We lament, until we want to dance in our living rooms to Justin Bieber's new single while still maintaining our stance that he is a terrible person.

We lament, until we want to do something that the world has told us is a guilty pleasure.

We lament, until we close a door to hide our love!

What if I told you you don't need to hide? Whatever you love, whatever bores you, whatever tastes good, helps you relax, or is simply entertaining - embrace it!  Embrace your love!

Read your trashy novel! Obsess over a children's video game! Buy another glass figurine! Display it with pride!

HIDE NO MORE, MY LOVELIES! HIDE NO MORE!

(Unless what you love is actually really weird, or, you know illegal or something. Then maybe keep it under wraps. Let's not get too crazy.)

Inspiration! Believe in magic

I just came across this quote:

"Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
-Roald Dahl

I love magic.

What's that? Magic isn't real? Hogwash. Press play on the video below (for the soundscape) and then look at this small sampling of magic, in all its glory.


Art is magical!

The magic of relaxing in a park with a book and a friend.


The magic of a baby.

The magic of fun and colours and maybe being a witch.

The magic of a brand new human.

The magic of dance

The magic of silliness.

The magic of celebrating those who have left us behind.

The magic of weirdos in love.

The magic of the most beautiful place on earth

The magic of magic in books that make life magical

The magic of making magic happen.

The magic of sunset from a mountaintop.

The magic of a cuddly kitty.

The magic of a farm on top of a mountain.

The magic of a team working together!

I would explain to you what is magical about all these things, but, like Mr. Dahl says, you've got to believe.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Misconceptions aliens must have on us, based on TV shows

Television is a magical place where people do things they would never do in real life

I love television. I know, I'm not supposed to because I like to be all "look at me, I'm a pseudo-intellectual who writes think pieces about feminism", but as a living, breathing human person I also watch a LOT of TV.

Television is a magical place, but let's think about the bigger picture for a second: television signals have been pumped out into space since they started to exist. It is, according to a thing I read once a long time ago, the most likely thing that an alien species will encounter as messaging from us.

So now we need to ask ourselves, what will they think of us? I mean, besides thinking we are all super attractive, suddenly went from being all black and white to technicolour, and that we became very into swearing and sex in the course of about 20 years. What will they think of how we live our lives, in general? Because the magicland of TV is a land where people do all sorts of things they would never do in real life, and I'm not just talking about Jessica Jones' super strength.

If I were an alien, what would I think of human society based on what I saw on TV that is completely wrong?

I would think that every town in the world had one amazing club that everyone - teenagers and adults - attend constantly and show up to by themselves, because they know they'll run into a friend.

via GIPHY

Does any town actually have this club? You know the one I'm talking about, the one in every teen show, ever. The club that has alcohol and bands and people dancing as well as food and lets minors in with just a stamp on their hand that could so easily be washed off.

Maybe this is such an anomaly to me because of the strictness of liquor licences here in BC, but this is a phantom establishment that does not exist, and if it did no self-respecting adult would go there because it would be full of teenagers.

I would think that, for most people, money was some kind of toy everyone just passed among themselves for fun.

via GIPHY

Most of the time on TV, money is a weird not-real thing that only comes up when one friend sticks another friend with a bill for something - joke's on you, buddy! Otherwise, everyone lives as if money is no object: they drink copious amounts of alcohol (expensive), go to clubs that would allegedly have (expensive) cover charges, take surprise trips (expensive), go shopping and come home with arms full of bags (expensive), wear different (expensive) coats all the time instead of buying a couple that last for years like a normal person, and of course, live in their insanely spacious and well-designed apartments in major cities (ludicrously expensive).

The only time anyone isn't spending money like it's not real is if they are the "flat-broke friend" who can't afford to ever pay for anything, and then their other friends pay for all their stuff with all their magic money.

The exception that proves the rule is that Friends episode where Phoebe, Rachel, and Joey confront Monica, Chandler, and Ross about the fact that they can't afford all the fancy things.

I would think that everyone has a tight-knit group of 4-6 friends that they hang out with constantly.

via GIPHY

The only time any of them spend time with anyone else is when they start dating someone, and that person never has friends of their own and integrates perfectly into the group (unless they don't, but then the relationship is doomed).

Except when they have parties. Then suddenly they can easily fill an apartment with friends. Who are these people that they never, ever talk to or about during the whole rest of their lives???

I would think that people often sleep with, date, or even marry, people from this super close friendship circle, and that when they break up it will all be okay once they share a meaningful look across the room.

via GIPHY

Of course, before they share a meaningful look that says "we're cool now" and everything goes back to normal, there will be some really overblown fights where they yell and throw things and prank each other and maybe their friends listen from a bedroom or something.

Good thing for that problem-solving meaningful look, otherwise this kind of thing could really throw off the dynamic of a tight-knit group of friends who never hang out with anyone else.

The exception that proves the rule: towards the end of How I Met Your Mother when Ted is married to what's-her-name and Robyn and Barney are divorced, and Robyn stops hanging out with those friends because it's too heartbreak-y.

I would think that people are constantly pranking each other.

via GIPHY

People pull so many pranks on TV shows! Sometimes they pull really mean pranks on their friends and you really have to wonder why they stay friends. But then you remember that they all only ever hang out with each other, so if they ever gave up on a friendship just because they got trapped on a roof all day in the hot sun, they would have nobody. Not even an ex to look at meaningfully across a room.

I would think that entire communities will easily band together to "teach someone a lesson."


This one mostly refers to Saved by the Bell and other teen shows of that era, when, for example, all the girls in the high school pretend that they are madly in love with Zack Morris to teach him a lesson about using subliminal messages to make Kelly fall in love with him.

The level of buy-in they get from the wider community on that is pretty impressive.

I would think that people only share important news by showing up at their friend's door in the middle of the night.

via GIPHY

The level of "popping by" in TV shows is already a bit off the hook. I mean, sure, when you live in a suburban cul de sac with neighbours who are all your age, you'll knock on your neighbour's door to say hi and see if they'll come out to play. These TV shows, however, are almost always about working adults in major cities, often who live in apartment buildings that should have buzzer systems, and they are just showing up, teary-eyed, at each others' doors at 3am. How did they even get into the building? Why don't they text first? What if they weren't even home?

Newsletter? Newsletter!

Sign up for our newsletter!

I am finally launching a newsletter! Sign up to be my friend, and you get a weekly digest of the blog right to your inbox, PLUS super awesome exclusive bonus content.

Aren't you just super curious? Sign it up! You can sign up here or here or here.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Cute! Gertie gets cozy

Like all the best pets, Gertie takes over the bed in such a way that it's almost impossible for me to sleep in a normal position at night. Here she is the other night in one of her less-intrusive positions. I am actually just holding on to her to keep her from sliding off the side of the bed, otherwise she completely chose to lie like this.

What could be comfier than a cat lying in this incredibly awkward position? It's cute though, right?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Learning! Okay, there is at least one proven bad thing about artificial sugars

Okay, so aspartame makes me hungrier, but it's still okay, right?
This is aspartame.


Despite generally being a morally-superior, annoying hippie when it comes to the products I use (I use apple cider vinegar and baking soda to wash my hair and a homemade mix of oils to moisturize my skin, thankyouverymuch), I kind of just love aspartame a lot. Or, I love Coke Zero, anyways. (Hey, Coke people! I would 100% sell out for you because I genuinely love your stuff and so it wouldn't even be selling out! Give me money! Let me be your corporate shill!)

Anyways, I like to pompously tell people that there have been no reliable studies showing health risks associated with aspartame - something that is sort of true. Any study showing problems has been done on animals with key differences in their digestive systems than ours, and often given insanely high doses of the stuff.

The one thing that it seems to be linked to, counterintuitively, is obesity. Well, a study has come out now showing that drinking diet soda actually makes people hungrier than if they just had a regular ol' sugar pop.

The theory is that the sweet taste makes our brains think we're going to ingest a bunch of calories, and then when there are no calories, our bodies get all panicked and demand calories.

Well, fine. You get one point, anti-aspartame activists with your "make people healthier" agenda. What else can you prove about Diet Coke, except that it fizzes like CRAZY in the Mentos test:


Source: NY Mag.