25 March 2010

i'm not bulletproof

Mark your calendars, boys and girls. May 8th, 2010. 11:30pm. The dream has become a reality

That's right - Betty White will be hosting "SNL" in a sort of pre-Mother's Day episode along with six former female cast members including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Molly Shannon.  I still haven't stopped happy dancing.  Here's hoping it lives up to the lofty expectations I have..and even if it doesn't, Betty White, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were all on the same show together, and that's pretty freakin' sweet.
 I borrowed this from the awesome Bust magazine blog because I think it's funny as hell not to share.  And not funny "ha ha" but funny because it's true and makes so much more sense than anything else I've ever read about the subject.:

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!
1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.
2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!
4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!
10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

Think about it.

A couple of weeks ago, Lady Gaga released her video for the song 'Telephone', which unfortunately features Beyonce.  I can't say it was what I was expecting, because with Gaga, you never know what she's going to come up with next.

For the 3 or 4 of you who haven't seen it, you really should.  I'll even provide you with a link: *clicky*

What is really interesting to me is the reaction that this video has generated from people. Most people are of the "WTF" mindset with opinions ranging from "I don't get it" to, "Holy product placement, Batman!"  My favourite reaction comes from the woman who calls the video "poison for the minds of our kids."   (Check her out in all her craziness here)  *clutches neckline*  Not the children!  They're our future!


You know what, maybe she is corrupting the youth, but it's a good kind of corruption.  She's showing everyone that you can be who you want to be and that's ok, and we all know how horrible it is to be true to yourself. (Coincidentally, it's also what us *StAr BiTcHeS* believe)  I know it's cliche, but to the 13 year old girl who gets called a freak because of how she looks or the music she listens to, it's a big deal.  Gaga is all about love and being yourself.  It's not like she's convincing people to build an altar and sacrifice woodchucks in their basement or telling them join the Westboro Baptist Church. It's just a music video..and if you don't like it, there must be something else on those 500+ channels you have that you do like...so leave Gaga the fuck alone.

This one's for Michelle:



20 March 2010

i've got a brand new pair of roller skates, you've got a brand new key

Meet Chucky, Derby Debutante #667. 

Sure, she looks innocent enough, but would you believe that she got kicked out of Catholic school for streaking during mass and starting fires in church?  She went through some rough times (she became a member of a knife throwing carnival act who were slaughtered by a rival knife throwing carnival act on roller skates), but she persevered and is as quick with her blades on wheels as I am with my wit.

Meet Killson, Thames Fatale #46 & 2. 

Little is known about her, except that her derby number is taken from a song by Tool, whose lyrics have been widely interpreted to the point that they may have lost all meaning.  I believe that the reason she identifies with them so strongly is because they talk about self evolution, and she is constantly changing, but still remaining true to herself in the process.

What do these two gals have in common, you ask?  Well, besides being close, personal friends of yours truly, they are both members of derby leagues in their respective cities.  Chucky has recently graduated from Fresh Meat to Derby Deb and Killson has been a Fatale for a couple of years now, and from a glance at their schedules for the upcoming season, it looks like they’re finally going to have a chance to skate against each other. Also, to me, they represent what derby is really about.  Most new roller derby leagues are all-female and self-organized and were formed in this sort of indie, punk, do it yourself kind of way.  Now, I ask you, as someone who is a supporter of the indie punk do it yourself world, how can I not get behind that?

When Chucky and Killson told me they were joining Derby (yes, I’m capitalizing it now, in order to give it the respect it deserves) leagues and they needed Derby alter egos, the prospect of creating the perfect Derby name for them made me all a-twitter.  I thought I had come up with some real winners (Gore Juss, Miss Print, Zoe Diack), and then I discovered that all of those had already been taken.  Apparently there exists an international registry of Derby names, and once it's on that list, you can't have it, which sucks, but there are some awesome ones out there - Elle Boes, Suffer Jet, Anya Face, Splat Benetar...the list goes on.  If I ever join a derby league (or become a burlesque dancer), I’ve got my name all picked out, and so far, it’s not on the list….and I’m not telling you because I don’t want to lose it.

The theatre geek in me also loves the aesthetic of Derby.  Every team has their own unique style, but they all seem to have the same basic elements in common - costumes that are influenced by rockabilly and/or burlesque, and tattoos, and every person who straps on a pair of skates instantly becomes this other person while on the track.

One of the things that strikes me odd about Derby is how polarizing it is.  Some people see it as what it is - a group of girls sharing a common experience and kicking some butt while having fun. It's about small victories. It's not about just being No. 1 or the best. It’s that feeling like you're in the right place with the right people. Others choose to see it in strictly sexual terms, either assuming everyone on the team is a lesbian, or a slut, which I don't get.  I guess it's threatening to the rest of the world to see a girl be feminine on her own terms.  Sure, they play with sexuality a bit by wearing make up, fishnets and short shorts, but make no mistake - these girls will stomp your crotch the first chance they get.

I just hope I get the chance to see them do it.


19 March 2010


Soon, I promise. 

13 March 2010

gonna make you sweat

In an attempt to get healthy (or in a fit of insanity, I'm still not sure), I have joined a gym.

Yeah, I only wish it was that kind of gym.  That one might not kick my ass as badly as the one I actually joined.  No jungle gym for me.  We're talking mirrored walls, tons of beautiful people working out and making it look so easy I want to smack them, and equipment that I'm sure is one step away from being considered a Medieval torture device.

So far I've committed to going three nights a week, which is good, because I am in such bad shape, I think anything more would kill me.  Seriously.  Plus, my doctor also says that doing 15 minutes three times a week is the perfect way for me to get started.

I know that logically, I'm doing it for health reasons.  I'm doing it because I'm genetically predisposed to diabetes and hypertension.  I'm doing it because my back and knees suck and I want to be able to walk more than a few feet without crying.  I'm doing it to build up endurance and, yes, to lose weight.

This adventure I've decided to undertake now also includes some dietary restrictions - good bye sugar, potato chips and fast food.  It's been nice knowing you.  You've been replaced by granola bars, yogourt and fruit.  This has actually been the easy part, though the caffeine withdrawal headaches when I gave up my single morning cup of coffee were brutal.

The most difficult part about all this is how I feel about it, psychologically.  As I said, this has mostly been health-motivated.  However, for reasons I've never really understood, once you lose a few pounds, people constantly tell you how "good" you look, which to me seems a bit backhanded.  It's almost as though they're implying that when you were 20 lbs heavier, you were ugly as sin, which is not true.  Some women look amazing carrying a few extra pounds.  Need proof? 

 Queen Latifah

Dawn French

April Flores

Tell me these women aren't gorgeous.  They are all a bit larger than they are "supposed to" be, and yet they all radiate such amazing beauty that you can't help but be a little bit inspired by them.  I can't even imagine them looking any differently to the way they look now.  So why am I so resistant to the idea?

I know that the weight I lose from my slow lifestyle changes will change how I look.  I have no problem being a big girl.  It's who I've always been, and it's a role I'm quite comfortable with.  My only goal as far as appearances go are to have curves that are defined (like April's) instead of just looking like I do (all boobs, butt and belly).  Oh, and I want to have awesome upper arms so that I can tattoo them.

So, now I have this internal struggle that I hate having.  On one hand, I believe that I'm beautiful just as I am and fuck you if you don't think so.  On the other hand, I'm in crap shape, and at 35, I'm not getting any younger.  The older I get the harder it will be to lose the excess baggage, and I know deep in my heart of hearts that I need to get healthier. 

Logic and emotion should not be allowed to co-exist within me, because it's a battle that I don't want to fight.  Still, if I keep doing what I'm doing, at least I have a fair chance of winning.

07 March 2010

shimmer like a girl

In honour of International Women's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this post to my Sheroes: a healthy mix of people I've never met and people I know.  Admittedly, the criteria to be my Shero isn't all that exclusionary, but it's still a pretty elite group.

My Mom

You're darn right I'm listing my mom.  If any of you can look at me with a straight face and tell me that your mom doesn't rock, then I feel sorry for you.  Now, my mom didn't do anything extraordinary - she didn't overcome great obstacles to raise her two children, she didn't write a book, make movies, or win the lottery.  All she did was give birth to me and raise me to be the fantabulous person that you know and love, which, I guess is a bit impressive.  Weaker people would have been scared at the thought of preparing me for the world, but my mom took on the challenge and look at the end result. I rock, therefore, so does she.

Margaret Sanger

American birth control activist and the founder of the American Birth Control League.  She believed that for women to be considered more “equal” in society and to have physically and mentally healthy lives, they needed to be able to decide when a pregnancy would be most convenient for themselves, not to mention allowing women to be able to fully enjoy sexual relations, without being burdened by the fear of pregnancy.  In a time in history where women were still seen as chattel and baby making machines, she fought for their right to be able to control their bodies.  I'm surprised she wasn't strung up by her toenails for some of the stuff she wrote back then.  It doesn't seem as shocking now, but if you put yourself in the mindset of the early 1900's patriarchy and then read it, it's pretty revolutionary.

P!nk (aka Alecia Moore)

To know me is to know my love of P!nk.  This gal can sing the alphabet and I would buy it.  She is unapologetic about who she is or what she does, and you have to admire that.  Her songs are all about being alive and feisty and not sitting down and shutting up...even though people would like you to.  She takes no shit from anyone and does it all on her own terms, and she's got a hell of a voice.  (Her husband's pretty hot too).
Eve Ensler

You may not know her name, but you know the name of one of her most famous works, a little play known as "The Vagina Monologues."  A play whose existence has created an entire movement known as "V-Day". (The 'V' stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina). According to the website, V-Day's vision is that of a world where women live safely and freely.  V-Day demands that rape, incest, battery, genital mutilation and sexual slavery end immediately and that women should spend their lives creating and thriving rather than surviving or recovering from terrible atrocities. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $60 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it. Awesome.

 Beth Ditto
(lead singer for The Gossip)

There are no other words to describe how I feel about Beth Ditto other than to say, "I fucking love her!".  She is known for her outspoken support of LGBT and feminist causes, and caused the world to completely freak out when she claimed to have eaten squirrel when she was a kid, saying, "people in Arkansas just do – they'd think you were a freak if you ate squid there!" Ditto is known for her noticeable stage dances and her unique and revealing image. It's nothing for her to start a show completely clothed and end it in just her bra and panties.  She has been lauded for her support of positive body image, even though "the man" feels that she may be causing harm to public health by saying that it's ok to be obese.  You know what I say to that?  "Damn the man!"

The *StAr BiTcHeS*
(L-R: Tania, Alison, Leigh, Charlene)

I know the saying that you'll never have the friends again in life that you did in high school is totally cliche, but in this case, it's true.  These gals and I go WAAAAY back and not a day goes by that I'm not blessed to have them in my life.  Though we're all separated by geography physically, we can get together and pick up like nothing had ever happened.  I love them all for the same, and for different reasons.  I love that Tania gives everyone the benefit of the doubt (cuz most of the time, I totally don't.)  I love that Alison is passionate about what goes into her food and what goes into her body (which is what happens when you spend time organic farming in New Zealand.)  I love that Leigh is the teeniest little spitfire you'll ever meet. (Don't even think of trying to come between her and her pit bulls, because she will kick your ass.)  I love that Charlene is completely oblivious to how cool she truly is (and she is.  You have no idea.)  I love and miss my BiTcHeS.

Everyone has one woman in their life who has influenced them some way, whether they realise it or not.  I could go on and on, but instead I will end it here and just say that I am blessed to have known some amazing women throughout my life and not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for that.

03 March 2010

give me one reason

Two things about the month of March make me happy.

Reason Number One - It's National Crochet Month (or as those of us in the loop* call it, "NatCroMo")!!

Yeah, you heard me. National. Crochet. Month.  Thirty-one days devoted to the much-maligned hobby of crocheting. I've been crocheting for almost ten years and this is the first I've heard of it, but darned if I'm not going to ravel in it.

Sure, it's got its much deserved stereotypes, but need I remind you that every grey-haired old lady who sits in her rocking chair crocheting an afghan in brown, orange and yellow was once a young girl who sat on the floor in front of her TV crocheting a square in brown, orange or yellow?

Today's crocheters are much more "hip" and "with it" than the grandmothers of yesteryear.  The crocheter of today would rather dye than create a poodle toilet roll cover or a set of doilies for their living room furniture.  No.  The modern crocheter creates clothing in fabulous colours and knows that patterns are merely suggestions for how a finished project should look.

Also, more and more men are finally admitting that yes, they too, crochet, and they can create items that are just as, if not more, beautiful than their female counterparts, and that's pretty freakin' cool.

 (Drew Emborsky, aka "The Crochet Dude")

Reason Number Two - March 8th is International Women's Day!

It's not all about being a feminist (not that that's a bad thing).  It's about sharing a day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women with our sisters across the globe.  It's also a day to think about those women who aren't afforded the same freedoms that we are, and to make a conscious decision to do something about it, even if it's just a donation to a women's charity.  The important part is that you are aware.

But, since I brought up the dreaded "F-Word", here's what I have to say about that:

Contrary to popular belief, feminists are not heartless, bra-burning witches bent on the destruction of the opposite sex.  Sure, every group has its fringe members, but for the most part, feminists are pretty cool.

To understand what a feminist actually is, all you have to do is see what the fine folks at Webster have to say about it: 

Feminism: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

Wow.  Pretty radical thinking there, boys.  So what you're saying is that essentially feminism is humanism and concerned with the equality of both sexes.  Feminists desire equal rights for women not because they share a gender, but because they're human.  Feminism isn't about fighting men, it's about fighting a system that values one gender over another.

When women wrinkle their noses at me when I use the word feminist, I have to fight the urge to lecture them
about the work done by older women on our behalf that allows us the freedom to make choices we didn't have before. We've all enjoyed the luxury of being able to control our reproductive rights, not to mention the right to vote, obtain higher education (or any education at all), and the fact that courts aren't allowed to automatically assume you're a slut if you've been raped. To ignore a word like feminist is to basically spit in the faces of the women who fought for you to live your life in the manner in which you are accustomed.

Not cool.