Childhood Nicknames


I was watching an episode of Big Bang Theory last night in which Sheldon and Amy were discussing how fast a meme can spread and Sheldon mentions that “Sheldon Cooper’s a smelly pooper spread like wildfire”. Even as I laughed out loud, it got my thinking about my own childhood nickname and while I found it humiliating at the time, it really wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was very creative as nicknames given by elementary school children go.

Sheldon Cooper (the smelly pooper)

I grew up in a small town that was very sports minded. Even as a very young child I was overtly feminine. I loved my ballet class and had very feminine mannerisms. These qualities got me nicknamed Dainty. I didn’t mind being called Dainty. I wore it as a badge of honour. But then came the year I turned 10. It was the mid 1970’s and the big trend in hairstyles was the pyramid perm. All the girls were getting them. My Mom and I went out and got a Toni home perm kit and set to curling my poker straight hair. After the perm rods cam out, what I saw in the mirror wasn’t a pyramid perm. It looked more like this…

Little Orphan Annie

The next day when I went to school, Dainty officially became AFRO DAINTY. Because I was very insecure about the way my hair had turned out, I found this new add on to my existing nickname absolutely humiliating.

When I look back on it now, it was a clever double pun. The reference to the goddess of love was more complimentary than a myriad of other references I can think of. Certainly nothing to be so ashamed of. I’d rather be called Afro Dainty than Smelly Pooper any day of the week. So I guess nicknames, like so much in life, are relative.

Feel free to use the comments section to share your childhood nicknames.

What’s stopping you?


 

 

The Occupy Movement seems to have spawned an odd backlash from rich people who are saying they want to be taxed more. In the United States both Warren Buffet http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20092380-503544.html and Bill Gates http://www.mediaite.com/online/bill-gates-endorses-raising-taxes-on-the-rich-thats-just-justice/ have made this claim publicly. In Canada, last week, a group of doctors is saying the same thing http://ca.news.yahoo.com/mds-propose-tax-increases-wealthiest-canadians-starting-100-040307538.html

While I think that it’s great that there are rich people who are on board with paying higher taxes, what I wonder is…

WHAT’S STOPPING YOU?

What’s stopping you from writing an additional cheque to the government above and beyond your current tax payment along with a note stating that this is an additional tax payment because I am rich and feel that I should be paying more? Or even go one further and let the government know what you would like this additional cheque to go towards, like healthcare, the deficit, defense etc.

I can’t imagine that either government would turn down the extra cash and you could be proactive instead of just complaining that you’re not currently paying enough.

It’s all well and good to propose tax plans for yourself and your cronies when you know that your government likely won’t take you up on your offer, but why not put your money where your mouth is? Sure, the publicity your getting now is creating some good will, but imagine what kind of good will actually doing something would create.

Ashamed of my country


 

One of the things I love about Canada is that we are proud of our multiculturalism. When it comes to race, Canada is one of the more enlightened places to live. Which is why it sickens me when I see an ugly thread of racism still running through this country.

Yesterday, the Huffington Post reported on a white pride rally being held in Edmonton. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/24/edmonton-white-pride-rally_n_1377368.html

White Pride??? Really??? I thought we had come a lot further than this.

The only conclusion I can draw is that even the two dozen or so demonstrators were somewhat ashamed to be there as most of them were wearing masks to hide their identities. This puts me in mind of the KKK who all wear sheets and hoods. If you know what you’re doing is wrong, why do it at all? If you truly believe in what you’re rallying for then why not do it out in the open with your faces uncovered and your head held high? Your cowardice disgusts me almost as much as your white supremacist dogma. This rally comes under hate speech according to Canada’s Criminal Code and never should have been allowed to happen in the first place.

Canada has worked hard, as a nation, to avoid looking like this.

 

 

We prefer our public image to look like this.

 

 

 

 

Milestone


This blog just hit 10,000 views and I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has ever spent time here. When I started this blog in October of 2011, I wasn’t sure if there would be an audience for it. Each and every day is a pleasant surprise.

As Dr. Sheldon Cooper said when he hit 100 twitter followers, “I’m not gonna lie, it feels pretty good.”

Today is a day to celebrate. Tomorrow I go back to griping.

Hamm Fisted


I’ve never seen an episode Mad Men. I can’t recall seeing Jon Hamm act in anything, but I am a recent fan. This past month Jon Hamm was quoted in an Elle UK interview as saying,

“We’re at a place where the idea of being ‘elite’ is somehow considered a negative.

“Whether it’s Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly celebrated.

“Being a fucking idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you’re rewarded significantly. And incuriousness has become cool… It’s celebrated. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Bravo, Mister Hamm for speaking your mind and speaking the truth.

A few days after the quote was made public, as is to prove his point, Kim Kardashian tweeted this,

“We’re all working hard and we all have to respect one another. Calling someone who runs their own businesses, is a part of a successful TV show, produces, writes, designs, and creates, ‘stupid,’ is in my opinion careless.”

Apparently, Ms. Kardashian isn’t aware that, in a free country you don’t HAVE to respect anyone you don’t want to respect or that working hard and being intelligent do not necessarily go hand in hand.

Oh, but the drama is not yet over. When pressed, Hamm did not back down from his original statement. On a recent Today show appearance, Hamm responded to Matt Lauer’s bringing up Kardashian’s rebuttal to his comments thusly,

“I don’t think they were careless; I think they were accurate, It’s a part of our culture that I certainly don’t identify with, and I don’t really understand the appeal of it other than in a sort of car crash sensibility, and it’s not something that I partake in or enjoy, but it is what it is, and here we are.”

Again, Bravo to Mister Hamm for not backing down from his opinion just because someone took offense.

I may never see Jon Hamm in an acting role, but I will remain a fan if he continues telling it like it is and battling against the celebration of ignorance in American society.

Ironically, Paris Hilton wisely chose to keep her mouth shut on the matter.

*Note- All puns were intended.

Is it just me?


As an outsider watching the Republican race for the nomination, I can’t help but think that the Republicans don’t want to win the presidency this term. After all, the country is still in an economic quagmire  (not the funny Family Guy kind of Quagmire) and why would they want to inherit that mess? It’s too soon to be able to blame it all on Obama. People still remember that it was George W. Bush that handed Obama the economic train wreck in the first place, after being given the biggest economic surplus in the history of the country by Clinton. Historically it seems that the Republicans like to run the country into the ground, then the Democrats patch it up as best they can for a term or two, then pass it back to the Republicans to break again. This chart shows that the Democrats outperform the Republicans when it comes to the economy. http://www.eriposte.com/economy/other/demovsrep.htm

 The Republicans in this race seem to be doing an ‘I don’t want the nomination’ dance. From the very beginning when there were ten people vying for the title. It seemed to me that every time a new candidate became the front runner they would say or do something so outlandish that they would fall by the wayside within a week. Now it’s down to four, possibly five, if you believe that Sarah Palin has a secret plot afoot http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-dunn/sarah-palin-2012_b_1351763.html

Arguably, none of the remaining four men have much of a chance at winning the presidency back from Obama if they keep inserting their feet firmly into their mouths as they have been. The Republicans, as a whole, are alienating their female supporters right out of the party with all of this backward talk of contraception and abortion. Issues that had been settled 39 years ago when Roe vs. Wade was decided. However, according to this video, at least, there are many Americans who are voting faith over issues that directly concern them like the economy. It’s shocking that in the poorest state of the union, people would rather starve than elect Obama again.
Rick Santorum recently stated that Obama was a snob for wanting people to attend college and he’s winning in the southern states.
Santorum came out against higher education and women and is still winning the support of entire states. The scary thing here is that he could actually beat Obama if the people who vote faith vote in higher numbers that the people who vote issues. Not to mention the flames of racism that still run rampant through the country that are being fanned by conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh and the fine folks at FOX news. Illustrated by this bumper sticker.
The Republicans like to divide and conquer. This attitude has served them well, historically but it will be severely tested if Romney wins the nomination. Who will the Christian right vote for without a horse in the race, the Mormon or the ‘Muslim’? Romney has been so transparent in his pandering that he has very little chance of a presidential win, but stranger things have happened.
It’s hard to think that a win is the real goal this election with the crazy dog and pony show the Republicans have been putting on, but, they may just be crazy like the proverbial fox and incite their base into voting en mass. So I guess my real point is…
Dear America,
If you want to be taken seriously, vote issues, not faith and please vote for the one person that will least embarrass you on the world stage.
From a concerned Canadian.

The sweet science


Lennox Lewis

I’m a woman who enjoys a well aged single malt scotch (neat, in a chilled glass), a Cohiba cigar and watching a heavyweight title fight. Most sports bore me, but there’s something about the pugilistic arts that speaks to me on a primal level. It’s a sport that doesn’t run around after a ball on a grassy field. Boxing takes place in a smoke-filled, indoor arena where two well muscled, sweat soaked men beat each other senseless for the blood thirsty crowd.

It’s the heavyweight boxers that capture my attention most, but I have a lot of respect for boxers who can win in multiple weight classes like Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr., and Oscar De La Hoya.

Bernard Hopkins

Roy Jones Jr.

Oscar De La Hoya

I remember seeing Muhammad Ali fight when I was a little girl. To this day I can’t recall who his opponent was. Ali had so much charisma in the ring. His footwork and speed were unparalleled for man his size. he may have been arrogant in interviews, but I suppose it was tough not to be when you can back it up like he could.

Muhammad Ali

Over the last 20 or so years, boxing has been the only sport I look forward to watching.

In the 1990’s I rooted for Evander Holyfield, “The Real Deal” is still the only 4 time heavyweight champion to this day. I liked his style in and out of the ring. He was a boxer, not a brawler. Built on talent and not on hype. His behavior was that of a sportsman and a gentleman, even as he was pummeling his opponent.

Evander Holyfield

In this millennium, there have been some stand outs as well. I love watching the Klitschko brothers in the ring. Both Vitali and Wladimir are awesome sights to behold. Add to that, they made history by being the only brothers to hold all of the World Heavyweight Titles collectively. Also, they’re pretty easy on the eyes.

The Klitschko Brothers

My all time favourite boxer is a career athlete and, in my opinion, the most interesting to watch, Lennox Lewis. A true student of the sport, Lewis is one of only 3 boxers to retire with no unavenged defeats. Watching him in the ring was like watching a master at work. He was a chameleon in that he could alter his style in order to best beat his opponent, which made him almost impossible to defeat. Lennox Lewis came off as a real fan of boxing from the beginning of his career right up til the end in 2004. You could tell he really loved every minute of every fight.

So that’s a little bit more about me. Atheist, Feminist, Single, Childless, Drag Lover, Occasional Scotch Drinker and Cigar Smoker and Boxing fan.

Learning geography


Last week, WordPress introduced it’s bloggers to a new feature. We now are treated to an accounting of where in the world our site visits are coming from by country. It’s a very interesting feature. I had no idea that there were people visiting my blog from all corners of the globe. This feature definitely piqued my curiosity, if not my wander lust.

Until this feature came into my life, I considered myself to be pretty adept at geography. I thought I had, at least, heard of all the names of all of the countries in the world. Then, on the first day of this new feature along come the pleasant surprise of 6 views from a place I had never heard of. So I did a little research (for me, a day without research is like a day without breathing) and found out a lot about a tiny country called the Republic of Mauritius.  At a scant 2040 square kilometers, Mauritius is hard, if not impossible, to find on the above map, but there are over 1.25 million people living there.

Port Louis, the capitol city is only 42.7 square kilometers, but looks like a stunning place to visit.

File:Evening Port Louis.jpg

For those of you who like hot weather, Port Louis enjoys temperatures above 24 degrees Celsius all year long.

Thanks to WordPress, I may have just found another travel option for my bucket list. If it was beautiful enough to inspire Baudelaire and Twain, who am I to argue?

File:Port Louis Panorama.jpg

We haven’t come a long way, baby.


Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day and March is Women’s History month in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

It has taken every fiber of my being not to comment on the complete train-wreck going on in the United States right now what with congress debating contraception and Rush (Big, Fat Idiot) Limbaugh’s comments towards a Georgetown female student. After all, I don’t live there. But as someone who is seeing this from the outside, let me just say that it’s this kind of backward thinking that has the rest of the world looking at you as a joke, America. Before moving on to another topic, I will say that Rush Limbaugh and his Tea Party cronies have done American women a favour. By spouting off their true colours, they have shown the next generation of young women voters that feminism is not only still a relevant cause to fight for, but just how tenuous their rights are in their own country.

As a feminist, I can’t help but look at International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month as little patronizing pats on the head. We won’t be truly equal until we no longer need a day or a month telling us how we are appreciated. I do understand the importance of a movement that helps stop violence against women, but why should that only be publicized on the eighth day of the month of March? Feminists are working every day to increase awareness and change laws to protect women world wide. We really don’t need a day of the year dedicated to us to make us feel that our efforts are being recognized. You want to make us feel that way? Work with us and not against us. There are still many atrocities being committed against women all over the world, from rape as a weapon of war, to female circumcision, to honour killings. Women’s rights are not nearly equal to those of men. Even in North America (yes, Canada too), women still don’t have equal pay for equal work. Now as much, if not, more than ever before the feminist movement is necessary.

So, Happy International Women’s Day. What are you going to do about it?

For information on how you can get active, here are three great places to start.

http://www.oxfam.org/

http://feminist.org/

http://www.now.org/

Confession: I like men in drag


 Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ewan McGregor in Velvet Goldmine

The other night, I watched the movie Velvet Goldmine again and it got me thinking about how much I like an androgynous man.  Velvet Goldmine hearkens back to the days of Glam Rock and features hot men like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale in make up. Ironically, Eddie Izzard is one of the few stars in the movie not wearing make up.

I began to notice men in the 1970’s, when rock stars like David Bowie, Marc Bolan and the New York Dolls were popular. It was the days of men with long hair, glitter eye shadow and tarty lipstick wearing flashy clothes and it made a big impression on me. These men with their blatant gender bending were so much sexier than the average Jock type to me. They were rebelling against the traditional male uniform. They were bravely flouting convention in an in your face way that was hard for me to resist. You see, I also have a rebellious spirit and a keen fashion sense and I related to these men, who I saw as so much more manly than the Jocks or the Suits. These men were breaking new ground, they were leaders. They were the new Alpha Male in all of their peacock feathered splendor.

 

Marc Bolan of T Rex

The New York Dolls

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust

Then there was Tim Curry in the Rocky Horror pictures show licking his shiny red lips with a naughty, mischievous glint in his eye and singing “Give yourself over to absolute pleasure”. It didn’t matter that he was into both women and men, in fact that was a large part of the lure for me. He was unabashedly crashing through sexual boundaries.

 

Tim Curry in the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Since those days there have been very few examples of in your face male androgyny. In the 1980’s, Prince filled that role. At once, both masculine, feminine and oozing sex from every pore, Prince was my fantasy in those days.

 

Prince, from the Lovesexy Album cover

In the 1990’s Marilyn Manson took androgyny to a much darker and more Gothic place with his flawlessly painted face and very masculine voice. he merged male and female into one hot package.

 

Marilyn Manson

Currently, the most famous example is the aforementioned Eddie Izzard who has been quoted as saying, “Women wear what they want and so do I”. That attitude is irresistible to me.

 

Eddie Izzard, in all his glory.

Androgyny isn’t just dressing in drag. It’s a mindset. It’s a lifestyle. It’s sexy as hell.