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i have been blogging with astounding frequency due to 1) the fact that northern voice 2008 gave me a blogtastic kick in the pants, and 2) i potentially have a virus – the only symptom of which is giving me cotton-headed blurry brain (possibly acquired at the geek show). brace yourselves for some fuzzy-headed nonsensicalness, cause here she comes.

this is gonna be random and i make no apologies. because apparently fuzzy-headedness gives me license to do whatevs. so there. i’ve been thinking about nicknames, partly due to the idea of being “cotton” or “fuzzy” headed, because i was in fact once known as popcorn head.

yeah, yeah. i know it is ridiculous. but so is having a mother that perms your hair when your like 6. sorry ma. i know perms were in. and that i probably even requested them. just like i requested getting kinks (tem)permanently permed into my cheveux (do they still do that? i might like to get that done now since it was denied me as an 8 year old. poor me. seriously). so popcorn head was the result of having ridiculously blond hair that was permed into very. tight. curls. it didn’t stay with me long. about as long as “jack-o-lantern” (a play on my name), and lynn, which i insisted being called whenever playing house. it was my alter-ego. lynn was a kickass preteen who could take care of doll children and drive a car. ah, to be lynn again.

the only name that stuck with me for any length of time was ducky. it was a nickname bestowed by a close friend in highschool who misheard my grandfather calling me, thinking he was actually saying ducky. i liked ducky. it was like, “oh isn’t that just ducky.” kinda like bad and good all in one. and now jacks. jacks i like. but it emerged from a bastardization of the nickname beefjacky. that’s right. all meaty and hard to swallow at the same time. that’s me.

so even though no one ever answers my questions (e.g., to douche or not to douche – and i don’t care if you all have lives and don’ have time to comment on my ramblings – keep in mind i am an attention whore who requires attention to live. it’s like superman and whatever the opposite of kryptonite is for him. you know what i mean. don’t pretend you don’t), i am going to ask about your nicknames. the good. bad. and the ugly.

i’m gonna log off now. partly due to the fact that i have no idea what i just wrote and partly due to the fact that i have no idea what i just wrote.

thank you for your attention.


(warning: this post may or may not be suitable for the following: actual douches, wannabe douches, and anyone who has a problem with vajayjays. you’ve been sufficiently warned).

okay. so i have been feeling some guilt about calling myself a starbucks douche. i mean, i have previously tried to validate my use of the term as a subversive strategy. and because, for reals, there are an exceptional amount of douches in the world. however. the question remains: is it appropriate for a feminist to use the “d” word? hmmm. let’s ponder.

when i think of the word douche, i think of my dutch aunt. stay with me – this isn’t going off the rails. yet. she never fails to use the word douche when i stay with her, as in, “and here is the room for the douche for the morning.” okay, douching is not some kind of bizarre, collective, room-specific dutch morning ritual. she means the shower, but she inevitably uses the french term, la douche. my aunt isn’t pretentiously co-opting the word. it is just how she learned to say it in english, okay?

then there’s the summer’s eve douches of my youth. not of my youth exactly (thank baby jesus that it had gone out style as a cleansing trend by my so-called “coming of age”). but characterized that part of my ’80s youth that was horrified by the very. thought. of. bringing. back. freshness. every(gulp)time. gawd. i still can’t say it without shuddering in my formerly nine-year old skin. bah. (and perhaps this is the very problem. the idea that i had when i was nine, or whatever godforsaken age, that made me cringe at the thought of something specific to women’s “parts”).

and finally there is the discovery of someone’s mother’s douche which you crowd around as if you have found a piece of the lost ark. or porn. or the filthiest secret imaginable. that just happens to have a nozzle.

so, okay. before i lose my audience entirely, i would like to bring us back to the point at hand. does douche in fact call to mind any of these above examples? or does it represent a kind of male humour that pillages and appropriates the very intimacies of the human female body for the sake of laughter? or rather, does it stand as a testament to the douche pictured above? has it successfully morphed meaning? in our hypertextual, unfixed meaning, postmodern world can douche mean douche? seriously. i need to know.

what do you think?

(i just want to apologize personally to matthew mcconaughey for a joke that has gotten out of hand. sorry. i’m an a-hole).

so i survived the Northern Voice blogging conference 2008. my first non-academic audience. i didn’t expect to be so nervous but all i kept thinking was, what the hell are these people gonna say? i mean, with academics, you know you are going to be stared at, evaluated for levels of smartness, and then criticized. i can handle that. i have practice at that (as a girl growing up in catholic school, i actually excelled at coping with this at a young age. i think they even give out awards for those who don’t crack by age 9). but non-academics? real peeps? what can you expect from these people? i, for one, had no idea. and that’s why i almost hyperventilated.

i made my usual jokes. i threw in a few slightly off-colour ones to appeal to my unknown crowd. i think i may or may not have said something about penises being pink (in response to a woman in the crowd reporting the high incidence of penis pictures being sent to her in the context of one online dating site in particular. i acknowledge that this is a racialized comment. it is like saying pink coloured pencils are “flesh”-toned when they in fact only represent one colour of flesh. for this, i am sorry). i also may or may not have encouraged divorce for those who feel missed out on online dating. what can i say? i was frenzied. hopped up on starbucks new skinny lattes (which i used to have to describe but now i can just say a hazelnut skinny latte! the ease! and now the baristas don’t laugh at me. um…did i just out myself as a starbucks douche? methinks i let the cat slip out of the bag. don’t judge. unless you are an academic).

anyhoo. overall, it went well. i spent too much time on academic-y stuff which was to be expected. about mid-way through my ramble, one audience member was like, “so what were your conclusions?” and i was like, “okey dokey, let’s just get down to business then.” apparently non-academics are interested in conclusions. who knew? i am used to just talking a blue streak, throwing foucault out there a few times, and calling it a day. i realized, only after, that the best part of my talk was relaying how dating is dating no matter what. isn’t that friggin’ profound folks? i didn’t know i had it in me. an audience member was like, “so is it different or not?” (okay, they were actually really polite but in my hadn’t eaten, skinny latte, nerves-induced state, they all looked like horned devils spitting fire at me, okay?). and it was kinda liberating to be like, you know, it’s not. well actually, i digressed and said that theoretically, there are significant differences, like the gendered patterns of dating in particular, but when it comes right down to it, dating is dating. so thanks horned devil with the immaculate insight. i might just have a dissertation here.

or a article for O magazine. whatevs.

i’m a bad blogger because i suck at sales. these may seem unrelated, but stay with me, i’ll make it worth your while. swears. up to this point, i have not been able to lure my non-blogging friends into commenting in the comment section. i think that i know that they are out there. somewhere. in the interwebnets universe. but they elude the comments section. they are not even anonymously reporting on how irrelevant my posts are. nuttin’. silence. anyone who knows me, knows that melikes attention. so essentially i am bad blogger because i am not selling my blog to those who don’t blog and thus not getting the attention i need. like one of my cats, i am an attention whore. and i am jonesin’ for a fix.

i like that blogs have the potential for dialogue. the comments section creates a space of/for discussion. now, maybe, you say, you don’t say anything relevant to the lives of others and therefore they are not compelled to comment. you might say, your blog sucks. and after i say, shut up, you suck, i will acknowledge that you might be on to something. so i have concocted a top ten list of reasons why people don’t comment. here goes:

1. no one actually reads my blog – this is no. 1 because it is the most likely. in that case, i am a bag blogger because no one reads my blog – save for the four people that i am sure of – and even they are not always compelled to comment.

2. no one can figure out what my blog is about.

3. as in life, i talk too much and only pretend to listen. (kidding. i do listen. if its about me).

4. no one likes me. (impossible).

5. my blog has bad breath.

6. commenters need to get drunk with me first. (i am available most days for intoxication, save the days i teach. you’d know that if you invited me somewhere in my comments section. jerks).

7. the comments section is too complicated.

8. people are afraid of openly acknowledging that they know me.

9. people want me to pick a topic and stick to it. (don’t fence me in. seriously).

10. lurking is more fun than writing. i get that.

the most common and probable reason, besides all of the above, is that people who don’t blog don’t feel it is their “place” somehow to comment. i felt this for a long time. i was internet-paranoid: not filling in my email address on any website, not giving any information unless it was to online bank, not commenting on compelling blogs, not participating in any social networking. at all. but now that we as a culture have ridden the wave of facebook’s rise (and some say, fall) from grace, we can be the master of our so-called internet domains, no? this bad blogger post will therefore attempt to empower those of you who, like me, are afraid of certain types of internet participation. for fear of spam or public humiliation. i am a bad blogger. so, too, can you be. or you can at least be a friggin’ blog commenter in the friggin’ comments section.


(don’t make me turn this into a blog about cats. cause i’ll do it. just watch me).

vancouver is undoubtedly a kickass city. not in any cultural mecca or fabulous nightlife kinda way. but in its great outdoor-yness. and yes, i know. before you barf over the over-the-top nature bullsh*t that abounds from the mouths of transplanted “vancouverites” (read: ontarians like me), stay with me – i’m not your average nature-lover. i’m more of a reformed indoor-a-holic. so i know of what i speak.

today i went for a hike which really ended up being the sum total of getting lost in a park/industrial park/forested community/golf course. but it friggin’ rocked. and it rocked solely because of the smells. you know how certain smells remind you of things. or make you happy. or bring you back to a place that you forgot you missed so much you can taste it. i knew a girl once that wore the same (or close enough to be the) perfume my kindergarten teacher wore. i LOVED that teacher (and the way she read stories wearing a puppet on her hand while switching back and forth between her own voice and the puppet’s). so i loved the girl. luckily, i never mentioned the smell to the girl. well. okay. i didn’t bring it up that often. today the smell of spring: rotten leaves, fresh grass, fresh air, dirt, and the best of all, worms – was intoxicating. i seriously sucked it in. like the way i imagine people who huff pam do it (i imagine, and do not know, because of the urban legend that circulated in my youth about a couple of kids from the area who sniffed pam and died. just. like. that. this lore was akin to the lore that said if you smoked pot you would inevitably end up a heroin addict. and most likely pregnant. did i mention i grew up in a small town?). anyhoo. apparently wormy earth is the best kind of spring smell. it gets you just in the mood. who knew?

i also got beyond excited about warm weather and the possibilities it brings. in the past, the idea of spring as rebirth made me kinda want to hokey choke (apparently my new expression for all things cliche and hokey that my cynical nature forbids me to accept uncritically – see last night’s movie reprisal of tv’s knight rider for a graphic example of something that may cause you to hokey choke). but this year spring as rebirth seems kinda fitting. not cause i need a reason to be reborn. but perhaps cause we all need to clear out the cobwebs of our lives.

and keep on squirming in the wormy earth of spring.

i am officially ridiculously excited about northern voice 2008! as i presenter, and an attendee, i get to do fabulous things like attend the kick-off dinner and meet super cool bloggers (in case you didn’t know, blogging the coolest thing ever. EVER). i am especially excited about going this year as an actual blogger and not just as a pseudo-techno-genius. we even get to read our favourite blog entry at an open mic held at the dinner. super coolness.

i have a request for my dear blog readers – will you vote for your favourite of my blog posts so i can bring it along to read? much thanks and appreciation (i may, of course, elect to ignore any suggestions that are 1) embarrassing, and 2) embarrassing). your interactive participation is greatly appreciated and it makes me feel loved and the like. so in the spirit of pre-day v-day love, VOTE!

speaking of valentine’s day, i have a few things to say. one is that, on the facebook status recommendation of a friend, i went to see ang lee’s new film lust, caution. i kinda adored it in its heart-wrenching, in-appropriate love kinda way. like brokeback, it was unbelievably beautiful as a visual experience, and as a story of compelling characters (the lead woman, wei tang, actually acts more through facial expression than words – a feat in and of itself) who have achingly uncomfortable interactions, both physically and emotionally, it was breath-taking. unconventional love is lee’s forte and i love it. love. it. can i have a job as a film critic now? please?

speaking of “unconventional” love, i am particularly excited about speaking at NV 2008 about online dating after valentine’s day. my hope is not only to adequately transform my work into something that a non-academic audience cares about and finds relevant, but also try to transfer what i have learned through my research into practical advice. that advice is going to centre around three mains themes methinks: what to expect if you have not online dated before; how to stay motivated to continue the “work” that inevitably comes with pursuing dates online (and how this is differently “gendered,” that is, how it is different kinds of work for men and women seeking heterosexual relationships); and what the “dos” and “don’ts” are for both men and women. sounds fun, no?

finally, i am super excited and intensely privileged to be spending another v-day with my love without whom, i’d not know how much love is akin to true happiness and joy.

and i swear to god, if anyone says anything about v-day being about hallmark cards, i’ll die.


brace yourself for the randomest of random posts. i’m a little hopped up on coffee juice and i can’t seem to stop myself from typing. i did, in fact, get a haircut and i kinda cheated on my hairdresser. but we have an “open relationship” which means she told me which of her hairdresser friends i could cheat with while she is in india. so i did. my hair is a little “cute” now (hence the pic of the cat) and i’m trying to deal. with being cute. which kinda makes me wanna barf.

also, i have been thinking a little about flexibility lately. and not the kind one dabbles with in open relationships with their hairdresser. but rather the kind that life demands. the flexibility that requires patience. and well. being flexible. i don’t consider myself a person of rigidity but since discovering something called boundaries at a late stage in my life, i kinda dig them. life without them seems chaotic. but sometimes life within them feels stifling.

i still laugh at the time someone called me “easy-going.” i am not easy-going. i have truly only met two people in life that i actually think are easy-going. i am fairly certain that both were the result of a near-nervous breakdown. apparently breakdowns can be freeing. i’ll work on one to achieve the level of “easy-going-ness” i saw once glamourized in a jack nicholson movie. well. maybe not glamourized. but brain-damaged-ly peaceful anyhoo.

i think accepting your inflexibility is perhaps key to being flexible. pressing up against your own bounded boundaries and deciding they are too smooshy is perhaps therapeutic. not judging yourself for the limitations you place on yourself but being gently persuasive enough to realize that the walls you construct around you are mere facades. hollow of meaning. but securely holding you in place. straight-jackets of self preservation. useful. but too tight. like underwear.

cheating on my hairdresser made me realize that you can step out of your comfort zone.

but you might end up cute. which maybe isn’t so bad.

first, i must say that teaching – my convenient excuse for everything these days – has been taking over my life and this is why my productivity level for pumping out posts has, in fact, been pitiful. however, in order to come back with a bang, i am going to write about my fabulous friday night when i experienced a burlesque show for the very first time. needless to say, i now aspire to be a burlesque performer despite the fact that i know this will never happen. still, one can dream.

you might remember my foray into pole-dancing not too long ago. this experience was, at best, conflicted, and fraught with dissonances between what it meant to be “sexy” for the gaze of (an)”other” – that is, a man. burlesque on the other hand, kicks the shit out of this notion of the gaze. mostly, in a intensely sexy juxtaposition, you feel object to the bodies on stage. as if your only function is to enjoy the beautiful sexuality that forcefully, aggressively, and uber-sexually demands your attention. you will not look away. feel squeamish. or objectified. you will, in fact, enjoy yourself. because, it just so happens, that burlesque is best.

before i went, i experienced some anxiety around the idea that this was – allegedly – a female-centric, feminist-inspired, expression of women’s bodies. i was, in fact, afraid it would be mishandled. mistaken. misappropriated. and essentially be akin to stripping with a greater acceptance of the diversity of women’s bodies. but still. a smidge-y ummm…dirty. and not dirty in the puritanical sense. but dirty in the male-defined and focused sexuality way. on the other hand, i was also fearful of it being an expression of our goddesses within. our inner femaleness. our connection to the moon. and excuse me while i puke, but i can’t handle my inner goddess. it reduces me far too simply to my vagina.

shockingly, neither of these two worst-case-scenarios played out. instead burlesque ended up surpassing any expectation of predefined sexualities or (biological) determinants. essentially – and quintessentially – it was sexy. really friggin’ sexy. and the power of the women on stage was palpable. visceral. and intense.

so what can we learn about the importance of pasties and pussies? well perhaps that the performance of different varieties of female sexuality needn’t be predetermined or presumptuous. but that burlesque demonstrates that it is perfect in the power it affords women over their own representation. their (em)power(ment) within their bodies. their clearly defined and articulated agency. and that by wearing the once pariah-producing brand “slut,” these harlots can kick the shit out of what it means to be a “properly” sexual woman.

this post was brought to you by the letter P. which apparently i am in love with.

this post is also tangentially related to something hilarious i stumbled upon in my blog travels – i give you the mostly hilarious sarah silverman in her music video producing debut (with special guest appearance by matt damon) entitled “f*cking matt damon.”

sarah silverman’s f*cking matt matt damon