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hazmat-suitso i survived the plague. barely. what’s with rampant sickness taking over vancouver? seriously people, i need you to take some vitamins and stop passing your goddamn germs around. alrighty. that feels better. but seriously – i was sick for a whole week. like snotty-face, laying-prostrate-on-the-couch-sick. i even had to teach in that state and that was hella painful. i was teaching poststructural theory kids – a mindf*ck on any day of the week – let alone during plague week. so during my almost-death week i stumbled upon some crucial life lessons and i will fill you in asap!

  1. as the title of this post demonstrates – i am a full-fledged batshit crazy germaphobe. like, for reals. i am pretty sure i cont(r)acted this disease from a fellow conference-goer at a fabulous conference i attended a little over a week ago. fabulous except for the fact that it was ripe with human germs. this is the second time i have almost died after attending a conference. this leads to me to believe that i should stop shaking people’s hands. like EVER. i am currently working on a strategy to never touch strangers that will not turn me into a bonafide nutter (any suggestions would be appreciated). i figure it has made howie mandel more endearing so why not me? when someone goes in for the handshake i’ll just say, “you know that thing that howie mandel has? i totally have that too. so keep your fucking hands to yourself mister” or something equally entirely inappropriate.
  2. i am pretty good at feeling desperately sorry for myself. when people don’t manage to muster as much sympathy as i have for myself, i kinda hate them.
  3. i seriously had a virus and not even the norwalk (which my friend M. managed to get at her workplace) and i still questioned if i had the will to live.
  4. fortunately cadbury cream eggs are out because it is spring/easter-time and they restored my will to live. but just barely. i had to eat at least one a day to keep from seriously freaking out.
  5. my home became the den of sickness which basically means that due to a lack of cleaning (related to the lack of the will to live) cat fur started to engulf t-bone and me. seriously, if anyone wants cats who constantly shed and yell really loud after they take shits, we have the sweetest pair for you.
  6. pizza hut pizza also has the ability to restore the will to live. i think it is because it is basically cheese and pepperoni on top of a doughnut. yummy. doughnut pizza.
  7. i get really spastic when i get sick and become convinced that life will never be as it once was. t-bone tells me it is because i take too much over the counter cold medication but i think it is because demons possess me after the virus weakens my immune system. and no, i didn’t get that idea after watching almost the entire first season of true blood when i was sick.  so shut it.
  8. hbo really does make the wickest television serieses. and yes, i am aware that serieses is not a word.
  9. it was raining while i was sick and lead to the sickness-induced conviction that i was clinically depressed. t-bone opened the blinds and my clinical depression became more of a general malaise.
  10. i started to wonder how much a hazmat suit might cost.
  11. i made t-bone promise me that i would live. and if i didn’t it was so f*cking his fault. *shakes fist*
  12. i got really angry at oprah. because she never has anything good on her show any more. *throws cat at television while screaming “why are you doing this to me oprah?!!? what have i EVER done to you?!!?! no one cares about people’s dirty houses – you know why? because we ALL HAVE DIRTY HOUSES AND WE DON’T F*CKING CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S DIRTY HOUSES! either come clean ours or give us a car or shut the fuck up. now.”*
  13. t-bone is the bestest sick-person caregiver in the world! he didn’t even mind when i let food fall from my mouth while saying things like: “you call this fucking chicken soup? jesus dude, i’m fucking dying over here!”

these are my current realizations about the nature of my existence. if you too have recently undergone a near-death experience due to a mild illness, please share in the comments section.

so besides finding out that posts about boobs means lotsa blog traffic (oh, that den of sin called the internets!) and forgetting to demand that you all go see doubt (go. now. i command you!) because of my love/crush/obsession with weepy streepy – i mean comeon! just look at these faces:

meryl_streep

i have to update you on another important matter. that is: showing my ass atop grouse mountain today while skiing. okay, i exaggerate. but here is what unfolded. i have decided to use the sage voice of t-bone for this because i imagine that skiing with me is equivalent to a root canal and so this is a tribute to his patience, love, and misguided attempts to turn me into a skier. poor t-bone.

here goes (remember we are inside the wise and courageous mind of my husband – these thoughts cannot be attributed to the thoughtful spaz – moi- because they are simply too logical. and guy-y):

10:30am – if i have to show her one more time how to properly carry her skis, i might injure myself. however, if i have to wait any longer for her, i might kill her. what he actually says: “comin’?”

10:31am – flip! just put them together like i told you! hehe. i just said flip like bret does on flight of the conchords. i’m funny.

10:35am – alright. she managed to get her spastic ass into the gondola. we might actually ski/snowboard today. just smile. then busy myself with my phone. she usually gets bored of that pretty quick.

10:43am – “let’s take this run, k?” now i have to wait a century until she gets her skis on. “ready?”

10:47am – she still doesn’t have them on. now she’s complaining. maybe next time i’ll come alone. i remember that being fun. before i was married…

10: 49am – she’s still complaining – “what? no you didn’t. really. i’m sure you didn’t split your pants. it just sounded that way. they’re fine. ski ahead and i’ll check”

10:50am – oh yeah. those are split. hehe. that’s funny. no laughing, she already wants to go home. i can see it. damage control. damage control! god. i hope she doesn’t cry.

10:51am – “you can’t even see it. really. the insulatey material is the same colour. really. now let’s go. wait – your boot is open – close it”

10:52am – oh shit. she just split them more. maybe she didn’t hear that.  *holds breath*

so anyhoo. two hours later we get down to the bottom (after i fell about a million times on my newly exposed ass because apparently “fresh powder” means jacks falls on said ass. a lot) and i realize that yes, my ass was hanging out and it was a lot worse than t-bone told me. bless his heart though. cause he helped. and cause i didn’t cry. and i only made everything his fault for about 45 minutes.

so alls well that ends well.

i guess.

gotmilkso thanks to work i used to do on public nudity i still know folks in the nudy petudy business. and that has meant, strangely, that my new year has been filled with well…boobies. and lots of ’em. lemmie ‘splain.

a sage and mentor of the naturist movement whom i know, and once had a clothed interview audience with, is a defiant advocate for the right to breastfeed in public. in particular, his most recent cause is for facebook to stop removing breastfeeding photos arbitrarily that someone in the faceless realm of facebook censorship – is it you mark zuckerburg? – considers “vaguely pornographic.” apparently facebook has a problem with nipples. who knew? well. maybe some of you did. you dirty beasts.

anyhoo.

so this leads me to the question – which is not what you are thinking and sorry P. that i might not be going in the intended direction – but when is a child too old to breastfeed? or wait. is that the question? the boob fire has been lit under me and now it just needs to be discussed dammit. call it jacks’ war on nipples. or nipplepalooza. or nipplefest. just make sure there are nipples.

i just watched a “newsmagazine” about this topic and they took this issue to heart showing four-year-olds and eight-year-olds nursing. of course this causes uproar. disgust. outrage. but why? why can’t women catch a break? which brings us to the gendered nature of tits (doesn’t it?). my next research project. (just kidding. well. maybe). but really, the women interviewed make the helpful and important distinction – which is the direction i believe P. is going in – which is a legitimate, feminist point about the right of women to bare their breasts in the “service” of feeding their children the “natural” way. but as always, this fight turns into something else. the right for women to connect with their bodies and their children in “natural” ways. which essentializes. and we don’t like that, do we dear bloggy friends?

my frustration is focused on the dichotomy which is inevitably created between the “naturalness” of the naked human body, especially women’s bodies (we are closer to nature, dontcha know? all godless-like and such. borf) and the seemingly un-naturalness of sexuality. or the apparent division between the two. i mean i get it. i studied naturists for long enough to know that the only way you make yourself legitimate as a naked person in public is by saying that it’s “natural” and not “sexual,”  thus creating the bind that these women find themselves in. the argument goes something like this: i should be able to post my booby my pics on facebook because i am doing a natural motherly thing feeding them (the age thing is still the wildcard here) and its not sexual because i am naturally made to feed kids. so it’s not sexual to show pics of my breasts when it is in the service of feeding my kids. k, all good. ‘cept for the fact that this argument requires you not only to make the relevant distinction between boobs for milk and boobs for sex (see above pic), but also requires women to turn themselves effectively into the “natural” baby-milking machine called mother. it requires a reliance on stereotypes of nurturing women and their proper role as caregiver. maybe this is just the eggnog talking, but it is a double-edged sword. not the nursing per se. but the lengths women go to legitimate the naturalness of boob-showing as a function of motherhood.

now, i don’t want anyone to get me wrong. i am an absolute, no question, fervent advocate of breastfeeding. in public. in private. in those cute little rooms in the mall that are made for moms that i wish i could go into without seeming creepy. but we women have enough to deal with without being the goddesses of milk. let’s advocate showing our tits for tits sake. let’s nipple it up. and someone pass the bottle.

epilogue: while i introduced the notion of older-age breastfeeding, i didn’t really address it. peruse the official petition to facebook about breastfeeding not being obscene and P.’s site for the banned facebook photos. tell me what you think about boobs. and eight-year-olds. cause this is important to the earth’s planetary rotation.

swears.

billkurtis2for those of you who don’t watch a&e like it is their lifeblood, bill kurtis is a guy (with a silky-smooth voice btw) who hosts and narrates a variety of crime-related shows on the friggin’ fantastic channel that rocks my world. i am currently obsessed with investigative reports (and have been since roughly 1995), where kurtis leads viewers through tales of intrigue and murder, often featuring the criminals and victim-families involved, that lend themselves to infuriating questions such as “should teens face the death penalty in murder cases?” i say infuriating because they take me back to high school when i would argue against the death penalty in opposition to all my classmates whose arguments were premised on seemingly biological categorizations of “goodness” and “badness.” in any case, i digress. in case you are not an avid watcher of all that is disturbing on television, a&e also has a program called intervention. intervention is a “reality show” that documents actual surprise interventions (the person who is being intervened upon agrees to participate in a documentary and then basically gets hijacked by their family with the help of an interventionist – for a synopsis look here) and, usually, the resultant recovery of the addicted person.

yesterday i was watching intervention when something in my stomach told me to stop. i didn’t. and then paid the price. the intervention was for allison – a young woman with a huffing dependency on computer duster (that she actually ingested – that is, blew directly into her mouth and lungs from.the.can) and who also was an anorexic cutter. in her both her sisters’ paraphrased words, allison is trying to kill herself as loudly as possible by inflicting physical pain on herself to demonstrate to her family and the world just how much pain she herself is in. usually, i get through an episode of intervention, having gone through the emotion of it, but satisfied with the recovery process and the epilogue that states the number of months the intervened has since been sober. allison has haunted me since and i think it has to do with a number of factors.

first, her youth. both her and her sister were young women, and very young when they were sexually abused (a reality that later resulted in all of allison’s addictions and problems). they were just regular girls, both hurt, and one hurt beyond recognition. second, her multiple addictions. i am not an expert in the field of anorexia, but i was recently reading about the advent of so-called “drunkorexics” who drink their calories instead of eat them. while this is a tenuous title, and one that many health experts might be wary of, it indicates the integrated nature of addiction – that anorexics often have substance abuse issues, and perhaps vice versa. and third, it makes me think about vancouver’s downtown eastside (dtes) and how all these issue coincide there: abuse and victimization, skeletally-thin addicted women (who i am not implying are anorexic, but are starving nonetheless), and just how easy it is – or would be for people like allison – to end up on the streets without caring people like her family, who of course, have to be in a position to be able to help. this post was originally intended to be about how the bodies of women in the dtes, those skeletal, emaciated bodies, ravaged with years of drug use and misuse by others, are actually held up as a beauty ideal in magazines (to make an obvious, if not disturbing, point). but instead, allison’s story, and damaged body, continues to haunt me, because it could have been me. it could have been any of us who someone decided to mistreat, in ways that are difficult to recover from.

i think it ultimately speaks to the correlation between treatment of our bodies and understandings of ourselves. and if one is too young to have autonomy over themselves and are mistreated, they will often mistreat themselves. a long time ago i was in a car accident and i was hospitalized for almost two months. at fourteen years old, my roommates fell into one of only three categories: anorexics and bulimics, cancer and accident patients, and suicides. i had one of each, although i got to know my roommate C., the best. she had survived not only rape, but her attempt to kill herself after that rape. i decided then, and was reminded now, that there is something wrong in a world where young women’s bodies are mistreated, by others, and themselves as a result of pain. pain over hurt, pain over not being perfect, pain over not being enough. it is often said that young girls live in a scary world, and they should be protected. but i am going to suggest that young women are the real survivors. they are the ones who have to contend with a world that denies them autonomy, and then asks them to apologize.

as you can see, i need my own intervention. an intervention to not watch intervention.

oh. and i’d like bill kurtis to host it.

pantyhosei went to godforsaken edmonton recently to interview for a teaching position. i want to pause here to apologize to everyone i know who lives in godforsaken edmonton, anyone who enjoys it there, and anyone who knows or loves someone who lives there. the prairies are…interesting. that aside, i survived my very first interview and i want to chronicle what went wrong, what went right, and what i learned. here goes.

first of all, my beautiful and wonderful friend L. came with, and that made everything lovely and delicious. she was even trying to be like “edmonton is nice,” “edmonton seems safe and friendly,” and my personal favourite, “i’m sure if you lived here long enough you would find food that was good…really.” needless to say, we both kissed the ground when we returned to vancity. and may the gods of karma strike me down, i can’t see myself as an edmontonian. but i grew up in a small town in ontario. i have perspective. i am not saying i’m better than all that. i am saying sometimes you can see yourself in a place. sometimes you can’t. such is life. that was what my eighth-grade teacher used to say. such is life.

whatever the f*ck that means.

as someone who exists mainly in sweats and the occasional fabulous (yes, i am going to grant myself some fabulousness, so there) outfit when i actually leave the house, i managed to begin the day by shoving my finger through my tights (which were more like pantyhose but i don’t want to admit that i was actually thinking about wearing pantyhose because they are seriously scarring as a fabric, a concept, and a crotch-dropping reality), thereby creating a massive run that could not be hidden. luckily, i had some knee sock thingys that did the trick but showed my knobby knee-caps when i sat. first point goes to murphy’s law. i managed to spend a total of ten seconds with the head of the department before blurting this fact out. i think i managed to hold out well.

second point goes to me because i kicked ass in my interview and i am going to go so far as to say that i kicked ass during the entire TEN HOUR interview day. yeah, that’s right kids. i had all the answers. i was my spastic self. and it all seemed to come together in this glorious performance that by the end of the day i was convinced i couldn’t replicate. but, after my 9 ounce glass of wine (everything is big in alberta), i was sure i could withstand another full day of attention with ease. since seriously it is how i try to negotiate my whole life – that is, trying to attract copious amounts of jacks-attention – it really should (and apparently does) come naturally. points to jacks. for reals.

third point goes to thai food. i don’t think i have to remind anyone that i have a baby stomach, but needless to say, nerves, baby stomach, and thai food is a toxic nauseating mix that almost killed me. yeah, that’s right. i almost died a spicy death. sounds hot. but not.

the last billion points go to me. just cause i am proud of my kickass self. and job hunting is fun, albeit ridiculously stressful.

tell me great interview tales – i would love to hear the chronicles of your pantyhose ripping and such.

okay. go.

so dr. beth – after a night of vegetarian cuisine and  my constant questions about what a ping is and how i can find out how important i am to the blogosphere – has helped me out with a post idea – that is a five things meme. basically i have to thrill you by answering questions with five answers. so here goes nothin’ kids.

FIVE things i was doing 10 years ago:

  1. deciding that instead of dropping out of university and becoming a chef (in which case i would now be working for dreamy gordon ramsey – i don’t usually dig men with light hair but comeon) or a florist, i would get my phd and become a professor (can somebody say existential crisis?)
  2. putting on roughly thirty pounds instead of the average “freshman fifteen” (good times)
  3. getting up the courage to end an almost-five-year-long relationship to live a life that somehow approximated sex and the city (the former happened, the latter, not so much)
  4. falling deeply and intensely in love with critical thought (feminist, anthropological, and sociological. seriously. i had a boner for theory)
  5. discovering exercise. and tanning. later, i will refer to this part of my life as the “surfer chick stage.” i neither surfed nor ever considered myself a chick, but upon being misrecognized at christmas by a younger cousin who i heard whisper to her mother “jacks sure looks different than before” i got a sense that something was awry. btw, it was my fake tan and platinum hair. yowza)

FIVE things on my to-do list today

  1. buy the remaining components of my h-ween costume (and no, you may not know what i am going to be so there. be patient. i will post pics)
  2. eat stuff. a special moment of ingestion will take place tonight when i go out with friends who are taking their new baby on the town for the first time. i let you know how that goes
  3. read more of the fat anthology i am currently obsessed with. it is called fat: the anthropology of an obsession. i am sure i don’t have to remind you how obsessed with fat i am right now
  4. try to send five minutes with t-bone. we’ve been busy so ships passing in the night or somethin’ like that
  5. decide about going to a concert. the band sounds a little like blue rodeo. and no. that isn’t good

(and i am aware that there is nothing regarding my dissertation on that list. it’s saturday. gimmie a break)

FIVE snacks i like

  1. poutine
  2. french fries
  3. potato chips
  4. beer (if none of the above is available)
  5. guacamole (i could seriously drink that shit. seriously)

FIVE things i would do if i had a million dollars

  1. make the barenaked ladies song “if i had a million dollars” the soundtrack of my life. it would come on when i walked into a room
  2. buy a forest green volvo circa 1979
  3. travel to figi
  4. maybe move somewhere warm
  5. buy a house in the country and have too many animals

FIVE places i’ve lived in

  1. small town ontario (pop. 4200)
  2. ottawa, our nation’s capital (there are two things ottawa does well: canada day and summer)
  3. toronto
  4. vancouver
  5. that’s it

FIVE jobs i’ve had

  1. interpretive guide/reception at a national historic site (basically i dressed up as a soldier’s wife from 1846 and got called wench a lot despite that being a temporally-inappropriate term for women of the era we were representing. i gave tours and found my peverse love of all things reception-y – including but not limited to the movie the secretary. i know. so wrong to go there)
  2. i worked for a minute for my grandfather in his print shop. i was hoping it would be more secretary-like but it ended up being more print-person like. it sucked. i quit on my second day
  3. i have been a teaching assistant and i am an instructor. i heart teaching but it seems almost like a not-real job cause it only exists in the forms i have done it in academia. and plus, i love it so it doesn’t feel like work (i know that is cheesy but it is true so suck it)
  4. sadly, that is also it. embarrassing, i know. i did the interpretive guide thing for like 6 years – basically it stole my youth and i have been doing number 3 for about the same amount of time. apparently i don’t like to diversify. essentially, i am unemployable outside of academia. pray that i get a job. for reals

I am suppose to tag people here but i don’t have enough friends who blog so instead i am going to write five words i find funny. i believe this ruins the point of a meme, but i never claimed to know what i was doing on the internets.

FIVE words i fine funny

  1. mustache
  2. panties
  3. viscous
  4. scrotum
  5. sycophant (word and deed are highly annoying)

it would be nice if you chose one of these categories and provided your own answers in the comments section i might just love you forever. really i will.

i recently got this saying on a pin from my equally-fabulous friend chaos (um, dude, post something new already!) and i thought i’d begin on a high note cause you know it is all going downhill from here. well, not really. i have just been thinking about how it is coming up on my first year blogiversary and i am still a bag blogger. that’s right kids. welcome to why i am a bad blogger installment…um…i dunno. #6? a lot? a billion?

so there is the obvious situation of my random, some would say, spotty blogging habits. to which i reply, quite haughtily, “i am a blog artiste. and plus, i cannot help that big brother was on all summer followed by a new season of biggest loser (this time with families!) not to mention i am doing this dissertation thing which is REALLY cutting into america’s next top model (go isis you hot bitch!)” or something to that effect.

there is a somewhat related issue regarding my tags. or categories. or whatever. the thing is i have no idea really what they are. or what they do. i just like when categories pop up under my post titles and if there is nothing that strikes my fancy as an appropriate category, i make another. this happens a lot. (okay, now don’t go to my list of taggy categories cause it will cause me shame. do you think i can pay someone to clean that up for me? or make it relevant? or somethin’?).

there is the issue of ‘being on the market,’ which in academicese means trying to finally become employed after years and years (and years) of unemployment (cause face it kids, being a teaching or research assistant is really just about cushy slavery). i am not gonna lie. it is the biggest job undertaking EVER. and i don’t care if some of you are doctors (you know, the kind that actually help people) or executives (yeah, like executives read my blog) and had to go through completely tumultuous application processes. it is not as bad as trying to put together the past 10 years of unemployment in terms that make you seem employable. i’m just sayin’.

there is also the issue of the weather turning. i mean, summer is busy. there are fun things to do. you know when there aren’t as many fun things to do? when it is pouring and doesn’t get light enough for you to differentiate between dawn and dusk. that’s right folks. september in vancouver. but don’t get me wrong. i heart vancouver. i am just a twit who always forgets what the weather is like here in the winter.

and there is my general obsession with fat which i haven’t spoken about in a while. right now i am cooking up a new project which contains the key words: obesity, internet, new media, activism, community, fat phobia, social inclusion, and civic engagement. sounds fancy, huh? it isn’t really a secret so much as i don’t feel like regurgitating all the hours viciously robbed from hell’s kitchen to prepare it.

i am going to end this post with a question – which again goes to demonstrate why i am a bag blogger. i always assume people are going to respond (and those of you who do – i love you more than reality t.v. well, it is VERY close) enthusiastically and verbosely. the fact that i only get a few responses (despite the fact that i think i have hundreds of adoring audience members. yes, i am a delusional egomaniac. thank you for noticing cutie;) means a) i ask the wrong questions; or b) i ask questions that are not compelling enough for people to go through the bother of creating a false name only to have me reveal their true identities in the comments section. sound familiar robinmasters?

okay, my question is: what has been preoccupying you lately? work? school? a hobby? fat? i hope you all say fat so that we can be bffs. for reals forevs.

i have been thinking a lot about babies lately. and kids. and not in the way one might imagine. these thoughts are giving me icky feelings. and pee-inducing nightmares.

it all started when i had a dream about t-bone being preggers. i mean, sweet, right? turns out, not so sweet. i think he was just a vehicle for my own messed up ideas about what pregnancy would be like. read: f*ckin’ scary as shit. all he did was whine. and he wasn’t sexy pregnant either. sorry, dude. but pregnancy doesn’t become you. next it was the proliferance (is that even a word? methinks, no) of babies in my life. i mean babies are cute. darling even. but i can’t EVER imagine being responsible for one. like. EVER. and then there is the fact that they never go away. as my mother always tells me (and something that i have internalized as a threat): “once a mother, always a mother.”

this also could have something to do with two other factors. 1) someone recently called me “unconventional” and after i almost punched them i realized that it was meant as a compliment; and 2) i am going on the job market. the “unconventional” nature of my life means that not only have i been living like an undergrad since 1997 but i have possibly also been thinking, acting, and being generally irresponsible like one since around then too. also, how is it possible to work and have children? i know women do it. but i am convinced that they are magical. like unicorns. and leprechauns. or magical the way matthew mcconaughey having a career is magical. and we all know how i feel about him.

i had a recent debate with a friend about whether or not it is “okay” for employers to punish their female employees based on non-performance at work due to family commitments. i mean, obviously, it is not but it seemed to me like we we speaking within the confines of popular discourse that still, let me stress: STILL encourages women to think of working as a choice. as though we would all be happier – oh, and have better adjusted children – if we just stayed home. as though that “choice” doesn’t also exist in a land of fairy tales and privilege that not only doesn’t exist but doesn’t take into account women’s RIGHT to work, be ambitious, successful, f*cking fabulous, and the like. choice is a tricky word when it comes to women. and everybody seems to be all about “giving” women the choice between this and that. between attractive options like double shifts of work meaning work, then kids and home, and triple shifts, such as work, kids, home, and care of extended family and/or child-like spouse. i mean come on people! choice is a fantasy created by those who don’t have to choose. who can live in the comfort and safety of knowing that their “role” doesn’t involve housework, child-rearing, and caring for elderly relatives. whew. jacks is on ranty roll kids. watch out.

i guess this sums up my perspective on children. i guess i think that being unconventional can’t work with little ones. because then you are mother. and with an academic career looming, that is a scary prospect.

however, if one can have an unconventional egalitarian marriage, perhaps there is hope for procreation. cause we could all use little jacks’s running around, no?

so now that i have a total of 52 posts or thereabouts, i decided to get myself a shiny new home in the blogosphere. and here it is! i even changed my title cause we all know how i can’t commit to anything. so here i am, once again following in the footsteps of the alpha-bloggess dr. beth and moving on up to wordpress, thereby bringing me into at least the 20th century. as dr. beth pointed out, blogger is sooooo 1990s, and jacks is nothing if not cutting edge.

so in honour of my shiny new blog i am going to stop holding back and do something i have been wanting to do for a while. yup. that’s right. blog about my cats. and i swear to god, if any of you stop reading because i choose occasionally to catblog, well, just know that i think you’re not very nice. yeah. take that. so i told this little ditty at a recent dim sum fest (my new favourite ingestable) and it got some laughs, so here goes.

i have two cats, one is named hobbes, the other bianca. they are brother and sister and the two most beautiful himalayan/siamese cross kitties in. the. whole. world. they have completely opposite personalities and of course this makes them highly complimentary. anyhoo. hobbes is really outgoing. like really. and bianca, well. not so much. so whenever anyone comes over, or really, whenever anyone comes into our place – including us – hobbes runs to them frantically for attention and bianca runs to the bedroom to hide under the bed until she decides that you are not sketchballs. hobbes is essentially an attention whore while bianca takes to heart the cow and the milk analogy.

i give into hobbes a lot. this might be because he is an attention whore like me or because he is really needy. not sure. the point is: what hobbes wants, hobbes gets. that or you have to put up withhim screaming in your face as he kneads your chest with his massive kitty paws. and well, to put it bluntly, hobbes likes his junk scratched. not actually his junk of course. but the general area. so i concede and scratch his belly quite, well, low. this translates into the uniquely hobbesian (hehe) practice of meeting new people, subsequently flopping on them, and then waiting for the junk scratch. needless to say, this takes people off-guard. and maybe a little aback. they begin by asking if it is okay that they scratch his belly (which is a good question because most cats are not into this action). upon receiving the go-ahead, hobbes begins to kick their arms with his back leg in order to get their hands lower. MUCH lower. it is at this point that visitors begin to get uncomfortable, laugh nervously, and ask if what they think he is doing is indeed what he is doing. i say yes and they recoil in a mix of fascination and horror. i clarify and say that he likes it low, but that he does not in fact want anyone to touch it. at least i don’t think he does.

so this is my welcome and inaugural post on my new blog. hopefully, it will, as my cat’s junk-scratching desires do, demonstrate the propriety of the new handle and theme.


first, a confession. i used to hate new year’s. it always seemed like a forced-fun event. an arbitrary evening to slug back champagne and watch the eerily youthful dick clark on television. or attend parties full of people you didn’t know. new year’s always felt like a competition, an end in the means, an inevitable drunken debacle. but now, i see it differently. almost hopefully. at best, with cautious optimism. a dreamy rebirth.

that is why i have cautiously entitled this post “new year, new you (?)” because i beg those who try to shed their old, their pounds, their particular “question mark” problem to abstain this year, from abstaining itself. i, too, used to think the new year should beckon in the new and improved jacks. one who swore less, was fitter, a better person, smarter, happier, more well-rounded. but i was under the false impression that to be shiny new jacks, i had to give up, avoid, abstain, decrease. this ultimately left me unhappy. trying to shed rather than trying to gain. trying to close rather than open. i’m good at this. shedding to the bare minimums to perfect those while losing sight of what’s more.

last year, i attempted something radically different. i added instead of taking away. i splurged instead of showing restraint. and now i have something ridiculously good to show for it. and it didn’t take much. didn’t feel like persevering. not like a chore. or a burden. but fun. essentially, i got fun for new year’s.

at the end of 2006, i made a commitment to volunteer. i became a big sister. and now my life has a new dynamic that makes me feel good about myself. not too this or that. not not enough. not a work-in-progress. but a real live giver. doer. contributor.

now i tell you all this because i am cautiously, optimistically, breathlessly constructing new add-on goals. not take-away ones. and i’m all giddy with the possibilities. overwhelmed even with the notion that i can choose anything and, as my track record so far can attest, achieve it. that is really a crazy realization.

that i can do anything.

rather than i’m not enough.