Friday, August 10, 2007

oh, gazette

I've been reading the gazette quite a bit lately, which is always an interesting social experiment. There's been coverage every single day about this missing 9 year old, Cedrika, who is from Trois Rivieres or somewhere near by. Fair enough, the poor thing is missing, and it's scary for the family. It's also local news. But beyond news like, "she's been found!" or..well, that's it really--what else is there to cover? Every single day there's been an article about this girl. You know, we also hear in the paper stories about other little children who go missing, but the coverage is not similar at all. I have a strong feeling that she is rich, white, and pretty, and that's why she's in the news so much. Ethnic families with fewer resources wouldn't get that type of coverage.

In other news, a network of websites that connect pedophiles has been discovered in Montreal. The Gazette has been pretty judgmental about it, suggesting in its biased newspapery way that the people behind these websites should be put behind bars.

Don't get me wrong, of course I don't agree with pedophilia. But I'm not sure pedophiles choose to find small children sexually attractive, and pretending they don't exist and cutting off their resources is only going to make it worse. These websites, apparently, as I haven't seen them, suggest places where young children can be watched, and have message boards where people can discuss their pedophilia. Nowhere do they suggest or encourage acting on pedophilic desires, and everything is technically legal. I think there should be a place for pedophiles to talk about this stuff, although of course it would be better if the websites were to suggest ways to get help or counselling or something, though I suppose that would be preachy and not free speech. In any case, ignoring the problem usually doesn't help things too much.

endovaginal ultrasounds

The other day, I went for an ultrasound my doctor had recommended for me. There was some mysterious pain in the abdomen happening, and I was terrified my liver was blackened from the strain of living what my mom calls my "champagne lifestyle." Well, not only was my liver fine, my uterus was the "most perfect" the technician had seen in years!

Let me tell you though, endovaginal ultrasounds are not that much fun. They are not painful, but you get covered in a clear goo, and there is a big camera up your vagina for many minutes. The doctor came in after the technician to check on everything, and she was not very gentle! First she slapped more goo on my body to check out my innards, and then she couldn't find my vagina in the dark, and almost took a wrong turn, which did not make me very confident in her. Her only comment was "It's dark in here."

Monday, July 23, 2007

I got bangs. Now I look like a true hipster. Or, with certain glasses, my grandmother in her younger days.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


On recent mornings on my eminent radio show, the Wednesday Morning After on CKUT (90.3), my co-host Neil and I have started to implement a morning news clipping segment. We'll bring in a piece of news or an article that we find interesting, and discuss it and, often in my case, why we find in problematic.

An example from last week was an article in the Gazette about how Saudi Arabian women were reconsidering and refashioning their abayas, the head-to-toe, traditionally black garment that women wear. Fine, if that's happening, but the article itself was extremely judgmental, claiming that the abayas were "universally considered a mark of oppression." What a ridiculous thing to say. Firstly, who are you to say "universally considered?" Secondly, what does the world think of Western clothes like short skirts and high heels? I feel pretty oppressed in an underwire bra, to be honest about it.

Then the article went on to connect the conservative values of Saudi Arabi with the 9/11 attacks! Talk about perpetuating a fear of otherness. Next time you see a woman in an all-covering garment, she might be trying to blow up a building.

On the more positive side of the news angle, however, I did see an ad in the gazette encouraging people to complain to the Ethics Council of the alcoholic beverage industry in Quebec if you ever see an ad for booze that sexually exploits or objectifies people, encourages sexism, link drinking to popularity, success, and sexual prowess. I encourage everyone to do it! Email them at or check out the website at Here is a tiny little forum to let people know that it's not okay to objectify people in advertisements, and if we use it as much as we can, it just might bleed over into the makeup ads, clothing ads, and cold medicine ads that do this, too. Complain! Let your voice be heard! This is a place to start.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Well, it's Fringe Week again as the fringe festival graces Montreal with its presence. Because I am a CKUT celebrity, I got to have a SUPERPASS and free entry into any show, anytime. It's been really excellent, and I've seen a few great shows.

HANAKENGO/SHOSHINZ! is one of the weirdest things I've ever encountered, in a funny, excited, Japanese sort of way.

THe Haunted Womb Tour was weird in a very good, slightly disturbing, Japanese sort of way.

FOund and Lost: Goals for 2002 was an amazing dance show put on by Influx Dance. It was a collection of dances that all flowed together really well, were at times funny, and at times sad. One involved two dancers who appeared to be lovers. Words were being put up at the back of the room, starting with I GET YOU. As the dance began to change, and more words were added, the sentence read THE CLOSER I GET TO YOU THE FURTHER I FEEL FROM ME. It was an incredible representation of an abusive relationship that hit really close to home.

Another recommendation was the Dancing Cock Brothers sketch comedy show. Offensive, hilarious, and often, dead on. One of the sketches involved a girl who had just broken up with her boyfriend and was crying on her couch. In bounds Emotional Stand In Rebound Boy! A superhero who comes in to comfort her in her time of need, and hopefully for him, get laid. I found this ridiculously funny since I seem to have attracted a few of these 'superheroes' into my life since my breakup. I'm hurting, I'm sad, these male 'friends' of mine try to be there for me and express their indignation that someone could ever treat a woman so badly, and then promptly try to get me into bed. Girls, I'm sure you've been there. Boys, I know you've tried it. Hell, I know girls who've tried it too. It's a good srategy, but not one to rely on in the end. At the end of the sketch, the girl storms away from ESIRB, saying, 'You creep me out.'


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Je ne longboard pas.

Well, I'll admit, it's been a frustrating morning.

i had to get up early as I do every wednesday to do the radio show on CKUT. This morning I read a chapter from George Elliott Clarke's novel George and Rue, a beautiful but sort of upsetting chapter about domestic abuse. We also have decided to start bringing in news articles we find problematic and complaining about them. My chosen piece was about how Saudi women are rebelling against the black abaya (cloak)--an article of clothing "widely considered a mark of oppression." By whom? What kind of oppression? Are western clothes somehow more free because we are allowed to sexually objectify ourselves? The article went on to connect restrictive clothing laws with Sept. 11. Not good. There were other things I wanted to talk about--like how you can apparently complain to the Quebec government now when you see any alcohol ad depicting sexual objectification or the assumption that alcohol will make you cool. Hilarious!

The show itself was fine, but because I'm alone in the house for the week, I mananged to drink half a bottle of wine while watching Save the Last Dance late last night. Again, not good.

I thought I was going to be late, so I brought my longboard with me to the station, my rollerblades being out of commission. I hate that damn longboard! Cheyne made me buy it because he wanted me to look like more of a skater chick. Why, I will never understand. I think he wanted me to fit into some stereotypical image he had in his mind of what his girlfriend should look like. Really, I take it as a compliment that I don't fit into any one "image." One thing you can say about me, I certainly have my own style. Skater it is not. I am far too gangly to own a skateboard.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against skateboards per se--I could even ride it properly, though hills scare me, and i'm really much better on rollerblades. It's just that this skateboard represents 1. Cheyne, and 2. my failure (or success, depending on how you look at it) to fit into an image of someone I'm just not. That longboard is just covered in slippery, disgusting feelings, and riding it is thus sometimes difficult. I also fell for the second time off it this morning going down a hill because I don't know how to stop! Humiliating, and really, just so uneccessary.

Anyway, I'm selling it. It's a great board, if that's your bag, it's just not mine. Look how awkward I am in the photo!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My new roommates and I have been thinking about getting a house pet. We are all commitment-phobic, but want something cute for a while that appears to love us but doesn't really care if we leave it. I wanted a snake, and Kitty wanted something furry, so Krista's boyfriend Dave suggested a ferret--like a furry snake!

Ferrets last 8-10 years, so we are thinking of rescuing an adult one from the shelter (also we wouldn't have to house train it). From what I've learned, there are several things I like about ferrets:

They like to play 2-3 hours everyday and then sleep for 18 hours. Once they fall asleep, they are hard to wake up.

They have a 'war dance' that they do after capturing a toy, wherein they jump up and down ecstatically.

They like to sleep in hammocks.

They like hanging out in shoulder bags, so I could take our ferret with me to school!

They like going for walks in cute little harnesses.

They are CUUUTTE.

Here are some things I might not like about ferrets:

They like getting into tight spots, and they are mischevious and curious, so preventing strangling, electrocution by wiring, and getting lost down a rabbit hole are somewhat difficult to avoid. Apparently they like playing in warm laundry, and might get stuck in the spin cycle.

They have a musk, apparently, which some people don't much like.

My problem at this point is that if we commit to a ferret now, it's going to be my responsibility when we move out. My tentative plans are to move to Toronto for a while, then travel for a while, then ?, then get my PhD in California? Do ferrets like california? What if it had to change owners? Do they travel okay? These are my worries. Ponder them, and send me your advice. In the meantime, some adorable ferret pictures, including one of Hugh Jackman, with ferrets.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Paloozas, as it turns out, are the wave of the future.

Last night I had a giant group of friends come over to my place and then to go dancing for a Juliepalooza! The idea is that when you go through a bad breakup, or end a bad job, or feel bad in general, you can have a party to counteract it. In my case, I wanted to show all my friends how much I appreciate their support through this breakup by giving them another opportunity to support me. I asked everyone to wear unitards and armwarmers and other clothes they think I'd like, and bring booze they think i'd like, and generally pay me lots of attention and make me feel good. I wore my most ridiculous high heels, constructed an outfit from a multipurpose tube and an old scarf, and drank mojitos all night. No one wore unitards, but everyone generally looked great. The dancing was highenergysweaty funk night at Korova, and it was excellent. I was told by several people it was the best palooza ever.

The trick with paloozas, I think, is to time them appropriately. You need to be at a place where you are ready to stop feeling about the bad thing that changed your life, and let it mark a new time. It's kind of like a coming-out party--if done too soon, you jump the gun on being back 'out there.' If done too late, you are stuck in the post-breakup (or whatever) closet too long. I think it's great to throw parties for yourself so everyone can tell you how much they love you, you can time it better than a birthday, and there is no pressure on buying you presents. It's generally a win-win situation. I greatly recommend them, and I must say, I'm feeling pretty good about being back in the game!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

thinking/art/yoga room

This afternoon, my lovely roommates and I took a look at our freshly painted extra room and decided to do something fun with it. We put up a gorgeous piece of art that my friend Erica made for me, based on a poem I wrote. I could never figure out how she had put the pieces together initially, so Kitty and Krista and I rebuilt in in such a way that we can switch the panels around to create new colour combinations. Inspired by this, we sat down in a pile of poetry books and picked out favourite quotes to paint on the walls. My first was written by Dennis Lee, and completes the phrase I have tattooed on my back. The second was a line from another favourite writer, George Elliott Clarke (the cutoff word in the picture is Respect). Krista is in the process of completing a visual poem by Ondaatje, and Kitty is going to pick something from Dionne Brand or Sylvia Plath for her quote.

Living in a house full of English majors is great. To add to that statement, earlier this morning I was sitting on the patio, drinking tea and sadly staring at the rain, when Krista came out and said, "Hey pathetic fallacy face." It was very apt.

Here are some pictures to give you an idea....but it's nothing like being in the room.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

This is my now!

Well, it's certainly been a long time since I updated this guy. I was working so hard in the first half of the semester that I stopped using the internet except for research purposes, and in the second half it was difficult to get it up to do anything at all, including shower.

A lot has happened over the past few months though. I got through my first year of MA, switched supervisors, and switched programs, so that I will now be writing a 100 page paper by next april. One of my papers, about typos, is going to be presented at a conference in Toronto in October, which is terrifying and very exciting, and my professor told me she thinks I should try to get it published in a scholarly journal, so I've been slowly trying to put that together.

In less good news, the boyfriend, Cheyne, came and left unceremoniously, leaving me single again in the spring, (as I am so often, it seems!) The season of twitterpation has come upon me free and able to twitterpate as I choose. Since this traumatic split, I have been finding myself relating to the strangest things. On driving with my mom:

mom: There's so much construction in Vancouver. Last time I was here, there was a building on that corner, and now it's gone!
me: [in my head] That's how I feel about my life.

Dear god. Even worse, I was watching Jordin Sparks sing the Martina McBride song "This is My Now" on American Idol, and found myself tearing up. A sample of the lyrics:

There was a time I packed my dreams away.
Living in a shell, hiding from myself.

There was a time when I was so afraid.
I thought I'd reached the end,
But baby that was then
I am made of more than my yesterdays.

This is my now, and I am breathing in the moment.
As I look around I can't believe the love I see.
My fears behind me, gone are the shadows and doubts

That was then, this is my now.

How will I ever live that down, just to myself?

Anyway, time to get it together. I'm feeling great in the Montreal heat, and I'm honestly feeling quite good about everything now. Wish me luck, and i promise to avoid American Idol at all costs.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Canadian erotica on the radio: good way to start a day

Oh Blog, again, it's been a terribly long time. I have to admit, updating my blog is not my highest priority. But I'm just at the tail end of a giant-all-consuming, soul-sucking project, so it's time to move on to bigger and better things. Like my hair! Literally--I just got it cut, and it got BIG.

In other news you might actually be interested in, it is currently 6am, and I am drinking tea before heading over to CKUT for the Wednesday Morning After show. Today's show is special for a ocuple of reasons: I will be teching and hosting the whole thing, firstly, which means I hold control over the airwaves! There is a little mystery in today's show, and I might play an interview from the Real News network (which is excellent, and everyone should check it out:

But also, it is Valentine's day, that most dreaded of holidays, and in celebration of love, I have decided to read some of the sexiest love scenes in Canadian lit. This will include the Danish Vibrator scene from Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers, in which a vibrator comes to life and starts fucking everyone uncontrollably. It's hilarious, and also terrifying.

I'm assuming you all missed it (jerks), so you can donwload it at under programming and archives: click on the Wednesday Morning After audio button and listen to the second hour.

Happy v-day, try not to drown yourselves in fruity cocktails.