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 info@conseilethique.qc.ca or check out the website at www.educalcool.qc.ca/ethics. 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!