Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What IS that?

I've developed an unexplained fear of my balcony.

I've lived in the same apartment for almost five years, and its main selling feature is the majestic balcony. 22 feet long, eight feet deep. It's one more giant room, and it's outside, open air, facing west. I love that balcony.

I'm not scared to go out there. I have a little garden out there and a great lounge chair, perfect for summer sun.

But damned if when I'm out there, I don't spend every second imagining myself inexplicably falling over the side, 15 stories to what I assume would be a very messy death. Well, about half my time is spent imagining that, the other half of the time my brain is weakly trying to convince me that won't happen. You're not going to just fall. You'd have to jump. You don't want to jump. Stop thinking about it you tool.

What IS that?

The same thing happens when I drive. I am going in a perfectly straight line and everything is fine, but in my head, I'm forever being T-boned. It hasn't actually happen, but the approaching cars that pass me so easily, or that wait at stop signs for their turn to go... those cars, in my mind, are always inexplicably crashing into me.

Coincidentally, I hate driving.

What IS that?

Crossing one way streets as a pedestrian, I am convinced someone will drive the wrong way and run me over dead. I can see it in my head. It's happening.

Except it's not fucking happening. What IS that?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The four letter word that is wife

You ever think the word "controversy" gets used too often?

I think there are things that a genuinely controversial, and then there are what I call "small c controversies"... things that people really desperately want to blow out of proportion.

Case in point, a Tory cabinet minister named Keith Ashfield recently had breakfast at the home of family. You know, one of those adorable photo ops that politicians seem to think is just so adorable (this is something all parties do, BTW).

At this breakfast, he complimented one family's young girls. She had made some bread, he ate it, thought it was delicious and told her she would make a great wife one day.

Of course, the CBC was all over this. How dare this white, male, conservative politician say this to the young woman? How dare he limit her to being "just a wife" one day. Have we not evolved past this sexist thinking? BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH CBC BULLSHIT BLAH BLAH BLAH.

This article further explains the fall out. How typical. The NDP is upset. The NDP demands the Tory minister for the Status of Women apologize for the comments her fellow MP made. Typical rhetoric.

Anyway, the young girl in question took to Keith Ashfield's Facebook page and said (and I am paraphrasing here, but her post is in the above article) hey, I wasn't offended! I made that dish especially for him and he complimented me on it, and it's not fair that people are taking it out of context.

But still! The bloggers, the politicians, the feminists MAINTAIN this is an issue. How dare we suggest this young girl could be a good WIFE when what we probably should suggest is that she could be an excellent BAKER? There's really nothing wrong with that argument, actually. No one wants women to be pigeon-holed into being stuck with the wife/mother life if they don't want it, and really, we should always encourage women to explore their options and realize they can do so much more.

But what, exactly... is so wrong with the suggestion this young woman would be a good wife?

Here's the thing. I hate this bullshit. The beautiful thing about being a woman in the 21st century North America is that we can be pretty much anything we want to be. We can be professionals with careers. We can be wives. And HOLY SHIT, we could be both! BOTH! Millions of women in North America are both.

The only way anyone should be offended by what Ashfield said to this young girl is if after telling her she would make a good wife one day, he licked his lips and tried to bribe her into a van with some candy.

What is so wrong with addressing the fact that women could possibly become wives one day? Where is the evidence to suggest that becoming a wife is something that the female population doesn't want at some point?

Do we turn a blind eye to the billion dollar bridal industry? Do we glaze over the fact there are tons of wedding/bride related shows on television every night? What about all the cooking shows hosted by and catered to women? What about all the shows about child rearing, births, mommy hood, etc?

Look, I know there are a lot of women out there that truly believe there is nothing more oppressive than marriage, and you know what? You're entitled to your opinion on the subject, think what you want. But to take someone's words, a simple compliment like "you're going to make a great wife" and try, through conjecture and rhetoric and nonsense, try to turn that into some sort of sexist, malicious comment is a little bit insane, no?

I know so many women who are absolute feminists and they are awesome. They are also wives and mothers. They want to be good wives and mothers! I'm sure it's amazing to get the compliment "hey, you're a great wife/mother". I know some women that would KILL to hear and feel that on a daily basis.

I want to be a wife. People look at me funny when I say this, but it's true. I want to be a wife one day, and dammit, I want to be a good one. If ANYONE told me I was going to make a good wife one day, I'd be happy. I wouldn't take the time to evaluate the fucking context. White conservative male says I will be a good wife? How dare he! My mom says I will make a good wife? Cue the happy tears!

In addition to being a wife though, I want to be other things. I want to be a writer, I want to maybe underwrite insurance policies, I want to be a talk show host, I want to be something. I don't want to be "just a wife" anymore than I want to be "just a writer". I want to be good and do all the things, you know?

I think there are more women out there like me, ones that want to be wives and have careers and interests and things that happen outside the home, than there are women that want to revert to the 1950's style wife, or than there are militant feminists who will never, ever waiver in the stance that marriage is oppressive to women.

We all want different things from our lives, and through the work of feminists, we can have those different things. We have the options to do what we want. So just let people do what they want, and instead of being so willing to jump down some politicians throat over a HARMLESS comment, maybe focus on the fact there are still real issues for women in this country.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On Steubenville and Rhetoric

The Stubenville case is almost too disturbing for words. It's almost too hard to write about.

This is a case that's so disturbing and polarizing, there is almost no way to react to it that won't cause some sort of backlash. Yesterday, the focus was on CNN, and its reporters coverage of the case. CNN chose to focus on the two boys convicted of rape, their ruined lives, the fact they will be branded as sex offenders for the rest of their lives, their academic and athletic records.

At first this outraged me. What about the victim? What about her ruined life? Did anyone talk about what a good student she may have been? What would this do to her future in academics or athletics? I was literally seething.

But then I kept reading more people's take on the subject, and it went from being smart commentary to ridiculous rhetoric, the throwing around of the terms rape culture, toxic masculinity and rape apologist. I realized this wasn't helping.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized we had to think about that victim, of course, but we also did have to think about these two boys, these rapists. We do have to think about the fact that these two boys were, on paper, very smart, good athletes, etc. It is important to think about this because we need to figure out what the FUCK went wrong.

We also do need to ask ourselves why this 16 year old girl was blind drunk. So drunk, that she couldn't remember what happened to her. A lot of people will tell you that her being drunk shouldn't matter, but it does. Not because it makes her deserving of what happened to her, but because it was a contributing factor to what happened to her.

Why do two seemingly smart boys, 16 year old boys, suddenly get the idea that it's ok to finger a passed out girl? Why on earth is the 16 year old girl (and probably other girls and boyd) blind drunk, to the point where a rape could happen, but what else? Maybe she could have died from alcohol poisoning? And even more worrying, WHO THE FUCK were these other kids, the ones who thought it made more sense to whip out their cellphones and secord a RAPE, rather than use those damn phones to call the police? They were the same assholes that thought it well and good to post the pictures and videos on the internet.

There was a storm of things that happened that night to put all these people, these supposed good kids, into the situation they found themselves in. We can't pretend like these kids, now convicted rapists, weren't otherwise smart because it won't do anything to solve future problems.

Who is teaching these kids that it is ok to touch ANYONE without express consent? How do these kids not know that NO MEANS NO and that if you can't say no (because you are too goddamn drunk) that you can't say yes either.

Where are the parents? Why were all these kids, rapists, victim and audience alike, all allowed out partying into the night, drunk as skunks?

Who raised these kids to think it's A-OK to stand by and do nothing while someone is being hurt? Worse still, how were they raised to think the first thing they should do is video tape and take pictures for any other purpose than helping the police?

I don't even understand.

It matters that these 16 year olds were supposedly so smart. It matters that people expected more of them and it matters that we talk about the fact their lives were ruined because WE NEED TO STOP THIS. We need to stop young girls from being victimized by these rapists and their supposed friends, but we also need to stop these young boys from thinking that what happened was ok. We need to be hammering home to these kids and adults that LOOK, these guys could have been something one day but they won't now because they conducted themselves in horrifying fashion.

We need to talk about it and make people see that horrific actions have horrific consequences.

We need to understand that NO ONE should have their lives ruined at the age of 16 for this because it was entirely preventable.

The way I see it, there was just SO MUCH that went wrong here, that it can't be so black and white.

This poor girl, I can't even imagine what she's going to. I don't feel a ton of sympathy for her rapists, but I do think we need to be talking about them and making an example of them. You don't want to be like these boys, they could have had so much better in their lives too.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

15 is the WORST, Doctor Culture, and Confidence

I stumbled across this article in the Daily Mail this morning, and it equal parts saddened and enraged me.

15 is an awful age for girls, isn't it? I think it has always been this way. I remember being 15 and it was awful. It wasn't awful because I was bullied, or had no friends, or because my family was poor. On paper, life was pretty great. I have always had friends, I was never picked on, and my parents weren't rich but I had what I needed. BUT STILL. 15 was not fun.

15 is when all the awful hormones kick in. The ones that make you moody and bitchy for no good reason. 15 is also usually the year your entire body starts to betray you, between periods, pimples, weight gain, weight loss, boobs. You may have been dealing with these things for a few years now, but for some reason, 15 seems to be the age you become hyper aware of all of it. It didn't all happen at once, but it sure feels that way.

15 was the year people pointed out the size of my boobs for the first time. I never had a training bra, I was cursed with a B-cup in the fifth grade and never looked back. At 15 I was forcing my boobs into a C cup bra because fuck admitting how big they were. Both girls AND boys felt the need to point them out to me, like I wasn't the one carrying them around all fucking day.

Despite the fact the world seems dreadful and determined to break you, 15 is also the time when you develop your most idealistic views. I was totally going to end sexism and war. That was to be my legacy, you know? It seemed like the time that you knew all the ways to make the world a better place, if only they'd put you in charge.

I personally don't really remember being pressured when I was 15. I didn't feel pressured to have sex with anyone, I did that because I wanted to. I didn't feel pressured to be thin, but I sure knew I was fat then (I was!). I didn't feel pressure to be popular, I had friends. I never ever felt pressured to drink (I did if I wanted to) or do drugs (I didn't do them and that was fine). If anything made 15 easier, it was just knowing what I felt was right and sticking to that. I was born confident and I'm so. fucking. lucky. for that. But again, 15 is THAT TIME where we aren't entirely confident but we're trying, right?

Looking back on it, I was lucky to be 15 in the 90s. It was a time when women looked like humans. Female musicians in the 90s had a huge influence on my growing up. I'm thankful I grew up in the era of Shirley Manson and Gwen Stefani, grunge goddess and quirky fashion icon. We also had Mariah Carey, who was beautiful and could SING. Like really sing. There was no blatant misleading auto tune then, and we hadn't quite hit the terrible era of the 90's where Britney Spears showed up and ruined everything.

Oddly, the 90s was also the decade of the supermodel. Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Christy Turlington. These women were everywhere. We didn't have the internet yet, but we had Seventeen and YM to give us glimpses into the world of female beauty. It seemed so much more real back then. If you wanted big, gorgeous lips in the 90's, you found the darkest lipstick and and even darker lip liner and you drew those fuckers on. We hadn't yet come to the era where we had to think about buying our lips.

2013 now... everything is so different! Hello Facebook. Now, the popular girls can talk about you behind your back, to your face AND online. You can't escape that at 3:30 anymore when the bell goes and you head home. Of course, you COULD just not have Facebook, but that's an argument for another day.

In 2013, natural beauty seems abhorrent. Why work with what you have when you can buy it? Instead of women aspiring to be Barbie like, they've just become Barbie. Fake is the new real. The best example of this is Kim Kardashian. Once an actually natural beauty (if you've seen old pictures), now she's miles of collagen, botox, spanx and hair extensions.

Everything seems fake now. Look at Ke$ha. Not a word that thing sings isn't auto tuned to smithereens.

Girls have always had trouble at the age of 15, but how tough is it to be so young when nothing around you is real? What's it like knowing you may not be beautiful now, but one day you could just buy it? You have a choice of working to pay for school or working to buy a set of tits? I can't even...

The other thing we didn't have in the 90's? Doctor Culture. We hadn't become swamped by "experts" yet. We didn't have Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz in the spotlight. There wasn't an endless barrage of psychiatrists and psychologists waiting in the wings to tell us everything that was wrong with us. But now, according to the article I just read, 27% of teen girls have a "full on mental illness".

Part of me wonders if girls are really so susceptible to mental illness, depression, eating disorders etc, or if we just have more experts ready to tell us we're sick and to dispense medicine rather than advice. So NOW, on top of feeling shitty, having no idea where you stand in the world, no confidence and seemingly no hope, now there's something wrong with you... which you can interpret as either "See, it's not your fault!" or "Now there's something wrong with you. WRONG WITH YOU."

Mental illness, depression... these are very real problems. They aren't just something we should be throwing on the shoulders of teenage girls on top of everything else. I'm a little more inclined to believe that life is really shitty at certain points in your life, and 15 is one of those times. Granted, that doesn't mean we should be telling everyone to just suck it up and deal with it, but why should we be so quick to try and diagnose something that just happens to people?

I remember being so down when I was 15 and thinking I was never going to feel happy or normal again. I don't remember when I snapped out of it, I just know that it happened without the need for pills, doctors and expert opinion. I think it's just a natural phase.

I don't have the answer to the dilemma of the 15 year old girl. If I could, I would just wave a magic wand and make all young girls strong, happy and confident. I'd do it for teen boys too, in a heartbeat. I remember enough to know that happy, confident kids make happy, confident adults. All I know for sure is that it does get better, and that you have to let YOU define you. Don't let your friends, hobbies, or anyone else define you or tell you what you should be.

Of course if you're 15 and reading this, I am pretty sure you are rolling your eyes at me. Believe me, my inner 15 year old is too.




Thursday, February 28, 2013

Entry number "I've lost count" re: safety in downtown Winnipeg

A good friend of mine tipped me off to this article on the Spectator Tribune website regarding downtown safety which is a topic a) close to my heart as someone that lives and works downtown and b) something that is frequently discussed among my friends and colleagues. 

Rather than summarize the whole article I suggest you just go ahead and read it and then come back here for my little rant on the subject.

Are you back? OK.

I think there are two attitudes that pretty much guarantee we will never have a frank discussion about safety in downtown Winnipeg. The first is the suburban mentality that downtown is a hopeless pit of despair, a lawless land where you can't walk anywhere without running the risk of being mugged, or getting stabbed or sexually assaulted. There are thousands of people that commute into downtown Winnipeg every day and can't wait to get home to the safety of the 'burbs because downtown is just SO SCARY. 

I work with tons of people like this. I've asked them if they've been a victim and the answer is always no. But they HEAR things that happen to other people. They read about it in the news. The worst thing that happens to them downtown is being hassled by panhandlers that are drunk, stinky and aggressive (which can be quite scary, let's be honest). None of them have been mugged, assaulted or stabbed. Just bothered. But they are running scared for that bus every night and don't spend an extra second downtown if they don't have to.

This attitude definitely does not help downtown win any PR points because these people have their minds made up on the subject. There can't be any real dialogue on the subject if people aren't willing to listen to reason.

The second attitude that doesn't help anything is the ever present "I spend time downtown and nothing bad has ever happened to me, therefore there's no problem" attitude. People with this attitude are much like the first group in the sense that they have no direct experience with downtown crime, but have the idea that means crime just isn't there. Surely the numbers must be greatly exaggerated. You'll hear the tired argument that it's crime that happens between people that know each other, blah blah blah. It didn't happen to me so it's not happening to anyone or at the very least, anyone that matters.

This is almost exclusively a male attitude, and the reasoning behind this is simple. Men don't have the same fear complex as women because in a purely physical sense, it is MUCH EASIER to physically intimidate a woman. As a woman, I know we're a much easier target than the average male. We carry giant purses and vaginas everywhere we go. We have much more to lose on very, very extreme levels.

I got into a heated argument with a man with this attitude a while back, and he basically told me that a scary, violent incident has never happened to him so downtown is perfectly safe, to which I disagreed. He then called me out, telling me I was a bullshitter. His basis for this was that I live and work downtown and if I was so scared of it... I simply wouldn't.

Well, moron. This is my home. I have proudly lived downtown for four years in a row, and had previously spent another year down here before that. I've been with the same company for seven years and have spent six of them working downtown. My whole life is in this area and you know what? I love being here. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I'm close to work, I virtually never have to drive and believe it or not, it's pretty quiet around here at night. There are lots of good places to eat within walking distance, and there's a grocery store close by too. Everything I need in life is down here. This is my home.

But just because I love it doesn't mean I am under the false pretense that this place is Disneyland, nor do I feel it's like Chicago-style deep dish murder-y out there. You have to take the good with the bad here.

There is crime downtown and there is violence too. I saw a pretty intense tranny fight outside Club 200 last week. I also saw a really pathetic bum fight in the skywalk last week. Now sure, I may have not been involved in either of those incidents, but I still have to witness it. I still have to side step it. It's very real down here.

I've been in Portage Place and watched drug deals, or witnessed violent shoplifters being tossed out, punching and kicking at security guards and mall staff. I went for lunch there about an hour before someone got shot on the street outside. I've called the police for people I see wandering around bleeding from the head (for reasons unknown). Stuff happens here. It hasn't happened to me but again, I'm around it.

Is downtown more vibrant? Absolutely it is. There are new apartment and condo developments (even though the above article will tell you "almost no one" lives downtown), the NHL being back has lots of people downtown not only on game nights, but I think it's contributed to people being willing to stay downtown a little longer, even if it's only for a drink after work. The NHL crowd has realized there are places to be down here and I think they are willing to make downtown a destination on non game nights. I see a lot more people around than I used to.

But the NHL hasn't eradicated crime or the threat of it. People still need to know there are issues here and need to be smart about how they conduct themselves when they are downtown. People need to be aware of their surroundings. I see so many people wandering around here, faces firmly planted down at their cellphones, completely oblivious to the rest of the world. You're a walking target. Keep your head up. Pay attention. That is one of the easiest ways to avoid being a victim.

Anyway, back to my original point. We can't have a real dialogue about safety in our city until we are willing to shed the attitudes and acknowledge downtown for what it is, negative and positive. The discussion has to fall somewhere between Downtown Biz and Centre Venture's sugar coating and the suburban "everybody panic" level of hysteria. 

Here is the discussion. It's so simple. Downtown Winnipeg has a crime problem, but it's also a great place with a lot to offer. How do we reconcile the two? How do we make people feel safe to be here, and how do we deal with what makes people afraid to come down here?

That is the reality we are dealing with. Let's talk.



Monday, January 21, 2013

Float (sadly, no iced cream or root beer)

I wanted to write a 2012 year in review, but I couldn't decide what, if anything, was really worth reviewing.

Winnipeg got the Jets back (awesome!), but one of my best friends revealed himself to be a right shit head (not awesome!). I became a bad ass mutherfucker in the kitchen (finally!), but managed to cut myself a lot. I FINALLY got around to going back to school (yay!), only to stress myself out to the point of tears and vomit (boo!).

2012 felt like a floater year. I just did stuff. Some of it I planned, but a lot of it I just muddled through. I completely fell off the gym wagon (which oddly, I don't feel terrible about... more on this later), I can't be bothered to write much, and I found myself working (by choice, mostly) all the goddamn time. Working to the point where it would be two, sometimes three months before I took a day off because I'd either forget to or feel I had no reason to.

I built better relationships with my girl friends, strained relationships with my family (like that's new), and opened myself up to some people while completely shutting others out.

I had a scandalous one night stand. I had the sweetest kiss of my life on a beach in the middle of the city. I had my heart stolen without even seeing it coming. It was an interesting year that way at least.

2012 was like a really great song that got a shitty remix. You kinda liked it at first, but then the beat fell off and just when you decided to try and dance to it, you just turned the music off altogether.

So, what to do with 2013?

Well, less floaty-floaty and more decision making. The first plan is to travel more and goddammit it, I just spent a glorious week off in the beautiful city of Vancouver and loved every second of my time away. I want to get back to Vegas, and I FINALLY want to see New York City. I have made very active plans to save money for these things and have already been very successful with this goal even in just the first three weeks of the year.

I want to get back in the gym, but I want to do it on my own terms and when my body finally tells me it's time. For some reason, my body seems to want rest these days. I'm sure running it ragged at work has something to do with it. I love exercise and when my body wants it, it REALLY wants it. Right now, it wants rest, so rest it shall get. I've been taking more walks than anything, which I love and you know what? It's good enough for me right now.

This year I need a little more focus and a little more me time. I need more love in my life. I need to have a lot more patience with myself and others. I feel like I've lived my life very passively over the past year and I'm tired of just letting/watching things happen.

I just want this year to be a better year. More forethought and planning, but more fun too. Can you have it all like that?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nothing has changed since Grade 11 math class

While walking back to work after lunch yesterday, a woman stopped to look at a television at a cafe, which was broadcasting CNN, which was of course showing the coverage of the school shooting in Newtown, CT.

"Again?" is what she said.

Yup. Again.

And that is sort of the only word I can come up with to sum up this whole mess. 

Again.

And sadly, it's not just because it happened AGAIN at a school, the second deadliest school shooting in US history, in fact.

It's not just because that, AGAIN, people are going about their daily lives and having to dodge bullets  in a place that should be safe, in this case an elementary school, but earlier this year in Colorado it was a movie theatre. Earlier this year in Toronto it was a shopping mall (and even earlier this week it was a shopping mall in Oregon). JUST TODAY in Alabama it was a goddamn hospital of all places.

It's that AGAIN, people around the world are trying to explain the whys and the hows of these situations. Why does anyone load themselves with one, three, ten guns and just decide to shoot up a place? Because they are crazy? Because they are criminals? Because they are just evil?

Why did this person have a gun? How did they get it? Why did they need it? Why did they know how to shoot it? Worse, how come they didn't know how to shoot it?

How will I know it's safe to go to school, watch a movie or go shopping tomorrow? Why should anyone feel entitled to safety anymore?

Why is this something that keeps happening? I was in high school when Columbine happened. I remember, like it was yesterday, going to my math class and my teacher, Mr. Persad, the only person on earth that's ever explained math to me and made me understand it, stood at the front of the class and just didn't have the answers to this problem.

He told us to remember that no matter how bad things got in our lives that they were never truly that bad, and that we should always try to find someone to talk to when things got bad. And then he told us to hug our parents when we got home because they were probably really scared.

Here we are, 12 years since I graduated high school and I can't believe there are still people doing this unspeakable things, and yet somehow I am not surprised. There are so many people walking around this planet with a lot of problems and they don't have the mental capacity to know how to handle it. They might have an incredible support network of family and friends, they might have nobody. It doesn't matter. They can't process what they feel anyway and it manifests. Most people that have these issues don't get guns and shoot up schools, the problems display themselves in other ways, maybe they just harm themselves. 

What does that matter though? There are people out there that need help, medicine, support etc. and they aren't getting it. Some of them are armed. What are we going to do about this?

I kept thinking about Mr. Persad yesterday as I watched the news unfold and I kept hearing him, over and over in my head... "go home and hug your parents."

I've never been so relieved to not be a parent in my life. I can't imagine what it's like to be the parent that gets the call that the school they think is safe is being shot up. I can't imagine what it's like to be the parent hundreds or thousands of miles away from where the story is, but who thinks of their kid that is sitting in a school right now and just aching to be with them and make sure they are ok.

I can't imagine having to explain this to a child of any age. I don't have any how or why answers for the adults in my life. I don't understand any of what happens in these shootings, I can't imagine explaining this to a child that just can't understand it any better than me.

What I have been trying to remind myself, over and over, is that people by and large, are good. There are more good people in the world that will help people when awful events occur than there are bad people. Yesterday there were teachers that locked kids in closets, bathrooms and storage rooms to keep them safe. In the movie theatre shooting there were men that shielded their girlfriends from bullets, losing their own lives to protect them. There are more good people then bad. You just hear about the bad people first, the heroes always come out in the second act.

The more cynical among us will tell you that prayers and hugs and vigils won't help  in these incidents and you know what? They aren't wrong.

But hugging and crying and praying and standing outside with a candle isn't the worst thing you could be doing in the aftermath of something like this. So hug away. Make sure you let your loved ones know you love them and that you'll be there if things start to go bad. Let them know you'll help keep them safe. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brown eyes, blue eyes, and a-colour-I-can't-quite-place eyes

The brown eyes wander in and out of my life because they can't really stick around for too long. They are the wandering kind and they don't belong to me... technically. But they still show up at my door from time to time and are intense and hungry.

The brown eyes have always had a way of making me abandon everything I think is right, they've always managed to go straight into my brain and shut it off. It doesn't matter if they are looking at me from across a room or if they are staring dead into my eyes while we're doing something incredibly hot, those eyes dismantle.

But for all they do, the brown eyes know better than to hold my gaze too long. For one, they can't because they're supposed to be focused elsewhere. For another, the gaze leads to questions and reflection. How long has this been going on and why? How long can we keep it up? When are you coming back? When can I see you?

The problem is I don't know whose eyes are asking which questions.

The blue eyes seem to really, really want to look into mine. When they can. They beg me to look in them, and when the blue eyes can't hold my gaze (because I'm too chicken shit to let anyone look too long), the hands attached to those eyes will hold my face and make me look.

The blue eyes have said some very sweet things to me, they've kissed me so sweetly and stared at me so intently. They've begged to see my profile, begged to watch the city. The blue eyes kissed me in the middle of the night, in the dark, on a beach for the first time and even though I couldn't see them I knew. They kinda kill me. I'm almost happy I can't look into them whenever I want because I'm just... scared. I don't even want to think about what it would lead to.

And then there were the eyes that were... hazel? Sort of green? Not quite brown. I asked what colour he called them and like a smart ass, he said red. I never got my answer. Those were the eyes I always wondered about. There was so much going on behind them. For once, it wasn't my eyes being all evasive... it was his eyes that didn't seem to want me to break through. I don't know if mine ever conveyed what I was trying to say, which was "let me in, dammit. I will be good to you, I promise..." because the rest of me was too busy trying to be ultrasexkitten.

I don't get to look into those eyes anymore because it got too complicated. The strings that we said wouldn't show up were showing up, at least this time both of us knew it was happening and felt the need, at the same time, to back off.

The eyes have it, but none of those eyes have me.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ten songs I really loved in 2012

2012 favourites by shiftlessLL on Grooveshark


2012 seemed to be one of those years where there was just SO MUCH great music. So I decided to throw together a playlist of some of my favourites. Coincidentally, there are 10. I didn't plan that. I'm sure there are more songs if I put a little more thought into it.

I had to start the playlist with Garbage, because anyone who knows me knows I'm a superfan, and being that the band put out its first album in SEVEN years and sounds as good as ever, it had to lead out of the gate.

No Doubt also released an album after what seemed like a million years away. It's not the best work they've ever done but the title track makes me shake my ass. Win.

What else? Gaslight Anthem and Drake dominated my iTunes this year. Seriously. Non stop. I think Drake's album came out in 2011 but tough nuts, I didn't get it til this year.

Chantal Claret used to sing in Morningwood, a fantastic band of dance rock music. 2 Chainz and Lana Del Rey started out as music I hated but came to love thanks to insistent friends and family. Mumford and Sons and Metric are bands I never thought I'd like but both put out front-to-back amazing albums this year.

M.I.A. is just the baddest chick in music.

Anyway, it's an all over the place mix, for sure. Hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Next time...

I've been single for almost a year now and my mind has be wondering what to do about the next one...

I learned a lot of things in the course of my five year relationship, and now that it's over, I've been thinking of all the things I don't want with the next one.

A lot of my life I feel like I so the same shit over and over again, but this time, when it is time, I want to make sure I'm looking for the right things.

So, in no particular order.

I need a man. Not a boy. I have (not entirely reluctantly) embraced adulthood and I need a man that has done the same. I need someone with a grown up frame of mind. Not necessarily a five year plan, but I do need someone that has at least figured out what settling down and growing up means to them.

I need someone I can truly rely on. The problem in my last relationship was partially that my ex was selfishly unreliable (meaning he'd never do anything for me unless it could relate back to him), and partially that I am an exceedingly Type A individual that needs to control things, especially when I know/feel I am the only one capable of doing those things. I need someone that demonstrates they can be counted on and that will make me mellow out. I don't want to control everything, it's just what happens when I feel like things aren't going to be done properly. I need someone that combats this.

I really need someone that will treat me like a lady. True I tend to be one-of-the-boys, and yes I am brash and mouthy, but I need a man to treat me like I am his lady and not like his friend. I don't even know what this means exactly, but lately I am attracted to men that have some moral standards about them. Men that will open the car door, or hold my hand. A man that will make the bed we've slept in. I want a man that makes me feel special to him.

I need someone that is willing to work through the hard things in life. No more runners. No more ostriches. I need a man that will accept the hard things in life and either get through them or get over them.

I need a man that will give as much support to my goals and plans as I will give to him. In my last relationship I was constantly propping someone up while receiving very little support. I want someone that will work for me and not against me, if that makes sense. Someone that will help me out when I get busy. Someone that will tell me when to take a break and when it's time to eat and stop being a jerk.

I need a man that will demonstrate he really, truly cares for me all the time. Not when it's good for him, not when he's fucked up, and not when he's showing me off.

I need a man I can trust to do the grocery shopping and stick the the budget. I need a man that knows what WE need. I need a man who doesn't need my instructions or grocery lists to get things done. Remember what I said about reliability?

I need a man that will love me for who I am and accept me for who I am, but more importantly, I need a man that will love me for who I will eventually evolve to be. I want someone that will find new ways to love me each day rather than itemize all the ways I become different. Life is all about growing and changing. I don't expect the men I date to be the same day in, day out, year after year. That can't be expected of me.