The theme on the e-rotica blog is usually sexy, quirky and a little bit fluffy. I like to steer clear of the heavy stuff over here. Today, however, Irony in its saddest form has forced me to go in a different direction.
Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a pioneer, champion and godsend in women’s rights, specifically in the pro-choice movement, died today at the age of 90.
After surviving the holocaust, this man emigrated to Canada, where he opened the country’s first abortion clinic in Montreal. His goal? To give women the opportunity to have autonomy over their bodies, their future and their well-being without running the risk of medical problems, future infertility and loss of life. Despite a lifetime of legal battles, bombings and direct attempts on his life, Dr. Morgentaler remained dedicated to his cause. Unlike many pioneers in human rights issues, Dr. Morgentaler was able to see the full results of his efforts within his lifetime.
Largely due to Dr. Morgentaler and his peers, abortion has practically become a non-issue in Canada. Other than on American news channels, I have never seen an anti-abortion protest or even an anti-abortion ad like I’ve seen in the USA. As a teenager, I once accompanied a devastated sixteen year-old friend to an abortion clinic and, with the exception of an extra-high security system that included bullet-proof glass and multiple check-ins, it was not much different than any other clinic. No picket signs, no angry protesters hurling blood or condemnation in our direction. No parental signature or exorbitant fee required – we’re in Canada, after all. Like any other non-cosmetic surgical procedure, it was free.
I lived in the US for quite a while and I’ve traveled extensively throughout the country. I always looked upon their religious and/or anti-abortion ads with interest. I cannot say I’ve found them personally offensive, exactly. I understand that the United States is so much different than Canada in the aspect of politics and communications. There is a lack of subtlety in political and religious advertising; perhaps it is out of necessity. Americans are much more direct in their conversation and in there opinions. In other words, they say shit that you just couldn’t get away with here. I’m not going to lie, I usually enjoy America’s straight forward speech and penchant for blurting out their opinions regardless of whether or not it is solicited or contrary. I often find it quite refreshing. I mean, I would just love to spout out an argumentative sentence without carefully formulating it beforehand to ensure it validates my point in the least offensive manner.
Now, I just mentioned that I’ve never seen an anti-abortion ad or billboard in Canada. Unfortunately, I have to follow up that statement by saying, until today. Today, on the day of Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s death, a huge 18-wheeler rolled down Yonge Street, and it was completely covered in graphic and disturbing anti-abortion advertising. I was not the only person to stop and stare, jaw dropping to my shoelaces. On the truck was a picture of an aborted foetus alongside a woman with a sign in her hands that read, “I regret my abortion. It felt like being raped again.”
Oh. My. God.
Can I just say that this is not okay? Even those who believe that abortion should be illegal should be against this form of advertising. Think about it, what if a pro-choice group drove down the street with an image of a woman being raped to prove their point of view? Or a picture of a pregnant tween with a caption above her head that says, “I was raped and my parents are forcing me to keep the baby. I feel like I’m being raped again.” It is simply unacceptable, especially in Canada, where our rights were clearly established and outlined on January 28th, 1988, when the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s abortion law, deeming it unconstitutional.
I am posting an image of the truck at the bottom of this post so that you may choose not to scroll down if you do not want to look at it. Before that, however, is a two-minute CBC video about Dr. Henry Morgentaler.
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As I accidentally put my elbow in my bowl of ice cream, a series of thoughts flooded my mind. Consecutively, yes, but my brain might as well have conjured then simultaneously; they came that quickly.
Holy Hell. Only I would put my elbow in ice cream.
I don’t give a fuck. I’m eating it anyway.
Um, I’m eating the ice cream anyway not my elbow.
You can’t lick your elbow.
Every time I read that stupid spammy message on Facebook that tells me that its a fact that I cant lick my own elbow, I always think, “Why the fuck would I want to lick my own elbow?”
When it has chocolate chocolate fudge ice cream on it, that’s when. Now I know.
Knowledge is painful.
Actually, cold ice cream feels kind of good on the elbow.
I wonder if it would feel good or bad to have sex in a giant bowl of ice cream?
Probably good. And there very very bad.
My boyfriend’s right; I am a weirdo.
For some reason, perhaps to fully bring home the fact that I am, indeed, a weirdo, I then sighed, “My boyfriend’s right.”
My boyfriend happened to be in a dead sleep on the sofa when I stuck my elbow in a bowl of ice cream. I had been trying to wake him all morning through various forms of conversation, prodding, a few threats and perhaps just a little shoving. Even the promise of chocolate chocolate fudge ice cream didn’t get so much as a grunt. When I whispered, “My boyfriend’s right,” however, the asshole bolted upright, fully awake. “Wha? Huh? Wadiddya say? What am I right about?”
“Are you serious? Did you seriously just wake up because you think I think you’re right about something?”
“What am I right about?”
“You’re not right about anything. You must have dreamed it.”
“That sounds plausible. I’m going back to sleep.”
“Wait! I want you to stay awake. Do you want some ice cream?”
“It depends. Are you offering me that ice cream stuck to your elbow?”
“You might as well have it. I can’t lick it.”
“You’re such a weirdo.”
I mean, you can be a prostitute I don’t really care. To each her own, I say. But you don’t necessarily have to be one, you know? Case in point:
I had just left my knee appointment, which included a strenuous lower body workout, in posh downtown Yorkville. I looked like shit; red faced, frizzy haired, under dressed shit. I didn’t bother to change because I only had two stops – Ashley’s in Yorkville to pick up a birthday present for the MIL and then lulemon to pick up a headband – before going to tennis and then for a swim. Ashley’s was just a few doors down from my knee appointment so I ducked in there first. I wandered past four sales associates, all of whom ignored me or perused my person with ill-concealed contempt. They did not bother greeting me or asking if I needed help. Finally, when I wouldn’t stop touching things and picking them up, I’m sure, a sales lady asked if I needed assistance. She was pleasant enough. I explained I was looking for a present for the MIL and gave her an idea of what I had in mind. She gave me a few suggestions and I picked out what I liked. A bit over-priced but, whatever, the MIL deserves it and more.
While I was waiting for her to gift wrap it, I continued to look around the store, and be ignored by several other associates. I happened to spot this three-tiered tray thingy that stacks and un-stacks and matches one I already own so, when the sales lady returned, I asked if I would purchase that, too.
“Do you want me to check the price before you go to the cash?”
A little condescending but I could overlook it because I understood she was trying to be nice and save me some embarrassment if it proved to be beyond my budget. Since I already had one similar at home, however, I knew the approximate price.
“No, that’s okay. I’ll just get in ringed up, please. It doesn’t have to be gift wrapped, it’s for me.”
She looked at me cautiously before saying, “Well, in that case you might want to look at one we have over here that goes very well with this.” She led me to it. It turned out to be the exact one in my cupboard at the boat.
“Thank you but I already have that one. I’ve been looking for one that goes with it for a while. It stacks so nicely and it fits in tight spaces.”
“Yes, they are building apartments smaller and smaller these days aren’t they?”
I do happen to live in a tiny condo unit but I answered honestly, “Actually, I use it on my sailboat.”
Folks, one does not have to be wealthy to own a sailboat but images of pricey yacht clubs must have filled her mind because at this point the sales lady’s eyes brightened. She proceeded with attempts to upsell me on half the shit in the store. Other sales associates looked on with bemused amusement until they saw me leave the checkout with two nicely sized Ashley’s bags. I actually had the urge to say, “Big mistake. Big. Huge,” as I sailed out of the store but, with my luck, the words would be barely out of my mouth before I tripped over my own feet and broken everything in the bags.
I lost my stupid lululemon head band already. Obviously I can no longer live without one. I NEED that headband for when I suck at tennis every Friday. I looked high and low for the tiny strip of fabric with the magical hold but, alas, I could not find it anywhere. So before my lesson today I went back to the holy grail of sexy work out wear to purchase another one. A nice man in the store noticed that I had a brand new tennis racket in my hand (and about twelve headbands of various colours in my other hand but I eventually showed some discretion and put eleven back).
“You bought a new tennis racket. That’s exciting,” the guy said. “Trying to find a headband to match it?”
“No, I bought this tennis racket as a thank you to my friend for teaching me how to play.”
“That’s nice of you.”
It’s not a big deal. Except I had to go to two different stores because she has a crazy small grip and she prefers Head.”
At this we both stared at each other for a few moments before bursting out laughing.
So, folks, if I may be so bold as to offer a small piece of advice; if you’re thinking about taking up tennis, and can’t decide between Wilson and Head, it mostly boils down to how dirty your mind is.
The term is generally reserved for unsubstantial or gaudy works, or works that are calculated to have popular appeal.
The concept of kitsch is applied to artwork that was a response to the 19th century art with aesthetics that convey exaggerated sentimentality and melodrama, hence, kitsch art is closely associated with sentimental art.
I am quite fond of kitsch. Unfortunately my apartment is about the size of my rich cousin’s walk in closet so I don’t have much room for it. I usually fight my urges to pick up anything kitsch; I just need to remind myself that more flotsam equals less books. Sometimes, however, the impulse centre of my brain wins the war against my will power, which is probably distracted with thoughts of that ooey-gooey pastry it passed up at a breakfast meeting. And what if the kitsch is even remotely book related? Well then I’m screwed. Such was the case with this little item:
Yes, I just had to buy it so I could check out the catty comments made by the master. I’m sure the gum is crazy stale and I will throw this little item in garbage next week but what the hell, at least I can share it with you lovely people before then. Just click the pic’s for a larger view.
I’ve been on a bit of a weight loss kick for the past year and a half. Not so much that I’ve completely cut out the fries and vegetarian gravy, and of course I haven’t given up the occasional
glass bottle of wine or two. I’m not a health freak, after all, just trying to be, you know, healthier. What I have done has worked well enough but I’ve reached an impasse. I don’t think it would be possible for me to lose anymore weight without developing a workout plan or some sort of an eating disorder. I mentioned the more appealing option to my boyfriend.
“I’m thinking of developing some sort of an eating disorder.”
“Oh yeah? Which one?”
“I’m not sure. Maybe one of the weird ones, like I only consume things that are white.”
“You’d have to switch from red wine to white. I don’t think you could handle that.”
“Plus I’d be stuck with a lot of dairy. I hate dairy.”
“I think you should just skip the whole eating disorder plan. You’re thin. How much more weight could you lose?”
“But I’m not fit!”
“You’ll have to work out to get fit.”
“The hell you say.”
“We have two gyms in our building. Why don’t you just go to one of those?”
“All the girls there are so skinny! Every time I try to go, I just glare at those fit bitches and walk out. They know how to use the equipment and everything.”
“If you just stopped trying to wearing my gym clothes, you’d fit in with them. Go buy clothes that aren’t three sizes too big for you.”
“You want me to own gym clothes? I am not the type of girl who walks around in sweat pants.” sigh “It’s like you don’t even know me.”
“Go to that hula hoop lemon place and get some gym clothes that make you feel good about your body. Trust me, it will work.”
I was not convinced, so I asked my swimming partner. She’s quite fit so I was hoping she might have a better plan than owning stupid workout clothes and going to the gym.
“My boyfriend told me I need to start working out.”
“That asshole! Tell him he’s the one that needs to work out.”
“He does? I thought he was in great shape.”
“That’s not the point. Where does he get off calling you fat? It’s not even true!”
“Okay, maybe I should start over. I want to get fit. He told me I couldn’t do that by switching to white wine. He said I have to go to the gym but I’m hoping you have some better ideas.”
“I used to be a tennis instructor in Paris. Do you want me to teach you how to play tennis?”
“I feel like I already know a lot about tennis. I sit out on my balcony and drink red wine while watching people play a lot.”
“Well good then you already have a head start.”
“Okay, I’ll learn how to play tennis. I guess I’ll have to go buy a racket.”
“And proper clothing. You can’t wear your boyfriend’s sweats. You’ll trip.”
So that’s how I ended up at lululemon. I felt so uncomfortable walking in because everyone in the store was already wearing work out clothes, and they all looked totally fit, those bitches. A beautiful blond woman asked if she could help me find something.
“Um. Work out gear?” What the fuck else would I be looking for?
“Yeah but what kind? Yoga? Running? Cross-training?”
“I dunno. I want to play tennis. And maybe go to the gym once I’m fit enough.”
She gave me a quizzical look but said nothing as she directed me towards the back of the store. With her help, I blew three hundred dollars on one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, two tank tops with sports bras built in and a head band. I did not plan on buying so much but some sort of magical transformation happened in that change room. A somewhat in-shape woman walked into that cubicle and a totally fit-looking, tanned woman walked out (the saleswoman explained that the neon green colour of the shirt makes someone with even a slight tan look like a golden goddess).
Holy shit, I love these clothes. They are so comfortable! I almost walked out of the store to wander the Eaton Centre in those track pants. That’s right folks, for a moment I wanted to be one of those girls – you know, the ones who walk around wearing lululemon when they pretend that they are going to or coming from a work out.
I went for my first tennis lesson, which was totally fun, except for the part where my coach and I knocked heads and both ended up sprawled out on the court. Okay, I’m lying. The part where we knocked heads and ended up sprawled out on the court was the funnest part. After the lesson we went swimming. On the way to the pool, we stepped onto the elevator with two good looking guys who were headed to the gym, on the same level as the pool. I could tell the guys were checking me out, which made me feel confident enough to put on the outfit again after swimming and sneak into the gym, where I worked out on the elliptical machine for about half an hour. I didn’t actually know how to turn the machine on but someone helped me set it to some lower body endurance mode.
So here I am sitting on my couch still wearing my workout clothes. I do have to take them off before the boyfriend gets home, though. I’m not yet ready for him to know he was right.
Can I just ask, why am I such an idiot? You’ve read my blog, right? You must have a basic understanding of how my mind works. Where is the short circuit, the crossed wire, the defective part that needs to be returned to the manufacturer?
If you have read my past post, My Failed Attempts to Look Smart in Front of David Sedaris, you know that I really bunged things up the two times I’ve been in his presence. Last night, at a book signing at Indigo, I was supposed to have learned from my mistakes and presented myself brilliantly.
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
The one day that David Sedaris was in Toronto, I had to work an event in Mississauga. One of my wonderful friends acted as a placeholder in line for me while I rushed my ass back to the city. I got there about ten minutes before it was my turn to have my books signed. That was ten minutes to forget my arsenal of jokes, ten minutes to get a dry throat and sweaty palms, ten minutes to think about the fact that I had nothing interesting to say. Why do I get so nervous around celebrity? And, yes, I do consider David Sedaris celebrity. I wouldn’t give a flying fuck if I ran into Angelina Jolie or some other actor. Well, except Jason Statham but I wouldn’t have a chance to get nervous, and when the security finally found a spatula big enough to peel me off his body, I would have no regrets.
Anyway, I got to the front of the line.
“Hey, how are you doing?” I asked, silently congratulating myself for saying something normal people say.
“Good. Do you have Maple Leaf fever, too?” I’m sure he asked this because the woman who was in front of me in line had her signed Maple Leafs jersey on, and because the entire city was going nuts over the fact that they made the playoffs.
“Nope, not really.”
“I was worried about the turnout because of the game.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t think that would matter. Is it even a home game?”
“You’re asking the wrong person.”
We sort of looked at each other at that point and I could tell I had failed to impress him.
“Do you know any jokes?”
Fuck! Why does he always ask me that? But I did have a joke ready – What do you call a cow that just had a baby? De-calf-inated – and I swear I opened my mouth to tell it but instead something entirely different came out:
“My friend’s grandma is ninety years old. She’s at that stage in life where she just says whatever she wants. Anyway, the lady was on husband number three but he died. My friend went to visit her and said, “I’m sorry your husband died, grandma.” The old lady responded, “Well, that’s the way it goes, dear. One day they’re fucking you up the ass, the next they’re dead.”
He didn’t laugh.
I felt the urge to explain, “See, it’s funny because it’s a true story and she’s so old…” but we all know that if you have to explain it, it’s just not humorous.
“What’s the difference between a pedophile and a tortoise?” David Sedaris asked.
“They both want to come before the hare.”
Wait. He thinks that’s funnier than an old lady discussing butt sex with her granddaughter? Well, to each his own.
He gave me back my books, one signed to the the friend who held my place in line and the rest to me. I thanked him and took my leave to join my friend in the magazine section.
“What did you to talk about? You were chatting with him for a long time.”
“I told him that my friend’s 90 year old grandma likes ass sex.”
“Well, I’m glad you had a good time. Do you want to go get a glass of wine?”
“Yes. Yes I do.”
We settled on an overpriced French restaurant because all of the other restaurants, pubs and bars in downtown Toronto were packed with Leafs fans. We ordered a bottle of wine and then another. We could tell the Leafs lost when a brawl started outside.
At some point we realized that we hadn’t read the inscription in our books. My friend opened his first and read it out loud.
You are but a placeholder.
One of mine had a coloured drawing of a knife with blood on it. Another, an anthology for which all of the profits go to a tutoring centre in Brooklyn, said Thank you for helping the miserable children.
The third said Go mighty maple leaves.
We spent a lot of time debating this one. Was he referring to the hockey team or actual leaves? He didn’t capitalize maple leaves, and the plural for Maple Leafs is, well Maple Leafs. Plus, I did mention I wasn’t a huge hockey fan…
“I think he did it on purpose,” I concluded. “It’s funny.”
“Maybe you should just ask him next time he’s in town,” suggested my friend.
“But what if it is a misspelling? I’ll look like a passive-aggressive bitch when I point out his error in the form of a question.”
“Yes, you’re right. That would make a terrible impression. Stick to telling stories about ninety-year old women who take it up the ass.”
“Why don’t you go take it up the ass, you prick.”
“Well that just gives a whole new meaning to you are but a placeholder.”
“Hey, I should tell him that joke. That’s funny.”
Yeah, maybe next time I should just stay home.