Guns Everywhere; Common Sense Nowhere

5481636920_1a29fc83c1_mGeorgia is waiting to see if a new bill dubbed the ‘Guns Everywhere’ bill will pass. The NRA is ecstatic and so is a group called GeorgiaCarry.org. That organization’s Executive Director, Jerry Henry, speaking  about all the changes this bill outlines, said, “They’re needed because our rights have been stripped away from us for years. The Second Amendment says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. And it has been infringed.… We’re basically just restoring our rights, we’re not getting any new rights.”

Wow, those gun-loving, gun-toting, rootin’-tootin’ Americans love that Second Amendment of theirs. But, you see, there was a typo in that amendment and it really says ” …the right to BARE arms…”, which is much more palatable, well, for the most part, then walking around with a gun.

If we go with that interpretation then this new bill makes perfect sense; you can have bare arms in pubs, churches and schools (if those congregations and school districts agree), on the street and in unsecured areas of the airport. And, the fact that you don’t have to prove you’re licensed to have bare arms is okay too.

But, seriously, this new bill seems absolutely nuts to me, and yes, I realize I’m more of  a ‘make love not war’ kinda girl and the NRA probably things people like me are just hippie-dippy, maple-syrup-loving Canadians with universal health care, which by the way, would come in really handy if we had crazy-ass ‘guns everywhere” laws up here, and, they’d by right. I just don’t get the appeal or the reasoning behind every man and woman having a gun.

My other favourite thing that pro-gun people say is, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Yeah, true, so what’s your point? All people are programmed to kill so let’s make it easier for them by outfitting everyone with a gun so they can do it faster? Or, are you trying to say that the gun doesn’t discharge a bullet that’s sole purpose is to inflict injury and/or death? My mistake, I didn’t realize guns shot soft, marshmallow bullets that just bounce harmlessly off people.

My heart goes out to all those parents of the children gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School who are listening to the news about this bill. I wonder how many of them are glad that politicians are ensuring that an American’s right to carry a gun is not infringed-upon? What a relief it is to know that minor disputes can be easily settled with a brief gun battle, and if this bill passes in Georgia, that battle can happen at church, school or on the bus. Wow, now, that’s a kind of freedom that’s…that’s… well, kind of scary.

 

graphic from the Stop Gun Violence.org

What the 404? #Fail

What the 404? #Fail

Did you feel a little lost and out-of-favour in 2013? The Global Language Monitor’s 14th Annual Survey of Global English documented that 404 was the number one word used in 2013 and the second most used word was Fail.

Here are their top five words:

  1. 404  –  The near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet.word2
  2. Fail — The single word fail, often used as a complete sentence (Fail!) to signify failure of an effort, project, or endeavor.
  3. Hashtag  – The ‘number sign” and ‘pound sign’ reborn as the all-powerful Twitter hashtag.
  4. @Pontifex — The Hashage of the ever-more popular Pope Franciscus (Francis).
  5. The Optic — The ‘optic’ is threatening to overtake ‘the narrative’ as the Narrative overtook rational discourse. Does not bode well for an informed political discussion.

When I see those five words, with the exception of the Pope, I think what a negative space we’re in –#NegativeNellies. Well, okay, the word Hashtag is not negative in and of itself; it just speaks to our obsession with so-called “social” media.

I don’t know about you, but in real life I’ve never seen anyone at a meeting stand up, point to a person who can’t seem to find a document or remember the exact budget amount, and yell “Ha! 404!” or seen someone yelling “Fail” when they see a person stumble in the street. Can you imagine? #That’sJustMean

The only glimmer of light in that top Five is @Pontifex for the new Pope. It’s not that I have a thing for the Pope or anything, or for any religious figure, it’s just that they usually stand for the good that people want to try to be. Bet old Pope Francis isn’t walking around the Vatican spewing out #Fail and #404 to his underlings. He might drop the odd #JesusMary&Joseph but that’s to be expected from the Catholics. (It’s okay, I can say that because I grew up Catholic and my mom was very devout and she said that a lot, usually followed by chest clutching and the sign of the cross.)

Number five on the list, “The Optic”, makes me think of everything from politics, to evil corporations and government to social media. It’s all about how something appears, not how it really is. How many people’s Facebook pages, twitter and foursquare accounts are about appearing to be living large? What about online dating profiles? If ever there were an opportunity to pander to optics, that’s the place. (I’ll have to do a separate post about online dating – too much fun stuff to squeeze in here.)

Let’s hope the most used words for 2014 are little more inspiring, more Popey and less Hashtaggy. My goal for the new year is to surround myself with words that inspire me, like #fun, #NakedFireFighters and #Chocolate…oh, wait, I think those were the main plot points in a recent Harlequin Romance. I guess I’ll have to work on those words for 2014. What about you? Got your words all lined up?

Photo by: Procsilas Moscas

Wool Socks, I Wuv You

I recently bought a couple of pairs of striped wool socks, and I was quite excited about them. Yes, you can call me weird or goofy or Waldo, but I have to tell you that I am in love with them. I know it’s quite a bold statement, but it’s true. We’ve been inseparable since I bought them.

In my book, there is nothing worse than having freezing cold feet and mine seem to have an insulation problem. Well, my whole body does really. I am often cold and if my feet are cold the rest of me is sure to follow.

When I was married I used to be lucky enough to jam the little Titanic-sinkers in-between the thighs of my unsuspecting husband when we were in bed. While I’m sure his core temperature dropped about 20 degrees instantly, and his grumpiness rose about 50%, my cute little tootsies started to thaw somewhat.

Now, sleeping alone, and with no husband who is bound by a marriage to keep his wife warm, my feet float aimlessly around the bed in search of heat. Well, that was until I decided I need to wear socks to bed. But wait, that’s not all I wear…

Yes, pathetic as it is, I hate the cold so much that I have regressed to wearing pajamas that are fit  for little Cindy Lou Hoo; long-sleeved top tucked into full leg pajamas and, yep, you guessed it, tucked into my socks.

At bed time I pull all the covers around myself and marvel at my clever solution. That is, until about 2 am in the morning, which is the time of night when I wake up roasting hot. I think it’s the precursor to night-time hot flashes,  unless some bastard is coming into my room and lighting my feet on fire every night.

Half asleep and tangled up in the sheets and blankets, I embark on an epic struggle to remove enough covers so I can cool down but not so many that I’m no longer at the optimal temperature. It’s about as easy as it is for Sheldon cooper to give up his seat.

wool socks

My sexy wool socks

It appears that I am turning into my mother, well at least when it comes to the inability to retain heat. Pretty soon I’ll be wearing a light sweater in 30 degree Celsius or I may even have to search for wool underwear and invest heavily in tights. In any case, right now as we claw our way kicking and screaming into fall, I am grateful for my wool socks. Stripes can be sexy, right? Right? Wool socks, I wuv you – don’t go a-changing

If yoga instructors ran the world

  • There would only be one clothing store ­­— LuluLemon
  • Microsoft Office programs would immediately run a meditation video when they crashed
  • All roads, paths and other surfaces would be made out of yoga mat material and no one would wear shoes
  • Sighing deeply would be acceptable no matter where you were — in fact it would be encouraged
  • Work would start whenever people arrived and you could stop doing any work activity if your body was telling you it was not comfortable
  • No one would shake hands anymore, but instead would bow and say “Namaste
  • People would automatically stand at arms length from each other in case they had to suddenly do Tree or Proud Warrior
  • It would be perfectly acceptable to:
    • sweat profusely in public because you did hot yoga
    • pass gas in public due to certain poses
    • lift or bend in such a way that you were either putting your butt (doing Downward Dog) or your pelvis (doing Table) in someone’s face
  • more people would have names like: Sunny Meadow, Wynne blown, Joy Love etc
  • There would be no police, but only Yogalice. Whenever a confrontation would happen, which would be rare, they would be on the scene to help the good and bad guys breathe through it and push out that negative energy

If Billy Blanks ran the world

  • Backwards baseball hats, lycra and wife-beaters would be the uniform for the masses
  • People would be out of breath a lot and yelling “whoo”, “yeah” or “woot” at random intervals
  • There would be a lot of jogging on the spot
  • If anyone started counting out “1, 2, 3” perfect strangers would join in and start random arm or punching movements
  • It would not be unusual to have someone follow you around watching what you do and making any one of the following remarks: “That’s it”, “Walk it out”, “There you go” and “Hands up”
  •  If there were any confrontations, people would beat the shit out of each other – all the while counting

If Miley Cyrus ran the world

  • Everyone with an IQ of 90 or higher would curl into the fetal position and cry
  • Everyone with an IQ of lower than 90 would learn how to twerk
  • Foam fingers would be the #1 fashion accessory
  • People would wish Britney Spears ran the world

The unbearable lightness of my towel

A friend convinced me that I should start working out in the morning, so earlier this week I arrived at the gym at about 6:30 in-the-insanely-early- a.m. I jam my giant bag of stuff into the skinny locker that makes me wonder if the person who created it knows women at all. Anyway, upstairs I go and wait in line to sign up for an upright bike. Yep, there’s a line up to write on the board.

The workout

I cycle for 20 mins, then attempt to do some weights.  I don’t like the machines they have because I’m not sure how some of them work. But, I don’t want to LOOK like I don’t know how they work, so I casually stretch by a machine and look covertly out of the corners of my eyes at the useless pictogram instructions.  When I think I’ve got it I jump on and give it a go.

It goes well for the most part until I try some pulley machine. I do one set of exercises but when I want to try the other, the bar doesn’t move up like it should. So I woman-up and ask the attendant about it. She says it should just slide up and as she tries it, she sees that it’s stuck. I mumble something about going to try something else while she works on it.

I go to the leg press. It’s the one where you sit down and put your legs up against a big flat piece of metal and push up. Only problem is that the big flat panel is too far away for me to reach and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to adjust it.

I must have been walking around it and staring at it like it was something from mars because some guy came and asked if I needed help. When I explained the problem he told me to, “SIT DOWN!” Quite rude until I realized he had ear buds in and probably didn’t realize he’d yelled it. Once I was seated, he showed me how to flip out the bars with the teeth that were holding the plate and, voila, I was set.

Then, because I probably looked like I was a little slow, or maybe it’s just the blonde hair, he says, “Those big round things are weights that you add to the bar”. That I knew.

As I’m doing my leg presses I can see the attendant still trying to fix that other machine. She’s got a cloth and oil and is lubing everything in sight. She’s pulling on things and grunting…it’s like low budget porn, but with clothing.

The shower room

After my workout, I head downstairs and practically dislocate my shoulder trying to rescue my bag from the locker. I notice there are a lot of people here and hurry along because I’m worried there will be a lineup for the showers.

I pull out my flip flops, very proud of myself for remembering them, and then I dig through the bag in search of my towel. Then my pride turns to slight panic when I realize that I forgot to pack one. Damn. Damn.

I run out to the front desk thinking that because there’s a swimming pool at the community centre that they might rent towels. Nope. So I end up spending $22 on a “sport towel”, which I learn is really just a slightly wet (that’s how they’re supposed to be), tiny (size of a sheet of paper) shammy.

Well, I’ve got no choice I walk to the edge of the shower room, strip down and chuck my sweaty clothes on the bench and walk into one of the single stalls. I try to hang my, um, towel on the hook outside the shower stall, but it’s so small it just falls to the ground and immediately sucks up all the water in the vicinity – I think even some of the water out of the pool got absorbed. Cursing, I pick it up and delicately balance it on the hook.

I shower quickly and then “dry” myself with the postage stamp. I have to work small… a forearm here, upper thigh there, calf here. All the while I fondly reminisce about the days I had a woolly towel that covered most of my body. But, I keep going and surprisingly enough, I get mostly dry. Then it hits me. I have to walk back to where my bag is and my “towel” really only covers one boob and half an arm.

I’m not as shy as I was when I was younger, but I don’t love the idea of walking pretty much naked through a room with a bunch of women I don’t know. Yet, again, I have no choice.

Just as I open the curtain to my stall and steel myself for the nerve-wracking walk, an elderly,  large, in-need-of-an-iron naked lady walks in front of me and across the room without even batting an eye.

Well, I think,” I got this,” and I saunter across the room like the emperor in his new clothes.

One of my regular towels compared to the sport towel

One of my regular towels compared to the sport towel

My Clothes Are Plotting Against Me

picture of a doll in a blouse

One day as I was rushed (my usual state as of late), I found myself cursing at my pants.

I have to admit that I do, on a somewhat frequent basis, yell/mumble/curse at inanimate objects, but they deserve it. The bag that won’t hold all the crap I’m trying to stuff into it – physics be damned!, the closet door that won’t close because stuff is falling off the shelves into its path, the child’s jacket that won’t fit on my son because he’s no longer nine and I keep forgetting that.

Anyway, the reason I was getting frustrated with this pair of pants was because it was one of my dress pants that zips on the left-hand side. I had to stop my frantic get-out-of-the-house-on-time-to-get-to-work mode and think where the zipper was.

Later I found myself wondering why many women’s clothes button/zip up the wrong way. Really, do you want to add that frustration to PMSing women? Why would anyone infringe on the rights of a woman to free and easy donning and disrobing of her pants or blouses? So, I Googled it, and lo and behold, there appears to be possible historical reasons for this frustrating clothing phenomenon.

Here are a few:

  • Women were dressed by nannies or maids and dressing someone when the buttons are on the opposite side is supposed to be easier. These were obviously girls/women in families wealthy enough to have nannies/maids. There was even supposition that this switching of the buttons was done as a subtle way to show you had money. Men dressed themselves so this didn’t apply to them.
  • Then there was the notion that it was done to make women feel inferior to men by having the buttons on the “wrong” side. I bet right now there is some pissed off women smacking her man over the head after reading that. Poor guy wouldn’t have seen it coming. He was probably in the bathroom unzipping his pants … on right-hand side. 
  • Yet another supposition is that when women were allowed to do certain things they couldn’t do before, like ride a horse, which they rode side-saddle (legs draped to the left) in blouses and skirts, the buttons were moved to the left so the wind wouldn’t blow their blouses open. Drat, the whole wind blowing my blouse open is my only “move” when trying to attract men. 
  • My favourite is that having the buttons the opposite way to a man’s meant that when you and your mate were standing face-to-face that it was easier to undress each other when the seams were opposite.

Keep or get rid of the left-sided button/zip for women?

After learning about these possible historical reasons for the seam to be opposite on women’s clothing, I wanted to see how much validity they have in my life today:

  • I don’t have anybody dress me and barring a freak accident where I break both my wrists in the near future, I don’t see this happening. If I do break my hands, I’ll just wear stylish muumuus that I can basically crawl into without needing any hand dexterity at all.
  • Putting buttons on the other side to make women feel inferior, hmm, it doesn’t make me feel inferior; it just irritates me and makes me grumble at my clothes from time to time.
  • As I have (yet) to ride side-saddle in a blouse and skirt, I haven’t experienced the value of having a blouse button the “wrong” way. And, if I were out riding side-saddle dressed like that, chances are it would be to impress some guy and if he got a sneak peek of what was coming that would probably be okay.
  • As far as the risqué idea that it was to make it easier for the opposite sex to undress each other, well that seems a bit more useful. And, it was probably devised by some over-worked woman, with a gazillion kids and laundry she had to clean by hand with water and stones, who thought, “The quicker we can get our clothes off, the sooner we can get this done and go to sleep.”

Well, my vote is to lose the left-handed button/zip on women’s clothing, in case you didn’t pick that up from what I said above. I really don’t need any more barriers to dressing/undressing myself – that’s what men are for. They’ll often help you get out of your clothing, but rarely help you get into it.

Photo by Susan402

Spin your ladybits off

Well, I did a spin class yesterday with a bunch of my soccer teammates. Shannon, one of the players, owns the facility; a cool little studio called Spinergyfitness in Steveston.

The Room

We walk in and are greeted by a semi-circle of spin bikes or, as I like to call them, “vehicles of torture” (VOTs ). Your VOT gives you the option to have your feet either strapped in or clipped in. There is no escape.

Earbuds hang from the ceiling so the music is delivered right to your brain on a personal level and will drown out the screaming of your mind. I wonder if at some point oxygen masks might drop down from the ceiling too?

Mounting the bike

My maximum height, on a good day, is five feet two inches, so I have to make a lot of adjustments to my bike to be able to reach the pedals and handlebars comfortably. Our goalie, Sandy, was riding the bike next to me –big mistake. Never be anywhere near your goalie. I don’t know what it is about goalies (of any sport), but they are always a few cards short of a deck,  a few pennies short of a dollar, a few tequilas away from jumping… okay, I think I’m done with that now.

Sandy whines about the seat being too hard, so Shannon gives her a padded seat to slide over the bike saddle. We joke that it’s like a condom for her seat. It slides too much in the practice run so she rips it off — so much for practicing safe spinning.

Then Sandy starts to beat me with it. I counter with my towel. After about a minute of dueling, I rip the seat from her and smack her with that instead. We haven’t started yet and I’m already exhausted. Little did I know what I was in for.

Let the spinning begin

Earbuds in place, we start pedalling. Shannon makes us sprint on the bike and then gives us only six seconds of recovery time between sprint sets. That’s barely enough time for our goalie to take a drag of the cigarette she’s smoking.

The joke all week before the class was that we’d need to bring a towel and a puke bucket, and at this point I was getting close to needing that bucket. I was glad I had my towel as you work up quite a sweat. Sandy needed more than a towel; perhaps next time she’ll wrap herself in a ShamWow in order to avoid the tsunami she produced around her bike.

The ladybits doth protest too much

We all survived and made it to the pub for brunch & beer. It was a fun and challenging class and clearly a great workout. I had a lot of sweat on me and some of it was even my own. But, I have to admit that my ladybits are very sore. Next time, I have to wear my padded bike pants or bring a donut pillow (the ones with the hole in middle) and a big roll of duct tape.