Well, I've been published!

No, it's not the novel I've always dreamed of publishing, but it's a start.

I'm afraid to post the link to the article here, because while most people who read this blog know who I am, many do not, and I don't know if I want everyone knowing my name and whatnot.

But basically, an article I wrote was published on a site that I read almost daily, and I'm super excited that it happened! They also pay! *Gasp*

I have been working on said novel, however. I somehow got this great idea, after hearing about all this Todd Akin crap. It inspired a futuristic, speculative fiction type of story and I've been excited to write it every day, even if I only write for 5 minutes. I've been doing it by hand with a little notebook I carry around with me, because carrying my laptop is too heavy, and my tablet has some annoying habits in the word processor. And the notebook is leather bound and pretty and makes me think it's actually a book. It's all about appearances sometimes, kids.

Some things are looking up. On the other hand, I'm having a logistical nightmare importing my car into Canada and exporting it out of the US (that should be the other way around, but whatever). It's super complicated, and I was given wrong information before I even moved here, so that set everything into motion.

Last summer, I was told that since I'm only a temporary resident here, I don't have to import my car. Well, that's according to the Feds as I've found out. The province wants me to register it, and I was supposed to do that within 90 days of moving here, or something. Well, I didn't know that until well after 90 days. In order to register it, I have to import it. In order to import it, I have to export it.

The Registrar of Imported Vehicle's website says that you have to inform the US border that you are exporting the car at least 72 hours before you do so. It says you should have all your paperwork available. It lists the phone numbers of the US border crossings. What it does not say, however, is that you have to bring the car to the States if it's already out of the States, then submit the export paperwork (which you can ONLY do once the car is in the States), then leave the car for at least 3 business days (which does not include weekends or holidays), and only then are you able to export it. I didn't find this out until I contacted the border crossing and they're like, "Surprise!"

The other super fun thing about this is that my registration from the States expires, well, tomorrow. The Canadian border agency says that I should bring all my paperwork, and I asked about registration and insurance, and they said I should bring everything I have. Which makes me think they might look at my registration. Which means if it's expired, there might be complications. So my mother is at the registry office in the States right this minute trying to register the car while I'm up here.

Logistical. Nightmare.

When this is over, I am going to throw a party or something. Get really drunk and celebrate that it's been done and I don't have to worry about it anymore.

The next thing I'll have to worry about is applying for permanent residency. But that's a whole 'nother story...

I get to deal with this twice next week...Yay.

P.S. This is my 50th post! Huzzah!

To quit or not to quit? That is the question.

Well, it's day 3 of "let's keep shoving the review of your review into the indefinite future," meaning, it happened twice last week and has happened again. It has become clear to me that I am not important to this company, and I am questioning why I should stay here any longer. Right now, I am the only one in the office and I have half a mind to leave and never come back. I am fed up with being ignored, promised things that aren't delivered, and basically, everything about this job. Apparently, they don't need me, otherwise they would be giving me a raise in a timely fashion, they would be excited to do my review with me for said raise, they would give me more work to do, and they would basically respect me as a worker and a human being. While they are not being outright disrespectful, they are pulling my chain, and I am fucking sick of it.

I was told by my boss on Thursday that I "need to stop stressing" about the review of my review (background story: my boss was supposed to do a review with me after 3 months of working full time, and it got pushed back and pushed back until the executive assistant finally did it. Now I'm supposed to be talking to my boss about that review, and here we are now). I thought that was extremely inappropriate because a) I am not stressing, I am just annoyed, and b) It was obvious the executive assistant texted my boss after I heard that it would be rescheduled again, I said to the assistant, "I'd like this to happen sooner rather than later because it's been rescheduled twice already" and she started getting snippy and saying "this is out of my hands." I understand it is, and I even said, "I'm not saying this is your fault or you're doing anything wrong, I'm just saying I hope it happens soon." Then my boss says I need to stop stressing, so of course, he was told what I said by the assistant. It's very high school.

I was also told a few weeks ago that if I were not here, they would just hire a Canadian to do my job. This was because I found out that they are taking 15 months to process applications for permanent residency, and I can't apply until January of next year, and my work permit expires September 1st of next year, which means they would have only 9 months to process it if I were to stay in the country, otherwise I have to go back to the States, or I would automatically change to visitor status and not be able to work, or my job would have to write them a letter saying that by having me work for them, they would not be denying a job to a Canadian national. Hence, the accountant (who is also a semi-manager-supervisor-person of mine) saying "well, if you weren't here, we would just hire someone else."

So, obviously, they can just hire someone else. No problem.

So why am I so freaked out about leaving? Why am I not just walking out of here? Why am I not quitting?

I don't know. I guess it would make this whole work permit and applying for permanent residency thing more complicated if I didn't have any work in between. Which sounds like I should look for another job, go on interviews, and then quit when I have something else lined up. That means that I would have 3 employers to put down on my permanent residency application, but I guess that isn't such a big deal.

But part of me really wants to just get up and leave and not come back. I could say I'm not feeling well today and go home, and I'm sure no one would bat an eye. I could go home and start looking for jobs. In fact maybe I will do that.

I guess it just sucks when you have to end things. Quitting a job sucks. And I guess I don't really have to do it, but it means putting up with their bullshit for however long I do decide to be here. Do I want to go through that? Do I want them to keep stringing me along, hoping that something will finally happen? I have already tried to express my concern and I have either been ignored, or I've been told I need to "stop stressing." I have a feeling that's what's going to keep happening. So why should I keep putting myself through it? Just to have the convenience of a job that I'm starting to hate? I don't know if that makes sense anymore, for my sanity.

I don't know what to do.
...Yet, I am getting overwhelmed by what is going on in the world and can't get my thoughts straight.

There's this Todd Akin thing...Which gets me totally riled up, and it makes me wonder how people who are so stupid can get into Congress (rhetorical wondering, FYI...I know the answers and don't want to discuss them now). I mean, a woman's body shuts down when she gets raped and she doesn't get pregnant? What about the 32,101 women who get pregnant every year from rape in the US?
What about this woman who got pregnant from rape? By the way, that is a great open letter to Todd Akin and I suggest you read it.

But, he did apologize...And he sounds sincere in his apology. And I have at least a tiny bit of respect for someone who can say something so fucked up and then apologize for saying it. A lot of people would go the opposite and say "Fuck you guys, I'm right and I stand by my convictions!" Instead, he humbly said, "I apologize, and I ask for your forgiveness." That is a very hard thing to do, whether you're a politician or Joe Blow from down the street. I mean, it could be that his advisors were like, "Yo, Todd, you gotta make a public apology or else you're going to have to leave this race." (The human race? HA HA. Just kidding.) But I don't think he's a very good actor, and he sounds sincere.

Does that mean I like him? Hell no. He's a bigot, he doesn't get his facts straight before talking to the public, and he doesn't support abortion of a baby conceived when a woman is raped. But...He showed some balls by apologizing. I think a lot of people would be like, "Still, he said what he said, and he's an idiot." Yes. But change happen in baby steps, and that apology is one of them, I think. Maybe now he'll think more about his stance on abortion. It opened up the chance for dialogue between people about these kinds of things. The revolution will not be televised and all that jazz.

 OMG, OMG this is so freaking funny, and there are more just like it!

Well, I guess that's all I wanted to write, really. There's a lot going on in the world, but that's at the forefront of my mind right now. I could write about Avril Lavigne's engagement to what's his face of Nickleback...You know, the one with the long hair and the voice that sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me...But really, that's not important. Scary, yes (I hope they don't have kids). But not important.

I mean, what is it with celebrities dating for 6 months and then getting married? I swear, celebrities rush into these things like no other. Sounds like a publicity stunt to me.

But it's not important. No siree.

God I hope they don't have kids...Two mediocre singers/musicians (if you can call them that) having kids? Either their kids will end up totally boring, or they'll be the opposite and be musical geniuses. That'll be the day.

But, Avril Lavigne and what's his face are not important. I don't care. Obviously.

Riding Horses and Doing Yoga

Had a riding lesson on Sunday, followed by a 4-hour yoga workshop. It was such a good day. I wore my legs out riding the horse, and at the workshop only did 1 hour of yoga, but both were great workouts and I am sore today. But it's a good sore. I was really tired last night, and fell asleep while watching Arrested Development on Netflix, but I felt SO GOOD.

Horses are amazing. There's something about sitting on that saddle, swaying back and forth as they take their steps, communicating with them by just pulling the reins a little bit, or looking down, or squeezing certain muscles. It's amazing that you can communicate with an animal by making very subtle changes to the way you are sitting on them. They read every muscle twitch, squeeze, or release. They can tell when you are gripping the reins and when you're relaxing your grip. They know which way to move when squeezing your legs a certain way. They know to slow down when you look down because they're trying to be careful. No wonder people rode horses as their primary mode of transportation for a long time. Hell, I'd do it now...If it didn't take so long...And weren't so dangerous.

In my lessons, we've just been walking and trotting, nothing major. But my instructor yesterday had me trot in circles, literally. It's hard to actually keep the horse trotting while going in a circle, oddly enough. He would slow down and get lazy, or sometimes he'd think what I was doing with my body meant he should slow down. You have to be careful about what you're doing, because as I said before, they interpret certain things as commands. But when you do finally have that synchronicity with the horse, you're doing all the right things, and they're responding in the way they're supposed to, it's smooth, and magical. I just love it!

Also, because you are using so many muscles to guide the horse, you are working every part of your body at once. I think swimming is the only other activity that will do that. So my stomach is sore, my legs are super sore, my arms are sore, my shoulders are sore...And doing yoga after riding a horse doesn't help with the soreness factor either. Yesterday evening my legs were shaky, but when I got home, I lounged around and watched shows on Netflix. I felt I had deserved it.

So in case you can't tell, I've been feeling better. I wish I could do that much exercise every day, but I don't know how I would make that work. I also wish I could take riding lessons every week, but I just can't afford it right now, so I go every other week. Being on a horse just clears your mind, even though you are thinking about lots of things at once. It's hard to get carried away thinking about your everyday life when you're on a horse, at least, at first, when you're learning (or re-learning in my case). But I think I could use mind-clearing activities a lot more. Yoga and riding are the perfect combination, it seems.
This article on xoJane has restored my faith in what I am doing with my life.

You should read it, even if you don't read the rest of my post here. It's about fat shaming, not judging a book by its cover, all that good stuff.

The basic gist is summed up really well in the following:

"To paraphrase Marilyn Wann: The only thing you can tell for sure by looking at a fat person is the degree of your own bias against fat people."

"A stance against fat-shaming is not a matter of trying to make anyone feel bad for enjoying exercise/being vegan/wanting to lose weight. After all, there are lots of fat people who enjoy exercise immensely. There are lots of fat people who are vegan. There are fat people who do all kinds of things, because fat people exist in a dizzying variety of perspectives, experiences and lifestyles. Just like not-fat people."

"I choose not to diet, not to try to lose weight...my body’s dramatic response to starvation (and really, that’s what a diet is) makes it impossible for me to lose weight and still have a life that is at all worth living. My priorities are different..."

"Even for those few who manage to beat the odds and maintain a significant weight loss long-term, the price is constant vigilance, and I can’t live with that degree of food obsession and also be at all mentally stable...You may not understand this. That’s cool. We don’t have to fully get each other; we just need to mutually respect one another."

I don't think I'm fat. Sometimes I think I LOOK fat, but I don't think I am fat. I have decided to do what Lesley (the author of the above article) is doing - shifting my priorities to what is healthy, regardless of how it will make me look, and enjoying things in life instead of obsessing over things that distract me from the things in life that I should be paying attention to, like time with friends, or a really awesome piece of cheesecake, or even doing yoga (or writing run-on sentences, apparently).

The one thing that I ask myself is, "Will my body let me do things like yoga, take walks, jog, or hike?" If I am sitting around a lot eating fries and hamburgers every day, it's going to be harder to do the physical things I want to. That is one thing that bothers me about having a desk job; it's like I can feel my arteries withering up from too much sitting.

But in reality, I can do those things, and while I'm still trying to get back into things like jogging and hiking, and it's going slowly, I know I will get there again. And I may not lose a ton of weight in the process, and that's fine. As long as I'm feeling well enough to do those things, I don't really care. I can have a huge pudge and a round ass, as long as I can climb a mountainside without feeling like I'm going to die!

I want to feel comfortable in my skin, regardless of what people think. There have been times in my life when my family members have made comments about my weight (fat-shaming, even if they meant well), which was always really hurtful, because I feel like I gained weight very quickly and it just has been a huge struggle to lose it since then. It's like I was a skinny kid one day, then I hit puberty and the next day I gained a bunch of weight. But I'm trying to put those comments behind me and focus on feeling good, whether that means I have curves and or I don't. I also know that my boyfriend would be really sad if I didn't have my curves anymore. But I'm not doing any of this for him or for anyone else, I'm doing it for me. (By "doing it" I mean focusing on my health and what makes me feel good.) I'm not doing it for the media who think I'm not toned enough, I'm not doing it for my mother, I'm not doing it for my sister, I'm not doing it for my father, I'm not doing it for my friends...I'm doing it for me. Trying to find the happy medium where I feel good and balanced, healthy and lively and alive and strong.

Damn girl! That's hot! (Though it makes me sad that the website it was on had an ad for losing weight with Slimband...Totally not the point. By the way, this model is Tara Lynn, and she's like "I don't care what the scale says, yo!" OK, maybe she didn't say "yo," but that was basically what she said.)
OK for once I am actually NOT tired. This has been a good week in terms of fatigue, and that could be due to the fact that I've exercised pretty much every day. Except I may not today. I really need to cook and do laundry. Maybe I can dance around the kitchen while I cook or something.

My life has been good, honestly. But, I warn you, there will probably be some moaning in the paragraphs ahead.

My period is about to start, so I feel like crap. Whenever it's about to start, the day, or two days, before it does, I start feeling reeeeeal bad about myself. I start looking at other girls and comparing myself to them and seeing all my faults. Like today, I feel fat. My stomach is pooching out too much. Woe is me. I also start looking at my own life and finding everything that is wrong with it. "My life isn't going anywhere, my boyfriend doesn't compliment me as much as I wish he would, I don't want to do this job anymore, I wish I could be more flexible in my work, I wish I were a writer, I wish I had more time to write, I don't have enough money to do the things I want to do, I don't have enough time to do what I want to do." Etc. etc. etc. It just spirals down from there.

Then I start thinking about those memes. You know, like this...

...Of course I go on Google trying to find an example and there's, like, nothing. WTF?

OK, like this:

Or this:

OK granted I really like those quotes, and any other day I would be like "yay, I'm going to print that and put it on my bathroom mirror so I see it every day!" (Do I ever do this? No...) But on the day before it's time to surf the crimson wave, I'm like, "FUCK YOU INSPIRATIONAL MEME. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE ME. MY LIFE ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE, MY BOYFRIEND DOESN'T COMPLIMENT ME AS MUCH AS I WISH HE WOULD, I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS JOB ANYMORE" (insert the rest of my aforementioned list here).

What is up with my hormones? I know this happens to, like, everyone else who gets their period. But for me, it's the day or two before it starts, then I get it and I feel bloated and tired and like I want to eat all the junk food on planet Earth, but I don't feel all bad about myself. It's just the day(s) before. So weird.

Does anyone know what happens to our hormones in our bodies when we're about to get our periods? Would be interesting to find out.

Anyway, right now, I feel like I'm stuck. I'm at a dead end job, and I don't take the initiative to change that (like, sitting down and fracking writing something so I can try to get published). Don't get me wrong, when I have things to do at work, I like my job. But lately, I've been sitting there...staring at the screen, bored...Actually, even if I have things to do, I don't want to do them.

Where's my motivation? What killed it? What do I do about it? I have no clue. It's like the fact that nothing is moving in my life is making me also not move. Oh wait. I think it's the other way around. When I don't move, my life doesn't move. So what am I supposed to do?

I sometimes feel like one day, I just won't come into work, I'll quit silently, never go back, and do whatever the hell I want. (Hands up if you've ever felt like doing this.) I actually have done that in the past. I called in one day and said "I'm not coming in anymore." And that was that. I didn't worry about the consequences, I just did it because I was unhappy being at that job and I had to get out of there. Now, I go, "But my bills! My rent! My cats! My this, that, and the other thing!"

So my conclusion is...I need balance. I've had this idea to work part time and work on writing the other part of the time. I don't know if I can do it financially, and I certainly can't yet, and I don't know if I'll be able to save up enough money to be able to do it in the next year. But, it's something I'm seriously considering. Until then? Finding any spare minute I can to work towards something productive, like a novel, or a screenplay, or something. I want to be my own boss. Well, I should probably start working on that now before I end up 50 and sad I didn't try.

Alright memes. You win. This time.
I don't know if I can do this anymore. Life, that is. Not when I'm feeling so tired all the time. It was better for a few days, and now it's back.

I think there are a few possibilities here:

1. My medication. I started taking Celexa in 2006, then stopped in 2011 and started Cymbalta. I took that for a year, but I was tired all the time, so I started Celexa again because I never had major fatigue problems with Celexa. I started it again in February 2011, and in March, suddenly started feeling tired and have felt that way since Maybe in the year I wasn't taking Celexa, my body changed somehow so I now have a different reaction to it.

2. I'm understimulated at work. Well, this is something I know already. There are times when I have things to do and I'm engaged all day. There are more times that I am bored, staring at my computer screen, falling asleep. So maybe sitting here so long is what is making me so tired. My body isn't moving enough, my brain isn't working enough, and I'm turning into a puddle of jelly in business casual clothes.

3. I'm not exercising enough outside of work. Yeah, I was doing yoga every day and feeling better. But one thing happens that takes you out of the routine, and it snowballs and soon you find you haven't done yoga in a month. Ok that's not true. I've gone to some classes. But between money problems and being busy, yoga has taken a backseat. Not good. I need to schedule it somehow, just like I would any other activity in my life. If someone asks if I want to get together on Thursday at 6, I say "no, I can't," because I have a date with my yoga mat. I've been thinking about getting a monthly pass at a yoga studio. They offer tons of classes and it's cheaper to do that than it is to keep dropping in at different places. But, then I realized I could pay around $60 for a YMCA or YWCA membership, where they offer lots of classes, and not just yoga, and I could even go there on my lunch break and use the yoga studio when it's not being used. Booya. So that's the plan now.

Sorry this post isn't very controversial or thought-provoking. It's just me whining and moaning about how hard my life is. I saw a video today that was a white, middle aged, middle class guy talking about how white guys should stop complaining so much. He said something along the lines of, "When women are taking all your job and getting paid more than you are, I'll complain with you, I'll be in the front of the line at the protest. But until then, shut up." And it got me thinking about how I struggle almost every day with this fatigue stuff, and other things, and I wonder if I can really justify complaining. I have it so much better than so many people. I have a roof over my head, an income, a great family, great friends, a hot boyfriend, I'm not dying of cancer (that I know of), I have food in my fridge, clean running water, and I can wear whatever I want every day (within reason). But...when you're not feeling well most of the time, it's really hard to be grateful. You just don't have the energy. It's hard to say "I have it so much better than all those starving kids in [INSERT COUNTRY HERE]," because when you don't feel well, it's hard to enjoy what you have. And you may have a roof over your head, but you don't feel well enough to acknowledge it.

Yeah, yeah, I know everyone admires those cancer survivors who are like, "I survived cancer, I can do anything, I'm thankful for every second I have!" And that's great. Good for them. But the reality is that most of us who are struggling can't summon up that much positivity. I feel like my body is breaking down, people. I'm so sorry if I can't be happy sunny shiny all the time. I'm so sorry if that pisses you off or makes you uncomfortable. I'm so sorry that the way I deal with this doesn't match what you think I should do. I'M SO SORRY THIS IS MY LIFE AND NOT YOURS.

People don't get it. They don't understand what it's like to be in someone else's body. They can give all the suggestions they want, they can say they understand, they can claim they have some answers, but most of the time, they don't.

I know what I have to do. I know I have to get back into my yoga routine and do more exercise. I know I shouldn't let anything stop me. I just have to keep telling myself that. So please, just let me be frustrated about this in my own way. Understand that I have to sometimes back out of plans we've made. Understand that I can't be as social as I want to be right now. Understand that I'm in a unique situation and that it frustrates me just as much as it probably frustrates you.

I can has willpower?

Is there such a thing as willpower?

We constantly hear that our diets don't work, we can't get ourselves to the gym, we can't do x y and z because we don't have the willpower. But this book my friend told me about a few months ago says that willpower isn't the problem. There are 6 influences in our daily lives that lead us to stray off the path towards our goals...Ourselves, the people around us, the media, etc. The book is called "Change Anything" by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. Yeah, that's a lot of people. But it was a really great book that helped me to start eating better...But then I just kinda stopped doing it. It was really weird.

So, does that mean I don't have strong willpower because I stopped reading the book and doing the "plan" I had set up while reading the book?

Maybe I need to set up a "plan" to start living according to my Change anything plan again. That sounds like a vicious cycle.

When I was using the book, I was really making progress. My goal was to eat mindfully for every meal unless I was with other people at a restaurant or party or potluck. Eating mindfully means not doing anything besides eating, really tasting every flavour, smelling every smell, feeling the textures with every bite. It causes people to actually stop eating when they are satisfied, it stops them from overeating, and it reduces cravings. It was really wonderful when I was doing it, but I guess life got busy and I found it harder and harder to eat mindfully when I was always rushed.

So I guess you could say one of my outside influences is my schedule, and my work. Unfortunately, those can't go away right now, so how can I work around them? That's the ultimate question with everything right now. I want to be doing some kind of exercise every day, I want to be writing every day, I want to be able to balance everything better every day. For some reason, that is so freaking hard.

Is there anyone out there who is able to balance their lives well? What's your secret?

Strangely enough, I'm pretty good at balancing poses in yoga. I guess I have to just somehow apply that to my daily life...In yoga, you stare at a spot that is not moving in order to keep your balance, and you try to feel every corner of your foot on the ground or floor, and you keep a little microbend in your knee so that you have more of a solid foundation and your muscles in your balancing leg are keeping you up. Maybe that can be seen as a metaphor for reaching a goal...Your goal is the fixed, unmoving point you are staring at. Your feet are what bring you forward to that goal. You have a solid foundation - a plan - for getting to that goal. Voila. Metaphor. Hmmmm...


I'm disturbed by this masculinist movement.

OK, so, I get that feminists came in and they went all extreme and were like "we're tired of being walked all over by men! Men suck! Women rule! Boys drool!" *Battle cry* ...And the like. They really went extreme, so I understand why men would react and become "masculinists." But I think it's dangerous to go either way. Dangerous because it creates just another uneven playing field, which we know does not bode well for society. And not only is it dangerous, it's also just stupid!

I was walking down the street with my boyfriend one day and ran across these posters on a telephone pole:

So, we have masculinists in the city where I live, apparently. OK, I'm going to give it away, after not saying it outright all this time. We have masculinists in Vancouver. (Most of the people who read my blog know it's me anyway.)

What really bothers me about these pictures is the idea that people are saying all men are rapists and men can stop rape. First of all, I don't know anyone saying all men are rapists. I know there are people saying that in some areas of the world, a very high percentage of rape is done by men. But all men? Don't think so. Not even extreme feminists say that ALL men are rapists. And saying "men can stop rape" is a bad thing? Men CAN stop rape. Men who rape can stop. They can choose not to. Unless they are really deranged, I suppose, but then they should probably be in an institution being taken care of, and there's not enough of that going on either (that's a whole 'nother blog post). But yes, men CAN stop rape. They can stop themselves from doing it, they can educate others. That goes for women, too, of course. Women can educate not just men, not just women, but PEOPLE about rape.

Then the second sign. "Sperm! My body! My choice!"

OK, I don't disagree that men have the right to choose to do whatever they want with their bodies, just like women do, but...This just doesn't make any sense. Men produce sperm for their whole lives. Just look at Hugh Hefner - men have sex, and ejaculate, until they are OLD. (I don't know for a fact that Hugh is still ejaculating, but I'm willing to bet he's having a pretty good time in his mansion.) Women can have sex until they're old, but making babies? Not so much. Not after a certain point. Women have limited eggs and limited time to procreate. So, implying that male sperm is somehow being limited is just, well, weird. And I haven't heard ANYONE say, "Men should not be allowed to get vasectomies!" So, what are they complaining about anyway?

My biggest issue with these types of things is the extremism. I don't like extreme feminists, and I don't like the above. I am an equalist, and lots of people will say that it could never happen, with human nature and society we can never be totally equal, blah blah blah. Maybe not. But we can try. We can start treating people with the respect we want to receive from them (the golden rule anyone?). We can stop saying men are better than women, women are better than men. We can acknowledge that we are all on our own paths making our own journeys through life, and no one has a right to say what is the right way to do it. (I mean, unless people are getting hurt in the process, and yes, you can argue that abortion hurts people, but...Let's just not go there, ok? The point is, if someone chooses to do that to themselves, fine. There are people who choose to hurt themselves, not just by abortion but in other ways, and they, in my opinion, are allowed to do that...To themselves. I'd rather they didn't, but who am I to say they can't? When it comes to hurting someone else, on purpose...Yeah, not so much. I digress!)

So, we have the Vancouver Men's Right's Activism group. Their homepage says: "The MRM is a non-violent, non-political movement comprised of men and women who believe, based on a growing body of evidence that the human rights of males are being systematically removed by activists, lobbyists, politicians and academicians who cling to a misguided and wrongheaded belief that masculinity is fundamentally violent or harmful."

Non-violent. Cool. I can get behind that. Non-political? I'm not so sure that's true, especially since they think the human rights of males are being removed, which involves politics, sorry to say. (And is "academicians" a word?) I can also get behind the fact that they feel they're being wronged. Fine. But I still say: no one is telling a man they can't get a vasectomy. No one is telling a man they can't have a job. No one is giving a man a lower paycheque JUST because they're male. Etc.

And it goes on: "A few examples include that Men die roughly 5 years earlier than women, men commit suicide at 4 times the rate of women. In addition, 93% of workplace deaths are male, and while courts enforce financial obligations to women with children,  they have no reproductive rights." What other circumstances are going on here? Why are men dying 5 years earlier? Why are they committing suicide? Maybe it has NOTHING to do with feminism or whether or not males can do whatever they want. Maybe it has to do with something completely different. Maybe it's just coincidence. And where did that data come from anyway? I'm not going to believe something someone just slapped on the internet and called it truth. As for reproductive rights, they kind of have a point there, but I have definitely heard of cases where men were able to get custody because the circumstances with the mother were not right or safe. And if men are complaining about having to pay money to help keep their children healthy, educated, and safe - then they probably shouldn't want to have anything to do with their kids anyway, because kids take MONEY. Hate to say it, but it's true.

This concludes my little rant about this silly masculinist movement. Everything is being completely blown out of proportion, just like early feminists and many feminists today blow their situations out of proportion. Equalism, baby. Equalism.

The Olympics are hard to find...

I'm frustrated. I don't have cable right now because I can't afford it, so watching the Olympics has been almost impossible. I can find live streams, but those are usually happening when I'm at work. There are NO videos of things after the fact, at least, none that I can find. I have really wanted to watch fencing and the equestrian sports, and because it's not that popular, I haven't been able to find videos. I was able to find a video of the women's gymnastics, another sport I like. Sigh. It seems weird to me when corporations are able to determine when and how you get to see things that are supposed to be international, countries coming together to compete in a friendly way and put aside their differences. Apparently NBC is only showing delayed videos and nothing live. That's just weird.

Of course, the only gymnastics video I found was from an American station, so they're really focusing on the Americans and not on the other countries. I really wanted to see Canada compete, it's the first time they've gotten to the finals, apparently.

I do have to say, though, the Americans are so strong.

Anyway. Speaking of athletes, I read an article saying that a lot of people compare themselves to athletes when it comes to body image and weight loss, which is really not healthy. Athletes are special, not everyone on the planet is going to look like an athlete or be an athlete. They have to eat very specific foods, they train like crazy, they aren't just normal people on the street. Why do we put people on such pedestals and try to be like them instead of just being happy with who we are, what we have, and how we look? (This is more of a rhetorical question...I don't have an immediate answer, except - society and culture. Somewhere down the line someone really screwed it up for people, making image and looks one of the most important things in life, especially girls.)

This is a bit of a random post, and I apologize for that. I hope you are all able to catch the Olympics, unlike me!
(Where does the blue part come from anyway?)

I went to a Chinese wedding with "Tom" on Sunday. It was his high school friend's wedding. Honestly, it was awesome. The ceremony was kind of religious, they quoted from the Bible and whatnot. It was also done in Chinese and English, which I thought was pretty cool. The reception was at a restaurant, and there was TONS of food. I was so stuffed by the end. The bride had this nice dress that was sequined yet pretty simple, and her she changed into a red dress partway through the reception (I learned new things that night - apparently red is very lucky in Chinese culture). The groom got super drunk at the reception, doing shots with everyone. It was nice meeting some of Tom's high school friends, too. Like we've gotten to that point in our relationship where we introduce each other to our friends. OK, it's more like we've gotten to that point in Tom's relationship with me where he introduces me to his friends. He had already met some of my friends the first time we dated. Anyway, it's nice to know that he is comfortable enough to do that now. Also, we experiened another rite of passage - making our relationship "official" on Facebook (but of course as an open relationship). I have learned I just need to be patient with him and wait things out. Which is fine by me. I want to take things slowly, too.

Anyway, at this wedding, I couldn't help feeling kind of warm and fuzzy. I'm not really into the typical idea of marriage. I don't really see the point, and I don't really want the church or state to be involved in my decision to have a long term committed relationship with someone. I think it's great when people get married, and I'm happy for them. But the typical marriage thing...I don't know. However, I do like the fact that people celebrate their choice to be in a long term, committed relationship. (I want to specify here that by committed I don't actually mean "til death do us part." I actually mean being committed to working things out together when times get tough, being there for each other through thick and thin, maybe even starting a family together. It doesn't mean you have to be married on paper to have this kind of relationship. And it doesn't mean you have to be monogamous to have this kind - or even traditional "on paper" married - relationship. And in either scenario, things can change. Marriages fall apart, long term "not on paper" relationships fall apart. You have to realize that no matter what scenario you're in. Just wanted to make that clear.)

So, I feel conflicted. There's the feminist, modern, 21st century part of me who is like "fuck this marriage crap. It's antiquated and it was only designed to acquire land and for nobles and royalty to get land and power and wealth." Then there's this other part of me that actually wouldn't mind having some sort of celebration to mark starting a life with someone, not necessarily til death do us part, but for the time being. Then there's this OTHER other part of me that wants to be secure in a relationship for the rest of my life (but the former 2 parts remind that part of me that that is kinda unrealistic).

I look at my cousins - one has gotten married and another is getting married next spring. I'm really so happy for them. I have friends who have gotten married recently, and I'm super happy for them, too. I knew two people who had a ceremony but didn't sign any marriage certificate or anything, so they went a few years, then decided not to renew their vows and went their separate ways (I like that idea, a lot). No matter what people choose to do, it's their choice, it's their life, and I support that as long as they are happy. (Though, even if they are not happy, that's their choice, too...) Hell, if 3 people want to get married to each other, I'm happy for them, too.

I guess a big problem I have with marriage is how it's so rigid. 2 people, and in the US and many other countries, just one man and one woman. That's what bugs me. The government and the church feel the need to tell us what arrangement is right and which are not allowed. That seems pretty twisted to me. So while I wouldn't mind having that ceremony I talked about earlier, I feel like getting the government involved would show that I somehow support this rigid, intolerant structure. So I think I'll stick to handfastings maybe, jumping over a broom and calling it a day. ;)


Or this?

Or this?

 (This could be any combination of genders, this was just all I could find. /Disclaimer)