Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ignorance is not always described as bliss, it can also be described as blatent stupidity.

I believe that it is important to ask questions.

 If people are blindly accepting of widely circulated thoughts and theories developed and refined by people with influence, our generation will become naive and unable to question what politicians and other influential's such as Bono or Paul McCartney (remember the seal hunt people) throw out there. Over time this would lead to neglecting what generations before us fought so hard to achieve - our democratic rights.

While I do believe in the power a properly researched question, brought up in a socially acceptable forum. (ie. community events, election forums, a powerfully worded papers brought to the attention of the media in a respectable way) I do have a slight beef with those who obtain nothing short of a Charles Mansion type cult following to get their antagonistic views some media attention, these people I refer to are most commonly known as conspiracy theorists.

Ah conspiracy theorists, the advancement of technology it has turned every Joe, Dick and Harry into either a film maker or a photographer. These people document their side of a story from any biased perspective they choose. They edit their work make it sound extremely well researched and unbiased then they post it online making accessible to vulnerable people looking for something to believe in. People who refuse the conformity of organised events such as moderate religion or spirituality, turning to the Internet and finding the extreme beliefs posted in documentary format. Instead of mindfully taking what they have seen at face value, or researching all sides of the subject to ensure that they are obtaining unbiased information they internalize the extreme opinions and become conspiracy crusaders, determined to get the "truth" out to the masses.

Now there are a few fundamental problems with conspiracy crusades. First problem: generally you as the crusader are fighting for the theories and beliefs held by people with limited social influence. I am definitely not a scientist and I do not think that "An Inconvenient Truth" is equivalent to a 9/11 conspiracy documentary but Al Gore's opinions in "An Inconvenient Truth" were controversial. The makers of this documentary (it couldn't have been all Al) had a politican who is seen as a generally credible source present their passionate beliefs to the public. This documentary retained more water than a lymphodemic. If "Joe Blow" from the general population presented a similar argument it definitely wouldn't have been as effective. Instead of getting placed in the "Elvis is still alive in 2010" category, it got placed in the "This issue could really impact the lives of our children and our children's children" category.

The second problem with what I refer to as the conspiracy crusades is that the information seekers, who are seen in these documentaries seeking out the hard truths on the "streets". (ie. going to the government or the multinational corporation and getting rejected when trying to interview critical players) usually look like they actually live on the streets. Take Michael Moore for example, he seriously looks like a 400 lb homeless person. If his heart is honestly set on changing the world TODAY he would dress so he appeals to the average baby boomer and not the average indignant. Although some people in America may be able to relate to him quite strongly. Money however is power and statistically speaking low income is the number one predictor of obesity, so I think Mr. Moore is targeting the wrong market.

The third problem I have with the conspiracy crusades is that the information presented by the theorists and their followers is extremely biased in the majority of the documentaries I have had the pleasure of enjoying. Most conspiracy documentaries give a detailed one sided perspective of the issue at hand instead of investigating the opposing side to obtain a well rounded perspective. It is as if the film makers are afraid of involving all players equally, instead it is more extreme and therefore effective to provide a biased arugment with limited information. If your argument/theory is so strong, why would you be afraid to include opposing credible sources in your film? Just saying!

All in all however, I do love the entertainment value that conspiracy theories provide and I do think that people who are passionate create a more interesting world, just be careful about what you are passionate about and take everything you hear with a granule of salt. Even this blog, as this post is coming from a girl who takes astrology over religion and is a member of the Starbucks cult following...sigh.

Until next time!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bad Luck, Stupidity, Genetics? Or perhaps being in close proximity to gingers regularly!!!!!!!

Good evening! I hope everyone is enjoying this sub arctic weather that our fine city is currently experiencing. I am lucky enough to be going through a move during this frosty period. I'm moving from Bankview to Aspen Woods. Now fortunately for me I have some amazingly wonderful friends who are pretty much doing the bulk of the work for me. (moving the large items I can't even budge) Shout out to you guys, you don't know how much it means that you would do that for me!!! I have had to move anything and everything else on my own using my two hands and my faithful neon affectionately named Ne Ne she never lets me down. (knock on wood as she is a Chrysler)

 Now as some of you may be aware moving is challenging for the average human but that challenge is exponentially increased when you are a "special" person. When I say special I am not using it as a synonym for extraordinary, I'm using it as a synonym for handicapped. Please don't gasp, I'm not mocking the physically or mentally disabled, I am meaning people who go through life needing a handicap, like in golf! I am one of these souls, I have always had a sneaking suspicion if someone (god, Buddha or whoever you pray too, for me it's Britney Spears! Yes she is not technically a spirit yet but she came close enough once or twice) could increase my handicap life would be as simple for me as it seems for everyone else. However no matter how hard I pray to Britney it seems my prayers are never answered so I will have to go on living as a handicapped individual (without the benefit of fabulous parking) instead of with the special handicap on life that I have always longed for.

Most of my clumsiness occurs in the form of minor annoyances. On a frequent basis the contents of my Starbucks coffee leaps (yes it can leap trust me) out of it's take away cup and on too anything light in color that I happen to be sporting on the day in question. (Tasha saved me from this buy going to Costco and buying me a jumbo pack of tide to go) When I glance in the mirror I notice a series of small bruises on both my left and my right arms. It would be less embarrassing to fabricate some awesome story of how I have been recently haunted by a spirit and I have woken up in the middle of the night to find the ghost gripping tightly to my arms and whispering a faint message that I can barely make out...unfortunately this hasn't happened to me yet. The bruises on my arms exist because I regularly stumble into walls, when I say stumble I don't mean just drunken, I mean constantly. These two examples give you some idea that I'm a klutz but they don't do my condition justice by any means.

I have destroyed two cellular phones, the first one I dropped in a lidless cup of coffee that was sitting in my cup holder, the second time the phone leaped off of its very study position on a shelf and into a bowl of soup that I was preparing. This incident is why I am not joining the blackberry/iphone revolution.

Last week I was walking to seven eleven to get my beloved twenty ounce coffee when I tripped over my own pants, skinning both of my knees. Now this wasn't your average trip both of my legs flew out straight behind me like superman and I plummeted to the ground, HARD. My ego was  damaged more than my body, I quickly stood up, wiped the tears forming in my eyes and ran into Sev, hoping I was out of view from other people. A 60ish year old man came up behind me and asked me if I was ok. I assured him I was and he advised me to sue Seven Eleven. Can you sue a convenience store for being close to retarded? Unfortunately we do not live in America or I might try it.

Other incidents include but are not limited to:

- opening the fridge and having all of the condiments FLY out and smash on the tile floor not once but twice
-kicking a box full of candles off of the counter on to the floor (the glass encasing the candles smashed everywhere)
-spilling multiple beverages on other peoples carpets
-dropping my purse in an empty dumpster
-locking my keys in my car
-gassing up and getting my neon stuck vertically on a pole (she still has a scar)
-dropping an unmentioned phone in snow (it survived so it doesn't count as number 3)
-ruining my table trying to shove it into the neon
-breaking my toe demonstrating a dance move (alcohol was involved here)
-taking a chunk of the wall off of the wall trying to remove a plastic hook
-accidentally cutting myself to the bone with a box cutter on my first day of a new job
-tossing my boss's parking pass in the mailbox with a handful of mail
-having the police return my wristlet to me after they found it on the Airdrie street
-loosing so many id's, debit cards and credit cards that my sister said she knows someone who found one and uses it as a fake id
-and lets go way back to grade seven when I dropped several Snapple's at the same spot of my junior high school

I'm sure those who know me well can think of multiple examples not listed, but I'm not willing to humiliate myself to any greater extent.

Secretly I've always wondered if my condition has been due to the fact that I choose to surround myself with gingers on a regular basis. Some of you may argue that this theory would hold no water and that in fact it is similar to racism. I would disagree, the clerk in attendance when I drove into the pole that the gas station was indeed a ginger. I remember thinking how horrifying a red uniform looked in conjunction with red hair. (I was at petro) The police man who found my wristlet was a ginger, at the time of both occurrences of the fridge door releasing all of it's contents on to our tile floor Billie-Jean's hair was bright red. And by golly I swear there was most certainly a ginger walking it's dog behind me when I mailed my boss's parking pass. Now there is a gaping hole in my ginger theory, I was alone when I dropped the phone in the bowl of soup, but the soup itself was ginger carrot!! IT'S A SIGN. As I'm moving from the old condo to the new condo I am ensuring that I check every body's roots and carefully inspect the homeless people lurking on the streets as I pile boxes into my car to ensure none of them are GINGERS I don't need a flare up of my special condition!!!!!!! (homeless people in bankview are extraordinarily filthy, bundle up real good and travel in flocks so its a challenge) Hopefully the rest of my move continues to go smoothly and the challenges I face are not exaggerated by the presence of gingers! Wish me luck!!!!

P.S. - My ginger theory does not apply to gingers under the age of one year as they could still grow hair non ginger in color. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Domestication: the occupation of most of my girlfriends in the nation...but not me!

Hello hello everyone. I would wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, but it looks like the Thanksgiving boat or turkey (for more appropriate Thanksgiving imagery) has flown the coup, even though I have never seen a turkey fly...I don't even think they can, but anyway that is definitely a different discussion. Thanksgiving and even post Thanksgiving is a perfect time to give thanks for the attributes/possessions/people you have in life, also I believe it is of equal importance to give thanks for the attributes/possessions (maybe not people, but if your feeling bitter include them too) in life that you do not have. Confusing??? Believe it or not that was the intention.

I'm sure you are thinking "UMMMMM excuseeeeeeeee me, why the J*@*^! would I want to be thankful for the fact that I do not live in a $4.5 million dollar mansion in Mount Royal with not only the best looking but the most intelligent neurosurgeon in Calgary who I married last week at a beaaaauty of a ceremony in Bora Bora?",  "Why would I want to be thankful for that fact that no matter what I do even though the Starbucks cup is clearly marked "HOT" patience is a virtue that I have not yet mastered so I take a sip and burn my tongue EVERYDAY?" (Not my personal goals/character flaws just examples people)

 My answer is: on the positive side it is good to see what you yourself are lacking in terms of attributes/skills/expertise so you can surround yourself with people who can supplement when and where necessary. It's exciting. Not only can they scratch your back but you can also scratch theirs by teaching them, assisting them and using your skills as required. You get to have some social fun but you get to accomplish something as a team making the whole experience called "LIFE" funner for everyone. Win Win Win!!!!

On the lesser positive (fun) side it is good to periodically step outside of your frame of reference and actually see what it going on with other people in our local, national and international communities. Sometimes it is insanely easy to forget to express gratitude for all we have. When something doesn't unfold as expected personally or professionally it is easy for us to laser beam our focus on that one issue, forgetting that we need to be grateful for the life we are currently living.

This Thanksgiving I had an experience that made me give thanks not only for the awesome domesticated souls that I surround myself with but I was reminded that I need to work on patience. I've known that for years actually, but I need to make it a daily practice. So this whole blunder started when I was watching a very enthralling hour of the Oprah show on my Tuesday at home. Martha Stewart happened to be a guest on this particular episode, she was teaching Oprah how to make variations of the usual bloody mary from different types of tomato juices. Even though I would never consider myself to be an avid Martha Stewart follower when she catches you off guard her charisma definitely draws you towards whatever activity she is performing. Towards the end of my show I found myself looking through my drawers for different articles of clothing that required a crafty fix and rummaging in kitchen cupboards to see if I could make anything creative from scratch for dinner. As I was searching it dawned on me that the upcoming Sunday night was Thanksgiving dinner! I quickly jumped on to search for the appropriate recipe to impress my family with.

I looked at main courses, side dishes, desserts. None of those were very appropriate, you see my family is traditional, (even though we have steak at not only Thanksgiving but Easter and Christmas too) traditional in the sense that if they think they are cooking they wouldn't want me to shock them by bringing any crazy side dish that would through off their thanksgiving roles and responsibilities. I kept searching and by golly I found a healthy replacement for mashed potatoes that I thought looked just tantalizing to the ole taste buds. I sent it to my e-mail and did a small victory dance. Who doesn't like healthy mashed cauliflower in place of the high carb mashed potatoes that claim our energy and make us gain a sickly 8 holiday lbs instead of the normal 5 most of us are accustomed to. (don't answer that please)

When the big day came I prepared mentally by taking a nice long walk to harness my domesticated energy (walking gets the wild out) and I went to the store (plastic money bag in tote, damnit) to buy the necessary cauliflower, butter, garlic powder and other seasonings that the recipe required. The recipe itself was essentially childs play: you steam the cauliflower until translucent then mash it with the butter, soy milk and seasoning. As I was steaming the cauliflower I went on the hunt in my kitchen for a potato masher, after successfully tearing apart the kitchen I could not find one, I was slightly frustrated as this is the one essential non food item that the recipe called for. Not only did the monetary budget not allow for me to run out and buy one, but by this time my time budget was also slightly constrained. I noticed my roomie had a hand mixer in one of the cabinets "perfect" that should do the trick I thought. I attempted to ensure the cauliflower was as tender as possible for easy mashing and tried to premash it with a fork to ensure an easy blend. Ya I guess it still wasn't quite mashed enough because when I stuck the hand mixer in the bowl containing the steamed cauliflower, soymilk, grated cheese, (not mentioned in the initial ingredient list but I wanted to contribute my own ingredient) garlic powder and turned it on, I ended up wearing the entire contents of the bowl. I stood there for a few minutes, draped in the mixture, imagining the compliments I would get on not only my unique fashion sense but the my new perfume fragrance "La Flower de Cauli" with slight hints of fomage for added texture. (people who describe scents and wine always use strange descriptors that seem inappropriate so I'm just going with it.) I realized that I definitely would not be the envy of my sisters at dinner, pulled a salad kit out of the refrigerator and hopped in the shower. At this point I was done with domestication, not bothering to even premix the salad in a bowl first I showed up at my parents house and handed my mom the salad with a pouty look on my face. "Very nice to see you dear, thanks for bringing the salad." she cooed in a very genuine tone bringing me back down to earth and out of angry "I'm a domestic disaster" land.

It is because of such issues  at some point I may write a book "Domestication for Dummies" (Original is my middle name) usually when I try to falsify my kitchen craftiness (I almost spelt craft with a K - corporations rule the world) by creating meals that appear domesticated (Pillsbury baked goods, pre-marinated meats that you quickly throw in the oven, meal kits that come with step by step instructions) I am highly successful. I have fooled many good friends on multiple occasions into thinking that I totally have it together when it comes to home economics, including but not limited to my home economics instructor in grade 12. You just have to ensure that there are specific things in your house like flower, sugar, baking powder canisters and lots of fancy appliances that are meant for cooking that would lead guests to believe you made the entire meal right down to the tortillas from scratch. You also must ensure that the trash is taken out prior to your guests arrival, most of the pre prepared food is really bad for the environment containing tonnes of hard to open packaging (don't worry I use safety scissors) - don't totally blow your cover. Take that shiaaaat out of your house but put it in the neighbor's garbage bin. Anyway that is the basics but I will go into details if I ever get around to writing that book. Now I will men in black you, by that I mean if you ever get invited to a dinner that I offer to cook you will not remember ANY of what you just read!! Merci.

The moral of this post is I'm very thankful for my patient friends that take time to make me dinner, steam my clothes when we are going out as a gang or gaggle if you will. You know who you are and I'm thankful for your skills and abilities. In addition to not being Robert Munisch, I ain't no Martha Stewart!


(Fun Fact: its my goal to mention Starbucks in every single post, I can no longer support financially so I have to demonstrate that they still have my loyalty even over seven eleven which now holds a very special second place when it comes to my favorite coffee venues)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How does that saying go? "Short term pain, long term gain." URGGG

Recently I read a very inspirational book "The Compassionate Samurai" by Brian Klemmer. Brian Klemmer owns a business "Brian Klemmer and Associates" (very appropriately titled) that sends keynote speakers to different parts of North America to motivate people to create amazing results within their own lives. I am a complete sucker for this type of thing, (it is very hard to turn down the opportunity to interact with someone who claims to have all of life's answers) so as soon as I heard one of Brian Klemmer's associates was coming to Calgary for a 2.5 hour talk I signed myself and entire chiropractic office up for a fun night of personal growth and motivation!

We scheduled the last hour of our day so we were patient free and headed off to hear Mr. Klemmer's associate provide us with insight on how to improve our lives. When the talk first started it seemed like your standard motivational lecture, over fifty percent of the audience was over forty and female, the associate was a peppy, professional, Caucasian male in his late thirties or early forties (I need a prescription update on my contact lenses but I almost thought he may be a "Touch of Grey" consumer, gotta appear young yet credible) and the venue was similar to a hotel conference centre. The associate began  by asking several general questions that he expected verbal replies to in an attempt to generate some excitement and audience participation. As I looked around I noticed most of the forty plus females faces were illuminated with hope and anticipation, I thought some of them were about to either have seizures or stokes, the associate's verbage seemed to touch them as if this were some sort of divine intervention and some of them started to scream and prance around like fifteen year old girls. You know when your up way too early on Sunday morning and there is some priesty looking fellow on TV pounding people on their skulls and healing them of chronic diseases as they pass out on the floor? Kinda like that!

This being said the associate had some great advice on how to set goals and follow through, he suggested that we make goals that are realistic and hold ourselves accountable by involving other people. He also suggested that we create a devastating reprimand (like cleaning a strangers house, SICK!!!) if we don't follow through and that we reward ourselves with something fun (like a 2'6 of premium vodka - or something that is meaningful to oneself) if we hit our target. I thought to myself for a second trying to think of a non pretentious goal and realized that maybe my fiances could use some work!? I was remembering the look on the face of a recent date as I gleefully recounted my last 5 shopping sprees and he casually sipped his whiskey on the rocks  but paused to raise one skeptical eyebrow and demand I restate my source(s) of income. (I think he thought I was smuggling illegal substances across the American boarder or something - if I were with that attitude he sure wouldn't be getting any!!!!!!!)

I got home that evening and studied my bank account, I scribbled  numbers on a sticky and continued to rework them until I had a manageable budget. My reward would be the mental stability incurred from not living paycheck to paycheck (I couldn't think of a non monetary reward, so I did what I do best and generalized), my reprimand would be in a month handing my debit and credit card over to my parents and living off of cash. If it came down to that I'm sure my father would be overjoyed every second time I see the man he utters something like "Melanie ...I wish........more restraint.......your life.....BLA BLA" (the "....." represents the parts I don't remember)

I started my budget last week, every Friday I will dedicate thirty minutes (including a trip to the bank) to get my allowance in order and ensure the money for my fixed expenses is where it should be. 1 week down and so far so good, but I will make note that the words pride and budget are not synonymous with each other.

First off I keep my "allowance" money in a small plastic bag in my purse (I have to segregate it from everything else to keep me mentally on track)  I don't get my daily Starbucks anymore instead I  visit Abdul (seriously his name is Abdul like on the Simpsons!!!!!!!) at the local Huskey for a nice filtered coffee. This week I ran into the Huskey and got a large coffee with one cream and two sugar and sleepily went up to pay, plastic money bag in tote. Abdoul greeted me with a chipper "Good morning sweet young lady that will be $2.50." I looked in my plastic bag and started wearily counting my nickles and dimes. (much to the disapproval of the six construction workers behind me) Abdul started to furrow his brow after two minutes as I have always paid debit in the past "Lose your debit card?" he questioned in a concerned tone. "Nope! Just working on being more of a Frugal Fred!" I responded handing him the change.

In addition to the embarrassing five minutes spent counting my pennies during every purchase I sometimes need to trick myself into not spending. I do this by hiding my plastic bag in various places around the condo and in my car (don't get any ideas the $4.57 isn't worth it) hoping that I'm too lazy to find it and spend my money. I used this tactic on Wednesday of this week but it worked too well - I cannot remember for the life of me where the hell I put my baggy!!!! I have been using dimes from my change dish to supplement until Friday when it's allowance day. I even contemplated joining the squeegee kids on the corner of 14th St. and 17th ave so I could have an extra buck or two but quickly thought of that South Park episode - you know the one with the bums that stumble around asking "Can ya schpare schome chaaaaaaaaaaaangggge." and decided that my pride did not need to hit a new rock bottom this week. AAHHH hopefully next week will be less embarrassing, I'll keep ya'll updated! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Generation E - "I want to express my gratitude but sometimes I have a bad attitude."

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As a youngster I was always encouraged to attend university or some sort of post secondary institution. Parents tend to put emphasis on what they value. My mother grew up in rural Nova Scotia, she was 1 of 7 children on a single income and as a result she didn`t finish high school (she did eventually go back and finish after I reached adolescence). My father went to university and graduated with two degrees which I think both my parents attribute our comfortable lifestyle towards(combined with a lil blood sweat and tears of course). 

A million or more times I heard "Get good grades or you can't go to post secondary, if you don't go to post secondary do not expect to get a good job if you don not get a good job you WON'T BE WEARING THOSE DESIGNER CLOTHES THAT YOU CURRENTLY SPEND 100% OF YOUR PAY CHEQUES AND ALLOWANCE ON".  (the words in capitals are the words that I actually heard). This really hit home when I was about seventeen and barely had enough credits to graduate. Realizing that not graduating high school would probably result in me working at McDics for the rest of eternity I quickly finished one work experience module (at McDics!!) and graduated with 100 credits on the nose. I headed out to the work force promptly (with the intent of becoming a millionaire) only  to discover that the house, car and fancy wardrobe doesn`t really come with answering phones for eight dollars an hour. Within a year I found myself prancing giddily off to Sait with big dreams of becoming a bean counter and finally owning all the glossy new material possessions that haunted my nightly slumbers.

I`m not one to exhaust myself just for the sake of the education process. To be frank I can think of better ways to humor myself than dropping $20 000 and ripping my hair out through: 4 economics courses, 6 accounting courses, 7 managerial type courses and 3 human resources courses. In my mind there was a direct relationship between the amount of letters behind ones name and the amount of numbers gracing the little piece of paper that emerges from the bank machine and an inverse relationship between the years of education you have and the amount of tedious cleaning you find yourself doing daily. As a result of these thoughts, upon graduation, I found myself with an ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY. ``I deserve`` were words that frequented my mind. 

I deserve - a fancy job, I deserve - nice material possessions, I deserve - not to budget, I deserve - Starbucks everyday.

I perceive that I share this mentality with quite a few new graduates. If it`s not ``I deserve`` it`s ``I already know``. (this does not apply if you are becomming a chartered accountant as you are aware of the years of articling that lie ahead). We  think our twenty thousand dollar education has immediately granted us rights and freedoms almost like some sort of personal constitution. Our degrees and diplomas give us automatic credibility and automatically open doors and windows in our lives right? WRONG. That is why I refer to this posting as ``Generation E`` - Generation Entitled. We feel that putting four plus years of elbow grease into our degrees counts as paying our dues. This is an incorrect assumption, the Ferrari does not come with the degree sadly. It may come at some point following but that is up to you. The real work begins after school ends. When you head out into the corporate world to look for that shining $100 000 a year opportunity you may still end up becomming the office bitch, and your daily tasks will include but not be limited to ordering fancy coffees that you yourself cannot afford from the Starbucks up the street and cleaning up the remains as your experienced counterparts strut out the door to their big wig meetings, leaving you to eat the Kraft dinner you made for $1.50 alone at your desk.

The thoughts alone in the paragraph above make me realize that my value of a good education and what my personal definition of  wealth and success  is not kosher. I worry about a highly educated society if adults and children have the mentality that education leads to a better material life. Who will do the dirty jobs that they feature weekly on Discovery channel? I`m entitled, I don`t, I won`t!``. When we realize we are all far to educated to clean and scrape out sewers, being as smart as we are we will outsource such tasks to India, saving us money; (our labour costs will be far to expensive) but creating a whole new set of challenges for the western world.

This thought was sparked by an interview I saw recently on CBC where Peter Jennings was interviewing Liberal party leader Michael Ignatieff regarding the conservative budget. Michael Ignatieff was criticizing Harper saying that instead of investing in corporate tax cuts the federal government should be investing in education as a grass roots solution (education equates to a higher quality of life), which got me thinking about my education and why I actually went to school and how I felt after I completed school. Now not everyone in the world is as greedy as I have come to be (thankfully) but unless the grassroots solution focuses on emphasising to our population that the quest for a higher level of education is about more than a means to a shinier ends and changing our definition of wealth and what creates happiness I think we are in for some interesting future challenges.

By the way I am by no means blaming my parents for my entitlement mentality, it is how our entire society presently views the outcome of education. Education=fancy career=material success=power and status.

I think that if we could change our North American values system to equate successful relationships (spiritual, intimate, friendship, work) with material gain we could use education as a means of increasing people`s awareness about the world around them and how they to better communicate with the people they interact with daily effectively decreasing the growing number of 20-30 somethings roaming the concrete jungle snarling ``I DESERVE!``.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Not by the Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin!

It's quite ridiculous the amount of time we spend on looking purdy! Even a more conservative woman who sees the insanity in extreme vanity needs to take time out of her day to moisturize and control her body hair so she can put her best face forward when she ventures out into the world. It's something we as a society have come to expect. When you initially meet someone you categorize that person in your mind based on their level of personal care. I'm sure some of you are thinking "I only judge people by the color of their soul" response..."your full of shit.". It's basic human instinct people. If you meet a person who is more on the "unkept" side of the spectrum (unless you exist there yourself), and you are forced to interact with that person you may have an epiphany "they are a great person"  - on the inside. Yet you still may not invite them down to the pub for drinks with  your friends. Who wants to be the one with the smelly, toothless friends. Not I. I think the man who romps through my dumpster "Fred" is a wonderful character. He makes me feel better about my self when the odd wine bottle or pop can ends up in the trash, because I know its not really going to end up polluting the environment. That being said just because Fred seems decent during our brief interactions doesn't mean I'm going to invite him out for my best friends birthday martini's. Now I know your thinking - that situation is pretty extreme, I'm aware, but sometimes you need to be extreme to get your point across.

     Beauty much similar to farming is subject to "the law of diminishing returns". If you double the seed there is no guarantee you will get twice the yield. If you look like you spend every ounce of your free time on your beauty regiments you will not always get the best reaction from others. Disclaimer: This statement does not apply to you if you are a stripper or work at hooters. (society just assumes you have no outside interests, they don't expect more from you.) People at the "overly kept" side of the spectrum scare of potential mates. The thought of spending hours and hours waiting while your partner preforms their daily routine just so you can walk down the street to grab a cup of joe isn't highly appealing. People may also stereo type you as being vein, they may assume the depths of your run about as deep as a kiddies wading pool.

Both of my examples demonstrate that you need to take care of your personal hygiene but you should probably avoid trying to look like Pamela Anderson (for lack of a better example) if you want to be taken seriously. I was recently attempting to take care of my personal grooming when I had a traumatizing experience. I was on my way to the grocery store to pick up yet another bag of salad and a side for my very undomesticated dinner. When I noticed one of those cheepie nail/hair removal salons. Giving myself a quick glance in the rear view mirror I thought, my eyebrows could use maybe a little grooming so pulled into the nail salons parking lot.

 The salon looked quite standard upon entry, several little nail stations located at the front and about four old style massage chairs at the back where pedicures are preformed. One of the tiny workers glanced up at me asking "What you want" in her sharp broken English. I pointed to my eyebrows. I'm not very good estimating how much English someone who speaks broken English actually knows, so pointing is my preferred method of communication in such situations. The worker nodded and yelled to the back in a foreign dialect. A sweet little lady appeared and walked to the front with a quite happy looking grin on her face. The other lady gestured towards her and barked at me "follow her, she speak no English". Great I thought, she could remove half my eyebrow and I have no way besides making an angry face to show her my displeasure.

 I followed the lady back into a small, bright room with what looked like a doctors examining table against one wall. Now this wasn't my first rodeo, so I hopped up on the table and lied down. The lady cut the waxing strips and started examining my face to plan her method of attack. She very meticulously waxed both of my eyebrows and plucked the strays the strips couldn't remove. Most males out their are probably grimacing, but I assure you having you eyebrows waxed is very minor. She handed me a mirror so I could view the results, I beamed, perfect arches! Mission accomplished. I was about to hop off the table and stride up to the front proudly, to pay and receive compliments from the other workers in the salon. I know they do it just so you'll come back, but I take it where I can get it. Before I could swing both legs over the side of the table, the lady grabed me by the shoulder and moved her face closely to mine to examine something. I wondered if she was looking at a horrific mole that had been growing under my nose that I haven't been able to see all these years. The lady squinted as she leaned her face closer to mine and uttered the word "lip". My immediate reaction was "Do I have something on it" as I clutched my face, visioning the milk moustache commercials of the 90's in my head. She uttered the word "hair" in response. AHHHH hair!!!! So not a milk moustache a real moustache I thought. (I don't even drink milk so I don't know why I keep referencing that) I was so horrified by the thought that I had a real live moustache growing unannounced to me right under my nose that I laid back down on the table without a word and tried to hold back tears. She cut bigger strips this time and proceeded to wax the right side of my upper lip. When she tried to show me the first strip she pulled off my face I looked away in horror. I could not face the quantity of hair, all I could vision was half of Burt Reynolds upper lip in that little strip. She continued on. Since this was my first lip waxing rodeo I had no idea when it would be over. She finished the left and right sides of my face and proceeded to apply some wax under my chin. At this very moment a single tear slid down my cheek. So as well as my moustache I have chin hair. I'm not even close to menopause yet. What the hell! She beamed and offered me a mirror. I took it and examined my face. AHHH I thought as I viewed the red ring circling my mouth. I was horrified. I gave her a courtesy smile and hopped off the table. As I made my way to the front I got the usual compliments from the salon employees. I wanted to throw a fit. My face was bright red why are they complimenting me - oh ya they want repeat customers, DANGIT.

The redness on my face did eventually dissipate, so that evening I ventured out to a friends house warming party, where I shared my experience with the other women there. My mind was immediately put at ease as when the twenty somethings readily dished about the curly hairs they have found protruding from their chin and other inappropriate areas on their face. (much to the horror of their husbands, fiancees and boyfriends ahhh ahaha) Moral of the story is if your in your twenties and you are offered a chin or lip wax. Take it! As Dr. Phil says can't change what you don't acknowledge. Words to live by my friends.

P.S. - You may notice my impeccable spelling! I found the spell check button!!!!!!!! :-)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

To blog or not to blog, that is the question!

Welcome family, friends, neighbours, coworkers and the random stranger(s) out there to my blog!!!!!! - "The Contorted Lenz" - Beta version 1.0. When I first thought about writing a blog (about a day ago) I questioned myself  "do I really have that much to say about the world and  life that people would be interested enough to actually read" ......I pondered for a few minutes while sipping my venti vanilla soy americano misto....hmming and hawing out loud, much to the dismay of the random stranger(s) (yes shout out to the ones reading this) in Starbucks and then it hit me like a ton of bricks...or a tonn of caffeine; which could be entirely possible since I did accept the barristas offer of that fourth shot in my americano. IT DON'T MATTER. It don't matter! My blog ain't here to impress nor is it here to entertain. It is in existance so I can say what I want, when I want, to whoever is willing to read it.

Now a couple quick disclaimers and general notes before we get to the meat and potatoes (of course)

1. My posts may not always be very well written and half the time they may not even make that much sense!! Just to throw it out there - I pretty much almost failed grade 12 english, I definitly failed the poetry module and the english I was taking wasn't even the smart english, it was the english for the people still figuring out the difference between nouns and verbs. Yup.

2. I have never won or even entered a spelling bee. This blog does not have spell check, so I don't want any haters being critical of my poor spelling. I was raised (as many of you were) in the word processor generation. I am definitly not responsible for the details of spelling all the words in the english language. That is why computers were invented, who wants to waste their time with pesky details such as spelling. Now to be fair I don't  really know what the capabilities of the site are, but unless there is spell check on this baby don't expect the bigger words and even the smaller words to be spelled correctly.

 3. English is quite challenging with all the different versions of words that mean the same thing - homophones I think they are called. (I was paying attention!!!!!!!!) Such as pair, pear and pare. Waist and waste.  Too, too and two. Don't expect me to contextulize those words correctly. I ain't no Robert Munsch.

4. While I do believe there is a time and a place to ensure you are politically correct, it is not the top priority of this blog. When you are in a professional environment or at an intellectual event of some kind it is wise to try to be sensitive towards others and maintain your reputation by watching your tongue. If you currently are or have future ambitions to become a politician you should probably refrain from using phrases or words that have negative conotations for certain groups on your blog. Watch yo'self! That shiat could come back and bite you in the ass like Paris Hilton's sex tape. I however do not ever desire to be a politican and will use the words in my vocabulary as I see fit.

5. The facts and topics discussed by yours truly in this blog may not always be accurate. I try my best but everything I write on this screen is all based on my interpretation of what I've read. I don't have a great attention span so sometimes I develop my own opinions before I've fully read material. Don't argue with me or correct my facts! This isn't your blog, it's mine. Get your own!! Or how about writing someone who cares such as the good folks at Wikipedia. That's where I get the majority of the fuel for this fire anyways.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way. I know you are all dying to know why this blog is called "The Contorted Lenz Beta Version 1.0" and not just "The Contorted Lenz" - allow me to enlighten you! While I have interest in blogging and expressing my creativitly through written material I do not know if it's really a long term interest. I tend to get really excited about new ventures and expell all my energy quickly having none left for regular maintenance. So enjoy this while it lasts! So with that I look forward to either posting or not posting more random/eclectic thoughts, feelings and expressions of self.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out now!