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Noses, Vaginas and Other Things That go Bump in the Lab

Yes, you read that correctly.

“It’s no use reminding yourself daily that you are mortal: it will be brought home to you soon enough” ~Albert Camus~

Today, the Globe and Mail was clearly needing to fill some inches in the Life and Arts section. Just as clearly, they didn’t have much to choose from.

Having worked in the news business and as a health care advocate, I have to say that the Globe and Mail stooped to a bold, new, blatantly obvious journalistic low today.

The article used to fill the gaping 8 inch hole on page L6 was headlined, “Vaginas and nose parts grown in lab”.

No, I’m not kidding.

This is not only a bad headline, but a really bad article.  Bad as in, it insulted the integrity of, “The super seed square-off”, article which dominated the page.

Seriously? Our newspapers are giving more room to seeds than what we’re spending billions of dollars on in an effort to out-smart mother nature and father time?

According to the Canadian Press style guide (at least when I was writing for a newspaper), journalists should strive to write for readers at a grade five level. Except the Globe and Mail. They had much higher standards.

Those standards have obviously changed.

To insist on writing that any type of tissue or organ transplantation, ‘carries a risk of complications’ seems a bit patronizing at best. Hell, if it didn’t carry a risk of complications, we’d all be walking around with new parts, and none of us would ever die.

Why not write about the ethical issues surrounding organ and tissue donation? Why not report the news?

I have known people who have been the recipients of organ and tissue donation. I have known people who have clung to hope while their dying bodies are riddled with cancer and the side-effects of the drugs that are supposed to miraculously stop them from their inevitable death.

I have never known anyone stupid enough to have to be told that organ transplants are  risky.

We should demand that our national newspapers at least make the news entertaining, or just give up the charade of trying to pretend that they report any news at all.

Dear modern pseudo-journalists,

Please tell me about vaginas, and other organs being grown in a lab together. Tell me why they didn’t match the headline up with body parts that seem somewhat better paired. Let’s say vaginas, tongues and perhaps penises? Tell me about the vagina, tongue and penis committees established to ensure seamless integration of each part with the others. Tell me who gets along better with the tongue, and how the nose copes living so closely to the vagina.

Whatever you tell me, just don’t write ridiculously insulting news that isn’t news at all, and expect me to take it in like an indiscriminating storm sewer. At least make it entertaining.






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The Lazy Buddhist

"You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you're too busy; then you should sit for an hour." ~ Old Zen Saying~
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”
~ Old Zen Saying~

I’m a lazy Buddhist.

Some days I’m more of a lazy Protestant, Hindu, Jew, Taoist, Muslim or Catholic. It just depends on how I’m feeling. I like to go with the spiritual flow, if you know what I mean.

How can I be all of those things? Well, it’s kinda like this;  I really struggle to wear the uniform of any single religion. I’m spiritual, and have found a home in my Buddhist practice. It  brought me to a much deeper understanding of my Protestant roots, and my academic study of religion.

But I’m lazy about it.

Today I put off a full day of meditation because I woke up with the same headache and sniffly nose that I went to bed with last night.

Mind you, I could have taken a seat in the meditation hall full of decongestants with a side of tissues, but it was so very much easier to stay in bed and cuddle with my 1500 count, aubergine-coloured sheets.

Granted the other folks attending today’s retreat are thankful that I didn’t come and clutter up their atmosphere with sniffles, bacteria, and a high level of shifting on my organic buckwheat hull-filled cushion, I could have gone.

Instead, I got up, had a glass of water and went back to bed, where, my body and mind rested for 5 more hours.

As usual, I made my way to my preferred coffee shop, sat back, and read the news. The piece that caught my ever-distracted eye was in the Focus section of the Globe and Mail. Crushed, by Erin Anderssen was a bell back to some thought about my own practice, and how, when I need it the most, I abandon it like a kitten distracted by an ant.

I have been worrying a lot lately. A lot. Worry is something that used to drive me toward my goals and accomplishments. Now it just drives me to bourbon, quick fixes and eventually, back to my breath.

Friendships wax and wane. Everyone has their own problems, and let’s face it, even though you may ask for someone to share their perspective, decisions have to be made with your very own unique concoction of rational thought and intuition. I tend to go heavy on the rational thought, and overboard on the intuition.

In the past, decisions that I’ve made from a place of fear or worry have been quick fixes that offered only temporary satisfaction.

For a week I’ve been stewing over something pretty hard. A simple ten minute session on my cushion mid-week, just before bedtime,  offered some release, and the most solid night of sleep I’ve had in months. I woke up with a new perspective.

So today I missed a great opportunity to share sacred, even holy, space with other people who know the power of practice within the safe space of a sangha. Instead, I chose to rest my own body and mind.

I felt guilty about not going, but then I decided to be at peace with peace. Both at letting myself get some solid rest, and for making a decision that wavered contrary to popular opinion. Just to be sure, I did some math, and realized that both my intuition and rational thought process were right on the money.

This week I had expressed my fears, hopes and thoughts to my friends, soliciting their perspectives and advice. They offered support  when I had come to a conclusion, and confided that with regard to this matter that was on my mind, I had made a poor decision before. I had to agree, and then, after calming my mind, I had to disagree.

This is life. Lived uniquely on our own, despite being surrounded by people; some caring, some sent teachers, and some we will never know.

Am I a lazy Buddhist, or am I just one who, working intensely with human loss each and every day, needed some space?

Breathing room and solitude are often mistaken for sloth. Don’t let anyone else’s ideas fool you.

When in doubt, hit the floor and give yourself ten for  zen. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.


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Weekend News Summary

Kissing Black-tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys lud...
Kissing Black-tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Français : Chiens de prairie à queue noire (Cynomys ludovicianus) se faisant la bise. 日本語: キスしてるオグロプレーリードッグ (Cynomys ludovicianus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, here it is my sparkling little diamonds of lust, the not-so-breaking-weekend-news-summary.

Cozy up with an icy mimosa and get ready for a titillating journey through the basic news stories of the weekend.

The gap between the rich and poor widens. Artists continue to pump out inspiring, heart-wrenching and thought-provoking work, and someone has written a self-indulgent book.

Yes sweeties, that just about sums it up. However, I am going to enlighten you with how all of it ties together in the teeny, tiny, immaculately decorated chambers of my girl-brain.

First, let me discuss the self-indulgent book review about The Art of Sleeping Alone, by Sophie Fontanel. This isn’t a title that would catch my eye, so God bless Globe writer Sarah Hampson for the warning.

Basically some French broad gives up sex at the age of 27, and has orgasmic experiences with nature, and her own sensations of the wild, wonderful and sometimes wicked world in which we live. End of summary darlings.

Skip to the front page of the Globe TO section that highlights the differences between two rivals fighting for the federal riding of Toronto Center. It’s a face off of pretty faces as the liberals (boo) and the NDP (yay) talk about how they will vie for the seat amongst the poorest of the poor and richest of the rich.

The interview consists of questions focused on the ever-widening, vastly dangerous gap between the rich and the poor. Of course the liberal walks a fine line (after all, she’s led by the ever handsome born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-my mouth descendant of Canadian royalty), and the NDP fight for the underdog.

I, on the other hand realize that myself and most of my contempories belong to the group of folks working our tushes off to carry the upper-class. Ugh. Not sexy darlings, not sexy at all.

We are however, the artists and dreamers that keep the human spirit alive. Creativity, the great mother of art, only swells under oppression and strife. Raise your glass fellow writers, for we are the subversive, joyous protector of the soul.

The front page this weekend, “Toward a New Brazil” takes us to a country that has recovered from the dire economy, resulting violence, poverty and crime as predicted will be our gloomy economic future of have and have-nots.

Now, doesn’t that make you want to snuggle? Seriously, doesn’t it make you want to hold everyone near and dear to you a little tighter, celebrate the simple things, and have someone to snuggle up with at the end of a long, hard day?

Exactly. Just what I thought my delicate little songbird. Just what I thought.

As far as Sophie Fontanel’s book is concerned, I know what it’s like to never want to have sex again. Basically, her predicament is summed up as having suffered a lot of bad sex, resulting in her preferring celibacy.

Believe it or not, I can relate. Following my last long-term relationship, the last thing I wanted was to have any man touch me. Yes darlings, that’s how absolutely appallingly repulsed I felt about him. I vowed a year of celibacy. It only lasted a few weeks, but I’ve been to the edge darlings, and have made it back.

I reveled in stretching out in my bed, not having to wake up to some whiner who’s first words every day were negative. I loved not sleeping with someone who snored. I especially enjoyed falling asleep without wanting to launch the horse’s ass out of my window. Ah, yes, the bliss of sleeping alone.

I’m not one to lose hope though my darlings. I know that there are still wonderful, loving, handsome, deliciously sensual men out there who make my heart skip a beat, have handsome shoulders on which I can rest my pretty, little head, and who have hugs that, no matter what, make me feel loved, safe and ready to take on the world again.

So, in light of our decidedly selfish upper-class and toiling lower class, wouldn’t you feel better curling up beside the love of your life, or perhaps the love of a season, taking refuge in the beauty and simplicity of love?

Screw this French celibacy celebration and bring me my champagne!

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10 Things I Learned Today

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Ok, maybe I didn’t just learn these things, but they  crystalized for me.

Whether it was during my morning read of the Globe and Mail, a chat with a friend, or quiet time reflecting on life in general with a glass of wine and a favourite soundtrack playing in the background, I realized that I must share these nuggets of wisdom with you, my sassy readers.

1) Teenage boys will always come home when they’re hungry (in adult time, that translates to approximately every two hours)

2) You cannot have it all. You can be excellent at only one thing at a time. I just so happen to be an excellent mom, business woman and writer at different times during the day.

3) Good things do not come to those who wait. Good things come to those who consistently work hard and don’t let failure or rejection get them down.

4) Being the perfect size, saying the perfect things, doing things in a conventional way are not priorities of mine, and I have an awesome life because of that. Go ahead, Zen-out.

5) Wine and fudge do go together.

6) Clutter makes me crazy.

7) It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Now, I’m not going to work in my writing duds with a glass of cheap hooch clutched in my hands my pretty petunias, but slight imperfections really just don’t matter when you’re being authentic.

8) We all procrastinate when it comes to the really, really important stuff.

9) You can spend too much time alone, and it’s always nice to have friends drop by for a visit and a glass of wine, mug of coffee, cup of tea, walk around the lake, chick flick or general chin wag.

10)  Freedom from fear creates success.

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Is It Really News?

I read the news today, oh boy.
I read the news today, oh boy. (Photo credit: Flооd)

I hope that you had a chance to catch up on the news this weekend. God help you sweetie if you’re relying solely on the newspaper, although it is terribly entertaining.Saturday evening I took in the news in my favourite chair at my favourite cafe. I suggest you pour your favourite warm beverage and enjoy the next five thoughts that I leave with you as the weekend wanes.

1) David Bowie is back with his first album since, well, since he got his teeth capped in that my-what-big-teeth-you-have-grandad way, and his face lifted.  Mr. Bowie, you were beautiful, and would have aged beautifully all on your own.

2) A very ‘young’ 62-year-old female is seeking a 63-72 year old male to enjoy the finer things in life. 72? Really? How on earth did you come  up with that number? Parcheesi? And by ‘young’ do you mean born late in the year, say…December? You either need dementia meds or a reality check you deluded ego-maniac. Nowhere in the advert did it say she was hoping for more meaningful characteristics in her future companion than him being ‘slim’ and ‘financially independent’.  Whatever happened to nice, kind and compassionate? The human race is doomed, doomed I say!

3) A plethora of pages dedicated to what to do with the kids during March break.  How about let the little buggers go outside, use their imagination, get a few scrapes and bruises and breathe fresh air? How about chill out and get to know what ‘home’ means?

4) Another movie aimed at the hearing aid set . Cloudburst is about two old lesbians. Yes, it’s great that we’ve finally woken up as a society and no longer demonize people for their sexuality/gender/curious preferences. I’m sure it’s a charming movie, but I go to the movies to escape. I don’t want to see 80-year-old lips (of any description) on anything but a lap-dog or a grandchild. We all get old. I get it. Just let me have entertainment that doesn’t knock me over the head with the sledgehammer of reality.

5) How NHL players dress when they’re not on the ice. Who. Cares?  Talk about 10 inches of desperate-to-fill-the-page-junk.

Wishing you the intelligence to question what you hear, read, view and are told is the ‘news’.

Fashion · Girl Stuff · Life · Uncategorized

Dad Hair – Man Grooming No-No’s

When I met my best pal in university, we had one thing in common; our dads had the same hair. Dad hair was the line in the sand that determined, more than age itself, that a man was too old for us.

Dad Hair: def’n; Noun – Hair one inch or longer blown dry with a brush and blow dryer. Most often styled with women’s hair products. Most often a dead giveaway of gents 40+ or a Wanna Be.

Wanna Be: def’n; Noun – An old guy who wants to be a young guy. Highly unattractive.

Should your daily grooming routine (this is directed at gentlemen, unless you’re a very hairy gal) involve blow drying your hair, including your body hair,you likely need to revamp your routine.

Look Sharp!”, a 15 step grooming how-to manual for men in this Saturday’s Globe and Mail, frightens the hell out of me.  You see, I like a man’s man. Someone clean, up to date and with a morning get-out-of-the-house-and-get-to-work-routine that is fast and efficient. In other words, I want a man’s routine to make my own seem that much more feminine. Not an easy task especially after a women becomes a mother and/or comfortable with her own style and body, and no longer needs more than an hour primping. We need more time to catch up on issues of the day in the morning. We don’t want  you to look perfect guys. We want guys. Your ruggedness is a compliment to our femininity.

I will take you through “Look Sharp”  one item at a time.

#1 – “Say No To Lady Brows” – recommends using an eyebrow brush in the shower. WTF? If I found an eyebrow brush in a dude’s shower, I would think he had serious issues, and I confess, would likely use it myself.

#2 – “Lose the Baggage” – what to do about under-eye baggage…prop your head up on an extra pillow. Been there done that with my last prima-don, and it inhibits cuddling. Who wants to have to crawl up for a good-night kiss?

#3 -“Stop Shaving Wrong” – Ok, I like this one. Pay attention gents. I like the smooth cheekies against my thighs er, face.

#4-“Be a Well-Oiled Machine” – Another shaving tip. Again, I can’t relate. I do confess to having a particular kink for watching a man shave with a shaving brush and razor. Not anything weird like legs  or testicles (ok, maybe my legs)- his face – shaving his manly face.

#5- “Use Serum” – not.  Under his moisturizer? What. The. Hell? Serum?! Really?

#6-“Smell Good Everywhere” – Yes. Yum. Smell good. But they recommend talcum powder. I don’t care if it comes from Holt Renfrew. Talc conjures images of chaffing. Chaffing can never smell good. Skip the talc. Just shower, use some yummy cologne, or, just shower again before you want us to kiss your man bits and other delicious fleshy regions.

#7-“MakePeace with your Body Hair” – discusses a hair aura. Good advice, especially, ” But don’t go too short, Freeman warns: “No one wants to share personal space with a prickly pear””. Amen.

#8-“Ditch the BeadHead” – pomade and blow-drying recommended here, especially for the folically challenged. DO NOT DO THIS. You will have Dad Hair, and not ever have sexual relations again. You may as well go for the eyebrow brush in the shower and the talc.

#9-“Blow your Lid” – Nope. I’m going to  say that they should have put in a sex tip here, possibly even about the benefits of prostate stimulation….DO NOT BLOW DRY YOUR HAIR. Pretty please?

#10-“Reverse Your Losses” – again about how to make it look like you have more hair. Research shows that hair loss indicates higher levels of testosterone and va-va-va-bedroom. Skip the prescription drugs and the doctor’s office. Skip right on into bed, freshly showered, and voila! Extreme dude. Just what every woman wants.

#11-“Skip the Mouthwash” – Huh? Oh. Ok. Use a tongue scraper. I can live with that. I tend to abide by the “never invade your man’s bathroom time” rule. How long can it take to scrub-a-dub your tongue?

#12-“Tea Off” – Drink black and Green Tea to help bad breath. I can go for that.

#13-“Watch Your Back” – avoiding in-grown hairs by using a very manly buffing cloth. Would you keep the buffing cloth next to the eyebrow brush? My suggestion is give up narcism and let us in the shower with you and we’ll buff you. All over you…just sayin’

#14-“Tap into Flower Power” – unless this is about how to send your hot, sexy, strong, confident woman flowers, I’m not  even going to comment….no comment. Ok. It’s about choosing fragrance. Choose a good one guys. We do love it when you smell yummy.

#15-“Put Your Best Foot Forward”-Toe Nail Fungus. What the hell? They talk about talcum powder, buffing cloths and eyebrow brushes, and find it necessary to include toenail fungus?! Clearly any man who needs prompting with regard to this little faux-pas will not be reading the Globe and Mail’s Style Section.

I got a kick out of reading this, enjoyed the front and back shots of the cute model, but otherwise, hope that no man (heterosexual and in my dating pool anyway) takes this too seriously.

Be clean. Dress well, and be the rugged, cuddly teddy bear we need you to be.


Beauty Tip of the Week – News that Makes You Go, “Hmm?”

"God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there's no turning back. "~Gloria Steinam~
“God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back. “
~Gloria Steinam~

It’s that time of the week my rosy-cheeked readers.

I hope that you haven’t let me down. You surely couldn’t have let the week pass without reading the news?

More importantly, I hope you questioned the who, what, where, when, why and how of it all.

Beautiful women aren’t beautiful because of the shape of their ever-fabulous silhouettes. 

Truly beautiful women are gorgeous because of their warm spirituality and cunning intellect.

Top Ten News Items that Make Me Wonder This Week;

1) Why nations ruled by secular-politics dont’ have the diplomatic savvy to call a spade a spade when dealing with religion-based non-secular politics. Thoughts on the situation in Egypt; Any nation ruled by a religious group including the name ‘Brotherhood’ should make every intelligent woman’s labia snarl in protest. Brotherhood? How about evolving to a higher spiritual level and advocating human rights?

2) Bookshelves have gone out of vogue with the popularity of e-readers. So has common sense and independent thought. Odd that the two styles have become gauche at the same time. Think about it.

3) A major national newspaper used ‘filler’ for the entire back page of the Arts section. Tisk, tisk, tisk, my poor, lost editor. An article about the obvious (that romance and lust has permeated  literature since cavemen scratched stick figures on rocks) is not exactly cutting edge information. Tell me more about new authors, new artists, new theatres, but don’t bore the hell out of me with this mind-numbing twitter.

4) “Palestinians Paint Canada as Too Extreme” If that’s not a case of the proverbial pot and kettle I dont’ know what is. Canada needs to be ever more ‘extreme’ when it comes to protecting the secular politics that has made it a haven for those fleeing from countries governed by religious-politics. Don’t confuse this comment with my thoughts on Israel and Canada being kinky political bedfellows. That’s a fifty-shades trilogy in itself.

5) Do the brains behind the smiles in the society column have a clue what is really happening in the world? Do they really have any idea what they write cheques in support of, and the consequences of those big-money decisions? The coy smile peeking out from behind heart shapes made by hands (aka in the style of 11-year-old girls demonstrating their love for boy bands), makes me think – no.

6) Does anyone really care about who is in the society column beside the people in it? Not unless you’re looking for fertile fundraising ground.

7) What on earth makes a ‘Diwali Spiced Snickerdoodle’ recipe remotely appropriate for a ‘Christmas Cookie’ column? ( I admit I will try the recipe, and likely love the it). It’s like making German Stolen the first recipe in an Eid baking column.

8) The current situation between the provincial government and the teachers. Let’s talk about personal leadership and equitable compensation.  Anyone who calls themselves a professional does not ‘punch the clock’. They take on leadership as a personal badge (for teachers it includes coaching, teaching and delivering report cards that actually give parents and kids an intelligent, thoughtful assessment). Democratic governments do not take away the right to strike. Both sides of this one need a kick in the pants. Wage freeze – yep – it’s happening to everyone, and should especially happen to the gravy eaters at the top.

9) Canada’s redneck stance on the Kyoto Protocol, which ties nicely into the double-digit temperatures we’re having and the high price of apples. Please email me if you can’t put this together. In other words. Canada needs to get  off the liar-liar bus and see that our global pants are smouldering, if not already on fire.

10) The mass of jewelry adds given the impending Christmas boom. Somebody get me some of that. I like sparkly things.