Thursday, January 31, 2008

My (not-so) new woman crush

The purpose of a woman's life is just the same as the purpose of man's life—that she may make the best possible contribution to the generation in which she is living. —Louise McKinney

I adore Anne McLellan. I think she's simply fabulous. This afternoon I had the opportunity to hear her speak at the Hotel MacDonald and I am simply in awe. She talked about women in politics and how we need more female leadership and so forth. She is such an engaging and passionate speaker. I could have listened to her all day.

It is true, we do need more women in politics. But it's a steep mountain to climb.

McLellan talked about how she's traveled across the country with the Liberals, talking to women, especially young women, trying to convince them to get into the political realm and it's just so hard. Politics is seen as such a sport/game/blood battle that it's not something a lot of people want to sign up for. Especially as a women, it's a constant fight. Look at Belinda Stronach, Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Iris Evans, Rona Ambrose... I don't think any of us would really care to trade places and fight the fights that these women did/do on a daily basis. They tend to either be seen as manly/butch (Thatcher) or as a sex-object/ultra-feminine (Belinda/Rona). And they work so much harder to even be there in the first place. I was at an event with all of the cabinet ministers where they all outright acknowledged that Iris works harder than any of them -- at the legislature ridiculously early in the morning until ridiculously late. It's not a fun or easy job. Not than anyone claimed it ever was.

A buddy said to me after, that the thing with women getting into politics is that there really is no proof that they add the "female position" on issues in the end (she did her masters on this apparently). Because women have to act so much like men in order to be taken seriously, something gets lost between womanhood/motherhood/women's issues and the political sphere. Which is an interesting point. Also, it's freakin' hard to be a mother and be in politics. I can't imagine. Especially provincial/federal politics where you are away from home for long periods of time.

I've said time and time again how much I respect and admire my own mother for her political aspirations and the work that she's done in my community. I was blessed to have such a positive female influence in my life. She's brilliant, she's tough and she taught us to think for ourselves (even if she didn't agree with what we were saying necessarily). We had a lot of discussions about politics and religion and current issues/events.

I think that because of the sense of community you have when you are at the municipal level, it'd be a lot easier to be a woman/mother in politics in that sphere. As you get into the higher levels, you become distanced from that community. Especially if your home base isn't in the city where you spend much of your time.

The hard thing now is that people claim they want younger people in politics, or more women in politics... but it's hard to get people to take you seriously. Whether it's because you're a woman, or because you're young. There's a certain amount of credibility that you need to establish first. Where does one start?

'Canadian' now a racial slur?

From this National Post article.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I should not have left the house

So it's -46 with windchill today.

Schools have closed. Transit is slow. In Calgary the C-train was actually frozen to the tracks. The AMA is telling people not to leave home if they don't have to. It takes approximately 3 hours in the city to get a tow truck and 8 hours outside of the city.


Albertans aren't wimps

I have never loved my heinous Uggs so much as I do right now.

Yes, they are ugly. But it is -40 outside, the snow is up to my knees (and I get to jump through it on the uncleared sidewalks... because it's not possible to walk through it and trudging through the streets = certain death) and my feet feel like they have been snuggled by bunnies. That is right. My feet are toasty and bunny-snuggling warm. Even though I can't feel my legs.

Feigned snow day with B yesterday (it was a Sunday so really it just meant we didn't leave the house). We played Rock Band and watched a lot of Arrested Development. I am a pro bass player, let me tell you. Addicted. Then when we did go to leave so I could go home and make it to work today, we couldn't get his car out of the parking lot. Bless his snow-shoveling soul.

So I jumped through the streets to the bus stop, hopped the LRT to downtown and gaped wide-eyed at the mess the world has become since last I had ventured out.

Damn you Edmonton, damn you and your -40 to hell. ...And since when does it snow here? Hrm? Stop it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

[Mis]adventures in Saskatoon, check

So, lately I've been thinking about the lack of [mis]adventures that are described in this blog.

I have plenty of them, believe you me. However, I think I opt not to write about them because my baby sister reads this thing. I don't want her to get any ideas. Ha.

Most recent misadventure:
Going to Saskatoon. Checking Saskatchewan off of the list of provinces I've yet to visit. Knowing far more about B's sister the night before I met her and having to face her (and the possible one-night stand who was probably 10 years her junior) in the morning. She is a screamer and B is scarred for life. Even more scarred by the 98% chance that there were more than two people in that bedroom.

Also, Saskatoon is freakin' slippery. I was wearing actual winter boots (not heels!). With traction. And I slipped on my ass at least three times in less than the 36 hours I was there. Apparently they are very anti-gravel in the streets. Oh Edmonton, you are dirty, but you keep me standing.

Saskatoon = 3, Elle = 0.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I don't actually read nine books at once

My little place in the blogosphere here has gone to shit.

I'm attempting to update, and so I will let you know that I don't actually read nine books at once (I just suck at reviewing them like I said I would). On the other hand, I do read about three or four books at once (just not nine -- that is crazy!)


I have, in fact, finished:

1) Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
I love anything by Palahniuk, so I'm biased. He is so delightfully disturbing and provides such brilliant social commentary through his tales. Really, I recommend anything he's ever written.

2) Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
Cute chick lit involving knitting and comraderie among women. Light. Quick. Sometimes you just need something like that.

3) Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Classic. Love the drama in others' imaginary lives... even though I can't stand it in my own.

4) Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
Love Klosterman. There were times I'd be reading this book and burst out laughing. In public. I don't do that too often. He's blunt. He's honest. He's hilarious.

5) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
The last of the Harry Potter books. Still undecided about how I feel about the ending. But it works.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Things I love. Right now.

Random things of late that make me ridiculously elated are:

Things I've Bought That I Love -- Mindy Kaling, writer/actress from the Office is absolutely hilarious. Her blog, which features other contributors but tends to be dominated by her own posts, is very fun. She'd be the kind of girl to go for drinks and girl talk and squeal over cute shoes/clothes/things with.

Aveeno Lip Conditioner, Essential Moisture with SPF 15 -- I have a ridiculous pile of lip balms/glosses, let me tell you. And this one little tube of balm goes with me everywhere. Even now that the tube is empty. The air in Alberta is super dry all of the time so my skin dries out like the desert. Not any more! I pull this little baby from my pocket, sigh that it needs to be replaced and attempt to get out whatever I can salvage from the tube. And then I look at it. Look at the garbage can. And put it back in my pocket. Why? Because I have a poor memory and this way I remember to replace it. Must. Replace. Lip. Conditioner.

The Jumbotron at the hockey game -- I went to the Oilers game with B last night. My first Oilers game. Aside from being disappointed in the Oilers (winning streak no more), my people watching skills have reached a new level. Favourite thing about the hockey game (other than the hockey part, obviously) is watching how people react the second they realize they're on the big screen. Ha! Hilarity! Even funnier? The people who try to hide from it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Miraculous footwear?

Last week on Oprah (I think it was last week anyway), Oprah talked about shoes. Oh shoes. They will be my demise. Not usually am I uber-girly, though when it comes to a pair (or ten) of gorgeous heels or flirty flats it's a different story.

Oprah talked about how she loves shoes for the fashion side of things, though she can't usually stand to walk in them for more than a few minutes. Apparently she carries her shoes out with her onto the stage on her show and puts them on then. She's been known to be seen barefoot at the theatre with shoes in hand.

For most women, I think this is a fairly common occurance (I've been known to take off my shoes and frolick around barefoot anyhow). The solution to all of these problems? Cole Haan. Nike Air technology has been introduced to this new line of Cole Haan shoes to make them super comfortable and to support your foot in such a way as to prevent the "pretty but painful" issues that hot shoes so often have.

I currently have a huge crush on these babies: If only my pocketbook was as infatuated as I am... *sigh*

Monday, January 7, 2008

Why love letters have to die with the relationship from which they sprung

I'm a bit wordy -- forgive my title.
I used to be one of those people. The people who would keep mementos and letters and cards thrown chaotically into a box for future reference. The Pandora's Box of love letters and memories past.

It got to a point where I just couldn't do it anymore. 

It's not only hard to look back at bits and pieces of the good times -- relationships past, friendships from long ago -- it's misleading. To pick up old romance spewed from the pens of past loves and yearn for something that couldn't be and possibly never was. To see reality through the rose-coloured lens of loneliness (which, lets face it... is usually when these boxes of notes get dusted off). It's not a good thing. It doesn't help make things better.

It skews how we see our own current reality. We try to measure up what we have or what we don't have with what we thought we had a long time ago. We blissfully ignore the ugly yelling matches and the differences that separated us. We miss people who we have let go for a reason. We try telling ourselves that we miss the friendship we had with someone who, quite honestly, probably wasn't friendship material in the first place.

It's healthy to purge sometimes. It's good for our sanity. It helps us truly move on. 

Let's face it. It's hard to be truly happy with yourself or truly happy with someone else until you really let old flames flicker and fade out.

This post is dedicated to a friend who stumbled upon one of her own hidden-away letters.