Thursday, October 30, 2008

What constitutes cheating?

The Duchess of Kickball asked this question yesterday... and I thought I'd further this conversation over here, since I didn't really want to write a novel in her comments.

I had a problem with this once. I'd like to say that I have never, would never cheat. It's a pretty shameful thing. Because it happened so long ago, I tend to forget it ever happened in the first place. It wasn't that I'd go around making out with other guys at parties or anything. It wasn't a physical thing at all. If you don't kiss, it's not cheating, right?


It was purely an emotional thing. It started out fairly innocently as a friendship, became a little flirty, turned into something where I would tell this other person things I wouldn't tell my boyfriend at the time. The Other just seemed to get me. He was supportive. He listened to what I had to say. He gave advice only when it was solicited, and when he did, it was only a suggestion and not that he was telling me what to do. All excellent qualities that were lacking in my relationship.

In my opinion, that's how cheating works. You find someone who has something that your relationship or significant other doesn't. Whether it's that emotional, supportive relationship or whether it's a chemistry, sexual attraction type of relationship. Anything that you feel like you have to hide from a significant other should be a big, red flag that something is going on that's not on the up-and-up.

It doesn't even necessarily mean that the person you are with is not the person you should be with. It could just mean that you have to work at taking those things that you crave from someone else and find a way to incorporate them into your existing relationship. Communicate.

Though, on the other hand, it could be a sign that you're just not as compatible with your boyfriend as you initially thought. It's easy to hide the problems in a person when you're getting satisfaction elsewhere. There's no reason to break up with him, was a common excuse for me. On top of that, everyone I knew thought we were so perfect together. I forgot that the whole getting-my-support-elsewhere thing was perfect reason to break up.

Bottom line is: if you feel like things are less than optimal in the relationship you've got either attempt to fix them or get out. Cheating is not just a sexual thing, it's any relationship where there's "more than friendship" going on.

Shuffle shuffle shuffle

Harper announced his new federal cabinet announced this morning. Ooooh, exciting.
  • The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
  • The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)
  • The Honourable Gregory Francis Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs
  • The Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister of State (Seniors)
  • The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians
  • The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway
  • The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
  • The Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board
  • The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Labour
  • The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
  • The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation
  • The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment
  • The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
  • The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry
  • The Honourable James Michael Flaherty, Minister of Finance
  • The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie
  • The Honourable Jay D. Hill, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
  • The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety
  • The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board
  • The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
  • The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services
  • The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
  • The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health
  • The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources
  • The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
  • The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport)
  • The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip
  • The Honourable Helena Guergis, Minister of State (Status of Women)
  • The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
  • The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport)
  • The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification)
  • The Honourable Steven John Fletcher, Minister of State (Democratic Reform)
  • The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology)
  • The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)
  • The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)
  • The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

...for my American readers


The last interVivos event we had was a young candidates' forum for the federal election here in Canada. Last weekend, at a friend's birthday, he made a point to mention how much he enjoyed the forum and how happy he was to have voted for the first time.

The Presidential election happening on November 4 will most certainly impact Canada and determine what the entire future of North America looks like. One vote can make a difference.

Elle... one political science geek fighting apathy, one person at a time...

Canadians will miss Bush? Not bloody likely.

In an article from CBC:

Canadians will find themselves missing U.S. President George W. Bush if the next administration tinkers with the free trade deal, the American ambassador to Canada says.

Speaking at a Fraser Institute engagement in Montreal, David Wilkins said that the next president should check the facts and figures on the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement. ...

... Bush has been a staunch supporter of NAFTA, said Wilkins, who was appointed by Bush. "Canadians just might discover that they will miss President George W. Bush," he said.

I doubt we'll miss Dubya. A couple reasons why NAFTA needs to be re-worked:

Liz and Annie on the future of North America

With increased globalization and the recent success of the European Union, a case could be built for creating a similar North American Union. Join interVivos as they discuss the current state of NAFTA, and how our relationship with the U.S. and Mexico might change with the advent of a borderless North America. Is the "Amero" in the works for us, and how plausible is such a relationship right now given current global markets and the need for populations to recognize and defend their regional identities?

There are very, very few seats left to discuss the future of North America with Anne McLellan and Elizabeth May. RSVP today if you're in the Edmonton area.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

 "Well-behaved women seldom make history."
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Dear Sweetheart: Love Letters from a Soldier

During this particular lovey-dovey week, I'm a little soft for the stuff that love letters are made of. If you're looking for a little love-fest read these ones, featured in the Globe and Mail.

It was the Second World War. A million young Canadians were marching off to risk their lives. One of them, David K. Hazzard, was separated from his beloved wife Audrey, but soon found a way to fight the loneliness – with his pen.

He wrote hundreds of letters, beginning each the same way – 'Dear Sweetheart.' They are a riveting account of what he went through.

How did he cope without Audrey and his two young daughters? How did they cope without him? In the weeks ahead, the series Dear Sweetheart will publish new letters daily. In the end, their story is our story.

We tell it as a homage to those who died, the 180,000 veterans who survive, their children, their grandchildren – and Canada's fighting families today.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This is scary. 

And these are the guys that get caught.  One has to think that there are equally crazy and much more plausible murderers plotting something out there right now.

Google: keeping you from drunkmailing, when you don't have the willpower

Smart, and hilarious.

How time flies...

It's been one year since this night.
Having enough of those mysterious drinks in that red cup to kiss that boy that I had a crush on and didn't realize I had a crush on (though he knew it, and Roomie had been telling people I did for months). A sleepover with a grand total of five, fully-dressed (of course!), intoxicated Halloweeners in my bed. Not having enough of those red-cupped drinks to prevent us from ever seeing each other again.


The weather is getting colder, the mornings darker, and yet still no snow. Not a bad thing.

Though, there was that flash blizzard on Saturday night. As we were getting all bundled up to visit the Farm of Fear/Corn Maze, we glanced out the window to pure white. Fortunately, it was only minutes before all traces of snow disappeared. Though the ground (what we could see of it) at the Corn Maze was sprinkled white and slippery as all get out (I didn’t fall, not even once).

Also, the Farm of Fear haunted house was pretty scary. I am a chicken, bawk bawk. I am also a ruiner with my flashlight. And I knew the guy with the chain saw was right behind me but he kept sneaking closer and oh-my-god-don’t-you-actually-cut-me!

The maze was alright, though the weather was incredibly cold and the corn itself was obviously not in the best shape. It’d be fun to go close to the end of summer, when the stalks are still full and green and high – before the cold weather and maze-walkers who cheat ruin the design.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Profits over health?

Opponents of the weed killer 2,4-D says a US company's challenge of Quebec's ban on the herbicide is undemocratic and based on the flawed notion that science has deemed the chemical safe.

Gideon Forman, of Canadian Physicians for the Environment, says studies have linked it to cancer, neurological impairment and reproductive problems, adding numerous health authorities have gotten behind such bans.

The comments came after news that a Canadian unit of Dow Chemical filed a two million-dollar notice of action against the federal government in August.
The document does not start the case but signals it could go ahead after the expiry of the 90-day notice period.

The action maintains Canada breached its obligations under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Mexico. (The Canadian Press)

I worked for Gideon out of the London [Ontario] office for the Canadian Cancer Society, when we were lobbying City Council for a pesticide bylaw in London. NAFTA was one of the issues that came up then, especially since Quebec had just announced its province-wide bylaw at that time. People were curious as to how it would affect Ontario passing a ban. It will be interesting to see how this turns out, especially since the NAFTA argument has been used against other banned chemicals in Canada in the past. Ah, chemical companies… more concerned with making a buck (or million) than Canadians’ health.

Bring Omar home

Omar Khadir was a child soldier, captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan when he was just 15, and now he's being charged with murder. He has been held at the military prison Guantanamo Bay for the last few years. He is a Canadian citizen. The lack of a fair trial and being held for so long without charges is a human rights tragedy. Canada has done nothing to push for a trial or to keep him from being tortured. Sign the petition to bring Omar home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Twinkle, twinkle

Do you like to see pretty coloured lights dancing across the night sky?

Keep an eye on Aurora Watch to find out when you have the most likely chance of seeing the northern lights in Edmonton.

Aren't weekends supposed to be relaxing?

The aches of my body are slowly easing, though the eggplant-coloured gash on the inside of my leg, below my knee, reminds me of the weekends torturous events.

The Boy and I started painting his condo.

I pulled rolling duty for four hours of priming and a lot of time scuttling along the floor taping so that I didn’t paint on the floor. All this is after the previous weekend of filling in numerous holes, cracks and dents in the never ending peach walls. My head hurt so much on Sunday, I felt like I was going to throw up. And it wasn't one of those alcohol-induced headaches.

I just have to close my eyes and try to imagine it when it’s done. It will all be worth it. …Right?

Friday, October 17, 2008


[Crazy?] Nebraska Senator suing God

A Nebraska senator is suing God. Unfortunately for him, God doesn’t have an address, so he wasn’t able to be served any papers. Darn.

"The court itself acknowledges the existence of God," Chambers said Wednesday. "A consequence of that acknowledgment is a recognition of God's omniscience." Therefore, Chambers said, "Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit."

The article explicitly states that Chambers graduated law school but didn’t take the bar exam. Ha.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To kick Dion to the curb, or not to kick Dion to the curb... that is the question.

There’s been increasing pressure for Dion to step down as Liberal leader following the big loss on election day.

Dion’s not all that bad. His leadership speech was funny and powerful. He talked about how the world is becoming more interested in doing things in a sustainable way, and how by becoming more sustainable here in Canada, building upon the technology we have and the experts we have, we are in a good position. By becoming more concerned about the environment and building on our strengths, we can stimulate Canada's economy. The world would want to invest here. He was charismatic. He’s a little awkward and has trouble hearing/understanding what the reporters are asking of him. But he admits this fault. He’s real.

He’s not my favourite choice for Liberal leader, but I can tell you who’s even further to the bottom. Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae. Both are supposedly “waiting in the wings” for him to fall.

Seriously, after what Bob Rae did to Ontario as the NDP Premier, I don’t think his leadership will help gain back the votes lost to the Conservatives this time around. Also, Ignatieff, before he came back to teach at the University of Toronto and run for leadership of the party in 2005, was living in either Britain or the United States since 1978. Even if you don't mind that he hasn't lived in Canada for approximately 30 years, he is way too academic. Sure, he’s smart, but the average Canadian can not relate to him at all.

Enter Gerard Kennedy. Charismatic. He was a high-ranking minister in Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario government. He has experience. He is from the west. He started Edmonton’s first food bank. He’s a nice guy who Canadians can relate to. He’s genuine. His leadership speech the first time around gave me goosebumps and made me excited for the country he would lead. I hope he runs again, for the good of all Canadians.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Surprise! Conservative minority!

Harper hoped for a majority government, but unfortunately, him and his PR team couldn’t achieve it.

They went from hoping to double their seats in Quebec, to hoping to hold on to the seats they had. Justin Trudeau won his hard-fought seat in Papineau for the Liberals. It’s important that he wasn’t parachuted in to an easy riding. Justin has been working towards this far before this election began. He has shown not only that he is charismatic Canadian royalty, but also that he cares about the people. His win in Papineau will help earn him some respect rather than just being Trudeau Jr.

Conservatives won seats in Toronto, which is a pretty big deal. In this heavily multicultural area, they campaigned well. The seats the Liberals and NDP thought were safe ended up not being so safe at all.

On that note, Linda Duncan’s win in Edmonton-Strathcona takes Alberta from being all blue to blue with a tiny speck of orange. With so many Alberta candidates being unseen in their constituencies during the election, opting instead to fly across the country and help other candidates, it sends an important message that Alberta is not as safe as the Conservatives thought.

The NDP did well, and though Elizabeth May lost her seat in Central Nova to the hunky Peter McKay (surprise!) the Greens also did considerably well.

With the political gaffes and scandal from all parties, the PR stronghold over Harper, messaging, and the bright idea to release his platform a week before the election, it’s not much of a surprise that voter turnout was dismal. Though, personally, I think Canadians should be ashamed. I just hope Mr. Harper doesn’t think people stayed home because they were complacent. In an election where polls got increasingly close towards the end of the campaign, my guess is that most Canadians just didn’t want any of the leaders to win.

What a way to spend $300 million.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Word nerd

Two of my favourite things, writing and the smell of new books, combine in what is the highlight of my day (other than the getting out to vote thing).


The other highlight of my day: all white meat in my boyfriend-made turkey sandwich. After a side comment when we were eating leftovers last night that I found the dark stuff greasy and yucky. Awww. This is why I love him.

Thankful for…

My awesome family. Text messages from Mom and Kaye. The Daddy with his gentle reminders during the tumultuous teens that, “Life is too short to be miserable”. A mantra I shall never forget. Sleepovers with Kaye and Kiki. The Brother and his lovely wife. People who didn’t argue when I wanted to move across the country, but are sad when I can’t come home as often as we’d all like. Sisters who visit so I can show them what I love about this province. And they love it too.

Great friends. I mention them quite frequently, but there is something absolutely incredible about relationships which span the country. Relationships where more than 3000 km do not affect the connections, story-telling, support of great people. It almost makes up for the fact that they’re not close enough for a glass of wine after a long day (though they’re willing to do it by phone, which works). Also, great friends in Edmonton. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been here for a mere two years… it feels like a lifetime with the people I have found to surround myself with. The biggest fear of moving was not knowing anyone and being insanely lonely, especially with my 22nd [golden] birthday was a week after I moved out here. Saddest birthday ever. Roomie, who moved to Alberta a month after I did, and I frequently comment on how well we’ve done. In two years, after moving out here knowing nearly no one, with two suitcases each, we’ve gathered 1030 square feet of belongings which we can pack full of friends (which we do at parties, all the time).

The Boy. It’s been almost a year now. I’ve had one other relationship that’s lasted this long, and I can say with absolutely no bias that I never felt about him how I feel for B. I tell him I love him nearly a hundred times a day, because that’s all I think about when I look at him. Situations where I used to need to be left alone, I’m perfectly comfortable spending with him. He calms me. He makes bad days better. Because of him, I’ve become a [Rock Band] rock star. He makes fun of me. He makes delicious breakfast. I make fun of him. Menial tasks like dishes and grocery shopping become almost fun. When good things happen, I want to share them with him. We watch football. He really listens to me, and my opinions, even when he doesn’t agree. We have drunken epic discussions about politics, the economy and the state of the environment. We put on music and got prepared to paint his condo this weekend. A year from now, we’ll be roommates (that’s the plan anyway). I’m not the least bit concerned with this development.

The Boy’s family. Including me in things like Thanksgiving and Christmas, when I’m too far away to be with my own family. Making me feel so welcome. Playing games. Gently providing their expertise when it comes to picking paint colours for the condo. Family is important, and it’s pretty awesome when you find a second one you can be just as comfortable with as your own.

A good job, working with excellent people. Building new skills while not losing my mind.

A country where we are able to have a say in what our government does. So many people around the world don't share this luxury. They are mistreated by their governments so much worse than we ever perceive ourselves to be. They have no input. Today, we get the chance to tell our government what we think of them. Get out and vote.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I like to procrastinate. It’s a bad habit. I work so much better under pressure, I need tight deadlines. I spent many nights (all night) throughout university at the Weldon Library, the Spoke or the University Community Centre (UCC) with my Tim Hortons coffee. Often all three, in one night. My house was never cleaner, and I traveled throughout the city delivering homemade cookies to the friends I had collected from Saugeen, home, anywhere really.

I was the Cookie Fairy. And I made tasty, appreciated treats for stressed out friends during exams, essays, the busiest times of the year. Upon moving farther from these friends, I began to mail cookies. I love getting mail, and I’m pretty sure that cookie-mail sounds like the most delicious mail ever. The trick is to not tell people they’re coming. I’ve gotten many “you totally made my day!” messages, and that totally makes my day in return.

All of this cookie fairy joy may soon end.

I have a new arch nemesis.

The boy’s oven.

Oh boy, does that thing hate me. Last night, I happily mixed up the batter, prepared everything, all was perfect. It was on par to be a very enjoyable batch. And then it all went horribly, horribly wrong.

The boy’s oven is not into being the temperature you set it at. That’s cool. The previous owners set a thermometer in the oven itself so you could gauge real temperature versus the temperature you actually set it at. I had made sure that the oven was at the real temperature that I wanted. And it was.

And then it wasn’t.

It increased itself by 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) all on its own. After I freaked out and removed the cookies, which weren’t cooked to completion but kind of smelled like burning, it dropped 75 degrees. There was just no way that I could figure it out. The temperature fluctuated all over the place.

The second batch turned out a little better than the first, but I have not burned cookies in a long, long time. It upsets me. The boy informs me they’re fine. But as I told him, if I had made them at home and they turned out like that… I would have send them to the garbage.

Oven 1 = Leanne 0

Cooking pie, lasagna and turkey this weekend might be interesting.

The "A" Word

I don't believe abortion is necessarily the best option considering all else that is available, such as adoption, for women who don't want to bear children when they get pregnant. However, regardless of my opinion, some women feel like it is there only option.

Because of this, I commend the Order of Canada people for this.

Safety, sterile medical environments, and protecting women are the important things here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Election business

Ken Chapman's comments on Harper's newly-released platform are spot-on.

The interVivos/Vote Project young candidates' forum last night was very interesting. It's always good to see candidates as real people rather than their party platforms. Everyone was cordial, and the Conservative candidate showed up (after every candidate running in the city/outlying areas from the party was invited). I respect all of these people for getting involved rather than just complaining about how things are currently being done. I think many people who went into the forum knowing who they were going to vote for are going to have some thinking to do. Myself included.

South of the border, Brigitte Bardot, the French sex symbol/film legend, has been not only discouraging Sarah Palin but completely slamming her. In today's National Post:

Brigitte Bardot sends Sarah Palin note of discouragement: "I hope you lose'

Brigitte Bardot, the French film legend turned animal activist, took a swipe at Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, yesterday, saying she was a disgrace to women. "I hope you lose these elections because that would be a victory for the world," she wrote in an open letter to John McCain's running mate.

"By denying the responsibility of man in global warming, by advocating gun rights and making statements that are disconcertingly stupid, you are a disgrace to women and you alone represent a terrible threat, a true environmental catastrophe."

The 1960s sex symbol also assailed Ms. Palin for supporting Arctic oil exploration that could jeopardize animal habitats and for failing to protect polar bears. In a final salvo, she picked up on Ms. Palin's depiction of herself as a pit bull with lipstick. "I know [dogs] well and I can assure you that no pit bull, no dog, nor any other animal for that matter is as dangerous as you are," she wrote.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A little too late

Harper's Conservatives are releasing their party platform today. One week before the election. After the advanced polls have all closed.

Today's Globe and Mail says: The Conservative campaign platform has not been revamped to include new measures as a result of the recent market turmoil, party spokesman Kory Teneycke said yesterday.

If you don't have a good reason to revamp the platform, you should not be releasing it this late. Even then you should amend or add to what you've already released. The last platform to be released was on September 28. You've gone nearly the entire election without a plan for the country! Anyone who voted for you in the advanced polls did it on blind trust, and those you could have swayed with your vision for the future were lost. Seems like a poor strategic decision. Maybe that's why the Conservatives have dropped 10 points in the polls.

Another Harper minority?

Weekend recap

Approximately 14 hours of driving for a three day weekend. St. Albert National Park. Fall, in all its glory. Sunshine, coloured leaves falling. An abandoned resort, where we may have been the only guests. Whiskey. Election and voting talk. Learning Trivial Pursuit should not be played while drinking. Great people. Drunken discussions on the economy, politics, energy. Games galore. "I love you." "I know." Football on the beach. A walk in the rain. Nearly falling face-first into the mud on the way to the hot tub. Lunch with Boy's family. Roughriders victory. Baby, baby sister phone call.

[Most of] Boy's family is coming to Edmonton for Thanksgiving this weekend. I'm excited. Domesticity, games, good food. Paint shopping. No doubt about it, my favourite time of the year. And my Christmas shopping has been impressive, mitigating future stress.

Vote Project/interVivos young candidates' forum tonight at Ching's. Be there. Be informed. Vote on October 14. One week away!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sweet, sweet Friday

Ironic moment of the year: a couple smoking away under a Caritas “Cure or no Cure” lottery for cancer billboard. My guess, they’re banking on “cure”.

Conservative candidates across the country have been foregoing youth election forums to knock door to door. My thoughts: It’s ridiculous to discount the youth vote. We are ones who will decide the direction of government as the population ages. They may not fear losing their seat in this election, but it wouldn’t hurt to lay some ground for the future. If you make people think you don’t care about them, good luck convincing them down the road.

Give up speaking to an auditorium of people in favour of talking one-on-one with others? Lame. "Every single person that would be at a forum or panel, we're hoping to meet at the door as well." If that’s the case, why not make it more efficient by speaking to them all at once? Merely by showing up to the event, these young people demonstrate they are eager to place a vote. Why not convince them to do it for you?

There are better ways of politely declining an invitation than you tell the university it’s a “no-fly zone”.

Hopefully, at least one of the many Conservative candidates in Edmonton will show up to the interVivos election forum.

Took my friend Artie to see Rachel Getting Married as the last film of my film fest adventure for 2008. This film was excellent, and Anne Hathaway was absolutely brilliant. All of the Oscar buzz is for good reason.