Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dude where's my bra?



So, man bras...

An online Japanese retailer - Wishlist - started selling bras made for men a few weeks ago and have already sold 300. It's some sort of record for online lingerie sales apparently, which is why the story made it into the media.

The woman who owns the site said she received loads of emails from elated men, relieved to have finally found a place to get their hands on the man bras: clearly there was an audience base out there waiting for her product to go on the market. She also said she thought the bras might help men understand women better...

Big male market for bras: I don't doubt it.

Men wearing bras to understand women better: Yeah, no.

Call me cynical or whatever but this is a product for cross-dressing men, no? Let's not pretend it's something it isn't. And I've nothing against it, honest. I couldn't care less who wears a bra (unless of course my husband or father is wearing one). But if it were, say, for men that genuinely needed support in the boob region - they wouldn't be selling them in black, white and pink silk now, would they?

And the suggestion that men are buying bras to understand women better... I think not. Can I just take a moment to find the hilarity in this? If there really is a man out there that buys it for this reason - pal, I promise, strapping a silky piece of fabric around your chest is not going to cut it.

Personally, I'd rather my man didn't try to understand what it's like to be a woman by wearing underwear that looks like mine... If he really wants to know what it's like I've some more realistic suggestions...
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

November

It's been a week since I last wrote here. Hell November is almost gone. November was supposed to be the month of getting baby things ready, moving Matthew into his new bedroom and preparing freezer meals for January, so that December could be the month for relaxing and preparing my hypnobirthing techniques for labour. Ha. I'm not usually one to indulge in self pity but I've had a serious case of the "poor me"s this week. I've lost count how many times I've melted down, how many times I've wanted to crawl under the covers and stay there, and how many times I've thought about my family who are so very far away, and wished I was near them.

On a happy note, though, I started seeing a chiropractor and honestly the most blissful part of my week was the 10 minutes when I laid on the table and was poked and prodded with strange implements. I'm a total convert, after just 2 visits. Oddly my visits to the chiropractor have made me realize how little I acknowledge the various aches and pains going on in my body. And really, how much I tend to ignore what's going on with me overall. How annoying. Selfless mommy syndrome has set in. It took the doctor numerous questions and tests to unearth all the pain areas: lower back, upper back, leg and neck. Ouch.

In lieu of more interesting subject matter, here's a few of my week's highlights. I've:
*completed 2 writing assignments
*watched our basement evolve from dungeon to oooh-now-I-can-see-it livable space (unfortunately that has meant loosing my much-needed helper, J)
*heard my 2nd son's heartbeat on the doppler, felt him move a million times and told him I love him
*had good and bad times with my 1st son, who is absolutely beautiful, but who is entering the phase of temper tantrums at every denied request and who, shamefully, I have appeased several times this week by leaving him to gawk in front of Treehouse in moments of desperation
*canceled my 30th birthday party
*catered for 4 adults and 1 child
*got up at the ungodly time of 5:30 a.m. to drive my father-in-law to the bus station
*made 30 Christmas cards (J noted that some of the words on my cards were not Christmas-related... well heck the sticker pack only comes with so many letters...)
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm the most tiredest

"I'm sooo tired." says J flopping down at the end of the day.

"Yeah. Well I am exhausted." I say, scowling a bit "So exhausted, I can't even move or think. I don't know if I'll even make it to the bedroom. I may have to sleep right here on the sofa.".

Truth is, we're both tearing around like blue arsed flies at the moment. That's the best way I can think to describe the situation.

Some women like to wind down in the weeks leading up to the arrival of their baby. Me, I like to take on a bunch of client projects, start house renovations, and carry my 17-month old son who weighs nearly 30 lbs and isn't yet walking around on my hip all day, gigantic belly notwithstanding.

The basement will be fantastic when it's finished. And it will be finished for Christmas. It will be.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slipping off the stylish scale

I've read the reason French women are so stylish is because when they go shopping, they shop for an entire outfit in one go. It makes sense - seeing all the elements work together before you leave the store - you're guaranteed an outfit you'll wear over and over. I don't know about you but I don't have planned outfits. I have a bunch of separates - a collection of shirts, camisoles, sweaters, pants, skirts, dresses, shoes, bags, scarves and accessories - none of which really go together, and most of which I don't even remember exist most of the time.

I have this recurring daydream, where I go through my wardrobe with a polaroid camera and create "outfits" out of my lost and forgotten clothes. Then I catalog pictures of each outfit in an elegant Martha-Stewart-like binder, which I'll leaf through in the future, depending on the occasion. It has outfits labeled for things like "Sunday lunch with the in-laws" or "casual dinner with friends" or "cocktails". And yes I'm laughing as I think of the very idea of having the time to execute this. Nice thought though.

On the subject of style, what happens to it when you become a mum? Did yours stay with you? I've seen women who naturally manage to retain theirs - it's as if their stylishness has effortlessly crossed the line with them from single young female to havoc-ridden mother with barely any evidence of the transition. Me - not so much. There was a time when I loved fashion and spent time actually thinking about it and lots of my hard-earned cash buying it. But oh, nice things, nice things make me happy.

I was never fashionable though, occasionally stylish, maybe - but I was never in fashion. I don't like trends and even make a point of steering clear of them. I like classic pieces that stay with you for 5 or 10 years and then one day leap out from the back of the wardrobe with renewed promise. I'd be the Chanel before the Stella McCartney any day. Audrey Hepburn before Kate Moss. Audrey Hepburn is, well - I love her. If I had one of those beautiful coffee table books all about her style, I'd probably never put it away.

But for now I'm lost in a wash of random wardrobe members whose identities are unknown. Getting dressed in the morning means grabbing the first thing that is warm and will cover my balloon belly without making me frumpy mommy, and will endure a day of spills, tears and diapers. Maybe one day my lost and forgotten clothes will come together in a Martha Stewart binder and everything will be okay again...
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New era of hope

"If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream."
William Wordsworth

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Winston Churchill

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."
Martin Luther King, Jr

"Hope" is the thing with feathers-- That perches in the soul-- And sings the tune without the words-- And never stops--at all--"
Emily Dickenson

"We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."
Barack Obama
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sometimes the pencil is just more sophisticated

With the paper ballot system, it didn't matter how old or how educated you were - you could tick a box, for the love of god. With the old system, if everything screwed up, there was a paper trail to do an audit. There was backup.

Yes, there are a lot of voters to manage in the US (something like 170 million). Yes, our world has been vastly improved in recent years by advancements in technology. And yes, quite often it's been proven a good idea to make our paper procedures electronic.

BUT.

So far there have been 100,000 complaints about the voting machines: Reports of e-votes simply "vanishing" into thin air; Cases of voting machines recording thousands of "phantom" votes in Washington DC; "Cranky Voting Machines" recording the wrong candidates in Colorado, Tennessee and Texas.

Not to mention mechanical problems with machines not starting up, printers jamming, tabulation machines not counting votes accurately, and "parallax" - where light affects the layout of the screen, making it difficult to see which part of the screen you're touching and therefore causing inaccurate voting.

Sometimes, despite all good intentions, the old school way is better. And when it comes to determining the leader of the most powerful country in the world, it's necessary. There's no room for error. Because the paper ballot didn't give us technical glitches, it couldn't be hacked, and it didn't cause fear and suspicion. And paper ballots didn't ever turn an election into a voting fiasco.
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

I'm going to be one of those embarrassing mothers...

Today was kind of a blah day. The weather was sort of dreary and our energy levels were low - possibly because of the massive amounts of left over halloween candy we'd eaten over the weekend. But we mustered up the energy to go out for lunch. Just to Montana's because it's close, kid-friendly, and they have good ribs.

The lunch menu said "served within 15 minutes or free". Oooh, free! I declared to J sarcastically.

Now, I'm not the type to keep track of these things. Honestly I'm not! But at least 30 minutes went by and no food! Matthew, by this point, was lobbing crayons across the restaurant, struggling to get out of the highchair and totally disinterested in the Cheerios I'd been trying to distract him with.

So, when the waiter arrived with the food, I (sort of) laughingly asked if lunch would be free, then, since the menu promised a 15 minute turn-around. J hid behind his menu and tried to pretend he was sitting with another table, while the waiter, a little flustered by my question, said he'd go ask the manager. He came back and, yes, the lunch would be free!

I felt satisfied and miserly at the same time. But, they made a promise! I wouldn't mind, but I know - having worked in marketing for long enough - that the people that come up with these ideas rely on customers not asking for their free lunch out of embarrassment. Anyway, we ate our free lunch (it was so so) and left a little sheepish. At least the waiter received a very healthy tip from us...
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