I’m Pregnant

At least that’s what I told the boot camp instructor. Yesterday Rita decided that it would be a good idea to provide us with a free pass to, what we thought/were told was, an introductory boot camp class. Cam was on board and I was lured by the promise of Mexican food at the end of the session and so I reluctantly agreed (as is the case with all the other misadventures I’ve been lured into). At first glance we didn’t seem the most unfit individuals in the class that took place in an expansive, residential and quiet park in the burbs of Newmarket. There were other girls there that were slightly on the heavier side and more importantly, pregnant ladies. For sure we thought we had it in the bag. After all, I run at the gym regularly (and by running I mean I prance and move any which way on the treadmill that will prevent me from falling on my face at a minimal speed of 5.0). But forward we marched, or ran rather. We ran about six blocks at a pace that most expert joggers would have classified as a brisk skip but by block two we began falling behind and cursing the wind. (The wind did nothing to us but we were just that angry at the world.)

After our grueling run we began the first circuit which the instructor dubbed as “hell”. We acknowledged with nervous laughter but of course by this time Cam and I were more excited to be stationary than anything else so we didn’t really put much thought into how bad the next exercise could be– anything was better than running for our lives. But hell it turned out to be. Never in my life had I ever considered how difficult any boot camp class could have been. During the period of great confusion and sadness (the circuit of hell), I contemplated many things, which included the following:

-“If I run now, which bus could I take to get home? Are there even buses here? Damn Newmarket!!”

-“How does one legitimately fake passing out? Seriously, do I just slowly slither into a fetal position??” [replays in head all the fainting scenes in movies to make it seem believable]

-“These people PAY HER to do this to THEM??? My God!”

-“I think I’m having a heart attack. Seriously. Some. One. Help. Me.”

-“New memoir title: I’m pregnant and other lies I tell my boot camp instructor. [Noted!]” 

-“Dear Lord, I have never really asked you for much but today, please Lord, right now make it rain– only just enough for her to stop. I need a break!!!”

Humiliation is a tough pill to swallow. One never wants to lose or be the loser. Everyone wants to win or do well. But at this delusional stage in the class I thought it was about life or death, and my life was worth more than looking like a sad loser. And so I stopped; I simply became motionless and avoided eye-contact with the instructor. I didn’t care if no one else stopped or that everyone else thought that I couldn’t handle it because the truth was I was only there for Mexican food and this was becoming a serious health risk. (Okay, I couldn’t even write that last sentence without laughing inside.) Fine, my life was not in danger but it was horrible—the most horrific physical exercise I had ever endured. Never had I ever wanted to violently punch anyone out more than the instructor that kept yelling at us and calling us pussies (especially after she told us that it was actually week eight exercises that we were doing as opposed to beginners exercises). Okay fine, maybe she didn’t yell at us, maybe she just raised her voice in a higher pitch than I would have preferred. And maybe she wasn’t calling us degrading names but she definitely made us feel bad and that’s all that I could remember in my haze.

In the moments when I came to and when my mind began operating at a normal person’s speed again, I realized that I didn’t want to just sit there for the remainder of the class and look like a sulking four year old so I picked up my limp body, dusted it off and declared that I was with child so that I, too, could be down-graded to more manageable exercises (which were just as terrible so props to the preggos, seriously). In the end, I did get the food that I was promised and Aunt Flo came by and confirmed I was not pregnant after all.

Let Me In – I’m With Jesus

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks that occurred last week Friday, GOP Candidate Jeb Bush proposed a ridiculous idea of only allowing Christian Syrian Refugees into the U.S. Now, in all cases and on all occasions I try to stay away from speaking and/or writing about political issues for many reasons but mainly because I don’t know squat about politics and I don’t want to pretend to know anything about politics. But this interview with Jeb Bush and his radical “suggestion” was so completely absurd, disturbing and baseless that it baffled me into writing an impassioned post about his idiocy.

So I don’t know politics – but here’s what I do know. I live a very privileged life (I have all my basic necessities met and I do not live in constant fear for my life or anyone else’s that I love) and while I am not as successful as my brightest peers, I am a contributing member to my society and this society has benefited from my contributions. I am one person- undoubtedly there are millions more like me. Yet none of this would be possible if Canada were not as gracious a country as it has been to people running from war-torn countries for refuge. I am a first-generation Canadian. My parents are the reason I am here today –whether I like them at the moment or not or agree with their parental guidance or not– I am in full agreement that without them I would not be here. And thus, without the generosity of this country and many other countries that have opened up their homes to strangers, Canada would not be as colourful, as rich and as culturally diverse a country as it is today. We have all benefited from this, whether you are fifth generation Canadian or new to this country.

So needless to say when the media was reporting on this story of Jeb Bush’s idea of only opening U.S. doors to Christian Syrian refugees it enraged me because if his party was in power during the time that my parents were running from their war-torn country, they would have been turned away simply because of their faith. What is truly scary is that the U.S. is a leader in many ways- should other world leaders see this type of consideration, it may just spark other countries to follow suit.

And so here’s the next dilemma – how exactly does one prove their religious status anyway? It is clear that Jeb Bush doesn’t really have a clue either because when pressed about this minor ‘application’ process, he said “they’ll be able to prove it”. How Mr. Bush, how? Will there be a skill-testing question? Maybe something like this: “what does the H in Jesus H. Christ” stand for? If you know the answer, does that really make you “Christian?” We’re not talking about a half hour game show here- we are talking about saving families just like yours, communities just like yours, lives just like your own. Will the refugees have to risk their lives by going out to find a printer amidst the rubble to type up a reference letter from their Christian pastor to sign? Is the U.S. going to accept reference letters from Church officials now? Seriously?

I don’t know what the answers are for the refugee crisis. And this post isn’t about having answers. It is just questioning the intelligence and common sense of potential leaders of our southern neighbor. World leaders face a crushing moral dilemma here but is closing the doors to people who need asylum really the answer? Are nations going to start operating their country and making important life-altering decisions based on pure fear of the unpredictable, the unknown?

And I am tired of hearing everyone characterising one entire population/group as terrorists. This is completely off-base and dangerous for obvious reasons. Saying that all Syrians are now terrorists is like saying all Americans are unabombers. We cannot and should not measure a whole population based on a few of their Ted Kaczynski’s and Timothy McVeigh’s. And if you do your research, you’d be surprised to find that there are many other American-bred bombers who have Christian ideologies. These stereotypes are generally never used in a discriminatory manner towards other Christians.

Now, I am not here to bash Christians or retaliate against any religion. I myself don’t particularly subscribe to any religious group and don’t actually take issue with those that do. My only problem is when people use the matter of religion to manipulate, attempt to convert and/or oppress already-disadvantaged individuals/groups or try to dictate what is considered “right” or “wrong” based on which religious beliefs you adhere to. And to me, deciding for all of America that only people of Christian-faith should be let into any country (especially a modern, civilized country at that) is unfounded and slightly deranged. After all, isn’t that the exact ideology that is at the root of terrorism? The act of using terror to wage war upon another group because anyone who disagrees with that regime and that faith has to suffer and be punished in horrific ways– that this need to serve your own faith supersedes all else, including the core values of humanity thereby justifying the killings of millions of innocent people.

Mr. Bush, you fail.

 

Bloody Taxes

Tbloody-disgrace1oday on The Social, a buzz-worthy topic hit close to home- in Canada we are taxed on the use of feminine products. Much like the sentiments of one of the hosts I, too, was not aware that we were being taxed on this. Notably, there are different levels of taxation from necessity to luxury items. Can anyone explain to me how feminine products are considered a luxury item? What is the alternative, less luxurious option here?

A luxury item, to me, is something where if a basic, generic version that typically does the job fine is available but a better quality version exists, then the definition of luxury would be exemplified in the better, branded, more expensive version. For example, cars: there are the Ford Focuses of the world and then there are the Bentleys of the world. The luxury item here is, of course, the high-end Bentley (a car itself, for that matter, is technically a luxury item in a day and age when public transportation is quite accessible and probably more affordable to use than personal vehicles). To the best of my knowledge, no woman enjoys paying an arm and a leg for an item as necessary as the toilet paper where there are no other basic versions of this type of product to choose from, unless by basic they mean dating back to the era of stuffing your underwear with free toilet paper.

Mission to Mars

Yes, dreams do come true. That is, if you’ve ever wanted a one-way ticket to the Red Planet only to never return again to life on Earth- your wish may just come true but for a very hefty price (your life). Certainly a few questions popped into mind when we heard this mission discussed in the media, the most popular being “WHY!? Why on EARTH would anyone want to partake in, what some are calling, a suicide mission?” Seriously, how much do you hate living life that you would rather pay a ton of money in order to get off Earth only to whittle away on Mars?

I also wonder how the families of the people wanting a spot on this mission feel about this? The endearing term of affection such as “I love you and I cannot live without you”, I guess, does not apply here because evidently they can live without them; in fact, they are departing this Earth by choice, so more like “I love you but I’d rather not return”. Do people realize there are no malls, no tv, no other lifeform, no McDonalds or real food on Mars? And even if you make it to Mars and last a day or two, so what? Who are you going to share this experience with?

mars_mission_1752775

This mission is apparently taking place roughly 10 years from now which should, I would think, give experts enough time to think of some way to bring people back on a return trip, no? It would be a bit more comforting to those people eager to leave and their families that this is not necessarily going to be a permanent “vacation”, yet this isn’t something that is priority for the mission team. Also, couldn’t we simply take these people who are vying for a spot on this trip to a secluded desert somewhere and only feed them powdered beef, dried milk and give them limited supply of water with nothing to do and see how they like it first before just whisking them away to, literally, no man’s land?? Just.. baffling to me.

World in Disdress

Most historians agree that the great divide happened in and around 15,000 B.C. and 1,500 A.D. with comparisons of human development between what they referred to as the “Old” World and the “New” World. But if you ask me, and I realize you are not but I am going to say anyway, the greatest divide occurred on February 26, 2015 when it seemed as though the entire world weighed in on a subject that “blue” our minds.

It started out with a Tumblr user innocently trying to make sense of what she was seeing and supposedly not seeing (according to her friends). She shared a picture of a dress and posed a simple question, undoubtedly thinking she would receive a few reinforcements that would end the discussion once and for all: “Is this dress white and gold, or blue and black?” What she didn’t expect was a world just as confused as she was, hysterically seeking answers to a bizarre phenomenon.

What was most interesting to me during this frenzy were the intense reactions I was experiencing while trying to either see what others were seeing, or the frustration in trying to get others to see it my way. Surprisingly the emotions that one goes through when they utterly and whole-heartedly believe something to be one way, while someone else feels equally as passionate about the opposite way is a sense of fear and desperation like none other. I almost felt like people were seeing a gorilla in a photograph clearly of fruit. Where on earth did they see this gorilla?? Taylor Swift described it best in her tweet to this dispute:

I don’t understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow.
I’m confused and scared.
PS it’s OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK.

Needless to say, this story got a lot of people into fervent arguments and it got me into a wild tizzy as well. And then somehow my questions toward others reflected back at me and I started feeling uncertain and insecure about my own beliefs. Could it be me? Is my mind tricking me or were their minds tricking them? I was completely convinced that half of humankind was colour-blind and only now- after thousands of years of civilization, technology and expertise- this ugly dress was the thing that was going to save us all and bring us the clarity to help those who were imprisoned in a world of distorted colouration. Those poor souls. It’s BLUE AND BLACK, PEOPLE!