Friday, May 31, 2013


lady-readers! i have a cool thing for you to do! if you wanna.... there are some writers working on a book about women and clothes, and they're looking for folks to be a part of it.

* fill out their survey on clothes

i think you lot are pretty awesome and unique and stylish, so give it a look!

and in other feministfriday news this week, henry morgentaler passed away this week at 90 years old.

* i'm pretty happy he did what he did in canada

hearts and butterflies, dr. morgentaler. thanks.

happy friday, feminists!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

dust in the spotlight

{from my tumblr, but really from here}

i want so much to tell you not to die. i know it is a useless and mostly meaningless thing to say. but i'd like to say it all the same.

i am sure you have people who actually know you, who are there, who are telling you not to die. and i know that even those people can barely create a pull, really, when the sinking begins. and i am only a girl on the internet.

i do not understand suicide. but i do understand that my lack of understanding is largely luck. my moods have not got that far in. not yet. hopefully, maybe, they never will. but also one of the many medications i take or will take might maybe tick just so. and that side effect they tell you might maybe happen will happen. i understand that my not understanding is a fragile thing. i am susceptible to that side effect, of course, too. if the nauseous and the fatigue and the headaches and the reflux and the trouble swallowing and the fitful sleeping that leads to foggy, unfocused days... if those, then the others, too, are possible.

so i understand that telling you not to die is not helpful. asking that you not die is unkind. i can feel people wanting to ask me not to die, and i want so much to promise them forever and ever i won't. i want to laugh at the absurdity of the thought because it is, for me, so far, a completely absurd one. hopefully forever and ever.

(and now, in the weeks since i wrote this, you have seemed so good. so safe and so fine. in the way that you may never be entirely fine but you are fine for now fine. and it doesn't seem so pressing that i tell you not to die. but really i don't know a single thing.)

Monday, May 27, 2013

saved my life

can't make any sort of conclusion on the great gatsby film. haven't seen it yet. BUT. the soundtrack is pretty solid. and has been playing around bikini village over the last week. teardrops.

happy monday, you disenchanted little consumers.

Friday, May 24, 2013


seeing as i'm all back in the social media game this week (with some of the best vine-work you'll ever see of my dog over and over) the conversation happening about sexist/violent-hate-speech towards women on facebook is right on time.

* maaany groups are stepping forward to demand change in this open letter to fb

(if you have the stomach for it, take a look at the examples page. warning. super triggering.)
it is tough and sad. because i read the letter and was all 'tell me somethin new, whateves.' because i feel like i'm on a feedback loop of woman-as-victim-is-hilarious-haha that just won't end, and ugh i'm just tiiiired of hearing about it. but then again it is only through this constant constant pointing it out that we can make progress. obviously. the peeps who are all 'raping is SO FUNNY!' aren't going to just up and stop feeling that way. we have to keep on talking and talking and talking about it. and hope we're being heard. hope we are breaking through. even though it all feels a bit (a lot) hopeless. like this week when a friend of mine who IS A GOOD GUY and means so well posted a series of rape-joke-memes to his instagram... and this guy has at least TWICE sat with me while i wept and yelled at him over rape jokes... he has seen what they do to me and he knows that it is a deeply hurtful thing, or he SHOULD because holy shit how many times do you need to break a person down before you realize that you're doing something wrong?! hopeless. but no, i will keep on trying, we have to keep trying because if it is so hard to create a change in someone i know so well who loves and cares for me, then obviously it will be a million harder to get to those who are just people-out-there-in-the-world. and also it is so very necessary and worth it, ugh heavy sighs, this is my thing.

any. way. saying it always again:

"Although Facebook claims, in a narrowly-defined defense of free speech, not to be involved in challenging norms or censoring people’s speech, you have in place procedures, terms and community guidelines that you interpret and enforce.Facebook prohibits hate speech and your moderators deal with content that is violently racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic every day. Your refusal to similarly address gender-based hate speech marginalizes girls and women, sidelines our experiences and concerns, and contributes to violence against them.  Facebook is an enormous social network with more than a billion users around the world, making your site extremely influential in shaping social and cultural norms and behaviors. 
In a world in which hundreds of thousands of women are assaulted daily and where intimate partner violence  remains one of the leading causes of death for women around the world, it is not possible to sit on the fence.  We call on Facebook to make the only responsible decision and take swift, clear action on this issue, to bring your policy on rape and domestic violence into line with your own moderation goals and guidelines."
{excerpts from the open letter on WAM!}

speak up and speak out, my little feminists. thank you to all the people in my life who are in this fight. who break themselves open in an attempt to change hearts and minds. or those who wrap themselves round those who have broken and help with the repair and the renewal and the going out there again.
happy friday teamgang.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

instant again

 it is summer and i'm back on the internets, baby. and by that i mean:

instagram!!! !!! !!!

third time's the charm, right? all the margene you've been missing will be up for your enjoyment. remind me who all i should be following for best-instagram-times.

also i've signed up for snapchat and vine and i have no idea what is the what with those so help? i guess i'm starting to understand vine... it's linked to my twitter. or something? but. i need more peeps! teach me your ways, social medias.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

saved my life

if you would like to bet on what i'm doing at any point today it would be a very safe guess to say i am listening to the national 'i need my girl'. that is about all i'm doing today. (well, you know, work and stuff. but all the while. listening listening. oh i need my girl.) i have been waiting for this song since a MILLION YEARS AGO when they played it (with owen pallett, even) live in toronto and all the tiny tears snuck out my eyes and i was sohappysosadsohappysosad.

if you come over we can listen to the album version cause i have that now and yeah. hi. best day.
happy monday, lonely hearts.
(edit. yeah, i realize now that it is actually tuesday. shhhhhhh.)

Friday, May 17, 2013


a while back i did a fake-jury-thing for some of the law-student-types and on this fake-jury i met this dudette who seemed super cool and thoughtful and i liked her and stuff.

well i just found out that she made a video about sex-jam (you'll see) and it is a great thing. watch it!

yup, looks like i was right about her being super cool and thoughtful. as i've said before, i think there is a lot of work to be done in the way we approach sexual education in this here country (and oh god, the states). it's not terrible across the board - some of my friends seem to have received amazingly open and comprehensive sex ed in school - but there is definitely still a giant 'AHHHHHH!' stigma in a lot of schools. like. say. the one i went to. (did you know that holding a roll of tape between your knees is the ONLY real way to prevent pregnancy? and also a totally condescending way to teach abstinence-only to girls cause girls are the only ones responsible ever, amiright??) i appreciate that she covers a lot of ground quickly and light-heartedly - including the concept of asexuality as a real and acceptable thing.

happy long weekend, lovers and loners alike!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


hey! remember when i had alllll that hair?

 {me and the rosy-cheeked cherub of my heart}

also, it is throw-back-thursday AND ian's birthday. happy day, my sweet lovely. can't wait to see you get married this summer. you will always be my number one first-favourite-gay-boyfriend. heeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrtttts. (happy birthday twin-phil too. hi! happy day.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

crowned in orange II - the ginger & me

 {up, again, we are going up. again.}

when we left off sarah and i had bid farewell to marina and jaeden and were on our own at the 9th kilometer marker. let us carry on. the badass ballerinas whittled down to the bikini villagers.

we ran whenever there were flats, and up hills in the 'till we reach that signpost' style. sometimes we walked up hills sideways to change things up for our knees and i noticed that that is also a lovely way to stretch out your inner thighs. we strolled down hills leaned way back in a jaunty manner that had originated earlier in the day with j. we swung our arms like a british gentleman might, and laughed our faces off. i babbled away making very stupid jokes and most of the time s did too but every now and then she was quiet and it was obvious that she was maybe not loving up this whole situation quite as much as i was. at one point she said 'okay mud, i've had enough walking through you. thanks.' and i can't blame her for that. i feel like i was lucky to have a lot of race-highs but never any real race-lows. i guess this is just exactly the kind of race for me. on one of the flat sections as we jogged along s said 'i love this part best. i love distance running.' and i thought she was completely bonkers cause this was the worst bit that you had to get through to get to the TOTALLY AWESOME OBSTACLES! and this is the difference between us, it turns out. still. i couldn't have asked for a better person to spend that second half of the day with. there was never any anger or hurry or moods, just getting through and having the best time we could and pushing our bodies and overcoming our fears.

completed by: e, d, n, v, u,

just like it sounds. a wall. actually, two. climb over them. i helped a few people as best i could, and then got helped over myself. it was a long way up. high enough that even stepping up in someone's stirrup-hands wouldn't get you get you quite high enough to grab the top. at least if you are my height... the first one there was a lot of muscling from the people helping me over, but the second wall a guy sitting on the top thought to offer me his leg to help balance and pull up and blammo! over i went. s is not at all a fan of heights and was also worried about the dropping-off-the-wall part for her bad knee. coolio.

OBSTACLE FIFTEEN: underwater tunnel
completed by: e, d,

swim into the middle of a water reservoir (THIS WATER WASN'T MUDDY!!!!) and then bob under three sets of floating barrels. lovely if you like water, which i do. the real challenge on this one was not getting in the water (as we expected, being so cold) but getting out as the reservoir was warm and out of the wind. i could've stayed there for some time...i understand the consensus by all those who did not do this one was 'I DO NOT WANT TO BE WET STILL/MORE/EVERAGAIN'.

OBSTACLE SIXTEEN: balls to the wall
completed by: e, s, d, n, v, u,

a wall-structure with a big thick rope hanging down both sides. like the olden-timey gym ropes. climb up one side, climb down the other. there were slats in the wall to use as footholds, so this one was nay so bad. s totally kicked her fear of heights in the teeth and made it over without a hitch. amazing.

somewhere in this time-area, on a run-bit, we began a long and convoluted joke about s trading her knee in for glory, and that it was a sort of 'take-a-glory-leave-a-glory' type of situation, and how that was really unfortunate since the government had decided to remove glory from our currency, and now you have to round up or down on your races, and oh man it sucks when they round down on, like, an ultra marathon... a man passed us with a very horrified confused face. but i swear to you it was the funniest thing you'd ever hear. if you'd been there. hearing it. beyond witty beyond hilarious.

 {sarah is a little damp}

OBSTACLE SEVENTEEN: wounded warrior carry
completed by: e, s, d, n, v, u,

carry your teammate for a while. trade at the halfway point if you like. (we did.) my sources tell me that d carried n in this event, and i am guessing that u and v did as we did and switcheroo'd in the middle. this obstacle very nearly killed s and i, but only because when we traded at the halfway point, and i jumped on her back, she was standing in a mudslick on the tilty ground. her top foot stayed where it was, but her bottom foot slid quite quickly out, and we only just barely managed to get the whole thing stopped before she was in a side-split assisted by my full body weight. okay it wouldn't have killed me even a little. but s would've been in a very bad way. we readjusted on slightly sturdier ground and all was well. we missed our itty bitty teammates m and j throughout, but especially here.

completed by: e, d, n, v, u,

a slide into muddy water. except it is straight down and you cannot see the bottom. you swing your legs over the edge and it is just a tunnel downwards. there is a little window so you can be sure no one is at the bottom where you'll come shooting out. but otherwise it is blind. the hardest part for me was just logically trying to figure out how i'd scoot my bum over the edge without falling backwards and hitting my head on the ledge. or sitting forwards and hitting my face on the top/front of the slide. lucky i was race-brained enough to not reeeeaaaally think, so i just went, and it seems to have turned out fine.

completed by: e, s, d, n, v, u,

lay down on your back in water and pull yourself along a lane covered in a metal grill. this was at once strangely serene (you're ears are underwater so it's muffled and gentle and you're looking straight up into a very lovely blue sky perfectly broken up by clouds) and terrifying (you're in a one-way trap where you can't see in any direction but up, which is of course not the direction you're traveling, and you're face is only juuuust out of the water and every few feet there is a WOODEN PLANK that you have to go under and it comes up with no warning and suddenly there is NO SKY and you are REALLY TRAPPED and OH MY GOD DROWNINGDYING - or that's what your brain tells you). s was able to confirm, with this obstacle, that her body has an automatic panic response to watery situations. but she got through and didn't even start screaming in the middle which is what i would've done if my body had chosen to push all that panic to the surface. she is a totally tough champion.

 {i am such a happy thing}

OBSTACLE TWENTY: boa constrictor
completed by: e, s, d, n, v, u,

a tube goes downhill into a mud pool. a second tube goes uphill out of the mud pool. crawl through. i was rather nervous about the claustrophobia thing again. but it was not SOOO bad. crawling down and through the pool wasn't any trouble. going back up i started to get a little panicked when i realized it was quite slippery and thoughts of being forever in that tube started to close in. i was squirming and trying to get my knees under me. i got a bit stuck. then a sweet voice came from behind me 'you're alright! no hurry, i won't rush you. you're doing great!'. THANK YOU super sweet friendly stranger girl behind me! she continued to speak calmly and encouragingly as i struggled my way out, and then she called from mid-way up the pipe herself 'this IS tricky! oh my, i see!'. she made it out, and we high-fived and she headed off. i loved her. meanwhile on the other end of the obstacle, s had been about to start when someone near her said 'how many snakes ARE there in there?' which caused her to get a bit unnerved. sankes? really? she asked someone else and they replied 'hmmm... hope not!'. it took her a minute or two to locate someone who could guarantee that there were indeed NO snakes. and through she went.

completed by: e, d, n, v, u,

a half-pipe that you run at and up, then throw yourself straight into while trying to grasp the hands of those who have already made it over. i will fully admit to not actually succeeding at this one. and i am insanely impressed that the crew ahead of s and i all did make it. craziness. when we got there there was a giant collection of mudders at the base, long lines to get an attempt in. i waited and tried to hype myself up. throwing myself face-first into walls and trusting strangers are not high on my skills list. the crowd was exciting and encouraging, though. everyone patting each other on the back and grinning. pointing back and forth with the people owning the hands they'd be trying to grab at the top. mic-man was there, too. keeping us pumped up, and also in line. one man made an attempt and was caught by the wrists and dangling. his pants began to slide down. (he did have underwear on, thankfully.) at the same time mic-man had stopped all other attempts to regulate the line-up situation. and so poor pant-slider-man hung there struggling with the whole crowd watching, screaming, shouting, cheering for him to make it - and to do so with his pants. i can't imagine what a strange and embarrassing and thrilling feeling that would be. the fight was successful and someone managed to get his leg, and he got up over the top. he pulled up his pants, turned to the crowd (which was going BANANAS) and bowed and waved. then he laid down on his stomach to help grab the next attemptee.

i gave one attempt. i was not close, but i was pleased with myself for having really giving it my all. i was pretty confident that it would take me maaaany tries to get the hang of it, and neither s nor i were keen on staying that much longer on the mountain. next time i will stay and try a few more times.

OBSTACLE TWENTY-TWO: electroshock therapy
completed by: e, d, n, v, u,

like the last electric one, but this time you run through. and i was all 'hey ain't no thang!' and ran in grinning. i immediately got a shock to the elbow that shot pain through my whole body. it KILLED (except not literally) and i screamed very loudly 'HOLY FUCK!!!'. soooorrrrrrrrrries! it just happened. i don't think there were kids around... but s did say that it was very audible from the finish line where she was waiting for me. yay me! way to finish up in style. but seriously. ow. really ow.

 {the tutus actually survived. like. really well. what?!}

AND THEN WE WERE DONE!!! crowned with the orange headbands which cannot be bought but only earned. tired, sore, happy, cold, gritty, giddy. pretty much EXACTLY when we crossed the line the sky cleared and it was suddenly bright and sunny and warm.

we changed out of our soaking clothes. in the dressing tent a woman near me struggled with her shoe laces. 'it is hard' she said 'because my fingers are... not...' and that is pretty much a perfect summary. we met up with d, n, u, and v in the beer garden. we drank our free beer and smiled lots. back on the shuttle bus. u and v fell asleep. n, d, s and i had sourpatch kids. (i learned that d is actually the owner of a dog i TOTALLY KNOW and we have actually met before in the dog park. funny. and his dog is a good one, guys. one of the great danes. i know. awesome.)

 {natalie and andrew warm and dry and drinking. everything is sunshine.}

and we went home to toronto. and showered. and it was amazing.

here's the obstacles tally for the day (ladies, let me know if i got any of this wrong! race-remembering is not always perfect-remembering):

d & e: 22    n: 21    u & v: 20    s: 15    m & j: 9

thanks to marina for organizing all the things (camera, hotel, tutus, registration...). you're the very best. thanks to sue for driving sarah and me and for the mcdonald's stop. man that was the greatest thing. thanks to jenn and the extension room for getting me way more fit that i thought i could be. thanks to the whole team for being the kind of crazy humans who think this is a great way to spend a day. such a wonderful wacky thing.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

crowned in orange

 {pre-race, so dry: andrew, viv, sue, roommatesarah, jaeden, me, marina, natalie}


photos in the first half were largely handled by marina, who (along with jaeden) is an absolute genius and thought to buy a disposable waterproof camera. 

the peeps will be abbreviated to a letter so as to not be so much with the typing names overandover. you already know most of the crew. easy peazy.

s: sarah,  n: natalie,  m: marina,  j: jaeden,  u: sue,  
e: me (hi! actually. i'll just be me. i. mostly.),  
l: (so sad) larissa (wasn't there...)

then the two day-of additions! first was viv-in-larissa's-place. friend of sue. she is a tricky babe, as she managed to convince the race-organizing-folk to let her take the spot even though they are very NO-TRANSFERS-DAY-OF! i do not know what magic she used, but it worked and in she came and on she put a tutu. second was andrew-a-BOY-on-the-team. friend of natalie. he had been signed up for a later start-time with a friend who 'got a girlfriend and got lazy' aka he was all by his lonesome and we were oh so happy to have him along. he was a bigtime help, as you'll hear soon. i was sad we didn't have an extra tutu for him as he would've looked mega babely with a little tulle-round-the-hips.

v: viv,  d: andrew 
(cause 'a' is a letter often required in regular sentences. obvi.)

let us begin. up at 6:30am in a travellodge in barrie. i am my father's daughter, so i was very very very prepared for race-day with my clothes, snacks, waiver, sunscreen all checked and double checked, thus prep went very smoothly. we made our way to the parking field, then onto the shuttle to the racegrounds. a huge brigade of yellow school buses. we borrowed some grease paint from dudes dressed in camo. ready! it was a chilly morning, certainly, but i was so hyped and excited i didn't really feel it. there was much hopping up and down and lunging and some gummy spiders to get things going. the energy on the grounds was fantastic. s and i were waiting for the team by a bench, adjusting our shoelaces and putting on sunscreen, when a guy bounced over to us.

'YEAH!' said me 'GUMMY SPIDER?!' holding out my candy.
'what? YEAH!!!' said he.

the gang all came together, we were introduced to d, and we headed to the startline. the call went up, we started running, and after about 5 meters we hit a wall. HI WALL! d helped each of us before pulling himself over. he was kicked in the back of the head, but not by any of us. and that's when we learned that HAHA nope that hadn't been the startline, THIS was the startline. a huge collection of mudders were corralled between the wall and the blow-up-start-arch under which a man with a mic was pumping us up. we sang and cheered and shouted back at the mic-man 'URAH!'. we took a knee, the whole swath of us there in the mud, and the mic-man requested we all shuffle forward to make room for 'whoever owns that foot' - we all looked back to see just a leg trying to get over the wall. we did shuffle forward. the leg made it in with a human attached to it. we were encouraged by the mic-man to be supportive, caring, helpful to our fellow mudders. to remember that this is a challenge and not a race. we stood and sang the national anthem. we were set free on the course.

 {jaeden looking totally pro on the first-trick-wall}

i'm not gonna talk much about the running/walking bits because they are pretty much the same. up the ski hill, down the ski hill, through deep mud, sticky mud, oozy mud, slick mud...  i'll slip in interesting things if i think of any as we go along.

 {the map. note that it says 'mile-markers' but means 'kilometer-markers'. 16 and a bit.}

OBSTACLE ONE: glory blades
completed by: all

a wall that tilts toward you, thus making it very hard to get any sort of foothold to boost yourself. a reeeeeaally good wall climber miiiiight be able to smear on this one, but i am not one of those. we gave d a hand with the hoisting as we didn't want to abuse or wear out our valuable strong-armed-asset too early in the game. he got kicked in the shorts, this time by one of us: n. lucky they were friends before and have a history to hang onto. oh. and there were two of these walls. once you got over one, you went ahead and did it again. the bruises under my arms began here.

OBSTACLE TWO: artic enema
completed by: d, e, s, n, u, v,

jump into a train storage car that's been filled with water and ice (and dye for funsies). s and i went together in the blue water. it. was. cold. not so bad as i expected when i first hit the water, but immediately sinking into the bones when i had to duck under a barricade in the middle. i opened my eyes under water and was surprised that it was pitch black opaque. on the other side i turned round to see s holding on to the barricade. hitting the water her lungs had slammed shut and refused to open. she had just recovered enough to semi-speak 'i can't breathe...'. scary. she held on there for a moment, and i swam back to her and waited the few seconds it took her body to regain its vital functions. i put my hand under the barricade in the water and found hers on the other side and we got her underneath and out the other end. i am grateful to my years doing dumb things like swimming in lakes in saskatchewan for getting me through this one.

 {natalie validating the team name 'badass ballerinas'}

OBSTACLE THREE: funky monkey
completed by: all

monkey bars. that go at an incline. and then a decline. over muddy water. i will say that we all 'completed' this one, but not that we all succeeded. i certainly did not. i got through one and one quarter bars before i went in the water. i'd like to think it is because my gloves were soaked and my hands still a bit frozen. but i doubt i would've made it much beyond two or three bars even in optimal conditions. not within my talents, this one. d, u, and v made it fully across and i am insanely impressed by this.

OBSTACLE FOUR: kiss of mud
completed by: all

crawl through rocky mud on your hands and knees (unless you're too tall, and then scoot on your belly) under a grid of barbed wired. ain't no thang! easy as pie.

OBSTACLE FIVE: electric eel
completed by: d, e, n, u, v, j, m

shimmy on your belly through shallow water below hanging live wires. (it should be noted that s was not allowed to do the electrical things due to her heart and stuff. we the team were pretty supportive of not having her die.) it is a strange thing, being electrocuted. the first one i felt hit me on my cheek and i thought that someone had just come up suddenly and blacked out my vision on the left side. when i looked left there was nothing there blocking my view. i stopped for a second to puzzle then scurried on. got a few light shocks along the way but nothing too bad. one in the wrist and one more in the head that are worth noting on the pain-scale. not pleasant, but also not the very worst thing i've ever felt.

 {still the biggest of smiles for sarah and me}

OBSTACLE SIX: cliffhanger
completed by: d, e, s, n, u, v, m

down a little slope into about 3 feet deep muddy water (noticing a theme) and then up a steep hill. the bottom of the pool was impossible to see, and not exactly even. people going ahead would oh so kindly demonstrate where there were pits by slipping into them messily. then, of course, the hill was slick as hell and you had to try to carve out little shelves to get yourself up. mudders helped mudders by offering a leg or an arm up. i very much liked this one.

meanwhile, weather-wise it was definitely keeping up with the cold and wind, and some on our team were beginning to feel the brutal effects of continually getting in and out of the water. there was an overall stinging of fingers and chattering of teeth. it was getting harder to warm up while jogging between the obstacles. m, j, s, and me were determined to do this race thing together and keep the pace that worked for us all. slow for me and my nervous-post-flu-stomach in the beginning, gentle on the downhills for those with bad knees... i know my own goal was not about speed, but about enjoying and pushing and challenging. for myself and for the group.

OBSTACLE SEVEN: firewalker
completed by: d, e, s, n, u, v, j

jump over a fire into a mud pool. SO FREAKING FUN! and also a great chance to stand by some flames and heat our hands.

 {jaeden chillin and illin}

OBSTACLE EIGHT: hold your wood
completed by: all

carry a big ol' log for a while. either on your own or in twos. s and i handled this one as a pair, and i thought of it as a sort of brutal session of active release therapy for my neck and shoulders. i am quite sure that we said some hilarious things - cold-and-race brain had begun to set in - but i can't for the life of me remember what they were. i know we laughed a lot.

OBSTACLE NINE: dirty ballerina
completed by: all

was this one not named for us? a track of mud into which trenches have been carved. the goal is to jump over the trenches as the day goes on the edges get more and more broken down, the trenches get wider, the take-off-and-landing segments get smaller. this was a HOOT! the ground was reasonably sand/soft so as long as you watched for rocks and roots, you could just give'er and hope for the best. i think i got across maybe 3 out of 10ish and the rest i had to clamber out of, but it was sooooo fun to do.

OBSTACLE TEN: trench warfare
completed by: all

crawl through a zig-zagging tunnel. i am incredibly grateful to my amazing teammates on this one. i am with the claustrophobia, and this was one of the ones i'd been nervous about. i was worried about going into a bit of a panic stuck in there (like emma may remember me doing that one time in the cave...). s crawled ahead of me and m behind, being wonderfully encouraging and making me laugh. wasn't so bad after all. i totes kept my cool. check me out with my bad self.

OBSTACLE ELEVEN: walk the plank
completed by: d, e, n,

climb onto a 15 foot platform, then jump off it into deep (muddy) water. awesome. i used to be a diver. i love to climb high things like ropes and silks and walls. so this wasn't particularly frightening for me. i might've done it a 2nd or 3rd time just for the fun of it if i thought my team would tolerate it.

completed by: d, e, s, n, u, v,

but isn't it all the mud mile? HAHA! yes. but also: climb over a series of ridges with waist-ish deep puddles in between. a busy stream of mudders. this made me feel like an ant in the best way. so funny all the people up and over and sliding down and up again and scrambling. i made short-term-friends with the strangers around me as we splashed in and out and smashed our shins into rocks. this obstacle also showed the divide in our group: those who were happy to chug along and do this as a team, and those who had a more fast-track mentality. about halfway through the ridges u and v decided that it was 'taking too long' behind the other mudders and hopped out without completing the ant-colony-march and.

 {sarah, marina, and andrew running through a truly beautiful patch of forrest}

OBSTACLE THIRTEEN: greased lightening
completed by: all

half way down a steep hill (one of the black diamond runs?) there was grainy snow that overtook us. beyond the snow was a slip-and-slide kind of arrangement with the slope covered in thick black plastic. m and i stepped onto the plastic at the same time, immediately losing our footing, slamming down on our butts, and zipping along much faster than we expected. m made it to the bottom first, so i was able to see the danger of not getting your feet dug in quickly once you hit the snow again. she has one heck of a sandpapered back side. at the base a woman next to me shouted up to her male teammate 'GET YOUR FEET DOWN OR YOU'LL LOSE YOUR BALLS!!!' and i agreed with her that that was very good advice. 'too late...' s told the woman as the guy came to a halt in the snow.

and this is where we officially broke up. very close to this last obstacle was a water and aid station. our group was cold. everyone was so cold. the aid station was handing out silver warming blankets, but ran out just before we got there. m and j were more than just chilled. they were getting dangerously cold. their hands were no longer useful. while s and i wrapped ourselves around them to try to warm them up and decide what to do, u, v, d and n opted to run on and we encouraged them to fly free without us. they had been keeping a faster running pace throughout the day, and it was only fair to let them go forth and keep themselves warm (or speed the process of getting off this damned mountain).

s and i were still feeling good despite the cold, and i'm fairly certain our prairie roots are to thank. after a few minutes huddled there, it was clear that m and j were not enjoying anything at all anymore, and that it was the end of their day with the mudder. i'm sad that the cold took them out of play, but i know very well the misery of being that frozen and i'm proud of them for listening to their bodies and not pushing to the point of injury or illness. they headed away from the course towards another aid tent that was rumored to possess a heater.

and so it was just s and i. and this is where i'm gonna take a breather and call it a day. to be continued!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

shinned a rock

 mudder race report is almost done! it's a big one, so check yourselves before you wreck yourselves. and until it is wrapped up all pretty, entertain yourself with a bruise-check. yup! bruised! gawd i love it.

saved my life

popladies! dancemonday! i'm so chipper-cheerful today it is GROSS. sorries!

i have a good feeling about this week, monday. let's do this.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


more soon with a full tough mudder race report when words make sense and can go in an order again. but for today:

this was the best thing. after a week (and a while) of doubting my body and my mind, it was all the things to feel strong and powerful and brave and tough. now i am home and bruised and scrambled and happy.

Friday, May 10, 2013

countdown to mud

this week there has been stomach flu and a day in hospital (great news my appedix is FINE! WOO!) and a flood.

all upons my bathroom and closet and kitchen. pouring out the ceiling.

but that's all got to be put aside now. i've epsom-bathed. i've packed. cause it is. 12 hours till we are set free on the MUDDER COURSE!!!


GET IT!? hahahahahaha.
okay i may be hopped up on popsicles and the first legitimate meal i've eaten all week (carb load, duh).

but here are some tunes that make me exciiiiited and you should get exciiiiiiiited tooo cause MUD MUD MUD MUD MUD MUD MUD!!!! if i die, please avenge my death. xo!
(and i'm throwin elbows...) I LOVE IT!

okay byyyyyyyyeeeeeeee.


i hate the nra so much i can't see straight. (i mean, maybe too that's the stomach flu i've had all week messing with my brain. but mostly nra hate.) i hate guns. we know this. they make me so deeply sick and angry. i don't necessarily hate people who hunt or whatever. but. guns as personal defence? guns in the home? hate i can't control hate.

so, of course i'm oh so very vomitey mad about:

*the ex-girlfriend target

holy shit, you've got to be joking, but of COURSE YOU'RE NOT! ugh beyond all ughs.

"Gun violence is a gendered issue since it impacts women and men in very different ways. Because women are more vulnerable to violence within the home than men (and men are most often the perpetrators of violence against women), the presence of a gun makes females less safe, not more. How do we know? A woman's likelyhood of a violent death within the home actually increases by 270% when a gun is kept inside the house. Homicide figures don't lie. Having a gun within their possession didn't protect women from murder. In fact, it accurately predicted their higher likelyhood of death."
{elizabeth plank at policymic}

i know we talked about that sort of statistic in a haha way with louis ck. but this isn't funny, guys. it isn't. it is exhaustively sad that this exists. intolerably exhaustively sad. usa you scare me so hard. you are an insane place.

Monday, May 6, 2013

saved my life

tough mudder is less than a week away. and today i have s flu-thing. i hope and hope that it will go awaaaaay, so i'm covering it in popsicles. send healthy vibes my way please? thanks, yo.

and with the sickly body, i will not be doing any dancing this week, so here's a few videos to keep my dancebrain happy. pretty sure i'm gonna be the girl in the red dress for halloween. because she is amaaaaazing.

happy monday, mudheads.

Saturday, May 4, 2013



with the mudder and all, i'm feeling big time physical-fit, and so i thought this would be a good week to think about bodies and how we women are told to use them. we've talked about it before, surely. strength vs size vs function and so on. i don't want to get all repetitive up in here. but! there's a new resource out there in internet-land talking to women about fitness!

"We, the Ms. Fits, believe that living consciously includes being conscious of the world outside of the yoga or Pilates studio and that our wellness also depends on the wellness of the earth and everyone on the earth;  We believe that reproductive rights are human rights, and all girls and women deserve access to healthy food and active play, and that strong women kick ass."
{a bit of the ms. fit manifesto}

I haven't gotten through a tonne of ms. fit magazine's content yet, but i'm excited about what i've seen so far.  they cover a lot of ground, from sports news to ask-a-feminist-sex-questions to recipes to running and yoga and martial arts annnnnd... how 'bout an article about the post-baby-body that isn't just about how you can lose the baby weight?

so that is great.


we have a feminist of the week today. my boss. my boss has a son who turned 4 this week. my boss was super-excitedly telling us about the celebrations he had planned. and how he had spent a night putting together the brand new, all pink, tasseled bike that his son had asked for. it has belle on it. from beauty and the beast. my boss didn't try to convince his son to pick a different bike. a red or blue or black or yellow bike. a spiderman or prince charming bike or even a beast-from-beauty-and-the-beast bike. he didn't teach his son that there was something wrong with wanting that pink belle bike. he got him that bike and it is just the best thing i've heard in ages. i maybe got just a little teary when he told us.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


to the lady in my office building wearing a sweater dress and saying to me 'it's not THAT warm!' cause i am wearing a sleeveless dress with bare legs... OH REALLY?!

TADA! summer has arrived in toronto and everyone is the best and everything is the best and wow my mood changes when it is nice out.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

are you afraid of the mud?

tough mudder is less than two weeks away. i am both super excited and super terrified. okay, mostly excited. very very excited. and the team-tutus arrived yesterday. everything is aces.

our team is made up of a small pile of super cool interesting busy women. which is AWESOME. except when it comes to trying to schedule group workouts. not happening. sadly we've yet to get the team together at one time in one place. one day (probably race day) it will happen, and i'll get a group shot and everything will be topshelf. but in the meanwhile i'd like to introduce you to them all individually. here we go. *soooome people didn't send me pictures or bios so sooooome people had their pictures chosen for them and stolen off facebook by me. samesies for nicknames.*

{marina 'you are what you eat' cortese}

marina is the one who wrangled us all and made the mudder happen for team ballerina. i'm not sure it has been officially dubbed, but she is totes team captain. marina runs her own business (nour-ish) as a nutritionist, and also teaches the odd class at extension room. she wears dark heavy-framed glasses and had white hair when i met her and then dyed her hair brown around the same time as me, which is another way of saying she has awesome style and taste.

{sue 'i knead you' cheung}

i haven't even met sue yet! booo! but i am very excited about her being on the team mostly cause look at how great the picture she sent for her bio is. sue is a registered massage therapist who runs her own business focused on women and pre/post natal mothers. she loves the outdoors, the beach (a most-excellent sub-set of the outdoors-category), volleyball, and sleep. oh yes, we will get along JUST fine. sue was brought to us by way of:

{natalie 'dressed to kill' sageloly}

natalie works in fashion!  i know, right? pretty great. she works at canopy blue as a buyer. now, i've only met her a few times so far, but she has proven to be absolutely lovely and also supremely funny and energetic. which will come in handy on race day for sure. natalie is besties with:

{larissa 'law abiding citizen' moscu}

super-sad times. larissa has had to jump ship. alas, her realjob is making her work soooo hard and the time away just isn't an option for her. big time frowney faces over here. but she is still awesome and you should still see her and know she was with us. *also her spot is available... ANYONE WANNA?!*
larissa is an iddy-biddy former gymnast and dancer. she hosted the first attempt at a mudder-team gathering, welcoming marina and i into her apartment and 'forcing' post-workout snacks on us. but when she isn't being all hostessy or bakery (a top hobby, yessssssss...) or making funny faces during the abs portion of an extension room class, she can be found fearlessly litigating in toronto courtrooms. (as fearlessly, she says, as one can be after only 7 months.)

{sarah 'i'll sue if someone dies' rankin}

yeah, yeah, you already know her. around here she is best known as roommatesarah. but maybe you didn't know that she is also the only one of us to be properly following the mudder training regime? maybe you didn't know that she goes for runs while i have naps on the couch? you did. though. you did know. sarah is, too, a law-type. like larissa. but on the other side of the courtroom. she just finished 2nd year law at u of t, while also-too doing a masters in criminology. she hates broccoli and that's no joke.

{jaeden 'don't want no drama' cheng}

jaeden is the bright sunshiney-sunshine at the extension room. i trained her on the front desk way back when, and she quickly took over as top-queen-cheerful-best-organizer. yup. she rocks reception hard. jaeden is also a student, learning the arts of the theatre. you know. the theatre arts. the dramas. i am regularly tricked into staying at the studio and taking extra classes when jaeden is there. which is to say she is an excellent influence.

 and, finally:

{erin 'we should nap instead' hooper}

and you know all about me. duh. this is my blog, and you read it, and i talk about myself ALL THE TIME. (hey! what up!)  so. you're spared further biographing this time around.

i don't wanna get too vain up in here, but holy hell we're a fiiiine and fit team of ladies. mudder don't stand a chance.