Life Update: November 16, 2014

Dating

Sometimes I forget that you guys don’t live inside my head and that in order for you to know something I have to actually write it here.  My fear of redundancy is what often keeps me silent.  But when it turns out that half of the people on my own Facebook don’t even know that I have moved back to Vancouver (and still think I’m in Montreal) it occurs to me that I might have been remiss about updating people on even the biggest details of my life.  What can I say, I’m silent out of kindness.  I worry about boring you.  Nonetheless here is a brief update on the things that matter (or don’t, that’s really your call to make):

I have been dating up a bit of a storm (Spoiler Alert: there have been approx. 10 “somethings” since I last updated the blog with a post about dating).  So why haven’t I updated the blog?

Because I’m writing a book (well, a collection of short stories really) and most of those stories are going in it.

I’m going to be honest; I’m really hoping you’ll want to buy it and read it.  The hope is that it will be published in e-book format (and/or print on demand) in the next few months.  Obviously, I will keep you lovelies posted.

I’m back in Vancouver and hate/loving it.

I’ve lost 50lbs.  (don’t get too excited, I got super fat in grad school so I still have a really long way to go but you can click here for a quick glimpse of the progress).  I’ve also decided to start blogging more about what I’m doing at the gym, eating at home, and the overall weight loss journey.  Obviously, do not feel compelled to read about it, but my friend suggested it might be of interest to some people and given how much time I’ve spent combing the internet for tips on fitness, healthy recipes, and weight loss, I figure she might be right.  And, if those topics aren’t of interest to you then just skip on through to the other articles (or the book! yay a book!).  Also, if you are interested in this stuff, definitely consider following me on Instagram as I tend to post more there than anywhere else at the moment.

Speaking of Instagram AND book news…I’ve started posting pics using the hashtag #PossibleBookTitle (sorry I can’t make this link clickable here but if you type it in under search hashtags on Instagram you’ll find it easily).  This is legitimately me brainstorming and thinking through possible ideas for titling the upcoming book so if you like being a part of things, feel free to weigh in on your favourite choice(s).

Also, I’ve started using Tumblr a lot more so if that’s your jam, head on over and follow me on there.  I admit, I’m definitely a multi-poster (meaning that if I’ve been known to post a joke on Twitter, take a screenshot and post it on Instagram and Tumblr).  But the truth is, while hopefully there are very few of you who are irritated by this, there are often very different audiences who follow on each site.  An example of this being when I tweeted the following:

Not to be a total egomaniacal dick, but I thought it was pretty cool.  Yet, it only got like 9 favs and 2 RTs.  So, I took a screenshot and posted it on Instagram and then shared it on Tumblr (where it is now, by FAR, the most shared thing I’ve ever posted…at last check with 8000+ notes).  In turn, that bumped up the attention of the tweet a little but still nothing by comparison.  So why am I telling you this?  Basically so that if you are one of the people who gets irritated by multi-posting, I’m sorry but hopefully now you can understand a bit about why I do it (and thus hate that I do it just a tiny bit less)

I am very aware that as I’ve been working on the book, the blog has become a little lacklustre, having posts that are either few and far between or just glimpses of writing exercises.  While I can’t make any promises, the book and fitness have to come before anything else, I will definitely be trying to post more in the coming weeks (not just fitness/food stuff but also sex and dating, and other exciting stuff).

Finally, as always, feel free to email me your dating questions and quandries, and I will be happy to dispense any advice I can.

All my love,

 

Victoria

 

aka SSDated

aka The Cheesecake Queen

aka That girl crying in the squat rack

Feminism: It’s Not All About You




I just want you to think about the place that you’re coming from when you shirk the idea that you could be a feminist.  Think about the privilege of your life.

Where you were born.  Who you were born to.  The time in which you lived.  The freedoms that you have.

Someone fought for those.  Someone stood up and said WE…WE WILL TAKE NO MORE OF THIS!  Someone stood up for you.  And now here you sit…just sitting.  Because you don’t want to claim the notion that women should be treated equally to all others.  Because you’re afraid of the backlash.  Because you don’t want to be labelled, or pigeon-holed, or put in a box.  Sitting.

If during my childhood there had come a point where my education was not on par with others, say for example I couldn’t read, I would’ve stood up and said, “someone must teach me!” because I always knew that everyone deserves to be educated.  Imagine living in a world where you didn’t know this?  How do you ask for a thing you don’t know you should have?

(now admittedly, I didn’t learn fractions in grade six or whenever you were supposed to and I didn’t mention it, really, until high school, mostly because I was still able to coast on by with what knowledge I already had.  Nonetheless, I eventually learned because I eventually knew that I was missing out, I was being given a less than education by skating by.  And so I told my father and he taught me math.  At night, after he’d get home from work, my Dad and I would sit around the kitchen table and he would teach me the math I hadn’t learned.  My father taught me math because he couldn’t imagine a world where he wouldn’t want his daughter to have every opportunity and advantage and chance at success and happiness.  My father couldn’t imagine a world where I wasn’t capable and deserving of anything and everything.)

So, what if you had been born with shitty parents, or parents’ whose religion or customs or even just their view of the world said that you were less than, that you should be docile and subservient?  What if you had been born in a country where they refused to educate you?  Or what if your parents wanted the very best for you but lacked the economic stability to open doors and possibilities?  What if you were a woman of colour, a woman outside of heteronormativity, a woman on the edge?  What if your parents were too absent, or too poor, or too judgmental, or too busy just trying to keep you and them alive?  What if your parents just honestly didn’t know better?

Who would stand up for you?

Take a step back from the luxury and freedom of your life (even on the days when it doesn’t feel that way at all) and think about all the people who risked everything for you and how little you’re currently willing to risk for others.  If you want to call yourself a humanist, fine…great.  But at the very least consider what that really means and who exactly, are these said humans, you want to help.

And honestly, that fear, that knee jerk reaction not to claim feminism, not to say that you would do everything in your power to help other struggling women is the very reason we need feminism in the first place.

[I admit my ignorance here where I’m not entirely sure how and when to say *Trigger Warning* but I have a feeling this might be the moment…so…this is me saying it…and if I’m using it wrong send me a message and let me know, please]

And if I still haven’t convinced you that you should stand up for women around the world, women who came before and those who will come after you, please know this – in North America, that’s right, in our oh so civilized and privileged little section of the globe – there is such a thing as a viral rape video.  A video of a girl(s, and this really does have to be pluralized now) being raped by, often soon to be, if not already, college educated privileged young men* is not only a thing that can happen but a thing that can go viral (*this is a statistical thing but education is obviously not a requirement…though it is terrifyingly not an across the board deterrent either).

Take just a tiny moment to think of all the steps that make that possible.

1.  A girl is raped.

2.  More than one person is present for the rape (unless the rapist is filming it himself which seems rare)

3.  One or more of those people then uploads the video to the internet or sends it via their phone or email to someone else.  Think about the thought process that this entails.  Not only does this mean two disgusting horrible humans exist that would rape someone but they are the kind of garbage that believe others will take pleasure in seeing this terrible act.

4.  They are right.  Take a moment with that one.  No, seriously.  This scum of the fucking earth believes that others want to view the torture they inflict…and they are right. 

5.  Because after all, without number 4…there can be no viral nature to this horror.

6.  Whoever they send the video to, or whoever gains access to it, feels the same as the rapists and the sharing continues and continues from person to person to person until the video can be deemed to have gone viral.

7.  Beyond the absolute human garbage that is the rapists and their propagators, it’s worth noting that all this sharing goes on without any real fear of repercussions.  The rapists are not afraid to be caught (or they wouldn’t share, and presumably wouldn’t rape).  The people who view and share the video are not afraid to be witnessing said crime and doing nothing.  There is no fear present at all (except of course for the victim whose life has not only been traumatized) and presumably every woman everywhere (since the likelihood that something similar will happen in her lifetime is DEVASTATINGLY HIGH!).

8.  If the rapist(s) and his/their filmography companions are ever caught, the punishment is often surprisingly small.  And more often than not it only follows after a hard fought battle which usually involves a ton of victim blaming, excuse making, and all out insanity.

Now, ask yourself again if you can really bear to stay seated when there is a world of women who need you?

The next time you are certain that women have equality, maybe just consider for a moment that we live in a country(ies) where a video of a girl being raped can become so popular that it goes viral.

It matters that you stand up.  And if you’re not strong enough to stand up on your own, come stand by me, and I will help to brace you.

Women Will Change this World: Malala Yousafzai

Texts from Dad

 

[dropcap]Malala Yousafzai[/dropcap]

A 16 year old girl from Pakistan, wants the same things I do, education for everyone.  On Friday July 12, 2013, she stood up in front of the UN and gave a rousing speech calling on the UN to provide “free” and “compulsory education” for all.

[Full text here]

Malala is an incredibly mature, bright, and eloquent young woman.  In 2009, when Malala was in the seventh grade, she began blogging for BBC Urdu online.  The blog, “Diary of a Pakastani Schoolgirl” was in response to the Taliban extremist regime’s banning of public education for girls and destruction of over 150 schools (currently near 600 schools).

The idea that anyone would want to keep their daughters from learning more is a thing I can barely comprehend.  Is there any other reason to have children than to give them the world?  Is not the point to love a being more than yourself, to do everything in your power to make sure that little babe feels the most loved, the most nurtured, the most supported, so that he or she can then go on and do all the things that this world needs to be a better place?

So, why then, are women being denied access to education?  Why is THIS our world?  There is no protection greater, no support more tightly knit, no chance for success more real and tangible, than being fully informed and equipped to deal with all that the world will throw your way.  Education is the answer, always.

——————————–

I grew up in British Columbia, in what I would consider an upper middle class household.  Education was not only something that I always had access to, but something that was assumed.  No one, but myself, ever seemed to doubt my potential for success.  In grade seven, my teacher caught me not paying attention in class.  He asked me what I was doing, to which I responded that I was writing a story for a competition.  Instead of reprimanding me for my lack of studiousness, he set up a table and chair in the hallway, for me to write until I was finished.  In highschool, I suffered a great deal with depression and often missed classes.  My marks never really suffered though because teachers would allow me to do the work on my own, chance having supplied me with a brain for which this was easily doable.  No one ever seemed to doubt my potential or abilities.  When it was time to apply for early admission to University, I simply did.  There was never even a thought in my brain that I wouldn’t get at least a Bachelor’s degree.  Now in 2013, I write this blog post in the summer between my 1st and 2nd year of a Master of Arts program, having already earned two separate Bachelor’s degrees (one in Psychology and one in English Literature).  The world is and has always been my oyster and it is for that reason that I believe so strongly in the education of women.  It breaks my heart to know that other women don’t have the encouragement, support, access, and freedom that I always did (and this is probably why I have the luxury and desire to dedicate my life to these ends).

——————————–

Now, back to Malala and the education of women.  This brave young girl has none of the advantages I have in life (except maybe a father who thinks she can change the world) and yet here she is, asking the UN to repair the cracks that women are falling through.  She was shot by a member of the taliban and survived (though her life still remains under threat).  She stood up in front of the world and asked for change.  I want to be a part of the change that answers her back.

However, this brings up a question I often struggle with.  When it comes to the tangible aspect of changing the world, the How, the What, the Who, I find myself overwhelmed.  How do I know if a charity is trustworthy?  How do I make the biggest impact?  In a world of billions struggling, where do I start?

My Dad recently sent me an email After you graduate we can go somewhere and help build a habitat for humanity and it got me thinking.  What are the most imminent threats to female education?  Extremism?  Access to clean water?  Housing?  Birth Control?  Feminine Hygiene products?  Literal access to education (you can’t go to school if there is no school to go to)?

I don’t yet have any answers.  But I hope too.  Soon.  Until then, think about Malala, think about the education of women, think about how we’re going to change this world…for the better (and feel free to share those thoughts with me 😉

 

[colored_box color=”blue”]Are you a woman changing this world for the better?  Do you know a woman who should be celebrated for her great work?  Do you know a woman who will change this world?  We’re looking to spotlight the amazing goals and accomplishments of women around the world – big or small, greatness comes in all packages.  Email us with your tip or story:  SomethingSheSaidOnce [at] gmail.com [/colored_box]

 

10 MORE Stupid Things You Should Stop Doing On Twitter

 

 

Continued from Ten Stupid Things You Should Stop Doing On Twitter

 

11.  Twitter is not for porn

There’s no need to post porn on Twitter and there’s no need to RT porn on Twitter because ALL THE REST OF THE INTERNET!!!  Anyone who is old enough to be cool watching/seeing porn knows damn well how to look for it on the internet.  Tweeting or RTing porn is really just a sign that you’re old and out of touch, sorry, that’s all there really is to it.  And honestly, you should keep that weirdness to yourself.

 

12.  Manually RTing (and Quote Tweet)

Some people will disagree on this one (the explanation I’m usually given when I ask why is–because the person believes that their followers need some kind of explanation or contextualization–however, this really only explains the manual RTing of links etc. and wouldn’t explain anything for most tweets).  The only time “quoting a tweet” is fine is when someone has said something that will contextualize the hilarious/poignant thing you plan to tweet.  However, and this is a big one, if what you’re adding isn’t a joke or important message and is simply a reply to the original tweet, quoting it is just annoying because now all your followers have to see this tedious tweet.  There’s a reason you don’t always hit “reply all” on an email and a response to a tweet isn’t that much different; if it’s not a joke that could potentially stand on its own, don’t bother.

The reason Manually RTing a tweet is bullshit is twofold.  One, by manually RTing instead of just hitting that lovely little retweet button, what you’re doing (whether you mean to or not) is hijacking this person’s work to claim a little bit of the glory for yourself.  Though you’re not stealing or plagiarizing the tweet, you’re trying to ride the coattails of someone else (it’s a little bit like name dropping in a way, trying to elevate yourself on the shoulders of another).  Two, you’re essentially stopping the thread of RTing.  Nobody is going to want to retweet the joke with the stupid quotations marks and your even stupider addition to it and thus, the RTing cycle stops with you.  And even if, by some miracle, people do retweet your manual retweet, the original tweeter will never know and we’re back with reason one, you’ve hijacked their joke.  Don’t be a dick.  If you like someone’s tweet and want to pass it along to your followers (which I always encourage), simply hit the retweet button, nbd.

 

13.  Typing in front of the @

Now this one isn’t an all or nothing as sometimes, many times even, it’s totally kosher to type something in front of an @.  Good reasons for doing this are:  your response is hilarious, your response is really important, your response is interesting.  When you type in front of the @ sign, it means that now everyone who follows you (not just those who follow you and the person you @ed) will now see your tweet.  This can be great if, like I said above, your tweet is worth sharing.  However, long back and forth conversations, boring chit chat, etc. are not good reasons to bother doing this.  Generally speaking, have some humility and don’t assume that a conversation is so fucking interesting that everyone would want to read it (because let’s be honest, they most likely don’t).

 

14.  Tweeting about unfollowers (whether organically or through a third party bullshit service)

You know how it’s super embarassing and awkward to tell a total stranger about how you have no friends and everyone hates you?  This is just like that.  While I’m all for honesty and authenticity, certain things just don’t need to be talked about, ever.  Additionally, you have no idea why these people unfollowed you and let’s be real, talking about people not being interested in what you have to say is about as clear of an example as possible that they were right because you’re boring as fuck.  Don’t be a crybaby.  Either you care that they left (in which case keep that shit to yourself) or you don’t and then you wouldn’t bother tweeting this nonsense.  Plus, the people who do still follow you really don’t care so don’t alienate them too.

 

15.  Don’t click the DM links

You know how you think your account got hacked because now weird shit is being posted on your behalf?  Yeah, you didn’t.  You’re not important enough to be hacked, no one gives a shit.  You’ve been phished, and unless you’re brand new to the internet, this makes you an idiot.  No one is saying mean shit about you on their blog, and no one is passing around a photo of you.  Don’t click weird links, don’t click links from people you don’t know, and if you do click a link for goodness sake don’t enter important information.  And if you do fuck up and make this mistake, change your password.

 

16.  Don’t thank someone (or shout them out or #NF anyone) for following

I often follow a list of people, like 100 at a time (perhaps on a list called “Montreal Awesomeness” or something because I live in Montreal now so I’m all about the locals).  That being said, I may have read your bio, or a couple of tweets, but I didn’t sign on for a lifetime.  I’m a bit like that highschool teacher who gives you the speech about how everyone starts with an A and it’s up to you to keep it.  Meaning, just because I followed doesn’t mean I can’t just as easily unfollow and shouting me out or thanking me for following just makes me feel weird and pressured.  I didn’t follow you as a favor or to be nice (logical reasons to thank someone).  This is Twitter, and at its core is totally selfish.  I followed you for me, so let’s not make a big thing of it eh?  Don’t make this weird.

 

17.  Auto DM, Auto Follow, Auto Unfollow, Auto anything really

Auto anything is bullshit.  If you can’t do something on Twitter yourself, you shouldn’t be doing it.  It lacks effort, integrity, and interest.  Don’t be boring and annoying.  Stop this shit.

 

18.  Be Interesting (subtweeting, vague tweeting, boring tweeting)

If the subtweet can’t stand on its own as an interesting message or a funny joke, don’t bother.  If the name you’re using won’t be recognized by your followers (either as a joke name, like the way I often address a nonspecific Chad, or someone you often reference), don’t bother.  If the tweet is something obvious like good people are good and respect women and I suck at tweeting, don’t bother.  If the tweet would fit more accurately in a your daily log of activities, went to the gymmom made dinnerso tired gotta shower, don’t fucking bother.

 

19.  Checking in to anything (foursquare, yelp, getglue, etc.)

Nobody cares where you are, are eating, are watching, etc.  And, if they do care, they’ll follow you on those specific apps themselves.  If you’re worried people don’t know you exist on these other platforms, a tweet once a month or every two months, just so they know, is fine I guess.

 

20.  Instagram on Twitter

Look, I know, I hate it too, how Twitter/Instagram severed the ability to find people via the app when Facebook bought them.  But, that doesn’t mean you need to post 5 pics in a row on your Twitter feed.  One link to instagram, every so often, when it’s a really good pic or (even better) a really great caption, is fine.  But more than one link in a row is annoying, if I wanted to see your pics, the first link would’ve already had me clicking follow (particularly now that you can follow etc. via a webpage and not just on your phone).

 

Disagree with any of these?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments (but make sure you offer up some *logic* on why I’m wrong and you’re right).  Have any more to add?  

10 Stupid Things You Should Stop Doing on Twitter

People will tell you that you should do Twitter your own way and in many ways they are right.  You should express yourself how you want to express yourself, that is, after all, what self-expression is all about, no?  That being said, people do a lot of stupid things (in no particular order).

 

1.  Team Follow Back

Under no circumstances should you involve yourself with anything #TeamFollowBack related or anyone who says “I follow back” and here’s why.  Team follow back and all people who automatically follow back are really telling you that they’ll follow anyone and who wants to be followed by someone who will follow anyone.  This is not a third grade birthday party and it’s time to be a selective grown up.  Moreover, how good can someone’s tweets really be if they only gain followers by promising to return the favor?  Follow people because they’re awesome.  Follow people because they interest you.  Follow people because you’ve created elaborate fantasies where you do all kinds of illicit things and everyone is always happy, or whatever.

 

2. Don’t beg celebrities (or others) to follow you back

I know this is similar to number 1. but it happens so often and is even more aggressive and uncomfortable than simply being un-discerning like team follow back that it needs to be addressed.  Asking if someone follows back, begging to be followed, and any sort of angry @ mention where you bitterly state that someone won’t follow you back because of their follower ratio is about as pathetic as it gets.  This is sad and you’re not only embarrassing yourself but humanity as a whole.  Get a clue.  And as stated in 1. if you’re following a person simply so they will follow you back, knock it off, you’re doing it wrong anyway.

 

3.  #FF (Follow Friday)

This one is a bit of a double edged sword.  In theory, it should work great, the people who you think are awesome recommend other awesome people to follow and then you do, in fact, follow them.  In reality, Fridays are the worst on Twitter.  People #FF entire lists of people without offering any kind of explanation as to why (or when they do, the reason is often stupid like #HotChicks or #MyFavoriteGuys – both which are stupid reasons to follow as judgments like hot and favorite are about as relative as its gets and let’s be honest, if your #FF is a whole list of people you’re not very discerning to begin with and thus your recommendation means nada).

That being said, I was recently reminded of the one positive of this whole thing.  It can make someone feel really special.  Someone recently did a #FF for me that was about how they thought I was great etc. etc. and dammit if it didn’t make my entire day.  That being said, if the person did it all the time or even for a bunch of people on the same day, it would start to feel a little like bullshit.  So, if you decide to do #FF, do it sparingly and with real thought and emotion.

 

4.  Stop Careless (Moronic) RTing (retweeting)

For the love of intelligent things, if someone does #FF you, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES RT it (you may be able to get away with doing so if the tweet is incredibly hilarious and well written but otherwise, no exceptions).  See, here’s the thing – the people you’re RTing it to ALREADY FOLLOW YOU! So now it just looks like you’re either a moron who doesn’t realize this or a total jackass who RTs compliments (have some humility, yo).  Even worse than this is RTing it if the #FF is a list of however many names the person could squeeze into 140 characters.  Now, not only are you okaying this foolish behavior of pandering and idiocy but you’re propagating it to your followers (who I assure you don’t care that you were on a nondescript list) and are not going to then follow all the people on said nondescript list anyway.  Hell, they might even unfollow you for this annoying behavior (I know I do).

 

5.  Stop Careless Thanking

We get it, you’re grateful!  There is no need to thank the person who #FFed you in a list with 6 other people and even less of a need to thank the person, while still @ing all the people in the original tweet – because here’s what – not only does the rest of the list not care that you’re thankful but they now probably hate you a little bit for your stupidity.  USE SOME LOGIC.  Seriously.  And if you RT someone thanking you for your #FF nondescript list, just close your Twitter account now.  Honestly, you’re a blight on society.

 

6.  Don’t ask for Retweets or favs (stars)

Up until recently I didn’t know this was a thing, that people asked each other for this, that people traded these things like a barter system, and my life is infinitely sadder now that I know this exists, so don’t be one of these people.  If your tweets don’t speak for themselves, they weren’t very good anyway.  And if you think your tweets are dynamite (and they actually are) then just engage with people, offer witty quips, RT and star the tweets of others that you enjoy and so that the people you find funny know you exist, just don’t expect things from people like a trade off.  If you’re good, people will eventually see.

 

7.  Don’t worry about follower ratio

If someone makes you laugh or interests you, follow them.  Regardless of how many people you are following.  There is no magic follower ratio, there is no magic if I follow less than 500 people I will be seen as a big deal answer.  Follow who you like, don’t follow who you don’t like.  As a tip though try to remember slow and steady wins the race.  Back in the day I remember my getting dizzy when I tried to keep up with more than 400 people but you adapt, you get better at Twitter.  So don’t sign up and follow 2000 people, start slow, find your groove, and adjust as you go.

 

8.  Think before tweeting

In all honesty, this applies more to @ mentions than anything.  You can tweet whatever the fuck you want to and people will follow or unfollow accordingly.  But @ mentions are a little different.  You see, the people following you signed up for that shit so if you tweet asinine nonsense and they see it, well, they made that choice.  @ mentions, however, don’t have that same limit.  You can @ mention anyone (though that doesn’t mean you should).  Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t repeat the joke back to the person in slightly different words.  Write your own jokes (see also: doing this is never funny).
  2. Don’t @ mention them with the opposite of their tweet.  If I tweet https://twitter.com/SSDated/status/349305174164119554 and you respond with https://twitter.com/raywade1/status/349306633400229888 You can rest assured that I 100% hate you.
  3. Don’t bother @ mentioning with any of the following:  ha!, haha, lol, lolz, lmao, lmfao, so true, etc.  Just star their tweet and be on your way.
  4. Don’t @ mention something off topic.  If the person tweeted about ice cream and you come back with so what do you do for work? you’re a fucking moron.
  5. Don’t bother @ mentioning someone about a tweet older than a week.  In social media time that’s like a year ago and the original tweeter is no longer thinking about it.  Find something newer to respond to.
  6. Use your words.  I can’t tell you how many times an @ mention doesn’t make sense (I’m assuming because the person thinks I can read their mind).  If you can’t be clear in 140 characters than maybe don’t mention them.
  7. Finally, honestly, truly, just put a little thought into your response.  I often get @ mentions where I follow up with several back and forth tweets till the guy (sorry dudes, it always seems to be you) admits that the original @ mention to me was stupid and he didn’t really think it through.  So don’t make me be that bitch that harasses you till you realize you’re a moron.  Just stop the idiocy before we get started.  It’s okay to just star a tweet and not bother @ mentioning.

 

9.  Hashtags

Now this one is a little controversial.  Some people absolutely can’t stand them.  I think they’re okay when used thoughtfully.  I’m okay with a hashtag if it’s cute and/or funny #FatPanda #TheyBuriedMeAliveSomeoneHelpMeImHungry etc.  That being said, even when funny or creative, brevity and moderation are your friends.  Once or twice.  Here and there.  No big deal.  I’m also okay with hashtags when they serve a purpose #StandWithWendy being a favorite of mine recently or my always favorite #PossibleBookTitles or any of the ones about changing movies/bands/etc.  Two rules of thumb to avoid be a super douche when it comes to hashtags:  Don’t hashtag incorrectly (don’t hashtag #montreal #vancouver #sydney #boobs in a tweet about gardening in the hopes someone will care about your tweet, they won’t) and don’t hashtag excessively (this goes for instagram too–there’s no need for #igers, #instagrammers, etc.  A. because we’re all instagrammers, this is instagram, don’t be a fucking moron and B. these are redundant, the same, just pick one).

 

10.  Don’t treat twitter like a chatroom

Don’t tweet Hi or any variation of this at anyone, ever.  If you have something to say, say it.  Not only do public greetings like this seem creepy (and out of touch with social media), but they confuse the person you’re @ing.  First, they’ll probably wonder if they know you somehow.  When that’s not it they’ll wonder what’s going on, why would someone tweet a greeting, that’s so bizarre.  Then, after they’ve wasted sufficient time on this, one of two things will likely happen.  They’ll respond because they’re kind and you’re pathetic and the whole thing makes them uncomfortable or they’ll block you because fuck that.

 

Disagree with any of these?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments (but make sure you offer up some *logic* on why I’m wrong and you’re right).  Have any more to add?  

READ MORE:  Ten More Stupid Things You Should Stop Doing On Twitter

5 Things You Should Definitely Not Bother Doing

1.  Eat your weight in ice cream.  Look, I know right?!?!  Sounds fantastic eh?  But I bet there’s a few things you haven’t really thought through.  You’ll get fat.  But it’s so much more than that.  By deciding to do this you’ll be entering into some kind of never ending “eating your weight” snowballing-time-space-continuum where as your weight is ever increasing from eating the ice cream, you’ll subsequently have to consume more and more ice cream in order to make it match your weight, which is continuously increasing.  You see?  Do you see?  It’s madness I tell you, madness.  Sugary delicious cold smooth and creamy heaven like madness, but madness nonetheless.  It’s essentially suicide.  So, you are welcome.  I basically just saved your life.  No worries though, you can pay me back by taking me out for ice cream.

 

2.  Start a rock band.  Let’s face it.  This is just stupid.  You can’t play any instruments, you can’t sing…and to be completely honest you don’t have any friends.  Better just stick to singing along to rockband by yourself…what’s that song that you love again…I’m a creeeeeep.

 

3.  Learn to shoot a bow and arrow.  I don’t know.  Maybe it was that Lord of the Rings marathon you had over Christmas holidays that Legolas sure is fox in tights if ever there was one.  Or maybe it was that one bizarre night when you got super drunk and dialed your crazy ex…went over to his house…had sad pathetic mistake sex and he has since promised to keep his distance only watching you from afar though he defines afar as through your bedroom window and on surveillance cameras that he installed when you went out shopping a few days ago.  Whatever it was, you got it into your head that becoming an Archer was one of your ‘must do’ activities of 2013.  Not to worry though, I’m here to stop this nonsense and save you from yourself.  Before you know it you’ll have spent $300 on a specialty bow and arrow set that will only get used once because when you wake up the next day to take stock of the injuries inflicted you shot your neighbor in the arm while he was out mowing his lawn, forearm bow-string burn, numerous paper cuts from taking down and putting up your target, you basically almost died! you’ll never touch it again.  Plus, paper cuts really hurt, yo.  Use your head.

 

4.  Stop stalking your crush.  Now I know what you’re thinking (huh?).  You’re confused (what?).  You’re unsure (uhhh?).  Am I really advising you to continue stalking your crush??  I sure as fuck am!!  I mean, you’re almost there.  I can practically feel her caving from here.  I’m telling you, it’s working.  If it’s not the excessive telephone calling followed by hangups or the endless texting of What Dooin? that wins her heart, it’ll be the way you regularly drive by her house or respond to everything she ever tweets on twitter (and I mean everything…even the jokes that require no reply).  I’m getting all ooey-gooey just thinking about the romance of it all.  Swoon.  I’ll be eagerly waiting for my invitation to the wedding.  I’ll want to have the chicken not the fish, just sayin’.

 

5.  Find a career that makes you happy.  I mean, sure, in theory this is a great idea.  But can we be realistic for a minute here? What with having to update your skills on your resume and having to take an hour to brainstorm all the possible career paths that might be compatible with your specific skill set like extensive knowledge of She-Ra comics, the ability to eat an entire pot roast in one sitting and an affinity for not wanting to touch coins because they’re just dirty and cold, I mean honestly, you really just don’t have that kind of time.  Plus, if you were to get a job where you were happy, it might lead to having the energy to finally use that gym membership (that you pay heavily for every month), you wouldn’t need to drink constantly and thus you’d probably bankrupt the liquor industry and those people have families too ya know.  I mean Think of the children!!!  Plus what about all the ex-girlfriends/boyfriends that will feel unloved if you were to stop getting almost blackout drunk on weeknights and drexting them gems like whaaaaat r u oing now? and I loooooooooooooooooooooove you and fuck you i dun lov you anyway and my favorite of them all alkdjf duqlen oin;as; me.  So, be responsible, be a good person, and be miserable for the sake of this world.

 

Why Your Restaurant Needs Good Social Media

Some stereotypes are true (in the sense that I have heard them and I embody them, though I’m in no way saying everyone does).  I am a woman.  I am awful at making decisions when it comes to food.  If given the choice on a Friday night about whether to order pizza or Thai (or Greek or Italian or Chinese or Mexican) *skip to four hours later* (or tapas or we could just go to the store and buy a bunch of nibblies and desserts and stuff) *skip to four hours later-again* what was the question?

I’m not an air head.  If anything it’s the exact opposite.  While I loathe LOATHE!!!! to even utter the phrase “over-thinking things” because trust me, North America, nobody here is over-thinking anything, ever, in a way that’s exactly what I’m doing.  If someone tells me, we’re getting pizza –  then I only have to decide one thing – yes or no to pizza (like that’s even a real question).  Yes to pizza, always yes to pizza.  But when I’m given the option of a multitude of gastronomical options I find myself spiralling out of control due to the sheer volume of possibilities.  I’m in delight at the thought of eating a million different things and gripped with the terror that I will make the wrong choice and have wasted those calories on a less than satisfying foodcapade.

Now, what does my inability to make a decision have to do with social media you ask?  Here’s what:

When in doubt (because I’ve been given a million choices), I’ll pick the restaurant that I know.  I’ll pick the resto that tweets funny things, that talks to me when I have questions, that offers specials for social media-ites, that most importantly makes me feel like a star, like they know me or something.

Now I’m not saying if your food is shit and your decor is brutal and your location is an hour’s drive away that a few witty quips on Twitter will save you.  Obviously not, don’t be an idiot.

But there are a ton of good/great restaurants in any major (and even not so major) city and the reason I pick one over the other is, more often than not, because of social media.

So, the next time you hire a social media consultant, PR pro, entertainment aficionado, take a look at their follower count on Twitter because if they can’t entertain people being themselves, they are certainly not going to be able to bring the business to yours.

 

Some of my favorite businesses on Twitter:

 

Follow me on Yelp for my reviews:

You Are Not Entitled to a Fairy Tale Wedding Day

 

[dropcap]I [/dropcap]thought about having a soft lead in, something about how lucky you are to have found someone you want to spend your life with and how wonderful that all is but let’s cut the shit and just get to it.

You are not entitled to a fairy tale wedding.  Ladies, this is not “your” big day.

First off, it doesn’t even make any sense that it would be.  It would make more sense to wear an outrageously expensive dress, force your friends to wear bullshit matching draperies, and create an entire-day-party centered around your privileged ass for say a 30th birthday celebration or some such you centred activity.

But here’s the thing, a wedding (and a marriage), are not about just you.  They’re about committing to a lifetime together, they’re about being in love and thinking to yourself that could spend the next 30-80 years with this person by your side and never even consider acting on your desire to kill them.

Because let me tell you sunshine, they’re going to be there, by your side, in your house, snoring in the bed, spilling popcorn on the couch, telling you jokes that aren’t that funny, presenting you with bodily afflictions that are disgusting, pouring all their worries and sorrows down over your head and hoping they don’t pile up too deep around your feet.  Marriage is a long hard road, kiddo.  And sure, there’s the great stuff too like all the love and happiness and joy-filled-memories that you’ll make but nonetheless, marriage is a tough go (hence the statistics on divorce).

So are you sure you want to start on that journey with a big bill strapped to your back and an empty bank account?  Wouldn’t it be smarter to spend that money on a down-payment for a house?  Paying off your student loan?  Or even spreading it out over the next 10 years so that you and your chosen one can take a vacation once a year in those first ten years (which I assure you, you will need)?  Or perhaps even just keeping a nest egg so that you don’t spend the next 40 years in constant and perpetual fear that you or your spouse will lose their job and you’ll become buried under debt?

But even if I can’t convince you that the money would be better spent elsewhere, allow me to reiterate the big point here (because the money/debt dynamic is just a symptom):  You are not Queen for a Day, you are not entitled to anything.

I don’t know what to tell you princess, but that way of thinking that you are entitled to anything really, is what makes you a big part of what’s wrong with this world.

I don’t know if you know this, but there are children whose entire lives are filled with a collection of single days more miserable than the next.  Days that would break you.  Days that you wouldn’t survive.  And then they die and that’s all they had.  Now I’m not suggesting that you should simply lay down your head and cry for the rest of your life over the misery of others or even that it is your obligation to save the world but it wouldn’t hurt to show a little awareness and humility in your life.

Weddings are not about showcasing how beautiful you are or how lavish a party you can throw for your friends and family.  A wedding is a declaration of commitment in front of witnesses.  That’s it.

I recently read an article by Sean Parker in defense of his elaborate wedding and he (and his wife) definitely have some bullshit entitlement going on.  He presents the case that richies don’t get out of fines etc. just because they’re rich but he misses a key component of the argument which is the fact that richies can of course pay the fines easily and carry on their merry-entitled-way to the wedding of their fantastical dreams.  And while people have a right to spend the money that they’ve “earned”, feeling entitled to do so (and still be beloved by the world) is a whole other level of obliviousness and entitlement.

Do you know why people love Kristen and that guy (adorable sloth meltdowns aside).  One very key reason is the fact that they’re waiting to get married.  Waiting for what you ask?  Waiting for equal rights.  They’re choosing not to get married until gay marriage is legal in every state.  Now THAT’s a dream worth fighting for.

Having your “high fantasy” dream wedding in a Redwood forest though, not so much.  I’m not a proponent of living a life of chosen poverty in order to give all money away to others but there’s a lot to be said for an awareness of the state of this world and being shocked by media backlash over your bullshit entitled richie wedding does not convey said awareness.

Here’s the sum up Bridezilla Princesses (and Groomzilla Princes), and Sean Parkers of the world:  Yes, if you can get your hands on the money you can spend it however you like but don’t be surprised when the world sees you as a blight on humanity.  This is your trade off so make your choice wisely (and while choosing, remember that most people hate weddings).

And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself why there are so many “reality” TV shows like The BachelorBridezillas and Say Yes to the Dress.  Reality TV is used to mock not celebrate.  The people on these shows are a joke, do you really want to be just like them?

 

Do you regret your lavish wedding?  How much did you spend?  What would you do the same, what would you do different?

An Open Letter to Daughters

 

[dropcap]She stands[/dropcap] in a school yard, on a playground, at a bus stop, on the sidewalk, reflected in the wet spots of my face

Your daughter.  Her daughter.  Their daughter.  Our daughters.

This world, is breaking them.

I want to tell her, that she is innocence and potential and full of enough ink to write her message across all the days.  I want her to know she can swaddle herself in cotton candy love; that she doesn’t have to seek it outside; that she is enough, but that if she wants to, that’s just fine too.  Tell her not to hold her breath.  Tell her not to apologize for taking up space in this world.  Tell her that no matter what, in the darkest hours of her darkest days that there is someone who loves her.  Tell her that that someone should be herself.  Tell her to look inside for reassurance and outside to reassure.

I want her to know that her hands are made of glue, and that the world is hers for the taking, that she has the power to put all the pieces back together.  I want you to tell her for me.

Long before she becomes tortuous and entirely adolescent, tell her that life is a series of stages.  Tell her that sexuality is fluid and flexible, tell her that she should think with her brain and care with her heart, tell her that mistakes will happen but that shame should not be a part of her life.

“When you have shame,” you’ll say, “they have all the power.”

Teach your daughters to live without shame and no one will ever control them.

I Am Not Disgusting

Remember:  I am someone’s little sister, someone’s baby girl, someone’s friend, someone’s love.  Please don’t be mean.  My heart breaks the same as yours.

I can show you a picture, paint it on an easel, move your hand across the words in Braille but you’ll never really get it, unless you once tried to talk to someone who thought you were Disgusting. 

It’s a special kind of hurt the moment you find out you’re a sideshow Freak, a detour to chubby town, a vacation gone whale hunting, and you’re swimming for your life from men who want to mount your head on their wall.

You are an endangered species, in a world of bridges and railroad tracks and ceilings with beams not strong enough to hold you, like arms that should cradle you but hang you out to dry and then forget until they look and you’ve blown away.

This post is not in response to this awesome SO BRAVE beautifully written post because that just feels way too antagonistic or in opposition, which is not what this is.  This is an addition.  A plus(size).  An addendum.  So here goes…

When you see a picture of a woman, exposed with the flaws she thinks she hasbut you see none, you stand up and applaud.  She has value.  Her hurt should be taken away.  You think I have no say in how she should live her life.  Who am I to judge.  She has the right to feel beautiful, be beautiful, goddamn it she is beautiful (because honestly, aren’t we all?)

And to be clear, her hurt is in no way less important or worthy than mine.  But, I have to wonder if that same go grrrrl reaction happens when an actual fat person, bares their flaws for you to see.  And though I dream that it does.  I beg for it to be so.  I would give almost anything for that to be true, for this to be a world where you don’t think you have any fucking say over my body.  I have a lifetime of experience that says otherwise.

I’ve never worn a bikini.  Bikini season means nothing to me, though I’ve spent most of life swimming away from whale hunters.  No insult is ever equal when it comes to fat people.  I’m never just a bitch like all you other lucky bitches get to be.  I’m always a fat bitch.  I live in constant fear that teenage boys will spit on me (and I’m thirtyfuckingone).  When I reject a man while online dating (politely), I’m never just a girl who rejected him.  Suddenly I’m a fat bitch that no one wants anyway.

I’m not really going to go into why I’m fat (which I am).  Because the truth is it shouldn’t matter, to you.  This is my body.  I am allowed to eat (which I do).  I am allowed to fuck (which I do).  I am allowed to be happy and not harassed or stared at.  I should be able to workout and not live in fear that you think I’m disgusting.  I should be allowed to just be me, in whatever shape that comes in.

I’m not lazy.  I’m not worthless.  (though even if I was, who are you to judge?).  I have value.  I hold two BA degrees.  I’m currently getting my MA at Concordia in English Literature.  I’m kind to people.  I get choked up on phone calls with my parents because I love them so much.  I want to make the world a better place.  I want to protect young girls whose sexuality is judged and mocked and held hostage.  I want to be the naked tits on the internet that makes it so no girl ever commits suicide after she couldn’t stand being harassed and bullied for amistake.  I want to bear the burdens so other little girls never have to.  I have a family who loves me.  I have friends who love me.  I have people whose hearts break every time you hurt me.  I have no less value because I’m fat.  You don’t get a say in how I deal with my body or my issues.  I spend my days trying to make people laugh for no other reason than the world needs more joy.  MORE FUCKING JOY.  I should be allowed to sit by a pool, any pool, public or otherwise and not have you think that my grotesque form is somehow obstructing your otherwise perfect existence.

And so here I am.  At a summer BBQ.  Unaware of a photo being taken of me.  By a friend.  Who doesn’t see anything other than her friend, the one who makes her laugh and writes “about the most boring shit in the world but in a way that makes it seem sooo interesting”, making a burger (or something lol I don’t really even know what I was doing) on her thighs, on a day when we were all just so fucking happy.

HUGE Thanks to @MmeSurly and her beautiful brave post that has allowed me to be brave and bare my body and heart.

UPDATE:  In my rush to get this post out quickly yesterday, I worry that it feels unfinished, that I never actually said the thing I meant to say which is this:  That I am enough.  You are enough.  Our bodies are our own.  Life is hard enough as it is without having people tell us what we can or can’t do, what we should or shouldn’t show the world, or how much fun and happiness we are allotted.  

That being said, by the absolutely amazing left-me-near-speechless outpouring of love and support and stories from other women and men about emotions and hurt and strength and bravery and desires to be stronger (I could go on but this sentence is turning into a grammatical nightmare of love)…by what this post has inspired you all to say, I know that even without these extra words you somehow understood exactly what I was trying to say.  So thank you, you beautiful brave people.  My heart, it runneth over.

swimsuit