Friday, October 14, 2011

10 Superheroes I'd Bring Home to Mom (or not)

Let's get this out of the way: I'm a geek. I'm also a girl. Sometimes I like to fantasize about men in tights... with superpowers. *squee!*

Now that I've exposed this tiny secret about myself, I might as well just come clean about everything. After years of reading comic books, playing comic book related video games, and watching midnight showings of Marvel and DC comic inspired movies the night they were released in theatres, well, I've thought about what superheroes would make the ideal boyfriend. Day after day, I would spend endless hours daydreaming as I gazed lackadaisically out the window, picturing my inked hunky heroes springing from the page, console, and movie screen, injecting a lot more excitement into my life.

I'm not crazy - every girl does this.... right?

Anywho, after much consideration and years upon years of research (seriously, I came out of my mother's womb wishing I was an elite member of the X-Men) I've finally decided upon which superheroes I would fancy dating had I the opportunity to do so.

Here we go:

1. Superman

How does his hair always seem so perfectly coiffed?!

Superman is comic book history. Without Superman, the first big comic book superhero, we might not have had Spider-Man, Batman, and all the other delicious eye-candy that came next. That being said, Superman is the ultimate pimp. This dude gets away with everything. One minute he's destroying some baddies, and the next he's back at his job at the Daily Planet and no one's the wiser. As long as his glasses are on, no one suspects a thing. Either the entire world is stupid, or he's super awesome. And how hot is a man in glasses? Super hot. Superman makes my list because not only does he somehow manage to pull off the blue and red jumpsuit (the big S in the middle stands for SEXY!) but he can also leap down the street and buy you flowers during his work shift and no one would know. Plus, if you're ever tired of your surroundings, BAM, Superman can fly you to a pub in Ireland or for an uber romantic moonlit stroll down a Parisian street. That's just awesomesauce right there.

2. Wolverine

Jesus Christ. On second thought, this guy is actually pretty terrifying.

I gotta admit, I've always had a thing for beardy, hairy men in plaid shirts and tight jeans - even before I knew what a hipster was. Add some impressively sculpted sideburns, a wicked sense of humour, some bad boy attitude, a mysterious past.... then a dollop of surprising sensitivity on top of all that, and you have a make-the-knees-weak sundae. Sure, the dude is a little on the short side and has a bit of a Napoleon complex, but we all have our faults. Plus, he's Canadian. Love me some Canadian boys. 

3. Cyclops

It's okay that I can't stare into your eyes - just zap that creepy bug on the ceiling for me :)

When you're thinking about the X-Men, you definitely can't forget Cyclops (seriously, everyone, don't forget about him.) Cyclops has the poise and gentlemanly air of a man about town, but he's definitely not a man of leisure. Something tells me his laser beam superpower would come in handy for opening up troublesome pickle jars. Help around the kitchen is always appreciated. 

4. Thor

I could stare at that er, hammer, for hours. <3

The mighty Thor wields a mighty hammer penis. It doesn't take a psychology course on Freud to comprehend the symbolism behind Thor's mighty... hammer. Clearly the dude is packing. To quote Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, "the hammer is my penis." But a mighty penis does not necessarily make a mighty man. Thor is also so built, so ripped, so full of unadulterated adrenaline and unchecked aggression that he makes Captain America look like Miss America. Plus, he speaks like a Shakespearian actor, and he could give hair tips. What else could a lady want?

5. Mr. Fantastic

Just close your eyes and it won't be so freaky.

He's bendy. 'nuff said.

6. The Thing

Just close your eyes and it won't be so freaky.

He's always hard. 'nuff said.

7. Spider-Man

Ultimate source of sticky stuff; if that's what you're into.

Nerdy, sensitive boys like Mr. Parker have always held a place in my heart. Peter is the kind of man who would always bring you flowers, shyly write you love notes even after a six-year relationship, and never forget to thank you after a smoosh beneath the sheets. Even if he stood you up in favour of going to see his aunt, or saving some kittens stuck up in a tree, it would still be easy to forgive him the moment he flashed his self conscious smile and apologized. Sure, you might have to deal with his goopy stringy web stuff hanging all over the place, but who needs glue when you have web goo everywhere? He'd be the ultimate handyman around the house!

8. Scott Pilgrim

"Hey Scott, my ex really broke my heart. Can you turn him into Super Mario coins now?"

Not only does Scott contain that early twenties swagger, but he's just as much rock star as he is superhero star. He's not too timid to throw your evil ex-boyfriends to the ground in a superhero battle, and then write a rockin' garage song about it. Last guy you dated was a dick? No problem! Scott will take care of him for you! Mwauhaha.

9. Green Lantern

Never be scared of the dark again! (I hope you like green.)

To be honest, I think the guy is kind of a tool. At the same time, he has damn good taste in jewellery. If Hal has a giant mystical ring that can conjure up anything his heart desires, can you just imagine the engagement ring YOU would receive?! Plus, I get scared of the dark sometimes and he always has a lantern, so, you know, it all works out in the end. 

10. Tuxedo Mask

OMG! Girly hard-on! 

I had an enormous crush on this Sailor Moon dude all throughout elementary school. He's dark, he's handsome, he always saves the day. You can count on him to always be there for you. Plus, do you wanna know what his super power is? He throws freakin' ROSES at his enemies. Roses!!!!! You can't get any more romantic than that. 

So, there you have it! My top 10 super dudes I'd get with if getting with it was possible. I'm sure you might not agree with some of my choices, but that's just too bad. I'll have them all for myself... in my mind. 

- Jennie

Monday, July 4, 2011

R.I.P Tigger. I love you so much.

Today I lost someone very important to me. I lost a friend. I lost a family member. I lost someone who has seen me grow up, and who has stayed by my side during many momentous occasions in my life. My beloved cat Tigger, who just turned 18 years old on June 23, passed away this afternoon.

I'm going to miss you, friend.

I knew something was wrong the moment I woke up. You see, every morning Tigger wakes me up by opening my bedroom door (yes, he knew how to do this), jumping on my bed and meowing in my ear. It was my own personal feline alarm clock. He wanted food and he wanted it NOW. But, if I didn't get up right at that moment and feed him, he'd be okay with just getting some quality pets, rubs, scratches and snuggles.

This morning I wasn't woken up by a meowing cat. This morning I opened my door and my mom had a sad look on her face. She told me that Tigger didn't go down to eat breakfast this morning (this was very unusual for him, since he loves food and is always first to get fed.) In fact, he hadn't moved much at all and was acting very unlike himself.

I went downstairs and found Tigger lying on the kitchen floor. He tried to get up a few times, but kept wobbling around and falling down. It was extremely painful to watch. I wanted so badly to help him but I didn't know what to do. I felt so useless. After awhile he began to pant quietly. My mom and I tried to stay near him and pet him, but he just wanted to be left alone. He wouldn't even purr when I scratched the sides of his face. I brought him his favourite mouse, but he didn't pay any attention to it. I prayed and prayed that he would get better, but his body began to deteriorate further as the hours passed. Over time he stood up once and urinated on the kitchen floor. We knew then there was nothing more we could do. Tigger had lost control of his body as it began to shut down.

Over the past year Tigger has lost a lot of weight. It had gotten so bad that you could feel his spine and ribs when you petted him. He also became deaf and unable to hear us call his name. He stopped washing himself, resulting in many clumps in his fur. He would urinate around the house, oftentimes not being able to make it to the litter box in time. He even developed a lump on his tail that grew bigger and bigger as the months passed. Tigger began to develop an unquenchable appetite and thirst. No matter how much we fed him or gave him water he'd still want more. We knew he was sick, but because of his age surgery wasn't an option. His heart couldn't take it. We just tried to provide him with a comfortable life. We knew this was coming.

Still, at 2:30pm when my parents picked Tigger up from the kitchen floor and took him away to the vet  to put him down, it felt like I was losing such an integral part of my life. I knew it was the right thing to do, but that decision wasn't easy. I felt so empty and defeated as he left. I still feel empty. I am happy I got to say goodbye, and I am happy that he is no longer in pain. But, my heart broke in half as they carried him out of the house and he meowed one last meow at me. I wanted to help him so bad. I wanted to make him comfortable and free of pain and I wanted him to know that I love him so much and that he means the world to me. I hope he knows that now.

I couldn't bear to make the trip to the vet. I just couldn't see him without life in his eyes. I hope he forgives me.

And now he's gone. My best friend for 18 years.

Being an only child I've always formed very close relationships with my pets. When my first cat Sticky died I was devastated, and this is no different. I know most people won't understand what I'm going through, and might even think I'm overreacting, but losing Tigger is similar to losing a brother for me.

Tigger used to sleep next to me in bed almost every night. If he wasn't on my bed, he'd be outside my door. I'd like to think he was protecting me during the night when he did that.

Tigger loved begging for food during dinner time. When he was allowed "people" food, he loved eating: corn, sour cream and onion crackers, Smartfood popcorn, chinese food chicken, tuna, heck... anything really. But those were his favourites. It was impossible to eat cereal around Tigger, since he would always try to stick his paw right into the bowl. He loved milk so much. I'd sometimes purposefully leave a bit of milk at the bottom of the bowl and let him lick it up - he really enjoyed that.

He came close to catching those squirrels!

Tig also loved laying outside in the backyard soaking up the sun in the grass. He loved watching the birds and chasing the squirrels. He even chased after a bumblebee once and got stung on his paw. It swelled up to the size of a softball. Poor thing... He never went near those bees again. He also enjoyed munching on grass and then coming inside the house and throwing it all up everywhere.

Tigger snoozing in the shade last August

Tigger was extremely social and would sit on any stranger's lap and demand snuggles. He meowed all the time, and was definitely not shy at all. It was hard having a conversation on the phone without him interrupting with all his meows; but I didn't mind. Tigger had a favourite purple mouse that he played with. He would carry that mouse everywhere in his mouth - sometimes even singing with it! One time he left it in my ski boot and I found a nice little surprise in there when I was at the ski hill changing into my equipment. Tigger loved everyone and always wanted to meet and great every person that came into the door. That cat had one hell of a big personality, and I loved him for it.

Tigger loving the attention. 

The house seems so quiet now. It feels so empty without my furry friend.

There's so much more to say about how amazing of a cat Tigger was, but it's hard to type coherently amid all the tears. I've been crying non-stop since he left.

Tigger leaves behind a younger brother, Spook, who is going to miss his older brother very much. Spook always followed Tigger EVERYWHERE and wanted to be involved with whatever Tigger would do, so I am sure he's going to be just as heartbroken as I am over the next while. Spook is already searching all of Tigger's hiding and sleeping spots wondering where his big brother went.

Spook and Tigger... best buds.

I miss you Tigger. I've cried so much today. It kills me that I will never see you again. Well, see you here again, anyway. I'd like to believe you're in heaven with our old cat Sticky right now. I'd like to believe I'll see you again one day. I hope you're having a great time in heaven and that you're warm and comfortable and happy. I hope you have all your favourite foods and I hope you have tons of squirrels and birds to chase. I love you very much. You will be missed each and every day. Today I've lost a friend, but you will forever be in my thoughts, prayers, and heart.

<3 Jennie
"Not the least hard thing to bear when
they go from us, these quiet friends, is
that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives."
- John Galsworthy

"Ask the beasts and they will teach you the beauty of this earth." 
- St. Francis of Assisi

"God's finger touched him, and he slept."
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

<3 you always.

Goodnight, sweet friend.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Memories: My Grade 6 Class Photo

Holy cow! You guys will never guess what I stumbled upon while cleaning out my closet today. It's my grade 6 school picture! I can't believe my mom made me wear such a dorky outfit. Sure, I was in a Catholic school, but that bow is just plain vomit inducing. Yowza. Mom, what were you thinking?!

Oh, and remember how the photographer would always say you look like a certain celebrity to make you smile? It always really hurt my feelings when my friends would get compared to gorgeous women like Cindy Crawford and all the ladies of 90210 while I was compared to Garfield. That doesn't even make sense - I'm not a ginger! :(

Also: I can't believe how much I've changed since grade 6. I mean, sure, everyone was going through their awkward bouts of early puberty (and I clearly was no exception.) My hair is a lot lighter these days and I usually wear glasses now. I even think my face has thinned out quite a bit and I've grown a few inches. I've even quit eating tuna sandwiches every day for lunch. I know how much the smell grossed people out. Phew.

Jennie, Grade 6, Corpus Christi School, Mississauga

PS - I have significantly less hairballs now that I'm grown up. Oprah was right when she said we should all drink 8 glasses of water a day. I find it helps a lot.

Now, let's see YOUR embarrassing class photos from elementary school! I bet none of you are as brave as I am to share mine.

- Jennie

Top 10 Things for Students to do While Waiting in Line for Coffee

I wrote this article for the Sheridan Sun back when I was still a college kid. Ah, I miss those days. But, alas, I loved writing this and I still believe it applies today! I mean, who doesn't get bored as all heck while waiting in line for a hot delicious beverage from Tim Hortons? The Lord (and perhaps Santa Claus) only knows how many medium french vanilla cappuccinos I put back during my University/College years. So, for all you college kids who read my blog (and there must be at least one, am I right?) or for any body who gets as insanely bored as I do while waiting in -any- kind of line, here's some ideas to make your time waiting a little less tedious.

Besides the basic necessities of food, water, shelter and sleep, college students soon discover the importance of coffee for their daily survival. Whether it is to combat hellish early morning classes, the disastrous side effects of all-night partying, or to simply refresh one’s self after pulling an all-nighter, coffee soon becomes a trusted ally for many students. However, attaining this holy grail of sustenance becomes exasperating when one must stand in vast line-ups that seem to never end. In order to pass the time waiting in line for that anticipated first sip of the day, here are 10 amusing activities to partake in:

1. Attempt to start a round of the popular song, “100 bottles of beer on the wall” with the people in line around you. For an additional challenge, change 100 bottles to 1 million and giggle when the Animation, Arts and Design students have difficulty counting past 100.

2. Stare at other people in line with a big grin on your face. Do not look away even if they look at you. Your large, stupid smile will completely freak people out and make them question what really did happen last night.

3. In your loudest voice chant, “the ants go marching one by one hurrah, hurrah” every time the line moves ahead.

4. If you’re a journalism student bring a microphone and begin randomly interviewing people in line for practice. If you’re an interior design student think of ways to improve the ambiance and lighting within Tim Horton’s or Second Cup to enhance the company’s image. If you’re a cosmetology student brainstorm ways to make current employees as sexy as possible. If you are any other student, catch up on homework, slacker!

5. Mime.

6. Compare and contrast the characters of James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard. Vehemently argue that one is actually Hamlet, while the other is King Lear. Proceed into a long rant claiming that Worf is, in actuality, Ophelia.

7. Conjure up a conversation with the nearest history buff and begin referring to all prominent historical figures by nicknames. For instance, rename George Washington, “Georgie” and Ben Franklin, “Sparky.”

8. Locate a student enrolled in Art History and discuss why Michelangelo got to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle while Van Gogh didn’t. For argument’s sake, consider whether Van Gogh would have used nunchucks or a pair of katanas.

9. Randomly blow in people's hair, and when they turn around, look away (preferably giving the person next to you a strange look.)

10. Draw a box on the ground with chalk, and tell everyone that this is your personal space. Do this every time the line moves up. This will really intrigue any students interested in psychology.

If you follow these entertaining and time-consuming activities, that cherished coffee will be yours in no time at all (if you haven’t already been escorted away by campus police.) Enjoy!

- Jennie

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm SO Sorry, Blogger Peeps!

It's been forever since I last posted on my blog, and for that I am truly and utterly sorry. Seriously, just ask my cat - he knows how sorry I am.

But in all seriousness, I DO promise to post something soonish. I've been hella busy these last couple of months, but that's really no excuse. The world didn't end, my brain still works at it's maximum capacity, and I really should be using my spare time to write (and not pwn the n00bs in Halo Reach.) Yes, pwning the n00bs is rather fun, but where does that get me in life? No where! Tea bagging (can a girl physically do that?) a 12 year-old child does not make me awesome. Writing blog posts, on the other hand, makes me awesomesauce.

So, on that note, I will continue to try to be awesome and post awesome things in here. Look! I'll even start by recording an apology that demonstrates how sorry I am:

Sorry for the lack of Blog Posts! by neonkiss

I hope you can all forgive me. And if not, here's my tumblr account with some of my favourite pictures that might make you giggle: LOLLERSKATES!

- Jennie

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Sexiest Man on TV: Captain Jean-Luc Picard

The other day a female friend of mine asked me a rather thought-provoking question: "Who is the sexiest man on television?" While this question might produce some hesitation and pondering among others, I immediately knew my answer. Without hesitation I blurted out, "Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise." I might also have added, "make it so" (Picard's iconic catch phrase.) My female friend stared at me, wide-eyed and confused. So let me explain.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a Star Trek character portrayed by Patrick StewartHe appears in the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature films, Star Trek GenerationsStar Trek: First ContactStar Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis. He also made an appearance in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Picard is depicted as deeply moral, highly logical, and cerebral. He is a master of diplomacy and debate who resolves seemingly intractable issues between multiple parties. Though such resolutions are usually peaceful, Picard is also shown using his remarkable tactical skills in situations when it is required. 

Okay, so even with this description you still might be a tad confused as to why I label this man as the sexiest on television. The thing is, I practically grew up raised on Star Trek: The Next Generation. My mother developed a Trek habit while I was in utero, watching Shatner and Nimoy in late-night syndication while I bounced around her insomniac belly. And she viewed TNG as a virtuous bit of television, whose plots and philosophical think-pieces were the perfect antidote to the mindless timesuck of soap operas. So instead of love triangles and sleazy affairs, I spent my elementary school years with aspirant androids and Wesley Crusher. My cousin also adored anything sci-fi related, so many a dinner were spent watching Picard boldly commandeer his ship around the treacherous universe. 

Clearly, I was captivated by this powerful man at a very young age. And my fascination of him continued throughout my youth. But this wasn't enough to convince my friend that Jean-Luc Piccard is the sexiest man alive. To further my point, I made a list:
  • Picard has a fondness for detective stories, Shakespeare, and horseback riding.  Forsooth! All these activities combined make him awesome.
  • He is frequently shown drinking Earl Grey tea and issuing his famous taglines, "Engage" (when going to warp) and, "Make it so" (when giving an order). Seriously now, who else will drink Earl Grey tea and actually LIKE it? Who else will issue forth such commanding orders with as much confident authority as him? No one, that's who. 
  • Jean-Luc was born in La Barre, France, which means he is fluent in French. And I'm not talking about the butchered Quebec French where everything is Bonhomme de Neige and poutine, I'm talking about that sexy Parisian language of love and wine. Yeah, he has that.
  • Despite his often serious attitude, Picard doesn't mind acting playful and silly from time to time. 


  • He is bald, and he doesn't give a shit. Sure, Picard has lost his hair, but the fact that he couldn't care less makes him insanely attractive. Confidence is key, gentlemen! 
  • Jean-Luc Picard is so cool, he doesn’t even have to fly his own ship. He has bitches for that. But if he wanted to, he could control the entire USS Enterprise on his own - without having to stop and ask for directions. ;)
  • Q? Pfft. That's just another letter in the alphabet for Picard. 
  • Jean-Luc Picard doesn’t scream like a girl when he’s getting tortured. In fact, when faced against the odds, he'll continue to insist that there are "four lights." Picard will certainly never crumble under pressure. 

  • Picard fires both photon torpedoes AND phasers at the same time while in battle. He always hits his target. There is nothing sexier than a man with good aim!
  • Picard was responsible for Beverly Crusher's husband dying, berated her son constantly in her presence, yet still managed to make her fall for him. No one else could get away with some of the shit he has pulled.
  • Picard gets along with the aliens aboard his ship. While sometimes getting into short squabbles with the Borg, Picard ultimately accepts and rejoices in the nationalities of others. (Heck, he even has Whoopi Goldberg working in his bar!) 
  • Picard has never mutinied or had his crew mutiny against him. His subordinates respect him, and he has earned that respect. 
  • Jean-Luc knows how to carry a tune - he has played on hundreds of Federation worlds. His heavenly melodies transcend the great barriers of race, culture, and species! 

  • Picard only becomes scruffy looking after living a lifetime in an alternate universe created by an extinct civilization. It is obvious he takes the time to care about his personal hygiene. 
  • He even looks good in a spandex, one-piece jumpsuit. Lemme tell you, not many men can pull THAT look off! 
  • Even when incredibly upset, Picard manages to look like a cute, sleeping kitten. 
  • Picard is incredibly intelligent and fluent in many languages - even becoming the first freshmen to win the Academy marathon. 
  • Jean-Luc Picard was never the third wheel in an incestuous love triangle. When a woman is with Picard, he focuses on her and her alone. *swoon*
  • Even while confronted with countless stressful situations, Picard still takes the time to have a laugh and break out into a random song and dance routine.

So, there you have it. Jean-Luc Picard epitomizes a sexy, confident, cultured man in many different ways. And, well, even if I haven't convinced my female friend (or my awesome blogger readers) yet, I'll take him all for myself, thanks ;)

I can feel your eyes on me, Captain ;) ;) ;)
- Jennie

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Celebrate International Women's Day!

Not only is today one of my favourite days of the year (Pancake Tuesday - an excuse to indulge in stack upon stack of maple syrup covered goodness), more importantly, it's also International Women's Day! What makes this year's International Women's Day extra special is that it is the 100th anniversary of this significant movement.

For those of you who aren't familiar with IWD, annually on March 8, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the globe ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.

This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage.

The idea of an International Women's Day first arose at the turn of the century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies. Following is a brief chronology of the most important events:

In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day was observed across the United States on February 28th. Women continued to celebrate it on the last Sunday of that month through to 1913.

The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women's Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women's rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament.

As a result of the decision at Copenhagen the previous year, International Women's Day was marked for the first time (March 19th) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded the right to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job. Less than a week later, on March 25th, the tragic Triangle Fire in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working girls, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This event had a significant impact on labour legislation in the United States, and the working conditions leading up to the disaster were invoked during subsequent observances of International Women's Day.

As part of the peace movement brewing on the eve of World War I, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around March 8th of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with their sisters.


With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war, Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February to strike for "bread and peace." Political leaders opposed the timing of the strike, but the women went on anyway. The rest is history: Four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. That historic Sunday fell on February 23rd on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia, but on March 8th on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere.

Since those early years, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point for coordinated efforts to demand women's rights and participation in the political and economic process. Increasingly, International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women's rights.

Great improvements in women's rights have been made over the years. We now have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, and women can work and have a family. Women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

So, today, while you're munching on your hearty stack of pancakes and celebrating in any other Mardi Gras activities, also reflect on the wonderful women in your lives that have made an impact on you. Celebrate their victories and thank them for the incredible presence they have made in this world.

- Jennie

PS - To learn more about International Women's Day, as well as any events that may be taking place in your area, click here

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mean Girls and Mean Women

What is it about certain members of the female sex that make them act in extremely catty, cliquey and condescending ways? As a 27-year-old adult woman I've encountered my fair share of spiteful females. You know the type I'm talking about - the kinds of girls the film, "Mean Girls" captured so perfectly. Tina Fey was spot on when she portrayed this upper echelon of female popularity embodied by designer purses, chemically altered appearances, and copious amounts of pink. What astounds me though, is that, even today, years out of high school, I still come across the same types of women.

I'll preface this rant by stating that I have never been the popular girl. I was never in a "clique." I was the nerdy girl in high school that sat at the front of the class and got straight As. I joined geeky after school clubs like yearbook and the banner crew (yes, we made banners for school events... why not shoot my shriveling social status in the head now?) I rather talk about boyish things like Pokemon and Ninja Turtles than the proper way to pluck my eyebrows or paint my nails. I was active in sports (playing softball in the summer and skiing in the winter.) So. Yeah. I didn't really belong anywhere. I'll admit that I spent many lunch periods in grade 9 eating my beloved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the bathroom stall by myself. 

It was the same in University. Sure, I had plenty of friends, but eventually I'd notice these "friends" would all start going out without me. Sometimes they would even make the rudest comments, straight to my face. Now, I've never been a confrontational person; I'm still not. But that doesn't mean I didn't notice when girls were being disrespectful to me. It hurt just the same, but I always tried to put a on brave face and "laugh it off." Of course I noticed when they were gossiping about me in the corner and laughing my way. Of course I noticed when they wanted to change seats with someone so they weren't sitting next to me. Of course I noticed when they blatantly talked about a bridal shower or a birthday party that I wasn't invited to in front of me. I'm not stupid, and I don't know why they acted like I was.

Fast forward to this year. It stings that I'm still being confronted with "mean girls" in my life. Women I thought were my friends suddenly stop inviting me out altogether, for no apparent reason. Women I try to get along with delete me off their Facebook with no explanation. Heck, women I've been roommates with for years suddenly seem to forget about all the time we spent together. I guess if one female in the group dislikes me, all of a sudden they all must despise me. It sucks, and it hurts.

So why do girls do this? Why do women, with their more immature school days behind them, still form hurtful cliques? It saddens me that as a gender we aren't more accepting and supportive of each other. What good does it do to ostracize another female? What good does it do to make a girl feel unwanted or not "good enough?" Even as adults, many women still revel in their execution of the perfect lunchroom snub or the art of vicious gossiping. I'm sorry to say, but based on my experiences, bullying doesn't seem to stop out of high school - particularly with females. In a society where women have to struggle enough to compete with men, why do so many females insist on needlessly competing with each other? It makes no sense to me.
How many of you have felt this way, even as adults?

With that being said, I have to admit that I have some incredible female friends in my life that always try to include me in social events and never make me feel like I am any less of a person than they are. I love these women for that, and it makes me have a little bit more faith in my gender. These "awesome girls" are the antithesis of the "mean girls." They are strong, confident, mature women, who realize that there is no point wasting energy being catty, cliquey, or condescending towards others. I love these women and I strive to be more like them. If I ever have a daughter, it will be my main goal to raise her to be a strong, confident, "awesome" girl.

I wrote this post for two reasons. Firstly, I'll admit that I just wanted to be selfish and rant about a topic that has been nagging at me for the last little while. Secondly, I want any of the "mean girls" out there to realize that their actions are hurtful, and that it's much more rewarding being nice to a fellow female than being mean. We have a lot more in common than you think.

- Jennie

Monday, February 21, 2011

Jenn Pwns You in Halo Reach

So, yeah, I've claimed on this blog before that I enjoy video games. A lot. More than most people. But you want proof, yes? Of course you do! So, I present to you a short video compilation of some of my more awesome moments playing Halo Reach, accompanied to the tune, "Until the End" by Breaking Benjamin. Hope you enjoy! I know I had a blast playing round after round of Matchmaking in Halo (I really need to get a life, don't I?) 

PS - How awesome is my pink and purple spartan armour that spews forth tiny hearts with wings? Oh, I'm lame. I know :-P

- Jennie

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's Platypus Time!

While checking my Blogger stats recently, I noticed that a lot of people who stumble upon my blog come here looking for information about the lovely platypus. Well that and Disney porn. What the heck is up with that, fellow readers? There is no Disney porn here, so stop typing that into your search engine! :-P At the same time, I realized that my readers who come here expecting to find platypus information also surf away empty handed. Well, not anymore! This post is dedicated to everything you should, and need, to know about my favourite animal, the platypus.

The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

The shy platypus is found in eastern Australia and Tasmania. They live beside freshwater rivers or lakes, and create burrows for shelter and protection. They are active mainly at nighttime hours, and use their webbed feet for swimming. While swimming, the platypus keeps its eyes shut. They swim underwater for two minutes, before returning to the surface for oxygen. However, they can stay underwater for up to ten minutes (but due to their natural buoyancy, they need to be underneath another object to do so.)

The platypus has a wooly furred coat and range from 30cm to 45cms in length (the tail being approximately 10 to 15 cms.) The wooly furred coat has three different layers. The first layer keeps the animal warm, by trapping air. The second layer provides an insulating coat for Mr. or Mrs. Platypus. Lastly, the third layer of long flat hairs detects objects close by. These goofy looking creatures weigh on average between 1 to 2.4 kilograms and have an average life-span of 12 years. However, this lifespan may be shortly diminished, as the platypuses biggest threats include: snakes, goannas, rats and foxes. Another big threat to the platypus is man, via waterway pollution or land clearing.

They are smaller than you think!

Platypuses feed on insect larvae, worms or other freshwater insects. They do so mainly at night, by the use of their bill. They turn up mud on the bottom of the lake or river, and with the help of their electroreceptors located on the bill, find many freshwater insects. They store their findings in special pouches behind their bill, and are consumed upon returning to the surface.

Amazing Fact: Platypuses can consume their own body weight in food in a 24 hour period! Om om nom indeed!

Male platypus are larger than their female counterparts. They reproduce by mating (which occurs once a year, between June - October.) The female lays between two - four eggs and incubates these for a two week period. When a young platypus is born, they feed from milk from the mother. The mother secretes this milk from large glands under the skin. 

A baby platypus is not called a puggle, which seems to be a common misconception. There is no official name for a baby platypus, but a common suggested name is "platypup." Aww. :)

Two baby platypuses. Did I just hear a collective, "aww" ? :)

If you thought this was a cute and cuddly Australian animal, well, you're only half correct. The male platypi have a hollow spur about 15 milimetres in length on the inside of both hind legs. This in turn is connected to a venom gland that the platypus uses to defend itself against predators. Yowch! These animals would definitely not make good pets and should always be handled with great care. 

Since only the male platypus has this venomous spur, and the gland peaks during mating season, many suggest it is normally used in aggressive encounters between other male platypus.

Amazing Fact: The male platypus has venom strong enough to can kill a small dog, or cause excruciating pain among humans.

For a visual of this cute, yet deadly, creature, view the following National Geographic video below: 

Also, for a look at the evolution of the platypus, check out this video here: 

I hope you guys and gals have learned a bit more about what I believe is the coolest animal in existence! For more info, click here! 

- Jennie