Breaking: Vagina Wars

Breaking: Vagina Wars

Breaking: The War on Vaginas

Cheetolini inspires legions to attempt control of baby cannons everywhere

Human rights, meet Agent Orange

On January 21st, 2017 Captain Diaperpants was inaugurated as Presidential Apprentice following which the internet – and our dear planet – has erupted in a giant ball of fire.

We have a team of neo-fascists at the helm of America doing whatever they damned please with no regards for the law.

Habanero Hitler and his Troop of Trifling Troglodytes are convinced we have no need for such things as the EPA, free speech, and equal rights for all.

Cheeto Jesus flew in on Hair Force One and wants you to believe real news is fake and his words are alternate facts lies.

Hurricane Donald has hit the land of the free and though his enthusiasm seems to be waning he’s inflicting more damage than we ever thought possible in a mere TWO WEEKS ONE MONTH in office.

And so I cry

I haven’t cried in months but tonight… Tonight I cried.

I cried because the reign of Hair Hitler is one giant trigger and I can’t not cry anymore.

I cried because Texas lawmakers want to charge women and providers with murder because “jail time for abortions would force women to be more personally responsible for their sexual behavior”.

I’m plenty responsible for * my own * sexual behavior!  Mkay?  Or shall I draw you a picture?

I cried because Oklahoma courts ruled oral sex is not rape if the woman is too intoxicated to consent, regardless of DNA evidence.

I raged because another Oklahoma law maker is trying to make it illegal for abortions to be performed on a “host” without the written informed consent of the fetus’ father.

Rick Santorum has argued that sexual assault victims should “accept this horribly created” pregnancy because it is “nevertheless a gift in a very broken way” and that, when it comes down to it, a victim just has “to make the best out of a bad situation.”  That post-rape pregnancies are God’s way of saying, ‘I understand your pain and I bless you with this child to comfort you in your life ahead.

Apparently that’s “a better and mentally healthier perspective than aborting the child”.

And this is just a sampling of the love muffin wars that have dominated our news feeds.

Can you guess what I did next?

I got angry

Global warming is a real problem but Tangerine Voldemort would rather trump the law, signing a “Muslim Ban” executive order.

I got angry because instead of worrying about air pollution, drinking water, and guns PEEOTUS is at war with VAGINAS.

The only garden the Orange Asshat is interested in saving is of the Lady variety.  And by ‘saving’ I mean controlling.

Enough?

Are we ready to say enough is enough? Have we not fought hard enough?

Checking your privilege

We have fought.  We have marched.  We’ve created change to allow everyone the civil rights they deserve.

As women we have fought for the right to vote, the right to be equals, the right to choose what happens to our bodies.  We persisted for the rights of all women, regardless of race or religion.

Same-sex marriages are now legally recognized and parents aren’t forced to adopt their own children.  Trans men & women can use whichever washroom they see fit without having to prove their gender to the pee-pee police.  * Edited to add: Actually, never mind.  I swear this article becomes more and more irrelevant by the day as new executive orders and repeals creep up.

We are here because we fought and I’ll be damned if I’ll sit back and watch democracy, decency, and humanity roll backwards.

I am a proud Franco-Ontarian.  French Canadians fought for the right to go to school in French or in English, for the right to be served in the official language of our choice.

When they tried to close the only French-teaching hospital west of Quebec we fought to not only save the hospital but also to protect minority rights for all Canadians.

Humanity must move forward

We * are * privileged, and we haven’t fought the good fight for this long to let people like Trumpelstiltskin come in and steal it from us.

Instead we must commit.

Commit to using this privilege to effect positive change.

Doesn’t everyone deserve to know this privilege?

This stops now, or Darth Hater will have more than just angry pussies to worry about.

Speak up.  Speak out.  Resist.

Do not conform and assimilate.  Do not ignore the silencing of those whose voices can’t be heard.

When history lessons will teach of the Big Cheeto 45th president and how he was taken down by Teen Vogue and GQ, how the revolution was led by park rangers and scientists…  When dissertations are written on this topic, how will you relive the past?

For all those times you’ve said “if I were alive when that happened I would have done…”  This is it.  This is your time, your chance.

It’s time to stand on the right side of history and fight for all we’ve fought for.

Get it together Humanity.

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Context Travel in Montreal

Context Travel in Montreal

Montreal Tours for the Intellectually Curious Traveler

Context Travel
Explore MontrealExplore Context Travel

For the love of history

I’m proud of my roots – both from my Native and French ancestors.  I feel very strongly about teaching our history to my kids and took the opportunity to go on a private tour with a docent from Context Travel in Montreal.

This wasn’t exactly throwing me into ‘cool mom’ territory but save for one whispered comment from Annabelle (“We get it, it’s a wall.  Is he gonna finish talking soon so we can keep going?” bhahahahhaha) the kids had a great time.

A few stops in shaded parks, an exploration of the local Starbucks for some cold drinks, and great discussions about history, French literature, and more.

If you love history, if you thrive on knowing the stories behind hidden gems, I recommend you book a tour with Context Travel.  Serving close to 40 cities world-wide there’s a great chance they’re in your next destination.

Private or group tours?

If you’re budget conscious or otherwise generally well-abled the group tours (maximum 6 people) are a great choice.

If you are traveling with special needs (wheelchair, stroller, etc), kids under 12, or you wish to make some modifications to the tour, I strongly suggest booking a private tour.

Being able to enjoy the full tour – e.g. if your child has to pee you’re not running to catch up with the group after – without missing anything or feeling like you need to be accommodated is a huge bonus.  I’ve traveled with my mom, who’s in a wheelchair.  I’ve traveled with kids.  I’ve traveled on my own and with friends.

By far my best experiences when traveling with my family were those where I took the seemingly indulgent options.  Ease of mind and minimal stress are priceless.  Do yourself a favor, and put yourself in a position to enjoy every magical moment of your vacation.

L’École des Hautes études commerciales

Le Vieux Montreal was known as the Latin district – generally, people in this area studied Latin.  This school, which knew some controversy, was the first to offer adult night classes in Canada.

Old Meets New

From Square Viger to classic row houses, l’École des Hautes études commerciales and Maison Jodoin to modern condos. Old and new marries to give you a glimpse of lifetimes long ago lived with the conveniences of contemporary urban living.

context travel in montreal
context travel in montreal maison jodoin
context travel in montreal
context travel in montreal

Our Docent was Amazing

As a single parent with 3 kids in different age groups, I thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

Daniel (Epstein) was fantastic at juggling the short attention span of the the younger kids while feeding the oldest with all the history she could absorb.

Notes from a 5th grader

I loved learning about how houses were built a certain way and why.  Daniel was a lot of fun too, definitely not boring.  The stories were neat, too.

Jasmine, 10 yrs old

context travel in montreal
context travel in montreal
context travel in montreal

Did You Know?

The Molson Brewery in Old Montreal is not only the oldest brewery in North-America, producing fine ales since 1786.  John Molson’s influence brought us the Montreal General Hospital, Canada’s first railway construction, and more.

context travel in montreal molson
context travel in montreal
context travel in montreal

“We still got to play”

I loved that the man was teaching us cool things, but I also loved that we got to stop in different parks to play while the adults talked.

Annabelle, 6 yrs old

context travel in montreal

What will you discover?

Where will your next adventure take you?  Take a leap and try #DeepTravel for an unforgettable experience.

Discover Context Travel in Montreal or one of the many cities they serve worldwide!

context travel in montreal

Traveling to Key West – An Insider’s Look & Pro Travel Tips

Traveling to Key West – An Insider’s Look & Pro Travel Tips

Welcome to Key West

Ann & I were in Florida for TBEX and decided to knock an item off our bucket list while we were there.

Driving down hwy 1, crossing the 7 mile bridge, was like falling down a rabbit hole and finding a mysterious and wonderful secret world. Time… doesn’t * exist * on the island.  It appears that it slows to a halt right after that bridge, making the lower keys the ideal place for a truly relaxing getaway.

The only time that seems to exist is the scheduled departure for your sunset cruise.  Just saying.  But don’t worry, it comes back around tomorrow night.  Meanwhile, head to the boardwalk and take in the sights.  Every night is a celebration and the sunsets are spectacular regardless where you’re standing.

The first thing you’ll want to do as you step out of the car is turn your face to the sun… soak up some therapeutic rays, breath in the smell of the salt in the air, and listen to the waves crashing against the shore.

That’s the island’s song and it may just seduce you.

It certainly worked on me.  So well, in fact, that I’ve been back from Key West for 4 months now and I still can’t write about it.  Writer’s block.  It’s never convenient.

I found a piece of myself on that island, a piece that’s made it hard for me to put pen to paper. I’m finally able to share some of the more memorable moments of our trip and my tips for making the most of your visit to Key West.  You won’t find these in guide books, so stick around.

Size Matters

The island is bigger than it appears and if you’re not careful you’ll end up in the most gorgeous hotel by the ocean a quarter mile from everything else.

This Canadian girl managed to screw up the conversion.

Key West The Inn at Key West

Going the Distance

When planning your trip to the keys remember – Location, Location, location.  ‘Waterfront’ or  ‘Ocean front’ is not synonymous with ‘close to the action’.

We stayed at the gorgeous ocean front Inn at Key West without realizing 1/4 mile was a 15 minute cab ride downtown.  Our cab fares averaged the same amount for a daily rental car.  Best to do the math before you leave home.

sebago key west

Shopping

Mallory square is a great place to find unique items, official Conch Republic souvenirs, and gorgeous jewelry. On Duval st you’ll be able to find fashions of all kind… for all kinds of bodies.

Explore

Once you’re done feeling sorry for yourself ‘cause you can’t have this year round you should head to Duval St and Mallory Square where you can shop, dine, and stroll to your heart’s content.

Mallory square is a great place to find unique items, official Conch Republic souvenirs, and gorgeous jewelry. On Duval st you’ll be able to find fashions of all kind… for all kinds of bodies.

conch republic key west
mallory square key west street food
conch republic key west

Pro Tip

If you love steak as much as I do and you either don’t like the high price tag or the huge portions order a steak salad or a flank steak appetizer. It’s served BESIDE the salad, not on it, and the portion is perfect.

Add a side of steam veggies or mashed potatoes and you’re eating like a king without mortgaging your kids.

Key West food

Missed the Sunset Tour?

You now have the perfect excuse to eat at some fabulous restaurants. Many have ‘happy hour’ specials when drinks and apps are ½ price. Can you say… Yum?

Key West sunset tours

So. Much. Fun.

My favorite part of the day is was parasailing.  I’m afraid of heights but when that parachute lets go and the rope unravels all you feel is freedom.

It’s like floating through the air on a cloud.  I was so comfortable I would have stayed up there all day if I could.

Key West Sebago Watersports
Key West Sebago Watersports
Key West Sebago Watersports

Forgotten Contact Lenses

We were brought out to the coral reef to snorkel and I chose to dive in blind for fear of my glasses ending up in the ocean. I have no idea what the reef looks like, I couldn’t see jack-sqwat, but I was told it was gorgeous.

Key West Sebago Watersports

Wearing Glasses?

Don’t let that stop you!

I was hell bent on parasailing so I maguyvered some holders to make sure I got the best view from the top.

Soon everyone was making holders with yellow duct tape.

The captain said it best – it takes a Canadian to come up with the best ideas. 

Undead to Unclothed

Our trip coincided with Fantasy Fest think… Mardi Gras on crack.

Upon our arrival on the island we were greeted by 10 thousand zombies and 2 police officers 400 metres from the airport entrance.  Needless to say I called budget and told them the zombie apocalypse was right outside their door and we would be late returning our rental car.

Never in a million years have I imagined the words ‘If there weren’t so many zombies around I wouldn’t feel as safe’ would escape my mouth.

Flip-Flops & Flooded Streets

Some things can’t be unseen. A fella with nothing but red glitter paint on his crotch. A very old couple baring all save the world’s largest spray painted bush. 

Just don’t look down, mkay? You’re welcome.

Key West fantasy fest 2015

Got Wet Feet?

High Tide. Full Moon. Flooded streets.

Forget looking down to see if what you just stepped in is water or a gross mix of something else.

Looking down means you have to look back up and you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a full-frontal.

The George Clooneys of the island must have stayed home all kinds of bodies were on display.

Key West fantasy fest 2015

Your Flight Awaits

Key West is truly a magical place and I can’t wait to go back! I hope you’ve enjoyed the video (missed it? At top of page ;)) and the pictures. Armed with the best Key West travel tips you won’t find elsewhere, start planning your dream adventure. You deserve it!

context travel in montreal
key west sunset gorgeous

Explore Key West

Sunset Ceremonies - Daily

Every night crowds gather at the pier for the Sunset Celebration, a nightly arts festival at Mallory Square.

Mermaids playing the yukelele, sword swallowers telling tall tales and fresh-made-right-in-front of you guacamole are just a few of the highlights well after the sun bids farewell.

Conch Republic Independence Celebration

With events ranging from wacky bed races, to a lighthearted sea battle featuring tall ships, the Conch Republic Independence Celebration is a 10-day birthday party showcasing the independent and eccentric spirit that characterizes Key West.  The event is held every year in April.

What exactly * is * the Conch Republic?  Read here for more information!  I was fascinated by this little piece of history and invite you to learn more.

Fantasy Fest

Marketing geniuses decided October needed a party to keep businesses afloat during the slowest season of the year.

Fantasy Fest is a 10-day party in paradise for grown-ups, held annually in October.  Fun-loving revelers from around the globe bring their creativity and imaginations as they descend upon Key West each year in October for 10 days filled with costuming, parades, libations, and excitement!

Galleries

Key West is rich in culture.  Tour some of the many local art galleries to experience Key West arts.

Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

The home of Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway, where he wrote many of his most notable works, is now a museum featuring some of Hemingway’s original furniture as well as artwork and his wife’s chandelier collection.

The grounds also host the descendants of Hemingway’s cats and beautiful gardens filled with Angel’s Trumpet, Hibiscus and Gardenias.

Bike (and more!) rentals

Rent a bike and explore the island on your time.

This budget-friendly option means you can reach all of the attractions in Old Town within five to ten minutes.  A great way to explore the island!  You can also rent motorcycles and Jeeps.

Free (ish) Things to do in Key West

Key West is a little piece of paradise that doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

Visiting Key West on a budget is a piece of cake, or Key lime pie. Check it out!

Things to do - Kids

From a museum featuring shipwreck salvage to one of the oldest marine mammal facilities in the world, Key West is a kid-friendly vacation destination that is sure to create memories for the entire family.

So Much to See

None of the locals are locals, and as Ms Beth (one of our Sebago captains and all around awesome woman) would say people just fall in love and come back because they can’t imagine living anywhere else.  I can believe it!

They weren’t kidding when they said #FLKeys had the best sunset in the world @visitflorida #lovefl Click To Tweet.

They weren’t kidding when they said it was the best sunset in the world.

At the table next to us at the restaurant was a woman wearing nothing but a grass skirt and artful body paint.  Men were wearing what can only be described as leather nutsacks on a string and group theme costumes were all the rage.

Never mind shilling out beads for a flash – Body paint is the fabric of choice during these festivities.  I’ve never seen so many Nekkid people at once before.

The F Word – My thoughts on feminism

The F Word – My thoughts on feminism

#thefword video contest banner

#TheFWord - Feminism

Feminism, equity, and the intersection of perspective and reality

I’ve had writer’s block since I came back from Key West in October, but I’m working on a great video to show you my trip highlights.

Meanwhile, SheKnows Media along with the Ms Foundation put out a call for submission for their #TheFWord contest.  The winner gets $4000 CASH (USD!!! lol) and a trip to NYC valued at $1000. 

It appears  I had some thoughts on feminism and have been working tirelessly to create a masterpiece worthy of your time.

In order to create this video, I studied, acquired, and mastered several skills and new software.

I’ve learned whiteboard animation, I’ve successfully created several projects with Adobe After Effects, I improved my Premiere Pro skills, dug deep for creative wisdom and reached out to my community when I needed volunteers. 

The 18 year old me would have said I feel ‘all full of madz skillz’ right now.  And I do.

This project has left me emotionally drained so I’ll just put the video here for you to watch 🙂

Feel free to share it on YouTube and don’t forget public voting starts on March 21st.

Judges: Use the link below the embedded video to download an HD version of my submission.

For my daughters… may you always stay true to yourselves xox

Judges, Click Here to Download the HD Video

Start Now

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Angelina Jolie, The Chosen One, and Adventures in the Loo

Angelina Jolie, The Chosen One, and Adventures in the Loo

Angelina Jolie, The Chosen One, and Adventures in the Loo

I’ve adopted so many bathroom stalls in my lifetime I’m like the Angelina Jolie of public restrooms.  I’m sure I can manage to look hot and wholesome in one fell swoop, and apart from the height difference we’re practically twins right? ….right? So maybe I have a bit more cellulite than she does, and maybe the boobage isn’t quite so perky.

BUT!  She has big lips… I have big lips.  She has luscious long locks… I have frizzy, curly, brown ones that I can totally rock out if I tried.  She’s been known to carry her ex’s blood around her neck and I’m – well – I’ve always been just a little bit weird.  Somehow we both managed to get laid and even landed husbands!  So we’re totally twins… but I digress.

Selection Selection 

Going into a new restroom is like speed-dating for toilets, creating a list of maybes, possiblys, hell-nos, and a few good ones. The Chosen One will be clean, well-stocked, preferably near the back end of the restroom, and bonus points if the handicap stall fits the bill (if only for the extra breathing room). Sinks get the same once-over.

Public restrooms = speed-dating for toilets: maybes, possiblys, hell-nos, and a few good ones Click To Tweet

And just like that, I’ve added another notch on the restroom belt.

Booty Call?

pink-hair-tattoo-woman-sitting-on-toiletEvery school, every restaurant, every hotel – heck even the darn Walmart has a nature call favorite; a ‘one-minute-stand’ if you will.  Like a drunk-dialed booty call I gravitate to the same stall every.  single.  time I use this restroom.  If said stall is occupied I end up leaving with naught but a modicum of dignity, having called on a sub-par ‘C-List’ stall. 

The restroom by the high school cafeteria was 1st stall; in the history hallway … 3rd one in.  The mall – last one at the end; same for train station and Walmart.  Middle stall at Lonestar.  Casino – 2nd on the right or last on the left. This last conference?  3rd from the end.  I could go on but it might get a little personal – so I’ll spare you.  You’re welcome.

Mono-Mono?

She collects babies like they’re the newest WebKinz;  I collect porcelain bassins not unlike a gaggle of drunk sorority sisters.  A map depicting her humanitarian efforts would make a great ‘Where In The World is Carmen San Diego’  episode, while searching for blackheads on the landscape of my enlarged pores is like a Where’s Waldo gone bad.

See?  Practically twins.  We may as well have been born holding hands.

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