Boobs For Sale

So when I was at the gym two weeks ago, I was walking – blurry-eyed – through the women’s changeroom, when not one, but THREE posters taped up by the washroom stalls woke me up a bit.

The enormous posters were advertising “quickie” breast enhancement surgery – you know, in for surgery one day, ready for the beach by the week’s end … complete with “before” and “after” photos.

By the time I returned to the gym last week, they were gone. Perhaps someone complained. Or maybe they were a “limited time only” ad blitz. I don’t really know. But it’s sadly not the first time I’ve seen something like that.

Also recently, while waiting at the physiotherapy clinic I attend for the chiropractor, I was leafing through a magazine to kill some time … and noticed that the bulk of its contents had to do with cosmetic surgical procedures of one type or another.

Both instances make me wonder: Why would a place that’s supposed to promote healthy living through exercise (and, presumably, good nutrition – although you sometimes wouldn’t know it from the vending machine set up by the front entrance) allow this stuff to be advertised in the first place?

Regarding the posters: I’d be interested to know whose bright idea was to display those posters in the changeroom. Was it unsolicited promotion by a client who thought they could drum up some business? Was it gym management? 

I’m not saying that every single client that comes through those facilities is completely free of plastic surgery or Botox or veneers on their teeth or whatever. I’m sure there’s a small segment of the population that does that to themselves. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but it’s not for me to judge. 

But what you do to your body outside of the gym to artificially enhance it – and I guess, by extension, make yourself feel better about your appearance – is none of my business. So why is it being shoved in my face by being promoted on-site?

And besides, who on EARTH is paying attention, especially since the main point of going to the gym is improving one’s physical fitness (or so I thought)?

I mean, seeing a fit physique as the result of hours at the gym is one thing. Seeing fake body parts for the sake of getting attention in the midst of lifting heavy gym equipment or puffing on a treadmill is another (and maybe dangerous).

It really boggles the mind sometimes.

“He has a BLACKBERRY.”

Picture it: Queen streetcar, this morning.

I’m sitting at the back, on my way to work. In front of me are a group of kids and their adult chaperones, en route to their excursion for the day.

A chubby Chinese kid, about 8 or 9, is sandwiched between me and this twentysomething-year-old guy typing away on his Blackberry.

So naturally, I’m privy to the following conversation:

Kid #1: Hey guys! He (referring to the guy) has a BLACKBERRY.

Kid # 2 (little black kid, responding to his buddy’s lack of tact): DUDE. He’s sitting RIGHT THERE.

(Kid # 2 slaps his hand over his face in embarrassment.)

Kid #3: What? I dunno. He’s just doing his business.

And DON’T Call Me Ma’am

A couple of weekends ago, a friend of mine used her Facebook status to declare how she doesn’t like being called “ma’am”.

I couldn’t agree with her more.

In fact, I personally LOATHE it.

Example: At least three times a week, I frequent this sandwich/salad bar in the food court attached to the building I work in.

Sometimes, I get the staff member at the cash register who calls me “miss”.

Sometimes, I get the staff member who barely opens her mouth to say “hello”. (I don’t think she likes me much – I get a weird vibe from her.)

And sometimes, I get the staff member who is obviously the woman in charge of running the place. She’s really nice. But she’s got this tendency to say “ma’am” when she addresses me.


I’m pretty sure I don’t scowl or bark at anyone when I approach the register. So why is someone who’s at least 20 years older than me, calling me “ma’am”?

(I bet women who are actually 20 years older than me hate being called “ma’am” as much as I do.)

I don’t know why, but whenever I hear “ma’am”, I imagine a homely, dour schoolmarm-ish type, with her hair in a severe bun and a floor-length skirt and a high, lace collar with specs. Sort of like the image I have of my mother’s paternal grandmother (who I never met). 

Not me. Unless I’ve really let myself go. 

Am I truly old enough to be called “ma’am”? Is there any age at which that’s appropriate?

To put myself on the other side of this, I’m not completely obtuse. I know the woman behind the counter is just trying to show good customer service by saying “sir” and “ma’am” to her customers.

But sometimes, I just want to say , “Until I earn it (which I hope I NEVER will), don’t ever call me that again.”

D’s Loquacious July Reads

Hey y’all …

It’s been a bit busy for me lately, but I’ve been making a point of reading when I can. Here’s the next batch of books I finally got around to:


alchemistbook2The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

On more than one occasion, I’ve heard people say, “I LOVE The Alchemist!” when talking about this book. I finally understand why. And I also LOVE this book.

It’s an eloquently written tale about a Spanish shepherd boy who leaves everything he knows to search for a treasure near the Egyptian pyramids. He also learns valuable life lessons along the way, through the people he meets and the obstacles he faces. 

It’s a philosophical book, about following your dream, and listening to your heart. And it’s a fast read.

It’s taken me months to get around to reading this book. But I think now was the perfect time to read it. I’d definitely recommend it, if you haven’t read it already. 


high_fidelity2High Fidelity, Nick Hornby

This one, strangely enough, I came across while at a friend’s cottage last month. I remember when the movie came out – I must’ve had a thing for John Cusack, because I was determined to go see this movie.

I still have yet to sit down and watch it. But it’s on The List (which is a LONG one, by the way). In the meantime, I’m glad I read the book first.

What to say about this book? It’s about relationships. And music. But mostly relationships. It’s also about this central character that does and says ALL these things that give you absolutely NO reason to even respect him, never mind like him.

But still you have to read on, giving him the benefit of the doubt, in the hope he changes or has some sort of redeeming quality in the end. And no, I’ve never read any other Nick Hornby novel, so this probably makes my assessment a naive one, right? But it’s a good read nonetheless.


whatbook2What Is The What, Dave Eggers

I just finished this one a couple days ago. There are so many words I could use to assess this book. But I’ll simply start with “wow”.

The novel is based on the true story of Valentino Achak Deng – a Sudanese refugee and one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. The narrative flip-flops between Deng’s current struggles in his adopted homeland five years on, and his horrific memories of the civil war and his flight from the conflict.

I found some of what was described very hard to read at times, but necessary in order to understand. It’s always difficult to comprehend just how cruel human beings can be to one another, over what start out as small things. And it’s definitely an eye-opener to anyone who ever thought Darfur has been the only horror to befall that country.

It also got me interested in knowing a bit more about Deng. As it turns out, he has his own non-profit organization, which goes towards helping the Sudanese people both in the U.S. and in Sudan. Among the projects, the foundation has built a secondary school in Deng’s home town.  

If you want a seriously good read, pick up this book. It’s worth every single one of its 475 pages.

That’s all for now. Happy reading, bookworms!

A Little Random Music

I meant to post these weeks ago, but I just haven’t gotten around to it …

But I came across two cool music Web sites …

The first belongs to a guy (I’m assuming it’s a guy), DJ Earworm. I actually came across his Web site in the weekend newspaper, of all places. I was skimming through the Toronto Star’s Anti-Hit List a couple of Saturdays ago, and noticed one of DJ Earworm’s mash-ups listed among that list.

He only puts them out every so often, since he’s busy doing the DJ thing. But they’re actually quite cool to listen to.

The other site I’ve been putting off for weeks and weeks, and I’m kicking myself. They’re probably out of school for the summer, but kids of the PS22 Chorus – a school choir based out of Staten Island, NY – were getting some major attention across the States – and the Web – for the better part of the last few months because of their covers of pop and rock songs, both past and present.

The blog is the work of the kids’ teacher, who started posting YouTube videos of the performances to “promote the benefits of keeping the arts an integral part of the school curriculum” (the blog’s words, not mine).

Since then, they’ve been on a slew of different shows, have been the subject of a few articles, and have been doing their fair share of performances for and with the musicians whose song they cover. So you know their work is not going unnoticed.

I personally love their rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” by Journey (which is pretty impressive, considering none of these kids were even born when this song  – and some of the other songs they cover – first hit the airwaves).

Two thumbs up, for serious. But please check this site out when you have time.

Okay, that’s all from me for now. Later …

Happy Canada Day!

canadian_flagHey kids!

I’m still alive …

I just haven’t had the get-up-and-go (or the spectacular ideas) to post lately. But I’ll be back soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to exercise my patriotic duty and enjoy the day off. And hopefully, you are too!

Happy Canada Day!

For all my non-Canadian peeps, I’ve left a little something below that’s been making the rounds this week. Enjoy the patriotic cheesiness!

(I did – I accidentally watched it twice.)