#Olympic Misogyny

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I had no idea.

To be fair, I don’t watch sports. I didn’t know, or care, what athletes wore on the Olympic stage—until now.

Until I found out that athletes don’t have any choice in what they wear. That the rules governing female competition uniforms have little to do with the sport in question and a lot to do with boosting ratings.

Notice anything about the above picture?

Yeah.

I remember a time when women burnt their bras and eschewed make-up. When my friends and I braved frostbite in miniskirts one day and swept the floor in maxi-dresses the next. When women marched for the right to choose—everything.

How is it possible that fifty years later we’re still fighting the same fight?

Shout out to the Norwegian women’s beach handball team

and the German gymnastics team

For saying ENOUGH. FOCUS ON THE SPORT, NOT MY ASS.

Aimer at Amazon

Cupcakes

Meet the soldier causing a bit a of ruckus in the Canadian military.

CBC News

In a court martial due to start August 3, Bombardier Chelsea Cogswell faces 18 charges and a possible two year prison sentence.

Her grievous crime?

Bombing civilians? Torturing POWs? Black Market Profiteering?

No, Bombardier Cogswell baked cupcakes.

She stands accused of serving Marijuana-laced cupcakes to her unsuspecting fellow soldiers. Oh, the horror!

The military brass is up-in-arms, citing safety concerns because the nine gunners who ate the cupcakes took part in a live-fire exercise involving explosives and weapons drills.

While happy, high, hungry gunners might not be at their best in a weapons test, if we’re talking safety the military command might want to do something about their abysmal record in prosecuting sexual assault cases within the ranks.

Aimer at Amazon

They’re Back.

The strangest thing…

In my backyard last week, just me, the clouds, and the trees—

There may have been a laptop, cell phone, latte, the occasional squirrel, and a yard full of weeds where grass should be, but let’s not worry about the details—

Into the quiet of swaying branches, twittering birds, and the neighbour’s child screaming in the pool next door…the muted, rumbling roar of an engine above.

A sound I hadn’t heard in oh, eighteen months.

Slicing through the clouds, sliding across the sky, metal wings.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

A sight once so common that only children looked up in awe, now a little startling.

Oh, right, a plane.

Aimer at Amazon

First Rule of Writing

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There are almost as many writing guides as there are writers. Writing classes, blogs, and books, all telling you how to write that novel, short story, or email.

They natter on about characters, plot, setting. Discuss style, voice, and point of view. Tell you more than you ever wanted to know about grammar, but…

They don’t tell you how to get it done. How to drag the words out of your brain and pop them onto your screen.

They don’t mention the first rule of writing—

Stock Up On Chocolate.

Anyone who’s stared at a blank screen, deleted pages while weeping onto their keyboards, or tapped out two miserably, mediocre sentences in two hours knows that chocolate is essential.

Or coffee.

Preferably, a combination of the two.

New York Post

To paraphrase Kevin Costner in A Field of Dreams…Stock up on chocolate, and the words will come.

Aimer at Amazon

Pride 2021

Even with the parades on hold again this year, there is still Pride.

Even with injustice and prejudice still more common than we would like, June is a time to celebrate achievements accomplished and gains made.

The TCDSB, the largest publicly-funded Catholic school district in the world, voted to proclaim Pride Month every June starting this year, 2021. The rainbow flag flying at all 196 schools.

Featured on the July cover of Elle Canada, Priyanka will be the first drag queen to have a standalone cover in any of the magazine’s 45 editions around the world.

Hopefully, with toys like Lego’s Everyone Is Awesome…

And books like Daniel Haach’s Prince & Knight...

this generation of youngsters will learn to embrace the world in all its colours.

Prince & Knight

Aimer at Amazon

Feet Of Clay

Statues of the men who brought us the national shame that was the residential school system are being defaced, toppled, and removed.

An emotional catharsis generations in the making, symbolism that echoes in our hearts, but we need more than symbols. More than apologies.

It comes as no great surprise that back in the 1870s, when the residential school system was instituted, it was depressingly common to think that anyone who didn’t look, speak, or pray like you didn’t deserve to be treated as human.

The question that haunts me though, the truth that makes me cringe, is how did we allow this persecution of children, this destruction of family and culture to continue for so long?

The last residential school closed in 1996.

Aimer at Amazon

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Back when televisions looked like this…

Photo by Huu1ef3nh u0110u1ea1t on Pexels.com

There weren’t a lot of channels to choose from. Everyone watched the same shows, at the same time. No spoiler alerts necessary.

When Roots aired in 1977, people stayed home, glued to their sets. There were no recording devices, no pause option on your remote control—no remote control.

Now, when televisions look like this…

leslievillegeek.com

We have options aplenty. Between local stations, cable networks, and streaming services we are bombarded with choice.

Now, when technology allows us to talk to our televisions, we don’t actually need them. We can watch whatever we want, whenever we want, where ever we want. On our phones, our tablets, our laptops. A continuous loop of news and entertainment 24/7.

So, how is it possible to spend forty-five minutes scrolling through the onscreen guide, hopping back and forth between Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crave, and Disney+ and still complain that there’s…

NOTHING TO WATCH!

Aimer at Amazon

To Write, Or Not To Write…

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I thought it was just me, but no, most writers procrastinate.

It’s not only common, it’s expected.

Professional authors, as opposed to amateurs with access to a laptop—uh, that would be me—have coping mechanisms. Things likes deadlines, agents, and editors who aren’t their relatives. People who smack them upside the head and say, “Get to work.”

My coping mechanisms are Netflix, computer games, and online shopping. Oh, and reading. Reading other people’s books, people who write better than I ever will.

Ah, you noticed that, did you? Fine, I don’t have coping mechanisms. I have a carefully curated selection of aiding and abetting mechanisms.

Full disclosure? Procrastination and I have always been embarrassingly intimate. Avoidance is pretty much part of my DNA, and definitely part of my writing style. Sometimes though, the why and when of it surprise me.

Olympic marathons of procrastination before I type the first word of a new book, mini-sprints at the start of each new chapter, these I understand. Comes with the territory when you don’t draft outlines. When you have no map to follow, and each chapter is a leap into the unknown.

Yesterday however, I hit a new level of avoidance. Two paragraphs into a new chapter, the trail emerged, breadcrumbs spreading out before me, and knew where I wanted to go—and I hit save. Walked away from my desk.

What? Why?

Procrastinating because an empty white page is daunting, that I understand. But procrastinating when the way forward lights up in front of you?

That’s a new low, even for me.

Aimer at Amazon

The New Dune

If anyone had asked, I would have voted no on remaking Dune.

Okay, yes, the worm could use a CGI update, and I wouldn’t mind a less pestilent, blimp of a baron, but Kyle MacLachlan did a fine job as Paul Atreides. No need to fix what’s not broken—

Say what?

Timothée Chalamet?

Timothée Chalamet from Call Me by Your Name?

Chalamet is the new Paul Atreides?

Can I change my vote?

Coming to a theatre near you—providing we’ve all had our shots, and the movie theatres are safe again—October 1, 2021.

Until then,

you’ll have to settle for this

Paul Atreides action figure.

Amazon won’t deliver Timothée. I asked.

Aimer at Amazon

#Set!

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Thanks to Covid, we’re all eating at home these days. Usually, in front of the television.

It’s only a memory now, but there was a time when we could invite people over for dinner. When we set the table with real plates not paper. When we bothered to set the table at all.

There’s an art to setting a table, to creating an atmosphere that says, “Welcome, enjoy, eat.” A creative component that has been celebrated in competitions at county fairs for decades.

Yes, competitive table-setting, or tablescaping, is a thing—who knew?

Scott Gawlik.

Toronto Star

The director of Set!, a tablescaping documentary that screened at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival this year.

My table will never meet competitive standards—Judges frown on paper napkins and wrinkled tablecloths—and I’m good with that.

Who needs a little blue ribbon when you can have family sitting around the table, dripping sauce all over the tablecloth, and dropping food on the floor?

Aimer at Amazon