Posts Tagged ‘Canadian’

Blog News: www.Glockoma.com

Guess who finally got her first domain name ever? That’s right – yours truly! To visit Glockoma, all you have to do is type http://www.Glockoma.com.

Since landing the domain name, I’ve considered getting hosted. There’s a smorgasbord of things I want to modify to really personalize the look and feel of Glockoma. Nothing’s engraved in stone yet, but it’s definitely something I’m eagerly researching. (If you know of any good web-hosting deals, please let me know.)

R.I.P. Peter Shaw (1939-2010)

I still can’t believe my father passed away on March 2nd. Every morning, I wake up thinking that maybe it was all a terrible dream – it can’t be real. But it is real. It was so sudden, and came with little warning.

He had been recovering from a moderate stroke, but in the end, it wasn’t the stroke that did him in – he had an abdominal aneurysm. A blood vessel’s lining was thinning and burst. My father was internally bleeding to death. Thinking about my father suffering so much is unbearable for me. But at the same time, it shows you how strong he was.

The surgeon said that most people who have aneurysms like my dad don’t even make it to the hospital alive even if they call the ambulance immediately! But, of course, my dad was a fighter ’til the very end – he lasted about 8 hours. He’s so incredible, and even though he’s ‘gone’, he’s still teaching me new things.

New Things My Father Taught Me

Souls Really Do Exist

He was a really religious man who took great pride in being a Catholic. On many occasions he’d talk to me about faith and God. And I remember him telling me that the body is just on loan from God – it’s like a shell we borrow and we have to take good care of it because it’s not really ours.

I believed what my father said, but it was only when I saw my father’s body in the emergency-room operating table and then again at the funeral-home visitation that it really hit me. It’s hard to describe, but even though I was looking at my father, it wasn’t my father. Something was off.

I realized that my father was right when he said that the soul leaves the body when you pass away.

The body is nothing more than a shell. The soul is what gives a person that spark and personality. And then it made me think about how when we look at each other, it’s not actually the physical appearance we see. I mean, yeah, we notice a person’s build and hair colour, but when they’re gone, even those don’t look quite the same anymore.

When we look at one another, I now believe we see the soul. We just don’t realize it until the soul leaves.

Scientists and religious scholars may have struggled for centuries to prove that a soul exists. Naysayers can argue otherwise, but because of my experience, I will always know in my heart that souls really do exist. And it’s a comforting thought.

When Someone Dies, You Don’t Actually Lose Them

It’s become pretty common to say, “Sorry for your loss” to express your sincere condolences to the devastated family. I never gave it more thought until recently.

I realized that I didn’t actually lose my father. I found him. Where? I found him at the place where he’s always been – my heart. And there he will always be.

In an upcoming blog post, I’m going to share the eulogy I wrote (and read at the funeral-home visitation). It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write because nothing I said could ever do him justice. But I did it because he would’ve wanted me to. I’ll be sharing it because I’m proud to be Peter Shaw’s daughter and because everyone deserves to get a glimpse into this wonderful man I was blessed to call my father.

Later, I also want to share my experience when I saw my father’s urn placed in the niche at the cemetery and also all the headache regarding the myriad of legal matters you confront when a person passes away.

Please continue to say prayers for my father and my family. We need help to be strong.

Celebrating Birthdays & Unbirthdays

Stopping by quickly just to say that today marks my 28th birthday.

Lots of women seem to want to cover up their real age like a crime scene. But y’know what? I’m actually proud to be another year older. And I don’t mind telling people my age. It’s nothing more than a number.

Let’s all start taking more pride in who we are, how far we’ve come along, and what we’ve accomplished.

Being older means we’ve experienced more of what life has to offer – the good, the bad, and the ugly stereotypes.

We’re all guilty at some point for putting ourselves down. On your birthday, dare to celebrate yourself, and do something special:

  • Take the day off from work to hang out with friends & family
  • Start writing a novel
  • Challenge your physical limits with rock climbing
  • Exercise your creative side with oil painting
  • Join a drawing or karate class
  • Blast your favourite song & dance naked to it in private
  • Master a new video game
  • Learn how to cook something new
  • Start reading that book you’ve always been meaning to
  • Reconnect with old buddies
  • Take a walk in the park & enjoy the fresh air (even if it’s chilly)
  • Make yourself some tea & pour it out of a teapot with 3 spouts (hehe)

And then the day after your birthday, follow up with the next item on your To-Do List. Soon you’ll see that unbirthdays are just as important as your birthday. Constantly strive to grow as a person, and make it a point whenever you can to do something positive for yourself (and others).

Step Aside, Beefcakes! Mancakes Are the Latest Hotcakes!

Haha, just saw this, and it was too good not to share! I read about this here if you want to read the original document. (I’ve spaced out the text to make it neater.)

Mancakes are selling like hotcakes in Toronto bakery

“Mancakes are the latest iteration of man-prefixed goodies, following in the footsteps of mantyhose and man purses.

Taking hold in North America, the so-called “manly cupcakes” eschew traditional vanilla and chocolate for such macho flavours as bacon, rum and coke, and beer, and are subverting the treats’ traditional girly image of pink frosting, icing sugar flowers and sprinkles.

In Toronto, For the Love of Cake has had such high demand for its mancakes that cake master Genevieve Griffin has doubled the bakery’s daily offerings. “It’s been a great way of getting guys interested in cupcakes,” she told the Montreal Gazette. But as David Arrick of Butch Bakery in New York has said, some 90 per cent of customers have been women buying for men.”

I think that it’s funny how cupcakes (cupcakes!) are making people more conscious of gender stereotypes. You could have people protesting on the street who completely get ignored, but cupcakes will stop onlookers in their tracks.

Genevieve’s quite clever. And I think it’s hilarious that David Arrick works at a place called Butch Bakery. Also, who the heck isn’t interested in cupcakes? Those people are just crazy! (Yep, I pass judgment. So judge me!)

What are you waiting for, men? Get out there. Get your stereotypically masculine cupcakes! (And please pick up one for me while you’re there!)

Reality’s Bark Is Just as Bad as Its Bite! There Are No Earplugs

After being dull,  ugly, and dormant for almost a year after its final blossom bit the dust, my orchid has sprouted about 8 new buds on the stem. Funny how just a few months ago I considered throwing it out because it was becoming an eyesore in my apartment. But I didn’t…and I kept watering it regularly and making sure it got enough sun.

My dad had a stroke on Tuesday December 8th.

He’s 70 – he’ll be 71 in January. He doesn’t walk with a cane, he loves to drive, he’s a hockey fan, and he always ‘gets carded’ at Shopper’s Drug Mart because he doesn’t look like a senior. Even nurses at the hospital said he was ‘very good-looking’ and that ‘he doesn’t look older than 59’. One nurse asked me if he was a doctor because ‘he looked like one’.

My dad’s not your regular garden variety. And nobody in my family has the same spunk or sense of humour that he does. I admire him for his ability to persevere through hardship – he had a hard life growing up yet somehow made it on the right side of the tracks.

And there I was in the emergency room looking over at the man who always loved talking a mile a minute and cracking jokes like they were going to become illegal. I’ll never forget it. He looked dead. His eyes were fixated in one place, glazed over and looking to the top far right. He couldn’t move his left arm or hand at all, and his speech was slurred so much that you could barely understand him.

I found out he had a stroke when I was at work. My mom called. (She always told me that she wouldn’t disturb  me at work unless it was an emergency, but strangely enough, when she called, I didn’t think it was weird. I thought she was going to ask me about something trivial like my holiday office hours or a forgotten password.)

When she told me, I think part of my mind went blank. I felt as though I was in some sort of sick ‘dream’ and that I would wake up and say, “Oh, thank God it was only a dream!”. But it was real.

My hands and body were literally shaking as I told HR that I had to leave work and go to the hospital. The last time I shook uncontrollably like this was when I was in elementary school and this douche bag tried to break into my home when I was home alone. (I scared the fucking bastard off by yelling, “What do you think you’re doing?” out the window, by the way. Sometimes even criminals have a conscience…or fear of getting caught.)

I’ve never seen my dad like I did on December the 8th. And I’ve seen him through a lot. In 1993, he had a successful quadriple bypass surgery. Years later, he had a very minor stroke that we didn’t even know was a stroke until we saw 2 neurologists. (One was an asshole, but the other was really helpful…and interestingly enough, this good neurologist was at the hospital when my dad had his 2nd stroke and he remembered my dad!)

Maybe I’m clairvoyant because I booked off my vacation from work from the 10th to the 16th in advance. It’s almost like I knew that something would happen. Weird how things work sometimes, right?

During that time, I met with tons of doctors – pharmacists, general physicians, psychiatrists, physical therapists, etc. They all said the same thing – he may never regain all the functionality he lost.

Load.

Of.

Fucking.

Crap.

I was at the hospital every single damn day. I was there for practically all the time that visitors were allowed to stay. And I was fucking exhausted. Every day, I’d wake up, open my eyes and think, “How’s my dad?” and “What time can I get to the hospital?”. My every waking moment was about hospital-related events. And I even had some ‘dreams’ about visiting my dad at the hospital. No wonder I was so fucking tired.

But each day, there was a ray of hope. My dad is a trooper like no other. And thank fucking God! (I really need him! I’m closer to him than anyone else in my family.) Each day he had some significant improvement. One day I noticed that his eyes were moving more and finally he was able to look around normally. Another day, he regained his use of his fingers and left hand.

His speech didn’t improve.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that when he had the stroke, he was at TD Bank? I will forever sing their praises because they called 911 fast. My dad was at the mall and decided to line up at TD Bank. He almost went to get coffee at McDonald’s. Can you imagine how slow their employees would be to call for an ambulance? Also,  my dad told me that he had left his cell phone in the SUV. He normally would go back to get it, but that day, he didn’t. I’ve thanked God that he didn’t because if he had the stroke in the parking lot, chances are that nobody would’ve noticed and called 911.

Sometimes banks aren’t all evil.

When I arrived at the hospital, guess what? Lots of my dad’s stuff was missing – wallet, down jacket, car keys, and shoes! We thought someone stole them because the idiot hospital workers couldn’t find it. I felt dizzy just thinking about it. My brother said that we should get a locksmith to change the locks at my parents’ place. And we had to find the spare car key so we could drive it back home so it wouldn’t be towed at the mall’s parking lot. As if we didn’t have enough things to fucking working about!

After a lot of stress, the hospital workers finally found the missing belongings. And thank God! When you’re going through something as awful as this, the last thing you need to worry about is your security!

Since then my dad’s been transferred to another hospital. Then on Friday, he was moved to a rehab centre where he has to live for 2-3 weeks. We’ve asked the doctors and he can have a pass so he’ll be able to come home for Christmas. But then he’ll have to go back to the rehab centre. That sucks, but at least he’ll be out for a little while.

As selfish as it sounds, I feel like I’ve been robbed of my Christmas. It’s about spending time with family and having happy memories. I hate hospitals.

But some good has come from it all. I’ve learned the strength of my brother and mother. I’ve also seen a new side of my boss that I haven’t seen in 4 fucking years  – he actually HUGGED me and acted genuinely concerned! I’ve also witnessed the power of the human spirit and how even a person suffering from a stroke can bounce back and make the best of it.

Through all the positive, though, I can’t help but cry and wish it weren’t so. I miss my dad the way he was before. I miss not having to worry so much. I’ve forgotten what it’s like not to cry and have swollen eyelids. Life sometimes sucks. But we get through it. Supposedly we become stronger people because of hardships, but I think I’m still a softie.

Please keep my dad in your prayers. And please pray for me, too, because I’m not as strong as I would like to be and need to be. There are some tough times still to come, and I could use every ounce of help. I ain’t too proud to beg!

I want to be like my orchid.

Rape Survivors: How to Move on and Become Thrivers

GlockomaGlockomaRape is forced and unwanted sexual intercourse that’s always a twisted power issue.

The victim can be female or male, although the stats show that it’s more often a female. (However, it’s also important to keep in mind that males are less likely to report an incident than females are, so the stats aren’t accurately reflecting reality.)

Rape is never an easy topic to discuss, especially when you’re the victim: “Will they blame me and think that I was ‘asking for it’?” “Will they believe me?” “Why did this happen to me?”

It isn’t any wonder why so many rapes go unreported. And the stats don’t sing any happy-hardcore tunes, either. Play the violins.

I Need It – Stat!

GlockomaAccording to Helen Lenskyj in An Analysis of Violence Against Women: A Manual for Educators and Administrators, an insane 60% of Canadian college-aged males indicated that they’d commit sexual assault if they were certain they wouldn’t get caught! Glock that!

So for them, it seems that the crime is only deemed wrong if they suffer negative consequences. Oh how I’m reminded once more that we live in a fucked-up Me Generation.

Statistics Canada’s The Violence Against Women Survey indicated that 50% of all Canadian women experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence. Of those women, nearly 60% were victims of more than one of those incidents! What the glock?

Clearly if it’s been happening more than once, we need to examine why this is the case and we must teach women how to stand up for themselves and report these crimes to prevent them from happening again or we’ll just continue this sick cycle carousel.

Chances are that if you aren’t a victim yourself, you know someone who is. Despicable behaviour like rape or sexual assault shouldn’t be a hush-hush topic. Let’s talk about it openly so that women can learn to arm themselves mentally and know what to do if (heaven forbid) they’re ever put in that situation.

Surviving rape is probably one of the most challenging things that a woman can go through. But by actively seeking out positive support, you can go from survivor to thriver.

Things to Remember & Things That’ll Help:

  • Blame: It’s not your fault & nothing you did or didn’t do will ever justifiy a rape.
  • Trust: It may be hard for you to get close to others, but in time, you will be able to. Don’t let some asshole screw up your future relationships. It’s not worth it.
  • Control: After this bad experience, you probably feel vulnerable and like you’re not in control of your life. You are! Build up your self-confidence again by concentrating on the things you can readily control like your diet – hit the gym regularly and eat healthy meals.
  • Accept: The only way you can move forward is to accept that something bad happened to you, but you can’t let it rule your every waking minute. Accept it, but don’t dwell on it.
  • Distract: Keep yourself busy doing the things you love to do (like joining a martial-arts class or learning how to cook a new vegetarian dish).
  • Vent: Instead of bottling up your emotions or masking them with booze, redirect it to something positive & artistic such as oil painting, playing a musical instrument, or designing jewelry.

Resources (Because You’re Not Alone):

Featured Feminist: Elsie MacGill (Queen of the Hurricanes)

GlockomaFor those times when we want to fold like a bad poker hand, we desperately need inspiration to help us realize that we can pull ourselves out of the quicksand.

Inspiration can hit you between the eyes when you’re not looking (or even when you are). And now it’s gonna be aiming for you. Don’t worry – it won’t hurt. Actually, it’ll feel really good. And it doesn’t reek of rotten tomatoes.

I’d like to introduce you to the latest addition to Glockoma. Featured Feminist is a section I’ll use to post true stories about modern women and famous women in history who exemplify what feminism is all about. This will include writers, inventors, politicians, and  musicians, just to name a few. Feminist messages that help the women’s movement advance are everywhere if you look for them.

Since I believe in a school of feminism that encourages the involvement of and interaction with men, you’ll sometimes read about feminist men in the Featured Feminist section. This is very important to me because in all forms of media, we’re shown male chauvinist pig after male chauvinist pig – it gets more tiresome than a drunk pick-up line.

Let’s get to our very first profile!

GlockomaElsie MacGill

Nickname: Queen of the Hurricanes

Birthday: March 27, 1905

Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)

Claim to Fame: First woman in the world to design an airplane

Why You Should Care: She paved the path for many women in a field that is traditionally dominated by men. During WWII, she developed, designed, and tested aircraft as an aeronautical engineer.

And, according to Wikipedia,  she was the first woman to achieve a lot of other impressive things, too:

  • 1927 – First Canadian woman to earn her electrical engineering degree (University of Toronto)
  • 1929 – First woman in North America to earn her masters degree in aeronautical engineering (University of Michigan)
  • 1938
    • First woman elected to corporate membership in the Engineering Institute of Canada
    • First woman to hold the position of Chief Aeronautical Engineer (Canada Car and Foundry)
  • 1946 – First woman to be the Technical Advisor for the International Civil Aviation Organization
  • 1947 – First woman to chair a UN committee (She was the chairperson for the United Nations Stress Analysis Committee.)
  • 1953 – First woman outside the United States to be named Woman Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Women Engineers (She also was made an honourary member.)

Glockoma

GlockomaSome Other Awards & Recognition

  • 1941 – Gzowski Medal from the Engineering Institute of Canada for her paper entitled Factors Affecting the Mass Production of Aeroplanes
  • 1967 – Centennial Medal from the Canadian government
  • 1975 – Amelia Earhart Medal from the Ninety-Nines
  • 1979 – Gold Medal from the Ontario Association of Professional Engineers
  • 1983 – Inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame

GlockomaWhy I Consider Her a Feminist

All of the above already indicates that she’s clearly a fighter who came ready with her boxing gloves. And I bet they weren’t pink.

Well, there’s more to the story that illustrates her strong drive to succeed despite the obstacles.

Case in point: the doctors told her that most likely she’d be wheelchair-bound for the rest of her life after she got polio. But did she take the news sitting down? No. Instead, she taught herself how to walk with the support of metal canes.

And doctoral studies weren’t cheap. Don’t think that she got handouts for her education. During that time, Elsie MacGill financially supported herself by writing articles for magazines about planes and flying.

GlockomaWhy She’s Known as the ‘Queen of the Hurricanes’

When she worked for Canada Car and Foundry, she was chosen to build the Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft for the Royal Air Force. She also came up with new ideas for how to winterize the aircraft.

GlockomaElsie MacGill Was a Feminist Activist

In the 1960s, she focused on women’s rights issues and was the president of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. In 1971, she received the Order of Canada for her work as a member of the Ontario Status of Women’s Committee.

(The Order of Canada was concieved in 1967 to “[recognize] the achievement of outstanding merit or distinguished service by Canadians, through life-long contributions in every field of endeavour, and who made a major difference to Canada, as well as the efforts made by non-Canadians who have made the world better by their actions.”)

Elsie MacGill seems to have been a proud and vocal feminist, which I think is important. She was quoted saying, “I have received many engineering awards, but I hope I will also be remembered as an advocate for the rights of women and children.”

It frustrates me when some women are afraid to call themselves a feminist because they’re too lazy to deal with any societal backlash to the often-stigmatized label. Kudos to the Queen of the Hurricanes for not shying away. May we all be so brave.

Canada’s Next Top Model: Silence Is Golden, But Speaking Up Is Platinum

GlockomaCanada’s Next Top Model taught me that fashion usually is the one who flew over the cuckoo’s nest. It’s art, so interpretations run more rampant than sex scandals in Tinsel Town. And when it comes to the outlandish visions, trying to rationalize the irrational is like asking a mule to procreate.

But sometimes fashion isn’t just all fun and games – someone gets hurt. Most often, it’s the models who are taught that faking it ’til you make it is the mark of a true professional. (Here’s a novel concept: how about being genuine in a plastic world?)

Oh yeah, the life of a model is so glamourous. Their bodies are scrutinized by agencies under perfection’s microscope, they have to shove their feet into shoes that are much too small, and all the while they must smile and pretend like they’re having the time of their lives. Beauty is pain? Beauty is ugly.

With all that being said, I still really enjoy keeping up-to-date on shenanigans in the fashion world. What can I say? I’m drawn to eccentricity and the abstract because I’m wary of anything that’s simple or clear-cut.

Canada’s Next Top Model is one of the CTV shows I tune into weekly because a) it supports homegrown ‘talent’, b) I dig Jay Manuel (he always looks airbrushed), and c) I enjoy watching the creative candor at photoshoots.

Hear No Evil. See No Evil. Speak No Evil.

GlockomaGlockomaWell, Tuesday’s show hit a feminist nerve. As usual, each model got her hair styled and her make-up done, but what was different this time around was the finishing touch – a piece of duct tape over her mouth!

Really? After all these years, the fashion industry is still spreading the pathetic and hopeless message that women should be seen and not heard? Well, glock that! I am woman. Hear me roar!

Mouth to Mouth Resuscitation

GlockomaAnd while I think Jeanne Beker is usually smart-as-a-whip, right on the money, and should be related to The Joker with a mouth like hers, she fell off the mark and into a pail of pig’s blood when she verbally defended the keep-quiet concept at the judging panel.

Deep down inside, I’m sure she knows that taping someone’s mouth shut is never empowering or about the challenge of “smiling with your eyes” – it’s about telling females everywhere that what they say accounts for very little, so they should just pretend like everything’s okay, look pretty, and pose for the camera. Way to cheapen women’s thoughts like souvenir shops in tourist attractions.

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