I'm caught up in the whirlwind of the world's biggest film festival, Cannes. Here, young filmmakers are realizing their dreams. My turn will come on Thursday afternoon when I present Jutra on the Croisette at Cannes. My stomach is doing flips at the thought of going onstage to introduce my film. But I'm also deeply proud.
Have you ever thought about your last name and where it might have come from? It's hard for us today to believe that there was a time, not that long ago, when many people didn't have a last name. So, where did last names come from, and were they assigned or randomly selected? In fact, there are a number of ways your ancestors might have first acquired the surname you currently use.
Don't blame the messenger, folks: When Steve Paikin, host of The Agenda blogged and tweeted recently about the show's difficulties in recruiting female guests, he elicited a firestorm of protest. But what he says rings true to me. Our experience is that women decline interviews much more often than their male counterparts. The data in the chart below was drawn from surveys of university professors, business and NGO leaders from all over Canada. We asked them to identify why they turned down media interview requests. Their answers fall into three main categories.
Avoid really talking to each other! Talking is vastly over-rated. All it does it force you to actually hear the other's side of things and that can only lead to understanding. which makes resentment much more difficult. Circumvent occasions for pleasantries. Nothing good comes from giving the other person the benefit of the doubt.
The year I turned 40, I felt like I was having a health crisis. After having had five babies back-to-back, I was at my heaviest weight ever -- and the most unhealthy self I had ever been. On December 31 2012, I made a New Year's resolution to myself and my family. In these 12 months, I have lost 70 lbs, four clothing sizes and I am looking and feeling much better. I am now lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight nine years ago! True to my word, my family now eats in a healthy fashion and we are regularly active as a family!
After circling the entire house in the surrounding sun room I made my way inside the house, I was immediately overcome by the smell of cat...cat urine, cat feces, cat litter...cat death. I had not, up to that point, ever been inside an abandoned house like this, this size, the amount of items left behind, it was a very overwhelming feeling.
In August, I bought a resale home that was 30-years neglected. The first order of the day was to source new windows, doors, a furnace, air conditioner, kitchen, flooring and more. I set out to get quotes. During this process I was astounded by how many simple sales techniques -- and common courtesies -- were neglected. Read on to see how your sales team would measure up.
There hasn't been one day since then that I don't think about my breasts. The current ones, the old ones, the cancer. Breast breasts breasts. My whole life, centered around some hanging, bouncy body parts. Impossible to escape, especially now, during the month of October, BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.
What really came as a surprise to me was when Dr. Davis mentioned that mobile phones actually increased dopamine in the brain. What does that mean physiologically? It points to the possibility that mobile phones can become addictive. Dopamine is the same neurotransmitter that is released with cocaine addiction.
There are many good reasons to be upset about the things the novelist and broadcaster David Gilmour said in a recent interview on the Hazlitt Magazine blog. Both he and I work at the University of Toronto, so my instant reaction was institutional defensiveness: unlike Mr. Gilmour, who teaches the odd college course, I am a professor of English literature here, and it stung to see his bizarre, reactionary views on literature and teaching associated in the media with my institution, and in particular with its literary scholars. That's why I think it's important to say that David Gilmour is not a colleague of mine. As far as I can tell from his published comments, he's not much of a literature professor either.
When Sylvia Plath was asked about her inspiration for writing poetry, she responded that it hinted at larger themes. David Gilmour, a U of T instructor who doesn't teach female writers, could learn from the female poet. Because it's important to understand that Plath's approach to writing poetry also applies to reading and teaching literature.
Dear David Gilmour, as a woman writer I'd like to say "thank you." Thank you for being privileged enough, culturally tone-deaf enough, and even just plain stupid enough to say that you don't love women writers enough to teach their works in your class. Thank you for saying what so many other male professors think but are afraid to admit. Thank you for opening up this huge can of worms that most people were happy enough to pretend doesn't exist. I've got a dare for you, David Gilmour. I dare you to spend six months reading nothing but writers who aren't white cis males.
On Friday, a horrible letter was mailed to a family about their 13-year-old autistic son, Maxwell. When my friend, Karla Begley -- Maxwell's mother -- told me about the letter, my first reaction was to expose this in the biggest way possible. My sister, Kathy (Karla's best friend) and I developed the hashtag #love4Maxwell, and enlisted the help of our celebrity family members. It went viral. But now what? Now that everyone's invested in this united universal hug, what do I want them to know? I want people to know it's not about the letter. It's about the people who received it.
Dear pissed off mom living in Newcastle, Wow! Can you believe all the publicity you're getting over your letter to the mother of an autistic child?! The letter where you called a special needs child "retarded" and an "animal." Astounding isn't it? You didn't just write the letter to your neighbour -- you've also addressed it to my 14-year-old autistic son and all children with special needs. Sigh, ignorance is bliss. You didn't realize by writing this letter that you were about to unleash the mother of all mothers defending their children. Buckle up sweetheart; we're going for a ride.
I want the kids in my life to feel comfortable with their bodies, positive and negative. To me, that doesn't mean never saying they don't like their thighs. In the end, fat or thin acceptance is simply body acceptance. The way you get to the point where you're comfortable with your body is what matters.