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The ability to communicate effectively to groups is a key requirement for any business executive. As someone who has written speeches for various politicians and business executives for decades, I often get asked if there are any "tricks" that might make the ordeal more palatable. Inevitably, people eventually get around to asking about humour. Should they start a speech with a joke? My emphatic answer to this question is "maybe." And it is based on actual experience.
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Canada is a wonderful, unique country. I came here as a musician and a stereotypical tea drinking, Marmite enjoying Brit to live, work and study for a masters degree at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. I was immediately struck with the country's immeasurable beauty, vastness and diversity, but I was even more struck with how culturally different it was to my country.
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I love to host dinner parties, but I really don't like doing all the work. My husband is this huge foodie. I make a gourmet meal almost every day. To be honest, I like to eat well, and he does do his fair share of the cooking, but after a while, I'm over it! (Especially when he NEVER does the dishes, even when he cooks.)
At 21 years old, I was a summer student at the University of Montreal. The end-of-semester French exam was looming, and I was on the bubble, grades wise. I desperately needed to do well, so I hunkered down.
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Staring up at the constellation Orion on a crisp winter's night, I wonder how much longer I can bear the pain. The pain of watching my husband cringe and suffer. While he can dull his chronic physical...
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Nothing says that your hotel staff "understands you" better than a little bit of humour, and trivago.ca found the most hilarious, dirty, and occasionally disturbing hotel Do Not Disturb signs that wil...
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"Your standards are too high." If you're 30-plus, educated, single, and a woman, you probably hear this at family barbecues and any company gatherings that take place after three rounds of drinks have been purchased. I used to hear this all the time.
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With a toddler running around my house these days, I find myself looking back over the years and thinking of all I've learned in my four-plus decades on this planet. Since I turned 40, I've started making lists I can maybe pass her way one day. Here's 42 things I've learned at 42.
Being a mom is a hard job and it is one that you have for life. The ups and downs are challenging enough and on top of that you have to deal with unsolicited advice and some very rude questions from "well-meaning" strangers.
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Having had four kids in five and a half years, I get this question a lot. I usually smile and say something like, "Well, it's busy!" but there are a lot of answers I could give that would be more honest and that would make me look a lot less "together" than I sometimes appear.
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We don't always know why our kidlets are about to lose their minds, but if we know what's coming, we can at least batten down the hatches and weather the coming storm, instead of getting drenched with nary an umbrella in sight.
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If your child is anything like mine, he can sleep through the apocalypse, once he's deep in sleep. Seriously, 15 minutes into a nap, the fire brigade could pull up in front of our house with sirens wailing, and he wouldn't do anything more than sigh deeply and roll to one side. However, falling asleep requires a special kind of silent juju that I still haven't got straight, after two kids.
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Yes, it's been 25 years since I was an awkward teenager, screaming pop ballads out my car window on the way to my job at K-Mart. Like many people, the songs of my teen years hold a special place in my heart. So this week I'm taking the Delorean to 1990 and remembering what the Top Five Songs were on Billboard's Top 100 chart this week way back when.
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The cousin of the Skinny Bitch, this drink is for people worried about both their sugar and sodium intakes. You're either a young woman or a beefy guy with a chinstrap beard and faux-tattoo t-shirt. You've asked for the drink with extra lime because you want to distract yourself from the worst tasting water ever.
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This past summer I was lucky enough to go on a 10-week book tour all over North America. What surprised me was to find out how much people stood behind their politics without realizing that they were often calling themselves the wrong thing. Here's a few examples.
Some golf courses across North America are starting to replace the traditional four-inch holes on putting greens with...15-inch holes. That is, gaping holes the size of pizzas. That is, yawning chasms, colossal craters, a virtual Grand Canyon on every green. Why? Excellent question.
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"Kathy, not everything is funny." I got this feedback from my boss during one of my last formal job performance reviews. My initial reaction was that I found that pretty funny. And so shortly after, I...
More cookies for the customers. More overeating. Less special, more mundane. And all resulting in more injuries to players in a league already beset with a concussion crisis -- a league purportedly acting with the best interests of its greatest assets in mind -- and injured stars subsequently being replaced by less-talented players. All of which equals a dangerously diluted product.
Sometimes five minutes is all we need. It's all we need to put everything else in our messy, beautiful lives into perspective. And if I was really being honest, it's not about five minutes before or five minutes later -- it's really about living out both the frustrating and the pleasurable in life, at one and the same time.
Do you view summer as a sweaty, boring waiting room on the long road to the next snowfall? Fear not. This fall head south -- way, way south! If you want to get an early start on winter, adding a month to your favorite season, head to Antarctica.
#4. They don't think skipping is effeminate.
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Do you really want to know why a barista not remembering their name offends people? Because people think they are special. Everyone thinks that his or her drink order is special and that his or her name is special. Everyone is too busy being offended about how they are special to realize that to an hourly employee trying to get by, you're just another non-fat, extra hot, no foam double latte.
I've been meaning to write this to you for some time, but to be honest, I've been so huddled up under layers of sweatshirts and blankets that it makes using a keyboard difficult. I suppose all that's really done is prolong the inevitable. But our time has come. I think it's time we re-evaluate our relationship.
As we trundle toward Sunday's Super Bowl game, I can tell you three things with certainty. I can no longer handle the hype and hoopla surrounding this event. Bigger is not always better. And I already miss the big game's usual heat.
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At first, I was a skeptic. I'd read the blogs, the warnings and the curses that were written about Elf on the Shelf. I could feel the hate. This elf would leave terror and anarchy in his wake. He'd behave badly. In short, he'd be a pain in the...
It's that time of year again, when critics, reviewers, amateur enthusiasts of all things aural pull tiny muscles in their large heads compiling and posting for public consumption their lists of Top Albums of the Year. A female friend once pointed out that these oftentimes inane lists are (strangely, suspiciously) almost always the domain of men. We demand demarcation. We want to know. We need to know.
Turkey Day is upon us, and millions of Americans will be getting together with family and friends for food, football, and fun. Lots of food, actually. The average American will ingest an estimated 4,500 calories on that one day. Here are more facts about (American) Thanksgiving. Or as we call it in Canada: Thursday.
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Sex reared its head in a press conference featuring the Grey Cup's two coaches this week: "Hey, coach, should your players have sex before the big game?" Roughriders coach Corey Chamblin brought down the house with his response: "They win the championship, they'll have a lot of it. Trust me."
Simply put, it's funnier to laugh at those who Have than those who Have Not. If it surprises anyone that there is not more Right-Wing humour out there, ask yourself this simple question: When have you ever gone to a movie and rooted for the popular jock to beat the unpopular nerd?
People keep saying "Toronto deserves better." But there's more to it than that. Ford Nation deserves better. Forget your politics for one second. Forget left or right or suburban or urbanite. This guy shouldn't be your guy, no matter which side of the fence you fall off of during a drunken stupor. Ford Nation should want better than Rob Ford, because Ford Nation should be better than Rob Ford. If our leaders are supposed to be shining examples of the people they represent, surely Ford Nation can find someone else. Not just for Toronto, but for themselves.
It's almost All Hallow's Eve and people from age three to age 99 will be dressing up in costume, eating candy, and partying the night away on this spooky, festive occasion. Most people know the history of Halloween at this point but here are five random facts about Halloween you just might not know.
As Halloween and the holidays fast approach, the urge to indulge in candy. For that reason, many people wind up doing extra shifts at the gym. But there are annoying people at that gym and we all spot them. They are so common that it's likely you easily recognize the following five fitness fiascos from your local health club.