I know it’s hot as hell today, but I didn’t feel like shaving so I’m wearing pants. Besides, I said I didn’t want to let the weather dictate my choice of clothing. If I’d read the news before I left the house this morning, I probably would’ve worn something rainbow coloured to celebrate marriage equality in the States. I got this top at a department store called Red Apple in Revelstoke. I went there with my family a couple years ago because my dad had a reunion with some of his high school buddies. I don’t think I could ever live in a small town. Shopping wise, I was like “This is it?”. Red Apple is kind of like a Winners or a Walmart, but smaller with not as much stuff. But I managed to pick up few nice things there, this top included. My mint green cardigan is from Jacob and my black pants are from Winners. My Swarovski necklace was a Christmas gift from my cousins. My bracelet is from Sears and my ring is from UBC. These earrings are new. I got them at Payless, along with some other BOGO jewellery over the weekend. I guess maybe I’ll shave tomorrow and start wearing dresses again. Maybe.
I am just so in love with this colour. This bright royal blue is my absolute favourite. I bought this blazer when I was shopping with my friend at Forever 21 downtown on Robson street on St. Patrick’s Day. Yeah, while everyone else was out drinking in bars, we were out shopping for clothes. Because that’s what we do. It was the day before my last day of work at my previous job and I thought I ought to buy some more professional looking clothing for my new job. This blazer didn’t have a price tag on it, but it turned out to be a decent price for a blazer. I remember while we were there, my friend found a shirt that said “Leave me alone” and suggested I should wear it as a joke on my last day of work. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it in my size.
I got the black top at Sears at Richmond Centre before they closed down. I think my dad actually bought it for me because he had a Sears card so he could get a discount. My navy blue floral scarf is probably the best thing I ordered from Avon.
I got this necklace from Her Story Lockets when they had a booth set up at the PNE Marketplace last year. You get to choose which charms you want to put inside the locket to create your own unique, personalized look. I bought some for friends and family as well, because I think it’s really neat idea and makes a cool gift for someone when you can use charms that reflect who they are. Mine include shoes, shopping bags, a big sister heart, a camera, and my birthstone. I wish I could find more items in this kind of blue.
Yes, I own two of the same blazer in different colours. After finding that green Vero Moda blazer at Winners, I discovered that The Bay had it in red. Red is just so bold and bright and wanted to add more of it to my wardrobe. But that mint green blazer was such a lovely colour too. I debated briefly and then decided to purchase the red one as well. One can never have too many Vero Moda blazers. I just feel ready to take on the world when I wear it. I got this black top from H&M. I think it was at the one at West Edmonton Mall actually. I’ve only been there once. I was there for my brother’s and sister’s youth bowling tournament when they made it to the Nationals. My dad was a coach and so they needed another adult to stay with them while he went to meetings. So I got to spend 3 days standing in a bowling alley. But on the first day, we had free time to briefly visit the mall. I remember I almost bought this top in green, but I’m glad I decided on the black. I remember there was no PST because it was Alberta so I was pleasantly surprised. My video game heart necklace is from Fan Expo Expo Vancouver and my red earrings are from a kiosk at Lansdowne Centre.
I remember reading some of the comments on an article about the interview, and someone had responded with “Who cares?” I generally don’t care about the lives of celebrities either, but this interview was so important for so many reasons. Many people do not have a clear understanding about issues like gender identity and sexuality. Watching the interview was very informative, and even more so because it came from a person who has lived it. I think Bruce did such a good job explaining the difference between sexuality and gender identity, stating that “sexuality is who you go to bed with, and gender identity is who you go to bed as.” I recall Diane Sawyer looking really confused about it, but having not seen very many of her interviews, I realize that could just be her natural facial expression.
Sometimes it’s difficult for me to realize that not everyone is as informed and educated about certain matters. I’ve taken Psychology courses and Gender Studies courses that deeply explored the topics of sexuality and orientation. I’ve watched TV shows and documentaries about these topics. I have friends and acquaintances who have different sexual orientations. It baffles me how things like same sex marriage are still illegal in many parts of the world. As society has come a long way in becoming more accepting of gay rights, the transgender community has not really received that same level approval. But I still found myself wondering why Bruce Jenner coming out was so shocking to so many people. Apart from the fact that it was him. Why is the fact that any individual comes out as transgender, such a big deal in 2015?
The reason I asked that question, is because Bruce Jenner isn’t the first celebrity to come out as transgender, although I think he is definitely the most famous person to do so publicly. My point is that it’s not something that’s new, even if many people may not be so knowledgable about it. I tried to think of other transgender celebrities. The main person who came to mind was Laverne Cox. I have never seen Orange is the New Black, since I don’t have Netflix. Tragic, I know. But I did see her on an episode of The Mindy Project and I loved her. But I don’t really know much about her, as I never heard about her coming out. When I first heard of her, she was already out, so there was no surprise. In terms of other celebrities, I thought of Chaz Bono. We heard all about it when he came out and transitioned. But I don’t recall any big memorable interview or anything. Nevertheless, it was still in the media, so anyone paying attention would have heard about it.
There was also a few years ago where there was a news story about a pregnant man. It was a female to male transition. Thomas Beatie was transgender, but had not had surgery, so was still able to have a baby. That was a big story for a while, but then everyone forgot about it. I remember watching a CSI episode several years ago, where the victim was transgender, and they explored the transitioning process and the surgery, and everything that was involved. I remember watching a documentary several years ago, about three people who were married with kids, who were coming out as transgender. I can’t remember which channel it was on, or how widespread it was broadcast, since they weren’t famous people. They were middle aged, but I think slightly younger than Bruce Jenner, and had come to the point where they didn’t want to hide who they were anymore. They were all male to female transitions. One of the wives stayed with her partner, saying that she had fallen in love with the person, not the gender. She joked with the interviewer that maybe people would consider her a lesbian now, since her husband had transitioned and they were figuring out their sex life.
In terms of sexuality, Bruce Jenner tried to explain to Diane how it was different from his orientation. There are questions that arise like are you gay and he explained that he has always been attracted to women. In terms of pronouns, Bruce has asked that we continue to use he and him, until he officially transitions and comes out as a woman. A lot of people have trouble with this and base the pronouns on whether you have a penis or a vagina. You have to take into account that a person’s sex and gender are two different things. When I was younger, I assumed that for a male to female transition, you would call the person he before surgery, and she after surgery, and vice versa. But this is not the case. Even if a person has male genitalia, if she identifies as a woman, you should use she. Unless, like in Bruce’s case, he has specifically requested a certain pronoun be used. Too bad we didn’t follow Sweden’s example and come up with a gender neutral pronoun. That would make things so much easier, not just regarding gender issues, but for language use in general.
Using the correct pronoun based on the gender a person identifies as is important, especially since not every transgender person decides to have surgery. Just as you would not ask a cisgender individual about what’s between their legs, it would similarly be inappropriate to ask this of a transgender individual. Unless you’re in a sexual relationship with the person, it doesn’t need to be a matter of discussion, unless it’s something that they choose to bring up.
I love that Bruce Jenner is able to acknowledge and appreciate the humour in the situation. He even acknowledges the irony that he, of all people identifies as a woman, since he’s regarded as the world’s greatest athlete, having won the decathlon in 1976. Many viewed him as this strong, macho man, and I guess that’s part of why it’s so surprising to so many people. He addressed the fact that people had speculated that this was all for publicity and to draw ratings for the show. He laughed at how utterly ridiculous those accusations were. As if he would really go through all this, just to draw in ratings.
He talked about when he was a child and growing up, and how this has been a part of him his whole life. When questioned about why he waited until now, at age 65, to finally come out, his main reason was that he didn’t want to hurt his family. He loves his children and didn’t want to do anything that might cause them to be hurt, which is totally understandable. Him deciding to come out in such a public way will hopefully help foster understanding and encourage other transgender individuals to embrace who they are and have the courage to come out without fear.
I remember reading one of the comments on one of the articles and someone asked will he have to give back his medals? Why? Why would he have to give back his medals? I see no reason for this. He competed and won, as a man. He wasn’t on hormones at the time. I wonder though, how they would handle a situation in the Olympics today, if a young transgender individual were to compete. What category would they be put in? Because with the Olympics and sporting events, it’s physical, and I assume the fact that there are separate categories for men and women, is due to the fact that we are physically built differently. If a person is built like a man, but identifies as a woman, which category would she compete in? There has always been such a gender divide in athletics, so I don’t actually know how they would address this if it were a person who, at the time of competing, was currently out as transgender. Bruce, at the time of his Olympic success, had the physicality of a man, even if he inwardly identified as a woman, so I see no issue with his win. Apparently they interviewed the Soviet man who he beat in the decathlon who is supportive and also joked about how he can’t believe he was beat by a woman. My first thought was, who cares whether or not that guy approves?
I remember Bruce Jenner saying that of his family, Khloe was the won who had the hardest time dealing with it, and I thought, who cares what Khloe thinks? But as her stepdad, I’m sure it meant a lot to Bruce. One of the most shocking things about the interview to me, was that Kanye West, of all people, was the one who helped Kim Kardashian accept Bruce Jenner’s coming out. I’m not a fan of either Kim or Kanye, especially not Kanye, since he always seems so arrogant and so full of himself. I mean this is a person who got mad at a guy in a wheelchair for not standing during one of his performances. Who knew he would actually say something good? I remember seeing a tweet from Perez Hilton saying that Kris Jenner refused to comment to ABC, and then Kris Jenner replied his tweet, getting mad at him and saying she was watching the documentary with Bruce at that moment. I’m not at all a fan of Kris Jenner. They showed some clips from the show, and there was one where she was getting mad at Bruce about the way he was dressed, and told him that he looked like a grandpa. And I thought, but, he is a grandpa… So what’s the problem? Maybe she seems overly nasty for the show, or maybe she’s even worse in real life? But it’s not about her, so who cares?
I know this has nothing to do with anything, but speaking of Bruce Jenner’s family, his son is kind of hot. Two of his sons, actually Brandon and Brody. But anyway, it’s so great that his family is so supportive and accepting. He’s really lucky, not just because he’s famous, but because those closest to him are able to offer support. He is also lucky that he has the money for hormones and to have the surgery if he chooses to. Soon after the interview, much of what I read in the media was very positive. But I then started noticing new comments from people who were still making fun of the situation and calling him gay and generally not understanding. I guess that’s to be expected, as no matter what you do or who you are, there will always be people who judge you for it. While there will always be ignorant people in this world who are unable to wrap their heads around things they don’t understand, I believe that this interview has probably helped a lot of people to further understand and be open to accepting the transgender community.
Me: What do you want for Christmas?
Brother: Gloves and boots.
Me: If you want boots, you have to come shopping with me.
Brother: I can’t.
Me: Why not?
Brother: I can’t clear my schedule.
Me: What do you mean you can’t clear your schedule?
Brother: I’m a busy, busy boy.
He’s 11. I don’t know what this busy schedule he speaks of is all about. But at least he’s asked for reasonable things for Christmas.
When I came home last night, I walked past my brother’s bedroom and we had this conversation:
Brother: Come here.
Brother: I need something from you.
Brother: Words of encouragement.
Me: For what?
Brother: Cross country. The race is tomorrow.
Usually when someone needs something from me it’s money or help with homework or something. That may have been the first time someone’s asked me for “words of encouragement”. So I wished him good luck. That sucks that they had to run in the rain. But good for him. The only time I run willingly in the rain is to catch a bus. And I remember struggling through the 100 metre race at our mandatory track meets. No way in hell would I join cross country. And there’s my brother, willingly running long distances. Apparently they had to do laps around Garry Point Park. I wonder how he did.
Mom: Can you get your dirty feet off the pillow?
Brother: Why? Life is short.
It’s my mom’s birthday today. So I thought I should acknowledge that in a blog post. I know she won’t read it since she hardly ever uses the computer, but that doesn’t matter. It’ll be like acknowledging her birthday in secret. Except not because a bunch of other people will read it. But whatever. I’ve started the post already so it’s going to exist.
I would like to say that my mom is my role model. But I don’t want five kids. Yeah, she had five. I’m the oldest. And that’s pretty much what put me off of having any. I remember her saying she had me first so I could be a built in babysitter. How nice of her.
So the desire to have many children is not something that I share with my mother. But we do share other things. I think I got my love for writing from her. I don’t think I’m as good a writer as she is. But I’m obnoxious enough to write publicly as opposed to privately. She’s written several things that she hasn’t done anything with. She told me that in her will she would leave me all her writings for me to do something with. What the hell she expects me to do with them, I have no idea. But maybe I could always start a new blog called “Stuff my mom wrote”. It would probably be a whole lot more interesting than this one.
Happy birthday mom! Thanks for all your love and support and words of wisdom!
I called home after work yesterday to talk to my mom and my brother answered the phone.
Brother: Hi Dominique, did you buy some Lucky Charms?
Me: No. Didn’t I just buy a family size box on Saturday?
Me: And you finished it already.
Brother: Yeah, it’s a small box.
Me: It’s family size, it’s supposed to last.
Brother: Not when two people are eating it.
Me: Who are the two people?
Brother: Me and Nicholas.
Me: But it’s supposed to be enough for a whole family, not just two people.
Brother: Oh well. It’s a small box. Anyways, what do you want?
Me: Is mom there?
Brother: I don’t know.
Me: What do you mean you don’t know?
Brother: (starts singing the Corner Gas them song “I don’t know, I just don’t know…”) Hey Nicholas, where’s mom?
Me: Is she there?
Brother: Not at the moment.
Me: Where is she?
Brother: I don’t know.
Me, Okay, can you ask her to call me?
Brother: Okay. (Starts singing The Littlest Hobo theme song “Maybe tomorrow…”)
Me: Okay, bye.
Later when my mom called me back, my brother picked up the other receiver and we could hear him whispering something as we talked. He was saying “Lucky Charms” repeatedly.
On my birthday, I knew I wanted to get a free meal for dinner. Some deals allow you to get your free meal one week before or one week after your birthday, while others only allow you to get it on the actual day. It only made sense to go for one that would only be valid on the day of my birthday. I had two choices. Denny’s or Pajo’s. I had gotten my free birthday meal at Denny’s last year, so I decided to opt for Pajo’s this time. I wanted to go with my family, and I figured they’d be happier with fish and chips. I suppose I could have attempted to do both, but I feel that would have been overkill.
In order to get your free birthday meal at Pajo’s, just go to their website and click on “Free Birthday Meal” under the heading “About”. This will bring you to a form you need to fill out with your name, email address, and birthday. Then you’ll receive a link to the coupon in your email. Just print it out, fill it in with your name, and take it to Pajo’s with your picture ID on the day of your birthday. It’s good for a small fish and chips and a drink, or a burger with fries and a drink.
There are two Pajo’s locations in Richmond, one at Steveston on the wharf, and one at Garry Point Park. We figured the wharf might be busier, so we went to Garry Point. It was a nice day outside and we were able to find a picnic table to sit at. I had my coupon printed and filled out and ready to go. Halibut is more expensive than cod or salmon, so naturally I chose that option since it was free. But I had a bit of salmon too that my family had left over. Because I can always eat. The portions at Pajo’s are pretty big. You get a lot of fries in your basket.
I don’t have fish and chips that often, so I’m glad I decided to go there. There are two other Pajo’s locations at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody and Gates Park in Port Coquitlam. I’m lucky that my birthday is in the summer, because their summer hours are 11am-8pm, whereas in the spring and fall they’re only open until 7pm, and only on certain days of the week. This gave me ample time to get there and redeem my coupon after work. Unfortunately, since they operate outdoors, Pajo’s is closed during the winter. So you if you have a winter birthday, I guess you’re out of luck. I wonder if Pajo’s offers any deal for those who miss out by being born at the wrong time. Maybe it’s worth checking? But this is just one of the reasons why summer birthdays rock.