Twenty-seventh day of work selfie

I bought this dress during one of my Vegas trips at a random store on the Vegas strip.  It was one of those shops where they sell souvenir Vegas t-shirts and stuff like that.  I like dresses and tops in this style because they’re so stretchy and flowy and comfortable (WordPress is indicating to me that “flowy” is not a word, and tried to autocorrect it to “flawy” instead.  What the hell is flawy?  And yes, flowy is a word.  This dress is not flawy, if anything, it’s flawless.  It’s like there’s a whole damn garden on the bottom of my dress.).  I was going to pair it with my orange scarf to match the flowers and butterflies, but I couldn’t find it so I settled for this green one that I got from an Orb Warehouse sale.  I got this denim jacket from GUESS at Richmond Centre.  I don’t wear jeans anymore, but I still like to rock the jean jackets every now and then.  I never really shopped at GUESS until I won a gift card at a shopping event at Pacific Centre a few years ago and spent most of it at that store.  Ever since, it’s been one of my favourites, but I try to only buy stuff there when it’s on sale.  Since the dress looks kind of fancy, I thought maybe the denim would tone it down a bit for more of casual look.  Since there’s already so much colour going on in the outfit, I thought mostly silver jewellery would be best, with my Payless heart necklace and my Supernatural Fan Expo angel wing earrings.  Because butterfly wings don’t have to be the only type of wings in an outfit.

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When Madonna kissed Drake

After Madonna kissed Drake at Coachella a couple weeks ago, there were numerous articles, news stories, and memes circulating about it.  Many were making fun of it because of Drake’s reaction and Madonna’s age.  There were different groups of people with different takes on the event.  Some found it hilarious, some made fun of Madonna for being old, some thought “Who cares?” and some claimed that it was sexual assault.  I would like to think that I fall into the category of “Who cares?” but the fact that I’m writing about it would prove otherwise.

The first thing I noticed about people’s reactions was that so many people were commenting on Madonna’s age.  Even before the kiss, people had been commenting on her age.  When she announced her Rebel Heart tour, I saw posts and comments from people saying that she should retire and that she’s too old to be performing.  One could argue that her performance at Coachella and the fact that she had Drake be a part of that performance was part of her attempt to stay relevant and maintain shock value to an audience who questions her ability to do so.  In response to the kiss, people said things like “50 shades of granny” and called her geriatric and an old lady.  I didn’t think it made sense for people to refer to her as a senior citizen, when she is only 56.  People have pointed out to me that 55 is sometimes regarded as the age where one becomes a senior, but for me I’ve always though that began at 65.  Either way, I would never refer to someone in their 50’s as a senior citizen, and doing so would never really be regarded as a compliment.

I actually kind of want to see Madonna in concert, because I never have, and to me she is an icon, one of those people you just have to see in your lifetime.  I don’t care that she’s “old”.  My favourite concerts that I’ve been to were to see performers who you might consider “old”.  Earlier this year, I saw Bryan Adams, who is 55.  It was an amazing concert.  No one thought he was too old, in fact, he was better than ever.  I also saw Fleetwood Mac, whose members are mostly in their 60’s and it was awesome.  Last year I saw Cher, who is 68, Elton John, who is also 68, and Paul Simon & Sting, who are 73 and 61.  All these concerts were great and I’m glad these artists are still performing.  Next week, I am going to see Neil Diamond, who is 74.  Unfortunately, I don’t currently have a ticket for Madonna’s concert.  I was hoping she would announce a second show in Vancouver like she did in Edmonton, but that didn’t end up happening.

It seems like with older male artists, there isn’t that stigma of age and expected retirement.  No one says they should stop making music just because they’re older now.  I admit, that 80’s Madonna will always be my favourite Madonna and I’m not a huge fan of her current songs.  But that doesn’t mean that she should stop making music just because her best hits might be behind her.  I don’t really like any of today’s music by artists in general, young or old, as you can probably tell by the concerts I’ve attended in the last little while.

People have different viewpoints regarding the aspect of ageism and sexism when it comes to Madonna’s performance at Coachella.  Often times when a situation occurs, we tend to speculate about how things would be different if the genders of the individuals involved were reversed?  Like how I think that a male performer over 50 would not be ridiculed as much as a female.  Some people who claim Madonna kissing Drake was sexual assault, say that it has nothing to do with age or gender, and is fully about consent. I’ve heard arguments about how if an older man were to kiss a younger female in that manner, people wouldn’t be laughing at the situation, and instead would be outraged.  I’ve heard references to John Travolta’s behaviour at the Oscars, where many, including myself, believe that he came across as creepy when interacting with Idina Menzel and Scarlett Johanssen.  I would argue that that wasn’t about his age or his gender, and that his behaviour did just genuinely seem odd.  Even if he touched the face of an older woman, it would have seemed creepy.  And it wasn’t part of a performance.

I think back to the VMA’s a couple years ago with Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s performance.  I feel like while they were both judged for it, Miley was criticized more so for her behaviour, in this instance where it was a performance with a young woman and and older man.  Although, I realize that Miley was performing and twerking, whereas Drake was just sitting in a chair.  When I think about the issue of consent in relation to Madonna kissing Drake, I am reminded of the 2003 Oscars, when Adrien Brody kissed Halle Berry.  I remember it being a key moment in the awards show, but I don’t remember there being any outcry about consent.  I think that Halle Berry expected a kiss from Adrien Brody even less than Drake expected a kiss from Madonna. There is also the iconic photo of a sailor who grabs a nurse and kisses her on V-J Day in Times Square.  I recently found out that the nurse didn’t actually know the man, but the sailor, along with everyone else, was just so swept up in the moment.  The iconic moment is even replicated on a t-shirt at Old Navy.

I agree that consent is absolutely important.  If someone is sitting in a chair, minding their own business, you obviously shouldn’t just go over and start making out with them.  But in Drake’s case, he wasn’t merely sitting in a chair.  I mean, he was, but on a stage, and for the sake of performance.  There is a difference between everyday life and performance.  On the improv show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” the performers have kissed each other a few times in various scenarios for the sake of humour. Maybe improv isn’t the best example, because with improv anything goes and you leave yourself open to whatever happens since nothing is scripted.  But with performance in general, depending on the type, sometimes not everything is going to be scripted.  And especially in performances that include a sexual component, whether it be stripping, or dancing, or what have you, the people involved are generally more open to things.

Two years ago, I was at a New Kids on the Block concert.  I remember I did joke about how they should call themselves Old Guys on the Block instead, so I admit maybe it’s not just female performers who get critiqued for their age.  Although I find boy bands specifically are criticized more so than other male music artists, which is another issue entirely.  Nevertheless, I went to their concert, and am going again next week.  The guys are all in their 40’s.  At Rogers Arena, there are screens, so even if you’re not right in front of the stage or in whichever area they happen to be performing, you can still see close ups of what’s going on.  At one point, in the middle of a song, all of a sudden you see on screen, Donnie Wahlberg, making out with a random woman in the audience.  At no point did he ask if she wanted him to kiss her and at no point did she say “Yes, Donnie, I want you to kiss me.”  It just happened.  He didn’t even ask her to come on stage first or anything.  All of sudden, they were making out.

Have you ever been to a strip show?  I say strip show as opposed to strip club, as there is no male strip club in Vancouver.  If that’s not sexist, than I don’t know what is.  But there are groups of male strippers that perform shows, mostly at casinos.  If you haven’t been to a male strip show, maybe you’ve seen Magic Mike?  I have seen Thunder From Down under twice, once at the Excalibur in Vegas, and once at the River Rock in Richmond.  I’ve seen Chippendales once at Hard Rock in Coquitlam.  What does this have to do with anything?  Well, during these shows, there are moments when the guys will bring a woman on stage.  And maybe have her sit in a chair.  And then one of them will give her a lap dance, touch her, have her touch him, and yes, sometimes kiss her.  At no point does the male stripper ask her if he can kiss her, because it’s all a part of the performance.  You could say that she consented to go on stage, so she knew what was going to happen.  Similarly, Drake consented to going on stage.  I’m sure he was aware that he wasn’t going to merely sit there the entire time while, Madonna ignored his presence.  No, he was going to be a part of the performance.

This also made me think about Janet Jackson.  I have a friend who is completely obsessed with her, and therefore I’ve been subjected to watching videos of some of her past concerts.  And there is some pretty raunchy stuff.  If you think anything Madonna has done is overly sexual, watch some Janet’s videos.  There are times during her shows when she will bring a man from the audience up on stage.  She doesn’t have him sit in a chair.  She has him tied and strapped down, so he is lying down and she basically dry humps him and does whatever else she wants.  It’s way more intense than Madonna kissing Drake.  And it’s all a part of her performance.  (Side note, I still can’t believe that Janet Jackson is now Muslim.)  Like the guys who volunteered to go on stage with Janet, Drake agreed to go on stage with Madonna.

For those who say her age has nothing to do with the problem, I’d say that if Rihanna or some other young female performer had kissed Drake, there would have been no issue.  If Drake had still given the same grossed out reaction following the kiss, people would maybe question if she’s a bad kisser, but they certainly wouldn’t say that she had violated him in any way.  I wonder if his reaction had been positive instead of negative, would as many people still think of it as sexual assault?  I guess it’s impossible to know what he really thinks, but his response is that it was her lipstick, not the kiss itself that left a bad taste in his mouth.  Why shouldn’t we believe that?  Hell, sometimes my own lipstick gives me a bad taste in my mouth, so I totally get that.

I do understand and acknowledge that consent is extremely important.  And especially so in cases where there may be a sort of power imbalance, in terms status, or what have you.  I recognize, that just because Madonna is Madonna, that doesn’t give her free range to make out with whoever she pleases.  But it’s not as if she’s going around doing that on her own time.  She’s doing that as part of a performance.  Whether it’s Britney, or Christina, or Miley, or Drake, it’s all performance for the public.  But the fact that this has sparked so much conversation about the issue of consent is a good thing.

I saw male strippers with my grandma

Yeah, so the title of this post is self explanatory.  But I’m guessing you want details?  Like how and why?  More like how awesome was it and why did it take this long for me to write about it?

Thunder From Down Under

Obviously this appealed to me

While in Vegas, I went to see seven shows.  Thunder From Down Under was one of my favourites.  We were looking through the different shows that we could potentially go to and trying to organize our time, figuring out which days we would do what.  I was staying at the Luxor, which has a connection to the Excalibur.  They had a deal at these hotels where you can attend two of their shows for $75.  So naturally, I went for this deal.

I wore my best looking shoes to the show

I wore my best looking shoes to the show

I commented on how I wanted to see it, and to my surprise, my grandma said she would go with me.  I had to make sure she was serious.  She was.  I wanted my cousin to come too, but she was only 18 at the time.  But lucky for us, 18 year olds are allowed to go as long as they are accompanied by an adult over the age of 21.  Done and done.

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My cousin and I, awaiting the show

We had some time before the show started, so my cousin and I went back to our respective hotels to get ready while my grandma did some more gambling.  Before we met up to go in, my grandma asked someone where the Thunder From Down Under Showroom was.  Apparently they replied with, “YOU’RE going to Thunder From Down Under?”  To which she replied, “Yes, I’m going with my granddaughters,” in a way that suggested that it was a perfectly normal thing for her to be doing.

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They’re so good, they have their own Showroom

My cousin and I were so excited for the show.  The novelty of it wasn’t so much the fact that we were going to see strippers.  It was the fact that we were going to see strippers with our grandma.  Who does that?  Who else can say that they’ve done that?  I’m probably the only person who can say she saw male strippers with her 18 year old cousin and her 79 year old grandma.  And more importantly, that I enjoyed seeing male strippers with my 18 year old cousin and my 79 year old grandma.

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My grandma bought me a thunder cocktail

My grandma’s awesomeness does not stop with the fact that she agreed to come with us.  She also bought me a drink.  And not just any drink.  A giant fishbowl drink.  I was still trying to finish it at the end of the show.

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My giant fishbowl drink

This was my first time at a male strip show.  Because sadly, there are no male strip clubs in Vancouver.  At least none that I am aware of.  Are there?  In Nevada, apparently there’s a law where they’re not allowed to remove everything.  So no full frontal.  But my grandma mentioned to us that back in her day, they took everything off.

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Me and my fishbowl

Before the show started, there were videos on the screen with various clips of the men from Thunder From Down Under.  In one of them, it showed them all hanging out in their dressing rooms, and one guy was playing guitar, and one of them was straightening the other guy’s hair.  I was like is that what they do when they hang out?  Sit around straightening each other’s hair and serenading each other on the guitar?

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Our seats weren’t half bad

Like any good male strip show, there was a fake orgasm contest, where the host brings three ladies onstage to do their best fake orgasm to win prizes.  I’m kind of glad I didn’t get picked for that.  It would probably be horrifying to have to do that in front of my cousin and my grandma.  And I’m even more grateful that neither of them went up.  I can’t even imagine.

It was thrilling walking through those doors

It was thrilling walking through those doors

I loved their dance numbers.  And their bodies.  It’s actually quite intimidating how insanely in shape they keep themselves.  There were a bunch of times when they would invite a girl on stage to get some private one on one time with one of the guys.  Sadly, I was not chosen.  It’s usually girls who are there for bachelorette parties and birthdays that get to go up.  Or whichever girl screams the loudest.

It was all so exciting

It was all so exciting

They don’t stay onstage for the entire time.  Sometimes they come around out into the audience.  Which was great for us because we had a couple of them pass by our table a few times.  One guy came around and he gave my grandma a hug and he gave my cousin a hug.  But he completely ignored me.  I was feeling rather neglected.  But the later, another guy came by and sat on my lap.  So it was all good in the end.

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The Showroom

After the show, you get the chance to get your picture taken with the guys onstage.  No, sadly my grandma did not get one taken.  But she gave my cousin and I $20 each to get them for ourselves.  Would your grandma give you money to go sit on a stripper’s lap?  Yeah, didn’t think so.

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Next time, I’m buying some merchandise

They showed us different poses that they could do with us.  For one of them, they said it was for your ex-boyfriends, and they were all giving the finger.  My cousin, being the classy girl that she is, decided to choose that one.  So she, along with the guys, are all giving the finger to the camera.  She said it was a message to all the guys who have hurt her, that the Thunder From Down Under guys support her.  I thought that was pretty awesome.

Girl's night outback. How clever.

Girl’s night outback. How clever.

I went for something a little less harsh, and just positioned myself across their laps.  Still keeping it classy as always.  Clint, the guy with the pink hair greeted me on the stage and said he liked my outfit.  He was my favourite.  He had dyed his hair pink to show support for breast cancer awareness.  I also liked Matthew, the guy who hosted it.  At the end, he does some stripping himself, which is awesome.  And then I sat on the young guy’s lap and we talked about how they had done a show at the River Rock the previous year and how I’m from Richmond.  I was still talking to him and didn’t even realize my time was up.  I totally could have sat there longer…

My classy as hell photo

My classy as hell photo

Because we’re awesome, we checked our coupon books for coupons for a free poster from the merchandise shop.  But in all our excitement, we forgot to claim them.  Luckily our hotels were right near the Excalibur, so we went back to get what was rightfully ours.

Yay for free posters

Yay for free posters

There was a 9:00pm show and an 11:00pm show.  We went to the early one.  Grandma likes to party, but she still needs to be in bed at a reasonable hour.  You have the opportunity to get your photos and posters signed at the end of the show, but for some reason we didn’t.  But I was determined not to miss out.

Woo hoo

Woo hoo

After leaving my grandma and my cousin and going back to my hotel, I went back to the Thunder From Down Under Showroom to wait.  I dropped stuff off in my room first and my dad asked me where I was going since it was quite late by that time.  I informed him I was going to go get my stuff signed by strippers and went on my way.

Waiting to get my merchandise signed

Waiting to get my merchandise signed

I had to wait a while.  A lot of girls from the second show were getting their photos taken, and taking their time doing so.  But it was well worth the wait.  What’s better than a Thunder From Down Under photo and poster?  A signed Thunder From Down Under photo and poster.  Plus further interaction with the guys, however minimal it may have been.  I made sure I was visible enough in the crowd to push through and get each one of their signatures.

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Is it worth more because it’s been signed?

This experience was probably the most memorable of the trip.  And one of my most memorable experiences in general.  For some, Vegas may be all about getting wasted in some high end nightclub.  But for me, it was all about strippers with my grandma.

Hello, my name is Dominique and it’s been 9 days since my last blog post

Not that it’s an addiction or anything.  Are there any bloggers’ anonymous support groups?  There must be.  They have support groups for everything nowadays.  I’m pretty sure I’d qualify.  Although right now I do not wish to deal with my blogging addiction.  I wish to deal with my inability to keep up with the frequency of my blog posts.  And feed the addiction, if you will.  In my last post, I mentioned how it was difficult to blog in the summer.  But right now I’m looking at how busy fall is going to be an I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting then either.  But I’ll try to make it often.

I was in Vegas for five days.  And while I was there I did not have internet access, which meant I did not check Facebook or Twitter or WordPress.  Which normally is awful, but when you’re in Vegas, you hardly miss it.  It was really nice actually not having to tweet about everything I was doing at any given time.  No responsibilities or worries.  I got back yesterday and now I’m kind of depressed that life here just isn’t as awesome as it was there.  But at least I can blog again.  If I have time.

There are so many awesome blog ideas I have at the moment and no time to write them.  At this rate, I’ll be telling you about Vegas some time next year.  I still need to blog about free birthday deals, because people have been asking about those.  It’s already been a month since my birthday and I still haven’t got around to it.  And then there are other various posts I want to write about food and shoes.  Obviously.  Because this blog tends to revolve around food and shoes.

My main problem right now is I need a computer.  I mean obviously I have one, seeing as I’m using it to write this post.  But it sucks.  A lot.  We have two laptops at home actually, one slightly more crappy than the last.  And they’re incredibly, painfully slow.  And they freeze and shut down.  It’s always such a chore to post things, espcially pictures, and so I often get frustrated and give up.  Long story short, I need a new computer.  Does anyone know where I can find a good one?  Once I have one in my possession, you can expect better blog posts.  Or more frequent ones anyway.  I guess I can’t guarantee better.  We’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.  Well I won’t, because it’s hard to type with your fingers crossed.

I want to go to a blogging conference

So apparently there is such a thing as a blogging conference.  Who knew?  I certainly didn’t.  But they exist.  Or at least one does.  I was reading Red Lips and Academics, one of the blogs I follow, and the author, Laura, wrote a post where she mentioned she attended the Bloggers in Sin City conference this year.  It sounds fascinating.

I’m really glad I stumbled across her blog post, because otherwise I would have no idea.  Not that I’m necessarily going to go.  But I will definitely think about it, since it seems like a great opportunity.  And a lot of people I know don’t really understand my obsession with blogging or how I can blog as much as I do.  I was talking to this guy the other day and I told him I blogged and he asked me what I blogged about.  I said I blogged about my life.  And he asked me if my life was really interesting.  And I said no.  And he was left confused and I didn’t feel like explaining myself.  It would be cool to meet people who shared that passion, who just understood and didn’t judge.

There’s a contest held by Lucky Bloke where you can win entry to the conference next year.  That would really cool, since the expenses are what would prevent me from going.  The event is capped at only 60 people, and apparently some register super early.  It’s in May, so maybe I’ll forget about it by then.  But right now, it seems like an amazing opportunity.  Lucky Bloke is a condom subscription service which donates 10% of its sales to urgent humanitarian causes, which is pretty cool.  Anyone in need of condoms should check out their site, because as your needs are met, the needs of others will be met too.  The tagline on there is “Have more sex and save the world”, which I thought was pretty clever.  They offer other things too, like aphrodisiac chocolates and massage oils.  How very fitting that the conference takes place in Vegas.  And how awesome that Lucky Bloke is giving away one of the limited spots at the conference.

I’ve been wanting to go back to Vegas, it’s been a while since the one and only time that I went.  This would be a good excuse to do so.  And then I could tell people that I was attending a conference, like it was for some important business meeting.  Or you know, I could just plan a trip there anyway.  You don’t really need an excuse for Vegas, do you?  But it would be very cool if I had one, and even cooler if I obtained it by helping to promote condoms.

I’m a terrible shot

A couple months ago, I went to the shooting range in Port Coquitlam.  Why so far?  It was the only one I’d heard of.  And my friend offered to drive.  And we felt like shooting something.  So why not?  Also Friday is ladies night, so they waive one of the fees.  It was my first time going there, although I did go to the gun range in Vegas a couple years ago.  But what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, so I don’t think that time counts.  And it all happened so fast that time, I barely remember it.

It was a little crowded, since it does get busy on ladies night, but the wait wasn’t too bad.  We got to choose from a wall of targets as to which one we wanted to shoot at.  I wonder if anyone’s ever tried to bring in their own target.  Like a picture of someone.  But I’m guessing they don’t condone that sort of thing.  The ones they had included a basic body shape, zombies, a butcher, a killer dog, and of course, Hello Kitty.  Because why would you not want to shoot Hello Kitty?

So many targets to choose from

But I noticed that they had special targets on promotion where they would donate the money to the BC Cancer Foundation.  So obviously we chose those targets, that way we weren’t just shooting in vain, we were actually helping a good cause.  It’s like we were shooting out cancer.  And that beats shooting zombies any day.

Shooting away cancer

We then noticed that the target itself was also an ad for the movie One for the Money, which I hadn’t yet heard of at the time.  I’m sure some of you still haven’t heard of it.  It’s a Katherine Heigl movie, so don’t feel bad.  When my friend realized it was a Katherine Heigl movie, she was all the more determined to shoot it.  But I think she reluctantly ended up seeing the movie the very next day.  Go figure.

It's a Katherine Heigl movie, I have to shoot it

Before going in, I wanted to be good at it, but knew full well that I would suck.  I lack coordination and aim when it comes to pretty much all sports, and shooting is no different. I mean I’m even bad at darts.  Hell, I was even bad at pin the tail on the donkey.  So yeah.  Not that I completely missed.  I just missed most of the time.  This is one of the reasons I’ve always stayed away from those carnival shooting games they have at fairs, so as not to throw away money.

It was still fun though.  And somehow I managed to get one shot right in the middle of the target.  I’m pretty sure that one was a fluke.  But if anyone asks, I’ll just say it was all skill, and the reason I missed the other times was because I knew I couldn’t get a shot more perfect than that anyway.  I also managed to get a few shots in the head of the target.  My friends were better than me.  Which I fully expected them to be.

I didn't suck that badly

For the most part, I was in total awe of how good of a shot my friend is.  Seriously.  It scares me.  She tore that target apart.  It made me feel completely inferior.  What’s the female version of emasculated?  I sort of felt like that.  Think of that episode of Modern Family where Gloria finds out that Claire spends time at the shooting range to relieve stress, and then tells her it’s sad that she goes so often and that’s the best she can shoot.  And then picks up the gun and shoots a perfect shot.

But you know what, I’m okay with my lack of skill.  It’s not a skill I need to have.  I’m happy to not live in a place where everyone feels the need to own a gun.  And I hope to never find myself in a real life situation where I would need to use one.  Because if my life depended on my ability to fire a gun, I’m not sure if I’d survive.  But if such a situation did arise, I would just hope that my friend is there, so she could protect me.