AWOL

August 2, 2010 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy | No Comments

Hey folks… yeah, I’ve been a bit remiss about posting lately.

The new members are getting added to the site every coupla weeks –  thanks to my BitchBouncer crew, and lively conversations are still taking place on the discussion forums, but I’ve been rather remiss about any other kinds of updates.

I’ve had other priorities, so the site has kind of languished. I need to put some TLC back in – post a few articles that have been sent my way, add more Nice Guy comments (there’s been a ton), and put up a wordpress blog for The Morrigan (she’s been going throug a really bizarre time, but she’s OK and pulling through for her fans out there who may be interested).   

So I’ll really try to get back on the site and put some time in again, and in the interim, I say Props to my Bitchbouncers for keepin’ it goin in my absence!

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I’m still alive…

February 14, 2010 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Social idiocy, The Heartless Bitch Way | No Comments

I haven’t been posting much of late as I’ve been rather busy and had little time is left over for recreational activities like HBI.  My co-editors have been holding down the fort on the BitchBouncing front, and I’ve been coordinating some software updates to keep things running.

On the plus side, I did get some time this weekend to get our Heartless E-Cards back up and running – so you can now send heartless Anti-Valentines, or any other kind of postcard via the site.

And while we are on the subject of Anti-Valentine’s, I came across this article at the Globe and Mail… thanks to the bf, who thought it would be good fodder for HBI. (He’s SO thoughtful!).  In it Leah McLaren basically tells married women that they should suck it up, be happy they are in a relationship, and tells single women to hurry up and get that ring before all the good ones are taken.  She sees Valentine’s Day, for those in relationships, as a competition to gain maximum “moral high ground” by one-upping your partner, and takes pride in the fact that she has won this competition the last few years. I could rant about how deeply fucked-up that is, but I think its sickness speaks for itself.  She then goes on to quote Lori Gottlieb, the author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, as justification for her own disturbing acceptance of mediocrity in her life.

In all honesty, I’d have to say this comment from “nj1928” pretty much says it all for me when considering Gotlieb’s self-absorbed moaning: (do read the comments. Many of them are quite good)

It’s beyond insulting the way Gotlieb proposes to speak for all women based on her own particular feelings about being unmarried in her 40s. I’m sorry to hear that she regrets not having married & feels her life is now devalued because of it. I’m sorry to hear that she feels wasted & unhappy because she doesn’t have a husband. Here’s a big newsflash though: not every woman defines her worth according to marriage, and not every woman wants to be married. Many women (and men of course, but they aren’t the focus of Gotlieb’s offensive musings) enjoy meaningful relationships that don’t end in marriage. Many women are confident & comfortable dating as they get older. Some women even (*gasp*) ENJOY dating even when they’re 30+!

Frankly, to those who’ve read Gotlieb’s book it’s quite apparent that she’s suffering some sort of midlife crisis & is pushing her own narrow experience onto all women. She displays a disturbing narcissism in her assumption that what she experiences must be what all women experience, and any woman who disagrees is just wrong, obviously. It really is an unsettling read that leaves you wondering if she’ll ever get the help she needs to address her own unhappiness, or if she’ll just carry on assuming it’s all the fault of the world & other women that she wound up regretting her own choices.

Had the advice been “don’t get caught up in some narrow definition of a ‘soul mate’ or ‘the perfect partner'” eg, I’d be all for it. But that’s not really what Gotlieb’s on about. Her sinister message is “get married young ladies, settle for whoever will take you, or else you’ll find yourself a dried up worthless old hag (over 30!) that no man will ever want.” I expect that sort of message from Victorian literature, not so much today.

As if that isn’t enough, McLaren then goes on to quote Elizabeth Gilbert ( author of Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage.) ,  stating

Perhaps the most interesting observation in the book is that, historically speaking, a successful marriage has nothing to do with love. In the course of her research, Gilbert notices that, across cultures and history, the divorce rate spikes as soon as people start choosing their spouses for themselves.

Ok, this is a classic case/fallacy of assuming that correlation implies causation.  I suppose it didn’t occur to Gilbert that in nearly every culture where arranged marriages have been the norm, women are economically dependent on the men, divorce is often verboten, or at least highly discouraged, and where divorce does occur, the result is often the women being left without their children and any form of economic survival.  So arranged marriages last longer, probably due to economic dependence and cultural boundaries – not because it creates a more compatible union between two people … is duration of a marriage the sole definition of “successful”?

Ultimately, I think that McLaren’s message, which may have been better expressed as, “see your partner as a real person, and recognize that marriages take work, rather than expecting them to be some idealized representation of the perfect spouse”, was completely undermined by the garbage she used to prop up her claim.

My message this V-Day is this:  Screw worrying about whether or not you are “in a relationship” or whether your spouse/partner showers you with presents because of some Hallmark holiday. Focus on the fact that there are MANY kinds of relationships with friends and family and they ALL take work.  Enrich your life by cultivating good friends and good friendships;  make sure you put as much into your relationships as you are expecting to get out of them;  and you’ll never be lonely or bored.  More than half my friends are single (both men and women). We all hang out together. We go on vacations, and cottaging and to dinners and to movies together. We have our shared and individual interests. We have our misunderstandings and our resolutions.  We host birthday parties for each other, we care about each other.   Tonight, on Valentine’s Day, one of these dear friends (who is single)  is hosting an amazing Ukranian dinner for 28 people – single, married, and some with kids, where we will eat, and drink, socialize, share stories, and play PIT until the wee hours… and we will have a blast.  Now THAT’S the best way to spend an evening, regardless of whether or not it’s Valentine’s day.

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Only The Morrigan could find something like this…

January 2, 2010 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Random Silliness | 1 Comment

The Morrigan sent this to me today, saying, “I have NO idea what it is, but it’s right behind Police Headquarters.”

Necessary Punishment

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“Mawwiage…”

December 14, 2009 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy | 6 Comments

So we went out on this “Santa Pub Crawl” on Saturday night – the theme of which is to dress up in a Christmas costume – Santa, Elves, Trees… there were even “3 French Hens”…   For the first time, rather than wear my “Grinch” costume (the pseudo-santa shirt made by hand out of an old red sweater and some fun-fur) and red leather pants,  I bought a cute little number I saw at a lingerie shop- a little faux-fur-trimmed red velour dress – long sleeved and hooded, with garters and stockings.   The stockings that came with it cut my circulation off after 3 minutes, so I bought real lace-topped red ones to go with the outfit.  The whole thing came together very nicely.

When I stepped out of the bathroom, with my halls thoroughly decked, did the bf look at me and say, “Wow!” or “That looks nice!” or “We still have some time before we have to leave….”  ?  

No.  He said, “You’re gonna freeze in that.”

I don’t care if we don’t have the piece of paper.  We are SO married.

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Bad bathroom design

November 18, 2009 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Random Silliness | 1 Comment

The tenets of good design don’t just extend to the web.  Virtually everything we use every day is subject to some kind of design process.  And perhaps it is because I have seen my share of odd and unusual bathrooms this week (including one I labelled the “claustrophobia closet”), that I feel compelled to share my views on some elements of women’s bathroom design that really bug me:

1) toilet stalls that are so small you have to straddle the toilet to open or close the stall door.
2) small bathrooms that put the sink on one side of the toilet and the paper towels on the other side. This leads to people dripping water all over the toilet seat after washing their hands.
3) motion-activated hand dryers in general – WHO designed these things? Every single one I have used, I swear, has the infrared sensor for your hands at the back, by the wall, and no where NEAR pointing to the stream of air that actually blows out of the thing. The net effect is that it shuts off the moment you move your hands INTO the airstream. *argh*.
4) and while we are on the subject of infrared, bathrooms where all the infrared taps don’t work except maybe ONE, and again, where it detects your hands, is NOT where the water stream actually comes down.
5) stalls with no hook for a coat
6) stalls with broken door latches – how hard is it to fix these things, or design ones that don’t break?
7) and finally, my biggest pet bathroom peeve:  overly sensitive infrared toilet flushers that go off prematurely with the force of a hurricane if you move at all while on the john.

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HBI is finally getting a member update

September 9, 2009 | Filed Under Computers, Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy | 1 Comment

…. Summer is here, and amongst other things, I undertook a migration of the HBI site to a new server, new operating system, and upgraded applications. 

I also took some time off, and worked with summer student on producing a new membership application processing system, and attempted to refinish the floors in two rooms in my house.  Needless to say, applications languished in the queue during all of this.  To complicate things, all was not well in bitchland after the upgrade, despite the shiny new applications and hosting company.  Seems the new server kept hanging up on a near-daily basis.  After much back and forth with the ISP, consultations with the system provider, further consults with other experts, and googling the issue, I finally upgraded the O/S late last night.  I waved my dead rubber chicken and had a bottle of wine to keep me company.  The boyfriend kept his distance.  To his credit, he knew the profanity was not directed at him.   The upgrade was completed at 1 am. However, a few hours sleep was necessary for me to diagnose and fix the last configuration issue.  I think it’s all back together now (except the e-cards. I’ll get to them later).   Now, only time will tell if this solves the stability problem.

I am also off to TIFF this weekend – something I’ve been wanting to do for AGES, so I’m desperately trying to get at least the new member applications up on the site tonight. Unfortunately, the new processing system isn’t quite working yet, and my student had to head back to university, so I’m doing these “by hand”.  On the positive side, the editorial consults with Fabulana are hilarious as always.  The backlog of member applications up to and including Sept 7th should be processed tonight, and if I’m really smokin’, I’ll try and get out a Morrigan column or two…

I used to call this site a “labour of love”. Some days it’s just a “labour”.

Patience Bitches. We are almost there…

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Posture, vs Posturing…

June 18, 2009 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, The Heartless Bitch Way | 7 Comments

There are way too many web sites out there claiming they can help “Nice Guys” get laid via speed seduction techniques (for a price, of course). Unfortunately, way too many “Nice Guys” are the kinds of suckers who fall for that shit. Let’s face it, they fall for the kind of women who do THIS, too.

And yet, email commentary in the “Nice Guys=Bleah!” section of HBI is proof that not all Nice Guys are misogynistic assholes in wimps clothing.  Some can actually figure out how to grow up into mature adult males.  That being said, I continually get emails from self-professed “Nice Guys” who want some kind of real, concrete advice on what they can do to change, to get the girl, to have a REAL relationship (as opposed to just getting LAID).  Of course, putting aside the fact that HBI’s primary mandate is not to help losers get dates, what it all really boils down to self-confidence and truly liking yourself.  If you are truly comfortable in your own skin and care about yourself, you take care of yourself physically (hygiene, dress, health, etc). You carry yourself differently. You don’t project an air of desperation that the average female can smell a mile away.  But completely changing your personal outlook and growing a spine is a tall order for most doormats. So I’m going to throw you a cookie. One SIMPLE thing you can do, that will start to change your life. Really.  I’m not yanking your chain here.

Remember, you WILL have to change: Not WHO you are, but WHAT you do; your behavior and attitude will have to be modified.  Sitting alone sucking on the self-pity straw, believing that the woman of your dreams should love you just AS YOU ARE (with no effort on YOUR part to be the man of HER dreams), is crap fed to you by too many entitlement-minded psychobabble books.  So don’t be a bitter, narcissistic asshole who sits there expecting the world to revolve around YOU.

I got this from my youngest son, who took one look at a single friend of mine and said (of the guy’s lack of dating success), “I know what his problem is. It’s his posture.”  I thought about it, and I realized he had something there. Not the WHOLE thing, but something significant.

So here’s your cookie. It isn’t going to change your life overnight. It’s not going to magically make you a chick-magnet. It IS however, going to be a step in the right direction, and possibly a springboard for change in your life.

It’s simple: Stand up STRAIGHT.

Yep. Just that. Walk with your shoulders BACK. Not back and raised up – put them back and down, so that it straightens your spine – naturally, not stiff like you have a stick up your ass.  Hold your head up when you walk and when you talk to people. Do NOT round or hunch your shoulders forward. Sit up straight when you work.  This applies to whether you are walking alone on the street, or talking to a man or a woman.  It won’t feel natural at first, but the longer you do it, the more comfortable you will feel. (It’s also better for your back and neck).  Change your posture, and it will have a perceptible effect over time, on your attitude, and on the perception OTHERS have of you. In time that may even translate to changing your own self-perception.  

Oh, and stop reading those stupid speed-seduction sites and lusting after beautiful-but-damaged women. It’s all just so cliché.

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I want this shirt….

May 7, 2009 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Popculture, Random Silliness, The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

And then Buffy Staked Edward. The End.

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Family Ties

April 27, 2009 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy | 1 Comment

I’ve been a bit absent lately due to a bunch of outside pressures, not the least of which was my mother in hospital. If you saw my earlier post about bloomex, you’ll have some idea of what was going on. 

She was diagnosed, via routine colonoscopy, with suspected bowel cancer.  Fortunately, she was able to get in for a CAT scan, and then surgery in relatively short order – just over 6 weeks from diagnosis to surgery. At one point, her biggest fear was “that I’ll lose my asshole.”. Yep, that’s my mom. 

She finally came to terms with the thought that she might be on a colostomy bag for the rest of her days, but her doctor assured her they would do everything they could to “save her asshole” if they could.

He saved it by THIS much (she shows you just 1/4 inch between thumb and forefinger). She came out of hospital last week, and is back on her feet, running around like nothing has happened.

And the biopsy results came back within a week: the tumor was benign.

WHEW. 

We can ALL heave a sigh of relief, not just because she doesn’t have to do chemo, and we don’t have that big “C” word hanging over our heads, but also because now maybe she’ll stop nagging ME to go have a colonoscopy… at least for a little while.

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My neighbors are going to hate me…

April 26, 2009 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, The Heartless Bitch Way | 3 Comments

I recently received a letter in my mailbox from our neighborhood community association.  They are concerned about thru-traffic in our neighborhood and want to close off five north-south streets at their south ends. I live on one of those streets.

They are basically proposing closing down all but one of the streets in this area that connect to a major thoroughfare and by way of that, to the freeway that runs through town. The alternative for me, and everyone else in this area, would to be to drive 13 blocks out of my way, or drive through a school zone. And this would be the case if I just want to go to the gas station, or get groceries or rent a movie. All these shops are at the south end of my street.  A street they want to close.  My street has a sidewalk.  It’s not like pedestrians HAVE to walk in the street and therefore are at risk from cars.

Why does the community association want to do this? Because, as near as I can tell, they want their kids to be able to play in the street.  And this is why I am unpopular right now. I happen to think their kids should play in their YARDS, or at the local PARK – which is two short blocks away, or the SCHOOL – which is also two short blocks away – or in the field across the street, which is ONE block away, rather than in the street. I think that we should leave the streets open, and if you want to let your kids play in them, you can teach them the game of “natural selection”.

My god, what a Heartless Bitch I am. 

Yes, traffic is increasing. The neighborhood is growing. You want your property values to increase, and the growth of the neighborhood amenities assures that.  Those amenities like the Sushi restaurant, and that grocery superstore, and the yoga studio where you do your mom-and-tot yogacize, and the Starbucks where you get your morning latte, all have a price. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. 

I looked at the proposal and it was immediately apparent to me that all it would do is SHIFT the problem and concentrate a bunch MORE traffic in a school zone.  It would make one of the primary east-west streets incredibly busy, by diverting all north-south traffic from this quadrant onto it, in order to get to the freeway, or shops at the south end.

As you might suspect, I am vehemently against this and have let the city know how I feel about it.  This does not make me very popular with my neighbors, most of whom have young children.  I didn’t even bother to attend the community association’s meeting about it, but I heard it was an utter disaster.

I think there are alternatives that would encourage more drive-thru traffic (non-residents using these streets to get from one area to another) to use the main arterial routes that the city would prefer. These involve actually CONNECTING one of these arterial routes to a major through-street at the north end. There are north-end closures they could make that would not have NEARLY the impact on the residents, but would act as a deterrent to non-residential through traffic.  They could put in traffic circles (as they have done in other areas) to reduce traffic speed on some of the north-south streets.

I just have a real problem when people move onto a street like ours, that HAS through-traffic, and a light at the intersection, and then want to CHANGE it because THEY have kids and have a problem with the traffic.  You moved onto a THROUGH street. If you wanted to have a street where your kids could play, then you should have moved onto a cul-de-sac! This is tantamount to people who move next to a pig farm and then complain about the smell.  It really annoys me when people get an over-inflated sense of entitlement and think that because THEY don’t like the way things are laid out, the city should change it for them – regardless of the wishes/needs of the other residents who might have moved to that location precisely BECAUSE of its accessibility and easy connections to other parts of the city.  And it’s not like they don’t have parks, greenspaces, bike paths and schools in abundance close by!

But mostly, I’m just irritated by the short-sightedness and sheer insanity of the proposal. We want our kids to be safe, but hey, it’s OK to shunt all that traffic through a school zone?

This was a through-street when I raised MY kids on it. I saw no reason to change it then, and I see no reason to change it now. 

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