Thursday, August 20, 2009

Identity Crisis: Shabs Jones?

Darlings, forgive me for the hiatus, but I have just returned from world's most insane interprovincial road trip. I promise, I'll never leave you like that again. We good? Great. Love you more.

Okay, before I get started, let me just throw this one down: Vegas is Satan in municipal form. If you plan to travel, go somewhere (ANYWHERE) else.

Moving on...

Lord help me, YUPBs. I am trying to buy a house this week and it is a jungle out there. Apparently, the real estate market has recovered just in time for Mufti and I to purchase a house in one of the most expensive markets in the country.

House shopping is most definitely an exercise in restraint, which has never ever been my strong point. I am exceedingly sorry to tell you that I have found myself nose to nose with perhaps the biggest dilemma facing a Young Urban Professional Bitch.

I think Willie Shakespeare posed the question best when he wrote:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune...

Or, as pertains to my case: To keep up with the Joneses or not to keep up with the Joneses. That is the question. And, in this story, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune are vanity and greed. More specifically, my vanity and greed.

Because here's the thing: while I didn't grow up wealthy, I certainly didn't suffer materially. We were middle class. Sure, I did some coveting, but who hasn't? That said, I am not a materialistic person nor have I ever been. My husband has cited this very attribute as one of the main reasons he married me. I don't really care about things so much as about experiences and have never put down "be filthy rich" on my life to-do list. Furthermore, I often openly mock people who need other people to know how much money they have or people who are ultra-secretive about how much money they have/make. I really think that level of seriousness on the subject is pretentious. Yet, there I was, agonizing not about the price of the house or the location but mostly about what other people would think of it and whether the house would accurately reflect where we are financially.


That's right boys and girls, throw me a comb-over and an extended length reality show that nobody gives a f*ck about because I have officially entered a level of douchebaggery reserved for the Donald Trumps of the world. I am a greedy white man. I am the female version of Dick Cheney. If this experience were a vintage Super Mario Brothers game, my outlook on it would be the warp zone to Social Climbing Bitch Land.

The thing is, I know that you are never supposed to admit that kind of thing out loud, which is precisely the reason I'm doing it. Because, while I know that those things don't really matter, I can't help but care about them all of a sudden. It was a huge eye-opener to realize that I actually give a shit about this kind of nonsense.

I think I know where it came from, too: living in Alberta. 

You see, one of my major problems with living in the wild rose province is that the government and many, many individuals I've met here (most, but not all) seem to think that money is the most important thing in life. If you have more money than the next person, it makes you better than them, so they seem to think. Albertans value money over much more important things: the environment, health, truth. If you think I'm wrong, just look at the effects of the oil sands and the way most people defend them, as if the money they generate excuses anything at all.

So, I'm running for my life and hoping that a return to my kinder, gentler home province of B.C. will erase my newfound love of money. However, if you see me driving around in a jacked up diesel truck with testicles hanging off the back hitch, just do me a favour and lobotomize me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

In Which I Invite My Readers to Unravel a Mystery of Great Cultural Importance Part 1

Once again, I spent this past Friday night surrounded by smart and gorgeous YUPBs. This time, we chose a small Moroccan-decorated Greek restaurant where the food was small but delicious and the house wine is made by...Wayne Gretzky. I got the feeling that the restaurant was having an identity crisis and they weren't the only ones. Several of us were having a "crossroad day" as well.

This night didn't stand a chance, do you see where I'm going with this? Everything was a little strange right off the bat.

After a couple of bottles and some appies, we decided that we should go to a place that was a little more happening where we could dance, do some shots and get our crayzay on. When we got there, one of the first things I noticed before we skipped the line (we're KIND OF A BIG DEAL- sorry, I have been waiting for an opportunity to get all Kanye West Caps Lock on yo' asses...) was a very tall girl in a very tiny outfit. Too tiny. I don't just mean that she was violating actual decency laws, this outfit was outrageously short AND unflattering. I wondered aloud to my friends why this girl's companions hated her. They must; otherwise, they would never have let her wear that out of the house. Poor girl. Whatever, though, that was not the point of the night, right? I went ahead inside and followed the girls to the bar.

I spent the next few minutes rooting through my stupid purse for bills and when I looked up, I had a definite WTF moment: 

Were my friends and I the only women in the bar wearing pants?

When did fashion shift to the pantsless variety?! Suddenly, I was swimming in a nauseating sea of doughy white, cellulite-laden thighs. There were dresses so short that I'm pretty sure that they should have been shirts and shorts so short that they barely escaped dimpled bum cracks. Ew, gross, I thought. How tacky (Speaking of tacky, fast forward a couple of hours to us in a cab, opening the door to a group of girls outside a bar and demanding to know where their pants are).

Okay, I decided to focus on something else and settled on the music (and the cheesy bouncer standing on a chair and waving his crotch around). I started noticing that most of the songs were strikingly similar, Cher circa 2000 kept coming to mind. You know, that song "Believe" where she sounds like a robot. I started to listen to the songs: Black Eyed Peas, Kanye,  Sean Kingston...all the same. Ah, the 808 (a synthesizer used in music production). That's what it was.

How strange that, all of a sudden, music sounds the same and nobody is wearing pants. I started to ponder this: could it be that it was not a coincidence? Could it be that the decline of pants popularity and the increased usage of the 808 in Top 40 music were somehow linked? 

But who would stand to benefit from such circumstances?

I am back from Vegas on Sunday. I will give you until then to enter your guesses. Stay tuned for part 2...

Guest Post from LilMissFemmeFatale


Hey Everyone, Shabs here. As I am away in Vegas this week, one of my fellow YUPBs has generously offered to post in my absence. Enjoy, or don't- but let's hear what you think of her POV! 

Nature Vs. Nurture: Professional Edition

It’s a strange world we women live in nowadays. Our biological nature tells us to “be nice, especially to your fellow woman” and “help people” and “think of yourself last” and all that shit. Meanwhile, feminism and the women in the work-world that are a product of feminism are telling us “do what you have to do to get ahead” and “you deserve to succeed” and “think of your professional future first” and all that shit. Seriously, what’s a girl to do?! Working women are having an identity crisis, and we don’t even know it. 

I like to think that I’m a nice person. I want to have good relationships with other people, especially other women. Women these days have to deal with far too much other crap to turn on each other: rape, sexual, physical and mental abuse, prejudice, racism, the list goes on. (And that list doesn’t even include the less mentally-, physically- and emotionally-damaging crap, like pregnancy, cellulite and trucks with testicles hanging off them.) If we want violence against women to end we have to fight against it as a united front, both in and out of the workplace. Especially when violence and prejudice against women in the workplace is still, after all these years, a problem.

(Sorry, mini-rant there. My “pet” cause is violence against women. But I’m sure you picked up on that.)

However, while I do want women to cultivate good relationships with each other and be united and all that, I really do want to get ahead in my professional career. I’m a competitive person, and my professional life is no different. Between 9 and 5 I will work my ass off to be better than her, whoever “her” may be. Be a better writer, be more creative, be more charming, get more clients, get more money, get more promotions, get more recognition, more, more, more. And because I want to be nice, I won’t be upfront about it. I’m sure most people don’t realize how competitive I actually am, because all this is going on in my head. I’m constantly secretly working out how to do better than you. If you ask me for help I’ll purposefully give you just enough to make you think I’m helping…but not enough to help you succeed, because I don’t want you to. Isn’t that bitchy? But I don’t apologize. My identity means that I’m nice until we’re in a boardroom together. It’s easy for me to separate how I feel about you personally to how I feel about working with you.

So yes, I love my female relationships. But if you get in my way in the job setting, I will take you down. And I’ll smile sweetly while I do it.

- LilMissFemmeFatale

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

YUPB Word of the Week: Cacology

Cacology (ka-KOL-uh-jee).n.
From the Greek Caco (bad) and logy (word)
Poor choice of words or Incorrect pronunciation
For example: 
" The result of him trying to converse in a language in which he was not fluent resulted in the worst kind of cacology."  

July Alpha B.I.L.F.: Mikey Ignatieff!

Our next Prime Minister has been voted Alpha B.I.L.F. with 57% of the vote. Thanks to everyone who voted.

Cautionary Tale- Lauryn Hill


Lauryn Hill
Originally uploaded by
Lisa Liang
Well, YUPBs, sorry to get all depressing on your fabulous asses, but it can't be helped. I am tired of seeing so many women plunge themselves into utter ruin because they allowed some guy to eff with their priorities.

Case in point: Lauryn Hill. '
Memba her?

Between 1996 and 1998, you could scarcely turn on your radio without hearing Lauryn's voice. As one third of the
Fugees and an award- winning solo artist, she dominated the charts for the last half of the 1990s. I recall more than one lunch hour in high school spent driving around with my fave bitches, smoking DuMauriers and listening to "Killing me Softly". That voice. She was this beautiful, hip, strong, talented black woman with so much charisma.

Then, she simply disappeared.

What at first seemed to be a self-imposed hiatus based on her negative feelings about the trappings of celebrity soon turned into something more...bizarre. Her MTV unplugged session was called a "public breakdown" by Rolling Stone, she recorded albums and then refused to release them, dropped out of a major project backed by Oprah (oh no you didn't) and completely screwed the
Fugees reunion by refusing to come on stage until she was ready, which was sometimes a full 45 minutes into a show.

So, what happened?

Let me tell you what happened: Lauryn Hill let men come in and take away her power. That's right, I'm going there. First, she started listening to some "spiritual advisor" named Brother Anthony, who basically told her to renounce everything, calling it sin. Then, she got knocked up by Bob Marley's son,
Rohan. This douchebag neglected to tell her that he was already married and had two children with his wife. Like a dummy, she stayed with him and got knocked up four more times and began referring to Marley as her husband. He, on the other hand, told the media that they are only together "spiritually". I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Rohan Marley keep his "spirituality" in his pants if he isn't going to recognise the legitimacy of his relationship. F*cker.

Now our girl Lauryn is raising five children by herself and has cut off most of the people who were close to her back in the day. Those who are still in touch with her say that she's pretty unbalanced. So sad.

There is an important lesson here. I've seen this happen more than once to very smart women who end up ruining their lives because they let some man who does not have their best interests at heart swoop in and lead them. These women lose their professional momentum, self-respect, financial security and common sense.

If it can happen to a mega-star with everything going for her, it can happen to you. Don't let it. Take care of yourself first, you are your own best resource. Next time some
sexay piece tries to get risky with your well-being, think of Lauryn and tell him to hit the road.

Use your head,
YUPBs. Don't wind up a cautionary tale.

And send out good vibes to L.H., she badly needs it.