July 2013


RECIPE: The dress monster

By Melissa Ramos aka Sexy Food Therapy

Certain things I find terrifying: the Boogeyman who hid underneath my bed, Bloody Mary who’s name I would never say three times, and Casper the ghost (I know he’s supposed to be friendly, but he’d chase me in my dreams).  However, there is another monster that’s far scarier…the Dress Monster.

She taunts you on the wrack with her clean lines and gorgeous colour and soon you find yourself in the change room, throwing her over your head. You tug on her to get deeper but then realize…you’re stuck. You huff and you puff and blow all your air out so that it’ll fit.  Your face becomes red from overexertion and you stop, look in the mirror to realize…the Dress Monster got you.  Stuck at the breast line, you begin to contemplate your escape.

Should I call the sales girl? I can’t. I’ve gone commando today.

Do I try to pull the dress off versus trying to fit into it? It’s no use; it’s stuck underneath my armpits.

Luckily, when the Dress Monster came to pay me a visit one fateful day, I was with The Gentleman, who after hearing me banging into walls, offered to help and luckily I was saved.

Thankfully, I still managed to find an outfit for an upcoming fashion show and also learned an important lesson.  Eat more greens and I couldn’t get home fast enough to make one mega killer salad.


½ bunch kale

½ beet shredded

1 carrot shredded

1 bulb roasted garlic roughly chopped

Handful mixed nuts: pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds – pan roasted for 5mins on low

2 tbsp hemp hearts

1 tbsp olive oil


1 heaping tbsp tahini paste

½ lemon squeezed

1 tbsp umeboshi vinegar

1 tbsp honey (or more to taste)

Bunch up kale and slice thin.  Add this to a pan with heated oil on medium heat.  Cook kale until bright green – about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and top with shredded beet, carrot and cabbage. Add roasted garlic, mixed nuts and hemp hearts.  Set aside.

Combine all ingredients for dressing and stir until well combined. Top on salad and serve.

Serves 2

Sometimes I fall off the bandwagon and forget the importance of greens for energy, stress and reaching my ideal healthy weight. More reason to shape up.  With my new found strength, I was fearless and empowered.

While I’m no longer 20, I’m 32 and my curves are fuller and sometimes they get stuck – but that’s okay.  Instead of living out of a box and running from our bodies that we’ve grown to not accept and even loathe, let’s reconnect through real, whole, sexy foods where the process of self love, true protection and fearlessness is inevitable.

This might be the greatest Canadian YouTube video of all time

Backstreet’s Back circa 1999 Canada’s Wonderland

Words fail me when I think of ways to describe this. Masterpiece comes to mind. Genius. Art.

From the description of the video as told by uploader Ryan Doucette:

“So here’s the story… For those of you from Southern Ontario, it’s likely that you went to Canada’s Wonderland in Toronto during the late 90’s/early 2000’s in the Summertime. I have very fond memories of the roller coasters, waterpark and food at the amusement park. One year, I went with some friends and we came across the new video karaoke; essentially, you pay them some money and they create a blue screen video of you and your friends singing a song. They would broadcast the song, including the videos of whoever was singing at the time, on the outside of the building.They had all the hits at the time, including a number of songs by the Backstreet Boys. While I never had the guts to go in and sing something, we happened to be outside the place when this guy went in for his solo. The park staff were stunned, and my friends and I were on the ground crying with laughter! Needless to say, I wanted this video, and the staff were kind enough to oblige. I spent the rest of my spending money for the day on the VHS copy of his performance, and to this day, I still consider it money well spent. It’s been hiding in a box in my basement for years, and today, I converted it to digital. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you WTF Backstreet’s Back. Enjoy!”

While this man may not know the joy he has brought to this writer and other viewers of the video, he at least knows that he has a wicked kick and some sick moves.

Below are some of my favourie stills from the video.


You can follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers for all the latest in Backstreet Boys dance videos from over a decade ago.

Racist trolls trick KTVU into reading offensive list on TV

Well this is certainly both hilarious and troubling. Troubling because this is obviously racism in action, hilarious because the people at KTVU news casters clearly cannot do their jobs — and also troubling for the same reason.

Today during the noon newscast for KVTU a list of fake names, all thinly veiled English phrases that would be jokes about the crash of Asiana Airlines 214 that has claimed three lives, was read live on air as a confirmed list of the names of the pilots.

Noon news anchor Tori Campbell apologised for the gaffe after a break, but it remains a mystery why nobody realised that the list was not correct and obviously racist. This is the level of incompetence one might expect from Ron Burgundy, not reality.

This kind of schoolyard racism isn’t new, especially in regards to Asian names. You might remember when Rosie O’Donnell famously impersonated Chinese on The View, or when Miley Cyrus made a “goofy” face that is all to familiar to Asian kids who have been bullied because of the shape of their eyes.

The responsibility of our newscasters to fact check the stories they report is important, but in this case apparently not as important as being the first to report something — note that she pumps the “we got it first” cred for her station two times.

Perhaps better fact checking for major news organisations and less of an emphasis on reporting it first — regardless of how accurate it — would do well for American news.

Facebook official

Recently someone told me that Boyfriend and I aren’t officially official because we haven’t declared our undying love for each other via the Facebook relationship status. They were serious.

I was shocked, because I haven’t had a relationship status since the Big Ex and I broke up; my status says nothing. I’m not single, dating or complicated and I’m okay with that. Boyfriend and I have been together nearly a year and we’re happy but we’re not the kind of people who need to shout about how much we love each other on Facebook. Neither of us feel that our bond as a couple would somehow be stronger if we had matching profile pictures and constantly updated our friends on how incredibly in love we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I gush, I talk to my friends about how happy I am, if I could write a good sonnet I would probably do that too, but Facebook is the place where I share cool shit I find on the interwebs, not the adult version of a high school locker.

I share a lot of my life with the internet, but Boyfriend and I have an agreement: he doesn’t read my column and I don’t write about anything that I wouldn’t want to talk to him about, so if I’m super mad at him I have to tell him before I tell you lovely folks. It’s a fair deal.

But blogging and writing is so much different than an obnoxious status update. Instead of declaring your everlasting love with a grammatically incorrect and socially unacceptable update, maybe you could text your darling.

It’s okay to be excited about the person you’re seeing, it’s awesome actually, but if you have to shout it out to the world do you think that maybe you’re a little insecure in your relationship? In the same way that we forget to check our phones when we’re having a really great time, when you’re really happy do you even have time to tell the world how happy you are?

There are people who are always an exception to the rule. Two of my friends were in a long distance relationship until very recently and I thought the love notes they sent each other were adorable and sweet, they needed the internet because they didn’t always have each other.

So while I don’t have a relationship status I’m very much taken, very much in love and I have no plans to change that any time soon. However, I’m also not about to change my status so that everyone else knows that my relationship is real. The people who should know him know him and the people I love have met him and like him almost as much as I do.

The next time you see a status change from me it will be engaged or married, if I get my way and we elope on an island; anything less isn’t worth the effort or the hassle from people whom I haven’t seen in years congratulating me on no longer being a sad spinster lady.

They called her hideous and said she should kill herself — this amazing woman came out on top

Lizzie Velasquez was bullied from day one because of her rare genetic disorder and was even called “the world’s ugliest woman” — but she hasn’t let anyone else define her and is one of the most amazing women you’ll hear speak.

Listen to her story and see how the joke is on anyone who ever doubted her as their words propelled her into becoming an author, speaker, and a woman who is incredibly wise beyond her years.

June Rowlands: Toronto’s first female mayor

Do you know who the first female mayor of Toronto was?

June Rowlands was born in 1925. She started her service in the public specter in the 1950s, serving as president of the Association of Women Electors. In the ’70s she was an original member of the National Council of Welfare.

In 1976, she was elected to city council. While on council, she would become the first female TTC commissioner and budget chief, and worked hard to protect the city’s green space and support social housing. In 1978, she became senior alderman and sat on Metro Council.

After an unsuccessful run in federal politics in 1984, Rowlands left her position on city council to take over as Chair of the Police Commission in 1988—yet again being the first woman to take on this role.

She would return to politics in 1991, successfully running for mayor with a campaign focused on the issues of law and order. At the onset of the race, her main competition consisted of two other women—Susan Fish and Betty Disero—and Jack Layton. By the end, it was down to Rowlands vs. Layton. Rowlands would emerge victorious, being elected by a two-to-one margin and becoming Toronto’s 60th mayor.

While serving as mayor, Rowlands worked hard to reduce property taxes while still offering the services needed to make Toronto a world-class city. Unfortunately, she is likely most remembered for supposedly banning the Barenaked Ladies from performing at City Hall, claiming that their name objectified women. Although the decision was actually made by a staff member (Rowlands was out of town), the event would allow her detractors to portray her to the electorate as ‘out of touch.’ A later incident in which Rowlands seemed uninformed about a youth riot on Yonge Street would only give them further ammunition.

After one term as mayor, Rowlands was defeated by Barbara Hall in the 1994 election. She then officially retired from politics.

A true trailblazer, Rowlands opened many doors for women during her political career. A mother of five, she also exemplifies the modern woman, balancing a stressful career and a home life.

In recognition of her dedication to the City of Toronto, in 2004 Davisville Park was renamed June Rowlands Park, a fitting tribute to a woman who worked tirelessly to promote and maintain our park areas.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Toronto’s next Mayor must come from outside city council

Toronto needs a vision, with lack of leadership we  haven’t had a strong long-term encompassing vision in decades.  Without this vision Toronto gets pulled from extreme left to far right of the political spectrum with each election.

It doesn’t help having opportunistic politicians using our differences to divide rather than unite us. Toronto has fallen far behind other cities precisely because we haven’t united, but constantly fall into division.

You only have to look at Toronto’s decaying transit system to see what years of indecision have done. Transit and subway expansion have fallen dramatically behind from a point in the late 70s when Toronto was once a world leader in subway development.  Commute times in the GTA are now the worst in North America at an average 80 minutes. Add to that the cost of gridlock that is estimated 6 billion dollars in lost productivity per year and there is not just a philosophical argument but a strong economic case to be made for ending the partisan division and uniting behind a strong vision.

A strong vision needs a strong effective leader who can build consensus and who will work tirelessly to unify the city. I don’t believe that leader can be found on city council. Here’s why: I’ve spent the past few years working on getting the east west relief subway line on TTC and Metrolinx plans; I’ve also worked to push the idea of dedicated transit funding to pay for the subway and transit expansion in the Toronto region.  This required hours spent at city hall, in committee rooms, councillors offices and at city council meetings.  It gave me first hand experience at city hall with city councillors. I have watched councillors interact, play political games and fight for what they believe in. There are some who truly want to make the city a better place, some who pretend to want to, and others who can’t seem to see beyond their ward.

I’ve watched councillors I thought had leadership potential ignore many opportunities to lead, especially when it comes to subway and transit expansion.

For example Councillor Karen Stintz, chair of the TTC, has changed positions on the Danforth subway line, and the Big Move transit plan, so many times that I doubt anyone knows what her “vision” will be next week let alone a year from now.

Karen is learning, she is determined, and she carries enough doubt to question everything around her. She makes a good councillor, but her constant position changes don’t provide the stability needed for leadership.

If Councillor Stintz had supported the Big Move plan, and instead of announcing her own divergent plan, if she had worked to add the transit lines she believes necessary to the Big Move plan, she would have earned much more credibility and demonstrated the consistency needed for leadership.

In 2012, Councillor Stintz broke ranks with Mayor Ford and  supported Transit City with plans for above ground LRT to replace the aging Scarborough RT.  However in the past month, with thoughts of a mayoral run in her head, she now seems to be backing a subway to replace the RT in a move that looks more like pandering for Scarborough votes than strong leadership supporting underground transit.

But what truly lost my belief in Councillor Stintz was her refusal to take a strong stand on funding tools for transit.  When leadership on revenue tools was needed earlier this year Councilor Stintz, played political games declaring the tools she would NOT support instead of sticking her neck out and backing the tools that she would support. It’s a subtle difference with a huge impact.

As Chair of the TTC Councillor Stintz could have shown leadership by strongly stating to the Province the tools she and council supported to fund subway and transit expansion, but instead she backed away from taking any responsibility. Her actions and those who supported them set the move toward dedicated transit funding back months, perhaps years.  Toronto should have led the region on laying out the transit funding tools that we, as a city, accept. This would have set the stage putting the Province government in the position of having to support those tools or risk looking unresponsive to the need for transit expansion.

By abdicating her responsibility Councillor Stintz delayed and added to 40 years of political indecision around transit funding.

Over the past term I haven’t seen any councillors step up and fill the leadership void at city hall. I’ve made no secret of my support for John Tory. He’s a leader who can unite the city and he understand the importance of dedicated funding for transit expansion.

Transit funding has become a political football at the Provincial level. Dedicated revenue streams for transit expansion are crucial, but it is important that we secure the funding with something like a sunset clause to restrict politicians from using the funding for anything else thus removing it from the political arena. Dedicated transit funding must survive beyond changes in government.

My vision for Toronto is to build an expansive underground transit (LRT & Subway trains) system that supports the Big Move regional transit plan.  To do this the Toronto region will need secured and dedicated transit funding – from a 1% sales tax, to development charges and tolls — we have many options, but we lack politicians with the balls and tenacity to stand up for it








CREEP: This guy gropes women while posing for photos

There is a joke online about the so-called “hover hand” — where men posing with women for photos won’t actually put their hand on their female companion’s shoulder but instead will let their hand hover just shy of a normal photo pose. Silly, yes. Most women would find it a bit funny that these guys are too shy to even put their hand on a shoulder.

This guy, however, is billed as “the opposite of the hover hand” for his flagrant disregard for boundaries as he shamelessly gropes women who he poses for photos with. This website applauds the guy for being a public perv.

Check out the series:


The women he is posing with are all in costumes, leading us to think they are either trade show models or at some sort of cosplay convention.

Are they inviting this kind of behaviour because they are dressed up in revealing costumes? the answer is, of course, no. In fact, if these women are trade show models they are bound and pressured to stay quiet and pose for the photos with this creep at the risk of losing their job by complaining. These women are hired to be dangled along with whatever is being promoted at the show, to complain because a patron went a step too far and groped them would probably get them in trouble or fired for shattering the illusion that they are hired to promote.

Creep factor: 100% — this guy is taking advantage of women who are incapable of fighting back.

Someone should also tell this guy that Jamiroquai called and he wants his fun-fur bucket hat back.



Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Founder of Kik Messenger takes stand against LRTs because they don’t look futuristic enough

While Toronto’s subways vs. LRT debates splash against the front pages of newspapers our neighbours in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge to the west have had their own ongoing debates about the future of transit in the city.

The major bus route throughout KW is King Street, and the plan was to run an LRT along it and to reorganize buses in the city to feed into the LRT for better, more reliable, and faster crosstown travel.

The plan, which also includes a multi-modal downtown transit hub, hasn’t seen any major battles erupt like the mention of LRT will garner here in Toronto.

That is, until Ted Livingston decided he was not only an expert at providing a platform for tweenagers to sext each other and perverts, pedophiles to collect child pornography (no, really) but also an expert at transit in Waterloo Region.

His beef? The trains for the LRT aren’t futuristic enough.

His tirade, which you can read for yourself here, begins earnestly enough as he lets us know that he “only started reading about the specifics of the LRT this past Sunday.” This should be a red flag to anyone reading, as the “specifics” of the LRT have been publicly debated for the past fours years or so, and there also isn’t a lot more ever going on in the news in Waterloo to keep you distracted.

He tells us that he was excited, because trains are cool, that is until he saw a picture of one of the trains. “Not a futuristic train whizzing by overhead, but just a glorified bus running up and down King in a dedicated lane.”

Yes, he’s upset because the train doesn’t look cool enough.

He goes on to explain: “We say that traveling by bus is brutal and that these trains will be so much more comfortable to take, but after two wheels are photoshopped in we will all see that it is simply a shinier bus.”

Oh, that’s right, he photoshopped some wheels onto a concept design of one of the LRT trains going by Grand River Hospital to, um, prove to us that these trains are a lot like buses, maybe?

Waterloo Region and Grand Rvier Transit could also do a lot worse than double length articulated buses like the one Mr. Livingston has photoshopped into existence here.

“Instead of a train we all know and love, we’ll have glorified buses that are just as miserable to take. Because instead of getting cars off the streets and opening our roads, we’ll have closed key roadways and made traffic a mess. And because instead of looking for a unique solution that would actually make commuting in Waterloo fun, we’ll have gone over budget and burdened any future options for decades to come.”

The whole thing reeks of someone who, fresh out of school with a cash cow of an app, has to pay taxes for the first time and thinks that the dedicated lane will make it more difficult to travel around town in his new car. In Toronto he might have a few more fans, but in Waterloo where most people who take public transit are captive passengers, meaning they actually have no choice but to take the bus to work or school because they can’t afford a car, I think he’s going to be a bit hard pressed to find a group of car snobs willing to turn down any step in the right direction.

Ted Livingston, Jim Balsillie you ain’t. Stick to your app instead of opining on Waterloo’s transit.