An open letter to Jian Ghomeshi, written by Ro

Jian Ghomeshi is raging through my mind this morning.

Maybe it’s because my family is embroiled in its own baseless legal battle where innocent and good people are being dragged through the mud, but Jian Ghomeshi is the scum of the earth.

Dear Jian,

What you did was WRONG and you tried to cover your tracks by puffing out your chest and intimidating people into silence. You hired a big PR firm because once again, you believed that if you beat people down hard enough, they would slither away, like so many of the women that you preyed upon. You used your pseudo-celebrity status to dazzle young women, and then you hurt them and shamed them into silence. You are a predator.

You should have to pay the CBC back for the legal expenses you incurred, but I feel like you owe the CBC far more than $18,000. Your claims were baseless, and while you were being an asshole, you continued to further victimize the women you abused and led your fan base to believe that you were innocent. The damage that you have incurred is priceless, and no amount of money is going to make any of those women feel safe and whole again.

So many of your fans stood up for you and cried for your innocence. You made a mockery of thousands of Canadians. You used your dead father to garner sympathy. You victim shamed innocent women and you called them jilted exes. You attempted to manipulate the situation, and for once, it backfired tremendously.

Everyday people like you walk away from situations like this, unscathed. In your wake you were willing to leave honest and truthful people to rot in the web of lies you’ve created to keep yourself elevated. You disgust me to the core.

Enjoy the legal process, you coward. Enjoy having your words used against you and having holes poked into everything you’ve ever said. Privacy is no longer yours, and you too, can enjoy what it’s like to feel little and helpless like so many of the people you’ve silenced over the years.

Fuck you.

From Rochele, on behalf of Canadians everywhere

I want you to want ME, another playlist by Ro

Another playlist by yours truly. Earlier this year I began archiving my old playlists and dissecting them one song at a time. Stay with me, this one hails from 2002 and has zero content from 2002 because apparently I was already an old women by then.

1. Kokomo – The Beach Boys

‘Afternoon delight, cocktails and moonlit nights
That dreamy look in your eye, give me a tropical contact high’

So ummmm, is this song on your baby-making playlist? Probably. In 2002 I didn’t know what afternoon delight was, or what a contact high was for that matter. Oy.

2. When I’m 64 – The Beatles

What a sweet and endearing song. Grow old with me, internet.

3. The Longest Time – Billy Joel

‘I don’t care what consequence it brings
I have been a fool for lesser things
I want you so bad’

But seriously, as a teenager, you run into everything head first and you deal with the pain later. Billy Joel knows what’s up. Falling in love is pretty reckless. We try to tell ourselves that we’ll be cautious and we won’t give all of ourselves, and then one slip and it’s all downhill. Life lessons, yo.

4. You Made Me So very Happy – Blood, Sweat and Tears

I love you so much it seems
You’re even in my dreams
I can hear you’

Careful there, BST. Telling someone you’re dreaming about them gets creepy, unless they feel the same way. Actually, make sure they feel the same way before you say this kind of stuff at all. Or keep it to yourself. Or write a hit song. Whatever.

5. More Than A Feeling – Boston

Confession: I’ve overplayed this song and I don’t like it anymore.

6. I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick

I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I’d love you to love me.
I’m beggin’ you to beg me.’

I very vividly remember wanting someone to feel the same way that I felt about them, but not knowing where I stood. The achy-hurty feeling of not knowing. Ugh, it’s coming back to me now. Staaaahhhhp.

7. Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All I do is keep the beat and bad company
All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme’

Here, Dire Straits, just take my heart. I didn’t want it anyway after listening to your most excellent crumby song about how it doesn’t work out for Romeo, regardless of his and Juliet’s unfortunate stance on mortality.

8. Just What I Needed – The Cars

I don’t mind you coming here
And wasting all my time
I don’t mind you hanging out
And talking in your sleep’

It’s not wasting time if it’s something you enjoy…

9. Again – Lenny Kravitz

I wonder if I’ll ever see you again’

Back in 1999, it was a lot easier to lose track of someone, and I did. The internet wasn’t in everyone’s house yet, and we still had to ask for phone numbers and risk parents answering. Oh god the panic. Sometimes you just left stuff to chance instead of trying to make it happen.

10. Last Kiss – Pearl Jam

At the very least, he knew it was going to be his last kiss before his love departed this world. I tend to think we would do things differently if we knew we were doing it for the last time. How great would it be to leave this life with a last kiss? BRB, crying while I contemplate it.

11. Pretty Woman

As a 20-something woman, I have feelings about a man noticing a pretty woman on the street and cat-calling after her. It’s not good. I’m sure this song was innocent enough back in the dark ages, but now it doesn’t sit very well with me. Anyway, before I destroy Roy Orbison, I’m moving on.

12. Let’s Spend the Night Together – The Rolling Stones

I still like this song.

13. Two Princes – The Spin Doctors

Who didn’t love this song in all its early 90’s glory? Synopsis- this guy wants you to give him a chance despite that fact that he’s a bum. Personally, I think Romeo from #7 has more of a chance than this guy.

14. I Know You’re Out There Somewhere – The Moody Blues

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice’

More people losing track of each other. I’m beginning to think that maybe we would value our relationships and experiences a little more if the internet didn’t make them so damn convenient. What do I know? I wasn’t even alive when this song came out.

15. The Air That I Breathe

Making love with you
Has left me peaceful warm and tired
What more could I ask
There’s nothing left to be desired
Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak’

This guy is saying that there is nothing else in the world that he wants other than this. All he needs is the air that he breathes and to love you. Why is anyone settling for anything less than this? Go get it, make it happen. Seriously, this is the kind of love that makes me cry. Just kidding, I’m already crying.

Yes, I really do have nostalgia tied to every song, but there isn’t enough time in this world to tell you about it. That, and it’s probably not that interesting to anyone but me. So here we are. Another playlist archived.

Camping

I am giving up on Princess Camping, or Glamping.

For the first time in close to two decades, I am sleeping on a mat on the floor of my tent, in a sleeping bag, instead of an air mattress that rivals the size of my queen size bed at home, which I usually cover in thick, flannel sheets and a down duvet.

I’m sharing my 6-8 person tent with three other people instead of hoarding the space for myself and husband.

I packed one weekend bag. Just one. And it’s not very big. I’ve packed more just to get ready at a girlfriend’s house for a night out.

We still slaved in the kitchen all week so that we could have amazing meals every day. If it’s going to be cold and damp, we may as well have our spirits lifted with rich, spicy spaghetti sauce and a hearty stew with cheddar biscuits. We brought our French press because mornings without coffee shouldn’t exist at all. 

I packed a lot of liquor. I may not even notice the inclement weather…

We brought games. Our friends brought games. We have a trunk full of dry, split firewood. 

Our campsite doesn’t have flush toilets or showers. I may wash my hair in the lake if I get desperate, but I brought a hat.

I swore that I wouldn’t camp like my parents and yet here I am, performing their exact version of camping. Next thing you know I’ll be growing my own vegetables and using unscented laundry detergent. Oh wait…

 

I’m angry

I am angry that dress codes exist.

I’m angry that someone’s religion trumps a woman’s right to decide how she uses her body and what she does or does not put in it.

I’m angry that I get a sick feeling when I have to walk past a group of men.

I’m angry that little girls are told to be modest and that taking pride in their body and displaying it will be too tempting to a man. Girls, you are not the problem and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are.

I’m angry that most men will never, ever understand how degrading it is to be cat-called or leered at.

I’m angry that a woman is a slut if she sleeps with a man/men outside of a relationship.

I’m angry about slut-shaming in general; why are you forcing your insecurity on others?

I’m angry that Hobby Lobby was taken seriously at all. I’m furious that it passed.

I’m angry that women get asked, “What were you wearing?” after they were raped.

I’m angry that someone I know was touched without her permission on public transit.

I’m angry that someone I know was raped by a friend of a friend on the way home from a party. I’m angry that she didn’t report it.

I’m angry that ANYONE feels entitled to a woman’s body in any way, shape, or form. She is not yours to tell how to dress, how to smile, what shape her body should be, what she can and cannot put in her body, how to use it or not use it.

I’m angry that I feel the need to change my outfit because it’s a bit too sexy or that I’m showing a lot of skin.

I’m angry that when I am mad or upset it’s akin to being crazy or hysterical. Dramatic, sure. Crazy I am not.

I’m angry that women are taught to be uncomfortable in their skin.

I’m angry that I don’t feel safe taking transit at night time because I’m a woman.

I’m angry that if I assert myself and say no that I’m a bitch.

I’m mostly angry because I don’t know how to change any of it. Be the change you want to see in the world, but how? I’m angry because I feel helpless.

 

My First Ever Mixed CD

In 2000, one did not just go to Youtube and listen to whatever the hell they wanted. They had to buy the CD/tape cassette or wait for the radio/Much Music/MTV to play it. Very few people had dedicated internet, and even fewer people had CD burners. Napster was on the scene, but a lot of the material was corrupt, and most people still had their internet packages in minutes. Downloading a song could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, so it was a giant pain in the ass to download music. Times were tough in the year 2000.

Never the less, it was new and shiny and I had to have my very own mixed CD.

So I paid some guy that I chatted with on ICQ’s Random Chat (who just happened to go to my school) to make me a mixed CD. It cost me $15, or about the same as a new CD, which seemed fair.

My first ever mixed CD is a gem. There is no rhyme or reason to the tracks, I just liked them, and they made me happy. What I do know is that track #6 is a huge mystery, because I’d never heard that song and my best guess is that it was mislabeled in Napster as the song I actually wanted, and said dude was not a music aficionado.  Track #7 is a warbled version of Gob’s Paint It Black.

Here we go:

Track 1 – Why Do You Build Me Up – The Foundations

I think There’s Something About Mary came out that year and after that everyone knew the words, I recall singing it with many friends on many occasions.

Track 2 – Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

My childhood pal Sean (a huge Beatles fan) and I used to go to the swimming pool a lot, and we would curl the yellow floating mats and pretend we were in a boat and sing, “WE ALL LIVE IN A YELLOW SUBMARINE!” We thought we were the coolest. PS- Sean, I miss you. You were the first person who ever embraced my weirdness; together we weren’t weird.

Track 3 – So Happy Together – The Turtles

It was just a great song. I still love it. It’s one of those songs that reflects my life.

Track 4 – Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger

PARANOIA! PARANOIA! EVERYBODY’S COMING TO GET ME! This song is so satisfying to yell-sing, especially so when you are 14 years old and SO misunderstood! *cue eye rolls* Oh Rochele….

Track 5 – Ariel vs. Lotus – Limblifter

I’m not sure what happened. I’d never heard this track before it ended up on my CD, and I definitely wanted to ask for at least $1 back.

Track 6 – Come On and Love Me – Lenny Kravitz

Okay, I just had to Shazam this, 14 years later. I am 102% I didn’t ask for this to be on my CD, either. It’s a terrible song. Skip.

Track 7 – Paint It Black – Gob

I loved the original Rolling Stones song, but suffered through this one because my dumb 14-year-old friends couldn’t see the forest for the trees, and this was better than not playing this song for them at all.

Track 8 – Clumsy – Our Lady Peace

I was a tad depressed at 14. I didn’t feel like I fit in, and this song seemed to fit.

Track 9 – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python

For my 14th birthday, my stepdad bought me tickets to go see Eric Idle Performs Monty Python and it was a far cry from what I actually wanted. I had never watched Monty Python, and this seemed dumb and obscure. My mom was recovering from surgery and had to cancel my birthday party, and couldn’t get out of bed that day and I ended up taking care of my baby sister, and cried myself to sleep that night. My stepdad knocked on my door and sat on my bed and tried to explain that of all people, he knew that I would love Monty Python if I just gave it a chance. The following month, we went to the show together and I cried again, but mostly because it was the funniest show I’d ever been to. They closed with this song.

Track 10 – Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles

I listened to this song when I had bad days, it helped.

Track 11 – If You Want to Be Happy – Jimmy Soul

This song used to make me laugh, and reaffirmed that if I was going to awkward and gangly forever, I could always fall back on cooking. Somehow I knew even that I’d be a great cook. Recently, a friend told my husband that I must be difficult to live with and he said, “Yeah, but her cooking makes it worth it.” Listen to the song, you’ll get it.

Track 12 – Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) aka The Sunscreen Song – Baz Luhrman

The first life advice that I ever bothered to pay attention to. And you know what? All of this rings true as an adult. 14-year-old me was nostalgic for something that hadn’t happened yet.

Track 13 – She Lies To Me – 54-40

54-40 used to be Vancouver’s house band. What is wrong with me? I’m not supposed to be happy all the time, but I’m willing to bet it doesn’t matter yet…. for some reason, I was always waiting for the bottom to drop out. I guess it had a few times. My home life wasn’t stellar, and I was used to not asking for things and going without. By the time I was 14, I was going to school with kids who lived in multimillion dollar homes and with kids who lived in co-ops and reservations. High school was a weird place, home was a weird place, and I never quite felt at ease anywhere. The idea of having someone lie to you to protect you was oddly appealing to me.

And… that’s the end of this disc. In 2000, it was hard to tell when you had too much data for a disc. Sometimes songs would just drop off or the disc wouldn’t burn. I can think of a dozen more songs that I probably wanted on this disc, and I know I had alternates picked out in case a certain song wasn’t available. Either way, here is some insight into 14-year-old Rochele. Until I map out the next disc….

Enjoy.

A day in the life of Rochele

5:50am – The alarm goes off. Hit snooze. Cat creeps up to my face and plops herself on top of my chest and purrs.

6:00am – The alarm goes off again and I leave it and listen to whatever the next few songs are. Obligatory morning cuddles with husband and cat.

6:15am- Get up. Check phone for Snapchats, texts, and notifications. The shit people send me in the middle of the night is priceless.

6:20-7:15am – Have shower. Blow dry hair. Drink coffee, and blueberry-spinach smoothie. Makeup. Pick an outfit. Iron. Obsess about shoes. Stumble downstairs and gather lunch, phone, and whatever else I need for the day.

7:20-8:00am – Drive to work. Play the $1000 Minute on Virgin Radio. Listen to The Shore’s Test Drive song of the day. Curse the slow drivers. Curse the drivers who shouldn’t be in the HOV lane. Be smug about police pulling people over for traffic violations.

8:00am – Arrive at work. Make coffee. Unload dishwasher(s). Check messages. Ask boss about his itinerary for the day. Check email. Greet staff as they arrive.

8:30-4:30pm – Work. Answer phones. Filing. Prep for meetings. Email. Troubleshooting Microsoft Office. Fix paper jams. Smile at everyone. Send important emails. Scan. Work on contracts. Set-up presentations for architects.  Go for a walk down to the waterfront at lunch time. Be the shining light at the office. Twitter. Facebook.

4:30- 5:30pm – Drive home. Phone mom, use blue tooth. Curse the sound quality of my blue tooth. Curse the slow drivers. Curse the busses. Curse people driving in the HOV lane that shouldn’t be. Yell obscenities at other drivers who cannot hear me. Apologize to mom for horrid attitude while driving home.

5:30-6:00pm – Arrive home. Feed cat. Take off clothes. Lay in bed naked. Contemplate what to make for dinner. Contemplate just staying in bed for the rest of the night.

6:00-7:00pm – Get up. Change into t-shirt, hoodie, and pajama pants. Put hair into a messy bun or ponytail. Make dinner. Listen to The Peak. Sing. Tweet. Do dishes. Step on cat 10 times.

7:00-7:30pm – Eat dinner. Chat with husband about day. Whine about being tired. Talk about how I should do homework, opt to watch TV instead.

7:30-8:30pm – Watch Parks and Rec, space show, OR several episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway. Leave husband to watch multiple episodes of Income Property, shake head at his blatant man crush on Scott McGilvery.

8:30-10:00pm – Hang out in the Girl Room. Listen to Songza playlists. Paint nails. Tell the cat she’s so pretty. Chat with friends on Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, and text. Think about the next day’s outfit. Do a dry run of said outfit. Instagram said outfit, maybe.

10:00-10:20pm – Charge phone in the Girl Room and activate night mode. Tell the cat it’s bedtime. Tell the husband it is bedtime. Set-up coffee maker. Make sure all food is put away. Take off clothes beside the bed, leave them there. Get into bed.

10:20-10:45pm – Attempt to minimize the ritual bedtime chat. Get frustrated that husband stops talking and falls asleep immediately after telling me he’s not tired yet. Cat plops herself on top of me and purrs her little face off for what seems like 20 minutes.

10:45-11:15pm – Lay in bed listening to 10,000 thoughts. Try to think about something quiet and calm. Eventually lose myself in a thought and drift to sleep.

2:30-3:00 – Awake. Husband is taking up 2/3 of the bed and is serial cuddling again. Cat is still on top of me. Too hot. Thirsty. Have to pee. Know that ignoring all of these things means not sleeping. Get up. Pee. Drink water. Come back to bed. Push cat out-of-the-way and ask husband to move over. Ask husband to move over some more. Give up. Get back into bed. Lose myself in counting to 100, drift back to sleep.

3:45am – Neighbour with obnoxiously loud truck drives by, wakes me up.

4:15am – Awake. Annoyed. Still an hour and half to sleep. Fall back asleep.

5:45am – Awake. Tempted to just get up, but bed so warm. Fall back asleep.

5:50am – The alarm goes off. Feel like a zombie. Press snooze.

You Shouldn’t Need A Reason For Not Having Kids

Ro:

THANK YOU! This says it all.
“If someone says they don’t want kids, there is a good chance that there is a reason why that you are not entitled to or need to know. Because that reason is likely not something the woman enjoys discussing.”

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

I wore a maxi dress to work today. The frequency in which I wear dresses to work is about once per month. I am more of a jeans and blouse kind of girl. So on the spontaneous day that I wear a dress like I did today, people notice and sometimes talk about it in the same way they might if I showed up with a tattoo on my face. Most days I don’t mind this. Today was not one of those days.

It was mid-morning and I was chatting with a coworker about my decision to go to 7/11 last night for a glazed doughnut (or two) at 11:00 p.m. I ate the doughnuts right before bed (I had had a day, okay?) and this morning when I woke up the first thing I saw was my crumpled up 7/11 doughnut wrapper on my nightstand staring at me, shaming…

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