or what i really wanted to title this, “stop being a horrible person.”

after last saturday’s happenings, i basically ran to work as quick as i could today, with my head down to avoid any further run-ins. there were many people on the street this morning. it wasn’t foggy and beautiful. it just seemed dirty and stale – like friday night’s leftovers.

turn the corner. down four blocks. around the side of the building. in through the garage. down the elevator. up the stairs. unlock the door. i’m in.

phew! i made it to work without anyone saying a thing to me. i felt safe. i let my guard down.

around 8:30 a.m. i decided a coffee would make a perfect addition to the morning. i didn’t want to be gone too long, so the tim horton’s a block away was my target.

on my way back, coffee cup in hand, i saw a man on a bike approaching me, so i moved over on the sidewalk to leave him ample room. instead of accepting my gesture, he jumped the curb down to the road and shouted at me:

“i’m not the one who is fat and needs the extra room. maybe try eating a salad instead of doughnuts.”

i was stunned. i stood there as still as a statue as he rode off. and then i cried. i did everything i could to not cry while walking along 17th ave, but i did. i’m comforted to know i am not the first to do so, and i will not be the last. and i cried all the way back to work. only when i was in the comfort of the office did i let myself sob.

side note: i can’t remember the last time i had a doughnut; i’d love to eat a doughnut. salad on the other hand, had one yesterday. 

why would someone say that to a stranger? why say it at all, especially unprovoked? what mean and horrible spirit do you have that makes words like that fly out of your mouth?

i would never speak about anyone like that.

but wait, i do. i talk about myself like that.

this man said aloud just a few of the horribly mean things i say to myself every day. actually, compared to my own dialogue, he went pretty easy on me.

i guess the better question is: why do i expect more from a stranger than i do of myself?

Jess showed me this video yesterday and i promptly requested that we never reenact it. i could never unleash the awful things i direct towards myself at someone i love so much.

and while i wept at the words thrown at me, that cut a little too deep, i realized that the kindness, empathy and compassion i hold for others, disappears when i turn inward. we must be kind with ourselves.

i love you, dear reader, but i don’t want to keep writing blog posts on saturdays. it seems like the universe has different plans in store for me. it keeps teaching me lessons to share.

so, please take this advice to heart toward yourself and others: don’t be cruel, don’t be hurtful, don’t be an asshole.

i’ll be learning to do the same.

photo credit: allison bridgman.

people who “eat to live” are not usually my kind of people. i can’t relate to someone who thinks kale chips are an indulgence. they are the people i happily smile at with my chubby cheeks while i lick barbecue sauce off my fingers…because, have you tried barbecue?


that magic is worth being chubby for.

in one episode of Mind of a Chef (on netflix, watch it) the pit master they are featuring says, “it makes the skinny fat, and the fat good lookin’,” in his delightful southern drawl while rubbing his overall-covered belly. i remember laughing at his matter-of-fact statement; it was so ‘deep south’.


my enchantment began at southern soul barbecue in saint simons island, georgia aka the happiest place on earth. where the small counter barely has standing room for four and the line is stretched so far out onto the patio, it weaves around the benches and past the smoker – the main focal point.

sitting on that patio in the sunshine, sipping on a sweet tea, while waiting for my order is my definition of simple happiness.

the downside is, southern soul’s patio is 4,228km away from me most days. and while the 39 hour drive that spans two provinces and 13 states sounds pretty incredible, it may not be the most economical.


you could imagine i was pretty jazzed to hear of a new barbecue joint, Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey, a mere 3.7km from my condo. all signs pointed to great: their menus were locally-sourced and celiac-friendly, they learned from the best in Texas, they kept everything simple.

there was only one question left: could it compare to my island in the sun?

after stuffing ourselves on my birthday, Jess and I found out that yes, indeed, it was as delicious as i needed it to be. and that’s no easy task; my barbecue standards are incredibly high.

Hayden Block provides has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, deliciously smoked dishes, a multitude of classic sides (like their decadent, ooey gooey mac and cheese), and hand-crafted cocktails. it was everything i was missing in terms of barbecue – southern drawl not included. though, i’m sure if i asked nicely, someone would fake an accent for me.


local calgarians will know the location as the old yardhouse in kensington. after an extensive revamp of the space – totally needed – Hayden Block now features a southern-inspired ambiance and a backyard patio called the Whiskey Garden, where you can enjoy a beverage made with your choice of the over 160 internationally sourced whiskeys, or a craft beer or glass of wine.


you’ll leave more than satisfied with a full belly and extensive knowledge from the in-house whiskey-connoisseurs, all of which are happy to take a moment to tell you about their passion. my favourite kind of people.

i have countless standing dates to return again, try everything i haven’t yet, indulge in my favourites, and order everything on the brunch menu. wanna come?

do you have a favourite barbecue place?


today’s piece of advice: unless she is literally asking for it, she’s not asking for it.

i’m not sure that could be more clear.

her clothes aren’t talking. her makeup isn’t talking. her shoes aren’t talking. the way she flips her hair isn’t talking. unless her mouth says words of consent, she’s not asking for it.

she’s not asking for it.

there has been so much surrounding this topic in the media the last few days due to a very unfortunate individual running for president of the united states. i listened to michelle obama’s speech, and i read through the twitter hashtags #notokay and #ibelieveyou with a breaking heart.

the only person who has the right to dictate what happens to a woman’s body is that woman. rape culture isn’t funny. a woman, and her vagina, are not anyone’s property.

she’s not asking for it.

these conversations force us women to relive every unwanted advance, every time we’ve been treated like someone’s toy. sadly, many women are forced to relive the sexual assault they have experience.

and sadly, it isn’t stopping. we will be forced to live new encounters.

like this morning.

there was nothing special about this morning.

my alarm went off at 6 a.m. like it does every saturday. i laid in bed fighting with a headache, tiredness, and thinking of ways i could call in sick for work. i lost the fight about 30 minutes later, getting myself out of bed to get ready. this morning’s definition of “ready” consists of making sure there weren’t any crusties on my face, pulling my hair into a messy top knot, and putting layer after layer of baggy stretch-cotton fabric on my body – for maximum comfort, and warmth – before stepping out into the below-zero temperature for my walk to work.

the walk is about 4 blocks. it’s not new; i’ve done it every saturday morning at 7 a.m. for the last 17 months.

the sky was still so dark, and the calgary tower was glowing through the thick, icy fog. i took a deep breath and felt the chill down in my lungs. i thought to myself that everything felt still, like i was so lucky to be the only person awake and out in the world experiencing this beautiful morning.

that is until i realized i wasn’t alone.

there’s a car slowly driving nearby. it pulls up alongside me, stops, and the driver’s side window rolls down. the man inside is muttering something in my direction. what was that? is he asking for directions? he opens his mouth again. he’s telling me to get in his car. to go with him. he’s not asking.

“what? no!” i yell back and quickly continuing walking.

he slowly continues driving beside me, talking out his car window. work is now only two blocks away, but it seems like miles.

just go away. just drive off.

and then he does. he steps on the gas and speeds into the darkness.

it’s not until i finally get to work that my heart stops pounding, and i get to reflect on what just happened:

there is nothing “inviting” or “sexy” about my outfit. i have no skin showing. it’s -2 degrees out; and i am bundled up in my jacket, scarf and hat. it’s so dark, and i am wearing so many layers, it probably took a while for this person to figure out i am a female.

we often blame ourselves. what did i do to invite these actions? how can i prevent it from happening again?  but here’s the thing: i did nothing.

i was not asking for it.

this morning is an example that proves sexual abuse/assault is not about anything a woman does. if a person wants to act in such a manner, actions will be taken out on the woman who is available.

we need to stop telling women that they are being sexy, flirty, provocative, etc., etc., etc. and start telling attackers that they do not have any right, power or privilege to act like they do.

unless she is literally asking for it, she’s not asking for it.

she is not asking for it.