Ex Girlfriends or Ex Wives at Work

Ah relationships...

Or more specifically in this case, the ENDING of relationships. Do they ever truly end sometimes? Or do they just drag on and morph into something else?

For example I think there is at least 4 basic scenarios when a serious couple breaks up...

#1. Mutual split, they both hate each other.

#2. Mutual split, they're still friends.

#3. She dumps him, but he still loves her.

#4. He dumps her, but she still loves him.

Next there is sub scenarios...

A. They still talk constantly.

B. They rarely talk.

C. They never talk again.

A2. They have children together and have to talk constantly due to shared custody.

B2. Shared custody but they avoid talking if they can help it because its either painful, awkward, angry, bitter, or something more complicated.

C2. One of the parents' leaves with the children, disappears and never speaks to the other parent ever again.

Of course there will be many other factors (ie. how and why they broke up, whether either of them cheated, whether they were actually married, how long the relationship lasted, rockiness of the relationship, whether they miss each other, are they business colleagues and sometime work together, etc.)...

These days technology has made it easier than ever to send a message to someone's ex. We have email and Facebook and many other ways to find / contact that person. (Unless they disappear and change their name...)

Ideally it is possible to stay friends with the person, but such circumstances seem to be rare. Especially if there is a large amount of bitterness between the couple.

Children wishing their divorced parents would get back together like to believe that anything can happen, including the burying of old hatchets and the rekindling of old flames.

We all would like to think it can happen but the truth is it rarely does. Bitterness is a bit like distrust. Once its there its like a stain on the relationship that never goes away.

Kissing in Dangerous Times... at Work!

LOVE & SEX - The photo on the right is young lovers Alexandra Thomas and Scott Jones in Vancouver, kissing during the recent riots following the Canucks loss.

The photo has since gone viral online, and according to interviews Alexandra and Scott they were actually afraid and fearing for their safety. The kissing couple were photographed in between police lines at the Vancouver riot, trapped and unable to go in either direction because police wouldn't let them.

“We were struck by police shields, pushed to the ground and I was just very, very frightened,” says Alexandra. “Everything happened so fast, faster than we could ever imagine it could happen.”

The two were not part of the riots. They were just looky-loos who had been watching the game at a friend’s house downtown when they heard about the riots and wanted to take a look.

“We wanted to go down and see for ourselves but it was crazy,” says Scott. “We didn’t know where we were supposed to go. We wanted to get out of there and we ended up in the line of police marching forward.”

Alexandra was struck down charging police wielding riot shields and batons. Scott was also knocked on the ground. “I just wanted us to go home safely. It was unbelievable that it was happening and all I wanted was for us to be safe.”

“Nobody was getting out of the way. It was all of a sudden they charged us. Very strong-handed and we were in one spot. The only thing we could do was try to stay calm and try to get up,” says Alexandra.

While down Alexandra was panicking and upset, so Scott kissed her in an effort to calm her down. That is when a nearby photographer snapped their photo, capturing a perfect example of "make love not war".

After much confusion the pair managed to find a train station and took a train to get out of Vancouver's downtown core.

The next day their moment of tenderness during the chaos was in newspapers and spreading rapidly online.

“When I first saw it, I thought, ‘No way, that’s not ... I can’t believe that’s us,’ ” says Alexandra. “Then I looked some more and realized that is us. That’s a very revealing picture of us.”

In the history of rioters vs police there's always a lot of damage...

Take for example last years G20 protests in Toronto... it shut down the city core and what did it do to prevent damage to public property? Nothing. The protestors simply damaged whatever property they were near, often targeting companies they considered to be "corporate fat cats".

The amount of damage is something for insurance agents and Toronto accountants to decide, but we can safely guess the damage was in the 10s of thousands.

And then there is all the employees who were unable to work the following days until their workplaces were fixed, repaired and so forth. Its not like they can just hire some freelance IT staff and go back to work immediately.

And for what??? They didn't change the government's mind about anything. All that damage to public property and people unable to work, and NOTHING to show for it. See my older article about whether Protesting is Obsolete.

In theory if protestors actually wanted to accomplish something real they'd travel Ottawa and organize a secret protest (usually methods similar to flashmobbing groups) to pick the locations and times at the last minute, to avoid police interference.

But even then what would they do? Set fire to cars? Wave placards? Break Ottawa windows and loot stuff? And what is that supposed to accomplish?

Back to the Vancouver riots, the main focus of the riots was the Canada Post building... Canada Post is currently on strike. It was NOT Canuck fans who smashed the windows and was deliberately destroying the building. It was Canada Post workers in disguise, getting back against their employer.

And what effect has it had? Will the Canadian government give in to Canada Post union demands? Doubtful. Most people don't even know it was Canada Post workers who attacked the Canada Post building...

Meanwhile Stephen Harper is back in Ottawa, in 24 Sussex Drive, enjoying its weight room, tennis court, swimming pool, sunrooms, billiard room and all the other amenities. Does Stephen Harper care that Canadians are unhappy and protesting? Heck no.

Stephen Harper was elected with a majority government on May 2nd 2011. He will stay in power for the next 4 years. He doesn't care if protestors break windows, "make love not war" or do anything else. He will be in power regardless of how much people protest.

Proof that protest and rioting is useless.

Gender Studies at Work

FEMINISM - Back in university I took a course titled "Male and Female Relationships"... It was really more of a literature course in which we analyzed how men and women interact with one another, and not just on a biochemical level as per sex / love (much to the disappointment of several people in the class on the first day who evidently did not read the course description). but also dealt with issues of motherhood / fatherhood, how children relate to their parents, how siblings relate to each other, how male / female co-workers get along, bosses, authority figures, etc, etc.

The course was my first taste of what a gender studies course was all about. In the years that followed I took many other courses on similar topics, including Psychology of Women, Male and Female Archetypes, and so forth. I basically minored in gender studies, which at the time was often known as women's studies, a misnomer because we spent half the class time talking about men too.

That last bit is an important part of the whole gender studies phenomenon. As a series of courses they really don't contribute anything to the global economy... but they do allow people to study something which effects how people interact with each on a social level.

Knowing the gender/sex of an individual is the first thing people do when they meet someone new. They look at their chest, their face and try to determine which sex they are. Once this is done they also assess how feminine or masculine a person is.

If the first is confusing (ie. the person has facial hair and yet has breasts) then we get confused and wonder what exactly is this person standing before us. Are they like the bearded lady from the circus? Are they a really butch woman? Are they a man who looks feminine and has hormonal problems? Are they a transsexual? If a person can't tell they get confused and distracted, trying to determine what exactly they are looking at.

In the end it might just be a tomboy who has some whiskers. Hopefully they don't notice you staring and trying to figure out the conundrum.

In Toronto there was recently a couple who decided they were going to raise their baby "genderless", meaning they would treat it the same regardless of whether it was a boy or a girl. This was later reported on in the local media and it became a bit of a fuss. (The kid is obviously a boy, but the parents were refusing to admit it.)

Now because he was so obviously a boy all the neighbours were saying so, asking to see if they were correct. There was even polls to gauge public opinion. A bit too much fuss if you ask me.

When the boy eventually reaches kindergarten he will already have identified himself as male. He will be prone to playing with others boys (because girls are icky, dontcha know?) and doing activities that boys want to do. Its a natural process of self identification.

Identity is very meaningful to the individual. People define themselves with words, saying things like "I am a doctor" or "I am an amateur race car driver" or "I am a father of three", and so forth.

For example, I am an artist, writer, author, website designer, painter, sculptor, photographer, athlete, bicycle mechanic, weightlifter, archer, cyclist, amateur boxer, zen guru, Lilith expert, SEO expert, linguist, poly-lingual, long haired, glasses wearing, amateur guitarist, CEO, entrepreneur, Dungeons & Dragons player, nerd, geek, health nut, eidetic genius, liberal-minded, practical, spendthrift, blatantly honest, Scottish-French-German-Hebrew-Prussian, straight, white male with a sense of humour.

But is this all that I am? No. I am also a body, blood, sweat, meat, fluids, organs, skin, hair and if you believe in any religion I am also a soul which is either going to heaven, hell, purgatory or being reincarnated after I die.

And even so, is this all of my identity? No, because I left things out... I am also a lover, a poet, a hopeless romantic and any number of other words that people might choose to describe me. ie. Some people might call me a self-righteous prick.

Recognizing that we define ourselves by our identity, gender studies is a topic that doesn't just deal with issues of relationships, androgyny, sexuality and so forth... it also deals with the topic of identity and how that is tied to our ego.

The macho male ego for example is a fragile one. Its built upon the idea of being "macho" and masculine at all times. If caught in a situation where the macho male looks weak or feminine, the macho response is to loudly proclaim that they aren't feminine, a sissy, a coward, gay, homosexual, metrosexual or whatever... and if loudly proclaiming it doesn't work, then they start a fight to prove what a 'big man' they are.

I'd argue it takes a bigger man to be humble and accept that we cannot always be macho. Especially if you're a parent.

As a parent there will be times when you need to change a baby's diapers, take the kid in a stroller to the park, and so forth. Not exactly macho activities at all.

But then again macho and married with children don't usually go that well together. Alpha males may be good at attracting women (especially dumb women), but they're not very good at keeping them around because they tend to be assholes.

Studying gender (as per gender studies or women's studies) is therefore highly useful. I'd also argue it takes a smarter man to realize these things and that getting in a fight isn't going to change anything. Fighting won't make your penis bigger.

But it might get you kicked in the balls.

In unrelated news.... Macho Man Randy Savage dies in car accident

Open Letter to Casandra Vasu

The following letter is something I wrote and sent to an old love interest from the 1990s. I spotted her recently on a social media website and thought I would give her a kick in the butt. I admit I kind of rub her face it and act like a bit of a dick to her in the letter, but its with the purpose of provoking her into changing her life. See if it would inspire her to get her life in order and actually do something with it.

Hey Casi!

Wow, you look really old!

Time has not been kind to you...

I still get asked for ID when buying booze, go figure. I chalk it up to healthy eating, cycling, yoga and weightlifting. In the last year I've also taken up archery, boxing and mountain climbing just to keep things interesting.

In other news I just found out that my artwork is now taught in several art history courses.

Its rather unnerving the amount of attention I get... fan letters, that sort of thing. Plus my paintings have been in 3 documentaries so far and I am getting commissions from TV shows. That part I cannot complain about.

I miss our old banter. The sad part about the whole you-me story is that I went on to do something with my life and you seemed to fall to pieces. Dropped out and off the radar.

Which is really sad because you had so much potential but you were always distracted, bragging about what you were instead of reaching for what you could be.

It would be nice to see you pick up the pieces of your life and actually do something with it. Something truly meaningful. I don't mean fame or money or anything else fleeting. I am talking about changing society around you to something more positive.

Maybe you have been doing that already, but its so low key its not even on the radar. Its good to be humble. Being unnerved by my fame is a good thing I suppose. It keeps me humble but I can still brag about my accomplishments right? There is nothing wrong with being proud of my career.

But what I want to do is so much more. I don't want my painting "United States Censorship" to be an one hit wonder. Its not even that good of a painting, I am the first to admit that. For starters its only on a large piece of paper. More of a sketch than a painting. I want to make many more paintings in the future, paintings which inspire thought and change. I think that is why my paintings are now being talked about in art history classes, because they do that.

To me it is sad to see an old friend, man or woman, relegated to the sidelines of life. Especially when they could have done so much more with their life.

Hope you are well and happy!

Charles Moffat

Jock Yoga at Work

HEALTH - There is Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Moksha Yoga, Bikram/Hot Yoga... but the instant favourite yoga for men of all is JOCK YOGA.

Now I will admit, I've been doing my own version of "jock yoga" for years now. For me its basically a combination of yoga positions + weightlifting, sometimes simultaneously.

However Jock Yoga, as its patented by Toronto founder Michael DeCorte, is different from my own particular brand of yoga. DeCorte's Jock Yoga focuses on strength and endurance, with less emphasis on flexibility. And his methods differ wildly from my own.

And for male beginners jock yoga offers something that other yoga practitioners do not: Your dignity.

The reason is because many men, despite being quite athletic or strong, are not very flexible. Sometimes its just a size/height issue too, like it was in my case wherein certain positions are more difficult because my legs are too long. (Men typically have longer legs proportionally compared to women.)

Jock Yoga, as a new branch of yoga designed specifically for guys, uses positions that any man can do, but combines various aspects of Power Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga (which focuses on breathing), and Ashtanga Yoga (eight-limbed yoga, which includes meditation, self-purification, morality, posture, breath control, sensory control, intentions and contemplation).

Within jock yoga the idea is to make you sweat buckets. The poses are designed to be difficult to hold the posture due to the physical strain, not because it requires flexibility.

(Speaking for myself and my own brand of yoga, I do something similar, but I use 30 lb and 25 lb weights, exercise elastic tubes and rope to put added pressure on the muscle building part of the exercise. I will also sometimes add headstand pushups and gymnastic exercises to my routine.)

But whatever! More power to Michael DeCorte for succeeding to get more men into the yoga studio. His classes have become notoriously popular with both men and women.

Michael DeCorte's classes are available at:

473A Church Street Toronto, "Jock Yoga" at Buddha Body Yoga (where I briefly attended back in 2009).

889 Yonge Street Toronto, where it is known as "Athletic Flow".

661 Yonge Street Suite 300, Toronto, "Flow 1" at Iam Yoga.

1498 Yonge Street Toronto, "Jock Yoga" at Moksha Yoga Uptown.

155 Liberty Street Toronto, "Jock Yoga Bootcamp" at the LiV Yoga Studio.

1661 Queen Street East Toronto, "Jock Yoga" at System Fitness.

1977 Queen Street East Toronto, "Level 1" at Downward Dog at the Beach.

For more about Yoga and similar topics see:
Yoga Tips for Beginners
The History and Benefits of Yoga
Yoga Fashion
Ab Exercises
Anti Aging Techniques
Women's Retreats

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