You’re fecking kidding, right…? Dad Bod? Since when was Homer Simpson sexy?

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Right.

Brace yerselves, cos this post is about to get a little bit ranty.

If you were catching 40 winks whilst surfing the net this week, the latest trend to take men by storm, might have passed you by.
No, it’s not man buns.
It’s bigger than that.
And more literal.
But if you were thinking man buns…as in arse, then you’d be right on track.

This week, Leonardo Di Caprio made the headlines as the celeb who apparently, is a prime example of the “Dad bod”…cos’ ya know, it’s a thing:

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(photo courtesy of tumblr)

Now excuse me, but just what the FUCK is all that about?
Apparently, the size of Leo’s gut is big news. This shit just went viral.
The headline at Elite Daily was “Leo Di Caprio is living proof that ladies do love the Dad bod”
While the U.K.’s ‘Daily Mirror’ said:
“What is a ‘dad bod’? Introducing the physique that’s the hottest trend at the moment.”

Hottest trend?
Excuse me while I just go absolutelyfuckingbonkers.
What about the Mom bod?
When has that ever been celebrated?
Shamed yes. Ridiculed definitely. Mocked? Yes, yes, yes!!!
Here’s the thing: last month, a model posted a picture of herself, on Instagram, four days after giving birth. This is what she looked like:

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What’s up with that?
While I have no problem with Sarah Stage posting a pic of her svelte tum, five minutes after the placenta was extracted, (making the rest of us mothers feel like shit) how about this for a revelatory idea?

How about we all stop analyzing celebs physiques and  start discussing what’s really important? Like World peace, global warming and cat videos?

Cos when it comes down to it, Leo’s just a geezer.
Granted, by Noel Cowards standards of acting, “Know Your Lines and Don’t Bump Into the Furniture” he does it well. But do we really need to nit-pick him?
Or any one else; male or female, for that matter?

The fact is, rotund or ripped, it’s not news.
Not even Leo’s dust-buster beard, that is vaguely reminiscent of Mr. Twit, is worth commenting on:

 

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Why can’t we all just focus on shit that’s real?

This picture sums it up for me perfectly:

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Something to think about as you’re shopping for a new bathing suit this season… whatever bod you’re rocking.

Take a chance on you 

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So do you know what today is?

It’s national take a chance day.

Now I know there seems to be a bleeding day to celebrate everything, but in this instance I think this is a little something worth getting behind. We should all have a crack at chasing our dreams. Mark Twain said:

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Tonight I will be performing stand-up comedy in a local club and watching a group of first-timers who have spent the past six weeks writing, working and sweating on their first ever comedy sets. Tonight is their big debut and I’m so excited for all of them, to watch them take the stage and take a chance on life.
All too often we listen to the little critics in our head that tell us to quit. These guys are not doing that I’m proud of them for living life full throttle.

Just to hammer home the live your life like it’s golden sentiment, here’s a video from the eloquent Prince EA, who says it so much better than me. Have a good day – may you step out of your comfort zone…go on, surprise yourself.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, let Abba remind you:

Would you rather be a Demi-God or a mortal?

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On Sunday my son and I (boisterous being number one) embarked on our third crack at the Vancouver Sun Run. For those of you not in rain city, the Sun Run is one of the largest 10kms run/walks in the world. Before I go any further, let it be known that old Yifof is not much of a runner. I’m more of a happy shuffler. The Sun Run is right up my alley, because it welcomes people from all walks of life and abilities to lace up their runners and get involved. This annual tradition that me and my boy started is something that I look forward to year-round. Not only is it a splendid run, taking in the beauty of Vancouver, but for ten kilometres, running, walking and wheezing amongst thousands of other people, my son and I get to chat.

One on one.

The banter we share keeps our momentum and spirits up, and as a mother who can get bogged down with the day-to-day minutiae, I get to focus on my son. This year as we ran and walked, stopping only for water breaks and to high-five supporters lining the road, our topic of conversation was the Greek Gods. I have to say, not my first choice, simply because I know naff all about them, but as we pounded the pavement, I got a blow by blow account of these legends. The vast volume of information that my son has on these Gods, Demi-Gods and their offspring is staggering. For 10 kilometres he regaled me with tales of Poseidon and Athena and every other mythological being in between. Hearing about the Gods high-jinks From the unique perspective of a ten year-old kid is enthralling and hilarious all at the same time. This, all whilst soaking up the marvellous atmosphere of a collective experience.

What I love about the Sun Run is that it not only gives you a great view of our city, it also brings people together. All to often Vancouver gets a bad rap for being snobby, clicky and filled with pockets of communities that don’t mix. Some might say that as a city, it operates like an overgrown high school, where each group keeps to themselves. But on Sun Run day, all guards are dropped and every one gets into the spirit of a shared experience. All kinds of people line the roads to cheer-lead the participants. My boy and I saw some fabulous sights. People sitting in lawn chairs, sipping mimosas and encouraging the runners on with “Cheers!” and champagne. The sheer number of people who rise early on a Sunday morning to hold signs, offer support and soak up the vibe of a shared human experience, uplifted my soul in a way that is hard to put into words. Such moments are hard to come by. So I’d like to give a shout out to the people from all over the Lower Mainland who took the time to create this little slice of magic: The runners, the walkers, the cheering crew, the volunteers.  We really enjoyed the signs. We couldn’t take pictures of all of them, but here’s a couple:
 

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Of course this next sign was totally up Yifof’s alley:

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And when we crossed the finish line, how about this for a sight for sore legs:

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These fellas from Resource Works Society had the genius idea of cleverly marketing their cause in a cute package (pun intended).  Smart move. Get sweaty housewives falling into your arms, then alert them of your cause. Because they’re the ones who have the kids, and they are really the ones who have any bloody chance of saving our planet. So today on  World Earth Day, I salute the Natural Runners and their quest to get people talking  about how to use BC’s natural resources sustainably.  Check out their website for more information here: http://www.resourceworks.com/

On Monday an article was published on Buzzfeed that says a recent Stats Canada survey found Vancouver to be the unhappiest city in Canada. I disagree. After taking part in the Sun Run I know this city is so much more than melancholy hipsters. Maybe the naysayers, and indeed  all of us should try and put a little bit more sun-run spirit into our everyday lives.

Madonna performs stand-up like a virgin: it’s short and shit, as it should be.

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So trending on the Internet right now:
Just what colour is that ffing dress? Nope.
An oily arse with a side of champagne? Nah.
Madonna performing stand-up and doing a mediocre job…boom!
There’s your punchline.
In case you’ve been asleep at your lap-top, the material girl is getting a lot of press for popping her stand-up cherry on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
When I say press, I mean that comics all over the globe are getting their mic cords in a bunch over the audacity of Madonna even attempting to make jokes. If you missed the show here it is:

Since I too dabble in the world of cracking wise, I thought I’d add my two cents to the debate:

Contrary to popular belief, Madonna did not make a mockery of stand-up with her mediocre set.
Nor do I think Madonna performing stand-up is a demonstration of how shit stand-up is, or that it’s not taken seriously. Quite the opposite.
By utterly bombing, Madonna proved that the commonly held misconception “Cor, stand-up is easy, I could do that” is a fucking myth.
Good stand-up comics are hard to come by. Just like anyone who excels in their field, they make it look easy.

Here’s the thing: just like any other art-form, stand-up comedy is a craft. It’s a symbiotic relationship between kick arse writing and the ability to deliver those words in a funny way. In a relatable way. In a way that makes the audience not only feel part of the joke but in on the joke. Good stand-up inspires people to laugh, take life less seriously and feel good about themselves.
Before Madge got in front of the mic, she sat with Jimmy and explained her desire to have a go at comedy because she “dreams of simplicity”.
First mistake right there. Good comedy is anything but simple. Good comedy is layered, complex and hits you by surprise.

Instead of giving Madonna a hard-time for her comedy routine, here’s my feedback. I feel qualified to offer this, since not only do I get behind the mic, I also teach others the art of funny. So here goes:
First of all, a wise stand-up once told me, it takes 100 stand-up performances to know if you’re any good. So, Madonna: one down, 99 to go.

Secondly, who the fuck wrote your set, Darling?
Considering you were on the Fallon show and you’re undoubtedly well-connected, you could have got way better jokes written.
I gotta say, your set was pretty hack. Back to the drawing board on that one.
And next time, set your mic up properly and wear less figety clothes.

But it’s amazing what we, as people, decide to get all shitty about, isn’t it?
What I find hilarious, is that while everyone is in a huff about Madonna doing stand-up, no one is calling her out on her other shit-show this week: forcible snogging Drake during a Coachella performance. If you didn’t get a whiff of that incident here it is:

What the fuck was all that about? I gotta say that incenses me more.
Cos’ let’s get real: if a 56 year old male crooner planted an uninvited smacker on some unsuspecting 28 year-old female, shit would hit the fan. No matter how you dress it up, it’s not a classy move.

But here at Yifof, we don’t want to totally trample over the material girl. After all the two of us share an affinity for the ‘f’ word:

So Madge, if you ever want another crack at stand-up, come see me. I’ll write you a set that’s actually funny.
Since Madonna’s latest escapades went viral on the Internet, sales of her latest album have rocketed.
As she might say herself, “Guess who’s laughing now, bitch?”

Handling rejection: Like. A. Boss…Springsteen that is.

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One of the few things in life that we all agree on is rejection: whether it’s the sinking sensation of being the last kid chosen in sports, being spurned in love, or snubbed for that  promotion, we all know that shitty feeling of not being good enough. But the truth of the matter is; into every life, a little ‘fuck you’ must fall. When it does, it’s how we rise to the occasion that really matters. I’ve had my fair share of knock backs. As a writer, I know only too well what getting turned down feels like. Manuscripts returned, kick-arse ideas no thanked, story pitches stomped on.   When I’m performing stand-up there’s no burn greater than an audience staring blankly, silently, wondering what the fuck I’m going on about.  Most of the time I can handle the word no. It can hit me right between the eyes and I bounce back like a cartoon character, mullered in one scene, perfectly fine by the next.

But every now and then, it ain’t so easy to take life in your stride. When that happens you need to find a coping mechanism, one that works for you.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with a nasty bout of the “fuck yous”:

Some chose to ignore it, happy ostriches. Some stare it straight in the eye and rattle off inspirational quotes, like an incantation, to ward off the ‘fuck you’ demons. Others crawl into the fetal position and wait for the storm to pass.

Truth be told, when I get slapped with the wet fish of rejection, I don’t want quotes. I don’t want to be told it wilI all be ok. Me?  I want to dance.

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So last week, after a particularly gruelling day, where the entire fuck you family decided to pay a ill-timed visit, I  knew there was only one remedy. Dance and don’t give a shit who’s watching.

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Dropping out, tuning in and busting a move is something we should all do more often. There are scores of studies to show  that dancing is the perfect antidote to stress.  So here’s my advice to you: when life hits the shits, if all else fails, dance around your kitchen. Crank up  “I feel good” by James Brown. I’m pretty sure, no matter how ridick you look, busting a move to that little zinger will pretty much put a dent in anything.  I was inspired to shuffle to the God father of soul, when I  listened to the UN’s list of happiest songs. Here’s a link to the playlist, if you’re interested. Keep it in mind for when the fuck yous come to visit. It will get rid of them in no time. Be sure to let me know whatcha think.

http://www.happysoundslike.com/en/index.html

Farewell old friend

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Since the explosion of the Internet into our everyday lives, inspirational quotes have never known such popularity.
Mind you, we’ve always loved pithy quotes,and our everyday dialect is littered with examples:
‘Fight fire with fire’, ‘green-eyed monster’ and ‘good riddance’ are just three examples of Shakespeare quotes that we drop on a daily.

But search “inspirational quotes” on google and almost 56 million hits appear. Can you believe it?
That’s more hits than ‘Scuba-diving” and ‘Orange is the New Black” get combined.
Mind you, a search for “I’m all about the Bass” gets a whopping 106 million results…I mean, seriously.
But, we’re getting off topic.
My point is, there are quotes for everything.

There are cute quotes:

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There are motivational quotes:

There are funny quotes:

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OK. You get it. There’s a quote to match every mood. Some people love these little quotes. Some people find them irritating, corny and cheesy as fuck. So I’ll fess up. I love all these quotes. And my house is littered with them. So if that makes me corny and cheesy as fuck, so be it. They cheer me up, make me smile and remind me not to take shit too seriously.

After all

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One of the quotes that I have, that I like, is this:

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Cos pretty much, that’s true. I don’t have a fancy house, or a smancy car, but I do have a beautiful family and wonderful friends and sharing laughter with them really is the best fucking thing in the world.
So it kinda took me by surprise yesterday when I got rather sentimental about a possession.

“Well what was it?” Ask my three curious readers!
As you asked so nicely, I’ll tell you.

It was our couch. The fourteen year old, falling apart, all holes, no arse, barely any pattern left, couch. It should have made its journey to the pearly gates of the local dump ages ago. But I have been defering the inevitable for ages.
Why?
It was an eyesore, it smelled like the dogs and frankly, people looked at it strangely when they saw it without its throw-cover (think Patsy from ‘Ab-fab’ if you caught her in the morning, without make-up.)
But the truth is, as tatty as that couch was, it had come to mean more than it’s shabby appearance.
It was the first piece of furniture we got when we arrived in B.C.
When it finally arrived in our apartment, we let out whoops of joy. We had been living in Vancouver, for two months, without a stick of furniture.
So when it was delivered, it was the ONLY piece of furniture, in our sea-side apartment. It seemed to sit proudly, like a throne in a royal castle.
So much has happened on its comfy cushions: it was a sofa bed; countless visitors from all corners of the globe, have slept in it (and with a bit of luck, got up to rudies in it.)
It’s where my husband and I cuddled, late at night, after a busy day, watching movies and inhaling far-too-large bowls of ice-cream.
It’s where I nursed my children as babies and lay snuggled up with them on exhausted, but blissful afternoons.
It’s where I skived off and cozied up with the cat…and the dog…and the dog.
It’s where I slept off hangovers. It’s where I – OK, just like the never-ending supply of inspirational quotes, this could take a while.
But my point is this; that couch held many stories of our B.C adventure. It may just be a thing, but it’s enhanced our life and I’m grateful. There was an article in the UK newspaper the ‘Guardian’ a few weeks ago and it said that when you felt sad at giving away possessions, you should thank the item for its service and send it on its way.

So thanks for all the memories, couch. You were a legend amongst sofas.

The couch made it’s pilgrimage to the Dump today. It left, without me knowing, whilst I was taking the kids to school. Now I know how Sally Hawkins felt in the film ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’ when her bike got nicked and she said “Awww. I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye.”

RIP couch. One things for sure: you embodied this quote Hunter S. Thompson quote:

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Six months baby and what the fuck have I learnt?

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Since I binned Facebook for a much-needed hiatus a while ago, my friends have peppered me with a whole slew of questions:

“How will you cope without Facebook?” (Very well actually).

“Won’t you be missing out?” (Er…nah. Not really).

“How will you know what people are doing?” (Easy. I’ll just fucking ask them).

One of the reason why I fucked off Facebook in the first place is how it made me feel.

Quite often as I would (all too fucking regularly) check through the news feed, I would feel annoyed. And irritated. And disconnected. Which are the exact opposites of how social media is supposed to make you feel. It seemed like it was no social, but all ME-dia, if you know what I mean.
But the trouble was, I was still checking it constantly. More than constantly if I’m brutally fucking honest. Since I got my smart phone, checking Facebook had become like a nervous tick.
So in November, I took action.
I decided to delete my Facebook account for a while and see what happened.
Since then, six months have passed.
I have to say, quite honestly, it’s one of the best choices I ever made.
Why?
I’m about to tell you.
For one, I started this blog and finally, finally, in my writing life, I get to be me. I get to write about things that turn my crank. I also get to swear like a sailor, which as you will know by now, is something that I love.
By switching my focus inwards instead of outward, I turned off all the little voices in my head that would look at Facebook and then complain “Oh!…Look at them, look what they’re doing…you should be doing something more fabulous with your life too.”
So now, instead of comparing my perfectly good existence with the filtered snap-shot that people post on Facebook, I am concentrating on my own world.
So what exactly have I been doing with my time since I nixed my Facebook tick?

1. Reading. I have read a fuck-load of books since I started my Yifof challenge six months ago, over 20 to be precise.
Some of them have been great, laugh-out-fucking-loud masterpieces, others have been disappointingly mediocre. However, all were time well-wasted.

2. Reconnecting with friends

I decided at the outset of this challenge that I would try and have more real contact with my Facebook friends. So far this has been going well. I’ve written letters, video chatted and met many more of my FB friend in person than I usually would. Thanks to all my FB friends who have humoured me in this endeavour. But the funny thing is, of all the people I said I would telephone, I haven’t called anyone yet. Why? I dunno. If I’m brutally honest, talking on the phone these days, kinda makes me nervous. I’ve gotten so used to firing off emails, that now I shy away from the phone. Clearly this is something I need to work on further. So if I said I would call you, I will. I just need to get over myself first.

3.Connecting with new people

Since starting this blog, thousands of people, in over 45 different countries have logged in, read my posts and commented on what I have to say.
I’ve gotta say, that blows me away. Thinking of people all over the world, reading my words and then taking the time to write me comments to say thanks for making them laugh, is just about the best feeling in the world. I haven’t even announced to anyone that I’m writing this blog yet, especially not on Facebook. But since it’s my six month anniversary (a feat in itself, cos I’m a terrible commitment-phobe) I think it’s high time I posted about Yifof on my news feed to see what happens…Oh the hypocrisy…Don’t cha just love it!

4. Writing

Writing has always been my first love. I’ve loved words from the moment I could speak (and a chatty little fucker I was too) and I dictated stories to my Mum until I could write my own stories. Words have always seemed like magic to me. Writing them, reading good words; it’s all the same to me.
Since I’ve been frittering away less time on social media, I have managed to carve out so much more time for my own creative writing.
I currently have two books (non-fiction) in progress. I’m so fucking excited, I can’t even begin to tell you!

5. Each month I have been setting myself a fresh challenge. As well as writing more and connecting with other people, I’ve also cleaned the shit and clutter out of my house. Now I’m currently (well hopefully) cleaning the shit and toxins out of my body, by following Joe Cross’s juice reboot. Today is day 22 of my 30 day juice fast. It has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also the most empowering. I’ve also just begun a daily commitment to exercising. Since I began this blog, setting myself a new challenge each month has been a fun task, one that I have really began to look forward to. It is also definitely one I’m going to stick with. However, I promise NOT to blog about the upcoming “Sex every day for a month, no excuses” challenge that my husband so kindly suggested.

So six months in, all I can say is, I can’t wait to see what the next six months brings.
One thing is for sure though, no matter what, I’ll be enjoying every fucking minute.