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November 2013

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Jennifer Lawrence, Martha Stewart & more celebrities recite Ford’s crack admission

Ivor Tossell was right, Rob Ford has transcended the realm of politics and become a fixture in the world of celebrity. Through his appearances (and the frequent discussion of him) on American cable news and late night talks shows — a medium which has no understanding or reason to understand Canadian politics at any level, least of all municipal — Ford has landed somewhere between OJ Simpson and Charlie Sheen with a dash of Amanda Bynes in the American (and by extension, global) cultural landscape.

On a week where comparatively little has gone down in the Ford saga, except some anticipation for the release of more documents related to Ford associate Sandro Lisi’s arrest, the Mayor has still found himself on David Letterman being paraphrased by celebrities.

Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughan, Martha Stewart, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson all take part in the mock documentary in which they recite Ford’s admission of crack use during his term as mayor and his assertion that he would like to be Prime Minister of Canada someday.

Toronto, it looks like we’re going to have to settle into this for quite a while to come.

 

Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

The tragic comedy of Rob Ford

There was a point during a mayoral debate in the 2010 election when all the candidates were asked to talk about what we enjoyed most in our lives. Rob Ford spoke about how he loved performing in his school play. I remembered this when I watched him last week strut around council chambers trying to intimidate residents, taking their pictures as they sat watching him.  His confession about his love for performing has helped me understand why he hasn’t taken a leave of absence and why he continues to press on  – why he continues to perform for an audience who is laughing at him, and not with him.

Act 1    “The Restoration of the Crack-smoking Mayor”

I have no doubt that the lies Rob Ford told over the election campaign, and into his first year of office, have worked to undermine his self-confidence. He promised voters that he would lower their taxes, get rid of the land transfer tax, and cut the fat at city hall, but the truth is that these were promises he could never keep.  Mr. Fords only business experience was doing the books at his fathers label company, and if we are truly going to find  efficiencies at city hall it will take someone who can truly unite the effort and steer each and every department through a line by line analysis. This is a huge undertaking and Mr. Ford has proved unable to keep his own small executive team together let alone build the consensus required to accomplish the restructuring needed at city hall.

When Mr. Ford could have reached out and united council around restructuring city hall, he shrank into himself, shirking his responsibilities and telling lies to cover up his inability to build consensus. By the end of 2011 he had turned to alcohol and drugs, they took the edge off, and allowed him to live with the lies he told every day. The problem was that the more he drank the worse things seemed to get and the more lies he had to tell. The more lies he told the more his confidence shrunk away from him and his addiction increased.

Add to this the pressure of knowing that the city operating budget was growing under his watch with the fact that there was no way to get rid of the land transfer tax and his supporters might look at the bottom line and realize that the $1-2Billion he and brother Doug Ford were claiming to have saved was a complete lie. No matter how much he tried his budget chief  had explained that there was no extra money to pay for the scarborough subway and a 2.5% tax increase was the best he could hope for.  A huge tax increase would risk losing voters and make him look like a liar in the coming election.

Act 2: Establishing Rob Ford as both a victim and hero 

The best solution for Mr. Ford given the position he was in last week was to have city council take away his powers in a public spectacle. The more voters aware of this the easier it will be to claim he had nothing to do with the tax increases. He will blame council, play the victim and call for voters to restore him to power so that he, and he alone, can protect them from tax increases. So not only must Mr. Ford play the victim but also has to come across as a hero fighting for the tax payer – and brother Doug could benefit from a little of that as well.

They will push out their message of “fighting the establishment” – they’ll yell and storm about council chambers as much as they can. They will play the underdog fighting for their supporters. The bigger the public display the easier it will be to distance themselves from the tax increases required to pay for Mr. Ford’s subway policy.

There is a risk that the rest of Toronto will realize that Mr. Ford has placed the cost of the Scarborough subway onto property tax payers but he’ll hope they don’t notice.

And all the while Rob Ford’s self-confidence continues to erode with the lies that he continues to tell. The more his confidence diminishes the more likely he is to turn to crack or alcohol. Mr. Ford has very little left but the empty bravado of a man clinging to a belief that he is great, but knowing inside that he isn’t. It is sad, but it is also the consequence that comes from lying.

The last act for Rob Ford is still up in the air. He will continue to try to get headlines, he will continue his performance as long as there is somebody pushing him on. Will this performance end in a tragedy? If the Ford family continues to enable him, if they continue to force him onto the political stage… the future doesn’t look very good for Rob.

 

Follow Sarah Thomson on Twitter @ThomsonTO.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

13 reasons why Cher’s new video ‘Take it Like a Man’ is the gayest thing ever

Queer car wash, underwear models, lifeguards, and a twerking dance off. Yup, gayest thing ever.

As if Cher could get any gayer, her new video for Take it Like a Man has proven that the Queen of the Queers not only still has it, but has set the standard of gay for another generation. Here’s why:

 

13. The video opens with a group of men wandering around the hood in nothing but underwear.

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12. There is a big gay car wash where most of the soap and water ends up on the boys.

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11. There is a rival group of guys, also in their underwear, who are scandalized in the gayest way possible: sassy lollipop removal from mouth.

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10. One of the guys gets picked up and used to scrub a car.

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9. The boys somehow get shipwrecked, also in their underwear.

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8. Only to be saved by a group of hunky lifegueards wearing the tightest bathing suits imaginable

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7. There are so many lingering crotch shots.

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6. Back at the car wash the boys are actually just washing each other.

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5. There is a dance off

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4. Between guys in their underwear.

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3. They are twerking.

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2. One of the teams is called the Hot Bottoms.

1. It’s Cher for God’s sake.

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Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Ste. Anne’s Spa is the perfect escape to relaxation

What is the cure to our modern, hectic world?

This autumn, take a trip to Grafton and check out Ste. Anne’s Spa, Canada’s favourite spa. A quick jaunt from Toronto, you can treat yourself to mud wraps, massages and facials, among other relaxing options.

The estate features both a eucalyptus steam room and a fieldstone grotto, where you can hang out in the hot tub before cooling off in the plunge pool.

For the ladies, the change room offers a unique surprise: colour therapy hot tubs. Yes, you can soak your weary bones in a fuchsia sea.

The special treat for the season? Mocha fusion. Using coffee as a natural exfoliant, this spa treatment will replenish your skin from toes to scalp and clear your mind. The ultimate full-body experience.

Ste. Anne’s also offers wellness classes, giving guests the chance to participate in yoga, stretch or meditation classes. Under the tutelage of Jenn Hall, guests are taught the various poses involved in several branches of yoga. These classes are also occasionally offered as a special retreat, the best way to get the full Ste. Anne’s wellness experience.

If you want more than just a spa visit, there are numerous options. Guests can visit the Spa Bakery and catch one of the culinary demonstrations. Watch as Pastry Chef Khushroo guides you through the process of creating amazing desserts.

Or take a lovely guided walk (or snowshoe!) through the Northumberland Hills. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings as you visit nearby forests, creeks and even the local farm.

You can even arrange for an equine experience. Ste. Anne’s maintains stables and lets guests interact with the horses in various ways. Groups are kept small, to ensure guests feel comfortable and willing to ask questions.

Guests can choose several options: from watching the stablehands perform daily horse care, either morning muck or evening turn in; to grooming time, which gives visitors the chance to groom a horse; to the learn to ride program, a new program which offers visitors the chance to learn the eight horsemanship levels, from grooming and harnessing through to full diagonals.

“The learn to ride program has just kicked off and two guests that have signed up for the five day program both made it through to the trotting stage,” the stable caretaker, Kareylee White, says.

And if you have a fear of horses? “All of our horses are very friendly, almost too friendly sometimes,” White assures me.

Whether you want to run away for a day or a weekend, Ste. Anne’s Spa is the perfect escape from busy city life.

Want to experience the Ste. Anne’s experience for yourself?
Head over to our St. Anne’s Spa contest page to win a day spa for two!

LISTEN: WP editor Travis Myers loses it talking about Rob Ford’s homophobia (#TOpoli Nov. 25, 2013)

Listen to this short clip from today’s #TOpoli Radio Show where Women’s Post Editor Travis Myers blows his stack while talking about Rob Ford’s homophobia in his time on Council and as Mayor of Toronto.

Listen to the full podcast of this week’s show here.

 

Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

RECIPE: You do make friends with salad

By Rachel Bulatovich

Simple and clean, this Greek chicken and horiatiki (“village”) salad is the ultimate weeknight dinner. Original recipe serves four.

You’ll need:

CHICKEN

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 1 tsp basil (dried)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper

SALAD

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup olives
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 sliced red onion

DRESSING

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brine from feta cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 375⁰C. In small bowl, combine 3 tbsp olive oil with oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined. Using a silicone brush, cover the chicken breasts with the mixture and place in shallow roasting dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Once the chicken is in the oven, combine all salad dressing ingredients in large serving bowl and whisk. Slice tomatoes in half and cucumber/peppers into large chunks. Place prepared vegetables in bowl with olives. Toss with dressing. Remove chicken from oven, slice and serve.

 

RECIPE: Herb roasted chicken breast

Roasting the turkey at 325 degrees and allowing it to rest for fifteen minutes ensures that it will be very moist.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast (6½  to 7 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. (You can also loosen the skin and smear half of the paste underneath, directly on the meat.) Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1½  to 1 ¾ hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read meatthermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest and meatiest area of the breast. Check the breast after an hour or so; if the skin is overbrowning, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and allow the turkey to rest atroom temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with the pan juices.

 

 

Excerpted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved.

WATCH: Christine Blanchette’s fitness series ‘Run With It’ hits the web

Are you a runner, fitness fan, or just someone who wants to get a bit healthier? This is the program for you!

Women’s Post contributor Christine Blanchette has hit the airwaves in Vancouver with her new show Run With It that tackles health, running, and fitness issues and we are happy to showcase the online version here on WP.

In this episode Christine checks in with Vancouver marathon runners and asks the experts what type of shoe makes for a good run.

Check out the half-hour program and stay tuned for the next installment!

 

Follow Christine on Twitter at @ChristineRuns.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.