Washington Football Team

“Kamikaze.” That’s what the new team in the league called themselves.

I had that name changed.

I took a lot of flak. For years. To this day.
“You’re making too big a deal.”
“Go find a shrink.”
“We are trying to honour them!”
“It’s an English word and doesn’t mean what you think it means.”
“Many hockey teams already have that name. Clearly you’re the only person in the world who have an issue with this.”
“Get laid already.”

A word so poignant to me.
A word they had only had as their team name for two weeks.

We were fighting for this word AS IF WE HAD AN EQUAL STAKE.

“I don’t understand, but if it means that much to you.” I find this to be very difficult to find. One often has to beg for general courtesy.
Sure, Kamikaze might not be intuitive. But how hard is a racial slur.

“It’s part of our identity,” the owner defends.  How is a sport be more a part of someone’s identity than someone’s skin. And skin-related slurs.  And the 200 years of poignant history that the slur symbolizes.

We, media and the fans, have to realize the power we have and harness it.  Let’s call them “WashingtonFT” and make the R-word obsolete.


My thoughts on apologies.

Kids are often inadvertently taught “Apologize because you benefit.”

“Say sorry, and you may go play.”
“No ipad till you apologize to your sister.”
“Say sorry, and I’ll forgive you.”

And our society really comes together to make sure this rule is applied – either consciously or otherwise.  Once someone apologizes, that person must be rewarded.

The result is a society where “not accepting an apology” is more evil than the original act.
I’ve been hit, cheated on, sent death threats and bomb threats. They tampered with my car, which caused a near crash on a 100km/h highway.

Once the offender said those two precious words, “I’m Sorry,” everyone including my closest friends and the police told me “Well, s/he apologised.”
I say I don’t want to go to that party because the cheater will be there. “Oh. Get over it already. He’s apologized!”

I had given up hope of finding people who simply just owned up – without expectations of forgiveness or to clear their name or whatever it may be they are looking for other than just to own up.  I applaud Jonah Hill for this.

NB: even though I am a female, I had that word thrown at me many times. It never did hurt me for some reason. If it had, I may find it hard to forgive him. But my point is that he is not looking for an action from those he hurt, including forgiveness.

Cycling safety

This isn’t my usual post.
Just found out there has been an astonishing number of injuries and fatalities to cyclists in canada this May.

We are too polite as Canadians. I’m so guilty of it. From now on, when someone is getting on a bike, I’ll let them know that they must learn the rules first. I hope you all do the same.  Since road cyclists and commuters don’t have to take a licensing test, we need to create a culture of it.

Those who don’t ride, please pass the message on too. Here are some of my thoughts plus personal stories to help you understand.  

– be predictable to both cars and other cyclists. Only two places you’re expected to be in relation to another bike (unless you’re a part of a special formation due to wind): abreast or single-file. More on this later. 

– Pass the hand signals down even if it’s a stranger behind you.  Esp those pesky posts at the ends of cycling route designed to slow down the flow. (Why are they putting them around corners!?!?) Strangers shouldn’t ride on your wheel. But it happens.

– No overlapping wheels at all unless passing. This happens almost every time I ride. Recently I was annoyed by a commuter perpetually overlapping her front wheel on my rear wheel, but I didn’t say anything and thought “Maybe at the next light, I’ll go behind her.” When a bird jumped up, I knew I couldn’t swerve to avoid it with the ditch on my right and her wheel on my left so I had to bike right into the bird. (Thankfully I didn’t hit it). It could also be a pot hole or a baseball.

– don’t put your life in someone else’s hand. E.g. no passing without “On your left!” I saw a near collision on Arthur Lang because the guy being passed decided to pass the cyclist in front of him. E.g. Assume every driver is texting unless proven otherwise. 

– keep your wheel in line with the bike in front of you. You might be able to see better if you cycle a bit to the right or left, but it makes the cyclist behind you much more blind and makes hand signals very confusing.  If you’re uncomfortable not being able to see, give a distance between you and the bike in front of you instead. 

– don’t assume other cyclists know the rules and etiquette of the road. Most recently two different cyclists nearly caused me to crash by cutting in between me and the cyclist in front of me for no apparent reason and no signal and no room.

– obey the law. Someone who gets aggravated by an impolite cyclist (e.g. Cycling side by side and sticking out into a car lane) might make a dangerous pass on you or on another cyclist in the future. (also they are likely to vote no to cycling lanes even though that’s also solution to their problem – anyone else notice that?)