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Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

The green symbolizes all the money you'll save.

The green symbolizes all the money you'll save.

Profiting off Pandemic Panic

By Sam Linton

So I was talking to a friend of mine the other day when he dropped a knowledge-bomb on me. Apparently, the Powers That Be are attempting to change the name of current global pandemic media darling Swine Flu into something a bit less descriptive. Why? Because the negative connotations of that name have had a corresponding negative impact on global pork prices. That’s right, it appears that the name “Swine Flu” has turned people off of swine. Whoda thunk? Now, I generally strive to avoid being topical in these Lexipoeia columns (I want them to have a timeless quality), but something like this hits home for me as both a general promoter of the powers of language and as an advocate of opportunistic consumer slacktivism. So when I see them intersecting like this, I know it’s time to come down from my ivory tower and get topical. Read the rest of this entry »

MONDO Lifestyle’s Self-Improvement Workshop

Posted by lifestyle On April - 17 - 2009

Fake British accents optional!

By Sam Linton

You know, we dub ourselves as “Lifestyle” here, but few and far between are the times that we actually step up to direct our readers on how, exactly, they are to style their lives. Well no more! This article kicks off what may well be a multipart series on the styling of lives, giving you, the MONDO readership, the tips, tricks, cheats, and flat-out chicanery necessary to turn your lives completely around. Now, truth be told, I’m not exactly sure what kind of a person reads MONDO, but presumably, it’s someone with a well-rounded interest in the arts, music, film, television, videogames, comic books, and tenuously lifestyle-related miscellanea. And who has an internet connection. However, for a personality with interests as well rounded as these, something has to give, and I suspect that in the MONDO readership, it’s the social graces (I hope my blanket-generalizations aren’t offensive). Well, don’t worry, internet-friends! Because the MONDO Lifestyle section has made it its special mission to take you all from trashy to classy with a simple list of affectations you can use to patch over your social weaknesses and appear in all situations as either the gentleman’s gentleman (which I believe is a polite term for “butler”), or lady’s lady (wet nurse? scullery maid?). So join me, won’t you, as MONDO Lifestyle delves into… Read the rest of this entry »

The Real Art Scene in Toronto

Posted by lifestyle On April - 14 - 2009

Try to picture the word “Real” with extra italics.

By Jenny Bundock

For a long time now I’ve been going to gallery shows in Toronto. I did my undergrad at York in Photo, and during that time I pretty much had to be a gallery hopper to survive. Looking back, I really wish I had taken more advantage of my time in what I have come to refer to as “the real art scene in Toronto.”

Toronto is kind of screwy, because what you would assume to be the cultural hubs of the city (the ROM, the AGO, etc.) are kind of, well, old. Occasionally you see these institutions try to branch out and grab something fresh from the streets and basements of Toronto, but rarely does it survive. It’s like bringing your flower garden inside, in pots, for the winter: it just isn’t the same and you’re probably going to kill it. Read the rest of this entry »

Office Pilates

Posted by lifestyle On March - 31 - 2009

Now all you’ll have to feel bad about is the job itself!

By Emma Cunningham

I don’t have any clients who work an office job who don’t complain of lower back pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and inflexible hamstrings. In fact, I don’t think I even know another instructor who has a client with a desk job who doesn’t show these symptoms.

We’re all familiar with it. We spend hours sitting in a chair we don’t exactly fit in, typing at a desk in a cramped position where our hands are higher than our elbows, using fingers to click a mouse that leaves our hand semi-permanently curled into a ball. Rounded shoulders start to develop from leaning forward to read everything from our computer monitors to memos from the boss.

There is a solution, though. Pilates. Everyone knows that exercise keeps your blood flowing, brain working, and body functioning. Pilates is especially good because its whole purpose is to realign the body for optimal working condition. Don’t have the money for a private instructor? Take a group class. The results come slower, but they still come. Don’t have time to get to a class? Shame on you, but here are a few exercises you can do at your desk in 5 – 10 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

A Toast to Trains

Posted by lifestyle On March - 13 - 2009

Because sometimes it just needs to be said.

By Leanne Schaeken

Most everyone has a preferred mode of travel, whether it is the classic autobahn, airplane, or boat.  The train-without hesitation or doubt-is my favourite.  Last Friday evening, as I settled in on train 79 from Toronto to Windsor, and the downtown lights blurred past, my fondness for trains, with their steadiness and gentle chug past countrysides, came back to me.  A train will hardly ever lead you toward a great adventure.  Perhaps it will take you to the next city or the next province, to your school or to your home.  It does not have the excitement of a plane or the banality of a bus.  A train ride is, simply, a delight.

I can distinctly remember my first train ride. Shockingly, I was fifteen.  It was an early Sunday morning in March.  The sun had begun to rise, streaking snow-dusted fields with its orange-golden rays.  After a skirt around town, my father parked our van alongside a train shed that had the word “Glencoe” scratched along its side.  We trudged my baggage to the front of the shed and waited for the sound of a whistle to break the cold, dense air. As we were waiting, I desperately ran through the helpful hints my sister had given me. For instance, she told me not to sit down in one of the quad seats because spending an eight-hour trip staring at another person is just plain awkward.  As the train slowed to a stop, I made my way to the opened door with trepidation.  It was my first step, and admittedly it was a step that was well overdue, out and away from home. Read the rest of this entry »

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ’til it’s Gone

Posted by lifestyle On March - 6 - 2009
Your wonderful upstairs neighbor

Your wonderful upstairs neighbor

Do sweat the small stuff, cuz it’s probably what’s keeping you sane

By Jenny Bundock

There are things in this world that are silent contributors to our well-being. You won’t see a parade for any of these items in the near future, and when their time comes, if you have them, they remain unnoticed, unappreciated, and used as they were intended. Conversely, in their absence, a huge, gaping hole of “I can’t believe this!” opens up… and we collectively realize what we took for granted.

Here is my top 20 list of things you don’t realize you need, until you discover that you don’t have them and wish you did — wishing so badly that it hurts.

  1. An answering machinere: That person who keeps calling until you pick up, on Saturday.
  2. Wite-out
    re: Your final exam, written in pen, with no space left on that last line, when you suddenly realize the answer you wrote is totally wrong.
  3. Change for the parking meter
    re: Downtown, on Queen Street – where a meter maid is born every block and a half…
  4. Toilet paper
    re: Every bathroom, anywhere, without it. Read the rest of this entry »

Lexipoeia: Taxonomy Time! OR Douchebags Defined

Posted by lifestyle On February - 20 - 2009

Answering the questions you purposefully didn’t ask!

By Sam Linton

Every so often, the language-using community gets itself up in a snit over some new issue in our beloved English language making waves in the pools of those who actually take all this seriously. Remember truthiness? That was a good example of what I’m talking about. Anyways, since the English language lacks an “Academie Français”-style central regulating body, these things usually just get tossed around from columnist to columnist until some basic consensus is found. So what’s the hot-button word that has the armchair linguistic community up in a tizzy now? Douchebag! Or, at least, it was several months ago. I tend to be a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to covering these things. But, as the world keeps spinning, I eventually find my way to writing, and the problem with douchebag has not gone away. So what’s the issue? Well, that’s a bit tricky, but it basically boils down to the fact that, while it’s one of the most commonly used insults flying off the tongues today, it has no real “definition,” per se. Ask any average person what constitutes a douchebag, and you’ll get a different response. Go to, and you’ll be swamped with seven pages of differing defs. Even Wikipedia can only offer that douchebag is definitely pejorative, and somewhat associated with arrogance and/or malice. But we can do better! Can’t we? Read the rest of this entry »

MONDO Lifestyle’s Two-Fisted Tales

Posted by lifestyle On February - 3 - 2009
That's right, readers: This could be YOU!

That's right, readers: This could be YOU!

There’s fighting, there’s fighting dirty, and then there’s fighting MONDO.

By Jacob Kaufman and Sam Linton. Illustration by Dara Gold

Over the course of the MONDOlifestyle section’s run, we’ve covered many things: love, sex, wordplay, politics, the future, fashion, consumerism, countless gripes, and probably much, much more. But one subject has thus far eluded us: fisticuffs. It’s odd to think, but despite the MONDO contributors’ combined fighting prowess, we’ve never taken the time to reflect on our victories in print. Well, no more! Today, we at MONDOlifestyle will dust off our fighting gloves and reveal our secrets for keeping in our fighting prime, that someday you, The MONDO Reader, will be able to fight at the level of the best MONDO contributors.

Lesson one: It’s all about the fist names.

It’s true; the secret to good fighting is having an hilarious pair of names for your fists. Some say it brings luck, others merely confidence, but studies have shown that people with named fists win more fights. Obviously, therefore, the first step for anyone who wants to succeed in MONDO levels of fighting is to come up with some fist names. Now, we here at MONDO cannot name your fists for you; that’s an entirely personal decision. What we can do, however, is offer some suggestions for you to base a decision off, or at least give you a basic idea behind the philosophies informing the fist naming. In that spirit, we offer the following brief list of good fist name candidates, in hopes of inspiring you, the MONDO readership, to new heights of beatitude.

I’m sorry, that’s “Beat-attitude”, not beatitude. I don’t know how I could have possibly gotten those mixed up.

On with the list! Read the rest of this entry »

A Few Thoughts From Before Obama’s Inauguration

Posted by lifestyle On January - 23 - 2009
A friendly reminder to all Canadians: he’s not YOUR President.
By Leanne Schaeken

Tomorrow, January 20th, 2009 President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama will become President Obama.  And it is today, as I stare out of my office window at the bleak snow-covered rooftop of Old City Hall, that I admit with disappointment that I am not an American.  Perhaps it is due to the fact that it is Monday or because blood is currently rushing through my vagina, but right now I am apathetic to the dawn of the new presidency.  His rhetoric that before would make every cell of my hope, morals and ambition pulsate now passes me without a shiver.  Yesterday, and many times before, he said, “Despite the enormity of the task that lies ahead … the United States of America will endure and prevail.”  Yes, Obama, with your help I am sure it will.

Before I prattle on let me introduce myself.  My name is Leanne Schaeken (It’s Dutch); my citizenship is Canadian; my head of state representative is the Governor General — what is her name — Michaelle Jean and my Prime Minister is Stephen Harper, a middle-aged, evangelical Christian with a blonde wife and two blonde kids.   Harper, a man who is chained to his Albertan obligations and all that sandy oil that comes with it, and who is painfully slow when pushed the way of liberal progression.   He, however, is not the satanic dunce that most liberal tut-tutting, pot-smoking, organic beef-frying people like to believe.  And, yes, I am aware that most of you are liberal tut-tutting, pot-smoking, organic beef-frying people. Read the rest of this entry »

Surviving Winter in Five Easy Steps

Posted by lifestyle On January - 16 - 2009

Because suicide is for the weak.
By Sam Linton

The Winter Blahs. They come around every year, crippling people, organizations, and sometimes entire webzine sections with inaction and despair. An incessant, endlessly grey enemy without form , the Blahs (also known, among the less “cutesy” among us, as the Seasonal Blues, the Long Dull, or the Devouring White) remind us daily that our sun has deserted us, and that everything around us is dead or dying. Understandably, this isn’t the easiest time to keep up a positive attitude, or really any attitude whatsoever besides “perma-tired”. But there is hope! In the face of the endless, bleak deathscape that is winter, there are certain strategies — coping mechanisms if you will — that may make the endless months of Winter seem a tiny bit less grim, and a tiny bit more bearable.

1)  Get a sun lamp. You know, the ones that supposedly mimic the natural light of the sun. That way, it’s like it’s not winter at all. In the room where you keep the lamp, that is. And assuming that you have also turned the heat on. Wait, they cost how much? 200 dollars?! Fuck. Okay, how about you… Read the rest of this entry »

Year End Thank-Yous

Posted by lifestyle On January - 9 - 2009

Wi-Fi for the win!

By Jenny Bundock

It is the end of 2008, which was a fantastic year for me. As I think it is customary to do, I’d like to reflect positively on some things that were important to me this past year, and thank those individuals, groups, and organizations that made these things possible. Coinciding with those thank-yous, I would also like to say to those of you who have yet to be touched by some of these things: “Hey, what are you waiting for — 2009 could so be your year to get on the gravy train and start enjoying the world around you, like I did in 2008.”

1. The anonymous, but oh-so-important person, who wherever I seem to go, leaves their Wi-Fi signal open
I needed to thank you first, because when I’ve been totally high and dry this year, with my laptop or iPod touch, in Italy, China, London, coffee shops on Queen Street that charge for the internet, restaurants, new apartments, red lights at not-so-major intersections… there you’ve been — giving away internet that you no doubt pay for. I don’t care if you are just some weirdo who wants to spend money on internet only to have others use it free of charge, and eat your bandwidth; or if you are some community-level philanthropist. Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t go out anymore, but I’m still sexi

Posted by lifestyle On December - 12 - 2008

The new Face(book) of narcissism

Facebook: it has changed many people’s lives. It has changed some for the better: it works for people who have social anxiety, agoraphobia, or personalities that result in people liking them only for short bursts. However, it has changed many lives for the worse: people used to go out, call their “contacts,” and communicate in more than two to three sentences at a time, and were better able to avoid grade school “friends.” Personally, for me I think it is interesting to find out what kind of “Facebook people” are on my friends list.

There are several distinct categories of people you may befriend over Facebook. These include: people you actually know; people you think you know but don’t; people you vaguely remember from some past occasion; and finally people you don’t know at all, but it seems like you should know them, because they went to your high school, and your town only has 2000 people in it. Those belonging to this latter group may have 55 friends in common with you, but still you can’t recall them at all. I was the president of my student council, and it appears everyone from high school remembers me. I blame assemblies. Read the rest of this entry »



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