Late at night we whisper back and forth over the phone.
Each conversation is essentially the same; we vie for the title of the bigger loser.
"I have not had sex in over a year," he tells me.
"That is okay though," I reassure him, "because you are just being picky. That is actually a trait that women find attractive; not having sex just for the sake of having sex. If I did not know you as well as I do, and you had not previously been involved in a sexual relationship with one of my best friends, I would totally hit that."
"That is one of the nicest things you've ever said to me," he sighs dreamily.
- 05/03/08

My friends constantly try to show me their breasts. It's true; ask Nina, she will tell you.
I cannot say for certain why it is that they have this urge, but I suspect it is made all the more enticing by the fact that I do not want them to show me their breasts. Call me old fashioned, but I generally find that seeing my own naked breasts more than fills my breast viewing quota for the day.
- 07/03/08

It took me some time to realize that you were not the person I remembered you being. In our time apart, you had changed, grown. It was to be expected, really. I would not deny you personal growth simply because that meant the memory I carry of you is no longer an accurate picture of the person you are today.
Regardless, this revelation resulted in disappointment. We no longer shared the same shorthand we once did. I found myself refraining from making jokes; worried you would misinterpret, fail to take them in with the spirit with which they were intended. This turned out to be a justified fear. When an oafish comment finally did make its way past my lips, you looked nothing less than offended.
Did you really doubt me that much? It hurt to realize that you did, but, again, I suppose that was to be expected.
I wonder if you see similar changes in me. Am I the same person you remember? With the exception of a few additional neurotic behaviours, I have always thought myself to be a person of very little change. I still believe in the same things I believed in ten years ago. I still love the same people I loved ten years ago. It is true that many people have entered and exited my life in the past several years, but my feelings for each and every one of them remain the same. Then again, I suppose it is hard to see evolution when you are exposed to it every day, especially when that evolution is your own.
I know that I am more withdrawn than I once was, but I believe that, at heart, I have always been and will always remain to be the same person.
- 17/03/08

"Your teeth are very clean," my orthodontist told me, as if this should come as some sort of surprise to me; as if I am not the one who has been brushing said teeth several times a day, every day for nearly a quarter of a century. As it turns out, I happen to be the primary brusher of my own teeth.
I sat in the reclined chair, bright light shining in my face, wondering who it was that brushed my orthodontist's teeth.
- 23/03/08


Because he is so small, I will forget that he ruined my plans for cake

The first thing I noticed was that he had a wrinkly head, probably, at least in part, due to the way his father was carrying him around like a seven pound football.
I had intended to take a plethora of photographs of him, but found myself too concerned about the potential distress my flash could cause him.
"He's been flashed plenty of times already," his mother told me, and I laughed because I am dirty like that.


Forays into Saltwater

It was probably a mistake to show the fish to the cat, but I am hoping he will eventually lose interest in them.


Long story short, I eventually conceded her point

When I first bought my new fish I was fairly intent on naming one of them Fish Stick.
"No," my mother told me.
"Why not? They are my fish," I whined, "I should be able to name them whatever I please."
"I will tell you why not," my mother replied, "you do not enunciate enough and it sounds like you are saying Fish Dick."
"Why would I name a fish Fish Dick? That just sounds silly."
"Exactly," my mother said.


"Give me your hotdog, old man."

The dog enjoyed our trip to the farm. He ran through the snow covered fields and followed rabbit tracks through the woods. He even found time to practice his telepathy on my grandfather; staring patiently for hours, silently willing him to drop his food.


Am I insensitive? Without a doubt, but that is besides the point...

"Stop the slaughter of baby harp seals in Canada!" declared the e-mail I got from PETA.
Fair enough. I can understand why anyone would wish to stop the slaughter of animals, but I found myself cringing at the blatant propaganda that PETA was distributing. You see, the only pictures attached to the e-mail the PETA sent me were of white coat, harp seal pups. "
Once again, defying international opposition and all standards of human decency, the Canadian government is sanctioning the mass killing of helpless baby harp seals," it stated. Well, PETA, if your goal was to get the Canadian government to ban the killing of white coats, they did that in 1987.

The following is a compiled list of quotes from the e-mail PETA sent me that I specifically have issues with:

"Hundreds of thousands of harp seals will be killed in a matter of weeks."
This may be true, but let's also consider that the quota for the seal hunt in 2007 was 270,000. I cannot say for sure, as I do not have a list of numbers in front of me, but I find it highly unlikely that this number was reached within a matter of weeks when the seal hunt lasts for approximately three months. Let me also point out that the government lowered the quota for the seal hunt by 55,000 (it had been 325,000 in 2006).

"Most of them will be less than 3 months old, and many will still be in their first weeks of life."
Yes, you are correct. Many of them will be less than three months old because, let's face it, in the wild it is the very young, the old, and the sick that get picked off. This is because, as you mentioned in your e-mail, they are easiest to catch. But as far as many of them being in their first weeks of life? No, this is sentence is inaccurate. As harp seals retain their white coats for 12 to 14 days and - as I previously mentioned - it has been illegal to kill white coats since 1987, one can conclude that it is currently illegal to kill a seal in its first weeks of life. Does this mean that absolutely no white coats are killed during the hunt? No, it does not. I am sure that there are one or two douche bags out there who defy this law, but this does not change the fact that you are intentionally leading people to believe that the Canadian government has done nothing to discourage the killing fluffy white seal pups. Why not instead rally to have an amendment made to the 1987 law stating the no seals under a year or, better yet, six years of age may be killed in the seal hunt. This would mean that the seals had had a chance to reach sexual maturity.

"The carnage begins as the seals have their heads bashed in with clubs. Still conscious, they will be dragged across the ice with boat hooks."
I am assuming that you are referring to the hakapik when you say that these seals have their heads bashed in. There is no denying that it doesn't particularly look all that pleasant, and I definitely won't be volunteering to be subjected to it any time in the near future. From the looks of it, it is actually downright gruesome. Forgetting appearances for a minute, the hakapik has actually been found to be at least as humane of a method of killing as those currently employed in commercial slaughterhouses - or at least it is when performed properly. How often is it performed improperly? I have no idea, but at least I am not pretending to know more than I actually do.
I equally cannot comment on whether or not the seals are dragged across the ice with boat hooks, but if you are correct, and they are still conscious, then I agree that it is inexcusable.

"Then these sensitive, intelligent animals will be skinned, sometimes while they are still alive."

As is the case with most of your e-mail, you state a fact (obviously these carcasses will be skinned if their skin is the primary bounty) and then follow it up with propaganda. I cannot say for certain how frequently seals are skinned prior to their physical death, as I have not been present on every seal hunt that has ever taken place. Truth be told, I have never been present on any seal hunt, but that is besides the point. What I can do, however, is quote an article that the CBC wrote on the seal hunt, "A 2002 report in the Canadian Veterinary Journal found that 'the large majority of seals taken during this hunt … are killed in an acceptably humane manner.' This study found that 98 per cent of hunted seals it examined had been killed properly. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) cites this study among others as proof that the hunt opponents are wrong in their accusations of widespread cruelty." However, prior to accepting this information as gospel truth, let us also take into account that this is only one study and that it is entirely possible for future studies to yield completely different results. As I learned in my Statistics class, information can be interpreted to support anything you want it to, and is frequently skewed to suit the views of the parties presenting it. Always take the information you are given, even numbers, with a grain of salt. That being said, I do agree that it is unacceptable to skin animals while they are alive, in any capacity.
I feel the need to point out that, as an English major, I applaud you for your use of the word "sometimes". It is the use of this adverb (and similarly suggestive ones) that saves your message from being complete and utter bullshit. I can say almost anything, so long as I add in the word "sometimes" to the mix, and have it be fact.
Chimpanzees kill baby humans, sometimes.
Dogs are known to kill their owners using firearms, sometimes.
Sometimes the snow comes down in June.
And, lest we not forget, sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon.

In closing, it is not your opposition to the seal hunt that I have a problem with. Truth be told, I am not particularly fond of it either. My problem is with the way you intentionally mislead and manipulate the intended reader of your message with half-truths and falsehoods. Naturally, presenting a less sensationalized picture of the seal hunt would not likely result in the kind of donations or public outcry that you are trying to inspire, but it would give you a whole lot more credibility as an organization. I appreciate any effort made to decrease the suffering of other living beings, but I also accept that death is a part of life. Humans are a natural predator of seals. You can deny this all you want, but humans are the natural predator of pretty much everything. And, having witnessed several videos, I feel safe in saying that the seals probably would choose the hakapik over most anything else their natural predators have to offer.