In the Globe, on parenting, gender and kids before puberty. I interviewed a lovely Hamilton family with a darling MTF girl named Rose.
I am now, and always have been, a nail-biter. I am also pretty deficient at anything that requires combining patience with fine motor coordination. As such, I got into the habit of getting my nails done. And I am cheap frugal, so I got in the habit of getting them done at cheapie nail shops.
It’s pretty obvious upon entering most places that offer $15 manicures that it’s far from a great job. Even if the owners are fair, and nice, sloughing off other people’s dead foot skin for minimum wage has got to suck. It’s also pretty obvious that most of the people working in these nail shops are young, immigrant women for whom English is a second language.
A year or two ago, the mother of a friend of mine developed pneumonia. She’s Vietnamese, and she worked in a nail shop for decades. Her doctor thought she was a chain-smoker, because of the condition of her lungs.
There was only so long that I could ignore that getting my nails done in these places very likely made me a first-world jerk. So, I finally grew some ovaries and wrote this story for the Globe on all the really terrible health risks faced by nail salon workers.
I’m trying to learn to do my own nails. I pretty much suck at it.
That week of 30-degree weather in March was nice, but it means there won’t be any apples this fall. A gloomy update from the Leslieville Farmer’s Market, for Open File.
It’s a business story, ok? In Canadian Business, I tell you all about the We-Vibe, a couples vibrator developed in Ottawa that now outsells other erotic buzzers three to one.
For Open File, I visited the Aboriginal Youth Community Kitchen run by the TDSB and FoodShare. During the four-week after-school program, high school students learn to make tasty, healthy meals, and also get scared out of eating junk food by gross things like the weirdly preserved McDonald’s meal seen here, which is two years old and has never been refrigerated.
From the Globe, a piece on bi-modal sleeping. Is two-phase sleeping always insomnia? Or is it the way nature meant us to snooze?
From Saturday’s Globe, parenting tips from families with two moms.
This was interesting to research – when my editor told me he wanted a story about young adults with gay parents, my response was “what about them?” He thought that bullying, etc., would be hurting their development, I thought they’d be normal and boring. I talked to a bunch of families across Canada, including those parented by two dads. I tried very, very hard to find families from outside of urban centres (and some people of colour) but had no luck, which is revealing in itself.
We went with this angle for the final piece because the research about above-average emotional development in lesbians’ kids was so interesting (Deborah Foster from Athabasca U and the National Lesbian Longitudinal Family Study, if you feel like reading more). Now I’m getting feedback, positive and negative, from as far away as Australia. Hot topic is the way that we rhyme.
In Toronto Life, a personal story of insomnia, and the radically simple (but not yet funded by OHIP) cure being studied by Colleen Carney at Ryerson University.
From the Globe, a visit to two organic farms in Grey County, which produces five per cent of Ontario’s food.
From the Globe and Mail, a piece on an innovative fitness program at one west-end gym, which offers local homeless and at-risk youth workouts on a barter system.